Medieval and Early Modern Russia and Ukraine
Autumn Quarter 2004
Instructor: Daniel Waugh
103E Smith Hall
MTW 11:30-1, and by appointment. Note:
No scheduled office hours September 29 and December 6-7.
206-616-8408 (direct office phone, no message machine); 206-543-5790 (msg., History Dept.)
History Dept. Office, 315 Smith Hall
M-Th., 10:30-11:20, Raitt 121
Course web site: http://faculty.washington.edu/dwaugh/hstam443/04hstam443syl.html
Friday Discussion Section, 11:30-12:20, Balmer 314
Note: The course is being offered conjointly with Russ 321. Both classes attend the same M-Th. lectures; 443 has a separate discussion section on Friday. Note also that HSTAM 443 and SISRE 443 are one and the same course. In many cases assignments may refer to the course only by "HSTAM 443" even though in all such cases you should understand that means as well SISRE 443.Students enrolled for both 321 and 443 are expected to attend the respective Friday sections for both classes.
Should you have bookmarked the course syllabus for Autumn 2003 prior to the beginning of this quarter, be sure to change your bookmark to the current Autumn 2004 version. If you wish to look at materials assigned for Russ 321 which may also be of interest to students in 443 (but not linked here), you can access them via the syllabus for 321.
The password for the controlled section of the course web materials will be given out in class.
Subject and Goals
The subject of this course is primarily the history of "European Russia" and "Ukraine" from approximately the ninth century to ca. 1700. This is the area in eastern Europe bordered today on the west by the Baltic, Poland and the Carpathian Mountains, on the north by the White Sea, on the east by the Urals, and on the south by the Black Sea and the Caucasus. In another definition, the focus of the course is the world of the Orthodox East Slavs, although in fact we will meet many non-slavic and non-Orthodox peoples who are part of this history, among them Balts, Finns, and Turkic peoples.
To a considerable degree, our approach is topical, focussing on particular themes or problems rather than emphasizing a purely narrative chronology. Among topics to be covered are:
- the controversial origins of the Rus, the eponymous "founders" of Russia;
- the distinctive economic and social history of "Kievan Rus", a "state" whose political and cultural center was at Kiev on the Dnieper River;
- the profound cultural impact of conversion to Eastern Orthodox Christianity in the 10th century;
- the importance of regional political and cultural centers, especially Vladimir/Suzdal and Novgorod;
- the impact of Mongol rule in the 13th and 14th centuries;
- the rise of Moscow in the 14th and 15th centuries;
- absolutism in Muscovite political and social history;
- defining Moscovy's place in universal history--the Third Rome or the Second Jerusalem?
- confronting the cultural challenges of Western Europe.
- a seventeenth century "crisis" of Orthodox Muscovy?
One goal of the course is to help students acquire knowedge about important facts and issues regarding the early history of what by the end of our period becomes the Russian Empire. In many ways Russians and Ukrainians define their identities today by reference to their earlier history; so apart from its inherent interest, the subject matter has some "relevance" for understanding contemporary political and cultural discourse. A second, and perhaps more important goal of the course is to challenge its participants to develop critical thinking and writing skills, through assessment of controversial viewpoints and often opaque primary source material.
Since the lectures in the course will also be addressing the needs of students enrolled in Russian 321, whose subject is Literature and Culture of Early Rus, it is important to note that a substantial amount of the discussion and serious work for HSTAM 443 on issues of political, social and economic history must take place outside the classroom, on-line, and in the Friday discussion section specifically for this course. The lectures of necessity will be rather general, the writing assignments and discussion may be quite specific and often will focus on matters not treated in detail in lecture. Students must be willing to accept the challenge of doing on their own a lot of synthesis of often disparate materials. Some subjects being discussed in one week in Russian 321 sections may not be the focus of discussions for HSTAM 443 until a later week.
This is the 33rd year since this course was first taught and is presumably the final time it and the subject of "Early Russian History" will be offered at the University of Washington.
There are no prerequisites with regard to previous history courses or courses pertaining to Russia. However, students should have reading and analytical skills appropriate for upper division course work in social sciences and humanities. By this I mean:
The course will offer the opportunity to improve such skills. Since this is an upper division course, students must come prepared to do a substantial amount of reading and writing on a regular basis throughout the quarter.
- the ability to understand a relatively complex argument and be able to summarize it;
- and the ability to integrate material from a variety of sources into a coherent argument;
- the ability to write clear and correct expository prose.
Graduate students taking the course will be expected to do some of the reading for their research papers in an appropriate foreign language. Undergraduates are not writing a research paper; the assigned readings for them are all in English. However, they are always encouraged to exercise relevant foreign language skills in reading material which may be relevant to the course.
