Chapter 23 The Eastern Slavs
CHAPTER FOCUS SECTION 1Early Eastern SLavs SECTION 2Kievan Rus SECTION 3The Mongol Conquest SECTION 4The Rise of Moscow
Terms to Learn People to Know • izbas • Rurik • boyars • veche • khan • kremlin • czar • Vladimir I • Ivan the Great • Ivan the Terrible Places to Locate • Volga River • Kiev • Dnieper River • Moscow
Early Eastern Slavs • About 500 A.D., a group of Eastern Slavs began to move eastward toward the Volga River. • By the 600s, the Eastern Slavs controlled all the land as far east as the Volga River. • The forests provided the East Slavs with all the timber they needed to made musical instruments, logs to make boats, and izbas, one room log cabins with gabled roofs and wooden window frames. • By the end of the 800s, the East Slavs had built many trading towns along the riverbanks.
Kievan Rus • In 862, a Varangian named Rurik became the prince of Novgorod, a northern town on the East Slav trading route. • About 20 years later, Rurik’s Varangian friend Oleg established the state of Kievan Rus and set up his capital at Kiev. • Kiev, standing on a group of hills overlooking the main bend in the Dnieper River, was the southernmost town on the Varangian trading route.
Kievan Rus (cont.) • The main ruler of Kievan Rus was the Grand Prince of Kiev, and local princes, rich merchants, and boyars, or landowning nobles, helped him. • A veche, or assembly, handled the daily matters of the towns.
Vladimir I and the Eastern Orthodox Church • One of the most important princes of Kiev was Vladimir I, a good soldier and a strong ruler. • In 988, Vladimir chose Eastern or Byzantine Christianity as the country’s official religion. • Eastern Orthodoxy gave the Kievan Rus people a sense of belonging to the civilized world, yet separated them from western Europe as they had developed their own body of learning.
Yaroslav the Wise • Another important ruler of early Rus was Yaroslav, son of Vladimir I, who became the Grand Prince of Kiev in 1019, after a long struggle with his brothers. • Under Yaroslav’s rule, Kievan Rus enjoyed a golden age of peace and prosperity, growing larger than either Paris or London. • Yaroslav also organized Kievan Rus laws based on old Slavic customs and Byzantine law.
Decline of Kievan Rus • Kievan Rus began to decline around 1054 when the princes of Kiev began to fight over the throne after Yaroslav’s death. • In 1169 Kiev was attacked and plundered by Andrei Bogoliubsky who wanted Kiev destroyed. • Gradually, Kievan Rus changed from a trading land of towns into a farming land of peasants.
The Mongol Conquest • About 1240, a group of different but united tribes known as Mongols swept out of central Asia and took control of Rus principalities, or states. • They plundered, killed, and made the Rus people pay tribute to the khan, or Mongol leader.
The Church • The Eastern Orthodox Church remained strong during the Mongol invasion as priests continued to preach and encouraged the people. • Monks founded monasteries deep in the northern forests and were followed by Rus farmers searching for new land. • Since the Mongol conquest somewhat isolated the Rus Church from other Christian churches, the Church developed local rituals and practices to unite the people in pride for their own culture.
Daily Life • Even under Mongol rule, differences between the lives of the rich in Rus and the lives of peasants remained great. • The peasants enjoyed visiting one another, telling stories of warriors and other heroes that were passed from old to young, becoming part of the Rus heritage.
The Rise of Moscow • At the time of the Mongol conquest, Moscow, or Muscovy, founded in 1147, was a small trading post on the road from Kiev. • As more Rus people moved north to escape the Mongols, many artisans settled in or near Moscow's kremlin, or fortress. • As Moscow grew in size, it became stronger, and the people remained united as thrones passed from father to son. • In 1380, an army formed by Dmitry, the prince of Moscow, attacked and defeated the Mongols.
Ivan the Great • In 1462, Ivan III, known as Ivan the Great, became prince of Moscow. • He ended Mongol control of Muscovy, and expanded its boundaries to the north and west. • He raised the huge walls that still guard the kremlin and called himself czar, or emperor. • When Ivan died in 1505, the people were convinced that their ruler should have all power over both Church and state.
Ivan the Terrible • In 1533, Ivan IV, the three-year-old grandson of Ivan III, became czar of Muscovy. • While he was growing up, a council of boyars governed. To frighten him into obeying them, they mistreated him causing Ivan to hate the boyars. • When Ivan IV was 16 years old, he began to rule in his own right, ignoring the boyars and turning to merchants and close friends for advice.
Ivan the Terrible (cont.) • In 1552, Ivan led his armies–which used gunpowder–against Mongol territories on the Volga, conquering most of their territories. • In 1558, Muscovite armies attacked Livonia, a land on the Baltic Sea. • In 1564, Ivan suddenly left Moscow for a small monastery in the country, announcing later that he was giving up the throne because of the boyars. • Ivan returned to Moscow, took over boyar lands, and gave it to his supporters.
Ivan the Terrible (cont.) • To the Muscovites, Ivan was a great ruler who protected their country from enemies. • When Ivan died in 1584, he left no suitable heir. • The Muscovy was left in confusion and disorder for some 25 years.