The Volga is the longest river in Europe with a catchment area of 1,350,000 square kilometres. It is Europe's largest river in terms of discharge and drainage basin; the river flows through central Russia and into the Caspian Sea, is regarded as the national river of Russia. Eleven of the twenty largest cities of Russia, including the capital, are located in the Volga's drainage basin; some of the largest reservoirs in the world are located along the Volga. The river has a symbolic meaning in Russian culture and is referred to as Волга-матушка Volga-Matushka in Russian literature and folklore; the Russian hydronym Volga derives from Proto-Slavic *vòlga "wetness, moisture", preserved in many Slavic languages, including Ukrainian volóha "moisture", Russian vlaga "moisture", Bulgarian vlaga "moisture", Czech vláha "dampness", Serbian vlaga "moisture", Croatian vlaga "moisture" and Slovene vlaga "moisture" among others. The Slavic name is a loan translation of earlier Scythian Rā "Volga" "wetness", cognate with Avestan Raŋhā "mythical stream" and Vedic Sanskrit rasā́ "dew, juice.
The Scythian name survives in modern Mordvin Rav "Volga". The Turkic peoples living along the river referred to it as Itil or Atil "big river". In modern Turkic languages, the Volga is known as İdel in Tatar, Атăл in Chuvash, Idhel in Bashkir, Edil in Kazakh, İdil in Turkish; the Turkic peoples associated the Itil's origin with the Kama. Thus, a left tributary to the Kama was named the Aq Itil "White Itil" which unites with the Kara Itil "Black Itil" at the modern city of Ufa; the name Indyl is used in Adyge language. Among Asians, the river was known by its other Turkic name Sarı-su "yellow water", but the Oirats used their own name, Ijil mörön or "adaptation river". Presently the Mari, another Uralic group, call the river Jul, they called the river Volgydo, a borrowing from Old East Slavic. The Volga is the longest river in Europe, its catchment area is entirely inside Russia, though the longest river in Russia is the Ob–Irtysh river system, it belongs to the closed basin of the Caspian Sea, being the longest river to flow into a closed basin.
Rising in the Valdai Hills 225 meters above sea level northwest of Moscow and about 320 kilometers southeast of Saint Petersburg, the Volga heads east past Lake Sterzh, Dubna, Yaroslavl, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan. From there it turns south, flows past Ulyanovsk, Samara and Volgograd, discharges into the Caspian Sea below Astrakhan at 28 meters below sea level. At its most strategic point, it bends toward the Don. Volgograd Stalingrad, is located there; the Volga has many tributaries, most the rivers Kama, the Oka, the Vetluga, the Sura. The Volga and its tributaries form the Volga river system, which flows through an area of about 1,350,000 square kilometres in the most populated part of Russia; the Volga Delta has a length of about 160 kilometres and includes as many as 500 channels and smaller rivers. The largest estuary in Europe, it is the only place in Russia where pelicans and lotuses may be found; the Volga freezes for most of its length for three months each year. The Volga drains most of Western Russia.
Its many large reservoirs provide hydroelectric power. The Moscow Canal, the Volga–Don Canal, the Volga–Baltic Waterway form navigable waterways connecting Moscow to the White Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Caspian Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea. High levels of chemical pollution have adversely affected its habitats; the fertile river valley provides large quantities of wheat, has many mineral riches. A substantial petroleum industry centers on the Volga valley. Other resources include natural gas and potash; the Volga Delta and the nearby Caspian Sea offer superb fishing grounds. Astrakhan, at the delta, is the center of the caviar industry. A number of large hydroelectric reservoirs were constructed on the Volga during the Soviet era, they are: Volgograd Reservoir Saratov Reservoir Kuybyshev Reservoir – the largest in Europe by surface Cheboksary Reservoir Gorky Reservoir Rybinsk Reservoir Uglich Reservoir Ivankovo Reservoir Volgograd Nizhny Novgorod Kazan Samara Saratov Tolyatti Yaroslavl Astrakhan Ulyanovsk Cheboksary Tver The area downstream of the Volga believed to have been a cradle of the Proto-Indo-European civilization, was settled by Slavs and other Turkic peoples in the first millennium AD, replacing the Scythians.
