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Review: A Soviet View of Medieval Russian Canon Law Author(s): Charles J. Halperin Reviewed work(s): Kniazheskie ustavy i tserkov' v drevnei Rusi. XI-XIV vv. [Princely Statutes and the Church in Ancient Russia. XI-XIV Centuries] by Ia. N. Shchapov Source: Russian Review, Vol. 34, No. 1 (Jan., 1975), pp. 78-90 Published by: Blackwell Publishing on behalf of The Editors and Board of Trustees of the Russian Review Stable URL: Accessed: 07/06/2009 14:47
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A Soviet View of Medieval Russian Law Canon

By CHARLES J. HALPERN Kniazheskie ustavy i tserkov' v drevnei Rusi. XIIA. N. SHCHAPOV.

XIV vv. [Princelystatutes and the church in ancient Russia.XI1972.340 pp. 1.63 rubles. XIV centuries].Moscow:"Nauka," has given considerable attentionto the historyof Sovietscholarship the medieval RussianOrthodoxchurchwith mixed results,land the researchof Ia. N. Shchapovis part of this development.Shchapov,a in Moscow,has devoted over twenty articlesand this recent monographto the field of medievalRussiancanonlaw.2In his workon the princelystatutesissuedto the church,Shchapovdrawsnot only upon as A. S. of imperialchurchscholarship of such luminaries the research of the early Pavlovof the nineteenthcenturyand V. N. Beneshevich3 twentieth (to whom Shchapovdedicated his monograph),but also
1 See the review by G. J. Shesko of N. A. Smirov, ed. Tserkov'v istorii Rossii (IX1917 g.): kriticheskieocherki (Moscow, 1967), in Kritika.A Review of CurrentSoviet Books on RussianHistory 5, no. 2 (Winter 1969): 12-18. 2 Ia. N. Shchapov, Kniazheskieustavy i tserkov'v drevnei Rusi, XI-XIV vv. (Moscow, 1972). This monographwill receive the majorshare of attention below; page references will simply be given in parenthesis. Shchapov'searliest publications were manuscriptdescriptions: "Arkheograficheskaia ekspeditsiia v Gor'kovskuiuoblast'," Trudy otdela drevnerusskoi literatury XIV v. (1958), pp. 613-18, and SobranieI.Ia. Lukashevichai N.A. Markevicha.Opisanie (Moscow, 1959), which I have not seen. Presumably Shchapov's monograph derives from his "candidate's dissertation" (kandidatskaiadissertatsiia),"Tserkov'kak feodal'naia organizatsiiav drevnei Rusi v X-XII w." (Moscow 1964), which I have also not seen. 3 Especially V. N. Beneshevich. Ustav sv. velikogo kniazia Vladimirao tserkovnykh sudakh i o desiatinakh (Petrograd, 1915).

