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Home | Ancient History Sourcebook | Medieval Sourcebook | Modern History Sourcebook | Byzantine Studies Page Other History Sourcebooks: African | East Asian | Global | Indian | Islamic | Jewish | Lesbian and Gay | Science | Women's[from Walsh] The earliest written records of Rus seem to date from the 11th century.The most authoritative, complete and earliest of the Chronicles to have survived is The Lavrentyesky Spisok, dating from 1377 and so called after the Monk Lawrence who copied it, The second oldest is called Ipatsky Spisok, after the Ipatsky Monastery where it was found.
It is now generally held to be a compilation of the work of many men. Sem occupied the East: Cham, the middle part; and Japhat received the North and the Southwest.In the portion belonging to Japhat there lived the Russian, the Chuder,, and many other people.After the fall of the tower of Babel and the confusion of tongues, the sons of Japhat occupied the countries of the West and North.From the descendants of Jjaphat came those who took the name of Slavs.They established themselves near the Danube in the countries of the Egri and the Bulgars. There is a road which runs from Varangia to Greece, and another which goes from Greece to the Lovat; and one which returns from the Lovat by a route across the Great Lake Ilmen.The Dnieper rises in the forests of Volkhov and flows to the south; while the Dvina which has its source in the same forests flows to the north and empties into the Varangian Sea; from these same forests, the Volga flows to the west.
From this sea one can go from Russia to Bulgaria by way of the Volga; to Varangia by wayof the Dvina; from the Varangians to Rome, and from Rome to the farthermost possessions of Chain.
The Dnieper with its three mouths empties into the Black Sea, which is called the Sea of the Russians. During the years 6386, 6369, and 6370, [from 860-862] the Varangians crossed the Sea.
Some of these Slavs were scattered over the earth, and they have taken the names of those places where they established themselves, for example, those who populated the frontiers of Moravia call themselves Moravians; others, Czechs. Among those Slavs who lived along the Dnieper, some took the name of Poles, others that of Dreviliens (because they lived in the forest) others that of Dregovich (who established themselves between the Pripet and the Dvina) thus the language of the Slavs was dispersed. From this [inland] sea flows the Volkhov which enters into the great lake of the Neva.
The Neva empties into the Sea of the Varangians [the Baltic].
From this sea one can go to Rome and from Rome, also by sea, even to Constantinople.
From Constantinople, one can go by way of the Black Sea into which flows the River Dnieper.