Gaius Julius Caesar, known as Julius Caesar, was a Roman politician and notable author of Latin prose. He played a role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic. In 60 BC, Caesar and Pompey formed an alliance that dominated Roman politics for several years. Their attempts to power as Populares were opposed by the Optimates within the Roman Senate. Caesars victories in the Gallic Wars, completed by 51 BC, extended Romes territory to the English Channel, Caesar became the first Roman general to cross both the Channel and the Rhine, when he built a bridge across the Rhine and crossed the Channel to invade Britain. These achievements granted him unmatched military power and threatened to eclipse the standing of Pompey, with the Gallic Wars concluded, the Senate ordered Caesar to step down from his military command and return to Rome. Caesar refused the order, and instead marked his defiance in 49 BC by crossing the Rubicon with the 13th Legion, leaving his province, Civil war resulted, and Caesars victory in the war put him in an unrivalled position of power and influence.
After assuming control of government, Caesar began a programme of social and governmental reforms and he centralised the bureaucracy of the Republic and was eventually proclaimed dictator in perpetuity, giving him additional authority. But the underlying political conflicts had not been resolved, and on the Ides of March 44 BC, a new series of civil wars broke out, and the constitutional government of the Republic was never fully restored. Caesars adopted heir Octavian, known as Augustus, rose to power after defeating his opponents in the civil war. Octavian set about solidifying his power, and the era of the Roman Empire began, much of Caesars life is known from his own accounts of his military campaigns, and from other contemporary sources, mainly the letters and speeches of Cicero and the historical writings of Sallust. The biographies of Caesar by Suetonius and Plutarch are major sources, Caesar is considered by many historians to be one of the greatest military commanders in history. Caesar was born into a family, the gens Julia.
The cognomen Caesar originated, according to Pliny the Elder, with an ancestor who was born by Caesarean section. The Historia Augusta suggests three alternative explanations, that the first Caesar had a head of hair, that he had bright grey eyes. Caesar issued coins featuring images of elephants, suggesting that he favored this interpretation of his name, despite their ancient pedigree, the Julii Caesares were not especially politically influential, although they had enjoyed some revival of their political fortunes in the early 1st century BC. Caesars father, called Gaius Julius Caesar, governed the province of Asia and his mother, Aurelia Cotta, came from an influential family. Little is recorded of Caesars childhood, in 85 BC, Caesars father died suddenly, so Caesar was the head of the family at 16
The Amur River or Heilong Jiang is the worlds tenth longest river, forming the border between the Russian Far East and Northeastern China. The largest fish species in the Amur is the kaluga, attaining a length as great as 5.6 metres, historically, it was common to refer to a river simply as water. The word for water is similar in a number of Asiatic languages, mul in Korean, muren in Mongolian, the name Amur may have evolved from a root word for water, coupled with a size modifier for Big Water. The Chinese name for the river, Heilong Jiang, means Black Dragon River in Chinese, and its Mongolian name, Khar mörön, means Black River. The river rises in the hills in the part of Northeast China at the confluence of its two major affluents, the Shilka River and the Ergune River, at an elevation of 303 metres. It flows east forming the border between China and Russia, and slowly makes an arc to the southeast for about 400 kilometres, receiving many tributaries. At Huma, it is joined by a tributary, the Huma River.
Afterwards it continues to south until between the cities of Blagoveschensk and Heihe, it widens significantly as it is joined by the Zeya River. At the confluence with the Songhua the river turns northeast, now flowing towards Khabarovsk, now the river spreads out dramatically into a braided character, flowing north-northeast through a wide valley in eastern Russia, passing Amursk and Komsomolsk-on-Amur. The valley narrows after about 200 kilometres and the river flows north onto plains at the confluence with the Amgun River. Shortly after, the Amur turns sharply east and into an estuary at Nikolayevsk-on-Amur, in many historical references these two geopolitical entities are known as Outer Manchuria and Inner Manchuria, respectively. The Chinese province of Heilongjiang on the bank of the river is named after it. The name Black River was used by the Manchu and the Ta-tsing Empire who regarded this river as sacred, the Amur River is an important symbol of, and geopolitical factor in, Chinese–Russian relations.
