Comprises the greater part of Eastern Europe, and a third of Asia; its area is one-sixth of the land surface of the globe
Russia. —GEOGRAPHY.—Russia (Rossiiskaia Imperiia; Russkoe Gosudarstvo) comprises the greater part of Eastern Europe, and a third of Asia; its area is one-sixth of the land surface of the globe. In the reign of Alexander II the total area of the empire was 8,689,945 sq. miles, of which only 2,156,000 were in Europe. The greatest length of Russia from east to west is 6666 miles, and its greatest breadth is 2666 miles; it lies between 35° 45′ and 79° N. lat., and 17° 40′ and 191° E. long (i.e., 169 W. long.). The boundaries of Russia are: on the north, the Arctic Ocean; on the west, Sweden, Norway, the Baltic Sea, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Rumania; on the south, the Black Sea, Turkey, Persia, the Caspian Sea, Afghanistan, and China; on the east, the Pacific Ocean. Russia forms a vast, compact territory, the area of its islands being only 107,262 sq. miles, which was greatly reduced by the cession of the southern part of Sakhalin to Japan. Geographers usually divide Russia into European and Asiatic Russia, regarding the natural boundary to be the Ural Mountains, the Ural River, the Don, and the Volga; this division is based neither on natural nor on political grounds. The Ural Mountains form a chain of wooded highlands, which may be compared to the central axis of the empire rather than to a dividing barrier; moreover there is no natural boundary line between the southern extremity of these mountains and the Caspian Sea. The division between European and Asiatic Russia can best be established ethnologically, and this method is frequently used in Russian geographies.
SEAS.—The coasts of Russia are washed by many seas; the Arctic Ocean, the White Sea, the Bay of Tcheskaya, the Bay of Kara, the Gulf of Obi, the Baltic Sea, the Gulfs of Bothnia, Finland, and Riga, the Black Sea, the Sea of Azof, the Caspian Sea, the Pacific Ocean, Behring Sea, the Sea of Okhotsk, and the Sea of Japan. But Russia is not destined to become a great maritime power, because for the most part the seas of Russia are in regions where navigation is impossible in winter; for periods of six months in the Arctic Ocean, and from fifteen days to one month at some points in the Black Sea. And the future of Russia as a maritime power is moreover obstructed by political difficulties; the way from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean is closed by the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles; the way from the Baltic to the Atlantic is closed by Sweden, Germany, Norway, and Denmark. The Arctic Ocean washes the extreme northern coasts of Russia, sterile, uninhabited regions, over which there hangs a winter of nine months, paralyzing the activities of life. The ice, whether fixed or floating, blocks the way of ships; these ply however in the White Sea, which is free of ice for three months of the year, and the waters of which form the Gulfs of Mezen, the Dwina, Onega, and Kandalak, the latter being the most frequented. There are but few islands in this immense extent of ice; the more important ones are the islands of Kolguet, Vaigatch, Nova Zembla, New Siberia, and the islands of Solovka, on one of which is a famous monastery founded in the fifteenth century by St. Sabbatius and the Blessed Germanus. Among the most important peninsulas may be cited that of Kola or Russian Lapland. Russia shares the possession of the Baltic Sea with Sweden, Germany, and Denmark, and its waters have been the highway of Russian commerce since the time of Peter the Great, although their shores are rugged and reefs numerous. The Gulfs of Bothnia, Finland and Riga are frozen for several months of the year, while the Gulf of Livadia is frozen for six weeks, although it sometimes remains free of ice through the whole year. Notwithstanding these natural obstacles, Russian commerce has been developed on the Batlic, the shortest route for the exportation of Russian products to European countries and America. The Baltic Sea is studded with islands, of which the following belong to Russia: the numerous Aland group, eighty of which are inhabited; the Islands of Dago, Oesel, Mohn, Wornes, and Kotlin; on the last is built the formidable fortress of Kronstadt.
CLIMATE.—In European Russia the climate is severe, both in winter and summer, the rains are scanty, and the temperature is not as mild as in Western Europe. The coasts of the Baltic and the shores of the Vistula have a climate similar to that of Western Europe. European Russia presents graduated variations of climate between 40° and 70° N. lat., and also from east to west. At Nova Zembla the lowest winter temperature is 16° F., while at the south of the Crimea it rises to 56.3° in summer. The isothermal lines of European Russia are not coincident with the parallels of latitude, but diverge towards the southeast. There are places situated on the same parallel presenting considerable differences in mean temperature, e.g. Libau, 49.1°; Moscow, 39.2°; Kazan, 37.4°; Yekaterinburg, 32.9°. In the valley of the Rion in the Caucasus, cotton and sugar-cane are grown, while the tundras of the Kola Peninsula are sparsely covered with moss. In Western Russia, the cold of winter is never greater than 31° below zero, while the heat of summer is never in excess of 86°; but in Eastern Russia the thermometer falls to 40° below zero in winter, and rises to 109° in summer. European Russia may be divided into four climatic zones: the cold zone, which includes the coasts of the Arctic Ocean and their adjacent islands, and extends beyond the Arctic Circle; its winter lasts nine months, and its summer three; the cold-temperate zone, from the Arctic Circle to 61° N. lat.; its winter lasts six months, and each of the other seasons two months; the temperate zone, extending from 61° to 48° N. lat.; each season lasts three months, the winter being longer towards the north, and summer longer towards the south; the warm zone, between 48° N. lat. and the southern frontier of Russia; the summer lasts six months, and the other three seasons two months each. European Russia is not unhealthy, although in the cold zone scurvy is frequent, and near the Gulf of Finland ailments of the throat and the respiratory organs; plica polonica infects the marshy regions of Lithuania and Russian Poland; and there is the so-called Crimean fever in the neighborhood of the Sivash and in a region on the coast of the Black Sea.
The climate of the Caucasus is not of a uniform character; it belongs in the north to the cold-temperate zone, and in Transcaucasia to the warm zone. In the north, summer lasts six months, and the other seasons two months each. In Transcaucasia the summer lasts nine months, and the other three months of the year are like spring. Nevertheless the irregularity of the mountain system of the Caucasus produces differences of temperature in places separated by short distances. On the coast of the Black Sea, between Batum and Sukhum, the temperature seldom falls below 32°; in January the temperature rises as high as 43°. Western Transcaucasia receives warm and humid winds, while the eastern part is exposed to dry winds from the northeast.
The part of Siberia that borders on the Arctic Ocean lies entirely within the cold zone; the winter lasts nine months, and the summer is like the beginning of spring in European Russia. The portion of Siberia between the Arctic Circle and 60° N. lat. has a winter that lasts six months; the region below the parallel of 60° N. lat. has a winter a little longer than the summer. In proportion to the distance from the Ural Mountains the climate of Western Siberia experiences greater extremes of temperature, the winter and the heat of summer becoming more severe; and the same is true of Eastern Siberia in relation to the Pacific Ocean. The greatest variations of temperature in Eastern Siberia are observed at Irkutsk, Yakutsk, and Verkhoyansk, where the thermometer registers at times 59.6° below zero in winter, and 49.46° in summer. In midwinter the northern extremity of Siberia resembles the polar regions; during several days the sun does not rise, and the vast plain of snow is lit up by the Aurora Borealis, while at times the region of the tundras is swept by violent snowstorms. The climate of Turkestan is similar to Siberia. Those regions are far from the sea, and have cold winters and very warm summers, a sky that is always clear, a dry atmosphere, and strong northerly and northeasterly winds. The north winds develop violent snowstorms. The summer is unbearable; in the shade, the thermometer rises to 104°, and even to 117.5°, while the ground becomes heated to 158°.
MEAN TEMPERATURE OF CERTAIN RUSSIAN CITIES
St. Petersburg 15¬?26 63¬?86
Moscow 12¬?2 66¬?1
Kieff 20¬?84 66¬?56
Kazan 7¬?16 67¬?46
Yekaterinburg 2¬?3 63¬?5
Reval 42¬?8 53¬?96
Libau 36¬?14 62¬?
Astrakhan 44¬?96 77¬?9
The mean yearly rainfall is estimated at from 8 to 24 inches. In general, those parts of Russia that are exposed to the North, and are covered with snow during the winter, abound in forests that preserve the humidity, in which they have an advantage over the southern part of the country. In the former, the rains are not violent, but are lasting, and moisten the earth to a considerable depth; in the South they are resolved into severe tempests, which pour down great quantities of water that are dispersed in torrents and rivers, and do not sink deep into the ground. The greatest rainfall of Russia is around the Baltic Sea (20 to 28 inches); and the least is in the Caucasus (4 to 8 inches). The advantages of the western over the eastern part of Russia are due to its greater proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, the vapours of which are carried over Europe into Russia. The mean rainfall of Western Russia is calculated at 18-3 inches; that of the northeast, 15 inches; that of the east, from 12 to 15 inches; and that of the south is still less. The months of greatest rainfall are June, July, and August. The yearly rainfall at St. Petersburg is 20 inches, there being rain on 150 days of the year. The number of days upon which rain falls diminishes considerably towards the East and South.
MINERAL RICHES.—The mineral riches of Russia consist principally of salt, coal, and iron. Salt is found in the mineral state in the Governments of Orenburg, Astrakhan, Kharkoff, and Yekaterinoslaff; and as a sediment, deposited by salt waters, in the Government of Astrakhan, and in the Crimean lakes of Sakskoe, Sasyk, and Sivash. The river basin that most abounds in coal is that of the Donetz; it is 233 miles in length, and 100 in breadth, and produces every known species of fossil coal. This basin also furnishes great quantities of peat, naphtha, gold, silver, platinum, copper, tin, mercury, iron, emeralds, topazes, rubies, sapphires, amethysts, porphyry, marble, granite, graphite, asphalt, and phosphorus. The Central Ural Mountains yield malachite and jasper. There are abundant petroleum springs in the Caucasus Mountains, especially in the vicinity of Baku. In the Kolivan Mountains, which is a ramification of the Altai system, deposits of malachite are found.
ETHNOGRAPHY AND STATISTICS OF POPULATION. The ethnographical history of primitive Russia is obscure. There is record of the Anti, a people who in the fourth century inhabited the regions about the mouths of the Danube and Don, but their name is lost after that date. Constantine Porphyrogenitus and the Russian chroniclers refer to twelve tribes, collected under the general name of Russians; they are the Slovenes, Krivitches, Dregovitches, Drevlians, Polians, Duliebys, Buzhans, Tivercys, Ulitches, Radimitches, Viatics, and the Sieverians. The political cradle of Russia is the region of Kieff, where the Varangian princes formed the first Russian state. The invasions of the Tatars exercised a great influence upon the Russians; but it is a mistake to say that the Russians disappeared entirely before the Tatars and that, in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the regions evacuated by the Tatars were peopled by Little Russians from Galicia. The population of Russia has steadily increased in numbers during the last two centuries, its rapid development being partly due to the birth-rate, and partly to the conquest of vast foreign territories. In 1724 Russia had a population of 14,000,000, which had increased to 36,000,000 in 1793, to 69,000,000 in 1851, and to 128,967,694 in 1897. The census of 1897 was the first official census of Russia. Its data, however, are only relatively correct, partly on account of the great extension of the Russian Empire, partly on account of the continuous emigration within the frontiers of that country, partly because of the lack of information concerning some of the centers of population in Siberia, and partly because of the resistance of some tribes to submit to the control of European civilization. In view of the enormous excess of births over deaths, the progressive increase of the population is calculated to be 2,000,000 each year. In 1904, basing the calculation on the statistics of births, the population of Russia was 146,000,000; in 1908, 154,000,000; and in 1910, 158,000,000. The greatest increase in the population is given by the region of New Russia, that of the Baltic, and the Province of Moscow. In general, the number of births in Russia is calculated at 48 per 1000, and that of the deaths at 34 per 1000. Compared with other European states, Russia is very thinly peopled, except in a few regions; for the whole empire, it is 17.325 per sq. mile; for European Russia 65; for Poland, 214; and for Siberia, 1.35. The government in which the population appears to be most dense is that of Piotrkow, where the corresponding figures are 295 inhabitants per sq. mile; after which follow in order the Governments of Moscow (187), Podolia (184.5), and Kieff (180). In the Government of Archangel, there are 2.25 inhabitants per sq. mile, and in Yakutsk.225.
The great mass of the population consists of peasants; they form 84 per cent of the population of European Russia, a percentage greatly in excess of that of Rumania, Hungary, and Switzerland, nations that are essentially agricultural. The nobles and their servants constitute 1.5 per cent of the population; the clergy, 0.5 per cent; the citizens or merchants, 0¬?6 per cent; the burgesses (mieshanstvo), 10¬?6 per cent. The proportion of working men shows a notable increase: from 1885 to 1897 the increase in the mining centers was 91 per cent, and in the manufacturing centers 73 per cent; the population of the cities also is continually increasing. Some of these cities, as Kazan, Astrakhan, Tiflis, and Bakhtchisarai, are semi-Asiatic in character, as are also the cities of Turkestan. The cities of ancient Livonia, e.g., Riga and Reval, have the appearance of medieval German towns. The villages of Great Russia have a commercial character, and stretch along the principal roads and waterways. On the other hand the villages of Little Russia are agricultural in character. The White Russian villages are noticeable for the small number of houses they contain. With relation to sex, according to the statistics of 1905, the population of Russia has 103¬?2 women for each 100 men. In the villages, the corresponding proportion of women is 106.1; in the cities, it is 85.9. In 13 out of 50 of the governments of European Russia, the number of men is greater than that of the women; in 3 the numbers are equal, and in 34 the number of women is in excess of that of the men; in 12 governments the proportion is 100 men to 110 women.
With regard to religion, Christianity in various denominations is the religion of the great majority of the people. There are 123,000,000 Christians (84.3 per cent of the entire population). The majority are of the Orthodox Church, which has 102,600,000 adherents (69.9 per cent of the population, the corresponding figures for European Russia being 91,000,000 (75 per cent). Consequently among the Russians Orthodox and Russian are synonymous terms. Since the Ukase of April 17, 1905, which proclaimed freedom of conscience, Russian orthodoxy has lost 1,000,000 of followers, through conversions to Catholicism, to Protestantism, and to Mohammedanism. The Catholics of Russia number 13,000,000 (8.9 per cent); the Protestants, 7,200,000 (4.9 per cent); other Christian denominations, 1,400,000 (I per cent); Mohammedans, 15,900,000 (10 per cent); pagans, 700,000 (0.4 per cent). Pagans, to the number of 300,000, are to be found, not only in Siberia, but also in European Russia (Kalmucks and Samogitians). The Catholics are chiefly in Poland, where, according to the census of 1897, they constituted 74-8 per cent of the population. On the other hand, one-half of the Jews who are scattered over the earth are in Russia, the number of them in that country being estimated at from 6,000,000 to 7,000,000, all concentrated within the boundaries of fifteen governments.
From the standpoint of education, Russia does not occupy even a secondary position in Europe. In European Russia the percentage of those who know how to read and write is 22.9. The regions in which there are the least numbers of the educated are as follows: Esthonia (79 per cent); Livonia (77.7 per cent); Courland (70.9 per cent); the cities of St. Petersburg (55.1 per cent) and Moscow (40.2 per cent), and Poland (41 per cent).
Emigration, as a rule, takes place only within the boundaries of the empire. From the most remote times, the inhabitants of Novgorod founded colonies as far away as the shores of the White Sea and the Ural Mountains. Emigration to Siberia began in 1582; the first colonists of that country were the exiles, the Cossacks, fishermen, and prospectors in search of gold; and this emigration was considerably increased after the liberation of the serfs in 1861. In 1891 the Siberian Railway Company undertook the colonization of Siberia, and by opportune measures gave a great impulse to Siberian immigration. In 1889 the number of Russian emigrants to that region was between 25,000 and 40,000; in 1900 it had increased to 220,000. These emigrants, who came from Central Russia and from Little Russia, spread at first over Western Siberia, and then over Central Siberia; but later they went farther and farther towards the extreme east, a movement to which the war with Japan put a stop, but which was again taken up with greater activity when that war ended. In 1906, 200,790 emigrants passed through Cheliabinsk to Siberia, and 400,000 in 1907. A part of the emigration is directed towards the southeast of Turkestan. The first colonists arrived in the Province of Semiryetchensk in 1848, and in the Province of Sir-Daria in 1876. Emigration beyond the frontiers of Russia is very limited, amounting in numbers at the present time to from 75,000 to 100,000, who for the greater part pass through the ports of Bremen and Hamburg. From 1891 to 1906, out of every 1000 Russian emigrants, 900 went to the United States, and the majority of the others to Brazil and the Argentine Republic.
The population of Russia is very much divided linguistically, it being calculated that a hundred languages are spoken within the empire, of which forty-two are in use in the city of Tiflis alone. Russian is the official language of eighty-nine governments and provinces, but it is the predominant language in only forty-one of them. Among the dialects, Great Russian is the one that is most extensively used. The tongues of the Mongolian tribes that are subject to Russia are little developed, and are generally without a literature. The population of Russia presents a great variety of races, united by a political rule, by the community of the Russian language, and to a great extent by the Orthodox religion; it is characterized also by a great preponderance of the rural over the urban population, and by the presence of a high percentage of peoples or tribes with little culture of their own, and little aptitude for the assimilation of the culture of Europe.
SPECIAL ETHNOGRAPHY.—Ethnographically the population of the Russian Empire is divided into two races, the Caucasian, which predominates, and the Mongolian. Of the total population 121,000,000, or 82.6 per cent, are Caucasians; while the Mongolian races in all Russia constitute 17 per cent of the whole population. Russians, properly so-called, constitute 87.7 per cent of the population in Western Siberia, 80 per cent in European Russia, 53.9 per cent in eastern Siberia, 8.9 per cent in central Asia, 6.7 per cent in the region of the Vistula, and 0.2 per cent in Finland. Notwithstanding the difference in types, the Russians constitute a single people, ethnographically divided into three classes, Great Russians, Little Russians, and White Russians. These three ethnographical branches are differentiated from each other by dialectical differences, domestic traditions and customs, character, and historical tradition. It is difficult to determine the zones of the three branches, or the numbers of individuals of which they consist. According to the census of 1897, there were 55,667,469 Great Russians (Velikorussi), 22,380,350 Little Russians (Malorussi), and 5,885,547 White Russians (Bielorussi). At present, there are 65,000,000 Great Russians. They occupy the central and northern parts of European Russia, their centers of population extending from the White Sea to the Caspian Sea and the Sea of Azoff, and are to be found also in Siberia and in the Caucasus. They have emigrated to Little Russia in considerable numbers; at the beginning of the nineteenth century, Kharkoff was inhabited almost entirely by Little Russians, but in 1897 Great Russians constituted 58 per cent of the population, and the Little Russians only 25 per cent. The Great Russians are active and energetic, and have great aptitude for commerce and work in general. They are regarded as the essentially Russian race, which has not only preserved its known ethnical characteristics under difficult conditions, but has assimilated with itself other races, especially of the Finnish stock. Their language is the predominant tongue of the Russian Empire. The small commerce of the cities is in their hands, as is also the commerce of the wines and fruit that come from Bessarabia, the Crimea and the Don, and the fish from the Black Sea and the Ural River.
The Little Russians inhabit the south of Russia and the basin of the middle and lower course of the Dnieper, and constitute 26.6 per cent of the total population of the empire. Their greatest masses are to be found in the Governments of Pultowa (93 per cent), Tchernigoff (85.6 per cent), Podolia (80.9 per cent), Kharkoff (80.6 per cent), Stavropol (80 per cent), Kieff (79.2 per cent), Volhynia (70.1 per cent), and Yekaterinoslaff (68.9 per cent). The Little Russians are an agricultural people, and remain in their native districts. Their emigrations extend only to the steppes of New Russia, and to the territories of the Don and of the Kuban rivers. Of recent times they have furnished a large contingent to the agricultural colonization of Siberia. From the standpoint of culture, that of the Great Russians is superior to that of the Little Russians, although the intellectual level of Little Russia was much higher than that of Great Russia during the Polish domination. The musical and poetical talents of this people are very much developed and their popular literature abounds in beautiful songs. The difference between Great and Little Russians is not only anthropological, but is also one of temperament and character, the Little Russians protesting that they are not Muscovites; and to emphasize their antipathy for the other race, in the nineteenth century they attempted to give a literary development to their dialect.
The White Russians inhabit the forest and marsh region that is comprised between the Rivers Duna, Dnieper, Pripet, and Bug. They represent 7 per cent of the total population, and are scattered through the Governments of Vilna, Vitebsk, Grodno, Kovno, Minsk, Mohileff, Suwalki, and Yelisavetpol. Both physically and intellectually they are less developed than the Great and Little Russians. According to the Russians, the intellectual inferiority of that people is due to the despotism of Polish masters, under which they lived for several centuries, to the loss of their nobility, which became Polish, and to the economic supremacy of the Jews. Accordingly, the White Russians are poor, ignorant, and superstitious. There is a great admixture of Polish and Lithuanian terms in their dialect. At the present time, however, national sentiment is awakening in the White Russians, who publish newspapers in their own language, and aspire to better their economic conditions.
Ethnographically, the Caucasians are Great and Little Russians. They are a race of warrior-merchants and agriculturists, who developed the characteristic traits of their social and domestic life in struggles with the Tatars and Turks. According to the statistics of 1905, there were 3,370,000 Cossacks in all Russia, or 2.3 per cent of the population of the empire. Those of the Don are Great Russians. They are famous for their military qualities in general, and in particular for the part that they took in the liberation of Moscow from Polish occupation in 1612, in the conquest of Siberia, and in the war of 1812. At present they devote themselves to agriculture, raising cattle, commerce, and military service, and they enjoy many exemptions and privileges. The Cossacks of the Urals are noted for their religious fanaticism. Those of the Kuban and of the Black Sea are of Little Russian origin. They are called Cossacks of “the Line”, because, after the Russian conquest of the Caucasus, they built a line of fortified villages on the shores of the Kuban, to defend their new possessions against incursions of the so-called mountaineers of the Caucasus, the Tcherkesy, Tchetchency, Abkhazy, Osetiny, and Lezginy. In their life they have preserved the Little Russian customs and traditions.
Besides the Russian, properly so-called, there are a great many other races that belong politically to Russia. Among the Slav races within the Russian frontiers, the most numerous are the Poles, of whom there are 12,000,000, and who chiefly inhabit the region of the Vistula. The Bulgarians and Servians have emigrated to the region of New Russia since 1752, forming colonies of peasants. The Servians allowed themselves to be easily russianized; but the Bulgarians showed reluctance to this, and still preserve their national character. The Lithuanians live along the Vilia River and the lower course of the Niemen, at the Prussian frontier. Their number is given as 3,500,000. They come in succession under Russian, Polish, Finnish, and Jewish influence. They are fervent Catholics, and their economic conditions are prosperous. Their national sentiment, depressed for several centuries, has awakened in recent times, and nationalist Lithuanians seek to throw off Russian and Polish influence and to form a national literature. Related to the Lithuanians are the Letts (Latyshi); they are a hard-working race and have a high moral standard. Their religion is chiefly Lutheranism; a few of them are of the Orthodox Church.
To the Germanic race belong the Germans and Swedes. The Germans of Russia live on the Baltic Sea and on the western frontier, while colonies of them are to be found in European Russia and in the region of the Volga. In the Baltic region they constitute the higher classes of the population, being for the most part merchants and artisans. They own the greater portion of the land, because, after the imperial manifesto of February 19, 1861, they freed their serfs (Letts and Esthonians), but did not divide their lands among them. There are over 100,000 of them in this region; in that of the Vistula, there are German colonists, some of whom descend from those who were called by the Polish nobility to occupy the free lands. At the present time, the Germans are devoted chiefly to industry, and have established a great many factories, especially at Lodz. There are German colonies on the steppes, which, having the authorization of the Government and special privileges, are prosperous, but which oppose effective resistance to all attempts to russianize them. The Swedes, about 400,000 in number, are concentrated in Finland, especially in the Governments of Nyland (45 per cent) and Vasa (28.8 per cent). They constitute the aristocratic and intellectual classes of Finland; but their political and literary influence, which was considerable, tends to diminish before the development of Finnish national sentiment.
The Romanic races are represented by about 1,000,000 Moldavians, and by the Wallachians, who inhabit Bessarabia and the western part of the Government of Kherson. They are all of the Orthodox religion, and as a rule are employed in wine production and gardening. They resemble the Little Russians both physically and morally. The Iranian races are represented by about 1,000,000 Armenians, part of whom inhabit the Little Caucasus; the rest are scattered about the various cities of the Caucasus and in European Russia. They are famous for the beauty of their type and for their patriarchal habits. Families are to be found among them numbering as many as fifty individuals, who are ruled by the eldest of them. They devote themselves to agriculture and commerce, for the latter of which pursuits they have a special aptitude. They are Monophysites, and reject the Council of Chalcedon (Armenian-Gregorians), being under the jurisdiction of a katolicos who resides at Etchmiadzin. They have the greatest attachment to their language and the traditions of their mother-country. Among those who live in the Caucasus, there is a considerable literary culture. Several thousands of them are Catholics.
On the shores of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azoff there are several colonies of Greeks who devote themselves to agriculture, and especially to the production of tobacco. There are Greek colonies also in the chief centers of population of Russia, especially at Odessa and St. Petersburg.
The Jews are a scattered population, principally in the Governments of Western and Southern Russia. Their presence in Russia is due to emigrations of German Jews from Poland, and they still preserve their dialect of Hebrew German, which is the language of their Press. As elsewhere, they evince the greatest aptitude for commercial matters, and the commerce and industry of Western Russia is in their hands. The severe laws that limit the civil rights of the Jews in Russia have concentrated the members of that race in the cities, and the number of workmen and of artisans among them is very great, making their struggle for existence very difficult. Large fortunes are to be found among the Russian Jews, but their masses constitute a proletariat that on various occasions has been the victim of cruel massacres. Among these Russian Jews there is the greatest devotion to the Jewish religion and the greatest racial brotherhood. The Government admits only a limited number of them to the establishments of higher education; nevertheless, in the large cities, there is a great number of Jews who exercise the liberal professions, and especially that of medicine. The number of those who devote themselves to industrial pursuits increases each year.
The Finns inhabit the regions of the Baltic Sea, the Volga, and the Ural Mountains. The Finns, properly so-called, who inhabit Finland are 2,500,000 in number. For several centuries they were under the domination of Sweden, by which country they were barred from western civilization. They are famous for their honesty, love of their country and traditions (they are Lutherans), their high intellectual level (there are scarcely any illiterate among them), the status of their women (the University of Helsingfors has six hundred women students, and the Parliament of Helsingfors has twenty-two women members), and their tenacity of character, by which they have transformed the poor soil of Finland. The progress of the Finns during the last fifty years has been considerable, but in 1910 the Government suppressed the liberty and autonomy of Finland, and possibly thereby has placed a barrier to the development of Finnish culture. The Korely, who live to the north of Lakes Ladoga and Onega, and of whom there are 210,000, are Baltic Finns; there are also small groups of them between Lake Ilmen and the Volga. They have been more amenable to russianization, and have embraced the Orthodox faith. The Esthonians occupy the southern part of the plain of the Baltic. There are 1,300,000 of them, who constitute a class of poor peasants, among whom remain many traditions and customs of paganism. They are mostly Lutherans.
The Finns of the Volga comprise the Tcheremisy, the Mordva, and the Tchuvashi. The first, to the number of 400,000, live on the banks of the Volga, in the Governments of Kazan and of Vyatka. They were converted to Christianity by the Russian missionaries, but they remain pagans at heart, and in their customs. They devote themselves to agriculture, the chase, lumber commerce, and fishing. Their villages are small, having each not more than thirty houses. They are poor but honest, theft being regarded among them as a grave offense. The Tchuvashi are 800,000 in number; they live on the right bank of the Volga, and their chief centers of population are in the Governments of Kazan, Orenburg, Simbirsk, and Saratoff. Although they are Finns, they have adopted Russian customs, and tend more and more to become russianized. From the eighteenth century the Russian missionaries have attempted to convert them to orthodoxy, and have baptized a great number of them; but the Tchuvashi preserve a basis of paganism that is revealed in their rite and in their creed. Agriculture is their favorite pursuit, but they devote themselves also to the culture of bees, and they supply the markets of St. Petersburg with poultry and eggs.
Other less important races are mentioned by Russian geographers. The total number of the various nationalities that constitute the Russian Empire is about one hundred. Their multiplicity, which transforms Russia into a true ethnographical museum, is an obstacle in the way of civilization, to the dissemination of instruction, and to the stability of the representative system.
ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS.—For the purposes of administration Russia is divided into six great territorial regions: (I) European Russia, properly so-called; (2) the Governments of the Vistula (Privislanskiia gubernii); (3) the Grand duchy of Finland; (4) the Caucasus; (5) Siberia; (6) Central Asia. These territories are divided into governments (gubernii) and provinces (oblasti). The governments are ruled with laws that are called “Statutes of the Governments” (Polozhenie o guberniiazh); the provinces, besides the general laws, have special laws that are made necessary by the great number of non-Russians and of the non-Orthodox who inhabit those regions. The governments are divided into districts called uiezdy, and the provinces into districts called okrugi. The number of these districts, both in the governments and provinces, varies from four to fifteen. The districts are divided into volosti, selskiia obshestva, etc. The okrugi are divided into military, judicial, scholastic, postal, etc. In European Russia there are seven gradonatchalstva, i.e., cities that have administrations independent of the governments and provinces in which they are situated: these are St. Petersburg, Moscow, Odessa, Rostoffon-the-Don, Sebastopol, Kertch-Yenikale, and Nikolaieff. Kronstadt constitutes a separate military government.
European Russia contains fifty-nine governments and two provinces. The governments of the Vistula, consisting of the territory of the former Kingdom of Poland that was annexed to Russia (carstvo polskoe), belong to European Russia. They enjoyed a certain autonomy until the revolution of 1863 led the Russian Government to suppress all their privileges and to employ every means for their russianization. After the liberal edicts of 1905 it was hoped that autonomy would be restored to the Russian Poles; but these hopes are far from being realized. The Grand duchy of Finland, which was united to Russia in 1809 as an integral part of the empire, enjoyed a special autonomy that gave an admirable development to the culture and prosperity of that land. The Finns had a code of special laws, a diet, senate, bank, coinage, and postal service. After 1905 there was universal suffrage, and the new chamber of deputies admitted women also to its membership. In 1910, however, the Duma approved a bill relating to Finland, which, if carried into effect, would bring Finnish autonomy to an end. Finland is divided into eight governments. In the Caucasus, where the Russian population is in a minority, besides the various governments, there are provinces where special laws are in force. Siberia is divided into governments and provinces. Among the latter the Island of Sakhalin, with an area of 14,836 sq. miles, has a population of 17,900. The southern portion of this island, however, was ceded to Japan by the treaty of Portsmouth, 16-August 29, 1905. The governments and provinces of Siberia are eight in number. Asiatic Russia has provinces (oblasti) only, because the Russians constitute only a small minority of the population.
AGRICULTURE, AND CONDITION OF THE PEASANTS.—Russia is a great agricultural nation; three-quarters of its population derive their support from the soil, which furnishes the most important resources of the country. The statistics concerning agriculture date from 1877-78, and were collected by the Central Committee of Statistics. More precise information was gathered by the same committee in 1886-88, and in 1905. According to the latest of these statistics, there were in European Russia, exclusive of the Kingdom of Poland, 1,067,019,596 acres of cultivated land, besides 17,609,124 acres in the Kalmuck steppes, and 19,133,296 in the steppes of the Kirghiz. The cultivated lands are divided into three classes: (I) private property (274)685,426 acres); (2) lands granted by the government to the peasants or nadiel’ nyja zemli (374,672,484 acres); (3) lands belonging to the treasury, the churches, monasteries, cities, and institutions (417,661,685). A comparison of these statistics with those of 1877 shows that in 1905 the lands owned by the nobles had diminished in area by 53,851,008 acres, and those of foreign subjects by 341,679 acres. On the other hand the landed property of the peasants had increased by 20,051,428 acres, and that of the other social classes had increased proportionately. In Siberia all the land, except the southern part of the Government of Tomsk which belongs to the imperial family, is the property of the Government, for as yet only a small portion has been granted to public and private institutions.
The state lands of European Russia are distributed very irregularly. In the Governments of Archangel, Olonetz, and Vologda the State owns from 83 to 90 per cent of the land; in the region of Tchernozom, 5 per cent, and in the Governments of Pultowa, Bessarabia, and in Esthonia less than 1 per cent. The lands granted to the peasants occupy more than half of the Governments of Orenburg, Vyatka, Ufa, Kazan, Penza, Voronezh, Samara, the Province of the Don, Vladimir, Ryazan, Kursk, Moscow, Kaluga, Kharkoff, Tchernigoff, and Pultowa. Of the lands that are private property, 52 per cent belong to the nobility, 24 per cent to the peasants, 16 per cent to the merchants, and the remainder is divided among other classes. The possessions of the nobility are chiefly in the Baltic region, Lithuania, and the Governments of Minsk, Perm, Podolia, and Kieff. In the period between 1860 and 1905 the rural property of the nobility, which had reached 213,300,000 acres, was reduced to 143,100,000 acres. The great landowners, possessing more than 2700 acres each, are chiefly in the eastern governments and in those of the Baltic. The arable lands of the Kingdom of Poland occupy an area of 30,312,168 acres of which 44.56 per cent belong to private owners, 45.58 per cent to the peasants through government concessions, 4.02 per cent to the cities, and 5¬?84 per cent to the churches and other institutions. The land belonging to the churches and monasteries in the whole of European Russia, including Poland, is estimated at 0.6 per cent of all the arable land of that division of the empire.
