How did the epidemics affect the unification of Russia? Kalitesi against plague and Horde

How did the epidemics affect the unification of Russia? Kalitesi against plague and Horde
The formation of a unified Russian state, which began in the XIV century, could have followed a completely different scenario: the regularly raging plague almost decapitated the Moscow princely house, the Kalitichs. Alla chelnokova, associate Professor of the Moscow city pedagogical University and head of the master's program "History of Russia", worked out how the epidemics affected the rise of Moscow together with a RIA Novosti correspondent.In the XIII-XV centuries, epidemics that killed from a third to half of the population were common in Russia. So, after the outbreak of 1278, Pskov Chronicles record the plague on average once every 15 years, Novgorod-once every 17. According to Alla chelnokova, the main body of information about the events of those years was preserved for us by the Tver, Moscow, Novgorod and Pskov chronicle vaults.According to the expert, the percentage of deaths from the plague among the nobles was on average two to three times less than among the commoners. The main reason for this is the quality of food and lifestyle. However, the epidemic of 1353 almost decapitated the Moscow Principality, killing the sons and grandsons of the famous Ivan Kalita.According to the Rogozhsky chronicler (PSRL, volume XV. PG., 1922 – ed. note ), Metropolitan Theognost, who played an important role in Moscow politics, died on March 11. In the same week, both sons of the Grand Duke Simeon Ivanovich the Proud died. Soon, on April 26, the ruler himself died of infection. Less than forty days after the death of Simeon, the youngest of Kalita's sons, Andrew, also died. On the throne sat the middle brother Ivan Ivanovich, called the red (that is, "beautiful" - ed.). Ivan Ivanovich was remembered by contemporaries as meek and merciful, which, according to the expert, was unusual for Moscow princes. He did not rule for long, dying in 1359 at the age of only 33. He bequeathed his part of the Moscow lands to his sons Dmitry and Ivan.The Moscow Principality actually split into three parts, as after the death of Kalita: two-thirds of the land was divided by the sons of Ivan the red, and their cousin Vladimir Andreevich, who was born in the midst of the epidemic in 1353 after the death of his father, kept his parish.It seemed that the early death of Ivan Krasny would stop the ascent of Moscow, as the eldest heir – the future Dmitry Donskoy – was only eight years old, and he could not participate in the princely struggle and intrigues, said chelnokova.When the princes gathered in the Horde in anticipation of the label on the Grand Ducal throne, formally located in Vladimir, the ruler of Moscow, as reported by the historian Sergei Solovyov in his work "History of Russia since ancient times", simply did not appear, because he was not yet considered a man and could not claim power. The Khan gave the Grand Duchy to Dmitry Ivanovich's second cousin, the Prince of Suzdal.The Prince of Suzdal received the Vladimir Grand Duchy "not according to his father and not according to his father", emphasizes the resurrection chronicle (PSRL, volume VIII. SPb., 1859-ed.), that is, without any hereditary right. Moreover, it was not the eldest of the Suzdal princes who got the label from the Khan, but the middle one — Dimitri Konstantinovich, who ruled in Nizhny Novgorod.However, the Moscow nobility was not going to give up power without a fight, the expert stressed. The boyars, accustomed to the status of the strongest Principality, did not want to part with the advantages of administrative and tax management of Russian lands.In the Horde in 1359, with the death of Khan Berdibek, a twenty-year period of turmoil began, during which about twenty khans were replaced. The Chronicles call this time "the great jam". Several Moscow embassies to Sarai (the capital of the Horde-ed.), in which the young Dmitry himself participated, did not bring success.The main proponent of Moscow's leadership, according to Chelnokova, at this time was Metropolitan Alexy of Kiev and all Russia, who actually ruled the Principality during Dmitry's infancy. Since 1328, the residence of the main Church Hierarch of Russia was located in Moscow. Saint Alexy had influence not only on the princes, but also on the Horde. In 1357, according to legend, he cured a relative of the Khan Taydulla of an eye disease, for which he received as a reward land in the Kremlin, where the Horde farmstead was located. The Metropolitan founded the Chudov monastery on this site.In 1362, the Metropolitan and the boyars again went to the Horde, which had split in two by that time. They finally managed to get a label from one of the khans, Murid. As noted by Sergei Solovyov in the "History of Russia since ancient times", apparently, the Rostov and Tver princes also took care of Dmitry of Moscow, who believed that it was much more profitable to have a child on the Vladimir throne than an adult.Returning from the Horde with a label, the boyars gathered troops and marched to Vladimir, and the minor princes, as Solovyov points out, personally went at the head of the campaign. Dmitry Konstantinovich decided to surrender without a fight, and thus Kalita's grandson received the Grand Duchy.However, just a few months later, Murid's opponent, Abdullah, also sent a label to Moscow. Dmitry Ivanovich, according to the expert, accepted the Embassy with honor, without giving up the label, which infuriated Murid. The Khan sent a new label to the Prince of Suzdal, who accepted it willingly, and again marched on Vladimir.The second time Dmitry Konstantinovich held the throne for only twelve days, because the Muscovites again came in a huge army under the walls of the capital. They drove him out of Vladimir, and then besieged him in Suzdal, finally achieving complete submission.In 1364, a terrible pestilence again devastated the Russian lands, killing many princes. Dimitri Ivanovich's ten-year-old brother and several princes from the most influential branches of the ruling family died. Among the survivors, according to Chelnokova, disputes broke out over the land left without direct heirs.Nizhny Novgorod – the most important shopping center-was taken over by the youngest of the Suzdal Rurikovich, Boris Konstantinovich. Dimitri Konstantinovich, not being able to take away his brother's rich inheritance, decided, as the Rogozhsky chronicler reports, to ask for help in Moscow. Fourteen-year-old Dmitry Ivanovich tried to solve the problem diplomatically, but Prince Boris refused to compromise.Then Moscow resorted to the authority of the Church: Metropolitan Alexy took away the Bishop's chair of Nizhny Novgorod and Gorodetsky from the Bishop of Suzdal. The monk Sergius of Radonezh himself arrived in Nizhny Novgorod as an Ambassador from the Moscow Prince, and when Boris Konstantinovich refused to go to Moscow to negotiate with his brother, he sealed all the churches in The city.Then the Moscow army came to the aid of Dmitry Konstantinovich, and Prince Boris was forced to submit. According to the expert, this event marked the end of the crisis of the Moscow Principality.When in 1365 another label was sent from the Horde for Dmitry Konstantinovich, he rejected it and permanently abandoned any claim to Supreme power in favor of Moscow. In 1366, this Union was confirmed by a marriage between Dmitry Ivanovich and the youngest daughter of the Suzdal Prince. According to Chelnokova, Moscow's policy allowed it to gather a powerful coalition of Russian princes in a relatively peaceful way.The main competitor of the Kalitichs-the Tver Principality-recognized the seniority of Moscow in 1375, when Dmitry Ivanovich and his allies besieged Tver, forcing them to sign a favorable peace. And just five years later, in 1380, the Union of Russian principalities inflicted the first large-scale defeat on the Horde during the battle of Kulikovo.
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