Post-Mongol Law

One point that stood out in post-Mongol law was the emphasis placed on the equality of all men. Unlike the Pravda Russkaia, in which societal rank was deeply important, the Novgorod Judicial Charter specifically articulates that the archbishop is to judge everyone equally, regardless of if they are a boyar or a poor man. Additionally, if a party is guilty of slander, the Grand Prince is to take 10 rubles from the guilty party if he is a poor man, and 50 rubles if he is a rich man.… Read the rest here

Novgorod Chronicle and Mongol Invasion

The Novgorod Chronicle presents the Mongol invasion as a punishment sent by God. The Mongols invaded because the princes were selfish and fought against one another, disobeying both their father and God. The Chroniclers write that the Devil himself is responsible for inciting this discord among the princes.

The Chronicle lessens the importance of the Mongol’s role in the invasion because God is named as the one pulling all of the strings. God allowed the Mongols attack as punishment for the people’s sins.… Read the rest here

The Rise of the Individual States in Rus’

As Kievan Rus’ became less and less centralized, individual principalities rose in its place as the chief governing bodies in the land.  These were much more independent of one another, and largely stayed more personal.  While this movement was occurring on the own accord of the princes, the pace was changed drastically as the hordes of Mongols began to go West.  While making it difficult for princes to stay sovereign, a large proportion of inhabitant of Rus’ felt the inclusion of Rus’ into the Mongol Yoke certainly had some benefits.… Read the rest here

Judicial Charters

The judicial process during the late 15th century in Russia, particularly including the Novgorod and Muscovite societies, is significantly different from the times of the Pravda Russkaia. From a first glance at both the judicial charters of Novgorod and Muscovite, such things including the structure of the documents and its intended audience differ substantially.

In both charters, the document is directed more towards the higher most positions of power in their society, such as the archbishopric if Novgorod the Great and Pskov, the Grand Prince, and the mayor, and their duties in terms of what is expected of them in a case.… Read the rest here

State-Building in Post-Kievan Rus’

These readings illustrate the diverging types of states that developed after the fall of Kiev, and geography is a main factor in the separation of different governments.  Novgorod and the north attempted to establish restrictions to princely power and set up a system of elections and assemblies to limit the influence of the elites.  In the southwest, the elites had more power than the prince, who was subject to the will of the boyars.  Finally, in Moscow and the northeast, princely power grew and became more entrenched as land rights were transformed into personal property.  … Read the rest here

A republic in Novgorod?

Today’s reading featured tales of Rus’ Princes following the Mongol invasion of Rus. While none of the piece treats with the consequences of the arrival of the Mongols into Rus’ land its influence on the society is deeply reflected throughout each source. For instance, the common theme in the first 2 pieces is that the ruler had difficulties keeping his power intact. In the first case, the case of Iaroslav Iaroslavovich, the first treaty of Novgorod shows that the prince of Novgorod – though he was not overthrown – had to give away most of his power to the population of Novgorod and the Church (at least this is what the very first article seems to hint).  
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