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The "Domostroi"

The "Domostroi": Rules for Russian Households in the Time of Ivan the Terrible

EDITED AND TRANSLATED BY Carolyn Johnston Pouncy
Copyright Date: 1994
Edition: 1
Published by: Cornell University Press
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  • Book Info
    The "Domostroi"
    Book Description:

    A manual on household management, theDomostroiis one of the few sources on the social history and secular life of Russia in the time of Ivan the Terrible. It depicts a society that prized religious orthodoxy, reliance on tradition, and absolute subordination of the individual to the family and the state. Specific instructions tell how to arrange hay, visit monasteries, distill vodka, treat servants, entertain clergy, cut out robes, and carry out many other daily activities. Carolyn Johnston Pouncy here offers, with an informative introduction, the first complete English translation.

    eISBN: 978-0-8014-7167-4
    Subjects: History, Language & Literature, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-xii)
    C. J. P.
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-54)

    In the heart of present-day Moscow, on Razin Street heading out from Red Square, stands the stone house in which Michael, first tsar of the Romanov line (1613–1645), was born. This house is one of the few surviving examples of the world idealized in the sixteenth-century guide to good household management known as theDomostroi. Its padded benches, heavy oak furniture, cramped but luxurious women’s quarters, a nd outdoor kitchens give substance to theDomostroi’s descriptions of the lives of wealthy nobles.

    TheDomostroiregulates the moral and civil obligations, the family relationships, and the physical needs of a...

    (pp. 55-239)

    This is an admonition and instruction of father-confessors to all Orthodox Christians. It tells you how you must believe in the Holy Trinity, the Immaculate Mother of God, Christ’s cross, and the heavenly powers and must make obeisance to holy relics and all other holy objects. It tells you to honor the tsar, his princes, and boyars.¹ For the apostle says:

    Discharge your obligations to all men; pay tax and toll,² reverence and respect, to those to whom they are due. [Romans 13:7) But if you are doing wrong, then you will have cause to fear them; it is not...

  6. Appendix: Contents of Manuscripts
    (pp. 240-246)
  7. Glossary
    (pp. 247-249)
  8. Suggestions for Further Reading
    (pp. 250-255)
  9. Printed Editions of the Domostroi
    (pp. 256-258)
  10. Index
    (pp. 259-266)