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Contemporary Russian Perceptions of Ivan IV's Oprichnina.

In December 1564, without explanation, Ivan IV (Ivan the Terrible, 1533-84) left Moscow with his wife, sons, treasury, and the religious treasures of the city for an undisclosed location. He wound up at Aleksandrovskaia Sloboda, a royal hunting retreat, from which he sent epistles to Moscow informing the elite and the populace that he had abdicated the throne. When those groups petitioned him to return to Moscow, he agreed upon the condition that he could establish the oprichnina, a private appanage, state-within-a-state, under his sole authority. The elite and commons acquiesced to Ivan's demand. The oprichnina eventually became the instrument by which Ivan imposed mass terror on Muscovite society. It also remains a highly controversial episode in Russian history, the subject of an enormous, contentious, and ever-growing historiography.

Disagreements within the historiography about the oprichnina center on both specific, factual issues and broader analytical and conceptual issues. On the one hand, historians contest which territories Ivan incorporated into the oprichnina, how many oprichniki (members of the oprichnina) served Ivan, and the extent of land confiscations and deportations. On the other hand, historians dispute why Ivan established the oprichnina, whether it reflects his mental health, foreign policy or domestic political considerations, or religious ideology, and what its consequences were for 16th-century Russia and for subsequent Russian history down to the present. Whether Ivan abolished the oprichnina in 1572, and if so, why, or whether he renamed it the "household" or "court" (dvor), depends on one's definition of the oprichnina, so the question is both narrow and broad. This article will not discuss any of these questions. However, because I define the existence of the oprichnina by the presence of its symbols--the black robes of the oprichniki, their black horses with dogs' heads and brooms, their oaths, and their membership in a pseudomonastic brotherhood, all of which disappeared in 1572--I proceed from the premise that Ivan abolished the oprichnina in 1572. Discussion of this problem lies outside the scope of the present article, but I would observe that post-1572 Muscovite sources referred to the oprichnina and oprichniki only in the past tense.

This article asks how Muscovites living in Muscovy during the oprichnina perceived that institution. No historian has ever studied all references to the oprichnina and oprichniki from the period of its existence in order to derive Muscovite perceptions of the oprichnina. Some historians have commented in passing on this question. Vasilii Kliuchevskii ascribed to contemporaries a mood of deep pessimism. According to him, the oprichnina confused Muscovites, who thought that it was "strange." Aleksandr Kopanev concluded that the oprichnina created "uncertainty and unease" among the boyars. Ann Kleimola asserted that members of the elite thought that they had to denounce someone else first, before they were denounced. Robert Crummey wrote that the oprichnina destroyed expectations of order among the population. The excesses of the oprichnina, he wrote, rendered society numb. Isabel de Madariaga opined that Ivan's arbitrary executions during the oprichnina "shattered public opinion" (with due allowance for projecting that term onto 16th-century Muscovy). Vladimir Ivanov observed that the bloody oprichnina campaigns, amid other factors, created a general atmosphere of uncertainty, fear, and alienation in Muscovy. (1) Dmitrii Volodikhin is a rare exception to the drift obvious in all these observations. He suggests that nonprincely gentry perceived the oprichnina as an opportunity for promotion to field army commands from which they were usually excluded. (2) However, all these historians fail to cite any indigenous Muscovite documentation to corroborate their conclusions. Most historians just let the atrocities of the oprichnina speak for themselves, without addressing the reaction on the part of the Muscovite elite or commoners at all. (3) Atrocities, it is assumed, created disorientation, moral outrage, and discontent, if not outright opposition, among Muscovites under the oprichnina regime.

The nature of the extant sources profoundly complicates any attempt to analyze contemporary Russian perceptions of the oprichnina. Of course, we cannot evaluate letters to the editors of newspapers or dissect public opinion polls. We certainly do not have estimates of the public mood written by members of the secret police. Unlike such anachronistic genres of sources, for other 16th-century European countries we could expect to utilize private sources, personal letters and memoirs. The few personal letters extant from Ivan's reign do not mention the oprichnina, and no memoirs survive, if any were written. The oprichnina archive either perished in the 1571 Moscow fire (if it was kept in Moscow) or Ivan ordered it destroyed after 1572 (no matter where it was kept). Nevertheless, we do have sources written in Muscovy during the period of the oprichnina.

To be sure, gaps and provenance problems abound in these sources. An overview of the source base might be helpful before proceeding further. Extant Muscovite sources can be divided into two basic types, narrative and documentary. Narrative sources comprise chronicles, tales, and hagiographie texts. The main and most informative Moscow chronicle terminated in 1567, but its entries for the oprichnina years from 1564 to 1567 survive in a post-oprichnina provenance. The Novgorod regional chronicles, while they read like and are usually treated as contemporary, survive only in 17thcentury manuscripts, as do the "tale" of Ivan's sack of the city in 1569-70 and a miracle list that allude to the oprichnina. Documentary sources include government and private sources. The government produced: military registers (razriadnye knigi), lists of personnel assigned as officers in field armies and to some civilian administrative positions; diplomatic books (posol'skie knigi), divided geographically among Muscovite relations (dela) with Lithuania or Crimea, which contain position papers, accounts of negotiations, and administrative documents dealing with embassies to or from Muscovy; and cadastral surveys (pistsovye knigi), censuses of land allocation or population in order to conduct tax assessments. While these sources were based on contemporary documentation, that documentation does not always survive. Military registers survive in later, private copies. Scribes incorporated "raw" diplomatic papers into retrospective summary files. Cadastres survive in the original. However, the documentary base on which military service and diplomatic books rest deserves credibility. Chronicles confirm the registers, and foreign sources confirm the diplomatic papers. The military registers contain no gaps during the years from 1565 to 1572, whereas the diplomatic books cover relations with some countries for some years but not others, and the cadastres inconsistently surveyed different regions at different times. Therefore, the disappearance of the term oprichnina from the military registers after 1572 helps define the chronological parameters of this study. Government documentation also includes Ivan's testament (dukhovnaia gramo ta), decrees (ukazy), orders or instructions (nakazy), fiscal or judicial immunity charters, memos, receipts, and other bureaucratic paper that frequently assigned conditional landed estates (pomest 'id) to servitors or compensated owners for patrimonial estates that had been confiscated for the oprichnina. "Obedience charters" (poslushnye gramoty) informed peasants of the identity of their new landowner or landholder and enjoined them to obey his instructions. Private documents consist of testaments, land exchanges, bills of sale (kupchie gramoty), donations, and title clearance documents (ochishchal'nye gramoty), which guaranteed that no encumbrance inhibited the sale or donation of a given estate.

Several principles inform the parameters of this study. First, I have tried to stay as closely as possible to what Muscovites actually wrote about the oprichnina, and to avoid inferring what Muscovites "must have thought" about it. Second, I have confined this study to Muscovite sources written during the oprichnina. For one thing, space precludes addressing a longer period. Substantively, I would argue that until we have established as reliably as possible how Muscovites perceived the oprichnina during its existence, it would be premature to project onto them the views of Muscovite emigres, such as Prince Andrei Kurbskii, or of foreigners who lived in Muscovy during the oprichnina or thereafter, or of Muscovites writing after the abolition of the oprichnina in 1572, let alone after Ivan's death in 1584. Muscovites living in Muscovy during the oprichnina might have shared the attitudes of these other groups, but whether they did so cannot be addressed at this time. Discriminating between contemporary sources and post-oprichnina sources becomes problematic when dealing with narrative sources that seem to be contemporary but survive in later manuscripts. I have included some such sources in this study when most historians treat their contents as contemporary. Third, I have omitted documentary sources that deal with oprichniki or districts incorporated into the oprichnina but do not mention either term, which would take us too far afield from Russian perceptions of the oprichnina into writing a history of the oprichnina itself.

With these limits in mind, I have extracted from this heterogeneous source base 75 items, each containing one or more sources, with one or more references to the oprichnina or oprichniki. This data base cannot pretend to be exhaustive. Some published sources remained inaccessible to me, and it was not possible to conduct archival research. I do not cite multiple publications of documents. I have discarded "extraneous" detail. For convenience, I have numbered the items, and then assigned each to one of five rubrics: the oprichnina as an institution, administration, land, state service, and repression. I explain these rubrics in turn, but it should be noted that they are not always mutually exclusive. Items within each group appear in rough chronological order.

The cited evidence should be sufficient to support my conclusion that Muscovites did not express a uniform perception of the oprichnina. On the one hand, some sources dealt with the oprichnina as a reality, a fact of life, not "normal," whatever that means, but nevertheless not so extraordinary that it required elaborate comment. On the other hand, other sources treated the oprichniki as violent criminals. The presence of denunciations of the oprichniki in official Muscovite sources provides a hitherto insufficiently appreciated context for understanding its abolition. Finally, historians have overlooked anomalies in the presence of the terms in the sources, occasions when we would expect to the find them but do not. What this pattern tells us about the Muscovite perception of the oprichnina remains elusive.

The Oprichnina as an Institution

As an institution, the oprichnina resembled an appanage, a designated territory with defined personnel and judicial extraterritoriality traditionally assigned to a nonruling member of the dynasty. An appanage could be created, inherited, expanded, reduced, or abolished. The oprichnina differed from a traditional appanage in that its "owner" remained ruler of the Muscovite state, and its members possessed a unique set of attributes of clothes, symbols, oaths, and pseudomonastic brotherhood. Contemporary Muscovite sources do not describe any of those attributes. Sixteen items, numbered 1 through 16, illustrate the existence of the oprichnina as a concept that requires explication by dealing with its creation, territorial scope, designated personnel, and possible abolition. They depict the oprichnina as an institution that needed to be explained and whose geographic and demographic domain needed to be identified.

