Daily legal practice in local centers of Muscovite Rus’ before the publication of the Law Code of 1649 (Sobornoe Ulozhenie) has been poorly studied. This article uses comparative analysis to study two groups of sources about the legal process and law enforcement in Novgorod the Great in the late 16th–early 17th centuries. The analysis illuminates a complicated hierarchy of legal levels. At the same time, the competences of the courts at each level were not always clearly defined, which corresponds to the ideas formulated by N.S. Kollmann in her study on crime and punishment in Muscovy. In the late 16th–early 17th centuries, the Novgorod Court Chancellery was a middle level of the judicial system. The highest instance was the court in Moscow, which passed judgment on behalf of the tsar and was provided by central chancelleries in the Kremlin. During the Time of Troubles, the hierarchy became simpler: the communication with Moscow disappeared and only two levels prevailed in Novgorod. The city administrator’s court (voevoda) dealt with political crimes and landowners’ disputes, while the City Court and other lower level courts dealt with civil and petty criminal cases. The courts were ruled by both codes and customary law: the existing law codes (Sudebniki) did not cover all the diversity of legal cases.
Scholars of the reign of Ivan the Terrible have only a limited number of sources to understand Ivan’s purges during the Oprichnina. One of the most important and most commonly used testimonies for Ivan’s period of terror, the account of the Livonian captives Johann Taube and Elert Kruse, is for the first time made accessible for the English-speaking public in a critical edition that covers the major historiographical issues raised in the account and, when possible, explores the reasons behind the execution of specific individuals.
This article explores relations between Muscovy and the so-called Later Golden Horde successor states that existed during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries on the territory of Desht-i Qipchaq (the Qipchaq Steppe, a part of the East European steppe bounded roughly by the Oskol and Tobol rivers, the steppe-forest line, and the Caspian and Aral Seas). As a part of, and later a successor to, the Juchid ulus (also known as the Golden Horde), Muscovy adopted a number of its political and social institutions. The most crucial events in the almost six-century-long history of relations between Muscovy and the Tatars (13–18th centuries) were the Mongol invasion of the Northern, Eastern and parts of the Southern Rus’ principalities between 1237 and 1241, and the Muscovite annexation of the Kazan and Astrakhan khanates between 1552 and 1556. According to the model proposed here, the Tatars began as the dominant partner in these mutual relations; however, from the beginning of the seventeenth century this role was gradually inverted. Indicators of a change in the relationship between the Muscovite grand principality and the Golden Horde can be found in the diplomatic contacts between Muscovy and the Tatar khanates. The main goal of the article is to reveal the changing position of Muscovy within the system of the Later Golden Horde successor states. An additional goal is to revisit the role of the Tatar khanates in the political history of Central Eurasia in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
This article contributes to the studies of living human exhibitions in Eastern Europe or, more precisely, in Polish territory in the late partition period. The article intends to demonstrate the strategies of presenting Black African women in Warsaw, Cracow, and Poznań. The idea of construing the view has been used as a key concept to look into the processes of the sexualization and racialization of the Others’ female bodies and the construction of “savagery” in the context of nineteenth-century visual culture.
The article juxtaposes two perspectives guiding the perception of ethnographic shows, namely, a contemporary and an earlier one. The article uses the example of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West shows, staged in 1906 in the Polish territories under Austrian rule. Deriving from present criticisms of ethnographic shows and their interpretation through the prism of colonial studies, the author examines the types of reception of such performances met in places in which the inhabitants did not identify with colonialism. Analyzing reactions to the Wild West shows published in the Polish-language dailies, the author offers an interpretation of these performances as foreign, distant from the local social context, and evoking antipatriotic acts. While presently, criticism of ethnographic shows inspires reflection on human rights and equality, the article looks at how the philippics directed against Buffalo Bill’s performances contributed to the promotion of patriotic attitudes by the intellectual elites of the time.
The article serves as the introduction to the special issue focusing on ethnographic shows and the production of knowledge regarding Others in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. It aims at presenting the characteristics and conditions of research in Central and Eastern Europe, which may be considered an extension of Western Europe in terms of geography, communication, economy, technology and culture. The juxtaposition of the data and conclusions presented by several scholars from the region highlights the theoretical and practical problems they faced in their research. The text also lists the fundamental differences between the region in question and Western Europe which affected the emergence of local contexts and, consequently, shaped the cultural phenomenon of ethnographic shows.