All students must be able to access computer-based materials and have the means of communicating electronically. The reason for this is that many course materials will be available only on-line, and there is some required writing/discussion which will take place on-line. This requires:
Since some of the course materials may take a long time to down-load, it is important that there be access to high-speed transmission. If one does not have high-speed access from home, the alternative will be to use one of the computer labs on campus. For those uncertain of their computer skills, there are many courses and workshops offered through the libraries and computer labs on campus. Acquiring such skills will have wide application for other courses, employment, etc. and will be an excellent investment of time.
- having access to a computer account. Be aware that materials linked to the syllabus from certain library databases (notably JSTOR) may be accessible only if you are using a UW account; you will need to provide your UW ID to access electronic discussion.
- knowing how to use a standard internet browser (Microsoft Explorer or Netscape);
- knowing how to use e-mail, participate in web-based electronic discussion, and upload text to the Peer Review site. Instructions on that process are contained within EPost and Peer Review.
General Information about Course Requirements:
The required work for the course and its weight in the final grade are as follows for undergraduates (click on each item to bring up separate pages for details) :
- 1. map quiz (to be factored into the participation grade)
- 2. take-home mid-term, due Friday, October 22. 10%
- 3. Three (3) of four (4) short papers, posted on Wednesday and handed in on Friday of Weeks II, VI, VII, and X 45% (15% each)
- 4. A book review, posted November 29 and handed in December 10 15%
- 5. A take-home final exam, due Monday, December 13 15%
- 6. Participation 15%
Part of your participation grade will be based on your contribution to the EPost and Peer Review electronic discussion for the class, about which, click here. You are expected to post comments throughout the quarter on the various weekly readings as well as on your peers' paper drafts. Participation also includes two 2 pg. "discussion essays," not listed above, which must be brought to discussion sections October 15 and November 12, but will not be formally ungraded.
For graduate students, the above requirements hold but with these exceptions: all four of the short papers (item 3) are required, and instead of writing a book review, there is
7. A short research paper. Graduate students are expected to read all the posted book reviews and comment on them in the same fashion that undergraduates are required to do (i.e., comment on 6-8 of the total). In calculating the graduate student grades, the grade for the requirements other than the term paper will be weighted 80%, with the research paper weighted the other 20%.
There are a few simple rules regarding the requirements:
- All graded written assignments (items 1, 2, 3, 4 (for undergraduates), 5, and 7 (for grad. students) must be completed in order to be eligible for course credit. That is, one cannot elect not to do an assignment on the assumption that theoretically once would still have enough points from the other graded work to pass the course.
- Late work will be marked down as explained on the page with details about the papers. The map quiz, in-class essay, and final exam must be taken/submitted as scheduled, unless one has a documented medical excuse.
- Students are expected to do their own work, and if using/citing that of others give explicit credit. Failure to give credit in such instances is plagiarism. Plagiarized work is considered not to constitute fulfillment of an assignment. Should the instructor determine that plagiarism has taken place, on the first offence the work may be rewitten for credit (but with a grade penalty for lateness). Should a student who plagiarizes choose not to rewrite the work properly or should there be a second offense either in the re-writing or in another written assignment, a grade for the quarter will be witheld and the matter turned over to the appropriate university Committee for Academic Misconduct, which will determine the penalty. If that committee determines that academic misconduct has taken place, that fact becomes part of the permanent student record of the offender. Further detail may be found under academic conduct (including a discussion of plagiarism).
You should also be sure to read the "departmental policy statement" which can be accessed here.
For a summary Calendar of Important Dates, click here. You will note from the calendar that the course requires you keep up on reading and writing assignments on a regular basis, with virtually no break for the duration of the quarter. This means it is essential you plan your time carefully and not fall behind. In the case of an assignment such as the book review, you should not wait until the last minute when it is coming due but should try instead to post it earlier. As you know from experience, work in all your courses tends to pile up toward the end of each quarter and become almost impossible to finish if you fall behind. Should you find you are not keeping up, it is important you come talk with the instructor about strategies for coping before you get into a hopeless hole.
Students who wish additional help in writing papers should take advantage of the History or JSIS writing centers. For information on the former, click here. Students in JSIS are served through the Political Science writing center.
The following books have been ordered at the University Bookstore and form part of the required readings:
Should you be able to obtain your own copy of the following two out-of-print books, do so:
- Charles J. Halperin, Russia and the Golden Horde (Indiana PB). ISBN No. 0253204453
- Janet Martin, Medieval Russia 980-1584 (Cambridge PB). ISBN No. 0-521-36832-4
- Carolyn Johnston Pouncy, tr., The Domostroi (Cornell PB). ISBN No. 0801496896
- Vasilii O. Kliuchevskii, A Course in Russian History: The Seventeenth Century, tr. N. Duddington (M. E. Sharpe PB). ISBN No. 1563243172
Simon Franklin and Jonathan Shepard, The Emergence of Rus, 750-1200 (Longman PB; ISBN No. 058249091x) The first of these is particularly important for the first three weeks of the course. Four copies of the book will be on overnight reserve in OUGL. You may be able to find copies used via Amazon.com or other on-line booksellers. You will find in the specific assignments below suggestions for alternatives to some of the material in Franklin and Shepard, but the overlap is only partial. Should you obtain Crummey (a copy of which is on 4-hour reserve), you may substitute him for Martin where indicated below--he is a better read; also, there are some sections of his book not covered in your other reading.
