Development of the Post-Kievan State and the Mongal Conquest

Novgorod and Muscovy became one united state under the command of a Grand Prince, Ivan III. The chronicles assigned for this evening depict the development of Ivan’s control over a span of territory that would eventually become a state in and of itself instead of a loosely united set of principalities with no strong connection to a secular leader. Ivan executed his control with a complete political force, ranging from military intimidation to religious conviction. The Grand Prince also employed a tactic favored by Assyrian generals in the days of humanity’s first civilizations in the fertile crescent; a technique known as ‘calculated frightfulness’.… Read the rest here

Early Rus Law

    Once a society evolves into a body with some form of governance (whether it be a system of lords, barons, or landowners), a law code is often developed for the purpose of keeping the peace. In the Kiev region of the world during the evolution of the Rus people, two prominent law codes came to the forefront as a list of commandments by which their society stood. The first of these codes, known as Iaroslav’s Statute, came into being during the early 11th/late 10th century, and existed as a compilation of laws borrowed, modified, and evolved from tribal customs and statues that existed among the Kievan people for centuries.Read the rest here

Electronic History

In a Short Guide To Writing About History I was struck by Marius’ statement that history and the research/writing of history has changed significantly because of modern technology, but history as a whole (when you get down to the bare bones of the stuff) has remained essentially the same over time.  Even with modern technology at our fingertips that gives us an almost unlimited resource in terms of secondary sources, there is no replacing studying and handling a primary document, and, in a larger sense, technology is only a means to an end, not an end in and of itself.… Read the rest here

The Winter of Our Discontent

When William Shakespeare wrote his time honored classic Richard III, he wrote his main character as a murdering, calculating, and almost maddened individual, a perspective popular with the droves that filled the Globe Theater to take in the royal play-write’s latest piece, but more importantly, a perspective that would please Her Majesty and her Tutor court. While reading Tey’s treatment of the same man, I could not help but think of the importance of perspective when telling a story and the tendency of an audience to believe what they want to believe rather than finding facts on their own.… Read the rest here

What is History?

Barbra Tuchman’s definition of history struck me as beautifully romantic. Her emphasis on the story, the narrative, the personal effect history can have on an individual in my mind rang true to the core. Her story regarding her time spent writing her first thesis struck a particular chord. Immersed in literature, Tuchman almost literally had history flow through her as she wrote; it seemed to act as her muse. Her tale, unlike Edward Carr’s, deals with a more scientific and concrete interpretation of the subject.… Read the rest here