The Pravda Rus'skaia

The Expanded Redaction

(Trinity Copy)

Translated by Daniel H. Kaiser


The Law From the Time of Iaroslav Volodimerich [1019-54]

Pravda Rus'skaia

l. If a man kills a man, then a brother may avenge a brother, or a father [his son], or a son [his father], or brother's sons [their uncle]; if there be no one to avenge [the dead man], then [the killer] is to pay [the dead man's kin] 80 grivnas for the corpse, if [the victim] be the prince's man or the prince's overseer; if [the victim] be a [Kievan] Rus' man, junior member of the prince's retinue, or a merchant, or a boyar's overseer, or [the prince's] bodyguard, or someone under the prince's protection [perhaps a freedman], or a [Novgorodian?] Slav, then [the killer] is to pay 40 grivnas for [the homicide].

2. After the reign of Iaroslav [1019-54], his sons, Iziaslav [1054-78], Sviatoslav [1073-76], Vsevolod [1076-93], and their men, Kosniach'ko Pereneg [the Pecheneg?] and Nikifor, gathered again and abolished vengeance justice, but [provided] for compensation [for the offense] with money; and everything else his sons established just as Iaroslav had decided.

3. On homicide. If someone kills [one of] the prince's men in an assault, and [members of the community] do not find the killer, then [those people] in whose community the corpse lies are to pay 80 grivnas; if [the victim] be an [ordinary] free man, then [the community] is to pay 40 grivnas.

4. If a community begins to pay the bloodwite [in the absence of the person who committed the murder], [then that community] is to pay the bloodwite over several years, inasmuch as they pay without [the contribution] of the man who committed the homicide.

5. If the killer be present in their community, then because he contributes to them [for payment in similar cases], for that reason they must help the homicide [discharge his obligation]. Otherwise, [that is, if the killer be absent from the community] they [must pay] the bloodwite, but they are to pay a total of 40 grivnas [only for the bloodwite], and the killer [when he is discovered] is to pay the compensation, and he is to pay as well his part of the 40 grivnas [already] paid by the community.

6. But if [the murderer] killed [the man] either in a fight or openly at a feast, then [the killer] is to pay now with the community, for he himself is joined [to the community to pay] the bloodwite.

7. If [the homicide] occurs without cause during an assault. If [a homicide] occurred during an assault without any provocation, then the people [in the community] do not pay for the murderer, but give him up with his wife and children for punishment and confiscation of his property.

8. If someone does not contribute to the community bloodwite system, then the people [of a community] do not help him, but he himself pays [the bloodwite].

9. And this is the schedule of fees which obtained in Iaroslav's reign [1019-54] for the bloodwite collector: the bloodwite collector is to take seven buckets of malt for a week, and a ram or half a carcass of meat or two nogatas; and on Wednesday a kuna or cheese, and on Friday the same;[1] and two chickens per day, and seven measures of bread, and seven measures of millet, and seven measures of peas, and seven [measures] of salt; all this [is to be provided] for the bloodwite collector and his deputy; and [provide] four horses [for them], and feed the horses with oats; [and for cash payments pay] eight grivnas to the bloodwite collector and ten kunas as a transit fee, and twelve vekshas to the prince's man, and one grivna as a travel fee.

10. [On bloodwites]. If the bloodwite be 80 grivnas, then the bloodwite collector [is to receive] sixteen grivnas and ten kunas and twelve vekshas, and one grivna as a travel fee, and three grivnas for the corpse [lit., the head].

11. On the prince's [page]. If [someone kills] the prince's page or groom or cook, then [he is to pay] forty grivnas.

12. For [the homicide of] the overseer or steward or stablemaster [pay] 80 grivnas.

13. For [the homicide of] the prince's estate overseer or field overseer [pay] twelve grivnas.

14. For [the homicide of] a contract laborer [pay] five grivnas. Likewise for [killing] a boyar's [contract laborer pay] the same amount.

15. On the craftsman and craftswoman. For [the homicide of] a craftsman or craftswoman [pay] twelve grivnas.

16. For [the homicide of] a peasant or male slave [pay] five grivnas, and for [the homicide of] a female slave [pay] six grivnas.

