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Церковь и горожане средневекового Пскова. Историко-археологическое исследование [Cerkov’ i gorožane srednevekovogo Pksova. Istoriko-arxeologičeskoe issledovanie]

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Abstract

International audience THE CHURCH AND THE CITIZENS IN MEDIEVAL PSKOVThe identification of the Christian Church with the whole organized society is the fundamentalfeature which distinguishes the Middle Ages from earlier and later periods ofhistory. However, in Russian historiography, Church history usually have been treatedseparately from the history of society, while history of the Russian Church was consideredin isolation from the canonical law and the history of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of whichit had been part until the end of 16th century. One must take into account that the events ofecclesiastic and social life during the medieval period were closely interconnected, so thatthe knowledge of social history helps us to understand the history of Church and, viceversa, the understanding of peculiarities of the Christian culture allows us better study ofthe medieval society.This approach is applied to the present study. It is dedicated to the history of mediaevalPskov of the 11th–15th centuries and its Christian organization and culture which can beunderstood exclusively within the context of history of Novgorod the Great and the metropolisof Rhosia. In the history of Novgorod and Pskov, the close interconnection betweenthe Church and society resulted in the fact that the urban communities regarded themselvesas “house (oikos) of Saint Sophia” and “house (oikos) of the Holy Trinity” in accordancewith the dedications of the main city cathedrals. In the consciousness of a mediaevalNovgorodian, St. Sophia together with the God was a protector of the city. Under the termof St. Sophia, not simply the main cathedral of Novgorod was implied but also the Churchas a mystical organism of the Body of Christ according to the Niceno-ConstantinopolitanCredo Symbolum by which the Church is characterized by four particular attributes as“single, holy, catholic and apostolic. This mentality is recorded in the Novgorod chronicleafter 1204, the year of devastation of Constantinople by the 4th Crusade, and possiblywas connected with activities of Archbishop Anthony (Dobrynya Yadreykovich) who hadrealized a pilgrimage to Byzantium. Long before the concept of Moscow as the “ThirdRome”appeared, Novgorod regarded itself as the successor of Constantinople and of itsSt. Sophia cathedral.In Pskov, the urban community personifi ed itself in the Holy Trinity. However, only in1471, the chronicler identifi ed the Trinity with the Ecumenical Church. Pskov had not hadits own bishop until 1589, and the history of Pskov’s church community differed from thatof Novgorod in a more protracted establishment of self-identification.Chapter 1, “New people” of Ancient Russia”, discusses the process of appearance oftowns in Rus occurring in the context of Trans-Eurasian trade synchronously with the for356mation of new social groups and their Christianization. At the turn of the 10th and 11thcentury, a process of trans-urbanization is recordable in Rus as a common European phenomenon marking the transition from the barbarian to early feudal state structures. In Northern Rus, this process was of a peaceful character because here, the dynasty of the Ryurikides was invited by the federation of northern Slavonic and Finish tribes: the Slavs, the Chuds and the Krivichians as a result of a ryad (agreement) dated by the Primary Russian Chronicle to 862. However in Southern Rus, the princely power was established after 882 through military conquest. Here, the trans-urbanization often was of forcible nature when localtribal centres were annihilated by the princely authority giving place to classical feudal cities.In this sense, the history of Pskov is more alike to that of towns of Southern Rus:the classical city with a fortress and posad (unfortifi ed settlement) arose here after the fi reof 1036 related with the raid of prince Yaroslav the Wise.The phenomenon of trans-urbanization resulted in the emergence of a social dichotomyin Old Russian town. The most ancient Russian legal code, “Russian Pravda”, knows threecategories of free populace: rousin (rhos) — a person from the princely environment; sloveninof the archaic community and izgoy (an orphan or exile) or a person who had beenwithdrawn from the common law and accordingly subjugated to the princely Rota System.To that dichotomy, the urban spacial structure corresponded consisting of kontsy (ends;sing. konets) and sotni (hundreds; sing. sotnya) excited in medieval town as city districts.During the beginnings of Russian history, the kontsy were urban districts which may haveoriginated in settlements of the farmstead type usually called in Russian historiography aspatronymia and belonging to Slavic aristocracy. The sotni included the population of AncientRussia subject to the prince.Archaeology allows us to identify in Novgorod diff erent subcultures characteristic ofthe population of the boyar’s patronymia and inhabitants of