The change in Novgorod's political status did not bring to a halt its literary activity or manuscript production. At the close of the fifteenth century, in the archbishopric of Gennadius, a complete new translation of the Bible into Russian was made. At this time a critical trend in religious thought developed in Novgorod, and a variety of heresies arose, spreading all over Russia and causing grave disturbances attended by severe reprisals and executions.
In the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, the leading role in the city's construction activities passed from Novgorodian patrons to new arrivals from Moscow, the great merchants who settled there at the command of Ivan III. Prominent among them were the Syrkovs and the Tarakanovs, who rebuilt the Church of the Holy Women in Yaroslav's Court in 1510 y., the Church of St. Clement in 1520 y., the Church of St. Procopius in 1529 y., and several others.
A curious situation arose when the merchants from Moscow might have their commissions carried out by teams of local masons, or Novgorodians (who still continued to build, though on a smaller scale) might entrust the execution of their projects to builders specially invited from Moscow. The discrepancy between the tastes of Moscow - bred patrons, and the local tradition in which the builders worked, or vice versa, is obvious in many Novgorodian buildings dating from that period. An example may be provided by the Church of Sts. Boris and Gleb. This edifice is a naive attempt to combine the types of Muscovite architecture and the forms characteristic of the ancient, twelfth - century Novgorod building tradition. The church is surmounted by a group of five cupolas of the Moscow type, probably ordered by the patrons, and rather indifferently executed by Novgorodian builders. Grouping of cupolas had in fact been used in Novgorod as far back as the eleventh and twelfth centuries (cf. St. Sophia's). It suggested to the builders of Sts. Boris and Gleb the idea of reviving the ancient Novgorodian type of vault roofing.
Not only Moscow merchants, but also the Moscow ruler himself, built in Novgorod. In 1515 y., Grand Prince Vasily III, father of Ivan the Terrible, erected in the Khutyn Monastery a cathedral dedicated to Our Saviour of the Transfiguration - a remarkable stately structure with forms characteristic of sixteenth - century Moscow architecture.
Since the sixteenth century, all forms of cultural activity in Novgorod - its architecture, icon painting, crafts, and literature - developed within the mainstream of the general evolution of Russian culture.
When in the seventeenth century Patriarch Nikon of Moscow undertook the correction of ecclesiastical books, the rich Novgorodian treasury of religious literature became one of the principal sources of reference.