Article is dealing with how the confessional peculiarities of Protestantism were perceived and qualified by starets Artemiy, a Churchman of Muscovy, who fled from persecutions to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, in the middle of the XVIth century. Analysis of Artemiy’s epistles has resulted in the conclusion that the Protestant doctrine was understood one-sidedly and with great distortions because of the substantial divergences in very confessional languages of Eastern and Western Christian tradition in the XVIth century.
Recent decades have witnessed an increase in the number of works dedicated to the analysis of effects of historical events on the choice of institutions and further economical and social development of regions. This article employs the new institutional economics theory approach to consider the choices regarding title to land and serfdom in Moscovy and Rzeczpospolita (earlier the Grand Duchy of Lithuania) in the 16th-17th centuries. The author emphasises the factors, which have affected the choice of institutional development trajectory, and considers the influence exerted by these institutes on the political and military development of these states. This article shows how the contingent property rights in Moscovy turned out to be competitive in the conditions of a considerable contribution of decentralisation factors to defence capacity and, opposite to the situation in Rzeczpospolita, ensured the formation of large and efficient troops. This work contributes to research on property rights and Russian economic history.
The paper concerns the so-called “Muscovy crown” (“corona moscoviae”) of Polish kings that existed in the 17th century. This insignia emerged in Rzeczpospolita during the Russian Time of Troubles, having until then belonged to the Tsar's treasury in Moscow Kremlin. The adherents of False Dmitry I took it in 1606, upon which it turned up in possession of King Sigismund III and his heirs. It appears that the “Muscovy crown” was made in England for Tsar Ivan the Terrible as a symbol of the Astrakhan Khanate, which had been annexed by the Russian State in 1556. Contemporary evidence from various sources, including diplomatic ones, points to the possibility of the crown being delivered as a token of strengthening trade relations between Moscow and London, where the Moscow company was functioning in this period. The crown was not taken as a gift, it was bought for a large sum. The article includes a detailed survey of English, Polish and Russian sources, both primary and indirect, while looking into the mode of use of such insignia at the court of Russian Tsars and grand princes. The article also mentions, together with Monomach's cap and the Kazan cap, both of which are now kept in the Moscow Kremlin, the now-lost first Siberian and Astrakhan caps, the latter of which is identified with the object of study. The crown is also compared to the Eastern and Western jewelry traditions of the time. The article is prefaced with a brief narration of the circumstances in which the insignia had got the name it was since called in Polish historical writings. The author concludes with a hypothesis on why this crown and other similar to it were commissioned from foreign jewelers. This question, however, demands further research, as does the character of the insignia's use at the court of Polish kings.
Running away to the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was an option available to Russian peasants seeking to improve their lives. Based on extensive archival research, this chapter traces the peasants’ process of flight, from leaving official places of residence and crossing the border to being captured or settling down. It seeks to understand the peasants’ motives and expectations of life in the Commonwealth. The second part of this chapter examines the state’s policies regarding the peasant runaways and its importance for Russia’s relations with the Commonwealth before and after the Partitions of Poland. In the eighteenth century, the security of unstable western borders and the impossibility of controlling them efficiently were an ever-increasing concern of Russian rulers, who perceived fugitives as one of the main destabilising elements. In response to depopulation, decline in agriculture, and banditry, the tsarist state sought to return peasant runaways and utilised different means, ranging from severe punishments and investigative expeditions across the border to appeals to peasants, backed by promised amnesties, to return home. These policies varied in their degree of success, sometimes leading to military raids from abroad and sometimes attracting Russian and even Polish peasants to begin a new life in the Russian Empire.