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This book introduces readers to a little-known place and time in world history – early modern Russia, from its beginnings as Muscovy, in the fourteenth century, through the reign of Peter I (1689-1725) – by portraying the lives of representative individuals from the major levels of the society of that era. The portraits, written by professional historians, are imaginative reconstructions or composites of individual lives, rather than biographies. The portraits are arranged into socio-political categories, and include members of ruling families, government servitors, clerks, military personnel, church prelates, monks, provincial landowners, townspeople and artisans, Siberian explorers and traders, free peasants, serfs, slaves and holy fools. Using these portraits, the book brings old Russian society to life in an interesting way.
This is the first major re-assessment of Ivan the Terrible to be published in the West in the post-Soviet period. It breaks away from older stereotypes of the tsar – whether as ‘crazed tyrant’ and ‘evil genius’, on the one hand, or as a ‘great and wise statesman’, on the other – to provide a more balanced picture. It examines the ways in which Ivan’s policies contributed to the creation of Russia’s distinctive system of unlimited monarchical rule. Ivan is best remembered for his reign of terror, the book pays due attention to the horrors of his executions, tortures and repressions, especially in the period of the oprichnina (1565-72), when he mysteriously divided his realm into two parts, one of which was under the direct control of the tsar and his oprichniki (bodyguard). This work argues that the often gruesome forms assumed by the terror reflected not only Ivan’s personal cruelty and sadism, but also his religious views about the divinely ordained right of the tsar to punish his treasonous subjects, just as sinners were punished in Hell. Primarily chronological in its organisation, the book focuses on three main aspects of Ivan’s power: the territorial expansion of the state, the mythology, rituals and symbols of monarchy; and the development of the autocratic system of rule.
A revised edition of the history of Russia from 980-1584.
This monumental series, acclaimed as a "masterpiece of comprehensive scholarship" in the New York Times Book Review, reveals the impact of Asia's high civilizations on the development of modern Western society. The authors examine the ways in which European encounters with Asia have altered the development of Western society, art, literature, science, and religion since the Renaissance. In Volume III: A Century of Advance, the authors have researched seventeenth-century European writings on Asia in an effort to understand how contemporaries saw Asian societies and peoples. Book 3: Southeast Asia examines European images of the lands, societies, religions, and cultures of Southeast Asia. The continental nations of Siam, Vietnam, Malaya, Pegu, Arakan, Cambodia, and Laos are discussed, as are the islands of Java, Bali, Sumatra, Borneo, Amboina, the Moluccas, the Bandas, Celebes, the Lesser Sundas, New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Mindanao, Jolo, Guam, and the Marianas.
In the quarter century before World War I, change came to Russia at a dizzying pace. The industrial revolution, the building of the Trans-Siberian Railroad, the disastrous Russo-Japanese War, and the Revolution of 1905 drastically reshaped the lives of both the ruling classes and ordinary people. Imperial Russia was home to more than a hundred million men and women, but by the time Vladimir Lenin announced the Bolsheviks' revolutionary victory, one in three had either perished or fled in exile. In War's Dark Shadow explores the lives, thoughts, and hopes of the Russian people as they entered the twentieth century.
Eclipses have long been seen as important celestial phenomena, whether as omens affecting the future of kingdoms, or as useful astronomical events to help in deriving essential parameters for theories of the motion of the moon and sun. This is the first book to collect together all presently known records of timed eclipse observations and predictions from antiquity to the time of the invention of the telescope. In addition to cataloguing and assessing the accuracy of the various records, which come from regions as diverse as Ancient Mesopotamia, China, and Europe, the sources in which they are found are described in detail. Related questions such as what type of clocks were used to time the observations, how the eclipse predictions were made, and how these prediction schemes were derived from the available observations are also considered. The results of this investigation have important consequences for how we understand the relationship between observation and theory in early science and the role of astronomy in early cultures, and will be of interest to historians of science, astronomers, and ancient and medieval historians.

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