Studies in History and Culture in Honor of Donald Ostrowski
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: Slavica Publishers
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Title Page, Copyright
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The editors would like to express their heartfelt gratitude to everyone whose key assistance made possible the publication of this peer-reviewed volume of essays. Over the course of many months Vicki Polansky, the managing editor at Slavica, displayed an extraordinary dedication to the project. ...
A Tribute to a Doubter and Questioner
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With these words—“By doubting, we come to question; by questioning, we perceive truth”—Peter Abelard began his monumental Sic et Non; and we, the editors of this volume, have placed the first of these words (dubitando: “by doubting”) at the beginning of the title of this book honoring our dear friend and esteemed colleague Donald Ostrowski. ...
An Appreciation of Donald Ostrowski
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Don Ostrowski is my oldest, and one of my very closest, friends among our colleagues and fellow workers in the vineyard of early modern Russian history. It is a great pleasure indeed to present this volume to him. I first met Don in the fall of 1972. ...
Tribute to a Caterfly
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This tribute honors Don Ostrowski as a scholar, a skeptic, and a role model. In an age of restrictively narrow specialization, he has glided across the boundaries that divide periods, methods, and disciplinary perspectives. In a time of increasing demands for policy-relevant research and diminishing opportunities for graduate training in early Russian and Eurasian history, ...
Bibliography of Donald Ostrowski
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Rus’ and Eurasia
Huns and Xiōngnú: New Thoughts on an Old Problem
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In a recent article, Étienne de la Vaissière has marshaled a strong case that the people identified in Sogdian as Xwn and in Sanskrit as Hūṇa are indeed exactly the same people as the Chinese Xiōngnú.1 Given that Xwn and Hūṇa are usually identified with the Greek Ounnoi or Latin Hunni, ...
Archaeological Finds of Camels in Pre-Mongol Rus’: A Reassessment
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Camels are mentioned in Rus’ian chronicles, appear in a fresco in St. Sophia of Kiev, and have left physical traces of their journeys through Rus’.1 Archaeologists have long been aware of the presence of camel finds dating back to pre-Mongol times. ...
Показующе им истинную веру»: Летописное обрамление руско-‐‑византийского договора 911 г.
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Текст договора Руси с Византией 911 г. сопровожден в летописи рас-‐‑ сказом о том, как прибывших в Константинополь киевских послов по окончании переговоров и в честь подписания соглашения император Лев VI повелел ознакомить с христианскими реликвиями, находящими-‐‑ ся в Большом дворце, ...
“A Godly Regiment in the Heavens Came to Help Aleksandr…”: The Sanctity of Heroic Princes in Kievan Rus’
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Among the many topics to which Donald Ostrowski has dedicated his attention throughout the years, the Life of Aleksandr Nevskii has been the object of several articles.1 ...
For Want of Coin: Some Remarks on the Mongol Tribute and the Problem of the Circulation of Silver
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The minting of coins and the fluctuations in the availability and use of money are often perceived as an important barometer of wealth and of a developed market economy. Where coins exist and are plentiful and available, and when they retain their weight in silver or gold, they often imply or reflect vibrant international, regional, and local commerce ...
Legal Foundations of Novgorod-Hansa Trade in the Twelfth through Fourteenth Centuries
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Novgorod was the queen of Rus’ cities from the destruction of Kiev by the Mongols until the rise of Moscow. Its wealth and power were based largely on the fur trade. From the 12th through the 15th centuries Novgorod enjoyed a lively trade with the German Hansa, one of the most advanced commercial institutions of the age. ...
The Muslim Tatars of Muscovy and Lithuania: Some Introductory Remarks
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From the middle of the 15th century two states with considerable Slavic populations—vast and powerful Lithuania1 and young, but ambitious, Muscovy—competed for the leading role in territories that had formerly belonged to Kievan Rus’. From the middle of the 16th century it had become clear that Muscovy had emerged as the successor, ...
