Notes: Episode 1, The Birth Of Russia (Part 1)

As with every show, I’ll list any corrections or clarifications here. If there’s anything I’ve overlooked, please contact me by email or in the comments and I’ll edit the notes to reflect the new information.


19:42 – The major river I’m unable to remember is the Yellow River, called Huang He in Chinese. A number of ancient Chinese civilizations, including the Jiahu, arose along this river as early as 7000 BCE.


39:43 – The Code of Hammurabi was written around 1772 BCE. My guess at “two to three thousand years BCE” was a little off here.


41:32 – Iaroslav the Wise was not directly descended from Oleg, as I mistakenly stated. Iaroslav was a descendant of the Rurik dynasty of Varangians; when Oleg took Kiev, he was acting as Prince Regent while waiting for Igor I to come of age, but was not part of the Rurik dynasty by blood – just part of the tradition of rulers of Kievan Rus. I’m honestly not surprised I missed this bit of information first time through.


42:05 – I speculate on the language of Kievan Rus correctly, but thought I’d clarify due to my uncertainty. The language is known as Old East Slavic, and would eventually differentiate into Belarusian, Russian, and Ukrainian, among others.



2 thoughts on “Notes: Episode 1, The Birth Of Russia (Part 1)”

  1. Edmund Slemme says:

    Two other things i noticed:

    * The Goths were not Scandinavian. It’s technically possible that they were, but we just don’t have enough proof to state it as an undeniable fact.

    * Oleg was not Norwegian. Most Rus Vikings were Swedes, and Oleg, Rurik and the boys, were undeniably so. The Annals of St.Bertin is proof enough.

    1. Adam says:

      Hey Edmund,

      Anything as ancient as the origins of the Goths is going to be difficult to pin down, especially when we don’t have a written history to go on. However, both contemporary historians like Jordanes and Orosius marked the Goths as either being directly from Scandinavia or descended from tribes originating in Scandinavia. The second seems more likely, as modern archaeology suggests a mixing of Scandinavian and Germanic people in the Wielbark region being the source of the Goths, among other groups. The broader concept that I was trying to convey here (without getting into too many details, as this episode was supposed to be about Russia and not the Goths) is that the Migration Period in Europe saw multiple waves of Germanic tribes move out of Scandinavia over more than a thousand years. The Goths certainly weren’t only Scandinavian as we think of the ethnic group now, but both their Scandinavian and Germanic ancestors originally came from Scandinavia. This is well enough established that I’m comfortable leaving things as is.

      As for Oleg, you’re absolutely right about him being Swedish – good catch. Thanks for letting me know! Once I get the chance to go through and find a time code for the mistake, I’ll add a correction above and credit you with the info.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *