Russ 321/HIST/SISRE 443
Lecture Outline

The Origins, Development and Decline of Kievan Rus

I. Peoples of Eastern Europe before the Rise of Kievan Rus.

A. Persistent patterns of settlement and interaction.
B. Where and when do we start?
C. The early Slavs and the culture of the forest.
1. The mysteries and myths of Slavic origins.
2. Language and culture.
3. Relations with neighbors.
D. Rus as a multi-ethnic state.
E. Change through the centuries.

II. The "problem" of the Origins of Rus--chronology and historiography.

A. The Primary Chronicle as secondary interpretation.
1. Invented chronology.
2. "Rus-centrism" and "Kievo-centrism."
B. Modern scholars' nationalist and Marxist passions.

III. What the primary sources reveal.

A. The earliest reliable sources: Arabic, Latin, and Byzantine.
B. Who were the Rus?
C. The importance of archaeology.
D. A new chronology and locus for the origins of Rus.