Princess Olga, the begining of Christianity in Russia, or russian women...

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Princess Olga, the begining of Christianity in Russia, or russian women...

Post  Kat.B on Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:11 pm

Now I'm going to tell you about my progenitor(according to my family tree) and a person who started orthodoxy in Russia. Well, she was a beautiful and very, very, very vindictive woman. Princess Olga married her husband and the king of Russia Igor of Kiev (his name didn't originally sound like this, but that's what english wikepedia tells me)) in 903. Russian kingdom was a mess at that time, it had been separated into a lot of sity-states, which had to pay a certain amount of value to the king. And Igor once went to Drevlians (a sity-state far from the capital). But when he went there, Drevlians refused to pay and killed Igor(Yeah, that happens))). Olga had a son Svyatoslav, he was 3 years old. When her husband died, Olga took control over Russia, as the mother of the heir. After the Drevlians killed Igor, they sent 20 people, as marriage-brokers to Olga, asking her to marry the prince of Drevlians, Mal. She had them buried alive. It had been her first vengeance. Then she sent a letter to Prince Mal as if she accepted the proposal, but required their most distinguished men to accompany her on the journey in order for her people to accept the offer of marriage. The Drevlians sent their best men who governed their land. Upon their arrival, she offered them a warm welcome and an invitation to clean up after their long journey in a bathhouse. After they entered, she locked the doors and set fire to the building, burning them alive. It had been her second vengeance. She invited them to a funeral feast so she could mourn over her husband's grave, where her servants waited on them. After the Drevlians were drunk, Olga's soldiers killed over 5,000 of them. It had been her third vengeance. She returned to Kiev and prepared an army to attack the survivors. She had her little son on the horse in the head of the cavalry, the battle started only when Svyatoslav throught his spear for few meters. The Drevlians begged for mercy and offered to pay for their freedom with honey and furs. The next part is a legend. She asked for three pigeons and three sparrows from each house, since she did not want to burden the villagers any further after the siege. They were happy to comply with such a reasonable request.
Now Olga gave to each soldier in her army a pigeon or a sparrow, and ordered them to attach by thread to each pigeon and sparrow a piece of sulfur bound with small pieces of cloth. When the night fell, Olga bade her soldiers to release the pigeons and the sparrows. So the birds flew to their nests, the pigeons to the cotes, and the sparrows under the eaves. The dove-cotes, the coops, the porches, and the haymows were set on fire. There was not a house that was not consumed, and it was impossible to extinguish the flames, because all the houses caught on fire at once. The people fled from the city, and Olga ordered her soldiers to catch them. Thus she took the city and burned it, and captured the elders of the city. Some of the other captives she killed, while some she gave to others as slaves to her followers. The remnant she left to pay tribute. That had been her last vengeance for drevlians.
So, Christianity. She was the first Russian ruler to convert to Christianity, either in 945 or in 957. The ceremonies of her formal reception in Constantinople were minutely described by Emperor Constantine VII in his book De Ceremoniis. There is one more legend. It's a legend, because only Russians wrote it down, and she was old by that time, and the Emperor had a wife. Anyway, it's interesting)) The Emperor Constantine VII, asked her to marry him. She agreed, but told him that she wants to become a Christian. He, of course agrees, but whe the ceremony was over, she told him that he is her father by God, she can't marry him.
Following her baptism she took the Christian name Yelena, after the reigning Empress Helena Lekapena.
Olga was one of the first people of Russsia to be proclaimed a saint, for her efforts to spread the Christian religion in the country.
cat Thank you for reading!


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Kat.B
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Re: Princess Olga, the begining of Christianity in Russia, or russian women...

Post  Ulises De Leon on Tue May 21, 2013 7:17 pm

Very interesting!!!
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Re: Princess Olga, the begining of Christianity in Russia, or russian women...

Post  Maya Luisa on Mon May 27, 2013 7:06 pm

Nice topic Kat. How long ago was this? Is Princess Olga related to you in some way? Why did she start orthodoxy? What gave her the idea? Why did the Drevlians kill Olgas husband and father of the heir to the thrown, King Kiev? What does his name sound like in Russian? Do you know why wikipedia tells you that is name is like that even though you say it is not?
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