Pechenegs. Ship Rus and their strength
First Danube trip
In 967, the Russian Grand Prince Svyatoslav Igorevich set off on a march to the shores of the Danube. In the annals there are no reports on the preparation of this campaign, but there is no doubt that Svyatoslav prepared himself seriously, just like before the war with the Khazar Kaganate. New professional warriors were prepared, the warriors, which became even more, gathered from the Russian tribes "war" (volunteers, hunters, going to war at will, hunting), built a significant number of rooks, on which it was possible to go along the rivers and cross sea, forged weapon. The Russian army, as in the campaign against the Khazaria, was mostly on foot. The speed of movement was achieved through the use of rooks and the presence of a developed network of waterways in Eastern Europe. In addition, Prince Svyatoslav Igorevich had easy allied cavalry, if the Pechenegs took part in the campaign against the Khazars, now the Hungarians (Ugrians) also became allies.
Pechenegs. It is worth knowing that the Pechenegs, contrary to the myth that distorts the true history The Russian people were not “Turks” (as were the main part of the population of Khazaria and the later Polovtsy and Horde “Mongols”). At the end of the 9th century, the Pecheneg tribes roamed between the Volga and the Aral Sea, and they fought with the Khazars, the Polovtsy and the Oguzes. Then they crossed the Volga, displaced the Ugrians who lived between the Don and the Dnieper, captured the Northern Black Sea coast as far as the Danube. The Pechenegs were mainly engaged in cattle breeding and were at enmity with the Khazars, Byzantium, Hungary, Rus (especially after baptism) and other countries. In this case, the Pechenegs constantly acted as allies with the Rus. Thus, the soldiers of Svyatoslav, in alliance with the Pechenegs, crushed the Khazar Khaganate and fought in Bulgaria, with Byzantium. No wonder the Arab author Ibn-Haukal spoke about the Pechenegs: "The Russian-Russian thorn and their strength." They were the shock force of Russia.
The Pechenegs, like the Rus, were Caucasians. Pechenegs distinguished way of life, different from the northern Slav Slavs, engaged mainly in agriculture and crafts. They preserved the traditions of the Scythians, common to the entire super-ethnos. "The Cossack way of life" - today you are a peaceful farmer and cattle-breeder, and tomorrow you will go to the saddle and go to war. But the Turks (they could have only a small admixture of Turkic blood) and were not representatives of the Mongoloid race. Contrary to the distorted picture of the "classic" history created for Russia by foreigners (Germans) and supported by Russian Westernizers, in the III - XIII centuries. The Black Sea region was densely populated by the clans of the Rus-Aryans, descendants of the Rus-Scythians and Sarmatians. They were not united, often quarreled with each other, like the alliances of the tribes and the lands of the northern Slavs-Russes before their unification by the Rurikovichs. But all were part of a single super-ethnos - with one language (which did not exclude various dialects, dialects), material and spiritual culture. Not surprisingly, the Pechenegs did not leave any traces in the Russian steppes as a special ethnic group, that is, the material culture of northern Rus and Pechenegs was common. At the same time, the excavations of the South Russian steppe burials of the “Pechenezh” period (X-XIII cc.) Show complete continuity with the Alan-Sarmatian tradition: all the same kurgans, and below them the stuffed horse accompanying the host, type-setting silver belts, bone overlays for heavy bows , straight-blade sabers, belt garters, amulets, etc. Much of the Pecheneg burials were made in ancient iron mounds or even the Bronze Age, that is, the Pechenegs considered themselves the heirs and descendants of the former steppe population - Sarmatians and Scythians. The Pechenegs were one of the parts of the superethnos, a fragment of the former Great Scythia, the ancient northern civilization. Therefore, it was easy to find a common language with the Russian princes, they fought together. The same relationship will develop between Russia and the Polovtsy, the same fragment of Scythia.
