an important source for the social and political history of the Russian lands, particularly that of Novgorod Land between the 11th and 17th centuries.
The Novgorod chronicles occupy a leading place in Russian chronicle writing, influencing almost all the Russian chronicle compilations of the second half of the 15th century and early 16th centuries. Although on the whole the Novgorod chronicles conveyed the views of the ruling classes of the boyar republic, they sided with the city’s working people on a number of occasions. Especially interesting are the Novgorod entries dating from the time of the formation of the unified Russian state. They amplify and supplement information found in the Moscow, Tver’, and other chronicles.
The published Novgorod chronicles have been numbered from one to five. The oldest chronicle, called the Novgorod Chronicle I, records events up to the 1330’s. It includes a short version of the Russkaia Pravda and several other law codes, and most of the entries date from the second decade of the 12th century. Next in chronological order is the Novgorod Chronicle IV, which has survived in several copies, bringing the narrative to the 1440’s and 1470’s. A few copies include still later events. The main part of the Novgorod Chronicle V covers events to 1446. The Novgorod Chronicles II and III were compiled last —Chronicle II in the late 16th century and Chronicle III in the late 17th century. The Novgorod Chronicle II provides especially interesting information on the reign of Ivan IV the Terrible. The Novgorod Chronicle III contains material on the ecclesiastical history of Novgorod and much data on the history of architecture. Its main version records events up to 1674, but several copies continue beyond that date. In addition to the chronicles named above, there are many unpublished Novgorod chronicles.
REFERENCESNovgorodskie letopisi. St. Petersburg, 1879.
Polnoe sobranie russkikh letopisei, vol. 4, part 1 (fascs. 1–3) and part 2 (fasc. 1). Petrograd-Leningrad, 1915–29.
Novgorodskaia pervaia letopis’ starshego i mladshego izvodov. Moscow-Leningrad, 1950.
Novgorodskaia kharateinaia letopis’. Moscow, 1964.
Novgorodskaia (vtoraia) arkhivskaia letopis’. In Polnoe sobr. russkikh letopisei, vol. 30. Moscow, 1965.
Shakhmatov, A. A. Obozrenie russkikh letopisnykh svodov XIV-XVI vv. Moscow-Leningrad, 1938.
Likhachev, D. S. Russkie letopisi i ikh kul’turno-istoricheskoe znachenie. Moscow-Leningrad, 1947.
Azbelev, S. N. Novgorodskie letopisi XVII v. Novgorod, 1960.