The Grand Duke Svyatoslav, entered into history as the largest statesman of the era, the greatest commander of the Middle Ages, comparable in scale with Alexander the Great, Hannibal and Caesar. Prince Svyatoslav Igorevich expanded the borders of Russia to the limits of the Caucasus and the Balkan Peninsula. According to the most minimal calculations of researchers, Svyatoslav's squads went on campaigns for several years 8000-8500 km.
Some historians considered the campaigns of Svyatoslav adventures that weakened the forces of Russia. But such researchers as B. A. Rybakov, A. N. Sakharov noted the fact that Svyatoslav’s military activities fully complied with the military-strategic and economic interests of Russia. The Grand Duke destroyed the parasitic state of the Khazars, who lived by controlling trade routes that went from Europe to the East, to Khorezm, the land of the Caliphate, and by collecting tribute from Slavic and other unions of tribes. And often tribute was taken by people for sale into slavery to the East. The Khazars regularly campaigned for "live goods" within the Slavic tribes. The Khazaria itself in the Russian epic was a cruel and bloody "miracle yudom". The destruction of the Khazars liberated part of the Slavic unions of the tribes, which became part of a unified Russian state and cleared the Volga-Caspian way. Volga Bulgaria, a vassal of Khazaria, has ceased to be a hostile barrier. The capital of the Khazar Khaganate, Itil, was wiped off the face of the earth. Sarkel (White Tower) and Tmutarakan became the strongholds of Russia on the Don and Taman (Caucasus). In the Russian favor, the balance of power changed in the Crimea, where Kerch (Korchev) became a Russian city.
The Byzantine Empire led the expansion of the Balkan Peninsula, establishing its control over the Balkan trade route. Svyatoslav established his control over the mouth of the Danube and Bulgaria. The Russian army, which included the Allied Bulgarian, Pechenegian and Hungarian troops, shook the entire Byzantine Empire. Romes (Greeks) had to go to the world, which turned out to be a military cunning. Svyatoslav disbanded most of the troops, and the invasion of the Byzantine army came as a surprise to him (the Romans violated this word, which the barbarians faithfully observed). After heavy battles, a new peace treaty was concluded. Svyatoslav left Bulgaria, but it was obvious that he would return.
Svetoslav entered Russian history as a true warrior: “I easily went on campaigns, like pardus, and fought a lot. In campaigns, he didn’t carry any wagons or boilers, he didn’t cook meat, but, thinly slicing horse meat, or animal, or beef and roasting on coals, he ate it. He didn’t have a tent, but he slept, under a pot with a saddle in his head. All his other warriors were the same. And sent to other countries with the words: "I go to you." Before us is a real Spartan, accustomed to the harsh existence of hikes and battles, neglecting life comforts for the sake of speed of movement. At the same time, Svyatoslav is noble: he keeps his word and warns the enemy about his campaign.
His victories glorified the Russian name and the Russian weapon for centuries. Svyatoslav and his warriors entered history as an example of courage. Even the enemies noted the courage of the Russians. The Greek chronicler Lev Deacon brought one of Svyatoslav’s speeches for us: “... Let us penetrate the courage that our ancestors bequeathed to us, remember that the power of the Russians has so far been indestructible, and we will bravely fight for our lives! It is not for us to return to our homeland, fleeing. We must either win and stay alive, or die with glory, having accomplished feats worthy of valiant men. ” And the Pechenegs, who destroyed the small squad of Svyatoslav in a fierce battle, made a precious bowl out of his skull and said: “May our children be like him!” (Scythian tradition).
According to the Russian chronicles in 946, the squad of juvenile Svyatoslav left the field, where the army of the Drevlians awaited him. According to custom, the battle began the young prince. He threw a spear. And the governor Sveneld said: “The prince has already begun; strike, squad, for the prince. " Drevlyans were defeated. This episode rightly characterizes the Russian military education, which was common to all Rus, Slavs. It was about those times that the eastern encyclopaedist researcher Ibn Ruste wrote: “And when one of the Rus has a son, he lays a sword on his stomach and says:“ I don’t leave you any property except that you will conquer with this sword ”. All male children were future warriors. Yes, and many Slav women owned military skills. Thus, the Greek chroniclers noted the presence of women in the army of Svyatoslav, who fight with no less fury than men.
