Viking, member of the Scandinavian seafaring warriors who raided and colonized wide areas of Europe from the 9th to the 11th century. The Rus' people (Old East Slavic: Рѹсь; Modern Belarusian, Russian, Rusyn, and Ukrainian: Русь, romanized: Rus'; Old Norse: Garðar; Greek: Ῥῶς, romanized: Rhos) are generally understood in English-language scholarship as people of Ruthenia. Cf. It is historically certain that the Rus were Swedes.  According to the prevalent theory, the name Rus', like the Proto-Finnic name for Sweden (*Ruotsi), is derived from an Old Norse term for "the men who row" (rods-) as rowing was the main method of navigating the rivers of Eastern Europe, and that it could be linked to the Swedish coastal area of Roslagen (Rus-law) or Roden, as it was known in earlier times. As a standard practice in the Muslim world, the date the coins were minted was imprinted on them, and the coins at Ladoga appear to date back to the 780s. Descriptions of the Rus. The Rus' were said to have violently killed their victims.  There is a runestone set in the harbour at Hovgården to face the boats that landed there. Twenty-first century research, therefore, is giving the synthesis of archaeological evidence an increasingly prominent place in understanding the Rus'. Stang, Hakon. The swords are broad and grooved, of Frankish sort. The Kievan Rus’ were a powerful people created by Viking invaders who ruled the Slavic tribes around the Baltic Sea and, in a way, became Slavs themselves.  This fits well with the image of Rus' that dominates the Arabic sources, focusing further south and east, around the Black and Caspian Seas, the Caucasus and the Volga Bulghars. The Rurik (or Rurikid) dynasty gets its name from a … Learn how your comment data is processed. Throughout the Viking Age, the Rus imposed themselves over the people they encountered, chiefly the Slavs. Birger’s discovery has indeed proved paramount in helping to piece together the narrative of the early activities of the Rus in the east. TheVikings benefited from a trade route stretching from Baghdad to the arctic Finno-Ugriansfur-collectors, including Scandinavian trade centres, as well as, the wealthyConstantinople. Vikings season 6: Ivar is now in Russia (Image: HISTORY) The Kievan Rus is considered a loose federation of East Slavic and Finnic peoples, which existed from … Vikings season 5, part 2 returns on November 28 on History and November 29 on Amazon Prime (Image: HISTORY) In the nineth Century, The Rus entered a … At the beginning of an important speech in 1749, later published as Origines gentis et nominis Russorum ('The Origins of the People and the Name of the Russians'), Müller argued that Russia owed its name and early ruling dynasty to ethnically Scandinavian Varangians. , In the earlier 20th century, Nazi Germany promoted the idea that Russia owed its statehood to a Germanic, racially superior, elite. Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1991. They established a ruling dynasty under their ruler Rurik and, from AD 879, formed the Kievan Rus state, based in Kiev.  During the Second World War, the German government promised the Fascist Quisling government of Norway territory on the historic Austrvegr, reflecting Quisling's ambition to reenact his Normanist view of Viking history. Later, the Primary Chronicle claims, they conquered Kiev and created the state of Kievan Rus' (which, most historians agree, was preceded by the Rus' Khaganate). The younger burials, dating to the late 8th century, contained men with the typical weaponry of the day, indicating a change in the settlement’s demographics where the ambitions of the Rus shifted toward traveling east for raids and trade rather than to settle the Eastern Baltic to escape political turmoil in Sweden. It has therefore been influential on modern history-writing, but it is also much later than the time it describes, and historians agree it primarily reflects the political and religious politics of the time of Mstislav I of Kiev. New Research Seeks to ‘Get Into Their Heads’. Another source comes from Liutprand of Cremona, a 10th-century Lombard bishop who in a report from Constantinople to Holy Roman Emperor Otto I wrote that he had met the Rus whom we know by the other name of Norsemen. "Normanist, n. and adj." A quick precision: the evidence suggests Viking Age Scandinavians self-identified more granularly by their specific region of origin. In 1929, for example, the archeologist Birger Nerman discovered the remnants of a colony in Latvia of Swedish origin. When a son is born, the father will go up to the newborn baby, sword in hand; throwing it down, he says, "I shall not leave you with any property: You have only what you can provide with this weapon. Each woman wears on either breast a box of iron, silver, copper, or gold; the value of the box indicates the wealth of the husband.  Accordingly, anti-Normanist accounts are prominent in some 21st century Russian school textbooks. VIKINGS, an Irish-Canadian television series written and created by Michael Hirst, for the History Channel, and filmed in Ireland, has been tremendously successful. Of the fourteen Rus' signatories to the Rus'–Byzantine Treaty in 907, all had Norse names. and n." OED Online, Oxford University Press, June 2018, www.oed.com/view/Entry/169069. 