There are 591,788 rural villages in European Russia, with a total population of 81,050,300, of whom 84.5 per cent are peasants. According to statistics, 38.8 per cent of the total surface is forest; 26.2 per cent is arable land; 19.1 per cent is land not available for cultivation; and 15.9 per cent is prairies and pasture lands. The lands unavailable for cultivation are the salt steppes, the marshes, and the tundras. In Finland these lands occupy 35.6 per cent of the country, and the porportion is still greater in Siberia and Turkestan, where the arable land is only 2 per cent.
The “extensive” and the “intensive” systems of cultivation are variously applied in Russia, according to the region. In the governments of Northern Russia (Archangel, Olonetz, Vologda, Novgorod and in parts of Yaroslaff, Kostroma, Vyatka, and Perm) the system called podsietchnaja obtains, consisting in stripping and uprooting the forests, planting wheat on their sites for intervals of from three to nine years, and then allowing the forests to grow up again when the fertility of the soil has been exhausted. In the Governments of Kherson, Yekaterinoslaff, Taurida, Stavropol, Orenburg, the Province of the Urals, and the Province of the Don Cossacks is practiced the method called zalezhnaia (Fr. jachère). This consists in cultivating the land while its productive power endures; then it is transformed into pasture, and its cultivation is not resumed for an interval of ten, twelve, or fifteen years, as occasion may require. The intensive method of agriculture obtains in the central governments of Russia, in the zone of Tchernozom, and in other governments. A field is divided into three sections; in the first, winter grain (rye, corn) is sown; in the second, a crop of summer grain is put in (wheat, barley, oats); and in the third, grass for pasture is allowed to grow; each year the crop of each section is changed for one of the other two, thus allowing each section to rest once in three years. In the regions of the Vistula and the Baltic and in the southwestern part of Finland the intensive system of agriculture obtains; no portion of the land remains untilled, but the peasants sow seed and plant vegetables in alternate years, so as not to exhaust the productiveness of the soil. In several regions, especially in the Caucasus, in Daghestan, Transcaucasia, and Turkestan, a remedy is found for the aridity of the soil in irrigation by means of canals. In other regions of a marshy character the work of draining the swamps is carried on, at times by the Government, and at times by private parties. In Podlachia alone, from 1874 to 1892, there were reclaimed 6,210,000 acres of swamp lands. The same kind of work was accomplished in Siberia.
Russia is a great cereal-producing country. According to the statistics of 1908, in 73 governments (63 in Russian Europe, 1 in Transcaucasia, 4 in Siberia, and 5 in Central Asia), out of 327,642,983 acres of land, 56¬?2 per cent were devoted to the culture of cereals, 3.2 per cent to the culture of the potato, 13¬?9 per cent to the oat crop, and 26¬?7 per cent to artificial meadow lands. In 1908 the grain crop amounted to 48,000,000 tons; the potato crop yielded 29,000,000 tons; oats, 13,000,000 tons, and hay from artificial meadows, 47,000,000 tons. The governments that are the most productive of cereals are those of Bessarabia, Kherson, Taurida, Yekaterinoslaff, and the Province of the Don Cossacks. As a cereal-producing country, Russia is the second in the world, the United States being the first. The development of potato culture, which was introduced into Russia in 1767, is notable. The grain that Russia produces is not only sufficient to supply the home market, but also constitutes one of the chief exports. The amount of it that is exported amounts on an average to 15,000,000 tons a year. It should be noticed, however, that in proportion to the area of the empire, the grain production of Russia is not high: Germany, France, and Austria, the combined area of which countries is only one-third of that of European Russia, produce together more grain than is produced in all Russia.
There are abundant crops of other staples, also, that Russia produces; these are the flax crop, which yields 500,000 tons a year, produced in several of the governments of the northeast, northwest, and south; hemp, 400,000 tons; cotton, raised in Transcaucasia and Turkestan, especially in the Province of Ferghana, annual yield more than 170,000 tons. Tobacco was introduced into Russia in the seventeenth century; its use was prohibited by severe laws, but was allowed from the time of Peter the Great; it is cultivated in the Governments of Tchernigoff, Pultowa, Samara, Saratoff, Taurida, Bessarabia, Kuban, etc. Its annual yield is about 100,000 tons, while the lands that are devoted to its cultivation cover an area of 1,755,000 acres. The principal tobacco factories are at St. Petersburg, Moscow, Riga, Kieff, and Odessa. The culture of beets, introduced into Russia about the beginning of the nineteenth century, has been greatly developed during the last thirty years, there being now devoted to it an aggregate area of 1,485,000 acres, the greater portion of which is in the Governments of Kieff and Podolia, the annual crop amounting to 10,000 tons. Wine is not extensively produced in Russia, and is of inferior quality. The best vineyards are in the Crimea, in Kakhetia, and in the vineyards of the Don Cossacks. There are 729,000 acres devoted to vine culture, and the yearly product amounts to not more than 88 million gallons. The Government seeks to encourage the home production of wine by very high duties on foreign wines. The culture of vegetables and fruit is not greatly developed; market gardens thrive in the neighborhood of the large cities, especially in the District of Rostoff, and in the Governments of Saratoff and Samara. The production of fruit is abundant in Transcaucasia and the Crimea.
According to the statistics of 1908 there were in Russia 140,656,000 head of cattle, namely, 28,723,000 horses, 42,031,000 horned cattle, 57,466,000 sheep and goats, and 12,436,000 hogs. The horned cattle are scattered over the whole of European Russia: the cattle of Siberia are of a better class, on account of the abundance of forests. There are numerous breeds of horses in Russia, and special establishments are devoted to the improvement of these breeds in the Province of the Don Cossacks and the Governments of Voronezh, Kherson, Tamboff, Pultowa, and Kharkoff. The annual product from the sheep is calculated at 120,000,000 roubles (I rouble = 52 cents U.S.A.). The best wool is produced by the flocks of the Governments of Novgorod and Voronezh, of the Volga, the Vistula, the Baltic, the Caucasus, and Turkestan. The raising of hogs is especially pursued in the Governments of Minsk and Volhynia. The chicken industry flourishes in Western and Central Russia; fowls and eggs are exported and yield an annual income of more than 70,000,000 roubles, of which 61,000,000 are for eggs. The yearly production of honey is nearly 26,000 tons, and wax 5000 tons, yielding an aggregate income of from 15,000,000 to 20,000,000 roubles. The culture of the silk-worm is being developed, chiefly in the Governments of Bessarabia, Kherson, and Taurida, and in Turkestan and the Caucasus. The yearly production of silk amounts to about 1000 tons.
The condition of the peasants, although greatly improved, is far from being prosperous, and the agrarian question is one of the gravest with which Russian statesmen have to deal. Prior to 1861, or since 1592 according to some authorities, 1649 according to others, the peasants were legally reduced to servitude (kriepostnoe pravo). They were under serfdom to the landowners, were attached to the soil, and were not allowed to change their place of residence or dispose freely of their property; they were obliged to cultivate the lands of their employers and pay a tax to the State. The pomieshshiki, or landowners, became so many little tsars, and the peasants were reduced to the condition of slaves. As a consequence there occurred the revolts of the peasants, in the seventeenth century, under Stenko Razin, and in the eighteenth century, under Pugatcheff. During the reign of Catherine II a Russian author, Radishsheff, in his “Voyage from St. Petersburg to Moscow“, suggested the necessity of freeing the peasants from their servitude; the book was held to be dangerous, and its author was exiled to Siberia. Paul I in 1797 alleviated the condition of the peasants by decreeing that they should work only three days on the lands of their employers. Alexander I attempted in vain to free them: his humanitarian efforts were thwarted by the opposition of the nobles. Nicholas I entertained the same purpose, but notwithstanding his absolutism was unable to realize it; he promulgated various laws, however (1826, 1835, 1839, 1845, 1846, 1847, and 1848), by which the right of the peasants and of their communities (mir) to acquire real estate was recognized; but these laws were not executed, and the pomieshshiki pretended to be uninformed of them.
The European revolution of 1848 and the Crimean War brought an awakening of Liberal ideas in Russia, and Alexander II, as one of the first measures of his reign, abolished serfdom. The preparatory measures for this consummation were studied by a secret committee in 1857. In 1859 the committees of the nobility and of the pomieshshiki in the various provinces discussed this question of the abolition of serfdom, and the Press dealt with it in an active way, showing Russia’s moral and political need to solve it. An imperial commission, established in 1859, prepared a law which, after long deliberations and frequent modifications, received the signature of the tsar, February 12, 1861, and was promulgated on March 5 of the same year. The terms of this law made all peasants free, and secured to them, upon the payment of a tax established by law, the use of their habitations (dvor) and a grant of land, of which they could become owners in fee simple by pecuniary redemption. Moreover, the pomieshshiki were obliged to grant to the peasants or to the mir the lands occupied by them, conformably with a maximum or minimum established by law. On the other hand, the dvorovie, or servants, who numbered 1,500,000, in 1861 regained their freedom, with however the obligation of serving their masters for a further period of two years.
The lands were so distributed that each peasant who was entitled to share in them received, on an average, fourteen acres; on an average, because the quality of the lands was taken into account in the distribution; in the zone of the Tchernozom, the concessions were of eight acres. Moreover, the distribution of lands was very unequal, and 42.6 per cent of the peasants who participated in it received concessions that were insufficient for their needs; to this may be added that many millions of peasants were not benefited by the law, and that the annual tax to be paid to the Government by those who received portions of land became a burden. The Government therefore continued to enact laws to solve the agrarian question. The taxes were diminished in 1881, and in 1882 the Agrarian Bank was established, which helped the peasants to acquire possession of 19,000,000 acres in a few years. In 1885 the per capita tax paid by the peasants was abolished, by which the Government lost 50,000,000 roubles. Other laws, some of them promulgated as late as 1900, are directed towards the protection of the rights of the peasants. These measures, however, are insufficient. The increase in the population has greatly reduced the average holding of land, which in 1893 amounted to 6.5 acres for each peasant. The improvidence of the peasants, drink, backward methods in agriculture, and bad crops have on more than one occasion caused famine to be felt in the agricultural regions. The agrarian question, therefore, lies like an incubus on Russia, while the various parties of the Duma propose different solutions for it. The moderate parties advise directing the peasant emigration towards Siberia, dispersing the peasants in less populous governments, and imparting to them agricultural instruction; while the more advanced parties demand that the crown lands and the lands of the churches and the monasteries be divided among the peasants, or again that the great landowners be deprived of their rural possessions (socialization of lands). Until now, however, the debates that have taken place in the various dumas on this subject have led to no practical results.
STATISTICS OF COMMERCE.—According to the statistics of 1908 Russia occupies the ninth place among nations as regards her merchant fleet, which including that of Finland has 6250 ships, with a gross tonnage of 1,046,195; this includes 1240 steamers with a tonnage of 500,000. Finland has 2800 ships, with a tonnage of 346,195. The ships of more than 1000 tons burden in the Russian merchant fleet number 114. Of Russian vessels, 1129 belong to the Black Sea ports and the Sea of Azoff, and 1104 to the Baltio ports. According to the statistics of the same year, there arrived at Russian ports during 1908 11,011 ships, of which 1777 were Russian, with an aggregate tonnage of 1,241,000, and 9519 foreign, aggregate tonnage 9,519,000. The chief centers of Russian maritime commerce are the ports of the Baltic, the Black Sea, and the Sea of Azof. The foreign maritime commerce of Russia is divided by tonnage as follows: England, 42 per cent; Germany, 16 per cent; Denmark, 10 per cent; Greece, 8 per cent; and Sweden and Norway, 4 per cent.
The coasting trade between small ports is reserved exclusively for Russian shipping; it has found its greatest development in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azof (36,590 ships, 15,098,000 tons), in the Caspian Sea (16,538 ships, 8,884,000 tons), and in the Baltic Sea (10,809 ships, 1,230,000 tons). This shipping carries on an average 10,000,000 tons of merchandise a year, of which 4,400,000 tons are petroleum, and 1,100,000 tons grain. The great coasting commerce between the Black and the Baltic Seas, between the ports of European Russia and those of Eastern Siberia, and between the Murman coasts (Murmanskii bereg) and the Baltic Sea, employs 212 steamships, of an aggregate tonnage of 450,000, carrying a yearly average of 270,000 tons of merchandise. The most important commercial ports of Russia are St. Petersburg, Riga, Libau, Reval, and Odessa. According to the most recent statistics, the river fleet consists of 3300 steam and 22,860 other craft, with an aggregate tonnage of 11,200,000. The yards that build this shipping are at Nizhni-Novgorod, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Perm, and in Finland. The river fleet carries a yearly average of 32,000,000 tons of merchandise, of an aggregate value of 800,000,000 roubles.
The first railway that was constructed in Russia was that of Tsarskoi Selo in 1837; in 1850, Russian railways had 666 miles of line, which had increased to 7094 miles in 1870, to 14,786 in 1880, and to 20,000 in 1890. The greater portion of these was constructed by private companies, and in 1882 13,582 of a total of 15,724 miles of railway belonged to those companies. In 1908 the railway mileage of Russia amounted to 45,132 miles, of which 35,076 were in Europe, 2078 in Finland, and 7978 in Asia. At present four-fifths of these railways belong to the State, and one-fifth to private parties. In 1909 there were 270 miles of new railways opened and the construction of 3074 miles more was determined upon. Russia has the second railway mileage of the world, being second only to the United States; but compared with the area of the empire, the railway mileage of Russia is small. The railway center of Russia is Moscow. The Trans-Siberian Railway is the greatest enterprise of modern Russia: it has made possible the exploitation of the natural riches of Siberia, and has opened a way for the commerce of Europe with the Far East. Its construction was begun in 1891, and finished in 1903, at a cost of 850,000,000 roubles. It has a length of 5532 miles. After the war with Japan, the branch to Port Arthur became a part of the Eastern China Railway. The voyage from Europe to Shanghai, which takes forty-five days by the Suez Canal, and thirty-five days by Canada and the Pacific Ocean, is made in from eighteen to twenty days over the Trans-Siberian Railway by way of Vladivostok. The total value of the Russian railways is 5,500,000,000 roubles, and their average cost is estimated at 169,500 roubles per mile.
In foreign commerce, exports and imports, Russia occupies the seventh place among commercial nations, the imports and exports representing a value approximately of 2,000,000,000 roubles (in 1906, 800,000,000 roubles of imports, and 547,500,000 roubles of exports). This commerce to the amount of 1,545,000,000 roubles is carried on across the European frontiers; 268,000,000 roubles across Asiatic frontiers; and 83,000,000 roubles across the frontiers of Finland. Russia exports wheat, barley, oats, rye, and corn to Germany, England, Holland, Italy, France, Austria, etc.; eggs, sugar, butter, caviare, fish, fowls, petroleum, cattle, and raw minerals; and imports woollen textiles amounting to 25,000,000 roubles, worked metals, paints, and dyes, coal, silk, rubber goods, machinery, watches, tea. (in 1906, 90,000 tons of this commodity were imported at a cost of 77,000,000 roubles), herrings, wines (11,000,000 roubles), lemons and oranges (4,500,000 roubles), other fruits, etc.
The internal commerce of Russia is greatly developed by the periodical markets or fairs, of which 26,000 are held in 6830 different places. The most important one of them is that of Nizhni-Novgorod, originating in the seventeenth century near the monastery of the Blessed Macarius, which was built within the Government of Nizhni-Novgorod. To that market Turks, Tatars, and Persians went in great numbers. In 1816 the fair was transferred to Novgorod, a city which, on account of its position at the confluence of the Volga and the Oka Rivers, possessed the requisites for becoming a great commercial center; the commercial importance of the fair increased rapidly; it was visited by as many as 200,000 merchants from all parts of Russia and Siberia. The value of the merchandise brought to this market, which amounted to 32,000,000 roubles in 1817, attained a sum of 246,000,000 roubles in 1881, after which it fell to a yearly average of from 160 to 170 million roubles. The fair is held from July 15 to August 25, the chief commodities being silk, cotton, linen and woollen goods, worked metals, and skins. Another important fair is that of Irbit, in the Government of Perm. This fair originated in 1643; it is held from February 1 to March 1, the value of the merchandise brought to it being estimated at 30,000,000 roubles each year. In Little Russia these fairs are frequently held; among them the most noted are those of the Epiphany, at Kharkoff, from 6 to January 26 (merchandise of a value of from 11 to 13 million roubles); those of the Assumption, the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin, and the Holy Trinity, in the same city, from August 15 to September 1, 1 to July 15, and October 1 to November 1 respectively; the fair of Kieff, from 5 to February 26; those of Kursk, Simbirsk, Menzelinsk, Ivanoffskaia etc. The growth of the railways tends to diminish the importance and volume of business of these fairs. The number of commercial establishments in Russia (statistics of 1907) is 889,746, and the number of people engaged in commerce is 1,600,000.
INDUSTRIES, AND CONDITION OF THE WORKERS.—Russian industries have been greatly developed, although they are far from being in a position to supply the home demand. In 1906 there were in Russia 14,247 industrial establishments, in which there were 1,684,569 workers; in 1907 the number of those establishments had decreased to 14,190, while the workers had increased to 1,723,173. The industrial districts are those of St. Petersburg (2049 establishments, 296,109 workers), Moscow (2485 establishments, 610,402 workers), Warsaw (2978 establishments, 268,256 workers), Kieff (2791 establishments, 207,751 workers), the Volga (1768 establishments, 137,235 workers), and Kharkoff (2119 establishments, 203,424 workers). The number of women employed in these establishments increases continually, and grew from 383,782 in 1901 to 435,684 in 1906.
The metal industries are the most important. Under Peter the Great there was declared the so-called freedom of mines (gornaia svoboda), according to which the ownership of a mine was independent of that of the land under which it was found. This law was revoked by Catherine II in 1781, to the detriment of the metallurgical industries. According to the latest statistics, the number of workmen employed in these industries is 700,000, of whom more than half are employed in the extraction and working of iron. The value of the yearly output of the metallurgical industries is 300,000,000 roubles. Russia holds an important position as a gold-producing country: in 1906 Siberia, the Urals, and Finland produced 30 tons of gold. The average production of gold each year, from sand and quartz, amounts to 80,960 lb., of a value of 60,000,000 roubles. Russia occupies the fourth place among gold-producing countries. The Province of Irkutsk, in Eastern Siberia, is the chief gold region of the country, and especially the District of Olekminsk, which produces 6 tons of the metal. By the laws of March 12, 1901, and March 1, 1902, the prohibition that had been placed upon free commerce in gold was removed. There are 80,000 workers employed in the gold industries of the country.
Russia may be said to be the only platinum-producing country. This metal is taken from the Urals, where it was discovered in 1819, the yearly production of it amounting to 5 tons, although in 1906 the amount was 5% tons. It is mined in the Government of Perm, giving employment to 1292 men, and is usually sold to the British at a price of 806,000 roubles per ton; when refined in England, it is sold for 1,240,000 roubles per ton. The production of silver, which from 1886 to 1890 was 16 tons a year, has decreased to 6 tons yearly. The metal is mined in the Districts of Nertchinsk and the Altai, and in the Governments of Viborg and Archangel.
Russia has produced copper since the seventeenth century, and her annual production of that metal increases continually: from 8,300 tons in 1905, it increased to 70,000 tons in 1906, and to 14,000 in 1907. There are 22 establishments devoted to the copper industry; the metal is mined chiefly in the Caucasus and in the Urals, and to a small extent in the steppes of the Kirghiz and in the Altai Mountains. Lead is usually found in Russia mixed with silver, and is obtained in the Province of Terek and the Districts of Nertchinsk and the Altai. An exact average of the yearly production of lead cannot be established; in 1890 it amounted to 800 tons; in 1895 to 400 tons; in 1904 to only 80 tons, while it increased to 770 tons in 1905, and to 1000 tons in 1906. Zinc is furnished by four great establishments, situated respectively at Bendzin, Constantin, Paulina (Government of Piotrkow), and Alagir, in the Province of Terek. The production of this metal yielded 8100 tons in 1902, 14,000 tons in 1904, and 10,000 tons in 1906. Mercury was discovered in 1879 in the District of Bakhmut (Government of Yekaterinoslaff), and its yearly production amounts to 320 tons. Manganese, which is worked chiefly in the Governments of Kutais and of Yekaterinoslaff, yielded a production of 320 tons in 1898, 790 tons in 1900, and 500 tons in 1905.
Russia produces great quantities of iron. The first establishments for the working of this metal originated in the seventeenth century and were the property of the State. In 1906 the total production of iron amounted to 5,183,579 tons. There are 126 foundries which produce 2,700,000 tons of melted iron. Russia occupies the seventh place among the coal-producing countries. The first coal was mined in the reign of Peter I, but the coal industry was only developed to any extent under Catherine II, and that development continues from year to year. The production of this mineral amounted to 25,000,000 tons in 1906, Russia is exceptionally rich in petroleum. Many of its oil deposits are yet undeveloped, especially in the Governments of Kielce and Taurida, and in the Urals. The greatest supply of Russian petroleum now comes from the northern and southern slopes of the Caucasus Mountains, especially from the Government of Baku (90 per cent), from the Provinces of Terek, Kuban, and Daghestan, from the Government of Tiflis, and from the Transcaspian region. In 1907 the total production of petroleum in Russia amounted to 8,300,000 tons. The petroleum exported in 1908 represented a value of 30,000,000 roubles.
Among salt-producing countries Russia holds the fourth place, producing from mines and salt lakes a yearly average of more than 1,770,000 tons of salt, chiefly from the Governments of Yekaterinoslaff, Astrakhan, Perm, and Taurida. The textile industry holds an important place, there being 2000 factories, employing 700,000 workers, and producing fabrics valued at 800,000,000 roubles a year. Of those establishments 730 are cotton factories, which employ 437,000 workers, and produce a yearly output valued at 520,000,000 roubles. The principal establishments for the cleaning of cotton are in Turkestan and the Government of Erivan. Factories for spinning and weaving cotton first appeared in Russia during the second half of the eighteenth century; the principal ones among them at the present time are in the Governments of Vladimir, Moscow, Piotrkow, St. Petersburg, Kostroma, Terek, and Yaroslaff. The wool industry has 916 factories that produce an aggregate yearly income of nearly 170,000,000 roubles. Russia has 145 linen factories that produce a yearly income of 42,000,000 roubles. The silk industry, which was introduced at the beginning of the eighteenth century, had in 1900 200 factories (Governments of Moscow, Vladimir, and Piotrkow), and was producing a yearly income of 23,000,000 roubles.
The flour industry is an important one, there being 1400 large mills, the yearly products of which are valued at 225,000,000 roubles, besides which there are 20,000 small mills. The distillation of spirits, made free in 1863, is another important industry, there being 2480 distilleries with a yearly production of 89,100,000 gallons. There are 80 distilleries for the production of vodka, which has become a government monopoly, and the yearly product of which is 2,160,000 gallons, chiefly in the Governments of Moscow and St. Petersburg. The brewing of beer was begun in Russia more especially in the nineteenth century, and as a beer-producing country Russia occupies the sixth place, having 918 breweries with a yearly product of 162,000,000 gallons. Russia also produces sugar. In the eighteenth century it had 7 refineries. The first refinery for the production of beet sugar was established in 1802. At present there are 280 beet sugar factories and refineries, which in 1908 produced 1,300,000 tons. There are 294 oil factories, where oil is extracted from sunflower seed, linseed, and hempseed.
There are 827 workshops where industrial machinery is made, the value of their annual products being estimated at 208,000,000 roubles. Fourteen large establishments in the Governments of St. Petersburg, Livonia, Moscow, and Nizhni-Novgorod construct locomotives and railway cars, of a value of 92,000,000 roubles. The goldsmith’s industry, which flourishes in the Governments of Warsaw, St. Petersburg, and Moscow, yields an annual income of 5,500,000 roubles. Electrical works, of which there are 50 in the Government of St. Petersburg, have made their appearance within recent years; their annual product is valued at 8,000,000 roubles. The paper industry is an ancient one in Russia, dating from the sixteenth century. There are at present 451 factories. The wood industry is represented in the first place by 956 saw-mills, the yearly products of which are estimated at 70,000,000 roubles; and secondly by 250 furniture factories, with a yearly output of 14,000,000 roubles. The yearly production of the 174 chemical factories in Russia is estimated at 32,000,000 roubles. Tanning, which was practiced in Russia as far back as the ninth and tenth centuries, is now carried on in 641 tanneries that produce a yearly output of 55,000,000 roubles. The glass industry also is important in Russia, where it made its appearance in the seventeenth century, under the Tsar Michael Theodorovitch (212 factories, and a yearly output of 26,000,000 roubles).
The material and the moral conditions of the working people leave a great deal to be desired. The wages are low in proportion to the cost of living in Russian cities, and the law does not give the workman sufficient protection against exploitation by his employer. It may be said that there are no sanitary laws with regard to workers in factories, although this matter has been considered by various commissions, established by the Government in 1859, 1870, 1874, and 1892. Sickness and accidents are frequent among the workmen: in 1871 in 17,533 establishments, employing 1,700,000 workers, there were 24,744 accidents, of which 385 were fatal. To these may be added 23,360 injuries through accident in the mines, making a total of 48,104; these official figures seem too low to represent the facts. The insurance societies have only 600,000 workers inscribed on their lists; and in case of accident it is very difficult to obtain payment from those companies. There is want of medical assistance. The moral standard is very low. It is therefore no wonder that the working class takes an active part in revolutionary movements and furnishes a large percentage of highway robbers.
INTELLECTUAL RUSSIA.—Intellectual culture is of recent date, and was first developed in Southern and Western Russia under Polish influence. The first Russian academy was established at Kieff in the seventeenth century. In Muscovite Russia intellectual culture began under Peter the Great, who gave much attention to the education of the people. Catherine II established the first school for girls. Under Alexander II a great number of schools and of establishments for higher education were opened, and this intellectual development was carried to Siberia by the foundation of the University of Tomsk under Alexander III. Higher education is represented by ten universities: St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kieff, Odessa, Kharkoff, Warsaw, Kazan, Yurieff (Dorpat), Helsingfors, and Tomsk. Two other universities are about to be established by the Government, at Saratoff and Tobolsk. In 1909 the ten universities just named were attended by 36,890 students, those having the greatest number of students being the Universities of St. Petersburg (8805), Moscow (8698), Kharkoff (4048), and Kieff (4230); on the other hand, Warsaw has only fifteen students, being boycotted by the Poles on account of the exclusive use of the Russian language. The most frequented courses are those of law (13,970 students), physics and mathematics (8778 students), and medicine (7068 students). There is a notable attendance of women (500) at the University of Helsingfors. The nine Russian universities are maintained by the State at an expense of 5,405,660 roubles a year, to which should be added other amounts of regular receipts, making a sum total of 7,684,000 roubles. The University of Helsingfors is supported by Finland at a cost of 806,700 roubles, of which 173,700 roubles are furnished by the public treasury.
Russian universities, some of which date from the eighteenth or even the seventeenth century, received their first impetus from Alexander I (1801-25), who founded the Universities of Kharkoff, Kazan, and St. Petersburg. Under Nicholas I (1825-55), they ran the risk of being closed, and were subjected to a rule of superintendence and severe discipline. In 1863 the minister Golovin introduced important reforms into the organization and administration of the universities, and conferred many privileges upon the professors and students, which privileges were limited by the law of August 23, 1884. The regular professors receive a salary of 3000 roubles a year; the supplementary professors receive 2000 roubles, and the dozents 1000 roubles. The various universities have in their faculties men of superior attainments, who are an honor to science. Those institutions are distinguished also for their Liberal sentiments, which in 1905-07 degenerated into excesses, and on various occasions transformed the universities into hotbeds of political agitation.
The intellectual culture of women has its centers in the so-called “Superior Course” (Vysshie kursy) of St. Petersburg (2396 students) and of Moscow (2177 students), and in the women’s medical school of St. Petersburg (1635 students). In the “Superior Courses”, the greater portion of the women students take up the study of history and of philosophy. The one at St. Petersburg is maintained at a cost of 217,530 roubles a year; the corresponding one at Moscow at 153,000 roubles a year, and the women’s school of medicine at a cost of 573,926 roubles. There are many scholarships for poor students, men and women. The Russian women who frequent the “Superior Courses” are, as a rule, from eighteen to twenty-five years of age, and are distinguished by their quickness of intellect and energy of character, and also by a decrease of womanly qualities.
According to the statistics of 1907, secondary instruction for men is given in 246 gymnasia and 37 pro-gymnasia, having 2912 classes, 4668 masters, and 107,296 students; for women, in 433 gymnasia and 172 pro-gymnasia, with 5432 classes, 10,272 teachers, and 200,761 students, and in 178 Realschulen, 1590 classes, 2538 teachers, and 55,499 students. In the gymnasia, the course lasts seven years; Greek, Latin, French, and German are taught at these institutions, as also the natural sciences, history, geography, Russian literature, and the catechism. The pro-gymnasia teach the same subjects, with the exception of the dead languages. The Realschulen impart a practical education. In the gymnasia for girls, the course is six years. To the number of these schools must be added the institutes and the seminaries for the education of teachers (utchitel’skie instituty, utchitel’skija seminarii), there being 10 of the former, with 143 professors, and 1738 students; and 73 of the latter, with 909 professors, and 12,355 students.
There are in the whole of Russia, including Finland, 111,427 schools for primary instruction, attended by 6,875,765 scholars, of whom 4,691,691 are boys. To this class belong the parochial schools that were instituted July 13, 1884, and were placed under the direct control of the Synod. The scope of these schools is chiefly religious; they teach the law of God, reading, writing, and arithmetic; some of them have only one class; some two; in the second class, when there is one, ecclesiastical and national history are taught. The remuneration received by the teachers of parochial schools is often as low as 150 roubles a year. In the schools that depend upon the Ministry of Public Instruction, the salaries of teachers are 500 or 600 roubles a year. In 1909 the ministry spent 54,000,000 roubles for the schools of primary instruction, while the Holy Synod spent 14,000,000 for the schools dependent upon it, a sum that is increased to 89,000,000 roubles by the contributions of other ministries or institutions. The primary schools nevertheless are insufficient in number, and the progressive element in Russia calls for the establishment of 500,000 additional schools. Russia has also professional schools: an institute of forestry (liesnoi institut), attended by 460 students; 142 commercial institutes, with 2775 professors and 33,397 students; 87 commercial schools, with 1040 professors and 12,510 students; and 37 professional schools and institutes, with 717 professors and 4270 students.
Among the scientific institutions, the Imperial Academy of Sciences of St. Petersburg stands in the first place. It was instituted by Peter the Great in 1724, and was opened by Catherine I in 1726, and has various museums, libraries, laboratories, and observatories. Its literary activity is intense, its numerous scientific publications already forming a vast library. There are also: the Imperial Archaeographical Commission of St. Petersburg, famous for its splendid editions of Russian national chronicles; the Imperial Archaeological Commission of St. Petersburg; the Imperial Archaeological Society of Moscow, which publishes learned and artistic volumes on the sacred and profane monuments of Russia; the Society of Oriental Studies, at St. Petersburg (Vostotchnoviedienija Obshshestvo), the scientific researches of which deal especially with Siberia and China; the Society of Naturalists of St. Petersburg (Obshshestvo estestvoispytatelei), which was founded in 1868; the Society of Geographical Studies (Obshshestvo zemleviedienija), established at St. Petersburg in 1903; the Imperial Institute of Experimental Medicine; the philologico-historical societies of Odessa and of Kharkoff; the Imperial Historical Society of St. Petersburg, which has published 130 volumes of historical documents and the Russian biographical lexicon; the Archaeological, Historical, and Ethnological Society of Kazan; the Society of the Friends of Ancient Literature of St. Petersburg, which has published numerous and valuable copies of ancient texts; the Historical and Ancient Literature Society, connected with the University of Moscow, whose Tchtenija (lectures) constitute the richest and most valuable historical collection of Russia; the Imperial Mineralogical Institute of St. Petersburg; the Slav Society of Moscow, which publishes the periodical “Slavianski Viek”; the Polytechnical Institute of Moscow; the Imperial Archaeological Society of St. Petersburg, with classical, Oriental, Russo-Slavic, and numismatical sections; the Imperial Geographical Society of St. Petersburg, famous for its publications; the Juridical Institute of St. Petersburg; the Lazareff Institute of Moscow famous for its learned publications on Oriental and other subjects. All of these institutions, to which many of secondary importance, existing in all Russian cities, are to be added, furnish a notable contribution to the activities of Russian science, which in reality are very considerable. These institutions are also endowed with very fine libraries.
