The Science Work
Site is for sale:
Category: History

The prospects of use of the Scandinavian written sources for studying categories by Old Russian team of fidelity

v. V. Meshcheryakov



Work is presented by department of national history and document science of the Kurgan state university.

The research supervisor - the doctor of historical sciences, professor V.V. Menshchikov

Article contains the analysis of drevneskandinavsky texts and their comparison with Old Russian concerning a phenomenon medieval team of fidelity and honor. The main components of this phenomenon, such as "brotherhood on weapon", oath of fidelity and phenomenon of a gift are allocated.


The prospects of use of the Scandinavian written sources for studying categories...

V. Meshcheryakov


The article contains the analysis of medieval Scandinavian texts and their comparison with the ancient Russian ones on the questions of medieval retinue loyalty and honor. The author distinguishes the main components of this phenomenon, such as & #34; brotherhood in arms" loyalty oath and a phenomenon of gift.

The questions connected with team the organization never lost the relevance. It is connected by Waugh-many with the fact that, besides performance of a number of important military and socio-political functions, the Old Russian team is of huge interest as a sociocultural organism. As one of its fundamental lines it is possible to mark out the specific categories of fidelity connecting combatants among themselves.

The main problem which researchers face, being engaged in studying history of Ancient Russia, is an acute shortage of sources among the greatest interest by which consideration of questions by team of fidelity, certainly, is occupied by written. In view of the designated problem and understanding of that circumstance that the druzhinny organization in general and specific druzhinny fidelity as its main line is the universal international phenomenon characteristic of many ethnocultural communities, use of the Scandinavian written sources for their comparison with Old Russian and identifications of the general regularities allowing to fill lacunas in our ideas of motivation and logic of acts of the people who were a part Old Russian team of the organization seems quite lawful and perspective.

The phenomenon team of the organization considered within this article can be defined as the peculiar "brotherhood on weapon" performing first of all military function and fastened among themselves and the prince specific, sacral

bonds of honor, fidelity and brotherhood. In a similar key the specified problem was considered A.Ya. Gurevich [3, page 158-179], I.N. Danilevsky [4, page 109-125], partly I.Ya. Froya-nov [9, page 138]. Also, in connection with questions Old Russian team of honor, it is necessary to mention Yu.M. Lotman's works [5, page 84-95].

It is represented quite logical that the druzhinny fidelity is a phenomenon which roots go to the period of decomposition of the patrimonial relations and emergence of new forms of association of people, in this case, on occupation characteristics. The group of the soldiers making the immediate environment of the leader in any given form was present almost at all European cultures in the period of the early Middle Ages. It is unconditional that in various regions the separate lines of this phenomenon gained the special specifics. Nevertheless at the heart of druzhinny relations of this sort there had to be a difficult sociocultural complex combining the specific military relation to weapon, various rituals accompanying it in close connection with a phenomenon of a gift and sacral communications with the world around. This military archetype was fair for the majority of the European cultures (its separate lines remain among military to this day). But here it is necessary to make an important remark - to say about existence there is nobody the uniform military cultural code fairly only in the field of mentality and spiritual culture.

Because of the deficiency problem of Old Russian sources mentioned above privle-

the cheniye of additional materials is represented quite logical procedure. And in this plan of data of the Scandinavian sources can be especially interesting. As the proof to it can serve experience of use by I.N. Danilevsky of A.Ya. Gurevich's observations based mainly on the Scandinavian material in studying separate sociocultural institutes of Ancient Russia (including teams) [4, page 118-119]. Also it would be desirable to refer to opinion of A.A. Hlevov believing that: "... Scandinavia for us is some kind of magnifying glass at the accurate address allowing to investigate, in particular, druzhinny life and druzhinny ideology of the previous time with high degree of reliability, & #34; выпячивающее" the trends poorly distinguishable on early sources".

It should be noted that in stadialno close societies of Europe enduring the same stage of development - within a so-called Baltic civilization among the Finnish and baltsky tribes, in Russia, and it is possible in Poland, - similar forms of teams were formed. And the Scandinavian teams were a role model - as the most effective in own way examples" [10, page 137].

