Selected books and publications

¨ The Mazepists: Ukrainian Separatism in the Early Eighteenth Century (1981).

¨ The Domination of Eastern Europe, Foreign Absolutism and Native Nobilities (1986)

¨ Ukraine: A History (1988)

¨ Ukrainians in North America (1991)

¨ "Cossacks", in The World Book Encyclopedia (1997)

¨ "Ukraine", in Encarta Encyclopedia (1997)

¨ "Ukraine: The Imperial Heritage", Briefing Papers of the Canadian Bureau of International Studies (1996)



Copper Age

The Chalcolithic period or Copper Age period [also known as the Eneolithic (Æneolithic)], is a phase in the development of human culture in which the use of early metal tools appeared alongside the use of stone tools.

The literature of European archaeology generally avoids the use of 'chalcolithic' (they prefer the term 'Copper Age'), while Middle-Eastern archaeologists regularly use it. The Copper Age began much earlier in the Middle East, while the transition from the European Copper Age to its own full-fledged Bronze Age is far more rapid.

The period is a transitional one outside of the traditional three-age system, and occurs between the Neolithic and Bronze Age. It appears that copper was not widely exploited at first and that efforts in alloying it with tin and other metals began quite soon, making distinguishing the distinct Chalcolithic cultures and periods difficult.

Because of this it is usually only applied by archaeologists in some parts of the world, mainly south-east Europe and Western and Central Asia where it appears around the 4th millennium BC. Less commonly, it is also applied to American civilizations which already used copper and copper alloys at the time of European conquest. The Old Copper Complex, located in present day Michigan and Wisconsin utilized copper for tools, weapons and other implements. Artefacts from these sites have been dated from 4000 to 1000 BC, making them some of the oldest sites in the world.

Ceramic similarities between the Indus Civilization, southern Turkmenistan and northern Iran during 43003200 BC of the Chalcolithic period (Copper Age) suggest considerable mobility and trade.

Ötzi the Iceman, found in the Ötztaler Alps and whose remains have been dated to about 3300 BC, carried a copper axe and flint knife. He appears to have been in a region of Europe which was in transition to this period.

Knowledge of the use of copper was far wider spread than the metal itself. The European Battle Axe culture used stone axes modelled on copper axes, with imitation "mold marks" carved in the stone.

The European Beaker people are often considered Chalcolithic as were the cultures which first adopted urbanization in south west Asia. Many megaliths in Europe were erected during this period and it has been suggested that Proto-Indo-European linguistic unity dates to around the same time.


Parpola, Asko (2005), "Study of the ancient script", Transactions of the 50th International Conference of Eastern Studies


Bronze Age

The term Bronze Age refers to a period in human cultural development when the most advanced metalworking (at least in systematic and widespread use) consists of techniques for smelting copper and tin from naturally occurring outcroppings of ore, and then alloying those metals in order to cast bronze. The Bronze Age forms part of the three-age system for prehistoric societies. In this system, it follows the Neolithic in some areas of the world. In many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, the Neolithic is directly followed by the Iron Age.

The place and time of the invention of bronze are controversial and it is possible that bronzing was invented independently in multiple places. The earliest known tin bronzes are from what are now Iran and Iraq and date to the late 4th millennium BCE. Arsenical bronzes were made in Anatolia and on both sides of the Caucasus by the early 3rd millennium BCE. Some scholars date some arsenical bronze artefacts of the Maykop culture in the North Caucasus as far back as the mid 4th millennium BCE, which would make them the oldest known bronzes, but others date the same Maykop artifacts to the mid 3rd millennium BCE.

The Bronze Age is divided into three main periods (the dates are very approximate):

EBA - Early Bronze Age (c. 3500-2000 BCE)

MBA - Middle Bronze Age (c. 2000-1600 BCE)

LBA - Late Bronze Age (c. 1600-1100 BCE)

Metallurgy developed first in Anatolia, modern Turkey. The mountains in the Anatolian highland possessed rich deposits of copper and tin. Copper was also mined in Cyprus, the Negev desert, Iran and around the Persian Gulf. Copper was usually mixed with arsenic, yet the growing demand for tin resulted in the establishment of distant trade routes in and out of Anatolia. The precious copper was also imported by sea routes to the great kingdoms of Mesopotamia.

The Early Bronze Age saw the rise of urbanization into organized city states and the invention of writing. In the Middle Bronze Age movements of people partially changed the political pattern of the Near East (Amorites, Hittites, Hurrians, Hyksos and possibly the Israelites). The Late Bronze Age is characterized by competing powerful kingdoms and their vassal states (Assyria, Babylonia, and Hittites). Extensive contacts were made with the Aegean civilization in which the copper trade played an important role. This period ended in a widespread collapse which affected much of the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East.

Iron began to be worked already in Late Bronze Age Anatolia. The transition into the Iron Age c. 1200 BCE was more of a political change in the Near East rather than of new developments in metalworking.

Parpola, Asko (2005), "Study of the ancient script", Transactions of the 50th International Conference of Eastern Studies



Iron Age

In archaeology, the Iron Age was the stage in the development of any people in which tools and weapons whose main ingredient was iron were prominent. The adoption of this material coincided with other changes in some past societies often including differing agricultural practices, religious beliefs and artistic styles, although this was not always the case.

The Iron Age is the last principal period in the three-age system for classifying pre-historic societies, preceded by the Bronze Age. Its date and context vary depending on the country or geographical region.

Classically, the Iron Age is taken to begin in the 12th century BC in the ancient Near East, ancient India, and ancient Greece. In other regions of Europe, it started much later. The Iron Age began in the 8th century BC in Central Europe and the 6th century BC in Northern Europe. Iron use, in smelting and forging for tools, appears in West Africa by 1200 BC, making it one of the first places for the birth of the Iron Age.

The Iron Age is usually said to end in the Mediterranean with the onset of historical tradition during Hellenism and the Roman Empire, in India with the onset of Buddhism and Jainism, in China with the onset of Confucianism, and in Northern Europe with the early Middle Ages.

By the Middle Bronze Age, increasing numbers of smelted iron objects appeared throughout Anatolia, Mesopotamia, the Indian subcontinent, the Levant, the Mediterranean, and Egypt. In some places, their use appears to have been ceremonial, and during the Bronze Age iron was an expensive metal, more expensive than gold. Some sources suggest that iron was being created in some places then as a by-product of copper refining, as sponge iron, and was not reproducible by the metallurgy of the time.

