[excerpted from Alfred Rambaud, Russia, Leonora B. Lang, tr., vol. 1 (New York: Collier, 1900), pp. 95-106]


NOVGOROD has been, from the most remote antiquity, the political centre of the Russia of the North-west. The origin of the Slavs of the Ilmen, who laid her foundations, is still uncertain. Some learned Russians, such as M. Kostomarof, suppose them to belong to the Slavs of the South, others to the Slavs of the Baltic; others, again, like M. Bielaef and M. Ilovaïski, make them a branch of the Krivitch or Smolensk Slavs. We find the Novgorodians, at the opening of Russian history, at the head of the confederation of tribes which first expelled and then recalled the Varangians to reign over Russia.

Novgorod, from very ancient times, was divided into two parts, separated by the course of the Volkhof, which rises in lake Ilmen and falls into the Ladoga. On the right bank was the side of Saint Sophia, where Iaroslaf the Great built his celebrated cathedral; where the Novgorod kremlin was situated, enclosing both the palaces of the Archbishop and the prince; and where the famous Russian monument was consecrated in 1862. On the left bank, the side of commerce, with its Court of Iaroslaf ; the bridge which joins the two halves of the city is celebrated in the annals of Novgorod. The side of Saint Sophia includes the Nerevian quarter as well as those of " beyond the city," and of the potters (Nerevski, Zagorodni, Gontcharni). The side of commerce comprised the quarters of the carpenters and Slavs. An. cient documents also speak of a Prussian (Lithuanian) quarter. Some of these names seem to indicate that many races have concurred, as in ancient Rome, to form the city of Novgorod. Gilbert of Lannoy, who visited the republic about 1413, has left us this description of it: " Novgorod is a prodigiously large town situated in a beautiful plain, in the midst of vast forests. The soil is low, subject to inundations, marshy in places. The town is surrounded by imperfect ramparts, formed of gabions ; the towers are of stone." Portions of these ramparts still exist, and allow us to form an idea of the immense extent of the ancient city. The kremlin forms its acropolis. The cathedral has pre served its frescoes of the 12th century, the pillars painted with images of saints on a golden ground, the imposing figure of Christ on the cupola, the banner of the Virgin, which was to revive the courage of the besieged on the ramparts: the tombs of Saint Vladimir Iaroslavitch, of the Archbishop Nikita, by whose prayers a fire was extinguished, of Mstislaf the Brave, the devoted defender of Novgorod, and of many other saints and illustrious people. Without counting the tributary cities of Novgorod, such as Pskof, Ladoga, lzborsk, Veliki Louki, Staraia Roussa (Old Russia), Torjok, Biejitchi, her primitive territory (the "ager Romanus " of the republic) was divided into five fifths (piatines), the Vodskaia, the Chelonshaia, the Obonejs kaïa the Biejetskaia, and the Dereveksaia, which included the land to the south of the lakes Ladoga and Onega. Her conquests formed five bailiwicks or volosts occupying the whole of Northern Russia, and extending as far as Siberia. These bailiwicks were the Zavolotchi between the Onega and the Mezen ; the Tré, or Russian Lapland; Permia, on the Upper Kama; Petchora, on the river of the same name ; and Iougria, on the other side of the Oural mountains. To these we must add Ingria, Carelia, and part of Livonia and Esthonia.

