Stalin, Fascists and Freedom

The texts assigned for Friday’s class portray the changing views, which the Soviet Union held towards Germany and other Western nations. While the Hitler-Stalin Pact suggests a mutual understanding between the two leaders (and, by extension, their nations), the later documents paint a far different view of a ‘fascist’ Germany.

In Stalin’s speech in February 1946, he seems to align the Soviet Union with the Western world in a coalition against fascism, and describes the USSR (and other countries involved in the coalition) as freedom-loving.… Read the rest here

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

The Iroslav Statutes

In addition Pravda Russkaia law code, the Iroslav Statutes were also written at approximately the same time period in the 11th century. The Iroslav Statues, however, focus more on offences dealing with social issues, particularly those that involve women in some fashion.  These laws thus help determine how prominent a role in society gender played was well as sexual behavior among men and women, as well as societies social values.

With a vast majority of these statutes dealing with women, a number of conclusion can be drawn about their place in society.  … Read the rest here

Kievan Rus’ & Pravda Russkaia

The Pravda Russkaia, or the law code of Kievan Rus’, has a very interesting and unique mixture of possible offenses and punishments, some of which are logical, while others are not.  For example, Point 9 states that “If someone unsheathes a sword, but does not strike anyone,then he pays 1 grivna.”  This offense is somewhat similar to laws about carrying a weapon with out a permit.  Another example is point 12, which states that “if someone rides on someone else’s horse, not having asked him for permission, then he is to provide three grivnas.”  This law is similar to that of auto theft.  … Read the rest here

Gender in Rus Society

After having compared the  Pravda Russkaia with the Statute of Iaroslav, their treatment towards the subject of gender, women in particular, is not only apparent but different from each other as well. Specifically speaking, although both texts clearly state that women within society are more heavily governed, the methods which each text states are different.

Through out the Statute of Iaroslav the text clearly and consistently focuses on women in terms of sexuality. The text in particular focuses on laws around subjects including marriage, divorce, adultery, and cheating.… Read the rest here

Observations on Rus Society

Having looked at the Правда Русская (Pravda Russkaia) and compared it to Iaroslav’s Statute I think that the change in the documents can tell us a lot about life in early Rus as well as the different roles that men and women played in their society. In my opinion the biggest change between the two legal codes is the shift in importance from material possessions to family as well as sexual values. In the Pravda Russkaia most of the laws are jumbled around with little regard for organization, however the central theme seems to be property and its value; however, in Iaroslav’s statute we can see Christian values starting to emerge as there are many laws pertaining to marriage and adultery in particular.… Read the rest here