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IMAGES OF TIME AND HISTORICAL REPRESENTATIONS RUSSIA — THE EAST — THE WEST One of the central problems of contemporary historical discipline is the comparison of key aspects of world images, systems of values and cultural ideals of various historical societies and civilizations.
Authors of this book made an attempt to reconstruct and analyse temporal world images and sets of historical views as well and the circumstances that shaped them, as well as main stages in shaping and writing down of the stereotype images of the past, the dynamics of the processes of their transformation and re actualization in the context of Ancient, Medieval, early Modern and Modern Euro pean cultures, Byzantine, Old Russian, Chinese, Indian, Arab, Persian, and Mongol written traditions. Chronological framework of this research is extremely large — from Antiquity to our days;
historical representations that existed in written tradi tions of various epochs, cultural areas and civilizations have been studied. The book presents an analysis of genesis, structure and social functions of historical myths and stereotypes in stable periods and times of crisis;
it also demonstrates the ways of construing images of the past that correlate to social and cultural demands of our days and to the changes that take place in contemporary society.
A complex study of historical consciousness in contexts of civilizations is based on social and cultural approach. It enables one to reveal historical limitations fixed in the system of notions, customs, rules, ideals, and values as well as repro duced programmes — models of behaviour and actions of social subjects (indi viduals and groups) that translate historical experience from generation to genera tion. It is in this context the authors analyse the representations of the past and stereotypes of historical consciousness, habitual perceptions and concepts, explicit and implicit valuations and judgments made by the authors and compilers of the studied texts about epochs, events, leaders and phenomena of historical past.
An emphasis is made on the problem of the specific of civilizations in con nection to their temporal representations and mechanisms of transforming his torical consciousness since it helps to understand how people of various cultures and civilizations, and of different epochs thought of the past, their own and of the ‘others’, how they interpreted current and traditional ideals, norms, modes of behaviour, heroic models, or presented new coordinates and drawn images of the future;
other questions asked here are as follows: to what extent used categories were universal, how were these images, views and estimates related to the priori ties of life, what was common and unique in Western, Oriental and Russian atti tudes to all these questions.
Views of the past are socially construed, accepted as genuine ‘memories’ and occupy a significant part within a particular image of the world;
they play SUMMARY important role in a person’s orientation, self-identification and behaviour, in shaping and supporting collective identity and translating moral values. The au thors analyzed the processes that shaped particular historical myths, their func tions, context of their existence, marginalization or re-actualization in historical consciousness, their use and ideological re-evaluation, especially in the context of changing or competing narratives of national history (since all nations think of themselves in terms of historical experience rooted in the past).
Time and space belong to the main characteristics of any culture’s world view. The problem of time is psychologically connected with human beings real izing their changeability and their attempts to define their life span through things lying outside it. Most people, including scholars, understand time as se quence of natural and social events. Thus time could be physical (duration of processes, and events, and sequence of these processes and events wherever they were taking place) and social.
Images and structures of the temporal image of the world had been shaped within the framework of non-differentiated systems of collective views and are still present in various forms of knowledge;
their analysis has shown that stabil ity of these images is determined by un-changeability of natural environment, and time is thought of in terms of objects that have special characteristics. Two types of such views are demonstrated: time-matter and time-space;
their juxtapo sition creates more complex temporal structures. Images of time-matter are linked with the idea of movement (time ‘goes’, ‘rushes’, flies’, ‘rotates’, and flows’). The movement of time-object is personified by images of linear or cy clical movement within a ‘space’ where the past and the future are ‘situated’. In archaic representations time (regardless of objective image) moved from the future towards the past.
The image of time-space was shaped by analogy with the images of natural space. The idea of vertical time is linked to hierarchical image of the ‘tree of life’ (a variant of mythical ‘World tree’). Vertical orientation in time is predominantly static. Only gradually the process of generations replacing one another comes to the foreground. Horizontal orientation in time also exists in both static and dy namic forms (for instance, in the image of ‘way’). Static form shapes the ‘struc ture’ of horizontal time where temporal space is divided into parts — the past, present and future.
Fear of the future moved people to look back, to ‘primordial times’. The movement of time was going to these origins as they were understood in ancient societies. In general however views of time reveal a range of attitudes: lines and cycles were combined in various forms. It is likely that re-orientation of move ment in horizontal time-space to the opposite direction (from the past towards the future) took place in European culture because of Christianity: eschatological future becomes more important than the past.
SUMMARY There is a number of basic ways to divide time-space into intervals or peri ods. The first group of time intervals has its origins in astronomy and is linked to the movement of celestial objects (thus the domination of cyclical views of time). The second way of dividing time is connected to individual biological processes and social positions (‘rites of passage’). Finally, individual periods of social life gradually extended to collectives. The basis of non-cyclical time struc turing is formed by historically important feasts and memorial dates. Thus the importance of individual events was confirmed by constant cyclical reproduction of the rites of passage within solar year. So the linear and cyclical modes of time-structuring are inseparable.
Views of the past and the future, as well as orientation within the ‘time space’ were complex and variable already in the archaic image of the world.
Qualitative difference between mythical past and empirical present was over come in most archaic cultures by introducing an ‘intermediate’ past that linked mythical past with the present (from myths to legends when the events were separated from a narrator by a time distance). ‘Classical’ epic does not deal with the creation of the world but rather with the dawn of ‘national history’ and with systems of the earliest states. The idea of ‘empirical past’ was first established after absolute chronologies had been compiled in Egypt, Babylon, Greece and Rome, i.e., not earlier than in the 3rd c. B. C. At the same time ‘empirical past’ co-existed with ‘epical’, ‘legendary’ and even ‘mythical’ past.
Symbolic representation of the future in archaic systems of knowledge was connected to the two main categories of myths — myths of the other world and eschatological myths. Myths of the other world are present in almost all archaic cultures but their highest point was reached in Ancient Egypt (the idea of the trial of the souls of the dead). Egypt knew views of ‘secular’, i. e., earthly, and ‘sacral’ time;
the latter was ascribed to the other world. The beginning and the end of ‘sac ral’ time’ were relative, ‘sacral time’ embodied Egyptian views of time and eter nity. It is likely that in this tangle of ‘secular’ and ‘sacral’ time the views of its cal culation were wider than simple enumeration of main quantitative units. Main time units (months, days, hours) had their gods-patrons, and days of calendar year were associated with the events of the lives of gods. Through this association mytho logical past moved within the limits of ‘secular’ time and ranked with historical past. Divine patrons of main time units guaranteed continuity and stability of Egyptian civilization in general. Unlike the myths of the other world that described individual future eschatological myths shaped the views of collective future. Ar chaic systems of knowledge created integral temporal images of ‘the past — the present — the future’ though unit weight of their components differed greatly.
There were two images of time in Ancient Greek culture — ‘Aeon’ and ‘Chronos’ — time being (eternity) and time flowing. Time could be seen as an unmoving environment where living creatures and even objects moved SUMMARY (changed). Greek polis shared ‘spatial’ rather that ‘temporal’ understanding of the universe, and time had spatial mode. Calendar was complex and entangled.
Chronology was based on alteration of eponym magistrates (those who gave their names to years), and as a result in was difficult to assess the lengths of chronological units, and in everyday life lengthy units of time (generations) were used. Life was seen as a cycle divided into stages. The first concept of historical movement of society by Hesiod is mainly linear, not cyclical, and is regressive.
After a relatively short-lived period (mid-5th c. B. C.) when views of history as progress dominated on the wave of victories in Greco-Persian wars, the cyclical view of time prevailed.
In any period of history and in any culture or society one could find a form of people’s desire to record (orally or in writing) their past. The ‘Idea of history’ which still determines the image of the world is a generic quality that separates humans from the world of nature, and presents the most important phenomenon of culture.
A society’s memory of generations of ancestors, knowledge and evalua tions of its past, of the course of history, and its place in it was expressed in vari ous forms on its different stages: in oral tradition, epigraphy, legends, genealo gies, epics, songs and stories of heroes and kings, in panegyrics, medieval romances, chronicles, lives of saints, biographies etc. Medieval historians desired to pour the past and the present together in united flow of tradition and used this continuity to legitimize royal authority.
In its earliest, embryo form this type of consciousness revealed itself in an cient epic poems that had existed in oral tradition for centuries before they were written down and edited. In its written form that is known to us epics tells about the past to people who live in a different time (so the past is thought of as something that is completely over). Epic does not record particular historical events rather whole blocks of them. Unlike myths where events take place outside the scope of real time, in eternity, epic deals with specific events in the history of a nation.
The idea of history was born in ancient times and in various civilizations on opposite sides of oikoumene — from the Mediterranean to the valleys of the Huang He and the Yangtze Rivers;
is revealed itself both the level of mythological consciousness and of developed historical discourse. But the level of its acceptance varied in different peoples. Furthermore the impact of known national histo riographies on the process of historicism’s establishment and development was not the same everywhere: if the ‘line of Herodotus’ continued into subsequent Euro pean historiography that later acquired worldwide status, the influence of the ‘line of Sima Qian’ was limited to the Confucian and Buddhist regions.
The Chinese had greatly developed historical consciousness and a sense of historical time. These qualities were fed by historiography;
the latter was rooted in the period of state formation and its first steps were made in the field of poli SUMMARY tics and official ritual. History-writing was a matter of state and its conceptual base was shaped by moral and political doctrine of Confucius. Historical views were based on the doctrine of the Mandate of Heaven and the concept of the continuity of legitimate authority combined with the idea of periodical changes of dynasties understood as a return to norm, not as reproduction of the past.
The ‘Father of Chinese history’ Sima Qian created chronological frame work of ancient history of China;
he presented its history as a chain of changing dynasties and rulers that had got the Mandate of Heaven. Basing himself on Confucian priorities the historian stressed the idea that all events described by him took place within the same historical and cultural space subjected to Heaven, organized according to Confucian norms and opposed to barbarian pe riphery. His division of the thirty centuries of history into dynastic cycles created foundations for historical time.
If Sima Qian finalized the process of ‘turning myth into history’ that had started long before him then Ban Gu managed to use the potential of Confucian ism in full in practice of dynastic history writing. Court historians were writing dynastic histories for 20 centuries and demonstrated triumph of state doctrine.
Rulers and dynasties changes;
great empires gave way to ephemeral local re gimes, many times Chinese throne was occupied by foreigners but the compilers of dynastic histories saw only legitimate regimes in the past. Contenders were present at times of dynastic crisis not as enemies but as alternative force, and all cataclysms of difficult periods were interpreted as implementation of the will of Heaven. Proclaiming a new dynasty had sacral meaning: it started a new turn of the history of ‘Confucian monarchy’.
Personification of historical process is of great importance for dynastic his tory writing. Its main protagonist is an emperor, a figure of cosmic scale. The authority of the ruler is unquestionable, neither his ethnic origin nor the way of acquiring the power were relevant. A typical personage at the time of a dynastic crisis was a leader of popular movement. Rising against a dynasty that had lost the Mandate of Heaven was seen as legitimate by Confucianism. Lives of other historical personages had evident didactic character.
In Chinese Empire dynastic histories created foundation for impart the knowledge of history on society, to shape its historical consciousness. The most important function of dynastic history writing was to provide the link of times, to shape historical and cultural foundation for ‘Confucian monarchy’ since the lat ter could not exist without the experience of the past and appeals to it in its po litical practice.
Principles of interpretation of history that had been created by the founders of the genre, its conceptual basis remain unchallenged the entire twenty centuries of its existence. 24 dynastic histories were united into one multi-volume official history of Imperial China. It contained the components of various calendars sys SUMMARY tems but its foundation was dynastic time, events were dated by dynasties and rulers, and the limits of official time were very strict: all events and personages were correlated to ‘their’ dynasty, were ‘ascribed’ to it, and it was not possible to overcome it even at the period of dynastic change, or when numerous dynasties co-existed.
Dynastic histories were created within the system of official history writing of Imperial China as an instrument of ‘Confucian monarchy’ but they survived it and remained in demand in post-Imperial China, and in our days when China is being radically modernized. Chinese reformers appropriated the slogan of the past - ‘to put history in service of the present’.
The views of ‘a-historical’ India are based on Oriental concepts: the idea of rebirth, cyclical view of time, interest of Indians in the other world and their in difference to earthly existence prevented the ideas of progressive development and conscious interest towards the past from being formed. At the same time, in India historical consciousness revealed itself in its embryo form already in the ancient epic poems, ‘Ramayana’ and ‘Mahabharata’. Views of the past were expressed in genealogical lists of rulers, organized chronologically, and in pane gyrics that extolled rulers and their ancestors (sometimes entire dynasties). Ge nealogical lists preserved by epigraphy were of great importance in legitimiza tion of dynasties that often could not boast of nobility and had therefore to create myths of their origin from epic heroes or gods. Next stage was achieved in his torical epic poems, ballads and ‘novels’ compiled in Sanskrit, and later — in regional languages. In divided India local chronicles were written;
they were permeated by the ideas of regional patriotism.
Kalhana, the author of the Kashmiri chronicle ‘Rajatarangini’ (‘The River of Kings’, 1147 / 8), like European chroniclers began his narration from ‘Crea tion of the World’. He combined mythology and history but had an idea of linear historical past that followed the divinely established order which determined the sequence of the changes of epochs. An important role was also played by chance and personal qualities of princes and heroes, the ‘will of fate’. In spite of all dif ferences between Indian and Christian concepts the views of Kalhana on this point are close to that of medieval European chroniclers. Kalhana also believed in necessity of recording historical events and reflection upon them;
he aimed at objectivity and was familiar with the concept of historical source.
Medieval Indian thought was not more ‘a-historical’ than that of other na tions of the epoch. Like other medieval people they did not link the flow of time with social changes, and they only saw those changes as negative. Historical writings of various genres were intended as didactic works for future generations that were supposed to reproduce their ancestors’ way of life as close as possible.
Gradual degradation, regress from ‘good old times’ to ‘last times’ was the only way medieval people felt the flow of time. The past did not interest medie SUMMARY val intellectuals as such, only as a source of moral values to be absorbed by new generations. While recreating past events a medieval author — a Hindu, Muslim, or a European — made protagonists his contemporaries. In the Late Middle Ages, however, views of history and time changed slightly. Gradually it had been realized that time flow was linked with social and political changes so that far from all ideals of ancestors were applicable in the life of their descendants.
Authenticity has grown in importance;
so historical texts contained numerous references to written sources (many authors included original documents into texts of their chronicles;
some of those documents survived and are available for historians now only through such chronicles);
they kept distance from ‘legends’ and ‘fictions’ and challenged their predecessors’ works.
Muslim conquest of India brought about serious changes to historical views.
