Triumph and death of John Tzimiskes

Triumph and death of John Tzimiskes
K. Lebedev. Meeting of Svyatoslav and Tzimiskes

In the two previous articles we talked about the origins of John Tzimiskes, how he came to power in the Eastern Roman Empire and the difficult war with the Kyiv prince Svyatoslav. Today we will continue this story.

Completion of the war against Svyatoslav

So, convinced of the futility of attempts to break out of the besieged Dorostol, Svyatoslav sent his envoys to negotiate with Tzimiskes. He proposed returning this city and all previously conquered Bulgarian lands, conducting an exchange of prisoners and restoring trade relations under the terms of the 945 treaty. In the “Tale of Bygone Years” there is “A list from the agreement concluded under Svyatoslav, the Grand Duke of Russia, and under Sveneld, written under Theophilus Sinkel to John, called Tzimiskes, king of the Greeks, in Dorostol, the month of July, 14 indict, in the year 6479” :

“I, Svyatoslav, Prince of Russia, as I swore, I confirm my oath with this agreement: I want, together with all my Russian subjects, with the boyars and others, to have peace and true love with all the great Greek kings, with Vasily and with Constantine, and with divinely inspired kings, and with all your people until the end of the world. And I will never plot against your country, and I will not gather soldiers against it, and I will not bring another people against your country, not the one that is under Greek rule, nor the Korsun country and all the cities there, nor the Bulgarian country. And if anyone else plans against your country, then I will be his opponent and I will fight with him. As I already swore to the Greek kings, and with me to the boyars and all the Russians, may we keep the agreement unchanged. If we do not comply with any of what was said earlier, may I and those who are with me and under me be cursed by the god in whom we believe - in Perun and Volos, the god of cattle, and may we be yellow as gold , and yours weapons we will be visited. Do not doubt the truth of what we have promised you today, and have written in this charter and sealed it with our seals.”

John Tzimiskes happily signed this agreement, and even provided the Russians with food for the journey to their homeland. Leo the Deacon reports:

“The Emperor revered peace much more than war, because he knew that peace preserves peoples, and war, on the contrary, destroys them. Therefore, he joyfully accepted these conditions, concluded an alliance and agreement with them and gave them bread - two medimni for each.”

Tzimiskes also promised to appeal to the Pechenegs with a request for the unhindered passage of the Russian army through the territory under their control.

Finally, on Svyatoslav’s initiative, his meeting with the emperor took place.

This is how this date is presented at the reconstruction of M. Gorelik

Talking about this meeting, Lev the Deacon gives a description of the appearance of the Russian prince:

“Moderate height, not too tall and not very short, with shaggy eyebrows and light blue eyes, snub nose, beardless, with thick, excessively long hair above the upper lip. His head was completely naked, but a tuft of hair hung from one side of it - a sign of the nobility of the family; the strong back of his head, wide chest and all other parts of his body were quite proportionate, but he looked gloomy and wild. He had a gold earring in one ear; it was decorated with a carbuncle framed by two pearls. His robe was white and differed from the clothing of his entourage only in its cleanliness. Sitting in the boat on the rowers’ bench, he talked a little with the sovereign about the terms of peace and left.”

The meeting of John Tzimiskes and Svyatoslav in the “Madrid Manuscript” of John Skylitzes (remember that this is an illustrated chronicle of the 12th century, created on the island of Sicily and named after the city in whose library it is kept).

By the way, please note that in this miniature Svyatoslav, contrary to the description of Leo the Deacon, is depicted without a mustache and a “donkey,” but with an unshaven head and a beard. Some historians point out that the words of Leo the Deacon can be translated a little differently, and this is how S. M. Solovyov interprets the scripture of Svyatoslav’s appearance:

“He was of average height, had a flat nose, blue eyes, thick eyebrows, little beard hair and a long, shaggy mustache. All the hair on his head was cut off, except for one tuft hanging on both sides, which meant his noble origin.”

It seems that the “Zaporozhian” settler Svyatoslav, who has become a textbook example, and the tradition of depicting this ancient Russian prince as a “100% Cossack” is the free fantasy of artists of the 19th century.

