Monument to Evpaty Kolovrat
With the beginning of democratic reforms in Russia, concepts such as patriotic upbringing, national pride, somehow quietly receded into the background. historical memory and many other “useless” views. Provincial museums are slowly fading from chronic lack of money, history is consciously and maliciously distorted, removed from school textbooks, and many of its heroic pages are hushed up. The memory of the glorious past of one’s country, the feeling of belonging to a great nation is gradually being replaced by abstract "universal values" incomprehensible to most people. Tell me honestly, do you remember one of the brightest pages of our history: the 778th anniversary of the feat of the regiment of the Ryazan voivode Evpatiy Kolovrat, who laid down his head in a battle with the invaders in January 1238? I am sure the vast majority will answer no. A survey on the Internet showed that nine out of ten respondents did not even know what they were talking about, although even a student in the fourth grade of high school knew about this hero 25-30 years ago. To this day, the heroic fate of the Kolovrat detachment is fraught with many unresolved issues and mysteries. Without pretending to be “scientific” in this article and discarding the newfangled theories that “there was no Mongol invasion”, we will try to restore the events of those distant days using some versions and assumptions.
In the winter of 1237, the signal fires from the Ryazan border region sent a message: a trouble unprecedented in its history is coming to Russia. The first victim of the Mongolian conquerors was the Murom-Ryazan principality. The Khan Batu’s notoriously unacceptable offers of submission, the payment of huge tribute, the humiliating demand to give wives for the soldiers ’comfort, the proud Ryazan people refused:“ when we are gone, all your things will be. ” The military art of Russia of those years assumed a battle with the enemies "in the field." The then ruler of Ryazan, Prince Yuri Ingvarevich, could count on his army, tempered in constant clashes with the steppe men, and therefore, gathering the squad and the militia, moved towards the invading enemy, spoke out to prove in fact the words: “it is better for the dead to be than the constrained walk”. In early December, a small Ryazan army was defeated in a bloody battle on the River Ranova. 16 December 1237 after a five-day siege, stepping over the bodies of militiamen, townspeople and peasants from the surrounding villages, the Mongols stormed into Ryazan, on the walls of which there were not enough professional fighters who left with Prince Yuri. The invaders almost completely exterminated all the inhabitants, as the chronicler reports: “And not a single living thing remained in the city: all the same they died and they drank a single cup of death. There was neither moaning nor crying here - neither father and mother about children, neither children about father and mother, nor brother about brother, nor relatives of relatives, but all together lay dead. " Having ravaged the land of Ryazan, the Mongolian army moved further inland. The bulk of the troops, including the clumsy train, (well, the Mongols didn’t build siege weapons under each city or graveyard again!), Moved along the main transport arteries of that time — ice-frozen rivers. Horse units crumbled wide raid, ravaging oncoming settlements. The path to the invaders was blocked by the army of the Grand Prince of Vladimir George (Yuri) Vsevolodovich, headed by his son Vsevolod, and the Allied Novgorodians, under the command of Governor Jeremiah Glebovich.
It was decided to give a general battle on the borders of Vladimir-Suzdal land, near Kolomna, on the ice of the Moscow river. The Vladimir army, with the remnants of the Przion and Ryazan regiments that had joined them, under the command of Prince Roman Ingvarevich, bravely withstood fierce attacks of the Mongolian cavalry, inflicting strong counter-attacks by the best troops of Russia of that time — a heavily-armed cavalry. In the works of modern historians emphasizes the seriousness of the battle of Kolomna. This is evidenced by the fact that one of the Chingizids, Khan Kulkan, was killed there, and this could happen only in the case of a major battle, which was marching with varying success and was accompanied by deep breaks in the battle order of the Mongols (after all, the princes were behind the battle lines ). But here, in the course of a three-day clash, due to the advantages of the Mongolian army in numbers and organization, Khan Batu was able to win. Almost all Russian warriors (including Prince Roman and voivode Jeremiah Glebovich) fell in battle.
