Medieval Novgorod and the Growth of Muscovy from Cambridge history of Russia, volume 1 (fb2)

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Medieval Novgorod


It would be difficult to find a medieval Russian city with a more distinctive history than Novgorod.

For the last seventy years medieval Novgorod has been the subject of inten­sive archaeological investigation. The results of these excavations have pro­vided significant compensation for the regrettable scarcity of conventional sources for the history of early Rus'. This scarcity was caused by environ­mental factors. Throughout the Middle Ages (and well into modern times, too) Russians lived in wooden houses, and the towns which constituted their cultural centres comprised a collection of wooden structures which regularly fell victim to fires.

It is a distinctive feature of the cultural layer of Novgorod that because of its high humidity and the consequent absence of aeration, all kinds of ancient items have been preserved, including those made from organic mate­rials (wood, bone, leather, cloth and grain) which are usually irreversibly destroyed in normal circumstances. This peculiarity has enabled researchers to establish precise dates for all the objects which have been discovered in the excavations, by means of dendrochronology. It also permitted the great discovery in 1951 of documents written on birch bark, which were preserved in ideal conditions in the cultural strata. By the end of the fieldwork sea­son in 2003, 949 birch-bark documents had been found in Novgorod itself, plus one in nearby Gorodishche, and a further 57 in the surrounding district (38 in Staraia Rusa and 19 in Torzhok). Of these, about 500 were found in strata dating from the eleventh century to the first third of the thirteenth century This has significantly increased the number of written sources available for the early medieval period, and it has enabled scholars to carry out a funda­mental re-examination of many problems which had long been the subject of disputes.

The origins of Novgorod

The vast territory of the Russian north-west has an abundance of forests, lakes and marshes, but a great scarcity of arable land. For a long period (from the Neolithic and Bronze Ages) it was inhabited by tribes of the Finno-Ugrian linguistic group. From the fifth and sixth centuries ad the region was invaded by Slavonic tribes, but this did not lead to any conflict with the indigenous population. While the primary economic activity of the indigenous inhabi­tants was fishing and hunting, the Slavs tilled the land and cultivated cereals. Thus the two ethnic groups gravitated towards different types of settlement areas and did not interfere with one another.

For a long time historians believed that the Slav immigrants (the Novgorod Slovenes and Krivichi) had come from the middle Dnieper. It was assumed that before the division of Rus' into separate principalities in the twelfth century the eastern Slavs all spoke the same language, and that it was only in the twelfth century that dialects began to form, a development which was accelerated by the Tatar invasion of the thirteenth century. The study of the hundreds of birch-bark documents has, however, shown that the process worked in a completely opposite way. It turned out that the distinctive features of the Novgorod dialect were most evident in texts dating from the eleventh and twelfth centuries, and that subsequently they gradually disappeared as a result of contacts with other East Slav dialects. A search for parallels to the charac­teristics of the Novgorod dialect led to the conclusion that Slavonic migration to the Russian north-west originated from the territory of modern Poland and northern Germany, and that this was where the ancestors of the medieval Novgorodians came from.[1] This conclusion has been confirmed by archaeo­logical and anthropological evidence.

The most important event in the early history of the north-west region of Rus' was its temporary subjection to the power of the Scandinavians. A later account in the Novgorod Chronicle states that the Varangians (i.e. Norsemen) exacted a general tribute (a squirrel-pelt per head) which they collected from the Slavonic tribes of the Slovenes and Krivichi and from the Finno-Ugrian tribe of the Chud', who had not previously been united. Their common misfortune led to an uprising against the Varangians, who were driven out. Once they had obtained their independence, the Slavonic and Finno-Ugrian tribes united and began to build towns, but subsequently they quarrelled among themselves and, not wanting to grant pre-eminence to any one of the three tribes (the Slovenes, the Krivichi and the Finno-Ugrians), they decided to invite a Varangian prince from overseas. This plan was put into effect when an invitation was issued in 859 or 862 to the Scandinavian Prince Riurik,[2] who presumably came from Denmark or Friesland. Riurik first settled at Ladoga, but soon moved to a more convenient spot at the source of the River Volkhov,[3] where the main East European trade routes intersected.

The likelihood that this event actually occurred has been confirmed by exca­vations at Gorodishche (3 kilometres from Novgorod), where the residence of the Novgorod princes was situated until the end of the fifteenth century. The archaeological evidence from Gorodishche proves that the site was indeed founded in the middle of the ninth century. It clearly demonstrates that the inhabitants belonged to the social elite, and that the predominant element was Norman.[4]

When did restrictions on the power of the prince first arise? This is one of the most important problems facing students of the political system of Novgorod. The restrictions were set out as conditions in the invitations issued to princes, and they are found in the oldest of the extant agreements between Novgorod and its prince, which date from the I260s (the earlier agreements have not survived). [5]

The most important restriction was that the invited prince and his retainers were forbidden to collect state taxes in the Novgorod lands. This right belonged to the Novgorodians themselves, who used the revenues they collected to pay the prince his so-called 'gift', that is, his remuneration for performing his duties. In the course of the Novgorod excavations in strata dating from the end of the tenth century to the first quarter of the twelfth century, wooden seals were frequently found; these were used to safeguard the contents of sacks containing the furs which had been collected as state revenues. These devices have inscriptions on them which indicate that the contents of the sack belonged to the prince or to the tax collectors themselves, who, according to Russkaia pravda (the oldest law code of Rus'), were allowed to keep a certain proportion of the collection for themselves. Altogether fifty-one of these items have been found, all of them in the homes of the Novgorodians themselves.

In several cases these finds were accompanied by birch-bark documents con­taining detailed information about the revenue collection, addressed to the individuals whose names were inscribed on the seals. Although the earliest of these seals to have survived dates from the end of the tenth century, similar finds in tenth-century strata in Szczecin in Poland, and in Dublin in Ireland, enable us to conclude that the custom of using such devices is of Norman origin; but the limitation of the power of the prince in such an important sphere as tax collection and the preparation of the state budget most probably goes back to the presumed agreement with Riurik.[6]

If this is the case, it explains why Riurik's successors - Oleg, and Riurik's son Igor' - left Novgorod. Breaking his agreement to serve as prince for life, Oleg moved south in order to conquer first Smolensk and then Kiev. His power in Kiev was therefore based not on an agreement, but on the right of a conqueror. Thus the prince was not limited in his actions, and he and his retinue were able to collect revenues (the poliud'e) in the lands subject to his authority.

The departure of Oleg and Igor' to the south created a political vacuum in north-western Rus'. As a result of Oleg's breach of the agreement, there was no prince. In his place his representatives, probably headed by a governor appointed by the prince, remained at Gorodishche. But at this period Novgorod itself did not yet exist. Excavations in various parts of the city have not revealed any ninth-century cultural strata. Active settlement of the future territory of Novgorod began, however, at the end of the ninth century and the beginning of the tenth. This process coincided with the abandonment ofmany settlements in the surrounding district. We must assume that these two processes were interrelated, and that they were caused by the political vacuum created by the absence of a prince, which encouraged the tribal leaders of the Slovenes, Krivichi and Chud' to settle on the future territory of Novgorod, not far from the prince's residence.

The choice of this location, like that of the site of the prince's residence in the middle of the ninth century, was determined by its key position at the crossroads of the main international trade routes. Here, at the point where the River Volkhov flows out of Lake Il'men', the 'road from the Varangians to the Greeks' - the main line of north-south communication - intersected with the Volga-Baltic route - the main line of east-west communication. The active nature oftrade movements along these highways is clearly demonstrated by the numerous hoards of Eastern silver coins of the late ninth to the early eleventh centuries and, after the exhaustion of the Asian silver mines - hoards of Western European denarii of the eleventh and early twelfth centuries.

Excavations have revealed the nature of the territory of the future Novgorod in the first half of the tenth century. It was not yet a town, but rather three settlements oftribal leaders, separated from one another by uninhabited areas. Around the central farmsteads in these settlements there lay arable lands criss­crossed by dirt-tracks. The names of these settlements, which subsequently provided the basis of Novgorod's administrative-territorial division (its kontsy, or 'ends'), indicate their probable original ethnic composition: Slavenskii (that is, Slavonic), Nerevskii (from the name of a Finno-Ugrian tribe, the 'Noroma' or 'Nereva') and Liudin (from the Slavonic word liudi, meaning 'people' - most probably this was a Krivichi settlement). The transformation of this loose pre-urban structure into a town took place in the middle of the tenth century.

In 947 the Kievan Princess Ol'ga, while putting the administrative system of her state in order, came to the north-west and carried out campaigns which resulted in the subjugation and unification of the densely inhabited regions along the rivers Msta and Luga. In consequence, the tax system of Novgorod and the amount ofthe state revenue more than doubled. As a result, the streets began to be paved, and there emerged a system of services and utilities, the construction of homesteads in streets, and other attributes of a town.[7] From this point it is appropriate to use the term, 'Novgorod', since it was then that the social centre of the new formation arose - the kremlin (Detinets), which was from the outset called Novyi gorod (new town) to distinguish it both from the three original urban-type settlements and from Gorodishche.

The development of boyar power

The newly transformed town exerted a magnetic attraction on the all-Russian princely house. In 970-80 the sons of the Kievan prince Sviatoslav Igorevich, Vladimir and Iaropolk, fought for the right to act as its prince, and sent their governors to Novgorod. In the end Vladimir emerged as the victor, and in his reign (after he had become prince of Kiev) Novgorod followed the example of Kiev in accepting Christianity (around 990) and acquired as its prince Vladimir's son, Iaroslavthe Wise. The first churches were constructed in Novgorod at the end of the tenth century - the wooden cathedral of St Sophia and the church of saints Joachim and Anna, whose dedication is connected with the name of the first bishop of Novgorod, Joachim.

Iaroslav's reign as prince lasted until 1015, when after the death of his father he engaged in a conflict with Sviatopolkthe Accursed (Okaiannyi) for control of Kiev. The Novgorodians helped him to achieve victory in this conflict, and Iaroslav rewarded them for their assistance by granting them new privileges. These included the declaration that the Novgorod boyars - the direct descen­dants of the tribal leaders who had originally invited Riurik to Novgorod - were not subject to the prince's jurisdiction.[8] But even before Vladimir's death, Iaroslav had in 1014 refused to pay the traditional tribute of 2,000 grivnas to Kiev. Only Vladimir's death prevented a military confrontation between father and son.

The privileges which the Novgorod boyars obtained from Iaroslav the Wise laid the basis for the division of Novgorod into two administrative structures. The boyars' homesteads, which were not subject to the jurisdiction of the prince, became the basis of the system of 'ends'. The areas which lay between these 'ends' were settled by inhabitants who were independent of the boyars, including free artisans and merchants. These districts remained within the jurisdiction of the prince. They were divided into 'hundreds' (sotni), and were administered by 'thousanders' (tysiatskie) and 'hundreders' (sotskie), who con­stituted the machinery of princely governance right up until the end of the twelfth century.

While he was still prince of Kiev, Iaroslav did something that was exception­ally important for Novgorod's cultural development. On a visit to Novgorod in 1030 he 'collected 300 of the elders' and priests' children, in order to teach them book-learning'.[9] Archaeological work has, however, shown that literacy in Novgorod had begun even before this date. In 2000, during excavations in the Liudin 'end' (to the south of the kremlin) in a stratum from the begin­ning of the eleventh century, there was found a set of three waxed wooden tablets inscribed with several psalms (see Plate 9). Investigations showed that this was designed to teach writing: the teacher wrote something, made the pupils copy what he had written, then rubbed it out and wrote a new text on the smoothed surface. At the present time the 'Novgorod psalter' - so called because the waxed tablets preserve extracts from the psalms - is the oldest dated 'book' in the entire Slavonic world. This was how the very first Novgorod Christians, who had only just been converted (at the end of the tenth century), learned to write.[10] Thus when Iaroslav the Wise set up his school in Novgorod, he was following an example which already existed. In the reign of Iaroslav the Wise the prince's position within the power structure of Novgorod was strengthened, and this was reflected in the transfer of his residence from Gorodishche to Novgorod. There it occupied territory on the Trading Side of the town, opposite the kremlin, which to this day is called 'Iaroslav's Court'.

After the wooden cathedral of St Sophia was destroyed by fire, the stone cathedral of St Sophia which survives in Novgorod to the present day was built in 1045-50, on the initiative of Prince Vladimir, the son of Iaroslav the Wise, with the involvement of master-craftsmen from Kiev. This is the oldest stone church on the territory of present-day Russia. At the same time, new fortifications were built in the kremlin, which provided a reliable defence both for the cathedral and for the bishop's palace which was situated alongside it.

In the last quarter of the eleventh century a number of changes took place in Novgorod which testify to the strengthening of the local aristocracy (the boyars) and the weakening of the power ofthe prince. In 1088-94 the prince of Novgorod was Mstislav, the young son of Vladimir Monomakh. David, the prince sent from Kiev to replace him, was expelled by the Novgorodians, who insisted on the restoration of Mstislav. This was the first clear demonstration of that 'freedom to choose the princes' which was to become the constitu­tional principle of the Novgorod boyars, who cited the invitation to Riurik as a precedent.

In 1102 the Novgorodians again opposed Kiev's planned replacement of Mstislav by a Kievan client. An analysis of the archaeological evidence relating to imports shows that the city's opposition to Kiev was accompanied by a trade blockade: Kiev cut off the routes by which goods from the south reached Novgorod.

The Novgorodians' concern for Mstislav was accompanied by the introduc­tion during his minority of the most important political institution of boyar rule - the posadnichestvo (governorship). If previously the term posadnik had been used for the governors sent from Kiev, now the posadnik was elected from among the boyars and governed Novgorod jointly with the prince.[11] It was at this time, too, that a second major restriction was placed on the power of the prince - the invited prince was forbidden to own land on a private-property basis anywhere on the territory which was subject to Novgorod. That right was granted only to the Novgorodians themselves.

In addition, the prince and his court returned to Gorodishche, where the prince's residence was restored; it remained there right up until the sixteenth century.

In 1117 Mstislav Vladimirovich, on the instructions of Vladimir Monomakh, departed from Novgorod for Smolensk, leaving his son Vsevolod as prince of Novgorod in his place. In order to make material provision for Vsevolod, Mstislav transferred to Novgorod extensive border territories from his princi­pality of Smolensk, and these became Vsevolod's domain. These lands were transferred on condition that the income derived from them should be placed at the disposal of the prince of Novgorod only if the invited prince was a direct descendant of Mstislav. If a member of another princely line was summoned, the domain's revenues were to be sent to Smolensk.[12]

During Vsevolod's reign the Novgorod boyars introduced yet another restriction of the prince's rights. Originally the prince had performed the func­tions of the supreme judge of Novgorod. Now a joint judicial court was set up, comprising the prince and the posadnik, the head of the boyars. The prince formally retained the main role (he ratified decisions with his seal), but he did not have the right to make a final decision without the posadnik's sanction. In the course of excavations in 1998 the meeting-place of this court was discov­ered. It had been established in the middle of the II20s and had functioned for five or six decades, as was shown by more than 100 birch-bark documents which were found there, relating to various types of judicial disputes.[13]

In II36 a major uprising against the prince led to a complete victory for the boyars, who reorganised the political system and in effect turned the prince into an official of the boyar republic. The prince retained the function of the judge; his decisions, however, acquired force only after they had been definitively confirmed by the posadnik. As a result of this uprising Prince Vsevolod was driven out of Novgorod, and Sviatoslav Olegovich was invited from Chernigov to replace him. This turnaround, of course, meant that the issue of the mate­rial remuneration of the prince and his retinue had to be resolved again. Sviatoslav was allocated lands in the north, in the region of the Northern Dvina and Pechera rivers. These lands were, however, soon returned to the jurisdiction of the boyars, and the princes were apportioned less prosperous territories.

From the beginning of the twelfth century onwards, problems associated with landholding became the central issues in the economic and political history of Novgorod. The Novgorod lands were deficient in minerals. Iron was found in the region only in the form of marsh ores. All other types of raw material for craft production were obtained by trade: precious and non- ferrous metals were imported from various European countries; amber from the Baltic; valuable types of wood from the Caucasus; and precious and semi­precious ornamental stones from the Urals and from Oriental lands.

In exchange for these imports, Novgorod was able to bring to the interna­tional market those resources of the Novgorod lands which were obtained by hunting, fishing and bee-keeping: expensive furs, valuable fish, wax and honey. Their possession of lands which were rich in these valuable export commodi­ties provided the basis of the economic prosperity of the Novgorod boyars. It was precisely in the twelfth century that the system of patrimonial estates (votchiny) began to be created in the Novgorod lands.[14]

The layout of every urbanboyar homestead included not only living quarters and outhouses, but also the workshops of the craftsmen who were dependents of the householder. The products obtained on the boyar's lands were processed by these craftsmen and taken to the city market, where merchants could sell them in exchange for raw craft materials brought in from abroad. As a result, the main revenue was obtained by the landowners who owned the original products.

In this connection, a major preoccupation of Novgorod's military policy in the twelfth century was the defence of its northern possessions from attacks on them by the Vladimir-Suzdal' principality. Historical chronicles mention numerous military clashes between Novgorod and the Suzdalian claimants to these possessions. The most significant of these was the campaign of the Suzdalians against Novgorod in 1169-70, which resulted in victory for the Novgorodians, whose success was ascribed to a miracle caused by the icon of the 'Mother of God of the Sign', which thereafter became Novgorod's most sacred possession.

The internal politics of the Novgorod boyars was greatly influenced by the rivalry among the territorial groupings which went back to the ancient rivalry among the three original settlements which had formed the basis of Novgorod. Competing with one another for the post ofposadnik, these groups found allies in the princes of Smolensk, Chernigov and Suzdal', and as a result their internal squabbles were combined with the conflicts among the princes of Rus' for influence in Novgorod. A graphic example of this incessant struggle was the uprising of 1207, in the course of which the boyar grouping of the Liudin end, which was then in power, was expelled from Novgorod; its property, including its landholdings, was distributed among the participants in the uprising; its mansions were burned; and the post of posadnik passed into the hands of the rival boyar grouping which had organised the uprising in alliance with the prince of Suzdal'.

A major landmark in the development of the boyar state was the establish­ment at the end of the twelfth century of the post of republican 'thousander', as a result of which the 'hundreds' system passed out of the jurisdiction of the prince into the jurisdiction of the boyar republic.[15]

In the course of the twelfth century, Novgorod developed its own school of art and architecture. At the beginning of the century the cathedral churches of the monasteries of St Anthony and St George were built and decorated with frescos, and the church of the Annunciation was constructed in princely Gorodishche. These churches served as models for the architects of the entire twelfth century. Among the most significant masterpieces was the church of the Saviour on the Nereditsa, which was built near Gorodishche in 1198 and painted with frescos in 1199. These paintings, which were considered by art historians to be the most significant example of such work in medieval Russia, survived until the twentieth century. Tragically, they were largely destroyed during the Second World War. In the 1960s the church was restored in its original form, but most of its fresco paintings have been preserved only in copies and photographs.[16]

It is worth noting that medieval art in Rus' was usually anonymous. The names of Feofan Grek (Theophanes the Greek), Andrei Rublev and Dionisii, who lived in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, are well known, but the names of the artists of the pre-Mongol period were unknown until recent times. Scholars frequently expressed the view that their anonymity would last for ever. In the course of excavations in the 1970s and 1980s, however, archaeol­ogists unearthed the home of an artist of the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. His name was discovered from birch-bark letters addressed to him, many of which contained orders for the painting of icons. The artist was called Olisei Grechin; he was also mentioned in the chronicles as a master fresco painter. When his autographs on the birch-bark documents were studied and compared with the handwriting of the artist who headed the workshop that painted the frescos in the church of the Saviour on the Nereditsa, Olisei was shown to have had the main responsibility for the creation of these murals.[17]

Many birch-bark letters have also been found which were written by Olisei's father - Petr Mikhalkovich - or receivedby him. When this group of documents was studied, it was possible to establish that Petr and his wife Mariia (Marena in the birch-bark documents) had commissioned the most famous Novgorod icon of the twelfth century - the icon of the Mother of God of the Sign - which, as we have already said, played a part in the battle of 1170. It turned out that this icon was painted for the wedding of Petr Mikhalkovich's daughter Anastasiiato the Novgorod Prince Mstislav-the son ofthe famous Prince Iurii Dolgorukii. This marriage tookplace in 1155. At the same time Petr and his wife Mariia commissioned one of the greatest masterpieces of Novgorod applied art - a silver chalice (communion cup) by the master-craftsman Kosta, which contains depictions of the Mother of God and saints Peter and Anastasia.[18]

The thirteenth and fourteenth centuries

The thirteenth century was a time of trial for Novgorod. At the very beginning of the century a permanent military danger arose on the western borders of the Novgorod lands, from the Teutonic order of knights who had settled on the Baltic. On the north-western borders no less dangerous a threat was posed by Swedish aggression. In 1238 in the course of the Tatar-Mongol invasion the forces ofthe horde began their incursions into the territory of Novgorod. Baty's army besieged the Novgorod town of Torzhok for a month, annihilating its heroic defenders. However, the defence of Torzhok saved Novgorod. Torzhok was conquered in March; by this time the supplies of fodder for the cavalry were exhausted, and this frightened the Tatars, as it created a real danger that they would lose the horses which were their main means of military transport. The Tatar forces, having come within about a hundred kilometres of Novgorod, returned to their southern steppes.[19]

After this the Novgorodians managed to concentrate their military forces for the defence of their western borders, where in 1240 Aleksandr defeated the Swedes in the Battle on the River Neva for which he received the epithet 'Nevskii'; and in 1242 he vanquished an army of Teutonic knights on the ice of Lake Chud'. This victory was not, however, a decisive one. It was only after a bloody battle at Rakovor (Rakver in Estonia) in 1269 that peace was established on the western borderlands.

At the same time the Tatar-Mongol invasion had had an impact on Novgorod. The traditional system of trade and cultural links with the dev­astated Russian principalities was destroyed. The building of stone churches was halted until the 1290s. The construction of a stone kremlin in place of the wooden one was begun only in i302.

Significant changes took place in the relationship between boyar Novgorod and the princes. Previously the principle of'freedom to choose the princes' had lain at the basis of this relationship; but now the Novgorodians automatically recognised as their prince the man whom the khans of the Golden Horde con­firmed as the head ofthe Rus' princes ('the grand prince'). However, in so far as the main sphere of activity ofthe grand prince lay outside Novgorod, he came to be represented by governors whom he appointed. Thus the participation of the grand prince in Novgorod affairs was minimal, and this strengthened the boyar republican system.

