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Russia-msg - 12/19/09


Russian and Kievian Culture and language.


NOTE: See also the files: fd-Russia-msg, Rus-Handbook-art, Rus-women-art, Russia-bib, Kiev-Slavery-art, Mongols-msg, Mongl-Mission-art, cl-Russia-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



From: kpayne at heartland.bradley.EDU (Kevin Payne)

Date: 22 Oct 91 04:06:12 GMT


Greetings to the Rialto from the long-absent Nikolai

Kyrilovich Khorobrit!  Now that I have caught up on my

reading, I should like to post a few thoughts.


A couple of weeks back there was some discussion about the

role of the Scandanavian races in Russia, and of chivalry in

Russia.  Someone at the time stated that the Swedes

conquered Russia, and I thought I'd better correct this, as

well as some other items that my study and research show

to be misinformation.


My sources are:


Volkoff, Vladimir, "Vladimir, The Russian Viking", Overlook

Press, Woodstock, New York, 1984


Fennell,.J.L.L., "Ivan the Great of Moscow", Macmillan & Co., New

York, 1961


Cross, Samuel Hazzard and Sherbowitz-Wetzor, Olgerd, trans.

and ed., "The Russian Primary Chronicle - Laurentian Text",

Medieval Academey of America, Cambridge, Massachusetts,



The story is that about 800 A.D. or so some of the Slavic tribes

of the northern Russian plains (the town of Novgorod in

particular is named), despaired of the great upheavals and lack of

law and order in their lands, and so sought the aid of a group

of Viking princes (Varangian Russes), the chiefest of which was

Rurik.  This Rurik became the first Prince of Novgorod and is

said to have founded the first royal house of Russia (and there

are only two:  the Rurikids, who died out in the 17th century

and were replaced by the Romanovs).


In a nutshell, that is the legend of the "calling of the princes",

and Russian history is generally traced from this point. But

there is sizable disagreement over the nature of the Rus. One

school (Norman) asserts that the Rus were a Scandanavian tribe

related closely to the Swedes, Angles, and Varangians who came

into Russia and imprinted their values and beliefs on the

Russian nobility.  The other (Slavic) refutes this, claiming

instead that the Rus were Slavic in origin, with perhaps a

smattering of Scandanavian elements.  


All of my sources disagree on the origin of the Rus.  The

Primary Chronicle claims that Rurik and his two brothers were

from across the Balticand were indeed Vikings; archaelogical

evidence seems in many cases to point to the Slavic theory.


In any case, there WAS siginificant contact between the Slavic

tribes and Scandanavian groups, especially the Swedes. The

Varangians are known to have traveled the river routes from

the Baltic to the Black Sea to Constantinople regularly during

the 9th through 11th centuries, and the first Russian empire

centered on Kiev was a great trade city on those trade routes.

The Arabs too were involved in trade through the region.  

Throw in the almost incessant incursions of  nomads from the

east (Polovtsians, Khazars, eventually the Mongols) and you

have a real melting pot.


HOWEVER, Russia was never "conquered" by the Swedes or any

Scandanavian group, nor by the Byzantine Empire, and indeed,

never by the many nomadic tribes until the Mongol Horde in

the 13th century.  In fact, the Viking element (assuming that it

existed and influenced the Slavic folk) appears to have done

what it did in places such as England:  i.e., merged into the

mainstream of the "common" people.


The second question was about the nature of chivalry in Eastern

Europe, Russia in particular.  Given the close contact between

the Scandanavians, the fact that the cities of northern Russia

(Novgorod and Pskov in particular) were members of loose

trading confederations based in Germany (eventually the

Hanseatic League), and Kievan Russia maintained distinct ties

with Byzantium as well as the lands westward of Kiev, it is

obvious that Russia did not exist in a vacuum.


I haven't done any specific reserach on chivalry in Russia, but

can point out that the "bogatyri" were great knights who

participated in fantastic adventures and apparently strove to be

brave, strong, and defenders of the weak.  Many of them are

legendary (Ilya Murametz, Svyatogor the Brave), but later ones

are better documented and more historical in nature.  I think it

is probably safe to say that there was some conception of

chivalry in Russia, but it was uniquely suited to the unique

challenges of the land.


These facts are as true as I can relate them.  The opinions are

my own.  Correspondence with someone more educated in

Russian history and culture is appreciated.  Corrections

appreciated as well.  For good historical fiction partly about

period Russia, read "Russka" by Edward Rutherfurd, 1991 from



Nikolai Kyrilovich Khorobrit, Bard

Reluctant Pursuivant Far Reaches, Middle Kingdom




From: cav at bmerh364.BNR.CA (Rick Cavasin)

Date: 5 Dec 91 21:56:01 GMT

Organization: Bell-Northern Research Ltd.


Unto Alison MacDermot does Lord Balderik send his greetings.


For some interesting info on personal communications, see

Novgorod the Great, M.W. Thompson  Frederick A. Praeger, New York

A large volume of birch bark manuscripts (spanning the middle ages)

have been unearthed in Novgorod.  They are mostly 'spent' messages.

They include personal communication between family members, messages

from landowners to overseers, children's lessons and doodles, etc.

The script is an old form of cyrillic.






From: fnklshtn at axp1.acf.nyu.edu

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Russian sources??

Date: 14 Nov 93 02:17:30 GMT

Organization: New York University, NY, NY


bpung at phoenix.cs.uga.edu (Benjamin Pung) writes:

>I am a relatively new member, though I've been acquainted with the SCA for

>years. I'm working on the name/persona thing and am looking for good sources

>for applicable Russian history, customs, costume, etc.

>Any help would be greatly appreciated.


>Ben Pung

>Barony of Bryn Madoc, Meridies


The Russian Chronicle - a history written as things happened (ends, I believe,

in 12th century).


Read the fairytales and Sagas. I think they were collected and written down

after the revolution but the peasants were fairly "backward" -- Peter the Great

modernized the nobles by bringing in European culture but the nobles basically

became French rather than combining it to make a new Russian culture, thus the

peasants retained what had been before.

Watch the old soviet movies - "Alexander Nevski" "Ivan Grosny" "Andrei Rublev":

I noticed the credits on Andrei Rublev - they included three history experts as

opposed to one costume designer. I believe the same may be true for the other

two movies though "Alexander Nevski" is a propaganda piece as is "Ivan Grosny"

(though not as blatant).

Andrei Rublev is probably the best one - a poignant, no-holds bared portrait of

15th century Russia (through the eyes of the artist - Rublev)





From: mcs at unlinfo.unl.edu (M Straatmann)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: kvas reference

Date: 29 Nov 1993 22:46:24 GMT

Organization: University of Nebraska--Lincoln       


In my last post discussing kvas with Balderik, I promised the

reference and then promptly forgot to include it.  Here it is:


Bread and Salt

A social and economic history of food and drink in Russia.

R.E.F. Smith and David Christian

Cambridge University Press 1984

ISBN - 0 521 25812X


Good book,




From: goldschm at ux1.cso.uiuc.edu (Paul Goldschmidt)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Russian Names

Date: 30 Nov 1993 22:36:35 GMT

Organization: University of Illinois at Urbana


I seem to have missed the thread on this subject, but I heard that

my artcuile from the symposium was mentioned and I thought that I

would mention that a revised version of it is being carried by

Folump Enterprises, 805 E Green, Urbana IL  61801.  The cost (I

think) is $5, but you can write for info.


I also have a list of cities and towns in medieval Russia which I

can send to interested parties at cost, and I am working on a list

of Russian medieval saints (good for documenting Christian names).

Meanwhile I have been slaving away on a dictionary of given names

(with around 12K entries so far -- heading to 40k).  I'm even starting

work on a much expanded piece on Russian medieval grammar for



You can reach me at GOLDSCHM at vmd.cso.uiuc.edu (which is not the

address I am writing from).  I'm hardly ever on the Rialto, so don't

try writing me here.


-- Paul Wickenden of Thanet



From: pwgg7938 at uxa.cso.uiuc.edu (Paul W Goldschmidt)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Russian Names III

Date: 1 Dec 1993 01:07:07 GMT

Organization: University of Illinois at Urbana


finally found the thread.


I feel obliged to respond to the person who said that Russian had not

changed that much since 17th century.  I wiowould agree that it has

b  not changed much sinmce 1720, but that is post period. Older

Russia texts (11-15th century, for example) are usually in Old Church

Slabonic (Slavonic -- I was transliterating) [God, I hate the editor

on this machine!  Anyway....]  The old docs are in OCS which is VERY

different from Modern Russian.  Never mind that some period manuscripts

are written in latin letters (which is VERY painful to read).  As for

the Names....well, they are also very different.  The modern form

(given name-patronymic-surname) exists, but it not common. Patronymic

grammar was also highly variable (I've documented at least a dozen

different tyoxxxxx   tupes  [arg!!!]  TYPES [!] of patronymics).