prince’s sotni. The estates orproprieties (urban yards) of the sotni residents were predominantly in Torgovaya storona(Trade Side). The oldest kontsy were ranged on the left bank of the Volkhov River inSophij skaya storona (St. Sophia Side) — Nerevsky konets fi rst mentioned in 1172 and Lyudinor Goncharsky (potters) konets (1195). After 1218, also Zagorodsky (out-of-town) konetsarises here. On the right bank, Slavensky (1231) and Plotnitsky (after 1196) kontsy are known.Gradually, ten Novgorod sotni came to be subject to the boyars and administrations of thekontsy.In history of Novgorod, one can observe a gradual transference of princely rights tothe local boyars. This was related with their participation in the collection and distributionof state tributes. Furthermore, the Novgorodians ranked themselves with the “Varangiangenesis” as belonging to social and political organization which was linked with the invitationof the Varangian princes. This fact allowed the boyars to oppose themselves to the“Russian genesis” established as the princely war retinue in the Middle Dnieper reachesaround Kyiv. The participation of the Slavic aristocracy, the ancestors of future Novgorodians,in the invitation of the Varangians princely dynasty gave them particular rights inregard of the Ryurikides. At least since 1264, these rights were fi xed by a special treaty betweenNovgorod and the prince. However, the original organizing role of the princelypower in the appearance of Novgorod in the mid-10th century and subsequent establishmentof state structure in Northern Rus was undisputed. This was one of the important points ofthe “feudal democracy”. To a considerably greater extent, the role of princely power was manifested at the initialstages of the establishment of Pskov. Chapter 2, The urban community of Medieval Pskov”,discusses the bases of the social history of mediaeval Pskov. Traditionally it has been believedthat the dominating position in Pskov, like in Novgorod, was held by the Slavic aristocracywhich founded the city’s kontsy. However, analysis of written and archaeological sources hasshown that Pskov arose gradually as a result of the evolution of princely sotni. An importantperiod in history of Pskov was that of AD 1266 when the Lithuanian prince Dovmont (Daumantas)began his reigning here. The Pskov boyars of the 14th–15th centuries were rootedback into the princely administration which made a subject of inheritance from its socialposition. There were thirty Pskov sotni, some of which it is possible to localize in modernmaps. From those sotni, six kontsy were formed: that of St. Peter or Bolovinsky, Gorodetsky,Ostrolavitsky, Opotsky, Polonishchsky and Bogoyavlensky (the Epiphany) konets.These diff erences between Novgorod and Pskov in social and political history have influenced their church organization which is considered in Chapter 3, “The Clergy in mediaevalRussian town”. In the history, the boundaries of dioceses and canon law promotedthe fi xation of political borders in Ancient Rus. One of the features of Russian church geography was in the existence of enclaves: certain territories were subject to bishopric situatedat a fair distance from them as a result of the distribution of princely power. It is known,however, that only 19 bishopric cathedrae existed over the vast territory of Ancient Rus.The insignifi cant number of Russian dioceses, as compared with Byzantium, is possiblyexplained by the 57 Canons of the Council of Laodicea which prohibited foundation ofbishoprics in underpopulated cities. It is by the regulations of the canonical law and not bya political juncture that one can explain the transference of the Metropolitan cathedra toMoscow due to the reception in 1317–1322 of the yarlyk (patent) from the Mongolian khansfor the great-reign by the Moscow prince Yury Danilovich. Indeed, the primacy had to belocated in the town of the “ruler and senate”.The studies of the process of the formation of parishes in Rus is a considerably morecomplicated problem because of the absence of sources. The term prikhod (parish) fi rst ismentioned in 1485 in connection with the reformation of the church organization in thecourse of the establishment of the Russian centralized state and fi xing the congregations toparticular churches created by princely authorities. Before, the term of predel or uyezd,rooted in the Greek periodes, had been used in the church law as related with the notion ofvisitation.