Russian History From 700 Years Ago, For thousands of years, the lands known today as Russia and Ukraine were inhabited by nomadic tribes and mysterious Bronze Age cultures. The only record they left were their graves.
Russian History From 700 Years Ago
The regions that are now Russia and Ukraine were once home to nomadic tribes and enigmatic Bronze Age civilizations for thousands of years. Their tombs served as their only legacy.
They interred their chieftains beneath enormous mounds known as kurgans on the vast open grasslands of the steppe in the southern hemisphere. These individuals were known as “Scythians” by the ancient Greek historian Herodotus.
The same nomadic warriors who brought down the Roman Empire invaded their country. Then Slavs began to inhabit the country. They were separated into numerous distinct tribes, albeit having some common language and customs. On perilous raids and commercial excursions, Scandinavian Vikings—also known as Varangians in the east—rowed up Russia’s lengthy rivers.
Legend has it that the East Slavs invited a Varangian chief by the name of Rurik to serve as their monarch and bring the tribes together. He agreed and chose Novgorod as his base of operations.
Christianity Reigns Of The Russian Empire
For 700 years, Russia would be ruled by the Rurikids. His people gave the country their name and referred to themselves as the Rus.
Oleg, Rurik’s successor, conquered Kyiv, establishing Kievan Rus as its new state’s capital.
A century later, Vladimir the Great switched to Orthodox Christianity in order to forge stronger links with the Byzantine Empire to the south.
He continues to be revered as the person who introduced Christianity to Russia and Ukraine. Laws were codified by Yaroslav the Wise, who also expanded his realm. The Golden Age started during his rule.
It was one of the most dominant nations in Europe. But upon Yaroslav’s passing, his sons began to quarrel.
Just as a dangerous new threat was emerging from the east, Kievan Rus collapsed into a patchwork of fighting princedoms.
The Mongols Overthrown
Genghis Khan’s Mongols had taken control of most of Asia. After defeating the Kievan princes in the Battle of the Kalka River, they now launched a massive raid through the Caucasus Mountains and withdrew.
The Mongols arrived once more 14 years later. The land was occupied by a vast army under Batu Khan. Cities that resisted had their populations massacred and burned. Since Novgorod submitted to the Mongols, it was spared. The city was then once more saved by its prince, Alexander Nevsky, who triumphed over the Teutonic Knights in the Battle of the Ice, which was fought over a frozen lake.
He is still regarded as one of Russia’s greatest heroes. As conquerors, the Mongols governed the region.
The Golden Horde was the name of their new empire, which was headed by a Khan from his new capital city of Sarai. His subjects were the princes of Russia. They had to make a tribute or face terrible retaliation raids.
They lived under “the Tatar yoke” and referred to their captors as “Tatars.”
Alexander Nevsky Son Founded Moscow
Daniel Nevsky, the son of Alexander Nevsky, established the Grand Principality of Moscow, which rose to prominence swiftly.
At the famous Battle of Kulikovo Field, which took place 18 years later, Dmitri Donskoi, Grand Prince of Moscow, also beat the Tartars.
After years of internal strife, the Golden Horde now started to split up into competing khanates. The Ottoman Empire of Turkey conquered Constantinople, the capital and final stronghold of the once-powerful Byzantine Empire. Given the fall of Rome and Constantinople, some welcomed Moscow as the “Third Rome,” the center of the Orthodox Christian religion.
The first Russian state was created while the Grand Princes of Moscow continued to consolidate their control by annexing Novgorod. Ivan III of Moscow defeated the Tatar army at the Ugra River and forced them to flee.
The “Tatar yoke” has finally been lifted by Russia.
Moscow grew in size and clout under Grand Prince Vassili III.
The first Tsar of Russia was his son, Ivan IV. Ivan the Terrible would serve as his nickname.
Despite capturing Tatar holdings in Kazan and Astrakhan, Ivan was routed by Sweden and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the Livonian War.
As a result of Ivan’s violent paranoia, his modernizing initiatives were replaced by a reign of terror and mass murders. Russia remained at risk.
Moscow Was Defeated [Russian History From 700 Years Ago]
It was possible for Crimean Khanate raiders to set Moscow on fire. However, the Tatars were routed at Molodi, to the south of the city, by Russian forces the following year.
Cossacks were now residing on the wide steppe, a place devoid of law and order between three rival nations. They were adept riders who had free lives; Russia and Poland frequently hired them to fight as mercenaries. The Tsarevich, Ivan the Terrible’s own son, was killed by the royal scepter in one of his father’s furious rages.
The Russian conquest of Siberia was led by the Cossack explorer Yermak Timofeyevich, who defeated the Tatars and tamed the local tribes.
Russian Slides Into Anarchy
Russian History From 700 Years Ago has not witnessed something like this, Archangelsk was established in the north and served as Russia’s only seaport connecting it to western Europe at the time, despite being icebound in the winter.
The son of Ivan the Terrible, Feodor I, succeeded him before passing away childless.
The dynasty of the Rurikids had come to an end. Boris Godunov, Ivan’s adviser, was crowned emperor.
However, upon his untimely passing, his teenage son and widow were brutally killed, and a pretender claiming to be Ivan the Terrible’s son usurped the throne.
He was also shortly killed. Russia descended into turmoil during the infamous “Time of Troubles.”
Rebels and foreign forces destroyed the country, and famine and plague wiped out the whole population.
While Swedish forces conquered Novgorod, Polish forces occupied Moscow. The Russian state appeared to be in danger of disappearing.
Russia was in a state of chaos in 1612.
Russian Fought Back
It was known as “The Time of Troubles.” War, starvation, and pestilence terrorized the populace; up to one-third of them perished.
Moscow, Smolensk, and Novgorod were under the control of foreign soldiers. Then, though, Russia retaliated.
I will like you to stay tuned to the continuation of our great story about Russian History From 700 Years Ago. Next week, thanks for reading.