Banishment and seizure

Banishment and seizure (potok i rozhrableniie). Severe form of punishment meted out in Kyivan Rus’ for serious crimes such as murder in the course of robbery, arson, and horse stealing (according to the Ruskaia Pravda). Potok, derived from the verb potochyty or zatochyty (to deprive), consisted of the loss of personal rights, expulsion from the clan, and sometimes even exile. Rozhrableniie was the loss of the right to own property. The two punishments were applied together. A person thus punished was deprived of the protection of the laws and could become a slave. Part of his confiscated property was used to compensate the victim, and the rest was transferred to the prince. The deprivation of the rights arising from banishment and seizure applied also to the convict's family. Some historians of law claim that this institution was borrowed from Byzantine law.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]

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