Novgorod, which had summoned the Varangian princes, was too powerful, with her 100,000 inhabitants and 300,000 subjects, to allow herself to be tyrannized over. An ancient tradition speaks vaguely of a revolt against Rurik the Old under the hero Vadim. Sviatoslaf, the conqueror of the Bulgaria of the Danube, undertook to govern her by mere agents, but Novgorod insisted on having one of his sons for her prince. " If you do not come to reign over us," said the citizens, " we shall know how to find ourselves other princes." Iaroslaf the Great, as a reward for their devotion, accorded them immense privileges, of which no record can be found, but which are constantly invoked by the Novgorodians, as were the true or false charters of Charles the Great by the German cities. These republicans could not exist without a prince, but they rarely kept one long. The assembly of the citizens, the vetché, convoked by the bell in the Court of Iaroslaf, was the real sovereign. The republic called herself "My Lord Novgorod the Great " (Gospodine Ve1ikii Novgorod). "Who can equal God and the great Novgorod ? "was a popular saying. From the distance of the city from the Russia of the Dnieper, and her position towards the Baltic and Western Europe, she took little part in the civil wars of which Kief was the object and the centre. She profited by this in a certain sense ; for in the midst of the strifes of princes and of frequent changes in the grand principality, no sovereign was strong enough to give her a master. She could choose between princes of the rival families. She could impose conditions on him whom she chose to reign over her. If discontented with his management, she expelled the prince and his band of antrustions. According to the accustomed formula, " she made a reverence, and showed him the way" to leave Novgorod. Sometimes, to hinder his evil designs, she kept him prisoner in the archbishop's palace, and it was left to his successor to set him at liberty. Often a revolution was accompanied by a general pillage of the partisans of the fallen prince, even by noyades in the Volkhof. A grand Prince of Kief, Sviatopolk, wished to force his son on them. " Send him here," said the Novgorodians, " if he has a spare head." The princes themselves contributed to the frequent changes of reign. They only felt themselves half-rulers in Novgorod, so they accepted any other appanage with joy. Thus, in 1132, Vsevolod Gabriel abandoned Novgorod to reign at Peréiaslavl. When his hopes of Kief were crushed, and he wished to return to Novgorod, the citizens rejected him. " You have forgotten your oath to die with us, you have sought another principality ; go where you will." Presently they thought better of it, and took him back. Four years afterwards he was again obliged to fly. In a great vetché, to which the citizens of Pskof and Ladoga were summoned, they solemnly condemned the exile, after reading the heads of very characteristic accusations : " He took no care of the poorer people ; he desired to establish himself at Peréiaslavl : at the battle of Mount Idanof, against the men of Souzdal, be and his droujina were the first to leave the battle-field; be was fickle in the quarrels of the princes, sometimes uniting with the Prince of Tchernigof, sometimes with the opposite party."

The power of a prince of Novgorod rested not only on his droujina, which always followed his fortunes, and on his family relations with this or that powerful principality, but also on a party formed for him in the heart of the republic. It was when the opposing party grew too strong that he was dethroned, and popular vengeance exercised on his adherents. Novgorod being above all a great commercial city, her divisions were frequently caused by diverging economic interests. Among the citizens some were occupied in trade with the Volga and the East, others with the Dnieper and Greece. The former naturally sought the alliance of the princes of Souzdal, masters of the great Oriental artery ; the latter that of the princes of Kief or Tchernigof, masters of the road to the south. Each of the two parties tried to establish a prince of the family whose protection they sought. If he fell, yet succeeded in escaping from the town, he tried to regain his throne by the arms of his family, or to instal himself and his droujina either at Pskof, like Vsevolod-Gabriel, who became prince of that town, or at Torjok, like Iaroslaf of Souzdal, and thence blockaded and starved the great city. The prince of Souzdal was soon the most formidable neighbor of Novgorod. We have seen that Andrew Bogolioubski sent an army against it, then that his nephew Iaroslaf besieged his ancient subjects till Mstislaf the Bold freed them by the battle of Lipetsk (1216). He was the son of Mstislaf the Brave, who had defended them against Vsevolod Big-Nest, and against Souzdal and the Tchouds. The remains of " the Brave " rest at Saint Sophia, in a bronze sarcophagus. His son, "the Bold," was of far too restless a nature to leave his bones also at Novgorod. He reduced the principality to order, and then assembled the citizens in. the Court of Iaroslaf, and said to them, " I salute Saint Sophia, the tomb of my father, and you. Novgorodians, I am going to reconquer Galitch from the strangers, but I shall never forget you. I hope I may lie by the tomb of my father, in Saint Sophia." The Novgorodians in vain entreated him to stay 0218). We have seen him use his last armies in the troubles of the South-east, and die Prince of Galitch.

After his departure, the republic summoned his nephew, Sviatoslaf, to the throne ; but he could not come to terms with magistrates and a populace equally turbulent. The possadnik, Tverdislaf, caused one of the boyards of Novgorod to be arrested. This was the signal for a general rising; some took the part of the boyard, others that of the possadnik. During eight days the bell of the kremlin sounded. Finally both factions buckled on their cuirasses and drew their swords. Tverdislaf raised his eyes to Saint Sophia, and cried, " I shall fall first in the battle, or God will justify me by giving the victory to my brothers." Ten men only perished in this-skirmish, and then peace was reestablished. The prince, who accused Tverdislaf of being the cause of the trouble, demanded that he should-be deposed. The vetché inquired what crime he had committed. " None," replied the prince, "but it is my will." " I am satisfied," ex. claimed the possadnik, "as they do not accuse me of any fault; as to you, my brothers, you can dispose alike of possadniks and princes." The'assembly then gave their decision. " Prince, as you do not acc~se the possadnik of any fault, remember that you have sworn to depose no magistrate without trial. He will remain our possadnik-we will not deliver him to you." On this åSviatoslaf quitted Novgorod (i2ig). He was replaced by Vsevolod, one of his brothers, who was expelled two year~ later (1221).

