This is the motto of the Holm van Zaitchiks Eurasian Symphony. Appeared at Azbooka, St. Petersburg, is was written by a dutch-born soviet resident in China, now assumed to be in Tibet.
Yet our story starts far earlier, in deepest darkness of medieaval Russia. The whole land has been conquered by the Mongols.
The whole land?
Well, you shouldnt await to find a gallic story here, transposed on russian soil. This is merely the history as taught both under tsars and under soviets. Mongolic hords, appearing as if from nowhere, overrunning the country, burning and looting everything they came across, braking all resistance and staing for 300 years. Naturally enough, all attempts to overthrow alien occupation were highly celebrated afterwards;
indeed, one victory on a battlefield, irrespectedly of how marginal its effects were, is still on the holiday list.
Accepting this scheme was simple, yet following it through the time proved hard. Anyone
questioning the countrys history couldnt help but wonder why russian princes havent joined forces to fight the aggressor and went on looting each others villages instead. Furtheron, how were high-rank mongols able to convert to christianity soon after enslaving
Russia? Why did russians, after their victorious battle against the mongol troops (see above) instantly swear to the khan? All this and much more wouldnt fit into that scheme.
By mid-20th century, these collected wonders literally made the scheme burst. A heretic thesis arose: What if there was no mongol occupation at all? Accepting this, historians suddenly saw themselves far better capable of providing a homogenious picture of the
This wouldnt be a proper place to repeat those arguments. Yet there is one moment to focus: 1260, prince Alexander Nevsky, later declared saint by the Orthodox Church, and khan Sartak, fraternized.
Heres where van Zaitchiks story begins.
It plays at present, not in the dark ages. Both princes child, Ordo-Rus, was to be
something different then a short-breathed military pact; Ordus, as is was soon to be known, based on Law. Two laws, to be precise: Chingis-Khan, co-ruler khan Sartaks, has brought russians his Great Yasa, and recieved Russian Truth in return.
This firm grounds havent failed to provide Ordus with certain winning qualities. Through the ages not only such countries as China seeked to enter the union, spiritual spheres havent remained untouched too, just as Confucius taught (
After some hundred
years of enlightened government, there is no need in capital punishment.). With its emperors quite enlightened, end-of-the-20th-century Ordus looked mildly at the western barbarians, still lacking some civilisation essentials.
A land thats mild, rich, one of its own. An empire. A thorn in all thoses side, who think an empire has to be totalitarian, suppressing everything thats different; those who consider freedom a justification for crime; who accept civilisation as a purely western invention only.
A worthy lecture. Sad its most unlikely to be published in any barbarian translation. Yet its chinese and russian version are available. High time to start learning, then!
This collection displays some items from Ordus. To understand their context, you might like to visit van Zaitchiks homepage.
Choose an object from the mosaic left.