6 Nobles intrigantes en la corte de Catalina la Grande

6 Nobles intrigantes en la corte de Catalina la Grande

En 1762, Catalina la Grande organizó un golpe de estado contra su esposo Pedro III, asumiendo el trono como Emperatriz de toda Rusia, pero no lo hizo sola. A diferencia de su abrasivo esposo, Catherine pronto se dio cuenta de que mantener el amor y el apoyo de sus nobles era fundamental para su éxito, y recompensó a quienes la ayudaron generosamente.

Ella gobernó una corte ilustrada como ningún monarca ruso antes que ella, y se rodeó de una serie de personajes fascinantes. Conoce a 6 de estos personajes, cuyas historias de valentía, intelecto y romance colorearon los pasillos del Palacio de Invierno durante más de 30 años.

1. Grigory Orlov

Grigory Orlov, uno de los amantes más famosos de Catalina, fue una figura destacada en el fatídico golpe de 1762. La pareja había sido amantes desde 1760, cuando después de regresar de la Guerra de los Siete Años, la bulliciosa presencia de Orlov en la corte llamó la atención del entonces Gran Duquesa.

En abril de 1762 tenían un hijo ilegítimo llamado Aleksey, y apenas 3 meses después las tropas de Orlov tomaron San Petersburgo, asegurando a Catalina como emperatriz.

Grigory Orlov por Fyodor Rokotov, 1762-63 (Crédito de la imagen: dominio público)

Después de esto, Grigory fue nombrado mayor general y recibió el título de conde, convirtiéndose pronto en uno de los principales asesores de Catherine. Más tarde se convirtió en presidente de la Sociedad Económica Libre, buscando la mejora de la condición de los siervos en Rusia.

En un momento, la Emperatriz incluso consideró casarse con él, pero sus consejeros la disuadieron. Su relación comenzó a flaquear cuando los rumores de su infidelidad se arremolinaban en la corte, y en un último intento desesperado por recuperarla, él le presentó un gran diamante que fue colocado en su cetro. Sin embargo, la Emperatriz ya había trasladado su afecto a Grigory Potemkin.

2. Alexei Orlov

El hermano menor de Grigory, Alexei, era un personaje feroz en la corte y no temía ensuciarse las manos. Con una altura de más de 6 pies y 6 pies, se puso una cicatriz de batalla en la cara que le valió un apodo temible: "Scarface".

Alexei Orlov por pintor desconocido, 1782 (Crédito de la imagen: dominio público)

Tras la caída de Pedro III, viajó al Palacio de Peterhof para recuperar a Catalina y, al encontrarla en su cama, le informó:

"Ha llegado el momento de que reine, señora".

Cuando Peter III murió misteriosamente 6 días después, se suponía en gran parte que Alexei lo había envenenado por orden de la Emperatriz o por su propia voluntad. Aunque esto empañó su reinado inicial, él también fue recompensado por su papel en el golpe y tuvo una exitosa carrera militar.

En otra anécdota curiosa de la época del joven Orlov en la corte de Catalina, en 1775 fue enviado a una misión para seducir y capturar a una pretendiente al trono ruso, la princesa Tarakanova. Claramente, su rudo encanto fue suficiente para cautivarla, ya que finalmente fue atraída a bordo de un barco en un puerto cerca de la Toscana y arrestada.

3. Grigory Potemkin

Grigory Potemkin es quizás uno de los cortesanos más conocidos del eminente monarca. Comenzando su carrera en el regimiento de la Guardia a Caballo, por el golpe de 1762 fue Sargento y representó a sus tropas en el derrocamiento. Aquí Potemkin llamó la atención de Catherine quien, disfrutando de su colorida personalidad y excelentes habilidades de imitación, lo convirtió en un caballero del dormitorio.

(Grigory Potemkin por Desconocido, según un original de Johann Baptist von Lampi the Elder, c.1784-88 (Crédito de la imagen: dominio público)

Aunque ahora era uno de los favoritos en la corte, Potemkin estaba ansioso por regresar al ejército. Catalina accedió a su solicitud y pasó a servir como mayor general de la caballería, participando en una serie de éxitos militares y trayendo renombre general a su nombre.

En 1774, regresó a la corte y rápidamente se instaló como el principal amante de Catalina, y la emperatriz lo describió como

"Uno de los personajes más grandes, cómicos y divertidos de este siglo de hierro"

Se rumorea que la pareja se casó discretamente, e incluso cuando su relación finalmente comenzó a desvanecerse, él permaneció en la corte como un amigo enormemente influyente y una cita romántica ocasional.

4. Princesa Yekaterina Dashkova

La princesa Dashkova se mudó a la corte de Catalina y Pedro con solo 16 años, después de haberse casado con el príncipe Mikhail Dashkova en 1759. En el momento del golpe de estado de Catalina, ella tenía apenas 19 años, pero se atribuye un papel central en el evento.

En sus memorias, escribe sobre disfrazarse con ropa de hombre para viajar desapercibida y comunicarse con los hermanos Orlov en sus movimientos.

Princesa Yekaterina Dashkova por Dimitry Levitzky, 1784 (Crédito de la imagen: dominio público)

Tras el golpe, la naturaleza franca de Dashkova provocó fricciones entre ella y la Emperatriz. Cuando su esposo murió en 1768, Dashkova dejó la corte a los 25 años para viajar por Europa en busca de crecimiento cultural e intelectual.

En París, conoció a Voltaire y Diderot y entabló una amistad duradera con Benjamin Franklin, discutiendo con ellos filosofía, política y literatura. La carismática princesa también vivió en Edimburgo durante 2 años, donde se la grabó curiosamente emprendiendo una pelea de espadas con una dama escocesa.

El historiador británico Simon Jonathan Sebag Montefiore se une a Dan para charlar sobre esta familia real rusa.

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Habiendo desarrollado su vasto pozo de conocimiento y cultura occidental, cuando regresó a la corte de Catalina, la Emperatriz la recibió con los brazos abiertos y mucho entusiasmo.

Fue nombrada directora de la Academia Imperial de Artes y Ciencias, la primera mujer del mundo en presidir una academia de ciencias, y dos años más tarde también fue nombrada presidenta de la recién creada Academia Rusa. Bajo su dirección, ambas instituciones florecieron.

5. Condesa Alexandra Branitskaya

Alexandra Branitskaya fue presentada por primera vez a la corte de Catalina en 1775 como sobrina de Grigory Potemkin, sin embargo, varias teorías rodean su nacimiento. Una de esas teorías la coloca como la hija ilegítima de Catherine por Potemkin o por otro amante, Sergey Saltykov, pero esto es en gran parte infundado.

Alexandra Branitskaya por Richard Brompton, 1781 (Crédito de la imagen: dominio público)

Pronto se convirtió en la principal dama de honor de Catalina y en una de las mujeres más admiradas de la corte, y gracias a su cercanía con Potemkin fue ampliamente tratada como miembro de la familia imperial.

Aunque Branitskaya no había recibido una educación completa, su personalidad confiada y obstinada supuestamente lo compensó. Una embajadora británica comentó sobre su "talento para crear tramas" y, curiosamente, su voluntad de proporcionarle información a cambio de obsequios.

El segundo show en vivo de Our Site vio a Dan hablando sobre fantasmas con Martha McGill, becaria postdoctoral de la Academia Británica en la Universidad de Warwick. ¿Cómo cambian los fantasmas a lo largo de la historia? ¿Qué delito menor fantasmal vio a un sirviente obligado a usar cilicio para ir a la iglesia durante un año?

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Una de esas "tramas" implicó la eliminación de dos de los favoritos de Catherine - su dama de honor Praskovya Bruce y su entonces amante Ivan Rimsky-Korsakov - llevándola a caminar sobre ellos en una posición comprometedora.

La condesa conservó su influencia y respetabilidad durante las próximas décadas y siguió desempeñando un papel importante en los tribunales de los sucesores de Catalina.

6. Gavrila Derzhavin

Gavrila Derzhavin residió en la corte de Catalina la Grande durante 20 años en varios roles señoriales diferentes, desde ministro de Justicia hasta secretario personal de la emperatriz. Era políticamente astuto y un soldado habilidoso, pero su legado se encuentra en el ámbito de la literatura rusa.

