Was Russia the land of barbarians?

The pre-Christian history of Russia is often shown in dark color, our ancestors in it are “wild” barbarians in animal skins, living hunting and fishing in forests and swamps, writes Alexander Samsonov.

Was Russia the land of barbarians?Photos from open sources

The only bright spots look Varangians-Normans, “brought” the light of the foundations of civilization to Russia (according to the Norman theory), and Princess Olga, trying to instill the principles of savages Christianity. As a result, for most Russian citizens, pre-Christian the history of Russia is a real terra incognita (“unknown land “in Latin).

Tribes or State

When they talk about the Old Russian state (“proto-state”), you can often hear about the tribes – glade, Slovenia, Drevlyane, Krivichi, Radimichi and many others. The word “tribe” arises the image of some North American Iroquois or Papuans, but not developed community in any way.

Although in reality any Slavic-Russian tribe was a union or super tribal union that controlled a vast space (equal to European kingdoms or much larger). The union there was a developed control system: elected prince, governors, army (squad), the council of the nobility – the boyars, the national assembly (veche).

The union of tribes was not a tribal phenomenon, but a political one, territorial. Each “reign”, or “land”, had not only “his reign”, but also “the laws of his fathers”, i.e. legislative system. In Western Europe at that time they were very serious about titles. So, in the message of the Bertin annals about the embassy of the “people Grew “to the Emperor of the Francs Louis the Pious (in 839) the lord of the russians is called the “king”. After more than a hundred years, the princess Olga (her Christian name is Elena) was called “Queen Elena” (“Chronicle of the successor of Reginon”).

Eastern sources call the rulers of the Rus “kings” and “Hagan” (imperial title). Russian land was considered by the state. So, the Arab Ibn Haukal reports: “Ar-Rus is the same as al-Khazar and al-Serir, is the name of the state, not people and not cities”.

And the fact that in the Byzantine Empire (East Roman empire) did not recognize the dignity of the “kings” of neighboring lands, calling their “archons” (elders), speaks only about the politics of Constantinople. The Romans considered themselves heirs to the Roman Empire, and everyone around them the peoples were for them “barbarians.” Constantinople did not recognize royal title and the Bulgarian king (although the Bulgarians several times threatened the capital of the empire), and for the emir of Egypt, and for the emperor Holy Roman Empire of the German nation. But for most contemporaries, Russia was a mighty power – no worse than kingdoms Europe or the powerful and rich Khazar Khaganate.


The ancient Scandinavians called the Old Russian State “Gardarika” (Gardariki), that is, the “state of cities.” Do not to be surprised that this term translates as “fence, fence, fortification “or” yard, enclosed space. “While the main significance of the city is fortification. For example, the largest Mediterranean city of Constantinople was named at Scandinavians Miklgard. And according to the German chronicler Titmar Merseburgsky, Kiev was a rival to the capital of Byzantium – Of Constantinople. We noted a large number of cities in Russia and Eastern sources, Arab Ibn Rust wrote that the Russians have “a lot cities. ”

People of the East, familiar with Baghdad and Cairo, and the Scandinavians, who saw the cities of England, France, Spain and Italy, unanimously claim that the Rus of the pre-Christian era had cities. And in in such quantities that it was surprising experienced travelers.

Photos from open sources

A source such as the Bavarian geographer (this is a list of peoples and unions of tribes, mainly of Slavic origin, who inhabited in the 9th century areas east of the Frankish state), reports on dozens and hundreds of cities in Eastern Slavic principalities. So, Buzhan had 231 degrees (city), the streets – 418. And since there were cities, therefore, there were craft “ends” (quarters). Russia famous for its masters. Russian weapons were already quite then sold goods; Russian swords, according to contemporaries, are not inferior to the Frankish or Arabian blades. Ibn Ruste mentions beautiful chain mail of the Slavs, and in the French poem “Renault de Montaban “speaks of” magnificent chain mail from Russia “, which acquired the main character.

