Timeline: Russian Culture, Part I

Updated February 28, 2022 | David Johnson
Russian Culture

Part I: Rise of Russia

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888-889

Monks Cyril and Methodius develop written Slavic alphabet, called Cyrillic; birth of spoken dialect, Church Slavonic.

988-989

Vladimir I adopts Orthodox Christianity; commissions Byzantine craftsmen to build churches, adorn them with mosaics and religious art; origins of Russian icon painting.

996

Church of the Tithe, first stone church in Russia

996

Russkaya Pravda, first written compilation of Russian law, completed under Yaroslav the Wise, Grand Prince of Kiev

1116

Sylvester, a monk, writes Primary Chronicle, outlining 400 years of Russian history

Circa

1150

Cathedral of Sancta Sophia rebuilt in Novgorod featuring early example of onion-shaped dome

Circa

1187

The Song of Igor's Campaign, anonymous epic poem on Prince Igor; masterpiece of early Russian literature

Before

1300

Carved log churches, chalet-style wooden houses exemplify distinctive Russian style

1378

Church of the Transfiguration in Novgorod, decorated with finest examples of icon painting

Circa

1390

Crimean immigrants fleeing Mongol hordes introduce vodka to Russia

1411

Andrei Rublev, greatest icon painter, completes Old Testament Trinity (now in Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow), official church model for icon painting

1487-1491

Ivan III (the Great) builds Palace of Facets, first great Kremlin palace; religious leaders proclaim Moscow "the third Rome"; heir to Rome, Constantinople

1505-1509

Cathedral of St. Michael, Moscow, outstanding example of Italian High Renaissance

1555-1560

Ivan IV (the Terrible) builds St. Basil's Cathedral, Red Square, Moscow; painted onion domes become symbol of Russia, epitome of Russo-Byzantine architecture

1563

Ivan IV orders first printing press brought to Russia

1655-1656

Patriarch Nikon sponsors sweeping reforms, increases power of patriarch, reduces Slavic practices, favors Greek classicism

Circa

1675

Archpriest Avvakum writes autobiography, opposes Nikon

Infoplease Links

map of Russia

Atlas: Russia

More Resources

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