In foreign historical In his writings, there was a steady cliche about the miserable fate of women in pre-Petrine Russia. However, domestic liberal authors also worked hard on creating this stamp. Kostomarov lamented that "the Russian woman was a constant slave from birth to the grave." They kept her locked up, husbands beat their wives with whips, rods, clubs. What are these statements based on? It turns out that there are not so many sources. One of them is an Austrian diplomat of the XNUMXth century. Herberstein. His mission to Moscow failed, and he left evil and caustic memories of our country (even the Jesuit Possevino, after visiting Russia, noted that Herberstein had lied a lot). Among other negative things, he described that Russian women are constantly locked up, “spinning and twisting threads,” and they are not allowed to do anything else.
But the most famous document on which evidence is built is Domostroy. The name of this popular book of the XVI century even became abusive, it was placed somewhere near the “Black Hundreds” and “obscurantism”. Although in reality “Domostroy” is a complete and quite good encyclopedia of economic life. This was typical of all medieval literature, books were expensive, and the buyer wanted one book to contain “everything” in a particular area of knowledge. “Domostroy” is precisely an attempt to unite “everything”. How to pray, how to maintain a house, how to build relationships between family members, owners and employees, how to receive guests, care for livestock, how to harvest fish, mushrooms, cabbage, how to make kvass, honey, beer, recipes of hundreds of dishes. And all this is united by the concept of “home” as a single organism. A healthy body - will live well, it is amiss in the house - things will go awry.
But according to various works - scientific, publicistic, artistic, the same quotation from Domostroi roams: “But the husband will see that his wife is in disarray ... and for disobedience ... after taking off his shirt and rug, politely beat him, holding his hands, looking to his fault ". It would seem that everything is clear here! What a barbarity! Cruelty is not only allowed, but prescribed, put into mandatory practice! Stop ... Do not rush to draw conclusions. In fact, we have one of the most arrogant examples of historical falsification. The text is indeed pulled out of the Domostroi, but ... pay attention to the dots. They are not missing individual words. Skipped a few paragraphs!
Take the original text of “Domostroi” and see what is torn off by the first ellipsis: “But the husband will see that his wife has a disorder and servants, he would be able to instruct his wife and teach with useful advice.” Do you think the same meaning is preserved in the original and in the quotation? Or was it corrupted beyond recognition? As for the teachings on flogging, they do not refer to the wife at all: “But if the servant does not heed the word of his wife or son or daughter, and does not do what his husband, father or mother teach him, then he will whip him with a whip, looking.” And it explains how to punish servants: “When you punish with the scourge, beat it carefully, and it is reasonable, and painful, and scary, and great if the guilt is great. For disobedience or negligence, taking off a shirt, to fasten with a lash, holding hands and looking at fault… ”
I don’t argue here, rightly or wrongly, to flog a servant if he, suppose, steals (maybe it would be more correct to send him to the gallows right away, as they did in England?) I just want to note that there was an obvious juggling of wives. Writers and journalists who copy a quote with ellipsis from each other may not know this. But really, the nineteenth-century historians did not read the full text of Domostroi. who launched the crippled quote? Could not read. Therefore, committed a forgery intentionally. By the way, some translators also allow additional falsifications. For example, instead of “taking off a shirt”, as in the original, they write “with a shirt up” - to stick a quote to a woman, not a man. And the reader will not notice, swallow! Does anyone really study the original text in Church Slavonic and compare it with the translation?
By the way, true relations between husbands and wives, or between lovers, adopted in Russia, are not difficult to see from other sources. There are plenty of them. Listen to folk songs, read epics. Or "The Tale of St. Petre and Fevronia ”- it was written in the same years as Domostroy. Where do you find cruelty, rudeness, barbarism? Of course, the love of the holy patrons of family and marriage, or the love of fabulous, epic heroes, was the ideal. But this was the ideal that our ancestors were striving for and pursuing.
And Russian women have never been clogged and timid. You can recall at least a talented ruler of a vast state of St.. Equal-to-the-Apostles Grand Duchess Olga. We can also recall the daughter of Yaroslav the Wise, Anna, who was married to the French king Henry I. She was in France the most educated person, fluent in several languages. Documents have been preserved where her accurate signature in Latin stands out, and next to the cross is the “signature” of an illiterate husband. It was Anna who, for the first time in France, introduced secular receptions into the custom, and began to go hunting with the ladies. Before her, the French stayed home, for hoops or idle chatter with the servants.
