Free Men Ploshchevichy: Land Ownership in the Early Moscow “Volost” of the 14th — 15th Centuries. (Archaeological Examination of the Charter of the ASEI — I — 422)
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Free Men Ploshchevichy: Land Ownership in the Early Moscow “Volost” of the 14th — 15th Centuries. (Archaeological Examination of the Charter of the ASEI — I — 422)
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Sergey Chernov 
Affiliation: Institute of Archaeology Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
The article is devoted to the community of free peasants in Russia in the 14th — 15th centuries (volost), which for the time being remains still debated social institution. It does not fit either the parameters of the hypothetical “community” of the pre-state period, or the parameters of the princely manor. The author studies how the peasants received land plots, what were these plots, and how the whole system functioned technically. Article deals with the lands of the Pereiaslav principality, which were annexed to the Moscow principality in 1302, more specifically, with the administrative formation of Kinela in 70 km to the north-east of Moscow, and even more specifically — with “Ploschevskaya volost” — part of Kinela, where manors had not appeared by the 14th — 15th centuries and where the archaic pre-manorial system of the free peasants’ possessions in the prince's lands was preserved. The author's method is to localize on a modern map and to establish the dimensions of individual land holdings that were provided to peasants (they are referred to in the documents of 1462—1518 as “men of Ploshchevichi”). One of such possessions, where the hamlet of Konan Shilov was founded in the beginning of the 15th century, was surveyed archaeologically. Researchers found the traces of this 15th century hamlet. The traces of another site, which dates back to the second half of the 13th century, were found at 50 meters from them. This finding showed that the system of distribution of plots of land in Ploschevskaya volost existed since the reign of Alexander Nevsky (1252—1263) and his children, when the process of the settling of watersheds began in this region. The author comes to the conclusion that the system of obtaining land plots by peasants was based on the original and completely forgotten in modern times understanding of the principles of property. Volost organization of Russia in the 14th — 15th centuries reminded the service organizations that existed in Poland and the Czech state in the 12th — 13th centuries. With caution, we can talk about its distant relationship with institutions such as the Norwegian Odal, which existed on the periphery of Europe (Ireland, Frisia, Norway), unaffected by the influence of Roman legal institutions. Social institutions of that type surprise researchers even nowadays.
manor, pre-manorial system, hamlet, village, Ploshchevskaya volost, service organization, Odal, The Moscow principality of the 13th — 16th centuries, Pereyaslavl Principality, charter
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