Eastern Orthodox Church
The Eastern Orthodox Church teaches that it is the One, Holy and Apostolic Church established by Jesus Christ in his Great Commission to the apostles. It practices what it understands to be the original Christian faith, the Eastern Orthodox Church is a communion of autocephalous churches, each typically governed by a Holy Synod. It teaches that all bishops are equal by virtue of their ordination, prior to the Council of Chalcedon in AD451, the Eastern Orthodox had shared communion with the Oriental Orthodox churches, separating primarily over differences in Christology. Eastern Orthodoxy spread throughout the Roman and Eastern Roman Empires and beyond, playing a prominent role in European, Near Eastern and some African cultures. As a result, the term Greek Orthodox has sometimes used to describe all of Eastern Orthodoxy in general. However, the appellation Greek was never in use and was gradually abandoned by the non-Greek-speaking Eastern Orthodox churches. Its most prominent episcopal see is Constantinople, there are many in other parts of the world, formed through immigration and missionary activity.
The official name of the Eastern Orthodox Church is the Orthodox Catholic Church and it is the name by which the church refers to itself in its liturgical or canonical texts, in official publications, and in official contexts or administrative documents. Orthodox teachers refer to the Church as Catholic and this name and longer variants containing Catholic are recognized and referenced in other books and publications by secular or non-Orthodox writers. The common name of the Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, is a shortened practicality that helps to avoid confusions in casual use, for this reason, the eastern churches were sometimes identified as Greek, even before the great schism. After 1054, Greek Orthodox or Greek Catholic marked a church as being in communion with Constantinople and this identification with Greek, became increasingly confusing with time. Missionaries brought Orthodoxy to many regions without ethnic Greeks, where the Greek language was not spoken. Today, many of those same Roman churches remain, while a large number of Orthodox are not of Greek national origin.
Eastern, indicates the element in the Churchs origin and development, while Orthodox indicates the faith. While the Church continues officially to call itself Catholic, for reasons of universality, the first known use of the phrase the catholic church occurred in a letter written about 110 AD from one Greek church to another. Quote of St Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans, Wheresoever the bishop shall appear, there let the people be, even as where Jesus may be, almost from the very beginning, Christians referred to the Church as the One, Holy and Apostolic Church. The Orthodox Church claims that it is today the continuation and preservation of that same Church, a number of other Christian churches make a similar claim, the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Assyrian Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches. The Church of England separated from the Roman Catholic Church, not directly from the Orthodox Church, the depth of this meaning in the Orthodox Church is registered first in its use of the word Orthodox itself, a union of Greek orthos and doxa
Anichkov Palace is a former imperial palace in Saint Petersburg, at the intersection of Nevsky Avenue and the Fontanka. The palace, situated on the formerly owned by Antonio de Vieira. Designed for the Empress Elizabeth of Russia in a dazzling Baroque style, some suggest architects Bartolomeo Rastrelli and Mikhail Zemtsov were responsible for the design, though its yet to be substantiated. The main frontage faces the river and was connected to it by a Canal. Construction works continued for thirteen years and, when finished in 1754. After his death, the palace reverted to the crown, only to be donated by Catherine the Great of Russia to her own favourite, the architect Ivan Starov was charged with extensive renovations of the palace in the newly-fashionable Neoclassical style, which was effected in 1778 and 1779. Simultaneously a regular park was laid out by an English garden architect, upon Potemkins demise, the palace was restored to the crown and adapted to accommodate Her Imperial Majestys Cabinet.