Russian faith

Many consider our ancestors to be dense pagans, although if try to understand the faith of the ancestors, it becomes clear that it was sunny, bright belief, filled with universal harmony, goodness and justice. The concepts of our ancestors that we we absorb from childhood through fairy tales, old Russian epics, still they do not allow us to completely degrade, to become “two-legged vegetables.” It is foolish to think that the “paganism of the Russians” is wild, backward belief. Modern Japan, India, and in many ways China retain their ancient beliefs and do not suffer from it. They make the lives of their peoples are more meaningful, they can contain the onslaught “universal” (Western) values.

It is interesting that in many ways the faith of the Russians is still alive. She preserved not only in fairy tales and epics, but also absorbed in Christianity, making it Orthodoxy (“the glory of the Law”). The main mythological images saved. Christian Trinity, the image of the Virgin and George defeating the serpent – Slavic Triglavs, Mother Lada (Rozhanitsa) and Perun defeating the serpent (Veles-Hair).

Huge work is needed to restore the image of our ancestors, their history, faith, spiritual and material culture. Can recommend in this regard the wonderful encyclopedia of M. Semyonova “We are Slavs” (author of the famous novel “Wolfhound”), the research of Lev Prozorov (“The Times of Russian Bogatyrs” “Varyazhskaya Rus”).

It all started in the Oka basin

Artania is a state whose territory was on a vast the space from the North Sea to the Tmutarakan land (from the North to the South) and from the Bryansk forests to the Volga region (from west to east), argues in turn, Yuri Ulyanov. Confirmation of similar the borders is the Russo-Aryan culture itself, expressed in the form a special pattern – Yargi.

This “bent-legged” yargo-swastika ligature had its own characteristics, reflected in the plexus of four-arm Yarg in a rhombus. Similar pattern found on towels, bruises, bibs, tablecloths, towels, shirts and kitsch exclusively in the following areas: Ryazan, Tambov, Penza, Voronezh, Bryansk, Smolensk, Vladimir, Vologda, Arkhangelsk, Tobolsk and partially in the northeast of Novgorod land.

True, some researchers believe that “Artania” located exclusively on the Taman Peninsula. According to others versions, Artania called the territory from Taman to Oka. Right and those and others. All these lands were part of Arzania (Arsania, Artania) – one of the three Russian states mentioned since IX century by early Persian and Arab geographers (along with two other Russian states – Kuyavia and Slavia).

The first to mention the country of Artania as the “Island of Rusov” there was an Arab historian – ibn-Rust. This name comes from one of the largest artisan cities of Artania – Arty (according to some researchers, Arta was located at the junction of the Oka rivers and Pra).

Arab merchants who bought goods from Rus in Tmutarakan and Kuyavia, wondered where such a good product came from (especially swords), to which they were answered – “From Arta”. And the swords from Artania really were some of the best on the continent (even better damask blades). The whole secret was in special forging and Meshchersky swamp ore, in which rusichi added in a sacred way spoiled additives. The smelted metal itself was forged into several layers, which gave it strength and elasticity. These forged plates were called “plaka.” A sword forged from such steel, it was easy to bend into an arc, after which he took starting position. Plaka plates were kept in secret basements. Art and was the “strategic metal” for the whole of Artania.

In addition to good swords, in Artania they also made good kvass from special sourdough. This sourdough was made from leavened bread, which It was called “Artus”. When this great drink found its connoisseurs and admirers in the Balkans, the ancient Hellenes asked: “Where does this leaven come from and what is it called?” To which they were answered: “Artus from Artania “. So in ancient Greek, this leaven came under named “Artos”. Later, in the Christian religion, leavened bread, illuminated for Easter, it was called Atra. For this very bread according to legend, was on the table at the Last Supper …

Photos from open sources

The capital of Artania was the most beautiful city of that time, “RUSHAN” (Rashan, Rasan, Rezan, Ryazan), standing on a high bank full-flowing river Oka near the confluence of the river Prony. The foreign authors of this city themselves did not see it, since the Rus-Russians foreign merchants were not allowed into their country, but were traded only with relatives from Kuyavia. In addition, they liaised with strangers through their southernmost port – Tmutarakan. Shortest the road from Arta to Tmutarakan was the waterway along the Oka, then through the couple river to Voloka, and from there through the Pozhva and Voronezhets rivers (Voronezh) to Don.