The earliest systematic production and use of iron implements originates in Anatolia. West African production of iron began at around the same time, and seems to have been clearly an independent invention. Recent archaeological research at Ganges Valley, India showed early iron working by 1800 BC. By 1200 BC, iron was widely used in the Middle East but did not supplant the dominant use of bronze for some time.

People made tools from bronze before they figured out how to make them from iron because iron's melting point is higher than that of bronze or its components, which makes it more difficult to make tools from iron.

During the Iron Age, the best tools and weapons were made from steel, which is an alloy consisting mostly of iron. Steel weapons and tools were superior to bronze weapons and tools. But steel was difficult to produce with the methods available at the time, and most of the metal produced in the Iron Age was wrought iron. Wrought iron is weaker than bronze, but people switched anyway. Iron is much cheaper than bronze, since it is much more common than copper and tin, which are the ingredients of bronze.

At around 1800 BC, for reasons as yet unascertained by archaeologists, tin became scarce in the Levant, leading to a crisis of bronze production. Copper itself seemed to be in short supply. Various "pirate" groups around the Mediterranean, from around 1800-1700 BC onward, began to attack fortified cities in search of bronze, to remelt into weaponry.

Bronze was much more abundant in the period before the 12th to 10th century and Snodgrass and other authors suggest a shortage of tin, as a result of trade disruptions in the Mediterranean at this time, forced peoples to seek an alternative to bronze. This is confirmed by the fact that for a period, bronze items were recycled from implements to weapons, just before the introduction of iron.

Iron working was introduced to Europe around 1000 BC, probably from Asia Minor and slowly spread northwards and westwards over the succeeding 500 years.

The early 1st millennium BC marks the Iron Age in Eastern Europe. In the Pontic steppe and the Caucasus region, the Iron Age begins with the Koban and the Chernogorovka and Novocherkassk cultures from 900 BC.

Along with Chernogorovka and Novocherkassk cultures, on the territory of ancient Russia and Ukraine the Iron Age is to a significant extent associated with Scythians, who developed iron culture since the 7th century BC. The majority of remains of their iron producing and blacksmith's industries from 5th to 3rd century BC was found near Nikopol in Kamenskoe Gorodishche, which is believed to be the specialized metallurgic region of the ancient Scythia.

The Iron Age spreads west with the Celtic expansion from the 6th century BC. The ethnic ascriptions of many Iron Age cultures have been bitterly contested, as the roots of Germanic, Baltic and Slavic peoples were sought in this area.


Parpola, Asko (2005), "Study of the ancient script", Transactions of the 50th International Conference of Eastern Studies


Drew, David (2004)

Three Periods of Maya History


New edition, London: Phoenix Press

The Maya civilization is a Mesoamerican civilization, noted for the only known fully developed written language of the pre-Columbian Americas, as well as its spectacular art, monumental architecture, and sophisticated mathematical and astronomical systems. Initially established during the Preclassic period, many of these reached their apogee of development during the Classic period (c. 250 to 900), and continued throughout the Postclassic period until the arrival of the Spanish. At its peak, it was one of the most densely populated and culturally dynamic societies in the world.

The Maya civilization shares many features with other Mesoamerican civilizations due to the high degree of interaction and cultural diffusion that characterized the region. Advances such as writing, epigraphy, and the calendar did not originate with the Maya; however, their civilization fully developed them. Maya influence can be detected as far as central Mexico, more than 1000 km (625 miles) from the Maya area. Many outside influences are found in Maya art and architecture, which are thought to result from trade and cultural exchange rather than direct external conquest. The Maya peoples never disappeared, neither at the time of the Classic period decline nor with the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores and the subsequent Spanish colonization of the Americas. Today, the Maya and their descendants form sizable populations throughout the Maya area and maintain a distinctive set of traditions and beliefs that are the result of the merger of pre-Columbian and post-Conquest ideologies (and structured by the almost total adoption of Roman Catholicism). Many different Mayan languages continue to be spoken as primary languages today.

The Maya area is generally divided into three loosely defined zones: the southern Maya highlands, the southern (or central) Maya lowlands, and the northern Maya lowlands.

While the Maya area was initially inhabited around the 10th millennium BC, the first clearly "Maya" settlements were established in approximately 1800 BC in the Pacific Coast. This point in time, known as the Early Preclassic, was characterized by sedentary communities and the introduction of pottery and fired clay figurines.

Archaeological evidence suggests the construction of ceremonial architecture in Maya area by approximately 1000 BC. The earliest configurations of such architecture consist of simple burial mounds, which would be the precursors to the stepped pyramids subsequently erected in the Late Preclassic. Prominent Middle and Late Preclassic settlement zones are located in the southern Maya lowlands. The important early sites of Izapa, Takalik Abaj and Chocolá at around 600 BC were the main producers of Cacao.

The Classic period (c. 250900) witnessed the peak of large-scale construction and urbanism, the recording of monumental inscriptions, and a period of significant intellectual and artistic development, particularly in the southern lowland regions. They developed an agriculturally intensive, city-centered empire consisting of numerous independent city-states. This includes the well-known cities of Tikal, Palenque, Copán and Calakmul.

The most notable monuments are the pyramids they built in their religious centers and the accompanying palaces of their rulers. The palace at Cancuen is the largest in the Maya area, though the site, interestingly, lacks pyramids. Other important archaeological remains include the carved stone slabs (the Maya called them tetun, or "tree-stones"), which depict rulers along with hieroglyphic texts describing their genealogy, military victories, and other accomplishments.

The Maya participated in long distance trade with many of the other Mesoamerican cultures. Important trade goods included cacao, salt, sea shells, jade and obsidian.

For reasons that are still debated, the Maya centers of the southern lowlands went into decline during the 8th and 9th centuries and were abandoned shortly thereafter. This decline was coupled with a cessation of monumental inscriptions and large-scale architectural construction. Although there is no universally accepted theory to explain this collapse, current theories fall into two categories: non-ecological and ecological.

Non-ecological theories of Maya decline are divided into several subcategories, such as overpopulation, foreign invasion, peasant revolt, and the collapse of key trade routes. Ecological hypotheses include environmental disaster, epidemic disease, and climate change. There is evidence that the Mayan population exceeded carrying capacity of the environment including exhaustion of agricultural potential and overhunting of megafauna. Some scholars have recently theorized that an intense 200 year drought led to the collapse of Mayan civilization. The drought theory originated from research performed by physical scientists studying lake beds, ancient pollen, and other data, not from the archaeological community.