Along the old Hindu tradition of history-writing new Muslim chronicles appeared, with their peculiar, unusual for India, view of history. Muslim chroniclers were writing the history of the world of Islam that since the Muslim conquest included India. For them History started with Adam, and its climax was in acts of Muham mad, and the beginning of the spread of Islam. Thus even writing general histories they always worked on the history of Islamic world. For them pre-Islamic India had not existed, just as for their Arab colleagues pre-Islamic history of Arabia was the ‘dark time of ignorance’ unworthy of historians’ attention.
Arab Muslim historical thought had gone a long way by mid-10th century;
it started in the deserts of North Arabia with collections of oral reports of the lives of Arab tribes, their genealogies and the deeds of great ancestors, especially those of the champions of the Prophet and ended in Baghdad with the writing of general ‘History of the Prophets and kings’ by al-Tabari. But in the mid-10th century the time of historically and politically unified Islamic world ended — the empire was divided, and local and dynastic chronicles replaced general chronicles.
Last general chronicles before the long gap among the texts of this genre demonstrated radical changes of historical consciousness of the late 10th – early 11th cc.: ethnocentrism and elitism. They also ceased to recount sacral history and were reoriented towards secular, human problems, not connected with the relationship between men and God, or common people and the Prophets. For the next two centuries the subject of history was found in people (biographies), dy nasties, tribes or urban communities (histories of cities), and its object — in the events of secular life, even though historians would not cease to describe mira cles worked according to the will of Allah.
What was innovative here was conscious subjectivism of historical works, rejection of the role of impartial intermediary between the past and the present.
Tradition of stating author’s positions directly, together with anthropocentrism, turned history writing that had previously been seen either as pure knowledge or as technical instrument for Islamic disciplines, into didactic literature. Moral SUMMARY education would remain the main function for the most part of historiography of the Later Middle Ages.
From the late 12th century history writing revived interest to general prob lems reflected in the two types of texts — in general chronicles and large bio graphical collections on the one hand and in treatises on philosophy and method ology of historical knowledge, on the other hand. Some authors prefaced their texts with large prologues dedicated to pre-Islamic and early-Islamic history and intended to place the author’s epoch into wider context;
then history was nar rated in annalistic form, it becomes more and more detailed the closer the author came to his time.
The authors of the late 9th – first half of the 10th cc. tried to build a histori cal image of the world by reflecting all existing historiographical experience in their works, and in the next period regional historiography flourished. Two hun dred years since this ‘humanization’ of history new general chronicles differed greatly from their predecessors. Like early chronicles, large historical works of the 13th century were not ethnocentric, they were universal and were hardly ori ented on political elite;
their narration of pre-Islamic past was completely void of human dimensions and the political history of the Umayyads and the Abbasids was interpreted as the history of the preservation of the Prophet’s doctrine.
In the 14–15th cc. generalizing works appeared;
their authors tried to com prehend historical knowledge, not past events. The authors summarized their predecessors’ opinions and drawn a general picture of historical knowledge. This was their major difference from the work of Ibn Khaldoun who stated that his ‘new knowledge’, new history was not like anything that had existed before.
Weakening of the power of the Abbasids in the 10th century led to the ap pearance of a number of de facto independent states on the entire territory of Islam;
many of them acquired their own history writing, and its principles dif fered greatly from classical variant. In general, the development of Arab history writing (including general chronicles) in the East of Islam world was directly connected with ideologies of regional dynasties. The catastrophe of the 13th cen tury and the development of Persian literature took the region out of the influ ence of Arab Muslim thought.
In the historical consciousness of Muslim West Islamic component was on periphery, and the centre was occupied by tribal one. Tribal legends remained the main form of preserving of social memory in the countries of Maghreb dur ing the Middle Ages. All legends of ‘the light from East’ and the dynasties’ ori gin from the Prophet or his companions reflected late Medieval views of the history of the region. Tribal world view was reflected in the chronicle by Ibn Khaldoun that combined characteristics of local and universal history writing.
Kingdoms, empires and religious communities were viewed here as derivatives of certain tribal groups, and all world history as the history of several generations SUMMARY of hierarchical societies. However Kitbu l-ibr differs greatly from the rest of Maghreb historical tradition by its grand scale and intention to find historical unity of the world.
Both at the East and the West of Islamic world local historical traditions — authoritarian and ancient in the East, not so ancient and tribal in the West — happened to be more important than the general Muslim tradition. Neither sys tem was oriented towards universal history writing. Its appearance in Syria, Egypt and Iraq during the late Middle ages (though local and dynastic histories existed there as well) is explained by string traditions of state, monotheistic relig ion and historicism, by presence of Arab or Arab-language people, closeness to Abbasid caliph and the need of local xenocratic dynasties (first of all, the Mam luks) for religious and historical legitimization.
In spite of conversion into Islam the old model that had formed mental and verbal image of the world remained unusually strong in consciousness and cul ture of Persians. The concept of ideal city (or kingdom) went back to classical myth of Golden age and its loss. Its origin should be looked for in the oldest Per sian written text — the Avesta, the sacral collection of Zoroastrianism. Ferdowsi preserved basic characteristics of national world view while placing it into Is lamic tradition where this model continued to develop. In his ‘Shahnameh’ he offered the model for the description of an ideal city. It created conditions neces sary for the inclusion of the whole block of motifs related to this theme into the corpus of medieval Utopian concepts build around the image of ideal prince.
Image of common good and reasonable social structure established in classical Persian poetry found close parallels in works by Italian humanists. Mythological models that shared the same Indo-European sources from underlying layers of culture preserved similarities even in case of total separation of the ways of his torical development.
Religious and philosophical re-interpretation of the image of ideal city was closely connected with its sacralization within Islamic world image. Search for ideal city became a symbol of Muslim poets, philosophers and mystics’ spiritual quest as well as variation of the theme of ‘nostalgia of Paradise’. This trend also has close European parallels, especially in the legends of the search for St. Grail.
Personality of Genghis Khan, the founder of Mongol Empire, attracted a great deal of attention for many centuries. In the present book his image impressed in the Mongol historical tradition of the 13–17th cc. is analyzed in its two as pects — mythical and historical. Mythological image was based on Mongols’ be lief in sacral origin of Genghis Khan: the greater historical distance became the more divine charisma his personality acquired. The image of ‘historical’ Genghis Khan was contradictory and ambiguous;
it developed for centuries in popular tradi tion, within the ideological framework of the ruling Mongol dynasties, and through adopting plots from religions and legends of conquered nations. But in later period SUMMARY only mythological image of Genghis Khan was subjected to specifications and additions while his historical characteristic remained unchanged.
It is significant that for all differences of cultural context one could find similar features in shaping of the canonical image of Edward the Confessor, in hagiographic and historical tradition of medieval England. They could be found in references to miracles worked by Edward during his life and after his death, in the idea of his divine election as the saviour of England even before his birth, in his visions and prophecies. The name of King Edward was used to legitimize the rule of the first Norman kings. Although the legends of St Edward contained enough episodes that presented him as a patron of England and protector of the English nation, his cult remained local, limited to the community of Westminster and the Reformation stroke it a crippling blow.
