«…и в Киеве мя посадилъ и отцемь мя назвалъ а я его сыном». Отцы и дети в династии Рюриковичей XII в.
The system of political succession in pre-Mongol Russia was that every prince, a descendant of Vladimir the Great in the male line, possessed the right to power, the right to land. The amount of power privileges during prince’s life was determined by rules of genealogical seniority, and only to a certain extent, by the personal qualities of the member of the dynasty himself. The combination of these factors made it possible to move up or down the hierarchical ladder. Under these conditions, some parameters of dynastic life are very substantial, not directly connected with either the position that member of the clan occupied in a “staircase” system by birth or his individual qualities. Since the time of Yaroslav’s the Wise heirs there was a peculiar discrimination against young princes who lost their fathers during the life of their grandfathers, and sometimes simply relatively early orphaned. On the other hand, adult Rurikids, who lost their sons or were childless, were appreciably infringed upon their dynastic rights. Although the right to rule of such Rurikid was not disputed, he virtually loses the ability to hold senior most prestigious thrones. Over time, the Rurikids started to produce special protective means aiming to protect the members of the clan from this kind of dynastic inferiority.
The study aims to define the forms and makeup of the elite in the 10th and 11th century society of Rus’, and to identify those involved in making critical military and political decisions. The sources of the study include the early chronicle-writing, the 10th-century treaties between Rus’ and Byzantium, Russkaya Pravda (‘The Rus’ian Justice’), and others. The evidence on Rus’ is compared to that on similar early medieval European societies. Special attention is given to the groups which made the key elements of the Rus' elite in the 11th century - the nobility (boyars) and the corps of princes' military servants (otroki or grid').
Stretching from the end of the Middle Ages to the Second Industrial Revolution (c. 1500-1900), the authors in this volume analyze spiritual kinship in Europe and its associated social customs - with special attention given to godparenthood. These customs had great importance for Early Modern and Modern European societies, and this collection represents an interdisciplinary effort to combine the work of social and economic historians, historical demographers, anthropologists and sociologists. Arranged chronologically and geographically, chapters cover specific areas of the European continent, from the Mediterranean to Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. Reconstructing changes in theological thought about spiritual kinship, particularly before and after the Reformation, and comparing Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox views and practices, Spiritual Kinship in Europe provides a comprehensive picture of how social practices and religious ideas related to spiritual kinship and godparenthood.
The Russian Princes of the pre-Mongolian time quite sequentially followed the prohibitions not only on the marriages of the close relatives, but also on the matromonies related by marriage.A unique case of the violation of the Canon prohibition on so called Crisscross Matrymonies when a sister and the brother from one family get into marital union with a brother and a sister from another family is studied in this paper. Also the authors consider the matrimonial strategy of Rurikids dynaty. and showed the extraordinary importance of the affinity in the organization of the military and political unions and coalitions in the 12th century
This study focuses on the interaction between Russian princes and nomadic Cumans (Qipčaqs, Polovcians). The starting point of our work are names and family ties of individual Cumans captured in the oldest Russian chronicles which represent "minimum quanta" of the historical information. N. M. Karamzin in the notes to his History drew attention to the fact that some of the names of the Cuman families representatives are obviously associated with Russia. These "Russian" names, in our opinion, are the most important indicator of the cross-dynastic interaction, contacts between Russia and the nomadic world. What is the composition of the corpus of Russian names of Cuman elite representatives? In essence, it consists of only a very limited number of anthroponyms: Yuri (George), Daniil, Roman, Gleb, Yaropolk, Davyd (?), Vasili. It is crucial that all of these names are regularly used as dynastic by the Rurikids in the 11th — beginning of 13th century. Most of the names, borrowed by Cumans from Russians, are Christian names. At the same time attention is drawn to the non-trivial distribution reflected in the information of sources; while discovering Christian names of some representatives of the highest Cuman nobility, we do not find any mention of the fact that any of the owners of these names, their fathers and other close male relatives took baptism. On the contrary, they are consistently characterized as pagans. Moreover, ancient chronicles contain no reports of Cuman princes taking baptism until the beginning of the Tataro-Mongol invasion. Interestingly, Christian names of those few Cumans of whose conversion we can speak more or less confidently cannot be found in any records, whether it is a Cuman wife of a Russian prince, an anonymous monk of Kiev-Pechersk Monastery, an author of an inscription on the church wall or a powerful Cuman Prince, who was baptized on the eve of the Battle of the Kalka. In our work we have sought to demonstrate that the cause of the appearence of Russian names in this environment is a cross-dynastic, intergenic anthroponymic communication, a desire to consolidate the alliance with the Russian princes, but not a conversion of the male representatives of the Cuman elite. The set of "Russian" names used by Cumans allows us to determine the circle of their "anthroponymical donors" among the Rurikids and identify a number of rules and laws on which this communication in the language of names was carried out.