The last major additions were made in the reign of Alexander I. The latter structure was formulated in a rigorous Neoclassical style and many feel that it doesnt complement Rastrellis original work. Three year later, Alexander I bestowed the palace on his sister, several architects worked on the edifice since then, and its interiors were continuously refurbished. Following his marriage the future Tsar Alexander III and his wife, Maria Feodorovna, made it their St. Petersburg residence and it was the setting for numerous family festivities, including the wedding of Nicholass niece Irina Romanova to Prince Felix Yusupov in 1914. Nicholas IIs mother, after becoming dowager empress, continued to have right of residence in the palace until the February Revolution, after the revolution the Ministry of Provisions moved there instead. Following the October Revolution, the Anichkov Palace was nationalized and designated the St. Petersburg City Museum, since 1934, when it was converted into the Young Pioneer Palace, the palace has housed over hundred after-school clubs for more than 10,000 children.
While a small museum inside is open to the public at selected times, Anichkov dvorets – legendy i byli. Official website Anichkov Palace in Encyclopaedia of St. Petersburg
Russia, officially the Russian Federation, is a country in Eurasia. The European western part of the country is more populated and urbanised than the eastern. Russias capital Moscow is one of the largest cities in the world, other urban centers include Saint Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a range of environments. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk, the East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, in 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Rus ultimately disintegrated into a number of states, most of the Rus lands were overrun by the Mongol invasion. The Soviet Union played a role in the Allied victory in World War II.
The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the worlds first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space. By the end of 1990, the Soviet Union had the second largest economy, largest standing military in the world. It is governed as a federal semi-presidential republic, the Russian economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity in 2015. Russias extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the producers of oil. The country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower. The name Russia is derived from Rus, a state populated mostly by the East Slavs. However, this name became more prominent in the history, and the country typically was called by its inhabitants Русская Земля.
In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as Kievan Rus by modern historiography, an old Latin version of the name Rus was Ruthenia, mostly applied to the western and southern regions of Rus that were adjacent to Catholic Europe. The current name of the country, Россия, comes from the Byzantine Greek designation of the Kievan Rus, the standard way to refer to citizens of Russia is Russians in English and rossiyane in Russian. There are two Russian words which are translated into English as Russians
House of Romanov
The Romanovs achieved prominence as boyars of the Grand Duchy of Moscow, the Tsardom of Russia. In 1613, following years of interregnum, the zemsky sobor offered the Russian crown to Mikhail Romanov and he acceded to the throne as Michael I, becoming the first Tsar of Russia from the House of Romanov. His grandson Peter I established the Russian Empire and transformed the country into a continental power through a series of wars, the direct male line of the Romanovs came to an end when Elizabeth of Russia died in 1762. After an era of crisis, the House of Holstein-Gottorp, a cadet branch of the House of Oldenburg which reigned in Denmark, ascended the throne in 1762 with Peter III. All rulers from the middle of the 18th century to the revolution of 1917 were descended from that branch, though officially known as the House of Romanov, these descendants of the Romanov and Oldenburg dynasties are sometimes referred to as Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov. In early 1917 the Romanov dynasty had 65 members,18 of whom were killed by the Bolsheviks, the remaining 47 members went into exile abroad.
In 1924, Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich, the senior, surviving male-line descendant of Alexander II of Russia by primogeniture, since 1991, the succession to the former Russian throne has been in dispute, largely due to disagreements over the validity of dynasts marriages. Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia claims to hold the title of empress in pretense with her child, George Mikhailovich. There is a rival non-Romanov claim put forth by Prince Karl Emich of the House of Leiningen supported by the Monarchist Party, according to the Almanach de Gotha, the name of Russias ruling dynasty from the time of Peter III was Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov. However, the name Romanov and House of Romanov were often used in references to the Russian imperial family. The coat of arms of the Romanov boyars was included in legislation on the imperial dynasty, after the February Revolution all members of the imperial family were given the surname Romanov by special decree of the Provisional Government of Russia.
