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    Biran, Michal 2013. The Mongol Empire in World History: The State of the Field. History Compass, Vol. 11, Issue. 11, p. 1021.


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  • Volume 1: From Early Rus' to 1689
  • Edited by Maureen Perrie, University of Birmingham

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    • Online ISBN: 9781139054102
    • Book DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521812276
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Book description

This first volume of the Cambridge History of Russia covers the period from early ('Kievan') Rus' to the start of Peter the Great's reign in 1689. It surveys the development of Russia through the Mongol invasions to the expansion of the Muscovite state in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and deals with political, social, economic and cultural issues under the Riurikid and early Romanov rulers. The volume is organised on a primarily chronological basis, but a number of general themes are also addressed, including the bases of political legitimacy; law and society; the interactions of Russians and non-Russians; and the relationship of the state with the Orthodox Church. The international team of authors incorporates the latest Russian and Western scholarship and offers an authoritative new account of the formative 'pre-Petrine' period of Russian history, before the process of Europeanisation had made a significant impact on society and culture.

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'This three volume Cambridge History of Russia, the first such English-language reference work of its kind, is based on up-to-date research and is admirably detailed and reliable in its judgments … contributions are of such outstanding quality that they deserved to be fully read and savoured.'

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‘… valuable for debunking national myths … thought provoking.’

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Page 1 of 2


  • 1 - Introduction
    pp 1-18
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521812276.002
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This introduction presents an overview of key concepts covered in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book focuses on the development of the Russian state and society, and political, economic and social issues, including the law, the Orthodox Church and intellectual and cultural life. It first covers the history of medieval Novgorod across the entire period, from its origins to its annexation by Moscow. The book then deals with aspects of the period as a whole. Finally, a purely thematic organisation is adopted, in view of the degree of political continuity within the period. The most significant development in the recent historiography of the pre-Petrine period of Russian history was the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, which brought to an end the official privileging of ideologically driven Marxist approaches to the study of history, imposed and enforced by censorship and other forms of control.
  • 2 - Russia’s geographical environment
    pp 19-44
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521812276.003
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter adopts a broad, catholic and perhaps even escapist approach, defining Russia's geographical environment as the entire territory. The natural environment touches human development at many points, indeed is part of that development. To talk of peasant environments is to consider the natural environments which confronted most Russians on a day-to-day basis and from which they were obliged to wrest their subsistence. Across the vast East European plain on which most Russians lived there is considerable environmental variation, and the means which peasants employed to ensure their subsistence also varied. The chapter considers peasant ecotypes against the broad background of the major zonal differences which existed in the Russian environment. It talks about Russian territory, which can be divided into four major zones, roughly in the order in which they were encountered by the Russian peasants of the period: mixed forest, boreal forest, tundra, forest-steppe and steppe.
  • 3 - The origins of Rus’ (c.900–1015)
    pp 45-72
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521812276.004
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The vicissitudes of one leading family are treated as virtually synonymous with the emergence and extent of the land of Rus'. Yet in addressing the question of the origins of Rus', the chroniclers did not play fast and loose with facts. The Primary Chronicle registers actual political change and population movement under way in the late ninth century. In the mid-tenth century a Khazar ruler regarded the Severians, Slavs near the middle Dnieper, as owing him tribute, while Kiev had an alternative, apparently Khazar, name, Sambatas. It is significant that the politico-military locus of Rus' shifted south little more than a generation after northerners first arrived in force on the middle Dnieper. This registers the rapid development and allure of the 'Byzantine connection', in terms of trading and the wealth it could yield. Sometime in the mid-960s Sviatoslav forged an alliance with a group of nomads, the Oghuz, and launched a joint attack on the Khazars.
