A free town in the 17th century Russia: Mangazeya on the Taz river (1601 - 1672)


  • Sergio Bertolissi University of Naples «L’Orientale»




16th century Russian history; Mangazeya; Siberian expansion; North sea route; English diplomacy of the 16th century


The article studies the history of Mangazeya, a unique merchant town that was established in the 17th century. The author focuses on a variety of issues: i. e. the relationship of Russian migrants with the local peoples, the attitudes of merchants, the division of power between local and central authorities, as well as the state policy on trade relations with foreign states. The author demonstrates that measures existed that protected the national interests of private merchants and prohibited measures for foreign merchants. The article reveals the reasons for the rise and fall of the town and the role of Mangazeya in the economy of the Moscow State, which used furs as an important form of international currency. The analysis is supported through a variety of Russian and non-Russian sources. The author draws a typology of a similar town development in accordance with internationally used approaches.


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How to Cite

Bertolissi, S. (2014). A free town in the 17th century Russia: Mangazeya on the Taz river (1601 - 1672). Quaestio Rossica, (2), 252–262. https://doi.org/10.15826/qr.2014.2.053