It is customary to mention the commitment of our people to alcohol as if it were something taken for granted. Even the names of the films are relevant - "features of the national" hunting or fishing. Features - this is pouring on the ears of alcohol. By the way, a similar feature of the Russians often bulges in the movies. Goodies tilt glasses famously, not getting drunk. Negative rampage or limp in the hops. And in the comedies and performances of humorists on the wine-vodka theme a good half of the jokes are built (the second half is “below the belt”). Evidence of "Russian drunkenness" taken from the depths of ages, from the chronicles. When to sv. Preachers of different religions came to Vladimir the Baptist, and the Muslim noted his ban on wine, the sovereign pointed out that such faith would not be suitable for us, because "the joy of Russia is the drink of eti."
Immediately note: история with the choice of faith - just a legend. Similar “vagrant plots” are known in the traditions of different nations, they are called upon to retroactively explain why a particular religion is adopted. In fact, there was no choice. Faith is not a commodity, it is not chosen - this one is better, but more expensive, this one is cheaper, but worse. She is always alone, they come to her not with her mind, not with logic, but with her soul. Yes, and with the prohibition does not fit. Mohammed forbade fermented juice of grapes to his followers. And in the Muslim Volga Bulgaria, which was contacted by St. Vladimir, they used honey-based drinks and did not refuse them.
In Russia, they also made honey, beer, and brought wine from Greece. They were used for the holidays - hence the phrase about the "joy of Russia." This custom went from pagan times, intoxication was considered sacred. There was also a tradition of princely feasts with a team. But it was not booze. It was also a special ritual that enshrined the military fraternity. It was not by chance that the bowl was called “brotherhood”, it was passed around in a circle, each sipped a little.
However, you can compare the attitude to drunkenness in different countries. In the Scandinavian sagas, it is not difficult to see that it was considered prestigious, the heroes boast of the amount of alcohol consumed. The description of peers with the hopy seas can also be found in the Germanic, English, French epic. In Russia, a drunken subject was not reflected either in art, or in songs, or in heroic epics. Valor is not considered.
On the contrary, the system of Orthodox values promoted abstinence. The Monk Theodosius of Pechersk, who regularly visited the Sovereign of Kiev, Svyatoslav Yaroslavich, instructed him to cut down the feasts. Vladimir Monomakh, one of the most popular rulers of Russia, remained very restrained in food and drink. In the famous precept for children, he wrote: “Fear every kind of lie, drunkenness and love, equally disastrous for the body and soul”. This line was continued by the grandson of Monomakh, St. Andrei Bogolyubsky. He generally stopped the tradition of feasts with boyars and warriors.
Of course, not everyone followed a similar ideal. But you can select a pattern. Manifestations of drunkenness that fell on the pages of the chronicles were usually associated with negative characters or disasters. Svyatopolk Damned solders the army before the battle of Lyubech. Killers of sv. Andrei Bogolyubsky warmed up courage before the atrocity, climb into the wine cellar. In 1377, the Russian army relaxes in a campaign against the Tatars, “after the Drunk people are drunk” - and they were cut out. In 1382, Moscow gets drunk, foolishly opens the gates to Khan Tokhtamysh and dies in the massacre. In 1433, Vasily II generously treats the Moscow militia before a tragic battle with Yury Zvenigorodsky. In 1445, he feasts before the Tatars defeated him ...
In general, there is a negative attitude towards alcohol abuse. Abroad, the opposite trend was observed. In every possible way exalted in medieval songs of vagantes, in masterpieces of the Renaissance - works of Boccaccio, Chaucer, Rabelais. Descriptions of revelings were kept in the court chronicles. This boasted, paraded! Although the Western feasts of that era would have seemed to us not quite a pleasant sight. In the dim halls, suffocation smokes torches and greasy lights. Cavaliers and ladies tore the meat with their hands, nibbled and sucked mosly, fat flowed on fingers and sleeves. Dogs were crawling on the floor, freaks and dwarfs were busy, drowned out the general champing of fuss and rude clownery. If someone got drunk, fell asleep right at the table or under the table, in pools of vomit. The jesters mocked him, his physiognomy was soiled for the rest of the public - such things were common even in the royal courts.
