Posad. The trading and manufacturing district of a town in Kyivan Rus’. Such districts were usually located outside the town walls; hence, the posad was a suburb. Since fortified towns were built as a rule on higher ground, the suburbs were below (pod) them and were known as podil (pl podoly). In the 13th century posad became the prevalent term in northeastern Rus’; gradually it was extended to whole towns that were inhabited mostly by merchants and tradesmen. By the end of the 18th century, when the difference between the merchant and the artisan classes became sharper, the term posad ceased to be used of town districts. It was brought to Ukraine from Russia in the second half of the 17th century to designate certain kinds of settlements and was used mostly in Starodub regiment, Nizhyn regiment, Slobidska Ukraine, and Southern Ukraine.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]