Судьбы варягов на Руси XI–XII вв.(Якун Слепой, Шимон / Симон и его сын Георгий)
Any scholar, or indeed any interested reader, concerned with the cultural history of Rus’ in the 10th to 13th centuries has inevitably to face a kind of paradox: while the role of Scandinavians in the political and ecclesiastical life of pre-Mongol Rus’ was far from insignificant, the evidence from native Russian sources concerning this group of immigrants is scarce and quite fragmented. Against this background, any coherent sequence of elements on Russian–Scan-dinavian relations in extant Old Russian written sources acquires particular importance. Extraordinarily, across the entirety of the narrative space of the 10th to 12th centuries, Rurikids aside, there is just a single family whose Va-rangian origins are identified explicitly, whose close affinities with Scandinavia are noted, and for whom biographical details of three men representing three generations are given. These three men are Yakun the Varangian, his nephew Shimon and one of Shimon’s sons, named George. A very curious series of co-incidences was therefore needed to leave records of at least three generations of a Scandinavian family in Old Russian manuscripts – and records containing unambiguous indications of their Varangian origin. This ongoing investigation into Varangian genealogy seems to support the suggestion that some of the chronicle’s more complex and enigmatic stories may echo oral histories of aris tocratic families whose descendants, in one way or another, had personal ties to writers involved in creating the history of Rus’.