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Why did the Tatar-Mongols take away Russian women and how it was possible to bring back the prisoners of the Golden Horde
Why did the Tatar-Mongols take away Russian women and how it was possible to bring back the prisoners of the Golden Horde

As in any war, the victors get land, money and women. If this principle is valid to this day, then what can we say about the period of the Golden Horde, when the conquerors felt like full-fledged masters, and there were no international agreements and conventions that would control the observance of "military ethics". The Tatars-Mongols drove people away like cattle, they especially loved to take away Russian women and girls. However, even modern Russian women often suffer from the echoes of the Tatar-Mongol yoke. What was the main negative influence of the Golden Horde on gender relations in Russia, and now in Russia?

The disintegration of the Old Russian state into separate principalities, which happened in the 12th century, made the Russian lands too easy prey, therefore the seizure by the Tatar-Mongols can be called quite natural. It was just as logical that two centuries under the influence of someone else's, fundamentally different culture, could not but affect all spheres of life. The position of women in Russian society has changed especially dramatically. Many of them died during the aggressive battles, became victims of violence, became widows, lost their children and homes. And many also have freedom.

The lack of unity again played a role in this, small principalities could not fulfill the state role and protect their population not even from invaders, but in terms of observing the rights of certain categories of the population. Most of all, women have lost their rights. Yes, and before it was right, when a tribute fell on the shoulders of the entire people with an unbearable burden, now each family had to give about 10% of their income to the Golden Horde, and this is in addition to those feudal duties that existed before that.

Russian slaves, why were they taken away in such numbers

Perhaps the most difficult circumstance for Russian women was the loss of the right to freedom. They were hijacked en masse, and subsequently sold in slave markets. Moreover, women were bought there much more willingly than men. Considering that most often they hijacked young women and even very young girls, it is not difficult to guess for what purpose Russian girls were taken away.

In the 13th century, Kafa (Feodosia) became the center of the slave trade, it was under the yoke of the Golden Horde and they brought slaves here, among whom there were a lot of women. This market worked until the 15th century, according to historians, 6.5 million people passed through it, most of them girls and girls 8-24 years old.

It was almost impossible to find a trace of the girls who were taken away; they could have died in captivity. But girls from noble families began to ransom for large sums. Subsequently, this was even introduced into practice and became part of the collection, they say, if you do not want your daughter-wife-daughter-in-law to be taken away and sold into slavery, be so kind as to pay for it. But, however, this could not guarantee immunity if the girl was attracted to one of the invaders.

Most of the hijacked ended up in the slave market

Nomads practiced hostage-taking everywhere, but in such numbers as happened with the Russians, this did not happen anywhere else. Only Khan Batu during the year of his invasion drove up to 90 thousand people. All subsequent military operations were accompanied by the taking of hostages.Considering that in the second half of the 16th century, the Tatar-Mongols made 48 raids and each of them ended in the hijacking of tens of thousands of people, then the total number of prisoners is simply off scale. Many historians agree that a total of up to three million people were hijacked.

It is worth noting that the prisoner was different from the prisoner. The Golden Horde was actively developing, and they really needed masters who would know their business. They were not only kept alive, but also protected by their health. Russian women, for the Tatar-Mongols, having a rather exotic appearance, were also highly valued. They were taken away not only as slaves, but also as goods, realizing that they would be sold dearly.

Escaping from captivity, many, especially wealthy families, left for the North, hard-to-reach areas provided them with shelter, the invaders preferred not to go deep.

People were practically part of the tribute

The situation of the stolen slaves was deplorable, in the Golden Horde they lived from hand to mouth, worked very hard and depended only on their masters, who could treat them as they please. Given the special attitude towards the masters, over time, there is a stratification among Russian captives. Craftsmen have the opportunity to buy or build houses, while those who did not have useful skills are left without rights.

Most of the captives were used to build ships and cities. The work was hard, and the food was scarce, for most it was disastrous. Women often worked in harems as servants, or were taken further, more often to Central Asia or Egypt.