1. The creation of the oprichnina. The Continuation of the AleksandroNevskii Chronicle contains the only substantial narrative of the creation of the oprichnina. (4) Ivan stipulated that the oprichnina have its own "special court" (dvor osobnyi) "for his support" (obikhod), with its own boyars, associate boyars (okol'nichie), majordomos (dvoretskie), treasurers (kaznachei), secretaries (d'iaki), "various officials" (vsiakie prikaznye liudi), (5) courtiers (idvoriane, members of Ivan's "court" or "household"), gentry (deti boiarskie), table-attendants (stolniki), aides (striapchie), and "residents" (live-in help) (zhil'tsy). (6) The oprichnina would also have special (osobno) "minor courts" (,dvortsy) for provisions, food, and supplies, headed by "administrators with keys" (kliuchniki) and (lower) "subadministrators with keys" (podkliuchniki), to supervise menial staff, such as cooks (povary) and bakers (khlebniki). The oprichnina would require artisans (mastery), grooms for horses (koniukhi), masters of hounds (psari), and all kinds of "household people" (dvorovye liudi) to see to its provisioning (obikhod), as well as a special unit of musketeers (strel 'tsy osobno) for Ivan's security. Ivan specified which territories he wanted to incorporate into the oprichnina. He also indicated the need for other territories to provide "feeding" and/or tax-farming (kormlenie okupom) for the boyars, courtiers, and all his "sovereign's court people" who would enter the oprichnina. Ivan set the initial personnel level in the oprichnina of "household" (dvorovye) boyars, courtiers, [central] gentry, and provincial gentry (gorodovye) at 1,000 heads (golovy), who would require conditional land grants (pomest 'id) in those districts taken into the oprichnina. Ivan would expel owners of patrimonial estates (votchinniki) and holders of conditional landed estates (pomeshchiki) not taken into the oprichnina but living in those districts, and give them lands elsewhere, outside the "special" oprichnina. Ivan also wanted streets and enclaves (slobody) within Moscow and its suburbs (posad) assigned to the oprichnina. Oprichnina boyars, courtiers, and officials not living on these streets and enclaves had to move there. Residents of those areas not entering the oprichnina had to leave. (7)

Although this narrative reads as if it were written by a contemporary, even an eyewitness, on the basis of original documentation, its provenance is more complicated. The Continuation of the Aleksandro-Nevskii Chronicle was part of the Illustrated Chronicle Compilation (Litsevoi letopisnyi svod). Although the dating of this unfinished world history with miniatures has not been definitively established, most scholars date its compilation to after 1572, some to the 1570s, others the 1580s, or even after Ivan's death. (8) Any post-1572 dating necessitates discussing the supposed "taboo" on using the word oprichnina after 1572. The German thug Heinrich von Staden, who had entered Ivan's service, resided in Muscovy in 1572. Whether he was an oprichnik remains disputed. Staden wrote that Ivan not only abolished the oprichnina in that year, but, furthermore, that "no one was permitted to allude to it with a single word, under pain" of severe punishment. (9) However, the word oprichnina did not disappear entirely from all Muscovite sources written between 1572 and 1584. (10) In a manuscript culture, it was virtually impossible to ban any term, even in official sources, but the Aleksandro-Nevskii Chronicle, or the Illustrated Chronicle Compilation as a whole, cannot be considered an "official" source, a direct expression not only of, but by, the government. (11) The compiler of the Aleksandro-Nevskii Chronicle remains anonymous. No evidence discloses whether he was a monk or a layman, or what political or religious institution patronized the composition of the chronicle. Therefore, even if Staden correctly reported Ivan's intended censorship of the word oprichnina, the presence of the word in the narrative of the oprichnina's creation cannot be invoked as evidence that the text was written before the abolition of the oprichnina.

However, there is a different, unnoticed anomaly in the Aleksandro-Nevskii Chronicle. The text of the Aleksandro-Nevskii Chronicle between 1565, when Ivan created the oprichnina, and 1567, when the chronicle stops, never again utilized the word oprichnina. The compiler did not mention the word even when describing events directly connected to the oprichnina. The word appears neither when the chronicler recounted Ivan's order in 1565 to construct a separate oprichina court (dvor) in Moscow outside the Kremlin, nor when Ivan moved to it in January 1567. (12) When the chronicle mentioned Ivan's selection of Abbot Filipp of the Solovetskii Monastery to become the new metropolitan of Moscow and All Rus' in 1566, it did not mention the negotiations between Ivan and Filipp over the abolition of the oprichnina, or the compromise agreement they reached, discussed below (no. 5). (13) The "disappearance" of the word oprichnina from the very chronicle that narrated its creation remains a mystery.

2. The Tsar's Archive, according to its inventory, at one time preserved Ivan's 1565 decree (ukaz) on how he went to (Aleksandrovskaia) Sloboda to (establish) the oprichnina. (14)

3. A short chronicle dated to the period of the oprichnina, of course anonymous, misdated the establishment of the oprichnina to 1556. However, it accurately recorded that Ivan later moved out of the Moscow Kremlin and into his own "court" across the Neglinnaia River on Vozdvizhenskaia Street, on Arbat, formerly the "court" of Prince Mikhail Temriukovich (Cherkasskii) (Ivan's brother-in-law), which Ivan had renovated, clearly the Moscow oprichnina "court," although it did not describe it as part of the oprichnina. (15)

4. Several references to the oprichnina in the "Lithuanian Affairs" of the Diplomatic Papers from 1566 to 1569 consist of the Muscovite government's denials to Poland-Lithuania that the oprichnina existed, a question that by definition treats the oprichnina as an institution. (16) Ivan included this lie in the epistles in the names of several of his boyars to King Sigismund II and Lithuanian Grand Marshal Jan Chodkiewicz that he ghostwrote. (17)

5. According to a 20 July 1566 "agreement" (prigovor), Filipp, abbot (igumen) of the Solovetskii Monastery, had initially refused Ivan's request that he become metropolitan unless Ivan abolished the oprichnina. Although Filipp's refusal severely angered Ivan, they agreed to a compromise. Filipp undertook not to interfere in the oprichnina, the tsar's "domestic sustenance" (domovoi obikhod), in return for which Ivan promised to consult Filipp. A secretary of the metopolitanate, Il'iaTsaregorodtsev, wrote the document. (18)

6. According to the diplomatic books for Lithuania, on 4 May 1570, Ivan returned to Moscow from (Aleksandrovskaia) Sloboda. He crossed the bridge [over the Neglinnaia River] "to the oprichnina," which constituted a defined geographic neighborhood of the city. (19) Ironically, therefore, the diplomatic books, which contain the Foreign Affairs Bureau's denials that the oprichnina existed, confirm the existence of Ivan's oprichnina "court" in Moscow, whereas the Aleksandro-Nevskii Chronicle, which narrated the creation of the oprichnina, and an additional chronicle failed to identify that "court" as belonging to the oprichnina.

7. According to the same diplomatic books, later in 1570 Ivan suspended negotiations with the Lithuanian delegates for a day. (20) The Lithuanians had informed the Foreign Affairs Bureau that they needed time to purchase supplies. Ivan therefore authorized the delegation to shop in the oprichnina. (21) With a straight face, metaphorically, Ivan officially allowed the Lithuanian envoys to enter the territory of an institution that he had officially insisted to them did not exist.

8. The diplomatic books recount that in May and June 1570 Ivan instructed "land" (zemskie) (22) and oprichnina boyars to work out border territorial problems with Lithuania, to cooperate in the Livonia negotiations, and to send separately to the "land" and the oprichnina for lists of grievances against the improper behavior of the Lithuanian delegation on Muscovite soil en route to Moscow. (23)

9. According to a chronicle entry in a convolute miscellany whose latest entries date to Ivan's reign, on 21 January 1570 Ivan incorporated Rostov and Iaroslavl' into the oprichnina. (24)

10. In 1571, according to a different diplomatic book dealing with Sweden, Ivan ordered the Swedish envoy in Moscow moved from the oprichnina to the "land." The Foreign Affairs Bureau later dispatched supplies for the Swedish delegation from that part of Novgorod included in the oprichnina. (I discuss the partition of Novgorod into oprichnina and non-oprichnina zones below.) (25)

11. In 1571 Ivan wrote to Fedor Andreevich Pisemskii and Afanasii Fedorovich Nagoi in Crimea that "now you are neither in the 'land' nor in the oprichnina" (este ni v zemskom, ni v oprishnine), but when they returned to Moscow, they would be well received. (26) Both men had left Moscow before the establishment of the oprichnina, so their personal affiliations remained open. By implication, all servitors in Muscovy either belonged to the oprichnina or they did not.

12. Unpublished diplomatic papers concerning Muscovite relations with the Nogai Tatars (Nogaiskie dela) recorded that Ibragim, brother of the Nogai prince Iuzuf, had defected from Muscovite service to Poland-Lithuania in 1570. In 1571, as Polish-Lithuanian envoy to Crimea, he had declared to the Crimean authorities that he had fled Muscovy because he had gotten into a fight over carts with a member of the oprichnina, Roman Pivov (pobilsia s oprichninoiu). (27)

13. The 1567-72 Polotsk (Polatsk) cadastre, (28) compiled under Muscovite occupation but found in the Lithuanian Metrica, recorded that in 1572 Ivan took Cossack commander of 100 men (sotnik) Iakov Smeev into his oprichnina. (29)

14. The Crimean Affairs diplomatic books recounted a 1571 diplomatic exchange in which a Muscovite representative informed Crimean Khan Devlet Girei that Ivan was in Serpukhov with his oprichnina.30 In this context, the word oprichnina meant "bodyguard."

