"Svenska Dagbladet", Sweden.At the foot of the Sphinx Russian
For Russian, like all Slavs, the fall of Constantinople in 1453, along with the Tatar-Mongol yoke and its bitter consequences, was almost equivalent to the end of the world. Long before these events were felt inevitably ominous signs of impending disaster. The final death blow came from the Ottomans from the East, after the Crusaders from the West already subjected to desecration shrine of the Holy Sepulchre. The only thing that was left — it is the hope of revenge; Russia stubbornly kept the dream release "Tsaregrada" and the idea managed to resuscitate the generals of the XVIII century.
Why did the Byzantine Empire, something happened, what happened? This question arose again and again in Orthodox circles, shocked the public. "Russian Machiavelli" Ivan Peresvetov, answered this question differently: the Byzantine emperor did not have enough hard-driving, the ruler can remain effective only for as long as may exude fear — "the kingdom without a thunderstorm, a horse without a bridle." The main idol was Peresvetova Sultan Mehmet II, captured Constantinople. Russian thinker respected him for what he ordered to strip off the skin alive with dishonest judges.
In fact, upon closer inspection, under Sultan Peresvetov meant some very specific prince. Ivan IV could be nicknamed "Ivan the Terrible" only for the fact that he found the sheer pleasure of a senseless violence, driven by unbridled sadistic impulse he sometimes took on the duties of the executioner. So, in the middle of a quiet audience, he stabbed Ivan Fedorov, one of the main opponents of the boyars, only to him and his henchmen in exile soldiers. At the same time, Ivan the Terrible was a revolutionary who saved Russia from a feudal, in fact — he laid the foundation of the state, which in the future will be able to withstand internal and external enemies. But this unity was achieved terribly high price. If anyone would feel comfortable at the court of Ivan IV, then surely it would be Stalin, the "red king". In the struggle with the boyars Ivan the Soviet leader shrewdly saw similarities with the way he pursued all his life counterrevolutionary renegades. And in order for the other characteristic morbid suspicion, the same endless series of denunciations and executions followed them to the end. However, Sergei Eisenstein, Stalin fell out of favor, because in the film Ivan the Terrible director is not able to show what is needed such cruelty. State husband really wanting to benefit their own people, in the opinion of a strong leader, has stained his hands with blood.
A comparison with Stalin and the Kremlin Sultan Bosporus held in the new book, "Ivan the Terrible" Isabel de Madariaga (Yale University Press, 484s). De Madariaga well known primarily for his fundamental works of Catherine the Great, but in the theme of Ivan she is looking for a subtle and ever-elusive image of the man. Study his personality is extremely difficult, primarily because of its archives were destroyed in a fire in 1616 *. Anyway, it came up to us Madariaga, patiently creating a portrait, allowing for the first time to see the inside of rapid real Russian XVI century.
Ivan, the son of Basil III, was born in 1530 I lost my father at the age of three years. Basil's widow, Helen, was a strong-willed woman who could not bear rivals in power. After her death in 1538 Ivan, surrounded by his enemy clan Shuiskis, felt himself abandoned by all. The feeling of loneliness and humiliation forever marred his relations with the boyars. And the sweeter revenge was when the teenager, who just turned thirteen, the last sentence could Shumsky Prince to death, and ordered him to score a club.
January 16, 1547 was arranged by the Byzantine splendor of the ceremony, during which the Russian Tsar Ivan began. In the ritual appeared headed eagle, symbolizing the relationship between Moscow and Constantinople. Terrible grandfather, Ivan III, not accidentally married a relative of Constantine Palaeologus, the last emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire. He thus stressed its continuity with the Byzantine Empire.
Moscow as the "Third Rome" was a doctrine invented in about 1516 a monk from Pskov Filofeem: "Two Romes have fallen, but the third is tight, and the fourth is not going to happen." The name "King" comes from "Caesar", and Ivan was not against it, to be seen as a descendant of Augustus (you can remember how he, with a height of gentility of their ancestors, arrogant attitude to offspring commoner Gustav Vasa). **
All these steps were aimed at strengthening Moscow's position on the international arena, to the question of the kind of antiquity and prestige than any other dynasty in the world could compete with the Russian.
The church was earnestly participate in strengthening the king's functions, on the other hand, she herself needed the help of the Kremlin to stifle the growing heretical sedition. Increasing pressure and threats from the authorities were forced to make concessions to clerics. At the clergy had no choice but to enter into the elite serving yard, and come to terms with his humble position. On the other hand, kings also took a big risk by denying the authority of the church, which can greatly needed during the revolutionary transformation to support the shaken prestige of power.
To understand the "Russian Sphinx" (borrow the image of the famous poem by Alexander Blok "Scythians"), it is necessary to take into account the Mongols. The word "king" can mean both the Byzantine Basileus and the Khan of the Golden Horde. The Mongols — or Tatars, as they were called Russian — began their invasion in 1236-1237 gg. and for 250 years the country was under their yoke.
As rightly pointed Tibor Samueli, "Russia has been won twice, the first time — the Mongolian army and the second — the Mongolian state idea." Russian princes needed a special power of attorney — a shortcut to rule, if they wanted to keep their posts. To obtain permission to power, they had to go every year to the Khan in the city of Sarai on the lower Volga or in Karakorum in Mongolia. They were dressed in Mongolian clothes and forced to walk between two fires burning in the direction of the throne. This ritual symbolizes the complete devotion.
The barn was fatal for the Russian school of slavery, with the requisite skills submission. Here they come into a world where a person was deprived of their rights and obligations to the team became an absolute priority, obscuring everything else. At the same time, the struggle to get the Khan's mercy deeply corrupted the Russian nobility, the winners in this competition became the most unscrupulous rascals.
As an upstart, an utterly unscrupulous, the princes of Moscow did not accept the notion of morality, they always managed to qualify for the specific reign, as they are by hook or by crook, to seek the right to collect taxes on behalf of Khan.
It is obvious that by Genghis Khan and his selective detachment of ten thousand people got the idea oprichniny Ivan — a special guard, which can be called the first Russian political police (or, if you prefer, a local analogue CC). Wrapped in long black cloaks, guardsmen rode black horses, bringing terror and the boyars, and upon the inhabitants of the villages.
They were ordered to suppress Novgorod — a city that stubbornly stuck to his financial independence and that it threatened the sovereignty of Moscow. Under the personal supervision of Ivan arranged the whole orgy of torture and beatings, thus were all thwarted the possibility of becoming a free city of Novgorod on the type of Bremen and Hamburg.
Ivan Ivan would not have been, if not eager to make the best possible execution fanatic. After hours of torture, the victims were tied together and drowned in the river in the hole punched oprichniki.
Cruelty was incurable trait of Ivan, it left its mark on the entire regime of his reign. His executioners had a wide range of methods of killing, ranging from impalement and ending with the ejection of the ribs. Fedorov, one of disgraced boyars, who died of alternate freezing and pouring boiling water.
However, de Madariaga dispassionately observes that the era in general was impregnated such atrocities. She cites Hieronymus Bosch and his sadistic fantasies. The fact that Western Europe could boast of achievements in this area, a hundred years earlier proved by Dante in his "Divine Comedy." Torment described in his "Inferno," a hit ingenuity, to which was far from even Ivan the Terrible. ***
Ivan's mood quickly changed, the nature of this instability was becoming dangerous. And when it appeared the mouth foam, anger makes it even more creepy. However, he, too, was known to despair — after the murder of his son, he would get up in the middle of the night and started scratching the nail wall. Distance from torture to church choirs was the small — like mixing ferocity and piety we know even the Byzantine court. Sometimes, tired of the vanity of the world, he wanted to become a monk and no urgent business did not prevent him earnestly to attend church services and enjoy the singing.
The mission of the king, according to Ivan the Terrible, was to lead his people to eternal salvation, the world must be free from sin, including the red-hot iron. The belief in the sacred mission of violence puts the Terrible in line with Marxist Lenin and Stalin. All three of them with the most pure mind stepping over such platitudes as the law and the law.
However, protecting the interests of the state, as it were, their simplistic Grozny did not realize he demonstrated not only a powerful apparatus of repression, but also calculating mind. At the time, the problem was the lack of Russian natural boundaries, from which flowed all its costs due to the constant instability. Russian steppes, then repeatedly sung, in that era made one fear of people. In these terrible edges Crimean Tatar Muslims staged a relentless hunt for the Russian. From the perspective of the African continent, Russia was the primary source of raw materials to the delivery of live goods slave markets of Istanbul and Cairo, and when Africans came to talk to trade their own kind, the Russian people answered, almost to a man and a fierce resistance. In these places, broke out war. It was quite noticeable in Western Europe, yet to fully enjoy the bliss of the Renaissance.
On the order of Ivan IV in the Wild Field were built outpost, where it was used early warning system for raids and passed on by the relay. However, in 1571 the Tatars still managed to make their way to Moscow. They set fire to the city, the alarm bells ringing as long as one after another did not get a last minute bell and fell silent. A new attempt to capture Moscow Crimean Tatars have taken the following year, but the offensive bogged down. Never after that capital has not been attacked southern sworn enemy, although the Crimea came under Russian control only under Catherine the Great.
The culmination of the work of Ivan the Terrible was the conquest of Kazan and Astrakhan Khanate in 1552-1556gg., Which gave Russia a direct access to the Caspian Sea. This area, once owned by the Golden Horde, was now a springboard to leap into Asia.
Behind the back of Europe, in the East, began to form a new superpower. Richard Pipes has estimated that over 150-year period of Russia each year increased its size to the territory corresponding to the area of the modern Netherlands. But on the west Ivan was not idle, he never lost sight of the field of view of the Baltic Sea and so he took a course of confrontation with Sweden.
There was no one in the history of the Swedish envoy who would be subjected to such indignities as abossky Archbishop Paul Yuusteen in 1569g. sent on a mission to Novgorod and Moscow. ****
Stockholm now had to deal with an enemy like this amoeba — although they can be in a big effort to share, but she did not miss a chance to fill the empty space.
No other king did not leave so deep trace in people's memory, rumors of which have been passed down from generation to generation in the traditions and folk songs. Folklore has turned it into poluskazochny image of his father, always playing the role of defender of the common man against the world vile boyars. His achievements also recognizes itself de Madariaga, in the epilogue of his book, which summarizes — Russia has become a country which has received "unified laws, currency, religion, system of weights and measures, common language and the officer corps."
However, these were the reforms that push for the despotic methods. The traditions of violence and lust for power inherent with Ivan the Terrible, lay a heavy shadow on the next generation of Russian — and Putin is by no means an exception.
* Perhaps a typo here — not 1616, but 1626 likely to have in mind the worst fire in Moscow in 1626, when the capital was burned completely with the Kremlin and China Town. During the disaster was lost a lot of archival documents before the XVII century. This loss is so terrible that some periods of Russian history can be studied mainly on the recollections and records of foreign travelers techniques that were again the foreign ambassadors, who came to Russia. It is not strange sounds, this gap in our knowledge of medieval Russia can make himself Ivan IV, to be exact — his private underground library. The legendary library of Ivan the Terrible, comprised of hundreds of the rarest volumes in Russian, Latin, Greek, German and other languages, are actively looking for at least 300 years. The probability of finding is minimal, but that does not stop enthusiasts who continue to search in Moscow, Alexandrov, Vologda, and other cities. Its discovery would be a sensation of global significance, equivalent to the discovery of Troy, or decrypt the Maya writing (prim.per.)
** Ivan the Terrible considered it beneath his dignity to even respond to letters to the Swedish king Gustav Vasa, calling that "the son of a water carrier" (prim.per.)
*** This phrase can be illustrated by the events of 1572 that took place in different countries. This year, Ivan the Terrible abolishes Oprichnina, turning mass terror, and almost parallel to that in France, reaches its climax fight of two elites — the supporters of the two irreconcilable Christian denominations, and results in the massacre of opponents of Catholicism — St. Bartholomew's Day, when for one day in Paris alone was killed at least 10 thousand people. (Prim.per.)
The principle of the inviolability of **** ambassadors and foreign merchants in Russia was known from the XI century. Their extraterritoriality respected even during the feudal fragmentation. However, excesses occurred. In 1569, in Moscow, was beaten, tortured and imprisoned for three years in prison Swedish Ambassador Paul Yuusteen. (Prim.per.)
Historical Ivan the Terrible — a victim of its own rukopozhatnoy intellectuals and kindness
Comparative History of the atrocities of the West and Russia
Public executions — a European entertainment
What is Russia lagged behind Europe in modern times?