HIS 101
Unit 11:  Medieval Russia
Novodevichy Monastery

Novodevichy Monastery, along the Moscow River outside of Moscow.  This medieval Russian monastery was founded by Grand Prince Vasilii III in 1524 to commemorate his capture of Smolensk from the Lithuanians.  The convent--the name means "New Young Girls Convent"--is like a miniature Kremlin, especially with its magnificent 5-domed Smolensk Cathedral.  The convent has been the focal point of some interesting Russian history.  When Peter the Great wanted to rid himself of his older step-sister, he had Sofia confined to this monastery from 1689 until her death in 1704.  When Napoleon planned his retreat from Moscow in 1812, he intended to destroy the Convent but legend has it that the nuns discovered the fuses leading to barrels of gunpowder just in time to extinguish them.  In 1898, the Convent created the "New Cemetery" beyond the wall for burial of Russia's leading artists.  Anton Chekhov was buried there, and then Nikolai Gogol's remains were moved there.  Others interred included Vladimir Mayakovskii, Mikhail Bulgakov, Ilia Ehrenburg, Fyodor Chaliapin, Sergei Prokofiev, Valentin Serov, Isaac Levitan, Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko, Konstantin Stanislavskii, Dmitrii Shostakovich, Nadezhda Alliluyeva (Stalin's wife), Molotov, Raisa Gorbachev and Nikita Khrushchev.  It is truly a list of Russia's creative elite (You'll have to read about them in HIS 242).

Blue Separator Bar
What you must do in this unit What you can do in this unit
  • Read the notes on the Mongol Invasion of Hungary in the thirteenth century. These were done by Maria Grof-Tisza, a student in HIS 111.
  • Locate and listen to some Russian music.
Some videos that you can watch for this unit
  • See the videos dealing with the Rise of Moscow and Ivan IV in the HIS 241 course.
  • For extra credit please suggest to your instructor a relevant video for this unit of the course. Send the title of the video, the url and a brief explanation of why you find the video interesting and applicable to the material that is being studied in this unit.
Extra Credit Options
  • Take the short 5-point quiz for chapter 10. Log into Blackboard and look under "Chapter Quizzes." You have five minutes to complete each quiz (multiple-choice questions).
  • For a maximum of 25 points extra credit, read some comments about Ivan by a contemporary Englishman and--in the realm of "Can you believe it?"--this account of Ivan's life and write a paragraph commenting on Ivan IV.
  • For extra credit, please suggest a relevant website for this unit of the course.  Send the title of the site, the url and a brief explanation why you find the information interesting and applicable to the material being studied this unit.

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