Ancient Russia. New way

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Ancient Russia. New way
Ancient Russia. New way

Video: Ancient Russia. New way

Video: Ancient Russia. New way
Video: T-90M (Object 188M) Main Battle Tank "Proryv-3" 2023, December

Speaking about the collapse of the clan system and about the formation of the communal-territorial structure of Ancient Russia, one must understand that this process was not one-time. It took quite a long period from the end of the 10th to the end of the 11th century, and possibly to the beginning of the 12th century.

It was the community that was the most important factor, both in the history of Rus-Russia, and in other European countries, and even in the United States, and remains so today. But the community has undergone a tremendous evolution, undergoing serious changes in different historical conditions. Between the community of the X and XX centuries, equality is only in the name, since the first is based on a consanguineous principle, and the second is based on an economic principle. And in the period we are considering, it was the genesis of the community that determined the changes from the pre-state structure to the state. But first things first.

The community of Ancient Rus, clan and neighboring, from the 8th to the 14th centuries was built not on an agricultural and economic basis, but on a kindred basis.

From the middle - the end of the XIV century, with the formation of a new period in the development of Russia and with the emergence of the peasant as an agricultural producer, communities began to regulate, first of all, agrarian relations, which was reflected in the documents (petitions) of this period.



The new political system, which has become ubiquitous in Russia, is known to most readers as the "republican" system of Novgorod. Without its registration, the historical progress, which we know about from the monuments of architecture and literature that have come down to us of that time, would have been impossible.

Everywhere in Russia, the city with the volost gradually became (instead of a tribe or tribal principality) a new territorial political unit, which, by analogy with Greek city-states, researchers called a city-state (I. Ya. Froyanov and historians of his school).

Any Russian city, regardless of the way it was formed, acquired or had such a structure. There were many descendants of the Rurikovichs, and they all found cities for themselves. You can see how some of the princes moved throughout Russia: from Novgorod to Tmutarakan. Again, the structure that we traditionally know from Novgorod has been present in all cities of Russia since the 12th century.

The city-states of the Eastern Slavs, as political structures of the communal-territorial system, were formed along the paths of colonization, in the "deserts" - forests, where everything happened from scratch. And this is important to remember.

Merya and Slavic colonization


How was the community formed?

So, with the fall of the clan system, a neighboring community begins to form. How it is formed can be seen on the example of Novgorod.

Initially, the population in Novgorod was divided into city sides. Archaeological data show that the boyar landholdings or the possessions of the first clans had a clan, generic character.

In the period from X to XIV centuries. they occupied the same plots, and the territories between them began to be built up from the XI-XII centuries.

Since the 80s of the XII century, the city ends have been formed.

Near the ends there is a "hundredth" system. The centenary system is a clear sign not of a generic, but of a territorial-communal military organization. Centennial and Konchansk systems form a striped strip in the city.

Thus, in the XI-XII centuries. the formation of a territorial community takes place, where a neighboring community arises next to the tribal clans.

In the course of the disintegration of clan relations, somewhere she died under the blows of Russia, and somewhere the old nobility was modified. Large families united in a community (rope) outside the city, and in the cities in the streets and ends. The city and rural districts were a single and inseparable whole: there was no division into "peasants" and "townspeople".

Kiev at the beginning of the XI century became "a huge and rich" medieval city, in which there were 400 churches, 8 fairs, "and people - an unknown number." Not only Slavs lived in the city, there were also Varangians from all over Scandinavia, merchants from different countries. But even such a very large city as Kiev was a “big village”. The agrarian primitive economy was absolute in this society.

So, new orders come to replace generic relations. And the tribe is replaced by a volost, principality or city-state, to use the modern term. This process takes a long time.



The land was the property of the entire parish,. The princes and squads, as extraterritorial structures, did not have land ownership, but lived at the expense of military booty and income from tribute. Land ownership appears in the hands of princes only from the middle of the XIII century. The few land purchase transactions that we know with certainty are only evidence of land acquired for monasteries and churches.

The popular assembly of all free armed men or veche was a form of government for the entire volost or land, city-state or community, in modern scientific language, as before the entire tribe.

This period can be designated as the time of popular rule or veche and direct democracy. Gradually, it was with the growth of the importance and strength of the armed militia, warriors, that the city-state was strengthened and formed as a politically independent structure.

Only in such conditions could mass literacy of the population emerge, which we know from the Novgorod birch bark letters, testifying to the business, economic, everyday and even love correspondence of the townspeople. This phenomenon was not only in Novgorod, but everywhere and in all lands of Russia.

Veche, as the "highest form of government" of the city, did not have a permanent, established form. Life did not require such actions. And there was no need to “churn out laws” without stopping, as in our days. A veche or a meeting of all free people most often gathered on the most important problems, during periods of crisis caused by external threats or internal abuses, which is reflected in the annals when the "executive power" was lost and led management into a dead end.