It is natural that the Scandinavian sources will fully not be able to replace Old Russian, but in such specific question as understanding of logic of acts and disclosure of the cultural code of the member by team of the organization, the data which are contained in them can be very useful.

Within small article it is impossible to carry out the comprehensive analysis and comparison of the Scandinavian and Old Russian written sources, but nevertheless it would be desirable to focus attention on several highlights.

First, it is the questions connected with a sociocultural role and value of weapon in team to the environment. From the functional point of view the weapon is main "tool" of the soldier on which quality his life and success in fight directly depended. During an era when there was no industrial production

arms, weapon of any professional soldier bore the impress his personality, expressed not only in any quality characteristics (type, a look, the size, weight, modifying under individual physical and psychological needs of the owner), but also various sacral properties. The fragment from "the Senior Edda" describing the magic action made over weapon is very indicative:

"Victory runes,//if you aspire to it, -//cut out their sword handle(s) mark//a name of Tyur twice!" [8, page 110].

Possession of qualitative weapon and ability to use it at the high level sharply opposed combatants to other members of society. Thus, close connection of the soldier with the weapon led to the fact that, on the one hand, the person kind of "grew together" with weapon, allocating it with the individual traits, with another - weapon began to lead own life, often becoming the conductor of destiny or will of gods. The specified line especially brightly is shown in combination with an oath phenomenon which closely adjoined to a problem of the relation of combatants to the weapon. As a rule, the problem of bringing of an oath of fidelity to the leader or the fellow soldier is considered in terms of origin and development of various forms vassal lennykh the relations. But, in our opinion, this question is slightly wider and it is not obligatory to reduce it to accurate, steady rituals. This phenomenon could be expressed in various ritual or verbal forms making nevertheless identical sense.

The fidelity oath as one of bases of relationship between members by team of the organization and the leader, is well traced on the Scandinavian written sources. So, in one of sections of "the Younger Edda" it is unambiguously said: "Konnun-gov and yarl the people called by combatants and house guards accompany. Landr-manny keep the people who swore to them who are called in Denmark and Sweden combatants too, and in Norway - house guards.

The prospects of use of the Scandinavian written sources for studying categories.

They, as well as combatants of konungs, bring a fidelity oath" [6, page 88].

With Old Russian sources the situation is more difficult, and the unambiguous messages indicating existence of an oath of fidelity, especially during a pre-Christian era in them are absent. Nevertheless great interest in terms of the questions connected with a phenomenon of an oath and the specific military relation to weapon submits the text of the contract between Russia and Byzantium 945 g which is contained in the Story of temporary years. In particular, the curious refrain in which it is said that perjurers will be punished by own weapon takes place there:

"... and eliko ikh not kresshcheno is and not to inut the help from God, from Perun and boards do not ushchititsya by the, and yes posjchen to bu-blow swords the, both from strjl and from other weapon, and yes will be Rabi and in sy vjk and future" [7, page 98].

And further:

"... And Auger to cross se from the country on - a neck, either the prince or the yin who, or kreshchen or nekrjshchen and not to imat from God of the help, and yes slaves in sy vjk and in future, and yes for-kolen budet the oruzhyem will be.

And nekrjshcheniya Russia yes believe boards the and throw the naga, both the hoops and other weapon, and yes to kljnutsya about everything, and the essence is written to a yazha on this harotya, and store from Igor and from vsekh boyar and from vsjkh people and from the country Ruskyya v an other ljta and always.

If whether who from the prince and from people rus-kykh or krestyan, or nekresshcheny to cross everything, a hedgehog it is written on this harotya, and will be dostoin svoim weapon you will die, and yes will be klyat from God and from Perun, and a yak break the klyatjva" [7, page 102].

