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Rossica

Russia - a country between barbarism and civilization

Western observers and travelers in the 16th and 17th centuries assumed the Czar's Russian empire to be an Asian despotism. It considered the traditions of the corporate state, and one with freedom and privileges for the endowed nobility, to be valid.

The apparently virtually unlimited autocracy of the Czar and the reputed barbaric-servile and uneducated-ignorant nature of his subjects thus made them the subject of fierce criticism.

The pillars of the Russian autocracy, the Czar (Fedor III, Ivan V and Peter I as a child) and the patriarch (Adrian) of the Orthodox Church with the metropolitans (Friedrich Christian Weber: Das veränderte Russland, Frankfurt 1721)

Europe felt culturally superior to Russia and saw itself as the epitome of civilization.