Статья 'Московские засеки. Южный рубеж' - журнал 'Урбанистика' - NotaBene.ru
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Urban Studies

Abbatis in Moscow. South lines.

Volkov Vladimir Alekseevich

Doctor of History

Professor, department of Russian history, Moscow State Pedagogical University

119991, Russia, Moscow, Malaya Pirogovskaya St. 1, building 4

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The paper examines the emergence and history of construction of the Moscow state's south border fortifications. It shows the organization of guard and garrison duty, the steps taken to ensure border security against outside attacks, the significance of the abbatis to the government.
During the Moscow state's existence, the security of southern borders against Tatar attacks was one of the main concerns. The defense of the border-of-the-field of the country was multi-layered. Villages, guardsmen and centurias constituted the first line of defense.
Securing the perimeter was one of the main principles of constructing frontline defense fortifications, the "Lines". To fully understand the significance of abbatis lines for Russia, we should take a closer look at its neighbour, the Rzhechzpospolita, which also came under attack by Tatar raids. To save their wealth, the Polish preferred to meet the enemy under the cover of fortress cities, eagerly sacrificing the population of the Dnepr region, whose only defense were the Cossacks who shared their beliefs. In contrast with the indifference of the Szlachta republic to the suffering of Rusyn population, Moscow was not willing to sacrifice its people to the Crimean predators, and was forced to spend vast resources to construct a massive fortification line (the term doesn't do it justice). It should be recognized that the manpower and resources was not wasted. In the XVII century, the "Wild Fields", became the Russian most fertile region that fed the entire country.

Keywords: History, Domestic military history, Country defense, Guard squads and villages, Abbatis lines, Fortress cities, Abbatis duty, Defense fortification system, Abbatis construction, Fortress garrison
This article written in Russian. You can find full text of article in Russian here .

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