Publishing and and translating the oldest Russian charters
The collection of the Monumenta Palaeographica Medii Aevi has just been expanded with a Series Rossica which opens the access to documents in Cyrillic alphabet (after Latin, Greek and Hebrew). Volume 1 of this series publishes the 27 oldest charters preserved in the collection of the city council of Riga (Latvia) concerning the relations of the city with the Russian world, the principalities of Smolensk and Polotsk, the cities of Novgorod and Pskov. These charters are the oldest original documents and contemporary copies testifying to Russian diplomatic practice between 1191/1192 and 1338-1341. The purpose of this lecture is to introduce the audience to the palaeographic and diplomatic practices of Russian principalities and trading cities, while tracing the unique history of the Riga city's collection.