(Redirected from Arsania)

Arthania (Arabic: ارثانية’Arṯāniya,[1] Russian: Арcания, Ukrainian: Артанія, Belarusian: Артанія) was one of the three tribes of the Rus[1][2] or Saqaliba (early East Slavs)[3] with the center in Artha described in a lost book by Abu Zayd al-Balkhi (dating from ca. 920) and mentioned in works by some of his followers (Ibn Hawqal, Al-Istakhri, Hudud ul-'alam).[4][5] The two other centers were Slawiya (Arabic: صلاويةṢ(a)lāwiya; tentatively identified with the land of Ilmen Slavs, see Rus Khaganate) and Kuyaba (Arabic: كويابةKūyāba; usually identified with Kyiv).[1][2][4]

Ibn Hawqal claims that nobody has ever visited Artha because the locals kill every foreigner attempting to penetrate their land. They are involved in trade with Kuyaba, selling sable furs, lead, and a modicum of slaves.[4]

Modern historians have been unable to pinpoint the location of Arthania. A linguistic line of argument leads some historians to such far-away places as Cape Arkona on the Baltic Sea and the land of the Erzya (an ethnic group of the Mordva nation) or around Plisnesk hillfort in the Upper Western Bug[3][1][6][7] George Vernadsky located Arsa on the Taman Peninsula (see Tmutarakan),[8] while Vladimir Minorsky connected "Arsa" with Ryazan.[7] No archaeological confirmation of these linguistic speculations has ever been produced.[9]

Modern Russian historiography tends to identify Arthania with the land of the Merya serving the Volga trade route.[10] Archaeological evidence points to Sarskoe Gorodishche and Timerevo as its main centers.[9] The native name of either town remains unknown; either may have been called Arsa in a native dialect.


  1. ^ a b c d M. Th. Houtsma, ed. (1993). E. J. Brill's first encyclopaedia of Islam: 1913-1936. Leiden: Brill. p. 1182. ISBN 90-04-09792-9.
  2. ^ a b Duczko, Wladyslaw (2004). Viking Rus: studies on the presence of Scandinavians in Eastern Europe. Leiden: Brill. p. 123. ISBN 90-04-13874-9.
  3. ^ a b Dyba, Yuri R. (2016), Географія початкової русі за східними джерелами [Geography of the Primary Rus` in Eastern Sources]
  4. ^ a b c Oriental Sources on Old East Slavs, by An. Novoseltsev
  5. ^ Артанія // Історія державності та правові пам'ятки України. — Х. : Основа, 2013. — 93 с.
  6. ^ Paszkiewicz, Henryk (1977). The Making of the Russian Nation. Greenwood Press. p. 156.
  7. ^ a b Древнерусское государство и его международное значение. М., 1965. Стр. 417-418.
  8. ^ Вернадский, Г. В. Древняя Русь (in Russian).
  9. ^ a b Дубов, Игорь (1985). Города, величеством сияющие (in Russian). Изд-во Ленинградского университета. p. 53.
  10. ^ Отечественная история: история России с древнейших времен до 1917 года. Том 1. Стр. 157. Большая Российская энциклопедия, 1994.
    Anatoli Novoseltsev. Образование Древнерусского государства и первый его правитель. // Вопросы истории. 1991. № 2-3. С. 9.
    Мачинский А.А. О времени и обстоятельствах первого появления славян на северо-западе Восточной Европы по данным письменных источников. // Северная Русь и ее соседи в эпоху раннего средневековья. Л., 1982. С. 22.