This path was carefully guarded by White Cossacks from regimental hillforts (as a rule, such hillforts were called Shilovo, and later simply Cossack), and not a single foreigner could pass by them undetected. Subsequently, these “Cossack settlements” became the “notch line” between the “Wild Field” and Russia. Unfortunately all descriptions that relate to the country of Artania are made from other people’s words. Hence the distortions in the pronunciation of this name, and in the definition the location of this ancient country.

Mention has been made of the capital of Artania: Rashan, Rashan, Razhan, Rasan, Razan, Rezan, Ryazan. And immigrants from this land carried in its reflection in self-name – races. It is they, by the assertion of ancient Italian historians came to northern Italy from the East, led by Prince Razena. There they received subsequently name of the Etruscan. In Italy, by the way, the surname is still common Razini. The Grand Ryazan Principality can be considered the successor ancient tradition, when the center of this land was the city of Rezan. Now the settlement of Old Ryazan rests on the high bank of the Oka River. In ancient Russian literary sources, in annals, beginning with XI century, the Ryazan principality is referred to as the Great. In Ryazan Meschera even lakes have a name – Great.

In oral mythology, ancient traditions, as well as in the environment researchers of Russian folk traditions with a focus it is the Meshchera that is considered to be a jugo-swastic pattern. Ryazan region regarded as the center of the Old Russian spiritual Vedic traditions. And for good reason there is an opinion that this land is the legendary and mysterious Artania.

In Ryazan there is a town Skopin, which has been famous since ancient times its pottery industry, especially jellied dishes greenish, painted with white circular swastikas patterns with dots around the edges. These yargic signs produce indelible impression with its special outlines and hidden semantic meaning. The yurgic ornament of the Ryazan region is presented in Volga-Oka-Don region and among numerous samples weaving and embroidery, where a wide range is present intricate swastika patterns.

Photos from open sources

In numerous cities of the Ryazan principality prospered all kinds of crafts. In ancient chronicles describing the “Gardera Rousskie “, there is a mention of the Old City of Lviv-Ryazan, and later – Lviv-Volynsky (modern Lviv was founded Ryazan soldiers as a fortress on the way of their movements on west).

On the ancient eastern maps the territory of the Volga-Oksko-Don The region is called the “Land of the Rip tribes.” it Kostenkov-Strelets archaeological culture (30 thousand years before ad). Rus came to these lands from the Urals (Rip or Burdock mountains) during the last glaciation, and it was not by chance that burdock became still one sign in the ancient tradition of our ancestors. He’s good Fits into an intricate pattern called “Burdocks”. Similar patterns – “Burrows” – since ancient times were embroidered in a special way on princely and royal robes (bearing a special sacred meaning). Fabrics with such symbolic ornaments were called burdock …

Mention of Artania as an ancient state is not only in Arab, but also in Byzantine sources. So, Patriarch Nicephorus in in his brief history for the year 764 mentions the bloody civil strife in Danube Bulgaria, as a result of which these lands left 208 thousand Slavs, Alans, Huns and Bulgarians. They the statement of Nicephorus, resettled in a sister Arthan, whose southern lands were devastated by the invasion of the Arab commander Mervan in 737 year.

These many immigrants from the Balkans are located between Don and Seversky Donets, occupying the vacated lands and replenishing ranks of white-land Cossacks on the “notch line”. It is noteworthy that in modern Spain (in the province of Castellon) there is an autonomous Community – Artana. With the same name, the commune exists in France. Natives of Slavic Artania preserved the memory of the ancient homeland?

Time Italy Russia

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