(Regensburger Hefte ...; 3) ISSN 1613-5601

Russkaja Pravda.The Oldest Law Codification of the Eastern Slavs.


For more than 250 years, the oldest law codification of the Eastern Slavs - Russkaja Pravda - has been of scientific interest for historians, law scientists, archaeologists and partially also for linguists. During this long period an abundance of dualistic and mixed origin theories has appeared which has been accompanied by various classifications and different points of view concerning the language of this law monument. Nevertheless, they have not yet led to a homogenous and positive result; one can even say that many contradictory questions regarding the origin of the Russkaja Pravda as well as the classification and definition of its language remain unsolved. In addition, every new study makes the Russkaja Pravda even more mysterious.

This study mainly reflects the different phases of the research history of the Russkaja Pravda. The following statement, made by A. S. Pushkin and repeated by Vinogradov, can be regarded as the conclusion of the study: определяйте значения слов, и вы избавите свет от половины его заблуждений.This quotation is not only characteristic for the whole research of the Russkaja Pravda, but it must be also an appeal for the future researchers of the oldest law codification of the Eastern Slavs.