Russian princesses manifested themselves in the role of queens of Scandinavian countries, Hungary, Poland. The granddaughter of Vladimir Monomakh Dobrodeya-Eupraxia struck even Byzantium with its scholarship - the most cultured country of that era. She was a great doctor, knew how to heal with herbs, wrote medical writings. Her treatise “Alimma” (“Masi”) has been preserved. For its time, the princess had the deepest knowledge. The book contains sections on the general hygiene of a person, the hygiene of marriage, pregnancy, child care, nutrition, diet, external and internal diseases, recommendations for treatment with ointments, massage techniques. Surely Dobrodeya-Eupraxia was not the only such specialist. At home, she had mentors, mentors had other female students.
When humiliating Russians and watering them with slander, foreign authors for some reason do not pay attention to their own past. After all, ideas about the western gallant attitude towards women formed only in the XIX century. from the artistic novels of Dumas, Walter Scott, etc. In reality, the “knightly” was not enough. Luther taught that "a wife must work tirelessly for her husband, obey him in everything." In the popular book “About Evil Women” it was stated that “the donkey, the woman and the nut need to be hit”. The famous German poet Reimer von Tsvetten recommended to the men "to take a baton and stretch the wife along the back, more firmly, with all his might, so that she could feel her master." A British writer Swift argued that the female sex is a cross between a man and a monkey.
In France, Italy, Germany, even the nobility frankly, for money, sold beautiful daughters to kings, princes, aristocrats. Such transactions were considered not shameful, but extremely profitable. After all, the lover of a high-ranking official opened the way to a career and enrichment for her relatives, she was showered with gifts. But they could easily donate to another owner, resell, play cards, beat them. The English king Henry VIII in fits of bad mood beat the favorites so that they “went out of business” for several weeks. Two annoying wives sent to the block. And the commoners of the norms of gallantry did not apply at all. They were treated as if they were to be used. By the way, Kostomarov, condemning domestic customs, referred to a certain Italian - who himself killed a Russian woman to death, which he boasted abroad. But is this a testimony about the morals of the Russians? Rather, about the morals of the Italians.
In Russia, a woman enjoyed much greater freedoms than is commonly believed. The law protected her rights. Insulting women was punished with twice as much fines as insulting men. They rightfully owned movable and immovable property, they themselves disposed of their own dowry. Widows managed the household with minor children. If there were no sons in the family, the heirs were the daughters. Women made deals, sued. Among them were many literate, Novgorodian birch bark notes exchanged even commoners. In Kievan Rus, there were special schools for girls. And in the XVII century. The notorious protopop Avvakum angrily attacked a certain girl Evdokia, who began to study grammar and rhetoric.
But the Russian fair sex knew how to own weapons. There are repeated mentions of how they defended the walls of cities along with men. They even took part in judging fights. In general, in such cases it was allowed to hire a fighter instead of himself, but the Pskov Judicial Charter stipulated: “But donate a field with a jerk, and not accept a hiring from a junk from either side”. If you awarded a duel to a woman with a man - please expose a mercenary, and if with a woman - it is impossible. Wear the armor yourself, go horse-drawn or on foot, take swords, spears, axes and chop as much as you like. Obviously, the law had a tricky background. Two women will quarrel, pay fighters, and one of them will die or be crippled because of a trifling quarrel. And they themselves will not risk taking trifles, make up.
Well, now let's try to deal with the "generally accepted" evidence of the home imprisonment of Russian women. In the era of Moscow Russia 90% of the population were peasants. Think about it - could they keep their wives under lock and key? And who will work in the field, in the garden, care for cattle? This concept is clearly not compatible with peasant women. Maybe locked up kept only the townspeople? No, again does not converge. In addition to the mentioned Herberstein, dozens of foreigners left our memories of our country, who visited it at different times. They describe crowds of women interspersed with men at various festivals, celebrations, and worship services. They talk about the saleswomen and customers who were overfilling the bazaars. Cech Tanner noted: “Everyone, in particular, will look at the goods or trade of the Muscovite girls who are flocking there. Whether they carry linen, threads, shirts or rings for sale, whether they are crowded with nothing to do, they raise such a cry that a newcomer, perhaps, will think whether the city is on fire. ”
Muscovites worked in the workshops, in the shops, hundreds of them washed clothes near the bridges across the Moscow River. Bathing at the water blessing was described - many women plunged into the ice holes along with men, this sight has always attracted foreigners. Almost all foreign guests who came to our country considered it their duty to describe Russian baths. In Europe, they were not there, the baths were considered exotic, so they climbed there to take a look at undressed women. I excitedly retold to my readers how they, steamed, jumped out into the snow or into the river. But ... what about the retreat?