Robert O. Crummey, The Formation of Muscovy, 1304-1613 (Longman PB; ISBN No. 0582491533).
Those wishing a very quick overview/preview of the period of Russian History covered by this course may wish to read Gregory Freeze, ed., Russia: A History (Oxford, 1997; 2nd ed. 2002), Chs. 1-3. The first chapter is by the same Janet Martin who wrote the book you have purchased; the second section (written by Nancy Kollmann of Stanford) is arguably the best short treatment of all of Muscovite history to be found anywhere.
Some copies of Valerie Kivelson and Robert Greene, eds., Orthodox Russia (Penn State UP: 2003; ISBN 0271023503) have been ordered. Two or three of the essays are linked to the course website and are required; but you would benefit from reading some of the others.
Note that in some cases you will not be expected to read closely all of any given book--see the weekly assignments for details. Also, note that there are other very important required course materials, available via the course web site and linked through this syllabus.
Outline maps will be provided by the instructor for the map exercise.
Outlines and chronologies used in class lectures will be posted to the web site (accessible via the contents side bar). You will find there initially the outlines as used last year in the course which for the most part indicate the content of this year's classes too. Should there be any significant deviation, a new outline will be posted and dated.
Information on other resources including web-based material can also be accessed from the sidebar.
Schedule of Topics and Assignments:
Week I (Sept. 29-Oct. 1). Introduction to course; geography; peoples.
Note: On Friday, October 1, instead of having a discussion
section, the class will meet in its regular lecture room (Raitt 121) at 10:30
for a lecture. If there is interest in then following that with a discussion at 11:30, Prof. Waugh can be available at that time in Balmer 314.
Readings (which anticipate in part next week as well and should be continued then):
Of possible additional interest (recommended):
- Brief overview of problems of periodization.
- Franklin and Shepard, Introduction and Chapters 1-4 (of which Chs. 1 and 2 are the most important, since you cannot find the material elsewhere). Note that the chapters in this book by Shepard discussing archaeological evidence are very dense. You will need to develop techniques of skimming in order to get the essence of the argument. Some study questions for guidance through this difficult first week material are below. It is not required that you do so, but if you wish to see my reasons for liking the book, skim my review of it published soon after their book had appeared. For Kievan politics beginning with Prince Vladimir in the last third of the 11th century (i.e., F & S, Ch. 4), you can find material in Martin, Ch. 1.
- Web materials on Origins of Rus, including:
- Archaeological evidence;
- Introduction to the written sources.
- Selections from the Russian Primary Chronicle;
- A selection from the Bertinian Annals;
- A selection from the Arab author Ibn Khordadbeh;
- Selections from the Khazar correspondence;
- Selections from the Arab author Ibn Rusta;
- Selections from the Arab author Ibn Fadlan;
- Selections from the Byzantine author, the Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitos;
- Maps (as appropriate) in the Historical Atlas of Ukraine (the maps are accessed from an English table of contents on lower part of page).
- Having worked on the sources to develop your own chronology and narrative of events, you should now compare your notes with two chronologies:
- Summary of information in the primary sources;
- Suggested chronology of events.
- Web materials written by your instructor on interpreting material objects as historical evidence, part of the project "World History Matters." Of particular relevance for our course is the example of interpreting coin evidence, where the focus is on Byzantine coins.
- Web materials on the Khazars. This is useful for ideas about the extent of the Khazar state and some of the written and material evidence regarding it. The site emphasizes the Jewish religion of the Khazars. In particular, note the introductory survey of the history ("Introduction to the History of Khazaria") and the materials on Sarkel.
- Maps of Khazaria.
- Web materials on Birka, an important settlement in Scandinavia that was connected via the trade routes of Eastern Europe to the Middle East. As with the Khazar site, there is a kind of "Khazar nationalism" evident in some of the commentary here, which thus leaves unexplored some of the other aspects of the history of such a town.
- Nicholas Riasanovsky, "The Norman Theory of the Origin of the Russian State." An "anti-Normanist" argument, which you might find useful to contrast with what is basically a "Normanist" interpretation emphasized in this course regarding the issue as to whether the Normans (i.e., Scandinavian Vikings) were instrumental in the creation of the "First Russian State."
- What, if anything, can you conclude about the relationship between geography and patterns of settlement and human activity?
- Who were the peoples in the territory of Eastern Europe that concerns us? Where did they live and what did they do? Did those patterns change over time?
