The novel of Elsa Morante «History» (1974) is studied. Elsa Morante is a prominent Italian writer of the XX-th century. The genre characteristics, the features of historical novel and connections with classical French and Russian literatures are analyzed. The novel relates to the Second World War, it is based on the narration of stories of lives of simple people, and the influence of macro-history to the micro-history is shown. In the conclusion it is revealed that the novel «History» is a manifest against violence in general. «History» is a chronicle, based on different testimonies and on the life experience of the author. The language and the style completely correspond to the genre of chronicle.
The author synthesizes the data indicating large (numerous) corps of professional warriors in service of the rulers of Rus' in the 10-11th centuries. Following the Czech mediaevalist František Graus the author designates the institution as the “large retinue” (Czech velkodružina, German “Staatsgefolge”). The rulers maintained these corps mainly by payments in cash extracting money as a tribute from subjugated people. In Rus' the corps were called by the words otroki and grid'. They numbered up to several thousands soldiers. The model of the “large retinue” calls for a re-examination of the concept of družina which is very popular in the Russian historiography. The concept should be treated in a more subtle and differentiated way.