15. In his 1572 testament, Ivan authorized his sons, his designated heir Tsarevich Ivan, and his younger son and eventual successor Tsarevich Fedor to deal with the oprichnina as they saw fit--that is, to retain it or abolish it, as they chose. (31)

16. In 1572, the government authorized the field army that eventually defeated Devlet Girei at Molodi to hire as many "land" and oprichnina boats as they could for transportation. In this case the affiliation of the boats depended on either the affiliation of their owners or the territory on which their owners resided. (32)

Conclusion: Notwithstanding anomalies that require further elucidation, the Muscovite sources enumerated here treated the oprichnina as a political and historical institution, with a date of creation, defined territory and personnel, and, potentially, a date of abolition.


Nineteen items, numbered 17 through 34, deal with the administration of the oprichnina. They delineate what taxes residents of the oprichnina had to pay, and to whom, and what taxes they did not have to pay because of immunity charters. They defined the customs payments of oprichnina and "land" residents. They resolved problems created by the incorporation of territory into the oprichnina for estates not incorporated into the oprichnina, and vice versa. They took note of an inability always to define territorial boundaries. They regulate relations between oprichnina officials responsible for eliminating known bandits and their "land" counterparts, and between residents of the same city divided into oprichnina and "land" neighborhoods. They enumerate the government officials in charge of administering oprichnina territories. In matter-of-fact language they present the oprichnina as a reality that did not require explanation or elicit judgment.

17. The 17th-century Novgorod II Chronicle contains extensive information about the oprichnina administrative regime in Novgorod from 1570 to 1572. After Ivan sacked the city during the winter of 1569-70 (discussed below), he then assigned part of the city and parts of its hinterland to the oprichnina. The level of detail of this data suggests contemporaneity. (33) (I have rearranged the chronicle entries into chronological order.) On 23 February 1571, oprichnina state secretaries Semen Fedorov syn Mashin and Aleksei Mikhailov syn Staroi forbade teamsters to transport people across the Volkhov River's great bridge from the "land" St. Sophia Side to the oprichnina Trading Side. Oprichnina authorities initially forbade trade between the two halves of the city but later permitted commerce under new regulations, discussed below (no. 34). The city administrators ordered guards to throw drunks trying to cross the bridge into the river. Ivan took two of the five regions (literally fifths, piatiny) of the Novgorod hinterland, the Obolenskaia and Bezhetskii Verkh, like the Trade Side of the city proper, into the oprichnina. On 8 September 1571, military commanders (voevody) Vasilii Ivanovich Umnyi Kolychev and Prince Ivan Petrovich Kheron arrived in Novgorod from Moscow en route to Livonia. The former stayed on Chudentsov Street at the court of Vasilii Shakhanskii, an oprichnina boyar, while the latter stayed on Nikitin Street at the court of zemshchina servitor Dmitrii Kasil'nikov syn Ludoshin, evidence that residential segregation matched the institutional distinction between members of the oprichnina and members of the "land," even on a joint mission. On 18 October 1571, Ivan ordered the relocation to Moscow of 60 elite merchants (gosti) with their families and children from the Novgorod oprichnina region. On 20 January 1572, the oprichnina side received two new state secretaries, Vasilii Semenov syn Neliub and Semen Fedorov syn Mishurin, after the recall of their predecessor. On 4 November 1572 on the oprichnina side of the city, the sovereign's emissary Grigorii Nikitich syn Borisov asked abbots, priests, elders, and all monasteries to pray for the end of the epidemic ravaging the city.

18. On 18 February 1566, Ivan, in Moscow in the oprichnina, issued an immunity charter to Abbot Feoktist of the Simonov Monastery for a village (slobodka) and hamlets in Vyshgorod District. (34)

19. Ivan's 18 February 1566 immunity charter to Simonov Monastery Abbot Feoktist for a village in Vyshegorodsk District on oprichnina territory specified that if "people" or peasants from the oprichnina sued the village, Ivan would hear the case personally, or delegate a "selected" or "trusted" (vvedetiyi) oprichnina boyar to hear it. (35) The Simonov Monastery donation feast book communicates the same information, distinguishing between villages receiving immunities in the oprichnina in Vyshegorodsk District and villages receiving immunities in the "land" (zemshchina) in Namoskovskaia District. (36)

20. Ivan's 18 February 1566 charter informed Druzhina Neforev in Beloozero that he had received a petition from the Kirillo-Beloozero Monastery stating that the monastery previously received grain from Vologda District. However, that district now belonged to the oprichnina. Because the Kirillo-Beloozero Monastery did not belong to the oprichnina, it requested future grain deliveries come from Beloozero. Ivan concurred. (37)

21. On 19 September 1566, Ivan issued an immunity charter to the Peremyshl' Sharovkin Monastery. The monastery had informed him that its estates crossed the divide between the "land" city (district) of Odoev and the oprichnina city (district) of Belev. Therefore, monasterial estates did not enjoy uniform privileges. Ivan responded by issuing an immunity charter encompassing all the monastery's lands, in both the "land" and the oprichnina. (38)

22. On 28 November 1566, Ivan issued a charter to Beloozero urban administrator (gorodovoi prikazchik) Matvei Grigor'ev syn Bukharin, who collected taxes from a hamlet that the Kirillo-Beloozero Monastery had received in exchange for a property taken into the oprichnina. Ivan ordered the urban administrator to cease doing so. The secretary Ishuk wrote the charter. (39)

23. On 24 March 1566, Ivan added a codicil to his 1564 immunity charter to Chudov Monastery Archimandrite Levkii, specifying that its immunities applied to a Vyshegorod District property in the oprichnina. Secretary Petr Grigor'ev wrote the codicil. (40)

24. A 1566/67 (41) boundary charter (raz "ezzhaia gramo ta) between Ivan and his cousin, the appanage Prince Vladimir Andreevich Staritskii, noted that the boundaries between the oprichnina and Staritskii's appanage could not be delineated at present, because the oprichnina did not yet have any boundary surveyors (mezhevshchie or pistsy). (42)

25. Ivan sent a 14 February 1567 decree to Ivan Lugvitsyn syn Michurin in Sol' Galich, noting that in a petition Simonov Monastery Abbot Feoktist had complained that Usol'skie Bogoiavlenskie Church priests and customs collectors charged customs to residents of two villages now in the oprichnina, when they bought supplies, as if they were outsiders. By prior royal decree, these villagers enjoyed the right to be treated like residents of Galich and Kostroma in the oprichnina, at least when purchasing grain, timber, salt, and supplies for the monastery's own use. (43)

26. On 27 August 1567, Ivan issued an immunity charter to Simonov Monastery Abbot Feoktist for lands in Rzhev District. Because Ivan had taken Rzhev into the oprichnina, Ivan or his "chosen boyar" in the oprichnina would now judge lawsuits against these monastic properties. (44)

27. In September 1567, upon request, Ivan issued an immunity charter to Simonov Monastery Abbot Feoktist, to confirm a previous immunity charter issued by Ivan III, for a village (slobodka) in Mozhaisk. The incorporation of Mozhaisk into the oprichnina necessitated issuance of the confirmation. (45)

28. On 20 April 1567, Ivan issued a decree to Charonda Argun Ivanov syn Zakhar'in and all customs officials and bridge toll collectors in all oprichnina cities, not to take customs dues from Kirillo-Beloozero Monastery servitors buying anything, anywhere, for their own supplies. Abbot Kirill and the brethren had informed Ivan in their petition that they possessed a universal immunity charter, granting them such an exemption. The name of the secretary Druzhina Volodin appears on the binding of the decree. (46)

29. An order from Ivan of 18 February 1569 to Vladimir urban administrators (gorodovye prikazchiki) Grigorii Domin and Tret'iak Mozolev and swornman (tseloval'nik) Iakusha Feofanov and comrades instructed them not to take "land" taxes from villages of the Simonov Monastery in Vladimir District. Ivan had incorporated the monastery's patrimony nationwide into the oprichnina. Henceforth, oprichnina authorities would collect all taxes owed by the Simonov Monastery. (47)

30. A 12 June 1569 charter from Ivan to Treasurer Ugrim L'vovich Pivov, written in the oprichnina in Vologda in response to a petition from the abbot of the Kirillo-Beloozero Monastery, concerned taxes imposed on the monastery's newly purchased black lands, (48) salt works, fisheries, and enterprises. The monastery requested tax exemption, which Ivan granted. (49)

31. Ivan's 12 March 1571 instruction to the Beloozero anti-brigandage (guba) elders and sworn-men specified in detail how oprichnina and "land" anti-banditry authorities should assign jurisdiction to crimes committed by criminals who traveled from oprichnina territory to "land" territory, or vice versa. (50)

32. On 16 March 1569, Ivan sent a decree to the elected elder (starosta) Istoma Mishakov, sworn-men, and associates (tovarishchi), concerning quit rent (obrok) from Simonov Monastery villages taken into the oprichnina. (51)

33. On 17 March 1571, on Ivan's authorization, the boyar and Novgorod governor (namestnik) Prince Petr Danilovich Pronskoi, Aleksei Mikhailov syn Staroi, and secretary Semen Fedorov syn Mishurin, issued a customs charter (tamozhennaia gramotd), written in the sovereign's patrimony (otchina) in the oprichnina, for the Trading Side of Novgorod, incorporated into the oprichnina. All elite merchants and "trading people" (torgovye liudi) residing on the St. Sophia Side of Novgorod, or in the three Novgorod "fifths" not included in the oprichnina, who wished to trade in the oprichnina Trading Side of Novgorod, had to appear before the new customs officials (tamozhniki) on the Trading Side for permission. Undersecretary Sapunets Avramov corrected the document. (52)

34. On 27 March 1571, Ivan issued an immunity charter to the Makhrishcheskii Monastery, for estates on oprichnina territory in Pereiaslavl' District. Ivan or his "trusted" boyar in the oprichnina would judge lawsuits against the monastery for these lands. When the monastery lost the original decree in the 1571 Moscow fire set by the Crimeans, Ivan sent the monastery a new charter on 24 June. (53)

Conclusion: Muscovite sources about the administration of the oprichnina, unlike sources about the oprichnina as an institution, did not need to explain the oprichnina. They present the oprichnina as a fact of life, requiring administrative adjustments, accommodations, and adaptation. Professional bureaucrats wrote almost all these documents. Their perception of the oprichnina undoubtedly derives in part from bureaucratic inertia, or the bureaucratic mindset, a business-as-usual attitude that relied on standard formulations to record events. The creation of a new appanage required administrative adjustments, so they made administrative adjustments.