senior fellow (starshii nauchnyi sotrudnik) of the Institute of History


A Soviet View of Medieval Russian Canon Law


upon Sovietworksby the juristS. V. Iushkovand sourcestudies and of textsby the late M. N. Tikhomirov andby A. A. Zimin.4 publications interestsare a continuation of a firmhistoriographThus, Shchapov's ical tradition,one to which he pays full respectin his work.(Curiously, it appearsthat no other Soviet scholaris currentlyworkingon the princelystatutes.)In addition,one of the most frequenttools which Shchapov employs is textological analysis. The unifying theme of much of Shchapov'sresearchis what is usually called church-state in this case provides relations,a problemto which a Marxist approach novel insights. of Shchapov's The appearance affordsa convenientopmonograph to examine his overall contribution because his oeuvre is portunity best seen as a whole. The evidence for many of the generalizations articulatedin his articlesis in some cases suppliedonly in this book; the monograph, because of its structure,is usuallysomewhatweaker in clarifyingthe implicationsof his analyses.For example,Shchapov has often referred in his articles to a key passage in the twelfthcenturyNovgorodstatuteof SviatoslavOl'govichwhich alludesto an this passageto referto and olderustav"inRus'";Shchapovinterprets hence confirmthe existence of an earlier, eleventh-centurytext of of the Novgorodstatute this ustav.5Yet in the manuscript Vladimir's between Vladimir's statute comes and the Novgorodone, and passage it that introduces the rather than concludingthe forlatter the proof mer is only suppliedin his monograph (p. 151 ff.). On the otherhand, the of examination originsof the Kievantithe, presented Shchapov's in full in his lengthiest articleto date,6is simplyhinted at, not even in the mongraph(e.g.,p. 309).Thus it wouldbe an oversummarized, of his previas a summary to see Shchapov's monograph simplification to ous work.It seems moreappropriate, therefore, integratethe find4 S. V. Iushkov, Issledovaniia po istorii russkogo prava (Saratov, 1926) and his Obshchestvenno-politicheskiistroi i pravo Kievskogo gosudarstva (Moscow, 1949); M. N. Tikhomirov, Issledovanie o Russkoi Pravde (Moscow-Leningrad, 1941), and his editions of Zakon Sudnyi Liudem. Prostrannoii svodnoi redaktsii (Moscow, 1961), and Zakon Sudnyi Liudem. Kratkoiredaktsii (Moscow, 1961), and his photo facsimile of the Merilo pravednoe (Moscow, 1961); and primarilyA. A. Zimin'swork in editing vols. 1-2 of Pamiatniki russkogo prava (Moscow, 1952, 1953). 5 E.g., Ia.N. Shchapov, "Tserkov'v sisteme gosudarstvennoivlasti drevnei Rusi," in Drevnerusskoegosudarstvoi ego mezhdunarodnoeznachenie (Moscow, 1965), p. 283. 6 Ibid., pp. 297-325. Shchapov's "article"encompasses pp. 279-352.


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of all Shchapov's ings and conclusions publishedworkwithin a single, albeit brief, article. Shchapov'sattention has been primarilydevoted to the various princely statutes governing the immunities and privileges of the medievalRussianchurch,textsfrequentlyconsidered partof medieval Russiancanon law, broadlyconceived.Of necessity Shchapovhas had to studyin depththe historyof the Kormchaia kniga(Pilot's book) -the Slavonictranslationof the Greek Nomocanon,a collection of and laterOld-Russian civil and ecclesiastical Byzantine,South-Slavic contain of which often editions copies of these statlaw, manuscript utes.7Elucidatingthe originand evolutionof the princelystatutesis material. The by the stateof the extantmanuscript vastlycomplicated statutes are almost always preservedin a unique late manu"local" Smolensk statuteof Rostislav script.Forexample,the twelfth-century survivesin a single sixteenth-century the Mstislavovich manuscript;8 a Turov statutes in single seventeenth-century fourteenth-century The "national" statutes of grand princes Vladimirand manuscript.9 areeach extantin nearlya hundred,equallylate, manuscripts Iaroslav statute no earlierthanthe fourteenthcenturyin the case of Vladimrir's and the fifteenthin that of Iaroslav's.l1The taskof analyzingthe textone. Shchapovhas not ologicalhistoryof such sourcesis a formidable confined himself to using already known manuscripts;he has uncovered new manuscriptsof the Kormchaia kniga, of the Russkaia
7See Ia.N. Shchapov, "K istorii teksta Novgorodskoi Sinodal'noi kormchei," in sbornik [ArtsikhovskiiFestschrift] (Moscow, 1962), pp. 295Istoriko-arkheologicheskii 301; "Novyi spisok kormcheiEfremovskoiredaktsii,"in Istochniki i istoriografiiaslavianskogo srednevekov'ia(Moscow, 1967), pp.256-76; in the latter volume "0 sostave kormkormchoiEfremovskoiredaktsii,"pp. 207-15; "Varsonof'skaia drevneslavianskoi ezhegodnik za 1968 (1970): 93-101. chaia," Arkheograficheskii Shchapov uses his reconstructionof the "literary"history of the Kornchaia kniga primarily to assist in dating various redactions of the princely statutes. For a Western study see P. I. 2uzek, S.J., Kormcajakniga. Studies in the Chief Code of Russian Canon Law (OrientaliaChristianaAnalecta, no. 168) (Rome, 1964). 8 In general see Ia.N. Shchapov, "Smolenskii ustav kniazia Rostislava Mstislavoezhegodnik za 1962 (1963): 37-47. Page 147 of Shchapov's vicha," Arkheograficheskii monograph explains why it was copied in the sixteenth century. 9 See Ia.N. Shchapov, "Turovskieustavy XIV veka o desiatine," Arkheograficheskii ezhegodnik za 1964 (1965): 252-73, including publication of key passages and photo facsimiles. 10 Textological conclusions condensed in Ia.N. Shchapov, "Redaktsiiustava kniazia laroslava Vladimirovicha,"Problemy istochnikovedeniiaII (1963): 418-513.

