Probably TOPWAR readers remember the article about Prince Alexander Nevsky, which dealt with the myths that were created by Soviet propaganda around his name, including even the editorial from Pravda dated April 5, 1942. Now disputes are going on around the personality of Grozny, and this is, in my opinion, the strangest thing, Karamzin, who treated him very carefully, and other historians in bulk are accused, although again the same Klyuchevsky wrote about him not in a pejorative tone … And this despite the fact that on the Web today there are the texts of the chronicles, and the lectures of Klyuchevsky, and all the writings of Karamzin, and the letters of Ivan the Terrible to the Queen of England Elizabeth - everything is there. But there are also people who are clearly obsessed with the "threat of the West to Russia", and very similar to Lieutenant Rzhevsky from "Hussar Ballad": "This one has not read the novel either! Be sure to read it, Sharman! " Meanwhile, the personality of Ivan the Terrible causes controversy in society only because this society is simply too lazy to study all this. In Kansk, for example, a certain enthusiast even erected his own monument to him in the form of … a bloody stake. Some say - a monument is needed, others - no. How to be and why is everything so … "very painful"?
"King, just king!"
Because this time it was not just opinions that collided, but two myths that hurt both of them to part with. What are these myths?
There are only two of them, protective and liberal, but both have a long history and therefore have already acquired the strength of tradition, and it is very difficult to fight against traditions. By the way, even such a Soviet historian as Mikhail Pokrovsky warned against mixing history with politics, and this is precisely what the fans of both these myths sin about. And as soon as a little "flare up", and the monument to Ivan the Terrible in Orel became such a fuse, "swords were crossed", that is, the worldview. Well, the reasons for the difference in worldviews in one single state will be discussed at the end. For now, let's outline the essence of each of these two myths. Let's start with the liberal one, because for what, if not for freedom, people fought on the barricades during the years of the Great French Revolution and in 1905, and this myth denied not only the dignity of Ivan the Terrible as a tsar. He considered our statehood tyrannical, the suffering of the people immeasurable, and he considered the "democratic West" as a model, where "even the streets in the morning are washed with liquid soap," as one of the newspapers wrote with bitterness in my God-saved Penza, while in Moscow newspapers about this the readers were reminded constantly. Why at the beginning of the twentieth century they washed the pavements there in the mornings, and with soap, will also be told closer to the end, but now let's look at the generalized conclusions from this myth: Ivan the Terrible ghoul, what to look for, a maniac, a despot, a libertine, a bloody madman, in a word, only to scare children like that.
Ivory throne. Kremlin Armory.
The other is not much different from him, since it is his anagram. This is a protective myth, the essence of which is that Ivan the Terrible is a vessel of all conceivable and inconceivable virtues, who was infinitely wise, perspicacious, did nothing wrong and could not do anything a priori, the tsar, who defeated everyone, gave all the sisters earrings and in general was "a knight without fear or reproach." I can’t believe in either this myth or this one, because such people simply do not exist. But … both myths have firmly occupied the mass consciousness, and have long overshadowed the real Ivan the Terrible. Accordingly, the discussion about the monument is conducted precisely from the standpoint of these two myths.
Monument to the first settler in Penza.
But before talking about the monument to him, I would like to say a little about our Penza monument - "Monument to the Pioneer Settlement", which in our city is simply called "a man with a horse." It was staged back in Soviet times, and how it was staged is a whole epic worthy of a separate story. But now we are not talking about that, but about "what he is a monument to." And this is a monument to those settlers who, according to the decree of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich Quiet, that is Romanov, in 1663 came here together with the reiters and Cossacks and "taught how to build a city." Today it is a pleasant place for meetings, dates, it is nice to just stand and look into the distance, and no one thinks about why a peasant with a plow, standing next to a plow horse, needs a peak with a pennant, although the monument itself adorns this peak. In my opinion, the monument would only benefit if there were three “first settlers”: the reiter on horseback, since it was the reiters who were sent to guard the newly built fortress. And if there is nothing without a lance, then let it be a Cossack. Then a man with a squeak, since the tsarist government gave out a squeak and a certain amount of money to start the settlers and … a woman, as without her. After all, there was a decree after the Copper Riot of 1662 to send the wives caught on a copper tie to distant "cities", and Penza in 1663 was far "far away." But three pieces is … a lot of money. That is why we have only one pioneer.
