[Reviewed by Fjodor B. Uspenskij]: Christian Raffensperger, Reimagining Europe: Kievan Rus’ in the Medieval World (= Harvard Historical Studies, 177), Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, London, England, 2012, 329 pp
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.
В работе рассматривается судьба династического имени Святослав и его женского варианта -- Святослава – в 10-11 вв. Продемонстрирована теснейшая связь между выбором имени и вопросами властных привилегий в Средние века, предложены некоторые гипотезы, объясняющие появление славянского имени Святослав в скандинавских по происхождению династиях.
In this article the author examines a recent turn in European legal history from the postwar consensus to European legal history in global perspective. He explains the two types of legal histories though the relevant ideological background and reviews the basic concepts. Also he evaluates the consequences of this turn for the inter-disciplinary interaction of legal historians with comparative law, anthropology, socio-legal studies, legal theory. Finally, he reviews the first results of the new approach, including the discovery of legal diversity and hybridity in European legal histories.
The author explores the evidence of the treaties of Rus’ with Byzantium of 911, 944 and 971 about the persons who officially represented Rus’ und were in fact its ruling class. These persons are named as “kniaz’ya” and “bo(l)yare” in the Church-Slavonic translations of the treaties (preserved in the “Tale of By-gone Years”). In the Greek originals of the treaties they were probably indicated with one word “arhon”. The author pays much attention to comparison of the evidence from the treaties with some data in the description of the embassy of Rus’ian princess Olga to Constantinople given by the Byzantine emperor Constantine Porphyrogentis (the embassy took place in 957). This data also gives some information on the Rus’ian “arhons”. The author comes to the conclusion that the ruling class of Rus’ consisted of 25 noble persons (“arhons” or “arhontisses”) each of whom ruled over some territory within Rus’ but who recognized the supreme power of Kievan princes (“arhons”). These persons represented different clans but the clan of the Kievan “arhons” was represented by several persons.