We often read that it was the ambassador of Tzimiskes, Bishop Theophilus of Euchaitis, who advised the Pechenegs to attack the returning Russians. However, the Tale of Bygone Years clearly states that Svyatoslav was betrayed by the Bulgarians:

“The people of Pereyaslavl sent to the Pechenegs to say: “Here Svyatoslav with a small army is coming past you to Rus', having taken from the Greeks a lot of wealth and countless prisoners.” Hearing about this, the Pechenegs entered the thresholds.”

At the same time, for some reason Svyatoslav did not follow the advice of governor Sveneld to “go around the rapids on horseback.”

A. Klimenko. "The Last Battle of Svyatoslav"

B. Chorikov. "The death of Svyatoslav in 972"

Some researchers believe that Kyiv Christians could have notified the Pechenegs. The fact is that Svyatoslav was inclined to blame the Christians of his squad for his defeat and, after returning home, he was supposedly going to begin mass repressions against supporters of the new faith. By the way, you can read about this in the Polish “Chronicle” of Jan Dlugosz:

"972 year. While the prince of Rus' Svyatoslav was returning from the Greek land, where he invaded as an enemy, and was carrying Greek trophies, his enemies the Pechenegs, notified by some Russians and Kievans, came out against him with all their might and easily defeated Svyatoslav and his army, because they was burdened with booty and fought in an inconvenient place.”

At the time of his death, Svyatoslav was not yet 29 years old.

The so-called “Sword from the Dnieper” or “Sword of Svyatoslav” was found in 2011 at the bottom of the river near the island of Khortytsia, where this prince is believed to have died. Carolingian type, has the workshop mark “VLFBRHT”

Bulgaria, for some time, again became an imperial province, and the inhabitants of Asia Minor femes were resettled to the deserted lands.

During the triumph of Tzimiskes in Constantinople, the Bulgarian Tsar Boris publicly removed the signs of royal power from himself, receiving in return the rank of master.

Triumph of John Tzimiskes in Constantinople. Miniature of the Madrid Manuscript by John Skylitzes

Diplomatic success in Italy

Tzimisces had no time to “rest on his laurels,” because the Italian possessions of Byzantium were under fierce attack from two sides at once. From the north they were threatened by the troops of the German king Otto I, and from the south they were advancing by the Arabs, who had already settled in Sicily.

In 967, Otto approached Nikephoros Phocas with a proposal for the marriage of his son Otto II (Red) and the Byzantine princess Anna. He was even ready to return part of the previously captured Roman lands. Nikephoros was determined to confront the Western emperor, but after his murder Tzimiskes decided to come to an agreement, in return he wanted to get Apulia and assign Capua and Benevento to Byzantium.

Instead of Anna, Otto II was given Theophano as his wife, the daughter of Constantine Sklir, one of the heroes of the war against Svyatoslav, who saved his brother, the commander Varda Sklir, in the battle of Arcadiopolis. She was also the niece of John Tzimisces and the great-niece of his predecessor Nikephoros Phocas. The bride is described as a beautiful and well-educated girl who was reputed to be an expert in ancient philosophy and literature, in addition to Greek, knew Latin, and quickly learned German. At the beginning of 972 in Italy, on April 14, Pope John XIII married her to the German prince, who succeeded his father already in 973.

Coronation of Otto II and Theophano, ivory, medieval book cover

Feofano had great influence on her husband, often accompanied him on campaigns and was called “co-empress” (coimperatrix) in official documents. Experts believe that she had a great influence on the development of Germany, which was not yet very advanced culturally.

In 974, Pope Boniface VII fled to Constantinople with the treasury from an envoy of the German emperor named Sicco. He returned to Rome in 984 - and a year later he was killed under unclear circumstances.

The Sicilian Arabs then weakened their pressure on Southern Italy for some time, since their troops were in North Africa, where the Fatimid Caliphate went to war with the Baghdad (Abbasid) Caliphate. Eventually, the Fatimids, victorious in Egypt, moved into Palestine and Syria, and so Tzimisces again took up affairs in the east of the empire.

Eastern campaigns of John Tzimisces

According to Arab sources (for example, the work of Yahya of Antioch), in the fall of 972, the army of Tzimisces approached the banks of the Euphrates and crossed this river near the city of Melitene. Seeing the Roman army, the garrison of the Amida fortress (currently the Turkish city of Sanliurfa) capitulated.

After this, Tzimiskes went west, where, north of Edessa, he also took the cities of Martyropol (Miefarkim, currently Khilvan) and Nisibis without a fight. In the first of them, the Romans received a large ransom, and the second was found deserted - its inhabitants fled inland.

