Primary Sources

This is a collection of links to texts that are available on-line, in the first instance in English. I am using the designation "primary source" rather loosely to include many kinds of material ranging from "documents" such as law codes or decrees to narrative sources such as chronicles. I have not attempted to cull material based on the quality of the translations. Obviously we need new translations of many of the items commonly included in anthologies and which, in some instances, served as the source for the texts linked here. One can hope that, over time, new translations will be posted both to extend the range and to raise the quality of what is accessible. Where there are several texts located on a single web site, I have grouped them under that site. For other material the arrangement is approximately chronological. As the quantity of material linked here grows, the site will be rearranged and probably a search capacity will be added.

Legal texts--Translations by Daniel Kaiser

The currently authoritative collection of English translations of early Rus legal texts is that by Daniel Kaiser (Grinnell College), tr. and ed., The Laws of Rus'--Tenth to Fifteenth Centuries (=The Laws of Russia, Series I, Vol. 1) (Salt Lake City, Utah: Charles Schlacks, Jr., Publisher, 1992). For an introduction to these texts, one should consult in that volume both Prof. Kaiser's "Introduction," pp. xli-lii, and the "Foreword" by Prof. Richard Hellie, pp. xi-xl. I have provided on a brief introduction to Russkaia Pravda and the Church Statutes, which can be viewed here. Prof. Kaiser has posted on his web site so far the following of his translations:

A Collection of Sources (University of Durham)

A Collection of Texts posted by Jana Howlett (Jesus College, Cambridge)

Note: In most cases, Professor Howlett provides her own English translation and parallel Russian texts; in some cases she presents only the Russian texts. To read the Russian texts, your Internet browser must be set for Cyrillic (Windows-1251) encoding. Several of her links take one to Russian sources for the Russian texts (see below).

Other Sources

2002 Daniel C. Waugh
Last updated November 6, 2004