The behaviour of Grand Prince Aleksandr Nevskii, who required Novgorod to pay tribute to the Mongols even though it had not been conquered by them, and who destroyed some of the boyars' republican prerogatives, provoked the indignation of the Novgorodians, and after Aleksandr's death they set about reorganising the system of government. In an agreement concluded with his brother, Grand Prince Iaroslav Iaroslavich, in the 1260s, the prerogatives which the Novgorodians had previously obtained were confirmed: the prince did not have the right to collect state revenues from the territory of the Novgorod lands (the Novgorodians did that themselves, thereby controlling the state budget); he did not have the right to own any landed estates on the territory of the Novgorod state on a private-property basis; and he also had no right to pronounce judicial decisions without the sanction of the posadnik. In the same agreement the prince undertook to refrain from those infringements of the law which had been permitted by his late brother.

After this the functions of the prince in the judicial sphere were restricted even further. If previously all judicial matters had come under his jurisdiction, then at the end of the thirteenth century there was organised a commercial court which came underthejurisdiction ofthe thousander (a Novgorodboyar), and an episcopal court, which had particular authority over the large group of the population who lived on lands belonging to ecclesiastical institutions.

This situation led to yet another significant reorganisation. From the end of the thirteenth century an immense amount of monastery construction took place in Novgorod. The wealthy boyar families founded monasteries, acted as their patrons and endowed them with considerable wealth, primar­ily in the form of landholdings. However, in so far as this entire system of landed possessions came within the jurisdiction of the archbishop as head of the Church, the boyars fully realised that any future extension of monastery landholdings might turn the archbishop from a spiritual pastor into the real head of the state, since 'he who controls wealth, holds power'. For that rea­son a reform was introduced, which resulted in the creation of the office of archimandrite - the head of the entire Novgorod black clergy.

The archimandrite, who acquired as his residence the St George monastery, 4 kilometres outside Novgorod, was in charge of the hegumens (abbots) of the monasteries of the five administrative districts ('ends') of Novgorod. In eccle­siastical and canonical matters the archimandrite was of course subordinate to the archbishop; he was not, however, appointed by the archbishop, but was elected at the boyar veche (assembly), like theposadniki and other state officials, and he was accountable for his economic activity not to the archbishop, but to the boyar authorities. In other words, the boyar corporation exercised full control over the secular activity ofthe archimandrite, and it could remove him from office if he turned out to be awkward or incompetent. The boyar groups made full use of this right.[20]

In the last third of the thirteenth century important changes took place in the political system of Novgorod. The boyars, in an attempt to reduce rivalry in the struggle for control of the highest offices of state, created an institu­tion in which the interests of all the territorial groupings were represented. The merchants' organisation acquired its own special administrative system, headed by a thousander who was also elected for a specified period.

In the early 1290s a very important reform of the republican administration was implemented. In essence this amounted to the annual election ofthe head of state (the posadnik); the head of the merchantry and the free artisan popu­lation (the thousander); and the head of the black clergy (the archimandrite). It would be difficult to think of a better way of controlling the activity of the highest state leaders. With these new forms of state organisation in place, Novgorod entered the fourteenth century.[21]

In many respects the beginning of the fourteenth century was a watershed in the history of Rus' in general, and of Novgorod in particular. Novgorod's role in the strengthening of the Russian economy must be especially stressed. Having avoided military devastationby the Golden Horde, and having repulsed the aggression of the Swedes and the Teutonic knightly orders on its western borders, Novgorod remained the only region to acquire significant quantities of silver from Western Europe in exchange for the products of its agriculture, hunting, fishing and bee-keeping. The whole of Rus' needed silver, both for its own requirements and for the constant payment of tribute to the Golden Horde. The re-export of silver from Novgorod to Tver', Moscow, Suzdal' and other towns in central Rus' not only strengthened the Novgorodian economy, but it also inspired the aggressive envy ofits neighbours, provoking permanent military conflicts with Tver' and then with Moscow.

Incidentally, the constant flow of Western European silver into Novgorod around the beginning of the fourteenth century led to the introduction of a new monetary unit, the rouble, which remains the basis of the Russian coinage to the present day.

A very unusual system for the defence of the state boundaries of the Novgorod lands emerged in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Some of the frontier territories were placed under the dual control of rival factions. For example, the extensive district ofTorzhok, situated on the south-western frontiers of Novgorod, was the joint possession of the Novgorodian and the grand-princely authorities. The Novgorodian enclave of Volokolamsk, sur­rounded on all sides by the lands of the Moscow princes, was in the same position. Tver' made active attempts to detach Torzhok from Novgorod at the beginning of the fourteenth century and in the i370s, but they were resisted by the Novgorodians.

The system of dual subordination of its frontier territories provided Novgorod with a highly effective means of dealing with Lithuania, which posed a real military threat from the second half of the thirteenth century onwards. In the period from the mid-thirteenth to the first third of the fourteenth cen­tury the northern districts of the Smolensk principality which bordered on Novgorod fell into the hands of Lithuania as a result of Lithuanian aggression against Smolensk and Novgorod. After successful military action by Novgorod in 1326 a general peace was concluded amongst Novgorod, the Teutonic order, Smolensk, Polotsk and the grand duchy of Lithuania. The main achievement of this peace treaty was the creation of a long-lasting set of principles which governed border relationships between Lithuania and Novgorod. Lithuania accepted its obligation to observe strictly the sovereignty of Novgorod over the entire territory of its possessions, and in exchange it received the rev­enues ofthose Novgorod frontier lands which in iii7, according to the wishes of Mstislav, had been transferred to Novgorod from the Smolensk princi­pality, as the domain of those Novgorod princes who were descendants of Mstislav. Having conquered the Smolensk territories, Lithuania thereby inher­ited the rights bestowed by the ancient relationships between Smolensk and Novgorod.[22]

In the years immediately following this action, the system of mil­itary and political co-operation between Novgorod and Lithuania was extended. The princes of the Lithuanian royal house received 'as feeding (kormlenie)' (as a source of revenue) some small Novgorodian towns on the border with Sweden and accepted the obligation to protect the Novgoro- dian territory there against possible Swedish expansion. Sometimes this sys­tem experienced periods of conflict, but in general it operated successfully right up until the loss of Novgorod's independence at the end of the fifteenth century.

Conflict with Moscow

Relations with Moscow turned out to be more difficult. Before the decisive victory of Rus' over the Golden Horde in 1380 at the Battle of Kulikovo, there was a struggle for the grand-princely title between representatives of various Russian centres - in particular, between Tver' and Moscow. The victory of i380 definitively secured that title for the Moscow princes. But at the same time this outcome meant that Novgorod in effect lost its traditional right to choose its prince, and this exacerbated its relations with Moscow and led to attempts to look to Moscow's opponents as an alternative.

In 1384 the Novgorodians declared that they were no longer under the jurisdiction of the Moscow metropolitan. Two years later the Moscow Prince Dmitrii launched a military campaign against Novgorod in revenge for an attack by the Novgorodians on his possessions. In 1397 Dmitrii's son Vasilii I broke the peace with the Novgorodians, forced the Dvina boyars to recognise his authority over the Dvina lands and also seized Volokolamsk, Torzhok, Vologda and Bezhetsk. The status quo was partially restored only in 1398. In 1419 the Novgorodians declared that their prince was the brother of the Moscow prince, Konstantin Dmitrievich, who had quarrelled with Vasilii I; this conflict was, however, quickly patched up.

The complexity of its relations with Moscow was an important reason for the extension of Novgorod's fortifications. In the 1380s a circle of external defensive structures was built - the Okol'nyi gorod (the 'outer town'), about 9 kilometres in length, and consisting of an earthen rampart topped with a wooden wall and with stone towers over the entrances.

The growing rivalry with Moscow at this time, in the reign of Dmitrii Donskoi, led Novgorod to adopt the proud name of 'Great' Novgorod, as a kind of equivalent to the title of Grand (literally 'great') Prince.

The loss of their traditional choice of a prince was one of the reasons for the consolidation of the Novgorod boyars. A second and equally serious reason for this process of consolidation was the growth of anti-boyar sentiments amongthe non-privileged mass ofthe population of Novgorod. The institution of boyar power was reorganised as early as the middle of the fourteenth century. Before the reform of 1354 each of the five Novgorod 'ends' elected its representative for life, and the posadnik was elected annually from among these representatives (and only from their number). Now all five representatives became posadniki, and in addition a chief ('stepennyi') posadnik was elected at the city veche.[23]

The new system led to the consolidation of the boyars. Previously they had obtained high state office as a result of conflicts with other boyar families which assumed the form of a competition among the 'ends' of Novgorod. At the same time the boyars largely lost the opportunity to engage in social demagogy. Previously a candidate who was standing for election as posadnik could try to persuade the ordinary people that their problems stemmed from the fact that it was his rival who was running the state, and canvass on his own behalf; but now the boyars as a whole accepted collective responsibility for their political actions.

This became even more obvious in the next stage of the reform, at the end of the 1410s. Around 1417 the norms of representation were trebled: the sources testify to the simultaneous existence of eighteen posadniki from this date, and re-elections of the head of state began to be held not once but twice a year. However, even this innovation did not remove the social tensions. In 1418 there was a mighty anti-boyar uprising led by a certain Stepanka. The insurgents flocked to plunder the monasteries, saying, 'Here are the boyars' granaries, let us pillage our foes!' The terrified boyars managed to calm the crowd down with the help of the archbishop, but it seems that in the course of this uprising the conflicts among the boyars' territorial groupings remained, and were criticised by the archbishop, as the spiritual leader of Novgorod.

The great anti-boyar uprising of 1418 encouraged the Novgorod boyars to carry out a new consolidation, in which the number of posadniki who were active at the same time was increased to twenty-four, and in 1463 to thirty-six (at that time they also began to elect seven thousanders). Virtually every boyar family in Novgorod had a share in power. The representatives of all of these families not only had the opportunity to be elected to the office of posadnik or thousander, but in practice they more or less owned these offices. It is revealing that the chronicle, when describing the events of the third quarter of the fifteenth century, frequently does not unambiguously name the posadniki. As a result of the reforms of the fifteenth century, which increased the number ofposadniki practically to the number ofboyar families, the title ofposadnik was devalued, and the designation of boyar acquired additional weight. It seems that in this period the terms 'boyar' and 'posadnik' were used interchangeably in everyday usage.

At the same time, the collegial institution of 1417, comprising eighteenposad- niki, five thousanders, the archimandrite and five hegumens (each of whom supervised the priors of the monasteries in their 'ends' and were subordinate to the archimandrite) acquired a certain resemblance to the senate of the Vene­tian republic. This similarity was recognised in Novgorod, as the following illustration demonstrates. From 1420, when the Novgorodians began to mint their own silver coinage, and right up until the end of Novgorodian indepen­dence, the coins retained the same design, the main element of which was the depiction of a kneeling horseman receiving the symbols of power from the hands of the patroness of Novgorod, St Sophia. This image was undoubt­edly modelled on the traditional subject of Venetian coins, which depicted a kneeling Doge receiving the symbols of power from the patron of Venice, St Mark.

At the same time, the emergence of this oligarchic political institution fun­damentally altered the relationship between the boyars and the other strata of the Novgorod population. Previously the territorial boyar groupings had fought among themselves for power, but now the consolidated boyar institu­tion as a whole was counter-posed to the non-privileged strata of the Novgorod population. This new disposition of forces is reflected in the chronicle entries of the mid-fifteenth century which speak of the 'unjust boyars' and state that 'we have no justice or fair court proceedings'; and also in the emergence of a whole group of literary works which criticise the self-interest and corrup­tion of the boyars and especially of the posadniki ('The tale of the posadnik

Dobrynia', 'The tale of the posadnik Shchil'). These attitudes were to have fateful consequences in the future, when the power of the Novgorod boyars at the time of its liquidation by Ivan III could not find defenders in the mass of the ordinary population of the city.

Meanwhile the confrontation between Novgorod and Moscow intensified from decade to decade. The famous conflict between Prince Vasilii II Temnyi (the 'Dark') of Moscow and Prince Dmitrii Shemiaka of Galich had an impact on Novgorod. Dmitrii Shemiaka, after he had been defeated by Vasilii, whom he had blinded, found refuge in Novgorod, where Vasilii Temnyi's vengeance caught up with him: Dmitrii was poisoned on the orders of the Moscow prince who soon afterwards - in 1456 - launched a military campaign against Novgorod. The Novgorodians were instructed not to provide any support for Dmitrii Shemiaka's son Ivan and his ally, the Mozhaisk prince Ivan Andree- vich. It is significant that it was in 1463, when the Novgorodians defied this prohibition - thereby proclaiming a definitive rift with Moscow - that the final stage in the expansion of boyar representation in the supreme institution of power took place. Such a decisive step could not be taken without a new demonstration of the unity of the boyar groups.

At this time the end of Novgorod's independence was approaching. Ivan III's anti-Novgorod policy was motivated by his claim that Novgorod aimed to transfer to the jurisdiction of Lithuania and renounce the Ortho­dox faith. Fearing Muscovite expansionism, Novgorod was indeed seeking an alliance with Lithuania and put forward the idea of inviting the Lithuanian Grand Prince Casimir as its prince. However, the drafts of a possible agreement contained special provisions for religious independence and the inviolability of sacred Orthodox objects of veneration. Nevertheless it was under the slogan of the defence of Orthodoxy that Ivan III in 1471 launched a campaign against Novgorod, which suffered a severe defeat in the battle on the River Shelon'. The initiators ofthe alliance with Lithuania were executed, but the institutions of boyar power were not altered.

In 1475 the Muscovite prince undertook what was this time described as a 'peaceful campaign' against Novgorod. He was met by delegations of Novgorodians all along his route, and thereafter he displayed a certain degree of objectivity in the judicial decisions which he made in response to complaints from the inhabitants of Novgorod.

The end of Novgorod's independence came in 1477, when Ivan III sent numerous troops against Novgorod. It is ironic that, as is evident from several documents, the Muscovite grand prince did not have the explicit intention of subjugating Novgorod. A folder which accompanied him on the campaign has been preserved; it contains documents which justified Moscow's rights only to the possession of territories along the Northern Dvina. The aim of his military expedition was to detach the Dvina lands from Novgorod.[24] However, as has already been noted above, boyar power found no defenders, and Novgorod fell into the hands ofthe Muscovite prince, who established complete control over the Novgorodians in January i478.The veche was prohibited, posadnichestvo was abolished as a symbol of autonomy, and the veche bell was taken to Moscow. However, the Moscow prince swore that he would not interfere with the landed property of the Novgorodians. This promise was broken some ten years later, when thousands of Novgorodian landowners were resettled on Muscovite lands and Muscovite service-tenure landholders were brought in to replace them.

Novgorod in the fifteenth century

What was Novgorod like when Moscow liquidated its independence? An answer to this question requires us to examine a number ofimportant aspects of its culture.

Only fifty years ago the conventional view in the scholarly literature was that the population of medieval Rus' was completely illiterate. It was assumed that the only literate people were the clergy and the princes, and that not even all of them could read and write.

Now more than a thousand birch-bark texts dating from the eleventh to fifteenth centuries have been found in the towns of early Rus', 949 of them in Novgorod. Calculations based on the characteristics of the cultural layer of Novgorod enable us to state that the site still contains at least 20,000 similar documents, written by people of the most varied social positions - boyars and peasants, artisans and merchants. They include a considerable number of texts written by women, which for the Middle Ages is the most revealing indicator of the high cultural level of a society. It is clear that the figure cited above reflects only a tiny proportion of all that was written on birch-bark in medieval Novgorod: the majority of such letters must have been burned either in the frequent street fires or in domestic stoves. It has been noted that the majority of texts written by authors of low social status date from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

The rarity of birch-bark texts in other towns, and their abundance in Novgorod, results not only from the fact that extensive excavations have been conducted in Novgorod from 1932 onwards. There were other reasons for the high level of literacy in Novgorod, including the peculiarities of its polit­ical system. As we have already noted, the annual re-elections to the highest offices of state created the opportunity for every boyar to be elected to these coveted posts. The economic base of the Novgorod boyars was very large- scale landownership. In the central and southern Rus' principalities, with their monarchical political systems, the boyars displayed centrifugal tendencies, aspiring to live far away from the prince on their own estates, where they themselves could behave like monarchs towards their vassals. But the Nov­gorod boyar was centripetal. To leave Novgorod and live on one's own estate, dozens or hundreds of kilometres away from Novgorod, meant turning into a hermit, cut off from the hotbed of political passions, and renouncing any claims to power. The fifteenth-century cadastres show that the Novgorod boyars lived in Novgorod itself, far from their landed possessions and from their peasants. But these possessions required the boyar's constant atten­tion. He had to issue instructions to his stewards, to receive reports from them about the progress of agricultural work and the prospects for the har­vest, and of course about the income from his estate. The birch-bark letters of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries are largely concerned with these issues. But such correspondence required literacy not only from the mas­ter, but also from the servant. And amongst the letters from this period we find a considerable number which were written by peasants, containing var­ious complaints, including some about the activities of their master's estate stewards.

There is another important factor which helped to create the high cultural level of the citizens of Novgorod. Unlike Venice, where the senate met in an enclosed building which guaranteed the confidentiality of its sessions, the Novgorod veche, at which the top leaders of the boyar republic were elected, at first once and then twice a year, discussed their problems in the open air near the cathedral of St Nicholas, in the vicinity of the city market. The members of the veche, who had the right to vote on important decisions, were representatives of the city's elite, the owners of large city homesteads, and primarily boyars. Incidentally, a fourteenth-century German source refers to the Novgorod veche as '300 gold belts', which corresponds to the approximate number of owners of large urban homesteads. But the public had open access to the veche assembly: the Novgorod plebs who congregated in the veche square had an opportunity to influence the conduct of the assembly with cries of approval or dissent, thereby creating for themselves the illusion of participation in the political life of the city and the state. It may have been illusory, but this sense of involvement was undoubtedly an important component of the mentality of the medieval Novgorodian.

Novgorod's busy international contacts were another significant influence. A. S. Pushkin famously wrote of Peter the Great, that he 'cut a window through to Europe' by annexing the Baltic coast of the Gulf of Finland. The contem­porary writer Boris Kiselev, rephrasing Pushkin, expressed the important idea that, 'Where Peter cut a window through to Europe, in medieval Novgorod the door was wide open'.

Certainly from the time ofits foundation Novgorod was very closely linked with the Baltic region. Even before the creation of the Hanseatic League Novgorod conducted active trade with the countries of northern and west­ern Europe. At the beginning of the twelfth century on the Trading Side of the city there was built the Gothic Court, where merchants from the island of Gotland stayed. At the end of the twelfth century the German mer­chants, who were soon to become the leading figures in Baltic trade, built themselves a similar merchant court. After the formation of the Hanseatic League both of these foreign courts, the Gothic and the German, came under the jurisdiction of the Hanseatic merchants and formed a single Hanseatic office. In Hanseatic sources they are referred to as the Court of St Peter, after the Catholic church which stood in the German Court. In addition to Nov­gorod there were Hanseatic offices in three other European cities: London, Bruges and Bergen.[25]

Novgorod's contacts with Western Europe were not limited to trade. The entrance to the main Novgorod cathedral of St Sophia was adorned with wonderful bronze doors, which remain to the present day. These doors were made in Magdeburg in the twelfth century and came to Novgorod in the fourteenth century, when a Russian craftsman added some new reliefs to them and provided Russian translations of their Latin inscriptions. The chronicle states that the Novgorod archbishop's palace was built in 1433 by German craftsmen who worked alongside Novgorod craftsmen. We have already noted that Novgorod coins adopted the motif of Venetian coins, adapted to the local patron saint.

The high level of Novgorod's cultural attainment in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries is indicated by the number of churches listed in an inventory which was compiled at the end of the fifteenth century, immediately after the annexation of Novgorod by Moscow. Altogether there were eighty-three operational churches in the city, almost all of which were built of stone. They included such masterpieces of the Novgorod style as the fourteenth-century churches of St Theodore Stratelates on the Brook and the Transfiguration of the Saviour on Il'in Street, both of which were decorated with frescos. The artist responsible for the Transfiguration church was the great Feofan Grek (Theophanes the Greek). In 1407 the church of Saints Peter and Paul - the high-point of medieval Novgorodian architecture - was built at Kozhevniki.

Novgorod was surrounded by a tight circle of outlying monasteries, includ­ing the fourteenth-century churches at Volotovo and Kovalevo and the church of the Nativity in the Cemetery, whose interiors retain outstanding sets of frescos of the same period. This circle of surrounding monasteries began to be built in the eleventh century. It included such outstanding twelfth-century masterpieces of art and architecture as the cathedrals of the St George and St Anthony monasteries, and of the monasteries of the Annunciation and the Saviour on the Nereditsa.

An interesting episode in the history of Novgorodian architecture was the period of activity of Archbishop Evfimii II (1428-54). A strong opponent of Moscow, he became the main ideologue of anti-Muscovite sentiments. Hark­ing back to the twelfth century, when Novgorod had witnessed its greatest successes in its struggle against princely power and in strengthening its boyar institutions, Evfimii revived the architectural style of that period, which was markedly different from that ofthe fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries. By that date the style of the single-apsed church with a slanted (lopastnyi) roof had become standard, but Evfimii II encouraged the restoration of twelfth-century churches 'on the old basis', with their characteristic three apses and roofs with arched gables. When the Muscovites established themselves in Novgorod they took these revivalist churches to be examples of the latest fashion and they based the future development of architecture in Novgorod on these models.


The annexation of Novgorod by Moscow in 1478 interrupted building activity in the city for a long time. Construction was abandoned in the last years of Novgorod's independence, during the turbulent times of the final conflict with Moscow. The last church before the annexation was built in 1463, and the next one only in 1508. The main efforts of the Muscovites when they took over in Novgorod were directed towards fortifying the city as the most important border fortress in north-west Rus'. At the end of the fifteenth century the walls and towers of the kremlin were rebuilt. Then it was the turn of the

Okol'nyi gorod - the outer fortifications of Novgorod - to be rebuilt. Moscow was preparing for a protracted war for the acquisition of an extensive outlet to the Baltic Sea.