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has also discovered Shchapov pravda,"andof the Novgorodstatute.12 unknown texts on and on church structure14 as well hitherto divorcel8 first as reinterpreted sources.'5 He is the to known have previously in the Turov statutes full. published Shchapovdoes not minimize the risks in talking about eleventhcentury sources (the statutes of Vladimirand Iaroslav)from fourteenth or fifteenth-century manuscripts.He admits that his reconstructionsof the texts of these statutesfor the eleventh to thirteenth centuriesmust be consideredno more than hypothetical(p. 8). He also rightly suggests that the variety and number of extant manuscriptstestifiesto the long historyof the texts priorto the centuryof the earliest dated manuscript(p. 182). Although one might fault Shchapovfor seeminglyforgettinghis initial warningin the body of the seriousreadercan be expectedto keep in mindthe his monograph, inherentin such textologicalexposition. limitations It is convenientto discussthe monograph itself first.l6 Kniazheskie v i tserkov' drevnei Rusi a source (isattempts thoroughgoing ustavy of the church statutes,includingthe tochnovedcheskii) princely study relationof their evolutionto the substanceof medieval Russianhistory during the period under study, especially to church-staterelations. It consistsof roughlyequal sectionson the statutesof Vladimir (pp. 12-135) and Iaroslav (pp. 178-306), interruptedby a shorter
11Ia.N. Shchapov, "Novoe o spiskakh Russkoi Pravdy," Istoricheskii arkiv, 1959, no. 4, pp. 209-11; "Novye spiski Kormchikhknig, soderzhashchie Russkuiu Pravdu," Istoriia SSSR, 1964, no. 2, pp. 100-103; "Russkaiapravda v novykh spiskakh Kormchikh knig XVI-XVII w.," Arkheograficheskii ezhegodnik za 1969 (1971): 70-72. 12Ia.N. Shchapov, "Novyi spisok Novgorodskogo ustava Sviatoslava Ol'govicha (iz sobranii E. E. Egoreva)," Zapiski otdela rukopisei Gos. Biblioteki SSSR im. Lenina, vyp. 26 (1963), pp. 395-98. 13Ia.N. Shchapov, "Novyi pamiatnik russkogoprava XV v. (Zapis' 'o razluchenii')," in Slaviane i Rus' [Rybakov Festschrift] (Moscow, 1968), pp. 375-82. 14Ia.N. Shchapov, "Iuzhnoslavianskii politicheskii opyt na sluzhbe u russkikh ideologov XV v.," Byzantinobulgarica2 (Sofia, 1966), pp. 199-214. Shchapov makes the penetrating observation that recent Soviet work on the period of the so-called Second South-Slavic Influence, or Orthodox Pre-Renaissance, has completely overlooked the sphere of political ideas. 15Ia.N. Shchapov, "Praviloo tserkovnykhliudiakh," Arkheograficheskii ezhegodnik za 1965 (1966): 72-81. 16For more detailed summary-reviewsof Shchapov's monograph, see the reviews of J. Cracraft in Slavic Review 33, no. 2 (June, 1974): 339-41, and, for a Soviet opinion, V. S. Shul'gin in Voprosy istorii, 1973, no. 5, pp. 162-65.