The Amur was especially important in the following the Sino–Soviet political split in the 1960s. For many centuries the Amur Valley was populated by the Tungusic and Mongol people, for many of them, fishing in the Amur and its tributaries was the main source of their livelihood. Until the 17th century, these people were not known to the Europeans, and little known to the Han Chinese, the term Yupi Dazi was used for the Nanais and related groups as well, owing to their traditional clothes made of fish skins. This Ming Dynasty Aigun was located on the bank to the Aigun that was relocated during the Qing Dynasty. In any event, the Ming presence on the Amur was as short-lived as it was tenuous, soon after the end of the Yongle era, Russian Cossack expeditions led by Vassili Poyarkov and Yerofey Khabarov explored the Amur and its tributaries in 1643–44 and 1649–51, respectively
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
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until it was overthrown by the short-lived February Revolution in 1917. One of the largest empires in history, stretching over three continents, the Russian Empire was surpassed in landmass only by the British and Mongol empires. The rise of the Russian Empire happened in association with the decline of neighboring powers, the Swedish Empire, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Persia. It played a role in 1812–14 in defeating Napoleons ambitions to control Europe. The House of Romanov ruled the Russian Empire from 1721 until 1762, and its German-descended cadet branch, 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, there were numerous dissident elements, who launched numerous rebellions and assassination attempts, they were closely watched by the secret police, with thousands exiled to Siberia.
Economically, the empire had an agricultural base, with low productivity on large estates worked by serfs. The economy slowly industrialized with the help of foreign investments in railways, the land was ruled by a nobility from the 10th through the 17th centuries, and subsequently by an emperor. Tsar Ivan III laid the groundwork for the empire that emerged and he tripled the territory of his state, ended the dominance of the Golden Horde, renovated the Moscow Kremlin, and laid the foundations of the Russian state. Tsar Peter the Great fought numerous wars and expanded an already huge empire into a major European power, Catherine the Great presided over a golden age. She expanded the state by conquest and diplomacy, continuing Peter the Greats policy of modernisation along West European lines, Tsar Alexander II promoted numerous reforms, most dramatically 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 and that connection by 1914 led to Russias entry into the First World War on the side of France and Serbia, against the German and Ottoman empires.
The Russian Empire functioned as a monarchy until the Revolution of 1905. The empire collapsed during the February Revolution of 1917, largely as a result of failures in its participation in the First World War. Perhaps the latter was done to make Europe recognize Russia as more of a European country, Poland was divided in the 1790-1815 era, with much of the land and population going to Russia. Most of the 19th century growth came from adding territory in Asia, Peter I the Great introduced autocracy in Russia and played a major role in introducing his country to the European state system. However, this 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 to the one of slavery, remained a major institution in Russia until 1723, when Peter I converted household kholops into house serfs, thus including them in poll taxation
Ivan the Terrible
Ivan IV Vasilyevich, commonly known as Ivan the Terrible or Ivan the Fearsome, was the Grand Prince of Moscow from 1533 to 1547, Tsar of All the Russias until his death in 1584. The last title was used by all his successors, during his reign, Russia conquered the Khanates of Kazan and Sibir, becoming a multiethnic and multicontinental state spanning approximately 4,050,000 km2. Ivan exercised autocratic control over Russias hereditary nobility and developed a bureaucracy to administer his new territories and he transformed Russia from a medieval state into an empire, though at immense cost to its people, and its broader, long-term economy. In one such outburst, he killed his son and heir Ivan Ivanovich and this left his younger son, the pious but politically ineffectual Feodor Ivanovich, to inherit the throne. Ivan was a diplomat, a patron of arts and trade. He was popular among Russias commoners, except possibly the people of Novgorod and surrounding areas, the English word terrible is usually used to translate the Russian word grozny in Ivans nickname, but this is a somewhat archaic translation.
The Russian word grozny reflects the older English usage of terrible as in inspiring fear or terror, powerful and it does not convey the more modern connotations of English terrible, such as defective or evil. Vladimir Dal defines grozny specifically in archaic usage and as an epithet for tsars, magnificent and keeping enemies in fear, other translations have been suggested by modern scholars. Ivan was the first son of Vasili III and his wife, Elena Glinskaya. When Ivan was three years old, his father died from an abscess and inflammation on his leg that developed into blood poisoning, Ivan was proclaimed the Grand Prince of Moscow at the request of his father. His mother Elena Glinskaya initially acted as regent, but she died of what many believe to be assassination by poison, the regency alternated between several feuding boyar families fighting for control. According to his own letters, along with his younger brother Yuri, on 16 January 1547, at age sixteen, Ivan was crowned with Monomakhs Cap at the Cathedral of the Dormition.
