Study Guides for Land of the Firebird

Chapter 1

  1. How did the various emisaries to Prince Vldimir try to explain their religion, and what objections did Vladimir have? What did the emisaries report from their trip regarding the various religions?
  2. When did Vladimir convert Russia to Christianity?
  3. Describe Byzantium at the time of Vladimir.
  4. Who were Boris and Gleb? What did they symbolize? In what way were they Christ-like?
  5. What was Vladimir called in Russian folklore? What was he like as a ruler?
  6. How did the Russians "humanize" the Byzantine church rite?
  7. Describe the symbolism of domes on Russian churches.
  8. What is the shape of a Russian Orthodox cross?
  9. What does "sobornost" mean?
  10. What is Iconostasis?
  11. How are icons arrangemed on the iconostasis?
  12. How did the Russians humanize the icon?
  13. What is the role of icons in Russian Orthodoxy?

Chapter 2

  1. What are "byliny"?
  2. What are "bogatyry"?
  3. What did Yaroslav the Wise contribute to Russian Culture? What are some of his contributions? What was his attitude toward education?
  4. How did the city of Kiev compare to other Western cities?
  5. Describe the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia in Kiev.
  6. What was the relationship between Russia and Europe like at this time? How were Russian royalty related to those in the west?
  7. How did most Novgorodians earn their living?
  8. What did Novgorod contribute to church architecture?
  9. How did Kiev and Novgorod compare to other western European cities of the period?
  10. How was Novgorod governed?
  11. What is the significance of the cap of Vladimir Monomakh? Describe some of the advice he gave his children.

Chapter 3

  1. How long did the Kievan state last?
  2. What are some of the causes for the fall of the Kievan state?
  3. How did the Kievan state come to an end?
  4. Genghis Khan.
  5. What kind of warriors were the Mongols?
  6. Why did Novgorod not fall to the Mongols?
  7. What is "The Golden Horde"?
  8. Who was Alexander Nevsky?
  9. How did Russia change under the Mongols/Tartars?
  10. For how long was Russia under the Mongols?
  11. What impact did the the Mongol rule over Russia eventually have on the Russians, their character and their culture?