The Statutory Charter of the Novgorod Prince

Sviatoslav Ol'govich [ca. 1136-38]

to the Church of St. Sophia in Novgorod (1136/1137)

****************************************

 

1. The statute, which we had in Rus' from our great-grandfathers and grandfathers, gave to the bishop a tenth [part] from the tribute and from the bloodwites and fines, [and from] everything that comes into the prince's household.

2. And here in Novgorod I found established by the princes who came before me a tithe [given to the Church] from the tribute. I saw [that the church received] as much of a tithe from the bloodwites and fines as [came all the?] days into the prince's hands, into his storehouse.

3. The bishop has needs, just as the prince has needs, [so that] the tenth part is God's. For that reason I have established that matter for St. Sophia's, and the bishop takes in place of the tithe from the bloodwites and fines 100 grivnas of new kunas [1] that the revenue collector in the Onega [land] pays. If the revenue collector does not provide a full 100 [grivnas], but gives 80 [grivnas] instead, then take the additional 20 grivnas from the prince's treasury.

4. I, the Novgorod Prince Nikola Sviatoslav, have agreed [to the following] for St. Sophia [Cathedral] and have written: in Onega in Voldutov district [provide] two [sets] of forty [furs], and in Tudorov district [another] two [sets] of forty [furs], [and] in the Ivan district three [sets] of forty [furs], [and] in Rakula [another] three [sets of forty furs], [and] in Spirkov [another] two [sets of forty furs], from Vikhtui forty [furs], in Pinega three [sets of forty furs], in Kegrel another three [sets], [from the district at the] mouth of the Emtsa [River] two [sets], from the mouth of the Vaga [River another] two, from the Puite forty [furs], from Chiudin half [a set of] forty [furs], from Ligoui, including [all] duties, two [sets], from Vavdit, including [all] duties two [sets], from Vel' two [sets], from the Vekshenza [River district] two [sets], from Borka forty [furs], in Otmina [another] forty [furs], from Toima [another] forty, from Poma half [a set of] forty [furs], from Tosh'ma forty, from Penenich forty, from Porogopustitsy half [a set of] forty [furs], from Valdit two [sets of] forty [furs], from Volotsk in the Mosha [River district another] two, from Ema forty [furs], and from the sea district, from the salt kettles and boilers by weight, from Tudor forty [furs].

[Written] in the year 6645 [1136/37], the fifteenth indiction.

5. If anyone at any time violates or revokes what I, Prince Nikola Sviatoslav, have agreed [to] with the Novgorod Archbishop Nifont [d. 1156], whether [he be] a prince, or some other powerful Novgorodian, he will be against God and St. Sophia.

6. And this is the agreement for Obonega: In Olonets three grivnas, in Svera one grivna, in Iuskola three grivnas, in Tervinichi three grivnas, in V'iunitsa one grivna, [from the district at the] mouth of the Pasha [River] one grivna, from Pakhitok along the Pasha [River] half a grivna, from Koukuev hill one grivna, from Permin one grivna, from Kokorok half a grivna, from the Masiega lowland of the Sias' [River] half a grivna, in the journey through all the land 10 grivnas to the archbishop, and two grivnas to the priest, from Lipsouevich half a grivna, one grivna from Toivot, and half a grivna in Lipna.

7. And this is the agreement for Bezichiche district [Bezhetskii Verkh]: In Bezhichi 6 grivnas and 10 kunas, Gorodetsk [pays] two and a half grivnas, and Zmen' [pays] 5 grivnas, Ez'ska [pays] 4 grivnas and 10 kunas, Rybansk [pays] one Volga grivna, and in Iz'sk [pays] one-half a Volga grivna.[2]

************

NOTES

[1] New kunas, or "fur" kunas, entered circulation sometime in the twelfth century; four of these "new" kunas equalled one silver grivna (Rossiiskoe zakonodatel'stvo X-XX vv., 7 vols. to date [Moscow: Iuridicheskaia literatura, 1984- ], 1:228).

[2] What distinguished a Volga grivna from the usual grivna is unclear. Bezhichi was located along the upper Volga River valley.