- What is the "problem of the Origins of Rus"? Who were the Rus?
- What is the value and limitation of archaeological sources?
- Written sources? (Note, you need to apply such a question to each of them individually.)
- How does one reconcile views that on the one hand place the Rus in Kiev in the 9th century, and on the other hand delay their arrival there until after 930?
Week II (Oct. 4-8): Politics, Society and the Economy of Kievan Rus.
- Continue with F & S, Chapters 5-10 (also for Week III, insofar as they deal with culture). For political history covered in the last half of F & S, see alternatively Martin, Chs. 2, 4; for social and economic history covered in F & S, Ch. 8, see Martin, Ch. 3, and the articles by Kaiser and Noonan listed just below under recommended reading.
- Law Codes, including:
- Introductory comments.
- Short Russkaia Pravda;
- Long Russkaia Pravda;
- (Recommended)Prince Vladimir's Church Statute;
- Prince Iaroslav's Church Statute.
- Material from week I, as appropriate.
- (Strongly) Recommended:
- Kaiser, "The Economy of Kievan Rus': Evidence from the Pravda Rus'skaia." Helpful for systematic analysis of socio-economic evidence in RP.
- Noonan, "The Flourishing of Kiev's International and Domestic Trade, ca. 1100-ca. 1240." A very valuable overview of Kievan trade and corrective to conventional views about Kiev's decline.
First Paper Assignment (draft to be posted on Peer Review by end of day, Wednesday, October 6, and hard copy of it turned in at class discussion, Friday, October 10):
- How appropriate are the terms "state" or "political system" for the polity that emerged under the rule of the Rus?
- (related to No. 1). What were the boundaries of jurisdiction of the prince, church, society at large?
- Do we see change over time in such matters? Note: Pay close attention to the question of which part of the various versions of the Russkaia Pravda (early law code) was written when. We are talking about at least three parts, two contained in what is normally termed the Short Pravda and the third being the Long Pravda.
- What change over time might we establish regarding the nature of the economy of early Rus?
Historians have long argued over whether the state of the Rus prior to the Mongol invasion of the 13th century was primarily "agricultural" or based on trade. As part of your preparation for writing the paper, think about why such a question might have engendered vigorous dispute by modern scholars. To some extent, the answer may lie in political or ideological considerations pertinent to the nineteenth or twentieth centuries, but to some degree as well, the very nature of the primary sources is responsible. In your paper, you should argue your view of the socio-economic nature of Kievan Rus and support your argument with specific evidence from the primary sources. It is important to remember that change occurs over time; you need to address that issue in your analysis.
Week III (Oct. 11-15): Culture of Kievan Rus, I
Map quiz at beginning of class, Wednesday, Oct. 13.
- Franklin and Shepard, as previously assigned, esp. chs. 4, 6. There is no adequate equivalent in Martin for the material on culture; Franklin's article listed below as recommended will give you an early version of some of what he summarizes in Ch. 6 on pp. 237-243.
- Web page on conversion. Several of the primary source readings immediately below are linked to this page.
- Levin, "Dvoeverie and Popular Religion." Note: this article is not confined principally to materials on the Kievan period, but it is extremely valuable for conceptualization of how we can best make sense of religion in Russia and assess the impact of the coming of Christianity. It is an important response to, among other things, some of the points made in the discussion by Florovsky et al. in the recommended readings.
- Selections from the Primary Chronicle relating to "traditional" and pre-Christian belief and practice.
- The conversion tale in the Russian Primary Chronicle. Note: You do not have the whole text here. This selection omits Vladimir's pagan past and shortens substantially the "testing" of the various faiths, their expositions of their beliefs, etc.
- The church statutes of Vladimir and Iaroslav, as previously assigned.
- Metropolitan Ilarion's "Sermon on Law and Grace." This text is normally considered to be one of the best examples of the mastery of formal Byzantine rhetoric by a native of Rus' whose education was undoubtedly exceptional. Whether Ilarion, one of the few natives of Rus' to preside over its church in the early centuries, really wrote the whole thing is questionable. It is of particular interest if read as a document expressing a kind of pre-modern "nationalism"--that is asserting the centrality of Rus in a cultural and religious world that in formal terms was centered on Byzantium. Note the section of the work praising Prince Vladimir and calling him our "Kaghan" (the title of the Khazar rulers!).
- Web pages on art and architecture. You might start by at least skimming the pages on the background of Byzantine architecture and the development of Christian iconography, since these will help your understanding of the extent of Byzantine artistic influence in Kiev and the basic principles underlying the art. You should definitely read the introductory comments on the Art of Kievan Rus and about the Cathedral of Sancta Sophia and its cultural setting. The latter will allow you to take a tour to see some of the other buildings in medieval Kiev. Once you have done that, explore the Christian imagery in the cathedral. The so-called "secular" imagery in the cathedral is dealt with in web materials assigned for next week on the art of the royal court.
