Chapter 1. The Scene: From Prehistory to Peter I “the Great”

Tore Nesset



Language change does not happen in a vacuum. In order to understand how Russian came to be the way it is you need some background knowledge about the prehistory and history of the Russians and their Slavic relatives. In this chapter, you will learn about the Slavic and Indo-European languages in Europe (section 1.1) and the ancestor languages that Russian has developed from (section 1.2). In sections 1.3–1.4, we explore the prehistory of the Slavs, before we turn to a brief overview of Russian history before Peter I “the Great” in sections 1.5–1.11. While reading the chapter, make use of the chronological overview of important historical events and periods in section 1.12.


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1.4 Migrations - licensed under CC-BY 4.0

1.4 Rus - licensed under CC-BY 4.0


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