During the succeeding Postclassic period (from the 10th to the early 16th century), development in the northern centers persisted, characterized by an increasing diversity of external influences. The Maya cities of the northern lowlands in Yucatán continued to flourish for centuries more. After the decline of the ruling dynasties of Chichen and Uxmal, Mayapan ruled all of Yucatán until a revolt in 1450. The area then degenerated into competing city-states until the Yucatán was conquered by the Spanish.

Shortly after their first expeditions to the region, the Spanish initiated a number of attempts to subjugate the Maya and establish a colonial presence in the Maya territories of the Yucatán Peninsula and the Guatemalan highlands. This campaign, sometimes termed "The Spanish Conquest of Yucatán," would prove to be a lengthy and dangerous exercise for the conquistadores from the outset, and it would take some 170 years before the Spanish established substantive control over all Maya lands.

Unlike the Spanish campaigns against the Aztec and Inca Empires, there was no single Maya political center which once overthrown would hasten the end of collective resistance from the indigenous peoples. Instead, the conquistador forces needed to subdue the numerous independent Maya polities almost one by one, many of which kept up a fierce resistance. Most of the conquistadores were motivated by the prospects of the great wealth to be had from the seizure of precious metal resources such as gold or silver; however, the Maya lands themselves were poor in these resources. This would become another factor in forestalling Spanish designs of conquest, as they instead were initially attracted to the reports of great riches in central Mexico or Peru.

The last Maya states, the Itza polity of Tayasal and the Ko'woj city of Zacpeten, were continuously occupied and remained independent of the Spanish until late in the 17th century. They were finally subdued by the Spanish in 1697.



James P. Mallory


Chernyakhov Culture


Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, 1997


The Chernyakhiv culture (also known as Cherniakhov culture) (the second century to the fifth century) was found in Ukraine and parts of Belarus. The eponymous site is the village of Cherniakhiv in Ukraine's Kyiv Oblast. It existed in the 2nd-5th centuries AD. Around the year 300, the culture extended into Romania where it is called the Sîntana de Mureş culture. It is attested to in thousands of sites.

The archaeological record shows that the population of the Wielbark culture had settled in the area and mixed with the previous populations of the Zarubintsy culture. This cultural movement is interpreted as the migration of the Goths under the leadership of Filimer, of which the Goth scholar Jordanes wrote in the sixth century.

In the last decades of the second century, the Goths appear to have settled in Masovia, Podlachia and Volynia regions, but some of them moved to the area just north-west of the Black Sea.

The second wave of Germanic migrants arrived in the mid-third century, and most of them settled between the Dniester and the lower Dnieper, including the Cherniakhiv area.

Most of the population appears to have been Sarmatians who lived between the lower Danube and the Sea of Azov, as well as Slavs. In the west, there may have been some Dacians and Getae. The Sarmatians practiced inhumation while those deriving from the north, i.e., elements descended from the Zarubintsy culture, continued urnfield practices.

In linguistic terms, it is said that this is the time and place where Slavic and Iranian borrowed lexical items from each other, and where Slavic picked up many of its Germanic loanwords. (Gothic, however, has few Slavic loanwords).

Archaeologists have found fibulae, combs and amulets showing contacts with not only Scandinavia, but also with Central Europe.


Anna Reid

Borderland: A Journey Through

the History of Ukraine


London, Orion Books, 1998


The territory of Ukraine was a key centre of East Slavic culture in the Middle Ages, before being divided between a variety of powers. However, the history of Ukraine dates back many thousands of years. The territory has been settled continuously since at least 5000 BC, and is also the site of the origins of the Proto-Indo-European language family.

Human settlement on the territory of Ukraine has been documented into distant prehistory. The late Neolithic Trypillian culture flourished from about 4500 BC to 3000 BC. The Copper Age people of the Trypillian culture were resided in the western part, and the Sredny Stog further east, succeeded by the early Bronze Age Yamna ("Kurgan") culture of the steppes, and by the Catacomb culture in the 3rd millennium BC.

During the Iron Age, these were followed by the Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, among other nomadic peoples. The Scythian Kingdom existed here from 750 BC to 250 BC. Along with ancient Greek colonies founded from the 6th century BC on the north-eastern shore of the Black Sea, the colonies of Tyras, Olbia, and Hermonassa perpetuated by Roman and Byzantine cities until the 6th century AD.

In the 3rd century AD, the Goths arrived in the lands of Ukraine around 250 AD to 375 AD, which they called Oium, corresponding to the archaeological Chernyakhov culture. The Ostrogoths stayed in the area but came under the sway of the Huns from the 370s. North of the Ostrogothic kingdom was the Kyiv culture, flourishing from the 2nd to 5th centuries, when it was overrun by the Huns. After they helped defeat the Huns at the battle of Nedao in 454, the Ostrogoths were allowed to settle in Pannonia.

With the power vacuum created with the end of Hunnic and Gothic rule, Slavic tribes, possibly emerging from the remnants of the Kyiv culture, began to expand over much of what is now Ukraine during the 5th century, and beyond to the Balkans from the 6th century.

In the 7th century, the territory of modern Ukraine was the core of the state of the Bulgars (often referred to as Great Bulgaria) with its capital city of Phanagoria. At the end of the 7th century, most Bulgar tribes migrated in several directions and the remains of their state were absorbed by the Khazars, a semi-nomadic people from Central Asia.

The Khazars founded the Khazar kingdom in the southeastern part of today's Europe, near the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus. The kingdom included western Kazakhstan, and parts of eastern Ukraine, Azerbaijan, southern Russia, and Crimea.


J. P. Mallory

Tripolye Culture


Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, 1997.


The Cucuteni culture, better known in the countries of the former Soviet Union as Trypillian culture or Tripolie culture, is a late Neolithic archaeological culture that flourished between ca. 5500 BC and 2750 BC in the Dniester-Dnieper region of modern-day Romania, Moldova, and Ukraine.

The culture was named after Cucuteni, Iaşi county, Romania, where the first objects associated with this culture were discovered in 1884 and excavations started in 1909. In 1897, similar objects were excavated in Trypillia (i), Ukraine. As a result, the culture has been known in Soviet, Russian, and Ukrainian publications as Tripolie culture or Tripolian culture. A compromise name is Cucuteni-Trypillia.

