Russ 321/HSTAM/SISRE 443
Lecture Outline

Kievan Rus Becomes a Province in the Byzantine Commonwealth

I. Ways of thinking about cultural development.

A. Misconceptions about what is "advanced," and what is "backward."
B. Borrowing may be good; all that is good may not be that which is borrowed.
C. Cultural syncretism.
D. Multiple chronologies of cultural change.
E. Center and periphery; the elite and the masses.

II. The East Slavic society into which Byzantine culture came.

A. The importance of kin and community: the world of the "verv" and the "veche."
B. Intimate relations with the forces of nature-religious belief and practice.
C. The role of "magicians" or "pagan priests."
D. An oral culture.
E. Were Rus more "culturally advanced" than the Slavs they conquered?
F. Mechanisms contributing to cultural change.
1. Conquest and international trade.
2. Political calculation.
3. Urban development.
4. Social mobility.

III. Byzantium and Rus up to Vladimir's conversion.

A. Early and often hostile contacts.
B. Christianity amongst the Rus.
1. Byzantine efforts to convert the Khazars.
2. Patriarch Photios' statement about conversion of Rus.
3. A Rus bishopric.
4. Olga's conversion.
5. The possibility of Christianity from the West.
C. Was it inevitable? - Vladimir's "pantheon."
D. Was there really a choice?

IV. What Byzantium had to offer.

A. The quintessential imperial city (Tsar'grad; Constantinople): location; political and economic importance.
B. Heir to the culture of Greece and Rome:
1. Law and administration.
2. Literature and thought.
3. Art and architecture.
C. Byzantium and the Christian world.
1. Christian vs. pagan Rome; imperial intervention in church affairs.
2. The ecumenical councils and the development of Christian doctrine.
3. Divisions between East and West.
a. Theology.
b. Ritual.
c. Hierarchy.
d. The cultural chasm and role of politics.
4. Iconoclasm and its legacy in religious art.
5. The legacy of SS. Cyril and Methodius.