The goal of the campaign was Ecbatana, which had accumulated great wealth, since it had not been captured by enemies for many years. However, the path to it lay through a waterless desert - it protected the city better than any army: John did not dare to go through it and led his troops to Constantinople. Nevertheless, the production was great:

“He triumphantly carried gold, silver, Sersky fabrics (from India) and aromatic substances and other gifts taken from the Hagarians across the square; the townspeople looked and marveled at their multitude, enthusiastically greeted him, escorted him with greetings to the palace and glorified his victories.”

John Tzimiskes and Patriarch Basil I Scamandrin of Constantipole. Miniature from the Madrid Manuscript of John Skylitzes

Gold Byzantine coin 969–976. The Virgin Mary blesses Tzimiskes, on the obverse - Christ

A new campaign to the east was organized in April 975 - Tzimiskes led the army to Syria and further to Palestine. This time they managed to capture the cities of Damascus, Beirut, Apamea, Barzuya, and Valaneya. For example, a tribute of 100 thousand dirhams per year was imposed on Damascus.

It was not possible to take Tripoli, some associated this with the comet that appeared then, however, you will agree that its appearance could equally have been a terrible sign for the residents of this city. Tzimiskes did not risk leading troops to Jerusalem, and his army moved north along the seashore.

At this time, the emperor wrote a letter to the King of Armenia Ashot Bagratid, which was preserved in one of the Armenian chronicles. In it, he gives an exaggerated description of the feats accomplished during the campaign - so that the Armenian ruler would “admire” and “extol the great love of God, know what good deeds have been accomplished at the present time and how great their number is.”

Death of John Tzimiskes

The emperor died suddenly on January 10 or 11, 976, and many researchers believe that he was poisoned.

It is known that upon his return, Tzimisces discovered significant abuses in the newly conquered lands, which were ruled by the paracimomen Basil Lekapen. Addressing his companions, John complained that the empire was wasting its energy on campaigns, but all the wealth went to some eunuch. These words were also heard by the emperor’s standard bearer, a certain Sevastophorus Roman, nephew of Lekapin. He immediately sent a messenger to a relative who was in Constantinople with a message about the anger of the basileus.

It is quite possible that the frightened Vasily decided to eliminate the emperor, who had become dangerous to him. In Bithynia, Tzimiskes stayed in the house of Romanus and drank a lot of wine. The next day, the emperor became very ill and complained that his arms and legs were difficult to control.

Anticipating his imminent death, he ordered to be taken to the capital, since he wanted to be buried in the Church of Christ the Savior of Halkita, which he had rebuilt. He arrived in the capital “already exhausted, with labored, intermittent breathing.” In the palace, John confessed to Metropolitan Nicholas of Adrianople, then began to distribute his fortune to the poor and sick (he paid special attention to lepers).

Leo the Deacon wrote:

“Without doubting in mind and grieving in soul, he left this life and passed on to the peace of another world on the tenth of January, the fourth indictment, six thousand four hundred and eighty-five, he was buried in the Church of the Savior under the Khalk...
This was the end of his life for Emperor John, a man of small stature but heroic strength, who was valiant and invincible in battles, and brave and fearless in dangers. He lived only fifty-one years, and held state power in his hands for six years and thirty days.”

Eastern Roman Empire during the reign of John Tzimisces

He was succeeded by Vasily II, who entered the history with the very telling nickname “Bulgaro-Slayer”. It was during his reign that Rus' was baptized.

The successor of John Tzimiskes on a miniature copy of the “Psalter of Basil II”

Currently, streets in the Greek city of Thessaloniki and in his homeland - in the Turkish city of Chemisgezek - are named after John Tzimiskes.
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  1. +8
    18 June 2024 05: 37
    I liked the cycle. All I have time to write is Thank you!
    All the good days!
  2. +1
    18 June 2024 07: 25
    It seems that the “Zaporozhian” settler Svyatoslav, who has become a textbook example, and the tradition of depicting this ancient Russian prince as a “100% Cossack” is the free fantasy of artists of the 19th century.

