Author Topic: Documents from the Reigns of Peter I through Nicholas II  (Read 93592 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Guest
Re: Some documents from the Reign of Aleksander I
« Reply #60 on: January 19, 2006, 12:38:38 PM »
An account of the Battle of Borodino by French Baron Lejeune Part II

General Kutusoff, however, who looked upon this redoubt as the key of his position, immediately pointed 100 pieces of cannon upon us, hoping by that means to drive us back, whilst a considerable column of picked Russian grenadiers, who had been hidden at 'the bottom of a ravine behind the redoubt, advanced to attack us. In the struggle the wind, which was blowing strongly, raised clouds of dust, which mingled with the smoke from the guns was whirled up in dense masses, enveloping and almost suffocating men and horses. When at last the thick clouds, augmented every moment by the fury of the combat raging on every side, rolled away, we found that the column of Russian grenadiers had been driven back into the ravine, and that we were masters of the redoubt where the artillerymen had been cut down at their guns. Thirty pieces of cannon also remained in our hands, the violence and rapidity of our cavalry charge having been such that the enemy had not had time to drag them away. Our victory had, however, been dearly bought, for Caulaincourt had been killed at the gorge of the redoubt, as he led the charge.

The Emperor, satisfied with all that had already been accomplished by General Friant and the other divisions under Davout, now thought the right moment had come to send his whole Guard to complete the victory, as yet only begun, when a timid counsellor remarked to him, ' Allow me to point out that your Majesty is at the present moment 700 leagues from Paris, and at the gates of Moscow.' The reflection that he was so near Moscow seems to have greatly cheered the Emperor by calling up a picture in his mind of his entry into that town with all the pomp of a conqueror, and, turning to me, he said, ' Go and find Sorbier, and tell him to take all the artillery of my Guard to the position occupied by General Friant, to which you will guide him. He is to extend sixty guns at right angles with the enemy's line, so as to crush him by a flank fire ; Murat will support him.'

I galloped off to General Sorbier, who was a very hasty man, and he, incredulous of my message, did not give me time to explain it, but broke in on what I was saying impatiently with the words, ' We ought to have done that an hour ago! ' He then ordered the artillery to follow him at a trot. The imposing mass of the artillery at once rolled away with a resounding clank of chains into the valley, crossed it, and ascended the gentle slope covered with the entrenchments we had taken from the enemy, where they broke into a gallop to gain the space necessary for extension by the left flank. In the distance I could see King Murat caracoling about in the midst of the mounted skirmishers well in advance of his own cavalry, and paying far less attention to them than to the numerous Cossacks who, recognising him by his bravado, as well as by his plumed helmet, and a short Cossack mantle made of a goat's skin with long hair resembling their own, surrounded him in the hope of taking him prisoner, shouting, ' Houra ! houra ! Murat ! ' But none of them. dared even venture within lance's length of him, ' for they all knew that the King's sword would skilfully turn aside every weapon, and with the speed of lightning pierce to the heart the boldest amongst his enemies. I galloped up to Murat to give him the Emperor's instructions, and he left the skirmishers to make his dispositions for supporting General Sorbier. The Cossacks took his withdrawal for retreat or flight, and followed us. My horse, which was not so fleet as that of the King, for he was mounted on a beautiful fawn-coloured Arab, caught its feet in the drag-rope of a gun which was making its wheel of a quarter circle at a gallop. The animal, though hurt and shaken by the shock and fall, struggled up again at once without throwing me, and galloped furiously to where General Sorbier was standing in the centre of the terrible battery, now beginning to pour out volleys of grapeshot, shells, and balls on the enemy's lines, which it enfiladed, every discharge telling.

The enemy's cavalry made many useless efforts to destroy our line of guns. We remained masters of the fortified position, which the Russians had looked upon as impregnable, and I went to the Emperor to report on what had taken place.

The day was already far advanced. We had dearly bought the advantages we had gained, nor was there as yet anything to indicate that the struggle would not be renewed on the morrow. When I got back to the Emperor he had already been able to judge of the good results achieved by the artillery of his Guard, and he was still hesitating whether, as many amongst us wished, he should follow up this success with a grand charge from the whole of the brilliant cavalry of the Guard. Just at this moment a Russian lieutenant-general who had been taken prisoner was brought to the Emperor. After having talked to him very politely for a few minutes, the Emperor said to some one standing by, ' Give me his sword.' A Russian sword was at once brought, and the Emperor, taking it, graciously offered it to the Russian general with the words, ' I return your sword.' It so happened, however, that it was not the prisoner's own sword, and, not understanding the honour the Emperor meant to do him, the Russian general refused to receive the weapon. Napoleon, astonished at this want of tact in a general, shrugged his shoulders, and turning to us said, loud enough for the General to hear him, ' Take the fool away ! '

The battle now seemed to be approaching its close. The noise of the firing was diminishing, and the sun was setting. The Viceroy had posted a large body of his troops on our left beyond the Kaluga stream, at the foot of the height on which was the big redoubt taken by our cavalry. The Prince was going about amongst his battalions, when the enemy, who had probably recognised him, ordered a considerable body of Cossacks to charge and try to carry him off. Fortunately the Prince noticed the masses of cavalry threatening our left, and in anticipation of their attack he at once formed his divisions in squares by regiments. The Viceroy had only just time to fling himself into the 84th Regiment, beside Colonel Pegot, and to order the Italian regiment to repulse the thousands of Cossacks advancing upon us with lowered spears, before the shock came. But the point-blank discharge from our infantry drove the mass of riders, always so clever at turning tail, back upon themselves. Our cavalry pursued them for a short distance, and then returned to the ranks. The night fell, and put an end to the exhausting struggle all along the lines of the rival hosts.


  • Guest
Re: Some documents from the Reign of Aleksander I
« Reply #61 on: January 19, 2006, 12:52:24 PM »
Treaty signed between Russia and France 19 December 1801

Bulletin des Lois de la République

Loi qui ordonne la promulgation du traité de paix conclu entre la République française et l'empereur de toutes les Russies.

Du 18 Frimaire  

AU NOM DU PEUPLE FRANÇAIS, BONAPARTE, premier Consul, PROCLAME loi de la République le décret suivant, rendu par le Corps législatif le 18 frimaire an X, conformément à la proposition faite par le Gouvernement le 8 du même mois, communiquée au Tribunat le lendemain.


    LE traité dont la teneur suit, conclu à Paris le 16 vendémiaire an X [8 octobre 1801] entre la République française et sa majesté l'Empereur de toutes les Russies, et dont les ratifications ont été échangées à Paris le 19 vendémiaire an X [11 octobre 1801], sera promulgué comme une loi de la République.
TRAITÉ de paix entre la République française et sa majesté l'Empereur de toutes les Russies.

      LE premier Consul de la République française, au nom du peuple français, et sa majesté l'Empereur de toutes les Russies, animés du désir de rétablir les relations de bonne intelligence qui subsistaient entre les deux Gouvernemens avant la guerre actuelle, et de mettre un terme aux maux dont l'Europe est affligée,  ont nommé, à cet effet, pour leurs plénipotentiaires ; savoir, le premier Consul de la République française, au nom du peuple français, le C.en Charles-Maurice Talleyrand, ministre des relations extérieures ; et sa majesté l'Empereur de toutes les Russies, le sieur Arcadi, comte de Marcoff, son conseiller privé actuel et chevalier de l'ordre de Saint-Alexandre-Neuski, et grand'croix de celui de Saint-Waldimir, de la première classe ; lesquels, après la vérification et l'échange de leurs pleins-pouvoirs, sont convenus des articles suivans :

    Art. Il y aura dorénavant paix, amitié et bonne intelligence entre la République française et sa majesté l'Empereur de toutes les Russies.

    II. En conséquence, il ne sera commis aucune hostilité entre les deux États, à compter du jour de l'échange des ratifications du présent traité ; et aucune des parties contractantes ne pourra fournir aux ennemis de l'autre, tant extérieurs qu'intérieurs, aucun secours ou contingent en hommes ni en argent, sous quelque dénomination que ce soit.

    III. Les deux parties contractantes, voulant, autant qu'il est en leur pouvoir, contribuer à la tranquillité des Gouvernemens respectifs, se promettent mutuellement de ne pas souffrir qu'aucun de leurs sujets [ii] se permette d'entretenir une correspondance quelconque, soit directe, soit indirecte, avec les ennemis intérieurs du Gouvernement actuel des deux États, d'y propager des principes contraires à leurs constitutions respectives, ou d'y fomenter des troubles ; et, par une suite de ce concert, tout sujet de l'une des deux puissances qui, en séjournant dans les États de l'autre, attenterait à sa sûreté, sera de suite éloigné dudit pays, et transporté hors des frontières, sans pouvoir, en aucun cas, se réclamer de la protection de son Gouvernement.

    IV. Il est convenu de s'en tenir, quant au rétablissement des légations respectives et au cérémonial à suivre entre les deux Gouvernemens, à ce qui était d'usage avant la présente guerre.

