B. I. Chibisov (Tver, Russia). Ethnic structure of Zaonezhie population at the end of the XV Century

DOI: 10.15507/2076-2577.011.2019.01.073-085

Ethnic structure of Zaonezhie population at the end of the XV Century

Boris I. Chibisov,
Candidate Sc. {History}, Lecturer, Department of Theology,
Tver State University
(Tver, Russia), chibisov.bi@tversu.ru

On the northern coast of Lake Onega there is the Zaonezhsky Peninsula, or Zaonezhie, which has retained a significant number of Baltic-Finnish geographical names. The medieval ethnic history of this region remains poorly researched because the Novgorod scribal books date back to the end of the 15th century and their toponymic and anthroponymic materials remain not much required by historians. The study of this material makes it possible to shed light on the ethnic history of Zaonezhie.
The research is mainly based on the scribal book of Obonezhskaya pyatina of 7004 (1495/96). The descriptive method of research consists in identifying and fixing Baltic-Finnish oikonyms (names of rural settlements) and anthroponyms mentioned in scribal book. Baltic-Finnish anthroponyms were revealed by analyzing the formal indicators of adoption of anthroponyms.
The medieval colonization of Zaonezhie by the Slavs led to mixed ethnic composition of the territory. The claims of the boyars to the local lands, mastered by the Baltic-Finnish peoples, led to conflicts in the second half of the XIV century. The names of the inhabitants of Zaonezhie are represented mainly by calendar names in the Slavic form, which reflects a significant proportion of Slavs in this region. Also, it is important to consider the influence of the Slavic cultural and religious traditions on the local Baltic-Finnish population, many of whose, judging by their names, became Orthodox.
The scribal book in the surviving fragments and earlier acts indicate that by the end of the XV century the northern coast of Lake Onega was inhabited by various ethnic groups: Slavs, Karelians and Vepsians, as evidenced by the anthroponyms and toponyms of the Zaonezhsky peninsula.

Key words: Novgorod land; scribal books; Zaonezhie; onomastics; Karelians; Vepsians.

For citation: Chibisov BI. Ethnic structure of Zaonezhie population at the end of the XV Century. Finno-ugorskii mir = Finno-Ugric World. 2019; 1: 73–85. (In Russian)

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