- Florovsky, "Problem of Old Russian Culture," with commentary by Andreyev and Billington and Florovsky's response. (JSTOR) This discussion is very stimulating, although many of the authors' statements are in need of revision. Florovsky's main point is not always clear, although he provides a good sense of the ways in which previous writers have interpreted or misinterpreted the "Old Russian" cultural experience. One needs to keep in mind that his particular concerns about "intellectual silence" reflect to some extent his expertise as a historian of Russian theology. Points he makes need to be re-considered in the light of Levin's arguments and especially those by Veder (see below). Levin also presents significant alternatives to some of Andreyev's assertions. One important point that crops up in the discussion is the idea that the Mongols cut Russia off from the West, which simply is not true, as we will discover a bit later in the course.
- Thomson, "Slavonic Translations."
- Veder, "Old Russia's Intellectual Silence Reconsidered." A response to Florovsky et al. and to more recent work by F. J. Thomson. This article is important for raising basic questions concerning whether Slavic bookmen and their readers did not, perhaps, have a distinctive understanding of the function of the written text. Veder makes what some see as a defect of the early Rus compilations into a virtue. It is easy to read around his (for the general reader) somewhat abstruse examples for his main points.
- Franklin on Literacy and Documentation in Early Medieval Russia." (JSTOR) Franklin's conclusions can also be found in your course book by Franklin and Shepard. The subject of literacy is much misunderstood though; his fuller analysis here is well worth reading.
- Should you wish to gain some insight into ways of analyzing architecture, take a look at Lawrence Butler's discussion of Sancta Sophia in Constantinople. The best way to use this is if you have the Flash plug-in, which lets you listen to the audio as the various images change on the screen.
- You might find of interest my short, illustrated web page on Istanbul/Constantinople
Bring for discussion on Friday, Oct. 15, a 2-page (not-to-be graded) essay on the following:
- What do we learn from the primary sources about the pre-Christian religious beliefs of the Rus and their subjects?
- To what degree do such beliefs and practices seem to have survived the coming of Christianity?
- Why was Eastern Orthodox Christianity the religion of choice for Olga and Vladimir?
- To what degree was the culture of Byzantium accepted and spread in Kievan Rus? (Consider specific evidence in primary sources.)
To what extent do the surviving sources (archaeological, artistic, and written) inform us about the culture of the mass of the population in Kievan Rus? If, in fact, we seem to know little about the culture of the masses, then whose culture are we seeing in the sources? To what degree does that culture seem to have been influenced by Byzantium and to what degree does it appear that Byzantine culture was adapted to accomodate local tradition? Be sure to post some comments to EPost regarding these questions in advance of the class meeting.
A take-home mid-term essay question will be handed out in section Oct. 15 and also posted to the website. Your mid-term question will undoubtedly require that you bring to bear material for the whole of the course through Week IV. The essay will be due in section, Friday, Oct. 22.
- Prince Vladimir Monomakh's "Testament" . Included in the Primary Chronicle, this document seems to be a genuine "instruction" of Monomakh to his sons and shows in interesting ways the juxtaposition of his faith with his accounting of his real world activities. It captures something of the "princely culture" of the early 12th century and also provides insights into Rus' relations with the nomadic Polovtsy. This will be useful to read in conjunction with the web page on the culture of the princely courts, as is the Igor' Tale.
- Haney and Dahl, On the Campaign of Igor: 1. Introduction; 2. Text; 3. Commentary. (You must read the text; the introduction and commentary will help you to understand it.)
- Web page on the imagery of the Kievan royal court. The pages on the art of the Principality of Vladimir provide some interesting insights into the place of the principality in the European cultural context of the late 12th century and material on the cultural context of the "Igor' Tale," insofar as that epic poem seems to have been the product of one of the contemporary princely courts.
- Although your answer may perforce be somewhat speculative, to what extent one might imagine (and perhaps find sources to support the idea) that there were substantial regional variations in culture in early Rus?
- Does the "Igor Tale" in any way seem to contradict what we know from other sources about the culture of late Kievan Rus? Does it provide us with information that we would not otherwise know?
Class discussion on Friday, Oct. 22 will focus on your mid-term essays, which you turn in at that time.
Week V (Oct. 25-Oct. 29): Novgorod; the decline of Kiev and the advent of the Mongols.
- Excerpts from the Novgorod
- Novgorod's treaty
with Tver' Prince Iaroslav Iaroslavich.
on Novgorod architecture and art and the "reconstruction" of Novgorod's past
in modern times.
- The Novgorod
Judicial Charters. In reading these, be aware of the fact that they represent
various stages of legal evolution; some of the powers granted the prince reflect
the establishment of Muscovite control in the 15th century.