    V. Les deux parties contractantes conviennent, en attendant la confection d'un nouveau traité de commerce, de rétablir les relations commerciales entre les deux pays, sur le pied où elles étaient avant la guerre, en tant que faire se pourra, et sauf les modifications que le temps et les circonstances peuvent avoir amenées, et qui ont donné lieu à de nouveaux réglemens.

    VI. Le présent traité est déclaré commun à la République batave.

    VII. Le présent traité sera ratifié et les ratifications échangées dans l'espace de cinquante jours, ou plutôt si faire se peut.

    En foi de quoi, nous soussignés, en vertu de nos pleins-pouvoirs, avons signé ledit traité et y avons apposé nos cachets.

    Fait à Paris, le 16 Vendémiaire an X de la République française [8 Octobre 1801]. Signé CH. MAU. TALLEYRAND ; le comte DE MARCOFF.

Collationné à l'original, par nous président et secrétaires du Corps législatif. A Paris, le 18 Frimaire, an X de la République française. Signé BARAILON, président ; CHAMPION (de la Meuse), DEVAUX, BOUISSEREN, CHARREL, secrétaires.

      SOIT la présente loi revêtue du sceau de l'État, insérée au Bulletin des lois, inscrite dans les registres des autorités judiciaires et administratives, et le ministre de la justice chargé d'en surveiller la publication. A Paris, le 28 Frimaire, an X [iii]de la République.

    Signé BONAPARTE, premier Consul. Contre-signé, le secrétaire d'état, HUGUES B. MARET. Et scellé du sceau de l'État.
    Vu, le ministre de la justice, signé ABRIAL.



  • Guest
Re: Some documents from the Reign of Nikolai II
« Reply #62 on: January 19, 2006, 02:57:07 PM »
Dear David,

You are truly wonderful to post these documents from all of the rulers of Russia.  I am amazed!  I've spent several hours reading and thinking about the Tsar's and their words......   Nicholas' communications to Wilhelm before the first World War are touching to me. My heart breaks for him, for what he must have gone through personally in those days.

Amazing stuff!  A priviledge to read.



  • Guest
Re: Some documents from the Reign of Nikolai II
« Reply #63 on: January 19, 2006, 03:12:56 PM »
Dear Arleen,

Thank you for your kind comments. My primary source posts as a whole have saved all of you about thirty hours of searching the Internet. Opinions are fine but is it not best to learn from the documents that shaped and made Russian history? I am a very strong believer that primary source documents are the best learning tools. I shall try to find more but it is very time consuming to find a full text of a treaty, ukaz or agreement, rather than short excerpts. Of course the inability to post cyrillic documents on this board further narrows the range of available documents.



  • Guest
Documents from the Reigns of Peter I through Nicholas II
« Reply #64 on: March 08, 2006, 11:04:10 AM »
Prince Andrew Kurbskii, First Epistle Written to the Tsar and Grand Prince of Moscow in Consequence of His Fierce Persecution

To the tsar, exalted above all by God, who appeared (formerly) most illustrious, particularly in the Orthodox faith, but who has now, in consequence of our sins, been found to be the contrary of this. If you have understanding, may you understand this with your leprous conscience - such a conscience as cannot be found even amongst the godless peoples. And I have not let my tongue say more than this on all these matters in turn; but because of the bitterest persecution from your power, with much sorrow in my heart will I hasten to inform you of a little.

Wherefore, O tsar, have you destroyed the strong in Israel and subjected to various forms of death the voevodas given you by God?' And wherefore have you spilled their victorious holy blood in the churches of God during sacerdotal ceremonies, and stained the thresholds of the churches with their blood of martyrs? And why have you conceived against your well-wishers and against those who lay down their lives for you unheard-of torments and persecutions and death, falsely accusing the Orthodox of treachery and magic and other abuses, and endeavouring with zeal to turn light into darkness and to call sweet bitter? What guilt did they commit before you, O tsar and in what way did they, the champions of Christianity, anger you? Have they not destroyed proud kingdoms and by their heroic bravery made subject to you in all things those in whose servitude our forefathers formerly were? Was it not through the keenness of their understanding that the strong German towns were given to you by God? Thus have you remunerated [your] poor [servants], destroying us by whole families? Think you yourself immortal, O tsar? Or have you been enticed into unheard-of heresy, as one no longer wishing to stand before the impartial judge, Jesus, begotten of God, who will judge according to justice the universe and especially the vainglorious tormentors, and who unhesitatingly will question them "right to the hairs of their sins," as the saying goes? He is my Christ who sitteth on the throne of the Cherubims at the right hand of the power of the Almighty in the highest - the judge between you and me.

What evil and persecution have I not suffered from you! What ills and misfortunes have you not brought upon me! And what iniquitous tissues of lies have you not woven against me! But I cannot now recount the various misfortunes at your hands which have beset me owing to their multitude and since I am still filled with the grief of my soul. But, to conclude, I can summarize them all thus: of everything have I been deprived; I have been driven from the land of God without guilt, hounded by you. I did not ask with words, nor did I beseech you with tearful plaint; nor yet did I win from you any mercy through the intercession of the hierarchy. You have recompensed me with evil for good and for my love with implacable hatred. My blood, spilled like water for you, cries out against you to my Lord. God sees into hearts - in my mind have I ardently reflected and my conscience have I placed as a witness, and I have sought and pried within my thoughts, and, examining myself, I know not now - nor have I ever found - my guilt in aught before you. In front of your army have I marched - and marched again; and no dishonour have I brought upon you; but only brilliant victories, with the help of the angel of the Lord, have I won for your glory, and never have I turned the back of your regiments to the foe. But far more, I achieved most glorious conquests to increase your renown and this, not in one year, nor yet in two - but throughout many years have I toiled with much sweat and patience; and always have I been separated from my fatherland, and little have I seen my parents, and my wife have I not known; but always in far distant towns have I stood in arms against your foes and I suffered many wants and natural illnesses, of which my Lord Jesus Christ is witness. Still more, I was visited with wounds inflicted by barbarian hands in various battles and all my body is already afflicted with sores. But to you, O tsar, was all this as nought; rather do you show us your intolerable wrath and bitterest hatred, and, furthermore, burning stoves.

And I wanted to relate all my military deeds in turn which I have accomplished for your glory by the strength of my Christ, but I have not recounted them for this reason, that God knows better than man. For he is the recompenser for all these things, and not only for them, but also for a cup of cold water; and I know that you yourself are not unaware of them. And furthermore may this be known to you, O tsar; you will, I think , no longer see my face in this world until the glorious coming of my Christ. Think not that concerning these things I will remain silent before you; to my end will I incessantly cry out with tears against you to the everlasting Trinity, in which I believe; and I call to my aid the Mother of the Lord of the Cherubims, my hope and protectress, Our Lady, the Mother of God, and all the Saints, the elect of God, and my master and forefather, Prince Fedor Rostislavich, whose corpse remains imperishable, preserved throughout the ages, and emits from the grave sweet odours, sweeter than aromatics, and, by the grave of the Holy Ghost, pours forth miraculous healing streams, as you, O tsar, know well..

Deem not, O tsar, and think not upon us with your sophistic thoughts, as though we had already perished, massacred by you in our innocence and banished and driven out by you without justice; rejoice not in this, glorying, as it were, in a vain victory; those massacred by you, standing at the throne of our Lord, ask vengeance against you; while we who have been banished and driven out by you without justice from the land cry out day and night to God, however much in your pride you may boast in this temporal, fleeting life, devising vessels of torture against the Christian race, yea, and abusing and trampling on the Angelic Form, O with the approbation of your flatterers and comrades of the table, your quarrelsome boyars, the destroyers of your soul and body, who urge you on to erotic deeds and, together with their children, act more [viciously] than the priests of Cronus. So much for this. And this epistle, soaked in my tears, will I order to be put into my grave with me, when I come with you before the judgment of my God, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Written in Wolmar, the town of my master, King Augustus Sigismund, from whom I hope to receive much reward and comfort for all my sorrow, by his sovereign grace, and still more with God's help. I have heard from sacred writings that a destroyer will be sent by the devil against the human race, a destroyer conceived in fornication, the Antichrist, hostile to God; and now I have seen a counsellor, known to all, who was born in adultery and who today whispers falsehoods in the ears of the tsar and sheds Christian blood like water and has already destroyed the strong and noble in Israel, as one in agreement with the Antichrist in deed. It is not fitting, O tsar, to show indulgence to such men! In the first law of the Lord it is written. "A Moabite and an Ammonite and a bastard to the tenth generation shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord."


  • Guest
Re: Some documents prior to the Reign of Peter I
« Reply #65 on: March 08, 2006, 11:05:38 AM »
Ivan IV: Epistle of the Tsar and Sovereign to All His Russian Tsardom Against Those Who Have Broken the Pledge of Allegiance, Against Prince Andrei Kurbskii and His Comrades, Concerning Their Treacheries.

