Kingdom of Georgia
The Kingdom of Georgia known as the Georgian Empire, was a medieval Eurasian monarchy which emerged circa 1008 AD. It reached its Golden Age of political and economic strength during the reign of King David IV and Queen Tamar the Great from 11th to 13th centuries. Georgia became one of the pre-eminent nations of the Christian East, her pan-Caucasian empire stretching, at its largest extent, from Eastern Europe and the North Caucasus to the northern portion of Iran and Anatolia, while maintaining religious possessions abroad, such as the Monastery of the Cross in Jerusalem and the Monastery of Iviron in Greece, it was the principal historical precursor of present-day Georgia. Lasting for several centuries, the kingdom fell to the Mongol invasions in the 13th century, but managed to re-assert sovereignty by the 1340s; the following decades were marked by Black Death, as well as numerous invasions under the leadership of Timur, who devastated the country's economy and urban centers. The Kingdom's geopolitical situation further worsened after the fall of the Byzantine and Empire of Trebizond.
As a result of these processes, by the end of the 15th century Georgia turned into a fractured entity. Renewed incursions by Timur from 1386, the invasions by the Kara Koyunlu and Ak Koyunlu led to the final collapse of the kingdom into anarchy by 1466 and the mutual recognition of its constituent kingdoms of Kartli and Imereti as independent states between 1490 and 1493 – each led by a rival branch of the Bagrationi dynasty, into five semi-independent principalities – Odishi, Abkhazia and Samtskhe – dominated by their own feudal clans. Located on the crossroads of protracted Roman–Persian wars, the early Georgian kingdoms disintegrated into various feudal regions by the early Middle Ages; this made it easy for the remaining Georgian realms to fall prey to the early Muslim conquests in the 7th century. In struggle against the Arab occupation, Iberian princes of Bagrationi dynasty came to rule over Tao-Klarjeti, the former southern provinces of Iberia, established Kouropalatate of Iberia as a nominal vassal of the Byzantine Empire.
Bagrationi's continued fighting for the central Georgian land, known as Kartli, contested by the Kingdom of Abkhazia, the Arab emirs of Tbilisi and by Kakhetian and Armenian Bagratid rulers of Tashir-Dzoraget. The restoration of the Iberian kingship begins in 888, however Bagrationi dynasty failed to maintain the integrity of their kingdom, divided between the three branches of the family with the main branch retaining in Tao and another controlling Klarjeti. An Arab incursion into western Georgia was repelled by Abkhazians jointly with Lazic and Iberian allies in 736; the successful defense against the Arabs, the expansionist tendencies of the kingdom to the east and the struggle against Byzantium, fighting for the hegemony within the Georgian territories speed up the process of unification of Georgian states into a single feudal monarchy. In 9th century western Georgian Church broke away from Constantinople and recognized the authority of the Catholicate of Mtskheta. At the end of the 10th century David III of Tao invaded the Kartli and gave it to his foster-son Bagrat III and installed his father Gurgen as his regent, crowned as "King of the Iberians" in 994.
Through his mother Gurandukht, sister of the childless Abkhazian king Theodosius III, Bagrat was a potential heir to the realm of Abkhazia. Kingdom of Abkhazia was engulfed into complete chaos and feudal warfare under the rule of Bagrat's uncle Theodosius the Blind, a weak and inauspicious king. In 978, the former duke of Kartli, Ivane Marushisdze, aided by David III, forced Theodosius to abdicate the throne in favour of his nephew Bagrat; the latter proceeded to Kutaisi to be crowned King of the Abkhazia. Bagrat's descent from both Bagratid and Abkhazian dynasties made him an acceptable choice for the nobles of the realm who were growing weary of internecine quarrels. In 1008, Gurgen died, Bagrat succeeded him as "King of the Iberians", thus becoming the first King of a unified realm of Abkhazia and Iberia. After he had secured his patrimony, Bagrat proceeded to press a claim to the easternmost Georgian kingdom of Kakheti-Hereti and annexed it in or around 1010, after two years of fighting and aggressive diplomacy.
