New Books Network

In Europe, Byzantium, and the “Intellectual Silence” of Rus’ Culture (Arc Humanities Press, 2018), Dr. Donald Ostrowski pens a fresh look at an old question:...

In Europe, Byzantium, and the “Intellectual Silence” of Rus’ Culture (Arc Humanities Press, 2018), Dr. Donald Ostrowski pens a fresh look at an old question: Why did the intellectual path of Medieval Russian culture differ so much from its counterparts in Western Europe? In a phrase: Why was there no Russian Abelard? In addition to deep analysis of the primary sources, Ostrowski provides a window into the history of historians debating this question. The book concludes by arguing that Rus’ was not in fact “silent” at all. Rather, Rus’ intellectual culture simply spoke on a different frequency than that of Medieval Western Europe. Dr. Ostrowski’s book has already generated an academic journal symposium in Russian History (volume 46), and is an important addition to how historians understand the early history of Rus’ in relationship to the rest of the world.


Aaron Weinacht is Professor of History at the University of Montana Western in Dillon, MT. He teaches courses on Russian and Soviet History, World History, and Philosophy of History. His research interests include the sociological theorist Philip Rieff and the influence of Russian nihilism on American libertarianism.