So Scandinavian vikings ruled the Kievan Rus for a long time, is there anyway for this Scandinavian influence to be increased to where it fills the role Byzantine influence had in the development of OTL's east slavic cultures?

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make *Russia a Nordic country with a POD no earlier than 900AD.
 
Could you define what you mean by "Nordic" in this context? Since a lot of uses of "Nordic" end up being "Scandinavian-style social democracy", which with that early of a POD, neither any Scandinavian kingdom nor Russia is bound to evolve into.

Replacing Byzantine influence is an entirely different of a thing, but weren't the Scandinavians converted to Christianity by German missionaries? But I think because of trade links and geography it seems more likely that Byzantine influence will come out on top of Scandinavian influence. Marriage links between Byzantium and Russia (since Vladimir the Great) seem like an obvious thing to occur which would help cement links between Byzantium and the Rus
 
Yeah, a definition of Nordic would be good. Geographically, Russia is quite way up North. Linguistically, the chances of a North Germanic language remaining relevant in Russia are slim in the light of population developments. Religiously, a Reformation of Russia appears unlikely, too. So what exactly would a Nordic Russia entail?
 
Well, a hypothetical Finnic "Russia" could be also considered as Nordic as well, couldn't it?
 
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I guess it depends how we define Russia ITTL, no?

Something in the Ladoga Lake region + Estonia could conceivably have gotten lots of Scandinavian influence, given the right butterflies, no?

so, something like this:
upload_2018-1-22_14-50-17.png
 
I suppose if the Norsemen never go west for some reason and focus all their resources and energy on the east. This would mean a much larger colonization effort and then those newcomers would have to maintain ties with the homeland to keep settlers, business, crafts, and more importantly culture coming into the settlements. If these settlements are really successful they'll attract the native Slavs into adopting Scandinavian Cultural practices including language so they can more easily do business and have the same levels of prosperity. Those actively resisting will probably be subject to conquest militarily.
 
Well, a hypothetical Finnic "Russia" could be also considered as Nordic as well, couldn't it?

If those Finns ended up with a culture like OTL Finland, sure, even though much of Finnish culture derives from the Swedes and Baltic Finnic languages were only spoken over a part of northwestern Russia, and once you got beyond that, the other Finnic peoples aren't really that culturally related to the Baltic Finns IIRC.

I guess it depends how we define Russia ITTL, no?

Something in the Ladoga Lake region + Estonia could conceivably have gotten lots of Scandinavian influence, given the right butterflies, no?

so, something like this:
View attachment 366775

Certainly, but remember that Kiev and other regions to the south were the nucleus of Rus culture. What might happen here is that the more southerly Rus culture develops as OTL whereas the Slavs in the region of the OTL Novgorod Republic develop more comparable to the rest of Scandinavia. Not sure how plausible this is, since the POD is around the time of both the Christianisation of both Russia and Sweden (Finnish Ruotsi meaning Sweden and Rus are according to many arguments etymologically related). But presumably the Old Novgorodian language would evolve into an East Slavic language at least as distinct as Ukrainian and Belarusian are today, with a culture possibly linked to Central and Western Europe, including Roman Christianity as opposed to the Christianity of Constantinople. This is the big one, since if we assume a Reformation is bound to happen as IOTL, then this northern Russian state will likely adopt Protestantism.

So basically like how Finland can be considered Nordic, this country would be considered in the same way. What I highly doubt is that it could conquer the rest of Russia and thus not spread to the Pacific and Central Asia like OTL Russia did. The lands are too marginal and the opposition too strong hence why the OTL Novgorod Republic was defeated. If it did somehow conquer the rest of Russia, I bet it would end up more culturally "Byzantine" and thus end up far more like the Russia we know.
 
Maybe have the Vikings arrive to Novgorod before the area gets Slavicised, and consolidating the local Chudic/Ingrian tribes into the Principality of Novgorod (which would be called different). The principality gradually expands, incorporating, Karelai, Estonia, and possibly the Arkhangelsk region. It would be called Russia, as it was founded by the Ruotsi, while having no Slavic culture at all. it would orientate itself towards the Baltic Sea, so most probably would end up being Catholic and later Lutheran.
 
