The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a term used to designate the whole or a part of the Russian dependent population from about the sixth to 19th centuries.

From about the sixth to ninth centuries, the term referred to enslaved prisoners of war who lived and worked in their masters’ households. In Kievan Rus’ it was applied to the dependent population in general; in the ninth and tenth centuries, cheliad’ became subject to purchase and sale. In the 11th century the term came to refer to that part of the dependent population employed in the feudal economy. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the landowners’ domestic serfs were called cheliad’.


Grekov, B. D. Krest’iane na Rusi s drevneishikh vremen do XVII v., 2nd ed., vol. 1. Moscow, 1952.
Zimin, A. A. Kholopy na Rusi. Moscow, 1973.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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