Gavrila Derzhavin por Vladimir Borovikovsky, 1811 (Crédito de la imagen: dominio público)

Hoy venerado como uno de los primeros grandes poetas rusos, Derzhavin escribió una amplia gama de magníficos versos para Catalina y sus cortesanos.

Se permitió que su trabajo floreciera en la corte rusa cada vez más ilustrada que, aunque se inspiró en cortes occidentales como Versalles, adquirió un estilo ruso propio.

En broma, comparó su poesía con la limonada y elogió a Catherine en la épica "Oda a Felitsa" como la salvadora de la rebelde corte rusa a través de sus ilustradas ideas, escribiendo:

"Solo para ti es apropiado,

¡Tsarevna! para crear luz de las tinieblas;

Dividiendo el Caos en esferas armoniosas,

Con una unión de plenitud para fortalecerlos ".

Como uno de los primeros rusos capaz de expresar sus ideas por escrito, allanó el camino para los poetas eminentes del siglo XIX y realmente encapsuló el mundo cambiante de la Rusia de Catalina la Grande, ahora considerada una 'Edad de Oro' para el país. .


Catalina la grande

¿Otra biografía de Catalina la Grande? Simon Dixon ubica su nuevo libro en algún lugar entre Rusia en la era de Catalina la Grande por Isabel de Madariaga (1), que él llama "el estudio más importante (y apropiadamente de peso) sobre el reinado de Catalina en cualquier idioma", y John T. Alexander Catalina la Grande: vida y leyenda (2), "la primera biografía académica moderna, particularmente interesante en asuntos médicos y también fuerte en historia social" (p. 391). Dando a entender que ninguno de los trabajos es verdaderamente completo - 'claramente un objetivo imposible' - su propio esfuerzo busca 'recuperar un sentido de lugar, situando a Catherine en el contexto de la sociedad de la corte en la que creció en Alemania y vivió la mayor parte de su larga vida en Rusia '(p. 2). Al hacerlo, aporta los frutos de una historiografía reciente sustancial dedicada a la vida de la corte en la Europa moderna temprana y Rusia, vista como un componente crucial de la gobernanza en una era de absolutismo monárquico, con obras de TCW Blanning y Richard S. Wortman que otorgan particular (3) Fiel a su palabra, el libro del profesor Dixon es mucho menos un relato de la vida privada de Catalina (ver Alexander) o una historia política de su reinado (ver de Madariaga) que una crónica minuciosamente detallada de la vida de la corte rusa de el período 1744 (la llegada de Catalina a San Petersburgo desde su Alemania natal) hasta 1796 (su muerte) como se desprende de sus restos verbales pero también, hasta cierto punto, visuales (el libro incluye 23 ilustraciones contemporáneas junto con seis mapas).

Como todos los historiadores saben, recuperar el contexto de una manera a la vez fiel a los documentos e inteligible para nuestros contemporáneos es la esencia de nuestro oficio. En esta tarea central, Dixon tiene un gran éxito, a veces de manera brillante. El caleidoscopio de coronaciones y bodas reales que hábilmente presenta, de extravagantes entretenimientos de la corte y solemnes ritos de la iglesia, de comidas gigantescas y hermosas fiestas de disfraces, las escenas que cambian rápidamente pobladas por una maravillosa variedad de grandes dignos y advenedizos sórdidos, diplomáticos astutos y eruditos aduladores. , amantes secretos y sirvientes dudosos, es poco menos que deslumbrante, hasta el punto, a veces, del hartazgo. Y en el centro de todo se encuentra hermoso zaftig Catherine (Dixon es siempre discreta, de hecho políticamente correcta, al describirla), ahora profundamente, por no decir apasionadamente comprometida con los procedimientos, ahora fría, incluso ingeniosamente observadora (sus propias memorias y cartas son la fuente más importante de Dixon), ahora explotando hábilmente una situación tensa para sus propios fines frecuentemente nobles, o noblemente egoístas. La impresión general, y un elemento de impresionismo subjetivo es inevitable aquí, es de un caos apenas contenido, con todos o algunos de los varios cientos de personas involucradas, 'la Corte', tambaleándose de crisis en crisis, de deslumbramiento en horror, de alegría. celebración a derrota ignominiosa, si bien compensada. Catalina, gobernada por la conciliación, la persuasión, el halago, el soborno, el engaño, el espectáculo y el encanto puro, rara vez los cortesanos que incurrían en su deshonor eran sometidos a la amenaza y mucho menos a la aplicación de un duro castigo. También le gustaba afirmar, como informa debidamente Dixon, que el suyo era un tribunal ordenado además de ilustrado. Pero "disciplina" fue instantáneamente la consigna del día en que su hijo y sucesor, el zar Paul, asumió el trono (p. 316).

Al mismo tiempo, se observan concienzudamente desarrollos subyacentes más importantes: el destino de la servidumbre en Rusia, el desarrollo de la industria, la promoción del comercio y la educación pública, el poblamiento de tierras baldías y los principales eventos del período: la rebelión de Pugachev, la la conquista de Crimea y las particiones de Polonia, el surgimiento de Prusia o el advenimiento de la Revolución Francesa, las guerras sangrientas y la compleja diplomacia, son al menos aludidas en la prisa por pasar al siguiente elemento del calendario de la corte imperial rusa. Los logros legislativos de Catherine, de los que estaba extremadamente, tal vez desmesuradamente, orgullosa, se registran con mesurada deferencia si no siempre se explican claramente, ya sea en su aplicación a corto plazo o en su importancia a largo plazo. El capítulo diez, por ejemplo, se titula 'La búsqueda de la estabilidad emocional 1776-1784', lo que sugiere que la variedad de tales desarrollos, eventos y logros ocurridos durante estos ocho años vitales que el capítulo menciona a su debido tiempo fue históricamente menos importante que el flujo contemporáneo de la vida amorosa de Catherine. Tampoco la conclusión del capítulo, "A pesar de la turbulencia emocional de Catalina, la dirección de su gobierno se mantuvo firme" (p. 269), tampoco es completamente tranquilizadora. Sin embargo, cuando todo está dicho y hecho, uno deja el libro de Dixon al darse cuenta de que nos ha dado una representación letrada, compasiva, inmensamente colorida pero plausible de una parte importante del pasado ruso-europeo.

A pesar de su largo y exitoso reinado, Catherine sufrió una relativa escasez de estudios históricos serios hasta hace muy poco, como muestra inadvertidamente el epílogo del profesor Dixon. El sexismo, el populismo, el marxismo y la pura lascivia jugaron un papel en negar su importancia histórica o distorsionar enormemente su historial. También la envidia. De hecho, Dixon concluye su crónica panóptica sugiriendo, un poco inesperadamente, que sus 'métodos amables' y su manera 'tolerante y confiada' rara vez inspiraron a sus sucesores, sobre todo porque ha servido como una forma sutil de munición para sus críticos durante la mayoría de los casos. de los dos siglos transcurridos desde su muerte ”(p. 335). Sea como fuere, el ensayo bibliográfico de Dixon ("Lecturas adicionales"), así como las numerosas notas de los capítulos, dejan en claro que en los últimos 20 años se ha realizado un trabajo serio tanto en ruso como en inglés (también en alemán). Esta sólida literatura es frecuentemente citada por Dixon más que comprometida: hay poca discusión historiográfica en su libro, poca evaluación crítica de sus fuentes y de las controversias que el estudio de su reinado ha dado lugar a historiadores-historiadores más que a contemporáneos reales y sucesores. , amigos y enemigos contemporáneos, publicistas contemporáneos y posteriores, los comentaristas a los que Dixon presta más atención, particularmente en su epílogo.

