The Golden Age of Kyivan Rus'


Monday, December 13, 2021, 2:00pm to 3:15pm


Zoom Webinar and YouTube

with a presentation of MAPA: Digital Atlas of Ukraine
Susana Torres Prieto
, HURI Research Fellow; Assistant Professor of Humanities, IE University (Segovia)
Kostyantyn Bondarenko, MAPA Project Manager
Moderated by Michael Flier, Oleksandr Potebnja Professor of Ukrainian Philology, Harvard University

Register for Zoom  or watch on YouTube

Kyivo-Pechersky  Monastery with event details


From the time of the Christianization of Kyivan Rus’ in 988 until the capture of Kyiv by the Mongols in 1240, a distinct literary and artistic culture emerged and flourished throughout the Kyivan Rus’ principalities. The Golden Age of Kyivan Rus' is a MAPA project that aims to present and describe the artistic and literary endeavors that were developed during that period of almost three centuries, and formed the medieval culture of modern Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia.

For the first time ever, a digital humanities project will showcase the achievements and highlights of medieval Kyivan Rus’ culture, linked to the centers of political and religious power, to show how a pattern of cultural and literary conscience emerged in East Slavic over the decades that was not only a more or less adequate adaptation of other Slavic written cultures or Byzantium, but one that acquired specific and distinctive features.

By developing a MAPA project focused on the Golden Age of Kyivan Rus´, my aim is to reassess some of the truisms that traditionally have been taken for granted in its study: How Byzantine did Kyivan Rus’ culture remain over the decades? Which topics or texts were more widely circulated? Which monasteries, aside from the Caves in Kyiv, could have been responsible for this cultural diffusion? What was the role of princely and city patronage? How did literacy spread? What were the connections between the iconographic programs displayed in the temples and the literary culture circulating at the time?

Although we are still at an early stage, the current MAPA project will contribute to visualize the richness and depth of Kyivan Rus’ culture in all its artistic and literary endeavors.

About the Speaker

Susana Torres PrietoSusana Torres Prieto studied Slavonic Philology at the Universidad Complutense and completed her thesis on medieval Slavonic epics in 2005. Her research focuses on medieval Slavic culture, particularly on translations from Greek into East Slavic. Her monograph The Early Slavs: The First Centuries of Eastern Europe will be published next year (Routledge 2022). Her most recent monograph is a study on the Slavic versions of the Alexander Romance. Susana is Assistant Professor of Humanities at IE University. She has been Visiting Professor at Arizona State University and the Université of Lausanne as well as a Visiting Scholar at the Université Sorbonne (Paris), University of Cambridge (UK), and now at Harvard University.

MAPA Presentation: Kostyantyn Bondarenko, IT Professional and MAPA Project Manager, Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University

Moderator: Michael S. Flier, Oleksandr Potebnja Professor of Ukrainian Philology, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Harvard University

Watch on YouTube


Persons with disabilities who wish to request accommodations or who have questions about access, please contact Megan Duncan Smith, HURI Programs Coordinator, at in advance of the session (at least two weeks prior, if possible).

Watch videos of past HURI events on our YouTube Channel and subscribe to our email list to receive announcements about events and other activities.