Russian Projects of Europeanism and the Polish Factor (from the Middle Ages to the Age of Nationalisms)

Alexander V. Lipatov 25 december 2011
Skriv ut
The historical paths followed by Poles and Russians towards Europe-from a common geographical space (as it appeared in Antiquity) to a common civilizational space (which took shape as various ethnic groups adopted the universal values of Christianity) were distinctly different. And it was this that determined the particularity both of the way in which they expressed universal cultural values and the way in which they understood their own identity as offshoots of those values, thus influencing the notions they had of each other as neighbours. Examining the still unresolved knotty problem of Polish-Russian relations from this perspective helps us become more aware of what draws Poles and Russians closer together and what divides them.[1] It helps because such an approach reveals the two-dimensionality of the national question and its specificic.

From the point of view of their origins, national elements and universal elements make up an integrated dialectical whole, not a rigid dichotomous division. The national cultures of Europe sprang from the common foundation of Christian axiology, and then took shape and evolved precisely in joint interaction with it, thus endowing universal civilizational values with local colour and also enriching and developing that universality through a kind of reverse mechanism.

In the antique space of Poland and Rus', the acceptance of Christianity, which created a feeling of universal (ecumenical) communal or collective belonging and identity, mapped onto an already existing primordial-local and vital-consciousness of Common or Proto-Slavic ethnogenetic unity.[2]

Monuments from the time of Ancient Rus', in particular the Primary Chronicle (covering the history of Kievan Rus' from circa 850 to 1100) prove that the Rus' attitude towards its Polish neighbours was similar to the way it perceived the tribes directly linked to Kiev[3]: a vital sense of Slavic shared identity, or collective belonging, and the instability of contemporary notions of state borders[4] determined the treatment of their "own" and the "foreign" in categories of closely related neighbourhood, and not in light of later notions of "our own" and "the foreign" understood in terms of the state or nation. It is precisely because of this too that a similar instability or changeability arose in the judgments of both Kiev's "internal" and "external" neighbours, dictated by the changeability of intertribal treaties and the tribes' relations with Kiev.

Initially (and more or less until the 13th century), the Schism in Christianity of 1054 had no great impact in principle on traditional notions.[5] Evidence of this are the marriages that continued to be contracted between Orthodox and Catholic believers (criticized and condemned by the hierarchs of the Eastern Church), the existence of the Catholic shrine in Kiev, not to mention the traditional matrimonial bonds of the Kievan rulers with the West,[6] or the various diplomatic and trading contracts. In this context it is worth emphasizing that confessional hostility (which also affected a more general attitude towards believers of other states and nations) was propagated mainly by Greeks-by senior hierarchs sent by the Constantinople Patriarchate to the Rus' Church, whereas to the average Rus' cleric, matters related to the Schism appeared somewhat abstract and shrouded in mist-due to his level of theological knowledge and his geographical separation from centres of institutional conflict between the Eastern and Western Churches.

Anti-westernism gradually arose and slowly developed in that part of Rus' which, following the Mongol and Tatar conquests (13th century), found itself within the geopolitical space of the Golden Horde and there took shape as Russia (this name appeared in the final decades of the 15th century)[7]. Isolated from the West and subjugated to the anti-western foreign policy of the Horde, the Russian vassal state thus internalized or assimilated the prejudices of its civilizationally alien overlord, uncomfortably, from outside of itself. With time these "external" prejudices acquired a healthy glow, also gaining an internal dimension owing to the uncompromising position of the Russian Church (as a reflection of the uncompromising position of the Roman Catholic Church) as well as to direct experience of military conflicts with the Swedes and the Livonian Brothers of the Sword. These representatives of Latin Europe-apart from inflicting the excesses typical of any foreign army in a land foreign to it-plundered and desecrated Orthodox shrines while the missionaries they brought with them tried to convert Russians to their own confession by force, treating Eastern Christianity (which had become an organic component of Russian national identity) with arbitrary ruthlessness.