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section on the Smolensk and Novgorod statutes (pp. 136-77). The two major segments are structured in reverse chronological order: that is, Shchapov begins with the latest redactions and proceeds to strip away later layers until he has worked his way backwards to the original eleventh-century prototypes. To this end, Shchapov employs every conceivable type of evidence: "pure" textological comparison (i.e., straight philological parallel texts, as opposed to the more inclusive conception of textology [tekstologiia] espoused by D. S. Likhachev in particular), historical dictionaries and dialect charts, coinage and numismatics (to which an entire subchapter is devoted [pp. 257-79]), titulature (see his original contribution to the history of the titles "grand prince" [p. 174] and "Metropolitan of Kiev and all Rus'" [pp. 217, 219]), the provenance and convoy of the manuscripts, and the presence of glosses or linguistic modernizations. Predictably Shchapov has excellent mastery of the political history of Eastern Europe during the eleventh to fifteenth centuries. On this foundation he has prepared comprehensive stemmas of the textological history of the statutes of Vladimir (p. 37) and laroslav (pp. 299, 209). The book's "Conclusion"deals primarily with certain comparative patterns in the evolution of these two texts (pp. 307-18). Appendices chart the fate of each article of each statute in the major subredactions (izvody) and redactions (pp. 318-24) and list the nearly ninety manuscripts which Shchapov has consulted personally (pp. 326-27). The patience of even the most dedicated textologist might be tried in following Shchapov's intricate textological arguments, especially since Shchapov, but not necessarily the reader, has already foreseen his ultimate destination, the reconstructed prototypes of the original texts (Vladimir statute, pp. 120-21; Iaroslav statute, pp. 293-96). The non-specialist reader will probably be more interested in where Shchapov has gotten than in how he got there, and accordingly the reconstructed Kievan texts will be given greater attention here. We will consider several of the broader issues which Shchapov has raised in the discussion of his articles, where not infrequently they stand out more clearly; the more narrow findings of the monograph can be briefly summarized here in a convenient chronological order.17
17 Shchapov presents such a chronological precis (albeit abridged) of his findings in Ia.N. Shchapov, "Drevnerusskiekniazheskie ustavy i tserkov' v feodal'nom razvitii Rusi XI-XIV w.," Istoriia SSSR, 1970, no. 3, pp. 125-36.

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non-Soviet scholarship.18Shchapov's principal conclusion, as implied above, is that despite the datings of their manuscripts, the Vladimir and Iaroslav statutes do have their roots in the reigns of the princes to whom they are ascribed. Although this contention is not novel, Shchapov advances new arguments in its favor based upon his textological analyses. In his opinion, the oldest source of the Vladimir statute is a charter granting the Desiatinnaia (Tithe) church in Kiev a tithe of all state revenues, probably issued immediately after its founding in 996. The original statute per se granted a tithe to the entire Metropolitanate and promised the Kievan church judicial immunity from the grand prince and his successors. In the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries an article stipulating the crimes subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the church became part of the statute, to be joined in the mid-twelfth century by an article listing the various categories of "church people." This by-now composite text constitutes the archetype of all extant manuscripts of Vladimir's statute. In the late twelfth to early-thirteenth centuries newer articles entered the manuscript tradition assigning the church the role of guarantor of weights and measures and extending judicial immunity to monasteries and ecclesiastical philanthropic institutions such as hospitals and almshouses. Later redactions in the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries deleted, added and adjusted items to fit local conditions.

of the princelystatThe overridingquestionin the historiography in of view their has utes, preservation, alwaysbeen whethmanuscript er anypartor all of the textscouldbe ascribedto theirproposednamedebate begun by Golubinsky(opposed)and sakes,a historiographic and (in favor) Kliuchevsky continuingto this day in both Soviet and

18 For a selection of non-Soviet views, which are far from unanimous (Shchapov summarizes pre-revolutionaryand Soviet scholarship), consult: the emigre Russian A. V. Kartashev,Ocherki po istorii Russkoi tserkvi, vol. 1 (Paris, 1959), pp. 194-202; the German Jesuit A. M. Ammann, S.J., Die Ostslawische Kirche im jurisdiktionellen Verband der byzantinischen Grosskirche(Wiirzburg, 1955), pp. 69-71; 2uzek, Korm&ajakniga, pp. 121-27; the Ukrainian Catholic emigre M. Chubatyi, Istoriia khristiianstva na Rusi-Ukraini(New York-Rome, 1965), pp. 271-73, 731; the Polish Marxist A. Poppe, Paitstwo i Kogci6lna Rusi w XI wieku (Warsaw, 1968), ch. 6. Chubatyi and Poppe are inaccessible to me. For a partial English translation of Iaroslav's statute, see B. Dmytryshyn, ed., Medieval Russia. A Source Book, 900-1700, 2d ed., (Hinsdale, Ill., 1973), pp. 51-54; and for partial translationsof both Iaroslav's and Vladimir's statutes, see G. Vernadsky et al., A Source Book for Russian History from Early Times to 1917, vol. 1, Early Times to the Late Seventeenth Century (New Haven, 1972), pp. 39-40. The headnotes in both volumes refer to these texts as of eleventh-century origin.