The ancient scholar Ptolemy of Alexandria mentions the lower Volga in his Geography. He calls it the Rha, the Scythian name for the river. Ptolemy believed the Don and the Volga shared the same upper branch, which flowed from the Hyperborean Mountains; the Russian ethnicity in Western Russia and around the Volga river evolved among other tribes, out of the East Slavic tribe of the Buzhans. Several localities in Russia are connected to the Buzhans, like for example Sredniy Buzhan in the Orenburg Oblast and the Buzan river in the Astrakhan Oblast. Buzhan is a village in Nishapur, Iran. Subsequently, the river basin played an important role in the movements of peoples from Asia to Europe. A powerful polity of Volga Bulgaria once flourished where the Kama jo
The Dnieper is one of the major rivers of Europe, rising in the Valdai Hills near Smolensk and flowing through Russia and Ukraine to the Black Sea. It is the fourth-longest river in Europe; the total length is 2,200 km with a drainage basin of 504,000 square kilometres. The river is noted for hydroelectric stations; the Dnieper is an important navigable waterway for the economy of Ukraine and is connected via the Dnieper–Bug Canal to other waterways in Europe. In antiquity, the river was part of the Amber Road; the name Dnieper may be derived either from Sarmatian Dānu apara "the river on the far side" or from Scythian Dānu apr "deep river." By way of contrast, the name Dniester either derives from "the close river" or from a combination of Scythian Dānu and Ister, the Thracian name for the Dniester. In the three countries through which it flows it has the same name, albeit pronounced differently: Russian: Днепр older Russian: Днѣпръ; the late Greek and Roman authors called it Δάναπρις - Danapris and Danaper Old East Slavic name used at the time of Kievan Rus' was Slavuta or Slavutych The Huns called it Var, Bulgars - Buri-Chai.
The name in Crimean Tatar: Özü, hence Ochakiv The river is mentioned both by the Ancient Greek historian Herodotus in the 5th century BC as Borysthenes. The total length of the river is variously given as 2,145 kilometres or 2,201 km, of which 485 km are within Russia, 700 km are within Belarus, 1,095 km are within Ukraine, its basin covers 504,000 square kilometres, of which 289,000 km2 are within Ukraine, 118,360 km2 are within Belarus. The source of the Dnieper is the sedge bogs of the Valdai Hills in central Russia, at an elevation of 220 m. For 115 km of its length, it serves as the border between Ukraine, its estuary, or liman, used to be defended by the strong fortress of Ochakiv. On the Dnieper to the south of Komarin urban-type settlement, Braghin District, Gomel Region the southern extreme point of Belarus is situated; the Dnieper has many tributaries with 89 being rivers of 100+ km. The main ones are, from its source to its mouth: Many small direct tributaries exist, such as, in the Kiev area, the Syrets in the north of the city, the significant Lybid passing west of the centre, the Borshahivka to the south.
The water resources of the Dnieper basin compose around 80% out of all Ukraine. Dnieper Rapids were part of trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks, first mentioned in the Kiev Chronicle; the route was established in the late eighth and early ninth centuries and gained significant importance from the tenth until the first third of the eleventh century. On the Dnieper the Varangians had to portage their ships round seven rapids, where they had to be on guard for Pecheneg nomads. Along this middle flow of the Dnieper, there were nine major rapids, obstructing the whole width of the river, about 30–40 smaller rapids, obstructing only part of the river, about 60 islands and islets. After Dnieper Hydroelectric Station was built in 1932, they were inundated by Dnieper Reservoir. There are a number of canals connected to the Dnieper: The Dnieper–Donbas Canal; the river is part of the Quagga mussel's native range. The mussel has been accidentally introduced around the world where it has become an invasive species.