In 1570 a new tragedy occurred in Novgorod, when Ivan the Terrible inflicted bloody reprisals on the city, suspecting its inhabitants of treason.26 The Livonian war (1558-83) inflicted another harsh blow on Novgorod. The cadas­tres compiled in the 1580s reveal a picture of devastation of the once flourishing city. At the very end of the century, however, Novgorod was getting back on to its feet. An Italian architect whose name remains unknown to us was invited to the town and drew up the plans for an additional line of fortification which was built around the stone-built kremlin. The so-called 'Earthen Town' was one of the first structures in Europe to have bastions. However with the onset of the seventeenth century and the 'Time of Troubles' Novgorod came under Swedish control for seven whole years (1611-17). These years completed its destruction,27 which was compounded by the transfer of the main centre of Russian trade with Western Europe to Archangel.

The Soviet-German war of 1941-5 virtually wiped Novgorod from the face of the earth, turning dozens of its historic buildings into ruins. But yet again, because of its cultural significance both for Russia and for Europe as whole, Novgorod was raised from its ruins, like the mythical phoenix which is born again from the ashes. For its very name - Novyi gorod, the new town - seems to symbolise the youth and immortality of this great city.

Translated by Maureen Perrie

26 R. G. Skrynnikov, Tragediia Novgoroda (Moscow: Izdatel'stvo imeni Sabashnikovykh, 1994).

27 Opis' Novgoroda 1617 goda, vyp. 1-2 (Moscow: AN SSSR, 1984).




The growth of Muscovy (1462-1533)


During the period between 1462 and 1533, Muscovy underwent substantial growth in land and population, virtually tripling in size (see Map 9.1). The Mus­covite state gained a significant amount of land and population to the south­west in treaties with Lithuania, and annexed the principalities and republics of Iaroslavl' (1471), Perm' (1472), Rostov (1473), Tver' (1485), Viatka (1489), Pskov (1510), Smolensk (1514) and Riazan' (1521). But by far its greatest acquisition was through the annexation of Novgorod in 1478. At the same time, the ruling order - that is, the grand prince, princes, boyars and other landlords - consol­idated its hold on the populace and countryside. One should not focus on the enormous expansion as the result of some kind of Muscovite 'manifest destiny' (the so-called 'gathering of the Russian lands'), because the expansion itself occurred as the result of a significant refashioning and implementation of inter­nal policies by the grand princes and ruling elite. These policies transformed Muscovy from a loosely organised confederation, roughly equivalent in struc­ture to any of the neighbouring steppe khanates, into a monarch-in-council form of government with a quasi-bureaucratic administrative structure equal to that of any European dynastic state. These policies included more effective and uniform administrative institutions and methods, the creation of a ready and mobile military force, and the building of a spectacular citadel in the capital to impress all and sundry with the ruling power. Non-Russian princes and nobles were incorporated in large numbers. Added to these developments was an implacable aggrandisement of power on the part of those who ran the state. In short, they made the Muscovite dynastic state. These changes were begun under Vasilii II, brought to fruition under Ivan III and developed further under Vasilii III.

Throughout this process, the grand princes worked with the consensus support of the ruling class. Although individual boyars could be punished for crimes against the ruler, the boyars as a whole contributed to the propaga­tion of Muscovite power. Parallel with the state, the Church also instituted

standardised policies and practices. In addition, churchmen developed an anti- Tatar ideology that soon came to permeate all their writings about the steppe and has heavily influenced historians' interpretation of this period. Eventually, the increase and spread of civil administration began to interfere with the Church's practices, and the Church's search for heretics affected some state personages, but on the whole the state and Church worked together, although not always completely harmoniously

In what follows, I will describe the situation and conditions in Muscovy at the time of the ascension to the throne of Ivan III in 1462; how that situation and those conditions were affected by the reigns of Ivan III and Vasilii III; and sum up the differences that occurred in Muscovy by 1533.

Muscovy in 1462

In the middle of the fifteenth century, Muscovy was one of a number of inde­pendent Rus' principalities and republics that had the potential for expansion and for incorporating other Rus' principalities and republics. Riazan', to the south-east on the other side of the Oka River from Muscovy, had maintained its viability and sovereignty despite being located in the northern reaches of the western steppe and often caught in battles between the Qipchaq (Kipchak) khans and Muscovite grand princes. The grand prince of Tver', just to the west of Muscovy, was nominally a vassal of the Muscovite grand prince, but he could still manoeuvre relatively independently in diplomatic relations. An alliance of Tver' with Lithuania against Muscovy was an ongoing possibility and if successful could have advanced the Tver' grand prince to first place among the Rus' princes. Novgorod further to the west of Tver' was a prosper­ous merchant republic that held nominal possession of vast lands to the north and north-east all the way to the White Sea and coast of the Arctic Ocean. In addition, four other principalities and republics had managed to remain independent ofneighbouring larger entities. Iaroslavl' and Rostov were virtu­ally surrounded by Muscovite holdings, and their incorporation into Muscovy seemed to be only a matter of time. The republic of Pskov, situated between Novgorod and Lithuania, tended to remain closely allied with Novgorod but could and did on occasion use its proximity with Lithuania for political lever­age. Finally, the republic of Viatka, located to the north-east of the Muscovite domain and north of Kazan', also played off its two more powerful neighbours to maintain its independence.

In domestic terms, the grand prince of Muscovy ruled with sharply cir­cumscribed powers. He had no standing army and was dependent on his relatives and vassal princes to raise military forces. Since he had insufficient economic resources to maintain a large-scale standing force, he was subject to more or less constant armed threats, both external and internal, to his crown. The grand prince, thus, had a tenuous hold on power. Vasilii II barely survived capture by the Kazan' Tatars in 1445, as well as a civil war with his uncle and nephews that disrupted the Muscovite realm for almost twenty years.

By 1462, when Vasilii II died, he had defeated his rivals in the civil war, consolidated the support of the ruling class, and reached agreement with the

Table 9.1. Vasilii II and his immediate descendants

Vasilii II m. Mariia Iaroslavna

Ivan III (1440-1505)

Iurii (1442-72)
Boris (1449-94)

[see Table 9.2]

Andrei the Elder (1446-93)

Andrei the Younger (1452-81)

Ivan Dmitrii Ivan Fedor

(d. 1522) (d. 1541) (d. 1503) (d. 1513)

Rus' Church leaders. His son Ivan III inherited a domain that was relatively prosperous being able to extract tolls along the Moskva River and along those sections of the Oka and Volga rivers that it controlled, as well as tax peasant farmers who cultivated and harvested grain and forest products, such as honey, flax, wax and timber.

Among the indigenous continuities that laid the basis for further develop­ments were the social structure of Muscovy and the Church of Rus'. The social structure itself and categories within the Muscovite domains remained fairly consistent while the composition within certain categories changed signifi­cantly.

Vasilii II made it clear in his will that his eldest son Ivan III should succeed him as grand prince. Nonetheless, he distributed his lands among his five sons (see Table 9.1: Vasilii II and his immediate descendants). Although Ivan received the bulk of Vasilii's lands (fourteen towns versus twelve towns divided among the other four sons), the younger sons, Iurii, Andrei the Elder, Boris and Andrei the Younger received substantial holdings. In effect, Ivan was primus inter pares among his brothers, and Ivan still had to call on his brothers to help him raise troops.

During this period, the Muscovite grand princes successfully ended the independence of other Rus' princes. In part they did so by forbidding them

independent contact with the Tatar khans so as to prevent them from receiving the iarlyk (patent) for their principality. And any iarlyk they had received had to be turned over to the grand prince. Thus, the Muscovite grand prince became the sole source of authority for these princes' legitimacy as rulers in their own domains.

Not having the means to gather large-scale forces themselves, the grand princes relied on the support of others to mobilise armies, at least until the end of the fifteenth century. During the fourteenth century, the grand princes relied mainly on the Tatar khans to supply large numbers of forces for major campaigns. The grand princes supplemented those troops with forces supplied by members of their own family (brothers, uncles and cousins) as well as by independent Rus' princes. On those occasions when the Tatar khan did not supply troops, the grand princes relied on the support given by independent Rus' princes. Early in the fifteenth century, the Tatar khans and independent Rus' princes stopped supplying forces to the Muscovite grand prince alto- gether,[26] so he had to rely more on members of his own family as well as on semi-independent 'service' princes (including Lithuanian, Rus'ian and Tatar), who contributed their own retinues and warriors.

Muscovy's internal governmental operation relied on reaching decisions through institutional consultation and consensus-building among the elite and, through that elite, with the ruling class. The Muscovite grand prince and the boyars made the most important laws of the realm in consulta­tion with each other, and these laws were promulgated only with the con­sent of the boyars. The boyar duma was thus a political institution that had a prominent governmental role as a council of state. It had the same three functions as the divan of qarachi beys, the steppe khanate council of clan chieftains, and was most likely modelled on it. The approval of the boyars was required for all important governmental endeavours and the sig­natures of its members were mandatory on all matters of state-wide internal policy. Treaties and agreements had to be witnessed by boyars, and could also include brothers and sons of the ruler, close advisers, other prominent clan members, as well as religious leaders. Representatives of the boyars had to be present at any meetings the grand prince had with foreign ambassadors and envoys.[27] The ruler was thereby prevented from making agreements with foreign powers without the knowledge and approval of the boyar duma.

Since the grand prince had no standing army to speak of, his armies had to be gathered anew for each campaign, and demobilised after that campaign was over. The Muscovites of this period seem to have fought using steppe tactics and weapons, which depended on mounted archers with composite bows. Gravures in Sigismund von Herberstein's mid-sixteenth-century published version of his Notes on Muscovy show Muscovite mounted archers with the steppe recurved composite bow, which delivered an arrow more powerfully and at a greater distance than either the crossbow or the English longbow, and was superior to any firearm before the nineteenth century in terms of range, accuracy and rate of fire (see Plate 11). The military register books (razriadnye knigi) tell us the kind of regimental formations in which the Muscovite army fought. These formation arrangements were similar to those of Mongol and Tatar armies. But by the second half of the fifteenth century, Muscovy was already beginning to take part in the gunpowder revolution of the West. The chronicles describe the Muscovites using arquebuses against the Tatars in 1480. The men shooting these weapons were the forerunners of the strel'tsy (musketeers) of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

During the fifteenth century, commercial activity placed Moscow in the middle of a large merchant trade network that reached from the Black Sea well into the forests of the north. Three main trade routes cut across the steppe to the Black Sea. The most easterly one ran down the Don River to Tana. The middle route was mainly an overland route to Perekop and the Crimea. The westerly route ran from Moscow through Kaluga, Bryn, Briansk, then east of Kiev to Novgorod Severskii and Putivl'.[28] Our main sources of information about those trade routes come from the end of the fifteenth century when Muscovy began taking over protection of Rus' merchants plying those routes. Forest products for trade, as well as customs duties (tamga, kostki) and tolls (myt) on commerce passing through the territory Moscow controlled were the basis of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Muscovite prosperity.

As in most other countries of the time, over 85 per cent of the population of Muscovy was engaged in agricultural pursuits. Much of the peasantry were not free farmers but lived on the estates ofmagnates or the monasteries. Peasants' relationship with the landlords could be complex and acrimonious, resulting in court cases. Peasants, accustomed to being mobile from engaging in slash- and-burn agricultural methods, began to be restricted in their movements through state regulations.

About 10 per cent of the Muscovite population consisted of slaves. Different categories of slaves existed in Muscovy and some, considered elite slaves, served in governmental, provincial and estates administration.[29] Elite slaves occupied such positions as treasurer (kaznachei), administrative assistant (tiun), rural administrator (posel'skii), estate steward (kliuchnik), state secretaries and estate supervisors (d'iaki) and various other positions from translator (tolmach) to archer (strelok, luchnik).[30] During the time of Ivan III and Vasilii III there were few or no restrictions on who could own slaves. Such restrictions began to come later in the sixteenth century. People could also move in and out of slave status. When Ivan III introducedpomest'e (see below), he converted a number of elite military slaves into military servitors.[31]

Muscovy was a vital trade centre for the forested area north of the western steppe region. As a result, the Muscovite ruling class, military, administration and culture were subject to outside influences. Until the fifteenth century, the major influence flow across the Eurasian land mass was from east to west. Inventions and administrative practices and innovations came from China and spread westward. In the fifteenth century, the direction of influence flow began to reverse, and we see the first signs of a west-to-east flow. Muscovy, located on the cusp between East and West started to experience Western influences at this time.

Finally, the ideal of the relationship between grand prince and metropoli­tan was inherited from Byzantium as a reflection of the relationship between the basileus and patriarch, which was to be one of harmony between state and Church. According to Byzantine political theory the head of the state and the head of the Church were two arms of the same body politic. Their spheres of influence, although differing, also overlapped to an extent. While the ruler of the state took as his sphere of influence civil administration and direction of military forces, the head of the Church could and did act as an adviser in that sphere. Likewise, the sphere of the head of the Church was internal Church matters, such as dogma and ritual. Yet, the head of the state could advise on those matters. In the overlapping sphere, which con­cerned the external Church administration, the two were to act together. As in Byzantium, this ideal of symphony ofpowers was striven after but not always attained.

Ivan III and Vasilii III

We have little historical evidence concerning the personal characteristics of Ivan III. Perhaps the only contemporary evidence is Ambrogio Contarini's description of Ivan when he was thirty-seven years old: 'he is tall, thin, and handsome.'7 If we extrapolate from the evidence of Ivan's policies and actions, we get an image of Ivan III as an individual intent on expanding his power yet at times faltering, at other times unsure how to attain his goal, trying one policy for a while only to abandon it for another. He endures the Novgorod- Moscow heretics much to the chagrin ofthe Church leaders, then turns against the heretics and aids the Church in bringing them to trial and punishment in 1504. He had his grandson Dmitrii crowned co-ruler in 1498 and executed six conspirators while arresting a number of others who were allegedly plotting to set up a centre of rebellion under his son Vasilii in the northern provinces of Beloozero and Vologda.8 Ivan changed his mind four years later when he placed Vasilii on the throne as his co-ruler, and he put Dmitrii and Dmitrii's mother Elena under house arrest. According to the ambassador from the Holy Roman Empire Sigismund von Herberstein, who visited Muscovy in 1517 and 1526, Ivan III again changed his mind on his deathbed and wanted Dmitrii to succeed him.9 In his actions toward the Qipchaq khan in 1480, he received the opprobrium of Archbishop Vassian Rylo for his indecisiveness and lack of courage.10 And Stephen, the Palatine of Moldavia, is reported by Herberstein

7 Ambrogio Contarini, 'Viaggio in Persia', in Barbaro i Kontarini o Rossii. Kistorii italo- russkikh sviazeiv XV v., ed. E. Ch. Skrzhinskaia (Leningrad: Nauka, 1971), p. 205.

8 The information about the execution of the conspirators can be found in PSRL, vol. vi. 2, col. 352; PSRL, vol. viii (Moscow: Iazyki russkoi kul'tury, 2001), p. 234; PSRL, vol. xii (Moscow: Nauka, 1965), p. 246; Ioasafovskaialetopis', ed. A. A. Zimin (Moscow: AN SSSR, 1957), p. 134. In addition, according to one copy of the Nikon Chronicle, certain 'women [babi] were coming to her [Sofiia] with herbs' (presumably poisonous) and they were 'drowned by night in the Moskva River': PSRL, vol.xii, p. 263.

9 Sigismund von Herberstein, Notes upon Russia, 2 vols., trans. R. H. Major (New York: Burt Franklin, 1851-2), vol. i, p. 21.

10 Pamiatniki literatury drevnei Rusi. Konets XV - pervaia polovina XVI veka (Moscow: Khu- dozhestvennaia literatura, 1984), pp. 522-37.

The growth of Muscovy (1462-1533) Table 9.2. Ivan III and his immediate descendants

Mariia Borisovna m. Ivan III m. Sophia Palaeologa

Ivan (1458-90) m. Elena of Moldavia

Dmitrii Elena Feodosiia Vasilii III Iurii Dmitrii Evdokhiia Simeon Andrei

(1483-1509) (1472-1512) (1475-1501) (1479-1533) (1480-1536) (1481-1521) (1485-1513) (1487-1518) (1490-1537) m. Elena Glinskaia

Ivan IV Iurii

(1530-84) (1532-63)

to have often said about Ivan: 'That he increased his dominion while sitting at home and sleeping, while he himself could scarcely defend his own boundaries by fighting every day'.11 Nonetheless, the reign of Ivan III and the actions he did take had a decisive impact on the creation of the Muscovite state.

At the age of six years, Ivan was betrothed to Mariia, the daughter of Boris Aleksandrovich, the grand prince of Tver', as part of a treaty Vasilii II arranged in 1446 in order to regain the grand-princely throne from his cousin Dmitrii Shemiaka. The marriage took place six years later in 1452 and Mariia Borisovna gave birth to a male heir, Ivan, in 1458. She died in 1467. Mariia does not seem to have played any direct role in the politics of the time in contrast to her mother- in-law Mariia Iaroslavna and her successor as wife, Sofiia Palaeologa, whom Ivan III married in 1472. Sofiia gave birth to eight children (see Table 9.2: Ivan III and his immediate descendents): Elena (who married Alexander, the grand duke of Lithuania); Feodosiia (who married Prince V D. Kholmskii); Vasilii III; Iurii of Dmitrov; Dmitrii of Uglich; Evdokhiia (who married the Tsarevich Peter Ibraimov); Simeon of Kaluga; and Andrei of Staritsa. Meanwhile, Ivan, the son of Ivan III and Maria Borisovna, married Elena of Moldavia, who gave birth to a son Dmitrii. The question whether his grandson Dmitrii by the son of his first wife or his son Vasilii by his second wife should succeed him vexed Ivan during his last years. In addition, in 1503, Ivan III suffered a debilitating stroke and appears to have been severely incapacitated until his death two years later on 27 October 1505.

11 Herberstein, Notes, vol. 1, p. 24.

Vasilii III, like his father, strove to expand his own personal power along with that of the state, and, also like his father, depended on advisers within the ruling elite rather than on his own brothers. Within two months of succeeding to the throne in October 1505, he had Kudai Kul, a Kazanian tsarevich who had been in protective custody under Ivan III since 1487, convert to Chris­tianity as Peter Ibraimov. Within another month Kudai Kul/Peter married Vasilii's sister Evdokhiia. From then until his death in 1523, Kudai Kul/Peter was Vasilii's closest associate,[32] and possibly was to be his successor.[33] Only after Kudai Kul/Peter's death did Vasilii III begin proceedings to divorce his wife Solomoniia because she had not produced an heir. On 28 November 1525, she went to the Pokrov monastery in Suzdal' and was veiled as a nun. Within two months, Vasilii married Elena Glinskaia, who produced two sons - Ivan in 1530 and Iurii in 1532. Vasilii III died on 21 September 1533, from a boil on his left thigh that had become infected.

Domestic policies

The domestic policies of both Ivan III and Vasilii III focused on reducing the power of their brothers and on maintaining good relations with the boyars and the Church. The relationship between Ivan III and Vasilii III, on one side, and their respective brothers, on the other, was often a tense and suspicious one. Bothgrandprinces, however, required their brothers' help inmobilisingtroops. Each grand prince had four brothers and each brother could be expected to muster about 10,000 men for a campaign.

On 12 September 1472, Ivan's eldest brother, Iurii, died childless without having completed his will. The draft form ofthe will revealed only lists of goods, monetary wealth and villages that were to be distributed among his mother, brothers, separate individuals and monasteries. Nothing in the will mentioned what should happen to his lands in Dmitrov, Khotun', Medyn', Mozhaisk and Serpukhov. Ivan decided to absorb Iurii's holdings into his own instead of (as was traditionally done) dividing them with the other remaining brothers.

This action upset the brothers who received nothing, for they, according to the chronicles, then complained and were given additional lands by Ivan and his mother, Mariia. The next year, i473, Ivan concluded treaties with Boris (February) and Andrei the Elder (September) in which they acknowledged Ivan and his son Ivan as 'elder brothers'. The treaty prohibited Boris and Andrei the Elder from carrying on diplomatic or military relations with any other ruler without the knowledge of Ivan III. They, in turn, were to be kept informed of Ivan's dealings with foreign princes. In addition, they obligated themselves to protect each other and their estates. No record of such a treaty with Andrei the Younger is preserved.

In the summer of 1480, Andrei the Elder and Boris withdrew their forces and headed for Lithuania. This potential defection came at a critical moment because Khan Ahmed of the Great Horde was advancing with his army on Muscovy. After much negotiation, Andrei and Boris returned to help in the defence of Moscow. In 1481, when Andrei the Younger died, he left everything to Ivan, who may have required Andrei to draw up his will this way so he would not have to repeat the disagreement with Boris and Andrei the Elder that had occurred eight years earlier when their brother Iurii died. Significantly, one of the witnesses of Andrei's will was the grand-princely boyar Prince Ivan Patrikeev.

Ivan arrested Andrei the Elder for not supplying him with troops to aid the Crimean Tatars against an attack from the Great Horde in i49i. Andrei died in prison in 1493, and Ivan took over his estates. Boris died in 1494 and divided his estates between his two sons: Fedor and Ivan. When Ivan Borisovich died in i503, his lands reverted to Ivan III, and when Fedor Borisovich died in i5i5, his lands reverted to Vasilii III.

Mutual dislike and distrust seem to have been characteristic of the relation­ship between Vasilii and his brothers. In 1511, his brother Simeon was caught trying to go over to Lithuania. Vasilii's concern that his brothers would suc­ceed him after Tsarevich Peter Ibraimov died may have led him to divorce the barren Solomoniia and marry Elena.[34] Vasilii managed to complete the task started by his father of isolating the brothers of the grand prince from power and eliminating his dependency on them for troop mobilisation.

From the mid-fifteenth century on, the grand princes placed their armies predominantly under the command of service princes. On the occasion of Ivan's visit to Novgorod in 1495, in his entourage of 170 individuals listed in the razriadnaia kniga, 60 (35.3 per cent) had princely titles. It is likely that their prominence in the sources reflects their military importance as well. At the time of the accession of Ivan III, the only prince to hold a semi-independent apanage within the Muscovite realm was Prince Mikhail Andreevich ofVereia, who had shown great loyalty to Ivan's father. Nevertheless, Ivan pressured him to give up part ofhis apanage granted him by Vasilii II. After the disagreement over who held proper jurisdiction of the Kirillo-Belozerskii monastery in 1478, Ivan required Mikhail to cede to him the district of Belozersk, which was part of Mikhail's apanage. When Mikhail died in 1486, Ivan took the rest.