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The Smolensk and Novgorod charters illustrate one theme of Shchapov's work, the changing quid pro quo of the church and the secular powers concerning the tithe. By the mid-twelfth century the prince of Smolensk no longer gave the church a tithe of monies acquired by tribute (poliude) or in fines collected by his own courts (vira i prodazha). Moreover, the Smolensk statute mentions episcopal landowning, a crucial departure from the early economy of the church which will be commented on below. The Novgorod statute also alters the tithe system, substituting a fixed sum for that portion of the tithe from court cases no longer awarded the church and granting the archiepiscopal see all of the tribute from several specified regions in the Novgorod empire. Shchapov dates the prototype of Iaroslav's statute to the end of the eleventh or the beginning of the twelfth centuries, although he contends that the decision to promulgate it was made by Iaroslav and Metropolitan Ilarion. The statute consisted of some forty articles listing the crimes and their punishments under ecclesiastical jurisdiction, thus forming a clerical equivalent to the secular Pravda russkaia. In the late twelfth or early thirteenth century laroslav's statute was expanded by the addition of new articles; these supplemented its original contents, concerned mostly with family and marriage infractions, with provisions on crimes against the church, such as blasphemy or desecration of churches, and with measures against the continued survival of pagan cult rites. This statute, too, underwent modification and adaptation in later centuries, the most significant alteration being the preparation of a short redaction in the late fourteenth century, probably in Moscow, which for the first time divided revenues from the clerical courts between the church and the princely authorities. Shchapov points out in his conclusion that early Russian law was not confined to the Pravda Russkaia, but also included the "national" and local princely statutes relating to the church. The late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries seem to have been a noticeably productive transitional period in the history of both spheres of Kievan law: from then date significant expansions of both major church statutes as well as, perhaps, the composition of the expanded redaction of the Pravda. It should be noted that this chronology somewhat complicates the usual presentation of this period of Kievan history as one of

A Soviet View of Medieval Russian Canon Law


decline. Shchapovconcludesthat historians of medievalRussianecoof and the to fifteenth ceneleventh nomic, social, political history turiesnow have cause to augmenttheirsourceswith the valuableand considerable information in the princelychurchstatutes.'9 of the majorsectionsof Shchapov's Thisbrief summary monograph cannot do justice to the almostinfiniteimplicationsof his investigations into the princely churchstatutesand the role of the churchin the firstfour centuriesof its existence.Discussionof a few of these whereeverpossiblein termsof his articles,can perhaps implications, full value of Shchapov's research. suggest the Perhapsthe most persuasivelyargued concept both implicit and attitude towardsthe medieval RussianOrthoexplicitin Shchapov's dox church is that the church evolved, that it changed, and that it increasedin public influenceand also in its materialmeans.The tenacity with which secularfactorsinfluencedthe church'sexistence is superbly illustrated.20 Shchapov has shown21that the church possessed no land beforethe last quarterof the eleventh century;before that time, he concludes,it musthave been completelydependentuptithes (or gifts) for virtually all of its income. As on grand-princely ecclesiastical-both monasterialand episcopal-landowningbecame widespreadand then dominantas the sourceof churchrevenuesduring the twelfth century, the importanceof the tithe as a means of financialsupportof the churchdeclined;somewhereat the end of the thirteenthor the beginningof the fourteenthcenturies,the tithe disappearedentirely.Shchapovexplainsthe increasingpoliticalrole of the hierarchy,so obvious in the twelfth-centurychronicles,by the church'saccumulationof the economicwherewithalto sustainsuch
19 Shchapov makes several remarkson the more polemical (as opposed to practical) use of both "national"statutes in the sixteenth century in his article cited in note 17 (despite its title); in his review, Shul'gin mentions the necessity of studying these statutes more thoroughly in the fifteenth and sixteenth-century manuscripts, with which one can only agree. 2o Shchapov, "Smolenskiiustav... ," discusses the relationship of an article in the Smolensk statute which forbids the reunificationof the Smolensk and Pereislavl dioceses to the political events surrounding the election of Kliment as Kievan Metropolitan. 21 This material is best presented in Shchapov, "Tserkov'v stanovlenie drevnerusskoi gosudarstvennosti,"Voprosy istorii, 1969, no. 11, pp. 55-64. Ia.N. Shchapov, "Z istorii dav'noruskoi tserkvi X-XII st.," Ukrainskii istorichnii zhurnal, 1967, no. 9, pp. 87-93, is inaccessible to me.


