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Alexander Nevsky

( Russian Prince)

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Biography Alexander Nevsky
Rod Alexander and the beginning of his reign.
Alexander was born in November 1220 (according to another version May 30, 1220), the son of Yaroslav II Vsevolodovicha and Ryazan Princess Theodosia Igorevna. The grandson of Vsevolod the Big Nest. The first information about Alexander relate to 1228, when Yaroslav Vsevolod, prince of Novgorod, came into conflict with the townspeople and was forced to drive off in Pereslavl-Zaleski, his ancestral inheritance.
Yaroslav II Vsevodovich, father of Alexander
Despite his departure, he left in Novgorod in the care of trusted boyars of his two young sons, Theodore and Alexander. After Fedor's death in 1233, Alexander is the eldest son of Yaroslav Vsevolodovich.
In 1236 he was put on the Novgorod principality, as his father, Jaroslav left to reign in Kiev, and in 1239 he married Princess Alexandra of Polotsk Bryachislavne. In the early years of his reign he had to deal with the strengthening of Novgorod, as the East threatened the Mongols-Tatars. Before the young Prince arose and the other closer and more serious danger from the Swedes, Livonians and Lithuania. Fighting Livonians and the Swedes was, however, the struggle of the Orthodox East and Catholic West. In 1237 the scattered forces Livonians - Teutonic Order and the Sword - united against the Russian. On the river Shelon Alexander built several forts to strengthen its western border.

Victory on the Neva.
In 1240 the Swedes, moved by Pope's letters, made a crusade against Russia. Novgorod was left to himself. Russia defeated the Tartars could not give him any support. Confident of victory the leader of the Swedes, the Birger Jarl, came aboard in the Neva River and from there sent a message to Alexander: "If you can, fight it, but know that I'm already here and captured your land". By Neve Birger wanted to swim in Lake Ladoga, Ladoga and take away has to go to Novgorod Volkhov. Alexander, however, not losing a day out to meet with the Swedes and Novgorod ladozhanami. Russian troops secretly approached the mouth of the Izhora, where he stopped to rest enemies, and July 15, suddenly attacked them. Birger was not expecting the enemy and arranged his squad calmly: Rook stood at the shore, next to them were broken tents.
"Battle of Alexander Nevsky with yarlom Birger (picture H. K. Roerich)
Novgorodians, suddenly appeared in front of the Swedish camp, attacked the Swedes and began to cut them with axes and swords, before they had time to take arms. Alexander personally took part in the battle, "his king vzlozhi print on his face ostrym kopiem". Swedes fled to the ships and the same night, all floated down river.
. Universal glory of the young prince brought this victory, . won it on the bank of the Neva, . the mouth of the river Izhora 15 July 1240 on the Swedish squad, . commanded by the future ruler of Sweden and the founder of Stockholm, . Birger Jarl (but in Swedish Chronicle Erik XIV century life Birger this campaign is not mentioned),
. It is believed that this victory for the prince became known as Nevsky, but the first time this nickname is found only in the sources of the XIV century. Since it is known that some of the descendants of the prince and were nicknamed the Neva, it is possible in such a way for them affirm the holdings in this area. The impression of victory was all the stronger because it occurred in the difficult years of adversity in the rest of Russia. Traditionally believed that the battle in 1240 prevented the loss Russ shores of the Gulf of Finland, the Swedish halt aggression on the land of Novgorod and Pskov.
Upon his return from the banks of the Neva because of another conflict, Alexander was forced to leave and go to Novgorod Pereslavl-Zaleski.