- "Chronology of Golden
- In anticipation of next week, begin reading Halperin, Russia and the
Also in anticipation of next week, read selectively in at least one of the following
contemporary and (to my mind) in many ways quite "objective" accounts about
the Mongols in the 13th century, where the material in the first instance does
not focus on their rule in Russia.. Both are by Franciscans who traveled across
Eurasia to Mongolia. The account by Rubruck is the more detailed and is particuarly
interesting for its description of the Mongol capital, Karakorum.
- You may wish to look at my web page on "Karakorum,"
the Mongol capital.
For discussion on Friday, October 29, prepare
a careful analysis of what the Novgorod and Pskov charters reveal about the
political/administrative and social differences between those cities and what
we know about cities in Kievan Rus. This means in part you need to go back
and look at evidence in, e.g., Russkaia Pravda and the Church Statues.
As you do this, think carefully about the dating of the Novgorod and Pskov
texts. To what extent were Novgorod and Pskov different from other towns in
Rus even from early times, and to what extent might one posit that they started
in pretty much the same place and simply evolved differently?
Week VI (Nov. 1-5): The
Mongol impact; the Emergence of Moscow .
Graduate Students must submit a prospectus and bibliography
for their term papers by Monday, November 1.
- Finish Halperin.
- Tale of the Destruction of Riazan
- Ibn Battuta's Travels.
"Monumental Building as an Indicator of Economic Trends in Northern Rus' in
the Late Kievan and Mongol Periods, 1138-1462."
- Martin, Chs. 5-8; also, skim in 9, 10, paying some attention to section
of 10 on relations with Tatar Khanates. (Equivalent in Crummey, Formation
of Muscovy, is Chs. 1-3.)
- Ostrowski, "The
Mongol Origins of Muscovite Political Institutions."
One convenient calculus determined the impact of the Mongols on Russia by "subtracting" Kiev from Muscovy. What would be wrong with such an approach?
Standard textbooks often emphasize the Mongol impact as primarily destructive in economic and cultural terms (in regard to the latter for example, it is asserted that the Mongols cut Russia off from the West). What is wrong with such an emphasis?
Does Halperin's "Ideology of silence" discussion really make any sense in light of what the Russian sources do tell us about the impact of the Mongols? Does Ostrowski prove his contentions about Muscovite institutional borrowing from the Mongols?
Is there a problem with the conventional periodization of Mongol rule in Russia?
Question for Essay Two (draft to be posted no later than 5 PM, Wednesday, Nov. 3, and hard copy of it turned in at class discussion, Friday, Nov. 5):
Sources and historians' arguments about Mongol influence in Russia vary considerably in quality of information and persuasiveness. Using the reading you have done in both primary and secondary sources, develop a scheme for evaluating the quality of that material, and once you have "ranked" the individual items as to what they can and cannot reasonably be expected to tell us (and why), draw some conclusions as to what you think are the best documented and the least well documented impacts of the Mongols on Russia. You should keep in mind among other things the important fact that things were not static between the early 13th century and late 14th century--what may be true for one period may not be true for another. Furthermore, you may wish to comment on areas regarding which one might presume some kind of impact but for which we simply seem not to have adequate documentation.
Week VII (Nov. 8-12; Thursday, Nov. 11 is a holiday, no class.): The political and cultural transformation of Muscovy, 14th-early 16th centuries.
- Martin, Chs. 8-9. (Equivalent in Crummey, Formation, Chs. 4-7, but extending chronologically into material of next week).
- Look up terms "absolutism" and "autocracy" in a couple of reference works that will provide some detail. For first, Encyclopaedia Britannica on-line (accessible thru your UW account from Library Catalogue Reference Tools page) will do nicely; for second, you might check the Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences (H41.E6.1930), a multi-volume work, copies of which are available in OUGL and Suzzallo.
- The "Life" of Metropolitan Peter.
- The "Life" (Vita) of St. Sergius of Radonezh. An excellent example of Russian hagiographic literature from the early fifteenth century. Sergius was a particularly important saint for the Muscovite ruling house and the founder of what became the largest of all the Russian monasteries.
- The Tale of Dracula, the Voevoda
- The Sudebnik (Law Code) of 1497.
- Web pages on Emergence of Moscow as a Cultural Center and Art and Technology of the Renaissance in Muscovy. Note: these are also relevant for next week; the cultural issues they raise do connect closely with the primarily political focus of the material for the current week.
- Take advantage of the light reading load this week and the day free of classes to read ahead into next week's very heavy reading assignment.
For discussion on Friday, November 12, bring to class a 2 pg. essay (which will be read but not formally graded--it does count toward participation), in which you explore how we might begin to discuss the phenomenon of "absolutism" in Muscovy and whether the times of Ivan III provide a reasonable starting point for examination of the subject. You will be needing to consider not only changes in administration (as evidenced, for example, in the Sudebnik of 1497) but also other aspects of political consolidation and symbolism in building programs, ideological statements (e.g., the Dracula Tale, if it is relevant), etc. While you have dealt last week with possible impact of the Mongols on political changes in Russia, you may also wish to revisit that topic.
