The Baptism of Rus and its meaning

The beginning of the reign of Vladimir Svyatoslavich. Protection of Russia from the nomads. After the death of Svyatoslav in Kiev, a quarrel broke out between his sons. In the course of it, Oleg and Yaropolk perished, and the power in 980 was captured by Vladimir, who had ruled before in Novgorod.

Vladimir went down in history as the largest state figure of the early period of Russian history. No wonder he became a hero of folk epic. At Vladimir on the southern borders began to build a fort to protect against the raids of nomads. They organized a guard service with the involvement of the best warriors from all over Russia. Folk memories of these events formed the basis for the epic about the heroes – defenders of their native land. Vladimir more than once led the campaigns against the Pechenegs, fought with the western neighbors – Poland, Lithuanian tribes.

Baptism of Russia. The main events of Vladimir’s reign are connected with the Baptism of Rus.


the fact that Christianity was well known in Kiev, and many residents were already baptized, paganism continued to prevail in Russia, preserved from pre-state times. Vladimir tried to adapt paganism for the needs of a single state. In 980, he ordered to put on the princely court in Kiev the idols of the six main gods, led by the god of lightning and war, Perun, the patron of the vigilantes. However, individual Rus’ continued to worship their gods.

In an effort to strengthen the unity of the country, Vladimir came to the idea of ​​adopting a monotheistic religion. As the chronicle narrates, the prince listened to the preachers of Islam, Judaism, Western (Roman) and Eastern (Byzantine) Christianity. He chose the latter. With Byzantium, Rus had long been associated with a strong relationship.

In 988, Vladimir seized the Byzantine city of Korsun (Chersonese) in the Crimea after a long siege. As a condition for the return of the city of the empire, the prince demanded that the Byzantine princess Anna be married. Until then, in Byzantium, there had not yet been a marriage of the daughter of

the ruling emperor with a foreigner. However, the Byzantines were forced to agree, demanding, in turn, the baptism of the groom. Vladimir was baptized himself and ordered the baptism of the squad and all the inhabitants of Rus.

Initially Christianization of Russia was in many ways formal. External adherence to church rites was accompanied by secret or even open execution of pagan rites (dual faith). But later Orthodoxy became one of the foundations of the life of Russian society.

Russian Orthodox Church. With the Baptism of Rus came the church organization. True, her original story is little known. The first chronicles do not say anything about the head of the church under Prince Vladimir and immediately after him. It is assumed that the role of such a chapter was the priest of the Church of the Assumption of Our Lady in Kiev. This first stone church in Rus was laid by Vladimir immediately after baptism. He was called the Church of the Tithes, since the prince ordered to give a tenth of his income for his maintenance.

It is known that only in 1037 in Kiev there was a Metropolitan of All Russia, sent by the Patriarch of Constantinople. He was subordinated to the bishops of individual lands (dioceses), and by that – the local parish priests.

Monasteries began to play a big role. The most famous of them was the Kiev-Pechersky Monastery, founded in the middle of the XI century. monks Anthony and Theodosius. Monasteries quickly became centers of literacy, with them, as with large churches, chronicles were created, hospitals, almshouses were opened. Monasteries, as a rule, conducted exemplary farming. Many of them gradually turned into large landowners.

Baptism is associated with the development of education and culture in Russia. The need to provide worship services with books, literate priests led to the development of education. The first schools opened in Kiev under Prince Vladimir. The writing, created for the Slavs in the 9th c. enlighteners Cyril and Methodius. Baptism contributed to the increase of the international authority of Russia in its relations with other Christian countries. More and more close ties were established between Rus and Byzantium, the most cultured state of the then Christian world.

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The Baptism of Rus and its meaning