Head of the Organising Committee
Sanna Turoma
sanna.turoma [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Coordinator
Kaarina Aitamurto
kaarina.aitamurto [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Secretary
Maarit Elo-Valente
maarit.elo-valente [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Intern
Miikka Piiroinen
miikka.piiroinen [at] helsinki.fi

Conference e-mail:
fcree-aleksconf [at] helsinki.fi

The Aleksanteri Institute

Unioninkatu 33 (P.O. Box 42)
00014 University of Helsinki
phone +358-(0)50-3565 802

aleksanteri [at] helsinki.fi


Past Aleksanteri Conferences

Adrian Selin (Higher School of Economics - Saint Petersburg, Russia)

Rurik and His Anniversaries

Symbolic data of 862 as a starting point of Russian State foundation is often in use by state ideologists for more than four centuries. Since 17th c. the beginning part of the Russian Primarily Chronicle is in focus of debates, mostly among history buffs but also among experts. One of the most discussible issues is the place where Rurik was invited. However the Chronicle composed in late 11th c. shows only how its author in the language and culture of his time could describe the events of two and a half hundreds year ago. Now the searching of the "original place" of Rurik's coming became sometimes an argument in the disputes between stockholders of different sites before and during different official celebrations. In 2012 Russian State had again attempted to celebrate the anniversary of "Russian State Foundation" as a way to unite regions. The winner was Novgorodskaja oblast' where stakeholders succeeded to convince Russian Government that Novgorod the Great is "the very original place" where Rurik had come. The Leningradskaja oblast' failed but Governor Drozdenko signed the decision to make a monument to Rurik and Oleg – foundaters of Russian State in Staraja Ladoga, 120 km from St. Petersburg. However the whole attempt failed: regions argued for being "the genuine starting point" of the "stateness". Special role of historical academicians must be stressed here: in 2012 they took part in funny public arguing whether Rurik came to Ladoga or Novgorod. The language of anniversaries is the modern language of conversations between the state and the historical experts and we need to keep the conversation to be correct, serious and free of private interest. The same happened in 2014 when talks about the "original place of Hersonissos" in baptizing of Russia appeared again even in academic discourse..