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Lecture 17

SLAVC 90 Lecture 17: Kievan Rus'

Course Code
Roman Koropeckyj

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Slavic 90
Lecture 17: Kievan Rus’
- Euromaidan as social drama generated series of myths
- myth of Kyiv and of origins
- steppe travelers often passed through Ukraine
- Russia = single east Slav peoples, not group of different peoples
- Avars moved with Slavs to settle in central/east Europe in fifth and sixth
centuries 
- Varangians (Vikings) created trade route from Baltic to Adriatic Sea during
ninth to twelfth centuries, connecting Scandinavian world with Byzantine
- Varangians eventually settled in Kyiv and called selves the Rus’, called their
land Kievan Rus’ (sometimes called Ruski)
- Ruski → Ruthenia, name of Ukraine in sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
- 988 - Rus baptized with Byzantine Christianity
- disciples of Cyril and Methodius settled in Bulgaria and spread Slavonic
culture to Kievan Rus
- fall of Kievan Rus gave rise to three Slavic peoples (all originated in Kyiv)
- Great Russians = modern day Russians
- White Russians = Belarusians
- Little Russians = Ukrainians
- after fall of Kievan Rus, territories reconsolidated into Muscovy and
absorbed into Grand Duchy of Lithuania* (begin to feel connection to
Kievan Rus much later on, when ideas of independent Ukrainian
state/Cossack state rise); ukraine = rediscovery of roots, russia is direct
monastic connection, after creation of cossacks state, kievan myth takes
second place; myth appropriated by muscovy, legitimacy based on decent on
kievan rus*
- Russian myth-- belief in right to control former Rus territories and
continuity in Kievan Rus’ to modern day Russia
- Kyiv seen as Russian historic homeland, in modern day occupied by ethnic
Ukrainians (similar to Kosovo)
- Cossacks
- Taras Shevchenko responsible for Cossacks becoming key fixture in
Ukrainian mythology
- Heavenly Hundred = one hundred people who died during Euromaidan
- Dnieper river flows south, left and right bank opposite of what they look like on map
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