Importance of Location• Taiga – has great forests + rainfallSteppe – below taiga, grassy plain with fertile soil provides a natural highway for nomads.• Network of rivers provide transportation and led to trade, particularly with the Byzantine Empire.• Kiev is located at the center of trade among the Vikings, Slavs, and Byzantines.
Kievan Russia• Rurik was leader of the Rus people. The Rus took over and ruled Kiev and the Slavic people. Rus “Russia”• Kiev was capital for over 300 years.• Vladimir I adopts Orthodox Christianity, and Russia then spreads it to much of Eastern Europe.
• Trade routes spread culture. Cultural Diffusion• Yaroslav the Wise (1019-1054AD) Builtmany churches and the 1st RussianLaw Code the Pravda RusskiaInfluence of Byzantine Culture:• Cyril creates the Cyrillic alphabetwhich enable Slavs to read the Bible.
Church Architecture and Religious Art• Onion-shaped domed churches, modification of Byzantine domes.• Icons and mosaics used as decoration for buildings
Mongol Conquest• Golden Horde, led by Ghengis Khan, conquers early Russia.• Massive destruction occurs: Towns are destroyed and people are killed.• Russia is in state of decline and cut off from Western Europe under Mongol rule.
• Moscow grows in importance after Kiev’s destruction.• Church grows more powerful, since the Mongols tolerate the Eastern Orthodox church.• The Mongols built roads and improved taxation and communication. Trade routes between China and Eastern Europe open up.
Russia Emerges• Russian Princes gain more power under Mongol rule and adapt the Mongol leadership model of absolute rule.• Ivan the Great (Ivan III) rejects Mongol rule and unites Russia as an independent state.• Moscow become the capital and the “Third Rome” when the Ottoman Turks crush Constantinople.
• Ivan the Terrible (Ivan IV) takes the title of Czar, absolute ruler. He killed many people who opposed him.• Boyars – Russian nobility who advise ruler.• Russian territory expands as does the Orthodox Church.