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Land Tenure, The Druzhina And The Nature Of Kievan Rus'

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Chapter Summary

The question of land tenure, of how land was used, and by whom, is of particular importance for an understanding of Kievan Russia. This question can also be considered from a legal point of view and such an approach would even have certain advantages by encouraging a more precise determination of the ramifications of the usage of land. The importance of the question rests on a variety of reasons. The first one is that an elucidation of the system of land tenure contributes powerfully to the visualization of Kievan Russian society and culture. A second point concerns the role Marxist-Leninist ideology has played, and in fact continues to play, in the study of Kievan Russia. Thirdly, the land issue has also loomed large in Western scholarship concerning Kievan Russia. The earliest Kievan princes from the Rurikid dynasty are often shown as acting together with their retinue, their druzhina.

Keywords: Druzhina; Kievan Russia; land tenure



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