Episode 1.24 - 1.26 Enter the Rus

This mini-series in Episodes 1.24, 1.25, and 1.26 provides an overview of Rus origins. 

In Episode 1.24, we look at where Scandinavian adventurers, raiders, and merchants first entered the lands at the Eastern end of the Baltic Sea. We consider what they were looking for, who they met, and why they decided to settle. Comparing the Tale of Bygone Years, records by contemporary writers, and archeological finds, we take a look at the candidates for the emergence of the “Rus Khagan”, and where the Rus state first appeared.

In Episode 1.25, we look to the East and the first encounters between Scandinavians and the steppe peoples of the Volga region. What did these cultures have in common and how did they treat each other? What did they bring in exchange for all that silver from the Islamic world? What stopped them continuing their expansion along the Volga?

Medieval trade routes across Eurasia.

Finally, in Episode 1.26, we look at the Scandinavian and Rus moves Southwest into the Dnieper valley. Was it all about trade with Byzantium? What made Kyiv such an attractive location? How did Rus traders link together the great civilisations around them - Western Europe, Byzantium, the Turkic steppe, and the Islamic world. Why should we consider Rus one of the great kingdoms of medieval Europe, rather than an obscure place on the periphery?

This mini-series sets the scene for the chronological history of Rus ahead of us. After listening, you should have a decent idea of who the Rus were, the basic geography of them and there neighbours, and how they related to the world around them.

Talking about ancient Kyiv makes us think about Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities today. It’s winter, and Russia’s bombing campaign against Ukrainian infrastructure leaves many thousands of people - despite the heroic efforts of their engineering teams - struggling to keep warm in apartments without heat or power. Please consider donating to help fund generators to support them.

The Plant and Hire Alliance is raising funds to supply 10,000 generators here.

Razom for Ukrainę is running a number of projects to aid people on the ground in Ukraine.

Listen to Episodes 1.24 - 1.26 now on the website, Apple Podcasts, or Spotify