Uspenskii, Konstantin Nikolaevich
Born 1874; died May 14 (27), 1917. Russian historian and Byzantinist.
In 1910, Uspenskii became a privatdocent at Moscow University. His major work was Studies on the History of Byzantium (part 1, 1917). Rejecting the idea of a logical development of historical phenomena, he believed that feudalism had existed from time immemorial. In his view monastic feudalism was a special type of Byzantine feudalism. Uspenskii was the first to study all existing sources on Iconoclasm, which he regarded as, in essence, a struggle against monastic landownership.
Uspenskii made an important contribution to research on Byzantine excuseia, which he considered to be identical to the Western European immunity. He disagreed with the commune theory, which was widespread in the 19th century, contending that “the commune system . . . is not realistic” (see Ocherki . . ., part 1, Moscow, 1917, p. 162). Uspenskii denied any kind of Slavic influence on the formation of the Byzantine commune.
REFERENCESUdal’tsova, Z. V. “Vizantinovedenie.” In Ocherki istorii istoricheskoi nauki v SSSR, vol. 3. Moscow, 1963. Chapter 9.
Siuziumov, M. la. “Osnovnye napravleniia istoriografii istorii Vizantii.” In the collection Vizantiiskii vremennik, vol. 22. Moscow, 1963.
M. IA. SIUZIUMOV