Suzdal-Nizhny Novgorod Principality

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Suzdal’-Nizhny Novgorod Principality


one of the principalities of northeastern Rus’. It extended along the Irmis River, the middle course of the Kliaz’minskaia Ned’ River, the lower courses of the Kliaz’ma and Oka, and the middle Volga, from the lower course of the Unzha River to the lower course of the Sura River. Its main centers were Suzdal’, Nizhny Novgorod, Gorokhovets, Gorodets, and Kurmysh.

The Suzdal’-Nizhny Novgorod Principality was formed in 1341, when the Mongol-Tatars turned over Nizhny Novgorod and Gorodets to the Suzdal’ prince Konstantin Vasil’evich. As a result of the ascendancy of Nizhny Novgorod in the first half of the 14th century, the capital of the newly formed principality was moved there from Suzdal’. The development of feudal land-ownership and trade, especially in the Volga Region, and support from the Golden Horde and Novgorod Velikii enabled the princes of the Suzdal’-Nizhny Novgorod Principality, Konstantin Vasil’evich and his son Dmitrii, to wage a struggle against the Muscovite princes for the throne of the grand prince of Vladimir. Dmitrii captured the throne in 1360 and again in 1363; his second reign was also short-lived. From 1364 through 1382 he acted as an ally of the Muscovite prince. In 1382 the Nizhny Novgorod princes took part in the attack by Tokhtamysh on Moscow.

The existence in the Suzdal’-Nizhny Novgorod Principality of appanages, the most important of which was Gorodets, and the pressure from the Golden Horde contributed to the aggravation of feudal conflicts in the principality. The leanings of some Nizhny Novgorod princes toward the Mongol-Tatars ran counter to Moscow’s aspirations for unification.

In 1392’; Grand Prince Vasilii Dmitrievich of Moscow captured Nizhny Novgorod. From that time on, the Muscovite grand princes held on to the Volga Region, although the princes of the Suzdal’-Nizhny Novgorod Principality, with the aid of the Mongol-Tatars, occasionally tried to regain Nizhny Novgorod (attempts were made in 1395,1411–14, and the 1440’s).


Presniakov, A. E. Obrazovanie Velikorusskogo gosudarstva: Ocherki po istorii XIII-XV st. Petrograd, 1918.
Liubavskii, M. K. Obrazovanie osnovnoi gosudarstvennoi territorii velikorusskoi narodnosti. Leningrad, 1929.
Nasonov, A. N. Mongoly i Rus’. Moscow-Leningrad, 1940.
Kuchkin, V. A. “Nizhnii Novgorod i Nizhegorodskoe kniazhestvo v XIII-XIV vv.” In the collection Pol’sha i Rus’. Moscow, 1974.


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