Battle on the Ice, the candidate

"History abhors ifs …" — this just seems a commonplace phrase undeniable. Probably not such a historian who, trying to understand the intricacies of the past, have not asked the question, "What would happen if? .." Moreover, unworkable unrealized very often has a strong attractive force even as it allows you to behold the historical reality is not frozen as a "monument of the past," as lively and full of sheltered abilities "garden of forking paths." Well, who wants to engage in a lifetime confirms that "it could not be otherwise?" You can, however, make the objection that specifically was engaged in most of the Russian historians in the reign of Marxism in its emasculated and sour version, which was the "official" methodology of Russian science. And then under the orthodox shell (or even without it) can be found quite orthodox ideas (which is only one theory of drive Gumilev?). The samples to look for the "Event Horizon" were made in the scientific journalism. The most popular, for example, used in this context, thinking about what would have been the fate of in the case of a successful finale of the Decembrist uprising in 1825 …

But the value in the development of "alternative" stories, apparently, belongs to the British scholar Arnold Toynbee. History, he believes — is the process of birth, formation and decay of individual, relatively independent of each other civilizations, each of which are sometimes faced with the harsh neuvvyazkami ("challenges" stories). The fate of civilization depends on the choice it gives an answer to the emerging at the time of the call or the other. Thus, the ancient Greek city-states in the VI-V centuries BC. e. differently solved the problem of the lack of relevant resources: Athens began to develop trade, becoming quite an open democratic society, but Sparta has built hierarchically organized paramilitary government. Russian principalities for a similar challenge in the XIII century was a Mongol invasion.

Moments of choosing the path of development is often referred to as the "bifurcation points" (bifurcation, bifurcation). The story goes on one of the "branches", but that likely was another! With all this choice itself is dependent on a huge number of more or less significant, and sometimes purely accidental causes. Classic "alternative" approach Toynbee were two articles in which it is rendered probable course of world history in the event, if Alexander the Great lived a longer life or, on the contrary, would have died before he could start his own conquests. It is understood that similar large or small "forks" in the stories were many, and willing enough to consider them. In this area, there is a typical "hits" — for example, the victory of Nazi Germany during the second world war, and the stories are available only to experts — what would have happened to Europe if, in the 1520s the Turks took to Vienna? "Retroprognozirovaniem" or "virtual history," are now engaged and science fiction writers, and some more "advanced" historians, and arithmetic … (SP Kapitsa, SS Kurdyumov Malinetskii GG).

Yes, this is exactly marginal direction of historical science, where it would seem more appropriate unbridled imagination than serious calculation, in recent years has become a lure to discover attention of those who seek not just "tickle nerves to the reading public," and reincarnate in history an exact science. This is designed to assist you in enjoying the unusually popular now Synergetics — the theory of self-organization of dynamic systems, mathematically describing the different patterns of metamorphosis, jumps and bifurcations. The idea of the ordinary and unconditional: the human society — a dynamic system, and the story — a kind of non-linear process that can be modeled. In general, while the supporters of this approach admit that in the history of not giving a lot of the mathematical expression of personal, humane reasons.

Not very "alternative history" and instilled among historians. Many prominent scientists to apply the sample to the subject matter of their employment "subjunctive" looking with suspicion as a fad or a pseudo-scientific speculation. Although if we look, the comprehensive, balanced analysis of the "possible" is fully capable of assist and better understand and visualize a carry out a historical event! To verify this, we try to apply this approach to well known to us, the events of Russian history.

Battle on the Ice

All we have from school know that in the spring of 1242 Russian army, led by Prince Alexander Nevsky, crashed on the ice of Lake Chud German army "Teutonic Knights" (the crusaders of the Teutonic Order), who sought to use the occasion comfortable — the invasion mongolotatar to enslave the land of Novgorod, and then, who knows, maybe other Russian We know the land … and what a crushing defeat at the Knights forever discourage hunting attack on Russia, to show that, even being weakened, it still is able to fend for themselves.