Anxious to create more stable and centralized monarchy, Bagrat eliminated or at least diminished the autonomy of the dynastic princes. In his eyes, the most possible internal danger came from the Klarjeti line of the Bagrationi. To secure the succession to his son, George I, Bagrat lured his cousins, on pretext of a reconciliatory meeting and threw them in prison in 1011, their possessions passed to his progeny. Their children – Bagrat, son of Sumbat, Demetre, son of Gurgen – fled to Constantinople from where they would try to retrieve patrimonial lands with the Byzantine aid, for the last time in 1032, but to no avail. Bagrat's reign, a period of uttermost importance in the history of Georgia, brought about the final victory of the Georgian Bagratids in the centuries-long power struggles. Bagrat's foreign policy was peaceful and the king manoeuvred to avoid the conflicts with both the Byzantine and Muslim neighbours though David's domains of Tao remained in the Byzantine and Tbilisi in the Arab hands.
The major political and military event during George I’s reign, a war against the Byzantine Empire, had its roots back to the 990s, when the Georgian prince David III of Tao, following his abortive rebellion against Emperor Basil II, had to agree to cede his
Battle of Krtsanisi
The Battle of Krtsanisi was fought between the Qajars of Iran and the Georgian armies of the Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti and Kingdom of Imereti at the place of Krtsanisi near Tbilisi, from September 8 to September 11, 1795, as part of Qajar Emperor Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar's war in response to King Heraclius II of Georgia’s alliance with the Russian Empire. The battle resulted in the decisive defeat of the Georgians and complete destruction of their capital Tbilisi, as well as the temporary absorption of eastern parts of Georgia into the Iranian Empire. Although the Qajars were victorious and Agha Mohammad Khan kept his promise to Heraclius that if he would not drop the alliance with Russia and voluntarily reaccept Iranian suzerainty they would invade his kingdom, it showed that Russia's own ambitions and agenda were set as the most important reason for Russia not to intervene at Krtsanisi though the latter had declared in the Treaty of Georgievsk of 1783 that it would protect Erekle's kingdom against any new Iranian ambitions to re-subjugate Georgia.
Subsequently, in order to restore Russian prestige, Catherine would launch a punitive campaign against Iran the next year, but it was shortly recalled after her death. The following years were known as a time of muddle and confusion. Reestablishment of Iranian rule over Georgia did not last long, for the shah was assassinated in 1797 in Shusha, the Georgian king had died the year after. With Georgia laying in ruins and the central rule in Iran being concerned with the next heir to the throne, it opened the way for Georgia's annexation by Russia several years by Tsar Paul; as Iran could not permit or allow the cession of Transcaucasia and Dagestan, which were integral parts of Iran for centuries, the consequences of the Krtsanisi battle directly led to the bitter Russo-Persian War and Russo-Persian War, in which Fath Ali Shah, Agha Mohammad Khan's successor, attempted to reverse Russian military advances and restore Iranian authority north of the Aras and Kura rivers. After these wars, Iran ceded Transcaucasia and Dagestan to imperial Russia per the Treaty of Gulistan and the Treaty of Turkmenchay.
Eastern Georgia, composed of the kingdoms of Kartli and Kakheti, had been in the early modern era under Iranian suzerainty since the 1510s. In 1744, Nader Shah had granted the kingship of Kartli and Kakheti to Teimuraz II and his son Erekle II as a reward for their loyalty; when Nader Shah died in 1747, they capitalized on the chaos that had erupted in mainland Iran, declared de facto independence. After Teimuraz II died in 1762, Erekle II assumed control over Kartli, united the two kingdoms in a personal union as the Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti, becoming the first Georgian ruler to preside over a politically unified eastern Georgia in three centuries. At about the same time, Karim Khan Zand had ascended the Iranian throne. In 1783, Heraclius placed his kingdom under the protection of the Russian Empire in the Treaty of Georgievsk. In the last few decades of the 18th century, Georgia had become a more important element in Russo-Iranian relations than some provinces in northern mainland Persia, such as Mazandaran or Gilan.
