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The Orthodox Nationalist: The Myth of the Nordic Origins of Old Russia – TON 052919

Dr Matthew Raphael Johnson looks at the legend of Viking rulers being imported into Russia to bring law, order and prosperity to the barbarian Slavs.

In the western world, it Is almost universally held that during the 8th or 9th century, the unruly Slavs required Nordic Vikings to rule over them. The claim is that the word "Rus" derives from the "Ruotsi" or the Finnish name for Swedes. As these Viking rulers restored order and colonized parts of urban Russia, civilization was finally brought to them.

This is a myth. There Is no mention of any Nordic rulers of a large state in Slavic areas. There has never been a "Rhos" tribe in Sweden. Archaeology has shown little Nordic presence in Russian towns and further, only a handful of Russian words can be traced to Nordic languages.

This theory derives from the massive influx of Germans to positions of power in Russia throughout the 18th century. It is a part of Peter's attempt to remake the history of the country. The truth is that Slavic cities and literature predate Nordic settlements. The Swedes themselves called Russia "Gardariki," or "The Land of Many Castles." They admired its wealth. There were regular trading parties of Vikings through Russian rivers to Khazaria or Byzantium, but at no time were Vikings put in charge of Russian cities. Outside of the highly edited Primary Chronicle, there is no mention of it. 

Presented by Matt Johnson

The Orthodox Nationalist: The Myth of the Nordic Origins of Old Russia – TON 052919


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