Rus Articles Journal

Justice in Russia. What role was played by monasteries?

Methods of keeping of the first unbearable criminals can be tracked on the example of the first political convict - the archpriest Habakkuk who in May, 1666 was rasstrizhen and it is chained in the Nikolsky monastery on Ugrezhe.

From the middle of May it was transported from the monastery to the monastery, and the final sentence of a cathedral about “raskolouchitel“ was pronounced on July 17, 1667, and its fifteen years` “sitting“ in a felling and in earth prison followed.

The concept and formation of the special troops necessary for protection of monarchic criminals who were earlier just killed is inseparably linked with penal servitude. And, strangely enough, but preservation of life and judicial protection to the simple person happened in the period of government of “The terrible tsar“ who stopped individual seigniorial court. Only high-native “citizens“ in Russia used earlier similar “privilege“.

The legislation of Old Russian principalities was based on “Law the Russian“, a common law of east Slavs and the Old Russian state in 9 - 10 centuries. “Law Russian“ is partially reflected in contracts of Russia with Greeks from 911, 944 and in the Russian truth. Contained norms of a criminal, hereditary, family, procedural law.

The Russian Truth - the arch of the Old Russian right. Yaroslavichey, Vladimir Monomakh`s Charter, etc. includes separate standards of “Law the Russian“, Yaroslav the Wise`s Truth, the Truth. Protection of life and property of princely combatants and citizens; position of dependent people, obligations and law of succession etc. Three editions: Short, Vast, Reduced. Lists 13 - 18 centuries.

Special people for protection of criminals were required after when, besides external “adversary“, there was an enemy internal - the convict who needed to be protected. Monasteries in which high-native “criminals“ were held under protection of monks were engaged in protection of the first disgraced boyars.

The patriarch Filaret, for example, for dissolute life ordered to banish to the White Sea, to the Korelsky monastery, the seigniorial son Nekhoroshka Semichev, to hold held down in take and to feed with one bread. The unfortunate prisoner had to be in such situation to death. Shuysky banished the monastery of the prince Ivan Hvorostinin in Iosifov, and then the patriarch Filaret ordered to banish it in Kirillov the monastery.

In Russia monasteries appeared at Yaroslav the Wise when in 1062 Kiyevo - the Pechersky monastery was based. To the middle of the 15th century 180 monasteries, in the 15-16th centuries were founded. - 300 monasteries which generally had special functions - in quality voyenno - fortification constructions and were the fortresses capable to maintain the opponent`s siege on the important directions for protection of borders of the state.

It is well illustrated in the history when Boris Godunov with the “walk the city“ maneuvered near the monastery armed with guns. That monks were the efficient and trained in military business people, tell historic facts: “A siege of the Yasnogorsky monastery in time polsko - the Swedish war. The version about value of defense of Chenstokhova“ was created by the prior of the monastery Augustine Kordetsky in the book “New Gigantomakhiya“ which appeared in 1658.

The monastic community of Sergey of Radonezh on Kulikovo field was presented by monks Alexander Peresvet and Oslyabey. The duel of Alexander Peresvet with Temir - murzy (Chelubey) and death says both that the monk was prepared and owned the weapon, military receptions and skills it is not worse than the glorified Tatar athlete at all.

A Trinity - the Sergiyevsky monastery sustained a siege of army of the hetman Sapegi in 1608 - 1610, having delayed on itself a significant amount of the Polish troops in “time of troubles“. Under protection of monastic walls local peasants left during attacks and wars, “the church tithe“ provided a stock of food of the defending brotherhood in case of a siege. And in this case the abbot of the monastery often was the only authority subordinating himself all organization of defense.

In the same monasteries supported disgraced princes and boyars under protection of the monks capable to beat off attack of relatives of “convicts“. First monastic “sidelets“, most likely, were the brother of the prince Yaroslav the Wise and the Novgorod posadnik Kosnyatin whom the fifth Russian prince “suppurated in places remote“.

History of Solovetsky Monastery: during the Solovki revolt fight against rebellious aged men turned into real war in which monks successfully maintained a siege of active armed forces more than 8 years. At the beginning of mutiny in the monastery there were 673 persons, and by the beginning of the last storm - no more than 350. About 100 Solovki sidelets died at capture of monastery, and from 62 aged men taken prisoner 28 were at once executed.

After that it became clear that it is impossible to trust monastic monks protection of the state criminals completely. And in the state enemies internal required internal, special police service, and as “it is regrettable“ to report about it, guardsmen among whom there was also future tsar Boris Godunov became the first division bearing official internal service.

Monasteries Solovki, Pechensky, Veliky Ustyug, Spaso - Prilutsky supplied Skopin with money for payment to Swedes who undertook obligations to help the Russian troops with war with Poland.

Monasteries raised money and for formation of a national militia of the prince Dmitry Pozharsky and Kuzma Minin.

Monasteries served not only the place of “vacation“, but were also a shelter. In monasteries hid princely children during civil strifes. So, during Vasily Temny and Dmitry Shemyaki`s “quarrel“ in the monastery hid the grand duke Ivan III. In the Trinity - the Sergiyevy monastery Peter I disappeared from streletsky revolt, trying to obtain the accession.