As of 2003, about 2000 sites of Trypillian culture have been identified in Romania, Ukraine, and Moldova. The "culture is attested from well over a thousand sites in the form of everything from small villages to vast settlements comprised of hundreds of dwellings surrounded by multiple ditches" (Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture). There were cities with 10-15,000 citizens in the Tripolye culture. It was centered on the middle to upper Dniester River with an extension in the northeast to as far as the Dnieper.

The largest collection of artifacts from the Cucuteni-Trypollia culture can be found in museums in Russia, Ukraine, and Romania, including the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and the Museum of History & Archaeology in Piatra Neamţ.

The Cucuteni culture has been called the first urban culture in Europe. The Trypollia settlements were usually located on a plateau, fortified with earthworks and ditches. The earliest villages consisted of ten to fifteen households. In their heyday, settlements expanded to include several hundred large adobe huts, sometimes with two stories. These houses were typically warmed by an oven and had round windows.

Agriculture is attested to, as well as livestock-raising, mainly consisting of cattle, but goats/sheep and swine are also evidenced. Wild game is a regular part of the faunal remains. The pottery is connected to the Linear Pottery culture. Copper was extensively imported from the Balkans. Extant figurines excavated at the Cucuteni sites are thought to represent the Mother goddess.


East Slavs


The East Slavs are a Slavic ethnic group, the speakers of East Slavic languages. Formerly the main population of the medieval state of Kievan Rus, by the seventeenth century they evolved into the Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian peoples.

Relatively little is known about the East Slavs prior to approximately 859 AD, the date from which the account in the Primary Chronicle starts. The reasons are the apparent absence of a written language and the remoteness of East Slavic lands. What little is known comes from archaeological digs, foreign traveler accounts of the Rus land, and linguistic comparative analyses of Slavic languages.

Except for the apocryphal Book of Veles, very few native Russian documents, dating before the 11th century have been discovered. The earliest major manuscript with information on Rus' history is the Primary Chronicle, written in the late 11th and early 12th centuries. It lists the twelve Slavic tribal unions who, by the 9th century settled between the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea. These tribal unions were Polans, Drevlyans, Dregovichs, Radimichs, Vyatichs, Krivichs, Slovens, Dulebes (later known as Volhynians and Buzhans), White Khorvats, Severians, Ulichs, Tivertsi.

In the first millennium AD, Slavic settlers are likely to have been in contact with other ethnic groups who moved across the East European Plain during the Migration Period. Between the first and ninth centuries, the Sarmatians, Goths, nomadic Huns, Alans, Avars, Bulgars, and Magyars passed through the Pontic steppe in their westward migrations. Although some of them could have subjugated the region's Slavs, these foreign tribes left little trace in the Slavic lands. The Early Middle Ages also saw Slavic expansion as an agriculturist and beekeeper, hunter, fisher, herder, and trapper people. By the 8th century, the Slavs were the dominant ethnic group on the East European Plain.

By 600 AD, the Slavs had split linguistically into southern, western, and eastern branches. The East Slavs flooded Eastern Europe in two streams. One group of tribes settled along the Dnieper river in what is now Ukraine; they then spread northward to the northern Volga valley, east of modern-day Moscow and westward to the basins of the northern Dniester and the Southern Buh rivers in present-day Moldova and southern Ukraine.

Another group of East Slavs moved from Pomerania to the northeast, where they encountered the Varangians of the Rus' Khaganate and established an important regional centre of Novgorod. The same Slavic population also settled the present-day Tver Oblast and the region of Beloozero. Having reached the lands of the Merya near Rostov, they linked up with the Dnieper group of Slavic migrants.

In the eighth and ninth centuries, the south branches of East Slavic tribes had to pay tribute to the Khazars, a Turkic-speaking people who adopted Judaism in the late eighth or ninth century and lived in the southern Volga and Caucasus regions. Roughly in the same period, the Ilmen Slavs and Krivichs were dominated by the Varangians of the Rus' Khaganate, who controlled the trade route between the Baltic Sea and the Byzantine Empire.

The earliest tribal centers of the East Slavs included Novgorod, Izborsk, Polotsk, Gnezdovo, Sarskoe Gorodishche, and Kyiv. Archaeology indicates that they appeared at the turn of the tenth century, soon after the Slavs and Finns of Novgorod had rebelled against the Norsemen and forced them to withdraw to Scandinavia. The reign of Oleg of Novgorod in the early tenth century witnessed the return of the Varangians to Novgorod and relocation of their capital to Kyiv on the Dnieper. From this base, the mixed Varangian-Slavic population (known as the Rus) launched several expeditions against Constantinople.

At first the ruling elite was primarily Norse, but it was rapidly Slavicized by the mid-century. Sviatoslav I of Kyiv (who reigned in the 960s) was the first Rus ruler with a Slavonic name.



Anna Reid


Kyiv culture

London, Orion Books, 1998


The Kyiv culture is an archaeological culture dating from about the third to fifth centuries AD, named after Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. It is widely considered to be the first identifiable Slavic archaeological culture. It is contemporaneous to (and located mostly just to the north of) the Chernyakhov culture, which corresponds to the multi-ethnic Gothic kingdom, Oium, that was established in south-western Ukraine in the second century and ended by the invasion of the Huns in late fourth century. The Gothic historian Jordanes mentions the subjugation of the Slavic people by the Goths in the origin and deeds of the Goths: the location of the Kyiv culture (which in places overlaps with the Chernyakhovo culture) matches his text well.

Settlements are found mostly along river banks, frequently either on high cliffs or right by the edge of rivers. The dwellings are overwhelmingly of the semi-subterranean type (common also in later Slavic cultures and similar to earlier Germanic and Celtic types of dwellings), often square (about four by four meters), with an open hearth in a corner. Most villages consist of just a handful of dwellings. There is very little evidence of the division of labor, although in one case a village belonging to the Kyiv culture was preparing thin strips of antlers to be further reworked into the well-known Gothic antler combs, in a nearby Chernyakhov culture village.