Glaring drunken outrages were regularly celebrated in Rome, Paris, and London. And in Turkey, the wife of Suleiman the Magnificent, the notorious Roksolana, conceived to drag her son Selim to the throne. Ally took the European diplomats and spies. Roksolana achieved his goal, but her son acquired relevant habits from his Western friends and received the nickname Selim II Drunkard. None of the Russian rulers, even in enemy libelous names like this, did not stick!
But it was impossible. For the Grand Duke Basil the Dark, the blows he received became a serious lesson. He began to fight drunkenness, and his son Ivan III banned alcohol in general. The Venetian diplomat Josaphat Barbaro wrote about this, praised this practice. To brew beer, to use strong honey, wine or vodka was allowed only on holidays. If a wedding was being prepared, baptisms, commemorations, the head of the family applied to the office of the governor or governor, paid a certain fee, and he was allowed to make beer or honey. In other cases, the use of alcohol was forbidden. A person who appeared drunk in a public place was soberly battered. And the clandestine manufacture and sale of alcohol attracted the confiscation of property and imprisonment.
At the beginning of the 16th century, during the reign of Vasily III, foreign troops appeared in Russia. In Zamoskvorechye German settlement was built. But Western soldiers and officers could not do without drinking, could not imagine sober existence, and made an exception for them, allowed to drive the wine for personal use. As a result, among the Muscovites, the German settlement received the eloquent name “Fill-in”.
In addition, beer and wine were allowed to keep in the monasteries. Their charters were modeled on the Greek, and in Greece, a diluted wine was the most common drink. But the use was allowed in small quantities, strictly according to the statute. Although there have been violations, and of sv. Joseph Volotsky demanded completely abandon the intoxicating in monastic abodes - away from temptations.
The same line was persistently pursued by Ivan the Terrible. Mihalon Lytvyn in his treatise “On the Morals of the Tatars, Lithuanians and Muscovites,” wrote that his own country, Lithuania, was currently ruined by drunkenness. "Muscovites and Tatars are inferior to Lithuanians in strength, but surpass them by activity, temperance, courage, and other qualities that state affirms." As an example, the author put the Terrible: “He protects freedom not with soft cloth, not with brilliant gold, but with iron ... the temperance of the Tatars is opposed by the temperance of his people, sobriety - sobriety, art -.”
The results are fully manifested. For example, the Narva, which was considered impregnable, was easily taken by the Russians when the inhabitants were overwhelmed and started a fire in the city. Even the traitor Kurbsky, who ran to the Poles, was unpleasantly impressed by the incessant feasts. Particular disgust caused participation in the drinking bouts of noble women. He described how local grandees and nobles know only one thing, “they will sit at the table, goblets and chat with their drunken women.” “Drunk they are very brave: they take both Moscow and Constantinople, and even if the Turks had crawled into the sky, they are ready to take it off from there. And when they lie down on the bed between thick feather beds, they will hardly sleep by noon, get up a bit alive with a headache. ”
Russian peers did not have anything similar with this revelry. “Domostroy”, a very comprehensive and comprehensive manual on the organization of the household, popular in the 16th century, recommended that women do without alcohol at all, be content with kvass or non-alcoholic braga (good, in Russia there was a rich assortment of such drinks). Weddings, christenings, commemorations, Christmas, Easter, Maslenitsa and other holidays did not look like vulgar obzhiralovkami, each holiday to cope with certain customs. By the way, at weddings alcohol was intended only for guests, the bride and groom were supposed to be completely sober - to conceive healthy offspring. And even more so were not drunk court feasts. These were official ceremonies, court etiquette strictly painted the order of toasts, serving dishes. Sometimes foreign diplomats were really trying to get drunk as an insole, but this was done intentionally so that they would unleash their tongues and blurt out secrets.
Of course, there were violations of the “dry law”, they fought with them. The German Staden, who served as the oprichnik, told me that if he was detained, he was held until the morning so that he sobered up and then instructed him with flogging. Alcohol smuggling was discovered in Novgorod and Pskov, it was imported from abroad. The sovereign entered under the law - for the guilty prison and confiscation of property. However, for the majority of accomplices I confined myself to confiscation.
