Moscow - The Third Rome
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"Scratch a Russian and you will find a Tatar."
- - Russian proverb
"The first Rome collapsed owing to its heresies, the second Rome fell victim to the Turks, but a new and third Rome has sprung up in the North .... a fourth there shall not be."
- - Philotheus
In 1223, the Mongol Horde under Genghis Khan struck west along the "Conqueror's Road" -- the belt of grasslands that stretches from China to the fringe of Europe. They met little resistance in Russia, ruled by Kiev at that time, and soon most of the Russian cities were paying tribute to Batu Khan at his capital in Sarai, near the Volga delta. But Rus' had long been a land of tenacious dynastic squabbles.
The nobles, originally Vikings, constantly schemed to enlarge their holdings at the expense of others, only to die and start the process anew by splitting their territories amongst their children. To most rulers, the Tatars were merely another player in the game.
Until the cities grew strong with trade and technology; and Europe began to prosper; and the Mongols grew accustomed to their role as rich overlords; and Russians began dreaming of throwing off the yoke and joining the developing nations to the West . . . .
In 1263, the Russian hero Aleksandr Nevsky willed to his son Daniel a backwater village on the north banks of the Moskva River. Despite invasions from both east and west, and the treacherous politics of Rus', the village of Moscow rose to become the capital of a mighty state that claimed the holy mantle of empires past.
Can you match the feats of the Princes of Moscow to unite Russia?
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