In 1473, one of the stipulations in Ivan III's agreements with his brothers Boris and Andrei the Elder was that Danyar Kasimovich and other Tatar service princes were to be considered 'equal in status' (s odnogo) with Ivan - that is, above the grand prince's brothers. Earlier in the century, in 1406, Vasilii I had established that the grand prince's brothers were to have a higher ranking than Rus' princes coming under Muscovite grand-princely domination or into Muscovite service.[35] Vasilii III maintained this ranking ofbrothers above service princes, and tsarevichi above brothers, as he preferred to have his brother-in- law, the tsarevich Peter Ibraimov, to be his closest adviser, to accompany him on campaigns, and to defend Moscow when it was attacked by the Crimean khan in 1521.

Ivan III and Vasilii III completed the process of incorporating the service princes as integral parts of their armies along with their own boyars. In 1462, we have the attestation of nine boyars, four of whom were princes, and in 1533, we have the attestation of twelve boyars, six of whom were princes (and three okol'nichie, one of whom was a prince). These numbers indicate that the service princes were already being merged with the boyars under Vasilii II. His son and grandson merely continued and reinforced the practice. Both Ivan III and Vasilii III treated their boyars well, let them manage their estates unhindered and regularly consulted with them on the formulation of state policies. For example, the three law codes from 1497 to 1589 include the boyars along with the grand prince/tsar as compiling or issuing the code. The Law Code (Sudebnik) of 1497 begins: 'In the year 7006, in the month of September, the Grand Prince of all Rus' Ivan Vasil'evich, with his sons and boyars, compiled a code of law . . . '[36] Numerous decrees contain the formula 'the Grand Prince decreed with the boyars . . .' or similar formulas indicating that the boyars and the grand prince on certain important matters decreed together.17 These formulas demonstrate that the boyars were fulfilling more than a mere advisory role and that their approval was required for the issuing of these acts.

The acts that the boyars participated in decreeing were the most significant acts of the government - namely, law codes, foreign treaties, and precedent- setting measures. Other, less important decrees, such as kormlenie ('feeding'), votchina, andpomest'e grants, judicial immunities, local agreements, etc., were clearly the prerogative of the ruler alone. As we might expect, there was always an in-between area - one of ambiguity - and this ambiguity could on occasion be the source of friction between the ruler and his boyars when one thought the other was transgressing the proper bounds.

In 1489, Ivan III told Nicholaus Poppel, the ambassador of the Holy Roman Emperor, that he could not meet him without the boyars present.18 This dec­laration followed the steppe principle that the ruler could meet with foreign envoys only in the presence of representatives of the council of state. The min­utes of the Ambassadorial Chancellery (Posol'skii prikaz) as well as accounts of foreign ambassadors to Muscovy attest that this practice was rarely vio­lated. Vasilii was also accused by the court official I. N. Bersen-Beklemishev of ignoring the old boyars and of making policy 'alone with three [others] in his bedchamber'.19 But this criticism was from someone who was not a boyar and was an isolated one. Vasilii and the boyars seem to have been much in accord throughout his reign.

Through the introduction of pomest'e, the grand princes were able to main­tain a group of cavalry (estimated at around 17,500 by the time of the reign of Ivan IV)20 who were ready at a moment's notice (at least in principle) to

top Church prelates along with 'all the princes and boyars' as deciding and issuing the code together with the tsar: Sudebniki XV-XVI vekov, p. 366.

17 See e.g. Sbornik ImperatorskogoRusskogo istoricheskogo obshchestva, vol. 35 (1882), p. 503, no. 85; p. 630, no. 93; PRP, 8 vols. (Moscow: Gosiurizdat, 1952-63), vyp. iv: Pamiatniki prava periodaukrepleniiarusskogo tsentralizovannogo gosudarstvaXV-XVIIvv., ed. L. V Cherepnin (1956), pp. 486, 487, 495, 514, 515, 516, 517-518, 524, 526, 529; PRP, vyp.v: Pamiatniki prava perioda soslovno-predstavitel'noi monarkhii. Pervaia polovina XVII v., ed. L. V Cherepnin (:959), p. 237; Tysiachnaiakniga 1550g. iDvorovaia tetrad'piatidesiatykhgodovXVIveka, ed. A. A. Zimin (Moscow and Leningrad: AN SSSR, 1950), p. 53.

18 Pamiatniki diplomaticheskikh snoshenii drevnei Rossi s derzhavami inostrannymi, 10 vols. (St Petersburg: Tipografiia II Otdeleniia Sobstvennoi E. I. V Kantseliarii, 1851-71), vol. i (1851), col. 1.

19 AAE, 4 vols. (St Petersburg: Tipografiia II Otdeleniia Sobstvennoi E.I. V Kantseliarii, 1836), vol. i, p. 142.

20 Richard Hellie, EnserfmentandMilitary Change in Muscovy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1971), p. 267.

muster for combat and who were beholden to the Muscovite grand prince for providing them with a means of financial support. In addition, other servitors were maintained as vicegerents (namestniki and volosteli) through kormlenie grants, which were of limited tenure, and through outright stipends given by the grand prince.21

Contemporary evidence tells us of a thriving commercial life in Muscovy during this period. Pastoral nomads brought tens of thousands of horses to Moscow each year. In 1474, the chronicles state that 3,200 merchants and 600 envoys arrived in Moscowfrom Sarai with 40,000 horses for sale.22 The 'Chron­icle Notes of Mark Levkeinskii' mentions the Nogais' coming to Moscow with 80,000 horses in 1530; with 30,000 horses in 1531; and with 50,000 horses in 1534.23 Also under 1534, the Voskresenie and Nikon chronicles report another trade contingent from the Nogai Tatars of 4,700 merchants, 70 murzy (gentry), 70 envoys, and 8,000 horses.24 Although such economic information in the chron­icles is rare and not subject to verification, we can find some confirmation of the numbers of horses the Tatars sold annually in Moscow in the account of Giles Fletcher from the late sixteenth century: 'there are brought yeerely to the Mosko to be exchanged for other commodities 30. or 40. thousand Tartar horse, which they call Cones [koni]'.25 Rus' merchants were also active in other cities. On 24 June 1505, for example, the khan of Kazan', Muhammed Emin, precipitated a war with Muscovy when he arrested Muscovite merchants in Kazan', executing some of them and sending others into slavery.26

Perhaps the only contemporary estimate ofthe size ofthe Muscovite econ­omy comes from George Trakhaniot (Percamota), a Greek in the employ of the Muscovite grand prince. On a diplomatic mission in 1486 to the court of the duke of Milan, he reported that the income of the Muscovite state 'exceeds each year over a million gold ducats, this ducat being of the value and weight of those of Turkey and Venice'.27 Trakhaniot goes on to report that

21 Herberstein, Notes, vol. i, p. 30.

22 Ioasafovskaia letopis', p. 88; PSRL, vol. viii, p. 180; PSRL, vol. xii, p. 156; PSRL, vol. xviii (St Petersburg: Tipografiia M. A. Aleksandrova, 1913), p. 249; PSRL, vol. xxvi (Moscow and Leningrad: AN SSSR, 1959), p. 254; PSRL, vol. xxviii (Moscow and Leningrad: AN SSSR, 1959), p. 308; and 'Letopisnye zapisi Marka Levkeinskogo', in A. A. Zimin, 'Kratkie letopisi xv-xvi vv.', Istoricheskii arkhiv 5 (1950): 10.

23 'Letopisnye zapisi Marka Levkeinskogo', 12-13.

24 PSRL, vol. viii, p. 287; PSRL, vol. xiii (Moscow: Nauka, 1965), p. 80. Cf. PSRL, vol. xx (St Petersburg: Tipografiia M. A. Aleksandrova, 1910), p. 425.

25 Giles Fletcher, Of the Russe Common Wealth, or Maner ofGovernementby the Russe Emperour, (Commonly Called the Emperour ofMoskovia) with the Manners, and Fashions of the People of That Country (London: T. D. for Thomas Charde, 1591), fo. 70v.

26 PSRL, vol. vi.2, col. 373; PSRL, vol. viii, pp. 244-5; PSRL, vol. xii, p. 259.

27 George Trakhaniot, 'Notes and Information about the Affairs and the Ruler of Russia', in Robert M. Croskey and E. C. Ronquist, 'George Trakhaniot's Description of Russia

[c]ertain provinces . . . give in tribute each year great quantities of sables, ermines, and squirrel skins. Certain others bring cloth and other necessaries for the use and maintenance of the court. Even the meats, honey, beer, fodder, and hay used by the Lord and others of the court are brought by communities and provinces according to certain quantities imposed by ordinance . . .28

Trakhaniot's descriptions corroborate the earlier statement of Contarini about Moscow's significance as a fur-trading centre:

Many merchants from Germany and Poland gather in the city throughout the winter. They buy furs exclusively - sables, foxes, ermines, squirrels, and sometimes wolves. And although these furs are procured at places many days' journey from the city of Moscow, mostly in the areas toward the northeast, and even maybe the northwest, all are brought to this place and the merchants buy the furs here.29

The large amounts of wealth reported by our sources derived mainly from commercial activity along the major rivers of the area - the Volga, Oka and Moskva and their tributaries.

In Church affairs, this period saw the dominance of councils, beginning with councils in 1447 and, especially, 1448, where the Rus' bishops chose their own metropolitan. A number of the councils (1488, 1490, 1504, 1525 and 1531) were concerned with questions of heresy and the investigation of alleged heretics. Councils in 1455, 1459, 1478,1492,1500, 1503 and 1509 discussed other ecclesiastical issues. The Council of 1503, for example, made decisions on matters of ecclesiastical discipline and procedure, including forbidding the payment of fees for the placement of priests and deacons, establishing the minimum age for clerics, prohibiting a priest from celebrating Mass while drunk or the day after being drunk, stipulating that widowered priests must enter a monastery and forbidding monks and nuns from living in the same monastery. The prohibition against taking fees for clerical placement appears to have been in response to the claims ofthe heretics that fees were uncanonical.

The issue of secularisation of Church and monastic lands has been tradi­tionally associated with the 1503 Church Council, but that association is based on faulty and unreliable polemical sources of the mid-sixteenth century. There

in 1486', RH17 (1990): 61. Trakhaniot most likely is referring to the equivalent amount of wealth in terms that his listeners could understand and should not be taken to mean that gold coins circulated in Muscovy

28 Trakhaniot, 'Notes andinformation', 61. Accordingto Croskey, the ermine in the portrait Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo da Vinci may have been among the gifts of furs and live sables that Trakhaniot brought to Milan: Croskey and Ronquist, 'George Trakhaniot's Description of Russia', 58-9.

29 Contarini, 'Viaggio in Persia', p. 205.

is no contemporary or reliable evidence that discusses such an occurrence at the council. And there is no clear or reliable evidence that Ivan III planned in any way to extend his extensive confiscation of Church and monastic lands in Novgorod to the rest of Muscovy.[37]

During this time, Nil Sorskii (d. 1508) and Iosif Volotskii (d. 1515) were the most prominent representatives of two of the three forms of monasticism in the Eastern Church. They represented the skete life and communal monastic life, respectively (the third form was the solitary monk). Rather than being in conflict, their two forms of monasticism complemented each other, and Nil and Iosif seem to have held each other in mutual respect. It was only subsequent antagonism among monastic factions as well as between Nil's disciple Vassian Patrikeev and Iosif's disciple Metropolitan Daniil that led to the notion some kind of opposition existed between Iosif and Nil.

Iosif Volotskii is often credited with instigating the council decision of 1504 against the heretics. His lengthy polemical work the Prosvetitel' ('Enlightener') presented his understanding oftheir faults. He also may have been instrumental in bringing about the removal from office of Metropolitan Zosima in 1494.[38]Besides his attacks on heretics, Iosif is important for his articulation of parts of a political theory that concerned the role of wise advisers: (1) non-critical and silent obedience when the ruler is acting according to God's laws; (2) vocal criticism but obedience if the legitimate ruler was transgressing God's laws; (3) vocal criticism and passive disobedience if the legitimate ruler was commanding the adviser to transgress God's laws; and (4) vocal and active opposition when the ruler was not legitimate. In Discourse 16 of his Prosvetitel', Iosif recommends non-critical and silent obedience whereas in Discourse 7 he recommends disobedience to the 'tormentor' (muchitel') who is a tyrant transgressing God's laws.[39] One should not focus on one or the other Discourse as Iosif s 'true' view exclusive of the other, but understand them as part of a consistent political theory that had its origins in Byzantine political thought.[40]

Both Ivan III and Vasilii III were actively involved with the Church as befitted their positions as head of state. They presided with their respective metropoli­tans over Church councils. They also recognised the Church's spiritual role. Accordingto the Typography Chronicle, Metropolitan Simon imposed a penance on Ivan III, which he seems to have accepted, for bringing about the death of his brother Andrei the Elder in 1493. In 1502, if we can accept Iosif Volotskii's account, Ivan confessed that he had not been hard enough on the heretics and those who sympathised with them, including his daughter-in-law Elena and his grandson Dmitrii. But he could also act in his role as keeper of the external Church. In a jurisdictional dispute concerning the Kirillo-Belozerskii monastery in 1478, he decided in favour of his own confessor, Archbishop Vassian of Rostov, against the hegumen of the monastery as well as the apanage Prince Michael of Vereia and Metropolitan Gerontii. In 1479, he undertook a three-year investigation of the proper direction for processing around a church, when he thought Gerontii was leading a procession the wrong way (Ivan later apologised). And in 1490, he showed up at the end of a Church council pro­ceedings to have Metropolitan Zosima investigate what the canon laws were concerning heretics.[41]

Vasilii III also abided by the Church's prerogatives and actively punished heretics. As befitted his role, Vasilii sent a letter to the patriarch of Con­stantinople in 1516 requesting him to send someone to assist in the translation of Greekbooks into Russian, which resulted in the coming of Maksim Grekto Muscovy. But Vasilii III refused, according to his own prerogative, to appoint an archbishop to Novgorod after Serapion was asked to step down in 1509. Finally, seventeen years later he appointed Makarii, the archimandrite of the Luzhetsk monastery near Mozhaisk, to that post. Vasilii divorced his wife in 1525, but this had provoked opposition both within and outside the Church. Makarii's support for Vasilii during the divorce could have contributed to his being promoted to the position of archbishop.

The Law Code of 1497 has the distinction ofbeing the first Muscovy-wide law code. Apparently intended as a guide forjudges in deciding cases and assessing fees, it made uniform the laws throughout all newly acquired territories and the old holdings of the grand prince. Through its provisions we glimpse a well-developed system of judicial administration. Most cases were decided at the local level in an ecclesiastical court or in a common court (obshchii sud), but three kinds of higher courts are mentioned: (1) court of the vicegerent (i.e. namestniki and volosteli and their deputies); (2) courts in which a boyar or okol'nichii presided (it was then the responsibility of the clerk [d'iak] to report the results to the grand-princely court for its approval); and (3) the court of the grand prince and his sons. Among the sixty-eight articles in the Law Code are: stipulations of punishment for various crimes such as murder, robbery and arson; and rules for litigation concerning lands and loans, for relations between employers and employees and for relations between landholders and peasants. Fifteen ofthe articles deal with damages and payments to individuals, and thirty-six of them stipulate payments and fees to the court. Article 30 is particularly relevant for our discussion for it provides the 'riding-distance fees' to be paid to bailiffs (nedel'shchiki) to fifty-three places within the Muscovite domain, virtually all the towns the grand princes of Moscow had acquired in the previous 180 years.

Article 57 of the Law Code of 1497 regulated the peasants' movements in accord with the needs of an agricultural community. They could move once a year, in November after the harvest. If peasants lived in a house built by the owner of the estate, they had to pay up to half a rouble for a house in the forest and up to one rouble for a house in the steppe. This article was meant to protect the landholder from precipitous comings and goings of the peasants on his lands and thus ensure him sufficient labour at least for the year. In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, these restrictive regulations were expanded to tie the peasants to the soil as serfs.

The Law Code of 1497 may appear somewhat primitive and unsystem­atic to us today, but it was an extremely important initiative in transforming Muscovy from a loose confederation of separate territories into a relatively well-organised state.

At the beginning of the reign of Ivan III, landholding in Muscovy generally fell into one of four categories: (1) court lands, administered by a high govern­ment official and subordinate officials, usually slaves; (2) black lands, which were administered by second-level officials, the namestniki and the volosteli; (3) votchiny, which could be bought, sold, mortgaged, or given away; and (4) ecclesiastical lands, which the Church had the right to administer.35 To these categories of landholding was added pomest'e in 1482 when the first known grant for pomest'e landholding was issued. Pomest'e (or military fief) was usu­ally given as a reward for some courageous deed or compensation for faithful service. In the pomest'e grants, there is no suggestion of any kind of free con­tractual arrangement in which the servitor offered his services in return for

35 R. E. F. Smith, Peasant Farming in Muscovy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977), pp. 100-2.

the pomest'e. Instead, the grand prince could choose to which of his servitors he would grant a pomest'e estate or to withhold such a grant as he pleased. Similarly the grand prince could grant pomest'ia to those from whom he had taken their votchiny, such as the Novgorodian landholders.

Pomest'e was similar to votchina in most respects. It, like votchina, could be and was inherited, and this was so from its inception.[42] The condition for inheritance was that someone in the family, a son or brother, could continue to provide service to the grand prince. Otherwise, the pomest'e reverted to the grand-princely land fund to be granted to someone else. The rates of turnover from one family to another were similar for both pomest'e and votchina. The holder considered the land to be his indefinitely; it was not temporary or provisional as long as a suitable heir could provide military service. Pomest'e land could be exchanged for other pomest'e land, just as votchina land could be exchanged for other votchina land. The historian V B. Kobrin has, however, pointed out three differences between pomest'e and votchina.Apomeshchik could not, as a votchinnik could do, sell his estate; nor could he mortgage it (say, to obtain cash) or give it away (say, to a monastery).[43] These three prohibitions associated with pomest'e indicate its origins in the need for Ivan III to provide a livelihood for his military servitors. Its similarity to iqta landholding among the Muslims has led to the suggestion that Ivan III borrowed the principles and concepts of iqta for his system of military land grants. Such a borrowing would have been facilitated by advice from the Chingisid princes and other Tatars then coming into the Muscovite military system.[44]

Although the establishment of pomest'e created a ready-made military force that owed allegiance directly to the grand prince, both Ivan III and Vasilii III still found themselves having to rely on service princes and family members to mobilise troops. They could, however, now call on an ever-greater number of warrior-servitors without any intermediaries. As a result, grand-princely family members and service princes began to lose their semi-independent military and political status. The pomest'e system in effect gave the grand prince, if not a standing army, at least a military force available to be called up quickly for whatever purpose he together with the boyar duma deemed necessary.

Foreign influences

Both Ivan III and Vasilii III sought out and adapted foreign institutions and technical skills to their policy needs. A few of these influences are mentioned below.

Most of the steppe influences on Muscovy had already occurred by 1462.[45]Both Ivan III and Vasilii III actively maintained the iam, a network of way stations for travel, inherited from the Mongols. Herberstein describes this system: 'The prince has post stations in all parts of the dominions, with a regular number of horses at the different places, so that when the royal courier is sent anywhere, he may immediately have a horse without delay . . . On one occasion, a servant of mine rode on such post horses from Novgorod to Moscow, a distance of six hundred versts [642.1 km] ... in seventy-two hours.'[46] During the reign of Ivan III the introduction ofpomest'e, as mentioned, was based on Islamic iqta introduced via refugee Tatars from the Qipchaq khanate. Certain Tatar record-keeping practices, such as the use of scrolls, were introduced into Muscovite chanceries at this time.

A major influence from the West was the influx of Lithuanian nobility into Muscovite service in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The Patrikeevs, for example, were a prominent princely family in Lithuania whose members dominated the boyar duma during most of the reign of Ivan III.[47] One estimate of the number of families of the ruling class in the seventeenth century with Polish-Lithuanian and 'Western European' names places it at 49.4 per cent (452 of 915 families).[48] The transformation of Muscovy into something more than just a government ofpersonal rule and allegiances but also a government of laws and institutions correlates with the influx of Lithuanian nobility into Muscovite service and was accomplished with their active support.

Initial contacts between Italy and Muscovy occurred at the Council of Florence in 1438-9. Rus' merchants had contact with Italian merchants in Kaffa and Tana until the Italians were expelled by the Ottoman Turks in 1475. The marriage of Ivan III to Zoe (Sofiia) Palaeologa in 1472 brought many Ital­icised Greeks in her entourage to Moscow who took government positions.43 What these Italicised Greeks may have brought was an understanding of an organised state structure that had not existed in Muscovy previously and did not exist among Muscovy's immediate neighbours.

A major visible act of state-building - the makeover of the Muscovite Krem­lin - involved the contracting of Italian architects and engineers. The Italian architect Aristotle Fioravanti was brought in by Ivan III to design and over­see the construction of the Dormition cathedral from 1475 to 1479. Italian architects Marco Ruffo and Pietro Antonio Solario designed and oversaw the construction of the Hall of Facets (Granovitaia palata) from 1487 to 1491. In 1505, the cathedral of the Archangel Michael, designed by Alevisio Lamberti da Montagnana of Venice, was completed. The present crenellated walls and towers of the Moscow Kremlin also owe their design to Italians such as Solario and Antonio Friazin.44 The magnificent set of court and church buildings that resulted is still an imposing sight today. At the time it was more than enough to proclaim the message of state power the Muscovite rulers and elite wished to convey, especially to foreign ambassadors, who were also subjected to majestic court rituals.

Foreign policies

Both Ivan III and Vasilii III had far-ranging foreign policies. Their predominant concern was with the steppe and Moldavia45 but also extended far westward. Ivan III, for example, reached an agreement with King Jan of Denmark against Sweden, and he negotiated with the Holy Roman Emperor in regard to a treaty directed against Poland-Lithuania. Vasilii III continued negotiations with the Holy Roman Emperor engaged in diplomatic contact with France.

As early as 1314, Novgorod had asked Iurii Daniilovich, grand prince of Moscow, to serve as prince. The idea was to protect Novgorod from the

43 See e.g. Robert Croskey, 'Byzantine Greeks in Late Fifteenth- and Early Sixteenth[-] Century Russia', in The Byzantine Legacy in Eastern Europe, ed. Lowell Clucas (Boulder, Colo: East European Monographs, 1988), pp. 35-56.

