Roba

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Roba

 

(also raba), in ancient Rus’, a female slave who was either a concubine for her master or a servant, wet nurse, or housekeeper in her master’s household. According to the Russkaia Pravda, a master’s children and the roba who bore them were freed after the master’s death.

A roba was also the wife of a kholop, or male slave; a kholop was a member of the lowest category of the dependent population during the period of feudalism. The marriage of a freeman to a roba conferred upon him the status of a slave, except in those cases when a special agreement had been made with the woman’s owner.

REFERENCE

Zimin, A. A. Kholopy na Rusi (S drevneishikh vremen do XV v.). Moscow, 1973.