Leaving a small detachment for the siege of Kolomna, and sending the expeditionary force to Moscow, the main part of the Mongolian army moved north with the aim of reaching another convenient route to the capital Vladimir - the Klyazma River. It is unlikely that all the available forces, as is commonly believed in academic historiography, Batyu sent to storming the provincial town, which Moscow was in the 13 century. Could the younger son of George, Vladimir, and the voivode Philippe Nyanka, who defended the entire Mongolian army "with a small army", who defended the future capital of Russia, could successfully withstand almost as much as the fortified, crowded Ryazan?
It seemed that nothing was stopping quietly from reaching Vladimir, and without hindrance to besiege the capital of North-Eastern Russia. Suddenly, the Mongol troops, which were sprawling on the march, were subjected to a powerful blow, which was inflicted from whence a army appeared. At the head of the attacking Russian army stood the Ryazan boyar Yevpaty Kolovrat. According to folk lore, Yevpaty L. Kolovrat was born around 1200 of the year, near the village of Frolovo (Shilovsky district, Ryazan region). He had a patrimony in the town of Ursa near the village of Zapolye. During the invasion of Batu, Evpaty Kolovrat with a small detachment of princely warriors was in Chernigov, other sources report that Kolovrat was collecting tribute on the River Pra. Learning the terrible news of the defeat of the Ryazan army and the destruction of the city, the boyar went without delay to Ryazan. Here is what the chronicler says about this: “And one of the nobles of Ryazan, named Evpaty Kolovrat, heard about the invasion of the evil King Batu, and spoke with a little squad, and rushed quickly. And he came to the land of Ryazan, and saw her empty, the cities were ruined, the churches burned, people were killed. And rushed to the city of Ryazan, and saw the city ravaged, the sovereigns of the slain and a great many people who had fallen: some were killed and visited, others were burned, and others were sunk in the river. And Yevpaty cried out in the sorrow of his soul, burning in his heart. And he gathered a small squad - one thousand seven hundred people whom God had saved outside the city. And they followed after the godless tsar, and barely caught up with him in the land of Suzdal, and suddenly attacked the Batyi camps. ”
The unexpected appearance of an unknown troops and the rout of several detachments by the Russians alarmed the Mongolian command. “And the Tatars from the Yevpatyev regiment were barely caught by five soldiers who had suffered from great wounds. And they brought them to the king Batu. The king Batu began to ask them: “What land are you, and why do I do a lot of evil?” They answered: “We are from the regiment Yevpatiy Kolovrat. We sent from Prince Ingvar Ingvarevich of Ryazan you, a strong king, to praise, and to honor with honor, and honor you to pay homage. " A selective detachment of cadets-keshiktenov under the command of brother-in-law Baty Khostovrul was sent against the Russian regiment. The Mongolian commander boasted that he would lead Kolovrat on the lasso and throw the Great Khan at his feet.
15 January 1238, five thousand heavily armed Mongolian soldiers Hostovrula met with the warriors of Kolovrat in open battle. “Hostovrul met with Eupatiy. Evpatiy was a giant by force and cut Hostovrula on-the-floor to the saddle. And the Tatar force began to flog, and many of the famous bogatyrs, Batyov, broke here, cut them in half, and cut them up to the saddle ”. In the transient battle, the Mongolian detachment was almost destroyed, but the Russian army suffered heavy losses, as the tradition says, only 300-400 people remained in the ranks. A handful of Rus were sent fresh troops. However, all the attacks were repelled, the retreating temniki and noyons said with horror that: “We had with many kings, in many lands, in many battles, but we didn’t see such bastards and rezvets, our fathers didn’t tell us: they know death, and so firmly and courageously, riding horses, fight - one with a thousand, and two with ten thousand. None of them will be eaten alive from the slaughter. "
Subeeday Bagatur. Modern monument
Puzzled by such vehement resistance, the Mongols attempted to enter into negotiations, according to legend, the great Subedei Bagatur himself, approached the battle formation of the rotoral rat and asked: “What do you want, warriors?” And heard the answer that led him into confusion: “We came to die! ". The main forces of the Mongolian army advancing to the battlefield, started to fire a handful of defenders with the “heavy artillery” of those years: ballistami and catapults. Only when under a hail of stones and heavy "bolts" almost all Russian soldiers were killed or injured, including their commander, could the invaders celebrate the victory. The story told in “The Tale of the Ruin of Ryazan Batu” ”the shelling of a small detachment with bulky and cumbersome“ vices ”only at first glance looks implausible. Of course, shooting stone-throwing at a small, fast-maneuvering target is ineffective, but if the enemy is standing still or holding an important strategic point, stones and heavy bolt-arrows can cause him sensitive damage. For example, in the battle of Racovor in 1268, the Russian troops successfully shot the troops of the Danish-German knights out of the stone-throwing machines, stuck in deep snow. Thus, in this case, the Ryazan chronicler conveyed quite a reliable fact.
