A new search for an old Russia: contemporary russian research on the Kievan and "partition" periods of russian history
The aim ofthis study is to provide an elementary overview of contemporary Russian research on the history ofRussia up until the 15^ century and to present some ofthe issues to which contemporary Russian medieval studies is currently devoting itself. After a period ofenforced isolation, Russian scholars in the 1990s began concerning themselves intensively with the methodologies used in Western medieval studies and has been trying to apply them to Eastern European historical material which Western medieval studies has heretofore -with rare exceptions - largely ignored. Following the establishment of democracy in academia, the need to revise the landscape ofthe history ofthe Russia ofthe Kievan and “partition” periods became apparent. However, due to the character of Russian sources, it is not possible in any simple way to transfer the methods used in working with Western medieval materials to the study ofthese periods. This is why the new historical fields have devoted themselves primarily to the 16^ and 17^ centuries, which provide the richest and most varied source materials. Although it is certain that Russian medieval studies has succeeded in overcoming the crisis it experienced in the 1990s, one of the central problems afflicting contemporary Russian and Western medieval studies remains: the absolute separation between research on the middle ages in Russia and in Western and indeed in Central Europe.
Dějiny – Teorie – Kritika, redakce, Masarykův ústav a Archiv AV ČR, v.v.i., Gabčíkova 2362/10, 180 00 Praha 8, Czech Republic
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