One potential opportunity is the Mongol Invasions. Novgorod was largely untouched by the Mongols as they surrendered and submitted in the face of the brutality the Mongols showed elsewhere, and the Mongols had little interest in the region afterwards as the swamps and lowlands of the region didn't exactly catch their fancy. You could either have Novogorod not due this and in turn be sacked and destroyed. This weakening of Novgorod in the time period of the Northern Crusades could easily see it being taken over. Either Sweden (which was engaged in Finland around this time) or Denmark (which was in Estonia) could then beat the Livonian Brother's of the Sword or Teutonic Knights to annexing it. Or the religious military orders take it first, only for either Denmark or Sweden to eventually take it later. The Teutonic knights did fight with their neighbors quite a bit. Or Novgorod could choose instead to ally with Sweden or Denmark in the face of the Mongols, offering tentative suzerainty in return for military aid. The terrain and other preferred target areas allow this alliance to actually succeed against the Mongols who really have others areas they want more.

Maybe when the Hanseatic League really develops and starts edging out the Scandinavian Countries in trade, Sweden, Denmark, or the Kalmar Union really starts developing the trade routes through Novgorod to secure them, and maybe even takes over Pskov to gain almost all trade from the east. Once Sweden or Denmark controls Novgorod and Pskov, Teutonic control over the Estonia and Livonia really becomes sketchy and eventually you'd almost certainly see those areas falling under its control once the Teutonic state starts declining. With that you basically have all the areas highlighted in Magnum's map with a bit extra.

A Denmark, Sweden, or Kalmar Union with control over those regions would subsequently have reason to push east for the trade routes. Novgorod was dependent on grain from Vladimir-Suzdal, which is why is was subsumed by Moscovy. Maybe Baltic grain could prevent that dependency in this scenario, and pull that region into the Baltic sphere of influence over the rest of the Russian principalities which are struggling with the Golden Horde. They can then explore the Pechora river and the other water routes to the east instead of pushing south and getting involved with the Golden Horde and Moscow.

Eventually of course they would, because medieval (and modern ones) states can't help getting involved in these messes. In which case this Nordic polity could work with the PLC to claim stretches of Russian territory, with Moscow almost certainly being crushed between the two alongside the steppe groups to its south. The Nordic polity gets the northern part, while the PLC goes to the southeast till halted by the steppe states. Eventually the Nordic polity and the PLC become rivals, and the Nordic polity proves victorious as the PLC reaches the Golden Liberty troubles of OTL. It secures most of the Russian territory.

The Nordic polity probably splits by this point, since the Russian territory is almost entirely a land power while the Scandinavian countries require a navy. So a Novgorod headed alt-Russia now heads east like OTL Russia, and potentially the Nordic country which previously controlled it (or countries assuming that it was during the Kalmar Union that really experienced this growth and it provided enough prosperity to keep it together) largely keep the Baltic region as the general hegemon with the PLC likely neutered, maybe getting into the western colonization game.

That should be enough for a 'Nordic Russia'. I'm not sure you could have Nordic culture replace Byzantine in regards to the influences, as Kievan Rus really converted before the Nordic Countries did. However the Poland-Lithuanian Commonwealth shows that it is possible for a state to cross the east-west divide. Meanwhile Finland shows linguistics aren't a requirement, and there are also those in Estonia who feel they are a Nordic country so it also doesn't require being under Swedish control for half a millennia straight. There's quite a bit of leeway beyond even that broad definition, and to a large degree is a matter of identity. Do the people feel they have cultural, economic, historical, and geographical connections to Scandinavia? In this case a Novgorod headed alt-Russia that was largely controlled from Scandinavia for centuries and gained its status with Scandinavian aid could very likely view itself as a Nordic country. Especially if Estonia and Livonia end up Nordic in this scenario, and thus Novgorodian Russia would have very close borders with the Nordic sphere.
 
So Scandinavian vikings ruled the Kievan Rus for a long time, is there anyway for this Scandinavian influence to be increased to where it fills the role Byzantine influence had in the development of OTL's east slavic cultures?

Arguably its ancestral culture - proto-Germanic - already did. All West/East Slavic and Nordic cultures share lots of things based on borrowing from that period.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make *Russia a Nordic country with a POD no earlier than 900AD.

I really hate saying ASB because it stifles ideas on this forum, but this is pretty damn close. The Baltic Scandinavian people have no advantage in population, nor productivity. They have some advantages and some disadvantages in material culture, but Slavic archaeological finds are generally unimpressive even in areas where they clearly dominated, so that's not much indication of anything other than the Slavs being a spartan kind of culture. Some (extremely dubious) arguments could be made regarding an advantage in state organisation and military matters (since the Scandinavians had to learn such things to survive against Western Europeans) but honestly, as soon as that gets transferred over the the Slavic majority, the country becomes Slavic.

Generously speaking, that's exactly what happened with OTL Rus; by the third legendary generation the ruling class is already mixed, and by the fifth, there is a Greek preacher eulogising a ruler with a Slavic name and the title of Khagan, in Bulgarian Slavic, to an audience made of largely Slavs and Steppe Turcs. One generation later, Scandiavians are as much of a foreign mercenary element in Russia as they are in Constantinople, complete with communal violence directed at them.

