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Russian History: XX century

Russian History: XIX сentury

Ruskaia Pravda: The Short Version

Ruskaia Pravda

Ruskaia Pravda: The Short Version

    * Article 1

      If a man kills a man, the brother is to avenge his brother; the son, his father; or the father, his son; or nephews, their uncles; and if there is no avenger [the murderer pays] forty grivnas fine; if [the killed man] is a Kievan Russian, or a member of the druzhina, or a merchant, or a sheriff, or an agent of the prince, or even a serf, or a Novgorodian Russian, the fine is forty grivnas.
    * Article 2

      If a man is bleeding or is blue from bruises, he does not need any eyewitness; if he has no sign [of injury] he is to produce an eyewitness; if he cannot, the matter ends there; if he cannot avenge himself he is to receive three grivnas, while the physician is to get an honorarium.
    * Article 3

      If a person hits another with a stick, or a rod, or a fist, or a bowl, or a drinking horn, or the dull side of a sword, he is to pay twelve grivnas fine; if the offender is not hit back [by his victim], he must pay, and there the matter ends.
    * Article 4

      If a person strikes another with an unsheathed sword, or with the hilt of a sword, he pays twelve grivnas for the offence.
    * Article 5

      If a person hits [another's] arm and the arm is severed or shrinks, he pays forty grivnas fine. And if he hits the leg [but does not sever it], and then he [the victim] becomes lame, let both [parties] reach an agreement.
    * Article 6

      And if a finger is cut off, three grivnas for the offence.
    * Article 7

      For the moustache twelve grivnas; and for the beard twelve grivnas.
    * Article 8

      If anyone unsheathes his sword, but does not hit, he pays one grivna fine.
    * Article 9

      If a man pulls another man toward himself or pushes him away and [the offended] brings two witnesses, the fine is three grivnas; if he should be a Varangian or a Kolbiag, an oath is to be taken.
    * Article 10

      If anyone conceals a runaway slave of a Varangian or a Kolbiag for three days, and if it is discovered on the third day, the original owner gets back his slave and three grivnas for the offence.
    * Article 11

      If anyone rides another's horse without the owner's permission, he has to pay three grivnas.
    * Article 12

      If anyone steals another's horse, or weapon, or clothes, and the owner recognises it within his township, he gets back his property and three grivnas for the offence.
    * Article 13

      If anyone should recognise his stolen property, he should neither take it nor say to a person, "This is mine"; he should say as follows: "Let us go to the place where you got it"; if he will not go immediately, he must post bond within five days.
    * Article 14

      If a business partner should demand money from his associate and the latter should refuse, he must be brought to a court of twelve men; and if it should be established that he [the associate] cheated, the partner shall receive his share and three grivnas for the offence.
    * Article 15

      If the original owner should recognise his [runaway] slave and should want him back, the present owner shall lead him to the party from whom he purchased the slave, and he may go the second party; and should the matter go to the third party, the third party should be told: "Give me back my slave and try to get your money back [from the fourth party] with the aid of an eyewitness."
    * Article 16

      If a slave should hit a free man and then hide in the house of his master, the master should be unwilling to give him up, the slave must be seized and the master must pay twelve grivnas fine; and the offended free man may beat that slave wherever he finds him.
    * Article 17

      If anyone should break [someone's] spear, or shield, or damage his clothes, and then should want to keep [these items], he must pay for them; and if he should insist on returning the damaged article he must pay for the value of the article.
      The law of the Rus land enacted at a meeting of Princes Iziaslav, Vsevolod, Iaroslav, and the advisors Kosniachko, Pereneg, Nikifor of Kiev, Chudin and Mikula.
    * Article 18

      Should a bailiff be killed deliberately, the killer must pay eighty grivnas fine; the people are not to pay; and for [the murder of] a prince's adjutant, eighty grivnas.
    * Article 19

      If a bailiff is killed in a highway attack and the people do not search for the killer, the fine will be paid by that locality where the killed official is found.
    * Article 20