Thus, the dominant myth that the Pecheneg hordes allegedly constantly waged a fierce struggle with Kievan Rus, does not correspond to reality. On the contrary, the relations of Russia and the Pechenegs throughout the X century were peaceful and allied and became aggravated only after the adoption of Christianity by Kiev. Not without reason, as the main task of the Byzantine policy in the Black Sea region, the emperor Konstantin Porphyrogenitus put a wedge between Russia and the Pechenegs. The only Russian-Pecheneg conflict was noted in the first years of Prince Igor’s reign (920), and then the Pechenegs became part of the Russian army on the march to Constantinople-Tsargrad in 944. In 965, the Pecheneg detachments help Svetoslav Igorevich to crush Khazaria. Then Pechenegs support Svyatoslav in the war with Bulgaria and Byzantium. True, it was the Pecheneg prince Smoking trapped and killed Svyatoslav when he returned to Russia. But there is clearly an internal conflict in Kiev. Obviously, the Grand Duke was the victim of a Kiev conspiracy (led by a provisan and Christian party), and the Pechenegs acted as a tool, not the initiators.
Pechenegs kill Svyatoslav Igorevich. Greek chronicle of John Skylitsa
Serious war with the Pechenegs began only in the reign of Prince Vladimir, but they were part of a general civil war, when "Dobrynya baptized Novgorod with fire, and Putyata with a sword." The baptism of Russia by the Greek missionaries became the beginning of a serious distemper, for many centuries many Russian lands preserved the pagan faith or dual faith - externally Christians, and in fact, pagans. The process of becoming a fiery Russian Orthodoxy took hundreds of years. The Pechenegs took part in the internecine war between Vladimirovichs - Yaroslav and Svyatopolk on the side of the latter. In 1016, they fought in the battle of Lubech, in 1019, in the battle of Alta. In 1036, the Kiev prince Yaroslav will crush the Pechenegs. But not because they were strangers. But because they made raids and did not want to recognize the power of Rurik, and also kept the ancient pagan faith. The surviving birth of the Pechenegs will go to the Carpathians and the Danube. Others will be part of the union of Berendeys (black hoods) and will become the border guards of Kiev. The Polovtsians will come to replace the Pechenegs, the same representatives of the Rus' superethnos as the Pechenegs.
Svyatoslav conducted and diplomatic preparations for the war. In 967, a secret treaty was concluded between the Byzantine Empire and Russia (the Russian chronicler did not say a word about its content). From Byzantium Calokir signed him. The second Rome, in exchange for the security of its possessions in the Crimea and the Northern Black Sea region, yielded to the Russian state the mouth of the Danube. Prince Svyatoslav was to receive the seaside region of the Dniester and the Danube, the territory of the present Dobruja. It was the town of Pereyaslavets on the Danube that was originally the main goal of Svyatoslav Igorevich.
Svyatoslav did not immediately appear in Bulgaria. At first, the Rus, according to the information of the Russian historian V.N. Tatishchev, who possessed lost chronicles and other materials, moved up the Dniester River. There they were waiting for the Hungarian allies. “From the Ugrians, Tatishchev wrote, he had a strong love and agreement.” Apparently, during negotiations with Kalokir, Svyatoslav sent ambassadors of Pannonia to the Hungarians, revealing to them the plan of the march on the Danube. According to Tatishchev, the Bulgarians also had allies - the Khazars, the Yasys and the Kasogs, whom Prince Svyatoslav defeated during his eastern campaign. Tatishchev reports that the Bulgarians had an alliance with the Khazars even during the Khazar campaign of Svyatoslav. Part of the Khazars survived in Bulgaria. The Khazar factor was one of the reasons which prompted Svyatoslav to bring troops to the Danube.
