The Hanseatic League




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Novgorod provided furs, leather, wax, pitch, and other products to the trading network of the Hanseatic League. This treaty, from the 1189-1199 time period, is the oldest extant agreement between the Baltic Germans and Novgorod.

SOURCE: A Treaty of Novgorod with Gotland and the German Cities. In Vernadsky, George, ed. A Source Book for Russian History From Early Times to 1917,vol. 1, Early Times to the Late Seventeenth Century. New Haven and London: Yale U. Press, 1972. pp. 69-70.
Included here under fair use regulations.

Page 69 Page 70

I, Prince Iaroslav Vladimirovich, having taken counsel with the posadnik Miroshka, with the tysiatskii Iakov, and with all the people of Novgorod, have confirmed the existing agreement with the envoy Arbud, with all the Germans, with the people of Gotland, and with all the Latin [Catholic] peoples. I have sent my envoy Griga to [conclude] these terms. First: The envoys of Novgorod shall go in peace to the German land and to Gotland; likewise the Germans and the people of Gotland shall go to Novgorod without harm, without suffering injury from anyone. If the prince of Novgorod should try [a German merchant] in Novgorod, or a German [prince should try a Novgorodian] in the German land, by this agreement the merchant shall return home without harm. And this agreement shall be confirmed with whomever God ordains as prince, or else the land shall be without peace. If an envoy of Novgorod should be killed beyond the sea, or a German envoy in Novgorod, twenty grivny in silver [shall be paid] for that man. And if a

Novgorodian merchant should be killed [in the German land], or a German merchant in Novgorod, ten grivny in silver [shall be paid] for that man. If a man should be put in chains without cause, twelve grivny in old kuny [equals three grivny in silver] [shall be paid] for this dishonor.... If a lawsuit that does not involve bloodshed should arise, and witnesses gather, both Russians and Germans, then lots shall be cast; whoever the lot falls upon shall, after swearing an oath, take what is his right. If a Varangian [Scandinavian] should sue a Russian for a debt, or a Russian sue a Varangian, and he denies the debt, then [the plaintiff must produce] twelve men as witnesses and, after swearing an oath, shall take what it his. If a lawsuit should arise in the German land involving a Novgorodian, or involving a German in Novgorod, [the defendant] shall not be detained at the border, but the complaint shall be renewed the following year.... Germans shall not be put in prison in Novgorod [for debt], nor a Novgorodian in the German land; what is due shall be exacted from the guilty one instead.... If a hostage or priest from Novgorod should be killed [in the German land], or a German [hostage or priest] in Novgorod, twenty grivny in silver [shall be paid] for that man.