The of mountains also aided trade and transportation. At

The region of russialies on  a vast  plain in the easternmost part of Europe. Overthe northern part of Russia stretch immense forests. South of the forests arethe steppes-prairie grasslands similar to the plains region of the Unitedstate.

both the forest and the steppes have fertile soil. Because the steppeswere often too dry for farming, however,people settled mostly in the northernforests, living log cabins. The climate was warm in the summer, cold and snowyin the winter. Rivers that flowed into the black, Caspian, and Baltic seas providedthe setters with ways to make contact with other peoples. Russia’s lack ofmountains also aided trade and transportation.

At the same time , the absenceof natural barriers made it easy for outsiders to invade Russia.  Slavic Russia The slavs were an indo-European people who had lived in central Europefor many centuries. During the 400’s, some of them began to move north and eastinto Russia.

 Like the Germans, the Slavslived in tribal groups. They had no written language and their religions was afrom of polytheism. they lived by farming, hunting, and fishing.

 Though the Turks overran the Byzantine Empire,they ignored the easternmost part of Europe. This area had been settled bySlaves after the fall of the Roman Empire. The culture  the Slavs developed was a blend of Slavic,Viking, and Byzantine traditions.           The Viking During the ninth century, a new group ofinvaders ruled the slavis. These were Vikings who came from scandinavia. Mainlyinterested in trade, the Vikings entered Slavic lands by means of westernRussia north south rivers.

They raided the Slavic settlements for slaves andalso collected other trade goods. They then continued their river journey southto the black sea, where they exchanged these goods for Byzantine silk andPersian spices. The viking’s built forts at strategic points along the traderoutes.   The Kievan State The city of Kiev became the center of the first state in Russia.

Tostrengthen their hold on the on the riches of Russia, the Vikings forced theslaves accept their rule. According to legend, the founder of the Russian statewas a Rurik, a Viking chieftain who ruled at Novgorod around 862 andestablished a dynasty. Roork’s successors, called “the grand princes,” extendedtheir domain by conquering other fortified trading towns and made Keive theircapital.

The vikings intermarried with the people of these towns and adapted toslavic ways. the new society that emerged became the basis of Russian culture.  The culture of ancient Russia  The culture of ancient Rus can be divided intodifferent historical periods of the Middle Ages.

During the Kievan period(989-), the principalities of Kievan Rus’ came under the sphere of influence ofthe Byzantine Empire, one of the most advanced cultures of the time, andadopted Christianity. In the Suzdalian period, the Russian principalitiesgained a wide range of opportunities for developing their political andcultural ties not only with Byzantium, but with the European countries, aswell, with a resulting impact on architecture and other cultural indicators. Bythe Muscovite period in the thirteenth century, Russian culture was recoveringfrom the invasion of Batu Khan and subsequent domination of Russian lands bythe Golden Horde.Thecity-states of Novgorod and Pskov, which had been spared the Tatar raids,created an original kind of culture under some influence from their westernBaltic neighbors. Finally, only by the end of the fifteenth century, Russiaended its subordination to the Golden Horde with the Great standing on the Ugrariver of 1480, which marked the birth of the sovereign Russian state, headed bythe Grand Prince of Moscow.     The Rise of Russia The princes of Moscow are known as Muscovy.

They expanded their land(Moscow’s land) through marriage and wars. He married the niece of the last Byzantine Emperorand took the title of “czar”, which was used by both Roman andByzantine rulers. He became Sovereign of All Russia in 1493.At first, Moscow was a small, little town with a great location. Asnear vital land and water routes (Black/Baltic Seas, Volga and Dnieper Rivers).The princes of Moscow are known as Muscovy.

They expanded their land (Moscow’sland) through marriage and wars.. Vikings economic By the 12th-13th centuries AD, cod fishing, falconry, sea mammal oil,soapstone and walrus ivory had become intense commercial efforts, driven by theneed to pay taxes to kings and tithes to the church and traded throughoutnorthern Europe. A centralized government in the Scandinavian countriesincreased the development of trading places and towns, and these commoditiesbecame a currency which could be converted into cash for armies, art, andarchitecture.