Unlike Peter I, the ruling monarch of Russia, viewed Georgia as a pivot for her Caucasian policy, as Russia's new aspirations were to use it as a base of operations against both Iran and the Ottoman Empire, both immediate bordering geo-political rivals of Russia. On top of that, having another port on the Georgian coast of the Black Sea would be ideal. A limited Russian contingent of two infantry battalions with four artillery pieces arrived in Tbilisi in 1784, but was withdrawn, despite the frantic protests of the Georgians, in 1787 as a new war against Ottoman Turkey had started on a different front. In the next several years, Russia would be too occupied with Turkey and the European consequences of the French Revolution to give Georgia much attention; the consolidation of the Qajar dynasty under Agha Mohammad Khan, who had become the new owners to the Iranian throne and therefore the new heirs to the geo-politically rivalling empire, bordering Russia for centuries, did not divert Catherine from preoccupations in the west.
In 1791, when Agha Mohammad Khan was in Tabriz, Erekle asked General Gudovich, commander of the Russian Caucasian Line, for renewed military aid, but the government in St. Petersburg did not judge it expedient to send troops again to Georgia. In 1792, Gudovich told Erekle that he would receive only diplomatic support in the advent of any Iranian onslaught. Despite being left to his own devices, Heraclius still cherished a dream of establishing, with Russian protection, a strong and united monarchy, into which the western Georgian Kingdom of Imereti and the lost provinces under Ottoman rule would all be drawn; the consequences of these events came a few years when a new dynasty, the Qajars, emerged victorious in the protracted power struggle in Persia. Their head, Agha Mohammad Khan, as his first objective, resolved to bring the Caucasus again under the Persian orbit. For Agha Mohammah Khan, the resubjugation and reintegration of Georgia into the Iranian Empire was part of the same process that had brought Shiraz and Tabriz under his rule.
He viewed, like the Safavids and Nader Shah before him, the territories no different than the territories in mainland Iran. Georgia was a province of Iran; as the Cambridge History of Iran states, its permanent secession was inco
History of Georgia (country)
The nation of Georgia was first unified as a kingdom under the Bagrationi dynasty by the King Bagrat III of Georgia in the 8th to 9th century, arising from a number of predecessor states of the ancient kingdoms of Colchis and Iberia. The Kingdom of Georgia flourished during the 10th to 12th centuries under King David IV the Builder and Queen Tamar the Great, fell to the Mongol invasion by 1243, after a brief reunion under George V the Brilliant to the Timurid Empire. By 1490, Georgia was fragmented into a number of petty kingdoms and principalities, which throughout the Early Modern period struggled to maintain their autonomy against Ottoman and Iranian domination until Georgia was annexed by the Russian Empire in the 19th century. After a brief bid for independence with the Democratic Republic of Georgia of 1918–1921, Georgia was part of the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic from 1922 to 1936, formed the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic until the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
The current republic of Georgia has been independent since 1991. The first president Zviad Gamsakhurdia stoked Georgian nationalism and vowed to assert Tbilisi's authority over Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Gamsakhurdia was deposed in a bloody coup d'état within the same year and the country became embroiled in a bitter civil war, which lasted until 1995. Supported by Russia and South Ossetia achieved de facto independence from Georgia; the Rose Revolution forced Eduard Shevardnadze to resign in 2003. The new government under Mikheil Saakashvili prevented the secession of a third breakaway republic in the Adjara crisis of 2004, but the conflict with Abkhazia and South Ossetia led to the 2008 Russo–Georgian War and tensions with Russia remain unresolved; the history of Georgia is inextricably linked with the history of the Georgian people. Evidence for the earliest occupation of the territory of present-day Georgia goes back to c. 1.8 million years ago, as evident from the excavations of Dmanisi in the south-eastern part of the country.
This is the oldest evidence of humans anywhere in the world outside Africa. Prehistoric remains are known from numerous cave and open-air sites in Georgia; the earliest agricultural Neolithic occupation is dated sometime between 6000 and 5000 BC. known as the Shulaveri-Shomu culture, where people used local obsidian for tools, raised animals such as cattle and pigs, grew crops, including grapes. Numerous excavations in tell settlements of the Shulaveri-Shomu type have been conducted since the 1960s. Early metallurgy started in Georgia during the 6th millennium BC, associated with the Shulaveri-Shomu culture. From the beginning of the 4th millennium, metals became used to larger extend in East Georgia and in the whole Transcaucasian region. In the 1970s, archaeological excavations revealed a number of ancient settlements that included houses with galleries, carbon-dated to the 5th millennium BC in the Imiris-gora region of Eastern Georgia; these dwellings were circular or oval in plan, a characteristic feature being the central pier and chimney.
