This lecture considers the question of the origins of Russia and Russians. A wide range of comparisons are explored: both in terms of key concepts, and in terms of contrasting episodes in history, modern and classical. Students that week were reading Ibn Fadlan’s account (922 CE) of an encounter with the Rus’ at the mouth of the Volga Rr on the Caspian Sea, and those parts of the [Kievan] Russian Primary chronicle (written ca 1110 CE) about the origins of the creation of the “Rus’ian” state at the end of the C10th.
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