Russia and Europe
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Slavica Publishers
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Title Page, Frontispiece, Copyright
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I waited ten years for someone better qualified than me to do the work of translating this book. Eventually I concluded that the main qualification for any task is the conviction that it is worth doing, which for better or worse made me the most qualified person for the job. I am grateful for the help of so many over the course of this project. To Andy Sheppard, my sincerest thanks...
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Rossiia i evropa (Russia and Europe) is Nikolai Iakovlevich Danilevskii’s magnum opus, and it is important in two contexts. It is first a seminal work in the intellectual history of nineteenth-century Russia, condensing the Slavophile point of view articulated in the 1830s and 1840s, and recasting it in the mold of 1860s pragmatism and Realpolitik toward a broader, Pan-Slavic purpose. Danilevskii...
Preface: The Life and Works of N. Ia. Danilevskii
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The author of this book, Nikolai Iakovlevich Danilevskii, was born on 28 November 1822. His place of birth was the village of Oberets, his mother’s family estate in the Livny district of Orel province. His father, Iakov Ivanovich, commanded a regiment of hussars and rose to the rank of brigadier general. Iakov Ivanovich first entered another field, having enrolled in 1812 to...
Chapter 1: 1864 and 1854—In Place of an Introduction
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The summer of 1866 had tremendous historical significance. Germany, fragmented in the course of centuries, began to unite under the leadership of the ingenious Prussian minister into a strong, single whole. The European status quo was obviously disrupted, and not only by what we have so recently witnessed. That skillfully assembled political machine, which was so meticulously...
Chapter 2: What Does Europe Have Against Russia?
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“Look at the map,” a foreigner said to me. “How can we not feel that Russia weighs down upon us with its great mass, like an ominous cloud, like some kind of fearsome menace?” Cartographically speaking, there may seem to be such a preponderance; but where, how, and when does this manifest itself in reality? France under Louis XIV and Napoleon [I],2 Spain under Charles V...
Chapter 3: Is Russia Europe?
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Is Europe right or not in considering us something foreign to it? To answer this question requires a clear understanding of what Europe is, in order to see whether to approach the Europe–Russia difference at the level of species or genus. The question seems strange. Who does not know the answer? Europe is one of five continents, any schoolboy will say. What exactly is a...
Chapter 4: Is European Civilization the Universal Civilization?
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West and East, Europe and Asia: To our minds these seem like polar opposites. The West, or Europe, is the pole of progress, ongoing improvement, and continuous forward movement; the East, or Asia, is the pole of immobility and stagnation, so hateful to people of our times. These are historical and geographical axioms that no one doubts, and any Russian true believer in modern...
Chapter 5: Cultural-Historical Types and Some Laws of Their Movement and Development
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I will start right off by explaining some general conclusions or laws of historical development, derived from the grouping of historical phenomena into
Law 1. Any tribe or family of peoples characterized by a separate language or group of languages with similarities that can be readily detected...
Chapter 6: How What Is National Relates to What Is Universally Human
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Usually the relationship of the national to the universal is presented as the opposition of the contingent (basic, narrow, and limited) to the boundless and free, like a cocoon or shrouding chrysalis that one must break through to enter the light, or like a line of courtyards and fenced enclosures surrounding a broad square, that can only be entered by breaking through these partitions. The...
Chapter 7: Is the West Decaying?
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In the preceding chapters, I have tried to show that the classification and comparison of historical events as developmental stages, or steps toward perfection, contradicts the laws of natural systems, since it does not encompass the full gamut of phenomena, and as in zoology or botany, leads to an artificial system in the construction of a science. To the division into ancient, medieval, and...
Chapter 8: The Difference in Mental Framework
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The differences among peoples of separate cultural-‐‑historical types form the basis for the difference in the very civilizations that are the essential contents and fruit of their vital activity. They fall under the following categories: 1) ethnographic differences, or the tribal qualities that express themselves in the peculiarities of the mental framework of peoples; 2) differences of guiding...
Chapter 9: The Difference in Religious Beliefs
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In terms of spiritual principles, the basic distinction is that Russia and the majority of the other Slavic nations practice Orthodoxy, and the Germanic-Roman nations, Roman Catholicism or Protestantism. Is the distinction between these two confessional traditions great enough to form the basis for a cultural-historical distinction between the Slavic and the Germanic-Roman...
Chapter 10: The Difference in the Course of Historical Upbringing
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Another essential, typal distinction between the Germanic-Roman (or European) world and the Slavic world consists of the course of historical upbringing each received. Before describing this difference, we need to define some theoretical concepts of the state. What is the state exactly, and what is its process of formation and development? Setting aside all mystical definitions that...
Chapter 11: Europeanism: The Sickness of Russian Life
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So the Russian people and the Russian state are characterized by spiritual and political health. Meanwhile Europe in spiritual terms has gradually shaken off the keen religious understanding it substituted for ecumenical truth and broken through the Pillars of Hercules,2 from which it can either set out into the boundless sea of denial and doubt or return to the light-bearing East. And in...
Chapter 12: The Eastern Question
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The Eastern Question is not one that will be resolved by diplomacy. History consigns the day-to-day jumble of minor events to the bureaucratic mechanisms of diplomacy, but proclaims its great universal decrees governing the life of peoples for entire ages without any intermediaries, accompanied by thunder and lightning like the Lord of Hosts atop Mount Sinai. There is no...
Chapter 13: The Place of Austria in the Eastern Question
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From the preceding chapter it is clear that the Eastern Question is the development of one of those great, world-historical ideas that put their imprint on a whole period in the general life of humanity. It is a series of events, the likes of which have not been seen since the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the Great Migration of peoples, laying the foundation of life for the...
Chapter 14: Tsargrad
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According to a popular belief spread widely among the Russian people, doubtless brought to us from the Greeks along with Christianity, Jerusalem is the center, or more colloquially, the navel, of the earth. And so it truly is in the highest spiritual point of view, as the place where the sacred Sun arose. But from a more earthly, materialist point of view, for centrality of location...
Chapter 15: The All-Slavic Union
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The All-Slavic union is the only solid ground on which an original Slavic culture can grow, the sine qua non1 of its existence. This general idea is the main conclusion of our whole investigation. Therefore we will not present here all the evidence of the significance, benefit, and necessity of this kind of organization for the Slavic world from the cultural-historical point of view. In this...
Chapter 16: The Struggle
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Sooner or later, like it or not, a struggle with Europe (or at least a significant part of it) is inevitable, over the Eastern Question: that is, over the freedom and independence of Slavdom, over the possession of Tsargrad—over everything that Europe considers a matter of Russia’s unruly ambition, but which every Russian worthy of the name considers a necessary requirement of its...
Chapter 17: The Slavic Cultural-Historical Type: In Place of a Conclusion
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The preceding chapter concluded the task I set for myself. A particular incident—the course of the Schleswig-Holstein question, compared to the course of the Eastern Question before the Crimean War—allowed me to bring into view Europe’s hostility toward Russia and Slavdom. Then I tried to explain the reasons for this hostility, which was merely expressed with particular...
Appendix: Editions of Danilevskii’s Works, 1991–Present
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Publication Year: 2013