Some significant characteristics of Jewish religious historicism put it apart from other traditional historical models. The Scripture presented the events of the legendary periods of the history of Jewish nation as those that were taking place not in mythological but in historical time and space. For Jews time was open, vec tored and not cyclical, and thus irreversible. Its every moment should be lived as unique: the present is not the same as the past, and the future differs radically from all what had already happened. Here the importance of every person came from since everyone lived within limited time and through this apprenticeship entered the life everlasting. Thus in ancient times one of the dominant ideas of Jewish na tional consciousness was shaped — the one that aimed at innovation.
In opposition to Indian or Greek tradition the Scripture is dominated by the idea of the future that has evident positive connotations, Jewish religious and historical consciousness accepted the idea of constant renewal. Traditional myth of the Creation of the world was topped with the idea of the Promise which en folded linear history: the world was seen as a system that developed in course of history that had the beginning and the aim. Universality, the idea of one human kind as an object of Divine Providence was combined with belief in the unique historical mission of the people of Israel. Since the coming of Messianic epoch described in numerous prophecies was supposed to be an event of universal, not just national scale, the underlying idea of the Torah — the idea of the unity of humankind — was further developed and the concept of universal history was shaped. Messianic expectations became a foundation of Jewish worldview that could be characterized not only by interest to what is happening ‘here and now’, not only by orientation to the past, toward the original archetype, actualization of meanings and facts of sacral time but rather by orientation to the future;
this fu ture always had strict geographical localization: the centre for all aspirations was the Land of Israel.
Jewish religious historicism re-interpreted by Christian consciousness had changed considerably: Judeo-Christian historical tradition preserved linear view SUMMARY of time and Biblical concept of one humankind but other elements were lost, especially the national aspect.
Polysemanticism of the category of ‘Aeon’ in the tradition of the New Tes tament could be explained by re-interpretation of various previous concepts of ‘Aeon’ — from classical one to Gnostic and Jewish ones. The ‘future age’ was connected, first of all, with the idea of justice and godliness;
here lies its defer ence from the ‘present age’. Sacral future age is a state of eternal bliss where angels would carry those who repented their sins.
Monastic culture of the East and the West saw time as periods for prayer and repentance. Of all time continuum only those fragments were chosen that could help salvation of souls (liturgical, Biblical, ascetic time). In some moments eternity either came closer or entered temporal events (the day of a saint’s de mise, appearance of Christ, angels, celestial Church or effect of grace). The at tempt to reveal characteristics of the temporal representations in Coptic monastic hagiography demonstrated some common attitudes of the intended audience. The first important time layer contained allusions to the so-called ‘liturgical time’ which actualized the past and future events in eschatological perspective as well as the moments of intersection between time and eternity. The second important time ‘register’ was Biblical time;
the time of Sacral history. Sometimes the time of Biblical history was actualized in such extent it nearly touched upon the ‘pre sent’ narration. Key moment was a day of a saint’s death since at that point nar rative time intersected with liturgical time for this day would become his mem ory day in church liturgy.
The oldest Russian work of historical philosophy is the ‘Sermon of Law and Grace and Eulogy to Prince Vladimir’ by Metropolitan Hilarion. There the history of spreading of the true faith after Christ’s Passion is represented as one continuous process embracing new territories. Hilarion saw the time of Vladimir and the Con version of Rus’ not just as continuation of apostolic period but as its integral part.
Community Hilarion thought himself to belong to had existed even before Rus’ was converted by Vladimir and not only under his pagan ancestors Igor’ and Svia toslav but even earlier — at the times of the Old Testament prophecies. In the ‘Sermon on the Refurbishment of the Church of the Tithes’ the sense of inner unity of historical time from the New Testament epoch to the Conversion of Rus’ and the time of the text’s compilation was expressed through the image of Saint Pope Clement. Here the experience of indissolubility of the process of Christianization was so strong that the accent was shifted from movement in time to movement in space: Rome — Chersoneses — Rus’. In the ‘Memory and Eulogy to Vladimir’ by Monk Jacob the openness of apostolic epoch into the present was shown through the author’s putting himself into the same range of ecclesiastical writers as Apostle Paul and Evangelist Luke;
Jacob did not feel any barriers between his epoch (in cluding the time of Prince Vladimir) and the times of Apostles.
SUMMARY Another experience of time that had passed since the Incarnation of Christ was characteristic of Nestor-hagiographer in his ‘Reading on Boris and Gleb’.
According to Nestor the Christianization of the world was a discrete, spasmodic process;
he felt ‘closeness’, completeness of the time of early Christianity and long chronological distance between the epoch of apostolic mission and the Conversion of Rus’. In the ‘Primary Chronicle’ the sense of the completeness of apostolic epoch was compensated for by broadening the limits of the Apostles’ mission through the legends of St Andrew and St Paul.
Tradition of organizing historical material annually had been set in the first Russian chronicles and remained unchanged from the late 11th – early 12th cc. till the 16th century. The ‘Royal Book of Degrees’ (Stepennaja Kniga — the SK) written in 1550–60s was the first historical work where a sum of annual records was replaced by a coherent narrative of the past viewed as a unit bound by vari ous ties (genealogical, thematic etc.). The author’s desire to connect the past with the present reality made the barrier between the past and the present extremely weak. A reader was encouraged to view Kievan Rus’ and Muscovy as an integral temporal and spatial phenomenon united by territory, dynasty and key events.
Among the stories inserted into the SK, heavily influenced by hagiography, the majority presented biographies of the members of Moscow royal family. Creat ing a picture of Russian history from ancient times till the first years of the reign of Ivan IV the author directly linked past events with divine providence that directed the course of Russian history through virtuous rulers. Visible expression of divine providence was to be seen in Rus’ steady ascent (from lower to higher stages) to God on the ladder;
its images was presented in the prologue of the SK.
In order to connect different periods of Russian history into a coherent unity the author of the SK implied a number of prevailing themes and ideas. Always adding comments on a protagonist’s place among the descendants of Vladimir the author created a united genealogical space wherein he places his view of Rus’ past.
His desire to stress antiquity and authority of Russian Church was expressed through extremely detailed (in comparison to other texts) narration of the events of the Conversion of Rus’. Divine grace played key role: throughout Russian history God favoured Russian Princes and their ‘state’. Their stories were not focused on political events but mostly on their virtues, especially their piety. Linking separate events of Russian history in one unit was achieved through periodization: Rus’ way to God lay through its periods. The SK pointed out the vector of Russian his tory in the image of the Ladder of Divine ascent and also in the image of the three partite structure of the country’s Christian past within the continuity ‘Kiev — Vladimir — Moscow’. The SK exposed on the idea of Rus’ original unity, power and ‘glory’ that had been lost temporarily as a result of internecine wars and Mon gol invasion and was recovered through the activities of Moscow Princes.
SUMMARY A number of trends should be noted in the SK’s view of world and Russian history. One is connected to the author’s attitude to the events of Scriptural history, i.e., to the context where Russian writers usually put Rus’ past. At the same time the SK evidently condemned a few personages of world history since they suc cumbed to heresies and failed to preserve true faith. It is against this background the authors set the fidelity of all descendants of Vladimir to Orthodox faith.
The author of the SK connected Rus’ glory and power with its own glori ous past, not with the heritage of some other countries. Thus a ‘chronographic’ way of presenting national past linked to the history of the world was replaced by a ‘national’ one where the history of Russia acquired self-sufficiency.
