The Destinies of Varangians in 11th- to 12th-century Rus’: (Yakun the ‘Blind’, S(h)imon and his son George)
The present paper focuses on the obscure evidence of the Tale of Bygone Years: according to the Chronicle in 1024 a Varangian prince, named Yakun, lost (lit. ‘fled from’) his gold-woven robe at the end of the Listven’ battle. In order to clarify this fragment parallels from the Old Norse King sagas are drawn, allowing not only to identify this historical character, but also to explain the meaning of his action. Apparently, we have here another valuable testimony of Scandinavian-East Slavonic cultural contacts from the 11th century.
This is a collection of articles in memory of Jean Breuillard, professor, dean of the Slavonic Studies Department at the Paris-Sorbonne university.
The author analyses four accounts of the Rostov and Vladimir chronicles on travels of kings Yuri "the Long-Armed" and Vsevolod "the Big Nest" through the Vladimir kingdom (1154, 1200 and two texts from 1190).These travels are called in the texts as polyud'e which was famous from the account of Constantine Porphyrogentis on Rus' (in his treatise De administrando imperii, 950s). Polyd'e as a journey through and around territories under one's control changed its forms since the mid-9 century to the late 12th century. It became more important as a means of administarion and communication of the elite and local communities.
This is a collection of essays dedicated to Prof. Helmut Keipert, a famous German slavist, professor emeritus of the University of Bonn; the articles were written on the occasion of his seventieth birthday. The general object of study of the international body of scholars is the history of Slavonic literary languages and Slavonic literary texts. This particular volume unites articles on language contacts and interconnection between Slavonic and non-Slavonic literary traditions.
This study is an attempt to present the political organization of Rus’ in the 10th century reevaluating the much debated role of the Scandinavians in the formation of the Rus’ian polity.
A large number of Scandinavians (mostly from Sweden and Gotland) migrated to Eastern Europe in the 9th – middle of the 11th centuries. This fact is clear from the historical, linguistic and archeological evidence accumulated to date. However, there is much unclear about results and significance of this migration. Particularly controversial is the question if and how it related to the formation of the political structures of Rus’ which united a variety of peoples (gentes) in Eastern Europe in the 10-11th centuries.
I examine the elite of Kievan Rus’ in the middle of the 10th century. The original sources from this time give us some valuable information on the political organization and social hierarchy of Rus’. Two of these sources are of particular importance in the case: the treaty of 944 between Rus’ and Byzantium (a copy included in the “Tale of Bygone Years”) and the description of the embassy of Olga, princess of Rus’, to Constantinople in 957 given by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine Porphyrogentis in his treatise “De Ceremoniis” (II, 15). In my opinion there are some correspondences between the evidence on Rus’ in these two texts which have not been noticed or articulated in the debates on the texts. Emphasizing these correspondences and referring to other sources’ data I attempt a consistent description of the elite of Kievan Rus’. I conclude that the Rus’ of the middle of the 10th century was, politically and territorially, an association of 25 non-tribal administrative units located mostly along the famous “route from the Varangians to the Greeks”. These units or most of them were headed by Scandinavian leaders who formally recognized a superiority of the Kievan prince. This model disagrees sharply with a picture created by the Rus’ian chronicles of the 11th – early 12th centuries who exalted the Rurikid’s dynasty and did not mention in their narratives any other leaders or clans of Rus’ competing to it. My conclusions aim at verifying this picture and considering a contribution of the Scandinavians to political developments in medieval Rus’.
The article is dedicated to one of the earliest witness of the veneration of St. Helena and St. Constantine among the Slavs as attested by liturgical sources.
The author puts a question how long the institute of poliud’e (known in Rus’ since the 9th century) functioned in the northeastern princedoms of Rus’. He studies the data on the two duties “liudskoe” and “poliudnaia pshenitsa” which are mentioned in some bishopric immunity charters of the 15-16th centuries and which are allegedly (etymologically) connected to the ancient poliud’e. He rejects this connection and concludes that 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 notion of honor (čest’) was crucial to a person’s social status in Old Rus’. The analysis presented in the article shows that the notion’s sense differed basically from a modern one and was not directly analogous to a West-European feudal one. The main meaning of the old-Russian word čest’ was ‘respect’, ‘esteem’, but it also meant a rank, a status or a power and, on the other hand, such visual and material forms expressing “the respect” as bow, gift, reward, escort etc. In the Christian context the notion related to values emanating from eternal and imperishable God and, consequently, to a dignity of persons touched by God’s blessing.