The Kyiv culture ends its existence with the invasion of the Huns, and after a turbulent period in European history, its descendantsthe Slavic Prague-Korchak, Penkovo and Kolochino culturesare re-established in the sixth century in Eastern Europe. There is, however, a substantial disagreement in the scientific community over the identity of the Kyiv culture's predecessors, with some historians and archaeologists tracing it directly from the Milograd culture, others, from the Chernoles culture (the Scythian farmers of Herodotus) through the Zarubintsy culture, still others (mostly Polish) through both the Przeworsk culture and the Zarubintsy culture.

Samuel Hazzard Cross

The Russian Primary Chronicle


Cambridge: Mediaeval Academy, 1953


The Primary Chronicle (ѣ ѣ, often translated into English as Tale of Bygone Years), is a history of the Kyivan Rus' from around 850 to 1110 originally compiled in Kyiv about 1113.

The original compilation was long considered to be the work of a monk named Nestor, and hence it was formerly referred to as Nestor's Chronicle, or Nestor's manuscript. Among many sources he used were earlier (now lost) Slavonic chronicles, Byzantine annals, native legends and Norse sagas, several Greek religious texts, Rus-Byzantine treaties, oral accounts and other military leaders. Nestor worked at the court of Sviatopolk II of Kyiv and probably shared his pro-Scandinavian policies.

The early part is rich in anecdotal stories, among which are the arrival of the three Varangian brothers, the founding of Kiev, the murder of Askold and Dir, the death of Oleg, who was killed by a serpent concealed in the skeleton of his horse, and the vengeance taken by Olga, the wife of Igor, on the Drevlians, who had murdered her husband. The account of the labors of Saints Cyril and Methodius among the Slavic peoples is also very interesting, and to Nestor we owe the tale of the summary way in which Vladimir the Great suppressed the worship of Perun and other idols at Kyiv.

In the year 1116, Nestor's text was extensively edited by hegumen Sylvester who appended his name at the end of the chronicle. As Vladimir Monomakh was the patron of the village of Vydubychi where his monastery is situated, the new edition glorified that prince and made him the central figure of later narrative. This second version of Nestor's work is preserved in the Laurentian codex.

The third edition followed two years later and centered on the person of Vladimir's son and heir, Mstislav the Great. The author of this revision could have been Greek, for he corrected and updated much data on Byzantine affairs. This latest revision of Nestor's work is preserved in the Hypatian codex.

Because the original of the chronicle as well as the earliest known copies (the Laurentian codex and the Hypatian codex) are lost, it is difficult to establish the original content of the chronicle, word by word.

The Laurentian codex was copied by the Nizhegorod monk Laurentius for the Prince Dmitry Konstantinovich in 1377. The original text he used was a lost codex compiled for the Grand Duke Mikhail of Tver in 1305. The account continues until 1305, but the years 898-922, 1263-83 and 1288-94 are missing for reasons unknown. The manuscript was acquired by the famous Count Musin-Pushkin in 1792 and subsequently presented to the Russian National Library in St Petersburg.

The Hypatian codex was discovered at the Ipatiev Monastery of Kostroma by the Russian historian Nikolay Karamzin. The Hypatian manuscript dates to the 15th century, and incorporates much information from the lost 12th-century Kyivan and 13th-century Halychian chronicles. The language of this work is the East Slavic version of Church Slavonic language with many additional irregular east-slavisms.

Unlike many other medieval chronicles written by European monks, the Tale of Bygone Years is unique as the only written testimony on the earliest history of East Slavic peoples. Its comprehensive account of the history of Kyivan Rus is unmatched in other sources, although important correctives are provided by the Novgorod First Chronicle. It is also valuable as a prime example of the Old East Slavonic literature.


Anna Reid

Vladimir's baptism of Kyiv


London, Orion Books, 1998


During the first decade of Vladimir's reign, pagan reaction set in. Perun was chosen as the supreme deity of the Slavic pantheon and his idol was placed on the hill by the royal palace. This revival of paganism was contemporaneous with similar attempts undertaken by Jarl Haakon in Norway and (possibly) Svein Forkbeard in Denmark. Although Vladimir seems to have gone further than both Scandinavian konungs (even human sacrifices were reported in Kyiv), his religious reform failed. By the late 980s he had found it necessary to adopt monotheism from abroad.

The Primary Chronicle reports that in the year 987, as the result of a consultation with his boyars, Vladimir sent envoys to study the religions of the various neighboring nations whose representatives had been urging him to embrace their respective faiths. The result is amusingly described in the following apocryphal anecdote. Of the Muslim Bulgarians of the Volga the envoys reported there is no gladness among them; only sorrow and a great stench, and that their religion was undesirable due to its taboo against alcoholic beverages and pork; supposedly, Vladimir said on that occasion: "Drinking is the joy of the Rus'."

Russian sources also describe Vladimir consulting with Jewish envoys (who may or may not have been Khazars), and questioning them about their religion but ultimately rejecting it, saying that their loss of Jerusalem was evidence of their having been abandoned by God.

Ultimately Vladimir settled on Christianity. In the gloomy churches of the Germans his emissaries saw no beauty; but at Hagia Sophia, where the full festival ritual of the Byzantine Church was set in motion to impress them, they found their ideal: "We no longer knew whether we were in heaven or on earth," they reported, "nor such beauty, and we know not how to tell of it." If Vladimir was impressed by this account of his envoys, he was yet more so by political gains of the Byzantine alliance.

Foreign sources, very few in number, present the following story of Vladimir's conversion. Yahya of Antioch and his followers give essentially the same account. In 987, the generals Bardas Sclerus and Bardas Phocas revolted against the Byzantine emperor Basil II. Both rebels briefly joined forces and advanced on Constantinople. On September 14, 987, Bardas Phocas proclaimed himself emperor. Anxious to avoid the siege of his capital, Basil II turned to the Rus for assistance, even though they were considered enemies at that time. Vladimir agreed, in exchange for a marital tie; he also agreed to accept Orthodox Christianity as his religion and bring his people to the new faith. When the wedding arrangements were settled, Vladimir dispatched 6,000 troops to the Byzantine Empire and they helped to put down the revolt.

In the Primary Chronicle, the account of Vladimir's baptism is preceded by the so-called Korsun' Legend. According to this apocryphal story, in 988 Vladimir captured the Greek town of Korsun' (Chersonesos) in Crimea, highly important commercially and politically. This campaign may have been dictated by his wish to secure the benefits promised to him by Basil II, when he had asked for the Rus' assistance against Phocas. In recompense for the evacuation of Chersonesos, Vladimir was promised the hand of the emperor's sister, Anna. Prior to the wedding, Vladimir was baptized, taking the Christian name of Basil out of compliment to his imperial brother-in-law. The sacrament was followed by his marriage with the Greek princess.