In a sense, the Ice was estimated as the event even more fundamental than the Battle of Kulikovo. The overthrow of the Mongol yoke there were only a matter of time, from a historical perspective is completely unavoidable, while the submission of the church Europe meant a sharp turn in the life of, at least, part of the Russian land. Not the case in the historical tradition of the victory of Alexander Jaroslavich on the Neva River and on the ice of Lake Chud are often presented as the result of a conscious choice by Prince, in modern terms, the "geopolitical orientation." He de aware that nomads can not face the most important thing a Russia — Orthodox faith (in the old days it was called "culture"), and so resigned to the impossibility to resist them. The Western aggressors sought not only to military conquest, plunder and violence, and to the assimilation of Russian. With all of this Tatar invasion, like drought or hurricane, was perceived by contemporaries as a deserved punishment above. Is it appropriate to resist the natural disaster? Quite another thing — anger perfectly familiar neighbors, whose motives were entirely optimal well known in Russia.

Most of the historians, writers and politicians of different eras considered the wisest choice of Prince Alexander and justified, a minority of him regretted, believing that this particular choice of a century marked the beginning of isolation of Russia, of of civilized Europe. One way or another, but do not have to hesitate, that is a question of importance, the key moments in Russian history. There was a possibility of another scenario really depended on whether their fate of Russian civilization? Try to understand the difficult circumstances that led to the Ice, and more complex implications of the fight. But before we can answer the question: "Could it be different?", Let's ask another, "What was that?"

Many legends about the battle on the ice of Lake Peipus, settled in our minds, are associated with well-known film by Sergei Eisenstein filmed by order of Stalin in 1938, when Nazi Germany was the main opponent of Russian Union (and this was before the signing of non-aggression pact between the two — mja countries). While the Russian borders of the country, who was in the "hostile capitalist encirclement" apparently had been "shut". Quite another matter — XIII century. Nothing like "iron curtain" between the Russian and the adjacent lands, of course, was not, well, modern notions of the "border" and "state sovereignty" by then fully apply. Baltic vast ar
eas inhabited by countless pagan tribes Latgalians, Semigallians, Latvians, Cours, and Liv, Estonians, and Vod IZHORA (in Russian sources — Chud), extensively colonized more developed neighbors, Russian, Lithuanian, Danes, Swedes and Germans. Prominent Catholic knights of the Order, including the Teutonic authorizing the Father Roman cross Gentiles — that the territorial expansion takes the form of completely peaceful missionary work. Naturally, the neighbors often clashed together, and such conflicts in the statutes of that, not the idyllic era almost always solved with guns. For the "good quarrel" constantly followed the world (even "skinny"), greatly increased trade ceased and cultural interaction. In short, these lands were a real "crossroads" of languages, cultures and religions, which is life itself forced to treat each other with varying degrees of tolerance. For the development of xenophobia criterion is simply not there.

I must say that the people of Pskov and Novgorod, in general, have not been the main opponents of the Crusaders: the more violent confrontation had orders to a young Lithuanian state, united Mindaugas (Mindaugas) quite shortly before the Battle on the Ice. Curiously, although later, in 1251, Mindaugas was baptized in the Catholic ritual, and later adopted by the royal crown of the Pope — on the relations with the Crusaders, this event is almost not affected. Was not the central problem of religion and in the confrontation with the Knights of Novgorod. The modern historian BN Florea notes that part of the Novgorod I Chronicle, dating back to the XIII century, the "Crusaders never called or" crusaders "or" Latins ", and is constantly referred as" German "and the description of the conflicts with them is no different from the description of conflicts Novgorod and other Russian principalities. "

Only with the 1230-ies of the Roman Curia began to spend more assertive policy towards the Orthodox, while not only on the far side of "Christendom", what were the neighboring Baltic States and with it the earth, and in the Mediterranean. That's when a papal bulls began to appear, for example, the phrase about the "Saracens, Russian and other enemy: the Church's faith." But the sharp turn in the relations of Russia with its western neighbors all the same did not. After the invasion of Batu Order together with its ally — the Archbishop of Riga — all just trying to use a suitable situation for their own gain influence in these parts.

