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7649Re: [sig] a million rus questions

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  • Alex Grant [T]
    Jun 12, 2003
      "Strong influence" would have definitely left a mark for us to see today.

      I am aware of the history of the Russian ruling class starting with Rurik,
      however, regardless of how strong the historiographic trends may be among
      their adherents, archeological, cultural, linguistic, and
      religious research do not give much support to said trends. Take, for
      example, the linguistic influence: There are 10 or fewer words of
      Scandinavian origin in the Russian language, while almost all Rurik dynasty
      princes in Kiev and other towns had Slavic names and spoke Russian.

      I am not an expert on Medieval clothing, but it seems unrealistic to me to
      assume that Scandinavian shirt-making and couture made a stong influence on
      the analogous industry in Russia, which was not in need of any upgrading,
      being well-suited to its own environment. If the new clothing style or
      making method was somehow superior or better suited to the local tastes and
      environment, then you could assume it to make an influence over the
      local clothing, inferior for specific reasons. You have to keep in mind
      that Russia
      did not appear with the comming of the Rurik princes. It was there for
      centuries before them. This means the Scandinavians did not bring any new
      breakthroughs in clothing to Russia. I don't think Scandinavia was a
      trend-setter in any fashions of the time. Scandinavia did not have organized
      governments, countries, or even cities when Rus was already a
      bona-fide country with a single grand prince ruler, foreign relations with
      other states, fortified towns, high literacy, and higly developed national
      art and culture. It very much shows that "Scandinavian," Varangian rulers
      fell under strong Russian influence in Russia, and not the other way around.

      In your examples of American and Islamic fashion, you try to equate recent
      views on fashion to those of Medieval times. In those days what set nobles
      apart from peasants was not the style or fad of clothing
      (what the other cool guys wore) but the wealth and richness of decorations,
      the colors, and the presence of certain elements, like fur, gold, exquisite
      patterns of design, etc, IMO.


      > *sigh* I'm not the original poster, but there's a very strong trend in
      > historiography to believe that around the millenium the ruling class in
      > Russia was Scandinavian, which would definitely lead to a very strong
      > influence on the culture at that time!
      > To say that there was a very strong influence of X on Y at a given time is
      > not to say that the original Y is inferior-- consider the influence of
      > modern American fashions on the fashion cultures of other countries. Ugly,
      > badly made American clothes become popular as a fad even though they are
      > inferior to what people would wear normally. I'm not sure where you get
      > the implication of inferiority there.
      > Or, for instance, consider the islamic minatures that portray famous
      > islamic persons in Mongol garb, which were created when those islamic
      > countries were under the rule of the Mongols.
      > In particular, if you look at Western medieval culture, you see the later
      > Renaissance fashion that is known as 'puff and slash' which is an
      > adaptation of the peculiar dress of Landsknecht mercenaries. This is
      > equivalent to the rich white american boys who dress in the clothing made
      > fashionable by "homeboys from the 'hood"-- for the rich young men and
      > women were dressing in fashion that was made famous by mercenary soldiers
      > considered bloodthirsty, brutish barbarians.
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