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[1475 A.D.]

with the Muscovite lieutenants; now the question was already different and the Lithuanian party decided to go further. At the end of 1470 Jonas died and the question was raised in the vetché of having the archbishop nominated in Lithuania; this time, however, the archbishop Theophilus was chosen and his partisans stood out for his consecration in Moscow and were successful, so that a consent to his passing through was obtained from the grand prince. An ambassador coming from Pskov with the news that the grand prince called the men of Pskov upon Novgorod, and offering proposals of mediation, again gave preponderance to the Lithuanian party. The vetché assembled, and people in it began to cry out: "We are free men of great Novgorod and the grand prince of Moscow does us many wrongs and much injustice; we are for the king of Poland;" with the help of the "wicked peasants of the vetché" they gained the victory, and an embassy was sent to Casimir, the result of which was a convention for the submission of Novgorod to him. Olelkovitch soon left Novgorod, having wronged the provinces of Novgorod in various ways. The grand prince still wished to try peaceful measures and sent his ambassador to Novgorod with an exhortation, and the metropolitan Philip sent a letter of admonishment. After the failure of this embassy the grand prince assembled his council (douma) and proposed the question: Shall we march on Novgorod now or wait until winter? It was well known that a march to Novgorod in summer was very difficult, yet it was decided to go at once, and a declaration of war was sent. In July, 1471, the grand prince himself with troops from Moscow and Tver, and accompanied by his brothers, set out from Moscow; the men of Pskov joined the Moscow troops on the way. A religious character was given to the expedition. Before starting, the grand prince went to pray in the cathedral of Moscow, and chroniclers liken this expedition to that of Gideon against the Midianites and that of Dmitri against Mamai.

After the battle at Tskorost, Prince Kholmski, a voyevod of Ivan, decisively defeated the people of Novgorod at the river Shelon (July 14th, 1475?) and the same day the Moscow voyevod Obrazets defeated Prince Vasili Shuiski, who was in the service of Novgorod, at the river Shilenga, and subjugated all the Dvinsk territories; "everywhere the Lord God helped the grand prince to defend his rights." Nothing remained for Novgorod but to submit, for Casimir, occupied with his own affairs, had not come to her defence. Ivan, coming after his armies, first had Boretski and three other prisoners put to death, then he relented, accepted the petition of Theophilus which was supported by a letter from the metropolitan, took a ransom of 15,500 roubles from Novgorod, and concluded a treaty by which the inhabitants were bound not to be subject to Lithuania and to have their archbishop nominated at Moscow.

In October, 1475, Ivan visited Novgorod and remained there until February, 1476. Received with honours and gifts by great Novgorod and her dignitaries, the grand prince administered justice as of old; The Slavnovski and Nikitinski appeared with a complaint against the honourable burgomaster (posadnick), Vasili Annanin, and nineteen other boyars who had attacked and robbed them; a similar complaint was brought by the boyars Ponarin against other boyars who had made incursions into their lands and robbed them; for such incursions were of very frequent occurrence in Novgorod. Ivan sent the guilty persons to be imprisoned in Moscow, observing in his judgment all the ancient forms, and requiring that with his commissaries there should also be sent commissaries from Novgorod; it was also then that he allowed the authorities of Novgorod to conclude, as in ancient times, a treaty

