Petrov, Nikolay Igorevich. Slovenin of the «Russkaya Pravda» and Slovene of the «Tale of Bygone Years»

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Tags: slovene, Slavic identity, Russkaya Pravda, Tale of Bygone Years, Novgorodtzi , Yaroslav’s Law, Old Russian literary tradition, Novgorod Bishop Nifont, annalistic narratives, Commentarii / Articles, PETROV N. I.

Title of the article Slovenin of the «Russkaya Pravda» and Slovene of the «Tale of Bygone Years»
Authors Petrov, Nikolay Igorevich — Ph. D. in History, Associate Professor, research member of the Research Centre «Actual Archaeology», St. Petersburg, Russia, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Scopus ID 57195249408, AuthorID 407368
In the section Commentarii / Articles   
Year 2017 Issue 1 Pages 39-51
Type of article RAR Index UDK; BBK UDK 94(4); BBK 63.3(0)32 Index DOI 10.21638/11701/spbu19.2017.103
Abstract

The term Slovenin from Yaroslav’s Law (1010s) is considered in this article as the basis for interpretation of information about that population at the lake Ilmen’ region, which was named Slovene in the chronicles since the late 1030s. In Yaroslav’s Law Slovenin was opposed to the prince’s Rusin. The Slovenin, like the izgoy mentioned in the immediate neighborhood of him, was not included in the system of relations of the prince’s men, and this system did not determine their social status. The proximity of terms Slovene and Novgorodtzi in the annalistic articles of 1018 and 1036 indicates that the owners of mansions at the boroughs of Novgorod (the local boyars) — and not the inhabitants of Rurik’s hill-fort (original Novgorod) — started to be named as Novgorodians right after transmission of the prince’s residence in the first half of 1010s to the locality, which was called Yaroslav’s Court. Slovenin from Yaroslav’s Law reflects day-to-day ethnosocial lexis of Novgorod in the early 11th century and this makes understandable the political context of begining of perception of Slovene as the name of Novgorodians by Russian annalistic tradition, which was formed during the late 1030s. The Annalist, as is seen from the entry of 1036, did not make difference between Slovene and Novgorodians, but the mention of the latter in Yaroslav’s Law was inadmissible because of the socio-topographic uncertainty of the toponym Novgorod in the 1010s.

Annalistic Slovene at the lake Ilmen’ region in the 9th–10th centuries is the secondary and hypothetical concept in relation to Slovenin from Yaroslav’s Law. Actually we know nothing about the existence of ethnonym Slovene somewhere in upper reach of the Volkhov river during the 9th century. The Annalist undoubtedly projected the meaning of the legal term of Yaroslav’s Law to the Novgorod Slovene of annalistic narratives. Thus, the annalistic passage of the difference between the sails of Slovene and Rus’, who participated in the campaign of Oleg to Constantinople, looks like a rather artificial transfer of the problem of their inequality, which was actual for early 11th century Novgorod, to the year 907. At the time when traditions referring to the events of the 9th–10th centuries were fixed by the developed Old Russian annalistic tradition, the term Slovenin from Yaroslav’s Law was not completely forgotten. Reproduction of Slovenin in the extensive edition of Russian Law (the early 12th century) is anachronism but nevertheless it testifies to at least «passive» existence of this ethnosocionym during the whole 11th century. However, the name Slovenin mentioned among other ethnonyms in the canonical answers of the Novgorod Bishop Nifont (1131–1156) seems to have already a wide meaning «Slav», typical for the Old Russian literary tradition.

Keywords Slovene, Slavic identity, Russkaya Pravda, Tale of Bygone Years
Full text version of the article. Article language Russian
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