desiatina [Russian. десятиннЬій. ]

(Plural, desiatiny.) In Russia, a unit of land area, 15th–20th centuries. Also romanized as déçïatina and dessiatine.

Originally the desiatina was the area of a square whose sides were ¹/₁₀th of a versta, which area was equal to 2 chetverti or 2,500 square sazheni (about 1.092 hectares, or about 2.7 acres).

A decree of 1753 defined the official desiatina as 2,400 square sazheni (about 1.0925 hectares or 2.7 acres, the length of the sazhen having changed). In addition to this official desiatina, a number of others were used, including:

household or oblique desiatina 80 × 40 = 3,200 square sazheni
household circle desiatina 60 × 60 = 3,600 square sazheni
hundred desiatina 100 × 100 = 10,000 square sazheni
melon field 80 × 100 = 800 square sazheni

In the system of cossack land tenure established in the 19th century, one of the last survivals of feudalism, each male cossack was entitled to 30 desiatiny, although in practice it varied from 9 to 23.

After adoption of the metric system, use of the desiatina was limited by a decree of the Sovnarcom on 14 September 1918, and it was finally abolished altogether effective 1 September 1927.

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