These features were used and further developed in building Georgian dwellings and houses of the'Darbazi' type. In the Chalcolithic period of the fourth and third millennia BC, Georgia and eastern Asia Minor were home to the Kura-Araxes culture, giving way in the second millennium BC. to the Trialeti culture. Archaeological excavations have brought to light the remains of settlements at Beshtasheni and Ozni, barrow burials in the province of Trialeti, at Tsalka. Together, they testify to an well-developed culture of building and architecture. Diauehi, a tribal union of early-Georgians, first appear in written history in the 12th century BC. Archaeological finds and references in ancient sources reveal elements of early political and state formations characterized by advanced metallurgy and goldsmith techniques that date back to the 7th century BC and beyond. Between 2100 and 750 BC, the area survived the invasions by the Hittites, Medes, Proto-Persians and Cimmerians. At the same period, the ethnic unity of Proto-Kartvelians broke up into several branches, among them Svans, Zans/Chans and East-Kartvelians.
That led to the formation of modern Kartvelian languages: Georgian, Svan and Laz. By that time Svans were dominant in modern Svaneti and Abkhazia, Zans inhabited modern Georgian province of Samegrelo, while East-Kartvelians formed the majority in modern eastern Georgia; as a result of cultural and geographic delimitation, two core areas of future Georgian culture and statehood formed in western and eastern Georgia by the end of the 8th century BC. The first two Georgian states emerged in the west known as the Kingdom of Colchis and in the east as the Kingdom of Iberia. A second Georgian tribal union emerged in the 13th century BC on the Black Sea coast under the Kingdom of Colchis in western Georgia; the kingdom of Colchis, which existed from the 6th to the 1st centuries BC is regarded as the first early Georgian state formation and the term Colchians was used as the collective term for early Georgian-Kartvelian tribes such as Mingrelians and Chans who populated the eastern coast of the Black Sea.
According to the scholar of the Caucasian studies Cyril Toumanoff: Colchis appears as the first Caucasian State to have achieved the coalescence of the newcomer, Colchis can be justly regarded as not a proto-Georgian, but a Georgian kingdom.... It would seem natural to seek the beginnings of Georgian social history in Colchis, the ea
Orthodoxy is adherence to correct or accepted creeds in religion. In the Christian sense the term means "conforming to the Christian faith as represented in the creeds of the early Church." The first seven ecumenical councils were held between the years of 325 and 787 with the aim of formalizing accepted doctrines. In some English-speaking countries, Jews who adhere to all the traditions and commandments as legislated in the Talmud are called Orthodox Jews, although the term "orthodox" first described Christian beliefs; the historical Buddha was known to denounce mere attachment to scriptures or dogmatic principles, as it was mentioned in the Kalama Sutta. Moreover, the Theravada school of Buddhism follows strict adherence to the Pāli Canon and the commentaries such as the Visuddhimagga. Hence, the Theravada school came to be considered the most orthodox of all Buddhist schools, as it is known to be conservative within the discipline and practice of the Vinaya. In classical Christian usage, the term orthodox refers to the set of doctrines which were believed by the early Christians.
A series of ecumenical councils were held over a period of several centuries to try to formalize these doctrines. The most significant of these early decisions was that between the Homoousian doctrine of Athanasius and Eustathius and the Heteroousian doctrine of Arius and Eusebius; the Homoousian doctrine, which defined Jesus as both God and man with the canons of the 431 Council of Ephesus, won out in the Church and was referred to as orthodoxy in most Christian contexts, since this was the viewpoint of previous Christian Church Fathers and was reaffirmed at these councils.. Following the 1054 Great Schism, both the Western Church and Eastern Church continued to consider themselves uniquely orthodox and catholic. Augustine wrote in On True Religion: “Religion is to be sought... only among those who are called Catholic or orthodox Christians, that is, guardians of truth and followers of right.” Over time, the Western Church identified with the "Catholic" label, people of Western Europe associated the "Orthodox" label with the Eastern Church.
