Great Perm

Great Perm

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Great Perm or simply Perm, Latinized Permia, was a medieval Komi
Komi peoples
The Komi people is an ethnic group whose homeland is in the north-east of European Russia around the basins of the Vychegda, Pechora and Kama rivers. They mostly live in the Komi Republic, Perm Krai, Murmansk Oblast, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug in the Russian...

 state in what is now the Perm Krai
Perm Krai
Perm Krai is a federal subject of Russia that came into existence on December 1, 2005 as a result of the 2004 referendum on the merger of Perm Oblast and Komi-Permyak Autonomous Okrug. The city of Perm became the administrative center of the new federal subject...

 of the Russian Federation.
Cherdyn
Cherdyn
Cherdyn is a town and the administrative center of Cherdynsky District of Perm Krai, Russia. Population: The Kolva River flows by the town....

 is said to have been its capital.

The Principality of Great Perm emerged as a separate Komi-Permyak
Komi peoples
The Komi people is an ethnic group whose homeland is in the north-east of European Russia around the basins of the Vychegda, Pechora and Kama rivers. They mostly live in the Komi Republic, Perm Krai, Murmansk Oblast, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug in the Russian...

 feudal entity in the 14th-15th centuries owing to the easing of the Novgorod Republic
Novgorod Republic
The Novgorod Republic was a large medieval Russian state which stretched from the Baltic Sea to the Ural Mountains between the 12th and 15th centuries, centred on the city of Novgorod...

. The principality retained a degree of autonomy under the Muscovite
Grand Duchy of Moscow
The Grand Duchy of Moscow or Grand Principality of Moscow, also known in English simply as Muscovy , was a late medieval Rus' principality centered on Moscow, and the predecessor state of the early modern Tsardom of Russia....

 rule, but was eventually absorbed into it in 1505.

The origin of the name Perm is unknown. While the city of Perm
Perm
Perm is a city and the administrative center of Perm Krai, Russia, located on the banks of the Kama River, in the European part of Russia near the Ural Mountains. From 1940 to 1957 it was named Molotov ....

 is a modern foundation named for Permia, the town of Cherdyn
Cherdyn
Cherdyn is a town and the administrative center of Cherdynsky District of Perm Krai, Russia. Population: The Kolva River flows by the town....

 was reportedly itself known as "Great Perm" in the past. Cherdyn acted as a central market town, and it is sometime suggested that perm was simply a term for "merchants" or "market" in a local language
Permic languages
Permic languages are a branch of the Uralic language family. They are spoken in the foothills of the Ural Mountains of Russia.* Komi** Komi-Permyak** Komi-Yodzyak ** Komi-Zyryan...

, but there have been other suggestions.
The same name is likely reflected in the toponym Bjarmaland
Bjarmaland
Bjarmaland was a territory mentioned in Norse sagas up to the Viking Age and - beyond - in geographical accounts until the 16th century. The term is usually seen to have referred to the southern shores of the White Sea and the basin of the Northern Dvina River and - presumably - some of the...

 in Norse saga
Norse saga
The sagas are stories about ancient Scandinavian and Germanic history, about early Viking voyages, the battles that took place during the voyages, about migration to Iceland and of feuds between Icelandic families...

s.
The general region of Great Perm was known as wisu (وِيسُو wīsū) in medieval Arab ethnography, so referred to in the works of Ahmad ibn Fadlan
Ahmad ibn Fadlan
Ahmad ibn Fadlān ibn al-Abbās ibn Rāšid ibn Hammād was a 10th century Arab traveler, famous for his account of his travels as a member of an embassy of the Arab Abbasid Caliph of Baghdad to the king of the Volga Bulgars...

, Al-Gharnati, Zakariya al-Qazwini
Zakariya al-Qazwini
Abu Yahya Zakariya' ibn Muhammad al-Qazwini , was a Persian physician, astronomer, geographer and proto-science fiction writer....

 and Yaqut al-Hamawi
Yaqut al-Hamawi
Yāqūt ibn-'Abdullah al-Rūmī al-Hamawī) was an Islamic biographer and geographer renowned for his encyclopedic writings on the Muslim world. "al-Rumi" refers to his Greek descent; "al-Hamawi" means that he is from Hama, Syria, and ibn-Abdullah is a reference to his father's name, Abdullah...

