The region of russia
lies on a vast plain in the easternmost part of Europe. Over
the northern part of Russia stretch immense forests. South of the forests are
the steppes-prairie grasslands similar to the plains region of the United
state. both the forest and the steppes have fertile soil. Because the steppes
were often too dry for farming, however,people settled mostly in the northern
forests, living log cabins. The climate was warm in the summer, cold and snowy
in the winter.
Rivers that flowed into the black, Caspian, and Baltic seas provided
the setters with ways to make contact with other peoples. Russia’s lack of
mountains also aided trade and transportation. At the same time , the absence
of natural barriers made it easy for outsiders to invade Russia.
The slavs were an indo-European people who had lived in central Europe
for many centuries. During the 400’s, some of them began to move north and east
into Russia. Like the Germans, the Slavs
lived in tribal groups. They had no written language and their religions was a
from of polytheism. they lived by farming, hunting, and fishing. Though the Turks overran the Byzantine Empire,
they ignored the easternmost part of Europe. This area had been settled by
Slaves after the fall of the Roman Empire. The culture the Slavs developed was a blend of Slavic,
Viking, and Byzantine traditions.
During the ninth century, a new group of
invaders ruled the slavis. These were Vikings who came from scandinavia. Mainly
interested in trade, the Vikings entered Slavic lands by means of western
Russia north south rivers. They raided the Slavic settlements for slaves and
also collected other trade goods. They then continued their river journey south
to the black sea, where they exchanged these goods for Byzantine silk and
Persian spices. The viking’s built forts at strategic points along the trade
The Kievan State
The city of Kiev became the center of the first state in Russia. To
strengthen their hold on the on the riches of Russia, the Vikings forced the
slaves accept their rule. According to legend, the founder of the Russian state
was a Rurik, a Viking chieftain who ruled at Novgorod around 862 and
established a dynasty. Roork’s successors, called “the grand princes,” extended
their domain by conquering other fortified trading towns and made Keive their
capital. The vikings intermarried with the people of these towns and adapted to
slavic ways. the new society that emerged became the basis of Russian culture.
The culture of ancient Russia
The culture of ancient Rus can be divided into
different historical periods of the Middle Ages. During the Kievan period
(989-), the principalities of Kievan Rus’ came under the sphere of influence of
the Byzantine Empire, one of the most advanced cultures of the time, and
adopted Christianity. In the Suzdalian period, the Russian principalities
gained a wide range of opportunities for developing their political and
cultural ties not only with Byzantium, but with the European countries, as
well, with a resulting impact on architecture and other cultural indicators. By
the Muscovite period in the thirteenth century, Russian culture was recovering
from the invasion of Batu Khan and subsequent domination of Russian lands by
the Golden Horde.
city-states of Novgorod and Pskov, which had been spared the Tatar raids,
created an original kind of culture under some influence from their western
Baltic neighbors. Finally, only by the end of the fifteenth century, Russia
ended its subordination to the Golden Horde with the Great standing on the Ugra
river of 1480, which marked the birth of the sovereign Russian state, headed by
the Grand Prince of Moscow.
The Rise of Russia
The princes of Moscow are known as Muscovy. They expanded their land
(Moscow’s land) through marriage and wars. He married the niece of the last
and took the title of “czar”, which was used by both Roman and
Byzantine rulers. He became Sovereign of All Russia in 1493.
At first, Moscow was a small, little town with a great location. As
near vital land and water routes (Black/Baltic Seas, Volga and Dnieper Rivers).
The princes of Moscow are known as Muscovy. They expanded their land (Moscow’s
land) through marriage and wars.
By the 12th-13th centuries AD, cod fishing, falconry, sea mammal oil,
soapstone and walrus ivory had become intense commercial efforts, driven by the
need to pay taxes to kings and tithes to the church and traded throughout
northern Europe. A centralized government in the Scandinavian countries
increased the development of trading places and towns, and these commodities
became a currency which could be converted into cash for armies, art, and