    It looks like the truth
    1. +1
      18 June 2024 11: 56
      More likely. Because the mustache, for example, was unlikely to be hanging, rather curled, as in the image below. Typical steppe fashion. By the way, what’s curious is that the Greeks and Romans periodically either scraped their snouts or grew beards, but one thing was constant - they never just wore a mustache. Because it was believed that this was naked barbarism, mustaches were worn exclusively by Scythians and other wild steppe inhabitants...

      And like a hanging tuft of hair, it’s not at all a fact that he’s an Oseledets, but rather, it’s some kind of “Iroquois” variant. Or maybe even a braid, like the Mongols. At least judging by the surviving images, this is exactly what the steppe fashion was like.
      1. 0
        20 June 2024 21: 37
        The Romans didn't wear mustaches??!!
        Yes, Comrade Budyonny might envy Emperor Heraclius!
        1. 0
          20 June 2024 23: 45
          Mustache without beard! And so yes, they weren’t the Wahhabis they were..
    2. +3
      18 June 2024 12: 19
      Does not look like it. The symbol of nobility in the form of a tuft of hair is an old symbol. The demobilization in the Soviet Army also made forelocks and grew mustaches (like cool ones). The Germans, various Varangians, even the Murmans also had “tufts” and “forelocks”, i.e. . roughly speaking, among the military nobility, but not among the “hard workers.” By the way, Svyatoslav points out that his guys are not from the plow. Well, the Cossacks clearly preserved this tradition. At least they kept it for the longest time.
  3. +1
    18 June 2024 07: 52
    Thanks to the Author, I read it with interest.
  4. +2
    18 June 2024 08: 23

    At the same time, for some reason Svyatoslav did not follow the advice of governor Sveneld to “go around the rapids on horseback”

    Probably would have had to abandon most of the production. It was because of her that the campaign started
    Thank you, Valery!
    1. +2
      18 June 2024 10: 49
      I suspect that you are right about mining. The previous article says that Svyatoslav was under siege in Dorostol, and the losses in the horse population were significant.
      The provision of food for the road is discussed right there.
    2. +1
      18 June 2024 11: 48
      Along the Dnieper through the rapids, if there are Pechenegs nearby, you can’t really drag a lot of prey. Besides - then it’s not clear why in Kuev they seemed to flatly refuse to help him, personal hostility is of course great, but if he had so much goodness with him - it’s unlikely that they would have abandoned him without help.. What a waste of money!
      1. +4
        18 June 2024 12: 21
        he had so much goodness with him - it’s unlikely that they would have thrown him away without help... What a waste of money!
        This was the personal swag of Svyatoslav and his squad, and for the people of Kiev - “the ears of a dead donkey” (c)
        1. +1
          18 June 2024 12: 38
          And what - to throw away so much goodness on such an occasion?? They wouldn’t have hidden it in chests, they would have obviously put it into circulation. And in those days the prince could not grab everything just for himself - he simply had to share it with others. Then the leader’s authority lay not only in luck, but also in generosity. Nobody needs a squalid prince...

          Heir since childhood
          goodness and gifts
          friendship of the squad
          must acquire
          so that when he matures,
          stood side by side with him,
          faithful to duty,
          if war happens,
          for my husband
          must be worthy
          matter among the people
          gain glory!
  5. +1
    18 June 2024 09: 42
    Interesting article. It’s not clear why the author repeats the crazy story about the “sword of Svyatoslav”? The place of his death is not known exactly; the sword found on Fr. Khortitsa is of the Carolingian type, which circulated throughout the territory, later designated as Kievan Rus, somewhere from the 1th to the 1th centuries. The likelihood of that. that he is related to Prince Svyatoslav 000: 000.
    1. VLR
      18 June 2024 09: 47
      Well, I write:
      So-called “Sword from the Dnieper” or “Sword of Svyatoslav”
      1. +1
        18 June 2024 10: 17
        Actually, a lot has already been said about this sword. And the majority agreed that this sword has nothing to do with Svyatoslav. Because the exact place of his death is not known. Diorama in the museum, on the island. Khortytsia is purely illustrative. And there were many such swords. Many legends are associated with the island of Khortitsa and Little Khortitsa (Baida).
  6. +3
    18 June 2024 10: 27
    By the way, about fans of the version of the Scandinavian origin of Rurik and his descendants.

