Battle of Kulikovo (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: The Battle of Kulikovo marks the decisive defeat of the Mongols by Grand Duke Dmitry Ivanovich of Moscow, dispelling the myth of Mongol invincibility and elevating Dmitry as a legendary hero in Russia.
Summary of Event
For much of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, Russia was under domination by the Mongols, or “Tatars” as they were known in Russian. The Mongols had invaded southern Russia in 1237, and by 1241 had succeeded in conquering Kiev. Thus began a long period known as the “Tatar yoke,” whereby the Mongols maintained exploitive control over the Russian lands. Although the Mongol conquest was savage, the “Golden Horde” allowed Russian princes to rule the day-to-day affairs of their regions. The Mongol yoke largely took the form of periodic demands for tribute and, less frequently, plunderous raids.
During this time, Muscovy (Moscow) was surpassing Kiev and Novgorod as the preeminent Russian principality. First emerging as a significant principality in the late thirteenth century, Muscovy grew partly as a result of the sycophancy of its princes toward the Golden Horde. In 1327, Muscovy became the residence of the metropolitan (chief religious leader) of the Russian Orthodox Church, which not only elevated the city’s status as a religious capital but also laid the groundwork for the claim of Moscow to be the “Third Rome.” During the middle of this important...
(The entire section is 1328 words.)
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