The tutor of the prince was Asmund. There is speculation that he was the son of Prince Oleg the Thing. What he taught Svyatoslav can be guessed only by his deeds. The laws of the military world everywhere - from the samurai of Japan and the Spartans of Greece to the Russian Cossacks, are very similar. This indifference, often contempt for wealth, material wealth. Respect for weapons, coming from the Scythians who worshiped the sword (the material image of the god of war). To risk life, not for prey, but for glory, honor, Fatherland. Svyatoslav, according to the Russian chronicler and direct enemies of the Byzantines, indifferently refused rich gifts, but he gladly accepted weapons.
Svyatoslav, like all "barbarians", was honest, one might say noble. In the eyes of Rus, the oath was one of the most important parts of the world order. No wonder he swore "as long as the world is standing, while the sun is shining." The word, the oath were also not ruin, like the world and the sun. The one who broke the oath, encroached on the foundations of the world. But the duty of a warrior, a prince, was to maintain order with an armed hand. Forgiveness to the perjurers was not.
In addition to selflessness, loyalty to the word, the ancient custom that we see in both the Spartans and in the Indian "Laws of Manu" prescribed to a man of military type ("kshatriya") to devote himself entirely to war and power, in peacetime, hunting, refraining from other occupations . Svyatoslav will tell the Romaic ambassador: "We are men of blood, arms to defeat enemies, and not artisans who earn their living by the sweat of their heads." There was no contempt for the artisans in these words. It’s just that Indo-Europeans (Aryans) had a traditional society, a folk-aristocratic one, where everyone clearly knew their place. Magi (brahmans) served the gods, they vigilant the moral foundations of society, without which it would have fallen into bestiality. For example, modern Western society, spreading its poison throughout the world, has fallen into bestiality, rejecting the foundations laid down in the tribal community (such as family). The warriors defended the clan, dedicated their lives to war, power and hunting. Vesians (all - Old Russian. Village), in the ancient Indian society - Vaishyas, these are farmers, artisans and traders. Moreover, in Russia there were no clear boundaries between the “castes”, unlike India, where the varnas became closed social groups: the “rural” Ilya of Murom thanks to his qualities became a knight, a hero, and at the end of his life became a monk-monk, devoting the rest of his life to serving To god Prince Oleg, thanks to his personal qualities, became the “Prophetic”, since the prince-sorcerer, the witch. Any peasant could rise to a higher social level if he had certain qualities for that. The young kozhemyaka (Nikita Kozhemyaka, Jan Usmoshvets) defeated the Pecheneg bogatyr and was granted a prince in the boyars.
It is clear that moral education was complemented by methods of driving troops, possession of weapons. All the children's games of the Rus for centuries will be aimed at raising a warrior. Their echoes will reach the 20-21 centuries. Even adult holidays will include elements of military training: weight lifting competitions, climbing a log dug into the ground, fistfights, wrestling, wall-to-wall fighting, etc. Svyatoslav, of course, also played with wooden swords and bows , in “knives”, “konyashki”, “king of the mountain”, he took snow towns by attack. And having matured, he met in fist and wrestling fights, learned to fight in the "wall". He learned to shoot from a complicated bow, to wield a sword and an ax, to run for long distances, to ride and fight on a horse. Hunted, learning the secrets of the forest and camouflage, reading the tracks, became hardy and patient, getting the beast. The fight with the beast brought courage, the ability to kill. The young prince comprehended the science of being a prince and a warrior.
