Князь и бояре: клятва верности и право отъезда
The author studies the rituals and rules in the relationship of kings and nobles in medieval Rus'. The key issues are if the nobles swore an oath to the kings when entreing their service and if the nolbles exercised the so called "right of departure" when leaving the kings' service. The author's approach is comparative. He uses the evidence on the vassal rituals and norms in medieval countries of Europe, first of all, in Scadinavia in the 11-13th centuries.
The author examines the origins of the so called "right for departure" - a right of nobles to leave one king and to enter an other's service in medieval Rus'. He considers as crucial the question why this right dating back to early times was fixed in writing only in the 14th century.
The study aims to define the forms and makeup of the elite in the 10th and 11th century society of Rus’, and to identify those involved in making critical military and political decisions. The sources of the study include the early chronicle-writing, the 10th-century treaties between Rus’ and Byzantium, Russkaya Pravda (‘The Rus’ian Justice’), and others. The evidence on Rus’ is compared to that on similar early medieval European societies. Special attention is given to the groups which made the key elements of the Rus' elite in the 11th century - the nobility (boyars) and the corps of princes' military servants (otroki or grid').
The volume is an hommage to the famous historian Vladimir A. Kuchkin on the occasion of his 80th birthday. His colleagues presented articles on history of Russia in the 10-17th centuries, including archeology, historical geography, linguistics etc.
The book deals with some aspects of social and political history of medieval Rus' (the 9-13th centuries): its political and administrative structure, social makeup and functions of town assemblies (veche), relations of nobles (boyars) and princes (kings), decimal organization (chiefs of tens and hundreds). A variety of sources and methods is used, and in every single case origins and biases of any relevant sources have been analysed.
The article is devoted to the analysis of the provisions of the Welsh Laws of Hywel the Good, related to the criminal law. The law remained the main source of law in Wales until the conquest of the Principality of English by King Edward I in 1284, and the introduction of Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284. The creation of the Act is attributed to the Welsh King Hywel the Good (X century), although the earliest surviving manuscripts of the Act are dated back to the 13th century. Particular attention is given to the substance of the third part of the Act "Justices' Test Book", original manuals, knowledge of which was mandatory for the administration of the duties of a judge. This part of the Law distinguishes the contemporary medieval vaults from the Laws of Hywel the Good. "Justices' Test Book", which is a set of rules of criminal and procedural law, consists of sub-sections, dealing with murder, theft, fire, compensation for damage caused to property, personal injury. The main part of the "Justices' Test Book" is dedicated to order payment of all sorts of compensation and fines associated with the commission of an offence. The author emphasizes the role of the clan in Welsh society: all fines and compensation payments were laid on the shoulders of the perpetrator and his relatives.
A major issue addressed in the article is the evidence of the commission of the offence by the accused. The author draws the attention to the process of announcement and the process of finding an acquirer in bad faith of assets recognized as stolen. It is interesting that such a rule is found in the Russian Justice and Swedish Vestgjotalage. The author finds the ascendancy of compensation payments for damage caused prevailing over the above penalties in Welsh law, explaining this relative weakness of public authorities on the one hand and the other by legal tradition, as even the increased power of Welsh Princes in the XII-XIII centuries. has not led to significant changes in the rules.
The author presents a history of the institute of pol’udie in Old Rus’ from the 10th to the mid 16th century and concludes that this institution had transformed depending on changing economic and financial conditions. Originally, pol’udie was gifts and food which population gave voluntarily to their leaders/rulers when they went round over a territory of a given “tribe”. Beginning at the early 12th century the pol’udie evolved into one tax collected in naturalia or money in favor of a prince or his agents or his beneficiaries. The poliud’e disappeared in the northeastern princedoms of Rus’ since they had been conquered by the Mongols and obliged to pay them a tribute in the mid-13th century.
The article is a characteristic of specific features of status of Central Asiatic states within the relations of Russian and Qing Empires (18th – beginning of 20th c.) and its evolution. There is an attempt to clarify specific features pf legal status of countries and peoples of the Central Asia in the view of the modern idea of the state sovereignty. Author finds that specific character of political development of countries and peoples of the Central Asiatic region necessitates the further study of history of statehood in this region and surveys the sources which give an opportunity to get an idea on specific features of political development in the region as well as on position of the Russian and Qing Empires towards Central Asiatic states.
Early polities are often called as tributary (from Latin tributum). It is a question of great importance but also of great difficulty which tributes (taxes) the Rus’ collected from the subjugated population in the 9-11th centuries. The oldest Rus’ian chronicle texts contain several references about an extraction of some taxes in favor of the Rus’, but these references are difficult to understand. The author interprets the chronicle reports with these references taking two approaches: 1) it is taken for granted that the chronicle preceding to “The Tale of Bygone Years” is preserved in the so-called Novgorod First Chronicle of Younger Redaction, and 2) the chronicle reports are compared with the evidence of non-Rus’ian origin (the treaties by Constantine Porphyrogentis, the Arabian geographers’ accounts from the 9-11th centuries etc.). The most important conclusions drawn by the author are: 1) the tribute rate matched to the “standards” common in Eastern Europe in the 9-11th centuries, and this was in fact a fur skin which corresponded in prize to 4-7 g silver, 2) the Rus’ian ruling class collected the tribute (dan’) during the yearly circuit around the subjugated territory, extracting also some naturalia for feeding as “gifts”; both the circuits and the naturalia were called as poliud’e, 3) the evidence on both the tribute rate and methods of extracting the tribute comes from different regions of Old Rus’ – from Novgorod to Kiev. This fact shows that the basic principles of tax system which the Rus’ applied to the subjugated territories were the same anywhere. These principles laid a foundation for the “tributary” dominance of the Rus’ in the 9-11th centuries.