By the end of spring or summer of 968, Russian troops reached the borders of Bulgaria. According to the Byzantine chronicler Leo Deacon, Svyatoslav led the 60 thousand army. Apparently, this is a big exaggeration. Svyatoslav did not raise tribal militias, bringing only squads, "hunters" (volunteers) and detachments of Pechenegs and Hungarians. Most historians estimate Svyatoslav’s army of 10 to 20 thousand soldiers (along with allied Pecheneg and Hungarian units). Russian Rook flotilla freely entered the mouth of the Danube and began to quickly climb upstream. The appearance of the Rus was a surprise for the Bulgarians. According to Leo Deacon, the Bulgarians set against the Svyatoslav phalanx of 30 thousand soldiers. However, this did not embarrass the Russians, having embarked on the shore, the "tavroskifs" (as the Greek sources were called by the Russians), quickly jumped out of the boats, closed themselves with shields and rushed to the attack. The Bulgarians could not stand the first attack and fled from the battlefield and closed in the fortress Dorostol (Silistra).
Thus, Svyatoslav in one battle secured domination over Eastern Bulgaria. The Bulgarians no longer decided on a direct battle. Emperor Justinian, in order to secure the invasion of the barbarians against the province of Mizia (the so-called Bulgaria) and prevent the enemy from breaking further, built on the banks of the Danube and at some distance from it on the roads, near 80 fortresses. All these fortifications Rusa took over the summer-autumn 968 of the year. At the same time, many fortresses and cities surrendered without a fight, the Bulgarians met the Rus as brothers, expressing dissatisfaction with the policies of the capital. The hopes of the Romans that Svyatoslav would become bogged down in the war with Bulgaria did not justify themselves. In the very first battles, the Bulgarian army was defeated, and Russian troops destroyed the entire defensive system in the east, opening the way to Preslav and to the border of Byzantium. Moreover, in Constantinople, they saw a real threat to the empire that the victorious march of the Russian army through the Bulgarian lands was not accompanied by looting, the ruin of cities and villages, and violence against local residents (as well as the Romans waged wars). The Rus saw in the Bulgarians blood brothers, and Christianity was only asserted in Bulgaria, the common people did not forget their traditions and the old faith, in common with the Russians. The sympathies of the simple Bulgarians and parts of the feudal lords immediately turned to the Russian leader. Bulgarian volunteers began to replenish Russian troops. Part of the feudal lords was ready to swear to Svyatoslav. As previously noted, part of the Bulgarian nobility hated Tsar Peter and his provisant entourage. A union of Rus and Bulgarians could lead the Byzantine Empire to a military-political catastrophe. The Bulgarians, with the decisive leader Simeone, almost took Constantinople themselves.
Svyatoslav Igorevich initially followed the points of the agreement concluded with Byzantium. He did not intrude deep into the Bulgarian state. As soon as the lands along the Danube and Pereyaslavets were occupied, the Russian prince stopped the fighting. Pereyaslavets Prince Svyatoslav made his capital. According to him, there should have been a “middle” (middle) of his power: “... I want to live in Pereyaslavets on the Danube - for there is the middle of my land, all benefits come there ...”. The exact location of Pereyaslavets unknown. Some historians believe that it was then called the fortress Dorostol, where the troops of Svyatoslav will keep defense during the war with the Byzantine Empire. Other researchers believe that this is Preslav Small on the lower Danube in present-day Romania. The famous historian F.I. Ouspensky, who published fundamental works on the history of the Byzantine Empire, believed that Pereyaslavets was the ancient headquarters of the Bulgarian khans, which was located near the modern Romanian city of Isakcha near the mouth of the Danube.
Svyatoslav, according to the chronicles, “to the side of the prince in Pereyaslavtsi, is a tribute on the heights”. Under the terms of the agreement concluded by Kalokir in Kiev, apparently, an agreement on the resumption of the payment of the annual tribute to Russia was included. Now the Greeks resumed paying tribute. Essentially, the military alliance clauses of the Russian-Byzantine treaty of 944 were implemented in the treaty of Svyatoslav and Kalokir. Constantinople and Kiev in various periods of their history were not only enemies, but also allies against Arabs, Khazars and other opponents. Kalokir arrived in Bulgaria with the Russian army and remained with Svyatoslav until the Russian-Byzantine war. The Bulgarian government remained in Preslav. Svyatoslav did not make any attempts on the sovereignty of Bulgaria during the first Danube campaign. It is possible that after approval in Pereyaslavets, Prince Svyatoslav concluded a peace agreement with Bulgaria.