La falta de una dimensión historiográfica obvia a su vez plantea la cuestión de los lectores previstos del libro. Los cientos de notas de los capítulos (que ocupan casi 50 páginas), la invocación de un tótem académico como Jürgen Habermas (no en el índice, pero véase la p. 345 n. 43), y una breve referencia a numerosas figuras y eventos que solo podrían esperar otros historiadores. reconocer, sugerir que estos últimos son su objetivo. Y sí, los especialistas en la historia moderna rusa y europea temprana encontrarán aquí material de considerable interés, gracias a la diligencia de la investigación de Dixon incluso en fuentes bastante tangenciales, p. Ej. La recopilación de cartas de Mozart (págs. 234, 254) y la determinación de trabajar en todos sus hallazgos. Por otro lado, la abundancia de anécdotas y detalles sensacionales, la fuerte preferencia por la narrativa sobre el análisis, el estilo agradablemente fluido, a menudo humorístico, el deleite apenas reprimido por las bromas, el escándalo y lo extraño, indican una audiencia más general y comercialmente gratificante. . ¿Se puede escribir una historia que sea ambas cosas? ¿Eso es a la vez instructivo y entretenido? ¿Académicamente sólido pero fácilmente legible? ¿Serio, pero divertido? Una gran parte de la historia que aspira a ser ambas cosas ha aparecido recientemente, especialmente, al parecer, en Gran Bretaña, de donde sus practicantes más exitosos han tendido a emigrar a los Estados Unidos (por ejemplo, Simon Schama, Niall Ferguson), para ocupar prestigiosas cátedras académicas. al mismo tiempo que aparece regularmente en los medios públicos y genera libros cada vez más profusamente publicados. Dichos historiadores deben distinguirse de los 'televidentes' de antaño, que eran los primeros catedráticos, que practicaban diligentemente su oficio en un aislamiento silencioso y, en ocasiones, cabezas parlantes de la televisión en segundo lugar. Los Schamusons de hoy son megaestrellas con agentes, su trabajo como historiadores es inseparable de su trabajo en los medios de comunicación.

Es dudoso que el profesor Dixon desee ponerse en esa liga (parece seguro predecir que se quedará en Londres). La suya se acerca mucho más al arduo trabajo monográfico sobre el que se construye toda buena historia, académica o popular. Evita por completo las afirmaciones interpretativas masivas de los Schamusons y sus grandes veredictos históricos, características de su trabajo que lo hacen eminentemente enseñable, sin duda. De hecho, los colegas de Dixon podrían desear que su libro se refiriera más a menudo directamente a sus preocupaciones profesionales. Pero no debemos pedir la luna. Su libro es una representación ricamente gratificante, impecablemente producida, de la Era de Catalina la Grande en todo su cuestionable esplendor. La noción de que la historia puede ser a la vez instructiva y entretenida se reivindica aquí generosamente.


Advertencias de los profetas: 9 predicciones intrigantes de la historia

Desde las premoniciones hasta el contacto con el mundo de los espíritus, desde los astrólogos reales hasta los labradores, los profetas y psíquicos del pasado continúan intrigando y desconcertando. Aquí miramos a nueve de los videntes más famosos de los últimos cinco siglos.

1. Nostradamus - Hitler's Rise

Michel de Nostredame (1503-1566), conocido por la forma latina Nostradamus, fue un destacado hombre del Renacimiento cuyo trabajo como astrólogo lo llevó a la corte real francesa, donde hizo horóscopos para Catalina de Medici (1519-1589) y más tarde se convirtió en médico de la corte.

La imagen popular perdurable de Nostradamus es la del místico medieval barbudo sentado en su oscuro ático, pluma en mano, mirando dentro de un cuenco de agua (escudriñando). Aquí el francés previó algunos de los grandes acontecimientos de la historia, incluido el ascenso de Napoleón y la caída del Muro de Berlín en 1989.

Leer más sobre: ​​Misterios

Nostradamus: ¿Cuál de sus predicciones se hizo realidad?

Una profecía de su libro de 1555 Les Prophéties, dice, según una traducción:

"En las montañas de Austria cerca del Rin / Nacerá de padres simples"

Y luego en otra cuarteta dice:

"La mayor parte del campo de batalla / será contra Hister".

Algunos han interpretado que esto se refiere a Adolf Hitler. De hecho, "Hister" es otro nombre para el Bajo Danubio. La interpretación de Hitler fue hecha por la escritora Erika Cheetham (1939-1998) y, a pesar de ser fuertemente cuestionada por los estudiosos, ha seguido dominando la imaginación popular.

En 1983, los eruditos franceses publicaron una gran cantidad de la correspondencia privada de Nostradamus y demostraron que la mayoría de las "profecías" de Nostradamus que se han abrazado en la era moderna son malas interpretaciones o fabricaciones descaradas.

2. Robert Nixon - La abdicación del rey James II

Robert Nixon, conocido como el "profeta de Cheshire", nació en el seno de una familia campesina pobre en 1467. Retirado y prácticamente mudo, hoy habría un diagnóstico mucho más amable, pero en el siglo XV, Robert era el "idiota del pueblo".

Un día, el joven habló y señaló misteriosamente a un buey, prediciendo su muerte inminente. Los trabajadores de la granja, sorprendidos, vieron al animal caer y morir frente a ellos. ¿Vidente poderoso o veterinario en ciernes? Los dignatarios locales, los agricultores y la familia de Nixon estaban intrigados y desconcertados en igual medida.

Leer más sobre: ​​Historia británica

Una breve historia de los levantamientos jacobitas

Una noche, Nixon obsequió a los bebedores en una taberna local con todos los eventos venideros que había visto en una visión en el cielo, como el ascenso de Oliver Cromwell y la Revolución Francesa.

Probablemente, la profecía más famosa de Nixon se refería al rey James II. El Profeta de Cheshire declaró en el pub:

"Cuando un cuervo construye su nido en la boca de un león de piedra sobre una iglesia en Cheshire, un rey de Inglaterra será expulsado de su reino para no volver nunca más".

Doscientos años después, en 1688, un cuervo supuestamente construyó un nido en una gárgola en la parte superior de una iglesia de Cheshire el día antes de que James II fuera destronado y exiliado a Francia, donde murió.

Nixon incluso supuestamente predijo su propia muerte tortuosa, muriendo de "sed y hambre", que ocurrió después de que fue encerrado dentro de un cofre de madera y olvidado mientras era huésped del rey Enrique VII.

3. Elizabeth Barton - La muerte del rey Enrique VIII

A mediados de la década de 1520 se corrió por toda Inglaterra la noticia de una maravillosa monja benedictina llamada Elizabeth Barton (1506-1534). Sus "milagros, revelaciones y profecías" le valieron apodos como "La santa doncella de Kent".

A principios de la década de 1530, la hermana Barton era popular e influyente. Durante un tiempo, el rey Enrique VIII y sus ayudantes más poderosos se alegraron de que Barton tuviera legitimidad como profetisa pública porque sus "visiones" alentaron la purga sanguinaria de Enrique de herejes y rebeldes. Pero la monja rápidamente cayó en desgracia después de comenzar a profetizar que si Enrique se divorciaba de Catalina de Aragón y se casaba con Ana Bolena, en un mes "moriría como un villano" después de perder su reino.

Leer más sobre: ​​Historia de Tudor

El rey asesino: ¿A cuántas personas ejecutó Enrique VIII?

La hermana Elizabeth Barton fue ejecutada el 20 de abril de 1534 junto con cinco de sus aliados clave. En enero de ese año, la hermana Isabel había sido acusada (no solo de ser condenada a muerte, sino también despojada de tierras y títulos) por ser un "falso profeta" que había conspirado para derrocar al rey.

4. William Lilly - El gran incendio de Londres

William Lilly (1602-1681), hijo de un granjero de Leicestershire, caminó a Londres a la edad de dieciocho años en busca de fama y fortuna.

En 1647 publicó su Astrología cristiana, considerada una de las obras más importantes de la astrología occidental. Sus 36 almanaques contenían todo tipo de profecías y predicciones.

En su libro de 1651 Monarquía o no monarquíaLily hizo dibujos que parecían predecir con precisión el inminente Gran Incendio de Londres de 1666, que destruyó dos tercios de la capital. Después del gran incendio, estas imágenes se interpretaron como un pronóstico preciso y Lilly fue llevada ante un comité de investigación, acusada de iniciar el infierno él mismo. Terminó sus días bastante pacíficamente para un profeta, muriendo a la gran edad de 79 años.

5. El vidente de Brahan: la batalla de Culloden

Kenneth Mackenzie no era un trabajador agrícola corriente. Conocido como el vidente de Brahan, o Coinneach Odhar ("Dark Kenneth" en gaélico escocés), se creía que había nacido en la isla de Lewis en Escocia a principios del siglo XVII.

Después de adquirir una reputación como vidente local, los señores de la finca Brahan cerca de Dingwall en el continente escocés lo contrataron como profeta residente.

Alrededor de seis millas al este de Inverness se encuentra Drumrossie Moor, lugar de la famosa batalla de Culloden en 1746, donde el ejército jacobita de Charles Stuart fue diezmado por las fuerzas gubernamentales bajo el mando del duque de Cumberland.