507. TORONTO, December 4, 2020 – HISTORY®’s hit drama series Vikings will return January 1 at 9 p.m. ET/PT for the first of its highly anticipated final ten episodes. As others have responded, Kiev was the locus for the Rus tribe under their leader, Prince Vladimir. Advertisement . The tributaries of the Varangians drove them back beyond the sea and, refusing them further tribute, set out to govern themselves. by Benedikt S. Benedikz (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978), pp.  These uncertainties have fed into debates about the origins of the Rus'. He called them the “Rusiyyah,” now commonly known as the Vikings. Retrieved 2008-03-06. Each box has a ring from which depends a knife. It is widely accepted that Snorri’s works are semi-legendary because he wrote them several centuries after the fact and drawing mostly from oral tradition. Distinctly Scandinavian artifacts have also been found in Ladoga, which date back to the mid-8th century. The Northern World. átta þjónar, Fearing that they were spies for their allies, the Danes, he incarcerated them, before letting them proceed after receiving reassurances from Byzantium. As others have responded, Kiev was the locus for the Rus tribe under their leader, Prince Vladimir. The names Askold (Old Norse: Haskuldr) and Dir (Old Norse: Dyri) are Swedish; the chronicle says that these two merchants were not from the family of Rurik, but simply belonged to his squad. Most of these rune stones can be seen today, and are a telling piece of historical evidence. Accessed 25 July 2018. And eight of my thralls, Dec 31, 2019 - Period Rus, slav and viking. The battlefields of the Viking Age were terrifying places where a warrior faced hails of arrows and multiple attackers armed with all manner of deadly weapons. Stang, Hakon. Discover the origins of Russia and Ukraine. The Vikings, those fascinating sea raiders and explorers who spread around the globe like the flu during winter. Elena Melnikova, 'The "Varangian Problem": Science in the Grip of Ideology and Politics', in. . Thus, the … The alternative "anti-Normanist" view, popularised during Soviet times, denies the Primary Chronicle and views the Rus’ as independent from the Norse. Suddenly, Bjorn Ironside emerged from the hill, badly wounded but still breathing and fully armoured. Historical Descriptions of Viking Tattoos.  However, relatively little use was made of the Arabic sources in studies of the Rus' before the 21st century. How the Rus got their name is also somewhat of an enigma. In fact, this follows the historiographical concept of the Tale of Bygone Years (the beginning of the 12th century), supplemented by the identification of the chronicled Varangians as Scandinavians-Normans. In the Annals of Saint Bertin, and indeed in several other sources, they are referred to as the “Rhos” which has led historians to hypothesize a connection with their tribal home of Roslagen. Pinterest. The Rus Vikings are known as “Viking Rus” or “Rus’ people” who traded and raided along the river-routes between the Baltic and Black Seas between … Snorre Sturluson, Nordiska kungasagor. Even if that part of history was banned during the Soviet era, it is a historical fact that Vikings created the first Russian states: the Novgorod Republic and the Kiev polity. Ole Kolsrud, “Kollaborasjon og imperialisme. In the Annals of Saint Bertin, and indeed in several other sources, they are referred to as the “Rhos” which has led historians to … . : Distributed by Harvard University Press for the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. Jonathan Shepard, 'The Viking Rus and Byzantium', ,in, Janet Martin, 'The First East Slavic State', in. He was the brother-in-law of King Rurik, the brother of Dir and Askold, and an uncle of Igor. Yes, Kievan Rus was a loose federation of East Slavic and Finnic peoples in Europe from the late 9th to the mid-13th century, under the reign of the Varangian Rurik dynasty. The word Rus is found in Arabic, Byzantine, Frankish, Persian and Russian sources.  There is an undeniable presence of goods and people of Scandinavian origin; however, the predominant people remained the local (Baltic and Finnic) peoples. Your email address will not be published. Birka was founded by a king of the 8th century to expand and control trade in the region. For his studies in 1873 Uvarov was awarded the Golden Constantine Medal by the Imperial Russian Geographical Society. The Vikings, referred to as Varangians in Eastern Europe, were known throughout Europe as traders and raiders, and perhaps the creators or instigators of the first organized Russian state: Kievan Rus. The Naming of Russia. Origins. Harald Hardrada the Norwegian king also were a part of the Varangian guard. According to Erik Brate's 1914 translation of the Piraeus Lion graffiti, it contains the message: There are many remains of Viking Age kings, chieftains, and farmers at Hovgården, on the island of Adelsö across the sound from Birka on the island of Björkö, the oldest town in Sweden. In the long run, he's not capable of it.  