17. For [the homicide of] a tutor [pay] twelve [grivnas], and the same amount for [the homicide of] a wet nurse, even if they are slaves.

18. On accusation of homicide. If an accusation of homicide is lodged against someone, and if [the accused] presents seven witnesses [who testify to his good character], then [the accusation and the obligation to pay] the bloodwite are quashed; if [the accused] is a Viking or some [other] foreigner then [he need present only two witnesses].

19. If [a homicide is suspected solely] on the basis of a skeleton or a corpse, then the community does not pay, since they do not know the name of the dead man and cannot recognize him.

20. If the obligation to pay the bloodwite is removed. If someone escapes [the obligation to pay] the bloodwite, then [he must nevertheless pay] one grivna of kuna to the bloodwite collector's deputy; and the one who made the accusation must pay [the deputy] another grivna; and [the accused must also pay] nine [kunas] for the aid [which the deputy rendered him in escaping] the bloodwite.

2l. If [the accused] does not find the character witnesses he sought, then charges the complainant of the homicide [of which he himself is accused], then put them [both] to trial by ordeal of the hot iron.

22. The same [procedure obtains] in all cases of theft and [unsubstantiated] accusation; if there be no physical evidence, then force [the accused to trial by ordeal of the] hot iron for suits of one-half gold grivna; if the [value of the suit is] less, then [decide the case] by trial by water [in cases whose value] is less than two grivnas; if [the sum at issue is still] less, then put him [the accused] to trial by oath for his own money.

23. [If someone strikes (a man) with a sword]. If someone strikes [a man] with a sword, not having unsheathed it, or with the hilt [of the sword], then [the offender is to pay] twelve grivnas as a fine for the offense.

24. If [someone] did unsheath the sword, but did not strike [the man], then [he is to pay] one grivna of kuna.

25. If someone strikes another with a cudgel or cup or horn or with the flat of the sword, then [he is to pay] twelve grivnas.

26. If [the victim is unable] to bear it [the blow], and strikes back with a sword, he is not at fault.

27. If [someone] strikes [another man's] arm, and the arm falls off or withers, if a leg [falls off or withers because it was struck], or if an eye [is damaged because it was struck] or if [the assailant] strikes [a nose], then [the offender is to pay] half the bloodwite--20 grivnas--and ten grivnas to the [victim] for the maiming.

28. If [someone] cuts off a finger [or toe?], then [the offender is to pay] three grivnas as a fine, and one grivna of kuna to the [victim] himself.

29. If a man bloodied [by a fight] presents himself. If a man bloodied or bruised [in a fight] comes to the [prince's] residence, then he need seek no eyewitness, but [the offender] is to pay him compensation of three grivnas; if there be no marks on him, then he is to bring an eyewitness [to confirm his account] word for word; whoever began the fight is to pay 60 kunas; if the man bloodied or bruised [by the fight] is guilty of having started the fight, and witnesses confirm [this], then that [his bruises] will serve as payment, since he [started] the fight.

30. If [someone] strikes [another] with a sword, but does not hack [him] to death, then [he] is to pay three grivnas [as a fine] and a grivna to [the victim] for the wound itself because there is a physician's fee; if the man dies, then [the killer is liable for] the bloodwite.

3l. If a man either grabs a man to himself or shoves him away from himself, or strikes [him] across the face, or strikes [him] with a pole, and [the victim] produces two eyewitnesses, then [the offender] is to pay three grivnas as a fine; if [the offender] is a Viking or some other foreign resident, then [the victim] is to produce all [the necessary] eyewitnesses, and the two of them take the oath.

32. On slaves. If a [fugitive] slave is hidden [at someone's residence] and [the owners] announce [their loss] at the market square, and if within three days [the person with whom the slave is lodged] does not produce him, and [the slave's owner] learns [the slave's] whereabouts on the third day [or after?], then [the owner] is to take his slave, and [the party who hid the slave] is to pay three grivnas as a fine.

33. If someone rides someone else's horse. If someone rides someone else's horse without having asked [the owner's permission], then [he] is to pay three grivnas.