  • 4 - Kievan Rus’ (1015–1125)
    pp 73-97
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521812276.005
  • View abstract
    Summary
    Political legitimacy in Kievan Rus' resided in the dynasty. The ruling family managed to create an ideological framework for its own pre-eminence which was maintained without serious challenge for over half a millennium. To this extent the political structure was simple: the lands of the Rus' were, more or less by definition, the lands claimed or controlled by the descendants of Vladimir Sviatoslavich. Like Vladimir, Iaroslav allocated regional possessions to his sons. Unlike Vladimir, he specified a hierarchy of seniority both within the dynasty and between the regional allocations, and he laid down some principles of inter-princely relations. The princes of Rus' were warlords, heading a military elite. Since prince of Kiev, Vladimir Vsevolodovich Monomakh wrote an 'Instruction' for his sons, a kind of brief curriculum vitae presenting as exemplary his own credentials and achievements. In the three generations after Vladimir the main implications of the official conversion to Christianity were made manifest.
  • 5 - The Rus’ principalities (1125–1246)
    pp 98-126
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521812276.006
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The years 1125 to 1246 gave birth to new principalities (Smolensk, Suzdalia, Murom and Riazan') and new eparchies (Smolensk and Riazan'). They saw the political ascendancy of a number of principalities (Chernigov, Smolensk, Volyn' and Suzdalia) and the decline of others (Turov, Galich, Polotsk, Pereiaslavl', Murom and Riazan'). The period also saw two singular ecclesiastical initiatives. Andrei Bogoliubskii attempted to create a metropolitan see in Vladimir, and a synod of bishops consecrated Klim Smoliatich as the second native metropolitan. During these years the inner circle created by Iaroslav the Wise evolved into one forged by political realities. Vladimir Monomakh debarred the dynasties of Turov and Chernigov thus making his heirs the only rightful claimants to Kiev. By the beginning of the thirteenth century, however, only two dynasties remained as viable candidates, namely, those of Smolensk (Mstislav Romanovich and Vladimir Riurikovich) and Chernigov (Mikhail Vsevolodovich). Finally, in the 1240s, the Tatars terminated the established order of succession to Kiev.
  • 6 - North-eastern Russia and the Golden Horde (1246–1359)
    pp 127-157
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521812276.007
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The two institutions, the Riurikid dynasty and the Orthodox Church that had given identity and cohesion to Kievan Rus', continued to dominate north-eastern Russia politically and ecclesiastically. Over the next century dynastic, political relations within north-eastern Russia altered under the Golden Horde suzerainty impact. The lingering bonds connecting north-eastern Russia with Kiev and the south-western principalities loosened in the decades after the Mongol onslaught. North-eastern Russia separated from the south-western principalities of Kievan Rus' while the principality of Vladimir-Suzdal' fragmented into smaller principalities. The demographic shift, prompted by the devastation caused by Mongol attacks, stimulated economic growth. During the last quarter of the century the next generation of princes in north-eastern Russia appears to have taken advantage of political conditions within the Golden Horde to serve their own ambitions and challenge the inherited dynastic traditions. By the end of the reign of Grand Prince Ivan I Kalita the territorial orientation of the princes of Vladimir had been substantially altered.
  • 7 - The emergence of Moscow (1359–1462)
    pp 158-187
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521812276.008
  • View abstract
    Summary
    During the century following the Mongol invasion and subjugation of the Russian lands to the Golden Horde the princes of Moscow, the Daniilovichi, gained prominence in north-eastern Russia. Within their domain, however, the Daniilovichi came to depend less on the khans and to develop domestic sources of support, rooted in their own court, in their relationships with former dynastic rivals and in the Church. During fragmentation of the Golden Horde, Dmitrii Ivanovich, who ruled to 1389, and his successors Vasilii I Dmitr' evich (1389-1425) and Vasilii II Vasil' (1425-62) nurtured and developed the foundational elements to establish their legitimacy as rulers of a state of Muscovy and to monopolise for their direct descendants the position of prince of its expanding territorial possessions. The demographic and economic disturbances experienced by the horde contributed to mounting political tensions that erupted after Khan Berdibek was killed. Ecclesiastical unity of all the Orthodox Rus', raised the prospect of political unity.
