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Stratum plus. 2014. No.6

L. S. Klejn (Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation)

Rus’ in the System of Ethnonyms as a Clue to the Origin of the Term

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Pages: 283-286

The ethnonym Rus’ is included by Khaburgaev into the group of ethnonyms of finnophone origin (like Sum’, Yam’, Ves’, Vod’, Liv’ etc.) that are formed as monosyllable collective nouns ending with (from Finnish -i, -e). The peoples so denoted populated a strict area on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea and adjacent territories. These were names of finnophone tribes (peoples) and of their neighbours, Rus' belongs to the latter: it is the name still used by the Finns and Estonians to call the Swedes. Consequently, this term is of northern, finnophone origin, and from finnophone population it came to Slavs, and the latter started using it to call newcomers from Scandinavia, i.e. the Normans. It still does not explain why the Finns gave this name to their neighbors, but it does not cancel the northern, finnophone origin of the term.

Keywords: ethnonyms, area, Norman hypothesis, Antinormanists, word formation, finnophone tribes, Russian chronicle

Information about author:

Leo Klejn
(Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation). Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor.
E-mail: [email protected]

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