34. If someone loses a horse, or weapon, or clothes, and announces [his loss] in the market square, and subsequently recognizes [his lost property] in his own town, he is to take his own property back, and [the offender] is to pay him three grivnas.

35. If someone recognizes his own [property] which he lost or was stolen from him, either a horse, or clothes, or livestock, then he is not to say, "This is mine," but [rather] "Come to a confrontment [to determine] where you acquired [the property]"; [if in the course of the confrontment process] it emerges who was guilty, then [the responsibility] for theft lies with him, and the [original] victim may take back his [property]; if some property was destroyed, then [the thief] is also to begin payment [for that]; if [the accused] is a horse thief, then [the community] is to give him up to the prince for punishment; if [the accused] stole from a storeroom, then he is to pay three grivnas.

36. On confrontment. If [the confrontment] takes place within one town, then the complainant is to proceed until the end of the confrontment; if the confrontment leads through several districts, then [the complainant] is to proceed until the third confrontment; the person [discovered at the third confrontment] is to pay [the victim] in money for the property [i.e., for the physical evidence], and with this property [himself] proceed until the end of the confrontment, and the original complainant is to wait, and when the final confrontment is reached [and the original thief discovered], then [the offender] is to pay all costs and a fine.

37. On theft. If someone purchases at market some stolen property, either a horse, or clothes or livestock, then [the purchaser] is to produce two free men or the customs officer [to confirm that he purchased the property at market]; if he maintains that he does not know from whom he purchased [the stolen property] then the eyewitnesses are to take the oath [on his behalf], and the complainant is to take his own property; and concerning property lost [and not recovered], the complainant may mourn [his loss], and the other party his [loss] of money [which he gave for the stolen property], since he does not know from whom he purchased [stolen goods]; if subsequently he recognizes [the person] from whom he purchased [that property], then he is to take back his own money, and that [newly discovered person] is to pay [the complainant] for the unrecovered property [as well] as a fine to the prince.

38. If someone recognizes his slave. If someone recognizes and takes back his own stolen slave, then he is to conduct the slave [by the confrontment process] through the money transactions until the third confrontment; then [the slave's owner] is to take another slave in place of his own slave, and give his property to the other party, who then continues until the last confrontment [when the original thief is discovered]; and this property is not cattle, so it is not possible to say "[I do not know] from whom I purchased [the slave]"; but [pursue the confrontment] on the [slave's] word until the end; and when the final thief is [discovered, the party identified at the third confrontment] is to return the slave [to his original owner] and take back his own [slave], and [the thief] is to pay all losses, and a twelve-grivna fine to the prince.

39. Also on confrontment. And the confrontment is not to proceed from one's own town into another district, but [the accused] is to present witnesses or the customs officer before whom he purchased [the property in question], and the complainant is to take his property, and mourn the loss of [the other property which] disappeared, and [the accused] can mourn the loss of his money [which he paid for the stolen property].

40. On theft. If they kill someone at the storeroom or [while he was engaged in] any other theft, then they kill [him] like a dog [and that is the end of the matter]; if they hold him until [morning] light, then they must conduct [the thief] to the prince's residence; if they kill him, and people have seen [the thief] tied up, then [the offenders] are to pay twelve grivnas for that.

41. If someone steals some livestock from a barn or a storeroom, and he is alone, then he is to pay three grivnas and 30 kunas; if there be many thieves, they are each to pay three grivnas and 30 kunas.

42. Also on theft. If [someone] steals livestock in the field, either sheep or goats or swine, [then he is to pay] 60 kunas; if there be many [thieves], then each [is to pay] 60 kunas.

43. If [someone] steals grain [from] the threshing floor or a storage pit, then, however many thieves there are, each [is to pay] three grivnas and 30 kunas.

44. And he who lost property [by theft, as in the preceding articles] takes it back if it is recovered, and he also receives a half-grivna for each year [since it disappeared].

45. If the property is not recovered, then [the offender] is to pay three grivnas if it was the prince's horse, and two grivnas each for any other horse.

