Item Details

Voices on Birchbark: Everyday Communication in Medieval Russia

by Jos Schaeken
Format
Book
Published
Leiden ; Boston : Brill, [2019]
Language
English
Series
Studies in Slavic and General Linguistics
ISBN
9789004389403, 9004389407
Summary
In Voices on Birchbark Jos Schaeken explores the major role that writing on birchbark - an ephemeral, even 'throw-away' form of correspondence and administration - played in the vibrant medieval merchant city of Novgorod and other cities in the Russian Northwest. Birchbark literacy was crucial to the organization of Novgorodian society; it was integrated into a huge variety of activities and had a broad social basis; it was used extensively by the laity, by women as well as men, by villagers as well as landlords. 0Voices on Birchbark is the first book-length study of this unique corpus in English. By examining a representative selection of birchbark texts, Jos Schaeken presents fascinating vignettes of daily medieval life and a holistic picture of the pragmatics of communication in pre-modern societies.
Contents
  • Part I. Writing on birchbark. 1. Historical and geographical context ; 2. Sites and distribution ; 3. Dating and periodization ; 4. Writing technology and practice ; 5. Users and literacy ; 6. Intersections between birchbark writing and graffiti ; 7. Language and communication
  • Part II. Communication in daily life. 1. Preliminary remarks ; 2. Commerce and finance ; 3. Law and administration ; 4. Estate management ; 5. Family life and household management ; 6. Learning to read and write ; 7. Church, religion, and folk belief ; 8. Witnesses to history ; 9. Non-Slavic on birchbark
  • Part III. Pragmatics of communication. 1. Introduction ; 2. Orality factor ; 3. Role of the messenger ; 4. Communicatively heterogeneous letters ; 5. Social networks
  • Some final thoughts.
Description
xviii, 212 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
Notes
Includes bibliographical references (pages 189-206) and indexes.
Series Statement
Studies in Slavic and general linguistics ; volume 43
Studies in Slavic and general linguistics ; v. 43
Technical Details
  • Access in Virgo Classic

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    g| Part I. t| Writing on birchbark. g| 1. Historical and geographical context ; g| 2. t| Sites and distribution ; g| 3. t| Dating and periodization ; g| 4. t| Writing technology and practice ; g| 5. t| Users and literacy ; g| 6. t| Intersections between birchbark writing and graffiti ; g| 7. t| Language and communication -- g| Part II. t| Communication in daily life. g| 1. t| Preliminary remarks ; g| 2. t| Commerce and finance ; g| 3. t| Law and administration ; g| 4. t| Estate management ; g| 5. t| Family life and household management ; g| 6. t| Learning to read and write ; g| 7. t| Church, religion, and folk belief ; g| 8. t| Witnesses to history ; g| 9. t| Non-Slavic on birchbark -- g| Part III. t| Pragmatics of communication. g| 1. t| Introduction ; g| 2. t| Orality factor ; g| 3. t| Role of the messenger ; g| 4. t| Communicatively heterogeneous letters ; g| 5. t| Social networks -- t| Some final thoughts.
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    a| In Voices on Birchbark Jos Schaeken explores the major role that writing on birchbark - an ephemeral, even 'throw-away' form of correspondence and administration - played in the vibrant medieval merchant city of Novgorod and other cities in the Russian Northwest. Birchbark literacy was crucial to the organization of Novgorodian society; it was integrated into a huge variety of activities and had a broad social basis; it was used extensively by the laity, by women as well as men, by villagers as well as landlords. 0Voices on Birchbark is the first book-length study of this unique corpus in English. By examining a representative selection of birchbark texts, Jos Schaeken presents fascinating vignettes of daily medieval life and a holistic picture of the pragmatics of communication in pre-modern societies.
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