By Michael Kort
Detailing the social, fiscal, and political adjustments and crises that the folks of Russia have needed to undergo, this booklet offers a accomplished account of this tremendous country's historical past. It contains insurance at the conquest and rule of Russia by way of the Mongol Golden Horde; and the reign of terror via Ivan the bad.
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Writer observe: Susan Darnton (Translator)
Publish 12 months word: First released April fifth 2001
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Extra resources for A Brief History of Russia
Finally, Ivan III was a great builder. As he saw it, the city of Moscow, the capital of his realm, needed impressive stone buildings to match the grandeur of the state. To that end he imported prominent Italian architects, as his own country’s architects and builders did not have the skills necessary to build the grand structures he wanted. Some of those skills, such as solid-bond masonry, had been known in Russia prior to the Mongol invasion but had been largely forgotten. Others, including many of the modern technologies and methods used to build western Europe’s Renaissance churches, had never reached Russia as it stagnated during the centuries of Mongol rule.
Under Khazar rule Christians, Jews, Muslims, and others were free to practice their religions and live according to their own customs. Khazaria, in fact, seems to have been a refuge for people fleeing persecution in other realms. Most important historically, during the seventh and eighth centuries the Khazars fought several major wars with invading Arab armies and in the process blocked the expansion of Islam into eastern Europe. In 737, just five years after the Frankish leader Charles Martel won the battle near the banks of the Loire River in France that halted the Muslim advance into Europe in the west and pushed the invaders back into Spain, the Khazars turned back the Arabs in the east, driving them south of the Caucasus Mountains.
Ivan used diplomacy as well as military force against the powerful Lithuanians, especially an alliance with the Crimean Tatars, another of the successor states to the defunct Golden Horde. By 1503 he had won from the Lithuanians considerable territory that had once belonged to Kievan Rus east of the Dnieper River. However, the city of Smolensk, Ivan’s main target, remained beyond his reach; it was left to his son 26 INDEPENDENCE AND UNIFICATION: THE LAST RURIKIDS TO THE FIRST ROMANOVS Vasily III finally to take Smolensk in 1514.
A Brief History of Russia by Michael Kort