KORZININ A.L., BASHNIN N.V. Sovereign Court of Vasily III: Historical and Genealogical Research

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2017.4.8

Aleksandr L. Korzinin

Doctor of Sciences (History), Associate Professor,

Department of History of Russia from Ancient Times till 20th C., Saint Petersburg State University, Mendeleevskaya liniya, 5,

199034 Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Nikita V. Bashnin

Candidate of Sciences (History), Researcher,

Saint Petersburg Institute of History, RAS,

Petrozavodakaya St., 7, 197110 Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation;


Saint Petersburg State Academic Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture named after I.E. Repin,

Universitetskaya Emb., 17, 199034 Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Abstract. The research is focused on the issues concerning personal and genealogical composition of the Sovereign court during the great reign of Vasily the Third (1505–1533). The relevance of the research is connected with the small number of works devoted to Vasily Ivanovich’s reign (in particular, monographs by A.A. Zimin and A.I. Filyushkin), and with that fact that such institute of the organization of the upper class and middle class of the Russian society as the Sovereign court is insufficiently studied. On the basis of the earlier developed methodology of allocating the servant landowners who constitued the capital court, and the reconstruction of the court nobility in the first third of the 16th century, the authors for the first time analyze the genealogical structure of the Vasily III court.

It is proved that the core of the Vasily Ivanovich’s court was formed by those surnames, which had already been known under his father Ivan III. However some changes are also revealed. There was a limited access to the court nobility for little-known and lowborn surnames, so the composition of the court became more aristocratic. This was partly due to strengthening of princely aristocracy represented by the Gediminovich prince’s sons of Northeast Russia, as well as princes of the Lithuanian origin. The greatest number of departures on service to the capital took place from Lithuania and passed against the background of Russian struggle for Smolensk.

Another understudied aspect of the court concerns Pskov accession to Moscow and the formation of Pskov service corporation. This article attempts to restore the composition of the first Pskov landowners, to determine the initial land accessory (mainly from the Novgorod land) and to trace their gradual inclusion in the capital court during the first half of the 16th century. A section about Vasily the Third’s clerks concludes the publication. The composition of the grand-ducal office is studied, its comparison with the clerks of Ivan III is carried out, and a conclusion is made about a significant increase in the prestige of the clerk’s service and the beginning of the folding of the dynasties of departmental employees. As an illustration, monograms and signatures of the famous clerks of Vasily III are given. The authors analyze the reasons of the substitution of monograms for signatures which was reflected in office-work of the end of the 15th – first third of the 16th century.

A.L. Korzinin analyzed personal and genealogical structure of the Sovereign court in the first third of the 16th century. N.V. Basnin studied the change in traditions of the paperwork (signing, monograms, clerks’ signatures) in the context of the history of state institutions.

Key words: Ivan III Vasilyevich, Vasily III Ivanovich, Sovereign court, genealogy, clerks, clerks’ monograms.

Citation. Korzinin A.L., Bashnin N.V. Sovereign Court of Vasily III: Historical and Genealogical Research. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Serija 4, Istorija. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnoshenija [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2017, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 77-90. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2017.4.8.

Лицензия Creative Commons

Sovereign Court of Vasily III: Historical and Genealogical Research by Korzinin A.L., Bashnin N.V. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Download this file (Korzinin_Bashnin.pdf) Korzinin_Bashnin.pdf
URL: https://hfrir.jvolsu.com/index.php/en/component/attachments/download/1444