Part 1

Our God, the Trinity, who has existed since eternity but now as Father, Son and Holy Ghost, has neither beginning nor end; through him we live and move about, through him kings rule and the mighty write laws. By our Lord Jesus Christ the victorious standard of God's only Word and the blessed Cross, which has never been vanquished, have been given to Emperor Constantine, first in piety, and to all the orthodox tsars and protectors of orthodoxy and, insofar as the Word of God has been fulfilled, they, in eagle's flight, have reached all the godly servants of God's Word, until a spark of piety has fallen upon the Russian realm. The autocracy, by God's will, had its origin in Grand Prince Vladimir, who had enlightened all Russia through the holy baptism, and the great Tsar Vladiinir Monomakh, who had received memorable honours from the Greeks, and the valiant great Tsar Alexander Nevskii, who had obtained a great victory over the godless Germans, and the praiseworthy great Tsar Dmitrii, who had obtained a great victory over the sons of Hagar beyond the Don, then it passed to the avenger of wrongs, our ancestor, the great Tsar Ivan, the gatherer of the Russian lands from among the ancestral possessions, and to our father of blessed memory, the great Tsar Vasilii until it reached us, the humble sceptre-bearer of the Russian empire.

But we praise God for the great favour he has shown me in not permitting my right hand to become stained by the blood of my race: for we have not snatched the realm from anyone, but by the will of God and the blessing of our ancestors and parents, were we born in the realm, were brought up there and enthroned, taking, by the will of God and the blessing of our ancestors and parents, what belonged to us, and not seizing that which was not ours. Here follows the command of the orthodox, truly Christian autocrat, the possessor of many kingdoms - our humble Christian answer to him who was an orthodox, true Christian and a boyar of our realm, a councillor and a general, but now is a criminal before the blessed, vivifying cross of the Lord, a destroyer of Christians, a servant of the enemies of Christianity, who has departed from the divine worship of the images and has trodden underfoot all sacred commands, destroyed the holy edifices, vilified and trampled the holy vessels and images, who unites in one person Leo the Isaurian, Constantine Kopronymos and Leo of Armenia - to Prince Andrei Mikhailovich Kurbskii, who through treachery wanted to become a ruler of Iaroslavl.

Wherefore, O Prince, if you regard yourself to have piety, have you lost your soul? What will you give in its place on the day of the terrible judgment? Even if you should acquire the whole world, death will reach you in the end! Why have you sold your soul for your body's sake? Is it because you were afraid of death at the false instigation of your demons and influential friends and advisers? . . .

Are you not ashamed before your slave Vaska Shibanov, who preserved his piety and, having attached himself to you with a kiss of the cross, did not reject you before the tsar and the whole people, though standing at the gate of death, but praised you and was all too ready to die for you? But you did not emulate his devotion: on account of a single angry word of mine, have you lost not only your own soul, but the souls of all your ancestors: for, by God's will, had they been given as servants to our grandfather, the great tsar, and they gave their souls to him and served him up to their death, and ordered you, their children, to serve the children and grandchildren of our grandfather. But you have forgotten everything and traitorously, like a dog, have you transgressed the oath and have gone over to the enemies of Christianity, and, not considering your wrath, you utter stupid words, hurling, as it were, stones at the sky....


  • Guest
Re: Some documents prior to the Reign of Peter I
« Reply #66 on: March 08, 2006, 11:07:11 AM »
Ivan IV: Epistle of the Tsar and Sovereign to All His Russian Tsardom Against Those Who Have Broken the Pledge of Allegiance, Against Prince Andrei Kurbskii and His Comrades, Concerning Their Treacheries.

Part 2

We have never spilled blood in the churches. As for the victorious, saintly blood - there has none appeared in our land, as far as we know. The thresholds of the churches: as far as our means and intelligence permit and our subjects are eager to serve us, the churches of the Lord are resplendent with all kinds of adornments, and through the gifts which we have offered since your satanic domination, not only the thresholds and pavements, but even the antechambers shine with ornaments, so that all strangers may see them. We do not stain the thresholds of the churches with any blood, and there are no martyrs of faith with us nowadays. . . . Tortures and persecutions and deaths in many forms we have devised against no one. As to treasons and magic, it is true, such dogs everywhere suffer capital punishment. . . .

It had pleased God to take away our mother, the pious Tsarina Elena, from the earthly kingdom to the kingdom of heaven. My brother Iurii, who now rests in heaven, and I were left orphans and, as we received no care from anyone, we laid our trust in the Holy Virgin, and in the prayers of all the saints, and in the blessing of our parents. When I was in my eighth year, our subjects acted according to their will, for they found the empire without a ruler, and did not deign to bestow their voluntary attention upon us, their master, but were bent on acquiring wealth and glory, and were quarrelling with each other. And what have they not done! How many boyars, how many friends of our father and generals they have killed! And they seized the farms and villages and possessions of our uncles, and established themselves therein. The treasure of our mother they trod underfoot and pierced with sharp sticks, and transferred it to the great treasure, but some of it they grabbed themselves; and that was done by your grandfather Mikhaylo Tuchkov. The Princes Vasilii and Ivan Shuiskii took it upon themselves to have me in their keeping, and those who had been the chief traitors of our father and mother they let out of prison, and they made friends with them. In the court belonging to our uncle Prince Vasilii Shuiskii, with a Judas crowd, fell upon our father confessor Fedor Mishurin, and insulted him, and killed him; and they imprisoned Prince Ivan Fedorovich Belskii and many others in various places, and armed themselves against the realm; they ousted metropolitan Daniil from the metropolitan see and banished him: and thus they improved their opportunity, and began to rule themselves.

My brother Iurii, of blessed memory, and me they brought up like vagrants and children of the poorest. What have I suffered for want of garments and food! And all that against my will and as did not become my extreme youth. I shall mention just one thing: once in my childhood we were playing, Prince Ivan Vasilievich Shuiskii was sitting on a bench, leaning with his elbow against our father's bed, and even putting his foot upon it; he treated us not as a parent, but as a master ... who could bear such presumption? How can I recount all miseries which I have suffered in my youth? Often did I dine late, against my will. What had become of the treasure left me by my father? They had carried everything away, under the cunning pretext that they had to pay the boyar children from it, but, in reality, they had kept it back from them, to their own advantage, and had not paid them off according to their deserts; and they had also held back an immense treasure of my grand-father and father, and made it into gold and silver vessels scribing thereupon the names of their parents, as if they been their inheritance. . . . It is hardly necessary to mention what became of the treasure of our uncles: they appropriated it all to themselves! Then they attacked towns and villages, tortured the people most cruelly, brought much misery upon them and mercilessly pillaged the possessions of the inhabitants.

When we reached the age of fifteen, we, inspired by God, undertook to rule our own realm and, with the aid of almighty God, we ruled our realm in peace and undisturbed, according to our will. But it happened then that, on account of our sins, a fire having spread, by God's will, the royal city of Moscow was consumed. Our boyars, the traitors whom you call martyrs, whose names I shall purposely pass over in silence, made use of the favourable opportunity for their mean treachery, whispered into the ears of a stupid crowd that the mother of my mother, Princess Anna Glinskaia, with all her children and household, was in the habit of extracting men's hearts, and that by a similar sorcery she had put Moscow on fire, and that we knew of her doings. By the instigation of these our traitors, a mass of insensate people, crying in the manner of the Jews, came to the apostolic cathedral of the holy martyr Dmitrii of Saloniki, dragged out of it our boyar Iurii Vasil'evich Glinskii, pulled him inhumanly into the Cathedral of the Assumption, and killed this innocent man in the church. Opposite the metropolitan's palace they stained the floor of the church with his blood, dragged his body through the front door, and exposed him on the market-place as a criminal - everybody knows about this murder in the church. We were then living in the village of Vorobievo; the same traitors instigated the populace to kill us under this pretext and you, dog, repeat the lie that we were keeping from them Prince Iurii's mother, Princess Anna, and his brother Prince Mikhail. How is one not to laugh at such stupidity? Why should we be incendiaries in our own empire? ...

You say that your blood has been spilled in wars with foreigners, and you add, in your foolishness, that it cries to God against us. That is ridiculous. It has been spilled by one and it cries out against another. If it is true that your blood has been spilled by the enemy, then you have done your duty to your country; if you had not done so, you would not have been a Christian but a barbarian - but that is not our affair. How much more ours, that has been spilled by you, cries out to the Lord against you! Not with wounds, nor drops of blood, , but with much sweating and toiling have I been burdened by you unnecessarily and above my strength! Your many meannesses and persecutions have caused me, instead of blood, to shed many tears, and to utter sobs and have anguish of my soul...

