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Status of Women in the 900's

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  • BanAvtai@xxx.xxx
    Just started reading a book Vladimir, the Russian Viking, by Vladimir Volkov. One passage describes women fighting alongside the men as Vlad s father,
    Message 1 of 7 , Jan 8, 2000
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      Just started reading a book "Vladimir, the Russian Viking," by Vladimir
      Volkov. One passage describes women fighting alongside the men as Vlad's
      father, Svyatoslav attempted to retake Pereyaslavets from the Greeks in
      972(?).

      Further on he describes married women allowed to possess property, and that
      parents were held responsible if their daughter commits suicide upon being
      forced to marry someone not to her liking. And a bloodwite of 20 grivnas if
      a woman was murdered.

      And then he dropped my jaw when he described women in the 900s committing
      suttee.

      As my interest has always been in Russia in the much later centuries, this is
      all news to me.

      Is what I am reading true? Are there other books that corroborate/document
      (Yikes! the dreaded call for documentation!) this? Help please.

      Iu'liana
    • MHoll@xxx.xxx
      In a message dated 1/8/2000 10:16:37 PM Central Standard Time, ... Volkov s book is semi-fiction by a fiction writer. Volklov *is not*, repeat, IS NOT a
      Message 2 of 7 , Jan 8, 2000
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        In a message dated 1/8/2000 10:16:37 PM Central Standard Time,
        BanAvtai@... writes:

        > Just started reading a book "Vladimir, the Russian Viking," by Vladimir
        > Volkov. One passage describes women fighting alongside the men as Vlad's
        > father, Svyatoslav attempted to retake Pereyaslavets from the Greeks in
        > 972(?).

        Volkov's book is semi-fiction by a fiction writer. Volklov *is not*, repeat,
        IS NOT a historian, *nor* does he claim to be. His *fictionalized* history of
        Vladimir is a good, fun, read, inspirational for persona-play, however it is
        the work of a fiction writer, and not even historical fiction at that! I've
        read other books by Volkov, and I loved them, but upon re-reading _Vladimir_,
        I did not find it as enjoyable as I did the first time. Years of study spoil
        certain things.

        As for the women fighting alongside men, it is possible, even likely, in the
        case of the defense of a city (town, village, home, etc). There is no proof,
        however. Volkov is as likely to choose to use fiction as fact (epic songs
        come to mind) as not. So don't believe him unless you see actual proof of his
        statement.

        > Further on he describes married women allowed to possess property, and
        that
        > parents were held responsible if their daughter commits suicide upon being
        > forced to marry someone not to her liking. And a bloodwite of 20 grivnas
        if a > woman was murdered.

        All true and written into law (can't remember what belongs to mundane law,
        and what to canon (Church) law). Parents were expected, by law, both canon
        and civil, to find spouses for their children, but were prevented from
        forcing their children to marry. However, their children could only say "I
        will marry the person you chose for me" or "I will not marry at all". The
        parents would be held responsible for the children's (male or female) suicide
        in case of a forced marriage, but the law made no provision for the children
        to force their parents to let them marry whom they chose.

        As for the bloodwite, yep. Also for attacking a married woman and tearing off
        her veil (i.e. "dishonoring" her), for rape, etc.

        And yes, women did possess property, separate fromt their husbands' and
        families', and the husband had no right to it. In fact, he could be sued for
        taking it without his wife's permission.

        > And then he dropped my jaw when he described women in the 900s committing
        > suttee.

        As far as I know, not a Russian tradition. Possibly Viking (re: the title of
        the book). Slaves, horses, yes. A wife? I doubt it, but my recollection could
        be fuzzy.

        > As my interest has always been in Russia in the much later centuries, this
        > is all news to me.

        Earlier centuries are much more fun for women.

        > Is what I am reading true? Are there other books that corroborate/document
        > (Yikes! the dreaded call for documentation!) this? Help please.