  • 8 - Medieval Novgorod
    pp 188-210
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521812276.009
  • View abstract
    Summary
    For the last seventy years medieval Novgorod has been the subject of intensive archaeological investigation. The most important event in the early history of the north-west region of Rus' was its temporary subjection to the power of the Scandinavians. From the beginning of the twelfth century onwards, problems associated with landholding became the central issues in the economic and political history of Novgorod. A major landmark in the development of the boyar state was the establishment at the end of the twelfth century of the post of republican 'thousander', as a result of which the 'hundreds' system passed out of the jurisdiction of the prince into the jurisdiction of the boyar republic. At the very beginning of the century a permanent military danger arose on the western borders of the Novgorod lands, from the Teutonic order of knights who had settled on the Baltic. The confrontation between Novgorod and Moscow intensified from decade to decade.
  • 9 - The Growth of Muscovy (1462–1533)
    pp 211-239
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521812276.010
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter describes the situation and conditions in Muscovy at the time of the ascension to the throne of Ivan III in 1462; how that situation and those conditions were affected by the reigns of Ivan III and Vasilii III. It sums up the differences that occurred in Muscovy by 1533. The domestic policies of both Ivan III and Vasilii III focused on reducing the power of their brothers and on maintaining good relations with the boyars and the Church. Ivan III and Vasilii III sought out and adapted foreign institutions and technical skills to their policy needs, and had far-ranging foreign policies. It was under Vasilii that the first stipulations concerning the need for churches and monasteries to register their land acquisitions with state agents began to appear. During the reign of Ivan III, Muscovy and the Crimean khanate had friendly relations. In 1533, Muscovy was on the verge of becoming the dominant power in the western steppe region.
  • 10 - Ivan IV (1533–1584)
    pp 240-263
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521812276.011
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The knowledge of the early years of Ivan IV's life comes largely from later sources, which were politically biased. The traditional view is that Ivan created a centralised state which assumed control over its subjects through the political regime of autocracy. The period from the end of the 1540s to the early 1560s was formative for Ivan's reign. The royal family received a new status during a multi-phase transformation of the concept of its power, which began with Ivan's coronation as tsar and culminated in turning him into a sacred figure. Ivan valued the political and organisational instruments that he received in the 1550s. It is true that his policy later became extravagant and unpredictable, probably as a result of mental illness. The assumption and active propaganda of the title of tsar, transgressions and sudden changes in policy during the oprichnina contributed to the image of the Muscovite prince as a ruler accountable only to God.
  • 11 - Fedor Ivanovich and Boris Godunov (1584–1605)
    pp 264-285
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521812276.012
  • View abstract
    Summary
    In Vienna in November 1584 Luka Novosil'tsev, the Russian ambassador to the Holy Roman Empire, referred to Boris Godunov as 'the ruler of the land, a great and gracious lord'. Thus in the summer of 1584 Godunov emerged from the shadows and was officially recognised as the ruler of the state and de facto regent for Tsar Fedor. For the next twenty years, until his death, he was the central political figure in Muscovy. One of the most important events of Godunov's regency was the establishment of the Russian patriarchate in 1589. In the realm of foreign policy, Boris Godunov's government aimed to overcome the onerous consequences of the Livonian war and to restore the international prestige of the Muscovite state. Contemporaries are unanimous that the reign of Fedor Ivanovich was a period of stability and prosperity. Boris Godunov's government was greatly concerned to satisfy the economic needs of the nobility.
  • 12 - The Peasantry
    pp 286-297
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521812276.013
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter discusses the situation of the Russian peasant with that of the American farmer. Russian peasants lived in villages and not on isolated homesteads. The vast majority of the population in the years 1462-1613 were peasants who were becoming serfs, perhaps 85 percent. Of the rest, perhaps 5 to 15 percent were slaves. The period 1462-1613 witnessed intervention by the 'Agapetus state' in the lives of its subjects unparalleled in previous history. At the end of his reign Peter the Great abolished slavery by converting slaves into serfs. Peter's heirs by the end of the eighteenth century converted the serfs into near-slaves, the property of their lords (owners). The 'Agapetus state' was so powerful because it claimed and exercised control over two of the three basic factors of the economy, all the land and labour. This had little impact on peasant methods of farming or material culture, but it laid down the course for Russian history until 1991.