You say you want to put your letter in your grave: that shows that you have completely renounced your Christianity! For God has ordered not to resist evil, but you renounce the final pardon which is granted to the ignorant; therefore it is not even proper that any Mass shall be sung after you. In our patrimony, in the country of Lifland, you name the city of Wolmar as belonging to our enemy, King Sigismund: by this you only complete the treachery of a vicious dog ...

Written in our great Russia, in the famous, imperial, capital city of Moscow, on the steps of our imperial threshold, in the year from the creation of the world 7072 (1564), the fifth day of July.


  • Guest
Re: Some documents prior to the Reign of Peter I
« Reply #67 on: March 08, 2006, 11:11:19 AM »
The Pouchenie of Vladimir Monomakh

Part 1

I, wretched man that I am, named Vasilii at my baptism by my pious and glorious grandsire Iaroslav, but commonly known by my Russian name Vladimir, and surnamed Monomakh by my beloved father and mother and for the sake of Christian people, for I was many times saved from all distress through his mercy and through the prayers of my father.

As I sat upon my sledge, I meditated in my heart and praised God, who has led me, a sinner, even to this day. Let not my sons or anyone else which happens to read this brief discourse laugh at its contents. But rather let anyone of my sons who takes my words to heart and is not disposed to laziness conduct himself according to my counsel. First, for the sake of God and your own souls, retain the fear of God in your hearts, and give alms generously for such liberality is the root of all good. If this document displeases anyone let him not be angry, but rather let him believe that, in my old age, I talked nonsense as I sat upon my sledge. For emissaries from my kinsmen met me on the Volga with the message, "Join with us quickly, that we may expel the sons of Rostislav, and seize their possessions. If you do not join us, we shall act for our own advantage, and you may conduct yourself as you deem best." I replied, "At the risk of your wrath, I cannot go with you or break my oath."

When I had dismissed the emissaries, in my sorrow I took up the Psalter, when I opened it this passage struck my eye: "Why art thou cast down, soul? Why dost thou disquiet me?" etc. (Ps. xliii, 5.) I collected these precious words and arranged them in order and copied them. If the last passage does not please you, then accept the first. "Why art thou sorrowful, soul? Why dost thou disquiet me? Hope in God, for I will confess to him

It was thus that Basil, after gathering together young men who were pure in heart and untainted in body, inculcated in them a brief and a meek conversation and the word of God in right measure. He taught them to eat and to drink without unseemly noise; to be silent in the presence of the aged; to listen with profit to the wise; to humble themselves before their elders; to live in charity with their equals and their inferiors; to speak without guile, to understand much; not to be immoderate in their language, nor to insult others in their conversation; not to laugh excessively; to respect the aged; to refrain from converse with shameless women; to cast their eyes downward and their souls upward; and to walk and not to leap. He taught them to respect all established authorities which are honoured of all men. If one of you can render a service to another, let him expect his recompense from God, and he shall thus enjoy eternal blessing. Oh sovereign Mother of God! Take away pride and presumption from my poor heart, lest I be exalted in this empty life by the vanity of this world. Let the faithful learn to strive with pious effort. According to the word of the Gospel, learn to govern your eyes, to curb your tongue, to moderate your temper, to subdue your body, to restrain your wrath; and to cherish pure thoughts, exerting yourself in good works for the Lord's sake. When robbed, avenge not; when hated or persecuted, endure; when affronted, pray. Destroy sin, render justice to the orphan, protect the widow. "Come let us reason together, saith the Lord; if your sins be as scarlet, I will make them white as snow. (Is. i, 18.)

The dayspring of fasting shall shine forth, and likewise the light of repentance. Let us purify ourselves, my brethren, from every corporal and spiritual blemish, and, as we call upon our Creator, let us say, "Glory to thee, lover of mankind!" In truth, my children, understand how merciful, yea, how supremely merciful is God, the lover of mankind. Being of human stock, we, are so sinful and mortal that, when anyone does us evil, we desire to destroy and to shed his blood speedily. But our Lord, the ruler of life and death, suffers our sins to be higher than our heads, and yet he loves us all our lives as a father loves his son whom he chastens and then summons once more to embrace.

Thus our Lord has promised us the victory over our enemies through three means of conquering and overcoming them: repentance, tears, and almsgiving. My children, the commandment of God to conquer your sins by these three means is not severe. But I implore you for God's sake, be not lazy, nor forget these three means. For they are not difficult of attainment. Not through solitude nor an ascetic life, nor by such fasting as other good men endure, but through easy efforts may you thus obtain the mercy of God....

As you read these words, my sons, praise God who has shown us his mercy and admonished you through the medium of my poor wit. Give heed to me, and accept a half of my instruction if you are not disposed to adopt it all. When God softens your hearts, shed tears for your sins, and pray, "As thou hast taken pity upon the adulteress, the robber and the publican, have pity also upon us sinners," and utter these words both in the church and before you retire to rest. If it is in any way possible, fail not one single night to kneel to the ground three times, in the case that you cannot do so more often. Forget not nor be remiss in this observance, for by his nightly worship and hymn man conquers the devil, and by this means expiates what sins he has committed during the day. When you are riding forth upon your horse, if you have no special subject of conversation with a companion and cannot utter some other prayer, then exclaim without ceasing, "Kyrie eleison!" within yourselves. This is the best prayer of all, and infinitely better than thinking evil thoughts. Above all things, forget not the poor, but support them to the extent of your means. Give to the orphan, protect the widow, and permit the mighty to destroy no man. Take not the life of the just or the unjust, nor permit him to be killed. Destroy no Christian soul even though he be guilty of murder.

When you speak either good or evil, swear not by the name of God, nor cross yourselves, for that is unnecessary. Whenever you kiss the Cross to confirm an oath made to your brethren or to any other man, first test your heart as to whether you can abide by your word, then kiss the Cross, and after once having given your oath, abide by it, lest you destroy your souls by its violation. Receive with affection the blessing of bishops, priests, and priors, and shun them not, but rather, according to your means, love and help them, that you may receive from them their intercession in the presence of God. Above all things, admit no pride in your hearts and minds, but say, "We are but mortal; today we live and tomorrow we shall be in the grave. All that thou hast given us is not ours, but thine, and thou hast but lent it to us for a few days." Hoard not the treasures of earth, for therein lies great sin. Honour the ancient as your father, and the youth as your brother.

Be not lax in the discipline of your homes, but rather attend to all matters yourselves. Rely not upon your steward or your servant, lest they who visit ridicule your house or your table. When you set out to war, be not inactive, depend not upon your captains, nor waste your time in drinking, eating or sleeping. Set the sentries yourselves, and take your rest only after you have posted them at night at every important point about your troops; take your rest, but arise early. Do not put off your accoutrements without a quick glance about you, for a man may thus perish suddenly through his carelessness. Guard against lying, drunkenness and vice, for therein perish soul and body. When journeying anywhere by road through your domain, do not permit your followers or another's company to visit violence upon the villages or upon the dwellings, lest men revile you. Wherever you go, as often as you halt, give the beggar to eat and to drink. Furthermore, honour the stranger, if not with a gift, at least with food and drink, whencesoever he comes to you, be he simple, or noble, or an emissary. For travellers give a man a universal reputation as generous or niggardly.

Visit the sick, and accompany the dead, for we are all but mortal. Pass no man without a greeting; give him a kindly word. Love your wives, but grant them no power over you. This is the end of all things: to hold the fear of God above all else. If you forget all my admonition, read this counsel frequently. Then I shall be without disgrace, and you shall profit thereby.

Forget not what useful knowledge you possess, and acquire that with which you are not acquainted, even as my father, though he remained at home in his own country, still understood five languages. For by this means honour is acquired in other lands. Laziness is the mother of all evil; what a man knows, he forgets, and what he does not know he does not learn. In the practice of good works, you cannot neglect any item of good conduct.

First of all, go to church; let not the rising sun find you in your bed. For this was my father's habit, and it is likewise the custom of all good and perfect men. After rendering praise to God at matins, as you look upon the rising sun, refer praise to God with gladness once again, saying, "Thou hast lightened my eyes, oh Christ my God, thou hast given me thy bright light. Grant me increase, oh Lord, in the years to come, so that, as I repent my sins and order my life righteously, I may thus continue to praise God." Then sit and deliberate with your retainers, or render justice to the people, or ride out for hunting or for pleasure, or else lie down to sleep. Sleep is established by God for noonday repose, since birds and beasts and men then rest from labours.


