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Re: [sig] Historical questions for 13th century Russia

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  • aldo
    Dear Octopus, as I see that it is for me difficult to condense a few words for your topics, I decided to send over a book of mine where you can find a few
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 22, 2011
      Dear Octopus, as I see that it is for me difficult to condense a few words for your topics, I decided to send over a book of mine where you can find a few replies to your arguments. If you read better Polish than Italian then the book I intend to send over is also available in the former language. If you think it is feasible just let me have your address and I’ll ship it FOC.

      Ciao

      Aldo

      From: CrimsonOctopus
      Sent: Monday, August 15, 2011 4:32 AM
      To: sig@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [sig] Historical questions for 13th century Russia


      Hi everyone! I'm planning to write a children's novel set in 13th century Russia, during the Mongol invasion, and I have a bunch of historical questions which hopefully someone here could answer.

      First of all, I'm looking for sources on the Kitezh legend, in English (French might work too). Right now I have Munin Nederlander's book, which is useful because it contains a medieval account of the story as well as the libretto for Rimsky-Korsakov's opera. It also contains some byliny which aren't really related to the Kitezh legend. Unfortunately the Anthroposophical commentary which takes up much of the book is basically useless except for a good laugh.

      If anyone can recommend some other sources, on or offline, that would be wonderful.

      Now, onto some more historically specific questions:

      1. What exactly happened to the town of Suzdal in 1238? I know it was sacked but did the Suzdalians put up a fight (like Ryazan, Moscow, and Vladimir did)? Did they know the Mongols were coming? The only thing I can find about it is the story from St. Euphrosyne's hagiography which states that her monastery was the only place spared (due to her prayers).

      2. What was standard, everyday dress for a Russian peasant girl at this time? Especially during winter. Everything from headgear to footwear. I'm aware that girls wore the kokoshnik but was this really worn every day? Nowadays its traditional for Russian women and girls to wear headscarves, at least around churches and monasteries. Were similar headscarves worn in the 13th century?

      3. I know many people fled the towns and villages and hid deep in the forest. Do we have any information on how they lived?

      4. What was the likelihood for an ordinary Mongol soldier to speak any Russian? I'm guessing highly unlikely but I just thought I'd ask.

      Generally I'm trying to find as much information as I can about everyday life in this period. The book will be more of a fantasy than a historical novel but I'd like have as much historical background as I can. Thank you very much.





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Lisa Kies
      Greetings from Sofya! I m sorry it s taken me so long to respond, but I found it unexpectedly difficult to answer your questions about the fate of Suzdal in
      Message 2 of 5 , Oct 15, 2011
        Greetings from Sofya!

        I'm sorry it's taken me so long to respond, but I found it unexpectedly
        difficult to answer your questions about the fate of Suzdal in the Mongol
        invasion.

        On Sun, Aug 14, 2011 at 9:32 PM, CrimsonOctopus
        <CrimsonOctopus@...>wrote:

        > Hi everyone! I'm planning to write a children's novel set in 13th century
        > Russia, during the Mongol invasion, and I have a bunch of historical
        > questions which hopefully someone here could answer.
        >
        > First of all, I'm looking for sources on the Kitezh legend, in English
        > (French might work too).
        >
        I don't know anything about the Kitezh legend - first I've heard of it,
        unfortunately. Looks interesting, though, now that I've Googled it.


        > Now, onto some more historically specific questions:
        >
        > 1. What exactly happened to the town of Suzdal in 1238? I know it was
        > sacked but did the Suzdalians put up a fight (like Ryazan, Moscow, and
        > Vladimir did)? Did they know the Mongols were coming? The only thing I can
        > find about it is the story from St. Euphrosyne's hagiography which states
        > that her monastery was the only place spared (due to her prayers).
        >
        This is the question I had unexpected trouble with. I thought I would find
        an answer in Vernadsky's multi-volume History of Russia. No such luck. Or
        maybe in the Towns of Ancient Rus book by M. Tikhomirov that I'd been
        wanting and decided to finally order thanks to your question. But that book
        concerns itself chiefly with pre-Mongol events. There is a brief note in The
        History of Russian Architecture by William Brumfield that very few great
        buildings of Suzdal survived the Mongol attack. The Crisis of Medieval
        Russia 1200-1304 probably has something, but I can't find it in the limited
        snippet views on Google books.



