Before the written word there was the oral word. It is obvious that the oral word had a very different influence in shaping a community than the written word. For one, an orally uttered word has only a subjective memory to remember it. Too, if you lied, you could lose your tongue.
Though not always in everyone’s interests, small communities offer survival value by presenting variety of strategies for survival. Empires do not and cannot do so because of an oversupply of flab. Small entities, however, fight for their survival, and tend to be tightly knit. Empires fail to attract support from their people, because in their hour of glory, it is the corrupt elements of the Empire that benefit from it the most. When the straw breaks the camel’s back, good men and women delight in the ‘crack’, because it heralds the end of corruption. The People's failure to come to the aid of their empire is as intuitive as it is deliberate.
The story of how the liest about Eastern Europe started may surprise many, but it is so because no other story of how it started has been told.
In order to become as powerful as the princes of the West, the nascent prices of the East had little choice but to imitate the ways of the West.