Leer más sobre: ​​Historia británica

Bonnie Prince Charlie: príncipe rebelde

En 1630, se decía que Kenneth Mackenzie caminaba por Drumrossie Moor cuando de repente se puso fervoroso y gritó: "¡Oh! Drumrossie, tu páramo desolado, antes de que pasen muchas generaciones, se teñirá con la mejor sangre de las Tierras Altas. ¡Me alegro de no ver el día! Las cabezas serán cortadas por la puntuación, y no se mostrará misericordia ".

Más de un siglo después, Cumberland se ganó el apodo de "Carnicero" al mostrar "sin piedad".

6. Jacques Cazotte - Madame Guillotine y la Revolución Francesa

Jacques Cazotte (1719-1792) fue un autor francés, ocultista e invitado frecuente de esa gran institución de la Francia del siglo XVIII: el salón. En una de esas cenas en París en 1788, sorprendió a los invitados al predecir que el rey Luis XVI sería ejecutado en la revolución que se avecinaba, así como a muchos aristócratas, incluidos algunos presentes allí esa misma noche.

En mayo de 1789 comenzó la Revolución Francesa y muchos nobles perdieron la cabeza, como había predicho Cazotte. Unos años más tarde, en enero de 1793, su profecía más oscura se hizo realidad: el rey Luis XIV fue guillotinado frente a una gran multitud en el centro de París.

Leer más sobre: ​​Batallas

Napoleón: ¿héroe imperfecto o tirano loco por el poder?

También Cazotte tenía una cita con 'Madame Guillotine'. Se desconoce si había previsto su propia muerte o no, pero en septiembre de 1792 fue denunciado como realista por las autoridades revolucionarias y decapitado.

7. Emanuel Swedenborg - Su propia muerte

El enigmático erudito sueco Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) pasó su vida adulta viajando y estudiando por Europa.

Swedenborg afirmó haber soportado una noche de unos cincuenta años una desgarradora revelación de Jesucristo, quien informó a Swedenborg de su nueva línea directa con el mundo de los espíritus.

Swedenborg continuó haciendo muchas revelaciones psíquicas, incluido "ver" el desastroso incendio de Estocolmo de 1759 mientras estaba en una cena en Gotemburgo, a 250 millas de distancia.

Sin embargo, su mayor profecía se refería a su propia muerte.

En 1772 le escribió a John Wesley (1703-1791), el fundador de la Iglesia Metodista, y le pidió reunirse con él. Cuando Wesley se ofreció a reunirse con él varias semanas después de esa fecha, Swedenborg respondió que se uniría al "mundo de los espíritus" el 29 de marzo. De hecho, Swedenborg murió en esa fecha, mientras estaba en Londres, donde estuvo enterrado durante casi 150 años antes de ser trasladado a Suecia.

8. Wolf Messing: la desastrosa campaña rusa de Hitler

Nacido en Varsovia, el mago mental Wolf Messing (1899-1974) viajó por el mundo en su adolescencia dando representaciones públicas de sus poderes psíquicos.

Leer más sobre: ​​Historia medieval

La búsqueda nazi del tesoro sagrado desde el Martillo de Thor hasta el Santo Grial

Famoso por su legendaria acrobacia en la que entró sin oposición en la habitación privada de Stalin, la profecía más escalofriante de Messing ocurrió antes del estallido de la Segunda Guerra Mundial. En un teatro abarrotado de Varsovia, le dijo a la ansiosa audiencia que: `` Si Hitler va a la guerra contra el Este, su muerte lo espera ''. También tenía fama de haber predicho cuándo comenzaría la guerra, estando fuera por solo un mes, y incluso aparentemente le dijo a Stalin en los primeros años de la guerra que había tenido una visión de los tanques soviéticos entrando en Berlín.

¿Messing era un psíquico talentoso o simplemente un adivino afortunado con un buen conocimiento de la historia y las relaciones internacionales?

9. Jeane Dixon - La muerte de JFK

La astróloga estadounidense Jeane Dixon (1904-1997) afirmó que cuando era niña, una adivina en un carro cubierto le dijo que se convertiría en una psíquica famosa.

Un prolífico pronosticador, Dixon fue apodado "el vidente nacional" por la prensa.

Ya en 1952 predijo que un "demócrata de ojos azules" estaría en la Casa Blanca en 1960 y sería "asesinado o moriría en el cargo". Esto describe con precisión al icónico presidente estadounidense John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), aparte de sus ojos, que eran "gris verdoso".


Catalina la Grande: tu guía de la famosa Emperatriz de Rusia

Fue la gobernante más famosa de Rusia, Catalina la Grande, interpretada por la actriz Helen Mirren en una serie de televisión. El gran - ¿Un líder militar astuto y punta de lanza de los derechos humanos? ¿O era una "ramera engañosa" que solo servía a los privilegiados? Y la pregunta que todos quieren saber: ¿mató a su marido, el zar Pedro III?

Esta competición se ha cerrado

Publicado: 21 de octubre de 2019 a la 1:00 pm

Cuando Catalina Alekseyevna, emperatriz consorte de todos los rusos, se despertó el 28 de junio de 1762, recibió noticias alarmantes. Saltó de la cama, se vistió apresuradamente y corrió hacia el carruaje que la esperaba en los terrenos de su palacio, el Peterhof. Tal fue la prisa de Catherine esa mañana que no tuvo tiempo de peinarse antes de subirse al carruaje. En cambio, su costosa peluquera francesa la atendió mientras recorría las calles de San Petersburgo.

A medida que el carruaje ganaba velocidad, Catherine difícilmente pudo haber dejado de notar que las multitudes se agolpaban al borde de la carretera para aclamar su avance. Cuando llegó a su destino, pronto quedó claro por qué. Su esposo, el zar Pedro III de Rusia, había sido depuesto en un golpe de estado, llevado entre lágrimas a un futuro muy incierto, y Catalina lo reemplazaría.

Si Catherine hubiera considerado la magnitud de la tarea a la que se enfrentaba esa mañana, podría haber regresado directamente a la cama en lugar de aceptar audazmente la invitación del ejército para convertirse en su zarina. Rusia a mediados del siglo XVIII era un país vasto, rebelde y, en muchos sentidos, atrasado, arruinado por la pobreza y la desigualdad masiva. Gracias a su desenfrenada vida amorosa, su pasión por el arte elevado y sus gustos fabulosamente caros, Catherine se forjaría una reputación como una de las gobernantes más coloridas de la historia europea, convirtiéndose posiblemente en el proceso en la mujer más poderosa de la historia. Pero fue su logro al convertir a Rusia de un caso perdido en una auténtica superpotencia mundial lo que le valió el más preciado de los epítetos, "la Grande".

Escuche: Janet Hartley explora la vida de Catalina la Grande y considera si hay algo de verdad detrás de los escándalos asociados con ella, en este episodio del podcast HistoryExtra.

Cronología: Catalina la Grande

21 de abril de 1729 *

Sophia de Anhalt Zerbst, la futura Catalina la Grande, nace en Stettin (ahora Szczecin en Polonia) de la princesa Johanna Elizabeth de Holstein-Gottorp y el príncipe Christian August de Anhalt Zerbst.

21 de agosto de 1745

Catalina (el nombre que tomó en 1744 cuando se convirtió a la ortodoxia rusa) se casa con el futuro Pedro III en San Petersburgo durante el reinado de Isabel.

25 de diciembre de 1761

Pedro III se convierte en zar de Rusia.

28 de junio de 1762

Peter III es depuesto por Catherine con la ayuda de oficiales del ejército de élite, incluido su amante Grigory Orlov. Ella se convierte en emperatriz.

30 de julio de 1767

Catherine publica su Instrucción, que propone teorías políticas liberales y humanitarias.

25 de julio de 1772

Austria, Prusia y Rusia acuerdan la partición Polonia-Lituania. Rusia gana territorio en Lituania.

10 de julio de 1774

El Tratado de Kuchuk Kainarji (hoy Kaynardzha en Bulgaria) pone fin a la primera guerra ruso-turca (1768-1774). Rusia adquiere un territorio significativo en la costa norte del Mar Negro, incluidas las ciudades de Kerch y Kinburn y la costa entre los ríos Bug y Dnieper.