[1477-1479 A.D.] with Sweden. In 1477 complainants from Novgorod came to Moscow; "Such a thing," says the chronicle," had never happened before since the beginning of Novgorod and since it began to have grand princes from the house of Rurik.' Their coming was quite comprehensible; the smaller folk were persuaded that it was only by appealing to the tribunal of the grand prince that they could obtain redress against the greater, and therefore they had recourse to him. Such a result having been attained, it only remained to await the first pretext in order to put an end to the independence of Novgorod. The occasion soon presented itself; in 1477 the envoys from the bishop and from all Novgorod, Nazar of Podvoiski and Zacharias, the secretary of the vetché, called Ivan and his son, young Ivan, gospodá and not lords,' as had always been previously done, and the grand prince sent ambassadors to Novgorod to demand the confirmation of this title. Tumults, brawls, and even murder took place in Novgorod, and the ambassador was sent away with an insulting message. Then Ivan assembled his troops to go against Novgorod; he called upon Tver and Pskov for aid, ordered his brothers to assemble, and sending before him the Tatar prince, Daniar Kasimovitch, he set out himself. The people of Novgorod began to negotiate while the grand prince was still on the way; they had even tried to do so before, but Ivan, properly calculating that a satisfactory result could only be obtained by a warlike demonstration, avoided negotiations. All December, 1477, and the beginning of January, 1478, passed in negotiations; finally Novgorod submitted when her defender, Prince Vasili Shuiski, bent his knee before Ivan and refused to serve Novgorod any longer. Novgorod submitted to the "entire will" of Ivan; the vetché was abolished and its great bell taken to Moscow to ring with other bells; estates were taken from the monasteries, and allotted to the grand prince, the first example of secularisation: till then the princes had not possessed estates in Novgorod. When he left, Ivan took with him the boyars and Martha Boretski, who is said to have died at Staritza.


It is reported that in 1479 Novgorod again tried to enter into relations with Casimir, and taking advantage of threatening danger from the Golden Horde, re-established the ancient form of government, and that the grand prince came to the town, ordered the gates to be opened, frustrated the attempt at the very beginning, and took away many of the inhabitants with him. This account is confirmed by the fact that other chronicles speak of the arrival of the grand prince at Novgorod, and of the imprisonment of the archbishop Theophilus. The loss of their independence was a heavy blow to the people, and as a consolation legends were composed of the foolishness of the first bishop sent from Moscow, Sergius by name, and of the flame that came out of the tomb of St. Bartholomew of Khoutinski and burned the feet of the grand prince.

Viatka, whose inhabitants refused to help the Moscow troops in the war against Kazan in 1469, was definitively subdued in 1489. The policy of the transfer of the natives to the ancient provinces and of sending others to take their places, was also applied to Viatka.

Pskov remained submissive and thereby preserved a shadow of independence; but the grand prince kept a zealous watch over all that was done there and did not allow any aspirations to greater independence. Although consenting that the inhabitants might ask for any prince they wished, he did not approve of any wilful change of princes, and strongly took the part of Prince Iaroslav 1 Gospodá, plural of gospodin.

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Literally beat his forehead."

[1482 A.D.]

Obolenski, who had had a quarrel with Pskov and whom the people wished to get rid of; it was only the desire to have done with Novgorod that induced the grand prince to give way to Pskov and give them a new lieutenant Prince Vasili Shuiski (1477). When, later, Ivan named his son Vasili grand prince of Novgorod and Pskov, the inhabitants sent an envoy begging that they might be separated, but the grand prince replied wrathfully that he would give the principality to whomsoever he liked; Pskov also endeavoured in vain to get its province separated from the rule of the bishop of Novgorod. Towards the appanaged princes Ivan pursued the same policy as towards the townships. Vasili, prince of Riazan, had already been taken by Vasili the Dark to be educated in Moscow; in 1464 he was sent back to Riazan, returned to Moscow, married a sister of the grand prince and went back to Riazan. He died in 1483, leaving two sons: Ivan and Theodore. Ivan, as grand prince, concluded a treaty with Moscow by which he was placed on a level with the brother of the grand prince of Moscow, Andrew Vasilievitch. In 1496 a treaty was concluded betwen the brothers, by which the younger was bound, in case he were to die childless, to leave his share to his elder brother; but Prince Theodore survived his brother and bequeathed his share to the grand prince of Moscow. In the year 1500 Ivan, grand prince of Riazan, died, leaving a young son under the guardianship of his mother and grandmother, who were entirely subservient to the prince of Moscow.