Historical culture of Muscovite society of the 16th c. demonstrated the ten dency to solve practical problems of subjecting neighbouring territories to Mos cow rule using the tool of historical legitimization. All resources were used to justify national dynasty’s superiority over other sovereigns of Russian lands and to link its origins with historical roots of Rus’. The institution where Russian historiography found its ground and was closely linked to was ‘Posolsky Prikaz (‘Ambassadorial Office’). The roots of Muscovy were seen in the events that had taken place 500 years before, as if there were no Mongol invasion, no Livonian Order, no Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Consistent implementation of such histori cal programme guaranteed the loss of ‘indigenous’ status by all states neighbour ing Russia in the 16th c. In this sense the identity of ‘Russian land’ was actual ized through its chronographic antiquity.
The method of damnatio memoriae prepared by the previous development of Russian history-writing and perfected in the narrations on the relationship between Russia and the Tatars was extended by Ivan III and his descendants to Muscovy’s European neighbours. Genealogical and geographical fabrications reproduced ‘Russia’ not as a heir of ‘Russian land’ but as ancient ‘Russian land’ itself;
such interpretation took the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Livonian Order, Tatar states off the map of Europe and turned them in their 16th-century limits into objects of the claims of Muscovite Princes. During the reign of Ivan III Muscovite chronicles substantiated the right of their Princes to ‘all’ Russian lands;
their only sovereign could be the Great Prince of Moscow, and his authority towards other Russian Great Princes was exalted by the use of the ‘theory’ of translatio imperii. Transfer of Imperial insignia was explained through interpreting the prophecies of inheriting the power of Greek emperors, acceptance of Imperial symbolism and Byzantine coronation rite, matrimonial relation of the Great Prince of Moscow with the last Byzantine emperor, the reorganization of Moscow court on Byzantine model, and the compilation of ‘Horology’ with its concluding sections on the history of Rus sian land and the history of Grand Duchy of Moscow. Roman origins of Rurik were accepted by all major Russian chronicles and horologes by the second half of the 16th century. Both during the Time of Troubles and after it Roman emperor SUMMARY Augustus was mentioned as direct ancestor of Moscow Princes, and in the 18th c.
Imperial myth echoed in debates over the ‘Norman theory’.
The 17th century Russian culture is defined as transitional, and its new views of time and spaces are explained by its anthropocentrism. ‘Humanization’ of time revealed itself in memoirs that first appeared in Russia in the late 17th c., in eschatological experience of time, in its individualization linked with length of human life. The context of baroque culture brought the didactics of historical past and moral aims of preaching even closer together. In sermons by Simeon of Polotsk one could find traditional metaphors of time, separation of the present (‘days of this age’ full of fire, famine, sorrow, misfortunes and disease) and the future (‘days of future age, that is in heaven’). Experiencing every year, month, week or day should correlate to ‘deep’ meanings of the Scripture. In texts by Simeon of Polotsk images of time were directly connected with human condition and emotional experience.
Length of human life was a popular theme in baroque literature, with its manifold comparisons and metaphors of the fugacious nature and vanity of life (change of seasons, daily cycle, alternation of day and night). But all poetic texts and sermons based themselves on the dichotomy of earthly ‘temporal’ and celestial eternal. Guided by the Scripture a preacher defined three points where they inter acted: before the Fall — the eternity of Paradise;
after the Fall — earthly temporal life given to all descendants of Adam with the hope to achieve life everlasting;
within it ancient time — time before the Deluge — and new, historical time are separated;
the Last Judgement — ‘new times’ as return to eternity marked by two opposite images: eternity in Paradise for the righteous and eternal torment in Hell for sinners. According to the principles of baroque rhetoric Simeon did not deal with a historical fact but with an example (didactic) from the Scripture, Ancient or Medieval history. Short stories-exempla constituted a necessary rhetorical method to introduce the audience into wider context of Christian history.
The influence of Southern Russia with its adoption of Western texts, both historical and homiletic, active (in comparison to previous centuries) translations of Western literature (including historical texts) showed an obvious interest of Rus sian intellectuals of the 17th century to historical narratives. Moreover at that time new genre of historical fantasies appeared together with coherent historical narra tives in chronicles, detailed descriptions of new territories (for instance, of Siberia, where ‘history’ was interlinked with ‘geography’), cities and historical events.
Historical views were reflected in folklore. Historical memory of the Cos sacks preserved most important events of Russian history. Preservation of histori cal memory in prose and verse, songs and legends is explained by the Cossacks’ ways of life, their historical role and unique fate. Early historical ballads of the 13th – 16th cc. fully revealed the specific of the genre that reflected popular views of historical events in their poetic interpretation. Historical views of events and heroes SUMMARY of the 17th c. were focused in the person of the rebel Stepan Razin. The 18th c. left the images of Peter I and his army, the Streltsy Unrising etc. in the Cossacks’ songs. The focus on the time of Peter I in Cossack folklore is explained not only by its importance but also by the Cossacks’ active role in military campaigns, battles and other events of the time. Comparison of variants and the analysis of the Cos sacks’ historical views, their specific and unique features (from both folklore and literary sources) enrich the historical picture of the Cossacks’ world.
In Renaissance Europe humanistic historiography was aware of its opposi tion to the existing tradition of ‘dark ages’ from its first steps. Language, meth ods and aims of the authors that belonged to the ‘old’ tradition and of those who aspired to join the studia humanitatis differed greatly. The idea of the past had different meanings for them. Earliest memoirists saw the past as time lived through by them or by previous generations of their families together with their contemporaries, but for the generation following that of Petrarca the past was turned from individual and/or collective into national history lived through by Italian (sometimes — other European) city-states, each of them claimed to have originated from Ancient Rome, and thus to share Imperial heritage. Chronicles saw historical time as continuous, enfolding from the present moment — the life of the author and his contemporaries. Usually the chronicles told the events of the present and of the recent past in great detail but the longer chronological dis tance became the more schematic their narrations turned, and closer to ancient times, legends were retold. Neither layer of time was set into opposition to any other: all events were put into one continuous and homogenous flow of time.
Objectification and materialization of time typical for chroniclers and first diarists revealed itself in the works of the first generation of humanists: here time became an object of manipulation. History was understood in terms of rupture and difference;
it quickly acquired spatial dimension. The flow of time was het erogeneous (it consisted of a number of separate epochs that should be studied and described as different from each other, rather than close or linked), while space consisted of objects that did not repeat each other and had own material limits, own place and time of existence, individual history and unique meaning.
A landscape of changing epochs was turned into the space of various archaeo logical objects that could be studied by putting them into a context or taking them out of it, by configuring their relations according to one’s taste, by extract ing from or ascribing to them their meanings.
Things and persons of the present or the recent past were placed into a new perspective when a historian compared them with realities of classical antiquity;
their semantics broadened. During the entire Quattrocento one could see a diffu sion of actual politics and historical erudition based on the knowledge of classi cal authors and a good command of ancient languages: appropriation of names and searching for analogies required the ability to use terminological instru SUMMARY ments. Surrounding world lacked order — reality needed rhetorical schemes and set phrases that would shape it and give it consistency. Static schemes and Latin (and Greek) phrases learned by heart tempted by their guaranteed persuasive ness;
they also narrated the events and interpreted them with authority that could not be challenged since it belonged to the world of classical antiquity.
The authors of the second half of the Quattrocento did not find allusions to classical artifacts and historical events so persuasive. Now they needed to employ not only glorious past but history itself that consisted of the unity between glorious past and dubious present. Piccolomini, Ficino and Pontano all tried on the image of a hero elected by God;
he realized a divine promise or embodied a law of history.