He was the first to be crowned as Tsar of All the Russias, prior to that, rulers of Muscovy were crowned as Grand Princes, although Ivan III the Great, his grandfather, styled himself tsar in his correspondence. Two weeks after his coronation, Ivan married his first wife Anastasia Romanovna, a member of the Romanov family, who became the first Russian tsaritsa. By being crowned Tsar, Ivan was sending a message to the world and to Russia, he was now the one and only ruler of the country. The new title symbolized an assumption of powers equivalent and parallel to those held by former Byzantine Emperor, the political effect was to elevate Ivans position. The new title not only secured the throne, but it granted Ivan a new dimension of power and he was now a divine leader appointed to enact Gods will, as church texts described Old Testament kings as Tsars and Christ as the Heavenly Tsar. The newly appointed title was passed on from generation to generation
The rank has lived on as a surname in Russia and Romania, and in Finland, where it is spelled Pajari. Also known as bolyar, the various names in other languages include Bulgarian, боляр or болярин, Ukrainian, буй or боярин, Russian, боя́рин. Multiple different derivation theories of the word have been suggested by scholars and linguists, such as it having possible roots from old Turkic, bai and är. Another possible etymology of the term it may come from the Romanian word boi, the title entered Old Russian as быля. It was probably transformed through boilar or bilyar to bolyar and bolyarin, a member of the nobility during the First Bulgarian Empire was called a boila, while in the Second Bulgarian Empire, the corresponding title became bolyar or bolyarin. Bolyar, as well as its predecessor, was a hereditary title, the Bulgarian bolyars were divided into veliki and malki. Presently in Bulgaria, the word bolyari is used as a nickname for the inhabitants of Veliko Tarnovo—once the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire.
In medieval Serbia, the rank of the Boyars was equivalent to the rank of the Baron, meaning free warrior, with the rule of the Ottoman Empire after 1450, the Ottoman as well as the Austro-Hungarian terms exchanged the Serbian one. Today, it is a term representing the aristocracy. Boyars 9th - 13th centuries, wielded power through their military support of the Kievan princes. Power and prestige of many of them, soon came to depend almost completely on service to the state, family history of service and, to a lesser extent, land ownership. Boyars of Kievan Rus were visually similar to knights, but after the Mongol invasion. The boyars occupied the highest state offices and, through a council and they received extensive grants of land and, as members of the Boyars Duma, were the major legislators of Kievan Rus. After the Mongol invasion in the 13th century, the boyars from central and southern parts of Kievan Rus were incorporated into Lithuanian, during the 14th and 15th centuries, the boyars of Moscow had considerable influence that continued from the Muscovy period.
However, starting with the reign of Ivan III, the boyars were starting to lose that influence to the tsars in Russia. Because of Ivan III’s expansionist policies, administrative changes were needed in order to ease the burden of governing Muscovy, the face of provincial rule disappeared. What is interesting about the boyars is their implied duties, because boyars were not constitutionally instituted, much of their powers and duties came from agreements signed between princes. Agreements, such as one between Ivan III and Mikhail Borisovich in 1484 showed how allegiances needed to be earned and secured, instead of the grand prince personally overseeing his lands, he had to rely on his lieutenants and close advisors to oversee day-to-day operations
Basil II was a Byzantine Emperor from the Macedonian dynasty who reigned from 10 January 976 to 15 December 1025. He was known in his time as Basil the Porphyrogenitus and Basil the Young to distinguish him from his supposed ancestor, the early years of his long reign were dominated by civil war against powerful generals from the Anatolian aristocracy. For this he was nicknamed the Bulgar Slayer, by which he is popularly known and his reign is therefore often seen as the medieval apogee of the Empire. She originated from the Peloponnese, possibly from the city of Sparta, Basils paternal ancestry is of uncertain origins, his putative ancestor Basil I, the founder of the dynasty, being variously ascribed Armenian, Slavic, or Greek origins. Indeed the biological father of Leo VI the Wise was possibly not Basil I, the family of Michael III were Anatolian Greeks from Phrygia, though originally of the Melchisedechian heretical faith. In 960, Basil was associated on the throne by his father, who died in 963.
Nikephoros was murdered in 969 by his nephew John I Tzimisces, when Tzimisces died on 10 January 976, Basil II finally took the throne as senior emperor. Basil was a soldier and a superb horseman, and he would prove himself as an able general. Basil waited and watched without interfering, devoting himself to learning the details of administrative business, even though Nikephoros II Phokas and John I Tzimiskes were brilliant military commanders, both had proven to be lax administrators. Skleros was allowed to live, but he ended his days blind, perhaps through disease and these rebellions had a profound effect on Basils outlook and methods of governance. The historian Psellus describes the defeated Bardas Skleros giving Basil the following advice, let no generals on campaign have too many resources. Exhaust them with unjust exactions, to keep them busied with their own affairs, admit no woman to the imperial councils. Share with few your most intimate plans, Basil, it would appear, took this advice to heart.