Since 1461 the prince of Tver, Michael Borisovitch, was Ivan's brotherin-law. When he came to the throne Ivan concluded a treaty with him, but although Michael helped Ivan against Novgorod, yet in their mutual relations the signs that usually preceded the fall of a separate principality might be observed. In 1476 certain boyars of Tver went over to Moscow. In 1484 it became known in Moscow that the prince of Tver had concluded a treaty with Casimir and married his granddaughter. Ivan sent troops to lay waste the districts around Tver; Michael hastened to appease him and concluded a new treaty with him, by which the prince of Tver was placed on a level with the second brother of the Moscow grand prince and bound himself not to appeal to Lithuania without his consent. Meanwhile the departure of the boyars from Tver continued and Ivan encouraged them by his policy; in the event of frontier disputes, if the men of Tver were injured they could not obtain justice, but if those of Moscow were injured, Ivan rigourously demanded satisfaction. Michael entered into relations with Casimir, but the envoy was seized, and Ivan sent his troops to Tver; the town surrendered, and Michael fled to Lithuania. In 1463 the princes of Iaroslav ceded their domain to the Muscovite monarch, and in 1474 the princes of Rostov, who ruled over only half of Rostov, for the other half had already been acquired by Kalita, sold their half to the grand prince. Equally slowly and gradually did the grand prince also crush the appanaged princes of Moscow; all these princes were his brothers, with the exception of Michael Andreevitch Vereiski (the son of Andrew Dmitrievitch, brother of Ivan of Mozhaisk). With Michael Ivan concluded several treaties that gradually cut down his rights; finally by the treaty of 1482 Michael ceded, after his death, Belozero to the grand prince. There was no pretext for this annexation, but one was soon found; desiring to make a present to his daughter-in-law Helen' (upon the occasion of the birth of his grandson Dmitri) of the ornaments that had belonged to his first wife, Ivan learned that the grand princess Sophia had given away much to her niece, who was married to a son of Michael named Vasili; the

'Daughter of Stephen, Gospodin of Moldavia, married to Ivan's son Ivan.

[1485 A.D.] irritated grand prince then ordered Vasili to be seized, but he fled to Lithuania; whereupon Ivan took Vereia from Michael and only returned it to him as a possession for life. Michael Andreevitch died in 1485, leaving his domains by will to the grand prince. The appanages of the brothers also little by little, for one reason or another, were joined to the grand principality; in 1472 Iuri Vasilievitch, of Dmitriev, died, without leaving any testamentary disposition of his territory; the grand prince took possession of it; the brothers were angered, but satisfying them with some provinces, the grand prince concluded a treaty with two of them, Andrew of Uglitch and Boris of Volotsk, by which they recognised the priority of their nephew Ivan the Younger and renounced the succession after their brother.

In 1480 the younger brothers again rose against the elder, and Prince Obolenski Liko went from Moscow to enter the service of Boris; Ivan, probably learning of his brother's relations with the people of Novgorod, ordered Prince Obolenski to be seized at the court of Boris. The princes went to Rzhev, thence to the boundary of Lithuania, and entered into relations with Casimir, who however did not help them. Until then they had rejected negotiations, but seeing Casimir's inaction, they asked for the intercession of their mother, but Ivan refused them; they also sought support in Pskov, but were unsuccessful. The invasion of Ahmed induced Ivan to make peace with his brothers, and Andrew received a part of the appanage of Iuriev. Andrew the younger died in 1481, leaving his domain to the grand prince. In 1484 the mother of the grand prince, who had in some degree restrained the dissensions of the brothers, died, and in 1486 Ivan bound his brothers by a new treaty to renounce their rights of inheritance in regard to appanages. In 1491 Andrew was seized and thrown into prison, where he died in 1494; his sons were imprisoned with him. Boris also died soon after, leaving his domains to his sons Theodore and Ivan: the latter, dying in 1504, left his part by will to the grand prince, whom he calls "gossudar" (sovereign or sire).



