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English | Русский
Geography of Journal Authors

Stratum plus. 1999. № 5

G. S. Lebedev (St.-Petersburg, Russia)

Varangica of the Issue-Oriented Seminars Conducted by Leo Klejn. A Thirty-Years Journey Towards the Unknown City on the Road ‘From the Varangians to the Greeks’




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Pages: 102-111


The modern study of the ‘Varangian issue’ in Russia started with a book by I. P. Shaskolsky “Norman Theory in the Modern Bourgeois Science” published in 1965 and with a discussion of this book at the History Faculty of Leningrad University later the same year. Shaskolsky’s main opponent was Leo Klejn, founder and leader of the issue-oriented seminars in the Archaeology Dean’s Office, which started specifically as a ‘Varangian seminar’. The first participants at the seminar were V. P. Petrenco, Y. Y. Piotrovsky, V. A. Bulkin, V. A. Nazarenko, A. A. Peskova, the author of this article and others. A very characteristic one was the fate of V. Petrenko, researcher of the Norman cemetery Grobina, the earliest one in Eastern Europe.

Later, E. N. Nosov, I. V. Dubov, E. A. Ryabinin and K. M. Plotkin joined the seminar. In the late 60s and early 70s the further research was thought as a complete publication and statistical analysis of artifacts and complexes (of Scandinavian and “hybrid” origin), distinction of serial artifacts, development of chronology, and excavations in the early urban settlements. Since late 60s – early 70s excavations have been carried out in Gnezdovo, Staraya Ladoga, Rurik’s settlement in Novgorod, Timerevo and other sites in Yaroslavl and Volga region. Conclusions of these studies set up the basis for a positive solution of the ‘Varangian issue’. The middle 80s were marked by the first analytical works on the ‘Varangian issue’. An understanding develops of a multicultural and poly-ethnical “Baltic civilisation of the early Middle Age”. This period was also marked by a growing international Russian-Scandinavian co-operation. The Varangica of the passed years raised a firm opposition of Normanism versus Anti-Normanism of the last century and revealed new scientific perspectives.


 

 

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