Week VIII (Nov. 15-19): Ivan IV: A Renaissance Prince?
- Martin, Chs. 10-12.
- Crummey on Ivan's reforms.
- The "Tale of the Princes of Vladimir," for insights into the mythologization of Muscovy's heritage in the sixteenth century.
- Filofei's letter enunciating the "Third Rome" idea. In the first instance, is this a "political" doctrine?
- The correspondence attributed to Ivan and Kurbsky, which probably was not written by either and does not date from Ivan's reign.
- Ivan IV's charter to volosti in the Dvina uezd, 1552.
- Accounts about the Oprichnina.
- Cherniavsky, "Ivan the Terrible as a Renaissance Prince." (JSTOR)
- Rowland, "Ivan the Terrible as a Carolingian Renaissance Prince."
- Review previously assigned web materials on Muscovite culture:
- The Emergence of Moscow as a Cultural Center.
- The Arts and Technology of the Renaissance in Muscovy.
- The Blessed Host of the Heavenly Tsar (use in conjunction with Rowland article on New Israel, below).
- Rowland, "Moscow--The Third Rome or the New Israel?" (JSTOR) For some additional illustrations to supplement this article: the icon of the Blessed Host of the Heavenly Tsar and the Palm Sunday procession.
- Pouncy, tr., The Domostroi, entire. Pay particular attention to the text of the document (although you can skim in later chapters where the detail becomes repetitive). Her introduction is somewhat helpful although not very insightful about the religious substance of the work and its possible sources. In using the Domostroi to prove points you make in your papers, it is important you find your evidence in the primary source itself--quoting what Pouncy tells you about it does not constitute proof.
- Alberti, Della famiglia, excerpts, for an Italian household manual to compare/contrast with Domostroi.
- Waugh, "The Unsolved Problem of Tsar Ivan IV's Library." An important element of perceptions about Ivan as a "Renaissance prince" is the idea that he had a library of the Classics. Consider here the issues raised concerning methodology and the kind of questions historians should ask.
- ThyrÍt, "'Blessed is the Tsaritsa's Womb': The Myth of Miraculous Birth and Royal Motherhood in Muscovite Russia" (JSTOR), for insights into religion and the roles of royal women.
- Kaiser, "Quotidian Orthodoxy," for the role of Orthodoxy in the lives of ordinary believers.
Question for Essay 3 (to be posted on Peer Review by 5 PM, Wednesday, November 17, and hard copy of it turned in at class on Friday, November 19):
- What is the standard "image" of Ivan IV and how was it shaped?
- Does the evidence of the 1552 charter seem to support or contradict "popular" images of the nature of Ivan IV's rule?
- What was the Oprichnina? Does it seem to embody the normal relationship between ruler and ruled in Muscovy?
- Is there any reason to think that the institutions of Muscovite "absolutism" emerged as the result of Mongol influence?
- How would you characterize Muscovite "political thought" (using Dracula, the Vladimir Princes Tale and Ivan/Kurbsky as evidence)?
- What might be the relevance of Domostroi to our discussion of muscovite absolutism in the 16th century? If you say "little," then what do we learn of it that is important for our understanding of the period?
- Regarding Cherniavsky's article:
- Is there any real value in the "superficial" impressions by foreign observers of Muscovy? In establishing a kind of "Renaissance mood"?
- Does his particular definition of "Renaissance" seem to highlight what is really important about the Renaissance?
- What would happen to his argument if, say, Ivan's "Correspondence" with Kurbskii and Peresvetov's "Works" were in fact compositions of some time later than Ivan's reign?
The reign of Tsar Ivan IV ("The Terrible"), 1533-1584, is often considered to be the epitome of Muscovite absolutism, during which the brutality of centralized royal authority, buttressed by new developments in political ideology, reached levels never before seen in Russia and never equalled in subsequent reigns. To a considerable degree, Ivan himself is credited with (blamed for?) these negative features of the Muscovite system. While you are not yet in a position to comment on what comes later, to what degree would you otherwise agree (or disagree) with such a depiction of Ivan and his reign? As with other questions you have considered in this course, be very careful to consider change over time and not to jump to conclusions on the basis of what may arguably be the exception rather than the rule or pertain to only part of a longer period.
Weeks IX (Nov. 22-26; Nov. 25-26, Thanksgiving Holiday, no class) and X (Nov. 29-Dec. 3): Muscovy in crisis (?).
Monday, Nov. 29, is the final day for posting the draft of your book review to the Peer Review website. Remember, part of this assignment is to comment on a reasonable number of reviews that have been posted by others. The comment period extends through this week.
Readings (also for next two weeks):
Graduate student papers and final version of book reviews (hard copy) due Friday, Dec. 10.