Returning to Kyiv in triumph, Vladimir exhorted the residents of his capital to the Dnieper River for baptism. This mass baptism became the iconic inaugural event in the Christianization of the state of Kievan Rus.

At first Vladimir baptized his 12 sons and many boyars. He destroyed the wooden statues of Slavic pagan gods (which he had himself raised just eight years earlier). They were either burnt or hacked into pieces, and the statue of Perun the supreme god was thrown into the Dnieper. Then he sent a message to all residents of Kyiv, "rich, and poor, and beggars, and slaves", to come to the river on the following day, lest they risk becoming the "prince's enemies". Large number of people came; some even brought infants with them. They were sent into the water while Orthodox priests, who came from Chersonesos for the occasion, prayed.

To commemorate the event, Vladimir built the first stone church of Kyivan Rus, called the Church of the Tithes, where his body and the body of his new wife were to repose. Another church was built on top of the hill where pagan statues stood before.



Mikhail Tikhomirov


The Russkaya Pravda and its textual History


Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, 1997


Russkaya Pravda was the legal code of Kyivan Rus and the subsequent Rus' principalities during the times of feudal division. While it shares a number of features with contemporary Germanic codifications, it is also distinguished by many peculiarities, such as the absence of capital punishment.

Three editions of "RP" are known: the Short Edition (Kratkaya), the Vast Edition (Prostrannaya), and the Abridged Edition (Sokrashchennaya). Over 110 extant copies dating from the thirteenth to the eighteenth centuries are preserved, included in various manuscripts: chronicles and compilations. Of these, over 100 copies, including the oldest preserved, are of the Vast Edition.

The code was discovered by the historian Vasily Tatischev in the text of one of Novgorod chronicles and brought to the attention of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1738.

Russkaya Pravdas legal regulations reflected the evolution of the social relations in the Rus' of the 11th-13th centuries. Common law, Knyaz legislation, and legal proceedings represented the basis of "RP".

The Short Edition of "RP" contains two apparently distinct parts, called by researchers "Pravda Yaroslava" (Yaroslavs Truth, ca. 1017), otherwise known as "Drevneyshaya Pravda" (the Oldest Justice) of Yaroslav the Wise, and "Pravda Yaroslavichey" (Justice by Yaroslavs sons, ca. 1054). Some indicate other distinct components of the text, possibly added later.

"Pravda Yaroslava" comprised legal regulations of feudal law along with the archaic regulations that could be traced back to the primitive communal system. According to a popular theory, it was promulgated in order to settle a conflict between Konstantin Dobrynich, a posadnik of Novgorod, and the Varangian population of the city.

Subsequent development and improvement of "RP" took place in times of Yaroslavs sons and his grandson Vladimir Monomakh. New provisions are believed to have been added to "Russkaya Pravda" after the revolts in Kyiv, Novgorod, and Rostov-Suzdal province in 1068-1071.

On the territory of present-day Russia, the "RP" was replaced in 1497 by the "Sudebnik", the Code of Law. Several centuries earlier, new legal codes were promulgated in Pskov and Novgorod.

"Pravda Yaroslavichey" increased responsibility of a given community for killing knyazes soldiers, tiuns ("tiun", a privileged servant of knyazs or boyars), starostas ("starosta", a representative from the low-ranking administration of a knyaz), otroks ("otrok", a low-ranking soldier in the army of a knyaz) and other servants on their own territory. "Pravda Yaroslavichey" provided severe punishment for arson, deliberate cattle mutilation, and collective encroachment on rich peoples property. After the 1113 Riot in Kyiv, an exorbitant interest law was introduced that limited financial operations of moneylenders.

"Russkaya Pravda" stabilized the system of feudal relations and social inequality. During 11th-13th centuries "RP" served the strengthening of feudal dependency of smerds ("smerd" a feudal-dependent peasant), zakups ("zakup" - a feudal-dependent peasant, who could become free after paying off his "zakup", a feudal loan), kholops ("kholop" a feudal-dependent peasant, who could be killed or sold like a slave), etc. The Vast Edition of "RP" contains special regulations with regards to the status of zakups and kholops. "RP" also reflects the role of the court of knyaz, a trend towards increasing differentiation of punishments and penalties, bigger fines for the benefit of knyaz or his administration with correspondingly decreasing compensation to the victims.

Trying to abolish blood feud (that was quite common at that time), "RP" narrowed its "usage" and limited the number of avengers to the closest relatives of the dead. If there were no avengers on the victims side, the killer had to pay a fine (called "vira") in favor of the knyaz and partial compensation to the relatives of the victim (the killers community had to help him pay his fine). If a woman were killed, one would have to pay half of the regular fine (called "poluvirye", half of "vira").

"RP" also defended health and honor of the free members of the feudal society and had provisions about financial compensations for mutilation or an insult by word or deed. "RP" had a detailed system of punishments and penalties for larceny in a city or countryside, deliberate damage to forests, hunting grounds or lands, trespassing etc. It also regulated debt relations between individuals and contained articles of liability and hereditary law. Under "RP", legal proceedings included witnesses, use of oaths or "ordaliy" (lat. ordalium, or "ordeal" in English, a kind of a last-resort test used to prove defendants innocence or guilt). The search for culprits included listening to witnesses, collecting evidence, or hot pursuit. Investigators had to check for false accusations, as well. These were the first steps towards forensic science.



Ohloblyn, A.

Treaty of Pereyaslav, 1654

(Toronto and New York 1954)


The Treaty of Pereyaslav was concluded in 1654 in the Ukrainian city of Pereiaslav-Khmelnytskyi during the meeting, between the Cossacks of the Zaporizhian Host and Tsar Alexey I of Muscovy, following the Khmelnytsky rebellion. Known as the Pereyaslav Council (Pereyaslavs'ka Rada), the treaty provided for the protection of the Ukrainian Cossack state by the tsar. Participants in the preparation of the treaty at Pereyaslav included the Cossack Hetman, Bohdan Khmelnytsky, numerous Cossacks, and a large visiting contingent from Russia and their translators. The original copies of the treaty have perished, and the exact nature of the relationship stipulated by this treaty between Ukraine and Russia is a matter of scholarly controversy. The treaty led to the establishment of the Cossack Hetmanate in left-bank Ukraine, under the Russian Empire, and to the outbreak of the Russo-Polish War (1654-1667).