If you want to know about this, write me on my OTHER account (the one

with the friedly -- fried.....FRIENDLY!!! editor that does not make me

look so bad :<  :"  :'


goldschm at vmd.cso.uiuc.edu


-- Paul Wickenden of Thanet



From: sclark at epas.utoronto.ca (Susan Clark)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Kievan Rus' Bibliography.....

Date: 25 Jan 1994 15:45:42 -0500

Organization: EPAS Computing Facility, University of Toronto



        And now, a month after I first said I'd post it, here's my

introductory bibliography for the study of early Russia--


Cross, S.H. and Sherbovitz-Wetzor, O.P., eds. _The Russian Primary

Chronicle, Laurentian Text.  Cambridge, MA, 1953.


Fedotov, G. _The Russian Religious Mind:  Vol I: Kievan Christianity: The

Tenth to the Thirteenth Centures_.  Cambridge, MA, 1946.


Fr.Chirovsky, Nicholas.  _An Introduction to Ukrainian History_, Vol.I.

New York, 1981.


Michell, R. and Forbes, N. trans. _The Chronicle of Novgorod, 1016-1471._

Camden Third Series, Vol. XXV.  london 1914.


Riasanovsky, Nicholas V. _A History of Russia_. New York, 1984.


Thompson, M.W. _Novgorod the Great_.  London, 1967.


Tikhirmirov, M. N.  _The Towns of Ancient Rus'._  Moscow, 1959.


Tkach, Yuri. _History of Ukrainian Costume._  Melbourne, 1980.


Vernadsky, George. _Kievan Russia_.  New Haven, 1948.


________________. _Medieval Russian Laws._  New York, 1947.


Volkoff, Vladimir. _Vladimir, the Russian Viking_. Woodstock, NY, 1985.


Zenkovsky, Serge A. _Medieval Russia's Epics, Chronicles, and Tales._

New York, 1974.


More may be added as my research progresses--there is no book on here

which I have not personally read.  All these books are in English and

some are available in bookstores.  My apologies for not providing

complete publisher info--e-mail me if you need it.


Tonight I give the first meeting in preparation for the Novgorod event.

Were it not for my great love of history and the people of the SCA,

I think I would have dropped this organization forever about 15 minutes



St. Doug, protect us.


Canton of Eoforwic

sclark at epas.utoronto.ca



From: pyuaq at csv.warwick.ac.uk (Mr G S Sutherland)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Christianity Quiz...

Date: 17 Mar 1994 13:01:59 -0000

Organization: University of Warwick, Coventry, UK


Susan Clark (sclark at epas.utoronto.ca) wrote:


+ 13.) When did st. Vladimir Convert Russia officially to Christianity?

+ (Bonus points for anyone who can tell me why he supposedly did so)


        It was somewhere around 988.


        Why? Firstly, it was to bring the Rus into the European political

sphere. Since they were a bunch of heathens (Good on them!) they were

ostracised by the Christian kings who shared their borders. Apparently the

choice of religion was taken from the following list:


        Roman Catholicism (Rejected because there was no glory in its


        Islam (Rejected because the Rus would have to give up drink. But

               Vladimir did like the multiple wives teaching... )

        Judaism (Rejected because the Khazars lived in poor conditions.

               Ergo it was interpreted as them not having God with them.)

        Eastern Orthodoxy (Accepted because of the glory of the churches,

               and the beauty of the liturgy.)


        Part of the agreement of the conversion was that Vlamidir would get

to marry the Emperor's sister (or other female relative - I can't remember.)

She was especially prized since she was born in the palace at Byzantium. (I

don't know why this was though.)


        Unfortunatly the Emperor in Byzantium did not appreciate the demands

that the Rus' church would be autonomous from the central church, and that

Vladimir wished to marry his sister/whatever. Hence he refused to send priests

to carry out the conversion. In retalliation, Vladimir attacked, and conquered

the Crimea, and captured a number of priests to do the conversion for him...:)

He then ransomed it back to the Byzantines so that his demands were carried

out. Eventually the Rus managed to get converted, and he was canonized many

years after his death. (Russia's first saints were Boris and Gleb - Vladimir

wasn't promoted for so long because he had annoyed the Byzantines so much with

the above...)





From: sclark at epas.utoronto.ca (Susan Clark)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Nifty Book...

Date: 22 Mar 1994 00:21:17 GMT

Organization: EPAS Computing Facility, University of Toronto



        While digging for yet more books on Medieval Russia, I found

the following:

        _The Archaeology of Novgorod, Russia_, Mark Brisbane, ed.

(Society for Medieval Archaeology monograph series #13. Lincoln:

Soceity for Medieval Archaeology, 1992. ISSN 0583-9106)

        For those of you who have seen M. Thompson's _Novgorod the Great_,

this is sort of the sequel--it's an update of the dig in general, including

stuff that's been found in the nearly 30 years since the publication

of _Novgorod the Great_.  Great drawings of all kinds of *stuff*, including

combs, shoes, keys and locks, weapons, jewellery, house foundations,

musical instruments, etc. etc. Novgorod is an extremely damp site

(they built log houses rather than dug-out houses like in Kiev because of

this), so wooden objects have been preserved reallly well.


Have fun....



(who's feeling very Russian since the heralds in the fencing tourney

at Ice dragon kept calling me "Nicolai")

Canton of Eoforwic

sclark at epas.utoronto.ca



From: etchman at shell.portal.com (Philip - Tuley)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: russian info

Date: 30 Jun 1994 18:31:16 GMT

Organization: Portal Communications Company


Susan Rachel (Susan.Rachel at f555.n387.z1.fidonet.org) wrote:

: I'd like to apologize to everyone who has patiently awaited the arrival of

:  this biliography.  I really hope that you all find it worth the wait!

: These are the books that we own.  Consult the bibliographies in them and you

:  should have a HUGE overall bibliography to choose from. Enjoy!!


: Kazimir Petrovich Pomeshanov

: mka Brent Rachel


: (and his lovely assistant on keyboards this evening, Cathlin mka Susan

: Rachel)

: ---------

: Fidonet:  Susan Rachel 1:387/555

: Internet: Susan.Rachel at f555.n387.z1.fidonet.org


Hello to the tallest damn Russian I ever met and his most lovely lady!

Being *somewhat* interested in the subject, but not from the Russian

standpoint but rather the Zhaprozian Cossack view, I'd like to suggest one

more book.

The Cossacks, By Philip Longworth, Holt, Rhinehart & Winston, 1969,

LCC# 75-80353.

This book gives some insight into the early cossacks (late 15th and 16th

centuries) and then goes on into the rest of Cossackdom history. The only

down side for me is that it doesn't focus enough on Zhaprozian cossacks.

(In fairness, it splits pretty even with the Don cossacks, but I'd rather

it included more about my particular area.)


There are other sources, I'll try to post them later.

Aleksandr Ivanovich


| Philip J. Tuley | Lord Aleksandr Ivanovich | "... and the angels had    |

| etchman at shell.  | Budischev, Wandering     |  guitars even before they  |

| portal.com      | Cossack of Clann O Choda |  had wings."               |



From: nataliae at aol.com (Natalia E)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Russian Orthodox Saint Info

Date: 11 Dec 1994 22:30:37 -0500


In article <040_9412080500 at wmeonlin.sacbbx.com>,

Rob.Sturtevant at dt_wongy.wmeonlin.sacbbx.com (Rob Sturtevant) writes:


Welcome Sasha:


There are many Russians running around in the East. You can read the

Domostroy written by Sylvester which might help you.  It is a household

guide to Russian families in the late 1500s.  I don't know enough about

Russian culture as far as celebrating saint's days but I have asked my

brother (also Sasha) to look into it.  He might email you directly.  Good

luck and welcome to the Rialto.


Nataliia Anastasiia Evgenova Svyatoslavin



From: pyotr at chinook.halcyon.com (Peter D. Hampe)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Russian Orthodox Saint Info

Date: 12 Dec 1994 21:10:52 GMT

Organization: Northwest Nexus Inc.


Greetings to all, from Nikolai Petrovich Flandrovov


On the subject of Russian celebrating birthdays vs name day

Sasha Ivanovitch Kalitin writes:


:        I am fairly new to the society, but have sort of jumped in with both

:feet.  After 7 months I've already done garb for others (fairly simple), and am

:trying to organize a demo for a local school.  I am having trouble with a few

:areas however...