From the mouth of the Prypiat River to the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Station, there are six sets of dams and hydroelectric stations, which produce 10% of Ukraine's electricity. The first constructed was the Dnieper Hydroelectric Station near Zaporizhia, built in 1927–1932 with an output of 558 MW, it was destroyed during World War II, but was rebuilt in 1948 with an output of 750 MW. The Dnieper River in different regions Major cities, over 100,000 in population, are in bold script. Cities and towns located on the Dnieper are listed in order from the river's source to its mouth: Arheimar, a capital of the Goths, was located on the Dnieper, according to the Hervarar saga. 2,000 km of the river is navigational. The Dnieper is important for the transport and economy of Ukraine: its reservoirs have large ship locks, allowing vessels of up to 270 by 18 metres to access as far as the port of Kiev and thus create an important transport corridor; the river is used by passenger vessels as well. Inland cruises on the rivers Danube and Dnieper have been a growing market in recent decades.
Upstream from Kiev, the Dnieper receives the water of the Pripyat River. This navigable river connects to the link with the Bug River. A connection with the Western European waterways was possible, but a weir without a
Polotsk is a historical city in Belarus, situated on the Dvina River. It is the center of the Polotsk District in Vitsebsk Voblast, its population is more than 80,000 people. It during the Cold War was home to Borovitsy air base; the Old East Slavic name, derives from the Polota River, which flows into the Western Dvina nearby. The Vikings rendered that name as Palteskja. Polotsk is one of the most ancient cities of the Eastern Slavs; the Primary Chronicle listed Polotsk in 862, together with Beloozero. However, an archaeological expedition from the Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus suggests that Polotsk existed in the first half of the 9th century; the first known prince of Polotsk was Rogvolod. He had a daughter named Rogneda. Rogvolod promised Rogneda to the prince of Yaropolk, as a wife, but Yaropolk's brother, had attacked Polotsk before Yaropolk came. He killed Rogvolod, his wife and sons, married Rogneda. Vladimir and Rogneda had five children and the eldest of them, became Prince of Polotsk.
Between the 10th and 12th centuries, the Principality of Polotsk emerged as the dominant center of power in what is now Belarusian territory, with a lesser role played by the Principality of Turov to the south. It asserted its sovereignty in relation to other centers of Kievan Rus, becoming a political capital, the episcopal see and the controller of vassal territories among Balts in the west, its most powerful ruler was Prince Vseslav Bryachislavich, who reigned from 1044 to 1101. A 12th-century inscription commissioned by Vseslav's son Boris may still be seen on a huge boulder installed near the St. Sophia Cathedral. For a full list of the Polotsk rulers, see the list of Belarusian rulers. In 1240, Polotsk became a vassal of the Lithuanian princes; the Grand Duke of Lithuania Vytenis annexed the city by military force in 1307, completing the process which the Lithuanian princes had begun in the 1250s. Polotsk received a charter of autonomy guaranteeing that the grand dukes "will not introduce new, nor destroy the old".
It was the earliest to be so incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. By doing so, the Lithuanians managed to grasp the Dvina trade route in their hands, securing an important element for the surrounding economies. Magdeburg law was adopted in 1498. Polotsk functioned as a capital of the Połock Voivodship of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth until 1772. Captured by the Russian army of Ivan the Terrible in 1563, it was returned to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania just 15 years later, it was again captured by Russia on 17 June 1654, but recaptured by Poland-Lithuania on 30 October 1660 during the Russo-Polish War. In 1773, with the First Partition of Poland, Russia seized Polotsk as part of the Russian Partition of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Since the Russian Empress Catherine II did not acknowledge the Papal suppression of the Society of Jesus, the Jesuit branches in these lands were not disbanded, Połock became the European centre of the Order, with a novitiate opening in 1780, with the arrival of distinguished Jesuits from other parts of Europe who brought with them valuable books and scientific collections.