Their earliest common ancestor is one Andrei Kobyla, attested around 1347 as a boyar in the service of Semyon I of Moscow, generations assigned to Kobyla an illustrious pedigree. An 18th-century genealogy claimed that he was the son of the Prussian prince Glanda Kambila, one of the leaders of the Old Prussian rebellion of 1260–1274 against the Teutonic order was named Glande. His actual origin may have been less spectacular, not only is Kobyla Russian for mare, some of his relatives had as nicknames the terms for horses and other domestic animals, thus suggesting descent from one of the royal equerries. One of Kobylas sons, Feodor, a member of the boyar Duma of Dmitri Donskoi, was nicknamed Koshka and his descendants took the surname Koshkin, changed it to Zakharin, which family split into two branches, Zakharin-Yakovlev and Zakharin-Yuriev. During the reign of Ivan the Terrible, the family became known as Yakovlev. The family fortunes soared when Romans daughter, Anastasia Zakharyina, married Ivan IV, since her husband had assumed the title of tsar, which literally means Caesar, on 16 January 1547, she was crowned the very first tsaritsa of Russia.
Her mysterious death in 1560 changed Ivans character for the worse, suspecting the boyars of having poisoned his beloved, Tsar Ivan started a reign of terror against them
Alexandra Feodorovna (Alix of Hesse)
Alexandra Feodorovna was Empress of Russia as the spouse of Nicholas II, the last ruler of the Russian Empire. Originally known as Alix of Hesse and by Rhine, she was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, Alexandra was the last Tsarina of Russia and one of the most famous royal carriers of the haemophilia disease that descended from Queen Victoria. During his absence in the First World War in 1915-1917 she was treated by her spouse as Regent of the Empire. Alix was baptized on 1 July 1872 according to the rites of the Lutheran Church and given the names of her mother and each of her mothers four sisters, some of which were transliterated into German. Her godparents were the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Tsesarevich and Tsesarevna of Russia, Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom, The Duchess of Cambridge, and Princess Anna of Prussia. Alixs hemophiliac older brother Prince Friedrich of Hesse and by Rhine died in May 1873 after a fall when Alix was barely a year old. In November 1878, diphtheria swept through the Grand Ducal House of Hesse, Elisabeth, Alixs older sister, had been sent to visit her paternal grandmother, and thus escaped the outbreak.
Alixs mother Alice tended to the children herself, rather than abandon them to doctors, Alice herself soon fell ill and died on the 17th anniversary of her fathers death,14 December 1878, when Alix was only six years old. Alix, Victoria and Ernst survived the epidemic and her surviving siblings grew close to their British cousins, spending holidays with Queen Victoria. With her sister Princess Irene, Alix was a bridesmaid at the 1885 wedding of her godmother and maternal aunt and she was present at her grandmothers Golden Jubilee celebrations in 1887. Alix was married late for her rank in her era, having rejected a proposal from her cousin Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale in 1890. Though Queen Victoria had intended for Alix to be Britains future queen, she relented and Alix had first met in 1884 at the wedding of Nicholass Uncle Sergei to Alixs sister Elisabeth in St. Petersburg. When Alix returned to Russia in 1889, they fell in love, Nicholas wrote in his diary, It is my dream to one day marry Alix H.
I have loved her for a time, but more deeply and strongly since 1889 when she spent six weeks in Petersburg. For a long time, I have resisted my feeling that my dearest dream will come true, initially Nicholass father, Tsar Alexander III, refused the prospect of marriage. Alexander III and his wife, both vehemently anti-German, had no intention of permitting a match with Princess Alix and the tsesarevich, fortunately for Nicholas, Hélène resisted, as she was Roman Catholic and her father refused to allow her to convert to Russian Orthodoxy. After appealing to the Pope, who refused to consider the marriage. The tsar, despite his anti-German sentiments, sent emissaries to Princess Margaret of Prussia, sister of German Emperor Wilhelm II, as long as he was well, Alexander III ignored his sons demands, only relenting when his health began to fail in 1894
Dormition Cathedral, Moscow
The Cathedral of the Dormition, known as the Assumption Cathedral or Cathedral of the Assumption is a Russian Orthodox church dedicated to the Dormition of the Theotokos. It is located on the side of Cathedral Square of the Moscow Kremlin in Russia. Southwest is Ivan the Great Bell Tower, separately in the southwest, separated by a narrow passage from the church, is the Palace of Facets. The Cathedral is regarded as the church of Muscovite Russia. In its present form it was constructed between 1475–79 at the behest of the Moscow Grand Duke Ivan III by the Italian architect Aristotele Fioravanti, from 1547 to 1896 it is where the Coronation of the Russian monarch was held. In addition, it is the place for most of the Moscow Metropolitans. This was replaced by a structure built around 1326, which is mentioned in historical records. In the 14th century, Metropolitan Peter persuaded Ivan I that he should build a cathedral to the Theotokos in Moscow like the Cathedral of the Dormition in the capital city Vladimir.