44 For further information about Italian architectural influence in the Moscow Kremlin, see William Craft Brumfield, A History of Russian Architecture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), pp. 95-106; and William Craft Brumfield, Gold in Azure: One Thousand Years of Russian Architecture (Boston: David R. Godine, 1983), pp. 139-57.

45 Knud Rasmussen, 'On the Information Level of the Muscovite Posol'skijprikaz in the Sixteenth Century', FOG 24 (1978): 91, 94.

inroads and exorbitant demands of Mikhail Iaroslavich, grand prince of Tver' and Vladimir. But in I3I7, the Novgorodians concluded a separate treaty with Mikhail. Nonetheless, in the mid-fifteenth century, Vasilii II and then his son Ivan III used the invitation to their ancestor Iurii and other fourteenth-century agreements that Novgorod reached with the Moscow grand princes against Tver', to claim that Novgorod waspart oftheirpatrimony. In 1456, by the Treaty of Iazhelbitsii, Novgorod agreed to submit its foreign policy to the approval of Muscovy. Subsequently, Vasilii II was the first grand prince of Moscow to claim Novgorod as his patrimony in his will (1462). Novgorod tried to break free of the constraints of this treaty by declaring Mikhail Olelkovich of Lithuania its prince in 1470. Ivan III advanced on Novgorod in 1472 and re-established the terms of Iazhelbitsii. In 1475, in a 'peaceful' visit to the city, Ivan arrested and deported to Muscovite lands a number of Novgorodian boyars. He took over Novgorod completely in 1478 when he became suspicious of further intrigue. He prohibited meetings of the veche (town assembly) and confiscated the bell that convoked such meetings. By I500, he had confiscated close to I million hectares (2.5 million acres) of Novgorodian boyar and Church lands, removed a number of landholders and merchants, and ended Novgorod's association with the Hansa.

After the conquest of Novgorod and the taking of Torzhok in 1478, Mus­covite territory completely surrounded the principality of Tver'. The Tver' prince, Mikhail Borisovich, the brother of Ivan III's first wife, acknowledged a subordinate relationship with the Muscovite grand prince in 1483.46 When Mikhail sought a political alliance with Casimir IV of Poland and Lithuania in 1484, Ivan moved to pre-empt it. Tver' was formally annexed a short time later, in I485.

Between 1462 and 1533, the western steppe area of the Eurasian heartland witnessed a balance ofpower among five political entities of medium economic and military might: the Crimean khanate, the Great Horde (replaced in I502 by the khanate of Astrakhan'), the Kazan' khanate, the khanate of Tiumen' (soon to be replaced by the khanate of Sibir') and Muscovy. These five political entities occupied a frontier zone between three relatively distant major powers (or core areas): the Ottoman Empire, Poland-Lithuania and Safavid Persia. None of these three major powers was strong enough or close enough to exert hegemony over the western steppe or its accompanying savannah and forest border area.

46 Dukhovnyei dogovornyegramotyvelikikhiudel'nykhkniazeiXIV-XVIvv., ed. L.V Cherepnin (Moscow and Leningrad: AN SSSR, 1950), pp. 295-301.

Muscovy's first direct diplomatic contact with the Ottoman Empire came in 1496 although indirect relations had been conducted through the Crimean khan for twenty years before that. The Ottoman and Muscovite governments had good relations with each other despite the desire of many to get Muscovy involved in a war against the Ottoman Empire in order to free the Orthodox Christians there. Trade relations developed such that Turkish merchants pur­chased furs, iron tools, flax, walrus tusks and mercury from Muscovy while Russian merchants purchased brocades, taffeta and silk from Turkey.

Nonetheless, during the latter half of the fifteenth century, Muscovy was in a vulnerable position where it could be threatened by a possible coalition of Poland-Lithuania with one or the other of Muscovy's competitors - in particular, the Great Horde or the Crimean khanate. Kazan', however, found itself even more vulnerably placed in an intermediate frontier zone between Muscovy, the Tiumen' khanate, the Great Horde, and the Crimean khanate as well as the Nogai horde. This intermediate position, which made it vulnerable to military attack from one or a combination ofthe surrounding intermediate powers, also gave the Kazan' khanate its vitality as a commercial power.

From 1475, the Crimean khan was the nominal vassal of the Ottoman sul­tan, but operated independently in the western steppe. The Great Horde was no longer the major power it had been - that is, as the pre-break-up Qipchaq khanate. Yet, the khan of the Great Horde was, until 1502, still the nominal suzerain of Muscovy. And in the Astrakhan' khanate, a successor to the Great Horde, the khan continued to receive tribute from the Muscovite grand prince, as did the khans of the other successor khanates. As long as the Kazan' khanate remained favourable to Muscovy or at least neutral but independent, the Muscovite grand prince could feel relatively secure concerning eastern approaches to Muscovy, because Kazan' was not strong enough to defeat Muscovy alone. When Kazan' fell under the direct influence of one of the other neighbouring khanates, it could then be used as an advance base and provide additional forces for an attack on Moscow, as was done in 1521 by the Crimean khan Muhammed Girey.

Throughout this period the Muscovite grand princes continued to pay tribute to the khans as their nominal vassal. Among other evidence that this was so are the wills ofthe grand princes. The will of Ivan III (1504), for example, specifies that tribute be sent to the khanates of Astrakhan', Crimea and Kazan', as well as to the 'tsareviches' town' (Kasimov).[49]

In great part, we must attribute the dramatic reversal of western steppe power relations subsequently in the sixteenth century to the successful mili­tary strategies of the Muscovite leaders - in particular, in terms of mobilisation of troops and other military resources. During the period from the middle of the fourteenth century to the fifteenth century, the Muscovite grand princes were adept at getting Lithuanian princes and nobility and their attendant service people to come over into grand-princely service,[50] although by the sixteenth century some princes in the service of the Muscovite ruler would flee to the Lithuanian grand duke.[51] The Muscovite grand princes were also equally adept if not more so, especially during the period from the middle of the fifteenth century to the sixteenth century, in getting tsarevichi and other Tatar nobility and their attendant service people to enter grand-princely ser­vice.[52] Ivan III, for example, set up a puppet khanate in Kasimov where Tatar refugees could escape without violating their allegiance to Islam or Chingisid rule.

When Casimir IV died in 1490, Poland and Lithuania were once again under separate rulers. Ivan III took advantage of the resultant weakened position of Lithuania to follow an aggressive military policy against towns across the Lithuanian border. In 1494, Lithuania ceded Viaz'ma to Muscovy. The marriage in 1495 between Grand Duke Alexander and Elena, the daughter of Ivan, sealed the bargain. An outbreak of hostilities between Muscovy and Lithuania from 1500 to 1503 spread to involve the Livonian knights and the Great Horde (both on the side of Lithuania), and the Crimean khanate (on the side of Muscovy). Muscovy made further territorial gains, including the Chernigov-Seversk area, and the Great Horde was routed by Mengli Girey. During the reign of Vasilii III, Lithuania and Moscow were at war on two occasions: 1507-8 and 1512-22. It was during the latter war that Muscovy annexed Smolensk in 1514.

The term 'Great Horde' is the name we find in the sources after the middle of the fifteenth century until 1502 for the remnants of the Qipchaq khanate that remained after the splitting off of the Kazan' khanate and the Crimean khanate. By 1480, Ivan III had already been acting autonomously for many years without any need to gain approval for his policies from the khan of the Great Horde. In that year in the late summer and early autumn, Khan Ahmed of the Great Horde advanced with a large force to the south-west of Muscovy. He was apparently hoping for military help from Casimir, the king of Poland and grand duke of Lithuania. That help never arrived. Ivan, for his part, was without the support of two of his brothers, Andrei the Elder and Boris, or their accompanying armies. Ivan convened a war council made up of the boyar duma, the top Church prelates (including Metropolitan Gerontii and Archbishop Vassian Rylo), and Ivan's mother, Mariia, to discuss how to conduct the campaign. Prince Ivan Patrikeev was left in charge of the defences of Moscow.

The army of the Great Horde and the army of Muscovy faced each other across the River Ugra for some two weeks with arrows being shot and some arquebuses being fired. On 11 November Ahmed retreated and peace was restored. The contemporary chronicles present an unflattering account of the two armies being afraid to fight. Archbishop Vassian Rylo wrote a sharply worded letter to Ivan accusing him of vacillation and lack of will. Yet, the encounter on the Ugra was similar to other such encounters between Tatar and Muscovite forces, when neither side could gain a military advantage. The churchmen, who were not military leaders, however, saw things differently at the time. Nevertheless, a subsequent Church account of the 'stand on the Ugra', a work of the 1550s, described it as one of the most significant events in world history.[53] And the author of the Kazanskaia istoriia ('History of Kazan'') added numerous fictional details that made the 'overthrow of the Tatar yoke' in 1480 an irresistible invention for historians to adopt. All this was part of the creation by Rus' churchmen of an 'ideological package' of anti-Tatar writings, which placed a hostile spin on chronicle and other Church historical accounts of Muscovy's relations with the steppe peoples.[54] Rather than represent any kind of 'overthrow of Tatar yoke' the event on the Ugra changed relations between Muscovy and the Great Horde little if at all. It did, however, mark the last time the Great Horde attacked Muscovy, although not the last time it attacked Muscovy's ally, the Crimean khanate.

During the reign of Ivan III, Muscovy and the Crimean khanate had friendly relations. The Crimean khan Mengli Girey considered himself a 'brother' of the grand prince, and Mengli Girey's wife, Nur Sultan, considered herself his 'sister'. Ivan III was thus able to preclude any alliance of the grand duke of Lithuania with the Crimean khan. Under Vasilii III, in contrast, relations with the Crimean khanate deteriorated. Muhammed Girey, the son of Mengli Girey, followed an aggressive foreign policy towards Muscovy, which resulted in Kazan' 's forming a long-term alliance with the Crimean khanate, and ulti­mately in the devastating attack on Moscow in 1521. One effect ofthe attack was that Muscovy had to pay an additional yearly tribute to the Crimean khan. In this respect, Vasilii III's steppe policy was not as successful as that of his father.

Muscovy in 1533

The Church's attempts to seek out and have the state authorities punish heretics can be seen as part of a larger movement on the part of both secular and eccle­siastical authorities to standardise practices and beliefs within the Muscovite realm. A significant part of this larger movement was the creation by the Church of an anti-Tatar ideology, which served to put a different framework on relations of Muscovy with the steppe khanates than the one the secu­lar leaders had operated within. The huge incorporation of new territories required the extension of administrative procedures and laws to these areas. The transfer of Novgorodian landholders to areas closer to Moscow and their replacement with middle servitors who were given pomest'e for their support was part of this process. At first, Ivan III was reluctant to pursue heretics with as much zeal as Archbishop Gennadii wanted. Towards the end of his life, how­ever, Ivan agreed to the heretics' being executed. Under his successor, Vasilii III, the expansion of the state administrative apparatus began to impinge on the freedom the Church had experienced until then in terms of land acquisi­tions. It was under Vasilii that the first stipulations concerning the need for churches and monasteries to register their land acquisitions with state agents began to appear. The grand prince and his agents had been able to confiscate particular ecclesiastical lands under the grand prince's role as keeper of the external Church. But the inculcation into law of the right of the state agents to do so led to a strong reaction on the part of Church leaders, which was to be played out later, in the second half of the sixteenth century.

In 1533, Muscovy was on the verge of becoming the dominant power in the western steppe region. This circumstance resulted from the success of the grand prince and the ruling elite in incorporating new resource areas, in creating an enlarged and greatly modified (in terms of composition) ruling class, in the ability of Muscovy to adapt and borrow what it needed from neighbouring cultures, in the creation of a readily mobilisable military force and in the reshaping of the Muscovite principality into a dynastic state.

Ivan IV (1533-1584)


One of the longest reigns in Russian history, the rule of Ivan IV was a period of ambitious political, military and cultural projects. The ruling family sought to utilise all the material and human resources of the realm to strengthen its political power and to integrate territories with diverse cultural and economic traditions into a single state. These aims did not always complement each other. As a result of integration the Muscovite state became increasingly complex, both socially and politically. This, in turn, put the dynasty under pressure from various forces operating in the centre, in the provinces and on the international arena. As the leader of the dynasty, Ivan responded decisively to the challenges of integration, though his reaction was often erratic and inconsistent.

Safeguarding the royal family

Ivan Vasil'evich, the future Ivan IV 'the Terrible' ( Groznyi), was born into the family of Grand Prince Vasilii III of Moscow, the head of the ruling branch of the Riurikid dynasty, on 25 August 1530. Ivan's mother was Elena Glinskaia, the niece of Prince Mikhail L'vovich Glinskii, who came to serve Vasilii III from Lithuania in 1508. Ivan IV nominally became grand prince at the age of three after the death of his father in December 1533. Soon Elena noticeably increased her political activities and freed herself from the tutelage of her relatives and the regents appointed by Vasilii III. Courtiers began to refer to Elena as sovereign (gosudarynia) alongside the nominal ruler, Ivan.[55]

Our knowledge of the early years of Ivan's life comes largely from later sources, which were politically biased. Some observations on the forma­tive period of his life, however, can be made from a reconstruction of the physical and cultural environment in which the boy grew up. Under Elena Glinskaia, court rituals took place either in the state rooms set aside for official ceremonies or in her private apartments, where she lived with Ivan.[56]Built by a Milanese architect, these apartments had a distinctly Renaissance appearance.[57] The spatial arrangement of the Kremlin palace, however, was based not on inter-connecting rooms (enfilades), as it was in Western Renais­sance palaces, but on a typical Muscovite combination of confined clusters of three rooms.[58] Another local peculiarity was that the architectural ensemble of the Kremlin palace included several churches. The immediate proximity ofthe court churches, as well as the cultural traditions of the family, undoubtedly con­tributed to the formation of Ivan's Orthodox identity At the same time, Ivan spent his formative years in a rather cosmopolitan atmosphere. His physical environment was a mixture of Muscovite and Western architecture. He also became familiar with Eastern customs and perhaps even learned some ele­mentary Tatar during receptions of Tatar dignitaries.[59]

The ruling circles were highly concerned that the heads of collateral branches of the dynasty, Vasilii III's brothers Prince Iurii Ivanovich of Dmitrov and Prince Andrei Ivanovich of Staritsa, would claim power during Ivan's minority. In December 1533, Prince Iurii was taken into custody, where he died three years later.[60] Between 1534 and 1536 Elena Glinskaia also exerted pressure on Prince Andrei Ivanovich by imposing new terms to define their mutual relationship.[61] These conditions reflected profound changes in the relations between the grand-princely family and the collateral line of the dynasty Unlike previous agreements between members of the dynasty, the grand princess did not recognise traditional responsibilities such as respecting Andrei as a close relative and guaranteeing his land possessions. Elena also forbade Andrei to receive grand-princely servitors, though previous agreements allowed servi­tors to choose masters at their will.

The new terms thus facilitated a redistribution ofpower within the dynasty in favour of the ruling family. It is very likely that it was precisely this dictated agreement that made Andrei rise in rebellion against Elena Glinskaia in 1537.[62]Despite having military forces at his disposal, Andrei eventually preferred to negotiate with the Moscow authorities rather than to fight. Elena Glinskaia used this situation to her own advantage by inviting Andrei to the capital and imprisoning him, his wife Efrosin'ia and his son Vladimir. Andrei died in custody in December I537, but the members of his family would remain a source of concern for Ivan IV for decades to come.

Elena's death at the age of around thirty on 3 April I538 gave rise to much speculation about her poisoning. The archaeologist T. D. Panova, who carried out an autopsy ofthe remains of members ofthe dynasty buried in the Kremlin, also believes that many of them, including Elena, were poisoned.[63] Panova's conclusion is based on the findings of large amounts of arsenic and mercury in the bodies. However, we know very little about the background chemistry of Muscovites in regard to their nutrition, medicines and cosmetics. This is why relative estimations seem to be more revealing than absolute ones. The content of such a typical poisonous substance as arsenic in Elena's remains was substantially lower than in those who were definitely poisoned (the Staritsa family, see below). On the whole, accusations of poisoning were typical of political struggle in the sixteenth century and are hardly trustworthy.[64]

As long as Elena Glinskaia was alive, the ruling line of the dynasty had enough political power to impose its will on those whom it considered dan­gerous pretenders to the throne. Her death was followed by the so-called 'boyar rule' (1537-47). Despite the minority ofthe ruler, the administration and courts continued to function in the realm. At the same time, the 'boyar rule' saw an escalation of conflict between court groupings headed by the princely clans of the Shuiskiis, Bel'skiis, Kubenskiis and Glinskiis, and the boyar Vorontsov clan. The reason for the political crisis was the absence of capable leadership in the ruling family and the political ineffectiveness of the Church hierarchs who could not mediate between the conflicting parties at court.[65]

There were, however, certain cultural mechanisms which would secure the position of an under-age monarch in Muscovy. The ruling circles propagated an image of Ivan as a capable monarch and a brave warrior. The practice dated back to Vasilii III, who saw Ivan not only as a child, but also as a rep­resentative of the dynasty, even though of small physical proportions. Vasilii ordered a helmet for the under-age Ivan, to symbolise the concept of the infant eventually becoming a mighty sovereign. The helmet, which reproduced the design of adult ones in miniature, featured inscriptions propagating the auto­cratic power of Vasilii III and glorifying Ivan as his successor (see Plate 12a).[66]The same cultural model of the authority of the crown assuming a life apart from the human form of the ruler was employed in the official chronicles and government documents. According to these sources, the orphaned under-age monarch was responsible for all governmental decisions in the late 1530s and 1540s. Nancy Shields Kollmann thinks that the discrepancy between the image of the ruler in the official propaganda and the powerlessness of the child Ivan reflects the weak position of every monarch, whatever his or her age, in Mus­covite politics.[67] However, the official documents did acknowledge the fact that the grand prince was still a defenceless minor, who could not take part in military actions and needed the guidance of adults.[68] Part of dynastic policy, such calculated propaganda contributed to the succession of power within the ruling family.

The first signs of political stabilisation became visible in the early 1540s. In 1540-1, Efrosin'ia and Vladimir of Staritsa were released from captivity and Vladimir was restored to his father's landed possessions. The dynasty finally received an effective protector in 1542, when Makarii became the new metropolitan.[69] The generally accepted view is that Makarii was a client of the Shuiskii princes, who belonged to the Suzdal' line of the dynasty and had matrimonial ties with the ruling family.16 At the same time, Makarii had already accumulated substantial political and moral weight prior to his enthrone­ment when he was archbishop of Novgorod, the second-ranking figure in the Church hierarchy. Makarii's tenure in Novgorod (1526-42) coincided with A. M. Shuiskii's vicegerency in Pskov (1539/40-winter 1540/1). In Pskov, A. M. Shuiskii was very hostile to the locals and caused many Pskovian abbots to flee to Novgorod.17 He planned to give Makarii a solemn reception in Pskov, but the Pskovian chronicles do not mention such a visit by the hierarch.18 Makarii apparently cancelled his trip to Pskov because of the misdeeds of the vicegerent. Makarii, who demonstrated a keen interest in Church affairs in Pskov, would hardly have accepted such harsh treatment of the local clergy.19 This is why it is unlikely that the Shuiskiis promoted Makarii. When he became metropolitan, Makarii resolutely interfered in court feuds acting against the Shuiskiis.20 In 1543, A. M. Shuiskii was thrown to the court kennelmen. Various sources attribute the order to kill Shuiskii to the grand prince or unnamed boyars. Whoever was behind this cruel murder, Makarii did not use his consid­erable moral power to stop the humiliating death of Shuiskii. The metropolitan apparently had no interest in saving the life of the boyar.

According to the official chronicle, after the murder of Shuiskii, 'the boyars began to fear the sovereign'.21 It seems that the sphere of Ivan's ritual and social activities did indeed become wider then. Beginning in 1543, the chamber for official receptions in the Kremlin was referred to in the official sources as stolovaia, which alluded to the throne (stol) or, more widely, to the hereditary power of the grand prince.22 The new appellation implies that Ivan began on a regular basis to utilise these premises, which were specially designated for the ritual activities of the ruler. In 1543 the ruling circles also began propa­gating abroad the idea that Ivan was ready for marriage. The Kremlin sent requests for a bride to several foreign royal houses and waited for responses.23

16 See e.g. A. A. Zimin, Reformy Ivana Groznogo (Moscow: Izdatel'stvo sotsial'no- ekonomicheskoi literatury, i960), p. 264. Krom notes that the Shuiskiis did not enjoy a monopoly on power in 1542-3: see his 'Politicheskii krizis', 14.

17 See Pskovskie letopisi, vol. I, p. 110; T. I. Pashkova, Mestnoe upravlenie v Russkom gosu- darstve vpervoi polovine XVI v. Namestniki i volosteli (Moscow: Drevlekhranilishche, 2000),

p. i54.

18 Makarii (Veretennikov), Zhizn', pp. 67,346-7. Veretennikov seems to believe that Makarii visited Pskov under A. M. Shuiskii, but does not explain the silence of the Pskovian chronicles about such a visit.

19 On Makarii's approach to Pskov, see Makarii (Veretennikov), Zhizn', pp. 64-5.

20 PSRL, vol. xiii, p. 145.

21 PSRL, vol. xiii, p. 145.

22 S.S. Pod"iapol'skii, 'Moskovskii Kremlevskii dvorets XVI v. po dannym pis'mennykh istochnikov', in Batalov et al. (eds.), Drevnerusskoe iskusstvo, p. 113.

