Author Topic: My Trip To Russia  (Read 7640 times)

Solon

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« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2016, 01:18:30 AM »
This is an example of a 19th century house displayed in the architectural museum.
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The Mongol/Tatar invasion of Russia was devastating for any cities or towns that resisted. All of western Russia was subdued during the period from 1237-1240. Only Novgorod among the larger cities escaped some level of destruction. It was a very powerful trading center linked to the Hanseatic League in its heyday, but it submitted to the Mongols/Tatars without a fight. The Tatars demanded tribute and men to fight, but otherwise left the Russians to manage their affairs as long as their demands were met. The Princes of Muscovy (Moscow) rose to prominence as effective tribute collectors for the Tatars. When the Grand Prince of Muscovy (Moscow), Ivan III (the Great), was finally strong enough to refuse tribute payments around 1480, the city became the center of power in the region and expanded dramatically under Ivan III and Ivan IV (the Terrible). The two centuries plus that Tatars dominated Russian affairs cut off the contacts between western Europe and Kievan Rus that existed before the conquest, forever altering the arc of Russian history.

About Ivan IV: While he is called the "Terrible" in English translation and his crazy behavior during his later years justifies that title, the real meaning of the Russian word is more like "Awesome" or "Magnificent".
« Last Edit: October 14, 2016, 02:54:29 AM by Solon »
On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.
...H. L. Mencken

Bill Wyatt

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« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2016, 01:45:48 PM »
All very fascinating Solon.
It's a happy enchilada... (John Prine)

cubsfanbudman

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« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2016, 07:49:16 PM »
killed his own son in a fit of rage. you can take all the russian leaders of the past together and they would not come close to being the tyrant stalin was. the main reason russia almost lost  in ww2 is because the americans and british supplied themuncle joe was  told by churchill that hitler was on his way to invade russia,stalin ignored him because he trusted hitler to honor their peace agreement. he was one of the few people who trusted hitler. stalin killed most of his higher ups in the military in the 1930s.it left him without experienced combat officers. the guy killed 30 million of his own people. his cabinet paid him back by letting him lie in his own urine in his bedroom for almost a day before they got him any medical help.he was such an awful man that he let his own son die as a pow when he could have easily  saved his life.
"the difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has it\'s limits"
albert einstein

cubsfanbudman

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« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2016, 07:51:35 PM »
when it comes to old world afrchitecture,nobody beats russia with it's grand palaces and ancient buildings. if the nazis had not stolen the amber room it would have been even more spectacular.
"the difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has it\'s limits"
albert einstein

Solon

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« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2016, 10:05:04 PM »
Quote from: cubsfanbudman;222
killed his own son in a fit of rage. you can take all the russian leaders of the past together and they would not come close to being the tyrant stalin was. the main reason russia almost lost  in ww2 is because the americans and british supplied themuncle joe was  told by churchill that hitler was on his way to invade russia,stalin ignored him because he trusted hitler to honor their peace agreement. he was one of the few people who trusted hitler. stalin killed most of his higher ups in the military in the 1930s.it left him without experienced combat officers. the guy killed 30 million of his own people. his cabinet paid him back by letting him lie in his own urine in his bedroom for almost a day before they got him any medical help.he was such an awful man that he let his own son die as a pow when he could have easily  saved his life.

No doubt, Stalin was the most murderous of Russian leaders. Also, the degree to which Stalin held onto the notion that Hitler would not attack Russia is carefully detailed in The Devil's Alliance: Hitler's Pact With Stalin, 1939-1941. Stalin didn't trust Churchill, believing he was trying to push the Soviet Union and Germany into a war, but he wouldn't believe his own people. Not only were there intelligence sources warning Stalin from Berlin, there was the obvious build up of military forces with massive amounts of artillery, tanks, and equipment.

The question is why did Hitler choose to attack when he did? Hitler wanted to encourage Stalin to look east because of his plans for Lebensraum and he had a lot of push back from Germans discontented with the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact when the Soviets occupied and then annexed Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. He was also concerned that Russia was encroaching too far into Rumania where he wanted to control the oil fields. Stalin was clearly too interested in westward expansion to satisfy Hitler who had, initially invited Stalin west by offering up half of Poland, cate blanche in the Baltics and Bessarabia from Rumania. Initially, the pact with Stalin was designed to prevent a British blockade from crippling Germany as it did in WWI. Once Germany had conquered the continent, Russian agricultural products were no longer vital, plus they had been disappointingly small during the western blitzkrieg. Finally, the Soviet army was stymied in the war against weak Finland, convincing everyone that the Soviets would be a pushover.

