Just War Theory of St. Augustine of Hippo

Thinkers in the Western world have examined the ethical questions that are naturally raised by warfare since a very early period in Western history. Arguably, the greatest classical formulation of a theory of just war, including just causes for war and just conduct within war, is found in the work of Cicero, a Roman author of the first century BCE. As the Roman Empire gradually became both officially and majority Christian in Late Antiquity, Christian thinkers began to take up the same questions. While earlier generations of Christians had largely, but not unanimously, been pacifist in orientation, Christian thinkers of the fourth and fifth century, the first to live within the context of a Roman Empire in which the emperors and other government administrators as well as a majority of the population were Christians, found it necessary to reexamine the Christian stance on warfare in the light of the place of Christians in government and the need to defend the interests of the Empire from hostile forces. At the vanguard of this new generation of thinkers was St. Augustine of Hippo, a prominent bishop and a major figure in the history of Latin Christianity. The Just War Theory of Augustine is in many ways a Christian update to the earlier Roman ideas concerning just war, such as those found in the writings of Cicero, but also one that has added important new dynamics to the question of just war, including especially an emphasis on the protection of the weaker members of the societies in conflict, and stands as a landmark and a major influence in the subsequent development of Western approaches to and understandings of warfare.

Early reflections by Greek writers on warfare more often demonstrate, and sometimes applaud, the brutality of war than the possibility of just conduct within it. Homer’s Iliad, composed probably in the eighth century BCE, for example, contains almost no discussion of whether the war about which it was written, the Trojan War, was justified or of whether the participants in the war were just in their conduct. Instead, the author seems to assume warfare as the natural prerogative of upper-class Greek men and that warfare will be governed by very few rules but a great deal of brutality. In Book VI, for instance, the author records the slaying of Adrestus by Menelaus, even after the former had “caught him by his knees” and began “begging for his life.”1 Menelaus hesitated for a moment, considering the possibility of taking Adrestus prisoner in order to exchange him for a ransom later. Agamemnon, Menelaus’s brother, however, persuades him to kill Adrestus, exhorting him not to “spare a single one of them – not even the child unborn and in its mother’s womb; let not a man of them be left alive, but let all in Ilius perish, unheeded and forgotten.”2 There is no mention of any ethical concern in the slaying of Adrestus.

Even those passages of the Iliad which record a resort to mercy and justice within war focus on a sense of personal obligation from one upper-class Greek male to another rather than laws governing one’s conduct within warfare or any overarching ethical concerns. In Book XXIV, for instance, Achilles does not return the body of Hector, the son of Priam, the king of Troy, to his father because such is the ethical course, but because of his respect for the king himself, whom he praises for his “iron courage.”3 Even so, the seeds of the later ideas of Greco-Roman writers are evident. Achilles, for instance, weeps when Priam embraces him because the old man makes him think of his own father and, only a few verses later, he expresses a concern that the gods will punish him if he does not treat Priam well and hand over the body of his son.

These expressions of empathy and the belief that the gods will punish unjust behavior later became the foundation for theories of just war in Roman thought. Later Greek thought, however, did little to develop these concepts. The surviving fragments of the writings of the Presocratic Greek philosophers contain many moral aphorisms and bits of practical wisdom, but no reflection on warfare in relation to their ethical maxims, aside, perhaps, from a few scattered references, such as the saying of Democritus (460-370 BCE), recorded by Plutarch, that men “ought to be instructed in the art of war … which is a source of great and glorious things for men.”4 Other Greek literature, such as plays and histories, similarly contain little development of the idea of justice in relation to war. They do, however, often exhibit the same basic ideas exhibited by Homer and sometimes develop them further. In his play Lysistrata, for instance, Aristophanes tells a story in which the women of Greece decide to withhold sex from their husbands if their husbands do not put an end to war.5

The first relatively full reflection in Greek thought on what makes a war just or unjust is in the writings of Aristotle. In his Politics, Aristotle declares that “the art of war is a natural art of acquisition, an art which we ought to practise … against men who, though they be intended by nature to be governed, will not submit; for war of such a kind is naturally just.”6 This statement, however consonant it may be with the rest of Aristotle’s philosophy as well as with ancient Greek thought in general, does little to provide a practical basis for action or for judging the actions of others. Aristotle’s idea seems to amount to little more than saying that the conqueror was just because he was the stronger and the conquered was unjust because he was the weaker.

It was not until the first century BCE, with the Roman orator Cicero, that Greco-Roman thought had its first advocate of a fully developed theory of just war. His De Officiis contains a lengthy discussion of what constitutes a just reason for war as well as just conduct within war. Although Cicero’s reasoning and examples derive entirely from Roman history, the passage bears a striking resemblance to the fullest biblical explication of just war, the 20th chapter of Deuteronomy. The two passages present an important comparison, both in their similarities and their differences. Perhaps the most outstanding difference is the difference in date of composition. While Cicero, writing in the first century BCE, reflects a long line of development of thinking on war in the Greek and Roman worlds, the Book of Deuteronomy was, according to most historians, written in about the seventh century BCE, only a century after The Iliad and approximately six centuries before Cicero’s life. It is remarkable that the Jews developed a very full theory of just war so much earlier than their Greek and Roman counterparts; this large gap in time may be traceable to the emphasis on ethical conduct from a very early point in biblical thought.7

In spite of the wide differences in time and culture, the two passages are remarkably similar in message. According to Cicero, “we must resort to force only in case we may not avail ourselves of discussion.”8 Similarly, the passage in Deuteronomy orders that “when you approach a city to fight against it, you shall offer it terms of peace,” and only “if it does not make peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it.”9 Cicero also advises that “we should spare those who have not been blood-thirsty and barbarous in their warfare.”10 He then gives examples of past Roman conquests and shows that certain cities, because of their rebellious nature, were entirely destroyed while others were spared and sometimes their inhabitants were even made Roman citizens. Deuteronomy, similarly, commands that those who make peace should be spared while among those who fight “you shall strike all the men in it with the edge of the sword” while sparing “the women and the children and the animals and all that is in the city,” taking them as one’s own.11 It is only in those cities from whom the Hebrews fear some particular insidious influence because of “all their detestable things which they have done for their gods” that the Hebrews are told to practice the kind of total war reflected in The Iliad.12 Even in those cases, however, they are warned against scorched earth tactics and destruction of the local environment; the passage rhetorically asks, “is the tree of the field a man, that it should be besieged by you?”13 Cicero offers similar warnings. Both Cicero and the author of Deuteronomy also place an emphasis on ensuring that a war has the support of the religious authorities and is consonant with religious laws, in order to avoid incurring the wrath of the divine.