After Russia gained independence from the Horde (final decades of the 15th century), anti-westernism grew as a result of the wars with Lithuania and Poland, but at the same time, in a parallel development outside of the Church-in the milieu of the political elite-another attitude towards the West that was moderate, balanced and pragmatic began to take root. This trend, which arose because of the current needs of the young state and the lay culture associated with it that was only just emerging, was conditioned by the current situation of European civilization. Precisely because of the current state of this civilization, problems associated with both a retrospective and future-orientated vision arose, as well as-springing from this-a more and more conscious need to make a choice of historical alternatives in the creation of Russian statehood and formation of Russian nationality that would measure up to modern European standards.

Following the Turkish conquest (1453), Byzantium ceased to exist as the cultural centre of the Pax Orthodoxa. Byzantinism remained only as a retrospective vision-a tradition facing backwards-left behind in the Middle Ages in favour of the dynamic and creative Pax Latina. Russia-the single independent Christian state in the geopolitical space of the former Pax Orthodoxa, now swallowed up by an alien civilization-had to build bridges with the Pax Latina in order to respond to the challenge of modern developments in European civilization. The beginning (and in a sense symbol) of the choice of this forward-thinking or future-orientated alternative was the marriage (in 1472) of Ivan III to Zoe Paleolog, the niece of the last Byzantine emperor, whose family had found asylum in Italy. This at once symbolic and political act of conjoining the European East and West was the result of shared interests (the Turkish threat) and the direct contacts between Moscow and Rome.

Along with the new tsarina, Italian architects, master builders, doctors, metal-workers, jewellers and other skilled professionals arrived in Moscow. An extended process of westernization began in the interests of state-formation. A process that was slow, inconsistent and full of set-backs-considering the position of the Church-but which was nevertheless also permanent, because it was necessary from the practical point of view of the state's interests, while its historic position within an internally differentiated civilization possessing a single common axiological foundation[8]-made it inevitable. In this respect the efforts of Tsar Boris Godunov to create a university on the European Renaissance model at the end of the 16th century, still in medieval Russia, were significant. This attempt finally came to nothing because of resistance from traditionalists in the Church. But already in the following century, the process of westernization gathered momentum, gradually encompassing all spheres of life-from science and learning, culture, architecture, literature and theatre to everyday morals and customs. And here neighbouring Poland played a special role as a constitutive part of the Pax Latina-alongside and despite political conflicts, confessional enmity and wars. The Muses indeed proved to be more powerful than Mars.[9] At that time, the Polish language became in Russia the language of high culture (as it had earlier in the Lithuanian, Ukrainian and Belarusian lands). In the curricula of the Slavic Greek Latin Academy in Moscow, established at the end of the 17th century, the Polish language was present until the end of the 18th century. Codices of Polish poetics and rhetoric, as well as numerous translations of Polish works were distributed throughout the country's vast space, thus shaping the development of modern Russian culture and furthermore-Russian secular culture in its Renaissance-Baroque form.

This polonization of Russian culture took place under the banner of westernization. And here we are dealing with a certain general truth in the development of civilizations.[10] The diffusion within one-common-civilizational space of certain currents having a transnational dimension, takes place via a language and culture which is originally national. In this respect Renaissance and Baroque Poland played a similar role in Eastern Europe to that played by Renaissance and Baroque Italy in the cultural history of Western Europe. Modern Europeanism came to the Ukrainian and Belarusian lands, and then later to Russia in the form that it had acquired in Polish culture.[11] Hence the cultural polonization of this part of Europe marked the westernization of the East Slav cultures. Essentially, the cultural polonophilism arising at that time did not define the attitude exclusively towards Polishness (very often opposed to the politics and confessions of other lands and cultural traditions in the region), but in the final analysis-also towards Europeanism. This concept now gained a new historical dimension. The internal differentiation of European culture (Pax Latina et Pax Orthodoxa), which had arisen in the Middle Ages due to the institutional conflict between the Eastern and Western Churches, had always had permeable boundaries because of the common axiological foundation. The gradual effacing of these boundaries in line with the development of East and West European secular culture (and in circumstances where Byzantium no longer existed as a vital cultural centre), had led-since the Renaissance and especially since the Baroque period-to the shaping of a general European process, both in the socio-political sphere and in culture, literature and art.[12] The awareness of this state of affairs in Russia by a creative minority-to use Arnold Toynbee's phrase-brought about the transformation from above of a "natural" evolutionary process of westernization into a revolutionary process-a process inspired from above, by the state of Peter I (who finally brought the Church under his control) and then accelerated in the light of utilitarian ideas, as understood by Thomas Hobbes.

