The author compares the final report of ambassodors of the Grand Duke of Moscow after their mission in Innsbrick in 1518 with contemporary accounts concerning the same embassy survived in Austrian archives.
The next volume of the “Most Ancient States of Eastern Europe” yearbook is devoted to the problems of studying economic systems and trade and financial transactions in Eurasia from the 6th to the 11th centuries. The articles collected in the volume reveal this problem on materials from different regions of Eurasia and North Africa. Two articles are devoted to coins of late Antiquity, one - to the relations of medieval China with nomads. The main focus is on the problems of the history of Eastern Europe in the 9th – 11th centuries, first of all, the economy, the money account and the weight systems of the Slavs and Scandinavians. Special attention is paid to the history of the little-studied “transitional” period for Eastern Europe from the 9th to the beginning of the Xth centuries.
The article continues the study of historical geography and trade routes of Eastern Europe of the 9th century. It analyzes the map of the archeological finds connected with the culture of medieval Scandinavians and other inhabitances of Northern Europe (arms, jewelry etc.). The map of these finds is compared with the map of hoards of the 9th century, which allows asserting that in a number of cases the places of the finds of Scandinavian artifacts and hoards coincide. Once again this fact is testimony to the participation of Scandinavians in the transit of silver coins across Eastern Europe. The data analysis of terminus post quem of the settlements connected with the presence of the Scandinavians in Eastern Europe allows to assert that all those settlements (except Ladoga and Rurikovo Gorodische) appeared in the early 10th century, and till the end of the 9th century there were no fixed Scandinavian settlements outside the regions of the Volkhov and the Ilmen’. The areas, where the series of sing finds were found give the reason to mark the limits of arrival of the Scandinavian (Northern) pioneers. We argue that the 9th century was a special period in the history of Eastern Europe, the use of the later historical data (above all, concerning the 10th century) for the reconstruction of the historical processes of this century methodologically is inappropriate.
In the article the author studies what kind of identity the name rus’ referred to in the earliest chronicles of Kievan Rus’. His analysis is based on the ideas and reconstructions of Alexei A. Shakhmatov who proved that the famous “Tale of By-gone Years” (1100s) included some earlier chronicle or annalistic texts composed in the 11th century. According to Shakhmatov, the “Tale” originated from the so-called “Initial Composition” written in Kiev in the 1090s. The author shows that the writer or writers of the “Composition” placed Rus’ in the world history based on eschatological schemes of the Byzantine chronicles. They understood the Rus’ as a Christian people and as a powerful state and tried to “expand” its identity over local communities. The texts which can be dated back to the mid 11th century considered Rus’ in a different way: their authors’ efforts were to specify its identity in relation to other ethnic or political groups stressing its military victories and ignoring religious discrepancies. The author of the article concludes that the intellectuals of Kievan Rus’ were able to propose a variety of distinct “strategies of identification” and “ethnic projects”.
The author considers the crisis in studies of ethnic/ethnocultural history of medieval Rus'. He considers the controversy between the Soviet model "Old-Russian ethnos" and the idea of Rus' as an "imagined community" as out-dated. In his view, the approach of the so-called "Vienna school" helps to overcome the crisis. He thoroughly discusses the ideas and methods of this school, mainly of its leader Walter Pohl. The search for "strategies of identification" and "scripts of identity" is considered as decisive in studies of ethnicity in the Middle Ages.
The present article continues the investigation of the Soqotri verbal system undertaken by the Russian-Soqotri fieldwork team. The article focuses on the so-called “weak” and “geminated” roots in the basic stem. The investigation is based on the analysis of full paradigms (perfect, imperfect and jussive) of more than 170 “weak” and “geminated” Soqotri verbs.