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Old May 22nd 2014, 07:39 PM
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Michael Michael is offline
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Default Origin of Russia

This topic came up in another thread and I wanted to reply in detail, but I didn't want to go all in that thread.

I've done a bit of quick research to clarify the origin of Russia (as it is understood by western scholarship).

Viking is the term used in the west and is mostly applied to those people coming from what is now known as Norway and Denmark. Varangian is the term used in the east and is mostly applied to those people coming from what is now known as Sweden.

Culturally, linguistically and ethnically, the differences between Norwegians, Danes and Swedes in the Viking Era (roughly 750-1050 AD) were very mimimal (less so than today). Archeological evidence shows very strong similarities in religion, jewelery design and burial customs all across Scandanavia in this period.

Quote:
In the 860s the Varangians founded a triad of fortified towns among the Slav peoples of the North, Izborsk, Beloozero and, most important of the three, Novgorod. These provided a base for a push through to the south and east, where two further sets of strongholds were established in the next decade, on or near the Dnieper (Smolensk, Polosk & Kiev) and on the upper Volga (Rostov & Murom). Piratical expeditions mounted from Kiev were soon rattling the Byzantines, and the potential for even more damaging raids dramatically increased when Prince Oleg of Novgorod began bringing all the Varangian gorods under his control. The end result was the creation of a single Russian principality embracing all the Slav tribes between the Pripet Marshes and the upper Volga.
Source: New Penguin Atlas of Medieval History, p46. (from my bookshelf)

Basically, Swedish vikings (the Varangians) founded these eight fortified towns in the 9th century AD. This to my understanding represents the foundation or birth of Russia. Certainly by 912 AD, this "Principality of Russia" existed. Prince Oleg of Novgorod was the first Prince of Russia, his son Igor the second. They themselves were certainly 'Swedes' (and a tiny ruling minority) but the people they ruled were Slavs.

Indeed, the position of the Swedish Varangians in Russia was not unlike the position of the Normans in England - a small and elite ruling class ruling over a population with a different language and culture. Needless to say, Russia has been as historically friendly with Sweden as England was with France.
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Old May 26th 2014, 07:10 PM
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Default Re: Origin of Russia

Hmmm... wondering where MM&I is. I should like to hear his thoughts on the issue.
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Old May 27th 2014, 03:18 PM
shekib82 shekib82 is offline
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Default Re: Origin of Russia

soviet russians do not discuss the origins of soviet russia
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Old May 29th 2014, 11:26 AM
MeMyselfAndI MeMyselfAndI is offline
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Default Re: Origin of Russia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Hmmm... wondering where MM&I is. I should like to hear his thoughts on the issue.
Your article is right, Varyags (or Varangians, if you wish) founded this country. During this, mixed with Slavs. Later, added Mongol, Tatar, and other blood, and that is how a modern Russian came about
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Old Jun 18th 2014, 04:42 AM
Pan Wołodyjowski Pan Wołodyjowski is offline
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Default Re: Origin of Russia

Ok, well. I will put some Polish names sometimes, but it would be all understandable I think.

First of all - the distinction. Many people assume that there was one Rus' country, and due to its name it is the first Russia, or that Russia emerged from Rus. This is true and false.

In 9th century Novgorod Rus' had been found by Rurik. This is the oldest Eastern Slavic country which is believed to be known as "first Russia" and Rurik was one of Waregowie, so this guys from Sweden - probably from Uppland. So - Rurik was a founder of Novgorod Rus'.

But, many people connect this Rus' that Rurik had found with Kievan Rus', which is not Russia, but Ukraine. Due to the legend Kiev was founded by Kij (Kiy, if being more correct in English pronunciation) - who was local duke. But in fact Kiev was founded in 5th century on the "road" which was used by Vikings to trade. However, in 882 CE Oleg of Novgorod (next ruler, after Rurik who died in 879 CE) conquered the territory of Kievan Rus' but he moved the capital city from Novgorod to Kiev.
In general, officially it is believed that Kievan Rus' already existed when Oleg invaded this country, so it is hard for me to confirm if it was ruled by Germanic people at first.

Then, when Oleg chose Kiev as a capital city, Novgorod Rus (or Новгородская земьля in Russian [Novgrodskaya Zemlya]) was no existing, because he ruled Kievan Rus at that time. But in 1054 CE it emerged again, as Kievan Rus was feudally fragmented.

So - this is the main distinction between Novgorod and Kievan Rus. There was no Russian nor Ukrainians at these times - they were both Rusyns/Ruthenians. If we want to move back to the times when Kiev and Vielikiy Novgorod was found we need to know, that these were the times when Slavs lived not in nations but in tribes. The same thing was with Poland - there lived tribes, but one was dominating, the name country came from the name of this tribe etc.

But yes - in general Scandinavians were important guys who somehow forced Eastern Slavs to live together, under one rule. There is also a theory that Mieszko I was a Swede as well.
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Old Nov 11th 2015, 01:13 AM
V lad i mir V lad i mir is offline
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Default Re: Origin of Russia

Russian history was falsified by German " historians"( most of them does not even speak Russian). Those "Russians" academics made the Norman theory, that is official now. in reality Rurik was a grandson of Novgorod knyaz - Gostomisl, son of his daughter - Umila, and had a rights to be a knyaz. By the way- Rus - land under sun, light place. Not a name of country. Europeans called this country Tartarie. And Mongolian invasion - adventure story for kids.
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