Elements of Medieval Russian Life as Depicted in the Königsberg Chronicle

The manuscript starts with the beginning of the world and ends with the death of Konradin and Pope Nicolaus III. Its focus is the Holy Roman Empire. By John BeebeAuthorIvan Rezansky’s Adventures Overview One of my favorite medieval Russian manuscripts is the Radziwiłł Chronicle, also known as the Königsberg Chronicle. This book is considered to be[…]

A History of Medieval Novgorod

Novgorodian Rus’ and its inhabitants were much influenced by the Viking culture and people. Introduction The Novgorod Republic (several pronunciations and spellings)[1][2][3] was a medieval East Slavic state from the 12th to 15th centuries, stretching from the Gulf of Finland in the west to the northern Ural Mountains in the east, including the city of Novgorod and the Lake Ladoga regions of modern Russia. Citizens referred to their[…]

A History of Alaska as a Russian Colony before Seward’s Folly

Mikhail Gvozdev’s trip in 1732 marked the first Russian contact with the American mainland, and with Alaska’s Native people. The Beginning of Exploration Near the end of the 15th century a remarkable new chapter in global history began. Several countries in Western Europe launched maritime expeditions of exploration, systematically sailing thousands of miles across the[…]

Oleg of Novgorod: Setting the Stage for the Rise of Medieval Kievan Rus

According to East Slavic chronicles, Oleg was supreme ruler of the Rus’ from 879 to 912. Introduction Oleg of Novgorod[1] was a Varangian prince (or konung) who ruled all or part of the Rus’ people during the late 9th and early 10th centuries. He is credited by Rus’ Chronicles with moving from either Staraya Ladoga[…]

Rurik of Rus: Varangian Rule in Early Medieval Russia

The Rurik dynasty (or Rurikids) went on to rule the Kievan Rus’, and ultimately the Tsardom of Russia, until 1598. Introduction Rurik (c. 830 – 879), according to the 12th-century Primary Chronicle, was a Varangian chieftain of the Rus’ who in the year 862 gained control of Ladoga, and built Novgorod in the same year.[…]

The Kronstadt Rebellion in the Early Soviet Union

The rebellion had a startling effect on Lenin, because the Kronstadt sailors had been among the strongest supporters of the Bolsheviks. Introduction The Kronstadt rebellion was an unsuccessful uprising of Soviet sailors, led by Stepan Petrichenko, against the government of the early Russian SFSR. The rebellion took place in the first weeks of March, 1921[…]

The Rus’ Khaganate in the Early Medieval Era

The Annals of St. Bertin refer to a group of Vikings, who called themselves Rhos (qi se, id est gentem suam, Rhos vocari dicebant). Introduction The Rus’ Khaganate was a polity that flourished during a poorly documented period in the history of Eastern Europe (roughly the late eighth and early to mid-ninth centuries C.E.).[1] A[…]

The Medieval Russian Army

Tribal militia formed the basis of the army in Kievan Rus’ before the Mongol invasion. Introduction The Medieval Russian army, from the foundation of Kievan Rus’ till the reforms of Ivan the Terrible, can be roughly divided into the Kievan Rus’ period, between the 9th to 13th century, mainly characterized by infantry armies of town[…]

A Brief History of Medieval Russia from the 9th to 15th Centuries

From Kievan Rus to the adoption of Christianity and Ivan the Great after the Mongol invasion. Introduction Background The first state-like formations, in the present-day territory of Russia, emerged around Novgorod and Kiev in the 9th century. Russia was then dominated by Vikings. After 250 years of Mongol supremacy, from the 13th century, Moscow became[…]

Historical Kiev, a City Ringing with ‘Holy, Heavenly Songs’

The St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev is a sign of the city’s former historical significance. matt shalvatis The Kiev of ancient Rus was one of a number of fortified cities dotting the great plains that were watered by rivers debauching into the Black Sea or the Mediterranean. By Dr. Judith Armstrong / 08.05.2014 Honorary Associate Professor[…]

The Princess of Discord: Anna of Kyiv and Her Influence on Medieval France

Set of Post Stamps “Kyivan Princesses on European Thrones”, Ukraine’s Postal Service, 2016 She was an influential advisor to both her husband and her son, inscribing many royal documents with her own name, and introducing the name Philip into the royal line. By Dr. Christian Raffensperger / 06.2017 Associate Professor of Pre-Modern and Ancient World Studies[…]

The Russian Revolution: Cause, Context, and Contemporary Relevance

To try and understand the Russian revolution outside of the broader social context of the time is to neglect the development of nationhood in the region. Wikicommons The Russian Revolution – an event that affected more than Russia and was more than a revolution. By Dr. Mark Edele / 10.11.2018 Professor of History University of Western Australia For most people, the term[…]

Russian Envoys and Post-Imperial Narratives in Early-20th Century China and Japan