23 Sbornik Imperatorskogo Russkogo istoricheskogo obshchestva, vol. lix, p. 228.

Ivan IV's official chronicle also mentions his initial intention to take a wife from abroad. The chronicle's explanation that the ruler abandoned this idea for fear that his and a foreign woman's temperaments would be too different strikes the reader as an attempt to hide the failure of such matrimonial plans.[70]Foreign monarchs were apparently reluctant to conclude a union by marriage with the Muscovite dynasty, whose prestige among its Western and Eastern neighbours had declined during Ivan's minority.[71] Later, Ivan repeatedly tried to find a foreign bride, but succeeded only in marrying the Caucasian Princess Mariia (Kuchenei) in 1561.[72]

To restore the prestige of the dynasty at home and abroad, Ivan embarked on an ambitious and politically controversial plan to be crowned as tsar of all Rus'. Church texts described Old Testament kings as 'tsars' and Christ as the Heavenly Tsar. Muscovite political vocabulary reserved the title of tsar for the rulers of superior status, the Byzantine emperor and Tatar khan. In the Muscovite view, the moral authority of the Orthodox emperor and the political might of the Muslim khan derived from the will of God. Given the strong religious connotation of the title of tsar, it is almost certain that the main driving force behind the coronation was Metropolitan Makarii. Familiar with descriptions of Byzantine imperial coronations, the metropolitan acted as the mastermind of Ivan's coronation, which took place in the Dormition cathedral in the Kremlin on 16 January 1547.[73]

During the coronation, the ruling circles claimed continuity between Ivan's rule and the rule ofthe Byzantine emperors and the Kievan princes. Evenbefore the times of Ivan IV Muscovite ideological texts anachronistically applied the title of tsar to Vladimir I of Kiev and Dmitrii Donskoi of Moscow to proclaim a direct and uninterrupted dynastic continuity from Kiev to Moscow The public declaration of the growing political ambitions of the Muscovite ruler at the 1547 coronation caused an adverse reaction from his western neighbour, Sigismund II of Poland and Lithuania, whose possessions included Kiev and other lands of Kievan Rus'. As a result, the coronation was followed by a long diplomatic struggle between Muscovy and Poland-Lithuania over Ivan IV's new title.[74]

The fact that the ritual ofthe coronation included a considerable Byzantine element, as well as Ivan's aggressive foreign policy after 1547, has generated much debate about whether Ivan's power was of an imperial character. It would be inaccurate to describe Ivan's coronation as imperial in a strict historical sense. In Byzantium, the head of the Church anointed the aspiring emperor, marking thereby his symbolical rebirth into a Christ-like status. Since the act of anointing transformed the ruler into a sacred figure, the emperor was proclaimed holy. The most accurate accounts of Ivan's coronation, however, do not mention anointing.[75] Leaving anointing out of the ritual was probably in the interests of Makarii, who sought to secure his own spiritual authority during the coronation. In his speech at the ceremony, Makarii stressed that the tsar had his own judge in Heaven and that the ruler could enter the heavenly tsardom only by properly fulfilling his tasks of protecting the Christian faith and the Orthodox Church. Such moral prescriptions that urged the ruler to protect the Church and to listen to wise advisers were essential elements of Muscovite political culture.[76]

Ivan's coronation was followed in February 1547 by his marriage to Anastasiia Romanovna, a member of the established boyar clan of the Zakhar'in-Iur'evs. Following in Edward L. Keenan's footsteps, Kollmann sees Ivan's marriage in the context of the 'marriage politics' of senior boyar clans, which were purportedly responsible for running the Muscovite polity and manipulated the ruler in their own interests.[77] However, Ivan's marriage was preceded by a wide search for a royal bride. As mentioned above, a foreign woman was possible and, apparently, even more desirable than a Muscovite one. Among the local candidates were not only daughters of boyars and other members of the court, but also those of provincial rank-and-file cavalrymen and church servitors. The sources suggest that the age, appearance and health of a bride were as important as her pedigree.[78] Ivan's numerous later wives were from a Muscovite elite clan (Mariia Nagaia), from relatively obscure gentry families (Marfa Sobakina, Anna Koltovskaia, Anna Vasil'chikova) and from a foreign dynasty (Mariia Kuchenei). The wide ethnic and social background ofthe royal wives shows that the choice was not only a matter of the 'marriage politics' of a handful of boyar clans. Royal marriages were essential for sustaining the relations between the dynasty and the wide circles of servitors and for maintaining the international relations of the day.

Ivan's coronation and his marriage were major contributions to the strength­ening of his position as the head ofthe dynasty in the Muscovite polity. Though the coronation did not turn Ivan into a sacred ruler, it signified a major trans­formation of Muscovite political institutions. The coronation changed the status of the ruling family and affected its domestic, international and cultural policy. Ivan's old title of grand prince made him primus inter pares among other members of the dynasty. By assuming the title of tsar, Ivan acquired the status of a ruler chosen by God and received supreme authority over other princes and members of the court.

The elevated position of the dynastic head allowed the ruling circles to launch an ideological programme of consolidation of the elite around the figure of the monarch. The main thesis of the official propaganda contrasted the anarchy of the boyar rule during the minority of Ivan with the harmony prevailing under Tsar Ivan. The Church actively contributed to the 'policy of reconciliation', though the role of particular clerics in this process is a matter of controversy. The received wisdom is that the priest Sil'vestr was an influential adviser to the tsar in both spiritual and political matters in the 1550s. Carolyn Johnston Pouncy, however, has argued that Sil'vestr was a well- educated and well-connected person, but was not such an influential adviser as some later sources describe him.[79] Unlike Sil'vestr, Metropolitan Makarii surely had an entree to the closest entourage of the tsar. He was responsible for the formulation of the idea of militant Orthodoxy at the end of the 1540s and early 1550s and participated in administrative and diplomatic affairs. Metropolitan Makarii was probably a key architect of the new ideology, as is apparent from the documents of the so-called Council of a Hundred Chapters (Stoglav). This convocation of top-level ecclesiastics and some elite courtiers was held in i55i to enact measures to improve ecclesiastical life and the morals of the clergy and Church members. In line with Makarii's views expressed during the coronation, the Stoglav defended the interests ofthe clergy, capitalising on the idea of a union between the tsar and the Church.

The proceedings of the Stoglav also included a speech by the tsar which presented the court feuds of Ivan's minority in a favourable light to the dynasty. In his speech, Ivan recalled his childhood as a period of revolt and blamed the boyars for seizing power and eliminating his uncles.[80] Since the extant text of Ivan's speech has been edited, it is not easy to determine who personally was behind this attempt to absolve Elena Glinskaia of any responsibility for the deaths of Iurii of Dmitrov and in particular of Andrei of Staritsa. Nevertheless, the speech can be seen as Ivan's contribution to the reinterpretation of recent dynastic history. The utilisation of personal information about Ivan's early years and about his closest relatives for ideological purposes at least required his sanction. Furthermore, it is very likely that Ivan participated in the compilation of the speech, since its original text was written, according to the surviving documents of the council, in Ivan's own hand or was signed by him.[81] There was a tradition of literacy in the royal family, and so the evidence of Ivan's involvement in the preparation of the speech is highly plausible.[82]

Makarii's model of harmony between the ruling family and the Church, however, was not always as effective as at the Stoglav. In 1553, a dynastic crisis broke out when Ivan was seriously ill and ordered his boyars to swear an oath of allegiance to his infant son Dmitrii. The crisis, which was highly reminiscent of the last days of Vasilii III, caused quarrels between various groups of courtiers, some of whom considered Vladimir of Staritsa, son of the late Andrei, a better candidate. It was up to the metropolitan to act as a mediator in the conflict, but Makarii for some reason refrained from any interference.[83]Makarii's involvement in government activities began decreasing from the mid-i550s, apparently due to his ambiguous position during the i553 crisis and active intercession with the tsar on behalf of some of Ivan's courtiers.[84]

A further step in the changing relationship between the monarch and the head of the Russian Church was the obtaining of a sanction for Ivan's title of tsar from the patriarch of Constantinople in the second half of the 1550s. As part of this project, Ivan's ideological advisers prepared new instructions on the ritual of coronation for the tsar's heir, Ivan Ivanovich. Unlike the 1547 coronation masterminded by Makarii, the new version of the ritual included the anointing of the ruler, that is, likening him to Christ. Capitalising on this idea, Ivan soon began treating his subjects, including many Church hierarchs, with unprecedented violence (see below). After Makarii's death in i563, the tsar resolutely deposed and sometimes even executed those metropolitans who did not accept his erratic domestic policy.

The strengthening of the position of the ruler was reflected in the official heraldry and the design of Ivan's coins.[85] In 1560-3, the Church ideologists produced the ImperialBook of Degrees (Stepennaia kniga), a workthat glorified the Muscovite dynasty.[86] Starting from the mid-i560s, Ivan also began promoting the concept ofthe divine nature of his power and his hereditary right to the title of tsar in his letters addressed to the fugitive boyar Prince Andrei Mikhailovich Kurbskii and the rulers of Poland, Sweden and England.[87] In his letters to Kurbskii, Ivan elaborated on the ideas of the Stoglav concerning the danger of boyar rule to the state. He again blamed the boyars for their aspirations to seek power during his minority and made similar accusations against his entourage of the 1550s.

Keenan argues that Ivan was illiterate and never wrote the works attributed to him, but most historians now disagree.[88] Keenan's assumption is based primarily on his controversial study of the correspondence between Ivan and Kurbskii. At the same time, there are other letters of Ivan. Many of them, full of irony, parody and mockery of opponents, have survived in sixteenth- century copies in the archives of the Foreign (Ambassadorial) Chancellery. Keenan fails to offer an alternative attribution for or any cultural explanation of the appearance of these documents. Judging by the excessive formality of Muscovite diplomatic practice, it would be unrealistic to assume that anyone except the tsar could have had enough authority to write such unusual letters to foreign rulers. Though we can hardly trust the romantic stories about Ivan IV's Renaissance library, it is obvious that he was familiar with literary culture. Ivan's treasury included a typical Muscovite selection of Church books, some chronicles, and a Western book of herbal remedies. Contemporary sources show that Ivan frequently borrowed books from clerics and courtiers, read them and also donated books to churches and monasteries.[89]

The 1550s policy of reconciliation had little application to the collateral branches ofthe dynasty. Ivan elevated his family at the expense ofthe Dmitrov and Staritsa lines of the dynasty. The tsar's chancellery promoted the ancient roots of the dynasty by preparing a special list (sinodik) of its members, starting with the medieval princes of Kiev and ending with Ivan's deceased children, to be commemorated by the patriarch of Constantinople.[90] Neither Iurii of Dmitrov nor Andrei of Staritsa was mentioned in the tsar's sinodik, though Ivan did make donations to the monasteries in memory of Iurii.[91] Ivan's attitude to Vladimir of Staritsa was also very circumspect. In the 1550s and 1560s, the tsar regularly involved Vladimir in military campaigns and provided him with experienced foreign architects.[92] At the same time, after the 1553 crisis, the tsar demanded from Vladimir unconditional support for the ruling family, ordered him to reside in Moscow and limited the size of his court.[93] During the 1560s, Ivan increased pressure on the Staritsa family. Many historians have seen Vladimir and Efrosin'ia of Staritsa as leaders of conservative political forces opposing the centralising policy of the tsar, but this interpretation relies too heavily on Ivan's official propaganda. Vladimir did not need to have any political views to arouse Ivan IV's suspicion since distrust of their own kin was typical of pre-modern monarchs. Ivan's relationship with the Staritsa family was a result of his dynastic policy and his own concept of personal power. Equipped with the idea of the divine nature of his authority, Ivan took to extremes the traditional repressive policy of the ruling family towards collateral branches of the dynasty.

Metropolitan Makarii's death in 1563 apparently freed Ivan's hands. Begin­ning in I564, the tsar several times forced Vladimir of Staritsa to exchange his hereditary possessions, which eventually led to the destruction of the Staritsa apanage (udel). Ivan IV also compelled Vladimir's mother, Efrosin'ia, who was an influential figure at the Staritsa court, to become a nun and peo­pled Vladimir's court with the tsar's loyalists. In 1569, the tsar accused Vladimir and his family of high treason and poisoned them.48

After the death of his infant son Dmitrii in 1553, Ivan IV paved the way to the throne for his next son, Ivan Ivanovich. The tsar promoted his son in line with the traditions of the royal family, adapting them for the new political and cultural circumstances. Following the lead of Vasilii III, the tsar ordered a helmet for his three-year-old son in 1557, to emphasise the continuity of power within the family (see Plate 12b). At the same time, the inscriptions on the helmet of Ivan Ivanovich included new rhetoric which stressed the piety of the tsar and his son, and Ivan IV's love of God, and exalted Moscow as the capital of the tsardom.49 Together with the heraldic images of double-headed eagles reproduced on the helmet, this rhetoric revealed the new political status of the dynasty and its close association with divine forces. In the early 1560s, the tsar presented his under-age son as a ruler capable of issuing state documents and created a small court for him.50 The heir, however, never became tsar. Ivan IV accidentally killed his son during a brawl on 9 November 1581. Numerous speculations about what caused this accident are unverifiable, but it is clear that the tsar did not intend to kill Ivan Ivanovich.

Deeply shocked by the tragedy, Ivan IV died of natural causes on 18 March 1584. His death gave rise to typical rumours about his assassination, but, judging

48 For new archaeological material on the burial of members of the Staritsa family, see T. D. Panova, 'Opyt izucheniia nekropolia Moskovskogo Kremlia', in V F. Kozlov et al. (eds.), Moskovskii nekropol'. Istoriia, arkheologiia, iskusstvo, okhrana (Moscow: Nauchno- issledovatel'skii institut kul'tury, 1991), pp. 101-4; T. D. Panova, Nekropoli Moskovskogo Kremlia (Moscow: Muzei-zapovednik 'Moskovskii Kreml'', 2003), p. 31, no. 94.

49 I. A. Komarov et al. (eds.), Armoury Chamber of the Russian Tsars (St Petersburg: Atlant, 2002), pp. 44, 300.

50 A. V Antonov, 'Serpukhovskie dokumenty iz dela Patrikeevykh', Russkii diplomatarii 7 (Moscow: Drevlekhranilishche, 2001): 304-5.

by the archaeological evidence, there is little basis for such gossip. The remains of a poisoned infant from the Staritsa family buried in the Kremlin have very high arsenic content in comparison with the bodies of other members of the dynasty. At the same time, the poisoning did not affect the mercury level of the victim. A high level of arsenic in comparison with other bodies can thus be seen as circumstantial evidence of poisoning. As the content of arsenic in Ivan IV's remains is one of the lowest among those examined by archaeologists in the Kremlin, the probability that he was poisoned should be minimised.[94] The autopsy on Ivan IV also revealed spinal disease and large amounts of mercury in his body. However, it would be risky to attribute Ivan's unpredictable political actions and erratic family life to mercury poisoning, since there is no direct connection between the chemistry of a person's body and his or her behaviour. As the autopsy shows, the chemical composition of Ivan Ivanovich's remains is highly similar to that of the tsar, including the same high level of mercury. Ivan Ivanovich, however, never demonstrated such extravagant behaviour as his father did.

Ivan IV's next son, Fedor, inherited the throne. When his elder brother was alive, Fedor occupied a rather modest position in the family. Foreign and later Muscovite sources suggest that Fedor was retarded, though L.E. Morozova questions the reliability of this evidence.[95] Whatever his mental health, Fedor was capable ofparticipating in military campaigns and court ceremonies. Fedor became the last member of the Riurikid dynasty on the throne.

Building the realm

At the beginning of Ivan's reign, the population of his realm, which received in English the established but somewhat inaccurate name of Muscovy, was predominantly Russian-speaking and Orthodox. Non-Russian ethnic groups resided in the periphery of the realm and were numerically rather small. Language and religion were important consolidating factors, which, however, did not remove substantial regional differences across the country. In the northern part of the country, remote territories along the White Sea coast sported self-sufficient communities of peasants and fishermen, which enjoyed much autonomy in local affairs throughout Ivan's reign. In the north-west, the towns of Novgorod and Pskov boasted developed urban communities. The local elites of the Trans-Volga, Riazan' and Trans-Oka regions often retained their hereditary lands and local affiliations, provided they remained loyal to Moscow.

During Ivan's minority, the ruling circles took a series of measures with the aim of integrating the vast realm. The central authorities carried out a large programme of land surveying in the late 1530s and 1540s. During the surveys, the authorities extended common tax burdens and other obligations to various segments ofthe local population. The surveys also shaped the local landscape by defining and describing all of its significant elements.[96] The government- sponsored surveys, therefore, not only registered local peculiarities, but also contributed to the formation oflocal identities. In the first halfofthe sixteenth century, the authorities replaced various quit-rents in kind with payments in money. To keep up with the growing role of money in the economy of Muscovy, Elena Glinskaia successfully implemented a currency reform by unifying monetary units across the realm in the second half of the 1530s. The new monetary system effectively incorporated the local currencies of Novgorod and Pskov and facilitated the integration of these economically important regions into the realm.[97]

The central authorities experimented with various methods of involving dif­ferent regional groups in maintaining law and order in the provinces. Though these attempts were not limited to the provincial cavalrymen, it was precisely this group that became the chief agent of the government in local affairs. Cav­alrymen had sufficient military skills and organisational experience as military servitors and estate owners. Beginning in the 1550s, the provincial cavalrymen started dominating the local district (guba) administration, which was respon­sible for law and order in the provinces, control over the local population's mobility, the distribution of service lands, the gathering of taxes, the mustering of local military forces and the certifying of slavery contracts. Since the author­ity of the guba elders covered various groups of the local population, the guba administration was an important factor in consolidating local communities. The guba administration was also open to cavalrymen ofnon-Muscovite origin and thereby facilitated their integration. The state thus actively participated in the formation of local identities and made use of them for its own political needs.

The townsmen and peasant communities also received limited autonomy in local affairs during the reforms of the 1550s. These changes in provincial administration led to some redistribution of authority in favour of urban and rural communities at the expense of the local representatives of the central authorities (vicegerents or namestniki). Contrary to widespread opinion, the vicegerent administration, however, was not abolished in the middle of the sixteenth century.[98] In the 1550s, the ruling circles attempted to standardise judicial and administrative practices across the country by introducing a new law code (1550) and delegating routine administrative and financial tasks to the increasingly structured chancelleries (prikazy).[99]

The position of elite military servitors became more stable thanks to the standardisation of the terms of their service, improved registry, and the reg­ulation of service relations among them during campaigns. As a result of the reforms of the 1550s, the sovereign's court, a hierarchical institution made up of the ruler's elite servitors, acquired a complicated rank structure.[100] Service relations between courtiers were subject to rules of precedence (mestnich- estvo), a complex system that defined the status of a courtier on the basis of the prominence and service appointments of his ancestors and relatives. There are different opinions about who benefited from mestnichestvo. Kollmann sees it more as a means ofconsolidating the elite in the traditional patrimonial polit­ical system than as a means for the affirmation of the tsar's power. According to S. O. Shmidt, the system of precedence functioned on the basis of a mixture of the traditional principles of family honour and the principles of service rela­tions that were formulated by the royal power. The monarchy could thus use mestnichestvo for controlling the elite. In line with this view, Ann M. Kleimola notes that mestnichestvo, which took its final shape during the minority of Ivan, caused a fragmentation of the elite and prevented the formation of a cohe­sive hereditary aristocracy which could have checked the autocratic power of the ruler. Shmidt's and Kleimola's points of view may explain why the elite servitors failed to effectively oppose the tsar's transgressions and his personal interference with the system of precedence.[101]

It is hard to determine who personally was responsible for the reforms. Historians sometimes call the ruling circles of the 1550s 'the chosen council', but this vague term is apparently irrelevant to governmental institutions.[102]B. N. Floria has suggested that the reforms were the results of a collective effort by the ruling elite, whose members were finally united after the long period of conflict during the boyar rule.[103] It is true that Ivan granted top court ranks to a wide circle of elite servitors, which especially benefited the tsarina's relatives, the Zakhar'in-Iur'evs. At the same time, there was no complete harmony among the elite. Their matrimonial ties with the ruler did not save the Zakhar'ins from falling out of favour after the 1553 dynastic crisis. The wide admission to the upper strata of the court apparently facilitated a certain social mobility at court. This situation was favourable for such functionaries as the courtier Aleksei Fedorovich Adashev and the secretary Ivan Mikhailovich Viskovatyi. They did not belong to the highest strata of the elite, but actively contributed to the running of the polity. Adashev had enough authority to revise the official genealogical records in favour of his clan. He was also involved in writing the official chronicle. Though his role in the 1550s government may be exaggerated in later sources, it is obvious that Adashev was a very important figure of the day.[104]

Limited and inconsistent as they were, the reforms allowed Ivan to reach a certain degree of consolidation of his realm and to pursue an aggressive policy towards his neighbours. With the taking of the Tatar states of Kazan' (1552) and Astrakhan' (1556), Ivan acquired vast territories populated with a multi-ethnic, predominantly Muslim population with distinctive cultural and economic traditions. The conquest was thus a major step in turning Ivan's realm into a multi-ethnic empire. By annexing the khanates, the tsar estab­lished control ofthe Volga waterway and gained access to the Caspian Sea and the markets of Iran. The official propaganda presented the conquest of the Tatar states as a triumph of militant Orthodoxy over the infidels. Conquering the Kazan' and Astrakhan' khanates, which the Muscovite political tradition saw as tsardoms, also contributed to the legitimisation of Ivan's assumption of the title of tsar. The ruling circles used a variety of methods of integration in the annexed territories, including the use of violence against the rebellious, Chris- tianisation, which, however, was not very deep or systematic, incorporation of the loyal local elite into the tsar's court and giving the annexed territories special status in the administrative system.[105]

The victory over Kazan' triggered the expansion of Muscovy into Siberia. After the taking of Kazan', the Siberian khan acknowledged the suzerainty of Ivan IV and became his tributary. The ruling circles employed the entrepreneurial merchant family of Stroganovs for the colonisation of Siberia. The annexation of Astrakhan' enabled Muscovy to increase its presence in the North Caucasus. Ivan's marriage to Mariia Kuchenei of Kabarda, mentioned above, was part of this policy.[106]

The conquering of the lands of Kazan' and Astrakhan' escalated the tension between Muscovy and the powerful Muslim states of Crimea and Turkey. The Crimean khan saw Kazan' as a hereditary possession of his dynasty. The Turkish sultan, in his turn, was particularly concerned about Muscovy's penetration of the North Caucasus. Despite somewhat different political perspectives, these powerful states concluded a union against Muscovy and jointly attacked Astrakhan' in 1569. Thanks to the protective measures of the Russian side, its diplomatic manoeuvring and the logistical miscalculations of the Turkish commanders, the campaign failed.[107] Despite the failure, the Crimean khan continued his aggressive policy towards Muscovy. He devastated Moscow in 1571, but Ivan's commanders inflicted a defeat on him at the Battle of Molodi in 1572. This victory halted the revanchist plans of the Crimean khan.