This was in note of the fact that both Catholic and Orthodox were in use as ecclesiastical adjectives as early as the 2nd and 4th centuries respectively. Much earlier, Oriental Orthodoxy had split from Chalcedonian Christianity after the Council of Chalcedon, because of several christological differences. Since Oriental Orthodox Churches are maintaining the orthodox designation as a symbol of their theological traditions. Orthodox Hinduism refers to the religious teachings and practices of Sanātanī, one of the traditionalist branches of Hinduism. Sunni Islam is sometimes referred to as "orthodox Islam"; as of 2009, Sunni Muslims constituted 87–90% of the world's Muslim population. However, other scholars of Islam, such as John Burton believe that there is no such thing as "orthodox Islam". Orthodox Judaism is a collective term for the traditionalist branches of Judaism, which seek to maintain the received Jewish beliefs and observances and which coalesced in opposition to the various challenges of modernity and secularization.
Theologically, it is chiefly defined by regarding the Torah, both Written and Oral, as revealed by God on biblical Mount Sinai and faithfully transmitted since. The movement advocates a strict observance of Jewish Law, or Halakha, to be interpreted only according to received methods due to its divine character. Orthodoxy considers Halakha as eternal and beyond historical influence, being applied differently to changing circumstances but unchangeable in itself. Orthodox Judaism is not a centralized denomination. Relations between its different subgroups are sometimes strained and the exact limits of Orthodoxy are subject to intense debate, it may be divided between Ultra-Orthodox or "Haredi", more conservative and reclusive, Modern Orthodox Judaism, open to outer society. Each of those is itself formed of independent streams, they are uniformly exclusionist, regarding Orthodoxy as the only authentic form of Judaism and rejecting all competing non-Orthodox interpretations as illegitimate. While adhering to traditional beliefs, the movement is a modern phenomenon.
It arose as a result of the breakdown of the autonomous Jewish community since the 18th Century and was much shaped by a conscious struggle against rival alternatives. Kemetic Orthodoxy is a Kemetic denomination, a reform reconstruction of Egyptian polytheism for modern followers, it claims to derive a spiritual lineage from the Ancient Egyptian religion. There are organizations of Slavic Native Faith which characterize the religion as Orthodoxy, by other terms. Orthodoxy is opposed to heresy. People who deviate from orthodoxy by professing a doctrine considered to be false are called heretics, while those who without professing heretical beliefs, break from the perceived main body of believers are called schismatics; the term employed sometimes depends on the aspect most in view: if one is addressing corporate unity, the emphasis may be on schism. A deviation lighter than heresy is called error, in the sense of not being grave enough to cause total estrangement, while yet affecting communion.
Sometimes error is used to cover both full heresies an
The Russian Empire known as Imperial Russia or Russia, was an empire that existed across Eurasia and North America from 1721, following the end of the Great Northern War, until the Republic was proclaimed by the Provisional Government that took power after the February Revolution of 1917. The third largest empire in world history, at its greatest extent stretching over three continents, Europe and North America, the Russian Empire was surpassed in landmass only by the British and Mongol empires; the rise of the Russian Empire coincided with the decline of neighboring rival powers: the Golden Horde, the Swedish Empire, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Ottoman Empire. It played a major role in 1812–1814 in defeating Napoleon's ambitions to control Europe and expanded to the west and south; the House of Romanov ruled the Russian Empire from 1721 until 1762, its matrilineal branch of patrilineal German descent the House of Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov ruled from 1762. At the beginning of the 19th century, the Russian Empire extended from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Black Sea in the south, from the Baltic Sea on the west to the Pacific Ocean, into Alaska and Northern California in America on the east.
With 125.6 million subjects registered by the 1897 census, it had the third-largest population in the world at the time, after Qing China and India. Like all empires, it included a large disparity in terms of economics and religion. There were numerous dissident elements. Economically, the empire had a predominantly agricultural base, with low productivity on large estates worked by serfs, Russian peasants; the economy industrialized with the help of foreign investments in railways and factories. The land was ruled by a nobility from the 10th through the 17th centuries, subsequently by an emperor. Tsar Ivan III laid the groundwork for the empire that emerged, he tripled the territory of his state, ended the dominance of the Golden Horde, renovated the Moscow Kremlin, laid the foundations of the Russian state. Emperor Peter the Great fought numerous wars and expanded an huge empire into a major European power, he moved the capital from Moscow to the new model city of St. Petersburg, led a cultural revolution that replaced some of the traditionalist and medieval social and political mores with a modern, Europe-oriented, rationalist system.