Especially large scandal erupted with foreigners. At the time when Estonia was annexed, Livonian prisoners were taken into service. German settlement in Zamoskvorechye has grown. But the Livonians abused the privilege of driving wine, surreptitiously selling it to Russians. Gambling and prostitution prohibited in Russia flourished in underground taverns. French captain Marzheret told: Livonians on this extremely rich, net profit exceeded 100%. Yesterday's prisoners "behaved so arrogantly, their manners were so arrogant, and their clothes so luxurious that they could all be taken for princes and princesses."
But in 1579, these crimes were revealed, and Grozny was angry. There was a heavy war, and the strangers, warmed up in the capital, would solder, corrupt the people, and be fat on it! In the super-profitable business, directly or indirectly, the entire German settlement took part - everyone knew where they were driving and selling alcohol. Margaret and a number of contemporaries confirmed: the settlement was punished fairly, and very moderately. Ivan the Terrible did not imprison the guilty in prison, but ordered the confiscation of all the property, and the inhabitants of the German Settlement were evicted from Moscow. They were allowed to build a new suburb on Yauza, a distance from the city - it was inconvenient to invite buyers in there.
The ban on alcohol lasted in Russia for about a century and a half and was canceled by Boris Godunov. He was a "Westerner", took over the foreign order. He fastened peasants, inflated taxes. But he came up with an idea for the people and an outlet - he opened the “Tsar's taverns”. This allowed us to pull off the steam of discontent, but also squeeze out additional profits, the wine received the status of a state-owned monopoly. In addition, detectives were fighting in the taverns; if someone inadvertently chatted about drunk, they dragged him to a dungeon.
All these factors formed the prerequisites for the Time of Troubles. By the way, of sv. Reverend Irinarkh the Recluse, who warned of impending disasters, indicated that they were sent according to the sins of the people, and among the sins he singled out the increased drunkenness. In the conditions of insurrection and war, Tsar Vasily Shuisky tried again to toughen the fight against such a vice. Pole Maskevich described that a special “prison of wars” was organized in Moscow. This included people who had the imprudence to walk around the city under a strong degree. If they were detained for the first time, they would give up sleep. The second time flogged batog. But if he came across for the third time, he was whipped and sent to prison.
Subsequently, the punishments were mitigated, they freed the prisoners from the prison and the whip. In the years of the Troubles, the country was ravaged; it turned out to be difficult to refuse a solid source of income. Kabaks are preserved. But the monopoly of the treasury on the wine trade remained. For underground distillation and the sale of the culprit, they beat him with a whip, confiscated property and exiled them to Siberia. They were able to drive vodka in our country, but they chose not to build distilleries. A contract for the supply of alcohol to the treasury transferred to one of the major merchants, and they bought in Lithuania or in Ukraine.
But if alcohol in Russia is now sold, this does not mean that drunkenness is encouraged. No, the use of wine tried to minimize. Both the king and the Church and the landowners fought against unhealthy hobbies. Boyar Morozov wrote to his patrimony as a manager, demanded that the peasants “did not smoke wine for sale and did not keep tobacco and did not smoke and sell, did not play with grain and cards, didn’t drink at the taverns and drank.” Patriarch Nikon strictly eradicated this sin in church structures. Keep vodka in monasteries completely banned. If there were signals about drunkenness of one or another priest, if the servants of the patriarch noticed a drunken priest on the street, and even more so in the temple, he would be deprived of dignity or sent to serve in some taiga wilderness.
Kabakov in Russia, according to the testimony of foreigners, was "not too much." Chancellor Ordin-Nashchokin conceived was an experiment with the free trade of wine in Pskov, promised a significant increase in profits. But Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich brought the matter for consideration by the Pskov themselves. Only peasants were in favor of a free sale. Clergy, merchants, artisans, nobles rated the idea very negatively. Say, drunkenness will lead to hooliganism, crimes and losses in trade, fisheries, and households. After such reviews, the sovereign innovation is not approved.
