A Message from the ESSA President

My second and final State of the Union Address reports (in abbreviated form) that both ESSA and our professional calling as Slavic medievalists seem to be in healthy condition at the moment. The membership of our Association is burgeoning, and we are very active as a group, especially at the annual AAASS convention. Though we are allowed to sponsor only one unreviewed panel, we have been able to double the quota by scheduling a second program as part of our annual meeting. In Seattle, that program may take the form of a special guest speaker (details to follow later). The main ESSA event will be a roundtable, "Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Paradox of 17th-Century Russian Civilization," with Richard Hellie, Michael Flier, Robert Crummey, and me engaging in what promises to be a lively debate. I thank these colleagues for making it possible to further the announced goal of my brief presidency: more interdisciplinary exchanges.

ESSA cannot take credit for all the happy developments in our field, but usually some of our individual members can. Gail Lenhoff organized the Second UCLA "Winter" Workshop on Slavic medieval topics in March; inspired by her example, at the University of Chicago we put together a Midwest Medieval Slavic Workshop in May. Both were admirably interdisciplinary (see programs below). Whether the number of young people entering medieval studies has increased despite demands of the job market, one could almost get that impression from the conferences and workshops where they debut. Since too many of us, faculty and graduate students, labor in relative isolation on our own campuses, I made the slogan of our Chicago workshop "You are not alone!" That might not be a bad motto for all of us to share.

Norman Ingham

Minutes of the 1996 Meeting

The annual meeting of ESSA was held on Saturday, November 16, at 4:15 p.m. at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel as part of the program of AAASS. President Norman Ingham presided over the meeting. In his opening remarks Norman Ingham urged ESSA members to attend interdisciplinary panels or roundtables and asked for input on possible subjects for panels of this type. He thanked Don Ostrowski for shouldering the burden of arranging this year's ESSA dinner at Legal's Seafood restaurant and praised George Majeska for his labor on the ESSA directory. The president also addressed the dilemma of small, overcrowded rooms ESSA experiences routinely at every AAASS meeting and promised to approach the matter with vigor. Vice-President Daniel Kaiser volunteered to look into details involving the setting up of an ESSA WEB page. After a lively discussion of the possible uses of this device he was appointed to go ahead with the project. The Secretary Treasurer Isolde Thyrêt submitted a financial report which was accepted (see below). The Treasurer further stated that the membership of ESSA has been increasing steadily. Since her appointment, Kent State University has generously been contributing to the coverage of the organization's Newsletter and has made available secretarial support. All members were encouraged to contribute to the ESSA directory which George Majeska is kindly compiling. To avoid omission in the directory, members should report all relevant new data or changes on the data sheet accompanying every Newsletter. George Majeska reported that he hopes to issue a complete directory in the fall that could be sent out with the Newsletter.The discussion which followed touched on job opportunities for early Slavicists. Eve Levin encouraged job-seekers to apply for general early modern positions. Dan Rowland announced that there were plans to bring Engelina Sergeevna Smirnova to the United states for a visit next fall and inquired about possible participants in the venture.After the formal business session which was adjourned at 4:40 p.m. representatives from the Resource Center for Medieval Slavic Studies and the Hilandar Research Library at Ohio State University reported on the present holdings of medieval Slavic manuscripts at Ohio State University. Mary-Ellen Johnson discussed recent acquisitions of microfilms from Russia and the South Slavic area. Jeffrey Otto reported on legal and administrative documents at OSU while Daniel Collins listed the recently acquired archival hagiographic material from Saratov State University, St.Petersburg State University, and the Iosif Volokolamsk collection in GIM. The presentations were accompanied by several detailed handouts.Respectfully submitted,

Isolde Thyrêt



Treasurer's Report

Balance 10/27/95 -----------$ 477.69

Dues received ---------------------$ 460.00

Postage -----------$ 259.59 *

Interest ---------------------------$ 5.64

Printing -----------$ 57.00

Balance 10/31/96 ---------- $ 617.31

* includes interest received from George.

Note from the Treasurer:

ESSA would like to express its gratitude to Kent State University for its commitment to the Early Slavic Studies Newsletter. Kent State University has graciously provided financial assistance to cover the printing of the Newsletter. Special thanks also go to the secretaries of the History Department, Betty Sawicki and Ellen Denning, for assisting in the production of the Newsletter and providing overall computer support.


