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Chapter 15: Russia: The Third Rome (900 – 1800) – Part II (1448 – 1800)


Next Wednesday, March 12, 2014, we will finish up Chapter 15 and our journey into the history of the Orthodox Church and specifically the Russian Orthodox Church by covering the sections: Muscovy Triumphant (1448 – 1547), Ivan the Terrible and the New Patriarchate (1547 – 98), and From Muscovy to Russia (1598 – 1800).  


Ivan IV, aka ‘Ivan the Terrible’


With these readings, and with all the tensions that has been going on in Kiev, Ukraine currently, I hope we’ve gained a better understanding of its complex history and geopolitical importance throughout Russian history.

For next Wednesday, please write on one of the following topics:


  1. Describe how Moscow’s influence grew after they overthrew their Tatar overlords in the 14th century.  Describe the events that led Russia to take up the title of ‘the Third Rome‘.  Was this title appropriate or was this an over-exaggeration?
  2. After reading MacCulloch’s section, what do you believe was Ivan IV’s (aka ‘Ivan the Terrible‘) most notable achievement or lasting legacy he left during his rule?  How did he change Russian czarship?  What was his relationship with Metropolitan Makarii like?  How was he influenced by him?
  3. How did the Oechumenical Patriarch Jeremias II’s trip to northern Europe and Moscow during 1588 affect Russian and European politics?  How did his visit and policies afterwards affect the Russian Orthodox Church?
  4.  Explain why there was such an uneasy relationship between the Poland-Lithuania Commonwealth and Muscovy during the late 16th century.  What part did the Ruthenian Church play?  What were the ramifications of The Union of Brest in 1596  and the impact of Greek Catholics?
  5. Describe how the Cossacks in Ukraine helped Muscovy come to power.  Describe the role Bohdan Kmel’nyts’kyi had in his revolt against Polish rule.
  6. Discuss the impact Peter I (aka ‘Peter the Great‘) made in Russian history with his obsession to Westernize Russia and weaken the power of the Russian Church.  How did Patriarch Nikon impact Peter’s future policies with the Church?  What led him to transform the Russian church into a tool for his government?
  7. Throughout all the changes Peter made with the Russian Orthodox Church, what saved Orthodoxy during the 18th century in the lives of its ordinary people?


Peter the Great

Monument to Peter the Great by Etienne-Maurice Falconet, St. Petersburg, Russia


Submissions will be posted on March 12.





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