And these are payments for livestock. For a mare 60 kunas,[2] for an ox one grivna, for a cow 40 kunas, for a three-year-old cow 30 kunas, for a two-year-old cow a half-grivna, 5 kunas for a calf, 5 kunas for a swine, one nogata for a suckling pig, 5 kunas for a sheep, one nogata for a ram, and for a stallion if no one has yet ridden him one grivna [of kuna], six nogatas for a foal, and six nogatas for cow's milk [milk cow?]; these then are the fees peasants are to pay [as compensation to the animals' owners] when they pay a fine to the prince.

46. If the thieves be slaves, [then] the prince's jurisdiction [obtains]. If the thieves be slaves of the prince, or of boyars, or of monks, then the prince does not punish them with a fine, since they are not free, but [their lord] pays twice [the usual compensation] to the complainant for the offense.

47. If someone claims money back [from someone]. If someone seeks repayment of money from another, [who] begins to deny [that he took that money], then [the creditor] brings witnesses against him, and they take an oath; then [the creditor] takes back his money; if [the borrower] did not give the money [back] for many years, then he is to pay three grivnas for the offense.

48. If some merchant gives [another] merchant money for local or foreign trade, then the merchant is not to take the money before witnesses; he needs no witnesses, but he himself is to take an oath if he shall deny [that he received any such money].

49. On storage. If someone places some goods for storage with someone, then no witnesses are necessary, but if he [later] begins to slander [the person who stored his goods by claiming] more [than he actually stored], then he who accepted the goods for storage is to take the oath [saying,] "You left me only so much," for he rendered [the complainant] a service and stored his goods.

50. On interest. If someone gives out money at interest, or [gives out] honey [on condition] of increased return, or grain [on condition] of increased repayment, then [the creditor] is to provide witnesses; whatever was agreed upon, that [the creditor is entitled] to take.

51. On monthly interest. If [money was lent on the basis of a monthly interest payment] for a short time, then [the creditor is entitled] to take it; if the money [remains on loan] for up to one year, then they give him his money back at a third [i.e., at 50% interest] and the monthly interest is annulled.

52. If there be no witnesses [to the transaction] and [the sum loaned] is three grivnas, then [the creditor] is to take an oath for his [money]; if [the sum loaned] is more [than three grivnas], then say to him, "You have erred, since you did not have witnesses [present when the loan was contracted]."

53. Statute of Volodimer Vsevolodich. Volodimer Vsevolodich [1113-25] after [the death of] Sviatopolk [1093-1113] established [the following], having convoked his retinue at Berestovo: Ratibor the Kievan millenarius, Prokop'ia the Belgorod millenarius, Stanislav the Pereiaslav millenarius, Nazhir, Miroslav, and Ivanko, son of Chiudin, Oleg's man; they established interest rates of up to 50% if [the creditor] collects [his principal] before the third payment; if someone takes his interest twice, then he is to take the principal; if he takes his interest three times, then he is not [entitled] to take his principal.

[On interest]. If someone takes ten kunas per year on [principal of] one grivna, then this is not disallowed.

54. If some merchant suffers shipwreck. If some merchant, having gone somewhere with someone else's goods, is shipwrecked, or an army takes [the goods], or fire [destroys them], then do him no violence and do not sell him [into slavery]; but [let him] begin to pay [off his debt, some] each year, and so [let him] pay off [the entire debt], for the misfortune is from God, and [the merchant] is not to blame; but if he drinks to excess or gambles, and in his foolishness ruins someone else's goods, then [depending on what] suits them whose property [he lost], either to wait for him [to repay the loss] or sell [him into slavery]--the choice is theirs [whose property was lost].

55. On debt. If someone be greatly indebted and a merchant from another town or a foreigner having arrived, and, not knowing [about the man's indebtedness], leaves goods with him, and [the debtor] refuses to give the merchant his money, and the first creditors begin to object, not giving him money; then lead the debtor to the market square, and sell him [into slavery] and return the money [realized by the sale of the debtor] to the first merchant, and give the local creditors what remains [from the sale], divided among them; if the money be the prince's, then first the prince is to take his money, and divide the rest [among the other creditors]; if someone took [too] much interest, then [he] is not to take anything [from the debtor].

56. If an indentured laborer flees. If an indentured laborer flees from his lord, then [when he is captured convert him into a] full slave; if [the indentured laborer] leaves to seek money, and travels openly, or flees to the prince or to judges on account of offenses of his lord, then for that do not enslave him, but give him justice.

