a defense line on the southern frontier of the Russian state in the 17th century. Some fortresses were built in the late 16th century, such as those in the cities of Voronezh and Belgorod. In the 1630’s, in view of the worsening of Russian-Crimean relations, the old fortification line beyond the Oka River was renewed and city fortresses of the Belgorod line were built on the most frequent invasion routes of the Crimean Tatars, including those on the Nogai Road (Kozlov, Tambov, and Verkhnii and Nizhnii Lomov) and along the Kal’mius and Izium roads (Userd, Iablonov, and Korocha). In the early 1640’s, 18 more city fortresses were built and two fortified regions were created with a system of little wooden forts, earth and wooden ramparts, and moats in the volost (small rural district) of Komarichi near Sevsk and in Lebedian’ District; by the end of the 1640’s the construction of the Belgorod line was essentially completed. There were more than 10,000 people in the service of the state in the cities of the Belgorod line. In 1648–54 the defense line from Nizhnii Lomov was extended to Simbirsk. The Belgorod line made the raids of the Crimean Tatars on the Russian state more difficult and contributed to the economic development of the vast chernozem lands of the south. With the advance of the Russian frontiers southward, the Belgorod line lost its importance by the late 17th century.
REFERENCENovosel’skii, A. A. Bor’ba Moskovskogo gosudarstva s tatarami ν l-i polovine XVII ν. Moscow-Leningrad, 1948.
V. S. BAKULIN