:        I'm the only Russian I know of in my local group, and you can believe

:me, I have asked around!  What I write you all about is this:  I have read, in

:a book on Russian food & culture, that the Russians of at least the 19th

:century were more likely to celebrate their "Name day" than a birthday.

:Apparantly this is like a birthday, but on the day of the Saint whose name you



More likely - you were named for the saint on whose name-day you were

born.  ie Dezember sixth is St Nicolas day - you got tagged with


        On the other hand - you might be named after someone "important"

- your uncle, grandfather, mother's brother's wifes's second cousin (the

one with all the money/land, ya know?).

        Naming conventions depend on time place and personal whim.  (I

know someone who's mom changed the 'a' to an 'o' and Sandra became

Sondra ... which is not all that uncommon a name...)

:        What I would like to know is, was this practiced in period (For me

:mid-16th Cent.)?  Where can I get a book or books that will tell me more about

:this (or any other) customs in period?  And where can I find out what day mine

:would be one? (I'm looking for Aleksandr, or Alexander)

:        As I write this I suppose I could ask an Eastern Orthodox priest..  I

:should think of these things sooner!  Though I suppose I have an excuse, having

:been raised Protestant..  ;)


May be yes, may be no.

:        Many thanks in advance, and to all a pleasant Season!


:                        Sasha Ivanovitch Kalitin


pyotr at halcyon.com  Pyotr Filipivich, sometimes Owl.



From: Valdez at polisci.sscnet.ucla.EDU

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Pagan Lithuanians

Date: 13 Mar 1995 16:46:03 -0500




The pagan discussion picqued my curiosity -- We're doing a course on Russian

History and Culture this quarter, and I have run across a number of

references to the conversion of the Lithuanians to Christianity.  Of course,

The Russians themselves didn't adopt Christianity officially until 988, and

one could make an argument that it took quite a long time to filter down to

the common people out in the boonies (as opposed to Kiev and mojor cities;

see Andrei Tarkovsky's _Andrei Rublev_, which has some interesting allusions

to pagan practices if you know what to look for. My lady does.)


More to the point -- The textbook we're using for this course (MacKenzie and

Curran, _A History of Russia, the Soviet Union and Beyond_) suggests that

Lithuania's conversion was a process stretching from the early to mid-13th

century to the early 15th.  The Teutonic Knights, of course, were on a

mission to convert Baltic Pagans by the early 13th century; King Mindaugas

and his family converted, and Mindaugas received "a crown from the pope in

Rome" in 1253 (p. 104).  Lithuanian unification was completed in the third

quarter of the 13th c., under Traidenis;curiously, this period saw a pagan

"revival" which evidently antagonized matny of the Orthodox Russians

(Slavs) under Lithuanian control.  To make a long story short, Lithuania drew

closer to Poland, as a result of continuing pressure from the Teutonic

Knights by the late 14th century.  Many lithuanuian nobles remained pagan,

but began to convert especially after the 1385 Union of Krewo (with Poland):

converts to Catholicism "obtained all the privileges of the Polish nobility."

(p. 105).  Of course, for the life of me I can't find what is commonly taken

to be the exact date of conversion, but you get the picture.


Hope this helps -- there is a good, sound basis to be a pagan noble of the

Lithuanian-Russian variety through at least the end of the 14th c.


Iban de Sepulveda



From: ddfr at best.com (David Friedman)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Newbie wanting literature on period Russia...

Date: 26 Sep 1995 04:19:00 GMT


Cornell University Press recently published a translation of the

Domostroi. It is a Russian household manual--how to run a household, with

lots of stuff on food, wedding ceremonies, etc. The original text is

apparently 16th century, with some later additions.




ddfr at best.com



From: mholl at aol.com (MHoll)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Newbie wanting literature on period Russia...

Date: 26 Sep 1995 12:23:08 -0400



Sashka (Lillith Kylan Lerien) Wrote:


>Yeah, I'm pretty much a newbie... I've been kinda bluffing my way

>through my first few events, but I'm interested in creating a persona

>that is actually period... so I'm looking for some literature (preferably


>not huge tomes... I'm a college student, already busy) with some general

>information on Russian (well, more specifically, southwestern russia,

>nearish to modern Georgia, mountains, nearish the sea) garb, names,

>customs, etc, the usual stuff... I am also interested in explanations of

>marriage by proxy...


There is a good one-volume history book that will give you an outline of

Russian history. It's called something like _History of Russia_ (Duh! :) )

and it is by Paul Dukes. Then you can go on to the multi-volume work by

George Vernadsky (about the same title). Each of Vernadsky's volumes can

be read separately, so you can concentrate on your period until you have

more leisure to study all of it.

   As far as garb is concerned, I am not aware of any work in English. You

may want to move to Novgorod, biased advice here, although there really is

a more on that northern city than on most other places because of

extensive archeological digs done there.


Predslava Vydrina

Bjornsborg, Ansteorra



From: blktauna at netaxs.com (Donna Bowers)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Newbie wanting literature on period Russia...

Date: 30 Sep 1995 20:53:42 GMT

Organization: Philadelphia's Complete Internet Provider




Try some of these:

W.E.D. Allen   History of the Georgian People

D.M. Lang     The Georgians

Colin Thubron  Among the Russians

Shota Rustaveli The Knight in the Panther's skin


That should get you on track..



blktauna at netaxs.com




From: Robert Lightfoot <celtcat at gnatnet.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Looking for garb from 13th 14th cent Rus

Date: 17 Oct 1996 01:43:57 GMT


Natal'ia asks:


>I am looking for sorces for 13th and 14th century Rus (Russian) garb.  

>It seems that all the books I have been trying to find are now out of

>print.  Please help a new member.  Thanks


My husband and I have some suggestions for you.

Videos: Alexander Nevsky and Ivan the Terrible part 1 & 2, and Andrei

Rubliev. Some may be a little later in period but the fashions won't have

changed much.

Books: Mary Gostlow, Embroidery of all Russia, Charles Scribner's SOns,

NY, 1977.ISBN 0-684-151847

Walter A. Fairservis, Jr. Costumes of the East.The Chatham Press, 1971

ISBN:85699-029-0 (hard)// 85699-029-9 (paper)

The Scared Art of Russia from Ivan the Terrible to Peter the Great.

Porgraom book from the Georgia cultural exchange (display held in ATlanta

last year) ISBN:09646394-0-8 (paper)//09646394-1-6(hard).


Good luck

Lady Siobhan ni Ahearn & Ld. Ernst

> Natalie Jean Boyer <nboiar at pacbell.net>



From: jswanger at u.washington.edu ('Jherek' W. Swanger)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Russian Stuff!!

Date: 19 Oct 1996 00:00:12 GMT

Organization: University of Washington, Seattle


>Greetings to all from Armando Rafael D'Euzkadi,


>I'm trying to find information for him, especially in regards to armor

>(12th-15th cent).  Actually, all kinds of resources will be helpful;

>armor, garb, period customs, etc.


This may be a bit after the period he's interested in but...


The Domostroi : rules for Russian households in the time of

Ivan the Terrible / edited and translated by Carolyn Johnston

Pouncy. --  Ithaca, NY : Cornell University Press, 1994.


Also check the following subject headings at your local library:


Russia--Social life and customs




(not jherek)



From: donata at ix.netcom.com(Dawn D Malmstrom)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Looking for garb from 13th 14th cent Rus

Date: 17 Oct 1996 05:27:21 GMT


In <54430t$11b at bill.gnatnet.net> Robert Lightfoot <celtcat at gnatnet.net>



>My husband and I have some suggestions for you.

>Videos: Alexander Nevsky and Ivan the Terrible part 1 & 2, and Andrei

>Rubliev. Some may be a little later in period but the fashions won't  

>have changed much.


Please, oh please _don't_ use a movie as documentation! For one thing,

Ivan was not Czar until 1547 and the movie is 20th century.  There is a

web page for Slavic Interests at




and I know of a Laurel who is currently translating a Ukranian

costuming book of which I have a partial copy, but she does not have

email.  If you are interested, please email me and I will send it on to



In Service,




From: lobel at is.nyu.edu (Sheldon Lobel)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Looking for garb from 13th 14th cent Rus

Date: 17 Oct 1996 17:04:21 GMT

Organization: New York University


Dawn D Malmstrom (donata at ix.netcom.com) wrote:


: Please, oh please _don't_ use a movie as documentation! For one thing,

: Ivan was not Czar until 1547 and the movie is 20th century.  There is a


However, a Russian movie generally tends to be a much better source than

an American one (for all that's worth).


