Lustration

Lustration (люстрація; liustratsiia; Polish: lustracja; derived from the Latin lustrum, a five-year period or censor's term of office). An inventory of royal lands for tax and military purposes. The first such descriptions were prepared in the Lithuanian-Ruthenian state in the early 16th century. From 1568 until the partitions of Poland they were prepared by Polish officials (lustratory) every five years. The lustration contained detailed information about estates and villages, their inhabitants, and the condition of lands, domestic animals, and buildings. After the Polish partitions the tsarist government carried out lustrations in the annexed territories in 1778–9, 1839–63, and 1867. The voluminous data recorded in the lustrations make them an important source for the social and economic history of Ukraine.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]




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