Culture and Everyday Life

This heading is subdivided by region into: Rus and Russian Culture -- Other Cultures

Rus and Russian Culture

Alexander, Alex E. Russian Folklore. Belmont MA: Nordland Publishing Co., 1975.

"Archaeology of Novgorod, Russia." Edited by Mark Brisbane. Society for Medieval Archaeology, Monograph Series #13. Lincoln Society for Medieval Archaeology, 1992.

Berry, Lloyd E. and Robert Crummey. Rude and Barbarous Kingdom: Russia in the Accounts of 16th century English Voyagers. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1968. [SEO, PWT]

Billington, James. The Icon and the Axe. New York: Knopf, 1966.[EM]
An extraordinary interpretive history of Russia thought and culture, written by the former head of the Library of Congress.

Birnbaum, Henrik. Lord Novgorod the Great: Essays in the History and Culture of a Medieval City-State. Columbus OH: Slavica Publishers, Inc., 1981. [PV, MSR]
The problem with this book is that Birnbaum is using Soviet-era sources and uses incorrect terminology. An example is his aggravating tendency to call the Novgorod boyars "feudal lords" and to assign unnecessary epithets to the wealthier citizens of Novgorod. On the other hand, this book is a summary of important Soviet books on Novgorod.

Blum, Jerome. Lord and Peasant in Russia. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1961. [EM]
The history of serfdom from its origins. Also covers life in rural Russia in general.

Charmichael, Joel. A Cultural History of Russia. New York: Weybright and Talley, 1968. [EM]
Art, music, architecture, etc - what makes Russia unique.

A Day in the Life of Novgorod. Edited by Kolya Sergievna [Susan Carroll-Clark]. Toronto: Privately published, 1994 [PWT]

The Domostroi: Rules for Russian Households in the Time of Ivan the Terrible. Edited and translated by Carolyn Johnston Pouncy. Ithaca NY: Cornell University Press, 1994. [OKB, EM, PWT]
The introduction is very good and explains why many of the tantalizing details presented in the text most be approached with caution. Still, a very useful book.

Fedotov, G. The Russian Religious Mind, Vol I: Kievan Christianity. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1946.

Galton, Dorothy. Survey of a Thousand Years of Beekeeping in Russia. London: Bee Research Association, 1971. [OKB]

Herberstein, Sigmund von. Description of Moscow and Muscovy: 1557. New York: J. M. Dent and Sons, Ltd., 1969. [SEO]

The Land and Government of Moscovy. Edited by Thomas Esper. Stanford CA: Stanford University Press, 1967. [MSR]
A stream of consciousness report of life as a foreign thug in the employ of Ivan the Terrible's oprichnina in the 1560s and 1570s.

Martin, Janet. Treasure of the Land of Darkness: The Fur Trade and Its Significance for Medieval Russia. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986. [MSR]
A very thorough analysis of the development and economic effects from 900-1600 AD.

Massie, Suzanne. Land of the Firbird. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1980. [SEO, OKB]

Prokhorva, V. Russkaia drevnosti [Russian Antiquity], Vol. 2 (1876). [OKB]
Interesting illustrations of period weddings and other events.

Russian Holograms. York: York Archaelogical Trust, 1989. [EM]
History of the different groups settling in the area, illustrations and photos of clothing and items.

Skillen, Chris. Russian Proverbs. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1994. [AY]
Fifty-five Russian proverbs, each illustrated by Vladimir Lubarov. The illustrations are cartoony, but the proverbs come with cyrillic translations.

Soloviev, Sergei M. The Character of Old Russia. Gulf Breeze FL: Academic International Press, 1995.
Authoritative native attempt to explain Russian traditional culture.

Thompson, M. W. Novgorod the Great. New York: Frederick A. Praeger, Inc., 1967.
Good source of archaelogical finds.

The Travels of Olearius in 17th Century Russia. Translated and edited by Samuel H. Baron. Stanford CA: Stanford University Press, 1967.[EM]
Firsthand account of a German's travels through Muscovy and Tartary in 1633-36. First published in 1647.

Zevin, Igor V. A Russian Herbal. Rochester VT: Healing Arts Press, 1997. [OKB]
Nice discussion of historical uses of herbs in Russia.

Zguta, Russell. "The Ordeal by Water (Swimming Witches) in the East Slavic World." Slavic Review 36 (1977): 219-30. [PV]
An examination of certain witch trials in period Russia and the Church's stand in defense of the accused women. Zguta also draws a comparison between Russian and Western European practices in this area.

