Should Anne of Kiev's Birth Place Be Different?

+10 votes

Hello all,

One of the main reasons I worked towards Pre-1500 certification was because I hoped to be able to improve Anne of Kiev's profile on WikiTree—predominantly the biography. I was just taking a look at it now, and I saw that her birth place is listed as "Kiev, Ukraine", when she was born in about 1036. I researched the use of Ukraine as opposed to Kievan Rus' (which was an East Slavic state which, at one point, united most of the East Slavic tribes), and according to the "Name of Ukraine" Wikipedia article:

"The oldest mention of the word ukraina dates back to the year 1187."

As Anne was born about 1036, this puts her birth in Kiev even before the word 'ukraina' has been mentioned as being used, and at this time Kiev was still acting as the capital of the Kievan Rus'. Per the location style guideline, does this then mean that Anne's place of birth should instead be listed as " Kiev, Kievan Rus' "?

I am prepared to make the change if it's decided that it should be changed, I just do not want to do something without being certain that I'm right.

WikiTree profile: Аnne Киевская
in Genealogy Help by Amelia Utting G2G6 Pilot (190k points)
retagged by Isabelle Martin

5 Answers

+9 votes
Best answer

Place of birth should not say Kiev, Ukraine or Kyiv, Ukraine because that was not the contemporary name.

Kiev, Kievan Rus' is more suitable. However, it can be further extended and called Kiev, Land of Kiev, Kievan Rus' (Russian: Киев, Земля Киевская, Киевская Русь). This is because Kievan Rus' was divided into regions where each region paid a separate tax to the capital.

Furthermore, the location should have tag "uncertain". While Anne's father was the ruler of Kievan Rus' since before 1020 he resided in Veliky Novgorod (Russian: Новгород, Новгородская Земля, Киевская Русь) until 1036, which is about the year when Anne was born. So, it's possible that she was actually born in Veliky Novgorod and not in Kiev.

Contemporary map:
Kievan Rus'

by Patrick Munits G2G6 Mach 1 (11.1k points)
selected by Melanie Paul
Thank you! In this case, I'll change the location to Kievan Rus' and add the uncertain tag. I'll make sure to mention your fact about Veliky Novgorod in the biography when I begin work on it :)
Patrick is also correct that the name should be in Russian in the actual place name field, though not necessarily in the biography.

See here

For many of these pre-1500 profiles, we can't know how they may have written their place names given the written (and spoken) languages can change over the years, so the unwritten (?) rule seems to be that we use the modern language now spoken in the area in which they were born.

I do know that Kievan Rus' name was written in Old East Slavic, and that the Wikipedia pages for both Kiev (the city) and Kievan Rus' have the name written in OES. 

Old East Slavic: Кыѥвъ, Рѹ́сьскаѧ землѧ
Russian: Киев, Киевская Русь

Because we do know how the place name would have been written (OES), is it preferred that the location is written in OES or in Russian?

Thanks Amy, I didn't think to check, but if we know what it is in OES then by all means we should use it in the birth place field.

Once you get to that section in the biography, then it is perhaps a good idea to note all three place names (OES, Russian & English).
Sounds good, John. I'll go ahead and do it now; once I've done that, I'll start work on drafting the biography and work on it in the next couple of days in my personal sandbox.
+7 votes
I just want to salute your courage in tackling this profile. I wish I could send you flowers and chocolate.

That said, I would have used Kievan Rus' as her birth place myself, though I'm sure there are people more apt to answer the question than me.

A location field is easy to edit.
by Isabelle Martin G2G6 Pilot (473k points)
Haha, thank you Isabelle!

I'm starting out slow (easy edits, such as the location) before I really dig in to the mess that is the biography.

I'm leaning towards " Kiev, Kievan Rus' " but I'll wait for a few hours to see if I get any further responses before I go ahead with the change.
+3 votes
I think it would be better to use Kievan Rus'.  It's similar to the situation when I see 'Constantinople, Turkey' on 11th/12th century profiles; though Turkey is an ancient place name (I had to turn to the Wikipedia page "Name of Turkey" and learned a lot about its history), it seems more appropriate (at least to me) to use Constantinople, Byzantine Empire or Constantinople, Byzantium or something similar, especially when dealing with profiles of Byzantium's royal and noble families.  Kiev, Ukraine seems like an anachronism for this period in time.
by K. Anonymous G2G6 Pilot (131k points)
+3 votes

If you strictly want to use contemporary name of the state, you should use just Rus'.
The term Kievan Rus' was established by modern historians to distinguish the period from the 9th century to the beginning of the 12th century, when Kiev was the center of a large state.,_Russia_and_Ruthenia

by Roman Kovbasyuk G2G Crew (750 points)
+1 vote
As there is no consensus in the literature, no contemporary evidence in preference of one location or another, and a whole lot of differing opinion and debate here over what might be an appropriate name, then why not just leave it blank and make a note in the biography?
by Matt Engdahl G2G6 Mach 1 (13.4k points)
I'll leave Kiev in there for now, but I am going to include a note in the research portion of the biography I'm working on for Anne.

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