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An Empires
of History

Principality of Muscovy (Russia)

Starting Resource: 50
-- From Land: 48
-- From Trade: 2

Capital Territory: Moscow
Nation Class: Large

Total Starting Military
Infantry: 17
Cavalry: 3
Knights: 0
Artillery: 1
Generals: 1
Merchantmen: 0
Frigates: 0
Ships of the Line: 0

Click on the map to view your nation's position and starting troops

In the time of 'Ancient Rus' the vast lands of present Russia were home to disunited tribes who were variously overwhelmed by invading Goths, Huns, and Turkish Avars between the third and sixth centuries AD. The Iranian Scythians populated the southern steppes, and a Turkic people, the Khazars, ruled the western portion of these lands through the 8th century. They in turn were displaced by a group of Scandinavians, the Varangians, who established a capital at the Slavic city of Novgorod and gradually merged with Slavic ruling classes. The Slavs constituted the bulk of the population from the 8th century onwards and slowly assimilated both the Scandinavians as well as native Finno-Ugric tribes, such as the Merya, the Muromians and the Meshchera.

The Varangian dynasty lasted several centuries, during which they affiliated with the Byzantine, or Orthodox church and moved the capital to Kiev in A.D. 1169. In this era the term 'Rhos', or 'Russ', first came to be applied to the Varangians and later also to the Slavs who peopled the region. In the 10th to 11th centuries this state of Kievan Rus became the largest in Europe and was quite prosperous, due to diversified trade with both Europe and Asia.

Nomadic Turkic people Kipchaks (Polovtsi) conquered southern Russia at the end of the 11th century and founded a nomadic state in the steppes along the Black Sea (Desht-e-Kipchak). In the 13th century the area suffered from internal disputes and was overrun by eastern invaders, the Golden Horde of the pagan Mongols and Muslim Turkic-speaking nomads who pillaged the Russian principalities for over three centuries. Also known as the Tatars, they ruled the southern and central expanses of present-day Russia, while its western zone was largely incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Poland. The political dissolution of Kievan Rus divided the Russian people in the north from the Belarusians and Ukrainians in the west.

The northern part of Russia together with Novgorod retained some degree of autonomy during the time of the Mongol yoke and was largely spared the atrocities that affected the rest of the country. Nevertheless it had to fight the Germanic crusaders who attempted to colonize the region. Like in the Balkans and Asia Minor long-lasting nomadic rule retarded the country's economic and social development. Asian autocratic influences degraded many of the country's democratic institutions and affected its culture and economy in a very negative way. In spite of this, unlike its spiritual leader, the Byzantine Empire, Russia was able to revive, and organized its own war of reconquest, finally subjugating its enemies and annexing their territories. After the fall of Constantinople in 1453 Russia remained the only more or less functional Christian state on the Eastern European frontier, allowing it to claim succession to the legacy of the Eastern Roman Empire.

By 1483 The Muscovy Principality had grown to dominance and had entered union with the Principality of Novgorod, making it one of the largest states in Europe. Though largely untested against a major power the Russian state sits fairly secure and poised for expansion. Its greatest threats lay in any potential alliance between Poland and the Teutonic Order in the west and the cooperation of the three splintered nations of the old Golden Horde, being Kazan, Golden Horde and the Uzbeck Khanate.

Visit the 1483 Discussion Forums to chat about the Principality of Muscovy.

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