This image connected the past with actual present. The time of Revelation, of the fulfillment of blessed prophecies was seen as a threshold of a new, perfect and happy epoch when hidden meaning of previous events would become clear.
The most important way of self-legitimization used by the rulers of the Italian cities of the Quattrocento and Cinquecento constituted in construing a specific form of historical narrative: it was supposed to embrace chronological lengths and to reach its climax in the present. The apology of the present that repeated / renewed the past but also triumphed over it and turned ideal classical past into a reservoir of images and ways to legitimate their claims took various forms. The idea of restauratio, the restoration of the glory of the past of the ruins of ‘present age’ was a quintessence of this way of thinking history;
it made his torical time reversible and thus accountable to the authorities.
In the 16th c. Europe saw radical changes followed by social unrest and of ten resulted in bloodshed. Pamphlet wars provoked by confessional conflict had great impact on European thought consciousness. The 16th c. was indeed a cen tury of controversy. But it also was a time when history established itself as a discipline, and aroused interest of historians, philosophers and educated public.
Printing press widened the audience of historical and polemical writings.
A ‘real’ historian was at the time a ‘narrator’, and his history — a narration based on written sources and chronicles. But antiquaries used other types of sources widely (archaeological evidence, maps, epigraphy etc.). The work of the 16th-century antiquaries was based on the principle of completeness;
its aim was to compile a full code of knowledge, build like an endless list of all available information on the subject. Knowledge derived from books was important for an antiquary who studied and collected the ‘traces’ of the past but it did not domi nate over individual enquiry. Antiquaries started their work from voyages;
they went to ‘memorable’ places personally and clarified exact details in order to de scribe surviving antiquities, the traces of the past in the present. The past was not thought of as abstraction but rather as an integral part of particular places. The works of antiquaries did not glorify ideas, elusive spirit, moral lessons of politi SUMMARY cal history or the slowly enfolding plan of Christian history but rather were fo cused on the empirical evidence of antiquities.
Apart from methodological and technological innovation new historical culture was shaped by ideological factors. Religious movements of the late 15th and early 16th cc. forced many European intellectuals to look to the history of apostolic Church in search of ways out of the crisis they thought their contempo rary church was fighting. These tendencies were amplified with the beginning of the Reformation. Protestants and Catholics alike searched in history in order to find a ‘true church’ and also to challenge its image presented on the pages of their adversaries’ writings. Another important incentive was to be found in shap ing of national/regional identities and establishing of national/regional states.
Both processes were interlinked with confessional conflicts and were collected with the development of confessional identities within the same societies.
In some cases confessional polemics intended to set the borders between ‘one’s own’ and ‘other’ favoured the formation of a nation;
one of the latter’s con stitutive characteristics was seen new as belonging to a certain confession (being Protestant in England, Scotland or Scandinavia, Catholic in France, Spain or Por tugal etc.). At the same time religious minorities (Huguenots in France, Catholics in England) developed their own confessional ideologies and versions of national history. Another option was ‘split’ of a nation: in Germany confessional and state units formed on regional level and acquired identities of their own. However in all cases formation of national and confessional identities resulted in the rise of his torical and legal studies that were aimed at establishing the correlation between local legal (and state) tradition with Roman one (continental Europe) or to find its unique roots (England), and also in the rise of national historiographies.
Confessional controversies gave birth to the texts that were intended not only to reveal the truth but also to demonstrate the process of its distortion. A genre of polemical ecclesiastical history appeared wherein richness of documen tary evidence and finesse of humanistic textual analysis were combined with reproduction of any unreliable medieval legends that could discredit opponents.
Confessional conflicts also resulted in the rise of polemical histories of Reforma tion itself, written by Catholics and Protestants.
In search of pure Christianity unblemished by later distortions (or ‘here sies’) historians-polemicists went back to the roots — to the Primitive Church and to the stories of conversions of particular countries into Christianity. Such narratives in fact presented stories of the ‘origin’ of national (or provincial) Churches. Stories of the ‘origin’ of national Churches added confessional dimen sion to national identities as they linked emergence of nation (as ethnic and po litical community) with the establishment of the Church as the community of Christian believers that coincided with a national community and at the same time connected it with a wider community of the Universal Church.
SUMMARY Intertwining of history and polemics enables history to acquire wide audi ence and to raise its status in European culture. But rise in status had its price:
nascent historical discipline was permeated by polemical rhetoric. Ignoring the declarations of principled non-interference into religious and ecclesiastical af fairs a substantial number of erudite historical works demonstrated how critical methods, ways of to organize historical study and to manipulate the audience, and well as the values formulated by the antiquaries were used in writing of Church histories (for example, writings of J. Ussher and J. Spottiswoode that constituted a part of the tradition of ‘ecclesiastical histories’ and exploited the idea of ‘elect nation’).
Cult of historical fact that antiquaries thought to be the only element of consistent reconstruction of the past forced them to remain skeptical to various fictions and legends. They reassessed their predecessors’ contribution into nu merous aspects of national history. They insistently removed from ‘academic use’ only such estimates and contemporary evidence that they thought to be at odds with the ‘objective’ view of history. General picture of the past was sup posed to be based on certain known images and to provoke particular associa tions. Text, its form and ways of construing turned into instruments that manipu lated social consciousness and controlled the set type of historical memory.
The antiquaries who wrote ecclesiastical histories were also preoccupied with the search for the common foundations of Stuart monarchy composed of a number of ethno-political elements. The second generation of London antiquar ies saw this foundation in English Common Law, the society that generated such law, and the authority of English monarchs who provided the implementation of the law. In this perspective England was necessary presented as the unquestion able political centre of the composite state, and English history — as a pivot of the history of British Isles;
histories of Scotland, Ireland and Wales were con nected with it.
A chance to conceptualize histories of nations that inhabited the British Isles was open through the existence of the narrative of the ‘first times’ of each nation and its Church. London erudite saw the value of the past since it had laid foundations for the later development of state and society, provincial historians saw the past as the model of national identity that could be laid onto in contem porary political conflicts.
Greek world of the Ottoman period witnessed the processes typical for all late medieval societies: rise of local historiography, genre diffusion of historiogra phy, disappearance of old rhetoric and its replacement by fragmental methods taken from ‘high’ and ‘low’ genres, and finally its falling out of stylistic canon.
Greek canon was then defined by sermons and speeches of theologians. In their works an original interpretation of historical time emerged;
it was directly con nected with theology and influenced chronicles and rhetorical historiography. The SUMMARY idea of imitation disappeared from historical consciousness;
events were under stood as reproducible, as a part of everyday life and at the same time as established once and for ever — it was an obvious influence of theological idea of repetitive ness and irreversibility of the sacrament of the Church. Translation of a theological concept onto historical material was intended to compensate historical trauma — the fall of Greek state. Main rhetorical genre expressed itself as exhortation to mar tyrdom. Theology helped to build the hierarchy of historical narratives anew, from panegyrics to the descriptions of customs, in connection with the new reality.
In the 18th century Greek Enlighteners appeared;
they imitated the Euro pean ones and accepted only academic disciplines free from scholasticism. Old disciplines with their interest to particularities and inclination to simple adop tions were set in opposition to geography that was proclaimed the main historical discipline. Enlightenment concept of historical time was as morally oriented as theological one had been. The Enlightenment created its own opposition of the past and the present, void of previous attitudes that had seen historical events as prophecies fulfilled.