So if a person is related to some place, then why not be a monument to her there ?! And it was Grozny who ordered the construction of Oryol, even if later the modern city grew out of another fortress. But the fact is the fact. And there is a person who is responsible for him, and if so, why not show off on the monument? True, historically it would have been more appropriate for Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich, since the current Eagle is his creation, but … if not Mikhail, then at least Ivan the Terrible, why not.
On the other hand, from the point of view of Russian history and statehood, it would be much more appropriate to erect a monument to Grozny in Kazan. Indeed, in 1552, he personally took part in the campaign of Russian troops and risked his life during the assault on Kazan, and as a result tens of thousands of Russian polonyans were freed from slavery. This merit is clearly related to the personality of the king. He was on a campaign, took part in making military decisions, put his life on the line, since there was such a moment when he could die there. Therefore, it would be more correct to put it there. But … under the Soviets we were tolerant of the Ukrainian Bandera and "forest brothers", we are tolerant of today's residents of Kazan, as they may not like such a monument either, and … why is this necessary "there"? However, in addition to Kazan, Ivan IV also took Polotsk and many other cities of Livonia, put an end to the Livonian Order, that is, he pursued a very active foreign policy in the east and west.
The wedding to the kingdom of Ivan the Terrible. The obverse annalistic book of the book. 20 p. 283.
However, if we talk about the increments to the "Russian land", then the monument should also be erected to his grandfather, Ivan III, who created the Russian state as such, which, by the way, was called "formidable" by many in that era. So it is very possible that we will wait for this monument, and not just anywhere, but in the very capital city of Moscow.
Now let us turn from the military affairs of the young tsar to his educational activities. It was during the reign of Ivan IV that printing began in Russia, and even a state printing house was created. By the way, in Kazan, the equipment of the printing house simply could not do without the tsar's decree, so here its role was only positive.
Towns and fortresses were also built under him, and many and many cannons were poured, and not just many, but so many that travelers from other lands wrote that they had never seen so much anywhere (See for more details: V. Shpakovsky "Artillery excesses" // "Science and Technology" No. 6 (109), 2015).
Here are just "for Senka did the hat fit for him?" After all, since the time of Khan Tokhtamysh, the enemies did not take Moscow, but here they took it, and even burned it, and the “faithful guardsmen” of Devlet-Girey simply blinked. Yes, then he executed them for this, but … he also executed the one who took Kazan, and if he would not have executed? Well, in the end, after all, Ivan the Terrible lost the Livonian War! Both the agreement with the Commonwealth and the agreement with Sweden were unprofitable for Russia! Ivangorod, Yam, Koporye - only the son of Ivan IV Fyodor Ivanovich beat them back. And what does it mean beat off? Again, after all, the blood of the warriors was shed, and our warriors are also very often men plowed … Although on the other hand, this is a clear plus for him, because we know what it turned out to be later, after all, it was Tsar Ivan IV who created the streltsy army, which in the future, right up to Peter himself, faithfully served the Russian State.
And then, further, we have just the very thing that is why our two myths are at odds most of all - the oprichnina. The liberal myth claims that in this way Ivan the Terrible created the prototype of the NKVD. But this is the same as claiming that Peter I created the military-industrial complex. In both cases, there is a similarity, but … one must take into account the time, and besides, operate not with particulars, but with those generals that do not change with the change of particulars. And what is it? And this is the problem of staff rotation! Tops always want to stay where they are. This has been the case since the Paleolithic era. But … without an influx of fresh blood, the elite decays, loses its grip, and the country it leads becomes … the war booty of its neighbors.
So in Russia there were only a few dozen boyar and princely families, of which people could be admitted to the boyar duma, to the governor, and to put their heads in orders. However, over time, this became not enough. The influx of fresh personnel has dropped sharply. The elite's understanding of the tasks of the state structure led to conflicts and outright betrayal.
This is where the “pitch” (“oprich” - “except”) was born. This was the basis for a parallel system of government, and for the creation of a "parallel elite" based on personal loyalty to the king. This has already happened in history. Something similar, and even with the transfer of the capital and the approach of people who were not born, was invented in his time by Pharaoh Akhenaten, the author of a sun-fighting religious revolution in Ancient Egypt. So did Louis IX, relying on the advice of the barber and the royal … executioner, so Ivan the Terrible did not even come up with anything new, it was just that it all matched the scale of the country, which is why it seemed (and it was!) Very significant.
But management without an army is not management. Hence the confiscation of land, repressions against those representatives of the elites who are clearly against and … the selection and placement of personnel, in the form of people like Malyuta Skuratov - "they will not let you down." All this destroyed the balance in society, that is, the worst thing that could be happening happened.
