SPBS statment on the war in Ukraine

The Executive Committee of Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies strongly condemns Russia’s military assault on Ukraine. We stand with the people of Ukraine and with the people of Russia who oppose this war. In light of the repeated justificatory use of Byzantino-Rus history and monuments by the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, we at the SPBS wish to affirm our support for scholars and scholarship of the Byzantine World that defies partisan, imperialist, and nationalist objectives. The study of early Rus has a long history in the United Kingdom, pioneered by figures such as Professor Dimitri Obolensky, and we at the SPBS are committed to promoting publications and scholarly exchanges on all aspects of the Byzantine World, including early Rus. As such, we have a compiled a short list of academic books by international authors (highlighting those from Ukraine) on early Rus, which may be of use to those interested in the academic study of this topic:

An introductory bibliography of early Rus…

  • Fedir Androshchuk, Jonathan Shepard, and Monica White (eds.), Byzantium and the Viking World (Uppsala, 2016)
  • Simon Franklin and Jonathan Shepard, The Emergence of Rus 750-1200 (London, 1996)
  • Sean Griffin, The Liturgical Past in Byzantium and Early Rus (Cambridge, 2019)
  • Dimitri Obolensky, The Byzantine Commonwealth: Eastern Europe 500-1500 (London, 1971)
  • Ricardo Picchio and Harvey Goldblatt, Aspects of the Slavonic Languages: Formation and Development, vol. I and Church Slavonic – South Slavic – West Slavic, vol. II (New Haven, 1984)
  • Christian Raffensperger, Reimagining Europe. Kievan Rus’ in the Medieval World (Cambridge, MA, 2012)
  • Sophia Senyk, A History of the Church in Ukraine. vol. I: To the End of the Thirteenth Century (Rome, 1993)
  • Jonathan Shepard, “Rus’,” in Christianization and the Rise of Christian Monarchy: Scandinavia, Central Europe and Rus’ c. 900-1200 (Cambridge, 2007), 369-414
  • Oleksiy Tolochko, Очерки начальной Руси (Kyiv, 2015)
  • Oleksiy Tolochko, ‘The Primary Chronicle’s ‘Ethnography’ Revisited: Slavs and Varangians in the Middle Dnieper Region and the Origin of the Rus’ State,’ in Franks, Northmen, and Slavs: Identities and State Formation in Early Medieval Europe (Brepols, 2008), 169-189.
  • Tatiana Vilkul, Люди и князь в древнерусских летописях середины XI-XIII вв. (Moscow, 2009)

The SPBS is committed to providing a platform for international scholars of Byzantine History, including those from Ukraine and Russia, and will continue to act as a venue for the peaceful exchange of ideas. During times of war the severing of ties between people is most acute and it is at this precise moment that academic collaboration must be maintained. The SPBS invites membership from international scholars, including those not resident in the UK.

We would also like to draw your attention to our on-going Solidarity Fund, which aims to provide full coverage for scholars based in Turkey (of any nationality) wishing to attend the 2022 International Byzantine Studies Congress in Venice/Padua: https://www.byzantium.ac.uk/solidarity-fund/ Applications from early career scholars resident in Turkey will be sent to the AIEB which will disburse the fund.

— Dr Alexandra Vukovich for the SPBS