Download A People Born to Slavery: Russia in Early Modern European by Marshall T. Poe PDF

By Marshall T. Poe

Many american citizens and Europeans have for hundreds of years seen Russia as a despotic nation during which individuals are vulnerable to simply accept soreness and oppression. What are the origins of this stereotype of Russia as a society essentially except international locations within the West, and the way actual is it? within the first publication dedicated to answering those questions, Marshall T. Poe strains the roots of trendy conception of Russia and its humans to the eyewitness descriptions of 16th- and seventeenth-century ecu tourists. His attention-grabbing account―the such a lot entire evaluation of early smooth ecu writings approximately Russia ever undertaken―explores how just like "Russian tyranny" took carry within the well known mind's eye and at last grew to become the root for the suggestion of "Oriental Despotism" first set forth by way of Montesquieu. Poe, the preeminent pupil of those priceless basic resources, rigorously assesses their reliability. He argues convincingly that even supposing the foreigners exaggerated the measure of Russian "slavery," they correctly defined their encounters and properly concluded that the political tradition of Muscovite autocracy was once not like that of ecu kingship. along with his findings, Poe demanding situations the idea that every one Europeans projected their very own fantasies onto Russia. as an alternative, his proof means that many early tourists produced, in essence, trustworthy ethnographies, now not works of unique "Orientalism."

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Extra resources for A People Born to Slavery: Russia in Early Modern European Ethnography, 1476-1748

Sample text

In February 1517 the grand master of the German order, Albrecht von Brandenburg, dispatched Dietrich von Schönberg to Moscow to propose a united front against the Poles. The deal was quickly done, and Schönberg returned home. The treaty, however, was not all he brought to Livonia. While in Moscow Schönberg met with Nicholas von Lübeck, a German doctor in Muscovite service, and others who secretly desired ecclesiastical union with the papacy. The Uniates in Moscow told Schönberg that Vasilii was not in principle opposed to bringing the churches together.

Persuading the Russians to renounce their “heresy” was, after all, essential to Rome’s longterm strategic goal—the unification of the Church and the defeat of the Turks. The Council of Florence in 1439 was the first moment in the papal plan to bring the Muscovites into the fold. Though the Russian delegation to the council agreed to a union of the eastern and western churches, the authorities in Moscow rejected the deal. But Rome never forgot the Russians’ initial promise. After the fall of Constantinople in 1453, papal efforts to persuade the Muscovites to join in the defense of Christendom grew more strenuous.

It was probably written by Bomhover as well. See Abrusow, “Die Beziehungen des Deutschen Ordens zum Ablasshandel,” 458. 24 Bomhover (1508), 135. ” 25 Bomhover (1508), 118 –21, 135. 01B-C1217 11/17/00 12:01 PM Page 20 20 “A People Born to Slavery” 1. Title page of Johannes Sacranus, Errores atrocissimorum ruthenorum (Cologne, 1507). By permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University. 26 To this 26 Ekkehard Klug, “Das ‘Asiatische’ Russland,” 275 –77. 27 The Polish message was similar to Bomhover’s: the Muscovites are not Christians; they are cruel and barbaric; they are Asians and not Europeans; they are in league with Turks and the Tatars to destroy Christendom.

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