The importance of the prince also changed, which from a representative of the Russian land, its governor, turned into an executive power that did not have supreme right.

In everyday life, management was carried out by the city's elected officials. The prince was the head of the army, the defender of the volost through his squad and "thousand" - the city militia, personally headed the courts.

In the conditions of continued colonization and the struggle for tributes between the principalities, the presence of public power with the prince at the head ensured success in the struggle.


The prince was provided with a "salary" at the expense of vire and sales (fines and fees), as well as tribute from other cities. Not without abuse by the "primitive" executive power.

With the development of the volost, the importance of the city militia as a combat unit increased. And this forced the princes to reckon more and more with the decisions of the townspeople.

Ancient Russia. New way
Ancient Russia. New way

The task of the community was to have its own military and "executive power", to tie the prince to the volost. It often did not coincide with the views of the prince, who sought to find a better "table" for himself, to show courage in the war. A war that could also be contrary to the interests of the city.

A situation arose when the prince could conduct hostilities only with the support of the militia; without his participation, it was impossible to achieve sensitive successes. The prince, sometimes in spite of the "row", evaded the performance of his duties as a judge, transferring this function to the tiuns, and often seriously abused his power. Gradually, in the course of the struggle, a mechanism is built up when the city community expels the princes, or, in modern language, refuses their services. It was defined by the expression "the path is clear."

Economic and social shifts

With the disintegration of the clan, with the emergence of a neighboring community, the process of separating a craft began, the division of labor began, but all these processes were just incipient. Written legislation is being created, it was a record of customary law and a record of changes taking place in Russia.

The monetary system of Russia, a system of measures and weights, which bears a regional imprint, is being formed. There is credit and usury, interest rates, both trade and guest (long-distance trade) are developing, Russian trading posts appear in Constantinople, Crimea, and guests reach the Middle East.

During this transitional period, on the one hand, many pre-class orders that came from the tribal period continue to play an important role. At the same time, the moments associated with property stratification are gaining momentum.

“It costs nothing, because it lies dead. Better than this are warriors. After all, men will get more than that."

In addition to free and non-free (slaves from foreign tribes), a number of semi-free categories appeared. For example, outcasts appear (people who have lost contact with the community), including among the princes.

With the disappearance of the protection provided by the clan, there appears a category of slaves from tribesmen - slaves. Before that, there was no such phenomenon as servitude in Russia. Prince Vladimir Monomakh (d. 1125) carried out a reform to limit interest and streamline the process of transition of a free person to slavery, servitude, due to debts.

Territorial fragmentation

The consequence of the emergence of a neighboring community was the formation and permanent formation of new volosts and city-states, fighting for their independence from the Russian land, headed by Kiev, with the older towns of the volost and among themselves. It was an endless "parade of sovereignties", and the growth of the princely family contributed to this.


The presence of a large number of military leaders was the most important condition for the emergence of early state or pre-state institutions, which is observed during this period.

The desire of the city-states to secede and leave both from under the authority of Kiev and from under their older cities was reinforced by the presence of princes with squads ready to lead the executive and judicial authorities in the cities.

The Christianization of the lands continues, and the growth of church building is caused by the desire of the city-states to have their own sacred centers. An attempt to get their own metropolitans is also connected with this movement. So, if Russia was able to get the Russian, and not the Greek, metropolitan from Constantinople, then other cities are trying to rebuild themselves from the spiritual hegemony of Kiev.

And this is evidenced by the defeat by the militia of the northern cities of St. Sophia itself in Kiev. This was not an act of blasphemy or the simple fury of the warriors who took the enemy city. The roots here are much deeper, in the mentality of the people of this period, when the temples of hostile cities were looked at, first of all, as their spiritual centers, the defeat of which destroyed the sacred protection, deprived the city of divine protection.


All this contributed to the fragmentation of lands, naturally turning Russia into a conglomerate of volosts, lands or city-states, even completely microscopic.


Summarize. The unification of the Eastern Slavs into a super-union under the leadership of Russia led to the fall of the clan system and the transition to the neighboring community, the political form of which was the city-state.

The territorial-communal structure naturally led to the constant fragmentation of large political structures.

A system of direct, primitive democracy was only possible within a limited number of participating citizen citizens.

It was a natural process of sovereignty. And the complaints of the chroniclers about the former unity of the Russian land, only misled many researchers, since this unity was conditional. And it disintegrated immediately with the fall of tribal isolation.

Because in this historical period and on such a vast but scarce territory, there were no mechanisms or systems of governance that could bring together all the Russian principalities. And there could not be such a goal: why do this?

Each Russian land independently coped with external military pressure, even with steppe raids, absolutely incomparable with the threats that arose after the Tatar-Mongol invasion.

How this process took place on the example of specific lands, we will consider in the next article.