      Should a bailiff be killed near a barn, or near a horse [stable], or a livestock shed, or [trying to prevent] rustling of cattle, the murderer should be killed like a dog; the same law is applicable to the murderer of a steward.
    * Article 21

      And for a prince's steward, eighty grivnas, and for a master of the stable [killed] near his livestock, also eighty grivnas, as decreed by Iziaslav when the Dorogobuzhians killed his master of the stable
    * Article 22

      For [the murder of] an elder of a prince's village, or for a field overseer, twelve grivnas; and for the helper of a steward, five grivnas.
    * Article 23

      And for the killing of a peasant or a slave, five grivnas.
    * Article 24

      And if a slave-nurse or her son is killed, twelve grivnas.
    * Article 25

      And for [the killing of] a prince's horse, if the latter has a brand, three grivnas, and for a peasant's horse, two grivnas.
    * Article 26

      And for a mare, sixty rezanas; for an ox, one grivna; for a cow, forty rezanas; for a three-year-old cow, fifteen kunas; for a yearling [heifer], one-half grivna; for a calf, five rezanas; for a yearling ewe, one nogata; and for a yearling ram, one nogata.
    * Article 27

      If anyone should abduct someone's male or female slave, he has to pay twelve grivnas for the offence.
    * Article 28

      If a man should come bleeding or bruised, he needs no witness.
    * Article 29

      And whoever steals either a horse or an ox, or robs a barn, if he is alone he has to pay one grivna and thirty rezanas; if there were as many as eighteen thieves, each pays three grivnas and thirty rezanas.
    * Article 30

      And if anyone damages or burns a prince's bee hive, three grivnas.
    * Article 3I

      And if anyone should torture a peasant, without the prince's order, three grivnas for the offence.
    * Article 32

      [For the torture of] a bailiff, a steward, or a sheriff, twelve grivnas.
    * Article 33

      Whoever should plough over the property line or destroy a property mark, twelve grivnas for the offence.
    * Article 34

      Whoever steals a boat, he has to pay [the owner] thirty rezanas for the boat and sixty rezanas fine.
    * Article 35

      For [the theft of] a dove or a chicken, nine kunas.
    * Article 36

      For [the theft of] a duck, a goose, a crane, or a swan, thirty rezanas and a fine of sixty rezanas.
    * Article 37

      If anyone steals someone's hunting dog, or a hawk, or a falcon, three grivnas for the offence.
    * Article 38

      If anyone should kill a thief in his own yard, or at the barn, or at the stable, he is [justly] killed; if, however, anyone detains the thief till daylight, he must bring him to the prince's court; and should he [the thief] be killed, and should people see that the thief was bound, the killer must pay for him.
    * Article 39

      If anyone should steal hay, nine kunas; and for wood, nine kunas.
    * Article 40

      If a gang of ten thieves should steal an ewe, or a goat, or a pig, each must pay a fine of sixty rezanas.
    * Article 41

      Whoever should apprehend a thief receives ten rezanas; and a sheriff receives fifteen kunas from three grivnas [of fines collected]; fifteen kunas go to the Church] as tithe; and the prince receives three grivnas. And from twelve grivnas of theft, the apprehender of the thief will receive seventy kunas; [the Church] two grivnas as tithe; and the prince ten grivnas.
    * Article 42

      The following is the tax collecting custom: the collectors [during their journey] should receive seven buckets of malt, a ram or some other meat or two nogatas; and on Wednesday one rezana or cheese; the same on Friday; and as much bread and millet as they can eat; and two chickens per day; and shelter for four of their horses and feed for them, as much as they can eat; the collectors should [collect] sixty grivnas, ten rezanas, twelve veveritsas, and a grivna in advance; and during Lent collectors should receive fish and should get seven rezanas for fish; during a week they should receive fifteen kunas and food as much as they can eat; tax collectors should complete their task in one week; such is Iaroslav's decree.
    * Article 43

      The following is the code of bridge builders: when they complete a bridge, they should receive for their work one nogata; also one nogata for every span; and if an old bridge needs repair of several planks, three, or four, or five, the same payment.

Source: The Russian Primary Chronicle 

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