The view of the past as a field of uncontrolled passion that one usually as sociates with European Enlightenment in Greece was not limited to intellectuals;
it was shared by ‘popular theology’. Church leaders who belonged to the Enlightenment movement reproduced the opposition of the past and the present in Scriptural and ecclesiastical history. Secular Enlighteners also believed the past to be place where experience had been acquired, and the present — the place where this experience was viewed and evaluated. A combination of Enlightened cosmopolitism and a strange believe that history of the past could be rectified demonstrated how deeply ingrained in Greek mentality was this theo logical in its origin understanding of historical time.
Emergence of European historical consciousness of Modern period was ex pressed through creation of coherent temporal constructions where the past, the present and the future were analyzed and viewed as separate modes and at the same time were linked by the movement of human society from the past through the present towards the future defined by extrapolating from existing tendencies.
The idea of Progress typical for the epoch of Enlightenment enabled one to create one’s future in the present. At the same time the view of linear, irreversible and progressive course of time and history had its premises in the previous world view and was paradoxically combined with stable cosmological elements of social con sciousness thus creating a multilayered culture of Modernity.
The 18th century saw the emergence of a new world view among the elite of Russian intellectuals. Reading and travelling — main cultural practices of the time — enables Russian intellectuals to discover and appropriate categories and concepts of European Enlightenment. Process of Europeanization of Russian culture, European base of education of intellectual elite, ambiguity of the images SUMMARY of national past (especially that of pre-Mongol period) laid foundations for the acceptance of classical antiquity as ‘own’ European past. Nationalization of the past typical for European Enlightenment started in Russia with the publication of the ‘History’ by N. M. Karamzin. The comparison between the texts of Russian and European Enlightened historians (Karamzin and W. Robertson) demon strated high levels of correlation between the past, the present and the future;
the author used digressions into previous and subsequent epochs as necessary struc tural elements of their narrations. Common interest to particular in history de termined richness of factual material discourses and estimates that revealed the historians’ political preferences and the arguments behind it. In both texts the problem of political stability was central;
it defined the historians’ attitude to forms of government, the problem of succession and relations between leader and political elite and church and state. Historical memory of turbulent period of aristocratic domination in political system of various countries persuaded them of the need for strong monarchy.
Enlightened skepticism and revolutionary nihilism of the 18th century cre ated the situation of the ‘inadequacy of tradition’. Vacuum was hastily filled with new mythologies that were supposed to protect society from the dangers of so cial atomization, disintegration, ‘war of all against all’. When traditional dynastic and confessional legitimization ceased to work historical justification of unity was pushed on foreground. Images of the past functioned in the present as they became embodiments of social and political ideas and programmes, and histo riographical discussions reflected popular political debates. Nation became a universally accepted form of cultural identity and replaced communities based on loyalty to religion and dynasty.
The majority of European historiographies of the late 18th – 19th cc. turned into narratives of national political histories, histories of states. The phenomenon of nation is a paradox since every nation, a relatively new, contemporary feature, pretended to be extremely old. Versions of national histories were full of the images of national ‘renewals’ and ‘revivals’ of ‘eternal’ national units. These histories became academic correlates for nationalistic movements and ideolo gies. Studies of national states became popular: they were more readily sup ported by governments and nationalists than anything else. These versions of national history were intended to defeat local separatist movements by proving that communities that now claimed autonomy had originally belonged to this nation, and the fact was ‘historically inevitable’ and ‘progressive’, and all claims of secession were groundless. In such versions some facts were to be remem bered in certain ways, and others — to be forgotten. It helped to interpret na tional history as a form of cultural memory that was adequate to the task of shap ing large-scale identities in the context of the social and cultural project of Modernity that was permeated by the idea of historicism.
SUMMARY The universalistic concept of French national history created by the phi losophy of Enlightenment led to rejection of its social, provincial and religious heterogeneity. Events that contradicted the logic of the centralization of state were excluded from historical narrative or were presented as a mistake. For all their sincere desire of objectivity the 19th-century historians consciously created a myth’ a ‘great saga of national history’ with its main protagonist — French people. Thus a model of the ‘history of oblivion in history’ emerged. But the strategy of ‘omission’ or ‘chance’ did not work in connection to the extremely violent civil war in Vendee (1793–96) that claimed numerous victims. The solu tion here was found in the creation of virtual reality that could, for all its fantastic nature, to replace reality. During the whole of 19th c. French history was focused on the idea of unity where the land of birth (pays) and motherland were set in opposition. Regardless of the ongoing polemics various explanative model of Vendee were amalgamated in public consciousness in a picture of a symbolic entity — feudalism, barbarity, the past.
Being put outside of the nation the region faced the problem of ‘authentic justification’ for its uniqueness. Conscious construing of the past started (the past covered in mythical cloths of ‘pure’ Catholicism and ‘natural’ monarchism).
Vendee’s popularity on emotional level nearly deprived its phenomenon from any rational reflection. It was, in fact, a ‘war’ for the right to interpret rebellions, and if one leaves this extraordinary struggle aside, the variants offered at the late 18th century continued to exist unchallenged for more than a hundred years.
Polish national historical memory developed in response to the trauma of the divisions of the country. This event created a rupture thus structuring historical conti nuities ‘before’ and ‘after’. All other historical facts were evaluated in relation to it.
Historiography (just as literature) played extremely important role in the processes of shaping and preserving Polish national consciousness at the time of divisions. Historiography took over two functions of cultural memory — that of legitimization and identification: to explain the existing state of things and to restore the integrity and continuity of national consciousness. All Polish cultural memory acquired dramatic and sacrificial overtones. Understanding of sacrifice could be ambiguous though. It could either be an innocent victim of others’ crime or a guilty side that deserved punishment.
Events of the divisions could create plots both for ‘optimistic’ and ‘pessi mistic’ tragedy. They could become the main event in the history of spiritual triumph and moral victory. In this perspective military and political weakness of the state turned into an object of pride and special mission. At the same it could be a history of predictable and deserved punishment for mistakes, crimes, defects of social and political structure, violation of historical and moral laws. ‘Optimis tic’ and ‘pessimistic’ scenarios were based on the same set of facts but put them into different contexts. ‘Optimistic’ tendency produced a messianic and apolo SUMMARY getic version of Polish history, full of tragic heroism;
pessimistic’ historiography intended to normalize national identity by addressing underlying defects of so cial and political systems of the country that had been moving to the tragic final from the earliest stages.
Even now Polish national identity exists between the two extremes of ‘memorial space’ set by intellectuals;
one or the other are actualized depending on external circumstances and the state of Polish society.
The 19th century occupies a special place in Russian history. In the first half of the 19th century historization of social consciousness began along with shaping and spreading of the images of national and European past, the estab lishment of historical discipline and education. Problems of reforming the coun try and need to make new decisions while taking historical experience into con sideration determined the actuality of historical knowledge. Russian intelligentsia was attracted to the past understood as the time where all causes of the present situation had been rooted, the time that enabled one to understand the present, explain it and even change according to the past.
Shaping of the image of national past presented itself as a way from An cient, European past through own 18th c. as a century of European history to the Old Russian past. Russian present was linked to the 18th century as the ‘time of creation’ (cosmogonist myth in the history of Russia), the century preceding the present. On the other hand, in the first half of the 19th century a new link emerged in historical consciousness, between the two parts of the national past, between old and new Russia. Search for the reasons for the present condition and for available ways of further development took Russian intelligentsia into the national past by linking three modes of time.