_____________. "The Pagan Priests of Early Russia: Some New Insights." Slavic Review 33 (1974): 259-66. [PV]
An interesting and believable speculation on period pagan rituals based on the comparison of a period text (Primary Chronicle, Laurentian Text) and a XIX century record of pagan practices.

Other Cultures

Ascherson, Neal. Black Sea. New York: Hill & Wang, 1995.[OKB]
A study of the meeting and mingling of ethnic identities on the Black Sea littoral over the course of three millenia (8th century BC to the present) -- Scythians, Greeks, Sarmatians, etc.

Endrei, W. Fun and Games in Old Europe. Translated by Karoly Ravasz. Budapest: Corvina Kiado, 1986. [KA]

Ewing, Ethel. Slavic Culture. Chicago: Rand McNally & Co.,1968. [SEO]

Gimbutas, Marija. The Slavs. London: Thames and Hudson, 1971.

Gorecki, Piotr. Economy, Society, and Lordship in Medieval Poland, 1100- 1250. New York: Holmes and Meier, 1992. [JZ]

Grousko, M. A. Cossack: Warrior Riders of the Steppes. New York: Sterling Publishing Company, 1992. [BDH]
Coffee-table book with a lot of good information, but many of the illustrations are from later periods and should be viewed cautiously.

Gubaroff, George V. Cossacks and Their Land. Translated by John Nelson Washburn. Providence RI: Cossack American National Alliance, 19??.[BP]
Interesting book that attempts to show that cossacks are a distinct ethnic group.

Horvath, Andras Paloci. Pechenegs, Cumans, Iasians: Steppe Peoples in Medieval Hungary. Budapest: Corvina Kiado, 1989. [KA]
Provides a picture of the settlement conditions, distinctive military art, dress, religion, and art of these peoples, tracing their assimilation into Hungary between the tenth and thirteenth centuries.

Knab, Sophie H. Polish Cultures, Traditions, and Folklore, Second Edition. New York: Hippocrene Books, 1992. [JZ]
Covers a wide variety of traditional customs, including birth, wedding, and funeral customs. These are arranged in calendar fashion, over the liturgical year, thus giving a picture of old Polish life.

____________. Polish Herbs, Flowers, and Folk Medicine. New York: Hippocrene Books, 1992. [JZ]

Krekic, Barisa. Dubrovnik in the 14th and 15th Centuries: A City Between East and West. Norman OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1972.[KA]

Ozturk, Yasar Nuri. The Eye of the Heart: An Introduction to Sufism and the Major Toriqats of Anatolia & the Balkans. Istanbul: Redhouse Press, 1988. [MSR]
About the driving force behind the fanatical Ghaziers of the Ottoman conquest of the Balkans.

Pavic, Milorad. The Dictionary of the Khazars. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1988. [KA]
Male edition of novel in form of the lexicons, one each from Christian, Islamic, and Hebrew perspective on Khazar Polemic.

____________. The Dictionary of the Khazars. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1989. [KA]
Female edition of novel in form of the lexicons, one each from Christian, Islamic, and Hebrew perspective on Khazar Polemic.

Polcyn, M. "Archaeobotanical Evidence for Food Plants in the Poland of the Piasts (10th- 13th Centuries AD)," Botanical Journal of Scotland 46: 4: 533-537. [JZ]
Short article summarizing archeological evidence for what foods were grown and how. Illustrations of grain.

Seaton, Albert. The Horsemen of the Steppes: The Story of the Cossacks. New York: Hippocrene Books, 1985.

Uerpmann, H. P. "Animal Domestication: Accident or Intention?" The Origins and Spread of Agriculture and Pastoralism in Eurasia, pp. 227-237. Edited by D. R. Harris. UCL Press. [KS]

Vikar, Laszlo. Votyak Folksongs. Budapest: Akademiai Kiado, 1989.[KA]

Wagner, Eduard. Medieval Costume, Armour, and Weapons (1350-1450). London, 1957. [MSR]
"Bohemian Bible" for the fanatical Central European antiquitist who wants detailed drawings of the entire camp piece by piece.

Wolynetz, Lubow. Borshchiv: Its Folk Art, Customs and Traditions. Translated by Marta Baczynsky. New York: The Ukranian Museum, 1994. [EM]
Exhibit catalog covering culture (and some pictures of non-period costume).

Zemanek, Alicja. "Herbals and Other Botanical Works of the Polish Renaissance -- Present State and Prospects for Research," Botanical Journal of Scotland 46: 4: 637-643. [JZ]
Listing of Renaissance Polish herbals, with descriptions. Four illustrations of examples.

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