IMC 2007: Sessions

Session 306: Culture in Eastern Orthodox Cities

Monday 9 July 2007, 16.30-18.00

Moderator/Chair:Christian-Frederik Felskau, Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin

Abstract paper a: The paper is going to deal with such a phenomenon of the Russian culture as a northern provincial culture. Materials fixed during the field work show that local authors of the New Time prefer concentrating their creative interest on two main areas: works on local history or literary works. We revealed that local historians’ texts about the local history have much in common with Russian chronicles created before the New Time. We can affirm that there is a continuous tradition of local historical texts from the genre of so-called ‘town chronicler’ to historical studies of the New Time. Furthermore, local literary texts and verbal practices continue a tradition of medieval Russian literature and its local variant.
Abstract paper b: Medieval cities, due to their closely clustered architectural structure and lack of population’s basic hygiene habits, were places where different diseases developed and spread. Cities contracted from plague were very often burnt to eradicate its further spreading. This study presents a number of records, narratives, and poems from the folk tradition addressing the presence and spreading of plague in the Middle Ages. It is presented in the folklore as a mythological female being with long dishevelled hair spreading fear and horror through medieval cities. The image of the plague is also used as metaphor to invasion of Turkish conquerors in Macedonia.
Abstract paper c: The theme will discuss the medieval city of Prilep in Macedonia, presented through the folk tradition. The medieval Prilep has been an important city during the rule of Tsar Samuil’s dynasty (969-1018), later becoming a capital of the medieval Kingdom of Mrnjavchev’s dynasty (1365-1395) up to the Ottoman domination. Today, the citadel is known as Marco’s Towers, after the king Marco (1371-1395), whose popularity produced enormous number of folk poetry, tales and legends among the South Slavic peoples. The theme expects to answer the question how Prilep has been displayed through folk tradition by analysing and comparing folk imagination and the historical data.