Jesuits continued their pastoral work and upgraded the Jesuit College in Polotsk into the Połock Academy, with three faculties, four libraries, a printing house, a bookshop, a theatre with 3 stages, a science museum, an art gallery and a scientific and literary periodical, a medical-care centre. The school was the patron of the college in Petersburg, the mission to Saratów and an expedition to Canton; when in 1820 pressure from the Russian Orthodox Church influenced the Russian Emperor Alexander I to exile the Jesuits and to close the Academy, there were 700 students studying there. The Russian authorities broke up the Academy's library of 40,000-60,000 volumes, the richest collection of 16th- to 18th-century books - the books went to St. Petersburg and other cities, 4000 volumes going to the St. Petersburg State University Scientific Library; that period of warfare started the gradual decline of the city. After the first partition of Poland, Polotsk became reduced to the status of a small provincial town of the Russian Empire.
During the French invasion of Russia in 1812 the area saw two battles, the First Battle of Polotsk and the Second Battle of Polotsk. Polotsk came under occupation by the German Empire between 25 February 1918 and 21 November 1918 in World War I, by Poland between 22 September 1919 and 14 May 1920 in the Polish–Soviet War and by Nazi Germany between 16 July 1941 and 4 July 1944 in World War II. Polotsk functioned as the center of Polatsk Voblast between 20 September 1944 and 8 January 1954. A reorganisation of the area between Vitebsk and Molodechno voblasts left Polotsk part of the former; the city's Cathedral of Saint Sophia in Polotsk was a symbol of the independent-mindedness of Polotsk, rivaling churches of the same name in Novgorod and Kiev. The name referred to the original Hagia Sophia in Constantinople and thus to claims of imperial prestige and sovereignty; the cathedral had been ruined by the troops of Peter I of Russia. Hence the present baroque building by Johann Christoph Glaubitz dates fro
The Radziwiłł Chronicle is one of the Old East Slavic illuminated manuscript held by the Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Saint Petersburg. It is a 15th-century copy of a 13th-century original, its name is derived from the Princes Radziwiłł of Grand Duchy of Lithuania, who kept it in their Nesvizh Castle in the 17th and 18th centuries. The work reveals the history of Kievan Rus' and its neighbors from the fifth to the early 13th century in pictorial form, representing events described in the manuscript with more than 600 colour illustrations. Among East Slavic chronicles, the Radziwiłł is distinguished for the richness and quantity of its illustrations, which may derive from the 13th-century original; the chronicle includes the Tale of Bygone Years and extends it with yearly entries until 1206. Examples of illumination Academic Chronicle Illustrated Chronicle of Ivan the Terrible Media related to Radzivill Chronicle at Wikimedia Commons http://www.unesco.org/webworld/mdm/visite/radzivill/en/present1.html
Izborsk is a rural locality in Pechorsky District of Pskov Oblast, Russia. It contains one of the most impressive fortresses of Western Russia; the village lies 30 kilometers to the west of Pskov and just to the east of the Russian-Estonian border. According to the Russian Primary Chronicle, the town was the seat of Rurik's brother Truvor from 862-864. Although his burial mound is still shown to occasional tourists, archaeological excavations of long barrows abounding in the vicinity did not reveal the presence of the Varangian settlement at the site, indicating that Izborsk was an important centre of the early Krivichs; the next mention of the town in Slavonic chronicles dates back to 1233, when the place was captured by the Livonian Brothers of the Sword. Pskov moved the fortress to a more convenient site in 1302. In 1348 Pskov feudal republic that included Izborsk separates from Novgorod Republic, in 1399 becomes a viceroyalty of Muscovy, in 1510 annexed to the latter. In the 16th century, Izborsk was one of the smaller, but nonetheless strategically important fortresses that protected the northwest Russian borders from invasion.
