Домострой, глав 39-49. (Domostroi, chapters 39-49.)

In this section of The Domostroi, the author instructs the aristocratic Russian man on how to maintain stores for the household.  It is made clear that one should only rarely have to go to the market to buy certain things (like fish, timber, or imported goods like beaver or squirrel skin); however, many items of foods, grains, or beverages should be maintained by one’s own estate.  A Russian man who is “farsighted” is one who thinks of the future and is able to have stores that would supply food/drink for his household for a year, and be able to supply the correct type of food during a fast.  The most interesting out of these chapters are those explaining how to brew and serve different sorts of libations for guests of the household.

I must stress that it is made clear in these passages these instructions are meant for the man of the household.  A wife, however, must be instructed in such management of the state, but should also have prior knowledge of how to cook and prepare a multitude of different foods.

Being sensible and buying things while they’re affordable to save for later, not wasting any sort of product, as well as God and marriage ring true in these passages.  In chapter 39 it quickly states that a man who lives by these means and upholds and instructs his wife/servants on living a good Christian life will be blessed by the Lord. Here The Domostroi explains that one will receive plenty on his lands as a gift from God only if he abides by the Lord’s will.  Instruction of the Lord’s will to a wife and others of the household, as explained in the introduction, is the most important message that the book tries to relay to its audience.  What this does is give insight to how closely the church possibly was to authority at the time this book was penned, as they tried to bring order and establish some sort of base to the functions of aristocratic society in sixteenth century Russia.