The study focuses on one of the ways to express for eignness of ethnicities encountered by the inhabitants of Medieval Rus’, namely on constructing the origin of those ethnicities. The narrative about the origin of an ethnicity and its ancestors (origo gentis) is known from European medieval historiography in general. The oldest Russian chronicles, however, are distinguishable for not only recording the origin of their own nation, but noting the roots of completely different cultures, i.e. steppe tribes and northern peoples; later the origin of Mongols is refl ected in a similar way. The comparison of the Primary Chronicle and Latin Central European chronicles which were created almost at the same time period (Chronica Boemorum by Cosmas of Prague, Chronica et gesta ducum sive principum Polonorum by Gallus Anonymus and a slightly younger anonymous Gesta Hungarorum) demonstrates that the primary function of Latin origo gentis was to define the identity of the medieval gens, which was changing into natio of the High Medieval Period, and to legitimate its political structures. In these chronicles, origo gentis never became a separate theme in relation to other nations. On the contrary, the authors of the oldest Russian chronicles considered the identifi cation of the origins of the foreign nations to be the key for recognizing their functions not only in the present or in the past, but, first and foremost, in the future, in the end time.
The purpose of this paper is an attempt to reflect on the beginnings of Ukrainian modernism. The article is an analysis of the “Open letter to Ukrainian writers” by Mykola Voronyi and his polemics with a well-known Ukrainian writer, Ivan Franko. This letter, which was published in the journal “Literaturno-Naukowy Wisnyk” in 1901, is a very important document of the epoch, bearing the mark of a literary manifesto. This little note made the Ukrainian intelligentsia aware of the crisis of so-called narodnytstvo poetics and the need for far-reaching modernization of Ukrainian literature. The writer postulated the rejection of adopted schemes in favour of the latest European trends in literature. The attempt to implement the program demands was an edition of Mykola Voronyi’s literary collection, “From the Valleys and Above the Clouds”, which has also been analyzed and discussed in this paper. The author concludes that the “Open letter to Ukrainian writers” can be considered one of the first manifestations of Ukrainian modernism
The paper attempts to approach some peculiarities of the two branches of the early Slavs (Sclaveni and Antes), as the Byzantine sources of the sixth and early seventh centuries present them as being similar. Within this context the following are examined: a) the origin and ethnic identity of the Sclaveni and the Antes, taking into account certain historiographical models on the early Slavs, as well as the controversial issue of the ethnic identity of the Antes (Slavic or Iranian) and the etymology of their name; b) the material culture: under consideration are the Prague and Penkovka cultures, identifi ed with the Sclaveni and the Antes respectively, their common elements and peculiarities, their mutual infl uences as well as infl uences from other cultures; c) the political and social organization: the internal structures of the Sclaveni and the Antes, taking into account the testimony of Jordanes, Procopius and Maurice, the references in other sources to the titles of chieftains, or a kind of genealogy into the early Slavic society, as well as the treaty of Byzantium with the tribal union of the Antes are under scrutiny. The paper draws the conclusion that the Sclaveni and the Antes shared similarities, but actually were not one and the same at all, as it appears in the Byzantine sources. Furthermore, the peculiarities that appear the political-social organization and the material culture of the Antes, due to their historical and cultural evolution, are not of a degree that could dispute their Slavic ethnic and cultural identity.
The article presents the results of the analysis of “The Register of Ivan the Terrible’s oprichniki” – a document from the second half of the 16th century. It is precisely at this period that the present day three-part naming system: name – patronymic – surname was being established in Muscovy. The author attempts to prove that at this time the social status of a man could have been deduced from the formal exponents of his name: the number of its constituents, the structure of its patronymic, the fact that the name belongs to non-calendar or Christian names, and also from certain derivational markers.