Voices on birchbark : everyday communication in medieval Russia / Jos Schaeken.

Schaeken, Jos [Browse]
Leiden, Boston : BRILL, 2019.
1 online resource.


Summary note
In Voices on Birchbark Jos Schaeken explores the major role that writing on birchbark – an ephemeral, even ‘throw-away’ form of correspondence and administration – played in the vibrant medieval merchant city of Novgorod and other cities in the Russian Northwest. Birchbark literacy was crucial to the organization of Novgorodian society; it was integrated into a huge variety of activities and had a broad social basis; it was used extensively by the laity, by women as well as men, by villagers as well as landlords. Voices on Birchbark is the first book-length study of this unique corpus in English. By examining a representative selection of birchbark texts, Jos Schaeken presents fascinating vignettes of daily medieval life and a holistic picture of the pragmatics of communication in pre-modern societies.
Bibliographic references
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Source of description
Description based on print version record and CIP data provided by publisher; resource not viewed.
  • Preliminary Material
  • Notes on Translation, Transliteration, Terminology, and References
  • Historical and Geographical Context
  • Sites and Distribution
  • Dating and Periodization
  • Writing Technology and Practice
  • Users and Literacy
  • Intersections between Birchbark Writing and Graffiti
  • Language and Communication
  • Preliminary Remarks
  • Commerce and Finance
  • Law and Administration
  • Estate Management
  • Family Life and Household Management
  • Learning to Read and Write
  • Church, Religion, and Folk Belief
  • Witnesses to History
  • Non-Slavic on Birchbark
  • Introduction
  • The Orality Factor
  • The Role of the Messenger
  • Communicatively Heterogeneous Letters
  • Social Networks
  • Some Final Thoughts
  • Color Plates
  • References
  • Index of Birchbark Documents
  • Index of Subjects.
  • 10.1163/9789004389427
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