The Souzdalian party having made some progress, they recalled the same laroslaf who was beaten at Lipetsk, but the princes of Souzdal were too absolute in their ideas to be able to agree with the Novgorodians. Iaroslaf was again put to flight, and replaced by Vsevolod of Smolensk, who was expelled in his turn. The Grand Prince of Souzdal now interposed, levied a contribution on Novgorod, and a prince of Tchernigof was imposed on them, who hastened in 1225 to return to the south of Russia. In seven years the Novgorodians had five times changed their rulers. Iaroslaf himself came back for a third and even a fourth time. A famine so much reduced the Novgorodians that 42,000 corpses were buried in two cemeteries alone. These proud citizens implored strangers to take them as slaves for the price of a morsel of bread. The same year a fire destroyed the whole of one quarter of Novgorod. These calamities subdued their turbulence. Iaroslaf succeeded in governing them despotically till he was called to fill the throne of the Grand Prince (1236). He left them, as their prince, his son Alexander Nevski.


From the fact that no dynasty of princes could establish it. self at Novgorod, that no princely band could take a place among the native aristocracy, it follows that the republic kept her ancient liberties and customs intact under the short reigns of her rulers. In all Russian cities, it is true, the country existed side by side with the prince and boyards, the assembly of citizens side by side with the prince's men, and the native Militia side by side with the foreign droujina; but at Novgorod, the country, the vetché and the municipal militia had retained more vigor than elsewhere. The town was more powerful than the prince, who reigned by virtue of a constitution, traces of which may be observed, no doubt, in other regions of Russia, but which is found in its original form at Novgorod alone. Each Dew monarch was compelled to take an oath, by which he bound himself to observe the laws and privileges of Iaroslaf the Great. This constitution, like the pacta conventa of Poland, signified distrust, and was intended to limit the power of the prince and his men. The revenues to which he had a right, and which formed his civil list, were carefully limited, as also were his judicial and political functions. He levied tribute on certain volosts, and was entitled to the vira (German Wergeld) as well as to certain fines. In some bailiwicks he had his own lieutenant, and Novgorod had hers. He could not execute justice without help of the possadnik, nor upset any judgment ; nor, above all, take the suit beyond Novgorod. This was what the Novgorodians feared most, and with reason. The day when the people of Novgorod bethought themselves of appealing to the tribunal of the Grand Prince of Moscow, was fatal to the independence of the republic. In the conflicts between the men of the prince and those of the city, a mixed court delivered judgment. The prince, no more than his men, could acquire villages in the territory of Novgorod, nor create colonies. He was forbidden to hunt in the woods of Staraïa Roussa except in the autumn, and had to reap his harvests at a specified season. Though they thus mistrusted their prince, the Novgorodians had need of him to moderate the ancient Slav anarchy. As in the days of Rurik, "family armed itself against family, and there was no justice." In Novgorod the vetché had more extensive powers, and acted more regularly than in the other Russian cities. It was the vetché which nominated and expelled princes, imprisoned them in the archiepiscopal palace, and formally accused them; elected and deposed the archbishops, decided peace and war, judged the State criminals. According to the old Slav custom (preserved in Poland till the fall of the republic), the decisions were always made, not by a majority, but by unanimity of voices. It was a kind of liberum veto. The majority had the resource of drowning the minority in the Volkhof. The prince as well as the possadnik, the boyards as well as the people, had the right of convoking the vetché. It met sometimes in the Court of Iaroslaf, sometimes in Saint Sophia's. As Poland had her con. federations, her " diets under the shield," Novgorod occasionally saw on the banks of the Volkhof two rival and hostile vetchés, which often came to blows on the bridge. Before being sub. mitted to the general assembly, the questions were sometimes deliberated in a smaller council, composed of notable citizens, of acting or past magistrates.