Empress Catherine the Great presided over a golden age. Emperor Alexander II promoted numerous reforms, most the emancipation of all 23 million serfs in 1861, his policy in Eastern Europe involved protecting the Orthodox Christians under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. That connection by 1914 led to Russia's entry into the First World War on the side of France, the United Kingdom, Serbia, against the German and Ottoman empires; the Russian Empire functioned as an absolute monarchy on principles of Orthodoxy and Nationality until the Revolution of 1905 and became a de jure constitutional monarchy. The empire collapsed during the February Revolution of 1917 as a result of massive failures in its participation in the First World War. Though the Empire was only proclaimed by Tsar Peter I following the Treaty of Nystad, some historians would argue that it was born either when Ivan III of Russia conquered Veliky Novgorod in 1478, or when Ivan the Terrible conquered the Khanate of Kazan in 1552. According to another point of view, the term Tsardom, used after the coronation of Ivan IV in 1547, was a contemporary Russian word for empire.
Much of Russia's expansion occurred in the 17th century, culminating in the first Russian colonization of the Pacific in the mid-17th century, the Russo-Polish War that incorporated left-bank Ukraine, the Russian conquest of Siberia. Poland was divided in the 1790 -- 1815 era, with much of the population going to Russia. Most of the 19th-century growth came from adding territory in Asia, south of Siberia. Peter I the Great played a major role in introducing Russia to the European state system. While the vast land had a population of 14 million, grain yields trailed behind those of agriculture in the West, compelling nearly the entire population to farm. Only a small percentage lived in towns; the class of kholops, close in status to slavery, remained a major institution in Russia until 1723, when Peter converted household kholops into house serfs, thus including them in poll taxation. Russian agricultural kholops were formally converted into serfs earlier in 1679. Peter's first military efforts were directed against the Ottoman Turks.
His attention turned to the North. Peter still lacked a secure northern seaport, except at Archangel on the White Sea, where the harbor was frozen for nine months a year. Access to the Baltic was blocked by Sweden. Peter's ambitions for a "window to the sea" led him to make a secret alliance in 1699 with Saxony, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and Denmark against Sweden, resulting in the Great Northern War; the war ended in 1721. Peter acquired four provinces situated east of the Gulf of Finland; the coveted access to the sea was now secured. There he built Russia's new capital, Saint Petersburg, to replace Moscow, which had long been Russia's cultural center. In 1722, he tur
Russia the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres, Russia is by far or by a considerable margin the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, the ninth most populous, with about 146.77 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77 % of the population live in the European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world and the second largest city in Europe. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Estonia, Latvia and Poland, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, China and North Korea, it shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U. S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.
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, the medieval state of Rus arose in the 9th century. 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' disintegrated into a number of smaller states; the Grand Duchy of Moscow reunified the surrounding Russian principalities and achieved independence from the Golden Horde. By the 18th century, the nation had expanded through conquest and exploration to become the Russian Empire, the third largest empire in history, stretching from Poland on the west to Alaska on the east. Following the Russian Revolution, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic became the largest and leading constituent of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the world's first constitutionally socialist state; the Soviet Union played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II, emerged as a recognized superpower and rival to the United States during the Cold War.
The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space. By the end of 1990, the Soviet Union had the world's second largest economy, largest standing military in the world and the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, twelve independent republics emerged from the USSR: Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and the Baltic states regained independence: Estonia, Lithuania, it is governed as a federal semi-presidential republic. Russia's economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity in 2018. Russia's extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the leading producers of oil and natural gas globally; 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. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and an active global partner of ASEAN, as well as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the G20, the Council of Europe, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Trade Organization, as well as being the leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and one of the five members of the Eurasian Economic Union, along with Armenia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan; the name Russia is derived from Rus', a medieval state populated by the East Slavs. However, this proper name became more prominent in the history, the country was called by its inhabitants "Русская Земля", which can be translated as "Russian Land" or "Land of Rus'". In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as Kievan Rus' by modern historiography.