The most important Russian library is the Imperial Public Library, which is divided into thirteen sections, and is rich in bibliographical treasures, among them the famous Codex Sinaiticus of the Bible. The second is the library of the Academy of Sciences, which is growing richer from year to year, and with which is connected the library of the Asiatic Museum of St. Petersburg, where there are many Oriental manuscripts of value. Two famous libraries at Moscow are: that of the Holy Synod, where there is a very large collection of Greek codices; and the library of the Rumianzoff Museum. In the Caucasus there are: the library of the Ecclesiastical Museum of Tiflis, which is rich in ancient Georgian codices; and the library of the monastery of Etchmiadzin, which has a valuable collection of Armenian codices.
ECONOMICS AND FINANCE.—It was only towards the end of the nineteenth century that the budget began to free itself from its continuous fluctuations. In view of the disorder that obtained in its finances during that century, the Government was compelled continually to increase the compulsory acceptance of bank-notes which, from a total of 568 million roubles in 1857, increased to 1100 million roubles by 1883. To meet its obligations, it was obliged to resort to loans which, from 2537 million roubles in 1856, increased to 5424 million roubles in 1883. The Russian budget, both in receipts and in expenses, increases continually: the highest budgets, for receipts and for expenses, were those of 1905 (receipts, 2989 million roubles; expenses, 3194 million roubles); 1906 (receipts, 3423 million roubles; expenses, 3212 million roubles); and 1907 (receipts, 2195 million roubles; expenses, 2582 million roubles). The increased receipts are due to loans, and the increased expenses to the war with Japan. The expenses of the war from 1904 to 1909 amounted to 2,414,923,194 roubles. The budget that was submitted to the Duma and to the Council of the Empire for 1908 fixed the receipts at 2,478,677,241 roubles, and the expenditure at 2,631,495,495 roubles. That for 1909 fixed both the receipts and the expenditure at 2,595,049,000 roubles. Of the receipts 193,882,000 roubles are derived (Statute of 1909) from direct taxation; 523,758,000 from indirect taxation; 140,709,000 from the customs; 806,488,000 from the rights of the State (regalii); 685,670,000 from the properties and capitals of the State; and the remainder from other sources. Of the expenditure, 473,919,000 roubles are for the account of the Ministry of Marine; 393,363,000 roubles are absorbed by the payment of coupons of the Russian Rentes; 89,353,000 roubles are assigned to the Ministry of the Navy; 452,117,000 to the Ministry of Finance; 553,156,000 to the Ministry of Railways and Communications; 154,378,000 to the Ministry of the Interior; 63,937,000 to the Ministry of Public Instruction; 31,663,000 to the Holy Synod, and 71,488,000 to the Ministry of Justice. Among the direct taxes are those upon alcoholic liquors (34,172,000 roubles), upon tobacco (49,028,582 roubles), on sugar (75,541,747 roubles), and on petroleum (31,967,500 roubles). The monopoly of alcoholic drinks yields to the State the enormous sum of 542,288,341 roubles. The Government receives 36,500,000 roubles from the postal service, 21,500,000 roubles from the telegraphs, and 453,500,000 roubles from the railways. Russia has the largest budget in the world, but not in proportion to the number of its inhabitants.
A great portion of the resources of Russia is absorbed by the interest on its debt, which in 1907 amounted to 8,625,560,215 roubles. Of this sum, 3,155,641,839 roubles were on account of the railways. In 1908 the debt amounted to 8,725,523,210 roubles. During 1903-07, on account of the war with Japan, the Russian debt increased by a sum of 2,081,596,540 roubles. For the payment of its foreign Rentes, the Russian Government needs several hundred millions in gold, wherefore its financial policy tends to increase exportations, to favor home industries, and to augment the metallic supply. The law of August 29, 1897, put gold into circulation in Russia; and that of April 28, 1900, guaranteed the payment in gold of notes of credit. In 1908 the bank notes in circulation aggregated a sum of 1200 million roubles; and the gold 578,200,000 roubles, a decrease of 19,400,000 roubles from the preceding year. The principal establishment of credit in Russia is the state bank (gosudarstvennyi bank), which has 8 agencies and 107 branches. Its gold reserve in 1908 amounted to 1200 million roubles, in Russian and in foreign coin, and in bars. Its deposits in precious metals and in securities amounted to 8286 million roubles. In 1862 there were only 2 savings banks in Russia; in 1880 their number had increased to 76, and in 1890 to 1826; in 1900 to 5145, and in 1908 to 6710, with an aggregate of 6,210,238 depositors, and of 1,149,243,581 roubles of deposits. Other important banks are: the Agricultural Bank of the Nobility, the assets of which, on January 1, 1909, amounted to 808,000,000 roubles; the Agricultural Bank of the peasants, which on the same date had assets of 1134 million roubles; the agricultural stock banks (akcionernye zemel’ nye banki), which were established between 1871 and 1873 in the Governments of Kharkoff, Pultowa, St. Petersburg, Tula, Bessarabia, Taurida, Nizhni-Novgorod, Samara, Kieff, Vilna, Yaroslaff, Kostroma, and the Province of the Don Cossacks, the aggregate assets of which, on January 1, 1909, amounted to 1164 million roubles. The first mutual credit society was established at St. Petersburg in 1864; at the present time there are 401 of them, 13 of which are at St. Petersburg. In 1909 there were 368 of these associations, with an aggregate of 208,914 members, and assets of 403 million roubles.
Insurance societies are of long standing in Russia. One of them, the Russian Fire Insurance Society, was established in 1827. In 1907 there were 13 fire insurance societies in the empire, the aggregate receipts of which in 1907 amounted to 107,000,000 roubles, as compared with 99,000,000 in 1906, and 91,000,000 in 1905. The most important of these companies is the Salamandra, which was established in 1846. Life insurance policies are issued also by the State savings banks, which in 1907 issued 1653 policies for the total sum of 3,018,929 roubles. There are 7 Russian and 3 foreign life insurance companies, the first having a combined capital of 90,000,000 roubles, and the second 20,000,000 roubles. In 1907 there were 125 insurance societies in operation in the various cities of Russia. After the law of July 2, 1903, which provided for indemnity to workmen in case of accident at work, nine accident insurance societies appeared, at the industrial centers of Riga, Ivanovo, Warsaw, Moscow, Kieff, Odessa, St. Petersburg, Tchernomoriia, and Bielostok. These societies have a combined capital of 1,700,000 roubles, but the number of workers insured is small (290,775). Besides the establishments that have been mentioned above, there are in Russia 34 commercial banks, 407 mutual credit societies, and 86 pawn offices (monts de piété). In all, there are 1502 institutions of credit in Russia.
MORALITY: STATISTICS OF CRIME.—Statistics show a continual increase of criminality in Russia, due to the increase of the population, the dissemination of socialistic and of revolutionary ideas among the lower classes, the want of culture, and the lack of moral influence of the Orthodox religion. From a total of 266,261 crimes punished by the law in 1901, the figures increased to 271,360 in 1902; 292,907 in 1903; 299,968 in 1904, and 351,710 in 1905. Thefts and crimes against the person represent the greatest number of these crimes. The number of homicides increased considerably in 1905-07, and likewise offenses by the Press. In 1905 there were 141,847 arrests (129,275 men). In the same year 3622 men and 720 women were condemned for homicide. The highest percentage of criminals is furnished by the peasants. In 1906 there were 111,403 arrests; in 1907, 138,501; and to January 1, 1908, 160,025. In 1907 there were 903 prisons. Criminality has assumed great proportions, especially in the Caucasus and Poland, where, on account of political as well as of economic causes, outlawry has increased its numbers to a considerable extent. Political criminality has increased there to an alarming degree. In Poland in 1904-06 760 civil, military, and police employees died by violence, and 864 were wounded; 142 suffered from the explosion of bombs. In Warsaw alone, from 1904 to 1907, 236 police were killed, 179 of them in 1906. The Russian Government has answered these assaults by a multiplication of death sentences, the number of which from 1905 to the present time amounts to several thousand.
HISTORY.—A. The Epoch of the Princes.—Nestor, the Russian chronicler, speaks of the Drevliani, Radimitchi, Viatitchi, Severiani, and of the primitive races of Russia as of beasts, and assails their polygamy, indecency, and the roughness of their ways. A few families would collect to form a village, and a few villages would constitute a voolst governed by a prince; their attempts at cities were few and far between, and the little states, devoid of a central Government, were the prey of internal discord, and too weak to resist the attacks of external enemies. The Slays of the south were tributaries of the Khazari; and according to Nestor, those of the Ilmen, torn by dissensions, sent messengers to the Vareghi, or Variaghi, inviting the latter to the country of the Slays of the Ilmen, which was a land of plenty, but devoid of order and of justice. Russian historians do not agree upon the ethnological relations of the Vareghi, who, according to some authorities, were Scandinavians, and according to others, Slays; while yet others regard them as adventurers made up of both of those races; more frequently however they are recognized as Normans. Be that as it may, the Vareghi accepted the invitation to establish themselves in the country of the Slays of the Ilmen, and opened the era of the national history of Russia—of the Russia of the heroic period; and the region of Kieff, according to ancient chronicles, received the name of Russ.
The first to establish themselves in the territory of the Russian tribes were the three Vareghian brothers, Rurik, Sineus, and Truvor, who came with their druzhine, or bands of warriors. Rurik pitched his tents on the shores of Lake Ladoga; Sineus on the shores of the White Sea; while Truvor established himself at Isborsk. After the deaths of Sineus and Truvor, Rurik took up his abode at Novgorod, where he built a castle. Two other Vareghians, Askold and Dir, installed themselves at Kieff, and reigned over the Poliani; with their fleets of small vessels, they crossed the Bosphorus and attacked Constantinople, which city, according to the Byzantine chroniclers, owed its safety on this occasion to the intercession of Our Lady of the Blachernae. Rurik was succeeded by Oleg, who treacherously murdered Askold and Dir, made himself master of Kieff, to which he gave the name of Mother of Russian Cities, collected a great fleet in 906 to attack Byzantium, and died in the height of his glory, leaving the kingdom to a son of Rurik, Igor. The latter turned his arms unsuccessfully against Byzantium, and died the victim of a barbarous assassination at the hands of the Drevliani in 945. The widow of Igor, Queen Olga, assumed the regency in the minority of her son Sviatoslaff, and cruelly punished the Drevliani for their crimes.
Under Prince Sviatoslaff (964-72), the Khazari were completely defeated, the Petcheneghi put the city of Kieff in danger of destruction, and the Russians, after an heroic resistance, were defeated at Silistria by the Byzantine army under Joannes I Zimiskes. On his return to Russia the Petcheneghi prepared an ambuscade for Sviatoslaff, and killed him and the survivors of his defeated army. The kingdom of Sviatoslaff was inherited by his sons Jaropolk, Oleg, and Vladimir. Jaropolk, who received the Province of Kieff, killed Oleg, who reigned over the Drevliani, and in turn was killed by Vladimir, who had inherited the Province of Novgorod. Before his conversion to Christianity, this prince gave himself up to the most unbridled dissipation. Fortunate in war, he fought successfully against the Poles, the Viatitch, the Radimitchi, the Letts, and the Petcheneghi, and owing to his military successes became the hero of Russian popular songs. His reign lasted from 972 to 1015. Upon the death of Vladimir, his dominions were divided among many heirs, and there were consequent disputes and civil wars. Two of the sons of Vladimir, the princes Boris and Gliebe, were assassinated by Sviatopolk, Prince of Turoff. Yaroslaff, Prince of Novgorod, another son of Vladimir, succeeded in avenging the death of his innocent brothers, and driving Sviatopolk from his throne, he united all Russia under his own scepter and established his seat of government at Kieff. His reign was long and glorious. He inflicted terrible defeats upon the Petcheneghi, the Lithuanians, and the Finnish tribes, but sought in vain to take Constantinople. His far-sighted policy led him to seek intermarriages with the Kings of Poland, Norway, France, and Hungary. Kieff (adorned with its splendid Cathedral of St. Sophia) became the artistic and intellectual center of Russia.
From 1054, however, the political conditions of Russia went from bad to worse, and the want of political unity remained a constant cause of internal weakness. In less than two centuries, according to Pogodin, there were sixty-four independent principalities, 293 princes, and 83 civil wars, to which must be added the continual incursions of the barbarians. The history of Russia during this period is a mass of discordant notices. The chief principalities of that time were Smolensk, Tchernigoff, Northern Novgorod, Ryazan, Murom, Tver, Suzdal, Rostoff, Vladimir, Yaroslaff, Pereiaslaff-Zalieski, Volhynia, Galicia, and others; and these states, upon the death of each of their respective princes, were subdivided into new fiefs. Yaroslaff was succeeded upon the throne of Kieff by his son Iziaslaff, who died in 1078. The son of Iziaslaff, Sviatopolk reigned from 1093 to 1113, during which period questions of the succession to the Principalities of Tchernigoff and Volhynia brought the horrors of civil war upon Russia. Sviatopolk was succeeded by the prudent Vladimir Monomacus (1113-25), who obtained important victories over the Polovcy, Petcheneghi, and Tcherkessi. When he died he left as his testament to his sons an instruction, which is to some extent an autobiography, and which contains wise advice for government. His sons and his grandsons, however, did not profit by it, for their rivalry contributed to the decadence of Kieff, which in 1169 was besieged and taken by the armies of Rostoff, Vladimir, and Suzdal, commanded by Mstislav, son of Andrew Bogoljubski. The city was sacked and its churches profaned. In 1203 it was again sacked by the Polovcy, and Kieff ceased to be the political center of Russia.
After the fall of Kieff, the Principalities of Suzdal, Galicia, Novgorod, and Pskof had a rapid but ephemeral development. The most famous of the princes of Suzdal was Andrew Bogoljubski (1157-74), who owed his fame to his ambition, his military enterprises, his love for the fine arts, and his attachment to the Orthodox Church. The city of Vladimir owes to him the splendid monuments that place it in the front rank of the cities of Russia from an archeological standpoint. Autocracy found in him its staunchest supporter, which, however, cost him his life, for he was assassinated by the boyars at Bogoljubovo, where he had built a monastery. His death was followed by turbulence, caused by the rivalry of the cities of Rostoff, Suzdal, and Vladimir, the last of which was victorious, and developed its power still more under Prince Vsevolod (1176-1212). Further wars of succession led in 1215 to the terrible battle of Lipetsk, in which the troops of Novgorod, Pskof, and Smolensk massacred the army of Suzdal and Murom. Their prince, George II, at the death of his brother Constantine, Prince of Vladimir, fought furiously against the Bulgarians of the Volga, and in 1220, at the confluence of the Oka with the Volga, laid the foundation of Nizhni-Novgorod.
In Galicia, Romano, Prince of Volhynia (1188-1205), assisted by the Poles, established himself at Galitch, became famous through his cruelty and his military enterprises, and died in battle against the Poles. He was succeeded by his son Daniel (1205-1266); this prince allowed the Jews, the Armenians, and the Germans to enter his dominions, and thereby greatly promoted industry and commerce. During this period the free cities of Novgorod, Pskof, and Vyatka, like the Italian republics of the Middle Ages, reached a high degree of splendor, and of economic and artistic development; but, torn by internal dissensions, their power waned, while the power of the German military order of the Brothers of the Militia of Christ, or Sword-Bearers, and that of the Teutonic Order increased; these two orders were formed into a single society in 1237, and subjected the Letts, the Livonians, and the Finns to their influence.
B. Russia under the Tatars.—After uniting all the Tatar tribes under his scepter, Jenghiz Khan (1154-1227) extended his conquest to China, Turkestan, Great Bokhara, and the plains of Western Asia as far as the Crimea; and his successors, continuing the advance, with their hordes crossed the steppes of Southern Russia, and reached the frontiers of the Polovcy; these turned to the Russian princes for assistance. The latter responded to that appeal, and met the Asiatic hordes (1224) at the Kalka, a rivulet that flows into the Sea of Azoff. The princes Mstislav the Rash, Daniel of Galitch, and Oleg of Kursk performed prodigies of valor at the head of their troops; but the numerical superiority of the Tatars and the cowardice of the Polovcy brought defeat upon the Russians, costing them the lives of six princes and seventy boyars. In 1237, led by Baty, the Tatars returned to Russia, burned and destroyed the capital of the Bulgarians in the region of the Volga, and assailed Ryazan, whose princes opposed a desperate resistance, without however being able to save the city from pillage and ruin. Having secured the possession of Ryazan, the Tatars invaded the Principality of Suzdal (1238), and burned Suzdal, Rostoff, Yaroslaff, and many other cities and villages. The Prince of Suzdal, George II, died on the battlefield. In 1239-40, the Tatars continued their devastations through Southern Russia, took Pereiaslaff, Tchernigoff, and Kieff, sowed death and ruin broadcast, and entered Volhynia and Galicia, Novgorod alone escaping the fate of the other Russian cities. In the region of the lower course of the Volga, Baty established his residence (Sarai, the castle), which became the capital of a great Tatar empire, called the Kingdom of the Golden Horde, extending from the Urals and the Caspian Sea to the mouth of the Danube. About 1272 the Tatars of Russia embraced Mohammedanism, became its fanatical preachers, and on this account refrained from mixing with the Russians. At the death of George II his dominions, devastated and pillaged, were inherited by Yaroslaff (1238-46), who was forced to traverse the whole of Russia and Asia to pay homage to the Grand Khan of the Tatars, Oktai. He died of want in the desert, and was succeeded by his son Alexander Nevski, whose name is famous in the national history of Russia on account of his victories over the Teutonic Knights, the Swedes, and the Finns (1246-52).
Following a policy of toleration the very opposite of the Turkish policy towards Christian peoples, the Tatars respected the dynasties and the political institutions of the Russian principalities. Suzdal, Galicia, Volhynia, Tchernigoff, Polotsk, and Novgorod continued to live and to govern themselves as in the past. The Russians were not tatarized, chiefly because differences of religion raised insurmountable barriers between them and the Tatars. The khans of the Golden Horde limited themselves to requiring the external homage of the Russian princes, to acting as arbiters in their quarrels, to imposing a poll-tax, to exacting a military contingent, to reserving the right of investiture over them, and to forbidding them to carry on war without permission. This subjection of the Russians to the Tatars exercised a great influence on Russia. For several centuries the Russians had no contact with Western civilization, and were subjected more directly to the weakening influence of the Byzantine civilization. In their military, economic, and political organization the Russians adopted a great many Tatar institutions. The autocratic government of the Tatar helped to consolidate the autocracy of the Russian princes, which was derived from Byzantium. The Orthodox Russian Church grew in power under the rule of the Tatars, on account of the privileges and exemptions accorded to it. Monasteries were multiplied throughout Russia, and through the donations of the faithful acquired enormous riches. On the other hand, there are Russian writers who believe that they discern Tatar influence in the condition of the women in Russia.
Besides the Tatars, in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries the Russians had to struggle in the western provinces against the aggressive ambition of the Lithuanians, the political union of which people had been established by Prince Mindvog, assassinated in 1263. The territorial expansion of the Lithuanians reached its culmination under Prince Gedimin (1315-40), who extended his conquests to Southern Russia, and subjected to his rule Grodno, Pinsk, Brest, Polotsk, Tchernigoff, Vladimir, and finally Kieff, which had entirely lost its prestige. At his death, his son Olgerd (1345-77) led his victorious armies into the territory of Novgorod, adding to his father’s conquests Vitebsk, Mohileff, Bryansk, northern Novgorod, Kamenetz, and Podolia, and reached the shores of the Black Sea. He would have established his power at Moscow also, if the Teutonic Knights and the Poles had not opposed his ambitious projects. His successor Jagellon (1377-1434) married Hedwig, Queen of Poland, converted the Lithuanians to Catholicism, and established his capital at Cracow. But the conversion of the Lithuanians displeased the obstinate pagans and the members of the Orthodox Church, and these two united under the flag of Vitovt (1392-1430), upon whom Jagellon was obliged to confer the title of Grand Prince of Lithuania. Vitovt, like his predecessors, continued his conquests in Russia, and took and pillaged Smolensk. He also conceived the design of bringing the Tatar domination to an end, and in 1399 at the head of an enormous army of Lithuanians, Poles, and Russians, he gave battle to the Tatars, who routed him completely. Vitovt, however, was not disheartened. In 1410 with a large army of Poles and Lithuanians, to which 40,000 Tatars and 20,000 mercenaries were added, he assailed the army of the Teutonic Knights at Tannenberg, and, notwithstanding their desperate efforts, destroyed their power, while they left the flower of their order on the battlefield.
C. The Principality and the Grand Princes of Moscow.—The name of Moscow appears for the first time in Russian chronicles in 1147. Its founder is said to have been Prince George Dolgoruki, who raised it from a humble village to a city that was destined to become the heart of the great Russian empire. In 1237 it was burned by the Tatars; but having arisen again under Prince George Danilovitch (1303-26), it began its political development. The means adopted for their aggrandizement are certainly not creditable to the princes of Moscow, who, according to Rambaud, used intrigue, corruption, the purchase of consciences, servility towards the Tatars, assassination, and delation. George Danilovitch used the Tatars to destroy the power of the princes of Tver. He was assassinated in 1325 by Prince Demetrius of Tver, and was succeeded by Ivan Kalita, who turned his efforts to transforming Moscow into the metropolis of Russia; he built the Cathedral of the Assumption (Uspenski Sobor) within the enclosure of the Kremlin; and he destroyed the power of the princely dynasty of Tver. His two sons, Simon the Superb (1340-53) and Ivan the Good-Natured (1353-59), continued the policy of their father, the former holding the Russian princes in submission, and taking the title of Grand Prince of all the Russians; and the latter showing himself gentle towards his rivals and towards the Lithuanians when they attempted to encroach upon his rights; he was supported by faithful and intelligent men, among them the metropolitan Alexis, who preserved the throne for Demetrius Ivanovitch, son of Ivan. Demetrius Ivanovitch made the first decisive step towards liberating Russia from the Tatar yoke. After carrying on war with the princes of Suzdal, of Tver, and of Ryazan, he crossed the Don, with a large army and the contingents of many Russian princes subject to him, and on the plain of Kulikovo inflicted a bloody defeat upon Mamaï, Khan of the Golden Horde, who had led against the Russians an immense multitude of Tatars, Turks, Polovcy, Tcherkessi, etc. His victory won him the epithet of Donskoi, but his success was not lasting, for the Tatars, assisted by Tokhtamitch, one of the generals of Timur, laid waste Moscow, Vladimir, Mozhaisk, and Yurieff.
At the death of Demetrius, the Grand Principality of Moscow and Vladimir was inherited by Vassili-Dmitrievitch (1389-1425), was extended by new conquests in the territory of Tchernigoff, Vyatka, and Novgorod, and thereafter consolidated more and more its supremacy over the Tatars, whose empire was wasting away in consequence of internal quarrels. During the reign of his successor, Vasili the Blind (1425-62), a civil war that lasted twenty years desolated the Grand Principality of Moscow, the political development of which was thereby arrested. Nevertheless Muscovite supremacy was established over Novgorod and Ryazan. From 1449 Vasili had associated with himself in the government his son Ivan; who was destined to acquire the epithets of “Great’ and “Consolidator of Russia”. Ivan the Great (1462-1505) found the territory that he inherited at the death of his father surrounded by the Tatar conquests, the Lithuanian Empire, and Sweden. Among the first events of his reign should be mentioned the complete submission of Novgorod to his rule: the ancient and free city retained only the name of republic; in 1495 Ivan destroyed its commerce also, and reduced it to the status of a city of his dominions. At the same time Russian armies were penetrating the north of Russia, conquering the Province of Perm and the city of Vyatka, marching to the shores of the Petchora, and reaching the coast of the White Sea. The Principality of Tver was annexed to that of Moscow, as were also the cities of Bielozersk, Dmitroff, Mozhaisk, and Serpukhoff. The political unity of Russia was being consolidated in proportion as the Tatar empire of the Golden Horde crumbled. In 1480 two great armies of Russians and Tatars almost decided the fate of Russia in open battle. In 1487 the troops of Moscow entered the Tatar city of Kazan, and took its king, Alegam, prisoner to Moscow. Kazan, however, did not become Russian territory, for Ivan the Great rightly feared that a general uprising of the Mussulman Tatars would follow if he annexed it.
From 1492 Ivan turned his arms against Lithuania. The Lithuanians were supported by the Poles, the Teutonic Knights, and the Mussulman Tatars; but many princes among the vassals of the Grand Prince of Lithuania passed to the side of the Muscovites. The war was prolonged for many years, until a truce was brought about by the mediation of Pope Alexander VI and the King of Hungary in 1503. The most important event of the reign of Ivan the Great was his marriage to Sophia Palaeologus, daughter of Thomas Palaeologus, a brother of the last Emperor of Byzantium. This marriage was concluded by Paul II and Cardinal Bessarion, and served as the pretext for the tsars to declare themselves heirs of the Byzantine basileis, to take as their arms the two-headed eagle, and to assume the role of defenders and champions of the Orthodox Church. With Sophia Palaeologus there went to Moscow the surviving representatives of Byzantine culture, and some Italian artists, among whom were the famous architects Aristotele Fioravanti and Pietro Antonio. Ivan the Great then entered into relations with Venice. Through the Princess Sophia, Humanism and the Renaissance flourished for a period at the court of Moscow.
Under Basil Ivanovitch (1505-33), Muscovite Russia grew by the annexation of the Republic of Pskof, the Principalities of Ryazan and Novgorod-Seversk, and the Territory of Smolensk. The political prestige of Russia increased in Europe, and Basil Ivanovitch had diplomatic relations with the pope, France, Austria, Sweden, Turkey, and Egypt. The court of Moscow displayed Asiatic luxury in its feasts. The Tatars, who had again invaded Russian territory, and had reached the walls of Moscow, were met by new campaigns against Kazan (1523 and 1524), which, however, were not successful. In 1533 Ivan IV, a son of Basil, ascended the throne. Posterity has given to him the name of “Terrible” on account of his cruelty, although noted Russian historians like Soloveff and Zabielin have sought to clear his memory and to proclaim his great services to Russia. After freeing himself from the tutelage of the boyars, who lorded it according to their pleasure, in 1547 as heir of the House of Palaeologus he caused himself to be crowned at Moscow as Tsar of all the Russias, conquered Kazan (1552), and Astrakhan (1556), subjugated the Tchermisi, Mordvy, Tchiuvashi, Votiaki, Bashkiri, and Nogais; he fought with varied fortunes against the Teutonic Order in Livonia and against the Poles, and through the daring exploits of Gregory Strogonoff and of the Cossack Irmak Timotheevitch he conquered Siberia. He had the misfortune of seeing his capital burned by the Tatar Khan Devlet Ghirei, and of killing his eldest son Ivan in one of his violent excesses of rage. He died in 1584 and was succeeded by his son Feodor (1584-98), who was born the son of Ivan and Anastasia Romanoff. He married Irene, sister of Boris Godunoff, who coveted the throne, and who became the true tsar in the reign of Feodor. The young prince Demetrius, son of the seventh wife of Ivan the Terrible, was relegated to the city of Uglitch. To the advice of Boris Godunoff also were due the two most important measures of this reign, the institution of serfdom, and of the patriarchate.
To satisfy his thirst for power, Godunoff had the young brother of Feodor, the Tsarevitch Demetrius, and his relations put to death, and made the city of Uglitch pay for having given them hospitality. At the death of Feodor, Boris Godunoff, whose name was to be immortalized by the beautiful tragedy of Pushkin, placed the crown of the tsars upon his own head. He worked to introduce Western civilization into Moscow, and died in 1605. He wished to leave the crown to his son, Feodor Borisovitch; in 1603 however a man, whose identity is still shrouded in mystery, had presented himself to the court and to the Polish nobility as the son of Ivan the Terrible, the young Demetrius whom Boris Godunoff had attempted to murder, but whom his relatives had saved. With the aid of the Polish nobility, Demetrius, known to posterity as Pseudo-Demetrius, succeeded in entering Moscow, where Feodor Borisovitch and his mother paid with their lives for the short reign of Boris Godunoff. But a year later Demetrius died, the victim of a conspiracy, at the head of which was Prince Vasili Shuiski, who then ascended the throne of the tsars.
Russia then entered upon a period of troubles (smutnoe vremia) that nearly brought about its political dissolution. New false Demetriuses appeared. The serfs and the peasants, led by Bolotnikoff, menaced Moscow. The nobles wished to drive the usurper Vasili from the throne. The Poles fomented troubles, and sought to establish their supremacy at Moscow. A Polish army under the orders of the waywode John Sapieha and of Lissowski for sixteen months besieged the shrine of the Holy Trinity and St. Sergius, forty miles from Moscow. But the monks defended themselves so resolutely that they compelled the enemy to raise the siege. Tsar Vasili Shuiski called the Swedes to his assistance, but the King of Poland, Sigismund III, casting aside all pretense, entered upon the conquest of Russia. The inhabitants of Moscow revolted, and compelled Shuiski to abdicate (1610). Menaced from many quarters, they elected Vladislaff, son of Sigismund, to be their tsar, on condition that he would adopt the Orthodox religion. The Polish troops, commanded by the hetman Tolkiewski, entered Moscow. But soon a popular revolt that cost thousands of lives obliged the Polish army to shut itself up in the Kremlin and to set fire to the capital. Sigismund was victorious: Smolensk, after a heroic defense, fell into his hands, and the Tsar Vasili Shuiski died at Warsaw. Russia seemed destined to disappear as a political entity. The people, however, saved her: a butcher of Nizhni-Novgorod instigated his fellow-citizens to give their wealth and their sons to free their country from the foreigner; and the Russian monks and bishops were ardent supporters of this struggle for the defense of Russian orthodoxy and of the power of the tsars. A Russian army was formed at Yaroslaff, and under the command of Prince Demetrius Pozharski marched against Moscow, where the Polish troops, decimated by hunger, capitulated at the moment when Sigismund was drawing near with an army to assist them (1612). A great national assembly convened at Moscow, and elected Michael Romanoff tsar. He was a son of the metropolitan Filarete, who was held a prisoner at Marienburg by the Poles.
Under the new tsar (1613-45), Russia strove to heal its wounds. With Sweden in 1617 the peace of Stolbovo was concluded; but the Poles continued their hostilities, and Vladislaff was ready to march on Moscow. In 1618 however a truce was concluded. Filarete then returned to Moscow, where he became the counsellor of his son, and was associated with him in the empire. At the death of Sigismund III (1632), Vladislaff, having ascended the throne of Poland as Wladislaw IV, took up arms against Russia once more. The war, which was fought with varied fortunes, terminated in the truce of Deulin, by the terms of which Wladislaw recognized Michael Romanoff as tsar. The successor of Michael was Alexis Mikhailovitch (1645-76). His first action was directed against Poland, which, by its political and religious persecution of the Orthodox of Little Russia, had lost the good will of the Cossacks and of the lower classes. A Cossack leader, Bogdan Khelmnicki, raised the banner of revolt, and after several battles the tsar also took up arms in 1654. The Russian armies marched against the Poles, and in a short time invaded the whole of Little Russia and Lithuania. A treaty of peace which was concluded in 1667 made Russia mistress of Kieff, Smolensk, and the right bank of the Dnieper, but reestablished Polish rule in Lithuania. This peace was made necessary by the Cossacks, who, unwilling to submit to authority, menaced the interior tranquility of Russia. One of them, Stenko Razin, put himself at the head of a large band of Cossacks of the Don, passed to the region of the Volga, caused peasants, Tatars, Tchiuvashi, Mordvy, and Tchermisi to revolt, and desolated eastern Russia. His hordes were routed by George Bariatinski near Simbirsk, and he was decapitated at Moscow in 1670. Under the Tsar Feodor Alexievitch (1672-82) the Ukraine and the territory of the Zaporoghi Cossacks definitively became Russian possessions, by the treaty of 1681 with Turkey.