Much has changed since Islam became the state religion in the Golden Horde. Russian captives could receive freedom if they agreed to convert to Islam, on the other hand, those who did not agree to this were subjected to additional persecution. Meanwhile, in Russia they are actively trying to return their captives, trying to ransom them. More often, of course, it was about the representatives of the nobility, but many commoners were able to return home.

For this, after the Golden Horde had disintegrated, an additional tax was introduced, it was intended to ransom captives and soldiers. However, by this time, as Moscow grew stronger and unity returned, relations between Russians and Tatar-Mongols began to look more like cooperation, especially in interpersonal relations. No one was surprised that some were returning with wives brought from the Golden Horde, who, moreover, had adopted Christianity.

Gender division according to the Tatar-Mongol principle

After the Tatar-Mongol yoke, the position of the Russian woman in society changed dramatically

However, the influence of the Tatar-Mongol invasion turned out to be much more destructive for the Russian community than the hijacking of captives. Changed customs, foundations, the role of women in society. The eastern mentality and attitude towards women as to a being of a lower order were adopted. In addition, the nomads always had the most severe form of patriarchy, the man alone owned all his property, which included women.

Most of all, this influence is noticeable in the highest representatives of the nobility, it was the princes and other aristocracy who were forced to communicate most closely with the invaders, and therefore adopt their customs and mores.

The Horde came up with a principle that practically destroyed Russian culture to the ground. For example, any prince had to receive a label - a document that allowed him to rule in his principality. And to make him more loyal, the children were taken away from him. In fact, it was a living pledge, despite the fact that the young princes were not kept as slaves, but even received an education, they were cared for, they came to their homeland as strangers, bearers of a foreign culture. As the successors of their father, they ruled the localities in the future, contributing to the spread of just such a culture and mentality.

There were chances to come back, but very low

That is why the eastern attitude towards women penetrated deeply into the upper classes, this could not but affect the law enforcement practice, despite the fact that the code of laws and rules continued to operate, in fact, women did not receive any protection. Moreover, earlier they had positions on an equal footing with men. In addition, the petty princes were both law and truth in their places, therefore they interpreted the code as they liked, most often not in favor of women.

The church, which was another force, did not even attempt to defend the interests of believing women. According to Orthodox dogmas, they were submissive to fate and authorities. But there was also a more pragmatic reason. The conquerors gave ample opportunities to the church, realizing its great influence on the population. Nobody encroached on church lands and possessions, gold, money, buildings - everything remained intact. In addition, this system was exempt from tribute and taxes. Well, why should they grumble and complain?

Based on this, we can say that the Tatar-Mongol yoke most significantly affected the position of Russian women, they lost their rights and freedom for many subsequent years, because the point is that the mentality has changed. The deep patriarchy, about which it is customary to speak in the context of tsarist Russia, has precisely Tatar-Mongol roots. With the arrival of the Tatar-Mongols, women began to be hidden in dungeons, and often not because it was customary by tradition, but in order not to be taken prisoner.

Redemption of prisoners as a state task

Money could also solve this issue

For the sake of honor of the Russian principalities, it is worth noting that, for their part, they were looking for a variety of ways to free their prisoners. The first mention of the ransom of prisoners and the procedure for carrying out the procedure is found in 911, this agreement was signed between Kievan Rus and Byzantium.

As for the Horde captivity, it was financed from the treasury, and they took away everyone whom the Tatars were ready to sell, be it a grand duke or a simple peasant. However, this affected the price, the invaders tried to sell anyone as efficiently as possible. In the 16th century, the price ranged from 40 to 600 rubles. Proceeding from this, an approximate price was set, which was allocated from budget money for these purposes.

There is no exact data on how many captives were ransomed back during the periods of the Turkic raids and how the system for identifying and delivering ransomed captives worked. In addition, a lot depended on where the stolen slave had already ended up. If a Slavic girl liked one of the noble men, then she was definitely not returned back, she ended her days in a harem as a concubine. However, this was not the worst fate. After all, the sale could have been to a country with which the Russian side does not have any trade relations, which means that the likelihood that it will be possible to return to their homeland is negligible.