Although Christianity grew out of both the Greco-Roman and the Jewish cultural traditions, early Christian thinkers largely rejected the ideas of both concerning warfare. Instead, early Christian thought exhibits a markedly pacifist orientation. A passage from the writings of Hippolytus of Rome, an early third century bishop, states clearly a line of thought that runs throughout Christian writings of this period; in discussing the occupations of those who wish to become Christians, he says:

A military man in authority must not execute men. If he is ordered, he must not carry it out. Nor must he take military oath. If he refuses, he shall be rejected. If someone is a military governor, or the ruler of a city who wears the purple, he shall cease or he shall be rejected. The catechumen or faithful who wants to become a soldier is to be rejected, for he has despised God.14

Included alongside soldiers on Hippolytus’s list of those who cannot receive baptism unless they leave their former occupations are pimps, prostitutes, and pagan priests. According to Peter J. Leithart, the “most vigorous and extensive arguments” by early Christian authors against participation in the military “concerned idolatry.”15 “Religion was central to the military life” and Roman paganism pervaded nearly every aspect of it.16 Participation in the Roman military, then, constituted participation in a pagan cult, and therefore apostasy from Christianity and its uncompromising monotheistic stance. The second primary reason for opposition to military service by early Christian authors was the belief in the inherent evil of killing another human being, no matter for how ostensibly noble a cause.

In spite of such strong words by early Christian leaders, there can be little doubt that there were Christians in the military from the beginning of the Christian movement in the first century CE and that their size continued to increase rapidly, just as did the proportion of Christians in the general Roman population. One tantalizing piece of evidence for a growing Christian presence in the military and government is in the beginning of the final and worst persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire, which began under the Emperor Diocletian in about 300; according to the Christian historian Eusebius of Caesarea and other contemporaries of the events, the persecution began with a purge of Christians from the army.17

With the rise of Constantine the Great as the first Christian Roman emperor in the early fourth century, Christianity, which was also quickly becoming the majority religion of the Empire, assumed a new prominence. By the end of the fourth century, under the Emperor Theodosius, Christianity was declared the official religion of the Roman Empire. These drastically changed circumstances brought about a reevaluation of much earlier Christian thought, including thought on warfare.

The Roman Empire was increasingly a Christian empire, and every empire and nation has a need to defend itself. The question Christian thinkers of the fourth century and later had to confront was how this need for defense against invasion by foreign powers and internal insurrection could be reconciled with the ethical demands of the Christian faith. The central reason for opposition to military service by Christians, the avoidance of participation in pagan religion, was removed as an obstacle as paganism was increasingly abandoned or suppressed throughout Roman life, including in the military. The second major reason, the belief that killing another person was inherently immoral no matter the circumstances, remained an obstacle to full participation by Christians in the military, however.

This recognition of a the need for a military and even of the honorableness of military service alongside concerns about taking the lives of other people created a point of tension in Christian thought. This tension is demonstrated in the writings of St. Basil the Great, an influential fourth century Christian bishop from Asia Minor. Basil, in a letter written to a soldier, tells the soldier that “even in a soldier’s life it is possible to preserve the perfection of love to God” and urges him to “play the man” and “be strong.”18 Basil also advised, however, in a different writing, that soldiers who have killed others while at war do not receive the Eucharist for a period of three years “since their hands are not clean.”19

Out of this tension and search for answers in Christian thought, emerged the Just War Theory of St. Augustine of Hippo. The ideas of Augustine, a late fourth/early fifth century Christian bishop in North Africa, have, arguably, had a greater impact on subsequent Christian thought than nearly any other Christian thinker in all of history, aside, perhaps, from the apostle Paul. This is undoubtedly true in regards to his ideas concerning warfare. Augustine drew together the biblical, Greco-Roman, and early Christian strains of thought into a cohesive whole that allowed Christians to define a context for ethical entrance into as well as just conduct within warfare.

Augustine continued in the Christian tradition of believing all war to be intrinsically evil. He offered unequivocal condemnations of those who desired, sought, or enjoyed war, and made it clear that to engage in war justly is to engage in war by force of necessity. In Book 4, chapter 14 of his magnum opus, The City of God, he says “to carry on war and extend a kingdom over wholly subdued nations seems to bad men to be felicity, to good men necessity.”20 Later, in Book 9, chapter 7 of the same work, he states the same even more clearly:

But, say they, the wise man will wage just wars. As if he would not all the rather lament the necessity of just wars, if he remembers that he is a man; for if they were not just he would not wage them, and would therefore be delivered from all wars. For it is the wrongdoing of the opposing party which compels the wise man to wage just wars.21

In all of this, Augustine is not far from and is, in fact, probably drawing upon the ideas of Cicero and the author of Deuteronomy. He goes further than either of them, however, in his condemnation of war itself and in his refusal to allow that the aggressor may be just. For Augustine, war is never a good but only a lesser of evils, and the one who causes the war is always unjust.

Augustine also exceeds both of these earlier ideas of just war in his concern for justice within war. He spends the first seven chapters of Book 1 of The City of God, for instance, maligning the earlier commonly accepted practices of destroying and looting conquered cities, killing, robbing, kidnapping, and raping the inhabitants.22 While, as he admits, this had previously been considered the norm and the prerogative of the victor, he condemns the practice and contrasts it with the mercy and temperance exhibited by Christians in war. In this, Augustine both builds upon and significantly departs from his predecessors in both the Greco-Roman and biblical traditions, both of which allowed for circumstances, however limited, in which it was considered appropriate for the victor to destroy the conquered people entirely. Augustine, in line with earlier Christian tradition, is not willing to make this compromise.