The fortress was supposed to be impregnable, why the seizure of it in 1569 by a small Lithuanian regiment came as such a shock to the ruler, Ivan the Terrible. The relative ease and suspicious circumstances of the seizure of the fortress troubled the paranoid Ivan. In the dead of night Teterin, a Russian turncoat disguised as an oprichnik, ordered the gates of the town be opened in the name of the oprichnina, thus allowing the enemy regiment to enter and overtake the fortress. Though Ivan managed to retake the city with little difficulty, the treachery and conspiracy involved in the original seizure led him to order the executions of the assistant crown secretaries of Izborsk, as well as the secretaries of the surrounding fortresses. With rumors of disaffection and growing discontent throughout the country on the rise, Ivan feared that other cities would soon follow the treasonous example of Izborsk; the proximity of the town to the cities of Novgorod and Pskov, coupled with the questionable implication of Novgorod's chancery administration in Teterin's plot, threw suspicion of treachery and defection onto the distrusted city.
During the siege of Pskov Izborsk was captured by the Lithuanian troops, but after the Truce of Yam-Zapolsky handed over to the Muscovy. After the Great Northern War Izborsk ceased to be a western borderline fortress of Russian state. In 1708 it joined the newly-established Governorate of Saint-Petersburg, where it was listed as the centre of uyezd within the Pskov province. In 1727 the whole Pskov province was transferred to the Novgorod Governorate, transformed into a part of the larger Pskov Governorate, where Izborsk was listed as a town until 1920. In 1920, according to the Treaty of Tartu, the Russian-Estonian state boundary went eastwards of Izborsk and thus the town became part of Estonia. During 1940-1945 the town remained within the Estonian SSR. In 1945 Russian SFSR/Estonian SSR border was redefined to resemble the pre-1918 borders between the Livonia and Pskov Governorate, leaving Izborsk with the Pskov Oblast of the Russian SFSR, now Russian Federation. Truvor's gorodishche is a settlement about half a kilometer north from the fortress that came about in the late 7th and early 8th century, proceeded to grow twice in size in the 10th and 11th centuries.
It was the predecessor of the Izborsk Fortress, protected by an oakwood wall, upgraded to stone, 3 meters in height by 3 meters in width in the 12th century. To accommodate a larger capacity, the Izborsk Fortress was moved to its present location on the summit of Zheravya Hill in the year 1303, the Lukovka Tower was built from stone on the outer edge, standing at 13 meters in height, 9.5 meters in diameter. First wooden fortress on the current site was built in early XIV century; the most ancient extant structure is the Tower Lukovka. At that time it adjoined a wooden wall; the walls surrounding the fortress were modified from wood to stone soon after, in 1330. After seven other stone towers and the new stone wall were completed, Lukovka became a watch-tower and an armory; the Nativity church within the fortress was built in the 16th century. The walls were yet again thickened in the 15th and 16th centuries, the towers were now compatible with cannons; the side, most prone to attack was designed thicker than the others, at 5 meters in width, while the rest range from 2.5 to 3.7 meters.
The towers were built at a maximum of 60 meters apart for reinforcement. There were two entrances to the fortress; the Nikolski gate, the larger of the two, has an inner gate with a tower and a portcullis, is 90 meters long and 5 meters wide. The Talavski entrance is 4 meters wide; the fortress' southeast side was equipped an underground stone hallway that provided access to a spring well. Early XVIII century the fortress was abandoned. Due to the inclement weather and climate of the region, the fortress faced deterioration. First renovations of the deserted fortress were carried out in 1842 after the order approved by Nicolas I. Recent restoration of the fortress, completed in 2012, was accompanied by gross embezzlement of money, the fortress was damaged. On 15 March 2016, Grigory Pirumov, deputy minister of culture of Russia, and
De Administrando Imperio
De Administrando Imperio is the Latin title of a Greek-language work written by the 10th-century Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine VII. The Greek title of the work is Πρὸς τὸν ἴδιον υἱὸν Ρωμανόν, it is a domestic and foreign policy manual for the use of Constantine's son and successor, the Emperor Romanos II. Constantine was a scholar-emperor, who sought to foster learning and education in the Eastern Roman Empire, he produced many other works, including De Ceremoniis, a treatise on the etiquette and procedures of the imperial court, a biography of his grandfather, Basil I. De Administrando Imperio was written between 948 and 952, it contains advice on running the ethnically-mixed empire as well as fighting foreign enemies. The work combines two of Constantine's earlier treatises, "On the Governance of the State and the various Nations", concerning the histories and characters of the nations neighbouring the Empire, including the Turks, Kievan Rus', South Slavs, Lombards and Georgians. To this combination were added Constantine's own political instructions to his son Romanus.