The Russian principalities were really weakened Mongol invasion. But far not all of them have suffered prototype, and therefore those wishing to enjoy the effects of this invasion was not alone Swedes, Danes and Germans, and brothers-in-language and faith. The weakening of the powerful Vladimir-Suzdal grand dynasty (it belonged to Alexander of Kostroma) revived the hopes of its numerous competitors. Among them are, for example, the princes of Smolensk, who tried to establish themselves with the Crusaders in Pskov, yes, in general, and the people of Pskov themselves. So when the German and Danish knights, together, have taken in the years 1241-1242 and Pskov Isborsk, some local residents greeted them without any particular hostility.

Novgorod, Pskov case is not directly related, but the Crusaders, developing success, moved to the coast of the Neva River, in Karelia, and began to build a castle in Koporie. And it was the land majestically Novgorod, to which the Germans approached to a distance of a day's. Only then alarmed Novgorod appealed to Pope Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the majestic Prince Yaroslav Vsevolodovichu. And disturb them at all it is not so much the fate of other Russian lands that could be under the thumb of the Catholic aggressors as the vital interests of the Novgorod.

But just a year earlier, after a brilliant victory over the Swedes on the Neva River, Prince Alexander was expelled from Novgorod! Rules of the City oligarchic groups did not suffer beside him no power, even more so — the forces that are popular among the people. Logically, the majestic Prince Yaroslav initially decided to send Novgorod eldest son of Andrew and only in response to repeated requests assertive sent to the north of Alexander. He acted very emphatically conquered and destroyed Koporye, knocked the Crusaders from Pskov, and then developing a success, delivered in the direction of Dorpat (St. George's) — an important reference Fri Germans in the Baltic. Now came the turn of the Bishop of Dorpat worry about the "Russian threat" and call for help from the Crusaders. Collect as much as in any significant army in a short term ones, of course, could not but have responded to the call. For a number of days before the fight Russian vanguard Novgorodian Domash Tverdislavicha was defeated by the Knights, speaking of Dorpat to Pskov. On hearing this, Alexander Nevsky led his army on the ice of Lake Peipus, to the island of Raven Rock. On the morning of April 5 at a distance of an arrow's flight to the Russian squad approached squad Crusaders …

Battle did not take place because that is described in textbooks and shown in the movies. Bright picture of battle, in accordance with which the Alexander Nevsky surrounded wedge knights flank attack of the cavalry, and the Crusaders broke the ice by its own weight, right just what the Knights stormed the "pig." This compact system with a heavily armed horsemen — in the forehead and around the edges, and infantry — in the middle, was unusual for the knights of Europe. Most of them simply could not afford to somebody's banner was ahead. Knights and squires servants stormed usually every man for himself by forming an incorrect chain.

As we see, the number of losses, to put it mildly, do not converge. Typically this is explained as follows: in the German source said only about Knight-brothers (all of them in the Order was about CM), a Russian historian had in mind not only them, and ordinary soldiers, knights (each knight squad led out on a campaign to 10-25 people). Either way, as calculated by modern historians, both encountered ice ratyah was less than 1-2 thousand people. For comparison: in the Battle of Grunwald in 1410, where the Polish-Lithuanian-Russian army routed the army of the Teutonic Order, was attended by about 60 thousand people, in the Battle of Kulikovo — about 80 thousand. In general, the value is determined by the battle, of course, not only the strength of the army …

Vladimir-Suzdal army of Alexander and Andrew Yaroslavichy exceeded the Crusaders and the size and weight of armament. On the overwhelming power of the vigilantes in the double chain mail and helmets gleaming medal Sources report to us. The Russian had in abundance and deadly bows (they showed excellent performance in Russia Mongols). Maneuver to surround the Germans were not required: they rushed into the environment, where it died. No ice at the Knights did not break through. The place chosen for the Battle of Alexander, who could not put his languid cavalry on a weak surface. Bright motive sinking of the knights present on each painting Battle on the Ice, was introduced in the description of the Battle of Lake Peipus in Sofia I chronicle of the XV century, the compiler which is very embellished victory Nevsky.

Such history. Has it been uncontested? The naked eye can see, it is not. To start make out the most trivial of probable options.

The true sources

In the primary source — the Novgorod I Chronicle said simply: at sunrise on Saturday, "naehasha per regiment of Germans and Chyud and proshiboshasya pigs Through
the regiment. And there was great slaughter that Nemtsem and Chyudi … and the Germans that padosha and splashing Chyud dasa ("gave shoulders" — means running) and gonyache, Bisha ih on 7-miles by Ledoux Subolichskago to shore. And drop Chyudi beschisla (without number), and the Teuton 400, and 50 hands and Yasha privedosha in Novgorod. "

Look at the back. According to Livonia "Rhymed Chronicle" at the end of the XIII century, "in Russian was a lot of shooters, they repelled the first attack, bravely lined up before the army of the king (Aleksandra. — Comm. Creator). It was evident that the brothers broke the squad system shooters had heard the roar of the blades and see how cracked helmets … Those who were in the camp of the brothers were surrounded … brothers fought stubbornly, still beat them. Part of … came out of the battle to save … 20 brothers left dead and six were taken prisoner. "

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If defeated the Crusaders …

Do Battle on the Ice could be completely different ending. The results of fights in the days when they fought not permanent troops, and guards were very unpredictable, and the crusading army to fight skillfully. Imagine yourself coming to the course of events. And without that assist bloodless Vladimir principality of Novgorod nothing else can. In Pskov, again take the upper hand "collaborators." Inspired by the success of the Crusaders plundered the districts of Novgorod, precipitated by the city. As usual, there are apostate and here. Perhaps demoralized defeat urban apex decided to surrender the city without a fight? Novgorod used to take advantage of the rulers and warriors invited. Were the Vikings were various princes, why not celibate, malopyuschy "brothers"? Germans and so belonged to Novgorod yard, a place in the temple, meadows and so many rights in the trade, that only the charter of the German merchant was able to restrict them.

What would become of Novgorod crusader occupation? To try to answer this question, from Novgorod spring 1242 fast forward 38 years ago, and — on the other end of Europe. April 13, 1204 the army of the Crusaders stormed Constantinople — the capital of the Orthodox Byzantine Empire. Oh well delineates the end of the day or one of the leaders of the army: "The Warriors, who were scattered all over the town, captured a significant fraction, and production was so high that no one could say for you, how many there were of gold and silver … and all sorts of precious things that ever were on the ground. And Geoffrey de Villehardouin, Marshal of Champagne, with all the honesty of this evidence and the truth, that since the creation of the world has never been captured in the same town as prey. Everyone took shelter for himself what he liked, and there were enough … And great was because of the honor and satisfaction of victory … for those who are in poverty now dwell in wealth and luxury … "Constantinople turned into the capital of the Latin Empire — countries which lasted more than 50 years, and collapsed under the weight of its internal contradictions. In all these years the Knights unsuccessfully tried to instill in them the Greeks usual feudal system at once, as a child, imitated pyshnovatye and subtle forms of Byzantine court ceremonial.

Refreshed icon Alexander Nevsky of an old temple

It is foolish to use the then-current realities of the day or measurements. In the XIII century, neither of which the "civilizing" mission of the Crusaders in the face of sophisticated Eastern cultures are not out of the question. According to French historian Jacques Le Goff, "for these barbarians, who led a miserable life in a simple and insignificant towns … Constantinople with it, maybe a million population, monuments and shops was a real eye-opener." And it is — the color of Western chivalry! What's all the same to say about the poor, deaf to the Teutonic Order?

Naturally, Novgorod — not fabulous Constantinople, and of the Germans did not have that in front of Russian inferiority complex, for which the Crusaders took revenge on the Byzantines. But not so much that hard to imagine, and the behavior of the favorites in the captured town, and the likely consequences of reincarnation Novgorod in Neuburg — the center of the newly organized archbishopric. In the case of more or less brutal colonization by the Crusaders would have been the face of wholesale revolt, of which in the history of the "Northern freemen" were many. Novgorod is not accustomed to obey, and to obey, love of peace has never been and would rise as one of the first cry of the assembly bell. The same result would lead to moderate samples and more than a foothold in the city — for example, the construction of houses on the German painstakingly painted on the "spheres of influence" of Novgorod streets.

