Russ 321/HIST/SISRE 443
Lecture Outline

The Politics of Kievan Rus:
Kievan Rus' as a Loosely Structured Federation

I. A new locus and chronology for the "Origins of Rus"-history does not begin in Kiev in the 9th century.

II. Highlights in the rise and fall of Kievan Rus.

A. Consolidation around Kiev under Prince Vladimir I (970s-1015).
B. The apogee under Iaroslav "the Wise" (mid-11th century).
C. Decline in the 12th century.

III. The political "system."

A. Role of the ruling clan: the "Riurikids."
[B. Principles of succession.]*
[C. The role of local communities; the veche and verv'.]
D. Minimal administration.
1. The evidence of the Chronicle.
2. Princely administration; Russkaia Pravda.
3. Emphasis on oral procedure and traditional methods of conflict resolution.
[4. The role of the Church.]
E. Centripetal tendencies: Kiev as a federation.

IV. Factors in prosperity and decline.

A. The importance of international trade.
B. The importance of friendly and prosperous neighbors.
C. Change in the domestic economy.
D. Internal cohesion or its absence.

*Bracketed items yet to be covered.