The Origin of Russia and Russians I
This lecture considers the question of the origins of Russia and Russians. A wide range of comparisons are explored: both in terms of key concepts, and in terms of contrasting episodes in history, modern and classical. Students that week were reading Ibn Fadlan’s account (922 CE) of an encounter with the Rus’ at the mouth of the Volga Rr on the Caspian Sea, and those parts of the [Kievan] Russian Primary chronicle (written ca 1110 CE) about the origins of the creation of the “Rus’ian” state at the end of the C10th. Copyright 2013 Adrian Jones / La Trobe University, all rights reserved. Contact for permissions.
26 Jul 2013
The Origin of Russia and Russians II
The lecture opens with a response to Adrian's previous lecture by Adrian's teaching assistant, a Russo-Ukrainian scholar, Dmytro Ostapenko. History is all about argument and evidence. Dmytro critiques Adrian's "Normanist" point of view about the C9th-C10th origins of the Russian state (i.e., that the Rusi’an state was Varangian-Viking inspired). Dr Dmytro Ostapenko offers a stricter view of what is meant by “statehood”. Dr Ostapenko cites evidence discussing how bands had already evolved into Slavic tribes and kings (and hence a state) and he discusses a wider range of what he believes are indigenous Slavic cultural and economic influences on state formation. Adrian then replies and as he does he discusses more of the Viking and Slav evidence, focussing on the Russian Primary Chronicle (circa 1115) and relations between forest and steppe, as viewed in the light of Arab-Persian (Ibn Fadhlan, Ibn Khurdadbeh), Carolingian (Bertinian Annals 832), Byzantine (C10th Constantine VII Porphyrogenitas on the Administration of the Empire) and Khazar sources. Copyright 2013 Adrian Jones / La Trobe University, all rights reserved. Contact for permissions.
31 Jul 2013
Kiev Russia and Tatar-Mongols
Adrian Jones contrasts the different Kievan (C10th-C13th) and Tatar-Mongol (C13th to C15th) eras, tracing their different influences on medieval Russian history. Adrian refers wherever possible to illustrations from the period. He places events and polities in Russia in the wider context of Eurasian history. Copyright 2013 Adrian Jones / La Trobe University, all rights reserved. Contact for permissions.
4 Aug 2013
Adrian Jones discusses Muscovite rural society and then moves on to discuss the late onset (in Muscovy!) of serfdom, the system of land tenure, and the implications for the distinct lack of a legal culture in Russia. Adrian then turns to discussing the boyars and their chancery clerks, their way of life and their role in the administration of state. Copyright 2013 Adrian Jones / La Trobe University, all rights reserved. Contact for permissions.
8 Nov 2013
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The Russian Orthodox Church
Adrian Jones explores the political and social implications of the Orthodox faith in the lands of the Rus’. Copyright 2013 Adrian Jones / La Trobe University, all rights reserved. Contact for permissions.
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