By order of Batu, the body of Evpatiy Kolovrat was brought to him. “And the king Batu said, looking at the body of Evpatievo:“ O Kolovrat Yevpaty! Well, you pitched me with a little of your squad and I beat many bogatyrs of my strong horde and smashed many regiments. If he had served me like this, he would have kept him at his very heart. ” And he gave the body of Evpatiy to the remaining people from his squad who were seized at the massacre. And the king Batu ordered to let them go and not to harm them at all. ”- the chronicler testifies. According to legend, the surviving Russian soldiers took the body of their valiant commander and buried him with honors in the land of Ryazan. It seems the chronicle “About the ruin of Ryazan, Batu”, folk legends, legends and tales quite fully told us about this, of course, a great feat. However, the skeptic will argue, nowhere is neither the exact place of the battle of Evpatiy Kolovrat’s squad nor the place of his last battle, and it is doubtful that such a detachment could successfully withstand the entire powerful Mongolian army.
In Russian literature, cinematography, and partly in official history, there is a perception that the Mongolian army invading Russia was an irregular cavalry armed with bows and curved sabers, dressed in greasy wadded robes and incongruous fur Malachi. In fact, our ancestors had to face the best military machine of the 13 of the century: organized, disciplined, well trained and armed, having division into different types of troops, and having a whole engineering corps Temuter temnik. Indeed, the main shock mass of the Mongolian troops were lightly armed horse archers. But there was another important and significant group - heavy cavalry, kesikty, armed with swords and lances. The interaction between these types of troops was brought to perfection. Fight, as a rule, began horse archers. They attacked the enemy with several open parallel waves, continuously bombarding him with bows; at the same time, the horsemen of the first rows, retired out of order or spent reserves of arrows, were instantly replaced by warriors from the rear ranks. The firing speed was incredible: 6 - 8 arrows per minute without sacrificing accuracy. According to the testimony of medieval chroniclers, the Mongolian arrows in battle really “covered the sun”. If the enemy could not withstand this massive fire and began to retreat, then the light cavalry with sabers itself also completed the rout. If the enemy counterattacked, then the Mongols did not take melee. Favorite tactics were to retreat in order to lure the enemy under an unexpected ambush strike. This blow was dealt by a heavy cavalry and almost always led to success. The heavily armed Mongolian cavalry was similar to the knighthood of Europe or the Russian “forged rati”, but the Mongolian “bagatures” were more mobile in battle and could not only deliver frontal strikes, but also, having rebuilt, quickly go to the flank and rear of the enemy. Both horsemen and horses were protected by armor — first leather, made of specially dressed buff leather, which was coated with varnish for greater strength (this ensured good protective properties — the arrows did not get stuck and glided over the surface). By the beginning of the invasion of Russia, almost all Keshikten warriors had reliable chain mail or metal shells. It was precisely due to the tactics and well-established cooperation between the twenty-thousandth corps of Subedei and Chebe that in 1223 the eighty-thousand Russian-Polovtsian army was defeated; shelves. And suddenly some 1229 warriors successfully oppose almost the entire Mongolian army, inflicting terrible losses on them. In addition, the stubborn, fruitless attacks of batyev warriors against a handful of Russian warriors, which are completed only with the complete destruction of a squad of brave men with the help of long-range missile systems, are surprising.