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activity.This is a refreshingreminderthat the churchmust function in termsof the exigenciesof the world, especiallyeconomicones. In of the RussianOrthoaddition,it is a helpfulcorrectiveto discussions dox churchwhich assumeit sprangfull-grownfromthe head of Saint Vladimiron his conversion,like Athenafrom the head of Zeus. Shchapovhas explored,perhapsmore profoundlythan any other recent scholar, the norms of marriage,divorce, and family law in If any conclusionstandsout, it is how long pagan medievalRussia.22 took to penetratemost of rites were retained,how long Christianity the population.At the sametime Shchapovexplainsthe gradualsuccess of the churchby its sensitivityto, and even assimilation of, the the East most norms of the Slavs. controversial pre-Christian Probably thesis advancedby Shchapovis that the tithe systemitself in its Kievan formderivedfromthe mannerof financingthe paganSlaviccult.23 It is universallyaccepted by scholarsthat the tithe was not copied it was unknownthere. But, contraryto the views of fromByzantium; otherscholars,Shchapovalso arguesthatthe tithe was neitherKhazar in origin (the Khazartithe was a commercialtax) nor Catholic(the the Kievantithe Catholictithe was levied directlyon the population; was a tenth of the grand prince'sincome). The Catholicchurch in Polandused a tithing systemsimilarto the Kievanone before adopting the standardCatholictithe, which suggestsa commonSlavicsysVladimirwould most naturallyhave turnedto whattem. Moreover, ever systemwas alreadyin use in Russiato supporthis new religion. This revisionist argument, condensed here, is, in this reviewer's opinion,ultimatelyconvincing. Shchapov'sdelineationof the relationof Iaroslav'sstatute to the PravdaRusskaiais of considerablesignificance(e.g., p. 291). Shchapov demonstratesthat these codes complementedeach other: the civil provisionsof the Pravdaand the family and marriagearticlesof the churchstatute do not overlap.Shchapovdoes not emphasize-he barely mentionsin passing (p. 186)-that this analysisoffersstriking of the Kievanprincelyoriginof the Pravda,as opposed confirmation to either a Kievanecclesiasticalor Novgorodorigin. It may well be
22 A short synthesis is found in Ia.N. Shchapov, "Brak i sem'ia v drevnei Rusi," Voprosy istorii, 1970, no. 10, pp. 216-219, a nugget of sympathetic social history. 23 See note 6.

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has once and for all resolved that Shchapov's originalargumentation that thornyand hoary question. It is a sad feature of our knowledge of medieval Russsianhistory that the centralproblemof Russia's Byzantineinheritancestill awaits better analysis.It is not that we do not have a large numberof detailedstudiesof specializedquestions,but, rather,that an unfortunate chasmseemsto separatethese studiesfromtoo manysyntheseswhose but dimly remost prevalentvice has been a plethoraof abstractions had been It to lated concrete knowledge.24 asserted, even aslong sumed,that medievalRussiancanonlaw-indeed, followingSumner's often quoted quintuple formula,all medieval Russianlaw-derived from Byzantine sources available in Kiev in Slavonic translation. There is now, however, broad agreementthat the PravdaRusskaia law and does not demonstrate codifiedEast-Slaviccustomary Byzantine influence. Shchapov has made a modest contribution to reevaluatingthe impact of Byzantiumupon medieval Russiancanon law. It has long been knownthat many of the normsof the princely but Shchapov explains statutes differed from Byzantine practice,25 these deviationsin a novel way. The systemof fines in Iaroslav's statam thinking, in part because of their inclusion in anthologies for larger audiences, of A. J. Toynbee's "Russia'sByzantine Heritage," in his Civilization on Trial (New York, 1948), pp. 164-183, available in S. Harcave, ed., Readings in Russian History, vol. 1 From Ancient Times to the Abolition of Serfdom (New York, 1962); D. Obolensky's "Russia'sByzantine Heritage," Oxford Slavonic Papers 1 (1950): 3763, reprinted in Harcave, in T. Riha, ed., Readings in Russian Civilization, vol. 1, Russia before Peter the Great, 900-1700 (Chicago, 1964), and in M. Chemiavsky, ed., The Structure of Russian History (New York, 1970); G. Florovsky, "The Problem of Old Russian Culture,"Slavic Review 21, no. 1 (March, 1962): 1-15, also in Riha and Cherniavsky. Even Obolensky's more recent and remarkable work, The Byzantine Commonwealth(New York, 1971) [for a critical appraisal see J. V. A. Fine, Jr., "The Byzantine Political and Cultural Structure,"Byzantine Studies 1, no. 1 (1974): 78-84, a review article], which contains probably the most judicious evaluation of the problem of Russo-Byzantine relations to appear, does so, in view of its even more immense problematica, in scattered pages in a variety of chapters (e.g., pp. 180-201, 223-32, 260-71, 298-300, 306-8, et passim), but is typically forced to deal with Byzantine influence on medieval Russian canon law in one page (p. 319). I. Sevcenko's meticulous textological articles are, of course, invaluable, but the closest Bev6enko has come to a synthesis is his historiographic article "Byzantine Cultural Influences," in C. E. Black, ed., Rewriting Russian History, 2d ed. (New York, 1962), pp. 141-90. 25 See F. Dvornik, "Byzantine Political Ideas in Kievan Russia," Dumbarton Oaks Papers 9-10 (1956): 97-100, which sees such variations as simplifications in themselves based upon Justinianic legislation, except for the tithe, said to be Frankish or Khazar.