- Article on "Modernization" in Encyclopaedia Britannica on-line (accessible through your UW account from Library Cataloge Reference Tools page) and/or Crummey, "Seventeenth-Century Russia: Theories and Models". Crummey's article is useful for basic concepts about "absolutism" and "autocracy" and for its sensible overview of key issues in late Muscovite political history. You should be thinking about the virtues or drawbacks of attempting comparative history.
- Crummey, Formation, Ch. 8 and Afterword.
- Kliuchevskii, Course, Chs. 1-4,5-6 (skim); 7-9, 11.
- Excerpts from the Law Code (Ulozhenie) of 1649: Skim Chs. I, II, and read the material on peasants (Ch. XI) and townspeople (Ch. XIX). A table of contents and the first six chapters are on the Univ. of Durham Web Site); I have combined that material in one file with Chs. XI and XIX. Note that the verbiage of these texts may seem excessive. You should be paying attention to: a.) the way in which the different classes in society are being bound in place by governmental decree; b.) the degree to which the government plays an active role in controlling society; c.) the concern over government tax revenues; d.) the degree to which there is evidence of an elaborated bureaucratic system; and e.) the nature of punishments for legal offenses. Compare and contrast the situation depicted here with what you know about earlier periods (even as "recently" as the time of Ivan III and his law code of 1497).
- Baron, "Weber Thesis."
- Owen, "Novgorod and Muscovy." Note, overlaps some with Baron, which you should read first.
- Waugh, "We Have Never Been Modern."
Would there be any reason to establish a new periodization of Russian History, with a distinct break coming at the Time of Troubles?
To what degree could one say the policies of Ivan IV might have been responsible for the Time of Troubles?
Is there any really significant institutional change in Muscovy as a result of the Time of Troubles?
Can one reasonably argue that government policies contributed to Muscovy's being out of step with the rest of Europe economically by the end of the 17th century? Would it be valid to talk of Muscovite "economic backwardness," and if so, in what might that consist?
What was the role of government fiscal problems in the development of serfdom and the analogous tying down of the townspeople?
What would you consider to be the most important legacies of Muscovy to eighteenth-century Russia in the areas of politics and economics? (I ask this without any assumption that you should know much regarding Russia beyond approximately 1700, although in at least one arena, Owen offers some ideas.)
Paper 4: Note
the scheduling for this paper is different from those for the other three. By
5 PM on Wednesday, December 1, post to Peer Review your essay draft, and turn
in to Prof. Waugh the following Wednesday, December 8. Since he will be out
of town at the normal discussion hour on Friday, December 3, we will not meet
in section that day. Discussion and comment on your paper drafts will have to
take place in the on-line Peer Review and EPost and can be continued, as appropriate
on the last day of class when we have section (Dec. 10). On Friday, Dec. 3,
you should attend the lecture discussion at 10:30 which will be focussing on
the schism, Avvakum and issues of biography. The topic for essay 4 is:
Are there theoretical approaches/models which may help us to understand Russia's political, social, and economic development from the late 16th to the end of the 17th centuries? In particular, if we look at various schemes about what is termed "modernization," does Russia seem to fit patterns observable elsewhere or differ in substantial ways. Explain using concrete examples.
Week XI (Dec. 6-10) (Last class meeting is Dec. 10): Muscovite culture; the Schism; the advent of Peter "the Great."
- Kliuchevsky, Chs. XII-XV; at least skim XVI-XVIII.
- Views of Muscovy (especially Moscow), ca. 1600 and early 1660s: Illustrations from the Mayerberg album, 1661-1662.
- Web pages on art:
- Icons of the Birth of the Virgin Mary--Evolution of Style in Muscovite Icon Painting;
- Ushakov's Icon of the "Tree of the Muscovite State";
- The Beginnings of Portraiture in Muscovy.
- Review (you read this back in Week 3): Levin, "Dvoeverie and Popular Religion."
- Kaiser, "Quotidian Orthodoxy," and/or Levin, ""From Corpse to Cult."
- Recommended: Waugh, "Religion and Regional Identities."
- How might one best explain the Church Schism in the middle of the seventeenth century?
- In what did "popular Orthodoxy" consist (if we may use such a term); did that in some way differ from the Orthodoxy promoted by the Church as an institution or at least by individual leaders of the Church?
- Are you persuaded by Kliuchevskii's definition of what he means by "influence" on p. 275?
- Are "Westernization" and "Modernization" one and the same as cultural concepts?
- How far along was Russia on the road to "modernity" by the late seventeenth century?
The discussion, Friday, Dec. 10 will use as its focus the take-home final exam essay question.
All re-writes of the short essays which have not previously been handed in are due no later than 5 PM, Monday, December 6. Re-writes of the book reviews and graduate student term papers are due at discussion on Friday, December 10.
The Final Exam essay question will be posted no later than Friday, December 3, and the final exam is due no later than 5:00 PM, Monday, December 13.