Today’s reading focused on the rise of the Russian people after the influx of the Mongol hordes, in particular, the law code drafted by Ivan Vasilievic, the Grand Prince of Rus, which first made an appearance in 1497. Vasilievic, along with his children and nobles, comprised this code for the purpose of governing his nation, and for the purpose of administering justice in the most efficient manner possible. This law code, which is significantly larger than the others previously examined in our reading, is entitled “The Sudebnnik”(roughly translated to “code of law”) lines out 68 key commandments of Ivan’s Rus society, commandments which he believed would unite his people and make his lands easier to govern.
One notable modification in this law code when compared to others previously examined in class is it’s introduction of a trial system. The system (explained throughout the law code) is meant to bring a more systematic and (seemingly) fair version of justice to an accused party. Legitimate trial proceedings did not exist in Rus, instead a simple law code of “do the crime, pay the financial consequence” was in place, a system that had not developed alongside a formal trial proceeding, basically leaving a prince or lord of a town to decide the proper consequence for the action of an individual, without much chance for the accused to rebut the accusations. The law code provided a clear way for the people of Rus to see the way in which the judicial process would be conducted, a development that led the people of Rus to develop into a more modern, fair society.