Ledeneva M.V., Plaksunova T.A. Wealth in Ancient Rus: the Essence, Structure, Forms of Realization and Protection

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu3.2016.4.2

Marina Viktorovna Ledeneva
Doctor of Economic Sciences, Associate Professor,
Professor of Department of Economic Theory and Management,
Volzhsky Institute of Humanities, Branch of Volgograd State University
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40 let Pobedy St., 11, 404133 Volzhsky, Russian Federation
Tatyana Alekseevna Plaksunova
Candidate of Economic Sciences, Associate Professor,
Dean of Faculty of Economics and Mathematics,
Volzhsky Institute of Humanities, Branch of Volgograd State University
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40 let Pobedy St., 11, 404133 Volzhsky, Russian Federation


Abstract. The authors consider wealth as a historical category, which had been filled in the course of society development, creation of new machinery and technologies, increasing complexity of economic relations. The article describes a system of wealth elements of ancient Rus, including natural resources, produced goods, human, social, and institutional capital, knowledge and technology, as well their features, forms of realization and protection. The art of metallurgy, weapon business, shipbuilding, spinning, weaving, furriery, tanning and pottery of Ancient Rus testify to the high level of human capital and technology development. The authors made a conclusion on the importance of social capital, without which monetary wealth did not matter. Wealth in Ancient Rus served as a means of social communication. Wealth in old Russian society had a specific social function, which consisted in increasing individual status by passing personal objects to other members of community. When considering the wealth as a comparative category, the authors conclude that in old Russian society high social prestige of wealth was combined with the duality of ethical evaluation: wealth itself was not condemned, but poverty was given priority over wealth. The authors analyzed the political institutions: veche (council), obshchina (community), druzhina (institution of princely power), verv (commune); economic institutions: pomestyevotchina (estate), dan (tribute), polyudye (collection of tribute), desyatina (tithe), rabstvo (slavery) etc.; and legal institutions of Ancient Rus, first of all, Russkaya Pravda (Russian Truth). It is revealed that in Russkaya Pravda one can find the basics of the property law and liability law, as well as some information on capital protection.
Key words: Ancient Rus, wealth, Russkaya Pravda, craft, institutions, social capital.

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Wealth in Ancient Rus: the Essence, Structure, Forms of Realization and Protection by Ledeneva M.V., Plaksunova T.A. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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