The Tatar Yoke
The Image of the Mongols in Medieval Russia
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: Slavica Publishers
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Table of Contents
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Some years ago I realized that The Tatar Yoke, then out of print, “should have
had a subtitle, “The Image of the Mongols in Medieval Russia,” and an Index,
and been proofread properly.”1 I am very grateful to Slavica Publishers for the
opportunity to correct these deficiencies in the present Corrected Edition.
Since the publication of The Tatar Yoke an enormous amount of literature ...
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Once, while analyzing the contributions to early Muscovite ideology of a variety of Old Russian literary works, I made an interesting discovery. All scholarship on the subject notwithstanding, the works recounting the Battle of Kulikovo Field (in which, in 1380, Grand Prince Dmitrii Donskoi of Moscow defeated Emir Mamai of the Golden Horde) did not celebrate the occasion as ...
Chapter 1: Russian and the Golden Horde
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The phrase “the Tatar Yoke,” universally applied to the 240 years of Mongol rule in Russia, conjures up images of barbaric Asiatic nomads engaged in cruel oppression and parasitic exploitation. This congeries of images resonates with the whole mythology, part of European tradition since classical ...
Chapter 2: The Era of Batu
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The East Slavs’ first encounter with the Mongols was fortuitous but hardly fortunate. A Mongol scouting expedition ten thousand strong, actually a reconnaissance in force, rode north from the Caucasus and smashed a combined army of Russians and Polovtsy at the Battle on the River Kalka in 1223. The Russian chronicles contain ...
Chapter 3: Tatar Oppression
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Between the death of Batu, c. 1255, and the Battle of Kulikovo Field, 1380, Russian bookmen often referred to the Mongols’ mistreatment of Russia as “Tatar oppression.” We find the first hint of the expression in the Laurentian Chronicle, which explains that the ...
Chapter 4: The Kulikovo Epoch
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According to the great Imperial Russian historian Sergei M. Soloviev, the Russian defeat of the Tatars at the battle of Kulikovo Field in 1380 was an event of global significance. He ranked it with such other great victories of “Europe” over “Asia” (i.e., Christianity and civilization over barbarism) as the ...
Chapter 5: Civil War in Muscovy
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The victor of the Battle of Kulikovo, Grand Prince Dmitrii Donskoi, was succeeded on the throne of Muscovy by his eldest son, Vasilii Dmitrievich, Vasilii I. Before his death, however, Donskoi had taken a step which, while designed to ensure the security of his realm, was to result in disaster. In making ...
Chapter 6: Liberation
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For Muscovy, 1480 was certainly both the best and the worst of times. The once invincible Golden Horde was but a shadow of its former self, fragmented into several warring khanates, yet the nomadic core, the Great Horde under Khan Akhmat, was still capable of aggressive action against Russia. And ...
Chapter 7: Conclusion
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Any extended study structured around the detailed analysis and interpretation of each of a series of texts runs the risk of losing sight of the forest for the trees. Unfortunately, it is only by examining each tree with great care that one can be confident that one’s conclusions about the shape of the forest will ...
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Page Count: 248
Publication Year: 2009
Edition: corrected edition