D. Reforms of Peter the Great.—Modern Russia and its political greatness as a European state really begin with Peter the Great. Without him Russia would probably have remained an Asiatic power. Peter I the Great was the son of Alexis Mikhailovitch and his second wife Natalia Naryshkin. He was proclaimed tsar at the age of nine years, and his youth was threatened by the gravest perils. The ambitious Sophia, daughter of Alexis Mikhailovitch and his first wife, Maria Miloslayska, taking advantage of the minority of Peter, succeeded, by intrigue and cunning beyond her age, in holding the regency of the empire for seven years (1682-89), until she was driven from the throne and locked up in the Devici monastery, while her favorites and partisans died on the scaffold or in exile. Sole and absolute sovereign, Peter the Great wished to begin his reign with some great victory. Accordingly, he rapidly built a fleet, with which he compelled the capitulation of Azoff in 1696. This splendid success gave him great prestige. In 1697 he undertook a journey to Western Europe, where he visited Holland, England, and Austria, becoming a mechanic, visiting industrial establishments, and taking workmen and engineers into his employ, while at the same time he busied himself with politics. This voyage to Europe had disastrous effects upon internal order in Russia, for the clergy and the lower classes, with superstitious terror, believed that it would establish foreign influence in Russia, that is to say, would destroy the ancient religious customs of the land. The lower classes considered it sacrilegious to shave off the beard, just as the raskolniki, who were very numerous, regarded it as a crime to use tobacco. Both of these customs Peter the Great had brought to Russia; reports were spread that he was not of royal birth, but was the child of adultery, and that he was the Antichrist who was to be born in those times. Peter the Great returned to Moscow, and quenched the revolution in blood, causing a thousand people to be put to death amid tortures in a single week, and not hesitating to wield the axe himself to decapitate rebels. Two other military revolts, that of the Don Cossacks (1706) and the Cossacks of the Ukraine, which was brought about by the hetman Mazeppa, who had allied himself to Charles XII of Sweden, were crushed by Peter’s generals.
The conquest of the Baltic led Peter the Great to make war on Sweden. The Russian troops were defeated in 1700 under the walls of Narva; but in 1701 Prince Seremeteff inflicted a severe defeat upon the Swedish general Slipenbach, near Fhresfer, and a more severe one in 1702 near Hummelsdorf, after which he took the fortress of Nienschantz which the Swedes had built at the mouth of the Neva. Narva fell into the hands of Peter the Great in 1704. In 1708 Charles XII of Sweden invaded Russia at the head of an army of 43,000 veterans, and took the way to Moscow through Lithuania; but a most severe winter and the want of provisions decimated his troops. On July 8, 1709, under the walls of Pultowa, a Russian army of 60,000 men attacked the Swedes, who were reduced to extremes by hunger and sickness. Both sides fought heroically, but the Swedish army was destroyed and Charles XII was compelled to seek refuge in Turkey. By this victory, which has remained famous in history, Russia raised her flag on the shores of the Baltic, while Sweden fell from the rank of a great European power.
Crowned with the halo of victory, Peter the Great displayed greater energy in his purpose to combine Western civilization with the ancient Russian life, preserving however those Russian customs that seemed to him to be useful to his empire. For example the serfdom of the agricultural classes was sanctioned by laws, and all the peasants were bound to fixed residence and to per capita taxation. The inhabitants of the cities were divided into guilds, according to trades or professions; foreigners were authorized to carry on commerce and to devote themselves to the industries in Russia; women were taken from their isolation and from the retirement of the terem; he instituted the directing senate to take the place of the ancient duma of the boyars; the provincial administration was reorganized; many abuses of the bureaucracy were rooted out; the army received a European organization, and was increased to 210,000 men; the ancient organization of the Russian Church was destroyed by the institution of the Holy Synod; religious tolerance was established; commerce and industry were developed; a great number of schools and printing-houses were founded; and at the mouth of the Neva he built his capital, St. Petersburg, the “window opened towards the West”; the head of Russia, as Moscow is its heart. And in order to reduce so many reforms to practice in the face of the hostility, sometimes open, sometimes covert, of his subjects, Peter the Great used all the resources of his iron will, all the arms that autocracy placed in his hands, not excluding violence and cruelty.
The work of these reforms did not take the mind of the great reformer from his military enterprises. In 1711 he crossed the Dniester at the head of 30,000 men, bent on the conquest of Constantinople; but an army of 200,000 Turks and Tatars on the banks of the Pruth compelled him to abandon his ambitious dream and to restore Azoff to Turkey. In 1713 the Russian fleet, under the direction of Admiral Apraxin and of Peter the Great himself, took possession of Helsingfors and Abo in Finland, and drew near to Stockholm. After a pause of a few years; war with Sweden was renewed in 1719 and continued until the peace of Nystad put an end to it in 1721, securing to Russia the possession of Livonia, Esthonia, Ingermanland, a part of Finland, and a part of Karelia. In the following year Russian troops marched to the frontier of Persia, invaded Daghestan, Ghilan, and Mazandaran, and took possession of Derbent.
But the military and political successes of Peter the Great were embittered by domestic tragedies. His first wife, Eudocia Lapukhina, was opposed to the reforms, and was therefore compelled to lock herself up in the Pokrovski monastery at Suzdal. The son of Eudocia, Alexis, held to his mother’s ideas, and hated his father’s reforms. He left Russia while Peter the Great was travelling in the West, and sought refuge at Vienna and Naples. Having been discovered, he returned to St. Petersburg, where his father subjected him to torture, and thereby discovered that Alexis and his mother were the soul of a conspiracy to destroy Peter’s work. Eudocia was beaten with rods; the counsellors and partisans of Alexis died amid the most dreadful sufferings; and Alexis himself, having been subjected to torture several times, died in consequence, or was executed, in 1718. By his ukase in 1723, Peter the Great declared Catherine empress. She was a native of Livonia who, after being the mistress of Sheremeteff and Menshikoff, had become the mistress of Peter, who had married her in 1712. The great reformer died in 1725. However historians may differ in their opinions of him, Peter was certainly the founder of modern Russia.
E. The Successors of Peter the Great.—The brief reigns of Catherine I (1725-27) and of Peter II Alexeevitch, son of Alexis and Charlotte of Brunswick, offer nothing of interest, except the struggle for political influence between the Menshikoffs and the Dolgorukis. At the death of Peter II, Anna Ivanovna, Duchess of Courland, became Empress of Russia, and an attempt by the aristocracy to establish a supreme council to limit the autocratic power cost the lives of its authors, among whom were several of the Dolgoruki. The empress surrounded herself with Germans; and among them, a Courlander of low extraction, named Biren, became very influential. On his account the reign of Anna Ivanovna received the name of Bironovshshina. Very many nobles paid with their lives for the antipathy they felt towards the new regime, and measures of public finance reduced the peasants to extreme poverty, while Anna indulged in unheard of luxury, and her court distinguished itself for its immorality and dissipation. At the death of Anna in 1740 the regency passed to Anna Leopoldovna of Mecklenburg, who continued the German regime and gave to Elizabeth, daughter of Peter the Great, timely occasion to drive her from the throne and to imprison her with her husband and her children at Kholmogory, while Elizabeth proclaimed herself Empress of all the Russias. Elizabeth Petrovna (1756-1762), notwithstanding her dissolute habits, continued the traditions of her father: the senate was reestablished; industry was developed; great impulse was given to commerce; the severity of corporal punishment was mitigated; the University of Moscow was established; St. Petersburg was embellished with splendid buildings designed by the Italian architect Rastrelli; the Academy of Sciences, founded by Peter the Great and Catherine I, began its period of fruitful literary work; while the Russian armies conquered southern Finland and weakened the power of Prussia, which suffered the disasters of Grossjagernsdorf (1757) and Kunersdorf (1759). In 1760 the armies of Elizabeth made their triumphal entrance into Berlin.
Elizabeth was succeeded by Peter III, a son of Anna Petrovna and Charles Frederick, Duke of Holstein. His reign was very short, for his ambitious consort, Princess Sophia of Anhalt-Zerbst, who became celebrated under the name of Catherine II, compelled him to abdicate, leaving her to reign alone in 1762. The first great events of her government were the war with the Turks and the partition of Poland. Against the Turks, Catherine sent Prince Galitzin, who in 1769 near Chotin defeated a Turkish army three times larger than his own. In the following year (1770), Rumiantzeff obtained a still more decisive victory at Kagul, where with 17,000 Russians he defeated a Turkish army of 150,000 men. In 1771 Prince Dolgoruki took possession of the whole of the Crimea, from which he drove the Turks. At the same time, the Russian Baltic fleet annihilated the Turkish fleet in the roads of Chios and in the port of Tchesme. Hostilities were resumed in 1772, and culminated in the treaty of Kutchuk-Kainardji (1774), by which the independence of the Tatars of the Crimea was recognized, while Azoff, Kinburn, and the strongholds of the peninsula were ceded to Russia, which received a war indemnity of 4,500,000 roubles. The treaty of January 15, 1772, between Russia and Prussia sanctioned the iniquitous division of Poland, which was desired by Frederick II and was hastened by the policy of the Polish nobility and, to a great extent, of the clergy. By this division Russia added to her dominions White Russia (Polotsk, Vitebsk, Orsha, Mohileff, Mstislavl, and Gomel), with 1,600,000 inhabitants; Austria received eastern Galicia and Ruthenia (or Red Russia), with 2,500,000 inhabitants; and Prussia received the provinces of western Prussia (except Thorn and Danzig), with 900,000 inhabitants.
To these victories and conquests Catherine added her efforts to give to Russia a good internal government: she established a commission, a species of national representation of the different peoples of Russia, to frame a new code of laws (1766-68); she suppressed the revolt of Emilius Pugatcheff, a Raskolnik Cossack, who, pretending to be Peter III, escaped from his butchers, carried fire and sword through the region of the Volga, stirred the serfs and the Cossacks to revolt, and massacred many nobles (1773); by a ukase in 1775 she divided Russia into fifty governments, and the governments into districts; she reorganized the administration of justice, and established a better apportionment of the rights and privileges of the various social classes; she secularized the property of the clergy, and founded at Moscow the Vospitatelnyi dom for orphans, gave efficient aid to the literary movement of her age, and became famous also as a writer; she corresponded with learned Europeans (especially with the French Encyclopaedists), promoted the arts, and enriched the museums. Meanwhile skillful generals, among whom was Catherine’s favorite, Potemkin, added new glories to the military history of Russia. Gustavus III of Sweden, notwithstanding the naval victory of Svenska-Sund (July 9, 1790), was unable to take land from Russia. Rumiantzeff, Potemkin, Suvaroff, and Soltikoff, one after another, defeated the Turkish armies, took Otchakoff and Ismail by assault, and compelled Turkey, at the Peace of Jassy (1792), to make new cessions of territory (Otchakoff and the coast between the Bug and the Dnieper) and to grant independence to the principalities of the Danube.
Under Catherine II there took place the third Partition of Poland, which the heroism of Kosciuszko was not able to avert. By this partition Russia added Volhynia, Podolia, Little Russia, and the remainder of Lithuania to her empire (1795). Catherine died November 17, 1796, at the age of 67 years. Thanks to her policy and to the victories of her generals she had greatly increased the territory of Russia, extending its frontiers to the Niemen, the Dniester, and the Black Sea. Paul I (1796-1801) at first followed a policy of peace; he introduced wise economic reforms, and reestablished the principle of succession to the throne in the male line. But the French Revolution compelled him to enter an alliance with Turkey, England, and Austria against France. The Russian troops, under the orders of Rimsky-Korsakoff, entered Switzerland, and under Suvaroff they marched into upper Italy. The campaign was not a successful one for the Russians, but their retreat under Suvaroff through the Alps, where they were shut in by the French armies (1799), has remained famous. Paul I was assassinated by a palace conspiracy on the night of 23—March 24, 1801, and Alexander I (1801-25) ascended the throne. The new emperor took part in the epic struggle of Europe against Napoleon. On December 2, 1805, was fought the battle of Austerlitz, which cost Russia the flower of her army and very nearly the life of Alexander himself. On February 6, 1807, at Eylau, the Russian troops under Bennigsen, after a bloody battle in which they lost 26,000 men killed and wounded, were compelled to retreat. On April 25, 1807, Russia and Prussia signed the convention of Bartenstein, by which those two powers became allied against France; and on June 14 of the same year the decisive defeat of Bennigsen at Friedland led Alexander to conclude with Napoleon the treaty of Tilsit, which was ratified October 12, 1808, at Erfurt. At peace with France, Russia turned her arms against Turkey, whose armies were defeated at Batynia by Kamenski (1810), and at Slobodsia by Kutuzoff (1811). The congress of Bukarest (1812) insured to Russia the possession of Bessarabia. At the same time Russia was at war with Persia.
The Polish question and the Russian national sentiment, which was excited to a high degree against the French, brought about the great war between Russia and France, a war that led to the ruin of the Napoleonic empire. The French army, consisting of 600,000 men of the various European nationalities, crossed the Russian frontiers, entered Vilna, and on August 18, 1812, fought the Russians in a bloody battle at Smolensk. The battle of Borodino was fought on September 7, and cost the Russians 40,000 men, while the French lost 30,000. On September 14 Napoleon entered Moscow to the sound of the Marseillaise. The city was set on fire. On the other hand an exceptionally severe winter set in. After a stay of thirty-five days at Moscow, Napoleon began the retreat, during which he was obliged to defend himself, not only against the regular Russian troops, but also against the Cossacks and the peasants in search of booty. Between 26 and November 29, on the right bank of the Beresina, near Studienka, 40,000 men of the Grand Army held 140,000 Russians in check, and with Napoleon succeeded in making a safe retreat. On December 30, after Homeric struggles, Marshal Ney recrossed the Niemen with the remnant of the army. The Grand Army of Napoleon had left 330,000 men killed and wounded in Russia. Russia had repelled the invader from her soil, and on February 28, 1813, allied herself to Prussia by the Treaty of Kalish.
The military genius of Napoleon and his victories were unable to save his throne. On March 31, 1814, Alexander I and the allied armies entered Paris. The Congress of Vienna (1815) placed the Kingdom of Poland again under the scepter of the Tsars, and withdrew that unhappy nation from the number of the free peoples. Its autonomy, however, remained to it under Alexander I, who also organized Finland as an independent grand duchy. That prince had a mind that was open to Liberal ideas, which found a convinced promoter in the minister Speransky (1806-12); but the intrigues of Speransky’s enemies undermined the influence that he exercised with Alexander, and his place was taken by Araktcheyeff, a man whose name in Russia is synonymous with blind reaction and ferocity. The reformist policy of Speransky ceased, and measures of the severest intolerance were adopted in politics, and even in the sciences and literature. Alexander I was becoming more and more of a mystic, when death overtook him at Taganrog on December 1, 1825. The popular imagination transformed him into a legendary hero, into a sovereign who, to expiate his faults, adopted the garb of a muzhik, and lived and died unknown among his most humble subjects.
Alexander was succeeded on December 24, 1825, by Nicholas I, third son of Paul I. The beginning of his reign was marked by a revolution that broke out in December, and brought to its authors the name of Dekabristi or Decembrists. The most cultured and eminent men of Russia were engaged in this conspiracy, among them Pestel, Ryleeff, Muravieff-Apostol, and Bestuzheff-Riumin, who sought to establish a constitutional regime. Nicholas was most severe. The Decembrists ended their lives in Siberia or on the scaffold. They are regarded as the most illustrious martyrs of liberty in Russia. In his domestic policy Nicholas I continued the work of his predecessors with regard to the codification of the Russian laws. In 1830 there appeared the “Complete Collection of Russian Laws”; in 1838 the “Collection of Laws in Force”, and in 1845 the penal code. The work of canal-making was continued, and the first railways in Russia were built; but every literary or political manifestation of Liberal ideas found in Nicholas I a fierce and inexorable adversary.
In his foreign policy Nicholas continued the war with Persia, which by the treaty of February 22, 1828 was compelled to cede the Provinces of Erivan and Nakhitchevan, to pay a war indemnity, and to grant commercial concessions. The Russian fleet, together with the French and the English fleets, took part in the Battle of Navarino (October 20, 1827), in which the Turkish fleet was destroyed, and by which the independence of Greece was established. Russia continued the war against Turkey in 1828 and 1829, until the Treaty of Adrianople (1829) secured to her the gains which she expected from her victories: the acquisition of Turkish territory and commercial advantages. After a series of military expeditions, the Khan of Khiva finally became a vassal of the tsar (1854). The Polish insurrection of 1830, which was desired by the people rather than by the cultured and leading classes, put Poland and Lithuania at the mercy of fire and sword in 1830 and 1831, and cost Poland her autonomy, brought on her the policy of russianization, and led to the exile of thousands of victims to Siberia. Austria and Germany gave to Russia their moral support in her severe repression of the Polish revolution, which on the other hand found many sympathizers in France. Nicholas I was the most determined enemy of the European revolution of 1848. In 1849 the Russian army suppressed the Hungarian revolution, and saved the throne of Francis Joseph. In 1853 the question of the Holy Places, the antagonism of France and Russia in the East, and the ambition of Nicholas for a Russian protectorate over all the Orthodox states of the Balkans brought about the war between Russia and Turkey, and in 1854 the Crimean War. Turkey, England, and France, and later Piedmont allied themselves against Russia. The allied fleets burned or bombarded the maritime strongholds of Russia, and in 1854 the allied armies invaded the Crimea, where on September 20 the battle of the Alma opened to them the way to Sebastopol. The Russians had prepared to make a desperate defense of that city, under one of the most daring and talented generals of the Russia of our day, Todleben. But the fortunes of the Crimean campaign now appeared disastrous for Russia. Nicholas I was heart-broken by it, and unable to withstand the blow that it dealt to his pride, he died of a broken heart March 3, 1855, while the star of Russian power in the East waned.
The first care of his successor, Alexander II (1855-1881), was to bring the Crimean War to an honorable termination, and to prevent the political and economic ruin of Russia. Sebastopol had fallen on September 8, 1855. The war had cost Russia 250,000 men, and the Government had not funds to continue it. The Congress of Paris, on February 25, 1856, obliged Russia to accept terms of peace by which all the efforts and sacrifices of Peter I) Catherine II, and Alexander I to establish their power at Constantinople came to naught. The Black Sea was opened to all nations, and Russia was refused the protectorate over Christians in the East. Alexander II understood that, to remedy the evil results of the Crimean War, it was necessary to establish great social reforms, and to curtail the power and limit the abuses of the bureaucracy. On February 19, 1861, an imperial decree proclaimed the end of the serfdom of the rural classes, and restored to freedom 23,000,000 serfs. Important reforms were introduced into the administration of justice and that of the provincial governments; corporal punishment was abolished; the censorship of the Press was made less severe; foreigners were granted the same privileges enjoyed by Russians, and the privileges of the universities that Nicholas I had abolished were restored. By all of which Alexander II acquired the good will of his people, who gave to him the title of Tsar Liberator. Other reforms were intended to mitigate the painful conditions of the Poles, whom the iron hand of Nicholas I had despoiled of their autonomy. But the imprudence of the Nationalist parties provoked the new Polish insurrection of 1863, which, notwithstanding the pacific remonstrances of France, Austria, and England, brought its deathblow to Polish free government, cost Poland thousands of victims, and transformed that land into a field open to all the abuses of russianization. The Polish language was officially replaced by the Russian. Finland on the contrary was confirmed in all its privileges by Alexander II, who was exceptionally favorable to the German nobility of the Baltic provinces.
During the reign of Alexander II, Russia took an active part in the affairs of Asia and Europe. The Russian troops continued their slow, but persevering, invasion of Asia. The Kirghiz and the Turkomans became the vassals of Russia; the Khanates of Khokand and Samarkand were annexed to Russian territory, while those of Khiva and Bokhara were declared vassals; the influence of Russia over Persia was firmly established; the treaty of Tientsin (1858), and that of Peking (1860), secured to Russia the possession of all the left bank and of part of the right bank of the Amur; in all, 800,000 sq. miles. In 1867 Russia sold her American possessions to the United States. In 1875 Japan ceded the island of Sakhalin.
In Europe, under the guidance of the imperial chancellor, Prince Alexander Gortchakoff, Russia recognized the unity of Italy, and remained indifferent to the aggrandizement of Prussia and the crushing of France in 1870. On January 21, 1871, she recognized the German Empire. As the price of her neutrality, Russia demanded the abrogation of the clause of the treaty of 1856 which limited her military power on the Black Sea. A convention with Turkey (March 18, 1872) stipulated that Russia and Turkey could erect fortifications on the coasts of the Black Sea, and maintain fleets on its waters. The insurrection of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the war of Servia and Montenegro against Turkey (1876), the Bulgarian massacres (1875), and the victory, and later the defeat, of the Servian army at Djunis (1876) provoked a new crisis in the affairs of the East. Russia took up arms again in defense of the Slays of the Balkans. In April, 1878, the Russian armies crossed the Pruth and entered Rumania. The war was a bloody one. The Turkish generals, Suleiman Pasha, Osman Pasha, and Mukhtar Pasha, fought with great bravery; but the tenacity of the Russians, their enthusiasm for a war that seemed sacred to them, from the national and from the religious point of view, and the valor and military genius of the Russian generals, especially of Todleben and Skobeleff, triumphed. The most important episodes of the campaign were the repeated battles in the Shipka Pass (August 16—September 17) and the taking of Plevna (December 10), when the Russians themselves expressed their admiration of the heroism of Osman Pasha and his troops. The Rumanians, Servians, and Montenegrins fought beside the Russians, and with equal valor. From victory to victory the Russians marched with rapid strides along the road to Constantinople, and established themselves at San Stefano. Russia’s ideal would have been attained if England had not stood in her way. On March 3, 1878, the Russian ambassador, Ignatieff, signed with the Sublime Porte the Treaty of San Stefano, by which the Balkan States were organized. Russia received a war indemnity of 310,000,000 roubles, the Armenian districts of Batum, Kars, Ardahan, and Bayazid, and the part of Bessarabia that was united to the Danubian Principalities in 1856. But the advantages that Russia obtained by the Treaty of San Stefano were revoked in great measure by the Treaty of Berlin (July 13, 1878). The map of the Balkans was remodeled so as to make Russia lose the influence that she had acquired over the Balkan States by her victories, while she saw the appearance in the East of a dangerous competitor, Austria, who had become the protector, and later the master, of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Russia surrendered Bayazid, and the course of the Danube from the Iron Gates to the Black Sea was declared neutral and closed to ships of war.
The victories obtained over the Turks had not been sufficient to destroy the germs of revolution in Russia, fomented by the Nihilists. Alexander II was preparing to give a constitution to his people when the Nihilist plot of March 13, 1881, put a tragic end to his life. He was succeeded by his son, Alexander III (1881-94). The constitutional projects of Alexander II were entirely abandoned; the counsellors of the tsar, and especially Ignatieff and Katkoff, bitter enemies of Liberalism, induced the emperor to give to the principle of autocracy his strongest sanction. This reign was marked by the terrible massacres of the Jews in 1881 and 1882; by the disorders of the universities in 1882 and 1887, which led the government to subject the universities to severe supervision; by the rigorous censorship of the Press; by the promulgation of a collection of laws that were intended to complete the work of liberation of the serfs and to better the economic condition of the rural classes; and lastly, by the great economic and military development of Russia. The work of russianization was continued with activity, even with ferocity. The Caucasus lost its administrative autonomy; cruel and inhuman laws were framed against the Poles; the Jews were reduced to despair and hunger; the German Protestants of the Baltic provinces were treated like the Poles; and the autonomy of Finland lacked little of being destroyed by force.
Alexander III continued with the greatest success the Russian invasion of Asia. Russian territory, notwithstanding the opposition of England, grew at the expense of Afghanistan, China, and Korea; the building of the Trans-Caspian Railway opened to Russia the strategic ways of Persia, Afghanistan, and India; the Trans-Siberian Railway was to endow Russia with an open sea, and to open a way of communication between Moscow and the Pacific Ocean. The influence of Russia in the Balkans waned under Alexander III. The severity of the court of St. Petersburg towards Prince Alexander of Battenberg, and towards the national sentiment of the Bulgarians, and the tenacity with which Stambuloff conducted the campaign against the Russian policy in his country, greatly diminished the gratitude and good will of the Bulgarians towards Russia. The most important event in the foreign relations of Russia during the reign of Alexander III was the understanding with France. Russia at first leaned towards Germany; but after the German conventions with Austria (1879 and 1882) and the formation of the Triple Alliance, she turned to France; for her friendly relations with this power Russia had also financial reasons, because she needed funds for the construction of her railways, especially the Trans-Siberian; and as the money market of Berlin had been closed to Russia by Bismarck, the French had lent her, in the years 1887, 1889, 1890, and 1891, more than 3,000,000,000 francs. In 1891 the French fleet, commanded by Admiral Gervais, visited Kronstadt, where the French sailors were received with an enthusiastic welcome. In June, 1893, a commercial treaty created more intimate relations between the two powers.
F. The Reign of Nicholas II.—The successor of Alexander III is Nicholas II, b. May 6, 1868, and married November 14, 1894, to the daughter of Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse, the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. The reign of Nicholas II has been unfortunate for Russia. He was crowned at Moscow in May, 1896, in the presence of delegates of nearly all the civilized nations and of a special mission of the Holy See, at the head of which was Cardinal Agliardi; and a few days after his coronation, on the occasion of a feast given in his honor, a thousand people were crushed to death by crowding. In 1898 a convention between China and Russia placed Port Arthur under the control of the latter power for a space of twenty-five years, granted the right to connect that port with the Trans-Siberian Railway, and secured to the Russians a free way to the Pacific Ocean. By this convention Russia took a preponderant position in the Far East, and already contemplated the conquest of Korea, to the detriment of Japan. In 1896 China had already granted to Russia the right of way for the prolongation of the Trans-Siberian Railway as far as Mukden. The domestic policy, thanks especially to the inspirations of de Plehve and of Constantini Pobiedonostseff, was one of fierce repression and russianization. It was intended to crush the Polish element and to deprive Finland of its autonomy. To carry out this policy, General Bobrikoff was appointed governor of Finland. He fell in 1898 a victim of the exasperated patriotism of a student. The Jews especially were made objects of legal as well as illegal persecutions, which led to the massacres of Gomel and Kishineff in 1903. This policy of russianization brought about a renewal of the activities of the terrorists, who in 1901 and 1902 murdered the ministers of public instruction, Bogoliepoff and Sipiagin, and in 1904 de Plehve.
In 1899 at the initiative of Nicholas II the conference of the Hague was convoked, to consider the question of disarmament and the maintenance of universal peace. How commercial this initiative was, Russia herself soon showed, for in 1904 she broke off diplomatic negotiations with Japan. The Japanese demanded that Russia should evacuate Manchuria and give up her project of conquering Korea. The war was fought with equal valor by both combatants on land and sea; but the Russians lost Port Arthur, were driven from Korea, and saw their fleet annihilated at Tsushima. Russia could have continued her disastrous war, but the growth of the revolution at home compelled her to consent to the proposals of peace that were made by President Roosevelt of the United States. On August 16, 1905, there was concluded at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, U.S., a peace that was ratified on October 1 of the same year. Meanwhile Russia was in the throes of the revolution. In January, 1905, the troops fired upon thousands of workmen who were making a demonstration and there were several hundred victims. In February the Grand Duke Sergius was torn to fragments by a bomb. A man-of-war of the Black Sea fleet mutinied: a military revolt broke out at Viborg. The tsar, to stop the revolutionary flood, in October granted a constitution by an imperial decree in which he proclaimed liberty of conscience, of the Press, and of association, reestablished the ancient privileges of Finland, and promised to alleviate the conditions of the non-Russian subjects of the empire.
On April 27, 1906, the Duma, which consisted in great part of Liberal members, was opened. It lasted two months. The right of suffrage was limited; nevertheless, the second Duma, which lasted a hundred days, had a revolutionist and socialist majority. The government reformed the electoral laws, and in that way was able to secure the election of a Duma that was more in accord with its wishes, containing among its members forty-two priests and two bishops of the Orthodox Church. Notwithstanding the proclamation of liberty of conscience and of the Press, there was a return to the old policy, recourse being had to the most severe methods of repression to put down revolutionary movements and the ferocious banditism of Poland and the Caucasus. Exceptional laws against the Poles and Finns were revived.
From 1907 to 1911 the Russian Government, though constitutional in appearance, has endeavored to strengthen its autocratic regime and to render illusory all its promises of constitutional liberty. During this period, the reins of government were in the strong and energetic hands of Peter Arkadevitch Stolypin, b. at Srednikovo near Moscow, 1862, and governor of Saratoff in 1906. Appointed to the Ministry of the Interior April 26, 1906, and premier on July 8, 1906, he applied himself with unshaken purpose to reestablish internal order in Russia. In the beginning he seemed to be animated by Liberal sentiments, but pressure from the court party and on the other hand the crimes of the Terrorists led him to ally himself with that faction of the Duma which opposed the constitution as harmful to the solidarity of Russia. In internal politics he sought to limit the powers of the Duma, to maintain in all their vigor the laws against the Jews, to crush the obstinacy of the Finns by transforming the Government of Viborg into a Russian province and impeding in every way the Diet of Helsingfors, to suppress the Polish national movement by limiting the number of Polish deputies in the Zemstva of western Russia, and by dividing administratively the Province of Chelm from the Kingdom of Poland. In foreign politics Russia has suffered from its defeat in the war with Japan. The annexation of Bosnia and Herzogovina came near precipitating a conflict between Austria and Russia, almost involving all the Slays of the Balkan states, but Austria’s military superiority, in addition to the support of the German Emperor, induced Russian diplomacy to moderate its demands. In the meantime, Russia has been preoccupied in reorganizing its own military and naval forces, in efficaciously directing colonizations in Siberia, in penetrating tentatively into Persia, and in agitating its own political propaganda in the Austrian provinces of Galicia and Bukovina. The revolution seemed to have been suppressed when, in September, 1911, Stolypin, in the Imperial Theatre of Kieff, fell under the dagger of a Jewish lawyer called Bogroff. He expired exclaiming that he was always ready to die for the tsar. The tsar selected as his successor Kokovtzoff, an economist of European fame, who entertains the same political ideas as Stolypin and continues his methods of government.
THE RELIGION OF RUSSIA.—A. The Origin of Russian Christianity.—There are two theories in regard to the early Christianity of Russia; according to one of them, Russia was Catholic from the times when she embraced Christianity until the twelfth century; the other holds that Russia was always Orthodox, i.e., an adherent of the Greek schism, from the time when Christian missionaries first crossed her frontiers. The first of these theories is held by Catholics, whose arguments were condensed and developed by Vizzardelli (“Dissertatio de origine christianae religionis in Russia”, Rome, 1826), and, more amply, by Father Verdière, S.J. (“Origines catholiques de l’Église russe jusqu’au XIIe siècle”, Paris, 1856). Russian Orthodox writers unanimously reject the conclusions that Verdière demonstrated in the form of theses, which, to us, appear to be without solid foundations. The history of Russian Christianity dates from the ninth century; by which it is not implied that Christianity was entirely unknown to the Russians before that period, for the merchants of Kieff were in frequent communication with Constantinople: one of the quarters of the flourishing metropolis, St. Mamante, was inhabited by them, and there is no doubt that there were Christians among them. On the other hand, some nucleus of Christianity must have existed at Kieff before Photius, as he himself relates in his encyclical letter to the Patriarchs of the East, sent a bishop and missionaries to that city. On account of this action, Photius is considered to have introduced Christianity into Russia. His testimony is repudiated by Catholic writers, who claim for St. Ignatius the glory and the initiative of this evangelical mission to Russia. There are no valid arguments, however, to throw doubt upon the authenticity of the information that has been handed down by Photius, as is proved in the present writer’s work “La conversione dei Russi al cristianesimo, e la testimonianza di Fozio”, in “Studii religiosi”, t. I, 1901, pp. 133-61.
According to the national chronicler Nestor, many Russians were Christians in 945, and had at Kieff the Church of St. Elias (“La chronique de Nestor”, t. I, Paris, 1834, p. 65). In 955 Olga, widow of Igor, went to Constantinople, where she was baptized by the Patriarch Poliutus (956-70), and, loaded with rich gifts that she received from Constantine Porphyrogenitus (912-59), she returned to Kieff, and devoted herself to the conversion of her fellow-countrymen. The schism between the Churches of the East and of the West was not yet accomplished; and therefore Olga, who received in baptism the name of Helen, is venerated as a saint also by the United Ruthenians. Western chroniclers relate that Olga sent an embassy to the Emperor Otto I, to ask for Latin missionaries, and that Otto charged Adaldag, Bishop of Bremen, to satisfy that request. Adaldag consecrated as bishop of the Russians Libutius, a monk of the Convent of St. Albano, who died before entering Russia. He was succeeded by Adalbertus, a monk of the convent of St. Maximinus, at Trier. The Russians, however, received the Latin bishop badly, killed several of his companions, and constrained him to return to Germany. It may be observed that Assemani and Karamzin do not admit that Latin missionaries came to Russia with Adalbertus.
