Medieval Daily Life on Birchbark

Hundreds of medieval writings on birchbark have been discovered in Russia. They reveal great insights into daily life in the Middle Ages.

Who Were the Alans? Searching for an Early Medieval People

The Early Middle Ages saw many peoples migrating throughout Eurasia. In a talk given earlier this month at the University of Oxford, a Russian archaeologist offered new insights into the Alans.

The Medieval Magazine (Volume 3, Issue 8) : Mother’s Day Issue

In our latest issue: Celebrating Mother’s Day. Mothers Who Weren’t: Wet Nurses in the Late Medieval Mediterranean
Motherly advice from the ninth century, Sex in the Roman Empire: In Bed with the Romans! Feast, Famine, and Food in Medieval Russia, Books: A trip through Welsh past in Mysterious Wales and much, much more!

The Life of Saint Euphrosyne of Połack

Saint Euphrosyne (c. 1105-1167) was the granddaughter of the famous prince of Polack, Usiaslau (Vseslav) whose long reign (1044-1101) and many exploits – in particular his determined struggle against Kiev – made such an impression on his contemporaries that they refused to believe him to be an ordinary mortal

A Journey to the Far North in the Ninth Century

The name Ohthere does not usually rank among the great explorers of the Middle Ages, such as Leif Eriksson, Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus. However, his exploits are very impressive, for he would sail into Arctic Circle over eleven hundred years ago.

Medieval Hangover Cures

Here are a few hangover cures from days gone by, because people who partied like it was 1399 also needed a little help the morning after.

Celebrating the New Year, Medieval Style

A look at New Year’s in the Middle Ages.

Surviving Winter in the Middle Ages

Surviving Winter in the Middle Ages: How did people stay warm? What did they eat? What did they do?

Fair Trade?: A Look at the Hanseatic League

In the 14th century, an ongoing feud ensued between the Hanseatic League and non-Hanse merchants. Here’s a quick look at the rise and fall of the one of the most powerful organizations of the Late Middle Ages.

13th-century Mongol sabre discovered in Russia

While Russian archaeologists were conducting a routine examination of an old sabre unearthed seven years ago in Yaroslavl, they discovered that the weapon dates back to the 13th century, making it to be oldest crucible steel weapon in East Europe.

Slaves, Money Lenders, and Prisoner Guards: The Jews and the Trade in Slaves and Captives in the Crimean Khanate

Trade in slaves and captives was one of the most important (if not the most important) sources of income of the Crimean Khanate in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries.

Why did Medieval Slave Traders go to Finland?

The demand for blonde girls and boys was so lucrative that slave traders would hunt for these people as far away as northern Finland, a recent study finds.

Slavic and Greek-Roman Mythology, Comparative Mythology

In this paper I will present a number of similarities between Greek and Roman deities and the Slavic ones, basing my research as much as possible on the information provided by an etymological analysis, a description of the deity as well as rituals, offerings, sacrifices and celebrations dedicated to the deities.

Bjarmaland and interaction in the North of Europe from the Viking Age until the Early Middle Ages

This article intends to look at interaction in the very north of early medi- eval Europe with Bjarmaland as a starting point. After a short introduction to sources and historiography about Bjarmaland, the main content of the sources will be shortly discussed in order to establish what kind of informa- tion the written sources have to offer.

The Crimean Tatars and their Russian-Captive Slaves

The Russian population on the southern border with the Crimean Tatars was continuously exposed to the dangers of Crimean raider bands, which were usually formed to attack Russian permanent settlements, capture people and sell them to slave-traders, or to give them back to Russia for ransom monies.

Struggle for East-European Empire 1400 – 1700 : The Crimean Khanate, Ottomans and the Rise of the Russian Empire

By the middle of the 15th century, in Eastern Europe instead of one dominant imperial power there were newly rising states which eventually came to compete for supremacy over the whole region

The Crimea on the Map of South Sarmatia by Bernard Wapowski

The purpose of the present article is publication and analysis of the content of the map of the Crimea, practically unknown in Ukraine, which is a part of the map of the South Sarmatia of 1526 by ‘the father of the Polish Cartography’ Bernard Wapowski.

National Identity and History Writing in Ukraine

This article focuses on one aspect of the contestation in history writing between Ukraine and Russia; that of the medieval state of Kyiv Rus.

Nation Building, History Writing and Competition over the Legacy of Kyiv Rus in Ukraine

This article surveys the history of Kyiv Rus within the realm of nation building, identity and historical myths.

The politico-religious landscape of medieval Karelia

In historical sources the Karelians appear in the 12th century although archaeological excavations suggest that the amalgamation of groups of Baltic Finns, centered on the Karelian Isthmus, that came together from east and west respectively to form them originated in the late Iron Age and early Viking Age.

Reconsidering Agatha, Wife of Eadward the Exile

The antecedents of Agatha, wife of Eadward the Exile and ancestress of Scottish and English monarchs since the twelfth century and their countless descendants in Europe and America, have been the subject of much dispute…

The Riurikid Relationship with the Orthodox Christian Church in Kievan Rus

Prior to the late tenth century, the princes of the Riurikid dynasty were rulers over the loose collection of pagan Slavic tribes and minor city states that were Kievan Rus. However, in a relatively short period, the dynasty had linked itself and its legitimacy to rule to the Orthodox Christian Church centered in Constantinople.

Ivan the Terrible: Centralization in Sixteenth Century Muscovy

From 1565-1572, the Oprichnina was a land within Muscovy of Ivanís choosing where he alone held sole power. The Zemschina was the remaining portion of Muscovy that was governed by the state administration.

The Rise of Muscovy

Kievan Rus which was founded in 880 was made up of a loose knit alliance between small city states in what is today western Russia. The most powerful of these city states was Kiev. During the early thirteenth century the Mongol continued their march west until they conquered Kievan Rus in 1240.

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