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Social Organization and System of State Government

Corporation, in which the ruling class of Russia in this period was organized, continued to be the team. There were teams at the Kiev prince and his relatives - vassals. In team organization there was also internal hierarchy: the top of team layer was represented by "the oldest team", its members were called 'boyars'. The lowest layer was "the youngest team".

Its representatives were referred to as 'otroks'; from the second half of XI century this word had been used mainly in relation to military servants of princes and boyars, recruited basically from "the youngest team", and the term 'children's' began to be used for the layer less dependent on princes inside it. Members of "the youngest team" sometimes were called also 'gridi' (Scandinavian term by origin, received distribution only in the North of Russia).

Exclusive position of members of "the oldest team" found reflection in the Ancient Russian law. In the beginning of XII all its representatives received the increased legal protection - for their murder the penalty was 80 grivnas, twice more, than the penalty for murder of a simple free person, including the younger combatant.

With formation of structure of the uniform state by the end of X century, the centralized and ramified state authority was formed. Representatives of team aristocracy acted as officials of the state administration. There was the council (duma) representing conference of prince with the top of the team.

Princes appoint 'posadniks' from combatants - deputies in cities, 'voevodes' - leaders of various military groups, 'tysyatsky'- the supreme officials in so-called decimal system of division of the society, going back to pre-state period, collectors of land taxes - 'danniks', judicial officials - 'mechniks', 'virniks', 'yemts', 'podezdny'; collectors of trading duties - 'mytniks', fine officials - 'birichi', 'yabetniks', 'metelniks'. Managers of princely economy - 'tiuns' were from the team structure (from XII, they were included in the system of the government).

Personally free agricultural population obliged only by a tribute, and ordinary townspeople are called in sources 'people'. For personally dependent population of ancestral lands, and also for not free servants terms 'chelyad' (servants) were used and 'kholops' (lackeys). Their not full position was fixed legislatively: so, the penalty for murder of the lackey was only 5 grivnas, gone to mister of the killed as compensation.

Special category of the population made 'smerds' - subject of old dispute in the historiography; it is mostly probable, that 'smerds'- group of half-military, half-peasant population dependent on prince; there is also opinion, that this term designated all peasants, obliged to pay state tax - tribute.

In the second half of XI century a category of 'zakups' appeared - people becoming dependent on the landowner for debts and compelled to work on mister before payment of the debt. Their legal status was intermediate between the free people and lackeys.

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