Review of the Russian medieval cadastre



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Review of the Russian medieval cadastre



 

The Russian medieval cadastres had been a kind of routine regular survey. Land descriptions of the whole state or separate provinces were planned and fulfilled by the staff of the Estate Administration. Each expedition sent by an administrative unit to collect land use data included at least two senior officials (usually an experienced chancery official and a wealthy aristocrat) and few junior officials for whom it was a kind of practice. All the expeditions received special written orders from the tzar and had the right to check land property documents, to solve land disputes of local landlords, in some cases even to confiscate estate. These decisions could be changed only by the special tzar orders. A record in the cadastral book had usually been the best proof of property rights. The cadastral officials used to compare contemporary land use with the documents of the previous survey. That is why it is often possible to find brief data of a previous survey in the books of the next one.

From the end of the XVth century Pomestnyi Prikaz (Administration of Estates) undertook regular surveys of the lands of Moscow State. During these surveys there were created descriptions of the whole state and its separate provinces. These descriptions (pistsovye knigi) included a number of peasants in each village of the estate, quantity of arable and meadowlands, approximate data on forests. Being improved from one survey to another, late descriptions of the XVIIth century demonstrate distinguished and complicated feudal tax cadastre.

They evaluated land estates in two-steps way taking into consideration quantity of productive arable lands measured in a very accurate way. Next step was the evaluation of arable soil quality: good, medium or poor. After that the data on quality had been recalculated in exact proportion into special units of agricultural productivity of the estate.

Land taxes and vassal obligations served as the basement of administrative, financial and military life of the Moscow State in the XVI-XVII th centuries. These duties were determined in accordance with the quantity and feudal status of land holding and its agricultural value. The state itself did not carry out any important economic projects. Stability of central administration, power and wealth of Moscow state depended on prosperity of peasantry paying taxes and landlords serving for the state with their vassal. Surveyors took into consideration feudal status of the land holding they described. The data on agricultural productivity of estates had been recalculated once more into special tax units (sokha) in order to reflect status of the landlords.

Land cadastre of that period had been the tax cadastre – evaluation of settled and exploited lands. It dealt with arable and hayfield lands, sometimes with fisheries, apiaries, hunting estates of tzars. Virgin forests, empty lands and marches attracted no attention of estate surveyors. This situation reflected abundance of agricultural resources and low density of peasant population. This shows the level of geographical knowledge of that period: despite the fact that major waterways and roads had been described and well-known, contemporaries of Ivan the Terrible or Boris Godunov seemed to be unaware of endless Russian forests as foreign ambassadors and merchants had been on their way to the capital of Moscovy. Contemporary documents showed that even wealthy native aristocracy could go astray while travelling in the forests of the Central Russia.

Besides numerous surveys carried out by the Moscow Administration of Estates, many wealthy landlords compiled cadastral descriptions of their lands: sovereign Great Princes, Archbishops, monasteries.

The system of a land cadastre of the XVI-XVII th centuries used the old-fashioned methods of direct land measuring in area units when contemporary European countries began to use land charts and maps. But there existed a couple of archival documents showing the use of charts and plans in medieval cadastres. The general level of mapmaking could be seen from the published translations of books on geometry and land measuring, allowed at least to presume the technical possibility of the brief land mapping of Central Russia. All this proves the similarity of medieval Russian land cadastres and continental cadastral system.

 

 

5. Найдите синонимы среди следующих слов:

Impact, link, lucky, purpose, successfully, accurate, influence, objective, connect, exact.

 

6. Образуйте антонимы от данных слов:

 

Large, successful, little, natural, appropriate, rural, use, expensive, weak.

 

 

7. Переведите следующие сочетания слов с русского на английский язык:

Отражать всю картину; хорошо известная точка зрения; подушный налог; природa и цели кадастра; сложный феодальный налоговый кадастр; обязанности вассала; тщательно изучать; власть и богатство; пересчитать в точной пропорции; средневековая аристократия; количество крестьян; собирать данные по землепользованию; изданные переводы книг; косвенные доказательства.

 

8. Переведите следующие предложения с русского на английский язык:

1. Европейское влияние было огромным. 2. Православная вера популярна в России. 3. Государство выполняло самые важные экономические проекты. 4. Самые поздние описания кадастра XVII века демонстрировали сложный феодальный налоговый кадастр. 5. Раньше они описывали земельные угодья в две ступени. 6. Эти описания включали количество крестьян в каждой деревне, качество пахотной земли и лугов. 7. Этот текст сравнивает кадастр двух столетий. 8. Кадастр земли средневекового периода - налоговый кадастр.

 

9. Запишите прописью следующие количественные числительные, хронологические даты и дроби:

16, 89, 154, 985, 2841, 3462, 5816, 99852, 186954, 1861083; 1/8, 3/4, 2/3, 1/3; 0,05; 1,6; 0,007; 1942, 2001, 1957, 1992, 1996, 2004.

 

10. Образуйте 3 степени сравнения следующих прилагательных:

Good, big, important, beautiful, little, far, many, bad, easy, complicated, friendly, nice, fine, difficult, interesting, high.

 

11. Раскройте скобки, употребляя имена прилагательные в соответствующей степени сравнения:

1. A record in the cadastral book had usually been the (good) proof of property rights. 2. (Late) descriptions of the XYII th century demonstrate distinguished and complicated feudal tax cadastre. 3. The arable lands measured in a very (accurate) way. 4. The (good) the service, the (easy) the life. 5. This is the (magnificent) project on the forest cadastre I have ever seen.

 

12. Образуйте однокоренные слова от следующих слов:

Manage, regular, collect, implement, work, operate, publish, change, press, satisfy.

13. Укажите исходную форму прилагательных и составьте предложения:

Less, many, better, worst, more, interesting, more difficult, beautiful, the most different, farther, the most.

 

14.Ответьте на следующие вопросы по тексту:

 

1. What is this text devoted to? 2. What kind of cadastres were the Russian medieval ones? 3. What did Pomestnyi Prikaz undertake at the end of the XY th century? 4. What did description of land include? 5. How were land taxes and vassal obligations serve? 6. Did the state carry out any important economic projects? 7. What did the Russian medieval cadastre deal to? 8. Is the similarity of the medieval Russian land cadastre and continental cadastral system proved by any documents of that time?

 

15. Перескажите текст 7А "Review of the Russian medieval cadastre".

 



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