In this blending of the Greco-Roman with the biblical through the lens of the Christian worldview, Augustine forged a new understanding of warfare and of how it can be conducted with justice and especially with an emphasis on mercy. Augustine’s views, influential in this as in all else, came to dominate the Christian understandings of and approaches to warfare. Charlemagne, for instance, the eighth century founder of the Carolingian Empire and one of the most important rulers in European history, “took great pleasure in the books of Saint Augustine and especially in those which are called The City of God,” according to his biographer Einhard.23 In the 13th century, Augustine’s Just War Theory was taken up by the Scholastic philosopher Thomas Aquinas and further elucidated upon by him. Through the work of Aquinas, Just War Theory became part of the official doctrine of the largest Christian organization in the world, the Roman Catholic Church. Augustine’s views were also a major influence on the ideas of the 17th century Dutch Protestant writer Hugo Grotius, whose writings on just war and international relations have influenced nearly every subsequent thinker on the subject and have contributed substantially to the development of modern international law. The modern laws of war, including, for example, the Geneva Conventions, are largely the end-product of the work of Augustine. Through his ability to effectively weave together the various contributing strands of Western Civilization and argue convincingly for his position, the work of St. Augustine of Hippo stands as a monumental achievement and defining moment in understanding war and its relation to ethics. Through his Just War Theory, Augustine’s impact on subsequent thought and conduct in international relations has been tremendous.

Notes

1 Homer, The Iliad, tr. Samuel Butler (Chicago: William Benton, 1952), 40.

2 Ibid.

3 Ibid., 176.

4 Plutarch, Against Colotes, 1126A, in Jonathan Barnes, Early Greek Philosophy (New York: Penguin Books, 2001), 229.

5 Aristophanes, The Lysistrata, tr. Benjamin Bickley Rogers, in Robert Maynard Hutchins, ed., Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes (Chicago: William Benton, 1952), 583-99.

6 Aristotle, Politics, Book I, Chapter 8, tr. Benjamin Jowett, in Robert Maynard Hutchins, ed., The Works of Aristotle, Volume II (Chicago: William Benton, 1952), 450.

7 Huston Smith, The World’s Religions: Our Great Wisdom Traditions (New York: HarperCollins, 1991), 275.

8 Cicero, De Officiis, Book 1, XI, tr. Walter Miller (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1928), 37.

9 Deuteronomy 20:10, 12 (New American Standard Bible).

10 Cicero, De Officiis, Book 1, XI.

11 Deut. 20:14 (NASB).

12 Deut. 20:18 (NASB).

13 Deut. 20:19 (NASB).

14 Hippolytus of Rome, “The Apostolic Tradition,” 16:9-11, tr. Kevin P. Edgecomb, accessed 24 October 2012, http://www.bombaxo.com/hippolytus.html.

15 Peter J. Leithart, Defending Constantine: The Twilight of an Empire and the Dawn of Christendom (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press: 2010), 269.

16 Ibid.

l7 Eusebius, The Church History, Book VIII, Chapter IV, 2-3, tr. Philip Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Serious: Eusebius: Church History, Life of Constantine the Great, Oration in Praise of Constantine, (Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1994), 326.

18 Basil the Great, in Alexander F.C. Webster and Darrell Cole, The Virtue of War: Reclaiming the Classic Christian Traditions East and West (Salisbury: Regina Orthodox Press, 2004), 70.

19 Ibid., 76.

20 St. Augustine, The City of God, Book 4, Chapter 14, tr. Marcus Dods, in Robert Maynard Hutchins, Augustine (Chicago: William Benton, 1952), 196.

21 Ibid., Book 9, Chapter 7, 515.

22 Ibid., Book 1, Chapters 1-7, 129-133.

23 Einhard, “The Life of Charlemagne,” Book III, tr. Lewis Thorpe, Two Lives of Charlemagne (New York: Penugin Books, 1988), 78

A History of a Hatred: Anti-Hebraism, Anti-Judaism, and Antisemitism

The hatred of the Jews as a people and of their religion, culture, and, later, even their blood, has been a nearly ubiquitous force throughout the history of Western Civilization. This paper will trace the evolution of this hatred from its beginning in the first contacts between the Greeks and the Jews in the fourth century BCE through to the modern day, attempting to both follow its developments and discover its roots. Although this hatred of the Jews is often described as “Antisemitism” regardless of which historical period is being referred to, this paper will attempt to use more precise terminology. The application of a term like “Antisemitism,” which refers to the hatred of those who fall in the Semitic racial category, to earlier cultures which carried no such notions is at best a misleading anachronism. In the interest of avoiding such inaccuracies, this paper will instead refer to three separate but related phenomena: anti-Hebraism, anti-Judaism, and, following these, Antisemitism.

6th Century BCE through 1st Century CE: Anti-Hebraism

Similarly to the misapplication of the word “Antisemitism” to earlier periods than those in which such a term is meaningful, it is tempting to see the beginning of Anti-Hebraism at a much earlier date than its actual first appearance. The Babylonians and other ancient peoples who warred with or, as the Babylonians did, conquered the people of Israel are often presented as case studies in the early hatred of the Jews. This approach, however, is one that does a disservice to the historical record. While the Babylonians of the sixth century BCE and the other ancient peoples with whom the Israelites fought may have had some “hatred” of their Hebrew or Jewish enemies, the important point here is that this hatred was not a special and unique dislike for a certain people. Neither the Babylonians nor any other ancient enemy of the Jews seems to have regarded the Jews as an exceptional people; they regarded and treated, and this of course means that they hated, the Jews just as they did any other nation against whom they battled.

The view which the Jews held of themselves from a very early date as “a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth” who had been “chosen” by God “to be a people for Himself” must be distinguished from the indifference with which their early enemies treated this claim.1 Because they viewed themselves as a chosen people, the Jews tended to see everything that happened to or around them in these terms and as a result of this special place, and this Jewish view of themselves has colored the way that some historians view the actions of other ancient peoples.

The Book of Daniel is one outstanding example in this regard. The stories in Daniel take place during the Babylonian Captivity in the sixth century BCE, but the book itself was probably written in the second century BCE, as many as 400 years later. As a result, Daniel, the Jewish hero of the story, is treated as an exceptional figure by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar and Jewish religious practices and taboos are treated as having a special significance even by non-Jews. These stories, however, record far less about the actual Babylonian view of the Jews than they do about the Jewish view of themselves in relation to the nations who became their captors. The Book of Daniel is also reflective of and an important historical account of Jewish feelings during the time period in which it was written, namely, the reign of the Greek Seleucid Empire over the Jews.