Ivan IV failed to avoid simultaneous involvement in military conflicts on several fronts. Without settling the conflict in the south, he launched a war against his western neighbour, Livonia, in 1558. Historians traditionally inter­pret the Livonian war (1558-83) in geopolitical terms, asserting that Ivan was looking for a passage to the Baltic Sea to expand overseas trade. Revisionists explain the war's origins in terms of Ivan's short-term interest in getting trib­ute to replenish his treasury. They note that the geopolitical interpretations of the Livonian war are somewhat anachronistic and marked by economic determinism. The widely accepted view that the tsar began the war to gain access to the Baltic Sea derives from the Livonian and Polish sources. At the same time, there are no Muscovite sources corroborating the idea that the Muscovite authorities aspired to develop their own commercial and transport infrastructure in the Baltic region.[108]

The Muscovite ruling circles showed no intention of escalating the military operation in Livonia after a series of victories in the late 1550s. The situation, however, dramatically changed in the early 1560s when the Polish-Lithuanian state, Sweden and Denmark partitioned Livonia and became directly involved in the ongoing struggle. The main opponents of Muscovy, Poland and Lithua­nia, considerably strengthened their political and military resources when they united into a single monarchy by concluding the Union of Lublin in 1569. From 1579, Stefan Batory of Poland and Lithuania, an energetic politician and gifted commander, repulsed Muscovite forces and invaded the Novgorod and Pskov regions. In the last stage of the war, the Swedes captured a number of Muscovite strongholds along the coast of the Gulf of Finland. The Livonian war only resulted in human and material losses for Muscovy.

In his deliberate search for allies, Ivan actively supported commercial rela­tions between Muscovy and England by granting generous privileges to English merchants. The English were interested in furs and a number of Muscovite commodities required for shipbuilding (timber, rope fibres, tallow, tar). Muscovites, in turn, benefited from English supplies ofarmaments, non- precious metals, clothes and luxury items. The tsar's attempts to conclude a political union with Elizabeth I of England were, however, in vain.

Muscovy's growing involvement in international affairs and the greater complexity of its social and administrative structures put increasing strain on the limited political resources of the monarchy. By the mid-1560s, Ivan's fears of court feuds and his failures in Western policy were added to his constant trepidation about his family.[109] In his search for security, Ivan left Moscow with his family and took up residence at Aleksandrovskaia Sloboda, north-east of

Moscow, in December 1564. Aleksandrovskaia Sloboda, which was founded by Vasilii III, was the largest grand-princely residence in the countryside. It was designed as an isolated fortified stronghold and as a place of pilgrimage. The site included a cathedral, one of the biggest in the country, and a palace with late Gothic architectural features. Despite the Western borrowings, the overall design ofthe residence was archaic even for the times of Vasilii III.[110] Ivan IV thus chose for his refuge a very conservative spatial environment. Having settled at Aleksandrovskaia Sloboda, he accused his old court of treason and the clerics of covering up for the traitors. The tsar demanded the right to punish his enemies. He divided the territory of his realm, his court and the administration into two: the oprichnina (from 'oprich", 'separate') under the tsar's personal control; and the zemshchina (from 'zemlia', 'land'), officially under the rule of those boyars who stayed in Moscow.

The ideology of the oprichnina was never fully articulated. Ivan surely cap­italised on the political ideas of the 1550s about anarchy prevailing during the boyar rule.[111] It is also very probable that the concept of the divine nature of Ivan's power, which received its final shape in the early 1560s, also played a major part in the formation of the oprichnina. The official chronicle stresses that God guided Ivan on his way out of Moscow.[112] Priscilla Hunt interprets the semiotic behaviour of Ivan during the oprichnina as an extreme manifes­tation of the official ideology of sacred kingship. According to Hunt, the cult of Holy Wisdom, which embodied the severity and meekness of Christ, was particularly relevant to Ivan's policy in the 1560s.[113] Ivan indeed paid special attention to his campaigns against places that sported cathedrals dedicated to the cult, in particular against Polotsk in 1562 and Novgorod in 1570. The official propaganda and court rituals presented these campaigns as acts of restoring Orthodoxy in the towns and protecting their holy churches from heretics and traitors.[114]

The idea that Ivan acted as an exclusive judge, treating his subjects with awe and mercy, like God, may explain why the oprichnina policy was a pecu­liar combination of bloody terror and acts of public reconciliation. During the oprichnina, numerous executions, which, according to the incomplete offi­cial records, took the lives of more than 3,000 people, were often followed by amnesties. The mass exile of around 180 princes and cavalrymen to Kazan' and the confiscation of their lands (1565) were counterbalanced when they were pardoned and their property was partially restored. In 1566, in the middle ofthe oprichnina terror, the tsar convened a large gathering, the so-called 'Assembly of the Land' (zemskii sobor), of his elite servitors, provincial cavalrymen, the clergy and the merchants to discuss whether he should continue the Livonian war. Many scholars see this meeting as an 'estate-representative' institution, on the lines of a Western Parliament, which provided representation for var­ious social groups. Others note that the participants did not represent their local communities or estates (sosloviia) because there were no elections to the assembly.[115] Judging by the surviving document of the meeting, its members indeed saw themselves primarily as servitors of the tsar rather than delegates of constituencies. They interacted with the monarchy in a rather traditional manner by expressing support for the policy of the ruler and swearing an oath of allegiance to him, like many courtiers had done before.[116]

The oprichnina has received various interpretations in the literature. Some historians have seen it as a conscious struggle among certain social groups, others suggest that it was an irrational outcome of Ivan's mental illness. Hunt and A. L. Iurganov offer cultural explanations of the oprichnina which do not exclude the possibility that Ivan's personality deeply affected his policy. Since the oprichnina involved a peculiar symbolism that alluded to the tsar and his oprichniki as punitive instruments of divine wrath, Iurganov explains the oprich­nina in terms of possible eschatological expectations and imitations of biblical descriptions of the Heavenly Kingdom.[117] This interpretation is in accord with the complex symbolism of a military banner ordered by Ivan shortly before the oprichnina,in 1559 / 60. The images of Christ, the Archangel Michael and St John the Apostle, and quotations from the Book of Revelation that are reproduced in the banner allude to the tsar waging the final battle with cosmic evil (see

Plate 13).75 Judging by a contemporary provincial chronicle which parallels the rule of Ivan with an apocalyptic kingdom, such eschatological imagery may have found a response among Ivan's cultured subjects.76

The oprichnina affected various local communities in different ways. The authorities deported non-oprichnina servitors from the oprichnina lands and granted their estates to the oprichniki, but the extent of these forced resettle­ments remains unclear. Despite such relocations, the oprichnina did not deprive provincial cavalrymen of room for manoeuvre. It might take the authorities a year and a half to begin relocating cavalrymen from a region included in the oprichnina. During this period many local cavalrymen managed to obtain tax exemptions from the central authorities and to secure possession of desir­able lands in their new places of residence. Furthermore, some of them did not go to specified destinations, but to places chosen because of ties of kin­ship (dlia rodstva). In these cases, the authorities accepted their wishes.77 The zemshchina territories bore the heavy financial burden of funding the organisa­tion and actions of the oprichnina; some zemshchina communities were pillaged and devastated. In early i570, the tsar and his oprichniki sacked Novgorod, where they slaughtered between 3,000 and 15,000 people. At the same time, the lower-ranking inhabitants of Moscow escaped Ivan's disgrace and forced resettlements. For taxpayers in the remote north, the establishment of the oprichnina mostly meant a change of payee.

The tsar abolished the oprichnina in 1572 after its troops proved to be ineffec­tive during a devastating Tatar raid on Moscow. Nevertheless, he returned to the practice of dividing his court during the 'rule' of Simeon Bekbulatovich in the mid-i570s. This episode shows how the growing complexity of the ethnic composition of the tsar's court affected Ivan's dynastic policy. The increas­ing involvement of Muscovy in Eastern diplomacy resulted in the growing presence of Tatar servitors in Muscovy. Starting from the times of Vasilii III, Tatar dignitaries descending from Chingis Khan (Chingisids) occupied very prominent positions at the court of the grand prince of Moscow. In accordance with the traditional Muscovite practice, these elite Tatar servitors received the title of tsar. Thanks to their mobility and military skill, Tatar forces led by the

75 Lukian Iakovlev, DrevnostiRossiiskogogosudarstva. DopolneniekIIIotdeleniiu.Russkiestarin- nye znamena (Moscow: Sinodal'naia tipografiia, 1865), pp. 8-10; D. Strukov and I. Popov, Risunki k izdaniiu 'Russkie starinnye znamena' Lukiana Iakovleva (Moscow: Khromoli- tografiia V Bakhman, 1865).

76 The Stroev copy of the third Pskov Chronicle, dating to the 1560s: Pskovskie letopisi, ed. A. N. Nasonov, vol. ii (Moscow: ANSSSR, 1955; reprintedMoscow: Iazyki russkoikul'tury, 2000), p. 23i.

77 See V N. Kozliakov, 'Novyi dokument ob oprichnykh pereseleniiakh', in Arkhiv russkoi istorii 7 (Moscow: Drevlekhranilishche, 2002): 197-211.

Chingisids became important elements of the tsar's army operating on the western front.[118]

By the mid-i570s, only one of such Tatar tsars, the baptised Tatar Khan Simeon Bekbulatovich, was alive. He actively participated in the tsar's cam­paigns and became Ivan IV's nephew by marriage. In i575, Ivan unexpectedly installed Simeon on the Muscovite throne in his stead. For a year, Simeon was a nominal ruler as grand prince of Moscow. Scholars usually see this bizarre act as Ivan's attempt at abdication, a cultural experiment or a political parody. According to the Soviet historian A. A. Zimin, Ivan IV was planning to pass on the throne to Simeon.[119] The historian justly focuses on the close relations between the Muscovite dynasty and the descendants of Chingis Khan, but he seems to underestimate such an essential element of dynastic policy as Simeon's title. In the second half of the 1560s, Ivan IV himself bestowed on Simeon the title of tsar.[120] Given his pedigree and title, Simeon could indeed become a pretender for the Muscovite throne, something which apparently caused Ivan's suspicion in the intense political situation of the mid-i570s. At the same time, Ivan could not resort to violence in his dealings with Simeon because of his title of tsar. The use of violence against the bearer of the title would compromise the idea of the divine origin of the tsar's power. This is why Ivan consistently lowered Simeon's status in the dynastic hierarchy. First he made Simeon grand prince of Moscow and shortly after that, grand prince of Tver'.[121] The episode with Simeon thus seems to be an elaborate means of precluding a possible Chingisid succession to the throne.

At the end of Ivan's reign, Muscovy's human and economic resources were exhausted. The Livonian war, the oprichnina, famines and epidemics led to human losses and the country's economic decline. The economic crisis was especially grave in the Novgorod region, which was devastated during the war and the oprichnina. The population of the region fell by more than 80 per cent in the early i580s when compared to the mid-sixteenth century. The economic hardship caused many peasants to flee to the periphery of the realm. By the end of Ivan's reign, peasants had abandoned 70-98 per cent of arable land throughout the country. The authorities sought to stop this practice by limiting the mobility of the peasants at the end of Ivan's reign. Irregular at

first, such measures later resulted in the establishment of serfdom in Russia.


Was Ivan IV's reign important in a long-term perspective? The traditional view is that Ivan created a centralised state which assumed control over its subjects through the political regime of autocracy. Historians also often juxtapose the first half of Ivan's reign, which was a period of reforms, to the second one, when he unleashed a campaign of terror. Recent studies with their accent on continuities, localities, minorities and informal relations within the elite argue that Ivan's regime remained medieval and personal. Ivan and his advisers did indeed use some traditional forms of dynastic and court policies. It is also clear now that the social and political structure of the Muscovite polity under Ivan IV never was as homogenous as the notion of a 'centralised state' implies.

Nevertheless, Ivan changed Muscovy. The period from the end of the 1540s to the early 1560s was formative for Ivan's reign. The royal family received a new status during a multi-phase transformation of the concept of its power, which began with Ivan's coronation as tsar and culminated in turning him into a sacred figure. The 1550s policy of reconciliation also contributed to the strengthening of the dynasty. Capitalising on the commonly agreed reinter- pretation of the period of boyar rule, the monarchy articulated its central role in Muscovite politics. The elite became carefully arranged in a rank order; the functionaries received clearly defined procedures and forms of documents. Thanks to these reforms, the sovereign's court, the chancellery system and the local administration turned into complex organisations which facilitated the functioning of the military-fiscal state.[122]

Ivan valued the political and organisational instruments that he received in the 1550s. It is true that his policy later became extravagant and unpredictable, probably as a result of mental illness. Ivan's transgressions, however, were not signs of full debility, because they had their own logic which was based on the ideas formulated in the 1550s: the divine sanction for the tsar's power, and precluding the boyars from restoring their rule, which could lead to anarchy.

Despite the notorious experiments with his court, Ivan never relinquished his title of tsar and was obsessed with bequeathing it to his heir. It is obvi­ous that Ivan exaggerated, if not imagined, various threats to his power and to his family. This is why much of Ivan's characteristic activity was in fact defensive. However erratic his dynastic policy was, Ivan eventually succeeded in its implementation, since he secured the succession of power for one of his sons despite all the tragic events in the family. The assumption and active propaganda of the title of tsar, transgressions and sudden changes in policy during the oprichnina contributed to the image of the Muscovite prince as a ruler accountable only to God. Though succeeding Muscovite rulers never went to the extremes reached by Ivan, they benefited from the idea of the divine nature of the power of the Russian monarch which crystallised during Ivan's reign.

How far was Ivan personally in charge of policy during his long reign? The relationship between the ruler and his counsellors was complex and varied according to circumstances. Ivan the boy surely depended on his mentors. At the same time, all evidence of the influence of one or another courtier on the adult ruler should be treated with caution, because passages about good and evil advisers are commonplaces in the literary and documentary sources. At the height of the terror, Ivan could subject every courtier to suspicion and punishment.[123] Ivan's reign thus revealed the vulnerability of the social and legal mechanisms for personal protection when confronted by authorities exceeding the political system's normal level of violence.

Ivan was also generally successful in integrating various territories into a single state. Despite the failure in the Livonian war, his regime had enough political, military, economic and cultural resources to annex large territories. Ivan's state also sustained its presence in the provinces and accommodated localism. The centre established in the provinces a local government system which was based on a combination of centrally appointed and locally elected officials. Despite later modifications, this form oflocal administrationprovedto be functional and durable. Ivan left to his successors a devastated but coherent state that retained its territorial integrity even in spite of the stormy events of the Time of Troubles. As a result of Ivan's rule, Muscovy became a self- sufficient polity at an immensely high price.



A. A. Zalizniak, 'Novgorodskie berestianye gramoty s lingvisticheskoi tochki zreniia', in V L. Ianin and A. A. Zalizniak, Novgorodskie gramoty nabereste (iz raskopok 1977-1983 gg.) (Moscow: Nauka, 1986), pp. 89-121.



Novgorodskaia pervaia letopis' starshego i mladshego izvodov (Moscow and Leningrad: AN SSSR, 1950), p. 106.



PSRL, vol. II (St Petersburg: Tipografiia M. A. Aleksandrova, 1908), col. 14.



E. N. Nosov, Novgorodskoe (Riurikovo) Gorodishche (Leningrad: Nauka, 1990).



Gramoty Velikogo Novgoroda i Pskova (Moscow and Leningrad: AN SSSR, 1949), nos. 1-3, pp. 9-13.



V L. Ianin, Uistokovnovgorodskoigosudarstvennosti (Velikii Novgorod: Novgorodskii gosu- darstvennyi universitet, 2001).



V L. Ianin, 'Kniaginia Ol'gai problema stanovleniiaNovgoroda', Drevnosti Pskova. Arkhe- ologiia. Istoriia. Arkhitektura (Pskov: Pskovskii gosudarstvennyi ob"edinennyi istoriko- arkhitekturnyi i khudozhestvennyi muzei-zapovednik, 2000), pp. 22-5.



V L. Ianin and M. Kh. Aleshkovskii, 'Proiskhozhdenie Novgoroda: K postanovke prob- lemy', Istoriia SSSR, 1971, no. 2: 32-61.



PSRL, vol. vi, vyp.i (Moscow: Iazyki russkoi kul'tury 2000), col. 176.



V L. Ianin and A. A. Zalizniak, 'Novgorodskaia psaltyr' nachala XI veka - drevneishaia kniga Rusi', Vestnik Rossiiskoi akademii nauk 71, 3 (2001): 202-9.



V L. Ianin, Novgorodskie posadniki (Moscow: Izdatel'stvo Moskovskogo universiteta, 1962), pp. 54-62.



V L. Ianin, Novgorod i Litva. Pogranichnye situatsii XIII-XV vekov (Moscow: Izdatel'stvo Moskovskogo universiteta, 1998).



Ianin, Uistokovnovgorodskoigosudarstvennosti, pp. 6-30.



V L. Ianin, Novgorodskaia feodal'naia votchina (Istoriko-genealogicheskoe issledovanie) (Moscow: Nauka, 1981), pp. 200-57.



Ianin, Novgorodskieposadniki.



Freski Spasa-Nereditsy (Leningrad, 1925).



B. A. Kolchin, A. S. Khoroshev and V L. Ianin, Usad'banovgorodskogo khudozhnikaXII v. (Moscow: Nauka, 1981).



A. A. Gippius, 'Kattributsiinovgorodskikhkratiroviikony "Znamenie"',Novgorodi Nov- gorodskaiazemlia.Istoiiiaiarkheologiia,vyp. 13 (Novgorod: Novgorodskiigosudarstvennyi ob" edinennyi muzei-zapovednik, 1999), pp. 379-94.



V L. Ianin, 'K khronologii i topografii ordynskogo pokhoda na Novgorod v 1238 g.', Issledovaniiapo istorii i istoriografii feodalizma (Moscow: Nauka, 1982), pp. 146-58.



V L. Ianin, 'Monastyri srednevekovogo Novgoroda v strukture gosudarstvennykh insti- tutov', POLYTROPON: k 70-letiiu V. N. Toporova (Moscow: Indrik, 1998), pp. 911-22.



Ianin, Novgorodskieposadniki.



Ianin, Novgorod i Litva.



Ianin, Novgorodskie posadniki.



V L. Ianin, 'Bor'ba Novgorodai Moskvy za Dvinskie zemli v50-kh - 70-kh gg. XV v.', IZ 108 (1982): 189-214.



E. A. Rybina, Inozemnye dvory v Novgorode XII-XVII vv. (Moscow: Izdatel'stvo Moskovskogo universiteta, 1986).



The second Sofiia Chronicle contains a warning from Iona, the archbishop of Novgorod, to the Novgorodians not to kill Vasilii II upon his visit there in 1460 because 'his eldest son, Prince Ivan . . . will ask for an army from the khan and march against you': PSRL, vol. vi.2 (Moscow: Iazyki russkoi kul'tury, 2001), col. 131. Although the khans had stopped sending forces to aid the Muscovite grand prince after 1406, the notion that the grand prince could theoretically call on such troops apparently still existed fifty-four years later.



See Donald Ostrowski, 'Muscovite Adaptation of Steppe Political Institutions', Kritika 1 (2000): 288-9.



V E. Syroechkovskii, 'Puti i usloviia snoshenii Moskvy s Krymom na rubezhe XVI veka', Izvestiia AN SSSR. Otdelenie obshchestvennykh nauk, no. 3 (1932): 200-2 and map. See also Janet Martin, 'Muscovite Relations with the Khanate of Kazan' and the Crimea (1460s to 1521)', CASS 17 (1983): 442.



Richard Hellie, Slavery in Russia 1450-1725 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982),

p. 15.



Ibid., p. 462, table 14.1.



Ibid., p. 395.



See my 'The Extraordinary Career of Tsarevich Kudai Kul/Peter in the Context of Relations between Muscovy and Kazan'', in Janusz Duzinkiewicz, Myroslav Popovych, Vladyslav Verstiuk and Natalia Yakovenko (eds.), States, Societies, Cultures: East and West. Essays in Honor ofJaroslaw Pelenski (New York: Ross Publishing, 2004), pp. 697-719.



On this point, see A. A. Zimin, 'Ivan Groznyi i Simeon Bekbulatovich v 1575 g.', Uchenye zapiski Kazanskogo gosudarstvennogo pedagogicheskogo universiteta 80: Iz istorii Tatari 4 (1970): 146-7; A. A. Zimin, Rossiia naporoge novogo vremeni (Ocherki politicheskoi istorii Rossii pervoi treti XVI v.) (Moscow: Mysl', 1972), p. 99; A. A. Zimin, V kanun groznykh potriasenii. Predposylki pervoi Krest'ianskoi voiny vRossii (Moscow: Mysl', 1986), p. 25.



PSRL, vol. v.i (Moscow: Iazyki russkoi kul'tury 2000), p. 103.



PSRL, vol. xv.2 (Moscow: Iazyki russkoi kul'tury 2000), cols. 476-7.



Sudebniki XV-XVIvekov, ed. B. D. Grekov (Moscow and Leningrad: AN SSSR, 1952), p. 19. The Sudebnik of 1550 begins similarly: 'In the year 7058, in the month ofJune, Tsar and Grand Prince of All Rus' Ivan Vasil'evich, with his kinsmen and boyars, issued this Code of Law': Sudebniki XV-XVI vekov, p. 141. The Sudebnik of 1589 (long redaction) includes



See my 'A "Fontological" Investigation of the Muscovite Church Council of 1503', unpub­lished Ph.D. dissertation, Pennsylvania State University 1977 (Ann Arbor: UMI, I977,AAT 7723262); and my '500 let spustia. Tserkovnyi Sobor 1503 g.', Palaeoslavica 11 (2003): 214-39.



He accused Zosima of being sympathetic to the heretics and of engaging in sodomy. The only contemporary evidence for Zosima's dismissal comes from the second Sofiia Chronicle, which refers simply to hisbeingan alcoholic and thereby neglectingthe Church: PSRL, vol. vi. 2, col. 341.



Iosif Volotskii, Prosvetitel', ili oblichenie eresi zhidovstvuiushchikh, 3rd edn, ed. A. Volkov (Kazan': Tipografiia Imperatorskogo universiteta, 1896), pp. 547, 287.



See my Muscovy and the Mongols: Cross-CulturalInfluences on the Steppe Frontier (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 203-7.



N. A. Kazakova and Ia. S. Lur'e, Antifeodal'nye ereticheskie dvizheniia na Rusi XIV-nachala XVIveka (Moscow and Leningrad: AN SSSR, 1955), p. 385.



