HISB93H3 Professor Dowler Fall 2009 Lecture Note

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25 Jul 2010
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NOV 10
x Baba Yaga
x Rusalka
x Olga
x Russkaia Pravda
x Marfa Boretskaia
x Terem
x Votchina
x Pomestie
x As in the West, women lived in the framework of patriarchy (primacy of men over women
was assumed and this assumption was shared by both sexes)
x This patriarchal approach existed before Christianity, but it was reinforced by Orthodoxy
x 7KH&KXUFKDWWULEXWHGWKHIDOORIPDQIURP*RG¶VJUDFHWR(YH¶VGLVREH\WRHDWWKHIUXLW
x So the Church felt that women needed to be watched and guided by men
x It contained male fears over wRPHQ¶VSRZHURYHUPHQVH[XDODQGUHSURGXFWLRQ
x Folklore is full of stories of women who are good and evil
x The most famous figure was Baba yaga, a witch who plays tricks on people to humiliate
WKHPFKLOGUHQ¶VVWRULHV
x There were rusalka (a maiden who has drowned because of a tragic love affair). She lurked in
ponds and streams and when men came along, they would reach out and drown the men
x In real life, there were female folk healers (condemned by the Church) and was sought out
for their abilities to heal with potions and herbs
x ,QPXFKRI6ODYLFP\WKRORJ\WKHVHZLWFKHVDUHJRRGSUDFWLFLQJZKLWHPDJLF,W¶VWKHPDOH
sorcerers that are seen to use magic for evil
x Image of women is ambivalent
x The condition and treatment of women was not the same in all times and places. There were
differences from place to place
Women in Kievan Rus:
x Princess Olga, she avenged the killing of her husband
x She ruled for 20 years as regent to her son
x VKHIL[HGWKHSUREOHPWKDWKDGFDXVHGKHUKXVEDQG¶VQXPEHU6KHVHWDIL[HGWD[ she
regularized the tribute. Once it was collected, population was left alone
x she was the first person in Kievan Rus to see the value of Christianity to unify the population
x she traveled to Constantnople to meet Byzantine Emperor where she became Christian
x her acts as a secular leader and founder of Christianity, she is now a Saint
x The dynasty was connected to other dynasties in Europe. Several Kievan princesses married
western dynasties and played significant roles in their lives
x The establishment of Christianity in the elites created opportunities for learning for elite
women
x Covent schools were established and the abbesses who ran these convents were well
educated and those who graduated were highly literate for their times
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