  • 13 - Towns and commerce
    pp 298-316
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521812276.014
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter focuses on Russian towns as commercial foci and on their multifunctional character. The sixteenth century was thus a dynamic period for the founding of new towns, and especially the latter half. Towns with any degree of commercial life generally had a population of 'taxpaying' or posad people. Many town dwellers supported themselves to greater or lesser degree by engaging in agriculture and various kinds of primary production. By clustering around the towns commerce and manufacture were able to benefit from the military protection, access to important officials and geographical nodality available in urban centres. Crafts and manufactures were a key feature of the posad of many towns, as well as of many of the 'white' suburbs. The character of commerce and trade in Russia's regions and their towns is known in part. Referring to Europe's regional economies in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Kristof Glamann has written that 'it is isolation, not interaction, that leaps to the eye'.
  • 14 - The non-Christian peoples on the Muscovite frontiers
    pp 317-337
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521812276.015
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The newly risen Orthodox Muscovy stood alone against Roman Catholic Sweden in the north-west and Lithuania in the west, the Islamic Golden Horde and its successor khanates of the Crimea and Astrakhan' in the south and Kazan' in the east. Except for the western borderlands which were overwhelmingly populated by the Christian communities, Moscow was surrounded by a vast non-Christian world. It is here, on its non-Christian frontiers, that Moscow enjoyed its major military successes, acquired new confidence, crystallised its own identity, and built its first empire. In the middle of the fifteenth century several branches of the Chingisids seceded from the Golden Horde. They used traditional commercial hubs to establish new political centres on the fringes of the Golden Horde: thus emerged the khanates of the Crimea, Kazan', Astrakhan' and Siberia. Throughout the early 1550s, the envoys of various Kabardinian princes from the Piatigorsk region in the North Caucasus arrived in Astrakhan' and Moscow.
  • 15 - The Orthodox Church
    pp 338-359
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521812276.016
  • View abstract
    Summary
    By 1600 churches with multiple altars, tent roofs and helmet cupolas went up everywhere. They blended forms, materials and techniques developed in many places, elements of popular religiosity and Renaissance innovations in engineering and design. In 1467 Metropolitan Filipp wrote to Archbishop Iona of Novgorod about popular animosity in Iona's eparchy towards the Church and its wealth. Archbishop Gennadii told Metropolitan Zosima that a Jew in the entourage of Mikhail Olel' kovich, who came from Kiev to be Novgorod's prince in 1471, had caused the unrest. In 1487 Gennadii charged four men with heresy and sent them to Moscow for judgement. In 1525 the Iosifite Metropolitan Daniil convened a court that on the slenderest evidence convicted Maximos of heresy and treasonous relations with the Turks. Soon after 1504 Iosif Volotskii exalted Moscow's ruler, utilising the double-edged maxims of the deacon Agapetus to Byzantine Emperor Justinian I. The Church found the Time of Troubles perplexing.
  • 16 - The law
    pp 360-386
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521812276.017
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter illustrates the evolution of middle Muscovite law. The law tried to support institutions of private property and protect commerce and business. One of the main functions of law was to provide financial support for officialdom and, in a minor way, maintain the army. Finally, like all law everywhere, the Russkaia pravda served as a device for resolving conflicts, regulating compensation for damages, and creating a more humane society-replacing the law of the jungle. The chapter talks about the Muscovite Sudebniki, and two other Russian law codes, the Pskov Judicial Charter and the Novgorod Judicial Charter. The codes represent the best of north-west Russian law of the time, which was considerably more advanced than the contemporary law of Muscovy. The immunity charter was issued by a ruling prince to a private individual or Church body granting the immunity holder exemption either from taxation or from the jurisdiction of the issuer's court, or both.
  • 17 - Political ideas and rituals
    pp 387-408
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521812276.018
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter describes and analyses the function of ritual in representing political ideas in Muscovy before the seventeenth century. The political life of Muscovite society was replete with rituals. The correlation of ritual and political ideas begins with the historical transformation of Muscovy and the development of a myth to account for it. The political rituals that realised most directly the myth of the Muscovite ruler and his realm were either contingent, prompted by circumstance, or cyclical, governed by the ecclesiastical calendar. The Church calendar dominated life throughout Muscovy. Apart from the numerous Church services that the tsar and the nobility regularly attended, there were five rituals of especial importance. These demarcated major junctures in the annual cycle and expressed the fundamental values of the Muscovite myth in highly marked settings. Two were non-narrative, the New Year's ritual and the Last Judgement ritual; three contained dramatised narrative, the Fiery Furnace ritual, the Epiphany ritual and the Palm Sunday ritual.
