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The Vasiliologion of Nikolai Spafarii Milescu

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image of Russian History

The Romanian writer Nikolae Milescu (Nikolai Gavrilovich Spafarii) was the author of several books designed for the tsar and the Russian court in the 1670's. Working under the patronage of Tsar Aleksei's favorite, Artamon Matveev, Spafarii composed an account of exemplary monarchs from the past called Vasiliologion. He presented ancient and Biblical monarchs as just and wise but also as great conquerors and builders of cities, even when they were pagans. His portrait of Russian monarchs was closer to traditional Orthodox conceptions, but still stressed military victory and building. Spafarii was one of the first writers in Russia to introduce the Aristotelian political terms, monarchy and aristocracy.


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