“Russkaya Pravda”, the legal code of Kievan Rus, still did not know clergymen asan isolated stratum. This fact had predetermined the main forms of the initial organizationof the Eucharistic life during the Ancient-Russian period. These forms were the divisionsof the then-existing social and political structure of the society constituted by the princelycourt, city’s sotni or boyar patronymies as a form of domus ecclesiae (oikos).This situation impeded the establishment of a special clergy order in Ancient Russiadirectly subordinated to Episcopal jurisdiction. Only with the lapse of time, due to eff ortsof the church hierarchy, the “Regulation on the church people” appeared in the 12th centuryallowing the clergy to consolidate as a separate estate under the canon law.On the whole, the regulations of the canon law ousted the common law. However,in a number of cases, these regulations, linked both with the status of the clergy in Byzantinearistocratic oikoi and ktitorian law (ktetorikon dikaion) and the position of “royal clergy”diff ering from the “clergy of the bema” subordinate to the Patriarch, coincided with thecommon Ancient Russian law of patronymia and that of the princely court. It is known thatin Rus there was princely clergy non-subordinated to the local bishop. The coincidences ofthis kind not only promoted the preservation of archaic ecclesiastic relations in Russianpatronymia but also the conservation of the politic culture of Novgorod and Pskov establishedon its basis, i.e. the democracy of the Veche (City Assembly).These connections between the clergy and the society have refl ected in archaeologicalevidence. In Novgorod, archaeological excavations have allowed us to reveal up to ten urbanproprieties of the 12th–15th century where clergy was living. The houses of priests were notsituated near the churches but among ordinary urban proprieties this fact indicating a closeconnection between the clergy and the civil community. In the 16th century, the administrationof the Moscow prince intentionally lodged priests near the churches. This resulted intransformation of the clergy into a closed social group and disruption of the natural linkswith the parishioners, fi rst of all with the aristocratic oikoi. This process began already afterthe annexation of Novgorod by Moscow when, in 1470–1480, Novgorod boyars were exiled.In Pskov, archaeological evidence has not allowed to identify estates of clergymen. Nevertheless,analysis of Pskov city’s inventory of 1586/1587 demonstrates that here, in contrastto Novgorod, the priests were not moved closer to the churches. Evidently, the clergy ofmediaeval Pskov was not closely connected with the local boyars and the exile of the town’ssocial elite in 1510 had not aff ected the system of settlement of local priests.Chapter 4, “The Seven Church Districts (Sobory) System in Medieval Novgorod”,considers the ecclesiastical organization of Ancient Russian town which was subdivided intochurch districts or so-called sobory (verbatim councils; sing. sobor). These sobory are to someextent comparable with the deaneries once existing in Europe but their authorities were notrigidly fi xed in the canon law. Also the main church of such a district was called sobor andto it not only urban but also rural churches were subordinated. According to the ecclesiasticlaw, the sobory had distinct territorial boundaries. It is of note that in Russia, a bishopriccathedral also was called sobor. The fact that under the term of “sobor”, an entire series ofmediaeval notions were implied: Church council, district of churches, main church of suchdistrict and a bishopric cathedral, as well as the concept of katholikh as a theological characteristic of Church (sobornaya), are to be considered as the historical expression of thecatholicity and conciliarity of the Church organization in Ancient Russia. Sobory in Ancient-Russian town were liturgical, administrative and judicial units implying active participationboth of secular clergy and laity in the Church life and administration. During the late Middle Ages this collectivism (sobornost’) was infringed. Among the best studied are seven church districts in Novgorod. The documents which have survived until now include the Semisobornaya rospisʼ or a list of Novgorod churches according to seven church districts compiled in the 1480s. It enumerates 158 altars or holy tables of the main churches and theirs chapels, although indeed it states that in total there were 161 church sees in the town. The document informs us that in 44 churches, everyday liturgy was practised. Personal researches allow us to identify the boundaries of a special area which surrounded the bishop palace, Okolotok, mentioned in the chronicle for the years from 1339 to 1535. Presumably, it was originally prince’s territory at future Novgorod area in which, in the late 10th century, a new Christian centre of the town arose. The discrepancy between the altars enumerated and their total number is possibly explained by the fact that during the compilation of the list, the church of Sts. Kosmas and Damian inKozmodem′yan Street was closed because of the exile of the boyar family to which it belonged.Analysis of chronicles demonstrates that the church organization consisting ofseven sobory or districts in Novgorod arose in 1361–1362 as a result of the reform conductedby Archbishop Alexius with the aim of unifi cation of the kontsy and sotni.The boundaries of sobory coincided with those of kontsy. In the Sophia Side there existedfi ve church districts with the centres in the St. Sophia Cathedral in the Kremlin andOkolotok, the Michael Archangel church in Zagorodsky konets, St. Blasius church in Lyudinkonets, the churches of the Sts. Forty Martyrs at Sebaste and of St. Martyr Jacob in Nerevskykonets. In Trade Side in Slavensky konets there was the Dormition of Theotokos church asthe main district sanctuary, and the church of St. John the Forerunner