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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a state tax system introduced in the 1250’s in territories subject to the Mongol khans. The chislo replaced the system of tax farming in the lands conquered by the Mongols.

Under the great khan Mangu (ruled 1251–59), the chislo was introduced in China, Middle Asia, Iran, and Armenia and was also extended to Russian lands, including northeastern Rus’, the principalities of Riazan’ and Murom, and the Novgorod Feudal Republic. To aid in collecting the tax, the Mongol officials took a house-to-house census of the population, which was divided for the purpose into groups of ten, one hundred, one thousand, and ten thousand; the clergy were not included in the census. The persons who implemented the chislo were called chislenniki or pistsy. The counting of the population was accompanied by numerous abuses, and it provoked uprisings, such as the uprising of 1257 in the Novgorod Feudal Republic. In Rus’, the practice of dividing the population into groups of tens to facilitate the payment of ordinary taxes and extraordinary horde taxes was retained until the 15th century.


Nasonov, A. N. Mongoly i Rus’. Moscow-Leningrad, 1940.
Pavlov, P. N. “K voprosu o russkoi dani v Zolotuiu Ordu.” Uch. zap. Krasnoiarskogo gos. ped. in-ta (vol. 13): Seriia istoriko-filologicheskaia, issue 2. Krasnoiarsk, 1958.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Fond Gorbacheva voidet v chislo inostrannyh agentov [Gorbachev Foundation will be declared a foreign agent].
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Skvoz' ehfir desyatichnooznachennyi Svet razmolotykh v luch skorostei nachinaet chislo, oprozrachennyi Svetloi bol'yu i mol'yu nulei.