STEPANENKO V.P. A. A. Vasilyev about Crimean Gothia of the Second Half of the 10th – the Beginning of the 11th Century


Valeriy P. Stepanenko

Doctor of Sciences (History), Professor of Department of Ancient and Medieval History,

Ural Federal University,

Prosp. Lenina, 51, 620000 Ekaterinburg, Russian Federation

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Abstract. Introduction. In the national historiography there is an opinion that the work of A.A. Vasilyev The Goths in the Crimea still remains the most authoritative, if not the only research on this problem. However, the reference to the sources used by him gives grounds to assume that a certain part of the facts given by him is not based on the data of these sources, being a consequence of the logical constructions of the researcher. As a result, the author’s methodology as well as his conclusions need a more critical approach.

The purpose of this article is based on an existing source base to determine the significance of the reconstruction of the A. A. Vasilyev history of the Crimean Gothia in the second half of the 10th – beginning of the 11th century in general and its relations with Byzantium and Rus in this period in particular.

Methods. The methodological basis of the work is determined by the interdisciplinary approach, which provides, along with historical analysis, the use of methods of analysis of data of narrative sources, prosopography, sphragistics, epigraphy.

The sources on the topic are few. This are Povest vremennykh let, History by Leo Diacon, the seals of Byzantine functionaries in the Crimea, the epigraphic and the archaeological sources. There is no special work on the problem of the article. Until now, the conclusions of A.A. Vasilyev were considered to be the ultimate truth and references to them were present in most of the works on the history of the Crimea of the middle Byzantine period.

Analysis and results. The scheme of relations between Crimean Gothia, Kievan Rus and Byzantium proposed by A. A. Vasilyev in the second half of the 10th century is purely speculative and does not rely on facts. In fact, he needed to fill a gap in the history of Gothia which he did. At the same time, the Russian historiography of the Soviet period and later the influence of Russia in the Northern Black sea is excessively exaggerated and based on the writings of predecessors for more than very limited information of Russian chronicle.

Key words: Crimean Gothia, Kievan Rus, Byzantine Empire, protectorate, Svyatoslav.

Citation. Stepanenko V.P. A. A. Vasilyev about Crimean Gothia of the Second Half of the 10th – the Beginning of the 11th Century. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4, Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2018, vol. 23, no. 5, pp. 119-130. (in Russian). DOI:

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A. A. Vasilyev about Crimean Gothia of the Second Half of the 10th – the Beginning of the 11th Century by Stepanenko V.P. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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