A catchall, this category pulls in and cocatenates all topics relevant to the East, especially because this was where the Russian archeologists believed that they could evidence a superiority to westerners, whom they considered simply treausure hunters in Russia’s imperial territories. It also includes Semiticism, and Orientalism.
More than simply a catch-all, the “Black Sea” pulls together the multiple civilizations that have populated the littoral, ranging freely from Bolgars on the Danube with the “relatives” on the Volga, to Genoese traders, to the short-lived kingdom of Trabzon.
The Mongol Conquest, circa 1240-1480. During these years, the Russian principalities were absorbed into the Qipchak Khanate, but retained a high degree of cultural and religious independence. Novgorod, for example, remained its own entity; all paid tribute to the khan in Sarai.