    We have an eyewitness description of his grandson's appearance. And what do we see?
    He is beardless. Which, to put it mildly, is not typical for a Scandinavian. Let's remember the Saga of Njal - it all started with the fact that the main character's beard was not growing well, and this was pointed out to him in an insulting manner. And away we go.
    He is shaven. With forelock. Every single Western source says one thing - the Scandinavian hairstyle is long hair. It is not for nothing that a huge number of scallops are found even in the burials of warriors. Short hair is for slaves.
    Svyatoslav has an earring in his ear. Which is also, to put it mildly, not typical - in Scandinavia, wearing clothes and jewelry of the opposite sex was not welcomed at all. Let's say - if a wife wears her husband's shirt, this may well be a reason for divorce. And here is the earring.

    Thus, the prince’s appearance is simply the opposite of what a noble Scandinavian should look like. They may say that he somehow became glorified - but this is very unlikely, his squad was full of Vikings, who would definitely have made it look like he was disgracing his glorious grandfather in this way. But no - that means he was not a Scandinavian, and looked like was customary among his people.

    And by the way, his appearance is typically steppe. The mustache, cut with a forelock, was recorded on the carpet from Pazyryk.
    1. +2
      18 June 2024 10: 38
      Svyatoslav is still the grandson of Rurik, his father Igor died when he was in early childhood and was raised by his mother, Olga. And there is no information that at that time there was a large influx of Scandinavians - apparently, it was not required. Vladimir Svyatoslavich later brought them to war with his brothers. But he also quickly got rid of them - he floated many of them to Constantinople, leaving only those personally chosen by him.
      1. +3
        18 June 2024 10: 52
        In those days, a grandson was very close. It’s unlikely that he would have had time to become famous. But the Scandinavians did exist, for example his teacher and mentor Asmud was clearly from there. Then Sveneld - although his Scandinavian identity is in question, this or a similar name has not been recorded in Scandinavia.. But the teacher certainly would not have allowed such an outfit...
        1. +3
          18 June 2024 10: 58
          For a Bulgarian prince, Svyatoslav’s appearance is also exotic, otherwise the Byzantines, who knew the Bulgarians well, would not have paid much attention to it and would not have described it in detail.
          1. +1
            18 June 2024 11: 45
            And he is not a Bulgarian prince. At least, he didn’t exactly position himself that way, because he was a naked pagan. Mom is, yes, Bulgarian, but it doesn’t seem like Svyatoslav was very interested in her opinion.
            1. +2
              18 June 2024 12: 26
              Svyatoslav is apparently a transitional figure, a wild fusion of cultures. Even if his teacher was a Scandinavian, and his mother was indeed Helga - he could not afford to portray himself as a stranger in Kyiv, to oppose himself to both the local warriors and the townspeople - they would not go into battle for a foreign prince. Svyatoslav, on the contrary, had to try his best to look like he belonged.
              1. +1
                18 June 2024 12: 32
                For what? Everyone already knew who he was by origin - what's the point in mimicking his type? In addition, people then treated differences much more simply; on the contrary, this is an indicator that you respect the customs of your glorious ancestors. And why does a conqueror need to adopt local customs? Those same Normans - having conquered England, they brought there the classic Norman hairstyle, but did not at all adopt the Saxon one. The Mongols also somehow didn’t suddenly start cutting their hair like a bowl, did they? And so on and so forth..

                All the Scandinavians we know in Rus', such as Eymund, never tried to hide their origin and somehow merge with the local population. And no one seemed particularly bothered by this.
                1. +2
                  18 June 2024 12: 45
                  The newcomers - one thing, “earned extra money” - and went home. Those who remain are completely different. After one or two generations, everyone is already Russian - Scandinavians, Germans, and Tatars who crossed over from the Horde.
                  1. +2
                    18 June 2024 12: 57
                    Yes? For example, the history of the Normans in England does not confirm this. For at least 300 years they spoke basically French, dressed like the French, led a French lifestyle... Manchus in China, Scythians in India, Romans in Byzantium, etc., etc..

                    No - of course, sooner or later the conquerors dissolve into the conquered people, but certainly not into the third generation..

                    Another thing is when a foreigner himself goes to serve in a foreign state. There, of course, he has a significant incentive to merge with the locals as quickly as possible..
                    1. VLR
                      18 June 2024 13: 41
                      Perhaps I'll intervene. Different peoples assimilated strangers at different speeds. Russians very easily accepted foreigners into their midst; later, in order to become “Russian,” a foreigner only had to be baptized according to the Orthodox rite. Do you remember the answer of Nicholas I to de Custine?
                      “This one of mine is a Pole, this one is German. There are two generals standing there - they are Georgians. This courtier is a Tatar, this is a Finn, and there is a baptized Jew... all together they are Russians.”

