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قراءة كتاب The Story of Moscow

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‏اللغة: English
The Story of Moscow

The Story of Moscow

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 1

The   Story   of   MOSCOW
by  Wirt     Gerrare     Illustr-
rated  by  Helen   M.   James

London:            J.   M.   Dent   &   Co.
Aldine House, 29 and 30 Bedford Street
Covent Garden W.C.     decorative image     decorative image       1900


READERS of the modern histories of Russia may wonder by what right Moscow is included among MEDIÆVAL TOWNS, for it is the fashion of recent writers to ignore the history of the mighty Euro-Asian empire prior to the eighteenth century and the reign of Peter the Great. It is at that period this story of the old Muscovite capital ends. To many, then, this account of the town and its vicissitudes during the preceding five centuries may have the charm of novelty; perchance to others, who have wrongly concluded that the old buildings were all destroyed during Napoleon’s invasion, the few typical antiquities chosen for illustration out of many like, will attract to a closer acquaintance with memorials of a past that was but little influenced by the art of the west.

Moscow, where the east merges with the west but remains distinct and unconquered, has a fascination all its own; the town not only has been great, but is so yet; its influence pervades the Russian empire and is still mutable and active; its story therefore comprises more than the legends and associations of an ordinary city, but, if confined merely to an enumeration of the facts and traditions of the past will not be void of interest, and however fully given, must fall far short of what the imaginative reader may reasonably expect. Of the meagre character of this present account I am fully aware; of its positive errors I am, at present, unhappily ignorant, but I trust that those who discover mistakes will not only forgive, but notify me of them, that later readers may be as grateful for the favour as I myself shall be. Of place names I have given the idiomatic, instead of the usual literal translation; where I have attempted an equivalent reproduction of the original the transliteration will be comprehensible to those who know nothing of either French or German. That I may not be charged with inconsistency in this, I may explain that where a foreign spelling—as rouble—has become familiar I have used the Anglicism. To most readers the names will, I fear, be unpronounceable however spelled; but only the expert will regret that I have not given the original Russian. To them the excuse I offer is, that to everyone ignorant of the tongue Russian names are absolutely undecipherable, being apparently composed of an alphabet in spasms made up into words of poly-syllabic length.

It is difficult for one not of the Eastern Church to write justly of Russian Ecclesiasticism; an alien, however carefully he may observe, is liable to obtain faulty impressions and make erroneous deductions; so to me any criticism seems an impertinence. I have tried to present its artistic phases fairly, but am conscious that the ninth chapter is the least satisfactory of all that I have written.

For the rest, my task has been easy: I have had but to examine, compare, and judge the work of others and from their stored treasures make my selection. I have produced little that is really original: others have delved amid ruins for vestiges of the earlier Moscow; have unearthed ancient monuments; transcribed illegible manuscripts; ransacked archives, measured walls, calculated heights, weighed bells and counted steps; formed theories and found evidence to support them; so have rendered my labour light and pleasant. I regret that I, who at best am but an intelligible interpreter, cannot acknowledge more particularly the hundred and more authorities from whom I have drawn; in the same inadequate, general fashion I must thank many friends, English and Russian, for the kindly interest they have taken in the work and the intelligent assistance they have rendered me in its compilation. For direction to valuable sources of information, and other services, I am conscious of particular indebtedness to the Rev. F. Wyberg, of the English Church, Moscow, and to Mr V. E. Marsden, the correspondent of the Standard there—either of whom might have written a much better book about the town they know so well. The object of this volume I shall consider to be achieved if its perusal gives to anyone pleasure equal to that its compilation has brought me; or awakens even a few readers to a greater interest in Moscow, and a better understanding of the Russian people.


Ты, какъ мученикъ, горѣла,
И рѣка въ тебѣ кипѣла,
И подъ пепломъ ты лежала,
И изъ пепла ты возстала,
Процвѣтай же славой вѣчной,
Город храмовъ и палатъ!
Градъ срединный, градъ сердечный,
Коренной Россіи градъ!
White-walled and golden-headed,
Beautiful, bizarre,
The pride of all the millions
Ruled by the Russian Tsar:
The cradle of an Empire,
Shrine of a great race,
With Europe’s noblest cities
Moscow holds its place!
V. E. M.


Introduction—Pre-Muscovite Russia 1
Origin and Early History 11