8 de abril de 1783

Catherine emite un manifiesto proclamando su intención de anexar Crimea del imperio otomano. La anexión se confirma en la práctica mediante un acuerdo con los turcos el 28 de diciembre de 1783.

21 de abril de 1785

Charters to the nobles and towns are promulgated, clarifying the rights and privileges of nobles and townspeople.

5 October 1791

Grigory Potemkin, Catherine’s favourite and former lover, dies on campaign in Moldavia just before the conclusion of the treaty with the Ottoman empire that ends the second Russo-Turkish War.

13 October 1795

The final partition of Poland-Lithuania is agreed between Austria, Prussia and Russia. Russia acquires 120,000 square km of Lithuania, western Ukraine and Belarus as a result of the three partitions.

6 November 1796

Catherine dies in St Petersburg.

*All dates according to the Julian calendar, used in 18th-century Russia. This timeline first appeared in BBC History Magazine in September 2019

What did Catherine the Great accomplish?

Catherine’s accomplishments are made all the more remarkable by the fact that she didn’t have a single drop of Russian blood in her body. She was born Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg on 2 May 1729 in what was then the city of Stettin (now Szczecin in Poland) to Prussian aristocrats. Her mother, Princess Johanna Elisabeth of Holstein-Gottorp, was a very small fish in Europe’s royal pond but she did have limitless ambition for her daughter and, just as importantly, connections. And it was one of these connections that enabled her to wangle an invitation for the young Catherine to the court of Empress Elizabeth of Russia. Luckily for Johanna, Catherine was a gifted girl. She was pretty, intelligent and, above all, charming, and her magnetic personality had soon enchanted Elizabeth – so much so that the Russian empress engineered Catherine’s engagement to her nephew, Peter.

Catherine’s union with Russia’s heir apparent would catapult her onto the world stage. But as a relationship, it was a car crash. She was worldly and cultured, devouring books on politics and history, and later exchanging letters with the French Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire. Peter was self-absorbed and immature, “talking”, as Catherine wrote, “of nothing but soldiers and toys. I listened politely and often yawned but did not interrupt him.”

Their marriage got off to an awful start – on their wedding night Peter left his new wife in bed while he caroused downstairs with his friends – and, with Peter’s elevation to tsar on his aunt’s death in December 1761, things only got worse. Soon he was taking mistresses and openly talking of pushing Catherine aside to allow one of them to rule with him. Not even the birth of a son, Paul, could save the marriage – rumours abounded that Paul’s father was in fact Catherine’s lover, the handsome courtier Sergei Saltykov .

He may have been tsar, but Peter suffered one crucial disadvantage in his confrontation with his wife – he was reviled by swathes of the Russian army. So when Catherine engineered a coup against him – with the help of artillery officer Grigory Orlov – it quickly picked up a devastating momentum. Peter, it was said, “gave up the throne like a child being put to bed”. For the most part, Russia’s church, military and aristocracy welcomed their new female ruler. But the Empress had even bigger fish to fry. She wanted Europe’s superpowers – Britain and France – to accord her nation the respect that she believed it deserved, and that could only be achieved on the military stage.

The great debate: did Catherine the Great kill her husband?

Coups were hardly rare in early-modern Europe, but what makes Tsar Peter III’s downfall in the summer of 1762 so intriguing is the identity of those who masterminded it. That Catherine was complicit in the deposition of her husband is almost beyond doubt – the couple’s relationship had long turned toxic, she had everything to gain from his removal (the Russian throne), and her lover, Grigory Orlov, was the public face of the revolt. But what is less certain is Catherine’s role in what happened next.

The coup caught Peter completely on the hop. After formally abdicating, he was. arrested, taken to the village of Ropsha, and placed in the custody of Alexei Grigoryevich Orlov, Grigory’s brother. A few days later he was dead.

The official explanation was that he had fallen victim to ‘haemorrhoidal colic’. But few doubted that he had been murdered. The big question is, did Catherine order the killing?

The fact is, we just don’t know. Most historians agree that she could, if she’d wished, acted to save Peter – by, for example, allowing him a passage into exile – and that she had lots to gain by ridding herself of him for good. But proving that the new empress had her husband’s blood on her hands has so far proved utterly elusive.

Catherine the Great’s military endeavours

Over the next three decades, Catherine’s armies embarked on a series of military endeavours that would establish Russia as an imperial heavyweight. In the east she partitioned Poland and swallowed up swathes of Lithuania and Belarus. In the south, she took the fight to the Ottoman Empire, with spectacular results.

In their confrontations with the Turks, the Russians were greatly hampered by the lack of a naval presence on the Mediterranean. To overcome this Achilles’ heel, Russia’s generals came up with an audacious plan – to sail a fleet over 4,000 miles from its home port in the Baltic around the west of France and Spain, and up the Mediterranean to take the Turks by surprise. Catherine signed off on the plan, and the payback was game-changing – a famous victory at the battle of Chesma in July 1770 (in which Russia lost at most 600 dead to the Turks’ 9,000″ and a foothold in the Mediterranean. She would later annex the Crimea.

More military victories followed – many of them masterminded by the dashing head of Catherine’s armies, Grigory Potemkin. By the mid-1770s, however, Potemkin was a lot more than just the empress’s chief military adviser – he was her lover. Catherine was smitten, calling him “My colossus… my tiger”, and writing: “Me loves General a lot.” If anyone can be called the love of Catherine’s life, it was he.

But he was far from the last. After her affair with Potemkin fizzled out, Catherine took on a string of new lovers – many of them, curiously, recommended by Potemkin himself. And as the Tsarina grew more elderly, so her new beaus appeared to grow younger – the last, Prince Platon Zubov, was 38 years her junior. Sharing a bed with someone old enough to be your grandmother may not have been to everyone’s taste, but it certainly had its compensations. Catherine routinely bestowed her paramours with titles, land and palaces – and, in one case, more than a thousand serfs.

Eligible young army officers weren’t alone in falling for Catherine’s charms. As her global reputation grew, more and more members of Europe’s intelligentsia developed a fascination with her, some travelling east to report back on the enigmatic woman behind Russia’s renaissance.

“The double doors opened and the Empress appeared,” wrote the French portrait artist Madame Vigée Le Brun after observing Catherine at a gala. “I have said that she was quite small, and yet on the days when she made her public appearances, with her head held high, her eagle-like stare and a countenance accustomed to command, all this gave her such an air of majesty that to me she might have been Queen of the World.”

If Catherine the Great had one overarching goal as empress, it was, in her words, to “drag Russia out of its medieval stupor and into the modern world”. In her eyes, that meant introducing Enlightenment values to the darkest recesses of Russian life, and investing vast sums of energy into promoting the arts. At the latter of these two ambitions, Catherine has few equals. She presided over a golden age of Russian culture, buying the art collection of Britain’s first prime minister, Robert Walpole, snapping up cultural treasures from France and, above all, creating one of the world’s great art collections, the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg. This was no ordinary museum but a shrine to the Enlightenment, and in its galleries Catherine placed 38,000 books, 10,000 drawings and countless engraved gems.

But all this cost money. Eye watering sums of money. Catherine was an inveterate spendthrift, and while she frittered 12 per cent of Russia’s national budget on her court alone, millions of serfs continued to live in grinding poverty.

How many affairs did Catherine the Great have?

The woman who became Catherine the Great was far from the ideal wife. Her marriage to Peter III of Russia lasted from 1745 until his suspicious death in 1762, and she had at least three lovers during this time (Catherine herself hinted that her husband had not fathered her children). As the widowed empress, she showed great favouritism to male courtiers and gained a reputation for rampant promiscuity that has veiled her love-life in myth. Various scholars have credited her with anywhere between 12 and 300 lovers – and even a secret second marriage.

Broken promises

When Catherine assumed the throne, it appeared that she would make some serious strides towards dismantling a system that, for centuries, had condemned Russia’s serfs to work as virtual slaves for their masters. She sponsored the ‘Nakaz’ (or ‘Instruction’), a draft law code heavily influenced by the principles of the French Enlightenment, which proclaimed the equality of all men before the law and disapproved of the death penalty and torture.

But draft stage is as far as the plans got. Catherine never followed through on the Nakaz, and a few years later, thousands of serfs were rising in revolt. They were led by a Cossack called Yemelyan Pugachev, who not only promised their freedom but declared that he was Catherine’s deposed husband, returning to reclaim his throne. This may sound faintly ridiculous, but for Catherine it was deadly serious and, as the rebels hunted down and butchered 1,500 nobles, she struggled to come up with a response to the insurrection.