The real beginning of Anti-Hebraism is probably best placed in the fourth century BCE. It is at this time, with the conquest of Judea by Alexander the Great and the imposition of Greek rule on the Jews, that the Jews can be definitively said to have been viewed as an exceptional people by their non-Jewish rulers and neighbors. The Jews, with their unique ritual and social practices such as circumcision and their insistence upon religious exclusiveness, were viewed with a great measure of suspicion and skepticism by their Greek conquerors and overlords in the fourth through second centuries BCE. While most were willing to tolerate and even protect the Jews as an exceptional people, some rulers, such as Antiochus IV Epiphanes, attempted, however unsuccessfully, to force the Jews to Hellenize and renounce their unique religious practices and beliefs.2

The Greek distrust and dislike of the Jews was continued among the Romans, who conquered both the Greeks and the Jews in the second and first centuries BCE. While the Romans were willing to accept and make exceptions for unique Jewish beliefs and practices and large numbers of Jews emigrated throughout the Roman Empire, Jews were consistently mocked and looked down upon by Romans, who saw practices like circumcision as barbaric and the exclusive Jewish monotheism as potentially seditious.3 According to Peter Garnsey and Richard Saller, “from the Roman point of view, the Jews proved themselves congenitally incapable of either cooperating with the Roman provincial authorities … or coexisting peaceably with the Greeks.”4 The defining feature of this period, which can be most accurately referred to as Anti-Hebraic, was an opposition to and a dislike of the numerous unique aspects of Jewish culture. This negative view of Judaism continued, and was even strengthened in many ways, when the Roman Empire gradually became Christianized beginning in the fourth century CE.


1st Century CE through 18th Century CE – Anti-Judaism

Christianity emerged from a particularly unpleasant split with Judaism in the first century CE. Christians were viewed by the Jews as treacherous and heretical and, as a result, often suffered persecution and expulsion from the synagogues. This hostility on the part of mainstream Jews toward the Christians in their midst precipitated a final split between Judaism and Christianity. It also led to a great deal of vociferously hostile words making their way into the mainstreams of both Jewish and Christian literature and thought about the other. As Calvin J. Roetzel points out, for example, “Matthew’s Gospel … interprets the destruction of the temple in 70 C.E. as punishment for the rejection of Jesus by some Jews.”5

When Christians began to assume power in the Roman Empire several centuries later, these ideas about the Jews combined with the popular Roman prejudices to strengthen Roman anti-Hebraic attitudes into what would most appropriately be called Anti-Judaism.6 These anti-Jewish attitudes, a combination of the Greco-Roman prejudices and Christian theological and historical disagreements, became the predominant view of Judaism throughout Europe for many centuries.

Medieval Christians came to see the Jews as “graceless, blaspheming rebels who had long ago closed their eyes to the light of the Gospel, deicides and ‘Christ-killers’ … whose very survival testified either to the Wandering Jew’s well-deserved homelessness or to the Christian charity of those who tolerated them in their midst.”7 Because of their rejection of Jesus as the Messiah, a point which seemed patently obvious to Christian interpreters of the Old Testament who juxtaposed its prophecies with the life of Christ, the Jews were seen as being blind to apparent truth and possibly even in active rebellion against it. Just as in earlier times under the pagan Greeks and Romans, the Jews, due to their rejection of what others saw as the obvious as well as the insular nature of their communities, were often viewed as dangerous and as potential sources of insurrection.

Early apparitions of this way of viewing the Jews by Christians seem rather more like commonsense than the bigotry they are often portrayed as by some modern historians. As Angelos Chaniotis points out, for example, “if the early Christian fathers, like John Chrysostom and Ephraim the Syrian, never tired of warning their Christian flock not to attend the synagogue, it is because many Christians did.”8 Although the split between the Church and the synagogue had been a messy one with hard feelings on both sides, many Christians, especially the very large group who converted from Judaism, maintained close contacts with Judaism and Jews. At the time, about 400 CE, when John Chrysostom delivered his vociferous sermons against the Judaizers, a group of people who tried to practice both Judaism and Christianity, one could find a small but not insignificant group who attended both the Paschal Feast in the local Christian church and the Passover at the local synagogue. The warnings of such early Christian leaders as John Chrysostom and Ephraim the Syrian were warnings against a very real threat to the Christian Church.

Later manifestations of Christian Anti-Judaism, however, often crossed the line into the absurd and bizarre. In 1144, in France, for instance, the accusation was leveled that Jews kidnapped Christian infants and used their blood in the matzoh they consumed as part of the celebration of Passover.9 This strange rumor continued to circulate throughout the Middle Ages and continues to have currency in some places in the Muslim world to this day. Interestingly, this accusation made by Christians against Jews in the High Middle Ages is nearly the same rumor which had spread among pagan Romans regarding early Christians in the first through third centuries. In their writings, Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Origen, and many other early Christian authors of that period address the charge made against them by Romans that they kidnapped Roman babies and used their flesh and blood as the “flesh” and “blood” consumed in the Eucharist.

It is notable in all of this that none of these prejudices or disagreements revolve around Judaism or Jews as a race or ethnicity, but as a specific religious group which one can join and leave by changing belief and custom. This began to change, however, in the early modern period. One element of the Reconquista in Spain was the forced conversion or expulsion of the Jewish population.10 When given the option of converting to Christianity or leaving, many Spanish Jews chose to convert. These conversos, as they were called, came to be viewed with a great deal of envy and suspicion by their Christian neighbors. Many suspected that, because they had converted under duress, their conversion had only been affected for appearances and that they secretly continued to practice Judaism. In addition, many whose families had been Christians for centuries viewed with envy the children and grandchildren of conversos who were able to attain important places in both secular government and in the the Church, including places as governors, mayors, and bishops. As a result, the name of converso came to be applied, however improperly, even to those whose grandparents had converted to Christianity and the stigma of sedition attributed to the Jews continued to be attached to these conversos even after generations as Christians. What had been a difference in religion was coming to be viewed as a difference in race.