Whatever the nature of the treaty, the consequences were clearer over time. Major consequences of the treaty included the separation of Ukraine from formerly dominant Catholic Poland, the re-strengthening of Orthodoxy in the historic center of Ukraine, and the eventual domination of Ukraine by neighboring Orthodox Russia.

In the long run, the consequences for Ukraine were pivotal. Polish colonization and Polonization of the upper class soon became replaced by a systematic process of Russification, culminating in the ban of the Ukrainian language. Also suppressed was the distinct identity of the Kievan Church of Rus': both branches of the Ukrainian Church resulting from the Union of Brest were suppressed.

For Poland, the treaty marked a beginning of a process of dismemberment leading to its complete loss of independence (1795).

For Russia, the treaty eventually led to the acquisition of Ukraine, providing a justification for the ambitious title of the Muscovite, and later Russian tsars and emperors, The Ruler of All Rus. Russia, being at that time the only part of the former Kievan Rus which was not occupied by a foreign power, considered herself as legitimate successor and reunificator of former Rus lands.

This treaty is seen by Ukrainian nationalists as a sad occasion of the lost chance for Ukrainian independence. The "Rainbow" monument in Kyiv, Ukraine being colloquially referred to as "Yoke of the Peoples" further demonstrates the controversial nature of the treaty. Pro-Russian Ukrainian parties, on the other hand, celebrate the date of this event and renew calls for the re-unification of the three Eastern Slavic nations: Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

In 2004, after the celebration of the 350th anniversary of the event, the administration of president Leonid Kuchma of Ukraine established January 18 as the official date to commemorate the event, a move which created controversy. Previously, in 1954, the anniversary celebrations included the controversial transfer of Crimea from the Russian Republic to the Ukrainian Republic of the Soviet Union.

Six ages of the world

The Six Ages of the World is a Christian historical periodization outline first written about with authority by Saint Augustine around the year 400. It is based along Christian religious events, from the birth of Adam to the events of Revelation. The six ages of history were widely believed and in use throughout the Middle Ages, and until the Enlightenment, the writing of history was mostly the filling out of all or some part of this outline.

The outline accounts for seven ages, just as there are seven days of the week, with the seventh age being eternal rest after the final judgment and end times, just as the seventh day of the week is reserved for rest. It was normally called the Six Ages of the World because they were the ages of the world, of history, while the seventh age was not of this world and lasting eternal.

The Six Ages are best described in the words of Saint Augustine, found in On the catechizing of the uninstructed:

The First Age: "The first is from the beginning of the human race, that is, from Adam, who was the first man that was made, down to Noah, who constructed the ark at the time of the flood."

The Second Age: "..extends from that period on to Abraham, who was called the father indeed of all nations.."

The Third Age: "For the third age extends from Abraham on to David the king."

The Fourth Age: "The fourth from David on to that captivity whereby the people of God passed over into Babylonia."

The Fifth Age: "The fifth from that transmigration down to the advent of our Lord Jesus Christ."

The Sixth Age: "With His [Jesus Christ's] coming the sixth age has entered on its process."

Since 321, when Constantine legalized Christianity, former pagan worshipers needed a way to learn about Christianity and Augustine used his Catechetical document as a way to communicate and educate people about Christianity.

Augustine was not the first to conceive of the Six Ages, which had its roots in the Jewish tradition, but he was the first to write about it with authority.

Christian scholars believed it was possible to determine how long man had been alive, starting with Adam, by counting forward how long each generation had lived up to the time of Jesus, based on the ages recorded in the Bible. While the exact age of the earth was a matter of biblical interpretive debate, it was generally agreed man was somewhere in the last and final thousand years, the Sixth Age, and the final seventh age could happen at any time. The world was seen as an old place, and the future would be much shorter than the past; a common image was of the world growing old.

Augustine was the first to write of the Six Ages with authority. The Ages reflect the seven days of creation, of which the last day is the rest of the Sabbath, illustrating the human journey to find eternal rest with God, a common Christian narrative.



Robert Ardrey

Aspects of Paleoanthropology


"The Hunting Hypothesis"


Paleoanthropology, which combines the disciplines of paleontology and physical anthropology, is the study of ancient humans as found in fossil hominid evidence such as petrifacted bones and footprints.

The science arguably began in the late 1800s when important discoveries occurred which led to the study of human evolution. The discovery of the Neanderthal in Germany, Thomas Huxley's Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature, and Charles Darwin's The Descent of Man were all important to early paleoanthropological research.

The modern field of paleoanthropology began in the 19th century with the discovery of "Neanderthal man" (the eponymous skeleton was found in 1856, but there had been finds elsewhere since 1830), and with evidence of so-called cave men. The idea that humans are similar to certain great apes had been obvious to people for some time, but the idea of the biological evolution of species in general was not legitimized until after Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859.

Though Darwin's first book on evolution did not address the specific question of human evolution "light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history," Darwin wrote on the subject the implications of evolutionary theory were clear to contemporary readers.

Debates between Thomas Huxley and Richard Owen focused on the idea of human evolution. Huxley convincingly illustrated many of the similarities and differences between humans and apes in his 1863 book Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature. By the time Darwin published his own book on the subject, Descent of Man, it was already a well-known interpretation of his theory and the interpretation which made the theory highly controversial. Even many of Darwin's original supporters (such as Alfred Russel Wallace and Charles Lyell) balked at the idea that human beings could have evolved their apparently boundless mental capacities and moral sensibilities through natural selection.

Since the time of Carolus Linnaeus, the great apes were considered the closest relatives of human beings, based on morphological similarity. In the 19th century, it was speculated that their closest living relatives were chimpanzees and gorillas, and based on the natural range of these creatures, it was surmised humans share a common ancestor with African apes and that fossils of these ancestors would ultimately be found in Africa.


Shmuel Eisenstadt

The Axial Age of Karl Jaspers:

Way to Wisdom


European Journal of Sociology, 1982

German philosopher Karl Jaspers coined the term the axial age to describe the period from 800 BC to 200 BC, during which, according to Jaspers, similarly revolutionary thinking appeared in China, India and the Occident. The period is also sometimes referred to as the axis age.