The efforts of Olga to convert her son Sviatoslaff to Christianity were unsuccessful. Vladimir, son of Sviatoslaff, has the glory of having established Christianity as the official State religion in Russia. According to the legend, Vladimir received Mohammedan, Latin, and Greek legates, who urged him to adopt their respective religions. The Greeks finally triumphed. Vladimir marched with an army towards the Taurida, and in 998 took Kherson; then he sent ambassadors to the Emperors Basilius and Constantine, asking for the hand of their sister Anna, which he obtained on condition that he would become a Christian. He was baptized by the Bishop of Kherson, who, according to Russian chroniclers, made Vladimir read a profession of faith that was hostile to the “corrupt” doctrine of the Latins. Thereafter, taking with him the relics of Pope St. Clement and of that pope’s disciple, Phebus, as well as sacred vessels and images, Vladimir returned to Kieff, accompanied by his consort, and by some Greek missionaries. Once there he caused the idol of Perun to be thrown into the Dnieper, and on the site that it occupied built a Christian church, also commanding that all his subjects, without distinction of age, should be baptized. The inhabitants of Kieff yielded before his threats; but those of Novgorod resisted and suffered severe treatment. The Russians were baptized, but they did not receive Christian instruction and education; the ancient beliefs and habits of Paganism endured, and survived for many centuries; consequently the moral influence of Christianity was not efficiently exercised upon the Russian people. Vladimir erected a church in honor of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, under the direction of Grecian artists. Thanks to his solicitude, the Russian Church was endowed with a hierarchy, a metropolitan, bishops, and priests. At first this hierarchy was Greek; the metropolitans were appointed and consecrated by the Patriarch of Constantinople, went to Russia as foreigners, and remained such. They succeeded, however, in inspiring the Russians with hatred for the Latin Church. The metropolitans Leontius (dead in 1004), George (1072), Ivan II (dead in 1089), and Nicephorus I (1103-21) wrote the first polemical works of Russian literature against the Latins.
B. Catholicism in Russia, from the Twelfth Century to the Council of Florence.—Although the Russian Church in its earliest periods was completely dominated by the clergy of Constantinople who made the schism, the relations between Russian princes and the Holy See, begun under Vladimir, subsisted for several centuries. Russian documents testify that Vladimir in 991 sent an embassy to Rome, and that three embassies went from Rome to Kieff, sent by John XV (985-96), and by Sylvester II (999-1003). A German chronicler, Dithmar, relates that a Saxon missionary, consecrated archbishop by the Archbishop of Magdeburg, went to Russia, where he preached the Gospel, and was killed with eighteen of his companions on February 14, 1002. At about that time Reinbert, Bishop of Kolberg, went to Russia with the daughter of Boleslaus the Intrepid, bride of Sviatopolk, the son of Vladimir. He strove to diffuse Catholicism in Russia, and died a prisoner. Other missionaries continued their Apostolic efforts; but Russia was already lost to Catholicism. The Metropolitan Nicephorus I (1103-21) regarded the Latin Church as schismatic, and reproached it with a long list of errors. Russian canonical documents of the twelfth century refer to the Latins as pagans, and prohibit all relations with them. The most virulent calumnies against the Roman Church were inserted in the “Kormtchaia kniga”; and Russian metropolitans down to Isidor (1437) had no relations with the Holy See.
This does not mean to say, however, that the Catholic Church neglected Russia as a field for its apostolate; for the popes always tried to lead her back to the center of unity, and to enter into relations with her princes. The prince Iziaslaff Yaroslavitch (1054-68; 1069-73; 1076-78) sent his son to Gregory VII, asking the assistance of that pontiff, and promising to make Russia a vassal of the Holy See. Gregory answered him by letter of April 17, 1075. Under the Grand Duke Vsevolod Yaroslavitch (1078-93) there was established the feast of the translation of the relics of St. Nicholas of Bari, approved by Urban II (1088-99), who in 1091 sent to the same prince Bishop Teodoro, with relics. In 1080 the antipope Clement III sent a letter to the Metropolitan Ivan II (dead in 1089), proposing to the latter the union of the Russian Church; Ivan answered, however, enumerating the heresies of the Latins (Marcovitch attributes this letter to the Metropolitan Ivan IV, who, according to Golubinsky, d. in 1166). Clement III (1187-91) sent a letter to the Grand Prince Vsevolod and to the Metropolitan Nicephorus II (1182-97), inviting them to take part in the Crusade, but in vain. Innocent III (1198-1216) sent two legations to the princes of Russia, exhorting them to be reunited to Rome. Under Honorius III (1216-1227) St. Hyacinth, with other religious of the Order of St. Dominic, preached the Catholic faith in southern Russia, and founded a convent at Kieff, while a religious of the same order in 1232 was appointed bishop of that city, out of which, however, the Dominicans were driven in 1233. Another letter of Honorius III, and one of Gregory IX (1227-41) encouraged the Russians of Pskof to realize their intention of embracing Catholicism. All of these efforts were in vain. It was only in Galicia that the solicitude of the popes was attended with some favorable results. Innocent IV (1243-54) had continuous relations with the Grand Prince Daniel Romanovitch (1229-64), who hoped for the assistance of the West to throw off the Tatar yoke; the pope’s nuncio to the King of Poland in 1254 crowned the grand prince as king at the city of Dorogtchin. But through dissension among the princes of the West the assistance that the pope promised to Daniel was not given, and in 1256 the latter repudiated his union with Rome. The same pope made efforts to convert to Catholicism the national hero, Alexander Nevski, whose father had abjured the errors of the schism before the pontifical legate Giovanni da Pian Carpino. In 1248 Innocent IV wrote to the Prince Alexander Nevski, exhorting the latter to embrace Catholicism; and in another letter the same pope asserts that the conversion of that prince took place. Russian writers however are unanimous in considering their national hero a champion of the Orthodox faith, who refused to submit to Rome.
Under John XXII (1316-34) Catholicism was propagated in Lithuania, where it had its martyrs. Gedimin (1315-45), although a pagan, wrote a letter to John XXII, declaring that Franciscans and Dominicans were authorized to preach in his principality. Paganism was firmly rooted in the people, and in 1332 fourteen Franciscans were massacred at Vilna. In 1323 the same pope reestablished the Latin Diocese of Kieff, to which he appointed a Dominican. Catholicism became preponderant in Lithuania, when Hedwig, Queen of Poland, married Jagello, and the two states were united into a single kingdom. Jagello embraced Catholicism in 1386, called Polish priests to Lithuania, and, like Vladimir the Great, resorted to violence to convert his subjects. Many Russians were converted to Catholicism, and Vilna became the see of a Latin bishop.
In 1436 the Russian Church, which was still dependent upon Constantinople, had as metropolitan Isidor (1436-41), a Greek, native of Thessalonica, and staunch adherent of the cause of the union. This prelate on September 8, 1437, with Avraam, Bishop of Suzdal, and many clergymen and laymen, went to the Council of Florence, where he ardently defended the union; and by a Brief of August 17, 1438, Eugene IV named him legate a latere for Lithuania, Livonia, and Russia. Avraam of Suzdal, however, was not a partizan of the union; and leaving Isidor, returned alone to Russia. Isidor sent an encyclical letter to the Russians (March 5, 1440), extolling the union that had been concluded at Florence. Upon his return to Moscow, however, Prince Vasili Vasilevitch convened a council, condemned the work of the metropolitan, and imprisoned the latter in the Monastery of the Miracles (Tchudoff); but Isidor succeeded in making his escape, and found asylum in Italy. Wherefore, Russia did not accept the decree of union of the Council of Florence; on the contrary, she drew from it arguments to proclaim the superiority of her Orthodox faith over the pliant faith of the Greeks, and to prepare the way for her religious autonomy.
C. Catholicism in Russia from the Council of Florence to the Present Time.—Isidor resigned the Metropolitan See of Kieff about 1458, and in the same year Pius II appointed Gregor the Bulgarian, who was a disciple and companion of the former metropolitan, and who, according to the historian Golubinski, remained united to Rome until 1470, after which he became Orthodox, and died in 1472. Among his successors who were friendly to the union were Mikhail Drucki (1475-80), Semion (1481-88), Jonah Glezna (1492-94), Makap (1495-97), and Josef Soltan, who in 1500 wrote a letter to Alexander VI asking for papal confirmation of his metropolitan dignity. At the death of Josef II, which according to Stroeff was in 1519, the Metropolitanate of Kieff became again wholly Orthodox.
After the Council of Florence, the fanaticism of the Russians in regard to the Latin Church increased. The Latins were not even considered citizens. They were not allowed to build churches in Russian cities. The popes, however, did not cease their efforts to effect a reconciliation between Russia and the Roman See. An event that should have hastened the attainment of that end served only to widen the breach between Orthodoxy and Catholicism. There lived at Rome under the tutelage of the popes and the spiritual guidance of Cardinal Bessarion the Greek Princess Zoe, daughter of Thomas Palmologus, Despot of Morea; and Paul II, wishing ardently to induce the Russians to join the princes of the West in a crusade against the Turks, proposed to offer the hand of Zoe to Ivan Vasilevitch III (1462-1505); but death overtook him before he was able to bring about the realization of his purpose. Sixtus IV (1471-84) continued the policy of his predecessor. Ivan III received the proposal with enthusiasm. On November 12, 1472 Zoe with a numerous suite arrived at Moscow, and the Metropolitan Philip I (1464-73) united her in marriage with Ivan. But the hopes of union to which this marriage had given rise vanished. Ivan would not hear the propositions of the Bishop Antonio, who as legate of the Holy See had accompanied Zoe; while the latter passed over to the schism. Ivan III and the Russians thought only of drawing profit from the good will of the popes. The grand prince, having married a princess of the imperial house of Palaeologus, formulated claims to the throne of Byzantium; while the Russians began to regard Moscow as the third Rome, which should inherit the prerogatives of the first and of the second.
Several embassies of Leo X and of Clement VII to the Prince Basil Ivanovitch (1505-33) were without favorable results for the union. Julius III and Pius IV invited Ivan the Terrible to send delegates to the Council of Trent; while Pius V in his turn invited him to join a crusade against the Turks; but Sigismund, King of Poland, and Maximilian II, Emperor of Germany, prevented the legates of the pope from crossing the Russian frontiers, or rendered their missions fruitless. In 1580 Ivan the Terrible, menaced by the victorious arms of Bdthori, King of Poland (1576-86), and of the Swedes, sent to Gregory XIII an embassy at the head of which was Leontius Tchevrigin. The Holy See, although placing little faith in the promises of the tsar, sent to Moscow one of the most eminent men of his day, the Jesuit Antonio Possevino, who, on February 22, 1582, had a theological disputation with the tsar. Possevino was well received at the Court of Moscow, but his apostolic efforts were without result. He returned on March 15, 1582, in company with Jacob Molvianinoff, legate of the tsar, and bearer of a letter to Gregory XIII. In that letter Ivan the Terrible did not refer to the union. Possevino had relations also with the successor of Ivan, Feodor Ivanovitch, and with Constantine II, Prince of Ostrog, the great champion of Orthodoxy in the sixteenth century; always, however, with unfavorable results. The advent of the False Demetrius and his marriage with the heiress of the Waywodes of Sandomir gave hopes that Russia would see a Catholic dynasty on its throne. Demetrius, indeed, had been converted to Catholicism in 1604, and had entered into relations with the Holy See, which, through its nuncios in Poland, proceeded to confirm him in the Catholic faith, and to maintain his devotion to the Roman Church. Demetrius gave to the Holy See the happiest hopes for the conversion of Russia; but through a conspiracy on May 27, 1606 he lost the crown and his life. Fanatical Russian writers charge the popes with responsibility for the turbulence that followed the advent to the throne of the False Demetrius; but the letters of the Roman pontiffs refute that calumny decisively.
In 1675 the Tsar Alexis (1645-76) sent, as ambassador to Clement X, General Paul Menesius, a Catholic. The object of this embassy was to promote an alliance of the Christian princes against the Turks. The Russian legate was received with great distinction. No happy results, however, attended his mission from a religious point of view. During the reign of Alexis, strenuous efforts were made to draw Russia towards Catholicism by a famous Croatian missionary, George Krizhanitch, a student of the Propaganda, on whose life and works Professor Bielokuroff recently wrote several valuable volumes rich in documents. Krizhanitch is regarded as one of the pioneers of Panslavism; but his efforts to bring Russia to the Catholic Church cost him, in 1661, an exile to Siberia, whence he was unable to return to Moscow until 1676, after the death of Alexis.
In 1684 the Jesuit Father Schmidt established himself at Moscow as chaplain to the embassy from Vienna. In 1685 another Jesuit, Father Albert Debois, was the bearer of a letter from Innocent XI to the tsar; and in 1687 Father Giovanni Vota, also of the Society of Jesus, advocated at Moscow the need of Russia to unite herself to the Church of Rome. The Emperor of Germany, Leopold I (1657-1705), obtained permission for the Jesuits to open a school at Moscow, where they established a house. Their work would have been very favorable for the Church, for under the influence of Catholic theology a band of learned Orthodox theologians, led by the higumeno Sylvester Medvedeff, supported certain Latin doctrines, especially the Epiklesis. Unfortunately however two fanatical Greek monks, Joannikius and Sophronius Likhudes, excited the fanaticism of the Russians against the Latins at Moscow, and when Peter the Great freed himself of the tutelage of his sister Sophia in 1689, the Jesuits were expelled from Moscow. The schismatic Patriarch Joachim, a man actuated by hatred for foreigners, and in particular for Catholics, had much to do with that expulsion.
The reforms of Peter the Great did not better the condition of Catholicism in Russia. In the first years of his reign he showed deference to the Catholic Church; he granted permission to the Catholics in 1691 to build a church at Moscow, and to summon Jesuits for its service; in 1707 he sent an embassy to Clement XI, to induce that pontiff not to recognize Stanislaus Leszczynski as King of Poland, to which dignity the latter had been elected by the Diet of Warsaw on July 12, 1704; he promised the pope to promulgate a constitution that would establish, in favor of Catholicism, the freedom of worship that had been promised, but never maintained. During his sojourn at Paris in 1717 he received from various doctors of the Sorbonne a scheme for the union, to which he caused Theophanus Prokopovitch and Stepan Gavorski to reply in 1718. In order to captivate the Russians, the doctors of the Sorbonne had worked Gallican ideas into that scheme, regarding the primacy of the pope and his authority.
Peter the Great, however, was inimical to Catholicism. His religious views were influenced by Prokopovitch, a man of great learning, but a. courtier by nature, and a bitter enemy of the Roman Church. Peter the Great revealed his anti-Catholic hatred when, at Polotsk in 1705, he killed with his own hand the Basilian Theophanus Kolbieczynski, as also by many other measures; he caused the most offensive calumnies against Catholicism to be disseminated in Russia; he expelled the Jesuits in 1719; he issued ukases to draw Catholics to Orthodoxy, and to prevent the children of mixed marriages from being Catholics; and finally, he celebrated in 1722 and in 1725 monstrous orgies as parodies of the conclave, casting ridicule on the pope and the Roman court.
From the time of Peter the Great to Alexander I, the history of Catholicism in Russia is a continuous struggle against Russian legislation: laws that embarrassed the action of Catholicism in Russia, that favored the apostasy of Catholics, and reduced the Catholic clergy to impotence were multiplied each year, and constituted a Neronian code. In 1727, to put a stop to Catholic propaganda in the Government of Smolensk, Catholic priests were prohibited from entering that province, or, having entered it, were prohibited from occupying themselves with religious matters; the nobility was forbidden to leave the Orthodox communion, to have Catholic teachers, to go to foreign countries, or to marry Catholic women. In 1735 the Empress Anna Ivanovna prohibited Catholic propaganda among Orthodox Russians under the severest penalties. Illustrious converts, like Alexei Ladygenski and Mikhail Galitzin, were treated with the most inhuman barbarity on account of their conversion. In 1747 the government expelled from Astrakhan the Capuchins who were making many conversions to Catholicism among the Armenians.
Under Catharine II (1762-96) the condition of Catholics became worse than before, notwithstanding the ukases of religious tolerance that the empress promulgated. The ukase of July 22, 1763 authorized the Catholics to build chapels and churches of stone. Another ukase of February 23, 1769 promulgated the ecclesiastical constitution of the Catholics. This constitution established two parishes, at St. Petersburg and Moscow, and placed them in charge of the Reformed Franciscans and the Capuchins. It provided that the number of parishes should not be greater than nine; and it strictly prohibited Catholic priests, residing in Russia, from proselytizing among Orthodox Russians.
The first dismemberment of Poland (1772) brought a strong body of Catholics to Russia, and Catharine II proposed to make of them a national Church independent of Rome. Unfortunately an ambitious Polish bishop, Stanislaus Siestrzencewicz, entered into her views, and a ukase of May 23, 1774 established the Diocese of White Russia, with its episcopal see at Mohileff, its first bishop being Siestrzencewicz, Vicar-General of Vilna. This personage is judged variously by historians. Pierling, Zalenski, and Markovitch treat him as an ambitious man who sought to become patriarch of all the Catholics in Russia, and who in his heart hated the Roman See. Godlewski on the contrary is inclined to excuse him, and to believe that the difficult conditions of Catholicism in Russia, possibly led him to adopt measures that appear to have been injurious to Catholic interests. According to Markovitch, during his long episcopate (1774-1826), Siestrzencewicz was the scourge of the Catholic Church of both rites in Russia. By her manifestos of 1779 Catharine II began the systematic destruction of the religious orders, withdrawing them from the authority of their religious superiors, and putting them under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Mohileff. The latter in 1782 was raised to the archiepiscopal dignity, and in 1784 received the pallium from the Apostolic legate, Msgr. Giovanni Andrea Archetti, Archbishop of Chalcedon. He assumed episcopal jurisdiction over all the Catholics of the Russian Empire, and acted as if he were independent of the Holy See.
The sound principles of Catholicism, however, were maintained and propagated by the Jesuits who, suppressed by the Holy See and exiled from the Catholic nations, found an asylum and the center of their future revival in Russia. In 1779 Catharine II invited the Jesuits to exercise their ministry in White Russia, and in 1786 they had in Russia six colleges and 178 members. Their number increased so much that Pius VII reestablished their order for Russia, where it returned to life under Father Gruber. In 1801 the society had 262 members, and 347 in 1811. The Jesuits retained a lively gratitude for the hospitality that they had received in Russia, and worked with zeal to convert it to Catholicism.
The Second and Third Partitions of Poland (1793-94) considerably increased the number of Catholics in Russia; Catharine II promised them the free exercise of their religion, their rights of property and those of their Church, and their complete independence of the civil power. These promises were deceptive, as was shown by the destruction of the Ruthenian Church, accomplished by her order. The Catholics of the Latin Rite also soon had cause to remember that they were under the domination of implacable enemies. The Catholics had awaited the death of Catharine and the advent to the throne of Paul I (1796-1801), to better their condition. In 1797 Archbishop Lorenzo Litta, legate a latere of the Holy See, arrived at St. Petersburg, where he was received with great honors. The Catholics who had been exiled to Siberia were recalled; the Sees of Lutzk, Vilna, Kamenetz, Minsk, and Samogitia (the ancient Diocese of Livonia) were created; the archiepiscopal See of Mohileff was declared metropolitan, which it still is; and the government granted an indemnity to the clergy for the property that had been taken from them. In 1802 the number of the faithful amounted to 1,635,490, of adults alone. Paul I showed a special predilection for the Jesuits, and reposed great confidence in Father Gruber; he called them to St. Petersburg, where he authorized them to open schools and seminaries, while he obtained from Pius VII a Brief (March 7, 1801), reestablishing the society in Russia.
Under Alexander I diplomatic relations were established between the Holy See and the Russian Government. In 1802 a Russian legation was established at Rome, while Pius VII on his part named an Apostolic nuncio to St. Petersburg, Msgr. Arezzo, Archbishop of Seleucia. The affairs of the Catholic Church in Russia were to be administered by the Roman Catholic Ecclesiastical College, created in imitation of the Synod of St. Petersburg. This college had been approved by Alexander I, through his ukase of November 21, 1801. Siestrzencewicz of course was selected as its president; and the Russian Government, in its Note of December 13, 1803, asked of the Holy See such powers for him as would have rendered him independent. The Sovereign Pontiff opposed a determined resistance to these demands, and the Ecclesiastical College was henceforward merely a name. In 1804 Msgr. Arezzi, the Apostolic nuncio, in view of the disagreements between the Russian Government and the Holy See, left St. Petersburg; whereupon Siestrzencewicz had a free hand, and devoted himself to discrediting Catholicism by proposing as bishops of the vacant sees men who were corrupt or allied to the government, by persecuting the religious orders, by granting divorces arbitrarily, by favoring the English Bible Society, and finally, by surrounding himself with assistants of evil mind and heart. Diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Russia were resumed in 1815. The Russian plenipotentiary, Baron de Tuyll, had colloquies with Cardinal della Somaglia in regard to the union of the two Churches, which, however, were without result, for the Russian Government declared that the union was impossible so long as the Holy See wished to impose its dogmatic teachings and its disciplinary practices upon the Russians. Meanwhile, Siestrzencewicz made use of the renewal of relations between Rome and St. Petersburg to seek through the Russian Government new favors and concessions, e.g. the nomination of episcopal candidates by the tsar, the title of Primate, matrimonial dispensations, etc. In other words, it was a question of imitating the canonical legislation of the Orthodox Church, and of harnessing Catholicism to the car of the State. The Holy See merely granted to the Metropolitan of Mohileff the honorary title of primate, without any additional jurisdiction, and authorized a small number of priests to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation with oil blessed by the bishop. The various efforts of the Russian Government to establish a primate, with patriarchal, almost independent powers in Russia were always thwarted by the determined resistance of the Holy See.
The most painful occurrence in the history of Catholicism during the reign of Alexander I was the expulsion of the Jesuits from Russia, the pretext for which was the conversion of Prince Alexander Galitzin to the Catholic faith. The Jesuits were expelled from St. Petersburg during the night of 22-December 23, 1815, and the Catholic parish church of St. Catharine was given to the Dominicans. The Jesuits were relegated to Polotsk; later, however, by the ukase of March 25, 1820, they were exiled from Russian territory. On the other hand, as many nobles of the former Polish provinces, subjects of Russia, sent their children abroad to be educated by the Jesuits, the government provided that young Catholics should not leave Russia. In the last years of his reign Alexander I showed more sympathy for Catholicism, and the relations of the Holy See with the Russian Government were cordial during the pontificate of Leo XII and the sojourn of the Chevalier Italinski at Rome as Russian minister. The Holy See obtained the concession that the Russian Government would pay to the Datary 1000 scudi for the Bulls of Catholic archbishops in Russia, and 800 scudi for those of bishops; Alexander I also allowed a Catholic chapel to be erected at the imperial residence of Tsarskoye Selo, and gave 40,000 roubles for its construction. He proposed to visit Rome, and, according to an unauthenticated historical report, to abjure Orthodoxy. There are Catholic writers who affirm that Alexander I and his consort became Catholics; but there is no documentary evidence in support of this.
The reign of Nicholas I was a long period of persecution and suffering for Catholics in Russia. In 1826 the Holy See sent Msgr. Bernetti to St. Petersburg, to be present at the coronation. He was well received by the tsar, and thereafter wrote optimistically to Rome. Soon, however, the trials of the Catholics began. By two ukases in 1828 the admission of novices in the religious orders, and of clerics in the seminaries, was made very difficult, if not quite impossible; and in the following year all the novitiates were closed. In 1830 other ukases encouraged divorce among Catholics, prohibited Catholic religious propaganda among the Orthodox, the hearing the confessions of foreigners, and changes of residence among the clergy.
The Polish insurrection of 1830 and 1831 intensified the persecution against the Latin Catholics. In 1832 the Russian Government asked of the “Roman Ecclesiastical College” that the number of convents be diminished. Of 300 monasteries in the Diocese of Mohileff 202 were closed; while the administrator of that diocese, Bishop Szezyt, who had opposed this reduction, was sent to Siberia. In the same year the publication of Papal Bulls in Russia was prohibited. In June and September, 1832 respectively the Holy See addressed two notes to the Russian Government, lamenting the disabilities to which Catholics were subjected in Russia, and the innovations which had been introduced into ecclesiastical discipline. The government blamed the Polish revolutionists for its severity. On June 9, 1832, yielding to the Russian Government, Gregory XVI addressed his Encyclical to the Polish clergy, urging obedience to the civil power in civil matters. The encyclical aroused great discontent among the Poles, and did not deter the Russian Government from its purpose of annihilating Catholicism. The Government directed its blows against Catholics, more especially by laws concerning mixed marriages, by preventing Catholic priests from ministering to the United Catholics, and by calling to the episcopal sees men who were devoted to its policy, e.g. Msgr. Pawlowski, who was named Archbishop of Mohileff in 1841. The Holy See could no longer remain silent in the presence of this violence, and in his Allocution to the solemn Consistory of July 22, 1842, Gregory XVI called the attention of the Catholic world to the painful oppression to which Catholicism was subjected in Russia; and his protests were more serious and energetic, when in 1845, upon the occasion of the visit of the tsar to Rome, he had an interview with the latter, which resulted in the concordat of August 3, 1847, by which there were established in Russia an archbishopric and six episcopal sees, and in Poland, the same number of dioceses that had been established by the Bull of Pius VII of June 30, 1818. The concordat repealed several iniquitous laws that had been promulgated against Catholics, placed the seminaries and the ecclesiastical academy of St. Petersburg under the jurisdiction of the ordinary, and recognized to a somewhat greater degree the authority of the Holy See over the bishops. The Tsar Nicholas, by a letter of November 15, 1847, ratified the concordat of August 3, which, like so many other Russian laws, was destined to remain a dead letter. Obstacles were placed to the determination of the boundaries of dioceses; 21 convents were suppressed by a ukase of July 18, 1850; while Catholics were prohibited from restoring their churches and from building new ones; from preaching sermons that had not previously been approved by the government, and from refuting the calumnies of the Press against Catholicism. It is not necessary for us to recur to the authority of Catholic writers, like Lescceur, to prove how odious this violence was; we may be satisfied with a mere glance at the immense collection of laws and governmental measures concerning the Catholic Church from the times of Peter and of Ivan Alexeievitch to 1867 (“Zakonopolozhenija i pravitelstvennyia rasporjazhenija do rimskokato litcheskoi cerkvi v Rossii otnosjachtchijasja so vremeni carstvovanija Tzarei Petra i Ioanna Aleksieevitchei, 1669-1867″, Vienna, 1868). It is not without reason that a Catholic writer has said that the laws of Nicholas I against Catholicism constitute a Neronian code.
The first years of the reign of Alexander II were not marked by anti-Catholic violence. The Russian Government promised the Holy See that the concordat would be scrupulously observed, and in 1856 the episcopal sees of Russia and Poland were filled. Soon however there was a return to the methods of Nicholas I, notwithstanding the fact that Pius IX wrote to the tsar, imploring liberty for Catholics of both rites in Russia. In another letter, addressed in 1861 to Msgr. Fialkowski, Archbishop of Warsaw, Pius IX referred to the continual efforts of the Holy See to safeguard the existence of Catholicism in Russia, and to the difficulties that were opposed to all measures of his and of his predecessors in that connection. Encouraged by the words of the pope, the Polish bishops presented a memorandum to the representative of the emperor at Warsaw, asking for the abrogation of the laws that oppressed Catholics and destroyed their liberty. A similar memorandum was presented to the tsar by the Archbishop of Mohileff and the bishops of Russia. Upon the basis of these memoranda, the government accused the Catholic clergy of promoting the spirit of revolution and of plotting revolts against the tsar. Most painful occurrences ensued; the soldiery was not restrained from profaning the churches and the Holy Eucharist, from wounding defenseless women, or from treating Warsaw as a city taken by storm. One hundred and sixty priests, and among them the vicar capitular Bialobrzeski, were taken prisoners, and several of them were exiled to Siberia. Msgr. Deckert, coadjutor of the Archbishop Fialkowski, died of the sufferings that these events caused him. The condition of the Poles were becoming intolerable, and Catholicism suffered proportionately. Amid the general indifference of Europe, one voice, that of Pius IX, was raised, firm and energetic. in favor of an oppressed people and of a persecuted faith. On March 12, 1863, in his Allocution to the Consistory, and on April 22, 1863, in a letter to the tsar, Pius IX demanded that justice and equity be no longer violated. The tsar Alexander II wrote to the pope expressing regrets that the Polish clergy should ally itself with the authors of civil disorder and should disturb the public peace.
The Polish revolution of 1863 furnished the government with a pretext for inhumanity towards the Catholic clergy, both regular and secular. There is no doubt that some priests and religious, moved by patriotic ardor, committed the error of taking part in an insurrection which was opposed by the more cultured and reasonable portion of the nation. The Russian Government, however, did not take pains to punish only the guilty, but dealt with all the Catholic clergy alike. In 1863 the Archbishop of Warsaw, Msgr. Felinski, was confined at Yaroslaff, as was his coadjutor Msgr. Rzaewuski at Astrakhan in 1865; while their successors, the canons Szczygielski and Domagolski, were exiled to Siberia in 1867. Msgr. Krasinski, Archbishop of Vilna, was confined at Vyatka. Several priests in 1863 were either hanged or shot, as implicated in the revolt, while others were sent to the interior of Russia, or were deported to Siberia. The Poles and the Catholics in their distress received consolation only from Pius IX, who distinguished between the right of a government to punish an unjust revolt and the right of subjects to profess their Faith freely. In the encyclical “Ubi Urbaniano” of July 30, 1864, addressed to the bishops of Russia and Poland, he enumerated the grievous evils that the Russian Government had inflicted on Catholicism.
The letters and the protests of the pope however were of little avail. On November 8, 1864 the government suppressed the convents and religious orders of Russian Poland; and a ukase of November 16, 1866 abolished the concordat of 1847. Another ukase, on May 22, 1867, made the “Roman Catholic College” the intermediary between the Catholic bishops of Russia and the Holy See. Unfortunately some prelates allowed themselves to be led astray by the promises or by the threats of the Russian Government, which sought the ruin of Catholicism in Russia through the establishment of a Polish national church. We may cite Msgr. Staniewski, administrator of the Diocese of Mohileff, Msgr. Constance Lubienski, Bishop of Augustowo, who nobly expiated his mistake, and died in exile at Duiiaburg; and Msgr. Sosnowski, administrator of the Diocese of Lublin. A series of curious revelations and documents, concerning the incredible abuses of Russian legislation against Catholicism, is contained in the work “Das polnisch-russische Staatskirchenrecht auf Grund der neuesten Bestimmungen and praktischer Erfahrungen systematisch erzahlt von einem Priester”, Posen, 1892.
Under Alexander III (1881-94) negotiations between the Holy See and the Russian Government were renewed, and Russia maintained a legation at the Vatican. In 1882 Archbishop Felinski was recalled from exile, and, instead of his See of Warsaw, received the title of Archbishop of Tarsus. The See of Warsaw was given to Msgr. Vincent Theophilus Popiel, who had energetically resisted the efforts of the Russian Government to establish an independent ecclesiastical college for the government of the Catholic Church in Russia. A new concordat was concluded in 1882, but its clauses were nullified by new laws. It should not be forgotten that, during the entire reign of Alexander II, the religious policy of Russia was inspired by Konstantin Pobiedonostseff, Procurator General of the Holy Synod, who, for political rather than religious motives, was a fierce adversary of Catholicism. The Catholic clergy continued to endure the severest oppression, abandoned to the caprices of the police, greatly reduced in numbers, and trammelled by a thousand obstacles in the exercise of its apostolic ministry. This condition of things was prolonged into the reign of Nicholas II, during which Pobiedonostseff exercised his dictatorship until 1905.
After the war with Japan, however, and in consequence of internal political troubles, Nicholas II promulgated the constitution in 1905, and published the edict of religious toleration. Two years of liberty were sufficient to reveal the great vitality of Catholicism in Russia, for the number of conversions to the Catholic faith, in so short a lapse of time, amounted to 500,000, including over 300,000 Uniate Catholics whom the Russian Government had compelled to declare themselves Orthodox; 100,000 of these, known in Russian as Obstinates (uporstvujushshie) had not received the sacraments for more than thirty years, during which time they frequented no church, in order not to be reckoned among the Orthodox. The Catholic clergy developed the greatest activity in social and educational work, in the Press, and in the awakening of Christian piety; and the reactionary party of the Orthodox Church, centered in the Synod, cried out against the danger, and called for new laws to protect Orthodoxy against the assaults of militant Catholicism. These protests and lamentations were heard; the laws relating to liberty of conscience were submitted to revision, abolished, or modified; the government refused to recognize as legitimate the conversions to Catholicism of the former Uniate Catholics; the priests who baptized children of mixed marriages were punished with fines and imprisonment; the parochial schools were closed; the confraternities and the Catholic social organizations were dissolved, and the former severity against the Catholic Press was resumed. The government directed its action especially against the reestablishment of the United Church in Russia, and in 1911 closed two Russo-Catholic chapels that had been erected at St. Petersburg and Moscow. Denunciations against a zealous Jesuit, Father Werczynski, who had established himself at Moscow in 1903, and had converted a thousand Russians to Catholicism, furnished the government with pretexts for renewed severity: Father Werczynski was exiled; the suffragan Bishop of Mohileff, Msgr. Denisewicz, was deposed (1911) without the previous consent of the Holy See, and was deprived of his stipend; and another most zealous prelate, Baron von Ropp, Bishop of Vilna, was obliged to resign his see and to retire to the Government of Perm.