Svyatoslav invades Bulgaria with the Pecheneg allies (from the Chronicles of Constantin Manass)
The deterioration of relations with Byzantium
The world was short. The second Rome, true to its policy, began to take the first hostile steps. Basilev Nikifor Foca ordered to close the Bosphorus with a chain, as the Greeks usually did while waiting for the Russian fleet to appear, began to prepare the army and navy for a performance. The Greeks, apparently, took into account the mistakes of past years, when the Ruses caught them off guard and came from the sea to the very walls of Constantinople. At the same time, Byzantine diplomats began to take steps to normalize relations with Bulgaria in order to prevent the creation of a Russian-Bulgarian alliance. Moreover, the Bulgarian led by Tsar Peter, who dreamed of revenge and was dissatisfied with the appearance of Svyatoslav on the Danube, was still at the head of Bulgaria. The Byzantine embassy led by experienced diplomat Nikifor Erotic and Bishop of Eughaitus was sent to Preslav. Constantinople changed its policy towards Bulgaria in the most fundamental way: there was no more dictatorship and ultimatums, the demands to send royal sons to Byzantium as hostages were forgotten. Moreover, the Second Rome proposed a dynastic union - the marriage of Peter's daughters and Byzantine princes. In the Bulgarian capital, they immediately caught the bait and the Bulgarian embassy arrived in the Byzantine capital. Bulgarians accepted with great honor.
The ingenious Greeks, thus, received hostages from the Bulgarian nobility, who were lured under the guise of smotrin brides for Byzantine princes. After that, part of the Bulgarian nobility, voluntarily or involuntarily, was supposed to follow the instructions of the Second Rome. This explains a lot in the behavior of the Bulgarian elite, which, after the departure of Svyatoslav, came out against the Russian garrisons that remained in Bulgaria. To the hostile Rus of the provisan party one can also include the rulers of Pereyaslavets on the Danube.
At the same time, the Byzantines held another campaign against Svyatoslav. The Greeks skillfully used gold to bribe. While in Pereyaslavets, in the summer of 968, Svyatoslav received alarming news from Kiev: the Pechenegs laid siege to Kiev. This was the first appearance of the Pechenegs in Kiev. The secret Greek embassy inclined several steppe leaders to strike in Kiev, while there was no formidable Svyatoslav. The Pechenezhsky tribal union was not united, and if some tribes helped Prince Svyatoslav, others were not obliged to him. Pechenegs flooded the outskirts of Kiev. Svyatoslav Igorevich, quickly assembled an army into a fist, left a part of the foot soldiers in Pereyaslavets, and with a rook’s army and a horse brigade, he marched towards Kiev. According to the Russian chronicles, the Pechenegs began to withdraw troops even before the arrival of Svyatoslav, when they saw that the detachments of voivode Pretich were crossing the Dnieper. The Pechenegs took the forces of Pretich for the squads of Svyatoslav. Pretich began negotiations with the Pechenezh leaders and concluded a truce, exchanging arms. However, the threat from Kiev had not yet been lifted, Svyatoslav arrived here, who was "running the Pechenegs into the poly, and he was the world."
Second Danube trip
Svyatoslav Igorevich triumphantly entered Kiev. Kievans enthusiastically welcomed him. Svetoslav spent the first half of 969 of the year in Kiev near his ill mother. Apparently, Olga took the word from her son not to leave her until her death: “See, I am sick; where do you want to get away from me? ”- for she was already ill. And she said: “When you bury me, go where you want.” Therefore, although Svyatoslav rushed to Bulgaria, where alarm information came from, remained. In July, 969, Olga died. The deceased princess was buried according to the Christian rite, not filling up the mound and not carrying out the rave. Son fulfilled her wish.