Downtown Tokyo in the 1920s / Creative Commons During the 1920s, Soviet cultural authorities sought to develop a new, post-imperialist literature that would acknowledge a “new East”. By Dr. Katerina Clark Professor of :Comparative Literature and of Slavic Languages and Literatures Yale University Abstract   Sergei Tretiakov (left) and Boris Pilniak (right) / Public Domain During[…]

Kievan Rus’: The Medieval History of Northwestern Russia

Pskov Veche, by Apollinary Vasnetsov, 1908 / Tretryakov Gallery, Wikimedia Commons Kievan Rus′ was the early, mostly East Slavic state dominated by the city of Kiev from about 880 C.E. to the middle of the twelfth century. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 09.26.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction Kievan Rus′ was the early, mostly East[…]

Religion, Values, and the Kremlin’s Ideological Battle against the West

Kremlin. Voznesenskaya Square / Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons This article analyses the role of religion and moral values in the framework of Russian policies, the Kremlin intent to attract “people’s hearts, minds and souls” in different places all over the world, and the moral dimension of Moscow hybrid warfare against the West. By Dr. Juan[…]

The Princes of Rus: Varangians to the Rise of Moscow

From The Rurik Dynasty Exhibition / Visit St. Petersbug The Varangians ruled the medieval state of Kievan Rus between the 9th and 11th centuries. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 08.29.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Rurik and the Foundation of Rus’ Introduction to Rurik Rurik (also spelled Riurik) was a Varangian chieftain who arrived in the Ladoga[…]

Women and the Russian Revolution

Wikimedia Commons Exploring how women’s lives changed during the Russian Revolution, tracing the history of female revolutionaries in Russia and the different ways women documented and participated in events. By Katie McElvanney AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Candidate Queen Mary University What was life like for women before the Russian Revolution? The life experiences of women in the Russian[…]

Stalin, Hitler, and Mussolini: A Trifecta of 20th-Century Tyranny

Seduction, propaganda, and ultimate power and control. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 08.05.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Benito Mussolini and Fascism in Italy (1922-1939) Mussolini in an official portrait / Wikimedia Commons Benito Mussolini, born into a poor blacksmith’s family, was so named by his radically socialist father (his mother was a devout Catholic schoolteacher)[…]

Propaganda in the Russian Revolution

Wikimedia Commons Looking at the various forms of propaganda in circulation during the Russian Revolution. By Dr. Katya Rogatchevskaia Lead Curator, East European Collections British Library Is there such a thing as ‘good’ propaganda? Over the 20th century, the word ‘propaganda’ acquired predominantly negative connotations and to many, it is associated with totalitarian regimes. Back in 1928,[…]

Reporting the Russian Revolution

Public Domain Exploring how events of the Russian Revolution and civil wars were reported within Russia and abroad, and how the press was used to inform, persuade, or even repress, the masses. By Katie McElvanney AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Candidate Queen Mary University The two Russian revolutions of 1917, and subsequent civil wars, not only caused great political[…]

‘An Inexperienced and Incompetent Chauffeur’: The British-Soviet Invasion of Iran

British supply convoy with Russian escorts in Iran, September 1941 / Public Domain At dawn on August 25, 1941, the people of Iran awoke to a full-scale invasion of their country by the combined forces of Britain and the Soviet Union. By Dr. Ursula Sims-Williams / 07.11.2018 Lead Curator, Persian Collections British Library At dawn[…]

A History of Russian-Kurdish Relations

Russia’s relations with various Kurdish groups date back almost two centuries. By Pietro A. Shakarian / 11.12.2017 PhD Candidate in Russian History The Ohio State University    1986 CIA map of Kurdish-inhabited areas in the Middle East and the Soviet Union (left), and 1960 Soviet ethnographic map of the Near East with Kurdish populations in[…]

Russia 75 Years after the Battle of Stalingrad

Wikimedia Commons Stalingrad was hailed in February 3’s Pravda (Truth) newspaper as “the greatest battle in history” and “a catastrophe of titanic proportions” for the German invaders. By Dr. Ian Garner / 02.22.2018 Scholar of Russian Literature and History Queen’s University, Ontario February 3, 2018 marked 75 years since the conclusion of the Battle of Stalingrad. After almost[…]

Chernobyl, Over Three Decades Later

Ariel view of the destroyed reactor, 1986 Hundreds of thousands of people, mostly military conscripts and reservists, were mobilized in a desperate struggle with the consequences of the explosion.  By Dr. David Moon 11.28.2016 Anniversary Professor of History University of York Fire fighters and power station workers struggled to put out the fire. Two people were[…]

The Avars: From Mongolia to the Pontic Steppe

East Roman Empire, 6th century CE, showing the territories of the Avars, Goths, Franks, Lombards, Saxons, Thuringians, Slavs. / Image by William R. Shepherd, Wikimedia Commons The Avars were a confederation of heterogeneous people consisting of Rouran, Hephthalites, and Turkic-Oghuric races who migrated to the region of the Pontic Grass Steppe (an area corresponding to modern-day Ukraine. By Dr. Joshua J. Mark / 12.17.2014[…]