        >
        > 2. What was standard, everyday dress for a Russian peasant girl at this
        > time? Especially during winter. Everything from headgear to footwear. I'm
        > aware that girls wore the kokoshnik but was this really worn every day?
        > Nowadays its traditional for Russian women and girls to wear headscarves, at
        > least around churches and monasteries. Were similar headscarves worn in the
        > 13th century?
        >
        This question is easy. See my website about early Russian clothing.
        http://www.strangelove.net/~kieser/Russia/KWC.html

        Note that _maidens_ did not wear the kokoshnik. The kokoshnik, technically,
        is for married women although we English-speakers tend to use the term
        indiscriminately for all fancy Russian headresses. Also note that it is not
        clear that these headresses had the same form in the 13th century that we
        find them in 19th century peasant costumes.

        Medieval headscarves were different from the modern "babushka" headscarves.


        >
        > 3. I know many people fled the towns and villages and hid deep in the
        > forest. Do we have any information on how they lived?
        >
        You might try finding "The Tale of the Destruction of Riazan by Batu" which
        would be a period text mentioned in the book Russian and the Golden Horde.
        (although the entry in Wikipedia doesn't look too promising) As I recall,
        some of the lives of saints also talk about surviving in the forest on short
        rations.


        >
        > 4. What was the likelihood for an ordinary Mongol soldier to speak any
        > Russian? I'm guessing highly unlikely but I just thought I'd ask.
        >
        Good question. Which, of course, means that I don't know. Within a
        generation of the conquest, there were lots of Mongols and Russians that
        knew each other's languages. How many Russian-fluent
        spies/expatriates/negotiators the Mongols had with them, I don't know. But
        they were generally very well-prepared for their conquests.

        You might research the number of linguists the American forces take with
        them to places like Iraq and Afghanistan, and how much of the local
        languages modern U.S. soldiers pick up during their tours of duty. When I
        was there, within a week we had all learned how to say "no" and "go away" to
        the ever-present roadside vendors. Within a couple of months we had learned
        to say "How much?" to the rug merchant, in addition to "hello" and "thank
        you", etc. but it was pretty minimal.

        The Mongol invasion of Rus did take a couple of years to finish, so there
        would have been some time to absorb the local lingo by the end.


        > Generally I'm trying to find as much information as I can about everyday
        > life in this period.
        >
        If you want to know more about daily life in this period, I recommend George
        Vernadsky's book, Kievan Russia. It has some great stuff.

        At your service,

        Sofya

        ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Lisa M. Kies, MD aka Sofya la Rus, OL, CW, CSH, druzhinnitsa Kramolnikova
        Mason City, IA aka Shire of Heraldshill, Calontir
        ___
        http://www.strangelove.net/~kieser
        {o,o}
        "Si no necare, sana." "Mir znachit Pax Romanov"
        (__(|
        "Nasytivshimsya knizhnoj sladosti."
        -^-^-`
        ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • aldo
        I want to reply just about the languages question in Suzdal-Vladimir. First of all the Mongols that arrived there were mostly Kipchaks and the Mongols were
        Message 3 of 5 , Oct 15, 2011
          I want to reply just about the languages question in Suzdal-Vladimir. First of all the Mongols that arrived there were mostly Kipchaks and the Mongols were just the”generals” pr NOYON. The language among them therefore was a Turkish very close to Bulgar spoken usually on the banks of Upper Volga. As Suzdal had everyday connections with Volga Bulgaria due to commercial connections and since Russian was not yet standardized, despite the church’s efforts, Udmurt/Komi were the languages spoken in the area beside Savonic of some kind but above all nearly everybody understood and spoke Bulgar-turkish. Andrei Bogoliubskii’s mother was a Petcheneg, the same was with Alexander Nevskii and much earlier even one of Vladimir’s wives was a Bulgar girl mother of BARS and ULEB or in Russian BORIS and GLEB. Can this help?

          Ciao

          Aldo

          From: Lisa Kies
          Sent: Sunday, October 16, 2011 4:48 AM
          To: sig@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [sig] Historical questions for 13th century Russia


          Greetings from Sofya!

          I'm sorry it's taken me so long to respond, but I found it unexpectedly
          difficult to answer your questions about the fate of Suzdal in the Mongol
          invasion.