It remains to assume that only noblewomen were sitting in home confinement ... No. They just had no time to be cool! In those days, the nobles left for service every year. Sometimes from spring to late autumn, sometimes missing for several years. And who led the estates in their absence? Wives, mothers. The proof may be, for example, “The Tale of Julian Osorina,” written in the seventeenth century. son of the heroine. He told how his father served in Astrakhan, and his mother kept the household. The court physician Collins described the family steward Miloslavsky, who served in the Pushkarsky order. He reported that they lived very poorly, and Mary Miloslavsky’s daughter, the future queen, was forced to pick mushrooms in the forest and sell them at the market.
As for the representatives of the highest nobility, princesses and boyar, they, too, were engaged in the management of their husbands, estates and crafts. They did not stay away from political, spiritual life. Marfa Boretskaya actually headed the Novgorod government. Morozova ran the schismatic opposition. But most of the boyars themselves were listed in the court service. They were in charge of the king’s wardrobe, occupied important posts of mothers and nannies of the sovereign children. And the queen had her own large courtyard. She served as boyars, noblewomen, the staff consisted of clerks, Russian and foreign doctors, teachers of children.
The wives of the sovereigns were in charge of palace villages and volosts, received reports from managers, considered revenues. They had their own property, land, industrial enterprises. Collins wrote that under Alexey Mikhailovich, his wife Maria, seven versts from Moscow, built hemp and flax processing factories. They are “in great order, very extensive and will deliver work to all the poor in the state.” The queen was widely engaged in charity, had the right to pardon the criminals. Often they themselves, without their husbands, went to monasteries and temples, to pilgrimages. They were accompanied by a retinue from 5-6 Thousands of noble ladies.
Margaret and Güldenstern noted that during the trip to the Trinity-Sergius monastery the queen was driven by “many women”, and “they were riding horses like men”. The fact that the boyars often rode, writes and Fletcher. Come on, try to ride in the saddle from Moscow to Sergiev Posad after indoor sit-back! What will happen to you? It turns out that noble ladies trained somewhere, rode horses. Obviously, in their villages. And if during the period of residence in the capital, the boyars' daughters or wives spent most of their time in their own courtyard, then it is necessary to take into account what the boyar's courtyards were! These were whole towns, their population consisted of 3-4 thousand people servants and servants. They spread their gardens, ponds, baths, dozens of buildings. You must agree that hanging out in such a yard is not tantamount to dreary imprisonment in the “Terem”.
However, the mention of Herberstein, that Russian women “spin and twist threads,” is to some extent close to the truth. Each girl studied needlework. A peasant woman or an artisan's wife has sheared the family. But the wives and daughters of the nobility, of course, poured not over the round ports and shirts. Some samples of their work have reached us - magnificent embroidery. Basically, they were made for the church. Shroud, shroud, veil, air, banners, even the whole embroidered iconostasis. So what do we see? Women are engaged in complex economic issues, in their free time they create works of the highest art - and this is called enslavement?
Some restrictions did exist. In Russia, balls and feasts with the participation of women were not taken. The owner in the form of a special honor could present the guests to her husband. She will come out, bring them a glass and leave. On holidays, weddings, women gathered in a separate room - men in another. Domostroy did not recommend heady drinks for the “beautiful half” at all. But foreigners, who happened to communicate closely with Russian ladies, admired their upbringing and manners.
The German Ayrman described that they appeared before the guests “with very serious faces, but not dissatisfied or sour, but united with friendliness; and you will never see such a lady laughing, and even less with the cutesy and ridiculous grimaces that women of our countries try to show their secular pleasantness. They do not change their facial expressions either by jerking their heads, or by biting their lips or rolling their eyes, as German women do. They do not rush like wandering lights, but constantly maintain their degree, and if they want to greet or thank someone, they straighten out in an elegant way and slowly apply their right hand on the left breast to the heart and immediately lower it seriously and slowly, so that both hands hang down on both sides of the body and just as ceremoniously return to the previous position. As a result, they give the impression of noble personalities. ”
Our distant great-great-grandmothers loved and knew how to dress up. Sewed comfortable and beautiful sundresses, Letniki, fur coats, hats with fur. All this was decorated with intricate designs, festive costumes - pearls, beads. Fashionable women flaunted shoes in very high heels, adopted the custom of painting nails from tatars - by the way, both in the West were new, described as curiosities. Russian jewelers made amazing earrings, bracelets, necklaces. Ayrman noted: “According to their custom, beyond their measure, they adorn themselves with pearls and jewels, which they constantly hang from their ears on gold rings, and they also wear precious rings on their fingers.” The girls made sophisticated sophisticated hairstyles - they even wove pearls and golden threads into braids, decorated them with silk tassels.