A related question is who was the bigger mass murderer, Hitler or Stalin? Timothy Snyder addressed that in an interesting article in the New York Review of Books.
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2011/03/10/hitler-vs-stalin-who-killed-more/
The numbers say Hitler, but can you really attribute most of the civilian deaths in WWII to Hitler who clearly wanted war or must his enabler in the Nazi-Soviet Pact share responsibility? Another consideration is who was responsible for the deaths of people in areas fought over by both the Soviet Union and Germany when both tended to target many of the same groups of people? Snyder investigates that in his book, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2016, 02:15:10 AM by Solon »
On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.
...H. L. Mencken

Solon

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« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2016, 03:57:51 AM »
On Icons

I was curious about the distinction between icons and other artistic works so I have been reading the two volumes of The Theology of Icons by Leonid Ouspensky

 The Old Testament prohibited the display of images for fear of idol worship (except for the Temple in one instance) since God was not visible. With the Incarnation--when God became Man--that is, when Jesus was born in the flesh--the Old Testament prohibition ceased to be meaningful. Church tradition held that an image of Christ was preserved on a cloth he used to wipe his face and Luke the Evangelist painted images of Mary.

The Orthodox church maintains to this day that the Image is equal to the Word. They believe this comes from the Traditions of the earliest churches founded by the Apostles. Raised as a Protestant that is difficult for me to grasp. For us the Word, in the form of the King James Bible or a modern variation, is the one and only source of Christian inspiration.

The Byzantine Empire (the historians' name for the Eastern Roman Empire that survived until 1453 long after Rome itself fell under the control of Goths around 476) experienced two waves of iconoclasm in the eighth and ninth centuries. As a result, the Orthodox Church emerged with a firmly articulated view on images. The Roman Catholics did not have to deal with this problem and encountered some difficulty because there was kickback by the theologians around Charlemagne over a badly translated text from the last Council to firmly endorse images.

The Orthodox took a more restrictive view of what was an appropriate image than the Catholics and that was one of the lesser issues that led to a split in Christianity between the Pope in Rome and the Patriarchs in the East in 1054.  Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy have never healed the division. The deviation in the depiction of images grew more evident as the Western church found Renaissance artistic styles acceptable, but the Orthodox church preserved traditional forms.

The Catholics didn't address the issue seriously until the Council of Trent (1545-63) after the iconoclastic Protestants had split the Western church and Catholics were launching the Counter Reformation.

In the mid-16th century the formulaic tradition began to break down in the Orthodox world as Western influences began to impact iconographers and the Patriarchs accepted and even defended some of the stylistic changes. Icons are still being produced today, some preserving a traditional style and others adopting more modern elements with perspective and more realistic, less abstract, human forms.

The classic icon formula is best represented by Andrei Rublev (c. 1360’s – c. 1430) who is perhaps the most honored iconographer in Russia today. He was a monk and part of the veneration of icons is bound up with the sacred spirit that animates their creation. The classic icon is associated with the hesychast movement that was very influential among the Orthodox, but had no significant influence on Roman Catholics.

This is the traditional image of Christ. "The Saviour not made with hands."
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The Old Testament Trinity by Andrei Rublev
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The classic icon cannot display what is not physical, so the Trinity (God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) can only be depicted from this Old Testament event in Genesis 18:1-15. The depiction of the New Testament Trinity became a contentious issue in the 16th century.

Our Lady of Vladimir by Simon Ushakov, 1652
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This is a classic pose: the Virgin Umilenie or the Virgin of Compassion/Tenderness. There are 3 such classic poses for the Virgin and Child.  

These icons are found in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2016, 01:27:37 PM by Solon »
On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.
...H. L. Mencken

Bill Wyatt

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« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2016, 09:22:57 AM »
So in the Orthodox Church is it acceptable to worship an icon? This is interesting, because it is different than idol worship. I find the Orthodox Church totally fascinating and have always wondered why it never became more popular than it has in the USA.
It's a happy enchilada... (John Prine)

Solon

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« Reply #22 on: October 15, 2016, 02:29:10 PM »
Quote from: Bill Wyatt;234
So in the Orthodox Church it is acceptable to worship an icon? This is interesting, because it is different than idol worship. I find the Orthodox Church totally fascinating and have always wondered why it never became more popular than it has in the USA.

In trying to be brief, I left the wrong impression. Veneration for the icon is directed at the "prototype" or the person portrayed, not the painting itself. The image is an invitation to enter into spiritual communion with the divine--sort of a gateway to spiritual immersion. Worship is too strong a word, and in fact, the translation from Greek to Latin led to a misunderstanding on that very point between the Orthodox and Roman Catholics that I referred to in Charlemagnes' era (c. 800).

