Paradoxes of the Reception of Byzantine Culture in Medieval Rus’ Cover Image

Парадоксы рецепции византийской культуры в Древней Руси
Paradoxes of the Reception of Byzantine Culture in Medieval Rus’

Author(s): Aleksandr E. Musin
Subject(s): History, Archaeology, Cultural history, Middle Ages
Published by: Издательский дом Stratum, Университет «Высшая антропологическая школа»
Keywords: Eastern Europe; Byzantium; translations from Greek; material culture; reception; periodization;historical memory;
Summary/Abstract: The article analyses the reception of Byzantine culture in medieval Eastern Europe, especially the selection and transfer of its elements and their subsequent transformation, and establishes a correlation between the reception of texts and elements of material culture. The importance of archeology in the study of reception, which is considered as the local materialization of Byzantine culture, is stressed. The regional differentiation of reception and its periodization is proposed as following: 6th—8th, 9th—10th, 11th—13th, 14th—15th centuries. The importance of South Slavic intermediary cultures in the transmission of Byzantine culture to Eastern Europe is emphasized. The author concludes that, despite the political and geographical changes in the Byzantine Empire, the territories that once belonged to it continued to be perceived in Eastern Europe as a “great Byzantium”, regardless of their Islamization or Latinization. As a result, the reception of Byzantine culture in Eastern Europe was of a spontaneous and occasional nature. Despite the fact that several Byzantine phenomena which did not preserve in the Mediterranean region were kept nearly intact in Eastern Europe, the general image of Byzantium in the local culture and consciousness turned out to be very limited and specific. In modern times it led sometimes to the abuse of historical memory in social and political life.