          On Sun, Aug 14, 2011 at 9:32 PM, CrimsonOctopus
          <mailto:CrimsonOctopus%40hotmail.com>wrote:

          > Hi everyone! I'm planning to write a children's novel set in 13th century
          > Russia, during the Mongol invasion, and I have a bunch of historical
          > questions which hopefully someone here could answer.
          >
          > First of all, I'm looking for sources on the Kitezh legend, in English
          > (French might work too).
          >
          I don't know anything about the Kitezh legend - first I've heard of it,
          unfortunately. Looks interesting, though, now that I've Googled it.

          > Now, onto some more historically specific questions:
          >
          > 1. What exactly happened to the town of Suzdal in 1238? I know it was
          > sacked but did the Suzdalians put up a fight (like Ryazan, Moscow, and
          > Vladimir did)? Did they know the Mongols were coming? The only thing I can
          > find about it is the story from St. Euphrosyne's hagiography which states
          > that her monastery was the only place spared (due to her prayers).
          >
          This is the question I had unexpected trouble with. I thought I would find
          an answer in Vernadsky's multi-volume History of Russia. No such luck. Or
          maybe in the Towns of Ancient Rus book by M. Tikhomirov that I'd been
          wanting and decided to finally order thanks to your question. But that book
          concerns itself chiefly with pre-Mongol events. There is a brief note in The
          History of Russian Architecture by William Brumfield that very few great
          buildings of Suzdal survived the Mongol attack. The Crisis of Medieval
          Russia 1200-1304 probably has something, but I can't find it in the limited
          snippet views on Google books.

          >
          > 2. What was standard, everyday dress for a Russian peasant girl at this
          > time? Especially during winter. Everything from headgear to footwear. I'm
          > aware that girls wore the kokoshnik but was this really worn every day?
          > Nowadays its traditional for Russian women and girls to wear headscarves, at
          > least around churches and monasteries. Were similar headscarves worn in the
          > 13th century?
          >
          This question is easy. See my website about early Russian clothing.
          http://www.strangelove.net/~kieser/Russia/KWC.html

          Note that _maidens_ did not wear the kokoshnik. The kokoshnik, technically,
          is for married women although we English-speakers tend to use the term
          indiscriminately for all fancy Russian headresses. Also note that it is not
          clear that these headresses had the same form in the 13th century that we
          find them in 19th century peasant costumes.

          Medieval headscarves were different from the modern "babushka" headscarves.

          >
          > 3. I know many people fled the towns and villages and hid deep in the
          > forest. Do we have any information on how they lived?
          >
          You might try finding "The Tale of the Destruction of Riazan by Batu" which
          would be a period text mentioned in the book Russian and the Golden Horde.
          (although the entry in Wikipedia doesn't look too promising) As I recall,
          some of the lives of saints also talk about surviving in the forest on short
          rations.

          >
          > 4. What was the likelihood for an ordinary Mongol soldier to speak any
          > Russian? I'm guessing highly unlikely but I just thought I'd ask.
          >
          Good question. Which, of course, means that I don't know. Within a
          generation of the conquest, there were lots of Mongols and Russians that
          knew each other's languages. How many Russian-fluent
          spies/expatriates/negotiators the Mongols had with them, I don't know. But
          they were generally very well-prepared for their conquests.

          You might research the number of linguists the American forces take with
          them to places like Iraq and Afghanistan, and how much of the local
          languages modern U.S. soldiers pick up during their tours of duty. When I
          was there, within a week we had all learned how to say "no" and "go away" to
          the ever-present roadside vendors. Within a couple of months we had learned
          to say "How much?" to the rug merchant, in addition to "hello" and "thank
          you", etc. but it was pretty minimal.

          The Mongol invasion of Rus did take a couple of years to finish, so there
          would have been some time to absorb the local lingo by the end.

          > Generally I'm trying to find as much information as I can about everyday
          > life in this period.
          >
          If you want to know more about daily life in this period, I recommend George
          Vernadsky's book, Kievan Russia. It has some great stuff.

          At your service,

          Sofya

          ----------------------------------------------------------

          Lisa M. Kies, MD aka Sofya la Rus, OL, CW, CSH, druzhinnitsa Kramolnikova
          Mason City, IA aka Shire of Heraldshill, Calontir
          ___
          http://www.strangelove.net/~kieser
          {o,o}
          "Si no necare, sana." "Mir znachit Pax Romanov"
          (__(|
          "Nasytivshimsya knizhnoj sladosti."
          -^-^-`
          ----------------------------------------------------------

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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