Novgorod Chronicles

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Novgorod Chronicles


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 In addition to the chronicles named above, there are many unpublished Novgorod chronicles.


Novgorodskie 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.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
A "tale" (povest0 extant only in 17th-century Novgorod chronicles constitutes the only extensive narrative account of Ivan's punitive expedition in 1569-70 against the northwestern territories of Tver', Klin, Novgorod, and Pskov.
Various 17th-century Novgorod chronicles mentioned the oprichnina, Metropolitan Filipp's feud with Ivan over the oprichnina, and the partition of the city of Novgorod between oprichnina and "land" parts, events that took place before and after Ivan's punitive expedition.
(94) I included the miracle in this discussion for two reasons: first, because Novgorod chronicles presumably written in Novgorod during the oprichnina refer to oprichniki, even if the tale of Novgorod's sack did not, and second, because the perception of the oprichniki as bandits in the miracle tale resonates with the image of the oprichniki in contemporary sources, discussed below (nos.
Volume 3 was to carry the comparisons to 1306, and volume 4 was to include the Novgorod I Chronicle with parallel comparisons of Novgorod chronicles of the 15th century.