  • Guest
Re: Some documents prior to the Reign of Peter I
« Reply #68 on: March 08, 2006, 11:13:37 AM »
The Pouchenie of Vladimir Monomakh

Part 2

I now narrate to you, my sons, the fatigue I have endured on journeys and hunts for fifty-three years. First I rode to Rostov through the Viatichians, whither my father had sent me while he himself went to Kursk. (1073) Second, to Smolensk with Stavko the son of Skordiata; he then went to Brest with Iziaslav, and sent me to Smolensk. From Smolensk, I rode on to Vladimir. In that same winter, my brethren sent me to Brest to the place which they had burned, and there I watched their city. Then I went to my father in Pereiaslavl, and after Easter, from Pereiaslavl to Vladimir to make peace with the Poles at Suteiska. Thence back to Vladimir again in the summer. Then Sviatoslav sent me to Poland; after going beyond Glogau to the Czech forest, I travelled four months in that country. (1076) In this year, my oldest child was born in Novgorod. Thence I went to Turov, in the spring to Pereiaslavl again, and then back to Turov. Sviatoslav then died, and I again went to Smolensk, and thence during the same winter to Novgorod, and in the spring to help Gleb. In the summer, I went with my father to Polotsk, and during the second winter before Polotsk the city was burned. He then went to Novgorod, while I, supported by Polovtsians, marched against Odresk, carrying on constant warfare, and thence travelled to Chernigov. (1077) Then, on my return from Smolensk, I rejoined my father in Chernigov a second time.

Then Oleg came from Vladimir, and I invited him to dinner with my father at the Red Palace in Chernigov, and I gave my father three hundred grivnas of gold. Upon leaving Smolensk, I fought my way through the Polovtsian forces, and arrived at Pereiaslavl, where I found my father newly arrived from a raid. Then I rode with my father and Iziaslav to Chernigov to fight with Boris, and we conquered Boris and Oleg. (1078) Then we went to Pereiaslavl, and remained in Obrov. Vseslav at that juncture fired Smolensk. I set forth with men from Chernigov and two horses, but we did not catch Vseslav at Smolensk. On this pursuit of Vseslav, I burned the countryside and ravaged as far as Lukaml and Logozhsk, then attacked Driutesk, and returned to Chernigov.

In the winter of that year, the Polovtsians devastated the whole of Starodub. I marched with men of Chernigov against the Polovtsians. At the Desna, we seized the princes Asaduk and Sauk, and killed their followers. The next day, behind Novgorod, we scattered the powerful force of Belkatgin, and took their swords and all their booty. We then went for two winters among the Viatichians to attack Khodota and his son. The first winter, I went to Korden, and then to Mikulen in pursuit of the sons of Iziaslav, whom we did not catch. In that spring we joined with Iaropolk at Brody.

The following summer, we chased the Polovtsians beyond the Khorol, after they had captured Goroshin. During the autumn, in company with men of Chernigov, as well as Polovtsians and Chiteeviches, we captured the city and left in it neither slaves nor cattle. (1084) In that winter, we went to Brody to join Iaropolk, and concluded an important pact of friendship. In that winter, my father set me up to rule in Pereiaslavl, and we crossed the Supoi.

While we were on our way to the town of Priluk, we suddenly encountered the Polovtsian chieftains with eight thousand men. We were ready and willing to fight with them, but we had sent our equipment ahead with the baggage train and we therefore entered the town. They thus captured alive only Semtsia and a few peasants. Our men, on the other hand, killed or captured a large number of them. They did not even dare to lead away their mounts, and during the night fled to the Sula. On the following day, which was Sunday, we arrived at Bela Vezha. With the aid of God and of the Holy Virgin, our troops killed nine hundred Polovtsians, and captured the two princes Asin and Sakza, the brothers of Bagubars, and only two men of their force escaped. We then pursued the Polovtsians to Sviatoslavl, thence to Torchesk, and still further to Iuriev. (1086) Then again, on the east bank of the Dnepr, we once more defeated the Polovtsians at Krasnoe. In company with Rostislav, we subsequently captured their camp at Varin. I then went to Vladimir and set up Iaropolk as prince, but he soon died.

1093 After the death of my father, Sviatopolk and I together fought until evening with the Polovtsians at the Sula in the vicinity of Khalep, and then made peace with Tugortkan and other Polovtsian chiefs. We took from Gleb's followers all their troops. (1094) Oleg subsequently attacked me in Chernigov with Polovtsian support; my troops fought with him for eight days by the small entrenchment and would not let him inside the outworks. I took pity on the souls of our Christian subjects, and upon the burned villages and monasteries, and said, "It is not for the pagans to boast." I therefore gave my kinsman my father's place, and myself retired to my father's domain of Pereiaslavl. We left Chernigov on the day of St. Boris, and rode through the Polovtsians in a company of not more than a hundred together with the women and children. The Polovtsians showed their teeth at us, as they stood like wolves at the fords and in the hills. But God and St. Boris did not deliver us up to them as their prey, so that we arrived at Pereiaslavl unscathed.


  • Guest
Re: Some documents prior to the Reign of Peter I
« Reply #69 on: March 08, 2006, 11:15:05 AM »
The Pouchenie of Vladimir Monomakh

Part 3

I remained in Pereiaslavl three summers and winters with my retainers, and endured great distress through war and famine. We attacked the Polovtsians behind Rimov, and God stood by us, so that we defeated them and took many captives. We overthrew the troops of Itlar, and after marching beyond Goltav, we captured their camp. We now attacked Oleg at Starodub, because he had made common cause with the Polovtsians. In pursuit of Boniak, we advanced to the Bug and later beyond the Ros in company with Sviatoslav. (1095) After reaching Smolensk, we became reconciled with David.

We set out a second time from Voronitza. At this juncture, the Torks and Chiteeviches came from among the Polovtsians to attack us, so that we advanced against them to the Sula. We then returned again to Rostov for the winter, and three winters later I returned to Smolensk. Thence I went to Rostov.

A second time, Sviatopolk and I pursued Boniak, but the nomads escaped and we did not catch them. Thereupon we again followed Boniak beyond the Ros, yet did not overtake him. During the winter, I travelled to Smolensk, but left there on Easter Day. George's mother passed away. In the summer, I went to Pereiaslavl, and assembled my kinsmen together. Boniak with his entire force of Polovtsians approached Kosniatin, and we sallied forth from Pereiaslavl to meet them as far as the Sula. By God's help, we were able to make peace with Aiepa, and after receiving his daughter as hostage, we proceeded to Smolensk. Thence we journeyed to Rostov. On departing thence, I again attacked the Polovtsians under Urusoba in company with Sviatopolk, and God aided us. Then I again attacked Boniak at Lubno, and God again vouchsafed us his aid. In company with Sviatopolk, I set out once more upon a campaign. With Sviatopolk and David, I later went as far as the Don, and God granted us his aid.

Aiepa and Boniak had approached Vyrev with the intention of capturing it. I advanced to meet them as far as Romny with Oleg and my sons. When the nomads learned of our coming, they fled. Then we marched to attack Gleb at Smolensk, because he had captured our retainers. (1116) God aided us, and we accomplished our purpose. Thereupon we marched to attack Iaroslav son of Sviatopolk at Vladimir, since we were no longer disposed to endure his malice. (1117) On one occasion, I rode at full speed in one day from Chernigov to join my father in Kiev. Among all my campaigns, there are eighty-three long ones, and I do not count the minor adventures.

I concluded nineteen peace treaties with the Polovtsians with or without my father's aid, and dispensed much of my cattle and my garments. I freed from their captivity the best Polovtsian princes, including two brothers of Sharukan, three brothers of Bagubars, four brothers of Ovchin, and one hundred of their foremost leaders. Of other chieftains whom God delivered alive into my hands, I took captive, killed, and had cast into the river Slavlia Koxus and his son, Aklan, Burchevich, Azgului prince of Tarev, and fifteen other young chieftains, and at the same time not less than two hundred of the leading prisoners were likewise killed, and cast into the same river.

I devoted much energy to hunting as long as I reigned in Chernigov and made excursions from that city. Until the present year, in fact, I without difficulty used all my strength in hunting, not to mention other hunting expeditions around Turov, since I had been accustomed to chase every sort of game while in my father's company.

At Chernigov, I even bound wild horses with my bare hands or captured ten or twenty live horses with the lasso, and besides that, while riding along the Ros, I caught these same wild horses barehanded. Two bisons tossed me and my horse on their horns, a stag once gored me, one elk stamped upon me, while another gored me, a boar once tore my sword from my thigh, a bear on one occasion bit my kneecap, and another wild beast jumped on my flank and threw my horse with me. But God preserved me unharmed.

I often fell from my horse, fractured my skull twice, and in my youth injured my arms and legs when I did not reck of my life or spare my head. In war and at the hunt, by night and by day, in heat and in cold, I did whatever my servant had to do, and gave myself no rest. Without relying on lieutenants or messengers, I did whatever was necessary; I looked to every disposition in my household. At the hunt, I posted the hunters, and I looked after the stables, the falcons, and the hawks. I did not allow the mighty to distress the common peasant or the poverty-stricken widow, and interested myself in the church administration and service.

Let not my sons or whoever else reads this document criticise me. I do not commend my own boldness, but I praise God and glorify his memory because he guarded me, a sinful and a wretched man, for so many years in these dangerous vicissitudes, and did not make me inactive or useless for all the necessary works of man. As you read this screed, prepare yourselves for all good works, and glorify God among his saints. Without fear of death, of war, or of wild beasts, do a man's work, my sons, as God sets it before you If I suffered no ill from war, from wild beasts, from flood, or from falling from my horse, then surely no one can harm you and destroy you, unless that too be destined of God. But if death comes from God, then neither father, nor mother, nor brethren can hinder it, and though it is prudent to be constantly upon one's guard, the protection of God is fairer than the protection of man.