57. Also on the indentured laborer. If a lord has an indentured laborer [who works in the] field, and he destroys the lord's campaign horse, then he is not to pay [for his offense]; but if the lord gave him a plow and harrow, and takes from him his share of the harvest, [the indentured laborer] who destroyed [his lord's property] is to pay [for it]; if the lord sends [the indentured laborer] to work on his own business, and he ruins [his lord's property] without him, then [the indentured laborer] is not to pay for that.

58. Also on the indentured laborer. If [thieves] take [the horse] from the barn, then the indentured laborer is not to pay for it, but if he destroys [the animal] in the field, and does not return it to the yard, and does not secure it as his lord orders, or [while] doing his own work he destroys [the horse], then he is to pay for that.

59. If a lord offends his indentured laborer, if he damages his stand of wood or plot of land, then [the lord] is to return everything to him, and [in addition] pay him 60 kunas for the offense.

60. If [a lord] takes money from his [indentured laborer], then he is to return [to him] the money which he took and pay for the offense three grivnas as a fine.

61. If a lord sells his indentured laborer [as a] full slave, then the indentured laborer is free of all money debts, and [in addition] his lord is to pay twelve grivnas as a fine.

62. If a lord beats his indentured laborer for cause, then he [the lord] is not guilty [of a crime]; if he beats him without thinking when drunk, without cause, then [the lord is to make] the same payment for beating the indentured laborer as if he had beaten a free man.

63. On the male slave. If a full slave abducts someone's horse, then [his master?] is to pay two grivnas for this.

64. On the indentured laborer. If an indentured laborer steals something, his lord [answers] for him; but if they find [the indentured laborer], then first the lord pays for the horse or whatever [the indentured laborer] took, and then [he converts him] into a full slave; but if a lord does not wish to pay for him, and sells him, then let him first give [compensation] for the horse or ox or for the goods which [the indentured laborer] has taken, and keep the remainder for himself.

65. If a slave strikes someone. If a slave strikes a free man, and flees to [his lord's] residence, and his lord does not give him up, then the lord is to pay twelve grivnas for him; if subsequently somewhere the man who was struck finds the [slave] who struck him, then Iaroslav [1019-54] established [that the offended party could] kill him, and [Iaroslav's] sons established after their father's death [compensation by payment of] money, either [that the victim could] untie him and beat him, or take one grivna for the dishonor.

66. On testimony. [Free men] do not rely on the testimony of a slave; but if there be no free man [to testify], then, if necessary, refer to [the testimony] of a boyar's overseer, but do not rely upon other [slaves]. And in a suit [over] a small [sum] refer to [the testimony of an] indentured laborer.

67. On beards. If someone tears out [someone's] beard, and leaves a mark, and people witness this, then [the offender] is to pay twelve grivnas as a fine; if [the offense takes place] without any people [to witness it], then [the accusation is only an] accusation, and no fine accrues.

68. On teeth. If they knock out a [man's] tooth, and they see blood in his mouth, and people witness this, then [the offender] is to pay twelve grivnas as a fine, and [another] grivna [to the victim] for the tooth.

69. If someone steals a beaver, then [the thief] is to pay twelve grivnas.

70. If the earth be dug up or [if there be some other sign] of a trap or net, then [the community] is to seek the thief among the [residents] of their own community or pay a fine.

71. If someone destroys the ownership marks on a beehive. If someone destroys the ownership marks on a beehive, then [he] is to pay twelve grivnas.

72. If someone cuts down beehive border marks or plows across plowland borders, or with a palisade partitions across a yard border, then [he] is to pay twelve grivnas as a fine.

73. If someone cuts down a marker or boundary oak [he is to pay] twelve grivnas as a fine.

74. These are additional fees. These are the additional fees from a twelve-grivna fine: to the bloodwite collector's deputy two grivnas and 20 kunas, and [the collector?] himself is to ride with the deputy on two horses [which] he feeds on oats; and give [them] either a sheep or a half-carcass of meat, whatever fills their stomachs; [and] ten kunas to the scribe, five kunas as a transit fee, and two nogatas for the hide [parchment?].