18th Century CE through Today – Antisemitism

With the era of the Enlightenment in the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries, Europeans came to focus more attention and importance on science than on religion. Whereas the emphasis of the Middle Ages had been a primarily religious emphasis, which the denizens of the Enlightenment saw as superstitious, the emphasis of the Enlightenment was one of science and rationality. Rather than actually shucking superstition, however, many instead simply adopted a new set of superstitions or rephrased old superstitions in the new, more acceptable terminology. This can be seen especially in the rise of Antisemitism from Anti-Judaism, as constructed by people like Wilhelm Marr. According to Karl A. Schleunes, Marr was among the first of those who “assigned to Jews the attributes of a race” and was the first, in 1873, to use the term “anti-Semitism” to describe this position.11 While an intellectual living in the wake of the Enlightenment could not take religious differences seriously, or, at least, as seriously as they had been taken previously, he could take supposedly scientific ideas like race seriously; Judaism, then, became no longer a religion, but a race, and all of the same superstitions and conspiracies which had formerly surrounded the Jewish religion were transferred to the new Jewish race. This view became extremely popular in spite of the obvious historical difficulty: many Jews were the descendents of people who converted to Judaism in the ancient and Medieval world and many non-Jews were the descendents of Jews who had converted to Christianity or Islam.

The culmination and most extreme outburst of modern Antisemitism was the Holocaust under the Nazi Party in Germany in 1933-1945. One of the greatest ironies of the Nazi obsession with race is that they, while taking up this “scientific” view on Judaism as a race, re-translated it into religious terms. For the Nazis, race became a religious concept. As one Nazi ideologist, Arthur Rosenberg, wrote in his The Myth of the 20th Century: “A new faith is awakening today: The faith that blood will defend the divine essence of man; the faith, supported by pure science, that Nordic blood embodies the new mystery which will supplant the outworn sacrament.”12 The Greek incredulity at what they saw as the bizarre customs of the Jews, the Roman suspicions toward Jewish exclusivity, and the Christian theological and historical differences with Judaism, all of which had been matters of cultural and religious opposition, became, for the Nazis, attributed to an insidiousness inherent in Jewish blood. This was contrasted with the inherent superiority and goodness of pure Aryan blood, as difficult as such a thing might be to find. The Nazis took up a heritage of Anti-Judaism and a pseudoscience of race to create their own unique racial religiosity which lay at the heart of their entire philosophy and practice.

Conclusion

As different as the phenomena discussed in this paper have been, there has been, throughout the history of the hatred of the Jews, whether in its Anti-Hebraic, Anti-Judaic, or Antisemitic forms, a single thread that binds this “ghoulishly fascinating” story together.13 Thomas Cahill accurately and succinctly summarizes this common thread that runs throughout the history of the hatred of the Jews:

The people being excoriated are presumed to exhibit the unyielding qualities of God himself—the same God whom Christians claimed to worship and whose sacred scriptures they revered. … The hatred of Christians for Jews may have its ultimate source in the hatred of God, a hatred that the hater must carefully keep himself from knowing about.14

Although Cahill is here referring specifically to Christian Anti-Judaism, his words apply equally as well to the pre-Christian Anti-Hebraic Greeks and Romans as well as the later Antisemitic Christians, atheists, and others. What seems to be at the center of all manifestations of hatred toward the Jews is really a hatred of their God – the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – and of his imposing ethical demands on human beings.

Cahill’s moving description of the commandments of this God as given in the Torah presents us with a powerful summary of these ethical demands; according to Cahill, “the constant bias is in favor not of the powerful and their possessions but of the powerless and their poverty; and there is even a frequent enjoinder to sympathy. … This bias toward the underdog is unique not only in ancient law but in the whole history of law.”15 In stark contrast to this description of the demands of the Jewish God stand the words of Adolph Hitler, which might accurately summarize the position, whether implicit or explicit, of all those who have hated and persecuted the Jews simply for being Jews: “Close your hearts to pity! Act brutally! … The stronger man is right. … Be harsh and remorseless! Be steeled against all signs of compassion! … Whoever has pondered over this world order knows that its meaning lies in the success of the best by means of force.”16

In his closing address before the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, Germany, on 26 July 1946, Justice Robert H. Jackson, prosecuting attorney for the Americans, eloquently encapsulated the psychological and philosophical motivation for and effects of the Nazi’s rabid Antisemitism when he said that they had tried to “renounce the Hebraic heritage in the civilization of which Germany was once a part” and in so doing, they had “repudiated the Hellenic influence as well.”17 In their fanatical hatred of all things Jewish, a hatred of the Jewish God and of his demands which led them to a hatred of his people, they had attempted to strip Christianity of all of its Jewish heritage, they had decimated the Christian churches, and they had murdered as many as 13 million people, including six million Jews. In so doing, the Germans had renounced not only the Hebrew legacy of faith and the idea of God which makes up such a great part of Western Civilization but the Greek legacy of reason which consists of the other half. As Donald Kagan has eloquently put it, “if both religion and reason are removed, all that remains is will and power, where the only law is the law of tooth and claw.”18 In the end, their Antisemitism had led them to renounce and attempt to destroy Western Civilization entirely.

Notes 

1 Deuteronomy 7:8, New King James Version.

2 Martin Goodman, Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilization (New York: Vintage Books, 2007), 49.

3 Ibid., 278-9.

4 Peter Garnsey and Richard Saller, The Roman Empire: Economy, Society and Culture(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987), 170.

5 Calvin J. Roetzel, The World That Shaped the New Testament: Revised Edition(Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002), 36.

6 Goodman, 551.

7 Gabriel Sivan, The Bible and Civilization (New York: Quadrangle/The New York Times Book Co., 1973), 46.

8 Angelos Chaniotis, “Godfearers in the City of Love,” Biblical Archeology Review, Vol. 36, No. 3 (May/June 2010): 32-44.

9 S. Zeitlin, “The Blood Accusation,” Vigiliae Christianae, Vol. 50, No. 2 (1996): 117-124.

10 David M. Gitlitz, Conversos and the Spanish Inquisition, ed. David Rabinovitch, PBS.org, accessed 19 May 2012, http://www.pbs.org/inquisition/pdf/ConversosandtheSpanishInquisition.pdf.

