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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(hired workers), a category of the population in feudal Rus’ in the 12th to 17th centuries applying to those who did not belong to one of the main social classes. The term naimity is first encountered in the Russkaia Pravda (old law code). The naimity were usually impoverished former members of rural or urban communities or runaway peasants or bondmen, obliged to hire themselves out to feudal lords, townsmen, or other employers. Although the naimity were formally free men when they entered into labor contracts, the master obtained rights not only over their labor but also over their person. From the 15th and 16th centuries, as the number of naimity increased and use of their labor became widespread, the law began to distinguish between the right to use the labor of naimity and the right to limit their personal freedom. Such provisions were incorporated in the Pskov Judicial Charter, the sudebniks (codes) of 1497 and 1550, and the ulozhenie (code) issued by Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich in 1649. However, in the 16th and 17th centuries unequal contracts were still concluded by the naimity.


Pankratova, A. M. “Naimity na Rusi ν XVII v.” In the collection Akademiku B. D. Grekovu ko dniu 70-letiia: Sb. st. Moscow, 1952.


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