The chief Novgorodian magistrates were: 1. The possadnik called by contemporary German writers the burgomaster, who was changed nearly as often as the prince. The possadnik was chosen from some of the influential families , one of which alone gave a dozen possadniks to Novgorod. The first magistrate was charged to defend civic privileges, and shared with the prince the judicial power and the right of distributing the taxes. He governed the city, commanded her army, directed her diplomacy, sealed the acts with her seal. 2. The tysatsky (from tysatch, thousand) bears in German documents the title of dux or herzog; he was therefore a military chief, a chiliarch who had the centurions of the town militia under his orders. He had a special tribunal, and seems to have been specially entrusted with the defence of the rights of the people, thus recalling the Roman tribunes- 3. Besides the centurions there was a starost, a sort of district mayor, for each quarter of the town.

The chief document of the Novgorodian law is the Letter of Justice (Soudnaïa Gramota), of which the definite publication may be placed at 1471- It contains the same principles as the Rousskaïa Pravda of Iaroslaf the Great. As in all the early Germanic and Scandinavian laws, we find the right of private revenge, the fixed price of blood, the "boot" or fine for injury inflicted, the oath admitted as evidence, the judgment of God, the judicial duel, which was still resorted to by Novgorod even after her decadence, in the 16th century. We also find records of corporal punishments. The thief was to be branded; on the second relapse into crime, he was to be hung. Territorial property acquires a greater importance, and, a sure evidence of Muscovite influence, a second court of appeal is admitted-the appeal to the tribunal of the Grand Prince.

From a social point of view, the constitution of Novgorod presents other analogies with the constitution of Poland. Great inequality then existed between the different classes of society. An aristocracy of boyards had ultimately formed itself, whose intestine quarrels agitated the town. Below the boyards came the dieti boyarskie, a kind of inferior nobility; then the different classes of citizens, the merchantmen, the black People, and the smerdes or peasants. The merchants formed an association of their own, a sort of guild, round the Church of Saint John. Military societies also existed, bands of independent ad. venturers or droujinas of some boyard who, impelled by hunger or a restless spirit, sought adventures afar on the great rivers of Northern Russia, pillaging alike friends and enemies, or establishing military colonies in the midst of Tchoud or Finnish tribes.

The-soil of Novgorod was sandy, marshy, and unproductive: hence the famines and pestilences that so often depopulated the Country. Novgorod was forced to extend itself in order to live; she became therefore a commercial and colonizing city. In the 10th century, Constantine relates how the Slavs left Nemogard (Novgorod), descended the Dnieper by Milinisca (Smolensk), Telioutza (Loubetch), Tchernigof, Vychegorod, Kief and Vititchevo ; crossed the cataracts of the Dnieper, passed the naval stations of Saint Gregory and Saint Etherius, at the mouth of the river, and spread themselves over all the shores of the Greek empire. The Oriental coins and jewels found in the kourgans of the Ilmen show that the Novgorodians had an early and extensive commerce with the East. We see them exchange iron and weapons for the precious metals found by the Iougrians in the mines of the Ourals. They traded with the Baltic Slavs; and when the latter lost their independence, and a flourishing centre, Wisby, was formed in the Isle of Gothland, Novgorod turned to this side also. In the 12th century there was a Gothic trading dépôt and a Varangian Church at Novgorod, and a Novgorodian Church in Gothland. When the Germans began to dispute the commerce of the Baltic with the Scandinavians, Novgorod became the seat of a German dépôt, which ended by absorbing the Gothic one. When the Hanseatic League became the mistress of the North, we find the Germans established not only at Novgorod, but at Pskof and Ladoga, at all the mouths of the network of Novgorodian lakes. There they obtained considerable privileges, even the right to acquire pastureland. They were masters, and at home in their fortified in their stockade of thick planks, where no Russian had the right to penetrate without their leave. This German trading company was governed by the most narrow and exclusive ideas. No Russian was allowed to belong to the company, nor to carry the wares of a German, an Englishman, a Walloon or a Fleming. The company only authorized a wholesale commerce, and, to maintain her goods at a high price, she forbade imports beyond a certain amount. " In a word," says a German writer, "during three centuries the Hanseatic League concentrated in her own hands all the external commerce of Northern Russia. If we inquire what profit or loss she has brought this country, we must recognize that, thanks to her, Novgorod and Pskof were deprived of a free commerce with the West. Russia, in order to satisfy the first wants of civilization, fell into a complete independence. She was abandoned to the good pleasure and pitiless egotism of the German merchants." (Riesenkampf, 'Der deutsche Hof.')