It is known that a short wide Mongolian bow guaranteed to pierce the most durable armor of warriors of those times from a distance of 60-70 meters. Knowing with whom our ancestors had to face, it is safe to assume that several thousand horse archers could turn a small detachment of "fighting in the field", Ryazan knights, into a sort of porcupine in a couple of tens of minutes, completely pinning them with arrows, but with not happening. The strike of the heavily armed Keshiktenov Khostovrula also ends in the defeat and death of the Mongolian commander. What happened or could have happened on the ancient Vladimir land in January 1238? Why the Mongols could not calm down until they destroyed the insignificant regiment of the Ryazan boyar? The assumption that the success of the soldiers of Evpatiy was in their use of partisan tactics does not deserve attention. In winter, in the forest without a warm shelter you will not last long, and even without roads in deep snow you cannot run fast. In addition, the conventional wisdom that the steppe-Mongols felt uncomfortable in the snows and forests of North-Eastern Russia untenable. Do not forget that the climate in the Mongolian steppes is no less severe, and the dense snow-covered forests at that time were many in northern China, and in the mountains of the Caucasus and on the Volga. And nowhere did the forests prevent the conquerors from steppes and did not protect all those countries and peoples along which an avalanche of Mongol invasion swept along an iron rink.
One of the alleged versions is a very strong position taken by Kolovrat on the way of the main part of the Mongolian army. Such could be a fortified churchyard on the border of the Ryazan and Vladimir principalities. At that time, places for collecting tribute, customs payments (myta), parking for merchants, etc., were called graveyards in Russia at that time, in certain areas simultaneously performing the functions of a frontier post. There were dozens of similar fortified towns in the Russian principalities of the 13 century, however, only one located on the trade route - the old Kolomna road - would fit the place of the last battle of the Ryazan knights. In order to avoid the invasion and ruin of the neighborhood of the new horde with metal detectors, I will not name the exact coordinates of this place, but I would like to note that this road was marked on a copy of the old drawing map given in the book of Vladimir local lore expert S.I. Rodionov.
The ancient Kolomna road, accessible for movement only in winter, went out almost to the very walls of this fortress, which rose on the bank of the river. Our ancestors chose a place for building fortifications to be perfect. The height above the neighborhood from which the terrain is visible for tens of kilometers, the possibility of blocking movement along the Klyazma and the Kolomna winter road. On both sides, the hillfort was reliably protected by a steep cliff, which descended to the very edge of the waters. From all four sides, the defensive wall is still preserved, of course, not as powerful as in Dmitrov or Vladimir, but still quite impressive. On the left and right of the former gates there are extensive flat areas of the terrain, which have very interesting names: Killed field and Batuyevo field. Having passed the shortest way along the winter road and occupied this strategically important fortification, the Kolovrat detachment could greatly complicate the lives of the invaders. It is likely that opposite the fortress on the ice of the river there were heaps of tree trunks and snow, which were poured with water and covered with ice in the frost. Similar structures were often used by Russian troops as field fortifications. Placed on the fortress wall from the “river” side, warriors armed with bows and crossbows could shoot with impunity anyone who tried to destroy or cross an obstacle. Thus, the most convenient way to one of the main objectives of the Batu troops campaign - the city of Vladimir was blocked. Of course, the Mongols, hiding from a handful of madmen entrenched in the fortress, could block the road with forests and bypass the unruly fortifications, but they clearly did not intend to leave in the rear of the squad of desperate men. In addition, the arrangement of the road took away the most important resource from the soldiers of Batu, time. In the Khan's headquarters, it was well known about the new ratification of the Grand Duke Yuri, hastily gathered in the northern regions of the principality.