Iu. G. Alekseev and A. I. Kopanev, 'Razvitie pomestnoi sistemy vXVI v.', in Dvorianstvo i krepostnoi stroi Rossii XVI-XVIII vv. Sbornik statei, posviashchennyi pamiati Alekseia Andree- vichaNovosel'skogo, ed. N. I. Pavlenko et al. (Moscow: Nauka, 1975), p. 59; A. Ia. Degtiarev 'O mobilizatsii pomestnykh zemel' v XVI v.', in Iz istorii feodal'noi Rossii. Stat'i i ocherki k 70-letiiu so dnia rozhdeniia prof. V. V. Mavrodina, ed. A. Ia. Degtiarev et al. (Leningrad: Izdatel'stvo Leningradskogo universiteta, 1978), pp. 85-9; V. B. Kobrin, 'Stanovlenie pomestnoi sistemy', IZ 105 (1980), 151-2; V B. Kobrin, Vlast' i sobstvennost' v srednevekovoi Rossii (XV-XVI vv.) (Moscow: Mysl', 1985), pp. 92-3; and my 'Early pomest'e Grants as a Historical Source', Oxford Slavonic Papers 33 (2000): 36-63.



Kobrin, 'Stanovlenie', 180; and Kobrin, Vlast' i sobstvennost', p. 134.



See my 'The Military Land Grant along the Muslim-Christian Frontier', RH 19 (1992): 327-59; and 'Errata', RH21 (1994): 249-50.



For a list of steppe influences on Muscovy, see table 2 in Ostrowski, 'Muscovite Adapta­tion', 295.



Herberstein, Notes, vol. I, pp. 108-9.



It has been suggested that the dynastic crisis of the late i490s, in which a number of the Patrikeevs were arrested and disgraced, was the result of an attempt on the part of other boyars to reduce their power: Nancy Shields Kollmann, 'Consensus Politics: The Dynastic Crisis of the 1490s Reconsidered', RR 45 (1986): 235-67.



The estimate is N. P. Zagoskin's as reported in M. F. Vladimirskii-Budanov, Obzor istorii russkogo prava, 3rd edn. (Kiev: N. Ia. Ogloblin, 1900), p. 135, n. 1.



Dukhovnye i dogovornyegramoty, p. 362.



See Oswald P. Backus, Motives of West Russian Nobles in Deserting Lithuania for Moscow, 1377-1514 (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1957), p. 98, where he provides thirteen reasons given in the sources for Lithuanian nobles going over to Muscovy between 1481 and 1500. The most prominent Lithuanians to join Muscovite service were the Gediminovich princes Fedor Ivanovich Bel'skii, Mikhail L'vovich Glinskii and Dmitrii Fedorovich Vorotynskii.



Oswald P. Backus, 'Treason as a Concept and Defections from Moscow to Lithuania in the Sixteenth Century', FOG 15 (1970): 119-44.



See my 'Troop Mobilization by the Muscovite Grand Princes (1313-1533)', in Eric Lohr and Marshall Poe (eds.), The Military and Society in Russia, 1450-1917 (Leiden: Brill, 2002), pp. 37-9; see also Craig Gayen Kennedy, 'The Juchids of Muscovy: A Study of Personal Ties between Emigre Tatar Dynasts and the Muscovite Grand Princes in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries', unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Harvard University, 1994 (Ann Arbor: UMI, 1994, AAT 9520971).



D. P. Golokhvastov and Archimandrite Leonid, 'Blagoveshchenskii ierei Sil'vestr i ego poslaniia', ChOIDR 1874, kn. 1, pp. 71-2. This work, in the form of a letter addressed to Ivan IV is generally attributed either to Metropolitan Makarii or to the priest Sil'vestr.



For more on this 'ideological package', see my Muscovy and the Mongols, pp. 135-98.



A. L. Iurganov, 'Politicheskaiabor'bav30-e gg. XVI veka',IstoriiaSSSR, I988,no. 2:106-12.



See PSRL, vol. xiii (Moscow: Iazyki russkoi kul'tury, 2000), p. 104, left column.



The present design of the palace is a result of seventeenth-century renovations. See S. S. Pod"iapol'skii, G. S. Evdokimov, E. I. Ruzaeva, A. V Iaganov and D. E. Iakovlev, 'Novye dannye o Kremlevskom dvortse rubezhaXV-XVI vv.', in A. L. Batalov et al. (eds.), Drevnerusskoe iskusstvo. Russkoe iskusstvo pozdnego srednevekov'ia, XVI vek (St Petersburg: Dmitrii Bulanin, 2003), pp. 51-98.



Ivan later reproduced a similar spatial arrangement in his residence in Kolomna in 1577. See I. E. Zabelin, Domashnii byt russkikh tsarei i tsarits v XVI i XVII stoletiiakh, vol. iii: Materialy (Moscow: Iazyki russkoi kul'tury, 2003), p. 458 (first pagination).



See PSRL, vol. xiii, p. 104, left column.



On variousinterpretations ofPrince Iurii Vasil'evich's position towards the grand-princely family in the tendentious official chronicles, see PSRL, vol. xiii, pp. 77-8, 90. On Iurii, see also M. M. Krom, 'Sud'ba regentskogo soveta pri maloletnem Ivane IV Novye dannye o vnutripoliticheskoi bor'be kontsa 1533-1534 goda', Otechestvennaia istoriia, 1996, no. 5: 40-2.



SGGD, vol. i (Moscow: Tipografiia N. S. Vsevolozhskogo, 1813), pp. 451-2.



On Andrei's rebellion, see 1.1. Smirnov, OcherkipoliticheskoiistoriiRusskogogosudarstva 30- jokhgodovXVIveka (Moscow and Leningrad: AN SSSR, 1958), pp. 56-74; A. L. Iurganov, 'Staritskii miatezh', VI, 1985, no. 2: 100-10.



There is no scholarly publication of the results of the autopsy to date. The main results of the autopsy can be found in a popular article: Denis Babichenko, 'Kremlevskie tainy: 33-i element', Itogi, no. 37 (327), 17 September 2002: 36-9.



See Andrei Pavlov and Maureen Perrie, Ivan the Terrible (Harlow: Longman, 2003), p. 29.



M. M. Krom believes that the main reason for the crisis was the minority ofthe ruler. See his 'Politicheskii krizis 30-40kh godov XVI veka. Postanovka problemy', Otechestvennaia istoriia.,1998, no. 5: 13,15.



See N. S. Vladimirskaia (ed.), Orel i lev. Rossiia i Shvetsiia v XVII veke. Katalog vystavki. Gosudarstvennyi istoricheskii muzei, 4.04-1.07.2001 (Moscow: Gosudarstvennyi istorich- eskii muzei, 2001), pp. 56-7, no. 3.



See Nancy Shields Kollmann, 'The Grand Prince in Muscovite Politics: The Problem of Genre in Sources on Ivan's Minority', RH 14 (1987): 293-313.



PSRL, vol. viii (St Petersburg: Tipografiia Eduarda Pratsa, 1859; reprinted Moscow: Iazyki russkoi kul'tury, 2001), pp. 297-301; Pskovskieletopisi, ed. A. N. Nasonov, vol. i (Moscow and Leningrad: AN SSSR, 1941; reprintedDiisseldorfand The Hague: Briicken-VerlagGMBH, Europe Printing, 1967), p. 110; Sbornik Imperatorskogo Russkogo istoricheskogo obshchestva, vol. Lix (St Petersburg: Tipografiia F. Eleonskogo i K., 1887), pp. 33, 34, 37, 43-4, 66-7, 95. I am grateful to Charles J. Halperin for these references.



On Makarii, see Arkhimandrit Makarii (Veretennikov), Zhizn'i trudy sviatiteliaMakariia, mitropolita Moskovskogo i vseia Rusi (Moscow: Izdatel'skii sovet Russkoi pravoslavnoi tserkvi, 2002).



PSRL, vol. xiii, p. 450.



SeeKrom, 'Politicheskiikrizis', i3;A.L.Khoroshkevich,Rossiiavsistememezhdunarodnykh otnosheniiseredinyXVIveka(Moscow: Drevlekhranilishche, 2003), p. 65; Pavlov and Perrie, Ivan, p. 41.



See Hugh F. Graham, 'PaulJuusten's Mission to Muscovy', RH13 (1986): 44, 89; Jerome Horsey, 'Travels', in Lloyd E. Berry and Robert O. Crummey (eds.), Rude and Barbarous Kingdom. Russia in the Accounts of Sixteenth-Century English Voyagers (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1968), pp. 279-80; Khoroshkevich, Rossiia, p. 275.



See David B. Miller, 'Creating Legitimacy: Ritual, Ideology, and Power in Sixteenth- Century Russia', RH 21 (1994): 298-302; Pavlov and Perrie, Ivan, pp. 34-6.



See Jaroslaw Pelenski, 'The Origins of the Official Muscovite Claims to the "Kievan Inheritance"', HUS1 (1977): 29-52; A. L. Khoroshkevich, 'Tsarskii titul Ivana IV i boiarskii "miatezh" 1553 goda', Otechestvennaia istoriia, 1994, no. 3: 23-42.



For earlier versions of the description of the coronation, see PSRL, vols. xiii, pp. 150-1; xxix (Moscow: Nauka, 1965), pp. 49-50. On the missing elements of the ritual, see A. P. Bogdanov, 'Chiny venchaniia rossiiskikh tsarei', in B. A. Rybakov et al. (eds.), Kul'tura srednevekovoi Moskvy XIV-XVIIvv. (Moscow: Nauka, 1995), p. 217; B. A. Uspenskii, Tsar' i patriarkh:KharismavlastivRossii. Vizantiiskaia model' i ee russkoepereosmyslenie (Moscow: Iazyki russkoi kul'tury, I998), pp. I09-I3 (includes a review ofthe historiography).



Daniel Rowland, 'Did Muscovite Literary Ideology Place Limits on the Power ofthe Tsar, 1540s-1660s?', RR 49 (1990): 125-55; Sergei Bogatyrev The Sovereign andhis Counsellors: Rit­ualised Consultations inMuscovite Political Culture, i3jos-ijjos (Helsinki: Finnish Academy ofScience and Letters, 2000), pp. 38-98.



Nancy Shields Kollmann, Kinship and Politics. The Making of the Muscovite Political System, 1345-1547 (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1987), pp. 121-45,174.



See V D. Nazarov, 'Svadebnye dela XVI veka', VI, 1976, no. 10:118-20.



Carolyn Johnston Pouncy,' "The blessed Sil'vestr" and the Politics of Invention in Mus­covy, 1545-1700', HUS 19 (1995): 548-72.



E. B. Emchenko, Stoglav. Issledovanie i tekst (Moscow: Indrik, 2000), p. 246.



Emchenko, Stoglav, p. 242.



On the literacy of Vasilii III and Andrei of Staritsa, see V V Kalugin, Andrei Kurbskii i Ivan Groznyi. Teoreticheskie vzgliady i literaturnaia tekhnika drevnerusskogo pisatelia (Moscow: Iazyki russkoi kul'tury, 1998), pp. 138-9.



See I. Gralia(Hieronim Grala), IvanMikhailovViskovattyi:Kar'eragosudarstvennogo deiatelia vRossii XVI v. (Moscow: Radiks, 1994), pp. 136-8. Dmitrii died in an accident shortly after the crisis.



See Smirnov, Ocherki, pp. 194-202; S. O. Shmidt, 'Mitropolit Makarii i pravitel'stvennaia deiatel'nost' ego vremeni', in S. O. Shmidt, Rossiia Ivana Groznogo (Moscow: Nauka, 1999), pp. 239-45; Makarii (Veretennikov), Zhizn', pp. 143-54.



Uspenskii, Tsar', pp. 20, 109-13; Khoroshkevich, Rossiia, pp. 66, 186-8, 288-9, 348; A.S. Mel'nikova, Russkie monety ot Ivana Groznogo do Petra Velikogo. Istoriia russkoi denezhnoi sistemy s 1533 po 1682 god (Moscow: Finansy i statistika, 1989), p. 41.



David B. Miller, 'The Velikie Minei Chetii and the Stepennaia Kniga of Metropolitan Makarii and the Origins of Russian National Consciousness', FOG 26 (1979), 263-382.



D. S. Likhachev and Ia. S. Lur'e (eds.), Poslaniia Ivana Groznogo (Moscow and Leningrad: AN SSSR, 1951); J. L. I. Fennell (ed. and trans.), The Correspondence between Prince Kurbsky and Tsar Ivan IV ofRussin (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1955).



See Edward L. Keenan, The Kurbskii-Groznyi Apocrypha. The Seventeenth-Century Genesis ofthe 'Correspondence' Attributed to Prince A. M. Kurbskii and Tsar Ivan IV, with an appendix by Daniel C. Waugh (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1971). See also Charles J. Halperin's review article, 'Edward Keenan and the Kurbskii-Groznyi Correspondence in Hindsight', and Keenan's response, both inJGO 46 (1998): 376-415.



For a list of books from the tsar's private treasury, see 'Opis' domashnemu imushch- estvu tsaria Ivana Vasil'evicha, po spiskam i knigam 90 i 91 godov', in Vremennik Impera- torskogo Moskovskogo obshchestva istorii i drevnostei rossiiskikh 7 (Moscow: Universitetskaia tipografiia, 1850), smes': 6-7. The list is incomplete as it is part of an inventory of items that were missing from the treasury after the death of Ivan IV See G. V Zhari- nov, 'O proiskhozhdenii tak nazyvaemoi "Opisi domashnemu imushchestvu tsaria Ivana Vasil'evicha..." ', Arkhivrusskoiistorii 2 (Moscow: Roskomarkhiv, 1992): 179-85. On books donated and borrowed by Ivan, see N. N. Zarubin, Biblioteka Ivana Groznogo. Rekonstruk- tsiia i bibliograficheskoe opisanie, ed. A. A. Amosov (Leningrad: Nauka, Leningradskoe otdelenie, 1982), p. 22.



S. M. Kashtanov 'The Czar's Sinodik of the 1550s', Istoricheskaia Genealogiia/Historical Genealogy 2 (Ekaterinburg and Paris: Yarmarka Press, 1993): 44-67. The patriarch blessed Ivan's assumption of the title of tsar with some reservations in 1560.



S. M. Kashtanov Finansy srednevekovoi Rusi (Moscow: Nauka, 1988), p. 141.



See Razriadnaia kniga 1475-1598 gg., ed. V I. Buganov (Moscow: Nauka, 1966), pp. 127­230; G. S. Evdokimov, E. I. Ruzaeva and D. E. Iakovlev, 'Arkhitekturnaia keramika v dekore Moskovskogo velikokniazheskogo dvortsa v seredine XVI v.', in Batalov et al. (eds.), Drevnerusskoe iskusstvo, p. 126.



SGGD, vol. i, pp. 460-8.



SeeM. M. Gerasimov, 'Dokumental'nyiportret IvanaGroznogo', in Kratkiesoobshcheniia Institutaarkheologii ANSSSR 100 (1965): 139; Babichenko, 'Kremlevskie tainy', 38.



See L. E. Morozova, 'Fedor Ivanovich', VI, 1997, no. 2: 49-71.



Those lands and meadows that were not covered by surveys often remained nameless. See Kashtanov, Finansy, p. 28. Such objects with no names could not have a significant meaning for the local perception of an area.



Mel'nikova, Russkie monety, pp. 14-28.



On the local administration, see N. E. Nosov Ocherki po istorii mestnogo upravleniia Russkogo gosudarstva pervoi poloviny XVI veka (Moscow and Leningrad: AN SSSR, 1957); N. E. Nosov, Stanovleniesoslovno-predstavitel'nykhuchrezhdeniivRossii. Izyskaniiaozemskoi reforme Ivana Groznogo (Leningrad: Nauka, Leningradskoe otdelenie, 1969); Carol B. Stevens, 'Banditry andProvincial Orderin Sixteenth-Century Russia', in Ann M. Kleimola and Gail D. Lenhoff (eds.), Culture and Identity in Muscovy, 1359-1584 (UCLA Slavic Studies, n.s., vol. 3; Moscow: ITZ-Garant, 1997), pp. 578-9; Sergei Bogatyrev, 'Localism and Integration in Muscovy', in Sergei Bogatyrev (ed.), Russia Takes Shape. Patterns of Integration from the Middle Ages to the Present (Helsinki: Finnish Academy of Science and Letters, 2004), pp. 59-127. For a revision of the history of the vicegerent administration, see Brian L. Davies, 'The Town Governors in the Reign of Ivan IV', RH 14 (1987): 77-143; Pashkova, Mestnoe upravlenie.



See Horace W Dewey, 'The 1550 Sudebnik as an Instrument of Reform', JGO 10 (1962): 161-80; Peter B. Brown, 'Muscovite Government Bureaus', RH 10 (1983): 269-330.



On the sovereign's court, see Bogatyrev, Sovereign, pp. 16-26; Pavlov and Perrie, Ivan, pp. 23, 70.



Nancy Shields Kollmann, By Honor Bound. State and Society in Early ModernRussia (Ithaca, N.Y., London: Cornell University Press, 1999), pp. 166-7; S. O. Shmidt, Uistokov rossiiskogo absoliutizma. Issledovanie sotsiah'no-politicheskoi istorii vremeni Ivana Groznogo (Moscow: Progress, i996), pp. 330-80; Ann M. Kleimola, 'Status, Place, and Politics: The Rise of mestnichestvo during the boiarskoe pravlenie', FOG 27 (1980): 195-214. On Ivan's intrusion in mestnichestvo, see A. A. Zimin, Oprichnina (Moscow: Territoriia, 2001), p. 221; Pavlov and Perrie, Ivan, pp. 187-8.



A. N. Grobovsky, The 'Chosen Council' of Ivan IV. A Reinterpretation (New York: Gaus, 1969); A. I. Filiushkin, Istoriia odnoi mistifikatsii. Ivan Groznyi i'IzbrannaiaRada' (Moscow: Voronezhskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 1998).



Boris Floria, Ivan Groznyi, 2nd edn (Moscow: Molodaia gvardiia, 2002), p. 50.



On A. F. Adashev, see D. M. Bulanin, 'Adashev Aleksei Fedorovich', in Slovar' knizhnikov i knizhnostiDrevneiRusi,vyp. 2: VtoraiapolovinaXIV-XVIv. (Leningrad: Nauka, Leningrad- skoe otdelenie, 1988), pt. 1, pp. 8-10; Filiushkin, Istoriia. On I. M. Viskovatyi, see Gralia, Ivan.



AndreasKappeler, TheRussianEmpire:AMultiethnicHistory(Harlow: Longman, 2001), pp. 24-32; M. B. Pliukhanova, Siuzhety i simvolyMoskovskogo tsarstva (St Petersburg: Akropol', 1995), pp. 177-90,199-202.



See Janet Martin, Medieval Russia, 980-1584 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, :995), pp. 354-5; Kappeler, The Russian Empire, pp. 33-6.



See Martin, Medieval Russia, pp. 355-7; Khoroshkevich, Rossiia, pp. 508-14.



See Maureen Perrie, The Cult of Ivan the Terrible in Stalin's Russia (Houndmills: Palgrave, 2001), pp. 89-92; Aleksandr Filiushkin, 'Diskursy Livonskoi voiny', Ab Imperio 4 (2001):




On the role of foreign policy in the establishment of the oprichnina, see Khoroshkevich, Rossiia, p. 416.



V V Kavel'makher, 'Gosudarev dvor v Aleksandrovskoi slobode. Opyt rekonstruktsii', in Iakob Ul'feldt, Puteshestviev Rossiiu, ed. Dzh. Lind and A. L. Khoroshkevich (Moscow: Iazyki slavianskoi kul'tury, 2002), pp. 457-87.



Accusations against boyars who disobeyed Ivan during his minority are prominent in the official account of the establishment of the oprichnina: see PSRL, vol. xiii, p. 392.



PSRL, vol. xiii, p. 392.



See Priscilla Hunt, 'Ivan IV's Personal Mythology of Kingship', SR 52 (1993): 769-809. Hunt believes that the concept of the tsar's power derives directly from Makarii's views, but the process of the formation of this concept could have been multi-phased.



On the Polotsk campaign, see Sergei Bogatyrev, 'Battle for Divine Wisdom. The Rhetoric of Ivan IV's Campaign against Polotsk', in Eric Lohr and Marshall Poe (eds.), The Military and Society inRussia, 1450-1917 (Leiden: Brill, 2002), pp. 325-63. On the Novgorod punitive campaign, see Floria, Ivan, p. 239.



For the historiography of the 1566 zemskii sobor, see Pavlov and Perrie, Ivan, pp. 131-2.



SGGD, vol. I, pp. 545-56. On the practice of swearing an oath of allegiance in Muscovite political culture, see H. W. Dewey and A. M. Kleimola, 'Promise and Perfidy in Old Russian Cross-Kissing', Canadian Slavic Studies 3 (1968): 334.



A. L. Iurganov 'Oprichnina i strashnyi sud', Otechestvennaia istoriia, 1997, no. 3: 52-75; A. L. Iurganov Kategoriirusskoisrednevekovoi kul'tury (Moscow: MIROS, 1998), pp. 382-98.



See Janet Martin, 'Tatars in the Muscovite Army during the Livonian War', in Lohr and Poe (eds.), The Military and Society, pp. 365-87.



A. A. Zimin, V kanun groznykh potriasenii. Predposylki pervoi krest'ianskoi voiny v Rossii (Moscow: Mysl', 1986), p. 27. For a review of the historiography see Pavlov and Perrie, Ivan, pp. 172-3.



A. A. Zimin (ed.), Gosudarstvennyi arkhiv Rossii XVI stoletiia. Opyt rekonstruktsii, vol. iii (Moscow: Institut istorii SSSR, 1978), p. 451.



A later piece of evidence suggesting that Simeon was crowned as tsar in i575 is not reliable, because from i575 till Ivan's death in i584 contemporary working documents refer to Simeon as grand prince. Only after Ivan IV's death was the title of tsar restored to Simeon. See PSRL, vol. xxxiv (Moscow: Nauka, 1978), p. 192; Razriadnaiakniga 1475-1598 g^ p. 363.



On the fiscal-military state, see Jan Glete, War and the State in Early Modern Europe. Spain, the Dutch Republic and Sweden as Fiscal-Military States, 15 00-1660 (London and New York: Routledge, 2002), passim; Chester S. L. Dunning, Russia's First Civil War: The Time of Troubles and the Founding of the Romanov Dynasty (University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2001), p. 19.



See the revealing records of an investigation held by Ivan in S. K. Bogoiavlenskii (ed.), 'Dopros tsarem Ioannom Groznym russkikh plennikov vyshedshikh iz Kryma', in ChOIDR 2 (Moscow: Sinodal'naia tipografiia, 1912), Smes': 26-33.