I. THE REPUBLIC OF NOVGOROD(‘ LORD NOVGOROD THE GREAT," Gospodin Velikii Novgorod, as it oncecalled itself, is the starting-point of Russian history. It is alsowithout a rival among the Russian city-states of the Middle Ages.Kiev and Moscow are greater in political importance, especially inthe earliest and latest mediaeval times-before the Second Crusadeand after the fall of Constantinople-but no Russian town of anyage has the same individuality and self-sufficiency, the same sturdyrepublican independence, activity, and success.Who can stand against God and the Great Novgorod
?-Kto protivBoga i Velikago Novgoroda .
J-was the famous proverbial expressionof this self-sufficiency and success.From the beginning of the Crusading Age to the fall of theByzantine Empire Novgorod is unique among Russian cities, notonly for its population, its commerce, and its citizen army (assuringit almost complete freedom from external domination even in theMongol Age), but also as controlling an empire, or sphere of influence,extending over the far North from Lapland to the Urals and the Ob.The modern provinces of Novgorod, Olonets, and Archangel, withportions of Vologda, Perm, and Tobolsk, represent this empire.lThe great Novgorod of the Middle Ages, the quiet, decayed cathe-dral town of to-day, lies on both sides of the deep and broad Vol-khov, on its way from Lake Ilmen to Ladoga and the Baltic. Herewe are about one hundred miles south-east of St. Petersburg.As in the Middle Ages, the
Quarter of St. Sophia
still lieson the left of the Volkhov, the Commercial Side on the right. Theeleventh-century cathedral of the Holy Wisdom, “ Saint Sophia,”is still one of the historical monuments of Russia, while the walls ofthe Kremlin of Novgorod show how slender was the fourteenth-century Russian skill in fortification.2But the mighty turbulent Republic is no more. The moderntown, of some 26,000 people, has little more than a tenth, perhaps,.of its old numbers, when to Ghillibert de Lannoy, coming from theLow Countries in 1413, it appeared “ of prodigious greatness.‘lsThe Hanseatic Market is a memory. The ancient earthern rampartsare in ruins, and of their stone towers only one,
stillstands on the south of the city. Quite as ruinous is the Tower ofYaroslav, overlooking that Court of Yaroslav, which was once the