Scientific Information Agency
07 February 2022

«Joyfulness of Rus`...»: Drinking as a Social Phenomenon of Ancient Rus` State

Ukrainian historical journal
«Joyfulness of Rus`...»: Drinking as a Social Phenomenon of Ancient Rus` State

The article explores the daily life of ancient-Rus' communities in such specific manifestations as hop feasts and banquets. The purpose of the research is to study the functions of the code of feast in the culture of Rus' and their role in social practice, to understand drinking as a social phenomenon of Kyivan Rus'. The methodological basis of the study is the principle of historicism, focused on the knowledge of the structures of everyday life, the social nature of drinking as a phenomenon of socio-political life of Rus'. The scientific novelty of the research is that it is the first in Ukrainian historiography a comprehensive socio-anthropological study of the phenomenon of drinking in Kyivan Rus', which attempts to stratify the codes of the feast as a form of social communication of ancient communities, to identify meaningful filling of their social functions. Conclusions. The study found that consumption of hop drinks was an important component of the daily life of Rus' communities. No significant family events and social affairs were complete without drinking: births, marriages, and commemorations were accompanied by hop records. Feasts in Kyivan Rus' were not only utilitarian and consumerist, but also played an important social function. They were an integral and very important part of the system of public communication, one of the means of social communication and a tool of understanding. The “feasts” arranged by the authorities of Kyivan Rus' for the purpose of its legitimation and representation became institutional in nature. With the help of a common feast, the social and psychological unity of social groups, communities and corporations was realized and in a visual form. Such banquets represented one of the most essential forms of social communication, imbued with the emotional attitudes of participants of a common meal. Cloud records in Rus' were a natural and organic means of human communication, an important hub of social connection. The vice of everyday drinking, characteristic of any society, was not a defining feature of everyday life in Kyivan Rus'.

Source: Rychka V. (2020). "Joyfulness of Rus'...": Drinking as a Social Phenomenon of Ancient Rus' State. Ukrainian historical journal. 2: 46–59

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