Izvestiya of Saratov University.
ISSN 1819-4907 (Print)
ISSN 2542-1913 (Online)


Peter I

Nikita Petrovich Villebois: two versions of biography

This article is devoted to one of the most mysterious and notorious sources on history of Peter I’s times. It is so called «Villebois’s memoirs». The author compares «autobiographic» story of the «memoir» with the real biography of the French at the Russian service Nikita Petrovich Villebois (1674–1760) and comes to the conclusion, that Villebois couldn’t write the memoir himself. The «autobiographic» part of «Villebois memoirs» is to be published in Russian for the first time. 

THE DIPLOMATIC AIM OF THE GREAT EMBASSY 1697–1698/99

The article deals with the real diplomatic aims of the Great embassy (Velikoe posol’stvo, VP) which were not fully disclosed in the official documents and remained a mystery. We could identify the goals that the «core of the VP» sought to achieve, on the one hand, and the objectives of the pantlers who travelled to the south and the lord steward, B. P. Sheremetev, on the other. It has become evident that the presence of the VP as an observer on the Rijswik Congress was not a random event. We show what was the result of this action for Russia.

Historical memory of how Peter I introduced shaving and wearing «German» dresses

The article is devoted to the reflection in historical memory of the introduction of shaving and wearing «German» dresses by Peter I. This measure was aimed at overcoming religious prejudices and instilling a European way of life. It is fixed in the cultural memory of the post-Petrine era as a metaphor for the rebirth of Russia and the image of «Europeanization». Historians, publicists, and writers in their writings combined it with the metaphor «window to Europe» and constructed the image of Peter I, who cuts beards with an axe.

Captain Cherkassky’s doubts: Plans and reality of the Khiva campaign of 1717

The report is devoted to the plans of Peter I to subdue the Khanate of Khiva, the preparation of the campaign of Captain Alexander Cherkassky to Khiva in 1717, and the clarification of the circumstances of the failure that befell this large-scale enterprise. New documents from the RGADA and the Archive of Foreign Policy of the Russian Empire of the Russian Foreign Ministry are used. 

Moscow Travel Guide for Voltaire

The manuscript “Description of the city of Moscow” from the Voltaire Library has been subjected to special study for the first time. In this essay, the ancient Russian capital is presented as a vast and crowded city, the distinctive feature of which is the abundance of churches and monasteries. The description of the city is conducted according to the historically formed parts: the Kremlin, Kitay-gorod, White City, Earthen City. The description is based on the “Plan of the Imperial city of Moscow” by I. Michurin (1739).