                      And in the era we are interested in, the names of the sons of the Varangian Sveneld, Igor’s comrade-in-arms and co-ruler Olga and Svyatoslav are characteristic - they are already Mstisha and Lyut. That is, the vector is clear - they are not going to Sweden or Norway. By giving them Slavic names, the father clearly wants them to become their own in their new homeland.
                      Igor and Olga do the same: their names are clearly of Scandinavian origin, and they give their son a Slavic name.
                      So Sveneld not only did not stop his pupil Svyatoslav from becoming glorified, but also encouraged his sons to do so.
                      1. -4
                        18 June 2024 14: 17
                        Quote: VlR
                        Do you remember the answer of Nicholas I to de Custine?
                        “This one of mine is a Pole, this one is German. There are two generals standing there - they are Georgians. This courtier is a Tatar, this is a Finn, and there is a baptized Jew... all together they are Russians.”

                        How long can you repeat this nonsense? Nicholas I did not say such a thing.
                      2. VLR
                        18 June 2024 14: 41
                        Tell this to the Marquis de Custine, otherwise the Frenchman is lying and not blushing.
                      3. -1
                        18 June 2024 14: 53
                        Quote: VlR
                        Tell this to the Marquis de Custine, otherwise the Frenchman is lying and not blushing.

                        The Marquis de Custine did not say this either. And I didn’t write.
                      4. VLR
                        18 June 2024 15: 12
                        The problem there is that in the French language there is no division into “Russian”, and “Russian” is one word russes. And therefore there are different versions of the translation of de Custine. There is something like the fact that people of different nationalities in Russia are raised and brought up as Russians. And some other options.
                      5. -2
                        18 June 2024 15: 24
                        Quote: VlR
                        The problem there is that in the French language there is no division into “Russian”, and “Russian” is one word russes.

                        What's the problem? There is no such quote from Custine. If there is, please provide it. With context. And not just these leftist lines that are copied and pasted on the Internet.

                        Quote: VlR
                        And therefore there are different versions of the translation of de Custine.

                        You can even quote it in the original.

                        Quote: VlR
                        There is something like the fact that people of different nationalities in Russia are raised and brought up as Russians.

                        Give me a quote.

                        Quote: VlR
                        And some other options.

                        You can come up with a hundred thousand options. Why attribute this nonsense to Nicholas I or de Custine - that’s what’s unclear.
                      6. VLR
                        18 June 2024 16: 07
                        I don't really understand the essence of your objections. If you want to say that in de Custine’s book there is no description of his conversation about Russians (or Russians) during a ball with the emperor, then you are mistaken. There is such an episode. And then - translation options, because, indeed, there are many nuances here. I quoted one option above. Secondly, I don’t have time to look for the exact quote, I’m finishing work on an article on a completely different and rather unexpected topic, it seems to me that it turns out to be very interesting for many. Therefore, I will present another version of the translation in my own words. Nicholas says to de Custine: You are wrong to think that Russia is a homogeneous country, people of many nationalities live in it. Do you see a group of 20 officers? Only two of them are Russian (the enumeration follows, the son of the Kyrgyz khan is indicated). But they are all Russians and are raised like Russians. That is, in this case, he is not talking about the common nationality of those gathered, but about their unity in terms of loyalty to the state and their desire to serve it.
                      7. -3
                        18 June 2024 16: 19
                        Quote: VlR
                        I don't really understand the essence of your objections. If you want to say that in de Custine’s book there is no description of his conversation about Russians (or Russians) during a ball with the emperor, then you are mistaken. There is such an episode.

                        Of course have. There's half a book about it.

                        Quote: VlR
                        And then - translation options, because, indeed, there are many nuances here.

                        Yes, not translation options, but misinterpretation options.

                        Quote: VlR
                        You are wrong to think that Russia is a homogeneous country; people of many nationalities live in it.

                        The meaning of what Nicholas I said is practically the opposite of the protective idyll that your original “quote” attributes to him.
                        “Fulfilling this will is very difficult; universal obedience makes you think that uniformity reigns among us - get rid of this delusion; there is no other country where races, morals, beliefs and minds would differ as much as in Russia. Diversity lies in the depths, sameness is on the surface: our unity is only apparent.