If you look at the credits, they often have 3 or 4 PhD's listed as

"historical consultants" and maybe one name as "costuming designer".


Naum Khazarin



From: BHoll <bholl at cs.trinity.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Russian Stuff!!

Date: Sat, 19 Oct 1996 23:03:48 -0500

Organization: Trinity University


Shire2308 wrote:


> Greetings to all from Armando Rafael D'Euzkadi,


> I have brought into our shire a newbie (a good friend who has finally

> decided to give it a shot) who is Russian.  I mean....he's really from

> RUSSIA, not just his persona.


> I'm trying to find information for him, especially in regards to armor

> (12th-15th cent).  Actually, all kinds of resources will be helpful;

> armor, garb, period customs, etc.


> At his request, send any email to him, Egor, at egorp at aol.com.


> Armando Rafael D'Euzkadi

> Kingdom of the East

> Royal Forest of Rusted Woodlands


To this person and any other:


Make your way to the Slavic Interest Group Web Page at:



Lots of stuff there, especially a really nice bibliography.


Predslava Vydrina



From: BHoll <bholl at cs.trinity.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Looking for garb from 13th 14th cent Rus

Date: Sat, 19 Oct 1996 22:59:36 -0500

Organization: Trinity University


Robert Lightfoot wrote:


> My husband and I have some suggestions for you.


I apologize as I will criticise most of what you suggest. In my

defense: I have been studying Russian costume for several years now, I

am mundanely a doctoral candidate in Russian studies, and I read



> Videos: Alexander Nevsky and Ivan the Terrible part 1 & 2, and Andrei

> Rubliev. Some may be a little later in period but the fashions won't have

> changed much.


I haven't seen "Aleksandr Nevskii" in quite a while, so I won't say

anything. "Ivan the Terrible" is only "just about," and "Andrei

Rublev" SHOULD not be considered a historical movie AT ALL, even by

its own director's words! Very little in it is actually historical,

from the characters' behavior to the clothes they wear. A lot of it is

"generic poor oppressed peasant".


> Books: Mary Gostlow, Embroidery of all Russia, Charles Scribner's SOns,

> NY, 1977.ISBN 0-684-151847

> Walter A. Fairservis, Jr. Costumes of the East.The Chatham Press, 1971

> ISBN:85699-029-0 (hard)// 85699-029-9 (paper)


There is almost nothing in this book that is period. Do not use it

without a background study of Russian costume.


> The Scared Art of Russia from Ivan the Terrible to Peter the Great.

> Porgraom book from the Georgia cultural exchange (display held in ATlanta

> last year) ISBN:09646394-0-8 (paper)//09646394-1-6(hard).


Sacred art can be a good source if you know what you are looking for.

A lot of the clothing is stylized and follows the ritual demands of

icon painting, but some icons depict ordinary people in actual period



But do turn to the Slavic Interest Group web page at



There is an annotated bibliography there aimed at people who do not

read Russian.


Feel free to e-mail me if you would like some more help.


Predslava Vydrina

(a lurking Russian persona who just had to emerge)



From: BHoll <bholl at cs.trinity.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Russian Stuff!!

Date: Mon, 21 Oct 1996 10:58:01 -0500

Organization: Trinity University


'Jherek' W. Swanger wrote:

> This may be a bit after the period he's interested in but...


> The Domostroi : rules for Russian households in the time of

> Ivan the Terrible / edited and translated by Carolyn Johnston

> Pouncy. --  Ithaca, NY : Cornell University Press, 1994.


> kirsti

> (not jherek)


Yes! Pouncy's translation of the Domostroi is excellent, but note that

it is a late-period book about late-period manners and traditions.


Predslava Vydrina



From: BHoll <bholl at cs.trinity.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Does anyone know Russian?

Date: Sat, 14 Dec 1996 22:25:17 -0500

Organization: Trinity University


Dick Eney wrote:

> Zofia Beloshchenko wrote:

> > ... Arval has a good point though.  You might want

> > to consider Russian naming standards.  I have found that towns and cities

> > had a more meaningful name.


> Somewhere I forget, I read that quite a few small Russian villages were

> named things like "Naked" or (sort of) "Disgusting Mess" because they were

> named by the local noble who owned the land, who gave them the name they

> thought fit the conditions without regard to the opinions of the peasants.

> This may have been the result of deep poverty in the 19th century, but it

> may have been period practice too.  If so, then "Middle of Nowhere" seems

> mild by comparison.


> Tamar the Gypsy (sharing account dickeney at access.digex.net)


Something like that may have happened. But places are usually named by

those who found them/live there.

Paul Wickended of Thanet, in his _Dictionary of Period Russian Names_

has a section on place names. A nice appendix, worth looking at.


Predslava Vydrina

Barony of Bjornsborg

Kingdom of Ansteorra



From: BHoll <bholl at cs.trinity.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Some assistance?

Date: Wed, 12 Mar 1997 22:19:11 -0500

Organization: Trinity University


Valerie Rose wrote:


> Hello all,

>    I need some assistance with some research, and I thought it would be a

> good idea to ask here, since this newsgroup seems to have a lot of SCA

> members on it.

>    (snip...)

>    Then I had an idea......what about other areas of Europe? I asked him

> about Russian, Romanian, Hungarian, etc. They must have used T-tunics

> types clothes at some time or another, right? Plus, I get cold a lot, and

> dressing in outfits from one of those countries would allow me to bundle

> up and still be in persona!:) And hubby dear said he'd at least look at

> the stuff.....if I did all the reasearch, of course.

>    However, my local library has book that say two or three sentances

> about Russian....and then goes straight into the Tsars! And Romania or

> Hungary? Almost nothing on names, so far....though I'm still looking.

> Nothing on the middle ages in those countries, or on clothes. Almost

> nothing at all.

>   (snip again)


> Aibgrene Rose

> (AKA VAlerie Rose)


Look at the bibliography at the Slavic Interest Group web site:




There are references to books on Eastern European Middle Ages. It's largely

Russian stuff, but not exclusively. And according to my research, pre-XIII

century Russian costume was pretty much T-tunic-like with more tunics and

cloaks for cold weather. Fur lined, too. Just add an appropriate hat, and

that's it.


Predslava Vydrina

Barony of Bjornsborg

Kingdom of Ansteorra



From: BHoll <bholl at cs.trinity.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Some assistance?

Date: Thu, 20 Mar 1997 23:23:48 -0500

Organization: Trinity University


I have missed the original post, but if you are interested in Russia and

Central/Eastern Europe, then go to the Slavic Interest Group web page:




There is a great bibliography there and other good stuff.


If you cannot get to that web page, then write to me at


MHoll at aol.com


and I'll be happy to help.


The most current and accurate name-book of Russian names can be found at

the SCA web site at: http://www.sca.org/


in the Heraldry section.


Again, if you need more help, feel free to write to me (do not e-mail

via this post).


Predslava Vydrina

Bjornsborg, Ansteorra



From: nayat at panix.com (nayat)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Tatar Yoke/Medieval Russia/Novgorod

Date: 24 Mar 1997 15:43:37 -0500

Organization: Panix


Corun MacAnndra <corun at access5.digex.net> wrote:


>Hmmm, I don't really know much about a Mongol merchant class. I'm sure the

>Mongols traded back and forth, but whether there was a specific class that

>ran caravans or lived in places far removed from their tribes or the places

>the Mongols subjugated is a question I can't answer. I would think, however,

>that if Novogrod had not been subjugated by the Mongols, it would have become

>a haven for those Russians escaping the Mongols, and therefor I would guess

>that Mongols in general would have been very unwelcome to the point that any

>might have been jailed or even killed out of hand. The Rus have never liked

>conquerors, and the Mongols were pretty ruthless.


>In service,



To say that the Rus didn't like being conquored by the Mongols is an

understatement.  They went so far as to deny it in their chronicles, while

still preserving their history.  I would point anyone interested in the

topic to Charles J. Halperin's book _Russia and the Golden Horde: The

Mongol Impact on Medieval Russian History_ published by Indiana Press.


As to Mongol Merchants I would point out that the reason Chinggis khan

turned west was to punish the Shah of Khurasan for killing Mongol

Merchants.  Of course he thought they were spys, but the Great Khan taught



Umbar in Hashiral Daudachi, Beis



Date: Tue, 26 Aug 1997 21:31:51 -0600

From: Mary Amanda Fairchild <mafair at sisna.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Russian question


fiondel at i1.net wrote:

> Gentles of the arts list, a question,


> I am currently trying to find references for Russian garb (embroidered,

> if possible) from approximately 1350.  Ukrain area. This would be for

> Russian nobility/hetman type garb, not peasantry. The "Russian" in

> question has one of those "funny hats." <grin>  I went to our local

> library today and drew almost a complete blank.