When she eventually did, she was utterly ruthless. The revolt was crushed, Pugachev was captured, and he was forced to endure a thoroughly unenlightened death – first he was hanged and then his limbs were chopped off. Before long, Catherine enacted a series of laws that greatly increased the nobility’s privileges. For the vast majority of Russians, freedom would have to wait.

By now, Catherine was an old woman increasingly forced to consider what would happen to her adopted nation after her death. She had a frosty relationship with her son Paul, and made it abundantly clear that she’d far prefer her grandson Alexander to succeed her to the throne. It was a battle she would lose – in the short term at least. On 16 November 1796, Catherine had a stroke while on the toilet (not while performing a bizarre sexual act, as a stubborn but completely fabricated rumour has it) and died the following day. Paul was crowned tsar and, in a remarkable show of spite towards his mother, immediately passed a law banning a woman from ever again taking the throne. But his triumph was to be short-lived. Like his father, he was deposed and assassinated in a coup – to be replaced by Catherine’s favourite, Alexander. Most things that Catherine the Great had willed during her extraordinary life came to pass, and it seems that they continued to do so even beyond the grave.


Catherine the Great&aposs first marriage was a mismatch.

Her arranged marriage with her husband, the future Czar Peter III, was a mismatch from the beginning. By 1752, nine years into her marriage, Catherine had already found an alternative lover, Sergei Saltykov. Shortly after that she met Stanislaus Poniatowski, with whom she had a daughter, and whom she would later install as king of Poland, thereby strengthening Russia’s position in Europe with a loyal vassal. After overthrowing her husband Peter III in a coup d’état in July 1762, Catherine was crowned Empress of Russia. She would never marry again, instead taking lovers whom she promoted to key positions in the Russian government.

A key player in the coup was Grigory Orlov with whom she would have a son while she was still married. When in August 1772 Orlov left court, Catherine took another lover, Alexander Vasilchikov. But this relationship did not last long: Vasilchikov was replaced in 1774 with Grigory Potemkin, who became Catherine’s long-term de facto consort. Of this change in partners, Catherine wrote to a friend: "Why do you reproach me because I dismiss a well-meaning but extremely boring bourgeois in favor of one of the greatest, the most comical and amusing, characters of this iron century?" Even after their relationship ended around 1776, Potemkin remained her favorite minister, earning the title “Prince of the Holy Roman Empire.”

Over the next 20 years, Catherine would have a further seven romantic relationships. Although these were usually with much younger men, there is little to suggest any kind of voracious sexual appetite. So where do the legends about Catherine come from?

Grigory Orlov and Grigory Potemkin, lovers of Empress Catherine.

Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images


In reality, Catherine &aposloved to be in love&apos

Even during her lifetime, Catherine couldn’t escape the talk about her love life. There are stories out there about her associated with nymphomania, bestiality, voyeurism — and even a love of erotic furniture. And perhaps the most notorious myth is that she died making love to a horse. In actuality, she passed away after she suffered a stroke at 67 in 1796.

But the truth is: While she did have many lovers, she was never in a relationship with more than one at a time. And most of those relationships lasted at least a couple of years.

“She was a serial monogamist,” Helen Mirren, who portrays Catherine on the small screen, told Feria de la vanidad. “She loved to be in love. She loved the excitement of the eyes across the room as they enter and the dates. She went on dates, if you like. The difference was that when she was tired of someone, she either gave them a country, or she gave them a huge palace and enough money for them and their family to live comfortably for the rest of their lives. She had that financial power over people.”

Since she didn’t want to marry again (or else she𠆝 have to split her power), her grandiose parting gifts after a breakup became legendary. One ex is said to have received 1,000 indentured servants while Poniatowski was made the king of Poland.


The new Tudor King

Henry VII took care not to be too radical and he strove to keep control of all government matters, he was organized and oversaw all he could, without involving others. He knew his position was tenuous. He was, on the face of it, industrious and ruled with a powerful authority, with Majesty. He believed in the crown, he had to, if the Tudors were to become successful. He had to eliminate rival claimants and there were many. The previous royal family had married and intermarried with a range of aristocratic families and there were many who could claim 'royalty', it had got too complicated. Henry married Elizabeth of York, seemingly uniting the houses York and Lancaster and in that moment created a brand, the Tudor Rose that came to symbolize the new era, the Tudor Period.


3. Elizabeth had become Empress after deposing Ivan IV, who was Emperor at the time – and an actual baby.

We see him as a child on The Great – one who is never Emperor, and who is murdered by Elizabeth. But the real Ivan became Emperor at only two months old, was deposed by Elizabeth just over a year later, and was imprisoned until the age of 23, when he was murdered by his guards during the reign of Catherine the Great.


Bibliografía comentada

Alexander, John T. Catherine the Great: Life and LegeDakota del Norte. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.
Alexander examines the life of Catherine the Great in general, but pays particular attention to issues which other books on Catherine usually omit. He first focuses on her involvement in the coup d'etat: a conspiracy against her husband Peter III. Alexander discusses Catherine's concern with the crisis in public health in Russia, including her attempts to fight smallpox, pestilence, and the plague. Catherine had many lovers throughout her life and Alexander includes the love notes written to Peter Zavadovski from the years 1776 to 1777. Alexander attacks the stories of Catherine's involvement with bestiality. He assures readers that Catherine did not die while attempting to have sexual intercourse with a horse, but rather after suffered from an attack of apoplexy while sitting on her commode. Alexander not only discusses Catherine's life while she was Empress of Russia, but he also discusses her impact in the later centuries on stage and screen, sculpture, and painting.

Anthony, Katharine. Catherine the Great. Garden City, N.Y.: Garden City Publishing Company, Inc., 1925.
The book focuses on the primary events of Catherine the Great's life. It spends much attention examining Catherine's early years before she became Empress. Anthony also examines Catherine's relations with her multitude of lovers, especially Grigory Orlov and Grigory Potemkin. Anthony refers to both Catherine's envy of French art and culture and her resentment of the French attitude towards Russians as barbarians. Anthony discusses how Catherine viewed the French as the enemy. Catherine's intentions were to put her grandson, Alexander, not her son Paul, on the throne of Russia. She also intended to place her grandson Constantine on the throne of the Greek and Oriental Empires. Anthony includes a few pictures of Catherine and there is a short index at the end of the book. There is neither a bibliography nor endnotes to further assist the reader's research of Catherine The Great. This also leaves doubt to the legitimacy and authenticity of Anthony's work.

Cowles, Virginia. The Romanovs. New York, N.Y.: Harper and Row, 1971.
This book concentrates on the lives of those related to the Romanov dynasty. Chapter IV is dedicated to Catherine The Great. Cowles focuses on Catherine's promiscuity. She goes as far as to call Catherine a nymphomaniac. When Catherine's husband took the throne of Russia, Catherine was pregnant with Grigory Orlov's child. After Orlov's involvement in overthrowing her husband from the throne of Russia, Catherine refused to marry him. In the latter portion of the book she discusses Catherine's relationship with Grigory Potemkin. He was referred to as the "cyclops of the court." He had lost an eye, and one of the stories blames the loss of this eye on Catherine's former lover, Grigory Orlov. Potemkin apparently was involved in a fight with the Orlov brothers. Although it is believed Catherine never remarried after Peter III, many letters written to Potemkin address him as 'dear husband,' 'beloved husband' and she alludes to herself as 'your wife.' Cowles also examines her love of art and literature, including her correspondences with Voltaire and Diderot. Through her love of writing, Catherine poured her heart out in letters and memoirs. Despite her hatred of France, Catherine embraced the French language and culture. French was the language of her court. Catherine thought of herself as a liberal. The book features many color photographs that were specially commissioned by Russian born photographer, Victor Kennet.

Nevermore/CGREAT.HTM> (9 Nov 2004).
This web site by Dixon, a historian, discusses Catherine the Great and provides personal opinions of her. It contains an analysis of her ruling style, along with information about her marriage, the birth of her son, the reign of Peter III, and her reign as Empress. It includes pictures of her and those who were closely related to her and provides a bibliography. Dixon believes that Russia owes her much for her reign and that she truly earned the title "the Great." Dixon also believes that too many judge her for having promiscuous relationships while she may have just been filling her lonely hours by sharing her intellect with these men. She believes that in order to judge her greatness and see her achievements, one must distinguish between Catherine the woman and Catherine the Empress.