The Don Interpolation: An Imagined Turning Point in Russian Relations with the Tatar World
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This article will scrutinize a small cluster of shared characteristics in two texts, the History of the Scythians by Andrei Lyzlov and the History of the Grand Prince of Moscow attributed to prince Andrei Kurbskii, in order to provide glimpses of a lost source. In contrast to studies that have tried to prove that Lyzlov borrowed from Kurbskii, ...
“Thus We Shall Have Their Loyalty and They Our Favor”: Diplomatic Hostage-Taking (amanatstvo) and Russian Empire in Caucasia
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This essay examines one of the key institutions for regulating political relations between Russia and the native groups of Caucasia from the middle of the 16th to the 19th century. In the Russian sources, the institution is usually referred to as amanatstvo, which I define as diplomatic hostage‑taking, and the hostages, as amanaty. ...
Rulers and Rulership
Believing is Seeing: Princess Spotting in St. Sophia of Kiev
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The St. Sophia cathedral in Kiev holds a key place in imperial Russian, Soviet, and post-Soviet scholarship as the starting point for a Rus’ artistic tradition.1 This monument, not unjustly, has been viewed as a material embodiment of the Rus’ principality’s entrance into the broader Christian and European world. ...
Envisioning the Ruler in Medieval Rus’: The Iconography of Intercession and Architecture
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Sometime in the mid-15th century an icon painter, presumably Novgorodian, painted an image depicting a historical battle between the Novgorodians and the Suzdalians in 1169. Although the Suzdalians devastated the environs of the city and demanded tribute, their failure to take Novgorod itself was shown to result from the protective power ...
Ruslan Skrynnikov on Ivan IV
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Ruslan Grigor’evich Skrynnikov (1931–2009) probably published more pages about Ivan IV (Ivan the Terrible, 1533–84) than any other historian. His first book, The Beginning of the Oprichnina, appeared in 1966,1 inaugurating a trilogy that continued with The Oprichnina Terror in 19692 ...
The Tale of the Death of Vasilii Ivanovich and the Evolution of the Muscovite Tsaritsa’s Role in 16th-Century Russia
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Recent scholarly efforts to study Muscovite tsardom from a cultural history perspective have benefited our understanding of the significant role of Muscovite wives and mothers in the socio-religious and even political fabric of the Muscovite state. In the 16th century, Muscovite royal women were instrumental in defining the notion of the blessed womb of the tsaritsa ...
Law, Succession, and the Eighteenth-Century Refounding of the Romanov Dynasty
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On 5 February 1722, Peter I “the Great” (ruled 1682–1725) issued a new Law of Succession (Ukaz o nasledii prestola), the first such law in the history of modern Russia. It replaced the fairly stable, though never legally formulated, system of succession in Muscovy that provided that sons succeeded fathers on the throne— ...
The Church and Religious Belief and Custom
Adversus Haereticos Novgorodensos: Iosif Volotskii’s Rhetorical Syllogisms
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This essay constitutes an experiment in utilizing formal logic to analyze the argumentation of one polemical work produced by perhaps pre-modern Russia’s most able though perforce untrained logician, who could not have been aware in any formal sense of the capital role that rhetorical syllogisms, that is, enthymemes, ...
A Venerable Elder: Varsunofii Iakimov of the Trinity-Sergius Monastery
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The charismatic holy man was a fixture in the religious revival of 19th-century Russia. This also held true for Russian literature of the period. In particular, Fedor Dostoevskii’s Zosima personified the pious elder for educated Russians. The dying Zosima’s homilies to the monks, his disciples, who gathered in his cell, ...
Caught in the Act: An Illustration of Erotic Magic at Work
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Images were part and parcel of the witch-craze that blazed across Western Europe in the early modern period. Together with demonological treatises and popular pamphlets recording strange happenings or sensational trials, images circulated widely in both manuscript and printed form. ...
Prayer: A Golden Galaxy of Virtue
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Father Arseny, an art historian turned priest in the early Soviet period, spent some 27 years in the Gulag. In the inhumanity of those conditions, he comforted hundreds of fellow prisoners, provided spiritual solace, and stood witness to human charity and his faith. ...
