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’.
The Russian Primary Chronicle story of Prince Vladimir marriage proposal to Rogneda traditionally attracts reader’s attention by the emotional coloring, ethnographic details intercultural coincidences. With the evident and indisputable dramatic effect of the situation depicted in the Chronicle, there are a lot of concealed meanings, not all of them has been studied. Thus, the plot of this episode is rather built on Rogneda abusing Vladimir («не хочю розути робичича . но Ӕрополка хочю») and on the subsequent revenge and return actions by Vladimir to the family ruling in Polotsk. Meanwhile, if consider this story not only as a most interesting and rather a complicated narrative, but also as a reproduction of the essence of some dialogue that took place in reality, then alongside with the abusive character of Rogneda’s remark, it is impossible to ignore its proper juridical aspect. The daughter of a settler in the first generation, she naturally uses juridical categories inherent to her former motherland. In the archaic Scandinavian law there was a special norm according to which a child born from a free man and slave woman (and, respectively, from a free woman and a slave) can not inherit the family property of his father, even if that would make the mother free and marry her. The Rogneda of the Chronicle acts quite in the tradition of her motherland, simplifying and aggravating some rather complicated life situation, to drive it to the understandable and peremptory situation in law: Vladimir as a son of the slave woman is not a heir of the family property either of the first or of the second order. In other words, from the Rogneda viewpoint he can not inherit this property even in the case of his brother’s death. Rogneda appears to be wrong considering Kiev a usual family estate and Vladimir — only the son of her free fellow countryman and a slave woman. The “groundlessness” of such position is, in some sense, a mark of the transition of the Rurikids from the status of clan to status of the dynasty, always living by somewhat altered rules of inheritance.
Reconstruction of the 11th century Rusian chronicles is a classic problem of russian history soucre studies. It can't be solved with traditional methods of source analysis such as manuscript comparison, palaeographic or codicological studies as no chronicle manuscripts of 11th century remain nowadays. There are some alternative approaches proposed in special literature, eg. analysis of contradictions in chronicle texts and chronological systems analysis, but these also aren't effective enough. However, lexicological and stylistic studies of the chronicle text allow us to make some non-trivial conclusions. Apparently our knowledge of Primary Chronicle textual history may be extended only if we use the interdisciplinary approach combining methods of history with methods of philology and liguistics.
Article deals with the Povest' Vremennykh Let article for the year 6615 (A.D. 1107). A possible interpolation in the primary chronilce text is found.
Festschrift for Boris Floria
The book is devoted to the problem of emergence of the Russian State in geopolitical context - political and cultural processes taking place in Europe at the end of the 1-th thousand AD, since the migrations of the Slavs. It presents the study of the historical foundations of the Primary Chronicle tales concerning the first Russian princes (starting with legends about Kiy and the calling of the Varangians). Formation of the basic phenomena of the initial Russian statehood - towns, public law and worship, art - is being considered, taking into account the interaction of different cultural traditions of the Eastern Europe. The final storyline of the book are the choice of faith, characteristic of primary Russian Christianity and rejected Paganism
It is known that Old Rusian chronicles were not only extended, but also inetnsively edited by the newcoming generations of bookmen. Usually the reasons for editing of text are searched amongst the political circumstances of the time. However, changing approaches to actual theological questions could also be the cause of text evolution. One of such was the question of the nature of suffering, on which there existed at least two views — the one of the author of so-called Načalnyj Svod of the 1090ies, and the outher of the author of Pověst Vremennykh Lět.
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.
Primary Rusian Chronicle's notices on what is now called Western Europe and Catholic church can be divided into three groups. The first one (which can be traced back to the first half — middle of the 11th century) shows the awareness of the differences between two existing christian confessions, the second one (which most likely belongs to the so-called Načalnyj svod) is fiiled with hatred to the western neighbours, whlie the third one (corresponding to the Povest' Vremennykh Lět) shows that a kind of reconciliation was achieved and the christianity was understood by the chroniclers of the epoch as if it hadn´t ever divided.
That there were contacts between Byzantium and the Viking world is well-known in outline, and many scholars have published work on particular aspects of those contacts. But our literary sources offer very few narratives of these contacts, beyond Byzantine accounts of Rus attacks and the Rus’ Primary Chronicle’s materials on Russo-Byzantine trade-agreements and the conversion of Prince Vladimir c.988. Not only are narrative sources lacking for contacts between Byzantium and the wider Viking world: we also lack a conceptual framework within which to place the numerous and disparate items of evidence of contacts. As a result, modern works of synthesis on the subject are exceedingly rare, and seldom very effective. The book that we aim to publish soon should amount to an illuminating, authoritative synthesis. Among the contributors are archaeologists and specialists in runes, numismatics, sagas, and Byzantine literary sources.