Source: The Russian Primary Chronicle


  • Guest
Re: Some documents prior to the Reign of Peter I
« Reply #70 on: March 08, 2006, 11:18:25 AM »

Part 1


Might it not behove us, brethren, to commence in ancient strains the stern lay of Igor's campaign, Igor, son of Sviatoslav?

Then let this begin according to the events of our time and not according to the cunning of Boyan. For he, Boyan the Seer, when composing a song to someone, soared in his thoughts over the tree (of wisdom), ran as agrey wolf over the land, flew below the clouds as a blue-grey eagle.

When he recalled the feuds of former times he would let loose ten falcons upon a flock of swans. And the first swan overtaken was the first to sing a song to old Iaroslav, to brave Mstislav, who slew Rededia before the Kasog regiments, and to handsome Roman, son of Sviatoslav.

Boyan, however, did not let loose ten falcons upon the flock of swans. But rather he lay his wise fingers upon the living strings and they sounded lauds to the princes. Let us begin this narration, brethren, from the old times of Vladimir to this present time of lgor, who strengthened his mind with courage, who quickened his heart with valour and, thus imbued with martial spirit, led his valiant regiments against the Kuman land in defence of the Russian land



lgor looked up at the bright sun, and saw that all his warriors became enveloped in darkness. And Igor spoke to his army:

"Brethren and warriors! it is better to be killed in battle, than to become a captive. Let us mount our swift steeds, brethren! Let us view the blue river Don."

And the prince's mind was seized by ambition. And the desire to drink from the great river Don concealed the evil omens from him. And he spoke:

"I want to break a lance at the Kuman frontier. I want, oh, my Russians, either to drink with you Don (water) from my helmet, or to leave my head there.

Oh, Boyan, the nightingale of yore! If you were to sing the glory of the (Russian) campaign, like a nightingale would you soar over the tree (of wisdom), soaring in your mind up under the clouds and singing the glory of both these ages. You would race along the trail of Trojan, over the prairies and the mountains. And the god Veles' grandson would sing Igor's song (thus),

"It is not a storm that has driven the falcons over the wide prairies. It is a flock of jackdaws racing toward the great river Don."

Or you, Boyan the Seer, grandson of god Veles, would sing:

"Steeds neigh beyond the river Sula. Glory resounds in the city of Kiev. Trumpets blare in the city of Novgorod. Banners fly over the city of Putivl."

lgor awaits his dear brother, Vsevolod. This fierce auroch, Vsevolod, (comes to him and) speaks:

"My only brother, lgor, you are my only bright light. We are both the sons of Sviatoslav. Brother, order the saddling of your swift steeds, as my (swift steeds) are ready. They were already saddled at the city of Kursk. And my men of Kursk are famed as warriors. They were swaddled under trumpets. They were brought up under helmets. They were fed at lance point. The roads are known to them. The ravines are familiar to them. Their bows are taut, their quivers are open, their sabres have been sharpened. They race into the prairie like grey wolves, seeking honour for themselves and glory for their prince."


Then Prince Igor set his foot in the golden stirrup and rode into the open prairie. The sun barred his way with darkness and night, moaning with tempest, awoke the birds. The whistling of the beasts arose. And the Div arose and from the treetops it cried, enjoining unknown lands to listen: the land of the Volga, the land on the Azov Sea, the land at the river Sula, is the city of Surozh, the city of Kherson, and you, the idol of the city of Tmutorakan. The Kumans hastened by untrodden ways to the great river Don. Their carts squeak at midnight, one may say, as dispersed swans. lgor leads his warriors to the river Don. The birds in the forests of oak portend his misfortune. The wolves conjure the tempest in the ravines. The screeching eagles call the beasts to the feast of bones. Foxes bark at crimson shields. O! Russian land! You are already far beyond the hills.


Evening was fading late into the night. Finally the glow of dawn faded. Mist enveloped the prairie. The song of the nightingale had died out. The daws have begun to caw. Russian warriors barred the wide prairie with their crimson shields. They seek honour for themselves and glory for their prince. Early in the morning of Friday the Russians trampled the infidel Kuman armies, and, spreading like arrows over the prairie, they galloped away with beautiful Kuman maidens. And with them they took: gold and brocades, and costly velvets. With cloaks and coats and fur mantles and with all kinds of Kuman garments they began to bridge their way over the swarnps and marshes. The crimson banner, the white gonfalon, the scarlet panache, and the silver lance were taken to brave Igor, son of Sviatoslav. Brave Oleg's clan slumbers in the prairie. They have strayed far, flying. They were born to be offended neither by the falcon, nor by the gyrfalcon, nor by you, the black ravens, the infidel Kumans. Khan Gza flees like a grey wolf. Khan Konchak shows him the way to the great river Don.


Very early on the second morn bloody dawn announced the day. Black clouds arise from the sea and want to envelop the four suns. Blue lightning shows through the clouds. There is to be a mighty thundering. The rain of arrows will come from the great river Don. Here, on the river Kaiala, here, on the great river Don, lances will be broken and swords will be dulled on Kuman helmets. O Russian land! You are already far beyond the hills.

Here the winds, grandsons of god Stribog, blow the arrows from the sea against the regiments of brave Igor. The earth groans. the rivers become turbid. Dust covers the prairie. The pennants announce:

"The Kumans have come from the river Don and from the sea. They encircle the Russian regiments from all sides."

The devil's children bar the prairie with their battle cries. The brave Russians bar it with their crimson shields. Fierce auroch Vsevolod! Your defence is firm, Your arrows rain down upon Kuman warriors. Your Frankish swords clang on Kuman helmets. Where you, fierce auroch, gallop gleaming in your golden helmet, there will lie the heads of infidel Kumans. There Avar helmets are cloven at your hands, fierce auroch Vsevolod. What wound can matter, brethren, to one who has forgotten honours and fortune, and his father's golden throne in the city of Chernigov, and the habits and ways of his dearly beloved and beautiful wife, the daughter of Prince Gleb?


  • Guest
Re: Some documents prior to the Reign of Peter I
« Reply #71 on: March 08, 2006, 11:20:33 AM »

Part 2


There were the eras of Trojan. There passed the years of Iaroslav. And there were the campaigns of Oleg, Oleg, son of Sviatoslav. That Oleg fostered feuds with his sword and sowed the Russian lands with arrows. In the city of Tmutorakan he used to put his foot in the golden stirrup and its clinking could be heard by great Iaroslav, who lived long ago. And Prince Vladimir, son of Vsevolod, would stop his ears in the city of Chernigov. And the dubious glory of Prince Boris, son of Viacheslav, brought him to his final judgment, and he remained in eternal sleep on a burial shroud of green grass for offending brave and young Prince Oleg.

On the river Kaiala Sviatopolk ordered that his father be taken between two ambling Hungarian horses to be buried in the Cathedral of St. Sofiia in Kiev. Then, in the era of Oleg, son of misfortune, the feuding spread and grew. The fortune of god Dazhbog's grandson was destroyed. Human lives became shortened through the princes' discord. In those days the ploughman spoke but rarely, and the ravens often cawed, dividing corpses among themselves. And the daws talked in their own tongue, before flying to feed on corpses.


And so it used to be. There were battles and campaigns, but there had never been such battle as this. From early morning to night, from evening to dawn there flew tempered arrows, swords rained down upon helmets, Frankish lances resound, and all this in the unknown prairie, in the Kuman land. The black earth under the hooves was strewn with bones, was covered with blood. Grief overwhelmed the Russian land.

What noise do I hear? What clinking comes to my ears so early in the morning, before the dawn? Igor turns about his troops. He is saddened by the fate of his brother, Vsevolod. They fought for one day. They fought for another day. At noon on the third day Igor's banners fell. Here, on the shores of the swift river Kaiala, the brothers parted. The wine of this bloody banquet was drunk to the last. The Russians gave their guests to drink from the same cup. They died for the Russian land. The grass withered from sorrow, and the saddened trees drooped earthward.


And now, brethren, unhappy times have arrived. The prairie overwhelmed the Russian forces. Grief reigned over the forces of god Dazhbog's grandsons. Grief, like a maiden, entered the land of Trojan. She splashed her swan wings at the river Don, by the blue sea, and splashing, she put an end to the times of good fortune. The princes' fight against the infidel came to an end. And brother said to brother:

"This is mine, and that also is mine."