75. This also concerns beehives. If someone cuts down a beehive, then [he is to pay] three grivnas as a fine, and a half-grivna [to the owner] for the wood.

76. If someone takes [someone else's] bees, then [he is to pay] three grivnas as a fine; and if the bees are not taken, then [he is to pay] ten kunas for the honey; if the hive was already empty, then [he is to pay] five kunas.

77. If a thief is not [caught in the act], then [local residents] follow along the trail; if there be no trail [leading either] to a settlement or to a trading station, then [the residents of the community] do not relieve themselves of the responsibility for the posse, [but if] they do not continue on the chase or resist [looking for the thief], then they are to pay [compensation for] the theft and a fine; and the trail is to be pursued with other [free] men and with witnesses; if they lose the trail at a large roadway, and there be no settlement [nearby], or [if they lose the trail] in a deserted place, where there are neither settlements nor people, then [they] are not to pay a fine nor [compensation for] the theft.

78. On the peasant. If a peasant tortures [another] peasant without the prince's authorization, then [he] is to pay three grivnas as a fine, and one grivna of kuna [as compensation] for the torture; if [someone] tortures the [prince's] estate steward, then [he] is to pay twelve grivnas as a fine, and one grivna [as compensation] for the torture.

79. If [someone] steals a boat [he] is to pay 60 kunas as a fine, and return the boat [to its owner]; for a boat worthy of travelling the sea [the thief is to pay] three grivnas; two grivnas for a high-sided boat; 20 kunas for a dugout canoe, and one grivna for a river boat.

80. On hunting-snares. If someone cuts the rope in a snare, then [he is to pay] three grivnas as a fine, and a grivna of kuna to the owner [of the snare] for the rope.

81. If someone steals a hawk or falcon from a snare, then [he is to pay] three grivnas as a fine, and a grivna to the owner [of the snare]; and for a dove [pay] nine kunas, nine kunas for a chicken, 30 kunas for a duck, and 30 kunas for a goose, and 30 kunas for a swan, and 30 kunas for a crane.

82. And [if someone steals] hay and firewood [he is to pay] nine kunas, and the owner is to take two nogatas for each cart [of hay or firewood] that was stolen.

83. About the threshing floor. If someone burns the threshing floor, then [he is subject] to punishment and confiscation of his property; [from the receipts of sale of his property] first pay the losses, and then the rest [goes] to the prince [who] punishes him. The same [procedure obtains] if someone burns a residence.

84. If someone with evil intentions slaughters [another's] horse or cattle, then [he is to pay] twelve grivnas as a fine, and a fee to the owner for his loss.

85. All these matters are decided by witnesses [who are] free men; if a witness be a slave, then do not put any credence in the slave's [word], but if a complainant wishes to take him, and says, "I seize you on the word [of this slave], but I, and not the slave, seize you," then put [the accused] to trial by hot iron; if [the accused] fails the trial, then [the accuser] takes his own property; if the accused is not convicted [by the ordeal], then [the accuser] is to pay him a grivna for the torture, since he took him on the basis of a slave's word.

86. And [for administering] the iron ordeal pay 40 kunas, and five kunas to the prince's bodyguard, and a half-grivna to the prince's servitor [who administers the iron ordeal]; this is the schedule of fees for the iron ordeal, who receives [money] for what.

87. If [someone] takes [another] to the iron ordeal on the word of free men, either because there are suspicions about him, or because [he was seen out] at night, and if perchance [the accused] is not burned [by the ordeal], then [the accuser] is not to pay him for torture, but whoever took him [to the ordeal] is to pay only the iron-ordeal fees.

88. On women. If someone kills a woman, then judge him by the same law as [if he had killed] a man; if he be guilty, then [he is to pay] half the bloodwite, twenty grivnas.

89. There is no bloodwite for killing a male or female slave; but if [a slave] be killed without cause, then [the offender] is to pay [the slaveowner] compensation for the male slave or female slave, and twelve grivnas to the prince as a fine.

90. If a peasant dies. If a peasant dies, then his estate [escheats] to the prince; if there be daughters in his household, then give a portion [of the estate] to them; if [the daughters] be married, then do not give them a portion.

