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Historians in pre-revolutionary Russia, in the Soviet Union, in contemporary Russia, and in the West have consistently relegated the medieval dynasty of Chernigov to a place of minor importance in Kievan Rus'. This view was reinforced by the evidence that, after the Mongols invaded Rus' in 1237, the two branches from the House of Monomakh living in the Rostov-Suzdal' and Galicia-Volyn' regions emerged as the most powerful. However, careful examination of the chronicle accounts reporting the dynasty's history during the second half of the twelfth and the first half of the thirteenth century shows that the Ol'govichi of Chernigov successfully challenged the Monomashichi for supremacy in Rus'. Through a critical analysis of the available primary sources (such as chronicles, archaeology, coins, seals, 'graffiti' in churches, and architecture) this 2003 book attempts correct the pervading erroneous view by allocating to the Ol'govichi their rightful place in the dynastic hierarchy of Kievan Rus'.
The aim of this study is to write the political history of the dynasty of Kievan Rus' descended from Vladimir Vsevolodovich Monomakh, which ruled from the middle of the eleventh century to the middle of the thirteenth century. In doing so, it argues, both from documented evidence and from circumstantial evidence, that Monomakh manipulated the politics of Rus' to his advantage. The book attempts to address all relevant political information that the chronicles report on Vladimir Monomakh. The events are examined in chronological order in imitation of the method used by the chronicles. It is hoped that this method of presentation will give the readers a clearer understanding of the relationship of the various events, such as succession rivalries, territorial disputes, and treaties. From the time of Yaroslav's death in 1054 to the first half of the 1240s, of all the dynasties, Vsevolod's descendants most consistently wielded political supremacy. In large part, the groundwork for their success was laid by Vladimir Monomakh. In addition to being blessed with good fortune, Monomakh exercised exceptional foresight, ambition, and political acumen. To date, however, no comprehensive study has been written concerning the dynasty as a whole. This study proposes to fill that lacuna. This book is addressed to scholars and students of the history of Kievan Rus'. It proposes to introduce students to the princely dynasties of Kievan Rus' and to the problems that the princes of these dynasties faced, such as succession in an orderly manner. It also provides a detailed examination of these problems for the mature scholar.
New chapters deal with the Crimean Khanate in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and new research on the pre-historic Trypillians, the Italians of the Crimea and the Black Death, the Karaites, Ottoman and Crimean slavery, Soviet-era ethnic cleansing, and the Orange Revolution is incorporated. Magocsi has also thoroughly updated the many maps that appear throughout.
Conflict, Bargaining, and Kinship Networks in Medieval Eastern Europe takes the familiar view of Eastern Europe, families, and conflicts and stands it on its head. Instead of a world rife with civil war and killing, this book presents a relatively structured environment where conflict is engaged in for the purposes of advancing one’s position, and where death among the royal families is relatively rare. At the heart of this analysis is the use of situational kinship networks—relationships created by elites for the purposes of engaging in conflict with their own kin, but only for the duration of a particular conflict. A new image of medieval Eastern Europe, less consumed by civil war and mass death, will change the perception of medieval Eastern Europe in the minds of readers. This new perception is essential to not only present the past more accurately, but also to allow for medieval Eastern Europe’s integration into the larger medieval world as something other than an aberrant other.
Ukraine is currently embroiled in a tense fight with Russia to preserve its territorial integrity and political independence. But today's conflict is only the latest in a long history of battles over Ukraine's territory and its existence as a sovereign nation. As the award-winning historian Serhii Plokhy argues in The Gates of Europe, we must examine Ukraine's past in order to understand its present and future. Situated between Central Europe, Russia, and the Middle East, Ukraine was shaped by the empires that used it as a strategic gateway between East and West -- from the Roman and Ottoman empires to the Third Reich and the Soviet Union. For centuries, Ukraine has been a meeting place of various cultures. The mixing of sedentary and nomadic peoples and Christianity and Islam on the steppe borderland produced the class of ferocious warriors known as the Cossacks, for example, while the encounter between the Catholic and Orthodox churches created a religious tradition that bridges Western and Eastern Christianity. Ukraine has also been a home to millions of Jews, serving as the birthplace of Hassidism -- and as one of the killing fields of the Holocaust. Plokhy examines the history of Ukraine's search for its identity through the lives of the major figures in Ukrainian history: Prince Yaroslav the Wise of Kyiv, whose daughter Anna became queen of France; the Cossack ruler Ivan Mazepa, who was immortalized in the poems of Byron and Pushkin; Nikita Khrushchev and his protege-turned-nemesis Leonid Brezhnev, who called Ukraine their home; and the heroes of the Maidan protests of 2013 and 2014, who embody the current struggle over Ukraine's future. As Plokhy explains, today's crisis is a tragic case of history repeating itself, as Ukraine once again finds itself in the center of the battle of global proportions. An authoritative history of this vital country, The Gates of Europe provides a unique insight into the origins of the most dangerous international crisis since the end of the Cold War.
These essays survey the range of historical sources from the peoples who collided with the Byzantine Empire during this period of dramatic upheaval. The Empire that had been expanded and consolidated by Basil II (d. 1025) was to disintegrate in the face of incursions from the north and Muslim east. In addition, pilgrims and crusaders from the west passed through the Empire and settled - culminating in the capture of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade in 1204. In order to understand the history of the region during this period, one must be aware of the rich source material created by these shifting populations, in a wide range of languages, and with differing traditions of historical writing. The fourteen essays give an overview of the material, highlighting any problems the historian may have in dealing with it, and provide detailed bibliographical surveys. Latin, Arabic, Jewish, Slavonic, Georgian, Armenian and Syriac sources are all discussed. This invaluable reference work offers new approaches for all those working on the meeting of the Christian and Muslim worlds in this period.