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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an urban-type settlement in MiadeP Raion, Minsk Oblast, Byelorussian SSR, on the Servech’ River, a right tributary of the Viliia, 3 km from the Krivichi railroad station on the Molodechno-Polotsk line. A dairy, an agricultural produce processing plant, and local industrial enterprises are located in Krivichi.



an eastern Slavic tribal union of the sixth through tenth centuries that occupied a broad territory along the upper course of the Dnieper, Volga, and Zapadnaia Dvina rivers and the southern part of the basin of Lake Chudskoe. Archaeological remains include barrows (with cremations) in the form of long, banklike mounds and the remains of farming settlements and gorodishcha (sites of ancient fortified towns), in which traces of ironworking, forging, jewelrymaking, and other crafts have been found. The chief centers of the Krivichi were the cities of Smolensk, Polotsk, Izborsk, and possibly Pskov. The Krivichi included many Baltic ethnic groups.

In the late ninth century and in the tenth, the druzhinniki (members of princely retinue or bodyguard) were interred in an opulent manner with their weapons; rich burials are especially numerous among the Gnezdovo burial mounds.

According to the chronicles, the Krivichi had their own princely rulers until they became part of the Kievan state (second half of the ninth century). The last time that the name of the Krivichi is mentioned is in the chronicle for 1162, when the Smolensk and Polotsk principalities had already been formed on the Krivichi lands and their former northwestern lands had become part of the domain of Novgorod. The Krivichi played a large role in the colonization of the region between the Volga and Kliaz’ma rivers.


Dovnar-ZapoPskii, M. Ocherk istorii Krivichskoi i Dregovichskoi zemel’ do kontsa XII st. Kiev, 1891.
Tret’iakov, P. N. Vostochnoslavianskie plemena, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1953.
Sedov, V. V. “Krivichi.” Sovetskaia arkheologiia, 1960, no. 1.


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