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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a literary work of the mid-16th century consisting of a collection of rules of behavior for the townsman, which were intended to guide him in his relations with the secular authorities and the church, as well as his family and servants.

The Domostroi contains detailed instructions on subjects ranging from the preparation of food, the reception of guests, weddings and other rituals, child rearing, housekeeping, trade, and the payment of taxes to advice on treating sick people. It reflects the changes taking place in 16th-century socioeconomic life and in the world view of the well-to-do townsman. However, the new elements in the Domostroi are closely interwoven with old ideas. The townsman’s household was by now linked to the market, but large quantities of provisions were still being stored up; voluntary service by servants is mentioned, but the labor of kholopy (slaves) is also discussed. According to the Domostroi, the wealthy townsman owes his place in society not to noble birth but, rather, to his own labor and personal initiative. The Domostroi teaches obedience to the head of the family—the gospodin—and in public life, to the tsar and the authorities. The wife, according to the Domostroi, takes part in organizing the household and rearing children, but should she commit an offense, she, like the servants, is to be punished. In the counsels on educating children, instruction in handicrafts and trade is stressed, accompanied by the well-known advice to “smash the ribs” of the obstinate and the disobedient. The language of the Domostroi is colloquial, colorful, and expressive.


Domostroi po spisku imperatorskogo Obshchestva istorii i drevnostei rossiiskikh. Moscow, 1882.
Domostroi po Konshinskomu spisku i podobnym. Text prepared by A. Orlov. Books 1-2. Moscow, 1908-10.


Sokolova, M. A. Ocherki po iazyku delovykh pamiatnikov XVI v. Leningrad, 1957.
Zimin, A. A. I. S. Peresvetov i ego sovremenniki. Moscow, 1958. Pages 55-70. (Bibliography.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Even when certain unhappy scenarios (e.g., divorces or mistreatment of servants) are mentioned, the book preserves its idealizing tone, barely concealing its appreciation for the patriarchal world order and the "Christian precepts" of the Domostroi, believed to have offered the guiding principles for Russian households up until the beginning of the 20th century (18).
She also introduces the secular Russian wedding customs as described in the Domostroi, the household management guide produced in the sixteenth century, but which has a section on weddings that survives most fully in a seventeenth-century version.
Those beliefs led to the creation of the Domostroi, a household manual that instructed women to devote themselves solely to domestic duties and men to physically discipline wives who disregarded their duties.
(3) The lessons really began in the sixth century, with the publication of the Domostroi or "Household Guide": "Aimed at the upper strata of urban society, the Domostroi confined women entirely to the home and enjoined them to submit to their husbands in everything.
The sixteenth-century Russian book of advice on household administration, Domostroi, urges generosity toward the poor, emphasizing personal contact: "Bring the poor into your home, offer them food and drink, warm them with clothing, giving with love and a pure conscience....
It also addresses the extent to which Russian political thinkers conceded to subservient subjects a right to resistance in the case of tyranny (Agapetos, Iosif Volotskii, Domostroi, Ivan Peresvetov, Andrei Kurbskii, etc.).
and trans., The Domostroi: Rules for Russian Households in the Time of Ivan the Terrible (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1994), 184; Pouncy, "The Blessed Sil'vestr' and the Politics of Invention in Muscovy, 1545-1700," Harvard Ukrainian Studies 19, 1-4 (1995): 550; A.
dissertation, which began as the search for an answer to a simple question: if books on domestic management were, as previously argued, associated with the rise of a middle class, then who was writing and reading Domostroi in 16th-century Russia, which supposedly had no middle class?
(8) The real concern for readers, particularly nonspecialists, is the way her summary is based on very different kinds and quality of sources--foreigners' accounts (always tricky to use), chancellery documents, the Domostroi, and secondary literature--all cobbled together into a synthetic narrative, The goal is clear: to produce a lively and readable description of royal wedding rituals, and this she achieves brilliantly.
The few references to canines in the noted 16th-century manual on household management Domostroi reflect an assumption of dogs residing in the household compound.
Alongside the secular law, which became denser in the 17th century, the 16th-century religious manual of behavioral norms, Domostroi, still claimed authority.
(po Domostroiu i pamiatnikam prava) [The Russian's World in the 16th-17th Centuries (according to Domostroi and Legal Landmarks)].