> Books?  Web Sites?  Archive Sites?  Please, HELP!


> Fiondel All-Set-Up-and-Nothing-To-Sew


Dear Lady,

I took 2 classes at Pennsic about Russian garb-basic and ornamented-that

were helpful and informative.  I'll be as brief as possible:

1. start with a white(ish) longsleeved (fitted cuff) slit down the

center (for women, for men it's the side cut)about 6 inches with or

without collar double trimmed with something there and single trimmed on

cuff and floor hem slip (or shirt for men)

2.  make a full skirt, preferably red, trim

3. the top or vest or overshirt is full or pleated in the back, tucked

or pleated at the waist.  

4. hats range from jeweled crown-like bands to fur hats to scarves

5. coats are fur lined and often have mongolian side-cut influence

6. boots are red (good luck finding those) and sturdy

7. and PEARLS PEARLS PEARLS everywhere and anywhere.


That's the basics but if you want or need more please contact me.  Also,

the teacher brought in a cute (and accurate) model---Russian Barbie!


have fun!

Mary Amanda



Date: Wed, 27 Aug 1997 08:31:46 -0400 (EDT)

From: Carol at Small Churl Books <scbooks at neca.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Russian question


>I am currently trying to find references for Russian garb (embroidered,

>if possible) from approximately 1350.  Ukrain area.


There is a book set called the "Kiev Psalter" which has marginalia showing

people and their clothes.  You might try to see if interlibrary loan can lay

hands on it for you.  It was a very expensive boxed set ($125 on

out-of-print discount!) and one of the few original sources I have ever seen.


Another out of print book is the "Costume Timeline".  It had some Russian

examples at various time periods.  Author: Muller; publisher: Thames & Hudson.



Date: Wed, 27 Aug 1997 08:48:17 -0400 (EDT)

From: sclark at chass.utoronto.ca (Susan Carroll-Clark)

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Russian question


Best book I know of in English is _History of Ukrainian Costume_ by Yuri

Tkach.  Very good text and large colour plates, and it does cover the

period you want.



Nicolaa de Bracton

sclark at chass.utoronto.ca



Date: Wed, 27 Aug 1997 10:24:46 -0400 (EDT)

From: Jenne Heise <jenne at tulgey.browser.net>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Russian question


More information about Russian and Slavic topics, including an extensive

bibliography and a list of contacts, can be found on the web page of the

Slavic Interest Group (an unofficial SCA group):



There is a review of a book on Russian garb making in one of the

newsletters, at:    http://vms.www.uwplatt.edu/~millerje/news04.html


There's an article on pearling in another issue:





Jennifer Heise      **     Aunt Bunny   ** Jadwiga  Zajaczkowa

jenne at tulgey.browser.net



Date: Fri, 29 Aug 1997 00:40:29 -0500 (CDT)

From: fiondel at i1.net

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Russian question


>I don't have the exact web site available at this time, but if you were to

>go to

>http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/arts_and_sciences.html   you will find a link

>so some nice costuming sites and a couple on the Slavic races.


Thank you so much for this reference.  It pointed me to *exactly* what I

needed.  In case anyone else is interested, one of the "books" on this

site is actually a portfolio of photographs.  Seems that in 1903 the

Russian Imperial Family had a ball at the Winter Palace, and they and

all their guests wore vintage clothing from the 14th to the 18th century.

A little over half of the pictures are of garb which is OOP, but the

rest are ACTUAL PHOTOGRAPHS of 14-17th century clothing. Not reproductions

but the genuine articles.  Just too cool for words.


The portfolio is called "Historical Russian Costumes", by H. C. Pereleberg.

No ISBN number, sorry.  Not even a publication date.  


The one I'm looking at is 14th century.  All pearls, embroidery/applique,

and furs.  Can't wait to get started.





Date: Fri, 23 Oct 1998 11:30:32 -0400 (EDT)

From: Jenne Heise <jenne at tulgey.browser.net>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: russian garb


On Fri, 23 Oct 1998, rmhowe wrote:

> Not where I'm concerned. If you know more than I, or older historians,

> I have no trouble with it. I was just citing what I had read/heard

> for years, and trying to be helpful. I've tried to buy some stuff

> on Novgorad (archaeological findings) but seemed to be a bit late.

> Don't read russian, but have read the information about some of the

> excavations, magazine articles mostly.


I'm currently slogging through Pavel M. Dolukhanov's _The Early Slavs:

Eastern Europe from the Initial Settlement to the Kievan Rus_ (yes,

Predslava, I'll be posting about it  to the SIG list as soon as I've

gotten past the glaciation stuff!). It is written by a geologist who was

part of the archaelogy teams that did a number of the excavations, and

the book is primarily based on the archaelogical record. I'm still working

through the glaciation part, on which I can't comment too much, though

when Kat'ryna Neblaga Volchkova borrows it from me I'm sure she'll be able

to critique it!


Jadwiga Zajaczkowa (Shire of Eisental; HERMS Cyclonus), mka Jennifer Heise

jenne at tulgey.browser.net



Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 23:42:09 EST

From: <MHoll at aol.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: russian garb


In a message dated 10/23/98 3:17:38 AM, Magnus wrote:

>.... I've tried to buy some stuff

>on Novgorad (archaeological findings) but seemed to be a bit late.

>Don't read russian, but have read the information about some of the

>excavations, magazine articles mostly.


That's my advantage -- I do read Russian. Some info on the subject is

available in English: see Brisbane... Don't have the full citation at


It's a bit dull to read, but Brisbane recaps a lot of the research on

Novgorod, mostly as translations of Russian articles. Another source is H.

Birnbaum, I think the book is _Novgorod the Great_. It's not leisure reading

material, and some of the data is regurgitated without critical examination,

and I find fault with some of what he says (especially when he repeats Soviet

ideology without comments), but it's useful nevertheless. Both books are in

the SIG bibliography, I think.





Date: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 11:43:26 -0500

From: rmhowe <magnusm at ncsu.edu>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Mongols at Peipus


MHoll at aol.com wrote:

> In a message dated 10/23/98 3:33:30 AM, Magnus wrote:


> >And the battle on the ice is still thrilling. I believe it

> >leaves out the Mongol Allies however.


> Er... Esteemed Horde member... there were no Mongol allies at the Ice

> Massacre. The attacks of the Mongols were still too recent and bloody

> to allow for any alliances.


  Ummm. Not according to Lake Peipus 1242 by David Nichole PhD.

He refers to them as Turco-Mongol warriors of steppe origin.

He states:

"The size of of the vital Turco-Mongol contingent of horse archers

is unknown, as is their precise identity, but is unlikely to have

exceeded a few hundred."

  He identifies these as people who inhabited both sides of the northern

Ural mountains. "Those of the west, also known as the Khantz, had

been incorporated into Novgorad's 'fur empire'..."

He also states that if they were _mongols_ they were likely brought

up from the south by Alexander's brother.


Apparently, according to Nichole, quite a number of different

tribal peoples made up the army. He cites quite a few. Sounded

like quite a melting pot.


Surprised the heck out of me too when I read it the first time.

I am aware of the Mongol invasion of that area previously.


"David Nichole PhD was born in 1944 and was educated at Highgate

School. For eight years he worked in the BBC Arabic Service. In

1971 he went "back to school" gaining an MA from the School of

Oriental Studies and a PhD from Edinburgh University. For some

years he taught world and Islamic art and architectural history at

Yarmuk University, Jordan. David has written a number of books for

Osprey, including Campaign 43 Fornovo 1495." He cites about 40

books in his bibliography.


According to the chronology the Mongols were fighting the same people

he was. In 1241 Mongols defeated the Poles and Germans at Leignitz.

In 1242 Alexandre took Pskov back and won at Peipus against the same.

in 1246 Alexandre submits to the Mongol Khan Batu. In 1252 he becomes

the Veliki Knez (Grand Prince) of Russia under Mongol overlordship.

Not meaning to say he liked it - it just happened. In the middle of

this there were apparently all sorts of peoples being pushed about

on the outskirts of the main combatants, some of whom evidently

figured it was in their best interest to take sides.


> Predslava.





Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998 00:04:53 EST

From: <MHoll at aol.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re:  Mongols at Peipus


In a message dated 10/27/98 10:42:37 AM, Magnus wrote:

>In the middle of

>this there were apparently all sorts of peoples being pushed about

>on the outskirts of the main combatants, some of whom evidently

>figured it was in their best interest to take sides.


I'm sure there were. And I'm sure there were non-Russians in Alexander's

contingent -- but I haven't read any references to non-Russian *units*.