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ute is alien to the Byzantinesystemof penances(which the Kievans also used) but it also copies the system of the Pravda.Many crimes subject to ecclesiasticalcourts in Rus' were under secular aegis in Byzantium.In the Kievanecclesiasticalcourtsthere was no ultimate secularofficeof appeal equivalentto that of the basileus(p. 303 ff.). Moreover,every survivalof or adaptationto paganismin medieval has Russian law constituteda violationof Byzantinenorms.Shchapov model of the Greek was that the Nomocanon persuasivelyargued to Iaroslav's statute.26 Shchaconsciouslyrejectedin the introduction in Rus' to be used that concludes only began pov Byzantinepractices Otherdifferences from Byafterthey had been gradually"russified." of Byzantinepreresultednot fromsimplifications zantineprocedures a of a result of social as the but sophisticated impact highly scriptions institution(the church)upon a less evolved social entity (Kievansociety). This perspectivemeritsattention,but Shchapovhas probably exaggeratedsomewhat.A seriouscase can be made that the ecclesiastical canonstranslatedfrom the Greekwere not only accessiblein even in the earliestperiod. the Kormchaia knigabut alsoimplemented to solvingthe Nevertheless,Shchapovhas madea usefulcontribution was an intricateone. EcclesiThe pattern of church jurisdiction astical courtshad sole concernover all the populationfor violations of some crimes (e.g., in family and marriagelaw) and sole control over part of the populationin cases involving any crimes,i.e., over

"church people" (the definition of whom was not static).28In contradistinction to these spheres of law deriving from the church's ideological, "public"functions, its courts exercised sovereignty over peasants

26 Ia. N. Shchapov, "Ustav kniazia Iaroslavai vopros ob otnoshenii k vizantiiskomu naslediiu na Rusi v seredine XI v.," VizantiiskiiVremennik31 (1971): 71-78. Also of relevance to this problem: Ia.N. Shchapov, "Russkaialetopis' o politicheskikh vzaimootnosheniiakh drevnei Rusi i Vizantii," in Feodal'naia Rossiia vo vsemimoistoricheskomprotsesse [Cherepnin Festschrift] (Moscow, 1972), pp. 201-8, and his 4"luzhno-slavianskii opyt...." 27 See 2uzek, Korm&aja kniga; Shchapov (in his "Drevnerusskiekniazheskie ustavy . .") contends that as medieval Russian society became more "feudal," Byzantine canon law became more relevant; thus, by the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries it was the Kievan codes which had become obsolete and abandoned and the Byzantine Nomocanon which became operative. This schema cannot be accepted without considerable additional argumentation. 28 See in Shchapov's monograph in particular the discussion of proshchenniki, p. 88ff. and on the inclusion of doctors among "church people," p. 93ff.