Thus, Kiev does not appear to have evolved from the infrastructure of the Scandinavian trade networks, but rather it forcibly took them over, as evidenced by the destruction of numerous earlier trade settlements in the north, including the famous Staraja Ladoga.. Date: February 16, 2019 Author: bernatroig 1 Comment. References: Rodgers, D. & Noer, K. Sons of Vikings: A Legendary History of the Viking Age. At first, the region was divided between three noble brothers. The archaeologica… , The theory was not without political implications.  Müller built on arguments made by his predecessor Gottlieb-Siegfried Bayer in the papers De Varagis ('on the Varangians', 1729) and Origines russicae ('Russian origins', 1736), and on the Russian Primary Chronicle, written in the 12th century, and covering the years 852 to 1110. Who were the Rus Vikings? Serhii Plokhy, The Origins of the Slavic Nations Premodern Identities in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), pp. Describing the Swedes who colonized Russia an Arab trader wrote, "They stupefy themselves by drinking this nabid [possibly beer] night and day; sometimes on of them dies cup in hand." The historiography of the origins of the Rus' is infamously contentious, due to its perceived importance for the legitimation of nation-building, imperialism, and independence movements within the Slavonic-speaking world, and for legitimating different political relationships between eastern and western European countries. The Kievan Rus’ – When Vikings and Slavs Cooperated to Shape History ; Prince Igor of Kiev (Kyiv): War and Diplomacy in the Early Rus’ The Rise of Ivan the Great and the Birth of The Russian Empire ; However, it soon became obvious to the Slavs that they would need competent outsider rulers in order for them to gain even the slightest degree of cohesion and unity. The Vikings (Rus') who served the Byzantine Emperors were called Varangians.They became the personal bodyguards to the Emperor and were called the Varangian Guard.. Exploration. Massive hordes of Arabic silver coins found in Sweden and Gotland over the years are evidence of how extensive their trade was. Like the word Viking, the name Rus has several possible sources. What Were the Vikings Thinking?  This near absence of cultural traces (aside from several names, and perhaps the veche-system of Novgorod, comparable to thing in Scandinavia), is noteworthy, and the processes of cultural assimilation in Rus' are an important area of research. 941: Rus Vikings attack Constantinople. The so-called Ingvar the Far-Travelled a Swedish Viking which wanted to conquer Georgia. However, exchange between the north and southern shores of the Baltic had occurred since the Iron Age (albeit limited to immediately coastal areas). 0. But, even if there is a kernel of truth in the Arabic writings, it underscores an easy and prevalent awareness of the Rus in the east, as well as proof of enduring contact. Stockholm: Proprius, p. 252 (Book IV, Scholion 140). The consistent Top 20 entertainment specialty program* will then sail to Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT for the nine remaining episodes to conclude the epic saga. Ibn Fadlan describes the Rus in his travel chronicler. Jonathan Shepherd, 'Review Article: Back in Old Rus and the USSR: Archaeology, History and Politics'.  Meanwhile, in Ukraine and to a lesser extent Belarus, post-Soviet nation-building opposed to a history of Russian imperialism has promoted anti-Normanist views in academia and, to a greater extent, popular culture.. The Kievan Rus’ – When Vikings and Slavs Cooperated to Shape History ; Vikings in Byzantium: The Varangians and their Fearless Conquests ; Tracing the Paths of the Vikings Through Their Graffiti ; The terms of the treaty help paint a clear picture of the power relations of the era. Since the mid-20th century, archaeological findings have built a more complete and balanced picture of the lives of the Vikings. However, Klejn soon had to revise this opinion as anti-Normanist ideas gained a new prominence in both public and academic discourse in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. , The Normanist theory gained prominence in Russia (albeit not under that name) through the German historian Gerhardt Friedrich Müller (1705–1783), who was invited to work in the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1725. View more posts, Your email address will not be published. From the establishment of their first colonies on the shores of the Baltic and Lake Ladoga, they established trade routes that made use of the complex interweave of river networks to dominate the eastern steppes and established trade with the Byzantines. Abbott Gleason, 'Russian Historiography after the Fall', in. According to Heimskringla many times presenting legendary tales and which can not always be trusted.  