The heroic ballads of Russia [NOOK Book]


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The heroic ballads of Russia

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NOOK Book (eBook - Digitized from 1921 volume)

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This is an OCR edition with typos.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940019899548
  • Publisher: London : K. Paul
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Digitized from 1921 volume
  • File size: 470 KB

Read an Excerpt

THE HEROIC BALLADS OF RUSSIA. I.—MEDIEVAL HISTORY WITH SPECIAL RELATION TO KfEV § I : THE CHARACTER OF EARLY RUSSIAN HISTORY The Middle Ages in Russia show some features in common with Western Europe, a period of turbulence, of warring princelets, partitioned kingdoms, yet withal great commercial prosperity of certain privilegd towns along defined trade-routes. In Russia, as elsewhere, two or three great princes of peace rise either in merit or adventitious fame above the common ruck, and round them, when legendarized, folk-song and folk-lore congregate, the doughty champions of the rough aristocratic ideals of the time. And, above all, the leaven which made the rude tribes with their disputed shares of Roman territory into something of chivalrous nationhood, was in Russia the same as in Europe, that marvellous Northern race that founded thrones from France down to Sicily and the Black Sea. To make the very broadest of summaries, at the risk of being fallacious, it may be said that medieval Russian history is divided into three great territorial, literary, and political parts. There is, first of all, first in date and civilization, the South, the Kiev dynasty, invigoiated into the IXth and Xth centuries from the North, and deriving religion and culture from Constantinople. This epoch is one of utter disorganization, the proprietorship of land being spasmodic and arbitary,1 the vague frontier faced on all sides by savage or Roman Catholic foes, and there was little regularity in the dynastic succession. The South is the " Black Soil "of great fertility, and well-watered, but the southern frontier never extended down to the sea, always following a line continuous moreor less from that of the Danube where it parts Hungary from the Kingdom of the Bolgars, until the first...
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