91. On the estate of a boyar and a retainer of the prince. If a boyar or a retainer of the prince [dies], then the estate does not escheat to the prince; but if there be no sons, then the daughters inherit.

92. If someone who is dying divides his property among his children, then [that division] stands; but if he dies without [having made any] disposition, then [his property is divided evenly] among all his children, and give one portion [to the church to remember] his soul [in prayers].

93. If a woman after [her] husband's [death] remains [a widow], then give her a portion [of her husband's estate]; but [if] her husband[, while still alive,] assigned her some [property], of that she is mistress, and she has no need of her husband's estate.

94. If there be children [from more than one marriage], then the children of the first wife take the property of their mother; [even] if [their father] wills [the property to the second] wife, all the same [the children] take their mother's [property].

95. If there be a sister in the house, then she does not receive [anything from] the estate, but her brothers give her in marriage as best they can.

96. And the following [concerns] building a town. And these are the fees for the town builder: the town builder is to take one kuna [on beginning his work] and one nogata on completion; and for food, drink, meat and fish seven kunas per week, seven loaves of bread, seven buckets of millet, and seven measures of oats for four horses; he is to take [these supplies] until the town [walls] are completed; and they give [him] only ten measures of malt.

97. On the bridge builders. And these are the fees for the bridge builder: having constructed a bridge [the builder] is to take a nogata for each ten cubits; if he repairs an old bridge, then he is to take one kuna for each span he repairs; and the bridge builder himself is to travel with a page on two horses [and they are to receive] four measures of oats for each week; and he is to eat as much as he wishes.

98. And this concerns estates. If a man has children by his slavewoman, then they are not to receive anything from his estate, but [when the man dies] they [together] with their mother [receive their] freedom.

99. If there be small children [left] in the home [when their father dies], and they are not able to care for themselves, and their mother remarries, then whoever is [their] closest [kinsman] is to take them under his guardianship [together] with the house and property [left by their father] until they are able [to look after themselves and their property]; and give the property [into the guardian's care] in the presence of witnesses; and what profit [the guardian] makes by that property by letting it out at interest or by trading, then that [profit] is for him, and he is to return the original property to [his wards], and the profit is for him since he fed and cared for them; likewise, if there be offspring [either] from a slave or from an animal, then [the guardian] takes it all; [by the same token] whatever he loses he must repay the children in full; also, even if a stepfather takes children [together] with an estate the same regulations obtain.

100. But a father's residence [is left] undivided and [is given] all the same to the youngest son.

101. On the wife, if she promises to remain a widow. If a woman promises to remain a widow after her husband's death, then squanders [her late husband's] property and remarries, she is to repay her children [the property she lost].

102. If the children do not wish to live with her in the [family] residence, and she wishes to remain there, then her every wish is to be honored, and do not accede to the children's wish; but she may [sustain herself] on what her husband gave her, or, having received her portion [of the estate], she may sustain herself [by that].

103. And the children are to have no part of their mother's [widow's] portion, but to whomever the mother gives [property], that person [legitimately] receives it; if she gives it to all, then all divide it [equally]; if she dies without [having made a disposition of her property], then with whomever she lived and whoever fed her [is] to take her property.

104. If there be children of two husbands, and one mother, then [the first children receive] the estate of their own father, and the others [the estate] of their own father.

105. If a stepfather squanders something [of the property] of the father of his [stepchildren], and then dies, [their half-]brother is to return [to them] whatever [property] of [their] stepfather witnesses say his father squandered; but whatever [belonged to] his own father [he is entitled] to keep.

106. If a mother [has] a good son, whether of the first [husband] or second, [she may] give him her own property; if all her sons be bad, then she may give [her property] to a daughter who feeds her.

107. These are court fees. These are court fees: from the bloodwite nine kunas, nine vekshas to the prince's man, 30 kunas for [a matter involving] beehives, and for all other matters [pay] four kunas to [whoever] helps, and six vekshas to the prince's man.

108. On estates. If brothers quarrel before the prince over [their father's] estate, then the prince's retainer who proceeds to divide their [inheritance] is to take one grivna of kuna.