However, there is more to it than that. First, the state secretaries and officials who responded to the administrative mayhem created by oprichnina/ land boundaries and overlapping jurisdictions had to think that this appanage, the oprichnina, could be treated the same as traditional appanages, despite its manifest unique characteristics. Moreover, whoever wrote the Novgorod III Chronicle (clerics in the St. Sophia Cathedral or monks in Novgorod monasteries usually did so, but we cannot pinpoint authorship) partook of the same perception of the oprichnina as a morally neutral institution not requiring comment. Finally, this perception of the oprichnina cannot be ascribed exclusively to the authors of the texts discussed here. It was shared, implicitly, by all direct participants in the activities involved, including the abbots who petitioned Ivan for privilege or redress of grievances, and the Novgorod merchants who sought to finesse the oprichnina boundary to do business. Obviously some enlightened self-interest--that is, opportunism-played a role in motivating the behavior of these people, but that is not the whole story. To perceive the oprichnina as an opportunity required conceiving of it as a fact of life.


The third rubric contains 20 items, numbered 35 to 54. Whereas items in rubric 1 concerned defining what districts and neighborhoods belonged to the oprichnina, items in rubric 3 deal with who held (conditionally) or owned (with inheritance rights) estates within that territory, or had lost ownership or use of land in the oprichnina or the "land." All items herein are documentary in nature--a testament, cadastres, charters of several types (bills of sale, title clearances, obedience, transfer, exchange), and administrative paper in various forms (memos, orders). In short, professional scribes, either governmental or private, wrote all the sources enumerated under this rubric, save one admittedly confusing private testament (no. 43), which expresses the same perception of the oprichnina. These items demonstrate again a perception of the oprichnina as a feature of daily life that did not necessitate comment or judgment.

35. On 25 February 1567, Ivan issued an obedience charter to peasants on previously conditional land in Moscow District, informing them that Ivan had granted the estate as a patrimony to members of the Khomiakov clan, in exchange for their land in Borovsk District, taken into the oprichnina. (54)

36. On 25 August 1567, Secretary Andrei VasiTev syn Beznosov sent a transfer charter (vvoznaia gramo ta) to Gavrilo Timofeev syn Kuzovitskii and Ushak Begunitskii, conveying to them hamlets in Shelon Fifth, in exchange for land taken into the oprichnina in Staraia Rusa. (55)

37. On 9 March 1567, Ivan issued an obedience charter to peasants in Moscow and Kolomna districts, informing them that their land had become the patrimony of Mar'ia Stepanovna Argamakova, given to her in exchange for patrimonial land in Kostroma District, taken into the oprichnina. (56)

38. Three days after the issuance of no. 37, on 12 March 1567, Argamakova sold the land she received in Moscow District to the boyar Ivan VasiFevich Bol'shoi Sheremetev. The bill of sale repeated the provenance of the estate, that she had received it in return for land in Kostroma District confiscated by the oprichnina. Fed'ko Bogdanov syn Fedorov wrote the bill of sale. Argamakova's son Obrazets witnessed the transaction in his mother's place by affixing his hand on the back. (57)

39. On the same date as no. 38, Argamakova issued a title clearance charter for that Moscow District estate, repeating yet again that she had received it in exchange for her Kostroma District estate, now identified as part of her dowry, taken into the oprichnina. Once again, her son Obrazets affixed his hand to the document in place of his mother. (58)

40. On 29 March 1567, Ivan issued an obedience charter to black peasant, kennel men, beekeeper, and horse-groom hamlets in Moscow District that he had granted as a patrimony to Prince Roman Ivanovich Gundorov, in exchange for land in Vladimir District. Gundorov had previously received the Vladimir District land in compensation for patrimonial land in Starodub District taken into the oprichnina. (59)

41. On 25 August 1567, on Ivan's order, Secretary Andrei Vasil'ev syn Beznosov sent an assignment charter (otdel'naia gramota) to peasants on conditional land in Shelon Fifth, explaining the assignment of their lands to Gavrilo Timofeev syn Kuzovitskoi and Ushashka Begunitskoi, in exchange for lands in Staraia Rusa incorporated into the oprichnina. Undersecretary Matfei Kharlamov signed the charter. (60)

42. During 1567/68, Ivan issued a land exchange charter to Archimandrite Levkii of the Chudov Monastery. Ivan allocated hamlets and other properties in Vladimir District to the monastery in place of those donated to the Chudov Monastery by Agaf'ia Ivanova doch' Troparev Rudogo with her mother Ul'iana, widow of Semen Obraztsov, in Vyshgorod District. Ivan had taken the Vyshgorod District properties into the oprichnina. (61)

43. In his 1567/68 testament, Petr-Bogdan Nikitin syn Khvostov mentioned that his brother owed him money for financial losses for food and Muscovite "red tape" incurred while "working ofF' a loan from the Malygins by doing construction work on a church. The Malygins came "from the oprichnina" (iz oprichniny). (62) Perhaps because Khvostov wrote the testament himself, rather than employing a professional scribe to do so, the details of this transaction remain highly confused. Apparently Khvostov, who resided in Murom District in the "land," participated in a loan from the Malygins, who resided in the oprichnina. Khvostov evidently thought it necessary to mention that the Malygins came from the oprichnina, although that particular piece of information seems to have no direct bearing on the transaction itself. Khvostov did not directly connect his mistreatment while working off the debt, if that is what he meant when he wrote that he was locked up in chains and locks ("under lock and key" could be an expression meaning "in a safe place"), in the Malygins' residence, to their and its inclusion in the oprichnina. If he had, this item would belong to rubric 5.

44. The 1567-69 laroslavl' cadastre referred to land assigned to Obrazets Malygin (the family mentioned in no. 43) from the oprichnina. (63) Ivan included laroslavl' in the oprichnina.

45. On 13 June 1569, according to the memo (pamiat 0 signed by Secretary Vasilii Stepanov, Ivan wrote an instruction to the Novgorod scribe Ivan Matveev syn Denis'ev and associates, to survey the conditional-land estate of Fedor Mikitin syn Bekhteev. Ivan's memo from the oprichnina of 27 January 1569 (7077) to State Secretary Putila Mikhailov and Vasilii Stepanov, with the signature of Secretary Nikita Titov, announced that he had granted Mikhailo Koreshkov syn II'in a conditional-land estate in the oprichnina, so these officials could reassign his former land to Bekhteev. The document instructed peasants to obey Bekhteev and his officials (prikazshchiki). Undersecretary F. Faev signed the final memo on 29 March 1570. (64)

46. A 1569/70 cadastre of Ruza identified lands in Ruza, in the "land," that were vacant because their previous holders now served in the oprichnina. (65)

47. A 1569/70 bill of sale and title clearance, for property sold by Andrei Rakov to the Archangel Cathedral in Moscow, explained that Ivan had granted the estate to Rakov in exchange for the dowry land of his wife, Pelageia, in Kostroma District, that Ivan had confiscated for "the tsar's bright presence, the oprichnina" (v svoi tsar'skuiu svetlost' v oprichninu). Stepanets Olekseev syn Ondreev and Oleshka Onan'in syn Rodionov wrote the documents. (66)

48. A 1569/70 a bill of sale for property sold by and to the same parties as no. 47 at the same time for property granted in Borovsk, in exchange for property confiscated in Uglich, also contains the phrase "the tsar's bright presence, the oprichnina." (67)

49. On 18 May 1570, by Ivan's order, Mikhailo Ivanov syn Shishelov implemented a transfer charter assigning to Andrei Leont'ev syn Borshchov hamlets as a conditional land grant in the Shelon Fifth, vacated by Petr Shchulepnikov, whom Ivan had taken into the sovereign's oprichnina. Undersecretary Mikhail Parfen'ev verified the document. (68)

50. In a series of documents beginning 29 May 1570, Ivan reassigned a conditional land grant in Shelon Fifth, not in the oprichnina, to Fedor Nikitin syn Bekhteev. Apparently Mikhailo Koreshkov syn Il'in had vacated this estate when he received a conditional estate in the oprichnina. Secretary Vasilii Stepanov, Ivan Mateveev syn Denis'ev, Secretary Putilo Mikhailov, and Secretary Nikita Titov performed administrative and secretarial roles in this transfer. (69)

51. A 1570/71 bill of sale recorded that Ermolai Elizar'ev syn Zakhar'in had purchased from Isak Ivanov-Koltyrin syn Rakov a hamlet in Vladimir District that Ivanov-Koltyrin had received from Ivan in compensation for his Kostroma patrimonies that Ivan had taken into the oprichnina. Witnesses included Klobukov, two Iakhontovs, Prince Ivan Semenov syn Rostovskii, Otiaev, Tsypletev, and an official of the Vladimir Rozhdestvenskii Monastery, Ivashko Loggin. Semen Timofeevich syn Gostenkov wrote the bill of sale. (70)

