Rus Articles Journal

Why ancient Novgorod was the free city?

the Most ancient Russian chronicle “Story of Temporary Years“ reports two mutually exclusive versions about emergence of Novgorod. It agrees one of them, Novgorod was founded by Rurik. It agrees another, it was based by the Slavs who came to the North in the course of moving from Podneprovya and then invited Rurik to already existing city. It turns out, according to one version - the prince is primary in relation to the city, and on another - it is secondary, outposts in it already developed structure of the power of elders. What of these versions is truthful?

Both versions are right though on materials of archeologists the earliest mentions of princely residences in Novgorod are connected with the story about events of time of Yaroslav the Wise (a boundary of the X-XI centuries) . During this period the prince had two residences: country in the village of Rakom in 8 km from Novgorod and city which location was imprinted in the name “Yaroslavovo Dvorishche“ well-known subsequently and earlier existed Ryurikovo Gorodishche (in 2 km from Novgorod).

Within the Novgorod earth, unlike other Russian lands, the cities it is not enough. Minus the fortresses constructed in the XIII-XV centuries to number, undoubtedly, ancient only Old Ladoga, Staraya Russa and Ryurikovo Gorodishche belong (in 2 km from Novgorod). Gorodishche which so was called also in the 12th century that confirmed a high antiquity of this point however was never called Ryurikov, it received this name only in local history literature of the XIX-XX centuries

Historians the facts of periodic change of the power when throughout several centuries in Russia, besides prince possession, there were two republics are admitted, - Pskov and Novgorod. Concerning Novgorod and till 1136 princes in certain cases disposed of the earth only with the consent of a vech.

During domination of Marxist ideology the veche system of the power in Novgorod was carried to manifestation of early democracy, without the fact that existence of a vech rejects the state in obshchinno back - a patrimonial system. Also it would be naive to believe that the prince was not able to restore by force the power over the city. As is confirmed by history when “freedom-loving“ Novgorod one and all princes pacified. Starting with Rurik, the pacified Vadim`s revolt (about Vadim`s identity there are no data), and to Ivan IV Grozny who finally subordinated the city to the Grand duke.

What allowed Novgorodians to behave separately from other state? What, more important, than power of the prince? It can be only the status having a religious or economic basis. To understand it, it is necessary to draw several conclusions which will help us to understand further a situation which could precede the organization of the Russian state.

The impression was made that the ends in Novgorod (5 ends) are “ambassadorial“ yards from participants of the contract. Therefore in each end the veche. Kontsovsky idea about trailer, ulichansky and further on sense: veches “domestic“, “family“ etc. reduces this idea to inadequate perception of surrounding reality.

The prince is invited for protection and establishing order. Impression that Novgorod is ancient Russian trade analog of Lubeck. Only this reason could allow preservation of independence of the city of the prince (till some time) until the ruling prince decides to subordinate to himself the city on a territorial sign. Protection of Lubeck was carried out by the Teutonic award, for protection of Novgorod Rurik was invited.

It is known that in the X-XI centuries. the tribute to Varangians went from Novgorod, but not from all its earth, and Novgorodians rendered this tribute. Taxes are paid only by Novgorod twice not to tax people. Novgorod - shopping center where 300 belts are 300 representatives of “trading houses“.

Pskov and the Polotsk principality kept the independence all the time of existence of Ancient Russia. Most of the historians describing events of creation of the Russian state often use incorrect and unreliable information, describing the period of government of the prince Vladimir. On materials of the Novgorod expedition it is possible to do the assumption that capture by the prince Vladimir Polotska was a necessary measure for submission of Krivichi and the lands belonging to them. And in this case it is worth paying attention to actions of the prince Vseslav in 1065-1077

On this background all pathos of the Novgorod nobility about the self-decorum can be brought to naught. The same and instructions I. Pervolfa about drevnepolsky great veche as congress of the prince and kmety till 15th century can be rejected for the reason that there is also no history of Ancient Poland, as well as history of Ancient Russia. It is considered that the diet was founded by Bela I (the Hungarian king from a dynasty Arpadov, 1061 - 1063). And in Poland there was also hereditary transfer of power, beginning from Mieszko I (960 - 992) to Yagellonov.

In Russia the way “from the Varangian in Greeks“, former, according to an annalistic source, a river way from the Gulf of Finland across Neva, Lake Ladoga, the Volkhov River, Lake Ilmen, across Lovat to a volok to upper courses of Dnieper was the first official research; then across Dnieper and the Black Sea to Constantinople.

In literature there is information about Volgo - the Baltic way - the trunk water trade main of Eastern Europe VIII - go and half of the 9th century. Passed across Volga from the mouth to upper courses, further to Lake Ladoga, on inflows of Ilmen and the Volkhov River on the Baltic coast. Connected the southern provinces of the Arab caliphate with the people of the Baltic coast and through them - with Western Europe. Establishment of strong commercial relations between the Arab world and Baltic is dated 2 - y a half of the 8th century.

At the beginning of the 11th century trade across Volzhsko - the Baltic way stood. It was promoted, on the one hand, by weakening of the Arab caliphate, and with another - the beginning of expansion of the German knights to Slavic lands.

Actually trade stood because of interstine fight between Novgorod and Kiev when the Grand duke Kiev subordinated to himself Novgorod on a territorial sign. Knights came later for restoration of the trade way connecting the Asian countries and Arabs with Europe.

Thus, Novgorod was a prototype of the Hanseatic union of the North German cities in XIII - the beginning of the 14th centuries led by the city of Lubeck. Throughout this period Hansa possessed trade hegemony in Northern Europe. The first merchant guilds (corporations) began to appear in the 12th century, and in the 14th century in Germany they already had time of the blossoming

the German merchants took in hand trade mediation. In the purposes they used progress of the German colonization in Slavic countries of Eastern Europe and relied in trade activity on military forces of the German knightly Awards (subsequently one of them - Teutonic - was accepted in members of Hansa).

The basis of Riga and Revel (modern Tallinn) - the major points on the way to Smolensk, Polotsk and Novgorod. Emergence of offices of the German merchants in Norway in the first half of the 13th century and obtaining privileges by them for trade in Flanders, growth of Lubeck founded on the Slavic territory (the main center of the German trade in the east of Europe) - all this also prepared formation of the Hanseatic union.

The Moscow prince John III, having taken Novgorod in 1494, expelled Hanseatic merchants from there and destroyed so-called. German yard.

On the basis of these data it is possible to say with confidence that ancient Novgorod and Lubeck are analogs on several signs. Hansa repeated destiny of Novgorod in which at the time of “Free“ Novgorod Rurik with the team played a protection role, as well as the Teutonic knightly award protected the Hanseatic union.

Novgorod is ancient “offshore“, the platform uniting commercial relations of the states of antiquity.