The success of Germany's total war with the liquidation of the Slavic population of native languages, as in the Elbe and the lands of Prussia, it seems very confusing. Novgorod region — from the Volga to the snow-white sea, and from the Baltic to the Urals — surpasses the size of the entire empire. The population was concentrated fairly rare, and the military class in Europe was insignificant minority, scattered around the castles, as Novgorod settlers in their suburbs, village and homestead. Novgorod themselves were the colonizers, gun in hand held every free man.

Decent landowners and negotiators, who governed the city in no hurry to spend money and sacrifice people in any conflict. On those were the princes with their retinues. But the real threat to the Emperor majestically Novgorod caused a mighty and terrible fight back. No wonder its citizens are not written on the banner of "God with us", as the Germans, and much clearer, "Who is the God of Novgorod and majestic!" The long-standing bloody confrontation between the two sides would be exhausted and though hardly could end in victory for the Crusaders and their allies.

So the victory of Alexander, as paradoxically, has become a boon for the Order.

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Skinny-world is still better …

More entertaining another option: the Russian prince and knight of the Teutonic Knights rushed toward each other, met and entered into negotiations. In truth, what they shared what they had shed blood on the ice? Yes, Russian and Germans were opposed, but not mortal enemies, as they are portrayed in the years of worsening relations between Russia and Germany. April 5, Prince and crusader had no such problems, which could not have quietly discussed. We frustrating for the Germans, "King Alexander" lay behind the ruins of the native principalities, each blade was on the account, because the world with the best organization chivalrous army in Europe was imposed by itself. Who was standing next to him under the banner brother Andrew Jaroslawich whole life has proved that it is unable to bow to the Horde and ready to fight to the death with her and her minions. Venture is to reconcile with the brave knights for the sake of fighting the common enemy was easy.

Lots of claims that could expose the Crusaders would be to refrain from claiming Novgorod JuR'EVSKIJj land, withdrawal of troops "king" of the borders and the return of all prisoners. Could the prince to accept these demands? Lofty Novgorod them in fact adopted! After the battle, the bishops of Riga and St. George's embassy sent an apology for the
intrusion and offer to exchange prisoners, to make up for the pre-1240 borders. Highest parties entered into the world, and about Yuryevskaya tribute was not the question …

So, no need for the Ice Battle was not? And well, no. It will be recalled that for a person of the XIII century, belonging to the "noble" warrior caste, the showdown with the gun in his hand was as natural, however, "the settlement of disputes at the negotiating table" — the modern diplomat. Hence — the custom to solve even a purely personal disputes through judicial duel ("field") if defeated, means God is on your side, and the other evidence of innocence is not required. How else, if not in the field, find the limits of the likely demands and concessions? Because the Ice can be taken not from the standpoint of the secular and uncompromising 2-clash of civilizations — the West and the East, as soon as severe, though not decisive episode in the struggle for spheres of adjacent exposure. Russia defeated — and the case for some time to stabilize because both the principality of Vladimir and Novgorod was obviously not up to the expansion of the West.

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Alexander Nevsky — the head of the united coalition antimongolskoy …

The most bewitch, but maybe not the most mind-boggling of the possible alternatives directly related to the fate of all the upcoming Russian lands. Could Russia, turning his face to the West, to abandon the humiliating role of tributary Golden Horde? Yes, in Europe at that time there was no exact municipal boundaries, but particularly in the XIII century is fixed idea of the eastern borders of the Christian world, separating him from the strange and eerie world of endless forests, steppes and feral tribes inhabiting them. All that was on the other side of the frontier, like there was for the Europeans. More precisely, it was, but on the rights of "non-peace", in which the usual rules do not apply, but probably the most indescribable phenomenon. "This is a ruthless, like the animals of creation, what should be called monsters faster, if human beings. They crave blood and drink it, eat dog meat, and even human flesh, "- described the chronicler Matthew Paris mongolotatar. Russ just always at the edge of the ecumene, eventually turning violent events of that time pushed back evenly over the border. However, this process was complex and time-consuming, to the same fate, and a large part of Russian land (location of today's Belarus and Ukraine) was the other: the latest in XIII-XIV centuries, they became part of the rapidly enhances the majestic Duchy of Lithuania. But in the era of Alexander Nevsky noticeably weakened the close ties that bound the southern Russian principalities for centuries from the north-east, Vladimir-Suzdal (and, later, Metropolitan) Russ. The only method to avoid isolation was to unite the efforts of all Russian and adjacent vostochnoev-ropean land against mongolotatarami. Maybe winning the ice of Lake Chud was to be a catalyst in this process?

Agreeing with the Crusaders, make sure the power and the good will of the Russian and later with Lithuania, led by the brave Mindaugas, Alexander Nevsky could stand against the Mongols in the right moment, when their tattered horde rolled through the southern steppes of western Europe, and its leaders were supposed to go in distant Karakorum — the rate of the Tatar khan majestic empire. Prince could join the north-east Russia: Lofty Novgorod, Vladimir-Suzdal, Polotsk, Smolensk and Ryazan principality. Later defeated other Chernigov and Kiev land would join or to Daniel Alexander Galitsky, also raised the banner of struggle against the Mongols.

Combining Russia around the 1st center was in those days, it is unlikely fragmentation did not appear out of nowhere. But it was likely the formation of 2-mighty Russian Federation: the forerunners of Lithuania and the Capital of Russia. After defending their land that had been thoroughly looted and drained of blood Mongols later, and with the help of Russian princes themselves, Alexander and Daniel led to a rich and prosperous country.

In Russia would not have gone 10's craft specialties perished not be a significant part of the literature. Major role in the history of Russia played a rich commercial and industrial town of the North and West, with the colorful traditions of popular sovereignty, is closely related to the free imperial towns of the Hanseatic League and the future. Eastern Slavs could not be thrown back for centuries, when Western Europe was just beginning its own cultural leap.

On the way of association with the Catholic countries was only one obstacle. Alexander Nevsky could make peace with the Crusaders (and did it) could even join them in an alliance, but was not able to sew a cloak to their cross — the symbol of the power of the Pope. In the XIII century the differences of Orthodoxy and Catholicism in doctrine has not been significant. The stumbling block was specifically Pope — mastermind of the Crusades against all opposed his will. This is realized not only fought the Crusaders Alexander.

Catholic rulers of Western Europe was also saying that the Crusades reincarnated as a weapon in the struggle for power over the popes sir. Particularly well known is the main of them — the last medieval ruler, Frederick II of Staufen (1212-1250). In 1240, Frederick announced the European monarchs, the Pope — their common enemy. At the moment when Alexander fought with enthusiastic Father knights on the Neva River and extricated Pskov governor struck directly at Rome. The Teutonic knights, vassals of the ruler, not just realized that on the ice of Lake Peipus is possible aligned with their overlord!

In the spring of 1242, according to the German chronicles, all German knights were sitting on fighting stallions. Last year was terrible. Mongol hordes came in very heart of Europe: Poland, Hungary, East Bohemia and Moravia, ravaged by way of Wallachia and Transylvania. In a brand new year, they broke into Croatia and Dalmatia. Batu Khan drenched feet own stallion in the Adriatic Sea, exploration Subedeya appeared in Vienna. Scattered knight armies swept away with cards like toy. It seemed that no association with the armed forces of Europe had no chance to resist the invaders.

And all the prerequisites for such association at the time already existed! In the XIII century, Europe was a unique single place. Her areas dominated military associations: vigilantes and gentleman, barons and Ritter associated homage to their princes, counts, barons and kings. They're all considered themselves "one blood", designed to collect taxes, to judge and rule the peoples of the baptized, also lead to the "right belief" unbaptized.

The rulers of Europe were bound and countless similar bonds. Russian Rurik were related to the reigning houses of Sweden, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, Germany, France and Byzantium. In theory, everyone acknowledged the idea of a common Christian kingdom — the heir to the Greco-Roman Empire of Constantine stateliness. In practice, after the spectacular success of Charles Lofty unification process has stalled. But the heart of the Holy Roman Empire was still beating. She even gained strength from the growing power of the cities that everything — from Novgorod and Vladimir to Toledo and London — were interested in the development and protection of communications, the development of a trade and economic areas. Crafts people and merchants were more cosmopolitan than the class of knights.

