Building a State in Post-Kievan Society

As Kiev was declining in power, Novgorod was growing and becoming more powerful, evolving into a “’merchant republic’” ((Kaiser and Marker, 84)) (Kaiser and Marker, 84). In Novgorod, princely power existed, but was limited, as seen in The First Treaty of Novgorod with Tver’ Grand Prince Iaroslave Iaroslavich.   This specific treaty lists a number of rules the prince is to follow when in power; it is interesting to note that the majority of the rules deal with land and property rights displaying the importance of land at this time. In Southwest Rus’, the Galician-Volhynian Chronicle provides insight to a different form of princely power; instead of princes in Southwest Rus’ the boyars fought for power.  Unlike The First Treaty of Novgorod however, the Galician-Volhynian Chronicle does not discuss the importance of land and property but rather the important role power plays in the creation of the state. In Northeast Rus’, The second Testament of Moscow Grand Prince Dmitrii Donskoi displays the importance of property but also provides insight to what kind of roles women had at this time. For example, Donskoi provides an ample amount of land and villages for his princess but he constantly repeats the importance of the princess in his son’s lives; she is to have the last say and the sons are to listen to her.


What can the role of property in these documents tell us about the importance of property or land at this time?


What can the role of Donskoi’s wife tell us about gender roles at the time? Can we claim that all women had an important role in society or only women in the princely, upper class?

One thought on “Building a State in Post-Kievan Society

  1. i was also interested by these ideas throughout the reading. i was intrigued by the amount of times the children were reminded to listen or obey their mother and how much power she had over the distribution of inheritance.

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