Construction of the cathedral began on August 4,1326, at that time Moscow became the capital of the Vladimir-Suzdal principality. By the end of the 15th century the old cathedral had become dilapidated, two years later, in May 1474, the building was nearing completion when it suddenly collapsed as the drum of main cupola was being placed. The Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir was once taken as a model for the building. He designed a light and spacious masterpiece that combined the spirit of the Renaissance with Russian traditions, the foundation for the new cathedral was laid in 1475, and in 1479 the new cathedral was consecrated by Metropolitan Geronty. The interior was painted with frescoes and adorned with icons, including the Theotokos of Vladimir. The design of the new church, with its five domes proved immensely popular, in 1547 the coronation of the first Russian Tsar, Ivan the Terrible, took place in this cathedral. From 1721 it was the scene of the coronation of the Russian emperors, the ritual installation of metropolitans and patriarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church took place in this cathedral, and their tombs are to be found here.
During the French occupation of Russia, it was looted and used as a horse stable and it was thoroughly restored in 1894-1895 and from 1910-1918. On November 21,1917 the cathedral was the setting for the installation of Tikhon, following the 1917 Russian Revolution, the new Bolshevik government closed all churches in the Moscow Kremlin, and converted the cathedral into a museum. By special permission from Vladimir Lenin, the last Pascha was held in 1918, the final moments of this Paschal service was the subject of an unfinished painting by Pavel Korin entitled Farewell to Rus
Catherine the Great
Catherine II of Russia, known as Catherine the Great, was a Russian monarch. She was the female leader of Russia, reigning from 1762 until her death in 1796 at the age of 67. She came to following a coup détat when her husband. Russia was revitalised under her reign, growing larger and stronger than ever, in both her accession to power and in rule of her empire, Catherine often relied on her noble favourites, most notably Grigory Orlov and Grigory Potemkin. In the west, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, ruled by Catherines former lover, king Stanisław August Poniatowski, was eventually partitioned, in the east, Russia started to colonise Alaska, establishing Russian America. Catherine reformed the administration of Russian guberniyas, and many new cities, an admirer of Peter the Great, Catherine continued to modernise Russia along Western European lines. However, military conscription and the continued to depend on serfdom. This was one of the reasons behind several rebellions, including the large-scale Pugachevs Rebellion of cossacks.
The period of Catherine the Greats rule, the Catherinian Era, is considered the Golden Age of the Russian Empire. The Manifesto on Freedom of the Nobility, issued during the reign of Peter III and confirmed by Catherine. Construction of many mansions of the nobility, in the classical style endorsed by the Empress and she enthusiastically supported the ideals of The Enlightenment, thus earning the status of an enlightened despot. Catherine was born in Stettin, Kingdom of Prussia as Princess Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg, she was nicknamed Figchen. Her father, Christian August, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst, belonged to the ruling German family of Anhalt, two of her first cousins became Kings of Sweden, Gustav III and Charles XIII. In accordance with the prevailing in the ruling dynasties of Germany, she received her education chiefly from a French governess. She once wrote to her correspondent Baron Grimm, I see nothing of interest in it, although Catherine was born a princess, her family had very little money.