Individuals -- that's a different story. For more, see John Fennell, _The

Crisis of Medieval Russia, 1200-1304_, Longman, London and New York, 1983.


Janet Martin, _Medieval Russia, 980-1584_, Cambridge University Press, New

York, 1995.



Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998 00:11:39 EST

From: <MHoll at aol.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Vikings in Russia  (was: Re: russian garb)


The clearest statement, as well as the most succint that I have found belongs

to Nicholas V. Riazanovsky, then professor of history at Columbia (if I am not

mistaken), in _A History of Russia_, second edition, Oxford University Press,

New York, 1969, p. 26:


"Detailed investigations of Scandinavian elements in Russian culture serve to

emphasize their relative insignificance. Norman words in the Russian language,

formerly supposed to be numerous, number actually only six or seven. (...)

Written literature in Kiev preceded written literature in Scandinavia...


Claims of Norman contributions to Russian law have suffered a fiasco: while at

one time scholars believed in the Scandinavian foundation of Russian

jurisprudence, it has in fact proved impossible to trace elements of Kievan

law back to Norman prototypes. (...) Other assertions of Norman cultural

influences, for instance, on the organization of the Kievan court or on

Russian dress, tend to be vague and inconclusive, especially when compared to

the massive impact of Byzantium and the tangible effects of some Oriental

cultures on Russia."


Riazanovsky goes on to question other finding connecting the "Rus" with a

Scandinavian group. The main problem being that no group by that name can be

found in Scandinavia of that time. Moreover, the Russian Chronicle "states

that the Slavic and the Russian languages are one" (Riazanovsky p. 28).


Some texts contrast the Rus with the Slavs, but this may be a contrast between

the Kievan Rus and other Slavs. Kievan Rus is often referred to as "Rus" as

opposed, say, to the Novgorod Slavs even in much later Chronicle entries.


Finally, Riazanovsky concludes on this subject:


"In particular the names of the first princes, to and excluding Sviatoslav, as

well as the names of many of their followers in the treaties with Byzantium,

make the majority of scholars outside the Soviet Union today consider the

first Russian dynasty and its immediate retinue as Scandinavian. Yet, even if

we accept this view, it remains dangerous to postulate grand Norman designs

for eastern Europe, or to interpret the role of Vikings on the Russian plain

by analogy with their much better known activities in Normandy or in Sicily. A

historian can go beyond his evidence only at his own peril." (p. 30).


So there is no clear evidence that the Rus' were Scandinavian at all, or any

positive proof that the Rurikid dynasty was of Norse origin, although that is

the accepted theory.  The cultural distinction between the (probably) Norse

rulers and the Slavic population disappeared very early on, probably before

the IX century when names that were almost clearly Norse ceased to be used.

Certainly there is no reference in the Chronicles to any linguistic problems

between the Rurikid princes and the population. Or any kind of cultural

tension between the two groups, only expected political opposition between

powerful and wealthy groups, the landowners on the one side, and the

military leaders and administrators on the other.


A point to remember is that the "Normans" referred to in Russian history are

not the same Normans of English history. It was just a term used

interchangeably with "Norse," "Viking" and "Scandinavian" -- a vague term

rather than a specific one.





Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 22:29:46 EST

From: froggestow at juno.com (Roberta R Comstock)

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Pre-Seventeenth Cent. Slavic Sources


On Mon, 9 Nov 1998 08:46:54 -0800 (PST) Beth Ann Snead

<ladypeyton at yahoo.com> writes:

>Help!  I need a pre-seventeenth century slavic motif for an arts

>triathalon I'm entering in February.  I have NO idea where to look

>since my area of expertise is neither slavic nor needlework.  I'm

>hoping to find at least one blackwork pattern, (If not a pattern at

>least a picture to develope a pattern from.) and one generic

>embroidery pattern.  If possible, could someone point me in the >right



The two books I would suggest are:


_Embroidery of All Russia_ by Mary Gostelow, 1977.   New York: Charles

Scribner's Sons.  ISBN 0-684-15184-7  Although mostly modern, there are

some good examples of period embroideries.

There is also some reference to the wonderful felt applique work of the

5th century, BC.

Most of the counted stitch work shown is well past the SCA period of



_Russian Illuminated Manuscripts_ by Olga Popova, 1994, Aurora Arts

Publishers, Leningrad.  First published in USA 1984, Thames & Hudson,

Inc., NY.  ISBN 0-500-27310-3  Even though most of the color

illustrations (replicas of manuscript pages) are from religious

documents, there are a lot of wonderful border designs and other setaile

that could be easily converted to embroidery or applique patterns.


Also look for art history and coffee table books about treasures of the

Kremlin,  Scythian gold work, Dark Ages tribal migrations, end such.





Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 23:17:55 -0500

From: "K. E. Reinhart" <keran at hancock.net>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Slavic Sources


Another book with good pictures of Slavic art & embroidery


Alpatov, M. W. & Olga Dacenko.  Art Treasures of Russia.

        New York: Harry N. Abrams, n. d.  LC# 67-12683


Keran Roslin

Sterlynge Vayle




Date: Wed, 01 Dec 1999 14:55:55 -0600

From: Jenn/Yana <jdmiller2 at students.wisc.edu>

Subject: Re: SC - Replies to Centre, marmalde and russian recipe queries


Akim wrote regarding Russian cookbooks:


>Perhaps there are documents in the Novgorod-Seversky

>excavations that we may discover available,  I would bet that if 12th

>century recipes exist, it will be from those digs. My hunch is based on this

>reasoning.  Unlike their contemporaries in western Europe at this period, a

>majority of the citizens of Novgorod-Seversky were generally literate; not

>just the nobility or the church heirarchy, everyone. Literacy  there was

>very comparable to modern America, perhaps even surpassing it.  They used

>the plentiful bark of the white birch tree, writing with a stylus as the

>bark surface darkened when compressed.  The soil acidity and low

>temperatures  of this city have preserved literally tons of notes and

>personal letters written on birchbark.  We have letters of mundane subjects

>like a husband asking his wife to send him his two best shirts and new

>underwear.  This hoard of preserved data is unique to this city-state of

>ancient Rus as conditions did not preserve similar data in more southerly

>cities like Kiev.   If "Mrs Ivanovich" wrote her recipes down, it is most

>likely that they still exist here.


Yes, the birchbark documents are a wonderful source for research and an

astounding archaeological find.  And of course, we don't know what is going

to appear in the future findings.  However, the birchbark documents were

not meant for permanent storage, they were for notes and messages, not

book-length subjects.  An entire cookbook is not likely for the subject of

a birchbark document, but a single recipe or some notes on food is

possible.  None have been found yet, but I too hope for some fragment of a

recipe reference.


>I have recently discovered a Russian national selling Russian subject books

>on Ebay who has sold me some absolutely wonderful resource texts on

>Novgorod.  She is Lyudmila Khononov, in Brooklyn NY. Perhaps she could use

>her contacts in book-selling to see if in-period cookery books are now

>available.  Her address is Lkon5 at aol.com .  Her company name and Ebay

>sellers i.d. is"Russiantroyka".


You would probably be better off with Viktor Kamkin (www.kamkin.com) or Russian

Panorama (www.panrus.com).  I have bought from RussianTroyka, but they are

a reseller and (last time I checked) would only sell to you if you bid on

eBay.  Not the way I like to do business, YMMV.  Kamkin is the respected

North American source for Russian books.  They get most everything and have

an incredible warehouse in Rockford MD.  However, no period cookbooks yet!  :)


- --Yana



Date: Wed, 1 Dec 1999 18:41:55 -0800 (PST)

From: Huette von Ahrens <ahrenshav at yahoo.com>

Subject: SC - russian book vendors


- --- Jenn/Yana <jdmiller2 at students.wisc.edu> wrote:

> You would probably be better off with Viktor Kamkin

> (www.kamkin.com) or Russian Panorama (www.panrus.com).  I have bought from

> RussianTroyka, but they are a reseller and (last time I checked) would only

> sell to you if you bid on eBay.  Not the way I like to do business, YMMV.

> Kamkin is the respected North American source for Russian books.  They get

> most everything and have an incredible warehouse in Rockford MD.  However, no

> period cookbooks yet!  :)


> --Yana


An even better Russian book vendor than Kamkin is:


East View Publications

3020 Harbor Lane North

Suite 110

Minneapolis, MN 55448


e-mail: books at eastview.com

website: http://www.eastview.com


East View has offices in Russia and almost all of the

breakaway republics.  In my 15 years as an

acquisitions librarian, I have (and still do) dealt

with Kamkin, but I have found East View faster, more

e-mail responsive and better in finding obscure books

than Kamkin.  Kamkin is better in dealing with

subscriptions, in my opinion.





