The Princes of Novgorod from 970 to 1136

M. Dimnik


During the first half of the thirteenth century when the Tatars invaded Rus‘, Novgorod, like Kiev, was not the patrimony of any dynasty of princes. The town‘s citizens had fought resolutely for its political independence, and defended that status jealously after they had secured it. In this way Novgorod was different from another major principalities, that were patrimonial domains of different princely dynasties. This article deals with earlу political history of relations of Novgorod and its princes. Author argues that the Novgorodians invited the Varangian prince Riurik to rule them with the intention of making the town his permanent principality. And from the middle of the tenth to the first half of the twelfth century, the office of the prince of Novgorod was not analogous to that of a posadnik. A prince was not a temporary appointee to Novgorod like a posadnik, but ruled the town as his patrimonial domain. Most often he was the eldest son of a princely family. Ultimately, it was the princes‘ unwillingness to rule Novgorod as their patrimonial domain that forced the Novgorodians to stop searching for a hereditary dynasty for their town.


Prince; Novgorod; posadnik; dynasty


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