Dmytryshyn, Basil. Modernization of Russia Under Peter I and Catherine II. New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1974.
Half of the book focuses solely on the life of Peter I. The section dedicated to Catherine is entitled: "Catherine II's Instruction." Catherine achieved modernization through plagiarism of Peter I. This book examines the decrees and laws established under Catherine. These laws tried to bring to a successful conclusion the work of modernization that had been started by Peter I. Catherine tried to remodel Russia's laws, institutions, and society in accordance with the principles being expounded in Western Europe. The French Enlightenment inspired and persuaded Catherine's actions. She clearly states that Russia is a European state. She was also concerned with Russia's territory, its government, and the situation of its people. Dmytryshyn examines Grigory Orlov and his relationship with the Empress as well as his role in helping Catherine obtain the throne. Catherine's actions during her reign are examined through the eyes of Catherine, Russia, and foreigners. This book lacks an index and contains a small number of footnotes.

Gooch, G.P. Catherine The Great and Other Studies. Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1966.
Gooch refers to Catherine as one of the three celebrated 'Philosophic Despots' of the eighteenth century. Gooch questions whether or not Catherine's son Paul was the legitimate heir of Peter III, or the son of one of Catherine's lovers. He further examines the poor relationship between Catherine and her son. Despite other author's accusations of Catherine's hatred of France, Gooch devotes a whole chapter to Catherine's sympathy towards Marie Antoinette and her troubles resulting from the French Revolution. She is quoted as admiring her. The book begins to lose its focus on Catherine after discussing her relationship with Voltaire. The book goes on to discuss French salons and Otto von Bismark of Germany. There is a substantial section dedicated to Voltaire and his work as a historian. There is an index to further help the reader but there is no bibliography nor are there any footnotes.

Kaus, Gina. Catherine: The Portrait of an Empress. New York: The Viking Press, 1935.
Kaus pays a great deal of attention to Catherine's early life. Her relationship with her siblings and the poor relationship she had with her father discussed in detail. Catherine hungered for love, something she would struggle with for her whole life. She desired a husband who would provide her with a crown more dazzling than that of Zerbst, in her native land of Germany. Her marriage to Peter III was a failure but provided her with the crown of Russia. Her extramarital affairs are discussed. After the conspiracy against her husband was successfully carried out, the Imperial Guards proclaimed her the sole ruler of Russia. There was an intense hatred between Catherine and her son Paul,and because of this, Catherine planned to make her grandson, Alexander, the successor to the throne of Russia. Grigory Potemkin loved and admired her as no one else in Catherine's life. A number of illustrations are included as well as an index.

Lentin, Tony. "The Return of Catherine The Great." Historia hoy, December 1996, 16-20.
This article celebrates the bicentenary year of her death. There is suddenly a new wave of scholarly interest after an international conference in St. Petersburg. The article focuses on her accomplishments during her reign. She provided Russia with three and a half decades of political stability. She dedicated herself to the Enlightenment and putting those ideas into practice through legislation. She believed passionately in the power of the printed word. She encouraged book production and the translation of foreign works into Russian. The article highlights some of Catherine's most important reforms brought about during her reign. It also refers to some of the newest sources available on Catherine The Great and Lentin includes them in his citations.

Masson, Charles. Secret Memoirs of the Court of Petersburgramo. 2 nd ed. New York, N.Y.: Arno Press, 1970.
Masson examines Catherine's " favorites " or lovers whom she held in high esteem during her life. There are also documents, which question whether Russia would suffer the same fate as France and succumb to revolution. Chapter six examines the conditions in Russia that might have led up to a revolution. Masson comments on the debauchery occurring in Russia that went seemingly unpunished. Masson discusses female run governments in general and especially the female leaders of Russia before Catherine II. Catherine The Great tried to better the lives of Russian women. She gave them some positions of power and founded the Smol'ny Institute, Russia's first girls' school, in 1769. Catherine's love for knowledge and education were to be passed along to her grandsons but not in such elaborate fashion as she had planned. Their education was based on the great thinkers such as Locke, and Rousseau. Catherine imported many French scholars to educate the Russians, and he contributes this as a factor to why so many Russians, including Catherine, were taken by French culture. This book focuses in general on the influences in Catherine's life.

O'Malley, Lurana Donnels. "Masks of the Empress." Comparative Drama, Spring 1997, 65-85.
O'Malley reviews Catherine The Great's first play, Oh These Times. She discusses Catherine's use of plays as a way of expressing her political messages and priorities. Her attitude toward superstition and her attitude towards Moscow are major themes of the play. Moscow signified everything that needed change in her Enlightened Russia. The play also is a reflection of her moral and religious beliefs. This article enlightens the reader to yet, another of Catherine's talents. This article is an example of one of the enjoyments of Catherine's life and how she used it to further influence the lives of her subjects.

Raeff, Marc. "Autocracy Tempered by Reform or Regicide." The American Historical Review, October 1993, 1143-55.
The article examines the neglect of Catherine the Great's reign in Russia. He discusses new biographies written about the successive rule of Catherine II, Peter III, and Paul I. Raeff blames Communism for the neglect of this period of Russian History. With Communism's collapse in Russia there is now a renewed interest in people such as Catherine the Great.

Reddaway, W.F. Documents of Catherine The Great. New York: 1971.
This book was written in French, and later translated into English. The book is a reproduction of the correspondences between Catherine and Voltaire between the years 1762 and 1777. The letters reveal Catherine's philosophies in law, punishment, trade and commerce, and education. The book discusses Peter the Great's inspiration in regard to Catherine's projected code. Reddaway offers his commentary and analysis after each chapter. A timeline relevant to the correspondence of Catherine and Voltaire is included at the end of the book. It includes what was happening in philosophy, in Britain, within the European continent, and in Russia.

Scott, Robert H. "Catherine the Great." [ From Microsoft Encarta. 1995] <http://great.russian-women.net/Catherine_the_Great.shtml> (9 November 2004).
This site proved to give a rather thorough description of the life of Catherine II. It includes how she came to power as Empress of Russia, her role in Enlightenment literature, and her efforts to rationalize and reform the administration of the Russian Empire. It stresses the role that Catherine played in the development of Russia into a modern state.

StanKlos.com. "Catherine the Great, Ekaterina Alexeevna, 1729-1796, Empress Of All Russia." Virtualology. 2000. <http://www.virtualology.com/virtualmuseumofhistory/internationalhall/worldleaders/CATHERINETHEGREAT.ORG/> (9 November 2004).
A picture of her autograph and briefly annotated links to several other sites.

"The Empress of Opera." Civilización, 1 February 1997, 15.
Although the article is short in length, it discusses some important elements of Catherine's life. For example, her correspondence with French philosophers and the many lovers she had throughout her life are examined. Supposedly tone-deaf, Catherine devoted some of her time to opera. She wrote librettos for operas that were composed by musicians who she imported to St. Petersburg. Her most extravagant work was the dramatic History of Oleg. Oleg was a ninth-century Russian prince. Her work expressed her political views. The article makes it a point to mention that since she was Empress, she could easily get her librettos published. Despite this fact, contemporary audiences applauded her work.

Thomson, Gladys Scott. Catherine the Great and the Expansion of Russia. Aylesbury, London: English Universities Press, LTD., 1950.
Thomson presents a thorough view of Catherine the Great from her childhood until her death. Thomson discusses Catherine's young life in Germany and her incompatibility with Peter III. Thomson attributes reading as the basis for her involvement in politics. A major portion of the book is spent on her foreign policy and her dealings with Lithuania, Poland, and the defeat of Turkey. The relationship between Grigory Potemkin is discussed in great detail. The book also examines the continuation of Peter The Great's improvements and modernization of Russia. Because of this concept of modernization, Catherine built statues and public gardens and promoted music, theater, and dancing. She built an academy to supervise all the branches of art throughout Russia. She also founded a royal school of theater. Catherine was especially concerned with smallpox and plague, so she stimulated improvements in the science of medicine. The relationship between Catherine and her grandsons is another section of importance in this book. There is an annotated bibliography included at the end of the book for further reading on Catherine The Great.