Even if an ASB were to transport all of Scandinavia's population into OTL's Ukraine in the year 900, they'd be no more than a large minority, and Byzantine culture would be way more attractive to everyone including themselves. This is all OTL - there was a reason Scandinavian royalty sailed to Kiev and Constantinople to take up court positions, some of them quite minor, rather than the reverse. And Russian nobility, including many Novgorodians, did actually do the same: go to the Byzantines as exiles, allies, mercenaries and pilgrims. How many Slavic/Slavicised noblemen went to Sweden or Norway? Can't think of a single one. There were royal marriages and also some Scandinavians who lives in Russia for a time before returning home; that's the best I can do. But none of that means there was a really special relationship by the 12th c.

Seriously, there's only one way this ends in most universes. You know how people say that Portugal conquering Spain means Portugal turns Spanish, and England conquering France means England turns French? Same here.

The Scandinavian presence in Russia today left a mere handful of personal names, almost no placenames at all, no written documents, insignificant linguistic borrowings, nothing at all to suggest they were systemically capable of colonization in the same sense as what happened in England and Normandy (let alone Finland, or worse Faroers or Iceland which I think is the challenge here).

Maybe have the Vikings arrive to Novgorod before the area gets Slavicised, and consolidating the local Chudic/Ingrian tribes into the Principality of Novgorod (which would be called different). The principality gradually expands, incorporating, Karelai, Estonia, and possibly the Arkhangelsk region. It would be called Russia, as it was founded by the Ruotsi, while having no Slavic culture at all. it would orientate itself towards the Baltic Sea, so most probably would end up being Catholic and later Lutheran.

This is only viable if Scandiavians are competitive with the Chud'/Ves'/Karelians demographically, which is a big big big question. The Slavs didn't become competitive outside the core wheat-growing areas around Ilmen until the 14th c. themselves, but maaaaaaybe.

TBH this POD is properly 7th c., not 10th.

Or Novgorod could choose instead to ally with Sweden or Denmark in the face of the Mongols, offering tentative suzerainty in return for military aid. The terrain and other preferred target areas allow this alliance to actually succeed against the Mongols who really have others areas they want more.

This is the closest scenario to sort-of-not-really-Scandinavian-ness.

It's not without problems. Denmark and Sweden were direct and merciless competitors in almost every way to Novgorod, unlike Moscow, where Novgorod invited princes from and where people spoke a closely related language and had the same confession. I think people really underestimate the amount of common feeling among the population of the principalities of North-West Rus. A Novgorodian government that sells out to Sweden likely simply won't survive the next election.

And as you mentioned, Novgorod depended on Zalesye, not the other way. Their diplomats went east, their colonists went east. Even their pirates largely went east.

The only thing that can establish Novgorod as its own centre I can think of is a sort of really early "uniate" church, immediately post-schism, where Novogorod's self-proclaimed Archbishop is fully recognized as such by the Catholics, but permitted to practice a local rite; and this would have to happen during a big civil war in Rus where Novgorod can resist the rest, or immediately post-Mongols.
 
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Sweden unites with Lithuania. Lithuania's elite converts to Lutheranism and adopts Swedish. Sweden expands over time, directly annexing Karelia, Murmansk, Arkhangelsk, and Novgorod. The Swedish North and lands on the frontier are settled by Germans invited into the area (like how Catherine the Great invited Germans to settle various lands).

Over time the broader population in OTL Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Ingria, Karelia, Lithuania/Samogitia, Novgorod, Belarus, Smolensk, and Arkhangelsk is Lutheran and Swedish-speaking.
 
Sweden unites with Lithuania. Lithuania's elite converts to Lutheranism and adopts Swedish. Sweden expands over time, directly annexing Karelia, Murmansk, Arkhangelsk, and Novgorod. The Swedish North and lands on the frontier are settled by Germans invited into the area (like how Catherine the Great invited Germans to settle various lands).

Over time the broader population in OTL Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Ingria, Karelia, Lithuania/Samogitia, Novgorod, Belarus, Smolensk, and Arkhangelsk is Lutheran and Swedish-speaking.

Making that region Lutheran is a stretch, making Swedish speakers anything but the minority they were OTL is borderline ASB. I mean, they ruled Finland for almost a thousand years and the Finns were a vibrant enough minority (even without Russian rule in the 19th century, the Finns would still have been a powerful minority group). And I don't see how inviting Germans into very poor land (as most of that area is) is going to increase the amount of Swedes. The Baltic region already had tons of Germans (and Swedes too) anyway.
 
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