And the existing taverns Alexey Mikhailovich brought out of the cities, "in the field." Just like that, passing by, not in an institution you will not glance. At night, the city gates are closed, you will not go to the tavern. If a person has gone over too much, he can lie somewhere in the nature under a bush, without insulting the eyes of his fellow citizens. Those drunk who were wandering through the streets were still waiting for the “prison of wars”, they were kept in it until sobering up.
However, the center of drunkenness remained German settlement or Kukui. There is no reason to portray her as an “oasis of civilization” in a “barbaric country”. They lived in it rich, because the population were merchants and officers. But Kukui was a fairly small village (3 thousand inhabitants). The streets, unlike Moscow, were not paved. Eyewitnesses recalled that "the dirt reached the belly of the horses." And European manners did not look shiny. In Kuku, as in all Russian cities and towns, there was an elected self-government, and the government had to develop special instructions for it. The Sloboda authorities were ordered to stop duels, “fights and no mortal killing and no fights”, not to allow the underground vodka trade, not to take “runaway and walking people”, not to invite prostitutes and “thieves”.
But trade in alcohol here did not stop. It was attended by foreign officers, involved the subordinate Russian soldiers. The raids did not give results or only temporarily forced to suspend the business. In general, Kukui was considered a very dubious place among Muscovites, not for decent people. “Left” vodka could be bought here at any hour of the day or night. Underground ponies flourished, German, Polish, Scandinavian women of easy behavior came together. Russian girls also “Europeanized”. A contemporary wrote: "Women are often the first to fall into a rampage from unlimited doses of alcohol, and you can see them, half-naked and shameless, in almost any street."
And just here Lefort, Timmerman, Gordon and other mentors began to drag prince Peter Alekseevich. At first he was not listed as an heir, he was not prepared for reign. And then his father, Alexei Mikhailovich, died, the children got power from the first wife, Maria Miloslavskaya - Fyodor, Sofya. The second wife of the late king, Natalia Naryshkina, and her children, was pushed aside from the throne. They settled in a country palace, nobody was seriously engaged in bringing up Peter. Foreigners did not miss the chance to join up with an intelligent and inquisitive boy. Taught many useful things, but at the same time inspired by the fascination with foreign customs. The future king finished Kukui Academy excellently.
Is it any wonder that in the reign of Peter the attitude to alcohol has changed. “Bakhusov fun” began to be perceived as a decent and solid pastime. At the feast with abundant libations it was ordered to attract women. The distilleries began to be built, the network of taverns, austerias and other pubs expanded dramatically. Only it is worth considering that this tradition was by no means Russian, but “kukui”. Western, brought to our country along with shaving beards, dressing in kurguzie German kaftanchiki and wigs.
However, even after Peter in Russia they drank much more moderately than in the West. The manufacture and sale of alcohol remained the official monopoly. And for the population, public opinion served as a powerful deterrent. The life of a peasant took place before the eyes of the village community, the "world." The life of a merchant is in a merchant community. The drunkard everywhere admitted as a renegade, outcast, could not count on any respect and trust. Young people were brought up on these views and examples - was it worth it to imitate people whose fate turned out to be so unenviable? And the nobles needed to take care of themselves, because their every step was vigilantly monitored by "light." Sweep up the pernicious passion - “evil tongues are worse than a pistol” will turn on, you can earn a total alienation, contempt.
The future German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck lived in Russia for four years. But for the first time in his life, he saw a drunken woman, lying under a fence, later in “cultural” England. This shocked Bismarck so much that he described this incident in his diary. No, I'm not going to idealize our country. Gradually multiplied dens, the number of alcoholics grew. But it was considered already outside normal life, "at the bottom." Caused disgust, repelled. And this was by no means a tradition. On the contrary, the rapid slide of our country into drunkenness began only from the end of the 19th century and in the 20th century. - as the destruction of national and religious traditions, the collapse of the former society and the old value systems. The second collapse took place at the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st centuries. - with the destruction of Soviet traditions and Soviet society, which is also not surprising. After all, the Soviet traditions still held the remnants of Russian, and the moral code of the builder of communism in many respects tried to copy the old Orthodox installations.