The Slavs and Greeks The Byzantianswere afraid of the “barbarians” from the forests north of the Black Sea Slavs: the people from the forests north of the black sea. Eventually, they began trading and interacting Russian culture was a mix of Greeks (Byzantine) and the Slavs
Kiev The city of Novgorod was the 1st Russian city. Later, Kiev became the cultural center of Russia
Kiev Becomes Orthodox Princess Olga visited Constantinople in 957 and shortly after converted to Christianity. Her son wasn’t much on Christianity, but her grandson was. Vladimir, in scientific fashion, sent out teams of men to study the different world religions.
Three of the teams returned with lukewarm accounts of Islam, Judaism, and Western Christianity. But the team from Byzantium told quite a different story about Eastern Orthodox Christianity:
This report convinced Vladimir to convert to Byzantine Christianity and to make all his subjects convert, too. Kiev, already linked to Byzantium by trade, now looked to Constantinople for religious guidance. All the beliefs and traditions of Orthodox Christianity flourished in Kiev. Vladimir appreciated the Byzantine idea of the emperor as supreme ruler of the church, so the close link between Church and state took root in Russia as well. Under Vladamir, Kiev flourished
Yaroslov the Wise Vladimir’s son, Yaroslov the Wise, continued to build up Kiev’s power. Yaroslov created many laws to benefit Kiev’s commercial culture. Greater punishment for crossing your neighbor’s property line than cutting of a man’s finger. Under Yaroslov, Christianity also prospered.
But, Kiev’s power was short lived. Yaroslov did an unwise thing. Historically, the throne is passed along to the eldest son. Yaroslov thought this to be unfair, so he divided the throne evenly amongst his sons. They tore the state apart fighting for control of each other’s land and power.
The Mongols In the 1200’s, Russia was invaded by the Mongols, a ferocious group of horsemen from central Asia. The Mongols had been around for some time, but had exploded onto the world scene under the leadership of Ghengis Khan. In 1240, the Mongols attacked and demolished Kiev
Although the Mongols ruled Russia, the Russians were allowed to follow their own customs, traditions, and religions. The Mongols only demanded 2 things: Slavish obiedience Massive amounts of tribute (money) Russian leaders were happy to comply. They were allowed to keep their power, as long as they were obedient and put down any Russian revolts
Mongol Rule Serves Moscow’s Interests Because the Mongol rulers viewed Russia as a unified empire, eventually so did the Russians themselves. Also, the shared beliefs and customs of all Russians created a strong culture. Under Mongol rule, the city of Moscow flourished.
An Empire Emerges Ivan III, begins to call himself “czar” (after the Roman word for Caesar), even though Constantinople has been under Mogol rule for years (since 1453). In 1480, Ivan III and Russia break away from the Mongols. A bloodless battle ensues (neither side engaged a fight) The Russians mark this day as their independence from Mongol rule.
Terms Slavs Russians Olga Vladamir Yaroslav the Wise Czar Mongols