By Honor Bound: State and Society in Early Modern Russia

By Honor Bound: State and Society in Early Modern Russia

by Nancy Shields Kollmann
By Honor Bound: State and Society in Early Modern Russia

By Honor Bound: State and Society in Early Modern Russia

by Nancy Shields Kollmann



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In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Russians from all ranks of society were bound together by a culture of honor. Here one of the foremost scholars of early modern Russia explores the intricate and highly stylized codes that made up this culture. Nancy Shields Kollmann describes how these codes were manipulated to construct identity and enforce social norms—and also to defend against insults, to pursue vendettas, and to unsettle communities. She offers evidence for a new view of the relationship of state and society in the Russian empire, and her richly comparative approach enhances knowledge of statebuilding in premodern Europe. By presenting Muscovite state and society in the context of medieval and early modern Europe, she exposes similarities that blur long-standing distinctions between Russian and European history.Through the prism of honor, Kollmann examines the interaction of the Russian state and its people in regulating social relations and defining an individual's rank. She finds vital information in a collection of transcripts of legal suits brought by elites and peasants alike to avenge insult to honor. The cases make clear the conservative role honor played in society as well as the ability of men and women to employ this body of ideas to address their relations with one another and with the state. Kollmann demonstrates that the grand princes—and later the tsars—tolerated a surprising degree of local autonomy throughout their rapidly expanding realm. Her work marks a stark contrast with traditional Russian historiography, which exaggerates the power of the state and downplays the volition of society.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501706950
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 11/01/2016
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 31,977
File size: 4 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Nancy Shields Kollmann is William H. Bonsall Professor of History at Stanford University. She is the author of Crime and Punishment in Early Modern Russia and Kinship and Politics: The Making of the Muscovite Political System.

Table of Contents

1. Cultural Concepts of Honor2. Patriarchy in Practice3. The Praxis of Honor4. Honor in the Elite5. Strategies of Integration in an Autocracy6. Toward the Absolutist StateEpilogue: The Endurance of Honor

What People are Saying About This

Gregory Freeze

This is an important, imaginative, well-researched work of history. The author invokes an impressive range of scholarship, theoretical and comparative, to place her findings in a broader perspective.

Eve Levin

This is the first book in any language on Muscovite conceptions of honor, and the author's handling of this topic opens to view a broad spectrum of Muscovite culture and society. The research is of irreproachable quality, and the interpretations are completely convincing.

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