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Universal History

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PRUSSIAN LIEGES FROM BARTIA IN THE STATE OF THE TEUTONIC ORDER IN 1284–1370
S.A. Denisov

The article deals with the condition of Prussians from Bartia in the social system of the Order’s State in 1284–1370. The goal of brothers and church’s policy in this region, which had strategic importance for them, was the creation of the local fief system to receive military service and incomes from land estate. The condition of Barts in this system was fixed in acts and chronicles and depended on their duties. The main part of lieges consisted of the Prussians, who were obliged to keep military service with (group 1) or without taxes (group 2), while the rest of lieges were persons, who paid taxes without military service (group 3). The majority of lieges, who kept military service, was caused by the formation of the fi ef system in Bartia in the condition of struggle between the Order and Grand Duchy of Lithuania that created a permanent necessity of new military forces for the campaigns and defense of the Order’s State. There was the process of social-property differentiation among lieges, negative consequence of which were compounded by the reduction of cultivated lands and the fragmentation of land estates. To stabilize the using of land Order and church introduced the right of inheritance on male and female lines, granted the reprieve from military service and taxes, allowed lieges to use nearby land for fishing and hunting, grew the number of military duties accordingly to the number of new plots after the fragmentation of land estate, set the penalty for the damage to the health of landowner (vergeld). These measures allowed brothers, bishops and chapter to stabilize the fi ef system in Bartia and to use it for the struggle against Grand Duchy of Lithuania for the political leadership in South-East of Baltic region.
Keywords: Teutonic order, fief system, Bartia, Prussians, tax, military service, social-property differentiation, Grand Duchy of Lithuania.


DOI: 10.25791/vseist.01.2021.1124

Pp. 23-33.

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