Catherines rise to power was supported by her mothers relatives who were both wealthy nobles and royal relations. Catherine first met Peter III at the age of 10, based on her writings, she found Peter detestable upon meeting him. She disliked his pale complexion and his fondness for alcohol at such a young age, Peter still played with toy soldiers
Tsaritsa, tsarina or czarina (Russian, царица, is the title of a female autocratic ruler of Bulgaria, Serbia or Russia, or the title of a tsars wife. The English spelling is derived from the German czarin or zarin, in the way as the French tsarine/czarine. Since 1721, the titles of the Russian male and female monarchs were Emperor and Empress, respectively. Officially the last Russian tsarina was Eudoxia Lopukhina, Peter the Greats first wife, alexandra Feodorovna, the wife of Nicholas II of Russia, was the last Russian Empress. Eudoxia Lopukhina was sent to monastery in 1698, and died in 1731, in 1712 Peter married in church Catherine I of Russia. The Russian Empire was officially proclaimed in 1721, and Catherine become Empress by marriage, after Peters death she became ruling Empress by her own right. In following centuries the title tsarina was in informal use – a kind of pet name for Empresses – ruling queens. For a list of Russian empresses in the 18th and 19th centuries see Empress of Russia, de jure tsaritsas in Russia existed from 1547 until 1721.
Among the most famous tsaritsas of this period were six or seven wives of Ivan the Terrible, only the first four of them were crowned tsaritsas, as the marriages were not blessed with the Orthodox Church and considered as cohabitation. Polish noblewoman Marina Mnishek became tsaritsa of Russia by her marriage to an impostor False Dmitry I, many wives were chosen by Bride-show, when hundreds of poor but handsome noblewomen gathered in Moscow from all the regions of Russia, and the tsar chose the most beautiful. This deprived Russia of the benefits of royal intermarriage with European monarchs, but protected from inbreeding and degeneration, the only foreign wife of a Russian tsar was Maria Temryukovna, a Circassian princess, who converted in Orthodoxy. Ivan Zabelins book The Domestic Life of Russian Tsaritsas in detail describes the subject, the last Bulgarian tsarina was Giovanna of Italy, the wife of Tsar Boris III of Bulgaria. The first Serbian tsarina was Helena of Bulgaria, sister of Bulgarian Tsar Ivan Alexander and she was the empress consort of Serbia from 1346 until Dušans sudden death in 1355.
The second, and the last, Serbian tsarina was Ana Basarab and she married Dušans son, Tsar Stephen Uroš V of Serbia somewhere between 1356 and 1360, and ruled until the Serbian empires demise in 1371. Tsarevna List of Russian consorts List of Serbian consorts List of Bulgarian consorts
Ivan III of Russia
Ivan III Vasilyevich, known as Ivan the Great, was a Grand Prince of Moscow and Grand Prince of all Rus. He was one of the longest-reigning Russian rulers in history, Ivans rule is marked by what subsequent Russophile historians called the Gathering of the Russian Lands. Ivan brought the independent duchies of different Rurikid princes under the control of Moscow, leaving the princes. His first enterprise was a war with the Republic of Novgorod and these wars were waged over Moscows religious and political sovereignty, and over Moscows efforts to seize land in the Northern Dvina region. Ivan visited Novgorod Central several times in the several years, persecuting a number of pro-Lithuanian boyars. In 1477, two Novgorodian envoys, claiming to have been sent by the archbishops and the entire city, Ivan dispossessed Novgorod of more than four-fifths of its land, keeping half for himself and giving the other half to his allies. Subsequent revolts were punished by the en masse of the richest and most ancient families of Novgorod to Moscow, Vyatka.