A Soviet View of Medieval Russian Canon Law


or episcopallands (once acquired)on the and artisanson monasterial law. The complexityof this legal activity basisof private,patrimonial of the church-in conjunctionwith its involvement in protecting standardsof weights and measures,philanthropic institutions,and a to to the how sensitivity politics-testifies profoundly medieval Russian church was in and of this world. This descriptionprovides a healthy antidoteto that whole metaphysicalor teleologicalhistoriographictraditionwhich has dealt properlybut to me excessivelyon and exclusively sacramentaland penitential the "otherworldliness" functionsof the churchboth in medievalRussiaand thereafter.20 studies(on the abThereis much morein the corpusof Shchapov's sence of anti-Latinfeeling in the eleventh and twelfth centuries [monograph,pp. 255-57]; on MetropolitanKiprian'srole in crossand West Russianredactionsof one of fertilizingNortheast-Russian but 223 the statutes[ibid.,p. ff.]), (givenlimitationsof space)the final issuewhich will be discussedhere is, to the presentwriter,particularly provocative.The continuousfine-tuningof various segments of medieval Russiancanon law-including the tithe and jurisdictional provisionsof the princelystatutesas well as the complicatedtextual kniga-the continhistoryof the variousredactionsof the Kormchaia in law and between validates Shchapov's uing dialogue, short, reality, that, despite the absenceof recordsfroman ecclesiastical proposition court system, medieval Russiancanon law was "activelaw" (pp. 39, 216). The operationof such a legal structuremust have requiredthe to whom Shchapovmakespassingreference(e.g., servicesof "jurists," If in which Shchapovpresentsthe the conceptualframework p. 311). evolutionof the princelystatutesis takenseriously,then what he has portrayedentails the existence of a legal subculturein the medieval Russianchurch,whose presence,even grantingthe absence of lawyers or legal theory,is hardlyconsistentwith a contrastbetween the since the musand Latinchurchesenshrinedin scholarship Orthodox researchnot only adds a new diings of the Slavophiles.Shchapov's
29 For a recent exposition of this tradition, see W. Philipp, "Russia's Position in Medieval Europe,"in L. Legters, ed., Russia:Essays in History and Literature(Leiden, 1972), pp. 33-37. Shchapov himself has voiced this criticism of Western scholarship on Russian church history in Ia.N. Shchapov, "Nekotorye voprosy ideologii drevnei Rusi v osveshchenii burzhuaznoi istoriografii,"in Kritika burzhuaznykh kontseptsii istorii Rossii perioda feodalizma (Moscow, 1962), pp. 215-33, which gives no hint of any of Shchapov's own original investigations.


The Russian Review

of the textureof medievalRussiansomensionto our understanding and life but also, unexpectedly,speaksto issues of nineteenthciety centuryRussianintellectualhistory. and his articlesarecharacterized Shchapov's monograph by a comrarein any binationof technicalexpertiseandconceptualimagination historian.What is particularly impressiveis his persistentrefusal to his insistence on carefuldistinctions.30 He is a oversimplify, rigorous can and one his await future research with eager majorhistorian, only It is all the morerefreshingthat he is mininga hitherto anticipation. underworked body of sources.He has demonstratedthat majorresearch can still be done on pre-sixteenthcentury medieval Russian history,a growingbut still modest field in both Soviet and Western scholarship.31
30These same qualities of mind are evident in an article on an entirely different ukladakh v drevnei Rusi XIsubject: Ia.N. Shchapov, "0 sotsialno-ekonomicheskillh pervoi poloviny XII v.," in L. V. Cherepnin et al., eds., Aktual'nye problemy istorii Rossii epokhi feodalizma (Moscow, 1970), pp. 85-119. 31 While Soviet scholars have continuously published articles on pre-1500 history, the number of books on the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries compared to those on the earlier period appearingin the Soviet Union might be in a ratio of ten-to-one (this is a sheer guess). A more suggestive statistic is the following: of American doctoral dissertationson pre-Petrine Russian history to be completed within the last twenty-five years (which is practically all of them), by my rough estimate those on the "high Muscovite period" (1462-1689) outnumber those on the earlier centuries by about two-to-one (approximately twenty-two versus nine; one or two others cross this divisional boundary, but the trend is obvious). Until very recently, to be a specialist on pre-Petrine Russian history in the US meant one's researchfield was Muscovy.