The first victory of the prince warrior
In 959, the ambassadors of Princess Olga (at the baptism of Helen) arrived in the courtyard of the head of the Holy Roman Empire - Otto I. The ambassadors of Helena, queens rugues, by the old memory, in the West called the Varangians-Rus, asked for "bishop and priests" instructions in true faith. In those days, such a request meant being recognized as a vassal. Let me remind you that at that moment in the center of Europe a fierce battle was raging between the pagan West Slavic civilization (part of which was the Vikings-Rus) and Christian Rome, which was supported by usurers, Jewish merchants who controlled the lucrative slave trade. It was then that the “onslaught to the East” began, which continues to this day. The Roman throne and the slave traders attacked the Slavic, pagan world with the hands of German knights.
In 961, the Adalbert mission arrived in Kiev. The monk arrived not alone, but with warriors, clergy and servants. Adalbert launched a stormy activity in the Russian capital, which would not have been possible if he had not had the consent of Princess Olga (at that time the former ruler of Russia). Adalbert was practically never in his German courtyard, but he often visited the estates of prominent boyars, merchants, in the grand-ducal courtyard of the Princess Christian. He inclined the Kiev elite to the necessity of adopting Christianity from the hands of "the most Christian ruler" in Europe - the German king Otto. In his opinion, only the Holy Roman Empire, as opposed to the Greek state, mired in the vices, can claim the great heritage of Rome, become the first power of the world, since only in her is the faith of Christ alive.
Adalbert tried to read the sermons and ordinary city residents. But he did not see the response, they listened gloomily, and then went to glorify their gods. It must be said that the Christian community did not exist for a long time in Kiev, but it did not have much importance, since the overwhelming majority of the population was loyal to their native gods. At the same time every day the Germans became more confident and arrogant. Bishop Adalbert already behaved as the head of the local Christian community, although this community was more connected with Constantinople than with Rome. Adalbert was already called the "Bishop of Russia." German missionaries behaved like full spiritual masters and mentors of Russia. The murmuring among ordinary citizens against impudent "Crusaders" went.
Prince Svyatoslav advised his mother to expel the German mission. As a result, he put an end to the series of mistakes of his mother: a dark story with the Drevlyans, an attempt of matchmaking to the Byzantine basileus Konstantin, persuading his son to adopt Christianity, an adventure with the mission of Adalbert. The Grand Duke was no longer a teenager, soon Europe will feel the heavy tread of this mighty warrior. Christianity was rejected by Svyatoslav, as he and his fellow boyars were well aware that baptism would follow vassalage against Byzantium or Rome, and the next basileus or Kaiser would be happy to call him “son” in the feudal sense. Christianity then acted as an information weapon that enslaved neighboring regions.
Svyatoslav had a powerful support - the pagan party, the swords of the Vikings-pagans faithful to Perun and those who hate Christians who drowned their lands in the blood, a powerful folk tradition. Obviously, the coup was not bloodless. Adalbert's supporters were killed, apparently, including representatives of the Christian party in Kiev. Adalbert barely lost his legs. He complained for a long time about the cunning of the Rus. In the "Chronicle of the successor of Reginon," it is reported: In 962, Adalbert returned to the post, placed as bishop to the rulers, for he did not have time for anything that he was sent for, and saw his efforts in vain. On the way back, many of his companions were killed, but he himself barely escaped with great difficulty. ” Svyatoslav defended the conceptual and ideological independence of Russia. From the unreliable hands of Olga, the prince "fed up with the sword" took the reins.
For this feat Svyatoslav should put a huge monument. Unfortunately, the history and struggle of the Western Slavs with Rome in Russia is little known. And she could be an instructive example to those who admire the West. In the vast territories of Central Europe, the Slavs “cleared out” almost at the root. Only the names of rivers, lakes, forests, mountains, cities, and towns remain from them. These are Elba-Laba, Oder-Audra, Lübech-Lübeck, Brandenburg - Branibor, Rugen - Ruyan, Yaromentsburg - Arkona, Stettin - Schetin, Stargrad - Oldenburg, Berlin - grad Bera, Rostock (retained the name), Dresden - Drozdany, Austria - Edges, Vienna - from one of the names of the Slavs "veins, veneta, Venedy", Leipzig - Lipitz, Ratsiburg - Ratibor ...
To be continued ...