Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Haunted EmpireGothic and the Russian Imperial Uncanny$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Valeria Sobol

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501750571

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501750571.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM Cornell University Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.cornell.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Cornell University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in Cornell for personal use. date: 28 June 2022

In Search of the Russian Middle Ages

In Search of the Russian Middle Ages

The Livonian Tales of the 1820s

(p.36) Chapter 2 In Search of the Russian Middle Ages
Haunted Empire

Valeria Sobol

Cornell University Press

This chapter analyzes the Livonian tales of the 1820s penned by future Decembrists and set in medieval times in what would later become the Baltic provinces of the Russian Empire. This setting provided the Russian Romantics of a liberal political leaning with “access” to the European Middle Ages. It also allowed them to explore the bloody legacy of feudalism, which they were intent on fighting at home. Despite their subtle critique of contemporary Russia in these tales, the Decembrists' imperial imagination fully justifies the Russian expansion in the region by contrasting the Baltics' “dark” and “savage” medieval past to their benign present in the Russian Empire, by emphasizing historical ties between the then German-dominated Livonia and its East Slavic neighbors, and, in some cases, by reclaiming the Baltics as an originally “Russian” domain.

Keywords:   Livonian tales, Decembrists, medieval times, Baltic, Russian Empire, Russian Romantics, liberal politics, European Middles Ages, feudalism, East Slavic

Cornell Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.