11 Karl A. Schleunes, The Twisted Road to Auschwitz: Nazi Policy Toward German Jews, 1933-1939 (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1990), 24-5. 

12 Arthur Rosenberg, Der Mythos des 20. Jahrhunderts (Munich, 1931), 114. Quoted in Schleuenes, 52.

13 Thomas Cahill, The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels (New York: Anchor Books, 1999), 152.

14 Ibid., 152-3.

15 Ibid., 154-5.

16 Adolph Hitler, speech to Nazi leadership in 1939. Quoted in William L. Shirer, Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany(New York: Simon & Schuster, 1990), 532.

17 Robert H. Jackson, Closing Statement at the International Military Tribunal in Case No. 1, The United States of America, the French Republic, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics v. Hermann Wilhelm Göring, et al. 

18 Donald Kagan, “Introduction to Ancient Greek History: Lecture 1 Transcript,” Open Yale Courses. (6 September 2007) http://oyc.yale.edu/classics/introduction-to-ancient-greek-history/content/transcripts/transcript1-introduction (Accessed 20 May 2012).
 



Bibliography 

Cahill, Thomas. The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels. New York: Anchor Books, 1999.



Chaniotis, Angelos. “Godfearers in the City of Love.” Biblical Archeology Review. Vol. 36, No. 3 (May/June 2010): 32-44.


Garnsey, Peter and Richard Saller. The Roman Empire: Economy, Society and Culture. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987.


Gitlitz, David M. Conversos and the Spanish Inquisition. Ed. David Rabinovitch. PBS.org. Accessed 14 April 2012. http://www.pbs.org/inquisition/pdf/ConversosandtheSpanishInquisition.pdf.


Goodman, Martin. Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilization. New York: Vintage Books, 2007.


Jackson, Robert H. Closing Statement at the International Military Tribunal in Case No. 1, The United States of America, the French Republic, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics v. Hermann Wilhelm Göring, et al.


Kagan, Donald. “Introduction to Ancient Greek History: Lecture 1 Transcript.” Open Yale Courses. (6 September 2007) http://oyc.yale.edu/classics/introduction-to-ancient-greek-history/content/transcripts/transcript1-introduction (Accessed 20 May 2012).


Roetzel, Calvin J. The World That Shaped the New Testament: Revised Edition. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002.


Rosenberg, Arthur. Der Mythos des 20. Jahrhunderts. Munich, 1931.


Schleunes, Karl A. The Twisted Road to Auschwitz: Nazi Policy Toward German Jews, 1933-1939. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1990.


Shirer, William L. Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1990.


Sivan, Gabriel. The Bible and Civilization. New York: Quadrangle/The New York Times Book Co., 1973.


Zeitlin, S. “The Blood Accusation.” Vigiliae Christianae. Vol. 50, No. 2 (1996): 117-124

The Silver Age of Russian Culture

The Silver Age of Russian culture during the first two decades of the twentieth century, roughly from 1898 to 1918, was a period simultaneously marked by a burst of creativity and a foreboding pessimism. This dichotomy and the general diversity of the era make it a difficult time to accurately summarize. Russian artists, composers, poets, authors, and other cultural figures of the Silver Age exhibited “aestheticism, mysticism, decadence, sensualism, idealism, and pessimism,” as well as a “sense of uncertainty and disintegration, of deep skepticism about all received truths and certainties, and a pessimistic foreboding … though also hopeful anticipation.”1 In short, there is no easy way to describe the full range of Russian culture during the Silver Age.

The beginning of the Silver Age of Russian culture is generally identified with the publication of the periodical Mir iskusstva, or The World of Art, by Sergei Diaghilev and Alexander Benois in 1898. The periodical, published bimonthly for its first two years and monthly after 1900, was intended “to lead its Russian readers away from Realism … and to introduce them to the freer styles that were flourishing throughout Europe.”2 Diaghilev and Benois saw Russian art of the late nineteenth century as stagnant and overly focused on the concrete. Through The World of Art, they attempted to expose Russian audiences to the art then popular in Western Europe and elsewhere throughout the world, which tended toward the abstract and the innovative. Their hope was that this exposure to new forms of art would act as an impetus for Russians to take up these new styles themselves. Their hopes quickly came to fruition.

“What followed was a cultural explosion,” according to historians Nicholas V. Riasanovsky and Mark D. Steinberg: “almost overnight there sprung up in Russia a rich variety of literary and artistic creeds, circles, and movements.”3 While a variety of young artists took up the call put out by Diaghilev and Benois, outstanding figures in the visual arts of this period include, for instance, Mark Chagall and Kazimir Malevich. Chagall pioneered a new form of painting that avoided the extremes of either realism or complete abstraction. According to James Johnson Sweeney, an expert in modern art, “this is Chagall’s contribution to contemporary art: the reawakening of a poetry of representation, avoiding factual illustration on the one hand, and non-figurative abstractions on the other.”4 His unique style was a significant influence on surrealism.

Kazimir Malevich, meanwhile, established the foundations for a new style of art he referred to as “Suprematism.” In contrast to other, more representational artistic styles, Suprematism embraced the abstract and instead focused on basic geometric shapes like circles and squares. Perhaps the most well-known exhibition of Suprematist art was Malevich’s 1915 exhibition in Moscow, which he titled “0.10: The Last Futurist Painting Exhibition.” The most remarkable feature of the exhibit, which included a number of Suprematist paintings, was the placement of the Black Square, a solid black square on white canvas, in the icon corner, the place where Eastern Orthodox icons of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and other important religious figures would traditionally be placed in a Russian home. Though initially “most reviewers voiced incomprehension and even scorn in viewing these experiments in abstraction as a new way of seeing,”5 and even Malevich’s friend and coworker Vladimir Tatlin broke with him over the exhibit, Malevich and his Suprematist school continue, like Chagall, to exert a considerable influence on artists even today. In addition to his influence, his popularity has also continued to increase; one of his paintings, Suprematist Composition, painted in 1916, sold for $60,002,500 at Sotheby’s in 2008.6

Closely connected to the new movements in art were the new movements in musical composition and performance; Malevich, for instance, designed the set for the 1913 Russian Futurist opera Victory over the Sun. In addition to this connection between artists and composers, many of the same themes and styles predominated in Russian music, which tended to focus on “the lyrical and elegaic to the mystical, Dionysian, and even apocalyptic.”7 The composers Sergei Rachmaninov and Alexander Scriabin represent two of the extremes of Russian musical culture in the Silver Age.