52. The 1571 Novgorod cadastre of Shelon Fifth, not incorporated into the oprichnina, recorded the conditional landed estates of servitors taken into the sovereign's oprichnina that Ivan had not reassigned. It named the following new oprichniki: Afanasii Zhiborov, Petr Gavrilov syn Shchulepnikov, Andrei Verigin syn Blagov, Ivan Semenov syn Lugvenev and his two sons Dementei and Mikhailo, and Vasilii Khlopov. (71)

53. On 26 January 1571, by Ivan's order, the secretaries Danil Mikulin syn Bartenev and Nikita Iur'ev syn Shelepin, and Undersecretary Petr Grigor'ev, investigated the conditional landed estate of Iurii Andreev syn Neledinskii in Votskaia Fifth. A "proscription charter" (zapovednaia gramota) had ordered local officials "to expel oprichniki from the 'land'" (oprishnykh vyslat' iz zemshiny). However, the local authorities explained, they had not seen that charter and therefore had not expelled Neledinskii, because Neledinskii lived in Bezhetskii Verkh, within the oprichnina. Ivanets Vlasov syn wrote the investigatory report. (72)

54. A 5 February 1571 document, a spinoff of no. 47 involving the same administrative personnel, registered the unauthorized departure without permission or payment of departure fees of a peasant from Neledinskii's Vodskaia Fifth estate to the oprichnina, to the estate of the boiarinia (female member of the boyar class) Nastas'ia Karpovskaia zhena Oksakova. A secretary attached to the Voskresen'e Church, Fadiko Mikhailov, wrote the investigative report. (73)

Conclusion: Documents dealing with property, like land, are in general not prone to wax eloquent about abstractions, but the oprichnina was no abstraction; it was a concrete reality. The scribes--and members of the gentry--who wrote the sources about land in and out of the oprichnina discussed in this section perceived the oprichnina as a part of reality that did not require further elucidation. Ivan neither apologizes nor explains his motive for confiscating land for inclusion in the oprichnina (nor comments upon the implicit justice in compensating his subjects for their lost property). The perception of the oprichnina of items in this rubric matches that of items in the previous rubric. As in those sources, this perception applies not only to the men who wrote the documents but to all participants in the transactions, men and women, and, what is novel, not just of the elite but also the peasants, kennel men, beekeepers, and horse grooms who were informed of the transfer of the land on which they lived to a new landowner or landholder because of the oprichnina. Obviously Ivan, the oprichnina administrative apparatus, and the "land" government in Moscow had no qualms about referring to the oprichnina when addressing the lower classes. Theoretically, such sources ascribe this same perception of the oprichnina to them, although, it must be noted, we have no petitions from peasants or artisans to confirm this attribution.

State Service

Sixteen items, numbered 55 through 70, all military registers and cadastres written by government clerks and officials, pertain primarily to service by elite personnel who belonged to the oprichnina, although the occasional commoner also earned mention. Oprichnina field armies, like "land" field armies, usually consisted of five divisions--Big or Main (Bol'shoi polk), Right Hand, Left Hand, Advance Guard, and Rear Guard. The Military Registry Bureau (Razriadnyi prikaz, or just simply the Razriad), assigned boyars or gentry from the oprichnina as first or second commander to each division. In addition, sometimes the government ordered a "land" and an oprichnina army to "merge," in which case each division of the one army would combine with its counterpart in the other. The items treat the origin of personnel in the oprichnina as an everyday, unremarkable fact. The sources do not treat oprichniki in the military any differently from "land" officers; their cachet as "from the oprichnina" carries no opprobrium and, at the same time, no higher status either.

55. The Military Register recorded that in 1565/66 Ivan sent commanders Prince Andrei Petrovich Teliatevskii and Princes Dmitrii and Andrei Ivanovichi Khvorostininy, from the oprichnina to Bolkhov. (74)

56. A 1566 Military Register assigned, from the oprichnina, Prince Mikhail Temriukovich Cherkasskii and Prince A. P. Teliatevskii to the Main Division, Court Officer at Banquets (kravcbei) Fedor Alekseevich Basmanov and Prince Dmitrii Ivanovich Khvorostinin to the Advanced Guard, and Z. I. Ochin and Associate Boyar Vasilii Ivanovich Umnyi Kolychev to the Rear Guard, in a field army conducting a reconnaissance raid against Lithuania. (75)

57. A 1566/67 entry in the Military Registers noted that Ivan sent to the "shore" (berega) two military commanders, Court Official at Banquets Fedor Alekseevich Basmanov and Associate Boyar Vasilii Ivanovich Umnyi Kolychev, from the oprichnina. (76)

58. Military Registers for 1567/68 recorded the dispatch to various destinations, in ranks from commanders to captain, of Andrei Ochin, Prince Osip Gvozdev Priimkov, Roman Alfer'ev, Konstantin Dmitreev syn Polivanov, Grigorii Polev, and Ivan Baushov from the oprichnina. The Register for 1568/69 identified Basmanov, Umnyi Kolychev, Teliatevskii, Zakharii Ivanovich Ochin-Pleshcheev, Miatlev, Prince Dmitrii Ivanovich Khvorostinin, Ivan Bukharin Naumov, Prince Ivan Okhiabinin, and Ignatii Bludov as from the oprichnina. (77)

59. Military Registers for 1568 recorded the dispatch for defense against the Crimeans of many familiar oprichnina names, as well as Prince Aleksandr Viazemskoi Glukhoi and Prince Vasilii Viazemskoi Volk. These entries repeatedly used the phrase "oprichnina military commanders" (oprichninskie voevody). (78)

60. The 1568/69 Military Register noted the assignment of the following oprichnina officers to the following divisions on the Oka River defense line: to the Main Division Fedor Alekseevich Basmanov and Associate Boyar Vasilii Ivanovich Umnyi Kolychev, to the Advanced Guard Boyar Zakharii Ivanovich Ochin-Pleshcheev and Konstantin Dmitreev syn Polivanov, to the Right Hand Dmitrii Ivanovich Pleshcheev and Ivan Ivanov syn Miatlev, to the Left Hand Prince Ivan Okhliabinin and Ignatii Bludov, and to the Rear Guard Prince Dmitrii Ivanovich Khvorostinin and Ivan Bukharin Naumov. (79)

61. The Military Register recorded that in 1569/70 Ivan granted General Prince Ivan Petrovich Shuiskii discretion to decide where best to merge his "land" divisions with their oprichnina counterparts. (80)

62. In 1569, according to the diplomatic papers, Ivan sent the oprichnina Commander and Boyar Zakharii Ivan Pleshcheev and oprichnina Associate Boyar Fedor Umnyi-Kolychev with the army that retook Izborsk from Lithuanian control. (81)

63. A cadastre for Ruza District covering 1567 to 1569 recorded that Ostafei Mikhailov syn Pushkin, Andrei Ivanov syn Unkovskii, and Ivan Ivanov syn Unkonskii Omelei now served in the oprichnina, but Vasilii Titov syn did not currently serve in the oprichnina. (82)

64. The Military Register for 1570 conveyed Ivan's order to parallel divisions in "land" and oprichnina field armies to combine, along with supplemental officer assignments from the oprichnina of Prince Vasilii Ivanovich Barbashev, Prince Dmitrii Mikhailov syn Shcherbatyi, Boyar Prince Vasilii Ivanovich Temkin-Rostovskii, and Petr Vasil'ev syn Zaitsev, and, on a separate assignment, Associate Boyar Vasilii Ivanovich Umnyi Kolychev. (83)

65. Another military register recorded that in 1570 Ivan dispatched Trubetskoi, Temkin Rostovskii, Gorbatyi, Borisov, Boris T. Cherkasskoi, Bludov, Okhliabinin, and Saltykov from the oprichnina to Kaluga to defend against a possible Crimean intrusion. (84)

66. The 1570/71 Military Registers listed assignments of oprichnina personnel to field armies and instructed "land" and oprichnina divisions to unite by division in military actions. The registers specifically mentioned the oprichnina boyars F. M. Trubetskoi and Prince V. A. Sitskoi. (85)

67. More military register entries for 1571 repeated the usual assignments of personnel from the oprichnina to field armies on the "shore" and the fusion of "land" and oprichnina divisions. (86)

68. A 1571-72 Novgorod cadastre recorded that the carpenter Tret'iak had left his homestead to go to the oprichnina, and that a landholder, Budishin, had entered the oprichnina two years prior to the survey. (87)

69. A 1571 Novgorod cadastre explained the existence of empty conditional land estates by the fact that Ivan had taken their previous holders into the oprichnina: Afanasii Zhiborov, Petr Gavrilov syn Shchulepnikov, Andrei Verigin syn Blagov, Ivan Semenov syn Lugvenev, Dementei and Mikhailo Semenovye deti Lugvenevy, and Vasilii Khlopov. (88)

70. In 1572 the military registers recorded the dispatch against Swedes from the oprichnina of the boyars Princes Petr and Semen Ivanovichi Pronskie and Prince Vasilii Andreevich Sitskii, Associate Boyar Mikita V. Borisov, Falconer I. Pushkin, Keeper of the Seal (pechatnik) Roman Olfer'ev, and State Secretaries A. Dem'ianov and A. Grigor'ev. (89)

Conclusion: Sources about state service during the oprichnina treated membership in the oprichnina the same way they treated membership in the Royal Household or Court, an essential identifying attribute of a servitor that did not require further comment. The scribes "normalized" membership in the oprichnina. The oprichnina was an institution to which boyars, gentry, and others, belonged, or were assigned to, no more, no less. Flowever, the oprichnina was not "normal," it was extraordinary. The sources under this rubric reflect the same perception of the oprichnina as that demonstrated in items that dealt with the administration of the oprichnina and the apportionment of land resulting from the creation of the oprichnina, as part of everyday life.