The most conspicuous event in the reign of Ivan-the casting off of the Tatar yoke - is connected by many with his marriage. But it should be borne in mind that this was the ancient and sacred ideal of the Moscow princes, to the fulfilment of which all their desires had long been directed, and for which they had been gradually preparing the means. Such an event cannot be explained by one merely accidental circumstance, although it is impossible not to agree that the dependence of her husband upon the Tatar khan must have been humiliating to the proud Sophia, and therefore it cannot be denied that there is some truth in the traditions relating to this subject. But in any event the circumstance was a merely accessory one, for it is known that long before this the expression: "May the Lord cause the horde to perish," was to be met with in the wills of the Moscow princes; the same expression also occurs in the testament of Vasili the Dark. The Moscow princes had prepared for this by taking into their service Tatar princes, in whom they saw the best means of fighting their enemies, the Tatars. And in this work bequeathed to him by his forefathers, Ivan Vasilievitch remained true to the deliberate, persistent policy of his predecessors, never losing sight of his aim, but never hurrying too much in its attainment.

[ A title borne by the Russian emperors.]

[1487 A.D.]

At the time when Ivan Vasilievitch began to reign, the Tatar horde no longer constituted an undivided kingdom; previously it had been sometimes divided and then again reunited, but at this period it was definitively divided into three chief hordes; the Golden, the Kazanese, and the Crimean, at the head of the last of which, during the reign of Vasili the Dark, was Azi Girai. Ivan's policy consisted in exploiting one horde against the other and one pretender against the other. Of the principal Tatar hordes, the nearest and weakest was the Kazan horde, and it was the first which he attempted to bring under his influence. In 1467 the vassal Kasim, who was in the service of Ivan, was invited by some of the Tatar princes (mourzas) to come to Kazan, but the khan Ibrahim met him at the Volga and prevented him from crossing the river; after insignificant mutual devastations in 1469 a great army was sent against Kazan, composed of sons of the boyars and Moscow troops, under the leadership of Constantine Bezzubtiev. The troops marched right up to the town, but beyond ravaging its territory nothing was done. In the summer of the same year, two of the grand prince's brothers, Iuri and Andrew the Big, marched against Kazan, besieged the town, and Ibrahim hastened to conclude peace "at the entire will of the grand prince and his voyevods," and liberated the prisoners that had been taken during the preceding forty years. For eight years there was peace, but in 1479 the Kazanese army made a raid on Russian territory (at Ustiug and Viatka). To avenge this, troops were sent from Moscow under the leadership of the voyevod Vasili Obrazets, while from the other side came the men of Viatka and Ustiug and besieged Kazan. Ibrahim again concluded peace "according to the will of the grand prince." At the death of Ibrahim disturbances arose in Kazan; one of his sons Ali Khan or Alegam, from the younger wife, became khan, and Muhammed Amin, the son of the elder wife, came to Moscow and asked for help against his brother.

In 1487 troops were despatched from Moscow under the leadership of Daniel Kholmski, the town was taken, Alegam made prisoner, and Muhammed Amin established on the throne of Kazan; he was so entirely subject to Moscow that he asked the grand prince's permission to marry, and even paid a certain tribute to Moscow. In 1496 the people of Kazan, dissatisfied with Muhammed Amin, called in the Nogaians; the Moscow troops came to the aid of the khan, but hardly had they been dismissed before the Nogaian prince Mamuk came to Kazan, and the khan fled to Moscow. Mamuk, fearing treason, seized the very persons who had called for him, and in general began to act arbitrarily. When he went to attack the princes of Arsk, the inhabitants of Kazan shut the gates against him and sent to Moscow to ask for another khan, only not Muhammed Amin. Ivan sent them Muhammed's brother, Abdul Letiv, and gave to the former Koshira and Serpukhov as fiefs. In 1502, at the complaint of the people of Kazan, Abdul Letiy was deposed and banished to Belozero. Muhammed Amin again returned, but he was already dissatisfied with Moscow, and in this attitude he was supported by his wife, the widow of Alegam. In 1505, under the pretext that the grand prince had not satisfied his complaints, Muhammed Amin plundered some Russian merchants that had come to the fair and marched against NijniNovgorod; Ivan died soon after, before he was able to revenge himself.

The extension of the Russian possessions in the east was accomplished in another way; in 1472 the grand prince sent troops to the territory of Perm - which was numbered amongst the Novgorodian possessions — and its prince was taken prisoner; but until 1505 native princes were left to reign there, and it was only in that year that Prince Vasili Kover was sent to Perm as



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