        At least in the French version, there was something of a bibliography, but
        not all of Volkov's sources were historical. He used what he wanted as he
        wanted. He told (rather well, actually) the story of a legendary figure, and
        not so much of a historical personnality.

        Predslava Vydrina
        Per fess embattled azure and gules, two otters passant or.
        <A HREF="http://members.aol.com/Predslava/RussianHistoryTriviaPage.html">Russ
        ian History Trivia Page</A>
        (http://members.aol.com/Predslava/RussianHistoryTriviaPage.html)
      • BanAvtai@xxx.xxx
        In a message dated 01/08/2000 11:38:09 PM Eastern Standard Time, MHoll@aol.com writes:
        Message 3 of 7 , Jan 9, 2000
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          In a message dated 01/08/2000 11:38:09 PM Eastern Standard Time,
          MHoll@... writes:

          << Volklov *is not*, repeat, IS NOT a historian, *nor* does he claim to be.
          His *fictionalized* history of Vladimir is a good, fun, read, inspirational
          for persona-play, however it is the work of a fiction writer, and not even
          historical fiction at that! >>

          Thank you, Predslava, that was my concern. And now that I don't have to
          worry about suttee, those earlier centuries look a lot more appealing <Wink>.

          Iu'liana
        • petzserg
          Just a minor point(?) The sutee may have been a twisting of Ahmat Ibn-Fadhlan s reporting of Varaingian death rituals (Dmytryshyn, ed, 2 p 15) Just a thought.
          Message 4 of 7 , Jan 9, 2000
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            Just a minor point(?) The sutee may have been a twisting of Ahmat
            Ibn-Fadhlan's reporting of Varaingian death rituals (Dmytryshyn, ed, 2 p 15)
            Just a thought.
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: <MHoll@...>
            To: <sig@onelist.com>
            Sent: Saturday, January 08, 2000 10:37 PM
            Subject: Re: [sig] Status of Women in the 900's


            > From: MHoll@...
            >
            > In a message dated 1/8/2000 10:16:37 PM Central Standard Time,
            > BanAvtai@... writes:
            >
            > > Just started reading a book "Vladimir, the Russian Viking," by Vladimir
            > > Volkov. One passage describes women fighting alongside the men as
            Vlad's
            > > father, Svyatoslav attempted to retake Pereyaslavets from the Greeks in
            > > 972(?).
            >
            > Volkov's book is semi-fiction by a fiction writer. Volklov *is not*,
            repeat,
            > IS NOT a historian, *nor* does he claim to be. His *fictionalized* history
            of
            > Vladimir is a good, fun, read, inspirational for persona-play, however it
            is
            > the work of a fiction writer, and not even historical fiction at that!
            I've
            > read other books by Volkov, and I loved them, but upon re-reading
            _Vladimir_,
            > I did not find it as enjoyable as I did the first time. Years of study
            spoil
            > certain things.
            >
            > As for the women fighting alongside men, it is possible, even likely, in
            the
            > case of the defense of a city (town, village, home, etc). There is no
            proof,
            > however. Volkov is as likely to choose to use fiction as fact (epic songs
            > come to mind) as not. So don't believe him unless you see actual proof of
            his
            > statement.
            >
            > > Further on he describes married women allowed to possess property, and
            > that
            > > parents were held responsible if their daughter commits suicide upon
            being
            > > forced to marry someone not to her liking. And a bloodwite of 20
            grivnas
            > if a > woman was murdered.
            >
            > All true and written into law (can't remember what belongs to mundane law,
            > and what to canon (Church) law). Parents were expected, by law, both canon
            > and civil, to find spouses for their children, but were prevented from
            > forcing their children to marry. However, their children could only say "I
            > will marry the person you chose for me" or "I will not marry at all". The
            > parents would be held responsible for the children's (male or female)
            suicide
            > in case of a forced marriage, but the law made no provision for the
            children
            > to force their parents to let them marry whom they chose.
            >
            > As for the bloodwite, yep. Also for attacking a married woman and tearing
            off
            > her veil (i.e. "dishonoring" her), for rape, etc.
            >
            > And yes, women did possess property, separate fromt their husbands' and
            > families', and the husband had no right to it. In fact, he could be sued
            for
            > taking it without his wife's permission.
            >
            > > And then he dropped my jaw when he described women in the 900s
            committing
            > > suttee.
            >
            > As far as I know, not a Russian tradition. Possibly Viking (re: the title
            of
            > the book). Slaves, horses, yes. A wife? I doubt it, but my recollection
            could
            > be fuzzy.
            >
            > > As my interest has always been in Russia in the much later centuries,
            this
            > > is all news to me.
            >
            > Earlier centuries are much more fun for women.
            >
            > > Is what I am reading true? Are there other books that
            corroborate/document
            > > (Yikes! the dreaded call for documentation!) this? Help please.
            >
            > At least in the French version, there was something of a bibliography, but
            > not all of Volkov's sources were historical. He used what he wanted as he
            > wanted. He told (rather well, actually) the story of a legendary figure,
            and
            > not so much of a historical personnality.
            >
            > Predslava Vydrina
            > Per fess embattled azure and gules, two otters passant or.
            > <A
            HREF="http://members.aol.com/Predslava/RussianHistoryTriviaPage.html">Russ
            > ian History Trivia Page</A>
            > (http://members.aol.com/Predslava/RussianHistoryTriviaPage.html)
            >
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          • MHoll@xxx.xxx
            In a message dated 1/9/2000 9:35:00 PM Central Standard Time, ... Good point. In general, in my opinion, Ibn-Fadhlan s relation of his journey is still
            Message 5 of 7 , Jan 9, 2000
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              In a message dated 1/9/2000 9:35:00 PM Central Standard Time,
              petzserg@... writes:

