Medieval Russia

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WHO were these Variagi, or Varangians? To what race did they belong? No questions in the early history of Russia are more eagerly debated. After more than a century of controversy, the various views have been reduced to three  — The Variagi were of Scandinavian origin, and it was they who gave the name of Russia to the Slav countries. A most weighty argument in support of this theory is the large number of Scandinavian names in the list of Variag princes who reigned in Russia. The Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus, speaking of Russia, makes a distinction between the Slavs and the Russians proper. In his description of the cataracts of the Dnieper, he gives to each the Russian and the Slav name, and these Russian names may nearly all be understood by reference to Scandinavian roots. Luitprand, speaking of the Russians, expresses himself in these terms: “Graeci vocant Russos .... nos vero Normannos”. The Annals of Saint Bertinus say that the Emperor Theophilus recommended some Russian envoys to Louis le Débonnaire, but he, taking them for Norman spies, threw them into prison. Finally, the first Russian Code of Laws, compiled by Iaroslaf, presents a striking analogy with the Scandinavian laws. The partisans of this opinion place the mother country of the Russians in Sweden, where they point particularly to a spot called Roslag, and associations of oarsmen called Roslagen. At the present day the Finns call the Swedes Rootzi.
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Merkaba Press via PublishDrive
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Published on
Jul 29, 2017
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History / Europe / Medieval
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Barbara W. Tuchman—the acclaimed author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning classic The Guns of August—once again marshals her gift for character, history, and sparkling prose to compose an astonishing portrait of medieval Europe.
The fourteenth century reflects two contradictory images: on the one hand, a glittering age of crusades, cathedrals, and chivalry; on the other, a world plunged into chaos and spiritual agony. In this revelatory work, Barbara W. Tuchman examines not only the great rhythms of history but the grain and texture of domestic life: what childhood was like; what marriage meant; how money, taxes, and war dominated the lives of serf, noble, and clergy alike. Granting her subjects their loyalties, treacheries, and guilty passions, Tuchman re-creates the lives of proud cardinals, university scholars, grocers and clerks, saints and mystics, lawyers and mercenaries, and, dominating all, the knight—in all his valor and “furious follies,” a “terrible worm in an iron cocoon.”
Praise for A Distant Mirror
“Beautifully written, careful and thorough in its scholarship . . . What Ms. Tuchman does superbly is to tell how it was. . . . No one has ever done this better.”—The New York Review of Books
“A beautiful, extraordinary book . . . Tuchman at the top of her powers . . . She has done nothing finer.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Wise, witty, and wonderful . . . a great book, in a great historical tradition.”—Commentary

NOTE: This edition does not include color images.
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