Almost everywhere, the population and the garrisons of such towns preferred to either leave the fortifications and sit out in the forests, or retreat to a large and better protected city. When resisting the Mongols did not spend much time storming such sites. Ruthlessly sweeping away everything that appeared on the walls with arrows, the Mongols in the first rows sent the so-called “hashar” to the assault, consisting of prisoners, guilty or auxiliary detachments with fascines for falling asleep and assault ladders. When the moat was littered, the stairs were installed, well-armed and armored infantrymen entered into action. The statement that the Mongols did not know how to fight on foot, raises a logical question: how did they manage to fight in the narrow streets of Chinese, Khorezm, Iranian and other cities on horseback? There could not have been a big army in the graveyards and frontier posts, so after a few hours it all ended with a complete victory for the Mongols. But near this small fortress, the conquerors stumbled: neither the incomparable accuracy of the archers, nor the unrestrained courage and strong armor of the keshiktenov helped them.
Perhaps it was the presence of a well-fortified point of the Kolovrat regiment that led to the use of throwing machines: the Mongols knew how to shoot the wooden walls perfectly. However, the "artillery" was brought into battle at the final stage of the battle, before the invincible before the Mongols were beaten several times in open battle, and the army, many times inferior to them in numbers.
And here another version of the unexpectedly successful confrontation of the Mongol horde of a small division of Rusich arises - the presence of Evpatius Kolovrat of some powerful, uncharacteristic for the 13 century weapons. At first glance, this assumption looks like sheer fantasy, but ...! The folklore sources of Russia provide rich material on unusual weapons that serve as a constant helper to the hero in the battle with evil forces. The possession of Russian knights and warriors with unusual weapons is repeatedly mentioned in fairy tales, epics, chronicles, and even the lives of saints. It should be noted that, despite the existence of other symbols of military prowess in the system of ancient Russian literature and East Slavic folklore (spears and sabers are no less often mentioned in this context), the trace of clearly preserved ideas about supernatural properties lasts most often for the sword.
The defenders of the Murom-Ryazan land could well have been one of such artifacts, the reality of the existence of which is now not questioned even by the official historical science — Agrikov's sword. The origin of Agrikov’s sword is lost in the depths of the centuries; according to some sources, it was forged by Agrik, a descendant of the Jewish king Herod the Great, according to others, the authors of the product were masters of the ancient Dominian population of the Klyazma-Oka interfluve. The description of this weapon has come down to us: a straight double-edged sword, the blade of which emitted a faint bluish glow, visible in the dark.
The owners of Agrikov’s sword in Russia at different times turned out to be semi-mythical heroes of folk legends like Svyatogor-Bogatyr and Bury-Bogatyr – cow son, and very real personalities, such as Peter of Murom, his countryman known to all the bogatyr Illya-Muromets, warlord Vladimir Monomakh Again, a native of the Ryazan land, Dobrynya Nikitich. Most often in ancient Russian legends, a wonderful sword is used in the fight against the serpent, then the personification of evil. Anyone could turn out to be a serpent: a mythical dragon, priests of the ancient pagan faith, a marching column of the eternal enemies of Russia - nomads, from afar in motion resembled a huge serpent.
For example, according to the legend, the hero of the epic, Dobrynya Nikitich, was able to defeat the Serpent Tugarin only with the help of a conspirator sword. It happened 19 July 1096, near Pereyaslavl, where the united squads of the Russian principalities seriously defeated the strong Polovtsian army, and its leader Khan Tugorkan (Tugarin Zmievich) was killed.