  • 18 - The Time of Troubles (1603–1613)
    pp 409-432
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521812276.019
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter presents the 'Time of Troubles' as beginning with the First False Dmitrii's invasion of Russia in the autumn of 1604. In the aftermath of the famine of 1601-3, the pretender's challenge to Boris Godunov's legitimacy as tsar interacted with the social grievances of the population of the southern frontier to produce a highly explosive mixture. The dynastic crisis of 1598 gave rise to the First False Dmitrii; and his triumphs in their turn inspired new pretenders. The failure of Tsar Dmitrii to put in an appearance had greatly demoralized Bolotnikov's forces, but a second False Dmitrii had in fact surfaced in Russia well before the fall of Tula. The most remarkable consequence of the Time of Troubles was the fact that the autocratic monarchical system survived more or less unchanged from the late sixteenth century, with no significant new restrictions on the power of the tsar.
  • 19 - The central government and its institutions
    pp 433-463
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521812276.020
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter begins the survey of seventeenth-century institutions with the ruler Tsar Aleksei and his court. The sovereign's court was the locus of political power in Muscovy. It was not a place but rather a hierarchy of ranks. After the Romanov political settlement, Russian high politics were marked by a general peace for over thirty years. As the boyar and court elite led Muscovy, chancellery personnel, the prikaznye liudi, administered it. The world of the prikaz people was different from that of any other Muscovite in a number of ways. The tsar, the court and the prikazy were the central stable elements of Muscovite governance throughout the seventeenth century. This being said, there were two other institutions, quite different in character, that one finds in this era: the so-called 'boyar council' (boiarskaia duma) and 'Assembly of the Land' (zemskii sobor). In the end, the seventeenth-century Muscovite state proved to be quite robust.
  • 20 - Local government and administration
    pp 464-485
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521812276.021
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter discusses the important developments affecting local government in the period 1613-89. After 1613 most of the local administrative organs common before the Troubles were liquidated or were absorbed into town governor administration. Town governor administration operated under closer central chancellery control than had vicegerent administration in the previous century because the town governors' offices were held to higher expectations of written reporting and compliance with written instructions. The spread and systematisation of town governor administration was crucial to Patriarch Filaret's reconstruction programme. Over the course of the seventeenth century voevoda administration came to display more of the characteristics of rational bureaucratic organisation. In one important respect voevoda administration resisted full bureaucratic rationalisation. In districts where the governor's office had direct responsibility for tax collection as well as tax recording the governor could be held accountable to the central chancelleries for any arrears or deficits caused by unfair or negligent collection measures as well as by embezzlement.
  • 21 - Muscovy at war and peace
    pp 486-519
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521812276.022
  • View abstract
    Summary
    Muscovy's recovery from the humiliating foreign occupations of the Troubles and her emergence as a great power owed a great deal to her ability to learn the art of patience. Muscovy's war with Sweden mostly took the form of operations against small Swedish garrisons in Karelia, Izhorsk and Livonia. The Treaty of Eternal Peace can be said to mark the point at which Muscovy achieved lasting geopolitical preponderance over the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Muscovy had won Polish and Ottoman recognition of the Tsar's sovereignty over left-bank Ukraine and had begun to exercise greater control over the Zaporozhian and Don cossack hosts. The Crimean khanate remained a threat to the towns of Sloboda Ukraine and the Belgorod Line. Muscovite military power, near exhaustion by the end of the Thirteen Years War, had revived very quickly and grown to impressive new proportions. To raise more revenue for paying the expanded foreign formation infantry a major reform of state finances was undertaken in 1677-81.
