Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

Abbreviations

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p. ix

Terms and Abbreviations in Manuscript Citations

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p. x

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Preface

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pp. xi-xiv

The research that led to this book started off in a somewhat different direc­tion. Having finished a book on Muscovite politics that focused on elite clan genealogies, I decided that the next logical step should be to study precedence (mestnichestvo). Precedence was Muscovy's system of assigning military rank according to clan honor-honor calculated according to clan heritage, military...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-30

This is a book about how individuals in early modern Russia-primarily in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries-defended their personal honor and how the state participated in that process by providing legal norms and access to litigation. Honor in Muscovy was a rhetoric of personal dignity that accrued to all subjects of the tsar, regardless of social rank; only noto­rious criminals were denied the opportunity to litigate to defend their good...

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Chapter 1. Cultural Concepts of Honor

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pp. 31-64

Institutions and laws to defend personal honor appeared first in Muscovite law codes and practice in the midsixteenth century. The timing is no coinci­dence. The protection of honor in various forms was a response to social ten­sion, and the sixteenth century was a time of intense political and social change. I explore here the social setting in which Muscovite protections of honor emerged...

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Chapter 2. Patriarchy in Practice

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pp. 65-94

Sexual slander and gendered insult were among the most important issues at stake in affronts to honor. A man or woman' s own sexual probity might be assailed, a man's wife slander ed, or a mother oath (maternyi lai) hurled. Women and sexuality were as central in the workings of honor in early mod­ern Russia as they were in sixteenth-century Italy, England, France, the Ger­manys, and elsewhere. And for good reason. Sexual promiscuity had power...

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Chapter 3. The Praxis of Honor

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pp. 95-130

Muscovites of all social ranks litigated energetically to defend their honor. The courts served them because it was a traditional responsibility of a good tsar to provide justice. The community played a role in honor disputes, because insult to honor disturbed community stability and because commu­nity involvement was integral to the legal process in Muscovy, as it was in...

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Chapter 4. Honor in the Elite

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pp. 131-168

In July 1650, the governor and military commander on the southern frontier, Prince Petr Grigor'evich Romodanovskii, assigned a gentryman from Poshekhon'e, Prince Vasilii Sheleshpanskii, to serve as a hundredman (sotennyi golova). She­ leshpanskii refused to accept his orders because the assignment would make him subordinate to Romodanovskii's deputy, Fedor Glebov. Romodanovskii imme­diately threw him into prison for insubordination, and from prison...

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Chapter 5. Strategies of Integration in an Autocracy

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pp. 169-202

Muscovite rulers were faced with the same problems of governance that con­ fronted medieval and early modern rulers in Western Europe. They had limited resources in manpower and finances and limited means of communication (even after printing was accepted, literacy was required to make it a tool of governance). Population was widely dispersed and heterogenous in dialect, confession, social status, and privileges. In such circumstances, rulers were hard pressed to integrate...

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Chapter 6. Toward the Absolutist State

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pp. 203-232

In January 1682, Tsar Fedor Alekseevich, surrounded by the ecclesiastical hier­archy, boyars, and scores of courtiers, ceremoniously ended the preference given to family heritage and service in the assignment of military rank and office (mest­nichestvo). He burned records of precedence disputes and decreed harsh punish­ment for anyone who dared again to sue a colleague over "place." At first glance, this desecration of a Muscovite institution that had endured 150 years seems a...

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Epilogue: The Endurance of Honor

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pp. 233-252

Social change in the seventeenth century prepared the way for a more complex structuring of government, for the forging of a more explicitly privileged corpo­rate elite, and for the mobilization of social forces for ambitious military and fis­cal goals. Most of the reforms undertaken by Peter I (b. 1672, ruled 1682-1725) had their antecedents in Muscovite times: To a great extent, his contribution was to systematize and intensify reform. 1 He systematized, for example, the trend...

Glossary

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pp. 253-254

Bibliography

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pp. 255-288

Index

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pp. 289-296