              > The sutee may have been a twisting of Ahmat
              > Ibn-Fadhlan's reporting of Varaingian death rituals

              Good point. In general, in my opinion, Ibn-Fadhlan's relation of his journey
              is still unclear, but it would appear he describes Norsemen, not Slavs.

              In any case, Volkov chose to accept the traditional legends about the
              creation of Rus' rather than explore the more modern investigations by
              Western scholars.

              Still, Volkov's book can be fun to read.

              Predslava.
            • Jenne Heise
              ... It sounds like something from Ibn [whatsis?], the Jewish trader who wrote about the Rus. I seem to recall reading a description of the burial of a
              Message 6 of 7 , Jan 10, 2000
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                > > And then he dropped my jaw when he described women in the 900s committing
                > > suttee.
                > As far as I know, not a Russian tradition. Possibly Viking (re: the title of
                > the book). Slaves, horses, yes. A wife? I doubt it, but my recollection could
                > be fuzzy.

                It sounds like something from Ibn [whatsis?], the Jewish trader who wrote
                about the Rus. I seem to recall reading a description of the burial of a
                cheiftain on the web page with extracts from that account, that included
                something of this nature.


                Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise jenne@...
                disclaimer: i speak for no-one and no-one speaks for me...

                "Now it's 'Let him live in freedom, if he lives like me.'" -- Jim Croce
              • Eagle Claw
                ... ... I just recently read this book. Be cautious of the generalities and the fictionalized thought processes and conversations that the author has
                Message 7 of 7 , Jan 10, 2000
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                  >Just started reading a book "Vladimir, the Russian Viking," by Vladimir
                  >Volkov.
                  <snip>
                  >Iu'liana


                  I just recently read this book. Be cautious of the generalities and the
                  fictionalized thought processes and conversations that the author has
                  written. For overall history, it's not bad, but read it with a grain of
                  salt. As a side note, I really found this book to be an easy and fun read
                  for a historical text. :)

                  -Vasilla
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