Russ on the economic and cultural level is not inferior to their Western neighbors. The eastern church was even more of a cultural foundation than the western and priklnnoe relation to it was extremely profitable as the emperor to curb their own competitors — Dad. Joining forces seemed logical and achievable.

But history had other method that took the most dramatic consequences: between Orth
odoxy and Catholicism an abyss, dissected into two Russ was forever out of Europe, Germany and Italy broke up into shreds, "stitched" exclusively in the XIX century, irresponsible fathers eventually led to the Reformation and the idea of a united Europe for centuries remained a utopia …

And was it nominated?

Alignment historian

Andrei Bogdanov, a doctor of historical sciences, senior researcher at the Institute of Russian History of Sciences, Academy of Natural Sciences

The possibility and even the prospect of unrealized historical analysis of alternatives is indisputable. The problem, as usual in such cases, is in the details. No facts have prevented us assume that the battle on the ice of Lake Chud could end up winning the Crusaders, and the hypothetical picture of the consequences of such final, drawn creator articles, special raises no objections. Another, even more difficult question — whether real candidate of the band in its relations with its western neighbors, the papal curia and the Mongols, which was held by Alexander of Kostroma?

This line, as can be seen from very modest means, a lot is silent, and then repeatedly "Edit" Russian sources, was not the result of an instant, "strong-willed" solutions. Actions that led north-eastern Russia to the final submission to the Horde, unfolded in several decades, and during this period had, to use the terminology of "alternative" stories, a huge number of "points of bifurcation." Not only Russian princes for whom it was almost a matter of life and death, and the Europeans are far did not immediately determine what position to take on a new "geopolitical factor" — the Mongols.

In 1248, Pope Innocent IV, as stated in his message to Russia, "asked, begged and strongly admonished" Russian princes to report to it (via the Crusaders!) Of impending invasions of the Mongols, but with all this, do not give up hope to conclude an alliance with the nomads and even direct them to the Catholic faith (for this purpose in the Karakorum were sent to the Embassy of eminent Guillaume Rubruka and Giovanni Carpini). He did not once promised to Daniel Galitsky support in the fight against nomads, but when he, after long hesitation agreed to take out of the hands of Pope royal crown, the help never came. Negotiations to this effect have been conducted and with Alexander Nevsky and turned to Rome inconclusive, possibly because the prince soberly assess the prospects of obtaining assistance from the Catholic world and a more sober — risk of execution of the Mongols in the case of disobedience.

Yes, in the cultural and religious relations in the XIII century Europe was united (with the exception of Schism — split into Catholic and Orthodox world), but this unity has been elusive: economically and politically it is divided into a huge number of isolated areas, the rulers of which they could not overcome the centrifugal Trends even locally. Europe had to go through a very long way to go yet before the final approval of the central government of the country — has shared her even more reasons than bound.

The same can be said about Russia, the prospect of union which in the first half of the XIII century, even in the face of such "challenge", as the invasion of nomads, it seems very strange.

Of course, these statements do not mean that the ending is truly catastrophic for our country, the events of that era was completely predetermined. What would happen to the northeastern Rus, if Alexander Nevsky, Daniil Galitsky followed suit, turning to Rome? If such a step is not limited to a nominal recognition of the primacy of the Pope, it is possible, for example, to provide a split in Russian society, as was the case with the Byzantine in the XV century (when the submission of the Eastern Church Father, you see, is still not bailed out by the capture of Constantinople by the Turks) . What would be, if I did not spend Alexander Nevsky demonstrative policy submission Horde and find options to oppose it, as did his brothers Andrew and Yaroslav? And this question has a few answers. The usual answer is known — the resistance at that point would only mean a new devastation and bloodshed. If "alternative" history can prove comparative possibility of another final — well, it will only contribute to deepening our knowledge of that era.

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