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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also chetverti, chetvertnye prikazy), institutions of the central government in Russia in the second half of the 16th and in the 17th century that fulfilled financial, administrative, and judicial functions involving the part of the population subject to the tiaglo (system of state duties) in certain regions of the country.

First mentioned in 1561 and 1562, the cheti were created after the abolition of kormlenie (system of local administration). In the early 17th century cheti were organized for the collection of direct and indirect taxes from the population in designated areas; an exception was the Novaia Chetvert’. The Novgorod Chetvert’ (Nizhegorodskaia Chetvert’) had jurisdiction over Novgorod, Nizhny Novgorod, Pskov, Vologda, Arkhangel’sk, and their districts. The Vladimir Chetvert’ dealt with Vladimir, Tver’, Tula, Orel, and their districts. The Kostroma Chetvert’ (Yaroslavl Chetvert’) handled Kostroma, Yaroslavl, Murom, and their districts. The Galich Chetvert’ had authority over Galich, Belooze-ro, Shuia, and their districts. The Ustiug Chetvert’ dealt with Velikii Ustiug, Sol’vychegodsk, and their districts.

Part of the chetvert’ revenues went to the prikazy (government offices); the rest was used to pay the salaries of the upper ranks of the sluzhilye liudi (civil service class), including the elite of the provincial nobility, known as the chetvertchiki. In the 1670’s and 1680’s the cheti declined in importance, as the Novgorod, Vladimir, Galich, and Ustiug chetverti were made subordinate to the Posol’skii Prikaz (Foreign Office), the Kostroma Chetvert’ was subordinated to the Streletskii Prikaz (Musketeers’ Prikaz), and virtually all tax-collecting responsibilities were transferred to other institutions.

In 1683 and 1684 the cheti were to some degree reactivated when they regained the prerogative of collecting most of their former taxes, except for customs duties and taxes on liquor; shortly thereafter the cheti and the prikazy to which they belonged were abolished when the government was reorganized at the beginning of the 18th century.


Stashevskii, E. D. K voprosu o torn, kogda i pochemu voznikli “cheti”? Kiev, 1908.
Sadikov, P. A. Ocherki po istorii oprichniny. Moscow-Leningrad, 1950.
Nosov, N. E. Stanovlenie soslovno-predstavitel’nykh uchrezhdenii v Rossii: Izyskaniia o Zemskoi reforme Ivana Groznogo. Leningrad, 1969.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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