Studi Slavistici IV • 2007

<em>Ot Boga i ot Peruna</em>. I trattati tra la Rus’ e Bisanzio

Published 2007-12-01

How to Cite

Alberti, A. (2007). <em>Ot Boga i ot Peruna</em>. I trattati tra la Rus’ e Bisanzio. Studi Slavistici, 4(1), 7–28.


The Treaties Between Rus' and Byzantium

In this paper, the Author analyzes the lexicon of the treaties between Rus’ and Byzantium (10th Century). The use of ethnonyms, toponyms and of spatial terminology shows a clear predominance of personal-ethnic terms over spatial ones. This may reflect the typical “concreteness” of Roman law. Broadly speaking, the titles of Byzantine emperors and of Rus’ princes follow the usages of the imperial chancery. However, in many instances there are significant divergences, which do not necessarily prove that these documents are not authentic. On the contrary, this procedure reflects the highly flexible practices of Byzantine diplomacy. Besides, the mention of Slavic pagan deities alongside the Christian God could be read as reminiscent of very archaic practices, reflected by the Roman evocatio and ius fetiale. Furthermore, the paper focuses on the inadequacy of the dichotomy autochthonous (‘Russian’) ~ allogeneous (‘Byzantine’) usually adopted in studies concerning these texts. Although such an approach may shed light on some of the issues raised, it appears to be misleading in the study of phenomena with deeper historical roots. In conclusion, in the context of culture, the loan represents the norm, not the exception.


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