And the princes began to argue about trifles, calling them important matters, and began to create discord among themselves. The infidels from all lands began to invade the Russian land and to win victory. Oh, too far toward the sea has the falcon flown, slaying birds! And lgor's valiant regiments cannot be resurrected! He is mourned by Grief and Sorrow, and they spread across the Russian land. Shaking the embers in the flaming horn, the Russian women begin to lament, saying:

"No more, our dear husbands, can you be envisioned in our thoughts,nor can you reappear in our dreams, nor can you be seen with our eyes, and never again shall we jingle gold and silver"

And, brethren, the city of Kiev began to groan from grief, and the city of Chemigov also, from their misfortune. Anguish spread over the Russian land. Deep sadness flew through the Russian land. And the princes created discord among themselves. The infidels, victoriously invading the Russian land, levied a tribute of one vair from each household.

All this happened because Igor and Vsevolod, two valiant sons of Sviatoslay, once more revived evil forces which were curbed by their cousin, (another) Prince Sviatoslav. This stern prince of Kiev held (everyone) in fear and awe, for, as a tempest, his powerful regiments and his Frankish swords defeated and attacked the Kuman lands. They trampled under Kuman hills and ravines, made turbid Kuman rivers and lakes, dried out Kuman streams and marshes. Like a tornado, he seized Khan Kobiak from amongst his great iron regiments on the shore of the sea bay. And Kobiak fell in the city of Kiev, in the hall of Prince Sviatoslav. Now the Germans and the Venetians, the Greeks and the Moravians sing the glory of Prince Sviatoslav and reproach Prince Igor, who has lost his fortune on the bottom of the river Kaiala and filled the Kuman rivers with Russian gold. And here Prince Igor exchanged his golden saddle of a prince for the saddle of a slave. And the cities became saddened and joy vanished.


Sviatoslav had a troubled dream in Kiev, on the hills:

"Early this night I was clothed in a black shroud upon a bed of yew. They ladled out for me a blue wine mixed with sorrow. From the empty quivers of the infidel strangers there poured large pearls into my lap. They comforted me. And the beams of my gold-roofed palace were already without girding. During the entire night, since evening, the gray-blue ravens were croaking. And at the foothills of the city of Plesensk appeared a sledge, and this sledge was racing to the blue sea."

And the boyars told the prince:

"O Prince, sorrow has seized your mind. There were two falcons who flew From their father's golden throne, either to conquer the city of Tmutorakan or to drink the water of the river Don with their helmets. But their wings were clipped by the sabers of the infidels, and they themselves were put in irons. It became dark on the third day. The two suns were eclipsed. Two purple columns faded into the sea. Two young moons-Oleg and Sviatoslav became enveloped in darkness. On the river Kaiala darkness overcame the light, and the Kumans, like a brood of panthers, spread across the Russian land. And great violence came from the nomads. Already shame has eclipsed glory. Already violence has defeated freedom. Already the Div has descended to earth. And now beautiful Gothic maidens have begun their song on the shore of the blue sea. They jingle Russian gold. They sing of the foreboding time. They glorify the revenge of Sharokan. And we, the army, are without joy."

And then great Sviatoslav let fall his golden words mixed with tears, saying:

"Oh, my young cousins, lgor and Vsevolod, too early did you begin to disturb the Kuman lands with your swords, seeking glory, but you won it without honour, for you spilled the blood of the infidels without winning glory for yourselves. Your valiant hearts are forged of Frankish steel and are tempered in valour. What have you done to my silver-grey hairs? No longer do I behold my powerful and wealthy, and well-girded brother, Iaroslav of Chernigov, nor his lords. With his Moguts and Tatrans, with his Shelbirs and Topchaks, with his Revugas and Olbers. They used to defeat the regiments (of the infidels), and without shields, only with their knives and ancestors' war cries. But you said:

'Let us be valiant. Let us assume the glory of the past. Let us divide amongst ourselves the glory of tomorrow.'

What is there to wonder, brethren, when an old man feels like a young one? When a falcon moults, he chases birds high and away and does not permit harm to come to his nest. But there is great misfortune, and the Russian princes are no help to me."


  • Guest
Re: Some documents prior to the Reign of Peter I
« Reply #72 on: March 08, 2006, 11:22:41 AM »

Part 3



Gloomy times have arrived. The Russians cry out at the city of Rim under the Kuman swords. Prince Vladimir is covered with wounds. Grief and sorrow to you Vladimir, son of Gleb.


O Iaroslav of Galich, the prince of eight senses! You sit high on your throne wrought of gold. Your iron regiments defend the Hungarian mountains. You bar the way to the (Hungarian) king. You close the gates of the river Danube. You hurl stones over the clouds. Your law reigns up to the river Danube. Your thunder resounds above the lands, You keep the gates of Kiev open. From your father's golden throne you shoot at the sultans beyond the (Russian) lands. Lord, shoot at Konchak, the infidel slave, for the revenge of the Russian land, for the wounds of Igor, the wounds of the valiant son of Sviatoslav.


And you, daring Roman and Mstislav, your courageous thoughts direct your minds to action. In your bravery you soar to valiant deeds, like a falcon over the winds, which desires, in its daring, to surpass the bird. Your iron men are under Latin helmets and they make the earth tremble, and (they make) many nations (tremble): the Nomads, the Lithuanians, the Deremelas, the Iatvags, the Kumans have dropped their lances and have bowed their heads under your Frankish swords. But Prince Igor, the sunlight has already dimmed for you. And, by misfortune, the tree lost its foliage. The enemies have already divided amongst themselves the cities of the rivers Ross and Sula. The valiant regiments of lgor will not be resurrected. The river Don appeals to you, Prince, and summons the princes to victory. 0 valiant princes, grandsons of Oleg, you are ready for the battle.


Great Prince Vsevolod! Do you not intend to come from far away to watch over your paternal golden -throne? For you, with the oars of your fleet, can scatter the river Volga into droplets. With the helmets of your army you can pour out the river Don. If you were here, then Kuman slave girls would go for a nogata, and Kuman male slaves for only a rezana. And you can shoot over the dry land with the fiery arrows, with the courageous sons of Gleb.


O valiant Rurik and David! Was it not your warriors who swam through blood under the gilded helmets? Was it not your army that roared like aurochs, wounded by tempered swords in the unknown prairie? Lords, set your feet in the golden stirrups to avenge the outrage of the present day, of the Russian land, of Igor's wounds, wounds of the daring son of Sviatoslav.


Ingvar and Vsevolod and you three sons of Mstislav You are six-winged falcons of no mean nest. You have not won your patrimonies by deeds of victory. To what avail are your golden helmets, your Polish lances and shields? Bar the gates of the prairie with your sharp arrows for the Russian lands, for the wounds of lgor, the wounds of the daring son of Sviatoslav.


No more do the silver Streams of the River Sula protect the city of Pereiaslavl. And the river Dvina, which flows to Polotsk, that city of stern men, became turbid under the cries of the infidels. Only lziaslav, son of Vasilko, rained his sharp arrows upon Lithuanian helmets and tarnished the glory of his grandfather Vseslav. And, having been worsted by the Lithuanian swords, he fell upon the bloody grass as upon a marriage bed, under the crimson shields. And Boyan said:

"Prince, the wings of birds cover your warriors and the beasts already have begun to lick their blood."

Neither his brother, Briachislav, nor the other brother, Vsevolod, was there (in battle). And (you, Iziaslav) remained alone. And you let drop from your valiant body, through the golden necklace of a prince, the pearl of your soul, and voices became saddened, and joy ceased to be, And the trumpets mournfully resound at the city of Gorodets.


O sons of Iaroslav and the grandsons of Vseslav, lower your banners! Put your dented swords into their sheaths! You do not deserve the glory of your ancestors, since, through your feuding, you brought the infidels into the Russian land, into the domain of Vseslav. Your warring brought Kuman violence (into Russia).


During the seventh age of Trojan Vseslav cast lots for the maiden he desired, and, cunningly leaning on the lance, he leaped to the city of Kiev and touched the golden throne of Kiev with the staff of his lance. Like a fierce beast he leaped from Belgorod at midnight, under the cover of blue mist. He managed to cast thrice a lucky lot: he opened the gate of the city of Novgorod, he tarnished the glory of Prince Iaroslav, and he leapt like a wolf to Nemiga from Dudutki. On the river Nemiga they built haystacks of heads. They are threshed with steel flails and lives are left behind on the threshing floor. Souls abandon their bodies. The bloody shores of the river Nemiga were sown with misfortune, were strewn with the bones of Russia's sons. Prince Vseslav used to judge the people. And, as prince, he ruled over the cities. But, in the night, he prowled like a werewolf. He was able to go from Kiev to Tmutorakan before the cock could crow. And, prowling as a werewolf, he crossed the way of great god Hors. At the Church of St. Sofiia of Polotsk the bells tolled the matins for him, and he could hear them in Kiev. His magician's soul lived in a valiant body, but he still often suffered miseries. Of him Boyan the Seer said wisely in his refrains:

"Neither a crafty man, nor a clever man, nor a clever bird, can escape divine judgment."