Nevertheless Catholicism continues to exercise a great influence upon the cultured classes of Russia, a fact due in great measure to Vladimir Soloveff, the greatest of Russian philosophers, who has rightly been called the Russian Newman; and from these classes there have always been conversions that have brought to the fold of the Catholic Church noble and exalted souls, as, for example, Princess Narishkin, Princess Bariatinski, Princess Volkonski, Countess Nesselrode, Miss Ushakova, Prince Gagarin, Prince Galitzin, Count Shuvaloff, and many others. Khomiakoff, the legislator and apostle of Slavophilism, said that if liberty of conscience were established in Russia the upper and the cultured classes would embrace Catholicism, which seems to be justified by the facts.
D. Statistics of the Catholic Dioceses of Russia.—The basis for the diocesan and clerical statistics of Russia is furnished by the very useful “Elenchi omnium Ecclesiarum et universi cleri” which is published every year by the various dioceses as an appendix to the “Directorium divini officii”. These “Elenchi” are useful not only for their statistics but also for their historical data, because they sometimes contain documents and historical notes concerning the dioceses. From the ecclesiastical point of view, the Catholic dioceses of Russia are divided into two classes: the dioceses of the Kingdom of Poland, and those of Russia. The Kingdom of Poland, or Russian Poland, has seven sees: (I) Archdiocese of Warsaw; (2) Diocese of Kielce; (3) Diocese of Lublin (with administration of Podlachia); (4) Diocese of Plock; (5) Diocese of Sandomir; (6) Diocese of Sejny and Augustowo; (7) Diocese of Wladislaw. In Russia there are: (I) Archdiocese of Mohileff (with administration of Minsk); (2) Diocese of Lutzk, Zhitomir, and Kamenetz; (3) Diocese of Samogitia; (4) Diocese of Tiraspol; (5) Diocese of Vilna. These are all treated under separate heads. In 1866 the Russian Government suppressed the Diocese of Podlachia in Poland, and Minsk and Kamenetz in Russia; the Holy See, however, did not sanction these arbitrary acts, and therefore the three dioceses in question exist canonically, although they have no bishops, and have been incorporated into other dioceses. There are in the Russian Empire more than 13,000,000 Catholics, of whom more than 5,000,000 are in Russia; there are approximately 2900 parishes, 3300 churches, 2000 chapels, and 4600 priests. According to the illustrative tables of Father Urban, S.J., there may be reckoned an average of more than 3000 Catholics for each priest. In some dioceses, as for example in Podlachia, there is 1 priest for each 4800 Catholics; and in the Diocese of Minsk 1 priest for each 4670 Catholics. The division into parishes is irregular, and some of the parishes have a very large population; that of Holy Cross at Lodz has a population of 142,000 Catholics with only 10 priests; and Praga, near Warsaw, has 82,000 Catholics, with only 4 priests. In Siberia the parishes have an enormous extent. According to the convention between the Holy See and the Government, the diocesan bishops should have 22 auxiliaries: 3 for the metropolitanate of Mohileff; 3 for the Diocese of Kovno; 3 for Lutzk, Zhitomir, and Kamenetz; 3 for Vilna; 2 for Tiraspol; 2 for Warsaw; and 1 each for Kielce, Lublin, Wladislaw, Sandomir, Plock, and Sejny and Augustowo. Unfortunately however the convention is not observed by the Russian Government: in 1911 there were only four suffragan bishops; and it should be added that the dioceses remain vacant for long periods. The Diocese of Vilna has been vacant since 1905. There follows consequently great disorganization and many abuses in the ecclesiastical administration, which cannot be remedied for lack of competent authority.
Each diocese has its cathedral and its collegiate chapters. A ukase of 1865 fixed 12 as the number of canons of a cathedral. Each diocese has also its consistory; and to the twelve diocesan consistories, should be added the consistories of Kalish, Piotrkow, and Pultusk. The consistories are composed of “Officers”, “vice-officers”, assessors, visitors of monasteries, and also lay members in the Russian dioceses. The efforts of the Russian Government to make autonomous the consistories of the various dioceses and the ecclesiastical college at St. Petersburg have failed, for the Catholic hierarchy in Russia, taught by experience, remains faithful to the Roman See, and accepts no innovations contrary to Catholic canon law.
E. Religious Orders.—In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries there were in Russian Poland many monasteries, and several thousand religious of the various orders. Among the latter the Jesuits and the Piarists (founded by St. Joseph Calasanctius) distinguished themselves by their services to education; but the iniquitous laws of Catharine II and Nicholas I, and the measures adopted by the Russian Government in 1864 after the Polish insurrection, almost extirpated Western monachism from Russia. In 1864 it was provided that the monasteries of Russia should be divided into two classes, those approved and recognized by the state, and those not approved or recognized. The monasteries of the first of these two classes were allowed to have novices, and to be inhabited each by 14 religious; those of the second class were allowed to remain in existence until the number of religious in each should be reduced to 7, when the monastery was to be suppressed. The opening of the novitiates of the recognized monasteries was deferred to the time when the non-approved monasteries should have ceased to exist. The number of the Paulist monks of the monastery of Czenstochowa was fixed at twenty-four. Even these restrictive laws, however, were not observed. Only three or four of the recognized monasteries were allowed to receive novices, and the members of religious orders were prohibited from having relations with their religious superiors outside of Russia. It is therefore not astonishing that the religious orders should have nearly disappeared from that country. The Sisters of Charity alone have been able to develop their organization; and, as elsewhere, they have won the admiration of all, even of the Orthodox.
The greater part of the religious are in Russian Poland. The Archdiocese of Warsaw has a Capuchin monastery at Nowe Miasto, with 15 religious, and the convents of the Visitation (14 religious), the Perpetual Adoration (13 religious), and the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (36 religious). The Sisters of Charity, 382 in number, have under their charge there 34 hospitals or philanthropic institutions. In 1905 the Redemptorists, five in number, had established themselves at Warsaw; but the Russian Government expelled them in 1910. There are remnants of the old orders that were suppressed in 1864, but their number is reduced from year to year.
The Diocese of Wladislaw has the celebrated monastery of Czenstochowa, belonging to a congregation of cenobites called Paulists (from St. Paul I the hermit). There are about forty religious, priests and laymen in the convent. A grievous crime that was committed in the convent in 1909 led the diocesan authoritiesto adopt the severest measures for the reestablishment of religious discipline there. In the same diocese there are two convents of Friars Minor, at Kolo and at Wladislaw, with 10 religious; one convent of Dominican Tertiaries, at Przyrów, with 12 religious; and one convent of Franciscan Tertiaries, with 13 religious, at Wielun. There are 49 Sisters of Charity, who have charge of 13 philanthropic establishments. In the Diocese of Plock there are: a convent of Carmelites, at Obory, with 6 religious; a monastery of Felician Sisters, at Przasnysz, with 9 religious; and 5 charitable institutions, in the care of the Sisters of Charity.
In the Diocese of Sejny, besides a Benedictine monastery, with 10 religious, there are two hospitals and one asylum, under the care of 13 Sisters of Charity.
In the Diocese of Sandomir there is a Franciscan convent for women, with 13 religious; and 6 charitable institutions, under the care of 29 Sisters of Charity.
The Diocese of Kielce has 35 Sisters of Charity, and that of Lublin 44 who are in charge of 8 charitable establishments.
In the Archdiocese of Mohileff there are no convents, properly so called. At St. Petersburg and Moscow there live some Dominicans of different nationalities, and it is by priests of that order that the French parishes of those two cities are served. In 1907 eight Franciscan Sisters, Missionaries of Mary, established themselves at St. Petersburg with the consent of the government. They direct a house of work. There are also in the archdiocese a few Sisters of French and of Polish congregations.
The Diocese of Vilna has a Benedictine monastery at Vilna, with 6 religious, and a Franciscan monastery, with 3 religious, at Slonim. In the Diocese of Kovno there is: a Franciscan monastery, with 3 religious, at Kretinga; one Benedictine monastery at Kovno, with 9 religious; and a convent of Sisters of St. Catharine, with 9 religious, at Kroki. At Zaslaff, in the Diocese of Lutzk, Zhitomir, and Kamenetz, the Franciscans have a monastery with 4 resident religious; and there are about 10 religious of various other orders scattered throughout the diocese. There are no religious in the Diocese of Tiraspol.
In all, therefore, of the 13,000,000 Catholics in Russia, 150 men and 550 women are religious, and of the women 450 are Sisters of Charity. The Catholic Church in Russia, therefore, is deprived of an important part of its militia, and there is small hope that religious life will flourish in that country. The small monasteries that remain depend on the bishops, and have, instead of provincials, visitors who are chosen from among the secular clergy. The several attempts of the Polish religious of Galicia (Augustinians, Franciscans, Bernardists, Piarists, Redemptorists) and others to establish themselves in Russia since 1905 have been futile.
F. Moral and Intellectual Life of the Catholic Clergy in Russia.—From the moral and intellectual points of view, in Russia, as in all Orthodox countries, the Catholic clergy is very superior to that of other denominations, according to the confession even of the Orthodox writers themselves. Any shortcomings which may occur in the lives of the Catholic clergy arise out of circumstances beyond the control of the ecclesiastical authority. The Holy See cannot exercise in Russia a more efficacious vigilance than it exercises in other countries; but even if it were in a position to do so, it would find an obstacle to its efforts in the laws of the country. On the other hand, the clergy is too scattered, its work too great, and the civil offices imposed upon it by the bureaucracy too arduous. Nevertheless, in the difficult circumstances in which it is placed, its zeal has succeeded in working marvels, in holding its fold firmly bound to the Faith, and in conciliating the esteem of the Orthodox and the affection of Catholics. The generosity of the Catholics, especially Poles and Lithuanians, is considerable, and therefore the financial circumstances of the Catholic clergy are of the best, notwithstanding the fact that the stipends which it receives from the Russian Government are exceedingly small: parish priests receive from 230 to 600 roubles a year, and canons have the same stipend. The people are very pious, and their pilgrimages to the sanctuaries are frequent. At the Feast of the Assumption, the sanctuary of Czenstochowa is visited at times by as many as 1,000,000 pilgrims. The sanctuary of Our Lady of Ostrabrama, at Vilna, is also a center of many pilgrimages, and the streets that lead to it are always crowded with people on their knees.
The Catholic clergy in Russia is unable to contribute efficiently to the propagation of the Faith, for its zeal is trammelled by very severe laws. In 1908-1911 many priests were fined, imprisoned, and even exiled for having baptized children of mixed marriages; nevertheless the clergy contributes in some measure to the work of the union. There had been hopes of restoring the Uniate Church in Russia through the agency of three or four Russian priests who were converted to Catholicism; and two chapels of the Slav Rite sprang up, at St. Petersburg and Moscow. In 1911, however, the Russian Government closed the two chapels, and forbade the exercise of their ministry by the converted priests, one of whom returned to the schism.
The Catholic clergy, and Catholics in general, abstain from taking part in politics; but they do a great deal for the moral and intellectual development of their fellow-countrymen. The Poles are the staunchest supporters of Catholicism and Polish nationalism in Russia. The Lithuanian clergy has taken a very active part in the awakening of Lithuanian nationalism, the restoration of the Lithuanian language to the churches of Lithuania, and the development of Lithuanian literature. From these points of view, therefore, both the Polish and Lithuanian clergy have rendered great service to their respective nationalities. It is to be regretted, however, that there should frequently arise at Vilna, between the Polish and the Lithuanian clergy, disputes that are at variance with Catholic interests. The intellectual development of the clergy, as yet, is not all that might be desired. The seminaries, in all that concerns the admission of young men, are at the mercy of the government, which, possibly, prevents the more desirable youths from entering those establishments. For the rest, the course of studies in those seminaries is not very complete. At present, however, an intellectual and moral reform in these establishments is being sought: a considerable number of Catholic priests go to foreign countries to complete their studies in Catholic universities, and upon their return to Russia teach in the seminaries. The Catholic Press, also, which had been kept at a low standard by the Russian censorship, has improved greatly of recent times. In 1909 the seminary of Wladislaw began the publication of the “Duchowni Kaplan”, a monthly periodical that is on a level with the most learned Catholic publications of Europe. Other Catholic periodicals are published at Warsaw, Vilna, Sandomir, etc., and seek to neutralize the anticatholic propaganda, and the propaganda of atheism, which latter has its center at Warsaw, where it publishes its organ the “My?õl Nepolegla” (Independent Thought).
The chief center of Catholic study in Russia is the Roman Catholic Ecclesiastical Academy of St. Petersburg, established in 1833, in place of the seminary of Vilna, which was considered the university of the Catholic clergy in Russia. The academy has a rector, an inspector, a spiritual director, 15 professors, and a librarian. The dioceses send to this establishment their best students, who after a course of four years receive the Degree of Master of Theology. It has 60 students. Among its professors mention should be made of Mikhail Godlewski, author of important publications on the history of Catholicism in Russia; and Stanislaus Trzeciak, the author of an important work on the literature and religion of the Jews at the time of Christ (“Literatura i religija u ?ºydów za czasów Chrystusa Pana”, Warsaw, 1911).
The sect of the Mariavites is treated in the article Poland.
THE ORTHODOX CHURCH OF RUSSIA.—Russian writers ordinarily divide the history of their national church into five periods. The first, from 989 to 1237, was the period of the diffusion of Christianity in Russia. Christianity was spread slowly, but the want of culture among the people caused pagan superstitions to be maintained under the external appearances of Christian rites. The conditions of the lower clergy, both as to culture and to apostolic spirit, were wretched. Monastic life began to flourish in Russia, when the monk Anton, coming from Mount Athos in 1051, established himself in a grotto near Kieff, and collecting about him various followers, among them the famous Blessed Theodosius Petcherski, laid the foundation of the great monastery called Kievo-Petcherskaja. This monastery became a focus of culture in the development of Russia, and is rightly considered a national monument of that country. Monasticism was so generally spread in the twelfth century that in the city of Kieff alone there were seventeen monasteries.
During this first period the Russian Church was totally dependent upon the Church of Constantinople, and was governed by the Metropolitans of Kieff, the list of which opens with Leo (dead in 1004), and closes with the Metropolitan Josef in 1237. According to Golubinski this first list contains twenty-four names. Some of them, Mikhail, Ilarion, Ivan II, Ephraim, and Konstantin were placed upon the calendar of the saints. One of the most famous saints of this first epoch was St. Cyril of Turoff.
The second period, from 1237, in which year begin the Mongolian invasions and the progressive development of the power of northern Russia, extends to 1461, when Orthodox Russia was divided into two metropolitanates. During this period, Russia was governed by the Metropolitans of all Russia, the list of whom begins with Cyril III (1242-49), and closes with St. Gona (1448-61). Among these metropolitans, St. Pioter (1308-26), St. Alexei (1354-78), and St. Gona (1448-61) were raised to the honors of the altar of the Russian Church. The latter fought against the Tatars; while several Russian princes suffered martyrdom for their Faith and were canonized. Some few missionaries attempted to spread Christianity among the Tatars. In 1329 two Russian monks, Sergei and Germanus, founded the famous monastery of Balaam, on an islet of Lake Ladoga. In the second half of the fourteenth century St. Stephen, Bishop of Perm (d. 1396), preached Christianity to the Zyriani. The efforts of the Russians, however, to win Lithuania over to the schism were not crowned with success. During this period, there were eighteen eparchies in Russia. The Russian bishops gradually leaned towards Moscow, which had aspirations to spiritual supremacy. The moral and intellectual conditions of the clergy were very low. Towards the latter end of the fourteenth century, there arose the heresy of the Strigolniki, who rejected the hierarchy. Monasticism attained its highest development, there appearing 180 new monasteries. St. Sergei Radonejski (dead in 1392), a saint whom popular legends represent as endowed with supernatural powers, became the legislator of the new monasticism. At Sergievo, 40 miles from Moscow, he founded the celebrated monastery of the Most Holy Trinity, a great religious and national monument of Russia. The monasteries at this epoch contained possibly 300 religious.
The third period is from 1461 to 1589, when the Russian Church was divided into the two metropolitanates of Moscow and Kieff. The former was bounded by the frontiers of Great Russia, and was strictly Russian and Orthodox. That of Kieff attempted to assimilate the culture of the West, and developed great literary activity. In the metropolis of Moscow, Tihon of Vyatka (dead in 1612) worked for the conversion of the Voguli and of the Ostiaki of the Government of Perm. The monks of the monastery of Solovka evangelized the Lopari, in which efforts the Blessed Theodoretus (dead in 1577) and the Blessed Tihon Petchengski (1495-1583) distinguished themselves. In the work of the conversion to Christianity of the Tatars of Kazan, the higumeno George (Gurij) Rugotin became famous. He died December 4, 1563, and was canonized by the Russian Church; so also was the archimandrite Barsonofius (dead in 1576, and Germanus (d. 1567). Other Russian monks devoted their energies to the conversion of the pagans of Astrakhan and of the Caucasus.
The Russian Church became more and more separated from the Greek Church, and towards the end of the fifteenth century refused to receive Greek metropolitans and bishops. Among the metropolitans of this time, Macarius (1542-63), and the energetic Philippus II, who was slain by order of Ivan the Terrible in 1473, were distinguished by the extent of their learning. In the Metropolitanate of Moscow there were ten eparchates. The clergy was very numerous, and many of its members, unable to subsist in the villages, lived a vagabond life at Moscow, to the detriment of discipline. With a view to reforming the clergy there was convened at Moscow in 1551 the famous Council of the Hundred Chapters (Stoglav). Monasticism spread more and more. From the fifteenth to the seventeenth century there appeared three hundred new monasteries, which accumulated enormous wealth. The Blessed Nil Sorski (1433-1508) made himself the champion of a reform among the monks, which implied on their part the renunciation of all real property and seclusion in the monasteries. His doctrines found numerous adversaries, among whom was the Blessed Josef of Volock (1440-1515). Many monks and ascetics of this time were venerated as saints. Among the more famous of these, were Alexander Svirski (dead in 1533) and Daniel of Pereiaslaff (d. 1540). The want of religious instruction favored superstition and the germination of heresies. In the fifteenth century there broke out, at Novgorod and its surroundings, the heresy of the Judaizers (zhidovstvujushshie), against which the Archbishop Gennadius (a. saint who died in 1505) and the Blessed Josef of Volock struggled with much energy. In the sixteenth century Matwei Baksin and Theodosius Kosoi taught rationalist doctrines, abjuring the sacraments and ecclesiastical government, which evoked refutations and anathemas from Maxim the Greek, and from the monk Zinovii Otenski. The Protestants established themselves at Moscow.
There were fifteen metropolitans of Kieff, from Gregor the Bulgarian (1458-73), who, according to Golubinski, after embracing the union, returned to the Orthodox Church, to Onisiphorus Dievotchak (1579-89), who was succeeded by Mikhail Ragosa—the latter having embraced the Union. The Orthodox of the metropolitanate, after the Union of Brest, fanatically opposed the progress of the Unionists. Russian writers mention with praise, among these champions of Orthodoxy against the Union, Prince Andrei Kurbski and Prince Konstantin of Ostrog. The followers of Orthodoxy also established confraternities for the printing and dissemination of polemical works, and to oppose Catholic influence through the schools. For want of bishops and priests of their own, members of the Orthodox Church passed over to the Union. In 1620, however, Theophanus, Patriarch of Jerusalem, consecrated Job Borecki Metropolitan of Kieff, and six members of the Orthodox Church as bishops respectively of Polotsk, Vladimir, Lutzk, Przemy?õl, Chelm, and Pinsk; and thus the Orthodox hierarchy was reestablished. In the domain of theology the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were prolific of works, written by Orthodox theologians, to combat the arguments of the Catholics and Uniates. The most salient personality of the Orthodox hierarchy of Kieff during this period was the Metropolitan Peter Moghila (d. 1646).
The fourth period of the Russian Church is that of the Patriarchate of Moscow (1589-1700). The Patriarchate of Moscow was created in 1589 by Jeremias II, Patriarch of Constantinople. The first patriarch was Job (1589-1605); he was succeeded by Ignatei (1605-06), Hermogenes (1606-11), Filarete Romanoff (1619-33), Joshaphat (1634-40), Josef (1642-52), Nikon (1652-66), Joshaphat (1667-72), Pitirim (1672-73), Joachim Saveloff (1674-90), and Adrian (1690-1700). Among the most famous of these mention should be made of Filarete and Joachim, bitter enemies of Catholicism; and of Nikon, who with uncurbed energy upheld the rights of his Church against the usurpations of the civil power, on which account he was deposed in 1666. The patriarchs formed at Moscow a court, which, especially under Filarete Romanoff, was a rival of that of the tsars, both as to wealth and authority, and which for these reasons was suppressed by the tsars. The patriarchs exercised superintendence over the metropolitans and over the bishops, the number of whom was increased and diminished by turns. After the establishment of the patriarchate, Novgorod, Kazan, Rostoff, and Kruticki became metropolitanates, and Suzdal, Ryazan, Tver, Vologda, and Smolensk were made archiepiscopal sees. The number of dioceses was fixed at eight. In 1620 Siberia was given an episcopal see at Tobolsk. In 1682 the Tsar Feodor Alexeievitch proposed the establishment of 12 metropolitanates and 72 dioceses; but a council of bishops reduced the latter number to 34, later to 22, and thereafter to 14. There was a lack of funds for the support of the new dioceses, and at the end of the seventeenth century the patriarchate of Moscow had 13 metropolitanates, 7 archbishoprics, and 2 dioceses.
Meanwhile the tsars, seeing the growth of the influence and power of the Church under the rule of the patriarchs, adopted the policy of diminishing the prerogatives of the clergy. The Tsar Alexis Mikhailovitch published a statute (ulozhenie) which prohibited the further acquisition of property by the clergy. The judicial position of the clergy received another blow by the promulgation of the so-called monastyrskij prikaz (monasterial ordinance). The clergy received this diminutio capitis with evident displeasure; and when Nikon, Metropolitan of Novgorod, was raised to the patriarchal dignity in 1652, protests were redoubled, and the conflict between the patriarch and the tsar became acute. The bishops, who were partisans of the tsar, had the support of the Greek hierarchy. The Council of Moscow, to please the tsar, deposed the patriarch, who died after a long captivity, at Bielo-ozero, in 1681. With the death of Nikon the Russian Church was yoked to the chariot of the State. Peter the Great found that the patriarchate was useless, and in fact an obstacle in the way of the realization of his purposes; and accordingly, at the death of Adrian in 1700, he suppressed it. The Patriarchate of Moscow had succeeded in unifying the Orthodox Church of Russia. After the convention of 1686 between Russia and Poland, which made the tsars of Moscow masters of Kieff and Little Russia, the Patriarch Joachim named Gedeon Tchetvertinski metropolitan of Kieff, and in 1687 Dionysius, Patriarch of Constantinople, recognized the dependency of the Metropolitanate of Kieff upon the Patriarchate of Moscow.
In the seventeenth century under the Patriarch Nikon a great schism broke out in the Orthodox Church, called the Schism of the Old Believers. The liturgical books in use in the Russian Church were replete with errors. Their correction was an urgent necessity, and had been undertaken in the sixteenth century. The fanatics opposed this “corruption” of the sacred texts, and Maxim the Greek, who had worked upon it, paid for his participation in the work with a long imprisonment. Under Nikon in 1654 a council held at Moscow recognized the necessity of the reform in question. Accordingly the liturgical books were corrected, but many Russians, influenced by the monks, refused to accept the corrected versions. It began to be rumored that Antichrist, personified by the pope, had in view the destruction of the Orthodox Russian Church, through the Latin Catholics of western Russia. But a council held at Moscow in 1666 approved the reform of Nikon, and pronounced its anathema against those who had not accepted his decisions. Anathemas, were however, like the severity of the government, without effect against these deserters from the official Church. The monks who were averse to the reform withdrew to solitary places, and founded clandestine monasteries, among which those of Vyg, Starodub, and Vyatka became famous. The more violent schismatics were burnt alive or decapitated. But persecutions invigorated the schism, called in Russian raskio, whence the name of its adherents, Raskolniki.
The fifth, called the synodal, period begins with 1700, and extends to the present time. At the death of Adrian (1700), Stepan Tavorski, Metropolitan of Ryazan, and a learned theologian, was appointed patriarchal vicar, and charged to reform the entire constitution of the Russian Church. Tavorski found an excellent cooperator in Theophanus Prokopovitch, who was Bishop of Pskof in 1718, and who, although educated at Lemberg, Cracow, and Rome, and according to some, a convert to Catholicism, nourished a bitter hatred for Catholics. Peter the Great gave to Prokopovitch the task of preparing the “Ecclesiastical Regulations” which became the Magna Carta of the Russian Church. This code was finished in 1720. It is divided into three parts, concerning respectively the functions of the synod, the matters put under its jurisdiction, and the duties of its members. The synod was solemnly opened on February 14, 1721. By the “Ecclesiastical Regulations”, the tsar is the supreme judge of the ecclesiastical college. His representative in that capacity was a layman, who in a document of 1722 is called the eye of the tsar. This functionary, bearing the title of Ober-Prokuror, was to be chosen preferably from the military class.
The synod in the early period of its existence had ten members, besides the president, and maintained its ecclesiastical character. After the death of Peter the Great, however, that ecclesiastical character was lost by degrees, and the synod became a vast political bureaucracy. The bishops were at the mercy of the procurators-general, who at times, as in the case of Prince Sharkhovski, regarded the synod as a political institution, and sometimes maltreated the prelates who formed that body. There were procurators-general who made public profession of atheism, as Tchebysheff (1768-74), or of rationalism, as Prince A. Golycin (1803). The Russian Church suffered humiliation under the lay rule of the synod (see the important work of Blagovidoff, an ex-professor of the Ecclesiastical Academy of Kazan, on “The Procurators of the Holy Synod“). In 1881 there was called to the government of the synod Konstantin Pobiedonostseff, a man of great culture but of reactionary ideas, who wished to unite all the religions professed in Russia in the Orthodox Church. The epoch of Pobiedonostseff was one of complete thraldom for the Russian Church. His dictatorship however came to an end in 1905, when the edict of toleration was promulgated. The Liberal Russian clergy attacked the synod and the anti-canonical constitution of the Russian Church in the Press, and demanded the reestablishment of the patriarchate. The Government proposed the convocation of a great national synod, to return its liberties to the Church of Russia and to give it a new constitution, but this purpose was frustrated by the friction between the “white” (secular) and the “black” (regular) clergy, by the triumph f the revolutionary parties, and by the outbreak of the revolution. The synod continued to exercise its deleterious authority under various procurators: Prince Obolenski, Izvolski, Lukianoff (a mental specialist), and finally, in 1911, Carolus Vladimirovitch Sabler, a former associate of Pobiedonostseff, but a man of broader and more liberal ideas.
Other changes were made in the eparchies. When the synod was established, there were 18 eparchies and 2 vicariates in Russia; in 1764, the number of the former had increased to 29, and to 36 at the beginning of the nineteenth century; which latter number was increased under Nicholas I, and became 65 in our day. The eparchies are ruled by metropolitans (St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Kieff), archbishops, and bishops. According to the most recent statistics, there were 133 Russian bishops, including the bishop-vicars of the eparchies, and the bishops without a charge. In regard to the moral character of the Russian episcopate, and concerning the various institutions of the Russian dioceses, see the present writer’s work “La Chiesa russa” pp. 105-160. The Russian clergy, which is divided into two castes, the “white” clergy, or seculars, and the “black” clergy, or regulars, has not acquired, among the Russians, the moral prestige that the Catholic clergy has acquired in Catholic countries. According to the latest statistics, there are in the “white” clergy 45,000 priests, 2400 archpriests, 15,000 deacons, and 44,000 singers, while there are 60,000 churches and chapels in the country. This clergy exercises its ministry over more than 90 millions of Orthodox faithful; but it is rendered incapable of accomplishing its mission by poverty, want of education, the lack of sound vocations, the oppression of the Government, contempt and social isolation, family cares, and not infrequently by drink. Only in the cities are there to be found priests of culture and in comfortable circumstances; those who work in the rural parishes are deserving of pity and compassion.
In the eighteenth century, the “black” clergy suffered vicissitudes that greatly reduced the number of monasteries and monks. Peter the Great especially and Anna Ivanovna treated the monks with the greatest severity. Nevertheless the “black” clergy preserved the moral and economic superiority in Russia; bishops, rectors, and inspectors of academies and seminaries are taken from the ranks of the “black” clergy, and the monasteries still possess immense riches. According to the most recent statistics there are 298 monasteries that are recognized and subsidized by the Government, while there are 154 not subsidized (zastatnij). There were 9317 monks and 8266 novices. There were 400 religious houses of women, inhabited by 12,652 nuns and 40,275 novices. Many of these religious houses are of the Russian Sisters of Charity, who maintain 184 hospitals, and 148 asylums. The life of the regular clergy, except in a few monasteries of strict observance, is very lax.
The Orthodox clergy receives its education in the ecclesiastical schools, preparatory for the seminaries (dukhovnyja utchilishsha) of which there are 185, with 1302 instructors, and which are maintained at an expense to the state of 6,153,353 roubles yearly; in the ecclesiastical seminaries, of which there are 57, with 866 instructors and 20,500 students; and also in the ecclesiastical academies of St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kieff, and Kazan, in which there are 120 instructors and 862 students; these academies possess very valuable libraries, and have professors of great scientific merit. The seminaries both morally or intellectually are in a wretched condition; from these seminaries the moral and intellectual shortcomings of the Russian clergy are derived, their students, as a rule, entering the priesthood without the least vocation. In 1906-08 these institutions became hotbeds of revolutionists, and even of anarchists. The ecclesiastical sciences are cultivated in the academies, which publish periodicals of great merit, as the “Khristianskoe Tchtenie” (Christian Reading) at St. Petersburg; the “Bogoslovski Viestnik” (Theological Messenger) at Sergievsk Posad; the “Trudy” (Works) of the Ecclesiastical Academy of Kieff, and the “Pravoslavnyi Sobesiednik” at Kazan. Other important periodicals are the “Strannik” (St. Petersburg Traveller), the “Tcherkovnij Viestnik” (Ecclesiastical Messenger), the “Cerkovnij a Viedomosti” (Ecclesiastical News), the organ of the synod at St. Petersburg; “Dushepoleznoe Tchtenie” (Edifying Reading), at Moscow, and the “Khristianin” (The Christian), at Sergievsk Posad. Among the most famous professors of the ecclesiastical academies of the present day, mention should be made of the great exegete Nikolai Glubokovski, the canonists Zaozerski and Berdnikoff, the historian Znamenski, etc. The most famous of them all, at present, is the archpriest Malinovski. A comprehensive study on the Russian seminaries and academies may be found in the work “La Chiesa russa”, pp. 541-679.
The educating influence of the Russian clergy upon the people is very slight. On the other hand the bureaucracy would suppress any effort of the clergy to give to the people a higher sense of its rights. The clergy maintains a great many elementary schools, the number of which was much increased in the time of Pobiedonostseff. These establishments are divided into schools of two classes, and schools of one class; of the former there are 672, with 77,000 students of both sexes; while there are 25,425 one-class schools, with 1,400,000 students of both sexes; and in addition 13,650 schools in which reading is taught, with 436,000 pupils. There are 426 secondary schools, with 22,300 students, the yearly maintenance of which costs a sum of 17,000,000 roubles.
The apostolic work of the Russian clergy has small result. The internal missions are against the Raskolniki, the mystic and the rationalist sects, the Mohammedans, the Catholics, the Lutherans, and the Jews. The missionaries direct their efforts towards the conversion of dissidents to Orthodoxy rather by the assistance of the police and by human means than by a supernatural spirit and by convincing arguments. All efforts, not excluding deportation to Siberia, have failed to secure the conversion of the Raskolniki, who since 1905 have enjoyed a certain liberty, and at the present time maintain a great propaganda. Their number is estimated at 15,000,000. Among Catholics and Lutherans the Russian missions are without effect; in fact since 1905 many of the Orthodox have embraced Catholicism or Lutheranism. For three centuries Russian missionaries have worked for the conversion of the Mohammedan Tatars; but the trivial nature of the propaganda among that people was shown in 1905, when 500,000 Christian Tatars returned to the faith of Islam.
The foreign missions of Russia are in North and South America, Japan, Corea, and Persia. In North America the efforts of the Orthodox missionaries are directed to the conversion of the Uniate Ruthenians who emigrate to that continent. In other countries their efforts are almost without result, with the exception of Japan, where Ivan Kasatkin, who is now an archbishop, and who went to those islands in 1860, succeeded in establishing a Japanese branch of the Orthodox Church, which numbers about 30,000 adherents and about 40 native priests (cf. “La Chiesa russa”, pp. 397-539).
The Church of Russia is the support and strength of Orthodoxy, which, counting Russians, Greeks, and Rumanians, has more than 110 millions of adherents. The conversion of Russia to Catholicism, therefore, would end the Eastern Schism. But the hour of a reconciliation between the East and the West is yet far distant, however much desired by Catholics and also by Russians, such as Vladimir Soloveff. There is no doubt that among the cultured classes of Russia there are to be found persons who desire this union, and who readily recognize the defects of their national Church; but there is no movement towards union with Catholicism. As a rule, the cultured classes of Russia are contaminated with the poison of infidelity; while the lower classes are slaves of superstition or ignorance, and most attached to the formalities of their rite. They are the easy prey of the rationalist or mystic Russian sects. Possibly Russia would have been Catholic if, after the Union of Brest, politics and human passions had not rendered the condition of the Uniates most unhappy, and placed obstacles in the way of the development of the Ruthenian clergy. But it is useless to lament the past; and every effort should be made that the latent religious forces of Russia may some day find their full development in union with Catholicism under a single shepherd.