Texts, Images, Contexts
Glagolytic Books in Rus’
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An assumption underlying most studies of Slavonic texts is that their transmission does not significantly differ from that of Greek, Latin or West-European vernacular texts, which show a threefold pattern of reading → parsing through the scribe’s language competence → rendering in writing. ...
The “Legend of Gorislava” (not “Rogned’” or “Rogneda”): An Edition, Commentary, and Translation
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The Ostrowski-Birnbaum-Lunt edition of the Povest’ vremennykh let (PVL) constitutes a monumental advance in the study of the single most important text for the history of Kievan Rus’.1 My contribution to this Festschrift consists of an edition of what I shall call the “Legend of Gorislava,” a short excerpt from a text sometimes called the Suzdal’skaia letopis’, ...
The Curious (and Happy) Story of an Important Source for Muscovite Cultural History: The Dormition Cathedral of the Mother of God Monastery in Sviiazhsk
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Don Ostrowski has been something of a fanatic for sources since I first met him in 1972. In fact, he was the first person ever to use the term “fontologist” to describe those white-hat historians who paid proper attention to their primary sources. Recently, I have become more and more preoccupied with buildings as sources, ...
An Overlooked Anglo-Russian Tale of the Time of Troubles
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In 1654 a small book with a big title was published in London: A brief Historical Relation of the Empire of Russia, and of its Original Growth out of 24 Great Dukedomes, into One entire Empire, Since the yeer 1514. The author’s name was listed simply as “J.F.” Part of the book consists of a learned diatribe against corrupt officials and greedy lawyers ...
The Sacrament of Confession in the Russian Empire: A Contribution to the Source Study of Ispovednye rospisi
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According to the 1912 confessional register of the Polonnoe (today’s Polonne) Roman Catholic Church, both Adam Iavorskii and his wife, Evelina Zalenskaia, had confessed and received the Eucharist at some point that year.2 In this practice of the sacraments, Adam and Evelina resembled all other adult Catholics in the village; ...
Pictures at an Execution: Johann Georg Korb’s Execution of the Strel’tsy
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One thing that Don Ostrowski has always cared passionately about is sources, and this essay explores the issue of visual images as historical sources. I hope that it opens up perspectives that he finds intriguing. ...
The Elusive Apollo 8 Earthrise Photo
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Discussing the great many problems involved in tracing historical evidence and, as a result, establishing historical “facts” is one of Don Ostrowski’s favorite themes.1 In my contribution, I will discuss some of these aspects as I encountered them during my research into the history of the famous Apollo Earthrise photo, which is one of my favorite themes. ...
Land, People, and Society in Muscovy
Ni pes ni vyzhlets ni gonchaia sobaka: Images of Dogs in Rus’
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“Neither guard dog nor field dog nor scent hound”: this Russian aphorism turned up in a large collection of folk sayings preserved in a 17th-century manuscript.1 Unfortunately, it came to us lacking any clarifying context, but it clearly indicates that whatever is being referenced does not measure up to what was expected of a good dog. ...
Muscovy as a Clan-Based State
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As states form, clan structures die away. This might be taken as a clear, simple, low-risk—even anodyne—statement of general historical development. Though this statement may be accurate for many cases, it presents a problem for explaining state-‐‑building in Muscovy. ...
Netstvo and the Conditionality of Pomest’e Land Tenure
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In his article “Early Pomest’e Grants as a Historical Source,” Donald Ostrowski examined 36 pomest’e charters, dated from 1482 to 1554. His study revealed that none of the charters, which recorded grants of pomest’e land, contained statements requiring service from the recipient. ...
Anna Dorothea and the Major: Rape and Military Courts in Petrine Russia
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This essay is part of a broader project evaluating the impact of the Petrine military change on women. Here, however, I am concerned with an examination of Petrine military law, and particularly of the treatment of rape in the military courts. Almost exclusively, I have focused on a single case, ...
Should Cossacks Be Allowed to Sell Their Land?
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This question concerns a matter discussed at the highest levels of the imperial government between 1821 and 1828. It had a very innocuous beginning. A Cossack from Poltava, Iashchenko, bequeathed to two churches a certain amount of land, some inherited, some purchased. ...
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Publication Year: 2012