British Medievalists Meet

The fall 1996 meeting of the Slavonic and East European Mediaeval Studies Group was held 16 November at the Belarusian Library and marked the 400th anniversary of the Union of Brest. Papers were delivered by: Rosanne Mulcahy (SSEES): "Canon Law in Russia," Francis Thomson (Antwerp): "From Florence to Brest: The Historical Background to the Union," and Stefan Pugh (St. Andrews): "Language and the Union of Brest: The Case of Smotryc'kyj's 'Jevanhelije Uchitelnoe." A paper by Juri Khadyka (Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Minsk) entitled "Uniate Icon Painting in Belarus in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries" was read by his son, as Professor Khadyka was unable to leave Minsk. The spring 1997 meeting took place 15 March at Trinity College, Cambridge University. Papers were to have been read by Mikhail Robinson: "Problema Interpretatsii 'Slova o polku Igoreve,'" Ekaterina Dimitrova: "The Semiotic Background of the Glagolitic Script," Lidia Sazonova: "Simeon Polotskii's 'Vertograd mnogotsvetnyi,'" and Liudmila Charipova (title announced later).For information about the Slavonic and East European Medieval Studies Group contact

Dr. Stefan M. Pugh
Department of Russian
University of St. Andrews
St. Andrews, Fife KY1 69AJ
United Kingdom.


ESSA/SEEMSG Draft Directory

In the October 1996 Newsletter (Vol. 9 #2), a draft directory of ESSA members was included and members were requested to send corrections to Isolde Thyrêt. Anyone who desires to make corrections or whose name does not appear should fill out a data sheet and send it to Isolde as soon as possible. We had originally intended to include the directory for the SEEMSG in the October Newsletter, but that proved impossible and the draft SEEMSG directory has been appended to this issue. All corrections and emendations should be sent to Isolde Thyrêt, History Department, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242. A corrected final copy of the directory, including both organizations, will be mailed out with the October 1997 Newsletter. We want to thank our former secretary/treasurer, George Majeska, for his continuing work on the directory. All corrections eventually make their way to him for entry and he has donated a great deal of time to this project.


Fall 1996 Conference in Kirov/Viatka

1996 was the four hundred fiftieth anniversary of the birth of Saint Trifon the Wonderworker of Viatka. Ever hear of him or been to Kirov? Neither had the four middle aged Muscovite specialists -- Daniel Waugh, Anne Kleimola, Daniel Kaiser, and David Goldfrank -- who answered the call and ventured to attend the "international" conference on 21-23 October of that year in honor of the prepodobnyi and entitled: "Religion and the Church in the Cultural-Historical Development of the Russian North."And it was no easy matter to get there. This was the first time that the sponsors -- the Department of Culture of Kirov Oblast, the Viatka Pedagogical University, and the Kirov State Regional Scientific (A. I. Herzen) Library -- had invited foreigners. So it took several false starts and dozens of electronic messages before the proper invitations were issued -- that is, in the eyes of the all-powerful Russian consulates here.The conference began and ended with plenary sessions on the afternoon of the 21st and the morning of the 23rd. Sandwiched between them were grueling individual sessions, where up to thirteen doklady, 15 minutes each, were presented. The initial plenary session was a happening in itself. Four representative reports, each from a different century, were given -- our own Daniel Waugh discussing some Old Believer manuscripts that ended up in Tashkent. The local bishop gave a sermon on the life of St. Trifon, who is credited with turning the thievish Viatkans' nominal Christianity into the real thing. And then a variety of delegates from the active restorers of churches in St. Petersburg and Nizhni Novgorod gave their greetings. Emotional appeals were made to change Kirov to Viatka, and in the final session we all "voted" overwhelmingly in favor of such a measure (though it is hard to see how this will move the local opinion that was two-to-one against in the vote that counted).Among the more interesting aspects of the conference is that the dokladchiki were local university students and faculty, seminarians and priests, archivists and librarians, and some of their counterparts from Iaroslavl, Nizhni Novgorod, and Urdmurtia. The subject groupings for the doklady ranged from the saint himself and local church history, to regional archeology and religious history, literature, language, popular attitudes and ritualism, art and architecture, education, and Viatka itself. We had been asked to submit summaries of our reports three months in advance. To our complete surprise, when we arrived for the first plenary session we discovered that they had been printed in a two-volume conference set, so we picked up a publication for our efforts.