109. Fees for administering the oath. And these are the fees for administering the oath: [for cases] involving homicides 30 kunas, [for cases] involving beehives 27 kunas; and the same [for violations] of plowland [borders]. And [for cases] involving manumission [of slaves] nine kunas.

110. On slavery. Full slavery has three forms: if someone buys [a man] for up to half a grivna, and provides witnesses [to the sale], and then gives [even] a nogata [to the seller] in the presence of the slave himself; the second form of slavery: if [someone] takes a female slave [to wife] without having an agreement [stipulating that he will remain free], for if he takes [a slave to wife] with stipulations, then whatever he stipulated stands; the third form of slavery: [if a man becomes an] overseer without an agreement [stipulating that he will remain free] or if he accepts the key [to a man's household (i.e., becomes a steward)] without an agreement [stipulating that he will remain free]; for if he [accepted the duties] with stipulations, then whatever was stipulated stands.

111. A man is not a slave who takes money [and works off his debt], nor are they [slaves] who work for bread or for anything given them; but if they do not work off the loan in less than a year, then [the debtor] is to return what he received; if he leaves [after having worked off the debt], then he is not obligated [to his creditor].

112. If a slave flees, and his lord makes known [his loss], and if someone, having heard or otherwise knowing that [the fugitive] is a slave, [nevertheless] gives him bread or points out the road to him, then he [who gave the slave bread or pointed out the road to the fugitive] is to pay five grivnas for a male slave, and six grivnas for a female slave.

113. If someone captures another's slave and sends word to [the slave's] lord [about the capture], then he is to take a grivna for the capture; if he [subsequently] does not guard the slave [and] loses [him], then he [himself] is to pay four grivnas, and a branding fee [when the slave] is captured; if the slave is female, then [he is to pay] five grivnas, and a sixth [grivna] on the slave's capture.

114. If someone finds his own slave in another town, and if the town's mayor does not know about the slave, then, upon informing [the mayor], he is to take an assistant from him, and, having gone [to where the slave is], he is to tie [up the slave]; then give [the assistant] ten kunas for the [help] in tying up [the slave], but there is no capture fee; if [the slaveowner] loses the trail, then the loss is his own, and no one pays anything, and for that reason there is no capture fee.

115. If someone meets [a man], not knowing [that he is] another man's slave, and either gives him directions or keeps him at his house, and [subsequently the slave] leaves him, then he shall take an oath that he did not know [lit., I did not know] that he was a slave; then no payment is required.

116. If a slave somewhere gets money, and [the man who gave him the money] gave it not knowing [that he was a slave], then [the slave's] lord is to redeem the slave or lose [claim to] him; if the man gave [the slave money] knowing he was a slave, then he is deprived of his money.

117. If someone permits his slave [to engage in trade] in the market square, and he [the slave] becomes indebted, then the slaveowner is to redeem him, and not be deprived of him [because of his debt].

118. If someone buys another's slave, not knowing [that he belongs to another], then the [original] lord takes the slave, the other takes [back] his money, having taken an oath that he had purchased him without knowing [that he was another man's slave]; [if he had knowingly purchased him, then he has no claim to his money].

119. [If a fugitive slave will acquire some goods his lord (answers) for the debt], and the lord receives the goods, and is not deprived of [his slave].

120. If someone flees, having taken some goods from a neighbor, then [the slave's] lord is to pay the value of that which the slave took.

121. If a slave steals from someone, then [the slave's] lord is to redeem him or give him up together with him with whom he stole, but he need not give up the [slave's] wife or children; but if they will have stolen and hidden what they stole together with the slave, then [the lord] may either give them all up, or redeem them; if those who stole and hid [the stolen goods] with him be free [men], then [they are to pay] the prince a fine.

[1]As noted above, Wednesday and Friday were fast days.

[2]The text actually reads "7 kunas," which is certainly an error, as other copies confirm.

SOURCE: The Laws of Rus'--Tenth to Fifteenth Centuries, tr., ed. Daniel H. Kaiser (Salt Lake City: Charles Schlacks Publisher, 1992), 20-34.

1992, Daniel H. Kaiser. All rights reserved.