The name Rus itself comes from the early medieval Rus' people, Swedish merchants and warriors who relocated from across the Baltic Sea and founded a state centered on Novgorod that became Kievan Rus. An old Latin version of the name Rus' was Ruthenia 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 Rus', Ρωσσία Rossía—spelled Ρωσία in Modern Greek. The standard way to refer to citizens of Russia is rossiyane in Russian. There are two Russian words which are commonly
Judaism is the religion of the Jewish people. It is an ancient, Abrahamic religion with the Torah as its foundational text, it encompasses the religion and culture of the Jewish people. Judaism is considered by religious Jews to be the expression of the covenant that God established with the Children of Israel. Judaism encompasses a wide body of texts, theological positions, forms of organization; the Torah is part of the larger text known as the Tanakh or the Hebrew Bible, supplemental oral tradition represented by texts such as the Midrash and the Talmud. With between 14.5 and 17.4 million adherents worldwide, Judaism is the tenth largest religion in the world. Within Judaism there are a variety of movements, most of which emerged from Rabbinic Judaism, which holds that God revealed his laws and commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai in the form of both the Written and Oral Torah; this assertion was challenged by various groups such as the Sadducees and Hellenistic Judaism during the Second Temple period.
Modern branches of Judaism such as Humanistic Judaism may be nontheistic. Today, the largest Jewish religious movements are Orthodox Judaism, Conservative Judaism, Reform Judaism. Major sources of difference between these groups are their approaches to Jewish law, the authority of the Rabbinic tradition, the significance of the State of Israel. Orthodox Judaism maintains that the Torah and Jewish law are divine in origin and unalterable, that they should be followed. Conservative and Reform Judaism are more liberal, with Conservative Judaism promoting a more traditionalist interpretation of Judaism's requirements than Reform Judaism. A typical Reform position is that Jewish law should be viewed as a set of general guidelines rather than as a set of restrictions and obligations whose observance is required of all Jews. Special courts enforced Jewish law. Authority on theological and legal matters is not vested in any one person or organization, but in the sacred texts and the rabbis and scholars who interpret them.
The history of Judaism spans more than 3,000 years. Judaism has its roots as an organized religion in the Middle East during the Bronze Age. Judaism is considered one of the oldest monotheistic religions; the Hebrews and Israelites were referred to as "Jews" in books of the Tanakh such as the Book of Esther, with the term Jews replacing the title "Children of Israel". Judaism's texts and values influenced Abrahamic religions, including Christianity and the Baha'i Faith. Many aspects of Judaism have directly or indirectly influenced secular Western ethics and civil law. Hebraism was just as important a factor in the ancient era development of Western civilization as Hellenism, Judaism, as the background of Christianity, has shaped Western ideals and morality since Early Christianity. Jews are an ethnoreligious group including those born Jewish, in addition to converts to Judaism. In 2015, the world Jewish population was estimated at about 14.3 million, or 0.2% of the total world population. About 43% of all Jews reside in Israel and another 43% reside in the United States and Canada, with most of the remainder living in Europe, other minority groups spread throughout Latin America, Asia and Australia.
Unlike other ancient Near Eastern gods, the Hebrew God is portrayed as solitary. Judaism thus begins with ethical monotheism: the belief that God is one and is concerned with the actions of mankind. According to the Tanakh, God promised Abraham to make of his offspring a great nation. Many generations he commanded the nation of Israel to love and worship only one God, he commanded the Jewish people to love one another. These commandments are but two of a large corpus of commandments and laws that constitute this covenant, the substance of Judaism. Thus, although there is an esoteric tradition in Judaism, Rabbinic scholar Max Kadushin has characterized normative Judaism as "normal mysticism", because it involves everyday personal experiences of God through ways or modes that are common to all Jews; this is played out through the observance of the Halakha and given verbal expression in the Birkat Ha-Mizvot, the short blessings that are spoken every time a positive commandment is to be fulfilled.
The ordinary, everyday things and occurrences we have, constitute occasions for the experience of God. Such things as one's daily sustenance, the day itself, are felt as manifestations of God's loving-kindness, calling for the Berakhot. Kedushah, nothing else than the imitation of God, is concerned with daily conduct, with being gracious and merciful, with keeping oneself from defilement by idolatry and the shedding of blood; the Birkat Ha-Mitzwot evokes the consciousness of holiness at a rabbinic rite, but the objects employed in the majority of these rites are non-holy and of general character, while the several holy objects are non-theurgic. And not only do ordinary things and occurrences bring with them the experience of God. Everything that happens to a man evokes that exp