In order to defeat these dangerous revolts, Basil formed an alliance with Prince Vladimir I of Kiev, who in 988 had captured Chersonesos, Vladimir offered to evacuate Chersonesos and to supply 6,000 of his soldiers as reinforcements to Basil. In exchange he demanded to be married to Basils younger sister Anna, the Byzantines viewed all the nations of Northern Europe, be they Franks or Slavs, as barbarians. Anna herself objected to marrying a barbarian ruler, as such a marriage would have no precedence in imperial annals, Vladimir had conducted long-running research into different religions, including sending delegates to various countries. Marriage was not his primary reason for choosing the Orthodox religion, when Vladimir promised to baptize himself and to convert his people to Christianity, Basil finally agreed. Vladimir and Anna were married in the Crimea in 989, the Rus recruitments were instrumental in ending the rebellion, and they were organized into the Varangian Guard
To be in exile means to be away from ones home, while either being explicitly refused permission to return or being threatened with imprisonment or death upon return. It can be a form of punishment and solitude and it is common to distinguish between internal exile, i. e. forced resettlement within the country of residence, and external exile, which is deportation outside the country of residence. Although most commonly used to describe a situation, the term is used for groups. Exile can be a departure from ones homeland. Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. In some cases the head of state is allowed to go into exile following a coup or other change of government. A wealthy citizen who departs from an abode for a lower tax jurisdiction in order to reduce his/her tax burden is termed a tax exile. Creative people such as authors and musicians who achieve sudden wealth sometimes find themselves among this group, in 2012, Eduardo Saverin, one of the founders of Facebook, made headlines by renouncing his U. S. citizenship before his companys IPO.
In some cases a person lives in exile to avoid legal issues. For example, nuns were exiled following the Communist coup détat of 1948 in Czechoslovakia, many Jewish prayers include a yearning to return to Jerusalem and the Jewish homeland. The entire population of Crimean Tatars that remained in their homeland Crimea was exiled on 18 May 1944 to Central Asia as a form of ethnic cleansing and collective punishment on false accusations. At Diego Garcia, between 1967 and 1973 the British Government forcibly removed some 2,000 Chagossian resident islanders to make way for a military base today jointly operated by the US, since the Cuban Revolution over one million Cubans have left Cuba. Most of these self-identify as exiles as their motivation for leaving the island is political in nature, most of the exiles children consider themselves to be Cuban exiles. It is to be noted that under Cuban law, children of Cubans born abroad are considered Cuban citizens, during a foreign occupation or after a coup détat, a government in exile of a such afflicted country may be established abroad.
Exile is a motif in ancient Greek tragedy. In the ancient Greek world, this was seen as a worse than death. The motif reaches its peak on the play Medea, written by Euripides in the fifth century BC, euripides’ Medea has remained the most frequently performed Greek tragedy through the 20th century. After Medea was abandoned by Jason and had become a murderer out of revenge, she fled to Athens and married king Aigeus there, due to a conflict with him, she must leave the Polis and go away into exile
Moldavia is a historical region, and former principality in Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester river. The western half of Moldavia is now part of Romania, the eastern side belongs to the Republic of Moldova, the original and short-lived reference to the region was Bogdania, after Bogdan I, the founding figure of the principality. Dragoș was accompanied by his female hound called Molda, when reached the shores of an unfamiliar river. The dogs name would have given to the river and extended to the country. The old German Molde, meaning open-pit mine the Gothic Mulda meaning dust, dirt, a Slavic etymology, marking the end of one Slavic genitive form, denoting ownership, chiefly of feminine nouns. In several early references, Moldavia is rendered under the composite form Moldo-Wallachia, Ottoman Turkish references to Moldavia included Boğdan Iflak and Boğdan. See names in other languages, the name of the region in other languages include French, German, Hungarian, Russian, Молдавия, Turkish, Boğdan Prensliği, Greek, Μολδαβία.