Archbishop Feofil was removed to Moscow for plotting against the Grand Prince, the rival republic of Pskov owed the continuance of its own political existence to the readiness with which it assisted Ivan against its ancient enemy. The other principalities were eventually absorbed by conquest, purchase, or marriage contract, The Principality of Yaroslavl in 1463, Rostov in 1474, Tver in 1485, the eldest, died childless on 12 September 1472. He only had a draft of a will that said nothing about his land, Ivan seized the land, much to the fury of the surviving brothers, who he placated with some land. Boris and Andrei the Elder signed treaties with Vasily in February and they agreed to protect each others land and not to have secret dealings with foreign states, they broke this clause in 1480, fleeing to Lithuania. It is unknown whether Andrei the Younger signed a treaty and he died in 1481, leaving his lands to Ivan. In 1491 Andrei the Elder was arrested by Ivan for refusing to aid the Crimean Tatars against the Golden Horde and he died in prison in 1493, and Ivan seized his land.
In 1494 Boris, the only brother able to pass his land to his sons, their land reverted to the Tsar upon their deaths in 1503 and 1515 respectively. There was one semi-autonomous prince in Muscovy when Ivan acceded, Prince Mikhail Andreevich of Vereia, in 1478 he was pressured into giving Belozersk to Ivan, who got all of Mikhails land on his death in 1486. The character of the government of Moscow changed significantly under Ivan III and this was a natural consequence of the hegemony of Moscow over the other north-eastern Rus lands, but to new imperial pretensions. Ivan himself appeared to welcome the idea, and he began to style himself tsar in foreign correspondence, fennell emphasizes Ivans success in centralizing control over local rulers, he adds, that his reign was a period of cultural depression and spiritual barrenness. Freedom was stamped out within the Muscovite lands, by his bigoted anti-Catholicism Ivan brought down the curtain between Muscovy and the west
Emerald is a gemstone and a variety of the mineral beryl colored green by trace amounts of chromium and sometimes vanadium. Beryl has a hardness of 7. 5–8 on the Mohs scale, most emeralds are highly included, so their toughness is classified as generally poor. The word emerald is derived, from Vulgar Latin, esmaralda/esmaraldus, a variant of Latin smaragdus, like all colored gemstones, are graded using four basic parameters–the four Cs of Connoisseurship, Clarity and Carat weight. Before the 20th century, jewelers used the water, as in a gem of the finest water. Normally, in the grading of colored gemstones, color is by far the most important criterion, however, in the grading of emeralds, clarity is considered a close second. A fine emerald must possess not only a pure verdant green hue as described below, in the 1960s, the American jewelry industry changed the definition of emerald to include the green vanadium-bearing beryl as emerald. As a result, vanadium emeralds purchased as emeralds in the United States are not recognized as such in the UK, in America, the distinction between traditional emeralds and the new vanadium kind is often reflected in the use of terms such as Colombian Emerald.
In gemology, color is divided into three components, hue and tone, emeralds occur in hues ranging from yellow-green to blue-green, with the primary hue necessarily being green. Yellow and blue are the normal secondary hues found in emeralds, only gems that are medium to dark in tone are considered emerald, light-toned gems are known instead by the species name green beryl. The finest emerald are approximately 75% tone on a scale where 0% tone would be colorless, in addition, a fine emerald should be well saturated and have a hue that is bright. Gray is the normal saturation modifier or mask found in emerald, Emerald tends to have numerous inclusions and surface breaking fissures. Unlike diamond, where the standard, i. e. 10× magnification, is used to grade clarity. Thus, if an emerald has no visible inclusions to the eye it is considered flawless, stones that lack surface breaking fissures are extremely rare and therefore almost all emeralds are treated to enhance the apparent clarity. The inclusions and fissures within an emerald are sometime described as jardin, imperfections are unique for each emerald and can be used to identify a particular stone.
Eye-clean stones of a vivid primary green hue, with no more than 15% of any hue or combination of a medium-dark tone. The relative non-uniformity motivates the cutting of emeralds in cabochon form, faceted emeralds are most commonly given an oval cut, or the signature emerald cut, a rectangular cut with facets around the top edge. Most emeralds are oiled as part of the process, in order to fill in surface-reaching cracks so that clarity and stability are improved. Cedar oil, having a refractive index, is often used in this widely adopted practice