O Russian land, you must mourn, remembering your early age, your early princes. And Vladimir of yore could not be retained by the hills of Kiev. But now Prince Rurik's banners stand in readiness, and so do Prince David's (his brother's). Thus, they are blown (by the wind) in different directions.


  • Guest
Re: Some documents prior to the Reign of Peter I
« Reply #73 on: March 08, 2006, 11:23:54 AM »
Part 4


At the river Danube lances sing their song, but it is the voice of Iaroslavna which is heard. Since morning, she sings like an unknown seagull:

"Like a seagull I will fly along the river Danube. I will dip my beaver-trimmed sleeve into the river Kaiala. I will cleanse the bloody wounds of my prince, on his mighty body."

Since morning Euphrosinia has lamented on the walls of the city of Putivl, saying:

"O wind, why do you, my lord wind, blow so fiercely? Why do you bring on your light wings Kuman arrows against the warriors of my beloved? Isn't it enough for you to blow under the clouds, to loll the ships on the blue sea? Why, my lord, did you scatter my joy over the feathergrass of the prairie?"

Since morning Euphrosinia has lamented on the walls of the city of Putivl, saying:

"O river Dnepr, son of Slovuta, it is you who have broken through the stone mountains of the Kuman land. You rolled the boats of Sviatoslav (when he went to meet Khan Kobiak's army. O my lord wind, roll my beloved to me that I might not send him my tears to the sea so early in the morning, at dawn."

Since morning Euphrosinia has lamented on the walls of the city of Putivl, saying:

"O my bright and thrice bright sun! For everyone you are warm and beautiful. Why did you spread, my lord, your burning rays upon the warriors of my beloved? In the waterless prairie you parched their bows and closed their quivers with misfortune."


The seas splashed at midnight and the tornado rushes through the mist. God shows the way to Igor, the way from the Kuman land, to the Russian land, to his father's golden throne.

The glow of the sunset had faded. lgor sleeps. lgor keeps his vigil. lgor's thoughts cross the prairie, from the great river Don to the small river Donets. Beyond the river, Ovlur whistles, having caught a horse. He warns the prince. Prince Igor will not remain a prisoner. The earth rumbled, the grass rustled, and the Kuman tents began to stir. Prince lgor raced to reeds like an ermine, like a white duck (he races) on the water. He leaps to his swift steed. He (later) springs from it, like a grey wolf. He rushed toward the curve of the river Donets. He flew under the clouds like a falcon which kills geese and swans for lunch, for dinner, and for supper. If Prince Igor flies like a falcon, then Ovlur races like a wolf, shaking off the chilling dew. And both of them exhausted their swift steeds.


The river Donets speaks:

"Oh, Prince Igor, there will be no small glory for you, but dislike for Konchak and joy for the Russian land."

And lgor spoke:

"Oh, my river Donets! There will be no small glory for you, for you have lolled the prince on your waves, for you have spread for him green grass on your silver shores, for you have enveloped him in your warm mists in the shadow of green trees, for your drakes watched over him on the water, and your seagulls on the streams, and your black ducks in the winds."

But different words came to him from the river Stugna. Its stream is weak. It has swallowed up other brooks and rivulets, and, therefore, has grown wide at its delta. It hid young Prince Rostislav. It concealed him on its bottom near its dark bank. And Rostislav's mother mourned the young prince. Flowers withered from sorrow, and the saddened trees dropped earthward.


It is not the magpies which have begun croaking, it is Khans Gza and Konchak who search for Igor's path. At that time the crows did not caw. The daws became silent and the jackdaws did not chatter. Only the snakes were crawling, and the woodpeckers show the way to the river with their sounds. The nightingale announces the dawn with its gay song. And Khan Gza told Khan Konchak:

"If the falcon fly to his nest, we will shoot at the falconet with our gilded arrows."

And Khan Konchak replied to Khan Gza:

"If the falcon flies to his nest, we will enmesh the falconet with the charms of a beautiful maiden."

And Khan Gza said to Khan Konchak:

"If we enmesh him with the charms of a beautiful maiden, we will have neither the falconet nor the beautiful maiden, and (their) birds will start fighting us in the Kuman prairie. "


And Boyan, [the bard of olden times, said of the time of Sviatoslav, of Iaroslav, and of Kagan Oleg:

"it is difficult for a head to be without shoulders. But it is also a misfortune for the body to be without the head."

And so it is difficult for the Russian land to be without Prince lgor. The sun gleams in the sky. Prince Igor is in the Russian land. Maidens sing on the Danube. Their voices reach across the sea to Kiev. Igor rides along the Borichev to the Church of the Holy Virgin of Pirogoshch. The lands are jubilant. The cities rejoice. Once the glory of the princes of yore was sung, now glory will be sung for the young. Glory to lgor, son of Sviatoslav, to fierce auroch Vsevolod, and to Vladimir, son of lgor. Hail to the princes and the armies who fight for Christendom against the infidel hosts. Glory to the princes and to the army. Amen.


  • Guest
Re: Some documents prior to the Reign of Peter I
« Reply #74 on: March 08, 2006, 11:26:56 AM »
Nestor: The Martyrdom of Boris and Gleb

Part 1

Sviatopolk settled in Kiev after his father's death, and after calling together all the inhabitants of Kiev, he began to distribute largess among them. They accepted it, but their hearts were not with him, because their brethren were with Boris. When Boris returned with the army, after meeting the Pechenegs, he received the news that his father was dead. He mourned deeply for him, for he was beloved of his father before all the rest.

When he came to the Alta, he halted. His father's retainers then urged him to take his place in Kiev on his father's throne, since he had at his disposal the latter's retainers and troops. But Boris protested: "Be it not for me to raise my hand against my elder brother. Now that my father has passed away, let him take the place of my father in my heart." When the soldiery heard these words, they departed from him, and Boris remained with his servants.

But Sviatopolk was filled with lawlessness. Adopting the device of Cain, he sent messages to Boris that he desired to live at peace with him, and would increase the territory he had received from his father. But he plotted against him how he might kill him. So Sviatopolk came by night to Vyshegorod. After secretly summoning to his presence Putsha and the boyars of the town, he inquired of them whether they were wholeheartedly devoted to him. Putsha and the men of Vyshegorod replied, "We are ready to lay down our lives for you." He then commanded them to say nothing to any man, but to go and kill his brother Boris. They straightway promised to execute his order. Of such men Solomon has well said: "They make haste to shed blood unjustly. For they promise blood, and gather evil. Their path runneth to evil, for they possess their souls in dishonour" (Proverbs, i. 16-19).

These emissaries came to the Alta, and when they approached, they heard the sainted Boris singing vespers. For it was already known to him that they intended to take his life. Then he arose and began to chant, saying: "O Lord, how are they increased who come against me! Many are they that rise up against me" (Psalms, iii, 1). And also, "Thy arrows have pierced me, for I am ready for wounds and my pain is before me continually" (Psalms, xxxviii, 2, 17). And he also uttered this prayer: "Lord, hear my prayer, and enter not into judgement with thy servant, for no living man shall be just before thee. For the enemy hath crushed my soul" (Psalms, cxl, 1-3). After ending the six psalms, when he saw how men were sent out to kill him, he began to chant the Psalter, saying, "Strong bulls encompassed me, and the assemblage of the evil beset me. O Lord my God, I have hoped in thee; save me and deliver me from my pursuers" (Psalms, xxii, 12, 16, vii, 1). Then he began to sing the canon. After finishing vespers, he prayed, gazing upon the icon, the image of the Lord, with these words: "Lord Jesus Christ, who in this image hast appeared on earth for our salvation, and who, having voluntarily suffered thy hands to be nailed to the cross, didst endure thy passion for our sins, so help me now to endure my passion. For I accept it not from those who are my enemies, but from the hand of my own brother. Hold it not against him as a sin, O Lord!" After offering this prayer, he lay down upon his couch. Then they fell upon him like wild beasts about the tent, and overcame him by piercing him with lances. They also overpowered his servant, who cast himself upon his body. For he was beloved of Boris. He was a servant of Hungarian race, George by name, to whom Boris was greatly attached. The prince had given him a large gold necklace which he wore while serving him. They also killed many other servants of Boris. But since they could not quickly take the necklace from George's neck, they cut off his head, and thus obtained it. For this reason his body was not recognized later among the corpses.

The desperadoes, after attacking Boris, wrapped him in a canvas, loaded him upon a wagon, and dragged him off, though he was still alive. When the impious Sviatopolk saw that he was still breathing, he sent two Varangians to finish him. When they came and saw that he was still alive, one of them drew his sword and plunged it into his heart. Thus died the blessed Boris, receiving from the hand of Christ our God the crown among the righteous. He shall be numbered with the prophets and the Apostles, as he joins with the choirs of martyrs, rests in the lap of Abraham, beholds joy ineffable, chants with the angels, and rejoices in company with the choirs of saints. After his body had been carried in secret to Vyshegorod, it was buried in the Church of St. Basil.