Backer Rewards Episode 16 – Russia and Byzantium with Professor Sergey Ivanov

Our sixteenth Kickstarter backers reward episode looks at the relationship between Byzantium and the Rus and later Russia in conversation with Professor Sergey Ivanov.

Professor Ivanov is a Russian scholar who has been studying Byzantium for many decades. He currently works in the Institute of Oriental and Ancient Studies at the National Research University “Higher School of Economics” in Moscow. 

He has written several books about Byzantium as well as contributing hundreds of articles to the field. His areas of study include Byzantine religious missions, the cultural influence of Byzantium on the Rus’, Holy Fools and Constantinople itself. He has also taken part in public lectures and debates on the legacy of Byzantium in modern Russia.

To see his full list of publications please click here . His books ‘Holy Fools in Byzantium and Beyond’ and ‘Pearls before Swine: Missionary Work in Byzantium’ have been translated into English. As have a number of articles and other book chapters. 

To read a public lecture which Professor Ivanov gave in 2009 about “The Second Rome as Seen by the Third: Russian Debates on the “Byzantine Legacy” please click here.

Download: Russia and Byzantium with Professor Sergey Ivanov

RSS Feed: The History of Byzantium

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Categories: Kickstarter Rewards | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Backer Rewards Episode 16 – Russia and Byzantium with Professor Sergey Ivanov

  1. Thomas de Boer

    Some very interesting insights, thank you

  2. Mystikos

    Wonderful interview! Wish it was even longer – there is so much to explore on the subject, about both the historical relationship and the lasting legacy of Byzantium in the Russian world. The Byzantines often seem like an obscure and useless curiosity in most European histories – they’re too far to matter to Western Europe, and a vanquished enemy to Turkey, etc. Russian history is actually interested in medieval Byzantium as it was, not just its ancient Roman past.

    I would also be curious about the perspectives on Byzantium in Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia – also maybe Romania and Albania.

    I thought it was interesting that Professor Ivanov contrasted the solid textbook histories with bad propaganda histories, exploited for nationalistic/imperialist/pop-history purposes. There is enough popular interest in Byzantium in Russia, but most popular sources are not interested in accurate research.

    Another thing to note is that he consistently refers to the Byzantines as “Greeks”, because Russians adopted the Western European nomenclature, despite the Byzantines themselves only calling themselves Romans. Same with the idea of the Third Rome being more about the First Rome than the Second. Shows that Western influence on Russia eventually outweighed that of Byzantium.

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