                        Nikolai has no idyll. There is no "multinational and multi-religious people." Unity is only apparent.
                      8. VLR
                        18 June 2024 16: 43
                        In my opinion, in the above quote you omitted Nikolai’s words that 200 thousand children of “national minorities” are being brought up in a pro-Russian spirit at his expense. Or rather, they finished it too early.
                      9. -2
                        18 June 2024 16: 55
                        Quote: VlR
                        In my opinion, you omitted in this quote Nikolai’s words that 200 thousand children of “national minorities” are being brought up at his expense in a pro-Russian spirit.

                        You again did not understand what Nikolai was saying. Not 200 thousand children of national minorities, but only 200 thousand children are raised at his expense (apparently, we are talking about cadet corps and other educational institutions). Some of them (hardly very many) are children of national minorities. As for the fact that they can be raised in a pro-Russian spirit, Nikolai hardly built such illusions. The cadet corps in Poland had to be dispersed after its students took part in the anti-Russian uprising.
    2. +1
      19 June 2024 16: 03
      It is logical if we assume that the eyewitness is not “lying like an eyewitness”, and the carpet is photographic.
  7. +1
    18 June 2024 10: 46
    By the way, let’s talk about Olga’s origins.

    It is not very clear why Svyatoslav sought to conquer Bulgaria with such manic persistence. And even move the capital there. Look, he destroyed Volga Bulgaria, plundered it, and went home. It’s exactly the same with Khazaria. But Bulgaria is a different matter. There he wanted to live and rule. What even our own people didn’t really understand. Where does this craving come from? And the Bulgarians themselves did not seem to resist this very much. At least at first.

    And if you remember that the emperor received Princess Olga in her personal chambers, where, by definition, only relatives had access, and certainly not to the barbarian princess. And in general he treated her in a strangely warm way.

    So maybe it’s not so absurd that Olga was not some Helga from somewhere unknown, but quite a Bulgarian princess from the family of Simeon? Then her son’s desire is understandable - he simply had certain rights to Bulgaria, considering it his homeland. And the emperor is clear - in this situation, Olga really was his relatives. And she was originally from Pliska, not Pleskov. That’s why they ruled Russia for so many years, which is generally not very typical for that time - they had very noble origins and authoritative relatives...
    1. +2
      18 June 2024 10: 55
      It seems that Svyatoslav simply ran away to Bulgaria from his mother Olga, who did not give him free rein in Kyiv. And, taking into account that it was the people of Kiev who could betray Svyatoslav, apparently the warrior prince did not have much support in his own capital; they did not like him there.
      1. +1
        18 June 2024 10: 56
        With the same success he could have remained in the conquered Khazaria. So the country was never poor at that time...
        1. +2
          18 June 2024 10: 59
          At that time, mother and son may have still gotten along somehow. But before the campaign against Bulgaria, relations could have worsened.
  8. +4
    18 June 2024 11: 58
    All the hair on his head was cut off, except for one tuft, hanging on both sides

    Sidelocks or what? belay
  9. +4
    18 June 2024 12: 07
    Nice and interesting to read. Only facts and different versions. Just what you need.
  10. +3
    18 June 2024 14: 50
    Quote: DenVB
    How long can you repeat this nonsense? Nicholas I did not say such a thing.

    This is according to the Marquis.
    You can read Astolphe de Custine's book "Russia in 1839". There, by the way, he predicted a revolution in 50 years, more terrible than in France... it came true with a mistake. The book was banned in Russia.
    1. -2
      18 June 2024 14: 56
      Quote: Konnick
      You can read Astolphe de Custine's book "Russia in 1839".

      So read it.
  11. 0
    20 June 2024 12: 53
    This basileus was promising, this Tzimiskes. Over the past 6 years there have been many positive results for the empire.
    If he had ruled for 20-25 years, this could have decisively affected the subsequent fate of the Roman Empire; who knows - maybe it would still exist?
    And in 6 years you can only manage to destroy everything, like Gorbachev and Yeltsin, but to fundamentally strengthen and improve it is not enough.
    Although we have made the presidential term 6 years, and the Americans are pounding their 4-year-olds, which were once based on the deep distrust of the Founding Fathers towards each other. They knew their worth.