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Russia Engages the World, 1453-1825
1453 Through the Reign of Ivan the Terrible (1533-1584) The Time of Troubles to the First Romanovs (1598-1682) Peter the Great and His Legacy (1682-1762) The Age of Catherine the Great (1762-1801) The Reign of Emperor Alexander I (1801-1825)


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From the Fall of Constantinople to the Reign of Ivan the Terrible: A Summary of Russian History
Russia Symbol Introduction
Russia Symbol Prior to 1453
Russia Symbol The Period of Mongol Invasion and Rule, 1237–1480
Russia Symbol Muscovy Emerges as a Power
Russia Symbol 1453–1584: Moscow Becomes the "Third Rome"
Russia Symbol Ivan IV Descends into Madness
From the Fall of Constantinople to the Reign of Ivan the Terrible: A Summary of World History
World Symbol
World Symbol
Special Features

Russia's Globalization:
A Key

Events marked Russia Symbol are specific to Muscovy/Russia's internal development.
Those marked World Symbol are important world historical or cultural events.
Engagement Symbol indicates specific points of sociocultural or military engagement between Muscovy/Russia and foreign powers or individuals.



Russia Symbol   

Russia Symbol Russia Looks at the World
  Russia Looks at the World
NYPL, Map Division

The history of the Eastern Slavic lands and peoples takes many twists and turns and is filled with scores of vivid personalities. The legendary foundation of the state occurred in 862 C.E. when Slavic chieftains realized that “our land is rich and great, but there is no order in it” (Povest' Vremmenykh lit – in Russian, letThe Russian Primary Chronicle). The tribal leaders invited Rurik (d. ca. 879), the founder of the first East Slavic dynasty, and his Norse kin to rule over them and bring stability. These Vikings quickly assimilated and made Kyïv (in Russian, Kiev), in what is today Ukraine, the center of the new state, and Kievan Rus’ rapidly became one of the most advanced countries in Europe. The government boasted representative institutions and a sophisticated code of laws that even included rights for women. Trade and literacy flourished. In 1051, when Princess Anna of Kiev (1032–after 1075) married King Henry I of France (r. 1031–60), she was one of the few people at the French court who was literate. Another woman, Grand Princess Olha (in Russian, Olga) (ca. 890–969), was one of the wisest rulers of Kievan Rus’, and she became the first in her country to convert to Orthodoxy, the form of Christianity centered in the capital of the Byzantine Empire, Constantinople (formerly Byzantium and later Istanbul). In 988, under Grand Prince Volodymyr (in Russian, Vladimir) I (ca. 956–1015), the entire population accepted Orthodoxy, and the riches of Byzantine culture flowed into Rus’, including literature, architecture, and icon painting.