The chapter analyses the system of spiritual kinship in Russia
The author presents a history of the institute of pol’udie in Old Rus’ from the 10th to the mid 16th century and concludes that this institution had transformed depending on changing economic and financial conditions. Originally, pol’udie was gifts and food which population gave voluntarily to their leaders/rulers when they went round over a territory of a given “tribe”. Beginning at the early 12th century the pol’udie evolved into one tax collected in naturalia or money in favor of a prince or his agents or his beneficiaries. The poliud’e disappeared in the northeastern princedoms of Rus’ since they had been conquered by the Mongols and obliged to pay them a tribute in the mid-13th century.
The article investigates the ways in which the celebration of the name day (imeniny) of Russian princes or their entourages was presented in the Russian chronicles. The custom of celebrating the name day was firmly rooted in the Russian princely environment. For a chronicle narrative, the very rootedness of this custom and the number of its associated actions plays an important role—it is this rootedness that makes stories told in the chronicles quite opaque to the modern reader. A prince’s Christian name and the day of his patron saint were considered to be important background knowledge for the audience of the medieval compiler. There were, apparently, clear ideas about appropriate behavior for prince or a person from his environment on his name day or on the eve of this day but, on the other hand, such assumptions explain why this kind of “normal” behavior rarely forms the subject of special reflection in the chronicles. It is not only a description of the celebration itself that might be very informative, whether it be a church service, a ceremonial feast with various relatives, or an exchange of gifts, but also the description of acts and deeds that were undertaken specifically on a prince’s name day. Therefore, particular attention is given here to stories about undue or inappropriate behavior on this special day. The paper deals with the function and nature of such episodes in the broader context of historiographical narrative.
Early polities are often called as tributary (from Latin tributum). It is a question of great importance but also of great difficulty which tributes (taxes) the Rus’ collected from the subjugated population in the 9-11th centuries. The oldest Rus’ian chronicle texts contain several references about an extraction of some taxes in favor of the Rus’, but these references are difficult to understand. The author interprets the chronicle reports with these references taking two approaches: 1) it is taken for granted that the chronicle preceding to “The Tale of Bygone Years” is preserved in the so-called Novgorod First Chronicle of Younger Redaction, and 2) the chronicle reports are compared with the evidence of non-Rus’ian origin (the treaties by Constantine Porphyrogentis, the Arabian geographers’ accounts from the 9-11th centuries etc.). The most important conclusions drawn by the author are: 1) the tribute rate matched to the “standards” common in Eastern Europe in the 9-11th centuries, and this was in fact a fur skin which corresponded in prize to 4-7 g silver, 2) the Rus’ian ruling class collected the tribute (dan’) during the yearly circuit around the subjugated territory, extracting also some naturalia for feeding as “gifts”; both the circuits and the naturalia were called as poliud’e, 3) the evidence on both the tribute rate and methods of extracting the tribute comes from different regions of Old Rus’ – from Novgorod to Kiev. This fact shows that the basic principles of tax system which the Rus’ applied to the subjugated territories were the same anywhere. These principles laid a foundation for the “tributary” dominance of the Rus’ in the 9-11th centuries.