In the words of Riasanovsky and Steinberg, “Rachmaninov’s work exudes gentle and lyrical spirituality, aestheticism, melancholy, and fatalism.”8 His two most important choral works, for instance, are both settings for services of the Orthodox Church, one for the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (1910) and the other for the All-Night Vigil (1915). Ivan Moody, a modern British composer whose work is also deeply influenced by the Russian Orthodox Church’s liturgical traditions, has written of Rachmaninov’s setting for the Liturgy that “musically, the Liturgy today seems steeped in the spirit of archaic chant inflections, however modern it may have seemed at the time of its composition.”9 This ability to combine the ancient and the modern into a single cohesive whole characterizes the greater part of Rachmaninov’s works.

Alexander Scriabin, in contrast, was primarily “influenced by an eclectic mixture of Chopin, Wagner, Nietzsche, symbolism, and religious mysticism” in the form of the Theosophical occultism advocated by Helena Blavatsky; as a result, his work “offers a mix of Dionysian emotions, mystical spirituality, and pure sound.”10 His Poem of Ecstasy (1908) and Prometheus: The Poem of Fire (1910), for example, both revel in the sensuality, emotion, and individualism which Rachmaninov’s compositions sought to transcend.

In spite of the differences between the two composers, however, Rachmaninov and Scriabin retain a number of similarities. Their compositions both draw and build upon previous Russian music and contain a great number of religious, especially mystical, undertones and philosophical influences. In this, they are both examples of the musical currents in Russia during the Silver Age.

Like music, poetry remained an important conduit for self-expression during the Silver Age, just as it had during earlier periods of Russian history. However, also like music, poetry took on a distinctly different flavor during the Silver Age. The poetry of the acmeist school, which favored a principled clarity, simplicity, and personal theme to poetry, for instance, focused on subjects such as “love, beauty, and sadness.”11 The first published work of Anna Akhmatova, one of the most preeminent of the acmeist poets, for example, “reads like an intimate diary of a woman in love.”12 Consonant with the acmeist focus on simplicity and individuality, “Akhmatova speaks about simple earthly happiness and about simple intimate and personal sorrow.”13 Like Russian music of the Silver Age, and in great contradistinction to earlier ages, poetry of the period reveled in the sentimental, the emotional, the sensual, and above all else the personal.

Though each of the great figures of the Silver Age of Russian culture is unique in a variety of ways and different from his or her contemporaries in style, approach, and interest, there are a number of features which bind all of the great artists, poets, composers, and other cultural creators of the Silver Age together and which allow them to constitute a single and important age in Russian culture. The Russian cultural Silver Age is characterized by both a radical departure from previous currents in Russian culture and a remarkable continuity with previous themes. The Silver Age perhaps stands out most especially for the vibrant creative spirit that ran throughout the arts and for the focus on intimacy, personality, and the individual. When the Silver Age finally ended with the rise of the Bolsheviks to power in 1918, a period of great cultural growth and exploration closed on a terrible note that, with its consistent undertones of foreboding, it perhaps expected all along.

Notes
1 Nicholas V. Riasanovsky and Mark D. Steinberg, A History of Russia (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 450.

2 Michelle Potter, “Mir iskusstva: Serge Diaghilev’s Art Journal,” National Library of Australia News Vol. 15 No. 10 (July 2005): 4, accessed 11 March 2012, http://www.nla.gov.au/pub/nlanews/2005/jul05/

3 Riasanovsky and Steinberg, 450.

4 James Johnson Sweeney, Marc Chagall (Manchester: Ayer Publishing, 1969), 7.

5 Riasanovsky and Steinberg, 456.

6 Sotheby’s 2008 Financial Highlights ~ Sales of $5.3 Billion in a Down Year,” Art Knowledge News, accessed 11 March 2012, http://www.artknowledgenews.com/Sothebys_2008_Financial_Highlights.html

7 Riasanovsky and Steinberg, 453.

8 Ibid., 454.

9 Ivan Moody, “Rachmaninov: The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom,” Hyperion Records, accessed 11 March 2012, http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/al.asp?al=CDH55318

10 Riasanovsky and Steinberg, 454.

11 Ibid., 451.

12 Leonid I. Strakhovsky, “Anna Akhmatova—Poetess of Tragic Love,” American Slavic and Eastern European Review Vol. 6 No. 1/2 (May, 1947): 2.

13 Ibid.
References
 
Moody, Ivan. “Rachmaninov: The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.” Hyperion Records. Accessed 11 March 2012. http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/al.asp?al=CDH55318
Potter, Michelle. “Mir iskusstva: Serge Diaghilev’s Art Journal.” National Library of Australia News Volume 15 Number 10 (July 2005): 3-6. Accessed 11 March 2012. http://www.nla.gov.au/pub/nlanews/2005/jul05/
Riasanovsky, Nicholas V. and Mark D. Steinberg. A History of Russia. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.
Sotheby’s 2008 Financial Highlights ~ Sales of $5.3 Billion in a Down Year.” Art Knowledge News. Accessed 11 March 2012. http://www.artknowledgenews.com/Sothebys_2008_Financial_Highlights.html
Strakhovsky, Leonid I. “Anna Akhmatova—Poetess of Tragic Love.” American Slavic and Eastern European Review Volume 6 Number 1/2 (May, 1947): 1-18.
Sweeney, James Johnson. Marc Chagall. Manchester: Ayer Publishing, 1969.

The Reforms of Peter the Great

Pyotr Alexeyevich Romanov, remembered today as Peter the Great, enacted a great number of sweeping and radical reforms of Russian government and culture throughout his reign as czar in 1682-1725. His reforms, implemented with the goal of transforming Russia into a state more in line with the European thought of the Enlightenment, so widely and deeply impacted every facet of Russian society that approximately a century later Count Egor Kankrin was able to write that after the reign of Peter the Great “we must be called not Russians, but Petrovians. … Russia should be called Petrovia and we Petrovians.”1 The longest lasting and most drastic of the reforms included the building of a Russian navy, movement of the capital of Russia from Moscow to the newly-built St. Petersburg, alterations in the government of the Russian Orthodox Church, and the adoption and enforcement of Western dress and grooming standards.

