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The Mother of All Russian Cities: Three Perspectives on the Rise Of Kievan Russia in the 9th Century: The Multiethnic State of the Rus' in the Historical-Cultural Framework of the 'Normanist Controversy'
Pasternak, James Michael
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This thesis examines the ethno-political factors involved in the founding of the first 'Russian' state in Kiev in the 9th century. The rise of Kiev is considered through the historical frame of the so-called 'Normanist Controversy,' which was initiated by German academicians at the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences in the 18th century. The questions of early Russian state history are contextualized through an analysis of the history of the nationalistic internal politics of the Controversy. This work assumes a multicultural approach to the question of Kievan Rus' identity which transcends the traditional polarized thinking of the 'Normanist' and 'Anti-Normanist' factions. Three principal 'ethno-political' representations of Kievan history emphasize the autochthonous character of the state formation process and consider the multicultural contributions of the Scandinavians, Slavs, and nomadic tribes during the Great Migration Period, as well as the cultural and political-economic influence of Byzantium on the rise of Kievan power.