The «Prague Empire» and the Lędzianie: Reflexions on the Emergence of the Slavic Identity in Eastern Europe Cover Image

«Пражская империя» и лендзяне: размышления о появлении славянской идентичности в Восточной Европе
The «Prague Empire» and the Lędzianie: Reflexions on the Emergence of the Slavic Identity in Eastern Europe

Author(s): Denis Eugenievich Alimov
Subject(s): History, Cultural history, Ethnohistory, History of ideas, 6th to 12th Centuries
Published by: Издательство Исторического факультета СПбГУ
Keywords: Slavic identity; Slavic ethnicity; Slověne; Lędzianie;

Summary/Abstract: The article deals with the emergence of the Slavic ethnic identity in the territory of Ancient Rus’. While seeking for a (hypothetical) answer to this question, the author focuses on contacts that existed during the 10th century between Kiev and the empire of the Přemyslids, in which the Slavic identity was inherited from Great Moravia. According to the author, the Slavic identity could penetrate into Kiev (from which it later came to Novgorod) from the Přemyslid realm via the well-known trade route that in the 10th century connected centres of Western and Central Europe with Kiev, Volga Bulgaria, and Khazaria. In doing so, the author attributes the leading role in the contacts of Kiev with Central Europe to the tribe of Lendians (Lendzaninoi / Lędzianie) mentioned in the Byzantine emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus’s treatise «De administrando imperio» (mid-10th century). In the author’s opinion, the Lendians were not only closely connected with the realm the Přemyslids, but also controlled Plisněsk, an important political and trade center, through which contacts between Slavic-speaking communities of Central Europe and the Middle Dnieper region were made. According to the author, of all the Slavic-speaking communities that had close contacts with the Russes, the Lendians were most capable for embracing the group name Slověnedue to the supralocal nature of their group identity and the possible influence of the Moravian (Olomouc) bishopric.While stressing that the emergence in Kiev and Novgorod of new non-tribal group names, including that of Slověne, was conditioned by changes in the social and cultural habitus of the Slavic-speaking population, which concentrated in the corresponding loci, the author expresses the idea that it was the Lendians who were the key link in the spread from west to east of the the Přemyslid realm’s («Prague empire»’s) «social knowledge», which contributed to the adoption of the Slavic identity in Eastern Europe.

  • Issue Year: 24/2018
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 117-144
  • Page Count: 28
  • Language: Russian