Arutyunova-Fidanyan Viada

Contacts between Ancient Rus’ and Armenia. Beginning

Arutyunova-Fidanyan Viada (2019) "Contacts between Ancient Rus’ and Armenia. Beginning ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia III : Filologiia, 2019, vol. 61, pp. 11-27 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturIII201961.11-27


The sources that shed light on military and commercial, information-related and cultural contacts between mediaeval Armenia and Kievan Rus’, in spite of their sparseness, give an opportunity for an insight into the views of Armenians about Rus’. Armenians had links with Rus’ and its inhabitants through merchants, soldiers and diplomats on the paths of migration, trade and war, through the Byzantine Empire and Russian and Armenian communities. Initially, the immediate contacts turned into military clashes (the battle at Partav, battles in the Balkans). And at fi rst we encounter the image of the “unfamiliar and alien people of the Ruziks”. Russian trading soldiers found their way far into the East, particularly during the period of military expeditions to the regions around the Caspian Sea. Since the 10th century, the Russian detachment that had been sent by Prince Vladimir to Basil II was incorporated into the Byzantine army, and during the 11th century we fi nd Russian troops in the imperial service in a number of places, “anywhere a military action took place” (by V.G. Vasil’yevskiy’s expression), including Transcaucasia. The turning point in the evolution of the image of the “Ruzes” in Armenia came to be the inclusion of Rus’ in the family of Christian peoples. The spiritual affi nity of the Orthodox Armenians and Orthodox Russians is expressed in the similarity between the decor and iconographic programmes of the churches of North-Eastern Rus’ and Armenian Chalcedonian churches. The most significant phenomena in the confessional contacts between Armenia and Rus’ became the veneration in Rus’ of St. Gregory the Illuminator and veneration of Saints Boris and Gleb in Armenia.


Ancient Rus’, mediaeval Armenia, images of Ruzes in Armenian historiography, Christianisation, spiritual affi nity of Orthodox Armenians and Russians, confessional contacts, St. Gregory the Illuminator, St. Boris, St. Gleb


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Information about the author

Arutyunova-Fidanyan Viada

Academic Degree: Doctor of Sciences* in History;
Place of work: Institute of World History, Russian Academy of Sciences; 32A Leninsky Prospekt, 119334, Moscow, Russian Federation;
ORCID: 0000-0003-4900-1736;
Email: nikitatal@mail.ru.

*According to ISCED 2011, a post-doctoral degree called Doctor of Sciences (D.Sc.) is given to reflect second advanced research qualifications or higher doctorates.