was in Plotnitskykonets. The existence of seven districts was linked neither with the speculative theology norwith the reminiscence of the seven Ecumenical Councils nor with the Seven Sacraments ofthe Church, but with the archaic social structure of Novgorod. The existence of the twocathedrals in Nerevsky konets was caused by the fact that one of them arose at the placeof a sanctuary previously connected with a sotnya settlement and the other in the areaof an ancient boyar patronymia.Chapter 5, “Church Districts (Sobory) and the clergy of Medieval Pskov” discusses thehistory of sobor districts in Pskov where in the 15th century there were six cathedrals. Firstit became possible to prove that the sobor districts in the city had their territorial boundariesaccording with canon law. Traditionally, it has been believed that the sobory of the Pskovclergy were just professional unions like the guilds of medieval European cities.In 1356, the St. Sophia or Sophij sky sobor in Pskov is segregated from Troitsky the HolyTrinity sobor. The former may have been coinciding with the Opotsky konets. In 1416,the St. Nickolas or Nikolsky sobor arises embracing the Petrovsky konets. In 1453, a soborand everyday liturgy celebration are organized attached to the church of St. Demetrius ofThessalonica, the Great Martyr, in the Dovmontov Gorod (Dovmont’s Town) near thePskov Kremlin and the Church of the Saviour on Torg (Market). The newly founded soborincluded the churches of Gorodetsky and Ostrolavitsky kontsy. In 1462, the sobor at Polonishchewas founded. The sobor district attached to the church of the Entry of Our Lordinto Jerusalem, created in 1471, may have been intended for Bogoyavlensky konets. The absenceof hereditary boyar’s families in Pskov resulted in the fact that not representatives ofaristocracy like in Novgorod but ordinary lay people, often headed sotni (sotnik), werethe ktitors (churchwarden) of urban and rural churches.In the present study, sobory in Novgorod and Pskov and the regiones of Constantinopleare compared. The latter being artifi cial formations later disappeared. In this connection,the conclusion is driven that hierotopy — a modern fashionable direction in studies ofChristian culture — is applicable only to late Middle Ages and modern times. In the earlierepoch, the process of formation of sacral topography depended on the social structureand not on abstract theoretical thought. Sacralisation of the urban environment in AncientRussia took place not earlier than the 16th and 17th centuries, having been expressed increation of icons which included the realities of urban topography into the iconic space.Chapter 6, “Private devotional objects and the everyday Christian culture of Pskovcitizens”, is dedicated to analysis and systematization of private devotional objects of Christiancult yielded by excavations in Pskov. The collection under study includes a total of about100 objects of the 10th–15th century. In the study, the peculiarities of Christianization of theurban population as well as the role of the Scandinavians and the West-European Christianculture in that process are shown. Quite a series of objects including steatite and nacrecrosses of the 12th century — pilgrimage relics from the Holy Land — have been identifi ed.These objects suggest active contacts of Pskov citizens with Byzantium. It is characteristicthat in Pskov, a stronger infl uence of the Christian culture of Moscow than in Novgorod istraceable, this fact explaining the voluntary subjugation of Pskov to the Moscow prince in1469. Generally, the Pskov Christian culture, including both objects of personal devotionand icon-painting, turns to have been very conservative and archaic although it had evolvedwithin the frame of common Russian Christian culture development processes. Investigationsof archaeological monuments allow us to make our knowledge about the Christianculture of Pskov considerably more precise whereas the local chronicle-writing emergedonly in the 14th century and offi cial documents contain scarce information about that aspectof mediaeval life.In Chapter 7, “Veche of the Holy Trinity: the urban community as the Ecclesia of Pskov”,considers the history of the establishment of church administration in Pskov. Originally,the church law and administration in Pskov were realized in the form of bishop’s visitationsand activities of the clergy of the main town’s cathedral — that of the Holy Trinity. In thelate 13th century in Rus, the offi ce of the namestnik (local representative or sometimes locumtenenes) of the bishop comes into existence. He was occupied with the legal deeds andmanagement of the church property within a particular territory. This institution was notknown in the Byzantine Church. Greek texts do not translate the Russian term but simplytranscribe it as namestnikos. The origin of this offi ce, fi rst recorded in Galich-Volyn′ Rus,may have been related with the existence of church castellanies in Poland.Researchers always have believed that the namestnik of the Novgorod archbishop appearedin Pskov due to the attempt to subjugate the city to the Novgorod boyars. However,such an institution emerged practically simultaneously in