The ecclesiastical constitution of Russia presents a special character. In the rest of Russia the clergy was Russian-orthodox. At Novgorod it was Novgorodian before everything. It was only in the 12th century that the Slavs of Ilmen, who had been the last to be converted, could have an archbishop that was neither Greek nor Kievian, but of their own race. From that time the archbishop was elected by the citizens, by the vetché. Without waiting for the metropolitan to be invested at Kief, he was at once installed in his episcopal palace. He was one of the great personages, the first dignitary of the republic. In public acts his name was placed before the others. "With the blessing of Archbishop Moses," says one letter-patent; " possadnik Daniel and tysatski Abraham salute you." He had a superiority over the prince on the ground of being a native of the country, whilst the descendant of Rurik was a foreigner. In return, the revenues of the archbishop, the treasures of Saint Sophia, were at the service of the republic. In the '4th century we find an archbishop building at his own expense a kremlin of stone. In the 15th century, the riches of the cathedral were employed to ransom the Russian prisoners captured by the Lithuanians. The Church of Novgorod was essentially a national Church ; the ecclesiastics took part in the temporal affairs, the laics in the spiritual. In the 14th century the vetché put to death the heretical strigolniks, proscribed ancient superstitions, and burnt the sorcerers. As Novgorod nominated her archbishop, she could also depose him. The orthodox religion extended with the Novgorod colonization among the Finnish tribes. In face of the Finns, the interests of the Church and the Republic were identical. It was religion that contributed to the splendor of the city, and that specially profited by her wealth. Novgorod was full of churches and monasteries, founded by the piety of private individuals. Novgorod, which had shaken off the political supremacy of Kief, wished also to free herself from its religious domination, and no longer to be obliged to seek on the Dnieper the investiture of her archbishop, but to make him an independent metropolitan. She failed. When Moscow became of importance, she threatened not only the political, but the religious supremacy of Novgorod. Religion was, in the hands of the Muscovite princes, an instrument of government. The Novgorodian prelate always made common cause with his fellow- citizens, and endured with them their master's bursts of anger.

The literature of Novgorod was as national as the Church herself. The pious chronicles of the Novgorodian convents shared all the quarrels and all the passions of their fellow-citizens. " Even their style," said M. Bestoujef, "reflects vividly the ac. tive, business-like character of the Novgorodians. It is short, and sparing of words ; but their narratives embrace more completely than those of other Russian countries all the phases of actual life. They are the historians not merely of the princes and boyards, but of the whole city. The lives of the saints are the lives of Novgorodian saints ; the miracles they relate are to the glory of the city. They tell you, for example., that Christ appeared to the artist charged with the paintings under the dome of Saint Sophia, and said to him : 'Do not represent me with my hand extended for blessing, but with my hand closed be. cause in it I hold Novgorod; and when it is opened it will be the end of the city.' " The tale of the panic excited among the soldiers of Andrew Bogolioubski by the image of the Virgin wounded by a Souzdalian arrow, was spread abroad. Novgorod has her own cycle of epic songs, of bylinas. Her heroes are not those of the Kievian epopee. There is Vassili Bouslaévitch, the bold boyard, who with his faithful droujina stood up to his knees in blood on the bridge of the Volkhof, holding in check all the mougiks of Novgorod, whom he had defied to combat. Vassili Bouslaévitch is the true type of these proud adventurers, who knew neither friend nor enemy -- a true Novgorodian oligarch, a hero of civil war. Still more popular was Sadko, the rich merchant, a kind of Novgorodian Sindbad or Ulysses, a worthy representative of a people of merchants and adventurers, who sought his fortunes on the waves. A tempest rose, and men drew lots to decide who should be sacrificed to the wrath of the gods. Sadko threw a little wooden ring into the water, the others flung in iron rings : 0 prodigy ! the others swam, his sank. He obeyed his destiny, and threw himself into the waves, but he was received in the palace of the king of the sea, who tested him in various ways, and wished him to marry his daughter. Then suddenly Sadko found himself on the shore with great treasures, but what were these compared to the treasures of the city ? "They see that I am a rich merchant of Novgorod, but Novgorod is still more rich than I."[*]