The book content, according to its preface, is divided into four sections: a key to the foreign policy in the most dangerous and complicated area of the contemporary political scene, the area of northerners and Scythians, a lesson in the diplomacy to be pursued in dealing with the nations of the same area a comprehensive geographic and historical survey of most of the surrounding nations and a summary of the recent internal history and organization of the Empire. As to the historical and geographic information, confusing and filled with legends, this information is in essence reliable; the historical and antiquarian treatise, which the Emperor had compiled during the 940s, is contained in the chapters 12—40. This treatise contains traditional and legendary stories of how the territories surrounding the Empire came in the past to be occupied by the people living in them in the Emperor's times. Chapters 1 -- 8, 10 -- 12 explain imperial policy toward the Turks. Chapter 13 is a general directive on foreign policy coming from the Emperor.
Chapters 43—46 are about contemporary policy in the north-east. The guides to the incorporation and taxation of new imperial provinces, to some parts of civil and naval administration, are in chapters 49—52; these chapters were designed to give practical instructions to the emperor Romanus II, are added during the year 951–52, in order to mark Romanus' fourteenth birthday. The earliest surviving copy, was made by John Doukas' confidential secretary, Michael, in the late 11th century; this manuscript was copied in 1509 by Antony Eparchus. 126, has a number of notes in Greek and Latin, added by late readers. A third complete copy, known as F=codex Parisinus gr.2967, is itself a copy of V, begun by Eparchus and completed by Michael Damascene. There is a incomplete, manuscript known as M = codex Mutinensis gr. 179, a copy of P made by Andrea Darmari between 1560 and 1586. Two of the manuscripts are now located in Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, the third is in the Vatican Library; the partial manuscript is in Modena.
The Greek text in its entirety was published seven times. The editio princeps, based on V, was published in 1611 by Johannes Meursius, who gave it the Latin title by which it is now universally known, which translates as On Administering the Empire; this edition was published six years with no changes. The next edition belongs to the A. Bandur, collated copy of the first edition and manuscript P. Banduri's edition was reprinted twice: in 1729 in the Venetian collection of the Byzantine Historians and in 1864 Migne republished Banduri's text with a few corrections. Constantine himself had not given the work a name, preferring instead to start the text with the standard formal salutation: "Constantine, in Christ the Eternal Sovereign, Emperor of the Romans, to own son Romanos the Emperor crowned of God and born in the purple"; the language Constantine uses is rather straightforward High Medieval Greek, somewhat more elaborate than that of the Canonic Gospels, comprehensible to an educated modern Greek.
The only difficulty is the regular use of technical terms which, being in standard use at the time, may present prima facie hardships to a modern reader. For example, Constantine writes of the regular practice of sending basilikoí to distant lands for negotiations - in this case it is meant that "royal men", i.e. imperial envoys, were sent as ambassadors on a specific mission. In the preamble, the emperor makes a point that he has avoided convoluted expressions and "lofty Atticisms" on purpose, so as to make everything "plain as the beaten track of common, everyday speech" for his son and those high officials with whom he might choose to share the work, it is the extant written text that comes closest to the vernacular employed by the Imperial Palace bureaucracy in 10th century Constantinople. In 1892 R. Vari planned a new critical edition of this work and J. B. Bury proposed to include this work in his collection of Byzantine Texts, he gave up the plan for an edition, surrendering it to Gyula Moravcsik in 1925.
The first modern edition of the Greek text (by G