Another equally well-known fact of possessing rare weapons is presented in the “Tale of the Lives of Saints Peter and Fevronia of Murom”. According to the legends, a serpent began to come to the wife of Prince Pavel of that time, Murom, under the guise of his lawful spouse, to bend her into fornication. And the serpents master over her. ” However, the wife whom the Serpent took by force told her husband everything and found out that the death of the Serpent was ordained "from Petrov's shoulder, from Agrikova the sword." Peter was found quickly, it was the sixteen-year-old brother of the ruling prince. Of course, Peter immediately decided to help a relative, but he did not know what kind of a sword Agrikov was and where he could be taken. Once, as the legend goes, Peter came to the Exaltation of the Church, in which a certain young man appeared to him and indicated the place where the sword lies. When the moment of battle came, the Serpent lost its false appearance from the blow of a magic blade, took its real form, "and began to tremble and be dead." In the "Life" says nothing about the fighting skills of Peter. Without any effort on the part of Peter, the sword ends up with him, and the Serpent himself, in fact, with one stroke.
Peter and Fevronia
Do not forget that the positions of Christianity in northeastern Russia in the 12 century were very shaky, so most likely this here by the Serpent meant the priests of the old, pagan faith, trying to introduce "into fornication", that is, to return to paganism, the ruling Murom house, but were once defeated by their weapons. However, possession of Agric's sword did not bring happiness to the prince of Murom. Peter was seriously ill, his entire body was covered with sores and scabs, and he reached such a state that he could not move on his own. The further events in the lives are described as follows: “One of the young men sent in search of a doctor, accidentally entered the house, where he found at work a lonely girl named Fevronia, who had the gift of insight and healing. After all the inquiries, Fevronia punished the servant: “Bring your prince here. If he is sincere and humble in his words, he will be healthy! ”The prince, who himself could not walk, was brought to the house, and he sent to ask who wants to cure him. And promised to, if cured, - a great reward. “I want to cure him,” Fevronia answered bluntly, “but I do not demand any rewards from him. Here is my word to him: if I do not become his wife, it is not fitting for me to treat him. ”
Further well-known: after some difficulties, Peter and Fevronia became husband and wife. The memorial day of the faithful, celebrated on July 8, has become a holiday in modern Russia - the Day of family, love and loyalty. The fate of Agrikov's sword in the Tale does not say anything, but Peter was unlikely to be able to part with the miracle — the weapon. He had no sons, so he could pass on the artifact of his daughter, who married the ruler of the present city of Yuryev-Polsky. The prince could also simply hide the weapon or, more likely, deposit for the heirs of the principality's pagan past — the Magi, the legitimate owners of the sword. Do not forget that Fevronia, who possessed abilities inaccessible to the common man, could very well come from their midst and push her spouse to such an action.
In these difficult times, the Magi gave Agrikov a sword to someone who was worthy of owning and voluntarily sacrificing his life to protect his native land. And there was no better candidate for the feat than Yevpaty, the son of Leo, the Ryazan boyar, nicknamed Kolovrat.
“And they began to whip without mercy, and all the regiments of the Tatar were mixed up. And the Tatars became like drunk or insane. Yevpaty, passing through the strong Tatar regiments, beat them mercilessly. It seemed to the Tatars that the dead rebelled ... ". They did not help the invaders who came into contact with the power of Agrikov’s sword and became “drunk or insane”, neither the maneuverability of their light cavalry, nor the monstrous accuracy and rate of fire of their bows, nor the attack power of selected Khan Bagaturs. Only by throwing a handful of heroes with heavy stones from a safe distance, were the enemies able to defeat the Kolovrata regiment. Apparently the persistence with which the Mongols tried to exterminate a small Russian detachment can be explained by the desire of Batu to get an ancient artifact. The further fate of Agrikov's sword is unknown. I hope that in the future, historians and local historians will find traces of a unique blade, because such weapons will never disappear forever.
Nowadays, many express doubt: “Was there really such a person, Evpaty Lvovich Kolovrat?” In my opinion, only people can ask such questions, for whom patriotism is just an empty sound, since the courage and love for the Motherland has long been immortalized in Ryazan a hero. In addition, the name of Evpatiy Kolovrat is reflected not only in epics and oral traditions, but also in the annals. Doubts about the heroic epic and the names associated with it are doubts about the history itself, not the book history, but the true, written blood and courage of the Russian people.