War Novgorod and the Livonian Order.
Novgorod remained without prince. Meanwhile, the German knights took Izborsk and over Novgorod under threat from the west. Pskov troops came to meet them and were defeated, lost their governor Gorislavich Gavrila, and the Germans in the footsteps running came near to Pskov and burned the surrounding towns and villages for a week and stood in the city. Pskov had to fulfill their demands and gave their children hostage. According to the chronicler, in Pskov, together with the Germans began to edit someone firmly Ivanovich, who led the enemies. That the Germans did not stop. Livonian Order, collecting German crusaders Baltic, Danish knights from Revel, enlisted the support of the papal curia, and some long-standing rivals of Novgorod Pskov, Novgorod invaded land. However chudyu they attacked Votyak land and conquered it, left a tribute on the inhabitants and, intending to stay for a long time in Novgorod, built a fortress in Koporie, took the city plank. Collected from residents of all the horses and cattle, resulting in villagers plow was not on anything, plundered the land along the river Luga and began to rob the merchants of Novgorod 30 versts from Novgorod.
. From Novgorod sent an embassy to Yaroslav Vsevolodovich for help
. He sent to Novgorod armed group led by his son Andrew Yaroslavovich, which was soon replaced by Alexander. Arrived in Novgorod in 1241, Alexander immediately went to the enemy to Koporie, took the castle. A captive German garrison led to Novgorod, a part of his release, and the traitors Vozha River and hung Chud. But it was so quick to release Pskov. Alexander took him only in 1242. When the assault killed about 70 Novgorods knights and many ordinary soldiers. According to the German chronicler, six thousand Livonian knights were taken prisoner and tortured.
Inspired by the success of Novgorod invaded the territory of the Livonian Order and began to ravage the settlements Ests, tributaries of the Crusaders. Left out of Riga knights destroyed advanced Russian regiment Domash Tverdislavicha, forcing Alexander to withdraw his troops to the border of the Livonian Order, which was held on Lake Peipsi. Both sides began preparing for a decisive battle.
It happened on the ice of Lake Peipsi, the Voronoi stone April 5, 1242. At sunrise, began the famous battle, a reputation in our annals by the name of Battle on the Ice. German knights formed a wedge, or rather, a narrow and very deep column, whose task was to saturate the center of the Novgorod troops.
Attack of the German knights
Russian army was built on the classical scheme, worked out yet Svyatoslav. Center - foot regiment of the charges brought forward archers on the flanks - the cavalry. Novgorod Chronicle and the German news unanimously argue that wedge struck Russian center, but this time struck the flank of the Russian cavalry, and knights were surrounded. Writes the chronicler, was a wicked slaughter, ice on the lake was not visible, all covered with blood. Russian Germans were driven across the ice to the shore, seven miles away, killing more than 500 knights, and countless Tschudi, was taken prisoner more than 50 knights. "The Germans, - says the chronicler - boasted: take the hands of Prince Alexander, and now own God gave him a hand". The German knights were defeated. Livonian Order was placed before the need to make peace, which the Crusaders refused the claims on Russian land, the prisoners on both sides were exchanged.
. The summer of that year, Alexander had defeated seven Lithuanian detachments, . attackers in the north-western Russian lands, . in 1245 rescued Toropets, . captured Lithuania, . Lithuanian squad destroyed the lake Zhiztsa and, . Finally, . defeated the Lithuanian militia under Usvyat,
. Whole series of victories in 1242 and 1245 respectively, he, on the legend of the chronicler, this fear was overtaken on the Lithuanians that they were "to honor his name". A six-year protection of the victorious Alexander northern Russia led to the Germans, the peace treaty, renounced all the recent gains and lost part of Novgorod Latgale

. Alexander and the Mongols.
. Successful military operations of Alexander Nevsky for a long time ensured the safety of the western borders of Russia, . but in the east of the Russian princes had to bow to the much more powerful enemy - the Mongol-tatarami.Pri then paucity and fragmentation of the Russian population in the eastern lands could not be thought to release from their power,
In 1243 Batu Khan, the Mongol ruler of the western powers - the Golden Horde, the label gave the Grand Duke of Vladimir, the management of the conquered Russian lands father of Alexander - Yaroslav Vsevolodovichu. Great Khan of the Mongols Giiyuk called the Grand Duke to his capital, Karakorum, where the September 30, 1246 Yaroslav died suddenly (on the standard version, he was poisoned). After Yaroslav seniority and Vladimir throne was succeeded by his brother, Svyatoslav, who approved of his nephews, the sons of Yaroslav, on land given to them by the late Grand Duke. Until that time, Alexander managed to avoid contact with the Mongols. But in 1247 in the Karakorum were called sons of Yaroslav - Alexander and Andrew. While Yaroslaviches traveled to Mongolia, the Khan Giiyuk died, and the new owner of the Karakorum-khan's wife indiscriminately Gamish decided to appoint the Grand Duke Andrew, Alexander also received the management devastated southern Russia and Kiev.
Monument to Alexander Nevsky at his birthplace in Pereslavl on

Only in 1249 the brothers were able to return home. Alexander in his new ownership did not go and returned to Novgorod, where the gravely ill. ill. There is news that Pope Innocent IV in 1251 sent to Alexander two cardinals with bull, written in 1248. Pope, promising to help Livonians in the fight against the Tatars, persuaded Alexander to follow the example of his father, who agreed to comply if the Roman throne, and to adopt Catholicism. According to the story of the chronicler, Alexander, after consulting with wise men, described the whole sacred history and in conclusion said: "see the whole svedaem good, but from your teachings are not priimaem". The Swedes in 1256 had tried to rob Novgorod Finnish coast, launched the construction of fortresses on the Narva River, but at the same hearing of the approach of Alexander and Suzdal and Novgorod regiments fled back. To further intimidate them, Alexander, despite the extraordinary difficulties of the winter campaign, entered in Finland and won the seaboard.
In 1252, Mr.. indiscriminately in the Karakorum-Gamish was overthrown by the new Great Khan Mongke (Mengue). Using this fact and decided to remove from the great reign of Andrew Yaroslavich, Baty presented the label of Grand Duke Alexander Nevsky, who was urgently summoned to the capital of the Golden Horde, Sarai. But the younger brother of Alexander, Andrew Jaroslawicz, supported by his brother Jaroslaw, the prince of Tver, and Daniel Romanovich, Galician prince, refused to abide by the decision of Batu.
To punish the rebellious princes Mongolian Batu sent a detachment under the command of Nevryuya (t. n. "Nevryuevu's Men"), resulting in Andrew and Yaroslav fled beyond the North-Eastern Russia in Sweden. Alexander began to reign in Vladimir. Andrew some time later returned to Russia and made peace with his brother, who reconciled him with Khan and gave a lot of Suzdal.

