Federal State Autonomous Educational Institution of Higher Education "Belgorod National Research University"

TRACTUS AEVORUM 6 (1). Spring/Summer 2019




The Numismatics of the Bosporus:
Concerning the Reasons for Trimming and Replicating Staters

M. M. Choref

Nizhnevartovsk State University

The study of numismatics implies not only the study of coins of official status and their replicas. It is also important to trace the duration and nature of their use in the process of circulation. This problem is especially relevant for transitional periods in history, as, for example, the Era of the Great Migrations, when imitations could be made not only by local subjects, but also by barbarian newcomers. In this case, it is important to determine what prompted the latter to create such replicas. This article examines the practice of both trimming and creating replicas of Bosporus staters. It studies the traces of such modifications on the coins of Rhescuporis IV, in which images of one of the emperors were removed from the reverse. This article concludes that this operation was conducted by private individuals, as the retouched coins were in circulation together with unmodified versions of the same coins. It likewise concludes that these staters were trimmed in keeping with the political preferences of the population. The study of such modifications of cast replicas is similarly of interest. There are visible traces of retouched images and inscriptions. Such operations were conducted most likely to give these coins the best presentation. As a result, these coins became votives, that is, traditional offerings to local gods, while users of these coins became carriers of Bosporan culture.

The Time of Festival:
On the Behavior of Participants in Popular Uprisings
in the Russian Provinces in the Summer of 1648

D. A. Lyapin

Bunin Yelets State University

In the summer of 1648 popular unrest unfolded in Moscow and a number of towns in the Russian provinces. The participants in these riots protested attempts to limit the power of the tsar and demonstrated their support for Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich. They believed that his reign marked a new era, one with a strong monarch who served as an independent judge on behalf of his subjects. Lyapin examines the behavior of participants in the unrest within the entangled context of festivities and everyday life. He argues that elements of carnival culture were present in the unrest. In particular, he identifies the following features of carnival behavior: mockery, social “upturning,” feasting, violence, its origins in the marketplace, and its limited duration in time. The unrest was likely connected with the widespread sense that important changes were taking place across the country. The rebels believed that the rule of the insidious boiars and prikaz officials was at a close, and the just power of the tsar was on the rise. It was this mood of change that was expressed in popular uprisings, which included drunken festivities, fights and feasts, and had features of parody and the grotesque. Further, the rebels did not accept the social hierarchy. Lyapin considers the Russian unrest as a potential repercussion of the “feast of transformation” that was characteristic of medieval and early modern Europe. He concludes that the festive culture shows the unrest through the eyes of its participants, while arguing that the revolts of 1648 were an indicator of important changes, namely the formation of strong autocratic power in Russia.



Liminality in the Ethnohistory, Culture, and Kinship
of the Nagaibaks

S. Iu. Belorussova

1) Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera), Russian Academy of Sciences
2) National Research University “Higher School of Economics”

The ethnicity of the Nagaibaks originated in 1736 after the establishment of the Nagaibak fortress, in which inorodtsy of different backgrounds from adjacent areas were gathered and given the status of Cossacks (on condition of their baptism). Later, after their resettlement to the New Line in 1842–43, the Nagaibaks formed a peculiar community: their membership in a military estate and their inclusion of peoples of different traditions and creeds helped them to become “a border people” in spatial and sociocultural dimensions. In turn, this “liminality” allowed the Nagaibaks to unite opposing features within their ethnicity—hospitality and rivalry, openness to innovation (in terms of active participation in ethnic projects) and closeness in traditions (in terms of preserving rituals of kinship). At various points in their history, the Nagaibaks turned to either openness or closeness, or a combination of both. In the Soviet period, an emphasis on closeness allowed them to preserve their culture (“introvert mode”). In the post-Soviet period, on the contrary, the Nagaibaks mobilized their ethnicity through openness (“extrovert mode”). This dynamic ethnicity made possible a transition from the spatial mobility of the past to the activization of ethnicity in the present. Through their development at the crossroads of different types of cultures (nomad and sedentary, Christian and Muslim, European and Asia) the Nagaibak culture became open-minded and adaptable, while the nomad and Cossack sociocultural heritage led to mobility and flexibility in their actions.


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