Thanks for your comment, it clarifies a very important point. Adoration of God is not the same as veneration of the saints, at least that is the way I understand Ouspensky (Theology of the Icon) to describe it.
On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.
...H. L. Mencken

cubsfanbudman

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« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2016, 12:15:39 AM »
how many followers does the orthodox church have world wide?i know there is a billion christians,a billion muslims and over 500 million catholics in the world. somebody  once said that  there are 600 million different forms of religions in india alone,is that true?
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Bill Wyatt

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« Reply #24 on: October 16, 2016, 09:04:41 AM »
There are 2.2 billion Christians in the world, but, of course Orthodox and Catholics are counted in that number. Islam is 1.6 billion and Catholics are at 1.2 billion - which means over half of Christians are Catholic worldwide. Orthodox is between 200 and 300 million. Hinduism is at 1 billion - the primary religion in India although I couldn't find anything about how many different forms.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_religious_populations
https://oca.org/questions/namerica/how-many-orthodox
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-21443313
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cubsfanbudman

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« Reply #25 on: October 16, 2016, 10:59:38 PM »
i wondeer what category the  mennonites fall under?
"the difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has it\'s limits"
albert einstein

Solon

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« Reply #26 on: October 17, 2016, 06:48:26 PM »
Metro stations in Moscow are generally considered the most beautiful in the world, as well as the cleanest.

You have to descend 100 ft. below the ground to reach Mayakovskaya Station as this photo shows.
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Mayakovskaya Station
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Byelorusskaya Station
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The medallions in the Byelorusskaya Station ceiling depict daily life in Belarus when it was a Soviet Republic
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Novoslobodskaya Station has a series of recessed areas with beautiful panels. This larger one is displayed on the station's end wall.
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On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.
...H. L. Mencken

Solon

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« Reply #27 on: October 17, 2016, 07:00:40 PM »
More Metro photos

A typical wall panel in Novoslobodskaya Station
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Komsomolskaya Station
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Kurskaya Station (Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya Line)
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Ploshchad Revolyutsii Station
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« Last Edit: October 17, 2016, 08:05:20 PM by Solon »
On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.
...H. L. Mencken

cubsfanbudman

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« Reply #28 on: October 18, 2016, 06:58:31 PM »
were you allowed to go into the kremlin and see lenin's body?
"the difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has it\'s limits"
albert einstein

Solon

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« Reply #29 on: October 18, 2016, 08:40:18 PM »
We did visit the Kremlin, but did not visit Lenin's tomb.  We saw the mausoleum through a fence when we visited Red Square. Getting inside the walls requires a check of you and your personal effects very much like that of the TSA. Inside the Kremlin we visited the three churches and the Armoury Museum. The museum is the repository of a vast accumulation of wealth over the centuries including the thrones, jewels, and dinnerware of the Tsars, etc. The wealth stored here is so great the Russian government could borrow on its value.

I will add this quote from Wikipedia to describe some of its treasures:
Quote
The Kremlin Armoury is currently home to the Russian Diamond Fund. It boasts unique collections of the Russian, Western European and Eastern applied arts spanning the period from the 5th to the 20th centuries. Some of the highlights include the Imperial Crown of Russia by jeweller Jérémie Pauzié, Monomakh's Cap, the ivory throne of Ivan the Terrible, and other regal thrones and regalia; the Orloff Diamond; the helmet of Yaroslav II; the sabres of Kuzma Minin and Dmitri Pozharski; the 12th-century necklaces from Ryazan; golden and silver tableware; articles, decorated with enamel, niello and engravings; embroidery with gold and pearls; imperial carriages, weapons, armour, and the Memory of Azov, Bouquet of Lilies Clock, Trans-Siberian Railway, Clover Leaf, Moscow Kremlin, Alexander Palace, Standart Yacht, Alexander III Equestrian, Romanov Tercentenary, Steel Military Fabergé eggs. The ten Fabergé eggs in the Armoury collection (all Imperial eggs) are the most Imperial eggs, and the second-most overall Fabergé eggs, owned by a single owner.

The monumental Tsar Cannon and the gigantic Tsar Bell are two items displayed on the Kremlin grounds. The Cannon was cast in 1586 and was fired once, maybe. It has always been a showpiece. Cast in 1737, the Bell is the largest in the world and has never been rung since it broke during casting. It was actually used as a chapel at one time.  
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Map of the Kremlin
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« Last Edit: December 10, 2016, 12:33:52 PM by Solon »
On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.
...H. L. Mencken