Cathedral in the capital of Bulgaria - Sofia, named after Alexander Nevsky
Later, in 1253 Yaroslav Yaroslavovych was invited to reign in Pskov, and in 1255 - in Novgorod. And Novgorod expelled its former Prince Basil - son of Alexander Nevsky. But Alexander, were put back in Novgorod Vasily, severely punish the vigilantes, who failed to protect the rights of his son - they were dazzled.
In 1255 died Batu. His son Sartak, who was with Alexander in a very friendly relations, was killed. The new ruler of the Golden Horde Khan Berke (from 1255) introduced in Russia is common to conquered lands system of taxation tribute. In 1257 in Novgorod, as well as other Russian cities, were sent "chislenniki" for the poll census. In Novgorod the news arrived that the Mongols with the consent of Alexander want to impose a tribute to their free city. This aroused the indignation of Novgorod, which supported Prince Vasili. In Novgorod uprising began, which lasted about one and a half years, during which the people of Novgorod did not submit to the Mongols. Alexander personally restored order, executing the most active participants in the riots. Vasili Alexandrovich was captured and detained. Novgorod was broken and orders to send a tribute to the Golden Horde. Since then, Novgorod, although not seen more in his Mongolian officials involved in the payment of tribute, delivered to the Horde in all of Russia. The new governor of Novgorod from 1259 became Duke Dmitri, the son of Alexander.
In 1262 riots broke out on the land of Vladimir. The people were removed from patient violence Mongolian-farmers tribute to what was then mostly Khiva merchants. Method of collecting the tribute was very otyagotitelen. In the case of underpayment of tax farmers accounts for more interest, and if it is impossible to pay the men were taken into captivity. In Rostov, Vladimir, Suzdal, Yaroslavl, Pereslavl and raising the people's uprising-farmers evicted from everywhere. Also in Yaroslavl killed Izosimov tax farmer who converted to Islam in favor of the Mongolian Baskakov and worse invaders oppress their fellow citizens.
Burke was in a rage and began to gather troops for a new campaign against Russia. To appease the Khan Berke, Alexander Nevsky personally went with the gifts of the Horde. Alexander was able to dissuade Khan from the campaign. Berke forgiven beating operators, as well as freed from the obligation to send Russian troops to the Mongol army. Khan kept the Prince beside her through the winter and summer, only in the fall, Alexander was able to return to Vladimir, . but on the road and fell ill on Nov. 14, 1263 in Gorodets Volga died, . "worked hard for the Russian land, . for Novgorod and Pskov in, . for all the great reigning, . Paying your stomach for the Orthodox faith ',
. His body was buried in the Vladimir Monastery of the Nativity of the Virgin

. Canonization of Alexander Nevsky.
. St. Alexander Nevsky (icon)
. With the terrible trials that shook the Russian lands, Alexander Nevsky was able to find the strength to resist the Western invaders, shot to fame of the great Russian military commander, as well as laid the foundations of the relationship with the Golden Horde
. In the ruin of Russia the Mongol-Tatars skillful politician, he loosened the yoke of burden, had saved Russia from total destruction. "Respect for Russian land - Solovyov says - from the troubles in the east, famous for feats of faith and the land to the west brought Alexander glorious memory in Russia and made it the most prominent historical figure in ancient history from Monomakh to Don".

Order of Alexander Nevsky, established by Catherine II
Already in the 1280-ies in Vladimir begins veneration as a saint Alexander Nevsky, later he was officially canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church. Alexander Nevsky was the only Orthodox secular ruler, not only in Russia but also throughout Europe, which is not compromised with the Catholic Church for the sake of retaining power. With the participation of his son, Dmitry Alexandrovich and Metropolitan Kirill was written hagiographical tale, a widely disseminated at a later time widely known (survived 15 editions).
In 1724 Peter I founded a monastery in St. Petersburg in honor of his great compatriot (now the Alexander Nevsky Lavra) and ordered to move there the remains of Prince. He decided to celebrate the memory of Alexander Nevsky August 30 in the day the victorious Nystadt peace with Sweden. In 1725, Empress Catherine I established the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky. It is made of gold, silver, diamonds, ruby glass and enamel. The total weight of 394 diamonds of 97.78 carats.
During the Great Patriotic War in 1942 was established by the Soviet Order of Alexander Nevsky, who awarded the commanders of the platoon to division, inclusive, show personal courage and ensured the successful operations of its parts. Until the end of the war the medal was awarded 40,217 officers of the Soviet Army.

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