Enlightened paradigm both defined the belief in the universality of progress thus including the future of Russia into European future and also provoked desire to bring this future close, dictated a necessity of actions that would create elements of the future in the present. What was shaped was active, not passive or contempla tive attitude towards the present, desire to change it for the sake of the future. The idea of acting for future generations, of self-sacrifice, was prominent in the dis course of intelligentsia of the first half of the 19th century, especially when it was applied to the necessity of changes or of serving the country at times of war.
All Russian thinkers accepted the idea of inseparable connection between the past and the present;
the former’s inevitable influence over the latter and the need to take the past into consideration in order to create the future. If the West ernizers were mostly concerned with the link between the past and the present, and then the future, the Slavophiles were interested in the link between the past and the future while partly ignoring the present. Unpredictability of Russia’s future created a paradox of unpredictable past that could be transformed accord ing to a particular view of the country’s future development.
SUMMARY The temporal views of Russian intellectuals of the second half of the 19th century preserved the importance of the past as the time that defined the past and the future. However axiological tone of the past had changed;
selective percep tion appeared, and — most importantly — the future began to prevail. Intellec tual elite appropriated and interpreted European ideas, including the idea of con tinuous historical development, and applied them to Russian history while re thinking the link between the past, the present and the future. But the majority of intelligentsia reproduced the archaic ideas of momentary change, historical jump, rupture of times.
Historical culture of Russian society in the 19th c. had changed dramati cally many times. The formation of historical culture was defined by the search for optimum scenario of collective identity;
projects of identity offered by intel lectual elite could be build around the idea of power (dynastic and nationalist statist scenario), or the idea of people (national-cultural and democratic sce nario). Each scenario was created by the efforts of scholars, artists, thinkers and journalists;
each had its own set of artistic images and was emotionally charged;
each was connected with its pantheon of historical heroes, myths and symbols, ‘places of memory’;
each had its own categories and notions.
Difference between competing versions of collective identity revealed itself in the interpretation of the categories of ‘power’ and ‘people’. Within the frame work of dynastic scenario, genetically linked with classicism that dominated the first half of the 19th century power was presented as superhuman might, and the people as passive and grateful object of power. National-cultural project of identity presented by the Slavophiles and by Russian realistic art of the second half of the 19th century, was build on the idea of the people-nation;
democratic project (Narodniki;
critical trend in realistic art) — on the idea of the people-demos.
Beginning of the shift from the sacralisation of power to the sacralisation of people could be seen after the Napoleonic wars that stimulated formation of the consciousness of Russian cultural elite. Major change took place in the 1820–30s, in the context of romantic discourse: the people were interpreted as a subject of history, its creative force that preserves universal values. But the late 1840–60s large-scale attempts were made to reconstruct the world of pagan be liefs and the world-view of Old Rus’. Images from the epics of Kievan Rus’ were taken as quintessence of Russian national character. Necessary elements of romantic view of history in art and in historiography were presented in the im ages of enemies-oppressors, in the narrative of the people’s sufferings, in the national martirology and, finally, in the pantheon of popular heroes and in the exciting scenes of popular struggle. Riot, protest, rebellion were viewed as cli maxes of national history — ‘moments of truth’ that revealed national character;
its main feature was seen in the desire of freedom.
The atmosphere of the ‘thaw’ of the 1860s formed the paradigm of the moral ‘trial of the past’. Dynastic project of identity based on the principle of SUMMARY N. M. Karamzin — ‘History of people belongs to the tsar’ — lost its power among educated elite. More up-to-date strategies of collective identity linked to the ideas of national state, national culture or working people as subject of his tory were coming to the foreground.
In the second half of the 19th century Russian culture became democrati cally-oriented: it experienced ‘turn to people’. Its essence was in the fact that the term ‘people’ more often meant ‘people-demos’ (peasants) than ‘people-nation’.
At the time of the Great Reforms one of the key myths of Russian culture was formed: a belief that only ‘common people’ were the carriers of Truth — a sacral category that united truth and justice. At the same time Russian people-demos was viewed as the people-sufferer that knows the Truth but was not permitted to live according to it. The narrative of the sufferings of the people helped to view all of Russian history in a new light, to find the roots of the social problems of the 19th century in the past but it could have hardly satisfied national pride as the people was seen as a victim. If the present did not give any basis for the belief in the people this basis was to be found in history. The Schism was interpreted as a proof of the ability of Russian people to rebel for the sake of the Truth of the people. Russian thought of the 1860s performed a difficult task: to close the gap between the past and the present, to turn something alien and impenetrable into an object of compassion and pride, imitation and reproach.
The problem of the limits of power of tsars remained crucial for historical culture of the late 19th – early 20th cc. but its presentation had changed com pletely according to the intellectual taste, aesthetics and ethic dilemmas of the age. Historical discipline of the 1880–90s developed a ‘noble dream’ of objectiv ity of historical knowledge and the cult of science. The image of a superhuman power of tsars that ruled nations’ destinies and could change an image of the whole country had been slowly deconstructed: it was replaced by the understand ing that even absolute monarchies were in fact hostages of political situations and elites’ interests.
Historical memory maintained the link of times, produced new models and examples to follow. The process of constant re-definition of the field of memory through introducing or excluding some elements was preserved by certain cultural practices changing in time. In a secularized society searching for a new hierarchy of values when God was replaced by man the society was looking for symbolic figures which it would remembers. In the 19th-century Russia, at the period when national consciousness had been formed one could see emergence of the new prac tice of making public monuments and introducing them into the space of cultural memory. Russia was covered with monuments to its military victories but also monuments to civilians, to the ‘teachers of the nation’ appeared. More often they were the monuments to writers who became symbols of the nation. Such monu ments built a cultural practice of commemoration as tradition and turned monu SUMMARY ments into places of memory. Inseparable link between nation and language was debated in Russia for half-century. Initially not the monument itself but its verbal and ritual support was more important as they created a myth. In case of the monument to Pushkin the myth preceded the event, and the result was astonishing.
The monument to Pushkin became a visual sign of identity.
Already in the second half of the 19th century the perception of the time flow began to change: it did not ‘go’ any more but rather ‘run’ or ‘flied’. A cul ture oriented on the future desired to reach it quicker and pushed time. This sense of quick time was expresses in the Russian culture of the early 20th century.
Time’s acceleration created a rupture between the past, the present and the fu ture, and the loss of the ‘link of times’ would lead to the sense of ‘no time’ re sulted from the loss of the present, and to apocalyptic ideas.
By the early 20th century a shift from romantic Narodnik discourse to a positivist historical one helped to formulate problems of the social nature of power and of social stratification thus taking de-sacralising them. But in artistic culture the people was still seen as a sacral entity, and popular rebellion and Church Schism — as certain ‘moments of truth’ that revealed a true face of Rus sian people. Only the tragic experience of 1917 made the majority of Russian intelligentsia get disappointed in the idea of ‘Russian riot’ as a way to declare the Truth of the people.
The revolution declared the past null and void, and the memory of it to be unnecessary. Thus the values of the past did not exist anymore. All set of identi ties shaped by long years had been challenged: society was disintegrating. The attempt to reject the past proved to be futile. It was possible to declare the break with pre-revolutionary time, but new times, the part of the Soviet reality that gradually turned into past, needed to be remembered. Memory had to be dealt with. Breaking with the past the Bolsheviks began to construe a new field of social and cultural identity using old cultural practices, including the practices of memory. The practice of creating monuments and turning them into places of memory was the first to be adopted.