David Goldfrank


UCLA Second "Winter" Workshop

The UCLA Second "Winter" Workshop: Topics in Medieval Russian Culture," took place on their campus on 7 March 1997. The program consisted of: Henrik Birnbaum (UCLA), "A New Reference Work in Old Church Slavonic." Gail Lenhoff (UCLA) "Proceedings of the 1994 Conference 'Culture and Identity in Muscovy.'" David K. Prestel (Michigan State U.) "The Search for the Word: Echoes of the Rhema/Logos/Apothegma in the Kievan Caves Patericon." Robert Romanchuk (UCLA), "Experimental (Mystical) Techniques in Orthodox Monasticism and Their Reception in Rus'." Anindita Banerjee (UCLA), "The Church, the State and the Mission of St. Stefan of Perm'." Norman Ingham (U. of Chicago), "One Zadonshchina or Many?"Ann Kleimola (U. of Nebraska), "Goritsy: The Convent as Aristocratic Refuge." Daniel Kaiser (Grinnell College), "The Case of Foka Goriushkin and the Nun Evfimiia: Evidence on Spouse Relations in Seventeenth-Century Muscovy." Brian Davies (U. of Texas, Austin), "Resistance to the Spread of Votchina Tenure in South Russia." Richard Hellie (U. of Chicago), "Speculations on Why the Muscovite Oligarchic Elite Did Not Rebel." Georg Michels (U. of Calif., Riverside), "A Russian Counter-Reformation? Church Efforts to Popularize Orthodoxy During the Late Seventeenth Century."The Workshop was sponsored by UCLA's Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, in cooperation with the Center for European and Russian Studies (CERS), the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (CMRS), and the Consortium for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies in Southern California (CERES).


Midwest Medieval Slavic Workshop at The University of Chicago

The Midwest Medieval Slavic Workshop organized by Norman Ingham took place at the University of Chicago 2 May 1997. The program consisted of: Robert Romanchuk (UCLA), "Lectio divina among the Slavs." Valentina Izmirlieva (U. of Chicago), "How Many are the Names of God?" Thomas Klocek (U. of Chicago), "Logos Theology: Norm and Dignity." Henry L. Cooper, Jr. (Indiana U.), "Changes in the Typikon." David K. Prestel (Michigan State U.), "The 'Tale of Moses the Hungarian': From Egypt to the Land of Promise." Francis Butler (N. Illinois U.), "Who were Dobrynia, Malusha, and Rogneda?" Brian P. Bennett (U. of Chicago), "Divination in the Primary Chronicle." Isolde Thyrêt (Kent State U.) "Sofiia Alekseevna and the Muscovite Tradition of Pious Royal Women."


ESSA Business Meeting in Seattle

In order to avoid a conflict which arose in the AAASS Preliminary Program for Seattle (inexplicably, the ESSA annual meeting and the ESSA-sponsored roundtable were put at the same hour), the ESSA meeting has been rescheduled for Session 8, on Friday, November 21, from 5:45 to 7:45 p.m. It is expected to be followed by the ESSA dinner. We hope that these arrangements are now final but will keep you informed of any unavoidable changes.


Information Exchange

(1) Please take note that forms, directory corrections and dues payments should be sent to:

Prof. Isolde Thyrêt
History Department
Kent State University
Kent, OH 44242.

(2) All ESSA members may place brief notices in future "Information Exchange" or "Letopis'" columns by sending them to:

David Prestel
Department of Linguistics and Languages
A-613 Wells Hall
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1027
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
FAX 517 432-2746

(3) Ludwig Steindorff reports that at the end of November 1996 he took part in a conference held in Saint Petersburg, which was organized by the Russian National Library and the "Fond vo imia svt. Dmitriia Rostovskogo." The conference was called "Sikh zhe pamiat' prebyvaet vo veki. Memorial'nyi aspekt v kul'ture russkogo pravoslaviia." The first day was dedicated to the practice of donation and liturgical commemoration mainly in the sixteenth century. Dr. Steindorff delivered a paper entitled "Pominanie usopshikh kak obshchee nasledie Drevnei Rusi i zapadnogo Srednevekov'ia." On the second day, the lectures dealt with the sad state of historical cemeteries in Saint Petersburg. The lectures will appear in a special volume which will probably come out some time next year.

(4) Alexander Strakhov, editor of Palaeoslavica, has informed us that Volume 5 has recently been published. It contains articles on the following topics: Ancient Slavs on the Danube (O. Trubacev), Constantine-Cyril and Mesrop-Mast'oc' (N. Trunte); the 14th-15th century manuscripts of the Novgorod Lisitsy Monastery (M. Gal'chenko); literary activity of Prince Andrei Kurbskii (V. Kalugin); Slavic tradition of Joca Monachorum (A. and O. Strakhov); rhythmical function of pleophony and non-pleophany in Russian folk songs (J. Bailey).