The motive of death from own weapon meets in the Scandinavian sources and acts as divine punishment there. It is possible to give the quote from "the Senior Edda" as an example: "The konung Geyrred sat, holding on a lap a sword, half naked. Having heard that One here, he got up to protect it from fire. The sword slipped out at it a handle down. The konung stumbled and fell

prone, and the sword pierced it, and he died. Then One disappeared. Agnar became a konung and long governed" [8, page 40].

From these examples it is visible that weapon acted as the tool of divine will and one of the main guarantors of performance of conditions of an oath. It is represented logical that death from own weapon for soldiers was the most shameful and terrible. Thus, it is possible to draw a conclusion that for the combatant the weapon, besides the direct functions, had sacral properties and was the standard sociocultural tool (in one of the manifestations - the most important component of a phenomenon of an oath).

One more important component of the druzhinny relations can consider institute of donation. And here weapon quite could act as a gift, besides various valuable objects, also. We find a set of instructions on existence of this sort of the relations in the Scandinavian sources as the regulating mechanism team of the environment inside.

"The senior Edda" draws to us images of ideal leaders, as one of the main advantages of which the generosity in relation to combatants strengthening their brotherly bonds acts:

"The elm noble,//pleasures light began to grow//on joy to friends//;//generously it gave//to faithful team//hot gold,//blood got" [8, page 73-74].

As it was already noted, among gifts, besides gold, it is told also about weapon and other objects. So, for example, in "Speeches High" it is told:

"To friends//and Dari clothes -//that amuses with Oruzhye their looks;//presenting friends,//you friendship fix,//if the destiny is favorable" [8, page 19].

And in "The song about Hyundla" it is said: "The Father's hosts//we will ask about favor!////he distributes gold to soldiers;//a helmet gave//it is Hermodu,//gave also a chain armor,//a sword//striking handed to Sigmundu it" [8, page 164].

In Old Russian sources it is difficult to find the similar striking and unambiguous examples characterizing the relations on -

stroyenny on donation. But in this case it would be desirable to pay attention to the remarkable episode connected with truce between the voivode Pretich and the Pecheneg prince of 968 g. The ritual recorded in the text of the chronicle and which is expressed in exchange of gifts became feature of this event:

"And speeches prince pechenjzhsky to Pretich: & #34; Awake mi другъ". On speeches: & #34; Taka буди". And podast hand mezhyu, and vjdast pe-chenjzhsky prince Pretichyu horse, saber, strjla. On will give it a reservation, shchit, a sword" [7, page 114-116].

In this case interest not the fact of truce, but personal communication between participants of action is of to us. Considering emphasis on the word "drug" and the accompanying exchange of gifts, consideration of this event in such plane is lawful. Unfortunately, it is impossible to track further development and the nature of relationship between these soldiers, but interpretation of this episode as the ritual imposing special type of personal contact on participants is represented very logical.

One more important question which is directly connected with prospects of a research of the Scandinavian and Old Russian written sources is a communication of "Tale of Igor's Campaign" with skaldichesky poetry. As it was noted by D.M. Sharypkin: "Assumption that & #34; Слово" the general has something with sagas and poetry of skald, it is not proved and not disproved, meanwhile scientists pointed to importance of this question" [11, page 14]. It also notes presence of ideas of the specific sacral force of a word at various cultures: "Poetic improvisation was in the ancient time perceived as the magic ceremony which is followed by mystical transformations. Historical data on the most ancient personal poetry of the West and the East, Celts and Scandinavians, Hindus, Iranians and Arabs demonstrate to it. This poetry differs in functional syncretism" [11, page 17]. The "word "skald"" which arose before emergence of writing (its initial value is not clear), - average

sorts, like other words designating supernatural beings. The Skaldiche-sky word possesses magic influence" [11, page 17]. Sharypkin notes similarity of "Word" and skaldichesky poetry, saying that "in poetry of skald quite close lexical compliances & #34 meet; Слову". For example, D.S. Likhachev, having noted that words & #34; kopia поют" & #34; are not absolutely clear in the place in the general poetic композиции" a monument, assumed that they & #34; maybe,... are equivalent to expression & #34; occurs война" & #34; goes бой". Really, in skaldiche-sky thick woolen clothes swords and a spear & #34; поют" and it means: & #34; goes битва". Eagles and wolves, in & #34; Слове" presented in enough, perform the functions beseeming them and in skaldichesky poems. But all this, obviously, images which are found in everyone team of poetry" [11, page 22].