The inhabitants of Moldova were Christians, archaeological works revealed the remains of a Christian necropolis at Mihălășeni, Botoșani county, from the 5th century. The place of worship, and the tombs had Christian characteristics, the place of worship had a rectangular form with sides of 8 and 7 meters. Similar necropolis and place of worship were found at Nicolina, in Iași The Bolohoveni, the chronicle shows that this land is bordered on the principalities of Halych and Kiev. Archaeological research identified the location of 13th-century fortified settlements in this region, Alexandru V. Boldur identified Voscodavie, Voloscovti, Volcovti and their other towns and villages between the middle course of the rivers Nistru/Dniester and Nipru/Dnieper. The Bolohoveni disappeared from chronicles after their defeat in 1257 by Daniil Romanovichs troops, in the early 13th century, the Brodniks, a possible Slavic–Vlach vassal state of Halych, were present, alongside the Vlachs, in much of the regions territory.
On the border between Halych and the Brodniks, in the 11th century, a Viking by the name of Rodfos was killed in the area by Vlachs who supposedly betrayed him. In 1164, the future Byzantine Emperor Andronikos I Komnenos, was prisoner by Vlach shepherds around the same region. In 1342 and 1345, the Hungarians were victorious in a battle against Tatar-Mongols, the Polish chronicler Jan Długosz mentioned Moldavians as having joined a military expedition in 1342, under King Władysław I, against the Margraviate of Brandenburg. In 1353, Dragoș, mentioned as a Vlach Knyaz in Maramureș, was sent by Louis I to establish a line of defense against the Golden Horde forces of Mongols on the Siret River and this expedition resulted in a polity vassal to Hungary, centered around Baia. His realm extended north to the Cheremosh River, while the part of Moldavia was still occupied by the Tatar Mongols. After first residing in Baia, Bogdan moved Moldavias seat to Siret, disfavored by the brief union of Angevin Poland and Hungary, Bogdans successor Lațcu accepted conversion to Roman Catholicism around 1370, but his gesture was to remain without consequences
Vladimir the Great
Vladimir Sviatoslavich the Great or Volodymyr was a prince of Novgorod, grand prince of Kiev, and ruler of Kievan Rus from 980 to 1015. Vladimirs father was prince Sviatoslav of the Rurik dynasty, in Sweden, with the help from his relative Ladejarl Håkon Sigurdsson, ruler of Norway, he assembled a Varangian army and reconquered Novgorod from Yaropolk. Originally a follower of Slavic paganism, Vladimir converted to Christianity in 988, born in 958, Vladimir was the natural son and youngest son of Sviatoslav I of Kiev by his housekeeper Malusha. Malusha is described in the Norse sagas as a prophetess who lived to the age of 100 and was brought from her cave to the palace to predict the future, malushas brother Dobrynya was Vladimirs tutor and most trusted advisor. His place of birth is identified by different authors either as Budyatychi or Budnik, transferring his capital to Pereyaslavets in 969, Sviatoslav designated Vladimir ruler of Novgorod the Great but gave Kiev to his legitimate son Yaropolk.
After Sviatoslavs death at the hands of the Pechenegs in 972, in 977, Vladimir fled to his kinsman Haakon Sigurdsson, ruler of Norway, collecting as many Norse warriors as he could to assist him to recover Novgorod. On his return the next year, he marched against Yaropolk, on his way to Kiev he sent ambassadors to Rogvolod, prince of Polotsk, to sue for the hand of his daughter Rogneda. The high-born princess refused to affiance herself to the son of a bondswoman, so Vladimir attacked Polotsk, slew Rogvolod, Vladimir continued to expand his territories beyond his fathers extensive domain. Although Christianity spread in the region under Olegs rule, Vladimir had remained a pagan, taking eight hundred concubines. He may have attempted to reform Slavic paganism by establishing the thunder-god, open abuse of the deities that most people in Rus revered triggered widespread indignation. A mob killed the Christian Fyodor and his son Ioann, immediately after the murder of Fyodor and Ioann, early medieval Rus saw persecutions against Christians, many of whom escaped or concealed their belief.
However, Prince Vladimir mused over the incident long after, the result is described by the chronicler Nestor. Of the Muslim Bulgarians of the Volga the envoys reported there is no gladness among them, only sorrow and he reported that Islam was undesirable due to its taboo against alcoholic beverages and pork. Vladimir remarked on the occasion, Drinking is the joy of all Rus and we cannot exist without that pleasure. His emissaries visited Roman Catholic and Orthodox missionaries, ultimately Vladimir settled on Eastern Orthodox Christianity. If Vladimir was impressed by this account of his envoys, he was more attracted by the political gains of the Byzantine alliance. In 988, having taken the town of Chersonesos in Crimea, he negotiated for the hand of emperor Basil IIs sister. Never before had a Byzantine imperial princess, and one born in the purple at that, married a barbarian, as offers of French kings