In the "enlightened" space of the 18th century, as a result of the meritocratic reforms of Peter I, continued by Catherine II, an accelerated process of westernization (enlightened absolutism) of the Russian state and its high culture (represented by the enlightened classes) was finally accomplished. Hence the Russian Age of Enlightenment-simultaneous to the Polish Enlightenment (second half of 18th century)-appears not as before as secondary to Polish (and hence western) models, but as an equal partner in the context of shared and parallel orientations and connections, taking inspiration from the French philosophes and other achievements of the French, German and English Enlightenments.[13] This synchrony as well as the level and type of culture that characterized it, the various directions and schools found in literature and art (Classicism, Sentimentalism, Rococo, Pre-Romanticism),[14] and the standpoints taken in the sphere of philosophy, ethics, law and the natural sciences, provide clear evidence of Russian affiliation to contemporary Europeanism as an organic and integral part of it. From the start of the following century, the crowning achievements of Russian culture begin to be numbered among the highest achievements of Europeanism, presenting themselves at the same time as co-participants and co-creators in its development.

In accordance with western models of the past (the Roman Empire) and present (the German Holy Roman Empire), the Russian state westernized from above acquires (in 1721) the official name of Russian Empire, while the medieval autocratic title "tsar" is replaced by "emperor" ("imperator"). As a result of the state's cultural policy and the system of education and learning created within its framework-theatres, the press, publishing, translations of both specialist literature and belles-lettres[15]-as well as the system of 18th century patronage, two kinds of Europeanism arose.

Chronologically the first-let's call it domesticated Europeanism (domesticated by the state)-owes its existence to revolutionary changes: to the transplant carried out by Peter I, i.e. the surgical grafting of new models, operative in western countries, onto the organism of historical Russian culture. According to the utilitarianistic style of thinking of Russia's absolute rulers, this was to support the transformation of the Tsardom of Muscovy into an Empire ruled from Saint Petersburg. Initiated by a state modernized according to the western model, introduced by that state by force, developed and ideologized for its own needs, this type of Europeanism formed the basis of a top-down, well-planned nationalized society, of a society controlled by the state. This society was to realize the great designs of Peter I, who drove his Russian subjects towards Europe-by no means only in the metaphorical sense-with his notorious iron rod. Non-organic in the first generation, because forcibly Europeanized, but in the following generations already totally assimilated by European cultural models, this society was to be in the course of Russia's later history the bearer of the state's official ideology, to serve the state with its support and act as the executor of its policies.

This cultural policy initiated from above and consistently put into effect, also produced results not unanticipated by the official agency of the state. For alongside the westernization of political and intellectual culture, a personalistic form of thinking also began to take root and gradually separate off, a thinking which by its very nature did not fit into the ideological river-bed envisaged and gouged out from on high.

In contrast to the domesticated Europeanism introduced from above by the state, this was Europeanism from below, represented by independently thinking individuals. And it was precisely these people who began to create intellectual milieus outside the reach of the state, representing not official ideology but public opinion independent of it.

The turning of thinking individuals into conscious, active personal subjects, the creation by them of autonomous-in relation to the state-milieus, the development of their typical ideological models and paradigms of behaviour: these are the symptoms of the origins in Russia in the Age of Enlightenment of civil society. Its position is characterized by a universalistic-outside the official-cultural vision which unites humanity by means of the humanistic civilizational values formulated and proclaimed by the thinkers, writers and activists of the Enlightenment, whose symbolic centre was Paris. The first voices of this Europeanism represented by civil society were the writers Aleksandr Radishchev and Nikolai Novikov, while its first action was the Decembrist Uprising (1825).

The interconnection, already an historical one in Russian cultural perception, between Polishness and Europeanness -but in fact the actual identity of Polishness with Europeanness -continues to function throughout this time. Significant personifications of this are the figures of and contacts between the poet and future Decembrist Kondratii Ryleev and Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz, and Adam Mickiewicz and his "Muscovite friends."

