The Nature and the Image of Princely Power in Kievan Rus’, 980-1054

A Study of Sources


In The Nature and the Image of Princely Power in Kievan Rus', 980-1054, Walter K. Hanak offers a critical analysis of the annalistic, literary, and other works that provide rich if conflicting and contradictory information on the nature of princely power and their image or literary representations. The primary sources demonstrate an interaction between the reality and the notions concerning princely power and how this power generates an image of itself. The author also analyses the textual incongruities that appear to be a reflection of a number of currents -- Byzantine, Varangian, Khazar, and Eastern Slavic. The secondary sources provide a variety of interpretations, which Hanak seeks to uphold and dispute. His stress, however, is to view this evidence in the light of a newly Christianized state and the launching of a maturative process in its early history.

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Walter K. Hanak, Ph.D. (1973), Indiana University, Bloomington, is Professor of History, Emeritus, Shepherd University. He has expertise in the fields of Byzantine, Medieval Slavic, and Medieval Islamic History. He has published monographs and articles on Byzantine and Medieval Slavic topics. His most recent monograph, a major study of sources, with Marios Philippides, is The Siege and the Fall of Constantinople in 1453: Historiography, Topography, and Military Studies (Ashgate, 2011).
"Through this review of problematic sources, at once panoramic and focused on specific questions, [Hanak] has opened up an important new approach to the enigmas of early Rus ... The markers he has set out for further investigations will surely stand."
Jonathan Shepard, University of Oxford, Early Medieval Europe, Vol. 24, no. 3, 2016
Abbreviations ... ix
Preface ... xi
Acknowledgments ... xv
Maps ... xvii

1 The Nature and the Early Rus’ Image of Kievan Princely Power ... 1
2 Byzantine Imperial Thought in Theory and Practice in Vladimirian-Jaroslavian Rus’ ... 71
3 The Decline of the Varangians ... 107
4 The Khazars in the Shadows of Kievan Political Thought ... 135
5 The Eastern Slavic Political and Social Structure ... 149
6 Some Conclusions ... 167

Bibliography ... 171
All those interested in the History and Literature of the Kievan Rus', and anyone who has an interest in the Byzantine, Scandinavian, Khazar and Medieval Slavic impact upon the newly Christianized state of Kievan Rus'.