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Writing, Society and Culture in Early Rus, c. 950-1300 by Simon Franklin

By Simon Franklin

This can be the 1st complete examine of the origins and early makes use of of Russian writing. Simon Franklin examines quite a lot of writings, from the parchment manuscripts of the Orthodox Church, throughout the Novgorod birch-bark files, to inscriptions on stone and steel. He analyzes the texts from numerous views, and offers interesting perception into this important element of Russian historical past. The awesome scholarship and idiosyncratic wit of the amount commend it to experts in Russian background and Russian literature.

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Additional resources for Writing, Society and Culture in Early Rus, c. 950-1300

Sample text

111–12, just as in the same lists the same word, when used for Vladimir’s gifts of icons and wall-paintings, must also mean ‘commissioned’ rather than ‘painted’. The sheer number of volumes makes Vladimir’s own participation implausible; besides which, we know that when drawing up even a brief document such as his own testament Vladimir employed a scribe: see below, pp. 180–1. V. N. Beneshevich, Drevne-slavianskaia kormchaia XIV titulov bez tolkovaniia, I (St Petersburg, 1906), p. 187 (rule 68).

Most of his possessions went to his daughters, but the testament includes a list of about eighty books, 34 35 36 Edited and introduced by P. Gautier, ‘La Diataxis de Michel Attaliate’, REB 39 (1981), 5–143. ), Byzantine Monastic Foundation Documents, pp. 326–76. Gautier, ‘Diataxis’, lines 1228–89, 1723–70. Gautier, ‘Diataxis’, lines 681–703. 40 The Byzantine inventories provide rich records of donation, acquisition and possession, of materials and decoration (parchment predominates, but even the eleventh-century lists mention items on paper),41 of preservation and distribution.

A structured survey seeks to impose shape and coherence, but to shape is already to interpret. Systems of classification are not ‘correct’, merely more or less useful for the purposes for which they are devised. Thus, for example, the relevant objects could legitimately be arranged according to date, or location, or language, or material, or function, or technique; according to the nature of the object or according to the nature of the text. Classification is a cognitive device, the validity of which depends on what it is designed to reveal.

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