Similar thoughts of existence of certain uniform European medieval cultural archetypes can be met in works of S.N. Azbelev who notes that "owing to basic similarity of the most common features of military life and military ideology in Russia and in other countries of medieval Europe there and there was a poetry actually military, carried on at us the traditions inherited from X-X11 of centuries" [1, page 116].

In the special research devoted to comparison of "Word" and traditions of skaldichesky poetry, N.Yu. Bubnov notes: "possibly, Gardarika - Russia - should be regarded 12th century as certain outskirts of the Scandinavian world where in a foreign-language and foreign culture environment - at the yards of princes of Ryurik dynasty - islands of the Scandinavian pagan culture remained.... It is possible that & #34; Word about regiment Igoreve" it is necessary to perceive as one of the last compositions & #34; skaldichesky типа" two great cultures of the pre-Christian European world which reflected synthesis" [2, page 307].

Thus, further researches in this direction have broad prospects and scientific value as in itself, and as one of the major

proofs of existence in medieval Europe of a uniform military and cultural archetype, one of the most important components of which just there was also a similar druzhinny poetic tradition which was carrying out including, and sacral functions.

As we see from the given examples, the main standard regulating mechanisms in team to the environment (including) institutes of an oath and exchange of gifts through which the specific military relation to weapon and a complex of sacral communications stood out were Old Russian,

to them accompanying. All this grants to us the right to consider the druzhinny organization as peculiar "brotherhood on weapon", with the special ideas of honor and fidelity. And here quite obvious directions for further researches appear. First of all this studying all complex of Old Russian sources (as well as various foreign, close by the geographical and chronological principle) in the designated plane for the purpose of identification of specifics of the druzhinny relations and cultural norms accompanying them.


1. S.N. Azbelev. Old Russian heroic legends in the international context//Ancient Russia. Mediyevistika questions. 2008. No. 3 (33). Page 115-122.
2. BubnovN. BB. "Tale of Igor's Campaign" and poetry of skald. SPb.: Russian symphony, 2006. 416 pages
3. A.Ya. Gurevich. Campaigns of Vikings//Elite works. Ancient Germans. Vikings. SPb.: St.Petersburg State University publishing house, 2007. 352 pages
4. I.N. Danilevsky. Ancient Russia eyes of contemporaries and descendants (1X-X11 centuries). M.: Aspect Press, 1998. 399 pages
5. Yu.A. Lotman. About opposition "honor" - "glory" in secular texts of the Kiev period//About the Russian literature. Articles and researches: history of the Russian prose, theory of literature. SPb.: Art SPb., 1997. 848 pages
6. Younger Edda / preparation of the edition O.A. Smirnitskaya, M.I. Steblin-Kamensky. SPb.: Science, 2006. 144 pages
7. Story of temporary years / preparation of the text, translation and O.V. Tvorogov's comments//Library of literature of ancient Russia. SPb.: Science, 2004. T. 1. 544 pages
8. Senior Edda / lane of A.I. Korsun, edition, vstup. article and lump. M.I. Steblin-Kamensky. SPb.: Science, 2006. 264 pages
9. Froyanov. Ya. Kievan Rus'. Essays of socio-political history. L.: LIE publishing house, 1980. 256 pages
10. A.A. Hlevov. Harbingers of Vikings. Northern Europe in 1-USh centuries of SPb.: Eurasia, 2003. 336 pages
11. Sharypkying D.M. Boyang in "Tale of Igor's Campaign" and poetry of skald//TODRL. L.: Science, 1976. T. XXXI: "Tale of Igor's Campaign" and monuments of Old Russian literature. 404 pages
Amanda Simpson
Other scientific works: