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The Liturgical Past in Byzantium and Early Rus

$99.99 (C)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought: Fourth Series

  • Date Published: September 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107156760

$ 99.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • The chroniclers of medieval Rus were monks, who celebrated the divine services of the Byzantine church throughout every day. This study is the first to analyze how these rituals shaped their writing of the Rus Primary Chronicle, the first written history of the East Slavs. During the eleventh century, chroniclers in Kiev learned about the conversion of the Roman Empire by celebrating a series of distinctively Byzantine liturgical feasts. When the services concluded, and the clerics sought to compose a native history for their own people, they instinctively drew on the sacred stories that they sang at church. The result was a myth of Christian origins for Rus - a myth promulgated even today by the Russian government - which reproduced the Christian origins myth of the Byzantine Empire. The book uncovers this ritual subtext and reconstructs the intricate web of liturgical narratives that underlie this foundational text of pre-modern Slavic civilization.

    • Includes English translations of all primary sources, including many published here for the first time
    • Provides a major contribution to the study of the written history of East Slavic civilization
    • Demonstrates how these chronicle stories were later used for political as well as religious purposes
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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107156760
    • length: 284 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.54kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Liturgy and history in Early Rus
    2. The Rus Primary Chronicle
    3. Vespers at the Kiev Monastery of the Caves
    4. The dayspring before the sun: Princess Olga of Kiev
    5. A new Constantine in the North: Prince Vladimir and the Baptism of Rus
    6. A rational sacrifice: the martyrdom of Princes Boris and Gleb
    Conclusion: the making of royal saints in Early Rus.

  • Author

    Sean Griffin, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire
    Sean Griffin is a junior fellow in the Society of Fellows at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire. His interdisciplinary research focuses on both the most ancient and the most recent periods of Russian and Ukrainian history. He has previously been a Visiting Professor at Stanford University and was a VolkswagenStiftung fellow at Westfälische Wilhems-Universität in Münster, Germany from 2016 to 2017.

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