The Publication of Texts section contains an edition with commentaries of Maksim Grek's Greek poems (I. Sevcenko), as well as the texts of some 17th-century monastic inventories (L. Astakhina).

The Speculum section offers new readings of birch-bark documents (Nos. 133,136, 325, 359, 390) by A. Strakhov, and the Miscellanea section presents notes and remarks by, among others, H. G. Lunt, F. J. Oinas, A Kulik, V. Orel, and V. Pichugina.

For information contact

P. O. Box 380863
Cambridge, MA 02138-086.



Per Ambrosiani (Stockholm University) has a forthcoming article entitled "Internal Analysis of Church Slavic Orthography," in Studies in Slavic and General Linguistics, vol. 23.

Maria Salomon Arel (Thomas J. Watson Jr. Institute for International Studies, Brown University) has a forthcoming article entitled "Anglichane v Moskve vremen Borisa Godunova (po dokumentam posol'stva T. Smita, 1604-1605 gg)," in Arkheograficheskii Ezhegodnik za 1997 god.

Daniel Collins (Ohio State University) has published "The Pragmatics of Indirect Speech in Old Slavonic and Other Early Slavic Writings," Studies in Slavic and General Linguistics 21 (1996). He also has a forthcoming article entitled "The Function and Social Context of proshchal'nye gramoty," in Die unbeachteten mittelalterlichen Literaturgattungen in der Slavia Orthodoxa.

Brian Davies (University of Texas at San Antonio) has published "The Politics of Give and Take: Kormlenie as Service Renumeration and Generalized Exchange, 1488-1726" in Culture and Identity in Muscovy, 1359-1584, ed. Gail Lenhoff and Ann Kleimola. A book, State Power and Community Action in the Colonization of Russia's Southern Frontier, 1635-1648 is forthcoming.

Michael Flier (Harvard University) is currently working on the cultural semiotics of medieval Rus' and East Slavic historical dialectology. His recent publications include: (1) Coeditor [with Henrik Birnbaum] of The Language and Verse of Russia. In Honor of Dean S. Worth on his Sixty-fifth Birthday. UCLA Slavic Studies, New series, Vol. 2. Moscow: Vostochnaya Literatura Publishers, 1995; (2) "Nedelja la Rus'" in The Language and Verse of Russia. In Honor of Dean S. Worth on his Sixty-fifth Birthday. Ed. Henrik Birnbaum and Michael S. Flier, 101-109. UCLA Slavic Studies, New Series, Vol. 2. Moscow: Vostochnaya literatura Publishers, 1995; (3) "Dolgie dieznye scipjascie soglasnye v russkom jazyke." Problemy fonetiki, v. 2. Ed. L. L. Kasatkin et al., 43-74. Moscow: Russian Language Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, 1995; (4) Editor of Ukrainian Philology and Linguistics [Harvard Ukrainian Studies 18, nos. 1-2, 1994 [1996]; (5) "The role of segmentation, rank, and natural class in Ukrainian dialectology," Harvard Ukrainian Studies 18, nos. 1-2, 1994 [1996]: 137-153; (6) "Filling in the Blanks: The Church of the Intercession and the Architectonics of Medieval Muscovite Ritual," Kamen" kraeug"l'n": Rhetoric of the Medieval Slavic World. Ed. Nancy S. Kollmann et al. [Harvard Ukrainian Studies 19, nos. 1-4, 1995, to appear in 1996]; (7) "Pokrovskij sobor i arxitektonika moskovskix srednevekovyx ritualov." Sakral'naja topografija srednevekovoj Moskvy [The Sacred Topography of Medieval Moscow], ed. A. L. Batalov. Moscow: Nauka, 1996 [in press]; (8) "Court Ritual and Reform: Patriarch Nikon and the Palm Sunday Ritual," in Religion and Culture in Early Modern Russia and Ukraine, ed. Samuel H. Baron and Nancy Shields Kollmann. De Kalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 1996 [in press]; (9) "Part II: Lexical storage and lexical specification," in Catherine V. Chvany: Selected writings, ed. Emily R. Klenin and Olga T. Yokoyama, 99-103. Columbus: Slavica [in press].

Olga Glagoleva (University of Toronto) has published twenty articles in Tul'skii biograficheskii slovar' v. 1-2, Tula, Russia, 1996 and book reviews in International Journal, CIIA, v. 51/3, Summer 1996 and in Canadian Slavonic Papers, v. xxxvii, nos. 1-2, March-June, 1995.

Walter K. Hanak (Shepherd College) has