RUSSIAN LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE.—The subject will be treated under the following heads, viz. I. RUSSIAN LANGUAGE; II. Ancient POPULAR LITERATURE; III. FIRST MONUMENTS OF RUSSIAN LITERATURE; IV. LITERATURE FROM THE ELEVENTH TO THE THIRTEENTH CENTURIES; V. LITERATURE FROM THE FOURTEENTH TO THE SIXTEENTH CENTURIES; VI. LITERATURE OF LITTLE RUSSIA AND GREAT RUSSIA IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY; VII. RUSSIAN LITERATURE OF THE TIME OF PETER THE GREAT; VIII. LITERATURE OF RUSSIA IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY; IX. LITERATURE OF RUSSIA IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY; X. CONTEMPORARY RUSSIAN LITERATURE.
I. RUSSIAN LANGUAGE.—Russian is a Slav language belonging to the Indo-European family. The dispersion of the Slav tribes in prehistoric times resulted in the formation of various Slav dialects, of which Shafarik counted twelve, although other writers recognize only six or seven. The Slav dialects are divided into the South-Eastern dialects and the Western dialects. To the former, which culminate in the Bulgarian, belongs the Russian, or rather the three Russian dialects of Great Russia, Little Russia, and White Russia. Russian has many affinities with the Bulgarian and Servian languages, because Russia received her primitive literature from the Bulgarians and Servians. The absence of documents, however, makes it impossible to define with precision the character of the primitive language of Russia, or rather the relations between that language and the Russian of literature. According to Sreznevski and Lavroff, the similarity between the two languages was almost complete, and consisted in turns of expression rather than in grammatical forms. Before the thirteenth century, the literary, ecclesiastical, and administrative language was one. But in the fourteenth century the ecclesiastical language began to differ from the literary language and this difference grew considerably in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The Palaeoslavic or ecclesiastical language, however, varied little in either case from the language of the people. In time Russian underwent local changes of form that gave rise to the dialects of Kieff, Novgorod, Vladimir, and Moscow. The Vareghi, the Greeks, the Tatars, the Lithuanians, and the Poles left traces of their political domination on the language of Russia, and in the time of Peter the Great many words were added from German, French, and English. The question of the primitive language of Russia is connected with the ethnological question, and in the nineteenth century gave rise to lengthy and spirited polemics which, however, led to no definite results. A leading work for the study of this controvery is Buslaeff’s “Historical Grammar of the Russian Language” (1858). Political and nationalist questions also enter into the philological researches concerning the primitive language of Russia. The Ruthenians, or Little Russians, claim that their language was the original Russian, and therefore that primitive Russian literature should rather be called Ruthenian. On the other hand Sobolevski and the nationalists of Great Russia declare that the present Ruthenian is not the primitive language of Kieff. This philological controversy between the nationalists of Little Russia and those of Great Russia has not yet terminated.
II. Ancient POPULAR LITERATURE.—From its earliest history Russia has possessed a literature that was handed down by tradition from generation to generation. It was not before the seventeenth century that this literature took a written form. The collection of Russian proverbs was begun: in the eighteenth century Daniloff published the first collection of Russian byline: at the end of the same century and at the beginning of the nineteenth, Tchulkoff, Popoff, and Macaroff published the first collections of popular songs. Upon this literature, which conveys so much information on the religious, civil, and social life of primitive Russia, great light was thrown by the studies of Kalaidoviteh, Snegireff, Sakharoff, Kirieevski, Bielinski, Athanasieff, Kostomoroff, Maikoff, Buslaeff, Bersonoff, and Vselovski. The popular Russian songs are divided into several classes. There are the mystic or ritual songs (obriadnyia piesni), which were sung in the sacred games, and on other solemn occasions; they contain many memories of the ancient pagan feasts, celebrating the glories of Dazh-Bog (the sun-god), of Koliada (traced by Russian writers to the Latin Calendae), and of Ovsen. Others, illustrating the promiscuity of pagan tradition, celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ (sviatotchnyja piesni); others relate to the spring feasts (vesnianki), or accompany the dance (khorovodnyja). To this same class belong the nuptial songs (svadebnyja), the kupal’skija (literally, songs of the baths), the rusal’nyja, in honor of the Rusalke, a term that probably served to designate the souls of the departed.
The byline are the most beautiful treasures of this popular literature, of which they form the heroic cycle. The term byline is derived from the verb byl (it was), and etymologically signifies the recital of that which happened in times gone by. They tell of the deeds of the legendary heroes of primitive Russia. History, legend, and mythology together furnish the matter of these epic songs. In them the Russian heroes are called bogatyr, a name that some believe to be derived from Bog (God), as if they were demigods; others believe that the term is derived from Tatar or Mongolian; and yet others from the Sanskrit (bhaga, force, happiness). The heroes who are immortalized in the byline belong to the epoch of Vladimir the Great, or to more ancient times, and partake of a mythological character. These heroes, who act together with those of the time of Vladimir the Great, but nevertheless are endowed with a mythological character, are Sviatogor, Mikula Selianinovitch, Volga Sviatoslavitch, Sukhman Odikhmantevitch, and Don Ivanovitch; the historians of Russian literature designate them by the epithet of starshie (“ancient heroes”). The “young heroes” (mladshie) belong historically to the epoch of Vladimir; their names are Elia Muromec, Dobrynja Nikititch, Alesha Popovitch, Solovei Budimirovitch, etc. Kieff is, so to speak, their geographical center, and Vladimir their star. In the Russian chronicles they are mentioned between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries. Elia of Murom lived at the end of the twelfth century, and his remains rest in the grotto of the sanctuary of Petcherskaia at Kieff. They combat the monsters that assail Russia from within or from without, that is, paganism and thieves among the first, and the Petchenegi, the Polovcy, and the Chozari among the second. The historical, philological, and poetical importance of these ancient monuments of literature is very great. Other byline of later date, more commonly called historical songs, refer to the Tatar invasions, to the period of Ivan the Terrible, and also to that of Peter the Great. The songs and legends of Little Russia are called dumy (elegies, ballads), and celebrate the struggles of the Cossacks and Little Russians against the Turks or Tatars and the Poles, and the union of Little Russia with Great Russia. The songs that refer to domestic life are called bytovyja piesni. They sing the popular feasts and games, and the sad as well as happy events of domestic life, while they preserve many traces of paganism. The best collections of them are those of Tchulkoff (St. Petersburg, 1770-74); Novikoff (Moscow, 1780-81); and Sakharoff (St. Petersburg, 1838-39).
To popular literature belong the fanciful novels called skazki, which resemble somewhat the stories of the Fates. Their protagonists are strange beings created by the ardent popular fancy, Baba-Iaga, serpents with six or twelve heads, stags, horses, etc. The forces of nature are personified. At times the mythological element predominates in them entirely; and again it is blended with Christianity. The oldest novels are characterized by their simplicity and by the repose of their recital. Some of them, like the one entitled “The Judgment of Shemjaka”, are satirical compositions. Others are derived from Western novels, especially the Italian. The proverbs also belong to popular literature. They are called poslovicy, and are very abundant, the first complete collection of them having been made by D. Kniazhevitch in 1822. They are the spontaneous product of the wisdom, caustic spirit, and rudimentary culture of the Russian people, and reflect the various historical ages of Russia. Some of them date from pagan times, others emanate from the people’s knowledge of Holy Scripture, and others originate in the events that produced the greatest impressions on the popular imagination. To popular literature belong also the enigmas or riddles (zagadki), collected by Khudiakoff (Moscow, 1861) and by Sadovinikoff (St. Petersburg, 1876); the incantations (zagovory), the conjurations (zakliatia), and the lullabies (platchi), which are most useful for the study of Russian folklore and primitive Russian life.
III. FIRST MONUMENTS OF RUSSIAN LITERATURE.—The first written literature of Russia is coincident with the conversion of Russia to Christianity. Bulgaria was the first Slav educator of Russia, and the first translations of the Scriptures and the liturgies were Bulgarian. The most ancient monument of Russian literature, and at the same time of the ecclesiastical Palwoslavic language common to the primitive Slav Christians, is the Gospel called “Ostromirovo”, written at Novgorod in 1056-57 by the Deacon Gregor, by order of Ostromir, first magistrate (posadnik) of the city. This valuable document was published by Vostokoff in 1843. Ancient Russian literature is of an eminently religious character. The greater portion of its monuments are sermons, homilies, letters, lives of saints, pilgrimages; even the profane works, as chronicles and voyages, have a religious tone. On the other hand, owing to the fact that the Russians received their Christianity from Byzantium, their literature was openly Byzantine in character, the early Russians either translating the Byzantine works, or being inspired by the spirit of those works, and writing as if they were Byzantines. Primitive Russian literature, however, was subject also to other influences. The Slav influence was due to the Bulgarians and Servians, who, until the fifteenth century, gave many cultured men to Russia, e.g., the Metropolitan Cyprian and Gregor Camblak. Greek influence lasted a longer time, and flourished in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Russian literature in the beginning consisted of translations from the Greek and of original works. Its development was very slow, because the prices of codices were very high. The copying, of books was considered not only a useful contribution to culture, but a supernatural work. The Princess of Polotsk, St. Euphrosyne (twelfth century), copied books, a work to which monks, and even bishops, devoted themselves. Russian monks were wont to go to Constantinople, or to Mount Athos, and there to become amanuenses and enrich the first Russian libraries by their work. The first books that were translated were those of the Holy Scriptures that were most used by the people (Psalms, the Gospels, Proverbs, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Wisdom of Jesus the son of Sirach). There were also collections of extracts from the Holy Scriptures, called Paremii. The translation of all the books of the Holy Scriptures in a single codex was made in 1499, by order of Gennadius Gonzoff, Archbishop of Novgorod (1484-1504).
Simultaneously with the Holy Scriptures, the writings of the Fathers of the Church were greatly in vogue, especially those of St. John Chrysostom. Highly esteemed also were the doctrinal explanations of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, the canons of St. Basil, the homilies of St. Theodore the Studite, the discourses of St. Athanasius against Arianism, the discourses of St. Gregory of Nazianzus, the “Klimax” of St. John Climacus, and the works of St. Isaac the Syrian, St. Ephraem the Syrian, and St. John Damascene. Until the seventeenth century, the theological writings of St. John Damascene were the sources of Russian Orthodox theology. The great popularity of the works of the Fathers gave rise to the formation of collections of extracts from their discourses, and to annotated copies, with explanations, for the study of their writings, called sborniki, of which there are several: “Zlatoust”, a collection of moral sermons and homilies (112), mostly from St. John Chrysostom; “Margarit”, another collection from St. John Chrysostom, included in the monologue of the Metropolitan Macarius, and published for the first time at Ostrog in 1596; “Izmaragd”, a collection of sermons and homilies from St. Basil, St. John Chrysostom, St. Ephraem, St. Gregory the Great, and St. Cyril of Alexandria; “Andriatis”, a collection of the homilies recited by St. John Chrysostom at Antioch; “Zlataia ciep” (golden chain), a collection of discourses on the moral virtues, taken from the Fathers of the Church and from Russian writers; the “Ptchely” (bees), a collection of the literary flowers of St. Maximus the Confessor. The famous “Sbornik” of Sviatoslaff Yaroslaffitch, Prince of Tchernigoff, which was translated in Bulgaria from the Greek, for the Tsar Simeon, in 1073, also has texts from the Fathers and from profane writers.
The Greek synaxaria, the Greek: Patereka of Sinai and Jerusalem, translated in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and the “Patericon” of the Petcherskaia Shrine of Kieff, which is very valuable for the study of primitive Russian hagiology, are of a sacro-historical character. The Greek synaxaria took in Russian the name of Greek: Prologos. Collections of discourses in honor of the feasts of Our Lord, of the Blessed Virgin, and of the saints received the name of “Torzhestvenniki”. An historical compendium of the Old Testament, called “Palei”, from, Greek: palaia diatheke, dates from the earliest times of Russian Christianity. The oldest codices of the “Palei” are of the fourteenth century, but their origin is much older. To sacred and profane literature belong the so-called Greek: chronographoi, collections and transformations of writings of Byzantine chroniclers, especially of Malala, Amartolos, Manasses, and Zonaras, as also the Slav version of the “Christian Topography” of Cosmas Indicopleustes.
Partly to sacro-profane and partly to profane literature belong many novels and stories translated from Byzantine, Servian, and Bulgarian writings, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. One of the most famous novels, taken from the literature of Constantinople, is the history of Barlaam and Josaphat. At the end of the sixteenth century, the influence of Polish literature helped to spread in Russia two works that were much in vogue in the West, the “Gesta Romanorum“, and the “Speculum Magnum.” The apocryphal books of the Old Testament (story of Adam and Eve; story of the Tree of the Cross; story of the Just Enoch, etc.), and those of the New Testament (story of Aphroditian on the miracles in Persia; dispute of Christ with the Devil; conversation of Adam and Lazarus in Limbo, etc.) were also widely disseminated in the literature of that time. There were also translated into Palaeorussian the “Elucidarium sive dialogus de summa totius religionis christianae”, attributed to Honorius of Autun by Migne; books of magic and books of astrology (“Gromnik” “Molnianik”, “Koliadnik”, etc). Under the influence of this literature, religious songs were created that became very popular with the people (Dukhovnye stikhi). These little poems or songs treat of the most varied subjects, and it is very difficult to divide them into different classes. They are of a moral and religious character, referring to the Creation, to St. Michael the Archangel, to the sufferings of the damned, to the birth or passion of Jesus Christ, to the Russian saints, etc. And beside these poetical productions sprang up the hagiological legends, of which the best known refer to St. Nicholas of Myra, St. Parasceve, and St. Cassian. The deep researches of Arkhangelski and Sobolevski throw a great deal of light on the Russian versions of the Fathers and of the Byzantine writings.
IV. LITERATURE FROM THE ELEVENTH TO THE THIRTEENTH CENTURIES.—Russian literature, properly so called, from the period of the advent of Christianity in Russia to the time of Peter the Great, comprises discourses, instructions, and letters that are intended to infuse Christian sentiments, and to draw the people from pagan practices; polemical works, directed at first against the Latins, and later against the first Russian heresies; lives of saints, chronicles, and historical works, pilgrimages and voyages, and juridical monuments. There is almost a total absence of poetry. The first centers of culture were Kieff and Novgorod; in the sixteenth century, Moscow. Among the writers who left a name for sacred eloquence in the period from the eleventh to the thirteenth centuries, mention is made of Luke Zhidiata, Archbishop of Novgorod (1035-59), whose discourse is a brief recapitulation of the truths of the Faith; St. Hilarion, Metropolitan of Kieff in 1051, whose discourses contain very valuable data for the early history of Russian Christianity; the Blessed Theodosius Petcherski, who wrote discourses for the people and the monks; Nicephorus, Metropolitan of Kieff (1104-20), whose discourses and letters, written in Greek, were translated later into Russian; Cyril of Turoff (1171-82), a brilliant writer who, on account of his natural and vigorous eloquence resembling that of St. John Chrysostom, is called the Chrysostom of Russia. His discourses, homilies, writings on monastic life, and prayers are among the most important monuments of the ancient ecclesiastical literature of Russia.
The polemics against the Latins found almost their only exponents among the Greeks who in the beginning governed the Russian dioceses. Leontius, metropolitan (992-1008), wrote against the Arians; George, metropolitan (1065-73), wrote a “Dispute with a Latin”, in which the various pretended innovations of the Roman Church are attacked; Ivan II (1186-89) is the author of a letter to Clement III, in which the Latins are reproved only on account of the insertion of the Filioque in the Creed. The letter on the Faith of the Vareghi (or Variazhskoi vierie), which by some is attributed, although without strong arguments, to St. Theodosius Petcherski, is believed by some to be of Russian origin. Among the first Russian hagiologists mention should be made of Jacob, a monk of the Petcherskaia hermitage, who wrote an account of the martyrdom of Sts. Boris and Glieba, and the panegyric of St. Vladimir; of Nestor, the most famous of the ancient Russian writers, a monk of the hermitage of Kieff, who died in 1114. He is the author of the lives of Boris and Glieba, of the Blessed Theodosius, and of a chronicle (“Lietopis”) The original of the chronicle of Nestor has not come down to us; the most ancient copy of it is that of the monk Lawrence, made in 1377 for Demetrius Constantinovitch, Prince of Suzdal. Nestor was not the first Russian chronicler. Other chroniclers, whose names and works have not been handed down to our times, wrote before him at Novgorod. The national and literary importance of the chronicle of Nestor is very great. The Russians rightly consider it as an epic history, warm with the love of country. It finishes with the year 1110, but was continued by other writers, under various names, as “Chronicle of Kieff”, “Chronicle of Volhynia”, “Chronicle of Suzdal”, etc. They are of an eminently religious character, and abound in texts from the Scriptures and in ascetic considerations.
Another important work in which the Russian national sentiment predominates is the journey of the higumeno Daniel (thirteenth century) to the Holy Places: before the Holy Sepulchre he prays “for all the land of Russia”. Anthony, Archbishop of Novgorod, visited Constantinople four years after the taking of that city by the Latins (1204), and left a short but very important description of its churches and monasteries.
To profane literature belong the “Testament” of Vladimir Monomachus, written in 1099, in which its author gives a recital of his enterprises; and the celebrated account of the battle of Igor (“Slovo” or “Polku Igorevie”), which was found in 1795 in the library of Count Musin Pushkin. It is the only poetical work of the Russia of the princes, and relates the military expedition of Igor Sviatoslavitch, Prince of Novgorod-Sieverski, against the Polovcy (1185). It is characterized by the grandeur of its poetical sentiment, the beauty of its descriptions, and love of country. In the twelfth century was written the discourse of Daniel Zatotchnik (Captivus), who, imprisoned in the Government of Olonetz, writes to a prince to ask for his liberty, making a great display of his learning. Among the juridical monuments of that age we may cite the “Russkaia Pravda” (Russian code) of Prince Yaroslaff I, and the Greek Nomocanon, translated in the earliest times of Russian Christianity, and qualified with the epithet of Kormtchaia kniga, corresponding to the Greek pedalion. To the nomocanon were added the “Ecclesiastical Regulations” (“Cerkovnye ustavy”) of Vladimir and Yaroslaff, which however are not of those princes, at least in the form in which they have been transmitted to us in codices of the thirteenth century. The monasteries were centers of the literary culture of Russia in the eleventh and twelfth centuries; and the Greco-Russian clergy labored for the diffusion of it. From the Greek clergy came the polemical works, and the hatred of the Latins that became fixed in the hearts of the Russian people. The first Greek polemics who lived in Russia spread the most absurd calumnies against the Latins, and anathematized as heretical the most simple liturgical customs: the Metropolitan George enumerated twenty-seven points of divergence between the Greeks and Latins. The thirteenth century is very poor from the standpoint of literature. The Tatar invasions stopped the progress of culture, and prevented intellectual work. Among the literary monuments of that century are cited a letter of Simon, Bishop of Vladimir (1215-26), to Polycarp, a monk of the Petcherskaia hermitage; the life of Abraham of Smolensk, a most important historical document; the sermons of Serapion, Bishop of Vladimir (1274-75), and a synodal and canonical decision of Cyril II, Metropolitan of Kieff (1243-80), which is inserted in the Kormtchaia kniga.
V. LITERATURE FROM THE FOURTEENTH TO THE SIXTEENTH CENTURIES.—In the period from the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries, literary culture, paralyzed by Tatar oppression in the region of Kieff, continued to flourish at Novgorod and Pskof, and from there was carried to other centers, viz., Vladimir, Rostoff, Murom, Yaroslaff, Tver, Ryazan, and finally Moscow, which received the name of the Third Rome. In the fourteenth century sacred sermons were written by various authors, among whom were Peter, Metropolitan of Moscow; Alexei, another metropolitan of Moscow (1293-1377) who, in a codex of the Gospel which he transcribed, corrected the ancient Slav version in many points, by the Greek original; Matvei, Bishop of Sarai; the metropolitan Cyprian (1376-1406), a Servian by birth, who also left various letters and translated the Psalter, the Missal (Sluzhebnik), the Nomocanon, etc.; the Blessed Cyril, founder of the monastery of Bielozero, the author of several letters to the sons of Prince Demetrius Donskoi; Basil, Archbishop of Novgorod (1331-1352), who wrote a letter to Feodor, Bishop of Tver, to convince him of the existence of a terrestrial paradise. Brief descriptions of Constantinople and its churches in the fourteenth century were left by Stephen, a monk of Novgorod, by Ignatius, a deacon of Smolensk, and by Alexandr D’jak (“judge”, “magistrate”). Among the novels special mention should be made of the “Zadonshina”, written by Sofronio or Sofonio of Ryazan, an epic story that relates the military acts of Prince Demetrius Donskoi, who vanquished the Tatars at Kulikovo (1380).
In the fifteenth century the beginning of heresies in Russian Christianity, which originated in the decadence of monastic asceticism as well as in the gross ignorance of the clergy and laity, opened up new fields to Russian religious polemics. Photius, Metropolitan of Moscow (1410-31) and Gregor Camblak, Metropolitan of Kieff (1416) composed letters and moral sermons; Gennadius, Archbishop of Novgorod (1485-1504), wrote against the sect of the Judaizers, which originated in that city about 1471; the higumeno Josef Sanin of Polotsk assailed the same sect in his tedious work “Prosvietitel” (“the illuminator”). Nil Sorski (1433-1508), founder of a hermitage on the banks of the Sora River, is the author of writings that were directed towards the reformation of the ideals and the life of Russian monasticism. Among the travellers of this period Zosimus, hiero-deacon of the hermitage of St. Sergius, and a merchant, Basil, left accounts of their pilgrimages to the Holy Land. Simeon, hiero-monk of Suzdal, accompanied Isidore, Metropolitan of Moscow, to the Council of Florence, and left an interesting recital of his voyage to Italy, and a short but important account of the council, which is one of the monuments of the Russian polemics against the Latins. Anthony Nikitin, a merchant of Tver, went to India through Persia in 1466, returned to his country in 1472, and in the account of his travels gave important information on the religious beliefs of the people of India. In historical literature, besides the valuable sketch of the Council of Florence, there should be mentioned the account of the foundation and the taking of Constantinople, which was very popular among the Russians.
The sixteenth century, as Porfiréff rightly states, was one of criticism and restoration. Its literature, always eminently religious, proposed to revive the ancient customs, and the ancient traditions, and to restore religion and the family. The most famous and most learned champion of these reforms was Maximus the Greek, born at Arta, in Albania, and educated in Italy. He entered monastic life on Mount Athos, and in 1518 repaired to Russia, where he took an active part in the religious life of the country, and in the correction of the liturgical books; he suffered a painful imprisonment in various monasteries, from 1525 to 1553, and died at the hermitage of St. Sergius in 1556. A most learned theologian, he wrote polemical works against the Gentiles, the Jews, the Judaizers, the Mohammedans, and the Latins, especially in opposition to the supremacy of the pope and to the Filioque; he combatted astrology, and wrote short works and discourses on moral subjects. Among the Russian prelates of the sixteenth century, Daniel, elected Metropolitan of Moscow in 1522, acquired fame. He was the author of sixteen discourses that prove him to have read assiduously, and to have had a profound knowledge of patristic literature. The most important monument of the literature of the sixteenth century is the “Domostroi”, attributed to Sylvester, a priest who was the contemporary of Ivan the Terrible; Sylvester was, however, the compiler rather than the author of the work. It is a book of a moral character, in which are propounded the rules for living according to the precepts of the Faith and Christian piety, the duties of man as a member of the family, and the way to govern the home well and to care for domestic economy. The “Domostroi”, therefore, is a compendium of the duties of a Christian man, and at the same time a true picture of the social and domestic organization of Russia in the sixteenth century. Another great work, which had remained unpublished until now, but which the Archaegraphical Commission of St. Petersburg is now bringing to light, is the “Tchet’y Minei” of the Metropolitan Macarius of Moscow (1542-64). From the beginnings of its literature, Russia possessed lives of saints, the number of which increased from century to century. The Metropolitan Macarius collected into a vast work the lives of all the saints of the Greco-Russian Church, adding panegyrics and discourses in their honor, and also whole books of Scripture, with commentaries, writings of the Fathers, and synaxaria, so that his menologies are almost a complete repertoire of the ancient literature of Russia, rather than a simple hagiological collection. To the same century belong the hagiological legends, which are lives of the saints, or episodes in them, embellished by popular fancy, examples of which are the legends of the Tsarevitch Peter (thirteenth century), of St. Mercurius, of Martha and Mary, of Prince Peter of Murom, and of his consort, Febronia.
Prince Andrew Kurbski, a warm defender of the Orthodox Church, translated the dialectics and the Greek: Pege gnoseos of St. John Damascene, and wrote a brief history of the Council of Florence and a history of Ivan the Terrible, with whom he was in correspondence; these letters are preserved to our day. An important work of religious polemics was written by the monk Zinovii of Otna, who refuted the heretical and Judaistic doctrines of Kosoi. The title of the work is “Istiny pokazanie” (demonstration of the truth), and it consists of fifty-six chapters. Of the sixteenth century there are also two small works, written in refutation of Protestantism, which at that time was beginning to spread in Russia. Among the Russian pilgrims who visited the Holy Places and who wrote an account of their travels the most distinguished are Trif on Korobeinikoff and George Grekoff, who went to Jerusalem in 1583.
VI. LITERATURE OF LITTLE RUSSIA AND GREAT RUSSIA IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY.—The seventeenth century witnessed the Renaissance of Little Russia, which became the instructor of Great Russia. Under Catholic and Polish influence Little Russia drew near to the West, assimilated Western science, and modeled its schools upon those of the Latins. The “Union” of Brest in 1596 gave an efficient impulse to Orthodox culture. Confraternities were established to open schools and printing-offices for the publication and dissemination of polemical works; among them those of Lemberg, Vilna, and Kieff were famous. Scholastic theology and philosophy entered into and dominated the Russian academies and seminaries. Latin became the official language in the teaching of theology. Peter Mogilas, Metropolitan of Kieff, transformed into a superior school of theology the school established by the Confraternity of the Church of the Apparition of the Lord. The works of St. Thomas Aquinas exercised a great influence on Orthodox theology, and in the academy of Kieff the Immaculate Conception was upheld. The literature of the religious polemics against the Latins, to which the Union of Brest gave rise, is very rich. In 1597 was published the “Ekthesis”, or Orthodox history of the Union of Brest; Kristofor Bronski, under the pseudonym of Filalete wrote the “Apokrisis” against Peter Skarga, and later the “Perestroga” (admonishment). Meletius Smotricki, Archbishop of Polotsk (d. 1633), wrote the “Threnos” and other works of religious polemic, and finally embraced Catholicism; in 1622 Zacharias Kopystenski wrote the “Palinodia”, the most important work in this polemical literature. The writings of Meletius Smotricki in defense of Catholicism, which he had on other occasions so strenuously opposed, were confuted by Andrew Muzkilovski, by Job Borecki, Metropolitan of Kieff, and by Gelasius Diplic. Joannikius Galiatovski, rector of the academy of Kieff (d. 1688), wrote several works against the Catholics, one of them against the Filioque, confuted the Hebrews in his work “The True Messias“, and also wrote several works in refutation of the Koran. Another polemic against the Latins was Lazarus Baranovitch, Archbishop of Tchernigoff (d. 1694); in a work that was directed against the Jesuit Boyme, he opposed the supremacy of the pope and the Procession of the Holy Ghost from the Son.
The first Orthodox catechisms appeared in the seventeenth century, written by Laurence Zizanii and by Peter Mogilas; the latter, in the work Greek: Lithos (attributed to him), defends the Orthodox Church against the charge of Protestantism; he is considered to be the author of the famous Orthodox Confession of the Eastern Church, approved by the special Council of Jassy in 1643. Among the preachers whom the sacred orators of the East sought to imitate, mention may again be made of Joannikius Galiatovski, who wrote a treatise on the art of oratory, entitled “Kliutch razumienia”; Anthony Radivilovski, higumeno of the hermitage of Kieff; and Lazarus Baranovitch. In 1591 there was published at Lemberg the first Slavo-Greek grammar; Lawrence Zizanii wrote a Slav grammar in 1596, and the grammar of Meletius Smotricki was published in 1619. Zizanii added a small Slav dictionary to his grammar, but the first Slavo-Russian lexicon was published by Berynda, hiero-monk of Kieff, in 1627. Western influence is revealed also in the poetry of the academy of Kieff. Besides the sacred cantata, the “Mysteries” were introduced to the schools and colleges; these “Mysteries” were sacred plays, modeled upon those of the Jesuit colleges. Among the historical works of Little Russia, mention should be made of the “Synopsis” of the history of Russia by Innocent Gizel, Archimandrite of Kieff, the “Enegesis” or history of the school of Kieff, and the “Paterikon” of the Petcherskaia hermitage by Sylvester Kossoff, Metropolitan of Kieff (d. 1657).
From Kieff Western culture was carried to Moscow, to which city masters and learned men of Little Russia were called to organize schools, compose works, and print books; but they did not receive a friendly welcome. Their orthodoxy was suspected; the more so since several of the most illustrious theologians of Kieff admitted with the Latins the dogmatic truth of the Immaculate Conception, and the efficacy of the words of consecration alone to effect Transubstantiation. The suspicion against the purity of their theological teachings became so strong that the Russians turned to the Greeks for masters. In 1685 the Greek school was established at Moscow, and in time took the name of Greco Slav-Latin Academy. Its first masters were the Greek hiero-monks Joannikius and Sophronius Likhudes, who had studied in Italy, and who taught Greek literature at Moscow from 1685 to 1694. They wrote many polemical works against the Latins, against Protestants, and against the theologians of Little Russia who leaned towards the Latins, especially against Sylvester Medviedeff. In ecclesiastical literature the most distinguished authors were Epiphanius Slavinecki, the first of Russian bibliographers; Arsenius Sukhanoff, author of “A Voyage to the Holy Land” (“Proskynitarion”); Simon Polocki (of Polotsk), author of one of the first systematic treatises on Orthodox theology (“Vienec viery”), and also of sermons that are highly prized, of sacred poems, and of sacred plays; St. Demetrius of Rostoff (1651-1709), one of the most illustrious bishops of the Russian Church, a theologian, historian, poet, polemic, and hagiologist. He was the author of two Orthodox catechisms, of a very strong work against the Raskolniki (“Rozysk”), of a diary of his life, the “Tcheti minei” (menologies), a work upon which he spent twenty years; many sacred discourses that are appreciated for the simplicity of their style and for their depth of religious sentiment, and, finally, of several sacred plays, one of the most interesting of which is the “Birthday”.
Epiphanius Slavinecki and an unnamed priest of Orel were also distinguished as sacred orators. The former rendered a great service to Patristic literature by translating into Russian a great many of the writings of the Fathers (St. Justin, St. Gregory of Nazianzus, St. Basil, and St. John Damascene). One of his scholars, Eutimius, wrote a polemical work, called “Osten”, against the theories of Sylvester Medviedeff, who sided with the Latins in the question of the Epiklesis. Against the Raskolniki, besides St. Demetrius of Rostoff, there wrote Simeon of Polotsk in 1666 (“Zhely pravlenij a”); in 1682 the Patriarch of Moscow, Jacob (“Uviet dukhovnii”) likewise, the Metropolitan of Siberia, Ignatius, and George Krizhanitch. The latter, who was a student of the Greek College of St. Athanasius at Rome (1640), became famous on account of his theories of the cause of the schism between East and West, which he attributed to politics and the antagonism between Greeks and Latins, due to Panslavist ideas and political doctrines. The learned Sergius Bielokuroff devoted four volumes to the life and works of Krizhanitch. In the seventeenth century there began to be published the first Greco-Latin lexicons, and also the first scientific books, arithmetics and geographies. Historical literature is represented by the chronicle of the Patriarch Nicomachus, which is brought down to 1631; by the chronicle called “Voskresenski”, after the monastery where it was written, of which the relation finishes with the year 1560; and by several special chronicles, as the account of the siege of the Shrine of St. Sergio by the Poles in 1610, by Abraham Polycin, and by others of the diak Feodor Griboiedoff, of the deacon Timothy Kamevevitch Rvovski, of Andrew Lyzloff, a priest of Smolensk, and of Sergius Kubasoff.