From: Lord Mikhial <sjclem1NOsjSPAM at hotmail.com.invalid>

Subject: Re: Russian Armor

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Date: Fri, 26 May 2000 04:11:21 -0700


    I am Lord Mikhial Da'Mianovich, I'm currently living in the Kingdom

of Caid and have been doing this for two years.  Last summer I was

researching for Russian armor like yourself and have found two types

most commonly used.  First type is the chain mail which most people are

familiar with if there is an armorer in the area.  I chose to go a

different direction because it would provide a more personal look.

Beginning in the 13th century, the Rus created an armor called "KUYAK"

it was basically a long shirt of hide leather with bronze plates

riveted throughout.  I'm leaving two site address, feel free to check

them out, the first is very detailed about Russian armor and weapons,

it has good pictures of the armor I mentioned.  The second one is of my

homepage, but my photographer wasn't the best and my pics are a little

dark so you may not be able to see how I did it.







From: slh1500 at aol.com (SLH1500)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: NewComers Handbooks Ideas/Comments/Help

Date: 02 Jun 2000 06:53:02 GMT


These are my favorites, particularly the last two. sasha















From: val_org at hotmail.com (Gunnora Hallakarva)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Persona research (Kiev/Rus/Scandinavia?) help REALLY wanted. :-)

Date: 16 Jul 2001 09:33:46 -0700


NomadNStarkhafnNOSPAM at aol.com (Nomad in Starkhafn) wrote

> Okay, this is what I've got so far... Trader born in the year 950 AD,

> born in Kiev, parents were Scandinavian traders. I have some basic

> garb so far. I'd REALLY appreciate URLs and possibly book titles I

> could borrow from the library.


Also take a look at:


The real Risala of Ibn Fadlan



An intro to Vikings in Russia and Byzantium



Several websites of the New Varangian Guard reenactment group:




Australia NVG



Holthoer, R. Birch-Bark Documents from Novgorod Relating to Finland

and Scandinavia. Acta Universitatis Uppsaliensis 19. Uppsala:

University of Uppsala. 1981.


Lindquist, Sven-Olaf, ed. Society and Trade in the Baltic During the

Viking Age. Acta Visbyensia 7. Visby: Gotlands fornsal. 1985.


Muller-Wille, Michael, ed. Oldenburg-Wolin-Staraja

Ladoga-Novgorod-Kiev: Handel und Handelsrerbindungen im sudlichen und

ostlichen Ostseraum wahrend des fruhen Mittelalters. Bericht RGK 69.



Noonan, Thomas S. "The Vikings and Russia: Some New Directions and

Approaches to an Old Problem." in Social Approaches to Viking Studies.

ed. Ross Samson. Glasgow: Cruithne Press, 1991. pp. 201-206. to buy

from Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1873448007/thevikinganswerl


Palsson, Hermann and Paul Edwards. Vikings in Russia: Yngvar's Saga

and Eymund's Saga. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 1989.

To buy from Amazon.com:



Sawyer, Peter, Omelian Pritsak, Bengt E. Hoven, Thomas S. Noonan,

Talvio Tuukka, Jutta Waller and Anne Stalsburg. "Relations Between

Scandinavia and the Southeastern Baltic / Northeastern Russia in the

Viking Age." Journal of Baltic Studies 13:3 (1982) pp. 175-295.


There are a ton of journal articles out there, in English, Finnish,

and Russian, which deal with the early Rus and Scandinavians in

Russia.  I'd start with the ones above and mine thir bibliographies

for more leads.





Subject: Re: [MR] Help with Russian persona - with heavy Mongol

overtones ;)

Date: Tue, 06 Aug 2002 11:22:37 -0400

From: rmhowe <MMagnusM at bellsouth.net>

To: Atlantia <atlantia at atlantia.sca.org>


Larissa Simmons wrote:

>   I am in need of help in completing the development of my Russian persona.

> I am satisfied with my first name, but need a second name.

> My persona is circa 1124 in Kiev and has ties both to the Kievan

> nobility and the Mongol horde (thus far, I may need help tweaking her

> history).


There are Russian and Mongol name guides on the internet and I'm sure

the Academy of St. Gabriel knows of them. It's easier to use St. Gabriel

who think name puzzles are funny to argue over than to do it yourself

frequently. I imagine you can reach them off of http://www.sca/org/

under Heraldry or Names.


> I also need to know where to look for pictures of armor post

> Kievan Age Russia.  I am grateful for all help.

> In Service, - Iaroslavna


Scale and mail seems to have been popular at that period. So were

helmets of either spangenhelm or single raised conical helms with a

nasal and decorative brow and eyebrow decorations. Leather armour

was used by the mongols frequently over a loose silk shirt. This

had the advantage of not cutting like a normal cloth wood and easing

the withdrawal of an arrowhead. The loose silk threads also pulled

any corruption of the wound out. The best picture of a leather laminated

scale cuirass I know of is in the Eyewitness book on Russia.


As far as most armor pictures go they principally exist on pottery

or engraved and embossed articles. Osprey has a number of books on

the Mongols and Medieval Russian Armies in their various series.

In the Campaigns Series there is the Battle of the Kalka River.

Mongols and Rus even fought with each other briefly against the

Teutonic Knights and their allies. This is in one of the books that

Osprey puts out by Dr. David Nicolle. In the Osprey series alone

you should find 4 or so good books on the Mongols.  I have somewhere

around a hundred and ten of the things. Some of the Romano-Byzantine

armor wouldn't be too far off. It heavily influenced the Russians,

and the Mongols were fighting in that area as well.


Osprey Man at Arms    105 The Mongols         ISBN 0850453720  132282

Osprey Campaign Series 98 Kalka River 1223AD       1841762334  134187

Osprey Campaign Series 46 Lake Peipus 1242AD       1855325535  132104

Osprey MAA  333 Armies of Medieval Russia 750-1250 1855328488  132503

Osprey MAA  251 Medieval Chinese Armies 1260-1520 1855322544

        During the first part of this era the Mongols ruled as

        the Yuan Dynasty. Their successors were overthrown by

        Ming Dynasty. So, somewhat the same warriors.

Osprey MAA 295 Imperial Chinese Armies 590-1260 AD 1855325993

        The Mongols were a diverse group of Tribes until Genghis

        Khan united and named them. The last part of this book

        is applicable.


Osprey MAA 287 Byzantine Armies 1118-1461 AD       1855323478

        Remember these folks were highly influencial on the

        surrounding cultures, and there are a great many

        depicted in period paintings and modern illustrations

        and photographs. This has a lot of Scale Armour and

        weaponry in it. The Vikings served them as the

        Varangian Guard, and the way they got there was

        on the rivers passing through many areas north to

        south. The Rus were a tribe of Scandinavians invited

        in to rule the early Russian slavs.


Osprey MAA 222 The Age of Tamerlane by David Nicolle PhD.


        Warfare in the Middle East 1350-1500 AD. A Turcified

        Mongol descendant and Conqueror. Probably a bit late

        for you, but might prove useful for the ethnicity.


National Geographic Vol. 190, No. 6, December 1996 issue on

        Ghenghis Khan and the beginning of the Mongol conquests.

        Written by Mike Edwards, Photographs by James. L. Stanfield.

        Map Supplement with a mongol ger wagon train on the reverse.

        Pages 3-37.


National Geographic Vol. 191, No. 2, February 1997 issue on

        Sons of Genghis - The Great Khans pages 2-35.

        Written by Mike Edwards, Photographs by James. L. Stanfield.

        This covers the subsequent expansion of the various

        Mongol Khans taking the empire to its greatest extent.


Eighteen Songs of a Nomad Flute - the Story of Lady Wen-Chi, 1974,

        Metropolitan Museum of Art, 89 pages, 18 color(full-page),

        73 black/white reproductions; text of poems on scroll by Liu

        Shang, 8th C.; paintings by unknown 12th C. artist. Introduction,

        commentary and translation of poems by Robert A. Rorex and

        Wen Fong, Distributed by the New York Grapic Society, hardback

        in slip case, about sixty unnumbered pages. Although Lady Wen

        Chi was originally abducted in the second century AD by

        predecessors of the later Huns who troubled Rome, her story

        was retold over the centuries and reillustrated with new

        pictures. The ones in this book relate her as if she were

        living with the twelfth century Mongols and the illustrations

        of their Gers and wagons, processions, and daily life is the

        most accurate for the Mongol period we have. Well worth obtaining.


