The border between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Russian state in the 15th–16th centuries should be defined not as a borderline, but as a contact zone. Its components were territories (including the zones of impassable woodlands etc.), settlements and roads. The control over the border was not control over the borderline (the countries did not have enough resources to defend it), but over the roads and communications connecting the countries, and over urban districts in the border zone. Border fortresses served as military bases for mobile posts and military patrols on roads and territories. Land ownership played an important role in the contact zone. Landowners had certain privileges, moreover, they were the ones who controlled the possession of the interstate border. Since the 1520s, it has been fixed in documents of a special type — “boundary lists”. Controversial questions were to be discussed at the common meetings of nobility, but they proved to be ineffective because of the sabotage of the nobility. The border zone was distinguished by social and political instability that influenced the character of the local inhabitants. There were many runaway, criminal elements among them, which later would manifest itself in the most negative way during the crisis in the Time of Troubles in the early 17th century.
|Translated title of the contribution||“BOUNDARY PEOPLE”: THE RUSSIAN-LITHUANIAN BORDER IN THE LATE 15th–16th CENTURIES|
|Journal||Ural'skij Istoriceskij Vestnik|
|Issue number||3 (64)|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2019|
Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities(all)