Before leaving, the Grand Duke Svyatoslav held a management reform, the value of which soon, after his death, will grow even more. He will transfer the supreme power in Russia to his sons. Two legitimate sons, from the wife-boyar, Yaropolk and Oleg will receive Kiev and restless Drevlyan land. The third son, Vladimir, will receive Novgorod, Northern Russia. Vladimir was the fruit of Svyatoslav’s love for Malusha’s mother's collar house. Malushi's brother and Vladimir's uncle was Dobrynya (one of their prototypes of the hero Dobrynia Nikitich). According to one version, she was the daughter of Malka Lyubechanin, a merchant from Baltic Lübeck (possibly Jewish). Others believe that Malusha is the daughter of the Drevlian prince Mala, who led the uprising in which Prince Igor was killed. Traces of the Drevlian Prince Mala are lost after the 945 year, he probably did not avoid the vengeance of Princess Olga.
Having arranged things in Russia, Svyatoslav at the head of the squad moved to Bulgaria. In August 969, he was again on the banks of the Danube. Here the Bulgarian allies began to join him, the light cavalry of the Allied Pechenegs and Hungarians approached. During the time Svetoslav was absent in Bulgaria, significant changes took place here. Tsar Peter went to the monastery, transferring the throne to the eldest son Boris II. The Bulgarians hostile to Svyatoslav, using the political support of the Second Rome and the departure of the Russian prince with the main forces to Russia, broke the truce and began fighting against the Russian garrisons remaining in the Danube. The voivode who led the Russian forces, the Wolf was besieged in Pereyaslavets, but still held out. According to Leo the Deacon, Preslav requested military assistance from Constantinople, but in vain. Having again confronted Russia and Bulgaria, the Greeks did not want to interfere. Nikifor Fock turned all his attention to the struggle with the Arabs in Syria. The powerful Byzantine army went to the East and laid siege to Antioch. The Bulgarians had to fight with the Rus in private.
Voivode Wolf could not keep Pereyaslavets. Inside the city there is a conspiracy of local residents who have established contacts with the besiegers. The wolf spreading rumors to fight to the last and hold the city until the arrival of Svyatoslav, at night secretly rooded down the Danube. There he connected with the troops of Svyatoslav. The combined army moved to Pereyaslavets. By this time the city was greatly strengthened. The Bulgarian army entered Pereyaslavets, and was strengthened by the city militia. This time the Bulgarians were ready for battle. The battle was hard. According to Tatishchev, the Bulgarian army launched a counteroffensive, and nearly crushed the Rus. Prince Svyatoslav addressed his warriors with a speech: “We already have to graze; Let’s be muzhsky, brothers and friends! ”“ And there was a great slaughter, ”and the Rus Bulgarians overpowered. Pereyaslavets was captured again in two years. The Ustyug chronicle, dating back to the oldest chronicle vaults, reports that taking the city, Svyatoslav executed all the traitors. This news suggests that during the stay of the Rus and after Svyatoslav left for Russia, the townspeople were split: some supported the Rus, others were against them and made a conspiracy that contributed to the departure of the garrison under Wolf.
The calculation of the provisional top of Bulgaria for revenge and help from Byzantium was not justified. The Byzantine army at that time besieged Antioch, which they took in October 969 of the year. This led to a serious change in the situation in Bulgaria. This time Svyatoslav did not stay on the Danube and almost without meeting resistance, he went to Preslav, the capital of Bulgaria. There was no one to protect her. Tsar Boris, who had been abandoned by a pro-byzantine boyars who had escaped from the capital, recognized himself as a vassal of the Russian Grand Duke. Thus, Boris retained the throne, the capital and the treasury. Svyatoslav did not remove him from the throne. Russia and Bulgaria entered into a military alliance. Now the situation in the Balkans has changed not in favor of the Byzantine Empire. Russia was allied with the Bulgarians and Hungarians. The great war between Russia and the Byzantine Empire was brewing.
The sculptural image of Svyatoslav of the work of Eugene Lancere
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