After two centuries of struggle the Russians succeeded in colonizing the fertile valleys of the Oka basin; in the 12th century they built a series of fortified towns on the Oka and Klyazma; and finally they reached the mouth of the Oka, there founding (in 1222) a new Novgorod - the Novgorod of the Lowlands, now Nizhniy-Novgorod.
Finland; the Karelians, in the E., who also occupy the lake regions of Olonets and Archangel, and have settlements in Novgorod and Tver; the Izhores, on the Neva and the S.E.
Meantine the Karelians were pressing on the eastern Lapps, and in the course of the i ith century the rulers of Novgorod began to treat them as the Norsemen had treated their western brethren.
When Great Novgorod submitted provisionally to Peace of the suzerainty of Sweden, Swedish statesmen had Stolbova, believed, for a moment, in the creation of a Trans- 1617 baltic dominion extending from Lake Ilmen northwards to Archangel and eastwards to Vologda.
The kingdom dwindled rapidly to its ancient limits between the Caucasus, the Volga and the Don, whilst the Russian traders of Novgorod and Kiev supplanted the Khazars as the carriers between Constantinople and the North.
From the 8th to the 11th century a commercial route from India passed through Novgorod to the Baltic, and Arabian coins found in Sweden, and particularly in the island of Gotland, prove how closely the enterprise of the Northmen and of the Arabs intertwined.
Russian type has thus been maintained from Novgorod to the Pacific, with but minor differentiations on the outskirts - and this notwithstanding the great variety of races with which the Russians have come into contact.
Though Lubeck's right as court of appeal from the Hanseatic counter at Novgorod was not recognized by the general assembly of the League until 1373, the long-existing practice had simply accorded with the actual shifting of commercial power.
Simultaneously, another war, also an heritage from Charles IX., had been proceeding in the far distant regions round lakes Ilmen, Peipus and Ladoga, with Great Novgorod as its centre.
The history of furs can be read in Marco Polo, as he grows eloquent with the description of the rich skins of the khan of Tatary; in the early fathers of the church, who lament their introduction into Rome and Byzantium as an evidence of barbaric and debasing luxury; in the political history of Russia, stretching out a powerful arm over Siberia to secure her rich treasures; in the story of the French occupation of Canada, and the ascent of the St Lawrence to Lake Superior, and the subsequent contest to retain possession against England; in the history of early settlements of New England, New York and Virginia; in Irving's Astoria; in the records of the Hudson's Bay Company; and in the annals of the fairs held at Nizhniy Novgorod and Leipzig.