Poriadnaia Zapis

Poriadnaia Zapis’

 

(from riad, “agreement,” “bargain”), a document formalizing various types of agreements in Rus’. Such agreements were concluded in the 16th and 17th centuries on such matters as the living conditions of peasants, dvorniki, and d’iachki, the training of apprentices in a trade, the leasing of land, and the building of structures, such as city walls or churches. These documents are an important source for the study of economic and social relations in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Poriadnye zapisi dealing with the peasantry are of especially great historical significance. The agreements stipulated the conditions under which a plot of land was parceled out by its owner to a peasant, under which an advance (podmoga) in the form of tools, animals, seeds, or money was given to equip the new homestead, and under which the plot was temporarily exempted from state taxes and feudal obligations. In order to prevent the peasant from evading his obligations and to keep him in his new place of residence, the agreement in some cases stipulated the payment of a forfeit that was usually much higher than the podmoga.

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