Yes, and morals in general, were quite free. As in all times, women were drawn to joy and fun. They loved to dance and swing on a swing. The girls were going with the guys behind the outskirts to circle in round dances, to sing funky chastooshkas, to frolic in young games, in the winter to go skating, on sledges from the mountain. Every holiday had its own customs. On Dormition - “dozhinki”, on Christmas day - carols, on Maslenitsa - pancakes, storming of snowy fortresses, while brides with brides and young spouses famously raced on threes. As in all times, people wanted family happiness. In Ustyug, in 1630, a set of 150 girls was announced who wanted to go to Siberia “for marriage” - there were not enough wives for Cossacks and archers. The required amount was typed instantly, drove through the whole of Russia!
However, the Russian women were not alien to ordinary female weaknesses, as without it? For example, during the next fire in Moscow, they began to find out the reason - it turned out that the widow Ulyana Ivanova left the stove unpayed, went out for a minute to her neighbor, the clerk Timothy Golosov, and sat up, chatted away. Chesa language, until they shouted that her house is blazing. Perhaps this widow could live in any country and in any era.
Olearius describes the case in Astrakhan. The Germans here also thought up to look at the Russian bathers, went for a walk to the baths. Four girls jumped out of the steam room and splashing in the Volga. The German soldier decided to plunge with them. They began to splash as a joke, but one went too deep, began to sink. Girlfriends appealed to the soldier, he pulled pullet. All four stuck around a German, showered with kisses of gratitude. Something is not too similar to the "attachment". Obviously, the girls themselves played out an “accident” in order to get to know each other better.
Ambassador Foscarino boasted how several Moscow women appeared in the arms of the Italians - out of curiosity, they wanted to compare them with their compatriots. Olearius and Tanner mentioned that there were girls of easy virtue in Moscow. They lounged around the frontal place under the guise of canvas saleswomen, but designated themselves with a ring with turquoise in their lips. It is very convenient - if an outfit of archers appears, hide the ring in the mouth. Although the general indulgence, as in France or Italy, it did not reach. Moreover, the situation was largely paradoxical. Medieval draconian laws persisted in most European countries, the death penalty was relied on fornication. But nobody remembered these laws, debauchery flourished openly. In Russia, there were no such laws. Only the Church was concerned with moral issues. But moral standards remained much stronger than in the West.
Of course, not every family reigned "advice and love." Sometimes adultery occurred - it was a sin, and the confessors appointed penance, penance. But if the husband offended her spouse, she could also find protection in the church - the priest will figure it out, he will educate the head of the family. In such cases, the “world” also intervened - the village, suburban, craft community. And the communities in Russia were strong, they could turn to the authorities, the governors, to the tsar himself. We got, for example, a public complaint about Posad Korob, who “drinks and bastards ugly, plays games and plays cards, beats his wife and tortures not according to the law ...” The community asked to be bullied or evicted altogether.
Yes, and Russian women themselves were not at all defenseless greenhouse creatures, able to stand up for themselves. In the folk “Parable of the old husband and young girl” (XVII century), a rich noblewoman wooses a beautiful woman against her will — she forces her parents to marry. But the girl in advance lists the arsenal of means with which to torment him - from treating with dry crusts and undercooked mussels to beatings “along a wooded erythema, an unbroken bottom, a greedy neck, bream leeches, and pike teeth”. Indeed, it also happened that it was not the wife who suffered from her husband, but her husband was getting it from his wife. So, the nobleman Nikifor Skoryatin twice addressed the Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich himself! He complained that Pelagia’s wife beat him, dragged him by the beard and threatened him with an ax. Asked to protect or allow a divorce.
Of course, I cite this example not as a positive one and not as an excuse for squabbled women. But he also confirms how untenable is the “generally accepted” stereotype about slaughtered and unfortunate Russian women who have been sitting behind locked doors and moaning from beatings all their lives.