Knigi Soshnogo Pisma

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Knigi Soshnogo Pis’ma


(Books of Agricultural Registry), manuscript books in Russia in the 16th and 17th centuries that contained a survey of Russian land measures and directives for use in measuring arable land.

Knigi Soshnogo Pis’ma were furnished as practical manuals for the officials who traveled to towns and districts to compile cadaster books. The books originated the tax reform of the mid-16th century. The oldest one is dated 1629, and it contains information on measures used for land areas, a guide for use in making measurements, an enumeration of taxable land plots (sokhi and vyti) and an evaluation of the land’s quality (”good,” “fair,” or “poor”), and a list of categories of land ownership. Knigi Soshnogo Pis’ma were furnished with arithmetical calculations, geometrical sketches, and geodesic guides to simplify their use.


Veselovskii, S. B. Soshnoe pis’mo, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1915–16.
Ustiugov, N. V. “Ocherk drevnerusskoi metrologii.” In the collection Istoricheskie zapiski, vol. 19. Moscow, 1946.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.