A Former Horde Brother of mine who knew and researched Mongolian/

        Chinese Costumes quite a lot felt the best book on the

        subject is 5000 years of Chinese Costume if you can

        find and afford one.

Compleat Anachronist # 99 Life in Thirteenth Century Novgorod

   by Gregory William Frux. Available through the SCA stock clerk.


Compleat Anachronist #35 An Introduction to Russian Costume

   by Soraya Evodia of Odessa, same stock clerk.


Compleat Anachronist # 54 The Mongols by Georg of Glacier's Edge

   Same stock clerk.  http://www.sca.org/ Membership services.


The Mongol Warlords - Genghis Khan - Kublai Khan - Hulegu - Tamerlane;

by David Nicolle, plates by Richard Hook, Brockhampton Press, London,

1998, Hardback, dj, 8to, 192 pages, with Black and White and Colour

Illustrations and Photographs (a great many actually).  


Marco Polo, The Historic Adventure Based on the Television Spectacular;

Random House, New York, 1982, Based on the Italian/Chinese Movie

Production.  Storybook on the movie by Elizabeth Levy. Hardback

with color picture illustrations and colors. 62 pages. ISBN 0394853296.

If you -ever- get a chance to see the whole huge film don't miss it!


Also you might like to see the movie Alexander Nevsky. The 1939 film

was a propaganda film against the Germans, however it is primarily

based on Fact. It's generally in VHS somewhere. The battle on the Ice

at Lake Peipus is stunning at times. Try http://www.ccvideo.com/


Then you might wish to join the Slavic Interest Group, or SIG.

http://slavic.freeservers.com/  Which is composed of SCA members

who can aid you. I blind copied a few (might be old addresses but

you never know. You may get sucked in anyway.)


In any event, once you've made up your mind I am fairly sure we can

arrange an abduction of yourself, at your request at Pennsic.

It's happened before. Then you'll have your story, and someone

may paint and write the poems of a long scroll for you.


Master Magnus Malleus, OL, Atlantia, Great Dark Horde

Khan's Own Intelligence Agency



Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2006 10:47:43 -0400

From: "Stephanie Ross" <hlaislinn at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] zakuskas

To: "SCA-Cooks" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


<<Huh? We have lots of medieval illustrations of peasants. I'm sure there

are numerous differences. Among others that I can think of is the 19th

century use of cotton. A rather expensive and rare fabric in

the Middle Ages.>>


No, no, Stefan, Russian peasants. You cannot compare Russian peasants to

medieval surf peasants. All peasant meant in Russia is that you are not of

noble blood. You could be very rich and successful and non-Christian and

still be of the peasant class. Peasant was a term that meant the common

people, what we call the middle class, the backbone of society.  Cotton is

not a fabric that was commonly used in Russia until about the 1940's by the

peasantry. They were still weaving linen for their shirts and using

homespun wool for skirts and pants. I have a friend from Ukraine who sells

on Ebay, and she told me that the material I want for my plahtas (a term

which means blanket now, was a skirt) and panovas (a type of wrap-around

three-panel skirt common from Rus times) is becoming increasingly

impossible to find, because it became quite uncommon after the Revolution.

However, I have some actual photographs of this material, but grandmothers

stopped weaving it decades ago when communism brought in cheap cotton

cloth. You see, even after Peotr and Catherine the Great managed to

westernize the Russian nobility in the 17 and 1800's, life for the peasant

didn't change. They went on living their quiet lives in their spread out

villages that only interacted once or twice a year. I'm serious when I say

that there are still villages in the backwoods of Russia who still have not

been modernized and still wear their "peasant costumes" as daily wear.

Russians don't like change, because change has brought death and

destruction for them so often in the past. They are also a very stubborn

people and cling to their ways. Frankly I was amazed at how many dishes in

the Domostroi were still common in Russia today. Kasha is still a staple,

as are blini, rye bread, schi (cabbage soup), pirogs and piroshki, smoked

and pickled fish, pickles, caviar, mushrooms (oh how the Russians love

their mushrooms. They still go out in the woods to find them today and

fight over them). I think the liberal use of sour cream is the biggest

change in food since the Domostroi was written. Of course I am talking

about what mom cooked at home (v domi), not what is sold to tourists in big

cities, like Chicken Kiev and Beef Stroganoff. There are actually dates of

creation for those dishes and nobody ever cooked them at home.


<<For a long time I remember being told that Middle Eastern food hadn't

changed since the Middle Ages. Counter-examples of this have been posted



I wish I could get my hands on evidence of any history for Russian food,

either pro or con. So little is written in English it is impossible to find

reliable sources that don't cross-reference each other as sources.  This is

a problem when researching medieval Russian clothes as well. I am not

emotionally attached to my ideas, so if someone comes along and refutes

them with documentation, I would be thrilled just to finally KNOW!





Date: Sun, 10 Aug 2008 23:05:51 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] weird question - honey fast???

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


<<< Please enlighten me I cannot not figure how anyone one can fathom

honey as a meat product.

Suey >>>


Ok I hit Google Books this evening and came across a couple of unusual

documents buried in that vast archive of stuff.


From Senate Documents, Otherwise Publ. as Public Documents and Executive

Documents: 14th Congress, 1st Session-48th Congress, 2nd Session and

Special Session

By United States Congress. Senate

Published by , 1856

Original from Oxford University

Digitized Dec 7, 2006






The rearing of bees is extensively carried on in the several parts

of European Russia, particularly in the central and southern governments,

as well as in the Polish and in the trans-Caucasian provinces.

This insect acclimatises up to a very high latitude, even in Siberia.

It was long thought that the climate of the latter country

was utterly unsuitable for the rearing of bees ; but experiments made

at the commencement of the present century in the governments of

Tomsk, Omsk, and Jenisseisk have proved the contrary. It has

greatly suffered, however, in some provinces, from the destruction of

the forests; for the bee prefers well wooded districts, where it is

protected from the wind. The honey procured from the linden tree (

Tilia eurapced) is only obtained at the little town of Kowno, on the

river Niemen, in Lithuania, which is surrounded by an extensive forest

of these trees, and where the rearing occupies the principal attention

of the inhabitants. The Jews of Poland furnish a close imitation

of this honey, by bleaching the common kinds in the open air

during frosty weather.


The ceremonies of the Greek church, requiring a large consumption

of wax candles, greatly favor this branch of rural economy in

Russia, and preserve it from the decline to which it is exposed in

other countries, from the increasing use of stearine, oil, gas, and other

fluids for illuminating purposes. The peasants produce wax so

cheaply that, notwithstanding the consumption of this article has

greatly diminished abroad, it still continues to form an important

item of the commerce of the country ; but the exportation of honey

has considerably increased in consequence of the extended use of potato

syrup, which has also injured the honey trade in the interior.

The rearing of bees is now almost exclusively dependent on the

manufacture of candles for religious ceremonies, and on the consumption

of honey during Lent, it being then used instead of sugar, by the

strict observers of the fasts. The government encourages this branch

of rural industry, as affording to the peasant an extra source of income,

and has adopted various measures for the accomplishment of

this end. With the view of diffusing the requisite knowledge among

the people of the public domains, bee-hives, and a course of practical

instruction upon the subject of bee-culture, have been established at

several of the crown farms, and pupils are sent every year, at the expense

of the government, to the special school in Tschernigow,

founded for the purpose, in 1828.


See also

Commentaries on the Productive Forces of Russia

By Ludwik Te;goborski

Published by Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans, 1855

Original from the University of Michigan

Digitized Aug 4, 2006


So here we have honey being used instead of sugar during Lent in the 19th century; perhaps this is just the Eastern Orthodox Church. An Egg At Easter mentions that prior to the Revolution, the Russians ate only vegetables, honey, fruit, and bread during Lent.  The Domostroi also indicates that they ate honey during Lent.





Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2008 09:09:05 -0400

From: "Elaine Koogler" <kiridono at gmail.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] More Russian Info...

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


Are you familiar with this site?


Virtual Russian Museum: http://users.stlcc.edu/mfuller/russia.html





From: Coblaith Muimnech <Coblaith at sbcglobal.net>

Date: November 23, 2009 3:44:01 PM CST

To: Barony of Bryn Gwlad <bryn-gwlad at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Bryn-gwlad] period Russian leather


I know there are a few people with Russian personae in the barony, and thought they might be interested in the photos of shoes, pouches, sheaths, cases, and masks from 10th- to 15th-century Novgorod at <http://users.stlcc.edu/mfuller/NovgorodLeatherp.html>;.  Some of them show very interesting decoration, and could be used as the basis for striking accessories for wear at events.


Coblaith Muimnech


<the end>

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