 (in his Dictionary of Countries
Mu'jam Al-Buldan
Mu'jam al-buldan is a book by Yaqut al-Hamawi, a Muslim scholar who is famous for his encyclopedic books.Al-Hamawi started the book in 1224 and finished in 1228, one year before he died....

). The term is perhaps derived from the name of the Ves' people who settled around Lake Ladoga
Lake Ladoga
Lake Ladoga is a freshwater lake located in the Republic of Karelia and Leningrad Oblast in northwestern Russia, not far from Saint Petersburg. It is the largest lake in Europe, and the 14th largest lake by area in the world.-Geography:...

 and the upper Sukhona River
Sukhona River
The Sukhona is a river in the European pert of Russia, a tributary of the Northern Dvina River. The course of the Sukhona lies in Ust-Kubinsky, Sokolsky, Mezhdurechensky, Totemsky, Tarnogsky, Nyuksensky, and Velikoustyugsky Districts of Vologda Oblast in Russia. It is long, and the area of its...

.

The principality was located in the Upper Kama
Kama River
Kama is a major river in Russia, the longest left tributary of the Volga and the largest one in discharge; in fact, it is larger than the Volga before junction....

 area and maintained close connections with nearby Perm of Vychegda (alternatively known as Perm the Minor). Both Perm states had paid tribute to the Novgorod Republic
Novgorod Republic
The Novgorod Republic was a large medieval Russian state which stretched from the Baltic Sea to the Ural Mountains between the 12th and 15th centuries, centred on the city of Novgorod...

 since the 9th or 10th centuries. Perm of Vychegda was Christianised by Stephen of Perm
Stephen of Perm
Saint Stephen of Perm was a fourteenth century missionary credited with the conversion of the Komi Permyaks to Christianity and the establishment of the Bishopric of Perm'. Stephen also created the Old Permic script, which makes him the founding-father of Permian written tradition...

 in the fourteenth century and subsequently subdued by Muscovy. In 1451 a House of Princes of Perm gained control of both territories as vassals of Moscow, with the titles of princes Vymsky, and princes Velikopermsky. In fact even though having been Christianised soon after Perm of Vychegda, Great Perm enjoyed greater independence, positioned between three powers: Moscow, the Novgorod
Novgorod Republic
The Novgorod Republic was a large medieval Russian state which stretched from the Baltic Sea to the Ural Mountains between the 12th and 15th centuries, centred on the city of Novgorod...

, and Kazan
Kazan
Kazan is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. With a population of 1,143,546 , it is the eighth most populous city in Russia. Kazan lies at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka Rivers in European Russia. In April 2009, the Russian Patent Office granted Kazan the...

. Finally in 1472 an army of vassals of Moscow with the princes Vymsky among them conquered Great Perm and captured their brother Prince Mikhail Velikopermsky. Nevertheless, the latter soon came back again from Moscow as governor and ruled his domain for life. His son Matthew Velikopermsky was finally deposed by the Grand Prince of Moscow in 1505.

Up to the early 18th century, the name Great Perm was officially used of the Upper Kama
Kama River
Kama is a major river in Russia, the longest left tributary of the Volga and the largest one in discharge; in fact, it is larger than the Volga before junction....

 area, a southern part of which was governed by the Stroganov family.

The name was borrowed (as the 'Permian
Permian
The PermianThe term "Permian" was introduced into geology in 1841 by Sir Sir R. I. Murchison, president of the Geological Society of London, who identified typical strata in extensive Russian explorations undertaken with Edouard de Verneuil; Murchison asserted in 1841 that he named his "Permian...

' period) by the nineteenth century geologist Sir Roderick Murchison
Roderick Murchison
Sir Roderick Impey Murchison, 1st Baronet KCB DCL FRS FRSE FLS PRGS PBA MRIA was a Scottish geologist who first described and investigated the Silurian system.-Early life and work:...

to refer to rocks of a certain age, following extensive studies which he conducted in the region.

Further reading

  • V. Oborin. The Settlement and Developing of Ural in Late Eleventh – Early Seventeenth Centuries. University of Irkutsk, 1990.

External links