Khotunsky's caravan

By paying a certain fee, it was possible to return a person from captivity

In 1949, the envoy Timofey Khotunsky brought more than a thousand prisoners or as they were then called by the polonyans from the Crimea. There are more than 850 names in the list, but it is not completely preserved, it is clear that there were more names in it and that this is only half of the list. Khotunsky was able to take out such an extensive group, since he had a diplomatic status, he was accompanied to the Moscow border by the Crimean guard. Therefore, everyone who was in this caravan was relatively safe. This was very helpful, because there were a huge number of women and children on the list.

The list contains some biographical information about those returning home. For example, the girl Anna, boyar's daughter, does not remember her father's name and her city, for the full 20 years. How, based on these data, to look for the girl's relatives is not clear, but approximately all the former captives had such an amount of information. There were a huge number of Ivanov, who did not remember the names of their father, the city, or their age.

The hijacked returned, but they did not remember their kinship

However, those who had been in captivity for a relatively short time were also lost, especially with regard to children.For example, the list contains a mention of Ontoshka, six years old, does not remember his father's name. Most of the children, due to worries, forgot even the information that they knew before, and the only chance to find their parents was the opportunity to see them in person. Cases when a child could return to his family are rare, the rest began a new life.

The lists contained a huge number of women who were with children, but they do not appear on the lists, they have no names, only the origin is indicated, they say, they will take root in the Tatars. This means that the Russian state allowed the return of the captives along with their children, whose fathers were invaders and Muslims. However, this also means that the opposite side also allowed it, allowing the export of their children.

However, the ransom of the captives was half the battle; now the state was faced with a new task - the creation of a new social status. If with those who were hijacked relatively recently there were no special problems and they simply returned to their former life, then those who had been in captivity for several decades were completely alone. Most of them did not remember their relationship, or were already alone, because in Russia itself, life was not sugar either.

Women, taken away by force, often returned back with their children

Each polonyan had to be tied to a new social group, city and county, to attend to the search for his relatives, if any remained. Ivan the Terrible ordered the prisoners to live "in peace and without tears," in this short and succinct phrase, the main directions of social policy in relation to the prisoners were determined. There were two main goals: they had to be paid a certain allowance in order to support them, and taking into account their initial social status. Without these measures, many would not have survived, because where should the mother go with a small child in her arms?

Secondly, it was necessary to decide on the social status - to confirm the previous one or to assign a new one. These measures could lead to the emergence of a new social group that could count on more tangible state support and protection.

The return of the captives became the cause of showdowns, scandals and even attempts. So, Savva Gogolev returned from captivity in 1620, where he stayed for six years. By this time, his wife Mavritsa had already managed to marry another. By the way, this was not forbidden, but it was necessary to wait five years from the moment of capture in order to re-tie the knot. Mavritsa managed to get married a year later. By the way, Savva did not come empty-handed, and one might even say he became rich.

Each raid ended in the hijacking of civilians

Savva was not particularly offended by the fact that his wife did not wait for him, but simply took her and the children back. Moreover, it was about all the children, even those that were acquired in a second marriage. Perhaps this would be the end of the story if all the corners of the triangle had not met at the feast. By the end of the celebration, the corpse of Sawa was found, the second husband turned out to be the killer.

The legislation of that period did not regulate such situations in any way and left everything at the mercy of the local authorities. Initially, it was proposed to completely prohibit the spouses of captives from remarrying, but, in the end, they agreed on five years of waiting. This restriction made it possible to demand his wife or husband back if the returning from captivity found out that the five years of waiting had not been met.

Moreover, this, as a rule, was a male prerogative. It was the men who demanded the return of their wives, quarreled with her current spouse and arranged a showdown. Whereas women did not use this right. This makes it impossible to test the hypothesis about the attitude towards the former captives of the Golden Horde as dishonored and fallen women.

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