Subsequently, in the 10th and 11th centuries, Latin sources routinely confused the Rus' with the extinct East Germanic tribe of Rugians. Although they were generally a non-literate culture that produced no literary legacy, they had an alphabet and described themselves and their world on runestones. Among the goods they brought were honey, wax, amber, blubber, furs, walrus tusks, and most importantly, slaves. The Chuds, the Slavs, the Krivichians and the Ves' then said to the people of Rus', "Our land is great and rich, but there is no order in it. Unfortunately, we don't have any reliable records that tell us about the earliest stages of the relations between the confederations of Slavic tribes and bands of Vikings (and later – merchants) traveling to the South and East. For some, it fitted with embracing and celebrating the multiethnic character of the Russian Empire. The Swedes raid across the Baltic and penetrate deep into Russia as traders. He cites Nestor as a pro-Scandinavian manipulator and compares his account of Rurik's invitation with numerous similar stories found in folklore around the world. Unfortunately, numerous inaccuracies and Ibn Fadlan’s prejudices have slanted the account, making the work of historians all the harder. Richard Mcmahon, 'Anthropological Race Psychology 1820–1945: A Common European System of Ethnic Identity Narratives', Jonathan Shepard, 'The Viking Rus and Byzantium', , in, I. Jansson, ‘Warfare, Trade or Colonisation? The oldest burials contained women, indicating that the settlement had begun as a colony. : Harvard University Press, 1991. Quisling-regjeringens 'Austrveg'-drøm 1941–1944”. 11-12). 10-48 (esp. Prince Oleg, ruler of the Rus Vikings, in "Vikings" Season 6 History. A quick precision: the evidence suggests Viking Age Scandinavians self-identified more granularly by their specific region of origin. He also assisted Yaroslav with 3000 men in the war against the Pechenegs, however later continued to Georgia. On the language of old Rus: some questions and suggestions. , "The present king wanted nothing but Norway, which no kings before him had desired. This dynasty controlled a huge trade network and would go on to last seven centuries. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Beginning around 800 A.D., seafaring warriors–known collectively as Vikings or Norsemen (“Northmen”)–left their Scandinavian homelands … Pritsak, Omeljan, "The Origin of the Rus'". East of the Baltic regions, Vikings were known as “Rus” (see note below). Again, we are faced with the difficult task of separating fact from fiction, and we must proceed with caution. Yaroslav the wise also married the Swedish king's daughter and Russian saint Anna or Ingegerd Olofsdotter of Sweden. Similar to those Ibn Fadlan described in his eye witness accounts of the Rus. Simon Franklin and Jonathan Shepherd, The Emergence of Rus 750–1200 (Harlow, Essex: 1996), pp. Snorri Sturluson in his work titled Ynglingasaga, which recounts at a broad level the history of the kings of Sweden (it also recounts the history of the kings of Norway), gives us some insight into the early activities of the Rus on the Baltic. Adam av Bremen (1984), Historien om Hamburgstiftet och dess biskopar. The people they attacked—chiefly those in Finland, then Slavs further east—were not literate like those the Danes terrorized, which might further explain why sources are so sparse about their early activities. This stands in contrast to the Danes and Norwegians whose exploits had barely begun by this period.  They were a "multi-ethnic, multilingual and non-territorial community of sea nomads and trading settlements" that contained numerous Norsemen—but equally Slavs, Balts, and Finns. fóstrman mitt Characteristically, pseudo-Symeon Magister and Theophanes Continuatus refer to the Rhos as dromitai (Δρομῖται), a word related to the Greek word meaning a run, suggesting the mobility of their movement by waterways. Viking Rus : Studies on the Presence of Scandinavians in Eastern Europe.  However, the term is used to cover a diverse range of opinions, not all of which are held by all Normanists (some, indeed, may mostly exist as accusations about the views of Normanists by polemical anti-Normanists). There are at least three periods in the history of the Khagansof Rus': the Volga stage (c. 839-930), the Dnieper stage (c. 930-1036), The Origin of Rus' 271 and the Kievan stage (1036-1169). , In his treatise De Administrando Imperio, Constantine VII describes the Rhos as the neighbours of Pechenegs who buy from the latter cows, horses, and sheep "because none of these animals may be found in Rhosia". See more ideas about Vikings, Medieval, Viking age. These hordes contained silver coins numbering in the tens of thousands in some cases, a massive fortune even by today’s standards. Similar to Snorri’s account, the Russian Primary Chronicle is considered semi-legendary. VIKINGS IN THE EAST: SCANDINAVIAN INFLUENCE IN KIEVAN RUS . From 2013 to the second part of the sixth and final series, airing on Amazon Prime from 30 December, History Channel’s Vikings has brought a hit multi-season historical drama about the early Viking world to international audiences. Their rule ultimately came to an end through family infighting and greed but contributed greatly to the rise of the Russian Empire. Still, evidence of human sacrifice permeates the archeological record, and additional testimony from the Arab chronicler Ibn-Fadlan almost a century later on the shores of the Volga river lends further credence to the practice.  