Князь Игорь и Кончак: враги-побратимы?
The description of Polovtsian-Russian contacts― embodied not only in constant lesser and greater military conflicts but also in peace treaties, military-political alliances, inter-dynastic marriages, family ties, and finally, simply in personal relations― occupies in the oldest Russian chronicles devoted to the pre-Mongol period a significant place.The breadth of coverage is barely less than that devoted to the history of the Riurikid clan itself. However, the modern reader of the Russian chronicle, having become interested in the history of Russo-Polovtsian interactions, comes up against two partly discouraging, partly disorienting circumstances. On the one hand, this history, for all its eventfulness, gives the impression of something monotonic and undifferentiated: over the course of a century and a half Polovtsian invasions and answering campaigns of the Russian princes are recorded in the sources so frequently that it is difficult to detect any indication of intensification or weakening of military conflict. One is struck by the similarity of those events which fall at the boundary between the 11th and 12th centuries and those which occur a bit more than a century later. In the first as in the second of the indicated periods, we learn about the alternating success of Russians and Polovtsians in battles not far from Pereiaslavl’, about the capture of Russian princes by the nomads, about the fact that another prince marries his son to a Polovtsian woman, about flight—successful or unsuccessful—of yet another Riurikid to the Polovtsy
The paper is concerned with the Turkic parallels to fotune-telling by wolf howl, described by Rusian Primary chronicle in the article for the AM 6605 (AD 1097). Both written sources (Ahmad ibn Fadlan) and phraseology of modern Turkic languages (Tatar and Bashkir) witness that wolf howl is understood as an auspicious sign, so the chronicler’s evidence could be based on real practice.
This study focuses on the interaction between Russian princes and nomadic Cumans (Qipčaqs, Polovcians). The starting point of our work are names and family ties of individual Cumans captured in the oldest Russian chronicles which represent "minimum quanta" of the historical information. N. M. Karamzin in the notes to his History drew attention to the fact that some of the names of the Cuman families representatives are obviously associated with Russia. These "Russian" names, in our opinion, are the most important indicator of the cross-dynastic interaction, contacts between Russia and the nomadic world. What is the composition of the corpus of Russian names of Cuman elite representatives? In essence, it consists of only a very limited number of anthroponyms: Yuri (George), Daniil, Roman, Gleb, Yaropolk, Davyd (?), Vasili. It is crucial that all of these names are regularly used as dynastic by the Rurikids in the 11th — beginning of 13th century. Most of the names, borrowed by Cumans from Russians, are Christian names. At the same time attention is drawn to the non-trivial distribution reflected in the information of sources; while discovering Christian names of some representatives of the highest Cuman nobility, we do not find any mention of the fact that any of the owners of these names, their fathers and other close male relatives took baptism. On the contrary, they are consistently characterized as pagans. Moreover, ancient chronicles contain no reports of Cuman princes taking baptism until the beginning of the Tataro-Mongol invasion. Interestingly, Christian names of those few Cumans of whose conversion we can speak more or less confidently cannot be found in any records, whether it is a Cuman wife of a Russian prince, an anonymous monk of Kiev-Pechersk Monastery, an author of an inscription on the church wall or a powerful Cuman Prince, who was baptized on the eve of the Battle of the Kalka. In our work we have sought to demonstrate that the cause of the appearence of Russian names in this environment is a cross-dynastic, intergenic anthroponymic communication, a desire to consolidate the alliance with the Russian princes, but not a conversion of the male representatives of the Cuman elite. The set of "Russian" names used by Cumans allows us to determine the circle of their "anthroponymical donors" among the Rurikids and identify a number of rules and laws on which this communication in the language of names was carried out.
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.