In the world of the rich Muscovite sources on donations and the liturgical commemoration of the dead, women are mentioned as comprehensively as men. I illustrate this in the Synodicon of the Disgraced and a detailed case study of the donor Mariia Eropkina, née El’chanina. While the first is a unique case, the latter corresponds, notwithstanding some particularities, to a pattern which we encounter time and again in similar form. Apparently, premodernism shares a common ground in Europe that transcends church boundaries: The worlds of men and women were not strictly separated, but male dominance was undisputed.
Ludwig Steindorff“Donations and Commemorations in the Muscovite Realm: A Medieval or Early Modern Phenomenon,” in Religion und Integration im Moskauer Russland. Konzepte und Praktiken Potentiale und Grenzen. 14.-17. Jahrhundertedited by id. (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz 2010) pp. 477–498.
I. Zh. Ryndin“Eropkiny, no. 13,” in Istoriia kul’tura i traditsii Riazanskogo kraiaURL: http://www.history-ryazan.ru/node/10481 (access May 22 2014). Under no. 8 Ivan Marfa’s husband is listed with reference to his marriage. The reservation “probably” is made due to lack of the indication of relevant sources. Ryndin considers Mikhail (6.) Vasilii Rudak (7.) and Ivan (8.) to be brothers; however he must assume that their father (2.) appears under two first names. By contrast cf. the family tree in the appendix.
For more details see Ludwig Steindorff“Strikt geregelt und bemessen. Die Tafel im Iosif-Kloster bei Volokolamsk um 1580” in Russische Küche und kulturelle Identitäted. Norbert Franz (Potsdam: Univ.–Verl. 2013) pp. 277–302.
Chernov“Nekropol’” pp. 426and 436 annotation 99 does not rule out a transfer. On the map on 394 the names entered for the Eropkin graves are Andreian and Marfa. The latter is certainly wrong: For one thing Marfa died as nun Mariia and moreover I do not know about any women’s burials in the Iosifov monastery during that time.
Cf. Ludwig Steindorff“Kto blizhnie moi? Individ i kul’tura pominoveniia v Rossii rannego novogo vremeni,” in Chelovek i ego blizkie na Zapade i Vostoke Evropy (do nachala novogo vremeni)ed. Jurii Bessmertnyi Otto Gerkhard Ėksle [Otto Gerhard Oexle] (Moscow: Institut vseobshchei istorii RAN 2000) pp. 208–239 here pp. 222–223.
Ibid. p. 246. These evaluations were all done based on the Book of Donations rather than the deeds. A restriction to the deeds would cover the land donations exclusively; only the Book of Donations lists also donations of money and valuable objects. Similar numerical relations can be found in David B. Miller “Motives for Donations to the Trinity-Sergius Monastery 1392–1605: Gender Matters” Essays in Medieval Studies 14 (1997): 91–107. On the behavior of women as donors see also Ann M. Kleimola “ ‘In accordance with the canons of the Holy Apostles’: Muscovite dowries and women’s property rights” Russian Review 51 (1992): 204–229.
Hillebrandt Maria“Stiftungen zum Seelenheil durch Frauen in den Urkunden des Klosters Cluny,” in Vinculum Societatis. Joachim Wollasch zum 60. Geburtstaged. Franz Neiske Dietrich Poeck and Mechthild Sandmann (Sigmaringen: Regio-Verl. Glock und Lutz 1991) pp. 58–67; Grzegorz Pac “Frauen und Memoria in der Dynastie der Piasten” Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropa-Forschung 60 (2011): 163–185.