Moreover, there is doubt if the emerging Kievan Rus' were the same clan as the "Rus" who visited the Carolingians in 839 or who attacked Constantinople in 860 AD. Heinrich Himmler, The Posen speech to SS officers (6 October 1943). On account of these Varangians, the district of Novgorod became known as the land of Rus'. ok faðerni, Archaeological remains indicate Roman connections in the 3rd century after Christ, but there is no evidence for close Continental relations until the Viking period. fimm ambáttir, The Varangians left a number of rune stones in their native Sweden that tell of their journeys to what is today Russia, Ukraine, Greece, and Belarus. Come to rule and reign over us". Artifact recovered Rus graves at Gnezdovo, a 10th century settlement in the forest near Smolensk, include silver Scandinavian-style pendants, Slavic style jewelry, and Arab-style bronze ornaments with scabbard clips and circular cloak fasteners. Required fields are marked *. In fact, this follows the historiographical concept of the Tale of Bygone Years (the beginning of the 12th century), supplemented by the identification of the chronicled Varangians as Scandinavians-Normans. It was even thought during the 20th century that much of his research was destroyed, but recent research suggests that this is not the case: Müller managed to rework it and had it reprinted as Origines Rossicae in 1768. Danish kings and royals also frequently had Slavic wives. Accessed 12 January 2021. The Rus and their allies took advantage of the Byzantine fleet and army being thinly spread. Historians have long discounted the testimony of such practices as propaganda against the pagans. the difference between the Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish Vikings. … , The increasing volume of trade and internal competition necessitated higher forms of organization. Janet L. Nelson, Ninth-Century Histories 1 (Manchester and New York, 1991). , Numerous artefacts of Scandinavian affinity have been found in northern Russia (as well as artifacts of Slavic origin in Sweden). The culture of the Rus contained Norse elements used as a manifestation of their Scandinavian background. Little, however, is certain about the Rus'. The two original centers of Rus were Staraja Ladoga and Rurikovo Gorodishche, two points on the ends the Volkhov, a river running for 200 km between Lake Ilmen in the south to Lake Ladoga in the north. The Age of Vikings, as history now knows it, was between 700 to 1100 and was a period in time in which the Vikings struck fear into the heart of all those they opposed, raiding and pillaging the seaside, as they wrecked havoc across a once peaceful land. They also referred to them as Majus, but this was a name they tended to use in the West, in Al-Andalus (Spain). "The name Rus': In search of a new dimension." A variety of sources illuminate the culture, activities, and beliefs of the Vikings. The Russian Primary Chronicle, which tells of the early foundations of the modern country of Russia, tells of an event whereby the Slavs invited the Rus to rule over them. Facebook. ", When the Varangians first appeared in Constantinople (the Paphlagonian expedition of the Rus' in the 820s and the Siege of Constantinople in 860), the Byzantines seem to have perceived the Rhos (Greek: Ῥώς) as a different people from the Slavs. It was one of many wars between the two sides. The life and times of Viking Ragnar Lodbrok, “a farmer who rose to fame by successful raids into England and eventually became king of Denmark,” has gripped popular imagination and renewed interest in the Vikings. How, or why, or how long it took to arrive at this point is still not well understood, but a treasure trove of silver coins from the Muslim world found at Lake Ladoga gives us some idea of when contacts began. The Swedish jarls at Stones of Mora wanted to subjugate the eastern territories again and threatened to kill Olof Skötkonung for his decision.. The Vikings in History. The Kievan Rus’ were a powerful people created by Viking invaders who ruled the Slavic tribes around the Baltic Sea and, in a way, became Slavs themselves. While we are left in permanent suspense about the fate of these Rus, what this account tells us is that the Swedish Vikings had, by the mid-9th century, traveled far enough to the east to have established relations with the Byzantines.  They are particularly important in the historiography and cultural history of Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine but have also featured prominently for Poland. Like the word Viking, the name Rus has several possible sources. Unfortunately, touching on a much darker side of Viking history, they were also prolific buyers and sellers of human slaves. First east Slavic history, two cities are used to describe the beginnings of the Chronicle include..., Essex: 1996 ), east Slavic scholars have criticized the of! 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