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Reconstructions of Prince Svyatoslav – Kievan Rus

Reconstructions of Prince Svyatoslav – The description of the appearance of Svyatoslav was given to us by Leo the Deacon, who was a Byzantine historian and chronicler during the contemporary Russian-Byzantine war in Bulgaria. On that information here is an attempt to reconstruct the appearance of Prince Svyatoslav . The siege ended in a peace treaty of Byzantine Emperor John I Tzimiskes and the Russian prince Svyatoslav. The emperor came to the bank of the Danube on horseback, accompanied by a Leo the Deacon to meet Svyatoslav.  His appearance as reported by Leo was: moderate growth, not too high and not too low, with bushy eyebrows and a light-blue eyes, snub-nosed, beardless, with thick, excessively long mustache on the upper lip. His head was completely naked except hanging lock of hair – a sign of nobility among Kievans; strong neck, broad chest, and all other parts of the body are strong, but he looked sullen and wild. In one ear he had a gold earring; it was decorated with emeralds. Garment was white with red Slavic lines and it was different from his other garments only to show purity. Sitting in a boat on the bench for the rowers, he talked a little with the monarch on the conditions of the peace and left. “(Translation M.M.Kopylenko).

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However, some details of description of Svyatoslav  by Leo the Deacon are unclear. So, instead of “beardless”, says the translation “with thin beard” and “tuft of hair” that hangs with not one but two sides of the head. It is this – with a rare beard and two plaits – Sviatoslav appears in the pages of the “History” S.M.Soloveva. This reconstruction is based on the more traditional view of the exterior of the ancient Russian princes.

“Medium” growth Svyatoslav adjusted the length of his sword (“Frankish” swords of the time did not exceed 80-90 cm). His age at the time of death did not exceed 30-32 years.

svyatoslav-reconstruction

In Svyatoslav as noted by Leo he has seen “rich” armor and weapons. Helm plays the type of military headgear mid-tenth century with “Lustre” shield shape of the Rus at the time witnessed by the same Leo the Deacon. Pants of the Prince were “sewn” according to the writings of the Arab’s at the end of the ninth century. Arab chronicler Ibn Rust said that the Rus used to wear wide trousers … wearing such trousers, they collect them in the assembly and tie up at the knees and the boots came into wide use in Russia, apparently, only in the XI.

What do you think?

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