Rubric 5 contains only five sources, numbered 71 through 75, but their significance far exceeds their number. These items manifested an entirely different perception of the oprichnina, one congruent with much if not most historiography and, not surprisingly, the most widespread image of the oprichnina, that of an institution of repression. The sources adumbrated here include both narratives (chronicles, a miracle tale) and documents (cadastres, a receipt).

71. 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. (90) The tale mentioned boyars, gentry, and musketeers in Ivan's army but not oprichniki. Later redactions interpolated the word oprichnina into the grammatically awkward title of the "tale," "On the Arrival of Tsar and Grand Prince Ivan Vasil'evich of All Rus', Autocrat, Who Punished Great Novgorod, Which Was Called the Oprichnina and Destruction" (O prikhode tsaria i velikogo kniazia Ioanna Vasil 'evicha vseia Rossii samoderzhtsa, kako kaznil Velikii Novgorod, ezhe oprishchina i rozgrom imenuetsia), but never into the text. This suggests that the text of the tale predates its title but does not contribute to dating the text.

The absence of mention of oprichniki in the tale did not result from any inhibition by Novgorod chroniclers at mentioning the oprichnina. 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. (91) These chronicle entries appear to derive from contemporary notices of events. Many historians also accept the veracity of the "tale" itself, despite not only its late provenance but its historical anomalies, such as the oprichniki throwing victims into the Volkhov River in winter, when that river usually froze. (92) The supposed taboo on the word oprichnina described by Staden cannot explain the absence of the terms oprichnina and oprichniki in the tale, because other sources violated such a ban, if it existed. Therefore, the tale cannot be dated to the period from 1572 to 1584 because it avoided the word oprichnina.

Clearly a Novgorodian wrote the tale, which depicted in chilling detail the daily murder of hundreds of Novgorodians, the looting of the St. Sophia Cathedral, the disgrace of Archbishop Pimen, whom Ivan insulted as a traitor and a wolf, and the extortion via "righter" (pravezh) of much money by oprichniki. (93) The author of the tale blamed these atrocities not on Ivan's insanity or immorality but upon "our," meaning Novgorodian, sins. No other Muscovite source so directly linked Ivan to atrocities, but the tale failed to connect those depredations to the unmentioned oprichnina, an anomaly comparable to those in the Aleksandro-Nevskii Chronicle usage and non-usage of the word and the hypocrisies of the diplomatic books.

72. A list of miracles appended to the "Oration on the Opening of the Relics of Novgorod Archbishop Iona" (Slovo na otkrytie moshchei Iony, arkhiepiskopa novgorodskogo) included a miracle that occurred during Ivan's punitive expedition against Novgorod. When "bandits who called themselves oprichniki" (razboiniki skazalis ' oprichnikymi) attacked and burned a village, only one man survived because he hid in the hay and prayed to Metropolitan Iona for assistance. Novgorodians uncovered Iona's relics in 1553, but Liudmila Morozova dates the "Oration" to the second half of the 1560s. She disputes the attribution of the "Oration" to Zinovii Otenskii, best known for his criticism of the heresy of Feodosii Kosoi. The "Oration" and the miracle list were written on paper from the end of the 16th century, after Ivan's reign. Clearly the list of miracles postdates the composition of the "Oration," but Morozova provides no specific dating for the list. (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. 74-76). However, no other source categorized the oprichniki as "bandits."

73. A1570 receipt acknowledged that "oprichnina military personnel" (ratnye liudi oprichniny) had illegally seized tax money for quit rent and customs paid by the Nikol'skoi Viazhnitskoi Monastery, in the amount of 10 altyny, 4 den 'gi, for which the monastery now received full credit. (95)

74. An excerpt from a 21 March 1571 investigation of empty peasant enterprises in Votskaia Fifth recorded that peasants had fled from the oprichnina and oprichniki, who had burned households, tortured and killed people, and stolen property. (96) Census takers (pistsy) collected information by summoning inquests of local informants, then taking down their testimony verbatim. Therefore, we may attribute this extensive enumeration of oprichniki depredations to the peasants living in Votskaia Fifth. The tale of Ivan's campaign against Novgorod during 1569-70 deals mainly with urban destruction, while this source demonstrates an equal degree of rural devastation. Again, its explicit reference to the oprichnina and oprichniki stands in sharp contrast to the tale of Ivan's punitive expedition against Novgorod.

75. More extensive cadastres of the Novgorod region, conducted in 1571-72, specifically surveyed abandoned huts and farmsteads. They contain scores of references to peasants fleeing oprichniki by abandoning their homes, while oprichniki burned homesteads, tortured (zamuchili) peasants, extorted money from peasants by putting them on righter, looted property, killed peasants, and slaughtered livestock. Oprichniki even cut off one peasant's hands (sekli ruky). (97) Two other sources also referred to extortion by righter. As mentioned above, the tale of Ivan's sack of Novgorod (no. 72) did so. The Novgorod III Chronicle also noted that on 10 January 1572, Kostiantin Polivanov, Ugrim Vasil'ev syn Bezopishev, and all oprichnina gentry departed for Moscow with all the monies they had extracted from Novgorod residents they had placed on righter. (98)

The peasant informants who provided this information, and the census takers and scribes who recorded it, did not single out oprichnik evildoing as the worst, or the only, cause of peasant misfortune. The survey also notes peasant flight caused by German, Swedish, and Tatar attacks, looting, and murder, as well as natural disasters such as crop failures and epidemics. The survey sometimes referred to the sovereign's "attack" (rozgrom) on Novgorod, echoing the tale and tying Ivan more closely to the atrocities, although not as directly as the tale. (99) The surveys do not, however, connect oprichnik criminal acts to Ivan--by referring to the "sovereign's oprichniki," for example.

The cadastres were official government sources. The surveyors who conducted the surveys, and the scribes who wrote down the testimony of local informants, permitted those informants to accuse the oprichniki of criminal behavior. Government officials obviously did not censor the news presented to them of oprichniki misbehavior. Indeed, peasants, if they suspected that they would be treated as "traitors" or "slanderers" for uttering such accusations, would probably prudently never have made them in the first place. At the very least the census takers permitted such descriptions of oprichnik criminal activities. I would suggest, further, that the census takers shared the peasants' perception of the oprichniki as criminals. If Ivan abolished the oprichnina not because of the failure of oprichnina military units to repulse the Crimeans in 1571 that led to the burning of Moscow, but because he had become convinced that oprichnik excesses had become counterproductive, then the peasant informers of the surveys and the officials who conducted them served Ivan well by creating a paper trail justifying terminating the oprichniki. I would not dismiss out of hand the possibility that Ivan wanted, expected, or at the very least, because these documents survive, tolerated the expression of such an unflattering perception of his minions. Unfortunately, Ivan's decree abolishing the oprichnina does not survive, so his rationale for repressing the oprichnina remains unknown. Even in his testament, Ivan did not explain why his sons might want to liquidate the oprichnina.

Conclusion: Some Muscovites perceived the oprichniki as criminals, as expressed in sources that depict oprichnik atrocities in vivid detail. However, no source criticized the oprichnina as an institution. Peculiarly, the source that portrays Ivan as leading the cruel repression of the population of Novgorod, the tale of Ivan's sack of the city, neither linked that punitive campaign to the oprichnina nor drew any invidious conclusions against Ivan from his actions.


Muscovite perceptions of the oprichnina were not homogeneous. References to the oprichnina as an institution evince significant anomalies. The Aleksandro-Nevskii Chronicle described the creation of the oprichnina and then dropped the word. Novgorod chronicles did not mention oprichniki in their tale of Ivan's attack on the city but did mention the oprichnina in other annals. The diplomatic papers denied that the oprichnina existed but then employed the term in their narrative of the conduct of foreign policy. The anomalies in the diplomatic papers make sense in terms of simple mendacity, but those in the narrative sources require further study. Both narrative and documentary sources about the oprichnina as an institution identify it as an institution with its own structure, territory, and personnel, whether accurately or deliberately misleadingly (the diplomatic sources that denied the existence of the oprichnina attributed Ivan's residence in Aleksandrovskaia Sloboda to his need for recreation).

Source references concerning the administration of the oprichnina, assignment of landholding, both in the oprichnina or in the "land," and personnel assignments in state service, treated the oprichnina as a fact of life, too well known to require definition. The bland, stylized, bureaucratized "chancery language" (prikaznoi iazyk) in which scribes wrote these sources contributed to their aura of banality. The neutral tone of these sources seems businesslike, as if the division of jurisdiction between oprichnina and land anti-brigandage elders, the transfer of land caused by the incorporation of districts into the oprichnina, or the assignment of boyars and gentry from the oprichnina to field armies did not constitute anything unusual.

The "abnormality" of the oprichnina emerges from sources recounting the atrocities committed by the oprichniki, whether the sources identified them as such, as in the miracle tale of Metropolitan Iona and the cadastral surveys, or not, in the tale of Ivan's attack on Novgorod. Although contemporary Muscovite sources did not mention any of the distinguishing "irregular" attributes of the oprichnina--the black robes and black horses of the oprichniki, the dogs' heads and brooms on their horses' necks, (100) the oath not to have any contact with nonmembers of the oprichnina, even relatives, the pseudomonastic brotherhood at Aleksandrovskaia Sloboda in which Ivan played the role of abbot--they still conveyed all the horror of oprichniki murder, torture, looting, and destruction. Labeling the oprichniki "bandits" epitomizes this attitude.