No, it was not Tsar Ivan Vasilyevich who executed the "mileyons", thousands, and then in a few years and everything within a dozen - either five or six thousand people. This is not enough for us. For that time in Russia, this is a lot! After all, it was a means of political struggle, until that time unknown in the Russian state! Since the time of the first princes, this has not happened in Russia, and then suddenly it began from nowhere. Yes, the princes put each other in the cellar, and killed, and blinded, and strangled, and persecuted, but on such a scale, at that time, murder, above all, of noble people, was simply incredible.
And here's an interesting question, where did all this come from? From the depths of Ivan's spoiled nature, which in childhood received more than one psychological trauma, or where else? Most likely … "from there", because it was under Ivan IV that Russia established intensive ties with Sweden, the Commonwealth, Germany, and even with distant England. But at that moment there were religious wars in Europe. Catholics slaughtered Protestants, and Protestants Catholics. Even without a war! In America, in the colonies, the Spaniards massacred the Huguenot French settlement. “They were killed, not as French, but as heretics,” declared the Spaniards. The French burned down their village in revenge, and hanged the prisoners: "They were hanged not as the Spaniards, but as rapists and murderers!" Such was life "there".
And even before the start of mass executions "in the oprichnina of Tsar Ivan" there was a massacre in Vassi in France, Eric XIV executed many of his nobles, but in England there was Mary the Bloody. That is, our people - and above all the tsar himself, learned that this is possible. And if this is how they do it "there", then why should we not use similar means? Ivan Chapygin has a wonderful historical novel "Stepan Razin", highly appreciated by Maxim Gorky. It contains a lot of references to historical documents, that is, he did not write out of his head, and there is an indicative phrase: “We take a measure from overseas, - there people are tortured and burned stronger than ours…” And it was really so. On the territory of Germany and the Netherlands in the Middle Ages, even special commissions were created to check the population for traces of pedication. Even the highest post did not save from punishment for sodomy - so, it was for her that the President of Holland Goosvin de Wilde was beheaded.
Against this background, church penance, no matter how strict it may be, does not seem such a strict punishment. The more tolerant attitude of the Muscovites to the sin of Sodom was more than once noted with surprise by many foreign travelers, including Sigismund Herberstein. Numerous travel notes mention that the sin of Sodom was the subject of a wide variety of jokes and was not regarded as something absolutely sinful. For foreigners, it was wild - jokingly reproaching the vice, which in their homeland was punishable by death! And it is not surprising that the flow of information went not only from us to the West, but also from the West to us. You read the tsar's letters to Queen Elizabeth: his broad outlook, good knowledge of foreign affairs, observation - "why are the seals on all your letters different?"
Well, then it turned out as it always does. The new elite wanted to compare with the old. But not intelligence and experience, she neglected this, having behind her "her" sovereign. No! Wealth! That is, the oprichniks of the zemshchina began to openly plunder, however, the oprichnina army could not cope with the enemies with their strength without the zemstvo army. The tsar canceled it in 1572. But it was already too late, as already noted, the social peace in the country cracked and very deep.
Parsun Ivan the Terrible from the collection of the National Museum of Denmark (Copenhagen), late 16th - early 17th centuries.
As a result, the reign of Ivan IV ended with demographic losses, especially in the northern regions, economic, and territorial, too, although the total area of land increased. A blow was dealt to the country's reputation - “Devlet-Girey burned Moscow”, a church, which had not happened for a long time. In a word, Ivan the Terrible failed to "sort out" the elite. It's good that at least the fact that people get tired of everything and the person who gives them relaxation from excessive stress is loved and honored. Such a ruler for Russia was the son of Ivan the Terrible, under whom the country recovered somewhat from the consequences of great deeds and was again ready for the next challenges of "modernity". Well, “fresh blood” nevertheless poured into the elite, the most implacable fell into the Lord, so that the amplitude of the historical pendulum acquired a much more acceptable swing frequency.
That is, whether someone likes it or not, the personality of Tsar Ivan is very complex, contradictory and tragic. To create and see how what you have done is crumbling to dust, to do good and to see how those who have benefited from you betray, the faithful betray, the rootless, to whom everything seems to have been given to you - they get out of will and rampage, slaves rebel, in a word, he bore immeasurable burdens, and then and God with his commandments and God's punishment, in a word … everything, as in the movie: "Between an angel and a demon."