VII. RUSSIAN LITERATURE OF THE TIME OF PETER THE GREAT.—Under Peter the Great there began a new period in Russian literature. The foundation of St. Petersburg put Russia in more direct contact with the West. Peter the Great, by violence and absolutism, dragged Russia out of her isolation, and directed her upon a new way. A new and more simple alphabet took the place of the old Slav alphabet, the new characters being adapted from the Latin. The first book that was printed with the new characters is a treatise on geometry (1708). In arithmetical books, Arabic figures were substituted for the Slav letters that represented numerals (1703). Schools of navigation, of military science, and of medicine were established. Peter the Great determined to establish an academy of sciences at St. Petersburg, and Catherine I carried out his project in 1726. Many foreign books were translated into Russian, and the most intelligent students were sent to foreign countries to complete their studies. Russian literature lost its ecclesiastical character and assumed a lay form; and in ecclesiastical literature itself there was effected a transformation towards the modern, due to the reforms of Peter the Great.
The first period of this new literature begins with Peter the Great, and closes with Lomonosoff and Sumarokoff. In the realm of sacred literature there became famous Stephen Javorski (1658-1723), patriarchal vicar and Metropolitan of Ryazan, and Theophanus Procopovitch, Archbishop of Novgorod (1681-1736). The former, in his “Kamen viery” (Rock of Faith), wrote a most learned refutation of Protestantism, taking much from Bellarmine; the second, who was the author of the “Ecclesiastical Regulations” of Peter the Great, wrote a voluminous course of Orthodox theology in Latin, and acquired fame as a man of letters and orator. In profane literature the influence of the French entirely predominated. There began the period of the new Russian poetry, the rules of which were propounded by Tredianovski (1703-69), who translated into Russian the “Ars Poetica” of Horace, and the work bearing the same title by Boileau. Prince Antiochus Dmitrievitch (1708-44), a Rumanian in the service of Russia, inaugurated the era of classicism in Russian poetry with his satires, which are often servile imitations of Horace, Juvenal, and Boileau. Michael Vasilevitch Lomonosoff (1711-65) deserves to be called the Peter the Great of Russian literature on account of his versatility, of the multiplicity of his works, and of his great literary influence: he wrote a treatise on Russian poetry (1739), on rhetoric (1748), on grammar (1755); he composed an epic poem on Peter the Great, two tragedies (Tamira and Salim, and Damofonte); he translated the Psalms into verse and wrote lyric poems, among which the ode to the Empress Elizabeth has remained famous. Alexander Petrovitch Sumarokoff composed many tragedies, some of them with Russian subjects (Yaropolk and Dimisa, Vysheslaff, Demetrius, Mstislav); he founded the national Russian drama wrote the comedies “Opekun” (The Tutor), and “Likhoimec” (The Concussionist), composed satires, and in 1759 established the first Russian literary periodical, the “Trudoliubivaia Ptchela” (The Working Bee).
Among the prose writers, Ivan Pososhkoff (1670-1725), in his “Zavieshanie otetcheskoe” (testament of the Fatherland), shows the necessity of well-ordered reforms in Russia, and in his book on poverty and wealth (“Kniga o skudosti i bogatstvie”) he develops in an original way his theories on political and social economy. Basil Nikititch Tatiahshef (1685-1750) gathered the chronicles the synaxaria, and the historical documents, and subjecting them to critical analysis, wrote the “History of Russia”. The academician Schlötzer spent forty years elucidating the origin and the historical problems of the primitive national chronicles of Russia. In 1728 the Academy of Sciences began the publication of the “S. Petersburgskija Viedomosti”, under the direction of the academician Muller, who in 1755 also founded the first scientific-literary periodical, called the “Ezhemiesatchny j a sotchinenia”.
LITERATURE OF RUSSIA IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.—During the reign of Catherine II French influence upon Russian literature became greater instead of decreasing. The writings of the French Encyclopedists and materialist philosophy became popular; Voltaire and Rousseau were much esteemed, and Catherine II became entirely imbued with a Voltairean spirit. She did not limit herself to favoring scientific institutions, and to creating new ones, but aspired to literary laurels. She wrote spelling-books, stories for children, letters on education, comedies, newspaper articles, and several volumes of memoirs in French, in which, with a cynical simplicity of style, she relates some of the ugliest episodes of her unchaste life. During her reign many literary publications were established. The empress herself did not disdain to contribute to the “Vsiakaja vsiatchina” (General Miscellany). Dionysius Ivanovitch Fonvizin (1744-92) wrote comedies which, like the “Brigadier”, and the “Nedorosl” (Pupil), became popular in Russia. Gabriel Romanovitch Derzhavin (1743-1816), of Tatar origin, assimilated the classical and modern literatures, and as a lyric poet sought to rise to the height of Horace and Pindar. His encomiastic odes are an apotheosis of the reign of Catherine II. In his religious songs, with his “Ode to God” (1784), which the Russians regard as the most beautiful monument of their national poetry, he perhaps attains sublimity of inspiration. His moral and philosophical odes and his Anacreontic verses reveal in him a great poetical genius. His tragedies “Pozharski”, “Tiemnji” and “Euprassia” do not join dramatic quality to their elegance of form. Mikhail Matveievitch Kheraskoff, of Wallachian origin, by his poems “Rossiada” and “Vladimir”, which have been forgotten, deserves the title of the Virgil or the Homer of Russia. Ippolit Feodorovitch Bogdanovitch (1743-1803), in his poem “Dushenka”, imitated La Fontaine’s “Amours de Psyche et de Cupidon”. Basil Ivanovitch Maikoff (1728-78) distinguished himself as a writer of comic poetry; Kniazhnin (1742-91) wrote tragedies and comedies; “Iabeda” (The Calumny), a comedy by Kapnist (1757-1828), was also among the plays that became popular.
The scientific movement was greatly promoted by the Academy of Sciences of St. Petersburg, by the University of Moscow, and by the Russian Academy, which was opened in 1783. Among those who distinguished themselves in historical work or in the study of the social and political conditions of Russia were Shsherbatoff (1733-90), who wrote six volumes of a “History of Russia”; Boltin (1735-92), whose learned volumes of “Observations on the History of Russia”, edited by Leclerc, were much praised by Soloveff; Radishsheff (1749-1802), whose “Journey from St. Petersburg to Moscow“, describing the miseries of the peasants and the abuses of the Russian bureaucracy cost its author an exile of ten years in Siberia. The archpriest of Moscow, Alekseieff, wrote the first ecclesiastical encyclopedia, while the Bishop Damascenus Rudneeff, who died in 1795, published his “Russian Library”, which contains an account of Russian literature, from its origin to the eighteenth century. Tchulkoff and Mikhail Popoff collected the monuments of the popular literature of their country.
LITERATURE OF RUSSIA IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY.—In the nineteenth century, Russian literature freed itself little by little from the yoke of foreign imitation, perfected the language, making it a most adequate means for the expression of the highest conceptions of the mind and the most delicate affections of the heart, and through a number of men of genius, won a place of honor is the history of universal literature. The merit of this transformation, of this new direction of Russian thought, is in great measure due to Nikolai Mikhailovitch Karamzin (1766-1826), who acquired a great fame in his country through his letters on travels that he made in Europe, his novels, and the part that he took in the establishment of the periodicals “Moskovski Zhurnal” and the “Viestnik Europy” (Courier of Europe). But his greatest claim to glory is the “Istorija gosudarstva rossiiskago” (History of the Russian Empire), a masterpiece of style, exposition, and eloquence, which contributed more than anything else to the formation of Russian prose. Historical criticism may find more to say of this work, but the literary merit of it will never be eclipsed. The work formed a literary school, to which belong Ivan Ivanovitch Dmitrieff (1760-1837), an exponent of elegance in poetry, author of poetical stories, satires, and fables; and Izmailoff, who became famous through his “Journey in Southern Russia” etc. In the realm of dramatic poetry, there became famous Ozeroff, by his tragedy “Oedipus in Athens” (1804); “Fingal” (1805); “Dmitri Donskoi” (1807), and “Polissena” (1809); the most noted satirists were Gortchakoff and Nakhimoff. But the greatest poetical glory of this period was Vassili Andreievitch Zhukovski (1783-1852), the master of romanticism in Russia, author of the Russian national hymn “Bozhe, carja Khrani”, and an indefatigable translator of Homer, Schiller, Goethe, Bürger, Uhland, Rukkert, Byron, and Scott. His elegies are full of passion and sentiment; his ballads, imitations of the German, became popular; they reveal in him a vivid poetical imagination.
Ivan Andreievitch Kryloff (1768-1844) owes his celebrity rather to his comedies than to his fables, which, it is true, are imitations of La Fontaine, but are written with so much simplicity, elegance, and richness of style, with such variety of rhythm and expression, that they form a veritable literary jewel, the value of which can be appreciated only by those who have a thorough knowledge of Russian. His comedies, “Modnaja lavka” (The Custom Shop) and “Urok dotchkam” (A Lesson to Girls), are of less literary merit. As a writer of comedy, Alexander Sergeievitch Griboiedoff (1790-1829) rose to the pinnacle of the art in a play that is the masterpiece of Russian theatrical composition, “Gore ot uma” (The Misfortune of Having Talent), a work which is full of pessimism on the social conditions of Russia and civilization generally; many of its verses have become proverbs.
The epoch of Nicholas I, which was one of fierce absolutism, was nevertheless one of glory in the development of Russian literature. Russian genius being oppressed, withdrew within itself, and revealed to the world the treasures of the aesthetic sentiments of the Russian soul. Among the greatest poets of this period there stands pre-eminent Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837), whose career was brought to an end in a duel, when his genius was at its height. Melchior Vogue rightly considers him one of the greatest poets that ever lived. He began his literary career at the age of fifteen, when he was a student in the lyceum of Tsarskoye Selo. His first lyric poems bear the date of 1814, and are a revelation of his genius. He adopted Byron and Zhukovski for his models. Among those lyric poems his invective against the calumniators of Russia (“K klevetnikam Rossii”), written in 1831, is famous. Of his epic works we may cite the famous “Rusalka, the Prisoner of the Caucasus” (“Kavkazski pliennik”) in 1821; the “Fountain of Bakhtchiserai” (1822-23); the “Tzigani” (1824); “Poltava” (1828), one of Pushkin’s most perfect poems, written in glorification of Peter the Great; “Eugene Oniegin” (1823-31), an original imitation of Byron’s “Childe Harold”, admirable on account of the freshness of its inspiration and of its exquisite versification; and finally “The Hussar” (1833). Among his romances, three became popular at once, the “Dubrovski (1832-33), “The Daughter of the Captain” (1833-36), and “Pikovaja damn” (The Queen of Spades), a work that is admirable on account of the subtility of its psychological analysis. In the realm of dramatic poetry Pushkin gave to his country a great masterpiece, the tragedy “Boris Godunoff” (1825-31), and in that of drama, “Skupoi rycar” (The Avaricious Knight), “Mozart and Salery”, and “Rusalka”. Among his works in prose, mention should be made of the “Outlines of the History of Peter the Great”, and of the “History of the Sedition of Pugatcheff”. Pushkin was the first great original poet of Russia, and the one who excelled in classic style. At the same time he was the author of a school that has among its members Ivan Ivanovitch Kozioff, author of two most touching poems, “Tchernec” (The Monk) and “Natalia Dolgorukaja”; Delvin (1798-1831); Jazykoff (1803-46), and Eugene Baratynski (1800-44).
Nikolai Vassilievitch Gogol (1808-52), a native of Little Russia, was another genius of the Russian literature of the nineteenth century. His comedy, “The Reviser”, published in 1836, is one of the masterpieces of the Russian theatre, a true portrait of the malversations of the bureaucracy. Among his romances and novels, he acquired merited fame through “Taras Bul’ba”, an historical romance of Southern Russia, “The Dispute between Ivan Ivanovitch and Ivan Nikiforovitch”, “The Portrait”, “The Arabesques”, “Koliaska” (The Calash), “Zapiski sumasshedshago” (Memoirs of a Madman), and lastly “Mertvyja dushi” (The Dead Souls), in two parts, a masterpiece in the romantic literature of Russia, which makes its author the rival of Cervantes and Lesage. It is a suggestive and faithful picture of Russian society: a vast theatre in which the most varied types of the Russian people are in action. Mikhail Yurievitch Lermontoff (1814-41) is also of the school of Pushkin and Byron. He was one of the most delicate lyric poets of modern Russia, whose lyric poetry, tinged with sadness, touches the deepest chords of the heart, and exhibits the soft melody of the literary language of Russia in its fullness. The most famous of his epic poems are “The Demon“, which is based upon a Georgian legend, and in which the beauties of the Caucasus are described in admirable verses; “Ismail Bey”; “Khadzhi-Abrek, the Boyard Orsha”, an episode of the times of Ivan the Terrible; “Mcyr”, a legend of the Caucasus. Lermontoff is the author of the very popular romance “Geroi nashego vremeni” (A Hero of our Times), which reveals him as one of the masters of Russian prose, and as having a profound knowledge of the human heart. He died at the age of twenty-seven years, and like Pushkin, in the plenitude of his intellectual activity. Alexei Vassilievitch Kolcoff (1809-42) also distinguished himself as a lyric poet of the school of Pushkin and Lermontoff. He was the poet of the peasants and of nature, and the inventor of a special kind of poems (Dumy), in which a question to be resolved is proposed and is answered: Other poets who also were ornaments of Russian literature, although they did not attain the height of those already mentioned, were Odoevski, Count Sollogub, Marlinski, Weltmann, Polevoi, and Kukolnik, a prolific writer of historic dramas.
History, philology, and critical studies had a period of growing prosperity during the reign of Nicholas I. Pogodin, Butkoff, Ivanoff, Venelin, Grigor’eff, and Muravieff worked to defend the Russian chronicles against the charge of lack of authenticity, to throw light on the origin of the Russian nation, and to investigate the historical past of Russia and the various European nations. In the study of the ancient Slav language, and of the primitive literature of Russia, and in the collection of ancient texts, fundamental works that are yet esteemed were written by Kalaidovitch, Vostokoff, Undolski, Kliutchareff, Maximovitch, Certeleff, Snegireff, Sakharoff, and Bodianski. This class of studies were greatly promoted by the Society of Russian History and Antiquities, established at Moscow in 1814 and still flourishing. Eugene Bolkhovitinoff, Metropolitan of Kieff, prepared two historical lexicons of the clerical and lay writers of Russia; Polevoi, Shevyreff, and Nikitenko wrote histories of Russian literature; while Prince A. Viazemski, Nadezhdin, and especially Bessarion Grigorievitch Bielinski (1810-48) were the chief literary critics. Literary and scientific progress was assisted by the periodicals “Viestnik Evropy”, “Russki Viestnik”, “Syn Otetchestva” (The Son of the Fatherland), “Sievernaja Ptchela” (The Bee of the North), “Russki Invalid”, and “Otetchestvennyja zapiski” (Memoirs of the Fatherland).
During the reign of Alexander II the literary genius of Russia continued to shine brightly, and to assume always a more national character, although the influence of foreign writers, especially of Dickens, George Sand, and Balzac, was felt. There appeared the school of Slavophils, the most illustrious representatives of which are the two Kireievski (Ivan and Peter), Khomiakoff, Valueff, Konstantin and Ivan Aksakoff, Kosheleff, Elagin, Tiuttcheff, Grigorieff, Strakhoff, and Danilevski. This school was dominated by a spirit of stingy patriotism; it invaded the domain of theology, preached the superiority of Orthodoxy over Catholicism, and in the person of their theological legislator, Alexei Khomiakoff, a genial poet, historian, and philosopher, it proclaimed that Orthodoxy is the expression of the religious ideal of Christianity. The religious and political paradoxes of the Slavophils found their opponents in the school of the Occidentalists (Zapadniki). The philosopher Tchaadaeff, in his philosophical letters published in 1836, wrote of Russian barbarity, and proclaimed Catholicism to be the only means of bringing Russia into the civilization of the nations of the West.
The most illustrious representatives of this school, which had not many followers, were Hercen (1812-70), who became one of the leaders of Nihilism; the poet Ogareff, Granovski, Soloveff, Kavelin, Kalatchoff, and Pavloff, illustrious names in the realms of Russian history and Russian philosophy. The most famous writer of the time of Alexander II was Ivan Sergeievitch Turgenieff (1818-83), the magician of Russian prose. As a poet his title to fame rests on the poems “Parasha”, “Yakoff Pasynkoff”, “Rudin”, “Faust”, “Asja”, “A Nest of Nobles”. In 1862 he published one of the most famous of Russian novels, “Otcy i dieti” (Fathers and Sons). Among the other novels of Turgenieff, the most successful were “Zapiski Okhotnika” (Memoirs of a Huntsman), rich in admirable descriptions of nature; “Dym” (Smoke); “Nov” (Virgin Soil); and among his stories: “Lear of the Steppe” “Waters of Spring”, “The Brigadier”, “The Dream”, “The Story of Father Alexis”, “The Song of Triumphant Love“, “The Desperado” etc. He enriched Russian literature with several plays, among which the most beautiful is called “Zavtraku predvoditelja” (The Collation with the Marshal of the Nobility). Ivan Alexandrovitch Gontcharoff (1812-91) acquired no less fame as a novelist through his novels “Obyknovennaja istorija” (A Simple Story), “Oblomoff”, which personifies the want of initiative and semi-fatalism of the Russian character, and “Obryff” (The Precipice), which was considered a decadent production. Greater fame was acquired by Feodor Mikhailovitch Dostoievski (1822-81), whose first novel, “Biednye liudi” (Poor People), published in 1846, made its author famous, at once, by the depth of its psychological analysis. After four years of a most painful imprisonment and exile to Siberia, he wrote the “Zapiski iz Mertvago Doma” (Memoirs of the House of the Dead), in which he describes the tortures of the exiles with a most effective vigor of style; the famous novel “Prestuplenie Nakazanie” (Crime and Punishment), a psychological masterpiece, “The Idiot”, “Biezy” (The Possessed), and “The Brothers Karamazoff”.
To romantic literature also belong Dimitri Vassilievitch Grigorovitch, an imitator of George Sand, and a faithful portrayer of the sufferings of the lower classes, in his romances and novels, among which we will mention “Derevnia” (The Village), “Anthony Goremyka”, “The Valley of Smiedoff”, “The Fishermen”, and “The Colonists”. In other novels he described the life and condition of the middle and higher classes, as in “Neudayshaajasja zhizn” (An Uneventful Life), “Suslikoff the Kapelmeister”, “The School of Hospitality“, etc. The naturalist school was represented by Alexei Teofilaktovitch Pisemski (1820-81). In the novel “Bojarshshina” (The Time of the Boyars), he preached free love: the censorship prohibited the circulation of the book. In another novel, “Tiufiak” (The Plaster), his realism goes beyond that of Zola. His best novel is “Tysjatcha dush” (A Thousand Souls), a gloomy but faithful picture of the corruption of Russian society, which is portrayed also in his novel “Vzgalamutchennoe More” (Tempestuous Sea); his novel “Liudi sokorovykh godoff” (Men of Forty Years) deals with the agrarian question. His play “Gorkaja sudbina” (Bitter Destiny) places him in a high position among Russian dramatists. Other writers proposed to scourge the corrupters of society, to pierce them with the arrows of their satire. They form a literary school known in Russia as oblitchitel naja (accusing, refuting). The master of this school was Mikhail Evgrafovitch Saltykoff (1826-88), better known by the pseudonym of Shshedrin. The characters in his novels recall those of Gogol, but his pessimism is much more bitter and exaggerated. Among the best-known of his novels and other writings are “Protivorietckia” (Contradictions), “Gubernskie otcherki” (Sketches of Government Personages), “Tashkency” (The Lords of Tashkend), and “The Brothers Golovleff”, a novel that is considered the best work of Saltykoff, but is displeasing on account of the cynicism of its characters. Other writers worked with the same end of laying bare the moral and social defects of the Russian people; the most famous among them are Pomialovski (1835-63), whose novel “Otcherki burly” is famous; it describes in dark colors the methods of education that obtain in the ecclesiastical seminaries of Russia; A. Sliepcoff, author of the novel “Trudnoe Vremja” (Difficult Times); A. Mikhailoff, the pseudonym of Scheller, who wrote the novels “Gnilyja bolota” (Putrid Swamps), and “The Life of Shupoff”; Zasodimski; Bazhin; Thedoroff; Staniukovitch; and Girs. More moderate in their criticism of Russian society were the novelists Boborykin, Markoff, Nemirovitch-Dantchenko, and Terpigoreff (better known by his pseudonym of Atava), Saloff, Akhsharumoff, Leikin, Kliushnikoff, Lieskoff, Krestovski, Prince Meshsherki, Markevitch, Avsieensko, Golovin, and Avenarius.
The most noted authors of lyric and satirical poetry were: Nikolai Alexeievitch Nekrasoff (1821-76), whose muse, as he himself wrote, was one of sobs and pains, the muse of the hungry and the mendicant; of his songs, there became famous “Moroz Krasnyi Noz” (Red-nosed Frost), a personification of the Russian winter, “Troika”, and “The Sons of the Peasants”; in his poems he has a predilection for popular types; A. Pleshsheeff, who to his lyric poems added beautiful translations of the principal German and English lyric poets; Kurotchkin, who translated Béranger, and Minaeff. The most noted of the dramatists was Alexander Nicolaevitch Ostrovski (1823-86), whose theatrical compositions, admirable for the richness of their language, are partly original, and partly imitations of Shakespeare and Goldoni. The best known one is “Groza” (The Tempest), which describes the dissolution of the Russian family; it was written in 1860. Two of his comedies that obtained great success are “We will agree among ourselves”, and “Each one in his place”. The number of his theatrical works is very great. Another among the best of Russian dramatists was A. Palm (1822-85), author of the drama “Alexis Slobodin”, and of the comedies “Staryi barin” (The Old Lord), and “Our Friend Nekliuzheff”. Mention should be made also of A. Potiekhin, N. Tchernysheff, N. Soloveff, Sukhovo-Kobylin, Sollogub, Diakonoff, Ustrialoff, Mann, Diatchenko, Shpazhinski, and Kryloff. Women also distinguished themselves in the literary life of the nineteenth century. The best known among those who wrote poetry and novels were Elizabeth Kulmann, Countess Rostoptchina, N. Khboshshinska (1825-89), who under the pseudonym of Krestovski wrote many novels to describe provincial life; Sokhanska (1825-84), who under the pseudonym of Kokhanovska acquired celebrity through her novels “After Dinner Among the Guests” and “Provincial Portrait Gallery”.
Among the writers who became distinguished in the realm of historical fiction were N. Kostomaroff, whose story “The Son” (1865) presents a vigorous picture of the agrarian revolt of Stenko Razin; Count Alexe Tolstoi (1817-75) achieved fame with his novel “Prince Serebrany”, and his trilogy “Ivan the Terrible” (1858), “Tsar Feodor Ivanovitch” (1868), and “Tsar Boris” (1869); G. Danilevski, author of the novels “Mirovitch” (1879), “The Fire of Moscow” (1885-86), and “Tchernyi god” (The Black Year); Mordovceff, whose novels “Demetrius the Tsarevitch” and “Fall of Poland” deal with the history of Little Russia; Karnovitch, Salias-de-Tournemir, Mei (1822-62), author of several historical dramas based upon the primitive history of Russia; and finally Averkieff. Among the lyric poets who did not treat of the social conditions of their country, who loved their art for its own sake, the most famous are A. Tolstoi, an imitator of Dante, Heine, and Goethe; Maikoff, a passionate admirer of ancient Rome, the struggle of which with Christianity he essayed to depict in his tragedy “Dva mira” (Two Worlds); A. Feth, author of light poems and madrigals; Polonski, whose poem “Kuznievitch-Muzykant” (The Musical Cricket) became popular, and whose poetry is distinguished by the beauty of its style and the harmony of its verse; Zhadovski, Shsherbin, Herbel, Weinberg, and Nadsohn.
X. CONTEMPORARY RUSSIAN LITERATURE.—The literature from the death of Alexander II to the present day is essentially one of novels. The novel, in view of the severity of Russian censorship, seems to be the most adequate literary channel for the diffusion of political, social, and moral theories. The most salient character of all the writers of the reign of Alexander II, and of more recent times by the force of his genius and the sharpness of his psychological analysis, was Count Lyeff (Leo) Tolstoi, b. at Yasnaja Poliana, August 28, 1828; d. at Astapovo, November 20, 1910. He inaugurated his literary career by the publication of his autobiographical memoirs, which appeared in the “Sovremennik” of St. Petersburg in 1852; they are a masterpiece of psychological analysis of the mind of a child. This work was followed by “Adolescence”, “Youth”, “The Cossacks”, and “Recollections of Sebastopol”, all of which are filled with horror of the sights he beheld at Sebastopol. But the masterpieces among his novels are “War and Peace”, a powerful romance that for all its apparent confusion and disorder is an epic and imposing picture of the Napoleonic war in Russia; “Anna Karenina”, a profound analysis of the feminine soul that, led astray by passion, forgets dignity and family for adultery, and finds its punishment in its sin; “Resurrection“, a novel that is a study of the rehabilitation of the culprit. There is also the play “The Power of Darkness”, strong in its vigor and dramatization. And yet this genius, who made Russian literature popular all over the world, attained religious, ethical, and political nihilism: in the “Kreutzer Sonata” he preaches the abjection of woman; “The Gospels” is a criticism of dogmatic theology, while “My Religion“, “The Church and the State”, and “The Theories of the Apostles” strip Christian revelation from its base, and forswear the Divinity of Jesus Christ, His Church, and His sacraments; in the book “What is Art?”, he disparages the most illustrious intellects of the human race; his work “The Kingdom of God Is within you” preaches non-resistance to evil. Political and religious conceptions took Tolstoi out of his orbit, and transformed him into a visionary, an incendiary, so to speak, of all institutions, Divine and human.
Among the other modern novelists, mention should be made of: A. Novodvorski, author of “Ni pavy, Ni Vorony” (Neither Peacock nor Crow), and of other stories; B. Garshin, who in his principal novels is sometimes a follower of Tolstoi and sometimes of Turgenieff. Those works are “Tchetyre dnja” (The Four Days), “Trus” (The Coward), “Krasnyj cvietok” (The Red Flower), “Attalea princeps”, “Vstrietcha” (The Encounter), and “Nadezhda Nikolaevna”; I. Yasinski was famous under the pseudonym of Maxim Bielinski; his most important works are “The City of the Dead”, and “The Guiding Star”; M. Alboff; K. Barantchevitch; A. Ertel; Matchtet; Korolenko, a beautiful storyteller, who reminds his readers of Dostoievski and Tolstoi in his novels “The Dream of Macarius” (a fantastic story), “The Sketches of a Tourist in Siberia“, “Easter Night,” “The Old Music Player”, and “S dvukh storon” (Two Points of View); Ignatius Potapenko, who views life in the light of optimism, and not with the pessimism so much in vogue among Russian writers; one of his novels, “Sviatoe iskusstvo”, describes the Bohemia of the students of St. Petersburg; Demetrius Mamin, under the pseudonym of Siberian, describes the customs of Western Siberia; and finally Prince Galitzin. Among novelists of the new school are Anton Pavlovitch Tchehoff (1860-1904), whose novel “Skutchnaja istorija” had a great success. He is without a superior in the narrative of his novels; the heroes of his stories are always morally corrupt, and of distracted minds. Alexei Maksimovitch Pieshkoff, better known by the pseudonym of Maxim Gorky (b. 1869); he is the novelist of the beggars and the populace, whose works contain pages of nauseating naturalism, and shameful immorality. Vincent Smidlvski, b. at Tula, 1867; under the pseudonym of Veresaeff he came to celebrity through his work “Zapiski vratcha” (Memoirs of a Doctor), which elicited violent recriminations in the medical profession. One of the most famous of the Russian writers of the present day is Leonid Andreeff, b. at Orel in 1881. He is the novelist of the degenerate. His novels “The Red Laughter”, “The Thought”, “The Cloud”, “Silence“, etc. are to be condemned from every point of view, religious and moral, and the Russian religious press has blamed him for them in vehement language.
Among writers of the present day mention should be made of Sofija Ivanovna Smirnova, who wrote the novels “Salt of the Earth”, and “Force of Character“; Valentine Dmitrieva, writer of stories; Olga Andreevna Shapir, who wrote “Without Love“, and “Tinsel”; Lydja Veselitskaja, Alexandra Shabelskaja, Anastasia Verbickaja, who wrote “The History of a Life“. Among those who achieved fame as lyric poets are Simon Frug (of Jewish origin), Nikolai Maksimovitch Vilenkin, famous under the pseudonym of Minski, Dimitri Merezhkovski, whose poems have the defect of too much rhetorical effort; Alexei Apukhtin, Konstantin Rozanoff, Arsenius Golenishsheff-Kutuzoff, Sergei Andreevski, etc. These poets, however, are not original; their works recall too much the great poets who preceded them. The fiction of Russia generally uses, as a channel of publication, the literary periodicals, among which some that were famous in the nineteenth century have now disappeared, as the “Sovremennik” (The Contemporary), the “Otetchestvennyja Zapiski”, and the “Moskvitjanin”. The best-known of those that are yet published are the “Viestnik Evropy”, and the “Pycck mysl”.
The historical literature of Russia in the second half of the nineteenth century furnishes illustrious names. Sergei Soloveff is the author of a “History of Russia”, in thirty volumes, which begins with the most ancient times, and terminates with the reign of Alexander I; it is a work of greater historical than literary merit; Zabielin devoted his studies by preference to the Russia of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; A. Nikitski wrote on the historical past of Novgorod and Pskof; Kostomaroff wrote on Little Russia; the historical monographs of this author are held in high esteem, as also his “History of Russia”, composed of biographical narratives. Pypin devoted his researches to the reign of Alexander I; Shsapoff studied the social and educational development of Russia; Bruckner dealt with the life of Peter the Great; Bestuzheff-Riumin wrote a classic history of Russia, and Biblasoff a life of Catharine II. We cannot name the great number of historians who, like Ilovaiski, Lambin, Kliutchevski, Golubinski, etc. have thrown light on the history of Russia, but we cannot omit to mention the Imperial Historical Society of St. Petersburg, the Archeographic Commission, and the Society of Russian History and Antiquity of Moscow, which, with hundreds of learned publications, and especially of the Russian chronicles, have greatly facilitated the task of the student. Yushkevitch, Yakushkin, Metlinski, Ribnikoff, Khudiakoff, and Barsoff distinguished themselves in the collection of ancient Russian literary documents, upon which light was thrown by Buslaeff, Miller, Stasoff, Maikoff, Kolosoff, Rozoff, Dashkevitch, Vselovski, and above all Sreznevski, who for several years edited the “Izviestija”, and the “Utchenyja Zapiski” of St. Petersburg (Academy of Sciences). Buslaeff, with his “Historical Chrestomathy”, wove together the literary annals of Russia. Pekarski related the scientific and literary transactions of Peter the Great, Pypin and Porfireff wrote full and classic histories of the literature of Russia. Special works on the greatest Russian writers are so numerous that the “Bibliography of the Russian Literature of the Nineteenth Century”, ed. Metier, St. Petersburg, 1902, devotes 650 octavo pages to the titles of those works alone.
In philosophy Russian works until now have not been original. They have been produced under the supreme influence of German philosophy, inspired by Kant, Hegel, and Schelling. Positivism, Materialism, and Spiritualism have succeeded each other without developing originality. Galitch, professor of philosophy at St. Petersburg (d. 1848), was an atheist; Davidoff (d. 1862) reduced philosophy to psychology alone. The philosophy of Schelling influenced even ecclesiastical writers, as Skvorcoff and the archimandrite Theophanus Avseneff. Orest. Novicki is a convinced partisan of the system of Fichte; he was a professor of the University of Kieff. Hegelianism, however, was the most popular of all, and was at once accepted by the Occidentalists Stankevitch, Granovski, Bielinski, and Ogareff, and by the Slavophiles Kirieevski, Khomjakoff, Samarin, and Aksakoff. Between 1859 and 1873 Professor Gogocki of the ecclesiastical academy of Kieff published his philosophical dictionary. The materialist theories of Moleschott and Buchner were defended by M. Antonovitch and D. Pisareff, and refuted by Yurkevitch, Strakhoff, Kudriavceff, Samarin, and Vladislaveff. Darwinism found defenders in Timiriazeff and Famincyn, and opponents in Troicki, Dokutchaeff, Guseff, Popoff, and Strakhoff. The Positivism of Comte was upheld by de Roberti and Mikhailovski. The most original philosophers of Russia were: Kavelin (1818-85), who dealt more especially with psychological problems, an historian and profound psychologist, to whom Russia owes the establishment of the “Voprosy filosofii i psikhologii”, a periodical devoted to philosophy, which is held in very high esteem; Kudriavceff-Platonoff, who excels in religious philosophy, and whose studies in apologetics are admirable for their vigor and power of argument; Vladimir Soloveff, an ardent defender of Catholic principles in Russia, and a spiritual philosopher, the most eminent that Russia has produced. His extensive treatise on ethics, “Opravdanie dobra” (Justification of the Good), is a masterpiece of speculation; Prince Troubetzkoi, a follower of Soloveff; and finally, Nesmieloff, professor of the ecclesiastical academy of Kazan, whose work “The Science of Man” gives to him the first place among the Christian philosophers of Russia at the present time.