Even so, no contemporary Russian source, not even the tale of Ivan's sack of Novgorod, wrote outright that Muscovites felt fear, disorientation, insecurity, horror, or confusion toward the oprichnina. Whether authors did so out of discretion, or whether they thought such articulation gratuitous, remains unknown. It remains the case that historians who attribute such emotions to the Muscovite population would do well to acknowledge explicitly that they are not quoting contemporary Russian sources. If these historians are relying on Russian emigre sources such as Kurbskii, contemporary foreign accounts, or post-Ivan Muscovite sources, then they should say so. If they are inferring Muscovite emotional reactions from context, that is fine, too. No historian can study the reign of Ivan IV without resorting to inferences. However, inferences should be labeled as such.

In this regard it is noteworthy that no contemporary Muscovite source describes incidents of popular violent opposition to the oprichniki comparable to some unreliable stories told by Staden. (101) In contemporary Muscovite sources potential victims hide or run away; they do not stand and fight.

Only the tale of Novgorod included Ivan among the perpetrators of what most modern historians perceive as inappropriate behavior. However, the tale did not attribute Ivan's actions to the oprichnina. It rationalized the cause of Novgorod's suffering as "our sins," the catch-all conception of evil in the world endemic to the religious mentality of 16th-century Muscovy. The numerous depictions of oprichnik misdeeds in the cadastres and other sources did not blame Ivan for the actions of his oprichniki, although Ivan created the oprichnina, chose the oprichniki, and should have been held accountable for their actions. Even these denunciations of the oprichniki never generalized the situation by criticizing the oprichnina as an institution.

On the basis of written references to the oprichnina, we can conclude that the Muscovites possessed at least two, not necessarily mutually exclusive, perceptions of the oprichnina, the oprichnina as a fact of life and the oprichnina as a criminal enterprise. (102) The anomalies in some sources concerning the oprichnina might suggest a still obscure third perception. The heterogeneity of Muscovite perceptions of the oprichnina during its existence should be taken into account when examining other categories of sources about Ivan the Terrible's oprichnina.

(1) V. O. Kliuchevskii, Sochineniia, 2: Kurs russkoi istorii, pt. 2 (Moscow: Gosudarstvennoe izdatel'stvo politicheskoi literatury, 1957), 185; Kliuchevskii, Boiarskaia duma drevnei Rusi. Dobrye liudi drevnei Rusi (Moscow: Ladomir, 1994), 331 ; A. I. Kopanev, Istoriia zemlevladeniia Belozerskogo kraia XV-XVI vv. (Moscow-Leningrad: Akademiia naukSSSR [AN SSSR], 1951), 181; Ann M. Kleimola, "The Duty to Denounce in Muscovite Russia," Slavic Review 31, 4 (1972): 759-79; Robert O. Crummey, "Reform under Ivan IV: Gradualism and Terror," in Reform in Russia and the USSR: Past and Prospects, ed. Crummey (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1989), 22; Isabel de Madariaga, Ivan the Terrible: First Tsar of Russia (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005), 185; V. I. Ivanov, Monastyri i monastyrskie krest'iane Pomor 'ia v XVIX-VII vekakh: Mekhanizm stanovleniia krepostnogo prava (St. Petersburg: Izdatel'stvo Olega Abyshko, 2007), 170-71.

(2) D. M. Volodikhin, Voevody Ivana Groznogo (Moscow: Veche, 2009), 197-227.

(3) For example, A. A. Zimin, Oprichnina Ivana Groznogo (Moscow: Mysl', 1964), 401.

(4) I have usually standardized spellings of the words oprichnina and oprichniki.

(5) Prikaznye liudi were officials who took orders (prikazy), not officials who worked in bureaus (prikazy).

(6) Stolniki, striapchie, and zhil 'tsy were lesser "court" (dvor) ranks.

(7) Polnoe sobranie russkikh letopisei (hereafter PSRL), 29 (Moscow: Nauka, 1965): 341-45.

(8) A. A. Amosov, Litsevoi Letopisnyi svod: Kompleksnoe kodikologicheskoe issledovanie (Moscow: Editorial URSS, 1988); E. A. Belokon' et al., eds., Litsevoi letopisnyi svod XVI veka: Metodika i izucheniia razroznennogo letopisnogo kompleksa (Moscow: Rossiiskii gosudarstvennyi gumanitarnyi universitet, 2003); Valentin Viktorovich Morozov, Litsevoi svod v kontekste otechestvennogo letopisaniia XVI veka (Moscow: Indrik, 2005).

(9) Heinrich von Staden, The Land and Government of Muscovy: A Sixteenth-Century Account, trans. Thomas Esper (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1967), 52.

(10) D. N. A1'shits, "Novyi dokument o liudiakh i prikazakh oprichnogo dvora Ivana Groznogo posle 1572 goda," Istoricheskii arkhiv 4 (Moscow-Leningrad: Institut istorii AN SSSR, 1949): 51; P. A. Sadikov, Ocherkipo istorii oprichniny (Moscow-Leningrad: AN SSSR, 1950), no. 21, 458, and no. 81, 297-98; V. B. Pavlov-Sil vanskii, "Novye svedeniia o pistsovykh knigakh Viazemskogo uezda kontsa XVI veka," Arkheograficheskii ezhegodnik za 1959 (1960): 94.

(11) Charles J. Halperin, "What Is an 'Official' Muscovite Source from the Reign of Ivan IV?," in "The Book of Royal Degrees" and the Genesis of Russian Historical Consciousness/"Stepennaia kniga tsarskogo rodosloviia" i genezis russkogo istoricheskogo soznaniia, ed. Ann M. Kleimola and Gail Lenhoff (Bloomington, IN: Slavica Publishers, 2011), 81-93.

(12) PSRL 29:350, 353.

(13) Ibid., 351.

(14) S. O. Shmidt, ed., Opis ' tsarskogo arkhiva XVI veka i arkhiva Posol 'skogo prikaza 1614goda (Moscow: Izdatel'stvo vostochnoi literatury, 1960), 37.

(15) M. N. Tikhomirov, "Maloizvestnye letopisnye pamiatniki XVI v.," Istoricheskie zapiski 10 (1941): 89.

(16) Sbornik Russkogo istoricheskogo obshchestva (hereafter SRIO), 71 (St. Petersburg: V. S. Balashev, 1892): 331, 597, 461, 591, 593, 597.

(17) PoslaniiaIvana Groznogo (Moscow-Leningrad: IzdateTstvo AN SSSR, 1951), 266, 270-71.

(18) Prodolzhenie drevnei rossiiskoi vivliofiki, 7 (St. Petersburg: Imperatorskaia akademiia nauk, 1791, repr. The Hague: Mouton, 1970), 43-46.

(19) SAYO 71:638.

(20) "Lithuanian" here designated envoys from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, not ethnic "Lithuanians."

(21) SATO 71:651.

(22) Territories outside the oprichnina belonged to the "land" (noun zemlia, adjective zemskie), also called the zemshchina.

(23) SRIO 71:665-66, 716-17, 748-49.

(24) lu. V. Ankhimiuk, "Zapisi letopisnogo kharaktera v rukopisnom sbornike Kirillo-Belozerskogo sobraniia--novyi istochnik po istorii Oprichniny," Arkhiv russkoi istorii, no. 2 (1992): 128.

(25) SRIO 129 (St. Petersburg: V. S. Balashev, 1910): 195, 203-4.

(26) Sadikov, Ocherkipo istorii oprichniny, 139.

(27) V. V. Trepavlov, Nogai v Bashkirii, XV-XVII vv.: Kniazheskie rody nogaiskogo proiskhozhdeniia (Ufa: Akademiia nauk Respubliki Bashkortostan, 1997), 55-59.

(28) Polotsk (Polatsk), now in Belarus, was part of the Grand Principality of Lithuania until Muscovy conquered the city in 1563. King Stefan Batory of Poland retook it from Muscovy after the abolition of the oprichnina.

(29) Ivan Groznyi--zavoevatel' Polotska (novye dokumenty po istorii Livonskoi voiny) (St. Petersburg: Dmitrii Bulanin, 2014), 417.

(30) A. A. Zimin, Oprichnina (Moscow: Territoriia, 2001), 271.

(31) Robert Craig Howes, ed., The Testaments of the Grand Princes of Moscow (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1967), 173 (Russian), 360 (English).

(32) V. I. Buganov, ed., "Dokumenty o srazhenii pri Molodiakh v 1572," Istoricheskii arkhiv 4, 1 (1959): 169-74, here 172.

(33) PSRL 30 (Moscow: Nauka, 1965): 158-60, 196.

(34) N. P. Popov, "Sobranie rukopisei Moskovskogo Simonova monastyria (1-oi fototipiei)," Chteniia v Imperatorskom obshchestve istorii i drevnostei rossiiskikh pri Moskovskom universitete (hereafter Chteniia), bk. 2, vol. 233, sect. 2, no. 4 (1910): 117.

(35) Akty feodal 'nogo zemlevladeniia i khoziaistva: Akty moskovskogo Simonova monastyria (1506-1613) (Leningrad: Nauka, 1983), no. 150, 183-85.

(36) A. I. Alekseev, ed., "Vkladnaia i kormovaia kniga Moskovskogo Simonova monastyria," Vestnik tserkovnoi istorii, no. 3 (2006): 22.

(37) Sadikov, "Iz istorii oprichniny XVI v.," Istoricheskii arkhiv 8 (1940), no. 3, 184-85.

(38) Ibid., no. 7, 193-98.

(39) Ibid., no. 9, 199-200.

(40) S. N. Kisterov, "Akty moskovskogo Chudova monastryia 1507-1606," Russkii diplomatarii, no. 9 (2003): 162-66.

