Russian Middle Ages: Lost in Translation

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Abstract. The discussion is devoted to the problem which is a direct continuation and development of the main theme of issue: how adequately forks in the road of history, pivotal moments and bifurcation points of the Russian Middle Ages can be described and analyzed by notions, terms and concepts used today in historical investigations? The prominent Russian and foreign scholars were invited to speak about need and possibility of improving the analytical language that allows to point out, describe and explain these situations of choice and turning points. As a starting point for such conversation, which, of course, cannot be exhausted by a single journal publication, four questions were formulated that reflect, in the opinion of the editors, the key aspects of this problem and outline the general vector of discussion. The questions are by no means imperative, disputants are allowed to choose their preferred format — to speak out on the whole set of issues, to focus on one or part of the proposed topics, to expand the scope of the issues raised, or to offer their own additions to our agenda.

Keywords: Ancient (Old) Rus’, Russia, Russian Middle Ages, feudalism, historical terminology, ethnonyms, politonyms, choronyms, languages of historical writing.

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