Cover: Reimagining Europe: Kievan Rus’ in the Medieval World, from Harvard University PressCover: Reimagining Europe in HARDCOVER

Harvard Historical Studies 177

Reimagining Europe

Kievan Rus’ in the Medieval World

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Product Details


$65.50 • £52.95 • €59.00

ISBN 9780674063846

Publication Date: 03/12/2012


340 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

1 map, 5 genealogy charts

Harvard Historical Studies


Raffensperger’s insights into art and architecture, coinage, marriage contracts, the choice of saints, rulers’ names, and the contacts between churches illuminate a dark period in Rus’ian history. Had the Rus’ian church adopted Latin or Greek, had eastern horsemen not overrun the principalities, or had the events of 1054 and 1204 not happened, there would have been no question that Rus’ was a part of Europe. Raffensperger make a persuasive case that in these years, before central control from Kiev disintegrated, it was.—W.L. Urban, Choice

Boldly reconceptualizing the first centuries of Kievan Rus’, Raffensperger gives us fresh ways of envisioning royal marriages, ecclesiastical politics, cultural transfer, and the commercial commanding heights of all of post-Carolingian, pre-Gothic Europe, as Christian realms took shape in Scandinavia, most of the Slavic lands, and Hungary.—David Goldfrank, Georgetown University

Especially today, when the cultural, economic, and political boundaries of Europe are the subject of late-breaking news, Raffensperger’s book is a timely and persuasive invitation to recall a Europe that stretched from Kiev to London, and from Stockholm to Constantinople. A welcome corrective to a Cold War vision of Europe.—Daniel H. Kaiser, Grinnell College

A daring and original work of scholarship that challenges the traditional view of Kievan Rus’. Historians of both Rus’ and Western Europe have generally accepted the idea that Orthodox Rus’ was isolated from the rest of Europe in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Yet the unfortunate separation of medieval history and culture into Eastern and Western blocs has obscured the political reality of early Kiev. In a skillful and effective reinterpretation that draws upon a variety of methodologies, from numismatics and sigillography to genealogy, Raffensperger demonstrates that Rus’ was not disconnected from the West, but was instead part and parcel of a broader Europe.—David Prestel, Michigan State University

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