Jaspers, in his The Origin and Goal of History, identified a number of key axial age thinkers as having had a profound influence on future philosophy and religion, and identified characteristics common to each area from which those thinkers emerged. Jaspers saw in these developments in religion and philosophy a striking parallel without any obvious direct transmission of ideas from one region to the other, having found no recorded proof of any extensive inter-communication between Ancient Greece, the Middle East, India and China. Jaspers held up this age as unique, and one to which the rest of the history of human thought might be compared. Jaspers' approach to the culture of the middle of the first millennium BC has been adopted by other scholars and academics, and has become a point of discussion.

Jaspers argued that during the axial age "the spiritual foundations of humanity were laid simultaneously and independently... And these are the foundations upon which humanity still subsists today". These foundations were laid by individual thinkers within a framework of a changing social environment.

Jaspers' axial shifts included the rise of Platonism, which would later become a major influence on the Western world through both Christian and secular thought throughout the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance. Buddhism, another of the world's most influential philosophies, was founded by Siddhartha Gautama, or the Buddha, who lived during this period. In China, Confucianism arose during this era, where it remains a profound influence on social and religious life. Zoroastrianism, another of Jaspers' examples, is crucial to the development of monotheism. Jaspers also included the authors of the Homer, Socrates, Parmenides, Heraclitus, Thucydides, Archimedes, Isaiah, and Jeremiah as axial figures. Jaspers held Socrates, Confucius and Siddhartha Gautama in especially high regard, describing them as exemplary human beings, or as a "paradigmatic personality".

Jaspers described the axial age as "an interregnum between two ages of great empire, a pause for liberty, a deep breath bringing the most lucid consciousness". Jaspers was particularly interested in the similarities in circumstance and thought of the Age's figures. These similarities included an engagement in the quest for human meaning and the rise of a new elite class of religious leaders and thinkers in China, India and the Occident. The three regions all gave birth to, and then institutionalized, a tradition of traveling scholars, who roamed from city to city to exchange ideas. These scholars were largely from extant religious traditions; in China, Confucianism and Taoism; in India, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism; in the Occident, the religion of Zoroaster; in Canaan, Judaism; and in Greece, sophism and other classical philosophy.

Jaspers argues that these characteristics appeared under the same sociological circumstances: China, India and the Occident each comprised multiple small states engaged in internal and external struggles.

German sociologist Max Weber played an important role in Jaspers' thinking. He provided a background for the importance of the period.

Religious historian Karen Armstrong explored the period and argued that the Enlightenment was a "Second Axial Age", including thinkers such as Isaac Newton, Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein, and that religion today needs to return to the transformative Axial insights. In contrast, it has been suggested that the modern era is a new axial age, wherein traditional relationships between religion, secularity and traditional thought are changing.



Burke, P "The European Renaissance"


Some Remarks on the Question of the Originality of the Renaissance


Journal of the History of Ideas


The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th through the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. It encompassed a revival of learning based on classical sources, the development of linear perspective in painting, and educational reform. The Renaissance saw developments in most intellectual pursuits, but is perhaps best known for its artistic aspect and the contributions of such polymaths as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, who have inspired the term "Renaissance men".

The Renaissance has a long and complex historiography, and there has always been debate among historians as to the usefulness of the Renaissance as a term and as a historical age. Some have called into question whether the Renaissance really was a cultural "advance" from the Middle Ages, instead seeing it as a period of pessimism and nostalgia for the classical age. While nineteenth-century historians were keen to emphasize that the Renaissance represented a clear "break" from medieval thought and practice, some modern historians have instead focused on the continuity between the two eras. Indeed, it is now usually considered incorrect to classify any historical period as "better" or "worse", leading some to call for an end to the use of the term, which they see as a product of presentism. The word Renaissance has also been used to describe other historical and cultural movements, such as the Carolingian Renaissance and the Twelfth-century Renaissance.

Humanism was not a philosophy per se, but rather a method of learning. In contrast to the medieval scholastic mode, which focused on resolving contradictions between authors, humanists would study ancient texts in the original, and appraise them through a combination of reasoning and empirical evidence. Humanist education was based on the study of poetry, grammar, ethics and rhetoric. Above all, humanists asserted "the genius of man... the unique and extraordinary ability of the human mind."

Humanist scholars shaped the intellectual landscape throughout the early modern period. Political philosophers such as Niccolò Machiavelli and Thomas More revived the ideas of Greek and Roman thinkers, and applied them in critiques of contemporary government. Theologians, notably Erasmus and Martin Luther, challenged the Aristotelian status quo, introducing radical new ideas of justification and faith.

One of the distinguishing features of Renaissance art was its development of highly realistic linear perspective. The development of perspective was part of a wider trend towards realism in the arts. To that end, painters also developed other techniques, studying light, shadow, and, famously in the case of Leonardo da Vinci, human anatomy. Underlying these changes in artistic method was a renewed desire to depict the beauty of nature, and to unravel the axioms of aesthetics, with the works of Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael representing artistic pinnacles that were to be much imitated by other artists.

Concurrently, in the Netherlands, a particularly vibrant artistic culture developed, the work of Hugo van der Goes and Jan van Eyck having particular influence on the development of painting in Italy, both technically with the introduction of oil paint and canvas, and stylistically in terms of naturalism in representation.

The upheavals occurring in the arts and humanities were mirrored by a dynamic period of change in the sciences. Some have seen this flurry of activity as a "scientific revolution," heralding the beginning of the modern age. Others have seen it merely as an acceleration of a continuous process stretching from the ancient world to the present day. Regardless, there is general agreement that the Renaissance saw significant changes in the way the universe was viewed and the methods with which philosophers sought to explain natural phenomena.

Science and art were very much intermingled in the early Renaissance, with artists such as Leonardo da Vinci making observational drawings of anatomy and nature. Yet the most significant development of the era was not a specific discovery, but rather a process for discovery, the scientific method. This revolutionary new way of learning about the world focused on empirical evidence, the importance of mathematics, and discarding the Aristotelian "final cause" in favor of a mechanical philosophy. Early and influential proponents of these ideas included Copernicus and Galileo.

The new scientific method led to great contributions in the fields of astronomy, physics, biology, and anatomy. A new confidence was placed in the role of dissection, observation, and a mechanistic view of anatomy.


Sitchin, Zecharia


Age of Enli

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