Pletneva A. V. Origins of Dmitry Ilovaisky’s Roksalan theory (.pdf)


The beginning of Rus is one of the most difficult problems in history, and hundreds of prominent scholars were involved in the debates on it. Dmitry Ivanovich Ilovaisky (1832-1920) was a talented Antinormanist, who focused on the proof of the southern Slavic origin of Rus and hypothesized about the ethnic proximity of Slavs and Roksalans. His idea that the Legend of the vocation of Vikings had a foreign origin got wide resonance subsequently. Regarding the origin of the tribe “Rus”, Ilovaisky stated that it included nearly all Eastern Slavic tribes in the basin of the upper and middle Dnieper who were known under the name of Ants and Roksalans in the 1st century BC. The emergence of Kievan Rus was seen by Ilovaisky as a natural completion of a long process of the genesis of social relations. The paper discusses Ilovaisky’s Roksalan theory, analyses its historiography, sources and impact on the subsequent development of historical studies. The author notes that Ilovaisky’s views on the ancient roots of the Russian people relied on a very solid source base and a very long tradition of historiography.


Key words: Roksalan theory, Dmitry Ilovaisky, historiography, the origin of the Old Russian state, Varangian-Russian question.


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