Of all the towns subject to Novgorod, Pskof was the most im. portant. On the point formed by the junction of the Pskova and the Velikaïa rises her kremlin, with its crumbling ramparts, its ruined gates and towers. These once famous walls are today a mass of ruins, and the street-boys amuse themselves by throwing stones in the Pskova to frighten the laundresses. Pskof is only a poor little place with 20,000 souls. There only remains of her past splendor the cathedral of the Trinity at one end of the kremlin. There rest in metal coffins the bones of the best- loved princes, Vsevolod-Gabriel and Dovmont, a converted Lithuanian who came in the 13th century to defend the republic against his own compatriots. This old town has preserved many churches and monasteries. The distant view of Pskof is beautiful, and on fête-days the dead city seems to awake at the chimes of her innumerable bells, which sound as loudly as in the days of her glorious past.

Nestor makes Pskof the native land of Saint Olga. The sum of his history is nothing more than these two facts : first, the struggle against the Tchouds, and, later, against the Germans of Livonia ; second, the efforts of Novgorod to secure her freedom. The independence of the city was ultimately secured by her wealth and her commerce. The first prince who ruled her as a separate state, Vsevolod-Gabriel, was expelled by his subjects, and therefore was welcomed with the greater eagerness by the Pskovians. When the Souzdalian party ruled at Novgorod, it was generally the contrary party that triumphed in Pskof. About 1214 the little republic contracted an offensive and defensive alliance with the Germans; she undertook to help them against the Lithuanians, and they were to support her against Novgorod. This was playing rather a dangerous game. In 12 40, one Tverdillo delivered up Pskof to the Livonian knights ; she did not free herself till 1242. From this moment Pskof ceased to mix in the civil wars of Novgorod. She had enough to do with her own affairs and her struggle against the Germans, Swedes, and Lithuanians. She also called herself "My Lord Pskof the Great; " but it was only in 1348 that the Novgorodians, needing her help against Magnus, king of Sweden, formally recognized her independence, by the treaty of Bolstof, and concluded with her a bond of fraternal friendship. Novgorod became the elder sister, and Pskof the younger. The organization of Pskof is almost that of her ancient metropolis. We again find the prince, the vetché the division into quarters, up to the number of six, each one having its starost.

In the 12th century a new Novgorodian colony was formed between the Kama and the Viatka, which remained a republic till the end of the 15th century. " This distant country," says M. Bestoujef-Rioumine, " is still quite Novgorodian. When the traveller has passed the Viatka, he meets with a peculiar mode of constructing the huts. There are no longer whole lines of isbas joined one to the other, as on this side of the river, but there is a high house, where the court, rooms, and offices are surrounded by a rampart of pales, and united under the same roof ; in a word, it was a Novgorodian house. You hear the Novgorodian patois, you see the Novgorodian cap. It is the Novgorod colonization still living." An 1174 some adventurers from the Great Republic came from the Kama to the Viatka, and advanced from east to west, and founded a colony on this river, which is to-day the village of Nikon. litsyne. Another band defeated the Tcheremisses, and on their territory raised Kochkarof, at present called Kotelnitch. Then the two bands reunited, and penetrated into the Votiak country. On the right bank of the Viatka, on the summit of a high mountain, they perceived a city surrounded by a rampart and a ditch, which contained one of the sanctuaries of the peo. ple. As pious as the companions of Cortez ai.d Pizarro, the Russian adventurers prepared themselves for the assault by a fast of several days, then invoked Saints Boris and Gleb, and captured the town. Next, at the mouth of the Khlynovitsa, in the Viatka, not very far off, they built the city of Khlynof, which became, under the name of Viatka, the capital of all their colonies. She had no walls, but the houses, built close together, formed an unbroken rampart against the enemy, a wall and defence. At the news of this success, other colonists flocked from Novgorod and the forests of the north, and founded other centres of population. These bold pioneers had more than once to re-unite, sometimes against the aboriginal Finns or the Tatar invaders, sometimes against the pretensions of Novgorod, or the Grand Prince of Moscow. We find among them, as in the metropolis, boyards, merchants, and citizens. They had voïevodes or atamans for their military chiefs. Their spirit of religious independence equalled their political independence. Jonas, metropolitan of Moscow, writes angrily about the indocility of their clergy, and avenges himself by blaming their morals. "Your spiritual sons," he wrote to the priests of Viatka, " live contrary to the law. They have five, six, or even seven wives. And you dare to bless these marriages!"

* A. Rambaud, 'La Russie épique,' p. 130.