The establishment of a Russian navy was “one of [Peter the Great’s] passions.”2 He dreamed of establishing Russia as a maritime empire like those of the West and spared no expense in making his dream a reality. According to historians Nicholas V. Riasanovsky and Mark D. Steinberg, “he began from scratch – with one vessel of an obsolete type, to be exact – and left to his successor 48 major warships and 787 minor and auxiliary craft, serviced by 28,000 men.”3 Peter, in fact, traveled in person to London to learn shipbuilding from the shipwrights there because he had been “told that the theory of shipbuilding was better understood in England” than anywhere else in Europe.4 When he began to build his own navy upon returning to Russia, he remained directly and personally involved in the building as well as the utilization of the ships.

In order to make his dreams of a powerful Russian navy come true, Peter also had to capture coastal land for Russia, which was largely landlocked when he began his reign. To that end, he undertook a war with Sweden beginning in 1700, capturing the Baltic coast and establishing St. Petersburg and the port city of Kronstadt in 1703.5

In addition to being strategically located, closer to the sea than Moscow and acting as a “Window into Europe,” the establishment of St. Petersburg also fulfilled another dream of Peter the Great.6 Especially upon his return from Western Europe, Peter saw his capital city, Moscow, as insignificant and antiquated, a relic of a time long past. When he compared it in his mind with the great cities of Western Europe, such as Paris and London, he thought Moscow too religious and medieval to be the capital city of the great European empire which he sought to make of Russia.

After capturing the Baltic coast from the Swedes, Peter immediately set to work transforming a piece of swampland in the area into the new, glorious, and clearly European capital from which he desired to reign. Peter demanded that his new capital be the priority of the entirety of his people. He ordered that “no stone house was to be built in the rest of the empire till a certain number had been set up in the new capital.”7 He had the buildings, including the homes of the Russian aristocracy and his own palace, built in the European rather than the Russian style of architecture. He sought to keep his new capital free of the domed architecture and iconographic art which dominated the skyline of the old capital in Moscow.

In a similar effort to free Russia from its Orthodox Christian religious past and bring it more into line with contemporary European religious and philosophical thought, Peter also significantly altered the governance of the Russian Orthodox Church. Ostensibly in an attempt to avoid events like those which had led to the schism of the Old Believers just a little over a decade prior to the beginning of his reign, Peter abolished the Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church and, in 1721, replaced it with a council of bishops, following the model of the Protestant churches in Germany. Historian Paul D. Steeves describes the council, called “the Most Holy Synod,” as consisting “of a board of bishops which supervised church affairs and which was, in turn, supervised by a secular government official, the Procurator General, appointed by the Czar.”8 As a result of this new form of church government, “the Russian Orthodox church [sic] thus became little more than a department of state for the remaining two hundred years of the existence of the Czarist state.”9

In addition to the abolition of the Patriarchate and imposition of the Most Holy Synod on the Church, Peter also established his dominance over the Church in a number of other ways. One of the most objectionable, from the standpoint of the Church leadership, was the decree contained in his “Ecclesiastical Regulation,” the same document which established the synod, that “any priest who discovered, in the confessional, evidence of treason or of anti-government plans” was obliged “to pass on such information to the police.”10

In addition to this violation of the privacy of the sacrament of confession, Peter also passed a number of rules which, in his attempts to Westernize Russia, impinged greatly on the individual freedoms and traditional ways of life of the Russian people. Perhaps the most famous of these new rules was a law against growing beards. Peter saw the beard a symbol of the old Russia which he sought to uproot. In addition to personally shaving the faces of five of his closest advisers, Peter also “ordered that none should enter his presence with beards, on which he put a tax.”11 Similarly, he ordered that his aristocrats and others replace their traditional Russian clothing with the styles then current in Europe.

As can be seen from just these few examples of the reforms he implemented, Peter the Great despised the traditional Russia he had grown up in, seeing in it and all of its symbols an antiquated way of life. He sought to bring Russia into the European fold and spared no expense – nor focus on seeming minutiae – to accomplish his goal. Many of his reforms, such as his attempt to move the capital from Moscow to St. Petersburg, would be reversed by his successors. Other of his reforms, such as his tax on beards, appear hypocritical in the light of the European thinking he set as his standard even while using his autocratic power to accomplish these ends. And still more of his reforms, such as his meddling in Church government, can be seen as little more than ill-advised power plays. On the other hand, however, a large portion of his reforms, such as his building of a navy and establishment of Russia as a maritime power, had overwhelmingly positive and permanent effects on his nation. There is no way to characterize the person and reign of Peter in unambiguous terms other than, perhaps, with the descriptor, used in a neutral sense, which his people would attach to his name after his death: “great.”

Notes
1 Count Egor Kankrin, quoted in Nicholas V. Riasanovsky and Mark D. Steinberg, A History of Russia (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 211.
2 Ibid., 227.
3 Ibid.
4 Bernard Pares, A History of Russia (New York: Dorset Press, 1953), 198.
5 Riasanovsky and Steinberg, 221.
6 Robert Wipper, “Ivan Grozny: Excerpts,” in Thomas Riha, ed., Readings in Russian Civilization, Volume 1: Russia Before Peter the Great, 900-1700 (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1969), 109.
7 Pares, 219.
8 Paul D. Steeves, “The Russian Church,” in Tim Dowley, ed., Eerdmans’ Handbook to the History of Christianity (Carmel: Guideposts, 1977), 458.
9 Ibid.
10 Ibid.
11 Pares, 198-9.
Bibliography
Dowley, Tim. Editor. Eerdmans’ Handbook to the History of Christianity. Carmel: Guideposts, 1977.
Pares, Bernard. A History of Russia. New York: Dorset Press, 1953.
Riasanovsky, Nicholas V. and Mark D. Steinberg. A History of Russia. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.
Riha, Thomas, editor. Readings in Russian Civilization, Volume 1: Russia Before Peter the Great, 900-1700. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1969.