(41) Muscovite sources employed the Byzantine calendar dated from the creation of the world in 5508 BCE and began the year on 1 September. Consequently the Muscovite year 7060 ran from 1 September 1551 to 31 August 1552. If we do not know the month, then we do not know the CE year, which is expressed 1551/52, with a slash. 1551-52, with a hyphen, in contrast, means from 1551 to 1552 inclusive.

(42) A. L. Iurganov, "O starodubskom 'udele' M. I. Vorotynskogo i starodubskikh votchinakh v zaveshchanii Ivana Groznogo,: Arkhiv russkoi istorii, no. 2 (1992): 59-60.

(43) Akty feodal'nogo zemlevladeniia i khoziaistva ... Simonova monastyria, no. 157, 204; Popov, "Sobranie rukopisei Moskovskogo Simonova monastyria," no. 84, 128-29.

(44) Ibid., no. 161, 207-8.

(45) Ibid., no. 163,210-11.

(46) Sadikov, "Iz istorii oprichniny XVI v.," no. 18, 210.

(47) Akty feodal 'nogo zemlevladeniia i kboziaistva ... Simonova monastyria, no. 176, 225-26.

(48) "Black" lands were lands without a private (lay or ecclesiastical) owner. Such lands were under the direct administration of the state.

(49) Sadikov, "Iz istorii oprichniny XVI v.," no. 37, 235-37. This document did not identify Pivov as oprichnina treasurer.

(50) Akty sobrannye v bibliotekakh i arkhivakh Rossiiskoi imperii Arkheograficheskoiu Ekspeditsieiu Imperatorskoi akademii nauk (hereafter AAE), 1: 1294-1598 (St. Petersburg: Tipografiia II otdeleniia sobstvennoi Ego Imperatorskogo Velichestva Kantseliarii, 1836), no. 281, 316-20.

(51) Popov, "Sobranie rukopisei Moskovskogo Simonova monastyria," no. 6, 93.

(52) AAE 1, no. 282, 320-28.

(53) Archimandrite Leonid, ed., "Makhrishchskii monastyr': Sinodik i vkladnaia kniga," Chteniia, bk. 3, vol. 106, no. 34 (1878): 32-35.

(54) Sadikov, "Iz istorii oprichniny XVI v.," no. 13, 204-5.

(55) Akty sluzhilykh zemlevladel'tsevXV--nachalaXVII veka, pt. 4 (Moscow: Drevlekhranilishche, 2008), no. 250, 186-87.

(56) Sadikov, "Iz istorii oprichniny XVI v.," no. 14, 205-6.

(57) Ibid., no. 15, 206-7.

(58) Ibid., no. 16, 208.

(59) Ibid., no. 17, 209-10.

(60) Arkhivnyi material: Novootkrytye dokumenty pomestno-votchinnykh uchrezhdenii Moskovskogo Gosudarstva XV-XVII stoletii (Moscow: Universitetskaia tipografiia, 1905), sect. 2: 1-2.

(61) Kisterov, "Akty moskovskogo Chudova monastyria 1507-1606," no. 68, 176-77.

(62) "Da vziati mi na Bazhene po brate po perevodnym zapisiam, otdavali ottsa nashego i nas na poruku ot Malyginykh iz oprishniny v tserkovnom stroen'ei i v tsepekh i v zamkakh, to ubytka mne doselos' 7 rublev 10 altyny, oprich proesty i volokity moskovskikh" (Sadikov, "Iz istorii oprichniny XVI v.," no. 28, 225-26). I wish to express my sincerest appreciation to William Veder and especially to Michael Flier for assistance in deciphering this convoluted sentence (William Veder, e-mail, 13 August 2015; Michael Flier, e-mails, 26-28 August 2015).

(63) Pistsovye materialy Iaroslavskogo uezda XVI veka: Votchinnye zemli (St. Petersburg: Dmitrii Bulanin, 1999), 30.

(64) Arkhivnyi material, sect. 1: 160.

(65) Ruzskii uezdpo pistsovoi knige 1567-1569 godov (Moscow: Pamiatniki istoricheskoi mysli, 1997), 165, 169, 180,215.

(66) Akty Rossiiskogo gosudarstva: Arkhivy moskovskikh monastyrei i soborov XV-nachalo XVII vv. (Moscow: Ladomir, 1998), no. 22, 66-67, and no. 22A, 68-69; Sadikov, "Iz istorii oprichniny XVI v.," no. 41, 242-43.

(67) Zimin, Oprichnina Ivana Groznogo, appendix, no. 2, 482-83.

(68) Akty sluzhilykh zemlevladel 'tsev; pt. 4, no. 54, 41.

(69) Ibid., no. 45, 35-36.

(70) S. N. Kisterov, "Vladimirskii Rozhdestvenskii monastyr' v dokumentakh XVI-nachala XVII veka," Russkii diplomatarii, no. 6 (2000), no. 23, 114-15.

(71) Novgorodskie pistsovye knigi, 5: Knigi Shdonskoi piatiny. I. Okolo 1498 g. II. 1498 g. III. 1499-1551 gg. IV. 1571 g. V. 1576g. (St. Petersburg: Arkheograficheskaia kommissiia, 1905), 489, 508, 509, 512, 517.

(72) Sbornik dokumentov po istorii SSSR dlia seminarskikh i prakticheskikh zaniatii (period feodalizma), pt. 3: XVI vek (Moscow: Vysshaia shkola, 1972), no. 33, 60-62.

(73) Ibid., no. 34, 62-63.

(74) Razriadnaia kniga 1475-1598gg. (Moscow: Nauka, 1966), 224.

(75) Razriadnaia kniga 1550-1636 (Moscow: Institut istorii AN SSSR, 1975), 164.

(76) Berega: the Oka River bank, the defensive line at which the Muscovites interdicted Crimean incursions into Muscovite territory. For the entry, see Razriadnaia kniga 1475-1598 gg., 230.

(77) Razriadnaia kniga 1550-1636, 165, 166, 169.

(78) Razriadnaia kniga 1475-1605, 2, pt. 2 (Moscow: AN SSSR 1982), 228, 231, 232, 233, 237, 242, 249-50, 250-252.

(79) Razriadnaia kniga 1475-1598 gg., 230.

(80) Ibid., 231.

(81) SRIO 71, 584-85.

(82) Ruzskii uezdpo pistsovoi knige, 165, 169, 180, 215.

(83) Razriadnaia kniga 1475-1598gg., 233, 235.

(84) Razriadnaia kniga 1475-1605, 2, pt. 2:261-62.

(85) Razriadnaia kniga 1475-1598 gg., 237, 239.

(86) Razriadnaia kniga 1475-1605, 2, pt. 2:265, 271, 272, 277.

(87) Arkhivnyi material: Novootkrytye dokumentypomestno-votchinnykh uchrezhdenii Moskovskogo gosudarstva XV-XVIIstoletii, 2, pt. 2 (Moscow: Universitetskaia tipografiia, 1909), 305.

(88) Novgorodskiepistsovye knigi, 5:489, 508, 509, 512, 517.

(89) Razriadnaia kniga 1475-1598gg., 241-42.

(90) Novgorodskie letopisi, 1-2 (RiazarT: Aleksandriia, 2002), 2:337-45, 393-404, 468-69; PSRL 28 (Moscow-Leningrad: Izdatel'stvo AN SSSR, 1963): 163; Izbornik (Sbornik proizvedenii literatury drevnei Rusi) (Moscow: Khudozhestvennaia literatura, 1969), 477-83; S. A. Morozov, "Obzor spiskov redaktsii Povesti o plenenii Velikogo Novgoroda Ivanom Groznym," Arkheograficheskii ezhegodnik za 1977 (1978): 268-74.

(91) Novgorodskie letopisi, 1:98, 100, 101, 158.

(92) Hugh F. Graham, "How Do We Know What We Know about Ivan the Terrible? (A Paradigm)," Russian History 14, 1 (1987): 179-98.

(93) In the "righter," debtors were beaten daily on the shins to compel them to pay up.

(94) L. E. Morozova, Sochineniia Zinoviia Otenskogo (Moscow: Institut istorii AN SSSR, 1990), 215-34; quotation 220, dating of manuscript 218-20.

(95) Russkaia istoricheskaia biblioteka, 32: Arkhiv P. M. Stroeva, vol. 1 (Petrograd: Arkheograficheskaia komissiia, 1915), no. 244, 503-4.

(96) Sbornik dokumentov po istorii SSSR, no. 35, 63-68.

(97) Arkhivnyi material, 2, pt. 2:63, 65, 78, 80, 81, 94, 96, 101, 102, 103, 105, 106, 108, 109, 110, 111, 122-23 (hands), 330, 338.

(98) PSRL 30:160-61.

(99) Ibid., 306, 328.

(100) Charles J. Halperin, "Did Ivan IV's Oprichniki Carry Dogs' Heads on Their Horses?" Canadian-American Slavic Studies 46, 1 (2012): 40-67.

(101) Staden, Land and Government of Muscovy, 119-21.

(102) Muscovites accustomed to the multiple meanings of political terms and concepts such as "White Tsar" (Belyi tsar 0 and "autocrat" (samoderzhets) would not have been confused by multiple perceptions of the oprichnina. On "White Tsar," see Charles J. Halperin, "Ivan IV and Chinggis Khan," Jahrbiicher fur Geschichte Osteuropas 51, 4 (2003): 487-96; and Vadim Vintserovich Trepavlov, "Belyi Tsar Obraz monarkha i predstavleniia o poddanstve u narodov Rossii XV-XVIII vv. (Moscow: Vostochnaia literatura Rossiiskoi akademii nauk, 2007). On "autocrat," see Charles J. Halperin, "Ivan IV as Autocrat (samoderzhets)," Cahiers du monde russe 55, 3-4 (2014): 197-213.
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