  • 22 - Non-Russian subjects
    pp 520-538
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521812276.023
  • View abstract
    Summary
    In its western borderlands, Russia had come to acquire a large population of Orthodox Christians who were non-Russian. The ever-growing number of Russia's subjects now included non-Christians in the east and non-Russians in the west. Russia's steppe frontier remained ambiguous and ill defined. By the beginning of the seventeenth century, Moscow was well established in western Siberia and reached the banks of the Enisei River. Throughout the seventeenth century Russia could boast of no visible territorial expansion in the North Caucasus. Russia's advance here had been stalled for the same reasons as its march eastward into south-eastern Siberia was halted in the 1650s. In the second half of the seventeenth century, Moscow's newly claimed subjects in the west came from eastern Ukraine. The Russian conquest and colonisation policies of the mid-Volga region triggered a large-scale migration of the non-Christians. Russia's methods of conquest and colonisation appear to have formed a clear pattern.
  • 23 - The economy, trade and serfdom
    pp 539-558
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521812276.024
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The Russian economy in the period 1613-89 was quite sophisticated. All commerce in Russia was based on cash or barter. Russia had no banks until the middle of the eighteenth century, and the merchants were not Rothschild-types who could proffer loans to the government or to each other. The Muscovite economy did not provide well for most Russians. Lesser yields led to famine and starvation, which occurred roughly once in every seven years in Russia. Monasteries also suffered from the dislocations caused by the Time of Troubles. The Odoevskii legislative commission was one of the most efficient in Russian history. The commission extracted the most relevant provisions from the statute books and grouped them into what became the twenty-five chapters of the Law Code of 1649 (Sobornoe Ulozhenie), the important written monument in all of Russian history before the nineteenth century, with perhaps the exception of the chronicles. The evidentiary bases for the status of slavery and serfdom differed dramatically.
  • 24 - Law and society
    pp 559-578
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521812276.025
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter explores the complexity of the judicial system by surveying the multiple venues of legal proceedings in Muscovy, then by examining judicial practice and finally by surveying changes in the positive law. The Russian Orthodox Church was a key beneficiary of judicial immunity. Muscovy's colonial policy was laissez-faire in the seventeenth century, tolerating diversity in law, judicial institutions and elites. The legal system embraced by the system of governors was uniform across the state in law and procedure, but not in judicial venue. Muscovite judicial practice was in many ways more medieval than early modern in its distributive justice. The seventeenth century was remarkable for the generation and codification of secular law. Going into the seventeenth century, judges had available to them several codes of law. The most significant changes in positive law were made in the realm of social legislation. Society interacted with law in a multitude of ways in seventeenth-century Muscovy.
  • 25 - Urban developments
    pp 579-599
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521812276.026
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter considers a number of facets of urbanism in the seventeenth century that was a difficult period for Russia. It addresses two issues, namely the symbolic and religious role of towns and their physical morphology. The appearance of many new towns in Russia during the course of the seventeenth century is largely explained by the process of frontier expansion and colonisation of new territories. The fragmented character of urban society which characterised sixteenth century towns continued to be a feature of the seventeenth. Moscow remained the centre of Russian commercial life in this period. An important feature of Moscow's economy in the seventeenth century was the extensive 'in house' production for the benefit of the court, government, army and other central agencies. Religion was central to the life of Russian towns in the seventeenth century. Something of its significance for the individual town emerges in the 1627 cadaster for Vologda, as discussed by Mertsalov.
  • 26 - Popular revolts
    pp 600-617
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521812276.027
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter provides a chronological overview of the popular revolts, and examines the social composition of their participants. It considers the aims and demands they embodied, within the common framework of rebellions in the name of the tsar. In some cases the revolts in provincial towns were triggered by news of the events in Moscow. The social composition of the revolt was fairly heterogeneous, including representatives of relatively privileged groups, such as the gentry and merchants. The role of the bond-slaves in the Moscow revolts was a somewhat ambiguous one. The composition of the participants in the urban revolts in the provinces in 1648-50 reflected the varied social structures of the towns affected. The Razin revolt was the most heterogeneous of all the later seventeenth century uprisings. In the revolts which took place under the first Romanovs, the rebels commonly described their main targets as 'traitor-boyars'. In most popular revolts, the 'evil' traitor-boyars were contrasted with the 'good' tsar.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.


DavidGoldfrank , , ‘Muscovy and the Mongols: What’s What and What’s Maybe’, Kritika 1 (2000): 259–66.

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