U.S. Library of Congress. "Early Imperial Russia."Country Studies US. Dakota del Norte. <http://countrystudies.us/russia/4.htm> (9 November 2004).
This site focuses on the Imperial Expansion of Russia during the reigns of Peter the Great and Catherine the Great. It describes the annexation of many areas as the result of various treaties, as well as the the results from partitioning Poland. It also discusses the Pugachev Uprising which led to Catherine's determination to reorganize Russia's administration. Overall it shows how Catherine set the foundation for the nineteenth century empire. It provides useful information about Catherine's role in Russia and her attempt to make its administration more effective.

Van de Pas, Leo. "Catherine II "the Great." Worldroots. http://worldroots.com/brigitte/gifs/cath2russia.jpg. (9 November 2004).
On a site about the ancestors and relations to the author, he includes a portrait of the elderly monarch.

Waliszewski, K. The Romance of an Empress. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1905.
Although this book was dedicated to Catherine's entire life, chapter eleven provided valuable insight to Catherine as a writer. It was in her works written for the stage that the pen of Catherine is most prolific(p356). She does a bit of everything in literature, but she concentrated especially on dramatic writing. She wrote plays that were satirical, philosophical, social, or religious. Waliszewski provides the reader with a detailed account of Catherine's life. Its only flaw is that there is no bibliography, index, or endnotes of any kind.


The Real Story Behind Catherine the Great's Mythologized Sex Life

Ahead of HBO's series, we sort through the legend and the truth of the Russian leader's colorful romantic proclivities.

Legends abound about Catherine the Great&mdashthe good kind and the bad kind. In the plus column, the longest-reigning empress of Russia transformed her empire into one of Europe&rsquos great and enduring powers, annexing over 200,000 miles of land, building over 100 new towns, and fostering a golden age of development for the arts and sciences. However, Catherine wasn&rsquot simply a great conqueror&mdashshe was also an enlightened intellectual and a forward-thinking trailblazer, a woman who championed vaccination, uplifted female artists, exchanged letters with leading philosophers like Voltaire, wrote memoirs, and penned the first works of children&rsquos literature published in Russia.

Yet other legends are less savory (and less factual), namely the legends concerning Catherine&rsquos infamous life between the sheets. Even in her lifetime, Catherine was known for her string of male lovers, many of whom were significantly younger than her, and some of whom reaped political and financial benefits from their arrangement. Yet thanks to misogyny, jealousy, and a poisonous court culture, Catherine was acusado of practically every form of sexual deviance you can dream up--like bestiality, nyphomania, and voyeurism, to name a few.

With the monarch&rsquos story hitting television in HBO&rsquos Catherine the Great, we took it upon ourselves to sort fact from fiction when it comes to her personal life. Read on for the real story about how Catherine lived and loved.

Was Catherine the Great married?

Empress Catherine II of Russia was Nació Princess Sophie of Prussia (now Poland). In 1745, at the age of 16, she was married through a dynastic arrangement to her second cousin, the prospective Tsar Peter of Holstein-Gottorp. Upon her conversion to Russian Orthodoxy, she took the name Yekaterina (anglicized as Catherine).

The arranged marriage was a complete mismatch, largely due to Peter&rsquos personal failings--Peter was neurotic, stubborn, and an alcoholic. Desperately unhappy, Catherine began to take lovers. Though Catherine gave birth to three children who survived to adulthood, some historians believe that Peter fathered none of them, likely due to impotence or infertility.

Did Catherine the Great kill her husband?

Probably not, though public opinion held her accountable for his assassination. Catherine came to power through a political coup against her husband that lately turned deadly. When Peter inherited the throne, he quickly ended Russia&rsquos war with Prussia (as he was fanatically in thrall to the Prussian king, Frederick II) and sought to improve life for the working poor through domestic reform, alienating the military class as well as the nobility. Six months into his reign, when Peter left Saint Petersburg on vacation, Catherine met with the military, whom she implored to protect her from her husband.

Upon his return, Catherine ordered Peter&rsquos arrest and forced him to sign a document of abdication. As the only heir apparent was the crown prince Paul, then a small child, Catherine acceded to the throne. Eight days later, Peter died at the hands of Alexei Orlov, younger brother to Catherine&rsquos then-lover Grigory Orlov. No evidence exists to support Catherine&rsquos complicity in the assassination, yet the Russian public by and large held her accountable, casting a shadow over her reign. Though Catherine&rsquos detractors would argue that Paul should take the throne upon coming of age, Catherine squashed dozens of uprisings to reign for over three decades until her death.

How many lovers did Catherine the Great really have?

While some historians argue that Catherine took 22 male lovers, others claim that she had only 12 romantic relationships. Catherine loved to be in love, writing, &ldquoThe trouble is that my heart is loathe to remain even one hour without love.&rdquo

Though the number of Catherine&rsquos lovers is disputed, the nature of those relationships is not. Catherine alineado herself with generals, admirals, and wealthy nobles, forming relationships that were as politically rewarding as they were pleasurable.

What political favors did Catherine the Great&rsquos lovers receive?

Catherine was unfailingly generous to her current and former lovers, often dispatching them with parting gifts at the conclusion of their time together. Such gifts included lands, titles, palaces, and even people&mdashone former lover was dispatched with 1,000 indentured servants. Arguably the most handsomely rewarded of Catherine&rsquos lovers was Stanislaw Poniatowski, whom she later installed as the king of Poland in a bid to maintain Poland as a loyal vassal.

Who was Grigory Potemkin?

Grigory Potemkin, whose romantic and political relationship with Catherine is at the heart of HBO&rsquos new series, was largely believed to be the great love of Catherine&rsquos life. Potemkin was a minor noble who distinguished himself through military service in the Russo-Turkish War, after which he began a sexual relationship with Catherine and became the most powerful man in Russia. In Potemkin, Catherine found her equal, an intellectual and ambitious man with whom she could share power as well as romance. Together they masterminded the colonization of southern Russia, annexed Crimea, and founded the Russian Black Sea Fleet, which became one of the most powerful naval forces in Europe.

Potemkin reportedly possessed &ldquoelephantine sexual equipment,&rdquo according to one biography of Catherine. Catherine allegedly had his &ldquoglorious weapon&rdquo cast in porcelain to provide companionship while Potemkin was away, though the artifact has yet to be located, which casts doubt on the story. Catherine called Potemkin &ldquoGolden Pheasant&rdquo and &ldquoTwin Soul,&rdquo writing to him, &ldquoI love you all the time with all my soul.&rdquo

Even after their relationship ended, Potemkin remained a favorite of Catherine&rsquos, earning the title, &ldquoPrince of the Holy Roman Empire.&rdquo When Potemkin died of a fever at just 52, Catherine was distraught, writing to a friend, &ldquoA terrible deathblow has just fallen on my head&hellipmy pupil, my friend, almost my idol, Prince Potemkin of Taurida, has died&hellipyou cannot imagine how broken I am.&rdquo After Potemkin&rsquos death, Catherine never found another great love, instead choosing handsome, young, and politically insignificant men as her lovers, one of whom likened himself to a &ldquokept girl.&rdquo

How did Catherine the Great die?

She didn&rsquot die fucking a horse, that&rsquos for sure. The most notorious sexual myth about Catherine is that she was crushed to death by the horse with whom she was having sex. Other rumors claim that Catherine died while on the toilet. The reality is that Catherine suffered a stroke at 67 years old, then died peacefully in bed the following day.

Was Catherine the Great really a sexual deviant?

Stories about Catherine&rsquos sexual proclivities are numerous&mdashsome have argued that she collected erotic furniture, that she was a nyphomaniac, that she employed a trusted countess to vet potential lovers by sleeping with them first. Though Catherine took a number of lovers, there&rsquos little evidence to suggest that she had any deviant sexual proclivities. Catherine was famed for her sexual independence, but she was also the victim of a smear campaign by her envious and misogynistic male enemies--including her son Paul, who coveted the throne and sought to poison the court against her.

Progressive historians argue that many of the lurid stories about Catherine are vicious gossip spread by her enemies, which have now evolved into urban legends. After all, similar rumors of sexual depravity followed other powerful female leaders like Cleopatra, Marie Antoinette, Elizabeth I. Whatever Catherine was into, she was a singularly modern woman and a formidable ruler. Russia as we know it wouldn&rsquot exist without her.


Ver el vídeo: Catalina la Grande de Rusia y 2 Su reinado, sus guerras, sus favoritos.