Pskov, Ladoga and Torzhok notlater than in 1307, having nothing in common with the Novgorod-Pskov political confrontation.Beginning since 1330–1340, the namestnik in Pskov was a layman appointed fromthe number of local citizens as was approved by the Treaty of Bolotovo between Pskov andNovgorod, signed between 1329 and 1342. The last namestnik belonging to clergy was thehieromonk Arseny who in 1331 unsuccessfully competed with Vasily Kalika for NovgorodArchbishop Cathedra. I am critically inclined as regards the information of the Novgorodchronicle that in that year the Pskovians headed by Arseny wanted to organize a separatediocese independent from Novgorod.The activities of the Pskov namestnik are known not only owing to written sources butalso through fi nds of lead seals and evolution of their type. The seals were once attached todocuments sanctioned by them. The Pskov namestnik’s activities were criticized in the late14th and 15th century by Kievan metropolitans because in this case a layman-namestnik judgedthe clergy that was prohibited by the canon law. By contrast to Novgorod, where namsetnikproved testaments and land bargains, in Pskov, these functions remained under the jurisdictionof the Veche (City Assembly). In 1435, Archbishop Euthymius will unsuccessfully tryto introduce the Novgorodian practice to Pskov.In 1437, Metropolitan Isidorus, departing for the Ferrara-Florence Council, excludedPskov from the jurisdiction of the Novgorod archbishop with whom he became in confl ictbecause of the planned Unia with the Roman Catholic Church. The Metropolitan realizedhis authority in the town through archimandrites, of whom one, Gregorius, who previouslywas the hegumen of the St. Demetrius Monastery in Constantinople, became laterthe Kievan Metropolitan in the territory of Lithuania (1458–1473). After the returnof Pskov to the Novgorod jurisdiction in 1448 and until 1470, namestnik of Archbishop ofNovgorod received an additional right to prove land bargains of churches and cloisters.After the unsuccessful attempt at foundation of a bishopric cathedra in 1463–1464,the Pskov clergy endeavoured in 1468-1470 to carry out a local “reformation”. With anactive participation of laymen, a special legal body of the Church was organized which wasto hear independently, without participation of the bishop, church legal proceedings on thebasis of the Nomocanones — a code of church laws. One of the main issues for the new bodywas that of the widowed clergy which was prohibited to practise liturgy in Pskov. Notwithstanding the fact that the Pskov reform was a counterpart of the events of 1385–1406in Novgorod, where it was decided to reject hearing of legal suits at the Metropolitan’s,in the Pskov proceedings one feels distinctly an eschatological implication. On the eve ofthe 7,000 years of the Creation (1492 AD), the Pskov citizens made up their mind to puttheir church in order.Together with the namestnik, considerable authority belonged to the clergy of the TrinityCathedral. Resolutions of the Pskov Veche were sanctioned by “seals of the Holy Trinity”,i.e. by the seals of the city’s cathedral. Characteristic of the history of Pskov is the control of laymen over the clerics, as well as a high extent of participation of the clergy andlaymen in the ecclesiastic life thus realizing, in accordance with the church tradition,a system of “checks-and-balances” in the relation with the bishop.These observations allow us to put forward the question of the correlation between thecivil and church communities in history of Pskov. Under the conditions of the mediaevalnon-institutional democracy, the resolution of city’s problems “at the Veche near the Trinity”was a religious procedure since the boundaries of the church and urban organizationscoincided in mediaeval town. That high extent of coordination between the ecclesiasticand civil issues had provided the longevity of Veche traditions in North Russia includingself-government tendencies even under the authoritarian regime of the Muscovite Kingdom.In 1555–1556, this situation led to the abolition of kormleniya (bestowing of maintenance),introduction of the farming system (otkupy) and the appearance of local self-governmentprovincial guba elders as elective public institutions. Under such conditions, the boyarsplayed a progressive role opposing to mancipation or enslavement of peasants, advocatingthe foundation of a boyar council — the House of Lords of the incipient Russian parliament— and participating actively in the formation of capitalistic economy. The conservatismof the church and political culture of Novgorod and Pskov in the situation of the Timeof Troubles in the early 17th century allowed reviving here the traditions of the Veche selfgovernment and active participation of citizens and clergy in the church administrationand public social-political life. After the long interruption caused by the Muscovite rule,the Pskov chronicler in 1610 reintroduces into his narrative the subject of the special patronageof the Holy Trinity over Pskov as over “house of the Holy Trinity”, the subjectwith acquaintance with which the present book is begun…

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