This already traditional cultural continuity existed independently of any political continuity-or rather beyond ideology and official politics. This kind of Polishness and this kind of Russianness were united by common thinking in categories of Europeanness, hence the demand for Poland's independence (since 1795 Poland had been partitioned between Russia, Austria and Prussia) included in the Decembrists' programme, or the slogan of the Polish Uprising of 1863 "for your freedom and ours." Wacław Lednicki, a distinguished Polish scholar who knew Russian "inside out," writes as follows of the high level of Russian culture at that time and its role in the life and poetry of Mickiewicz: "[...] how intimately Mickiewicz's early poetry lived alongside Russian poetry; how much Mickiewicz could draw from Russian culture and how much he remembered, what a high intellectual distinction characterized his 'Muscovite friends,' those whom he know and those he did not know personally [...]. Not only the works-but the private letters and diaries of these people provide irrefutable evidence of the fascinating, often truly phantasmasgoric spiritual culture and real national genius, which this Russian aristocratic world elevated to the heights of European civilization. It was precisely there, in Russia, in the magnificent milieu of the Russian ancestral and intellectual aristocracy that Mickiewicz established his ties with the West."[16]

Mickiewicz's Russian friendships, his knowledge of Russia as well as the clear-sighted opinions about Russia which accompanied them-and which were much more advanced than contemporary Russian discussions on the state, the nation, specific national characteristics and Slavic interrelations-arose (and were only possible at all) thanks to the common civilizational foundation shared by Russians and Poles.[17]

In the Romantic era, when national ideas arose in response to the objective process of the formation of modern nations, a problem that especially troubled civil society was the revisualization-following the Age of Enlightenment-of the nature of the connections between national and universal civilizational elements. The nationalistic patriotism (or patriotic nationalism) then taking shape and undermining the universalistic vision of the Enlightenment, gave rise to a dichotomous expression of the question of nationality and Europeanism. In this context one can sometimes observe, in certain instances of Russian high culture, stances of Europeanism in the version favoured by nationalized (state-controlled) society, and in the version preferred by civil society. These may be seen as mapping onto the Romantic version of nationalistic patriotism (patriotic nationalism), or the still vital cosmopolitan patriotism of the Enlightenment respectively. Embodiments of these contrasting phenomena in the intellectual life of Russians and Poles are their national (poetic) geniuses: Pushkin and Mickiewicz.

The former, who was profoundly attached to Russian national culture, was at the same time imbued with Europeanness. Already in his lyceum years he acquired the nickname "Frenchman" because of his excellent command of the French language, superb knowledge of French literature and perfect acquaintance with French culture. As a writer, apart from setting the standard to which Russian national poets should aspire, he introduced into Russian literature new stylistic models of narration taken from contemporary French prose. Mickiewicz declared that if it were not for Byron, "Pushkin would be declared the first poet of the age."[18] And yet at the same time he typified that "dualism": that assumption of two types of Europeanism. As a poet who contributed to the consolidation of the Russian national state (госурственник) he sang the praises of the Empire and wrote his "anti-Polish trilogy,"[19] yet at the same time he glorified freedom and addressed his "Message to Siberia" (Во глубинах сибирских руд..., 1827) to the Decembrists sentenced to penal servitude. He saw and understood the dark "reverse" side of the shining "obverse" of the Empire, but could reveal this only in contacts with his closest friends: "Of course, I despise my fatherland from head to foot, but I am hurt if a foreigner shares that feeling with me."[20] The contradictions in Pushkin were explained by his friend A.I. Turgenev in a letter to his brother: "As a poet, he thinks that without Russian patriotism, as he understands it, it is not possible to be a poet, and for the sake of poetry he doesn't want to step out of his barbarism."[21]

Significant for Europeanism in its civil society version is the identification here of nationalistic patriotism (patriotic nationalism) with barbarism on the political level, seen as characteristic of the position assumed by nationalized (state-controlled) society. It was precisely the brothers Turgenev, S.A. Sobolevskii, P.A. Viazemskii, K.F. Ryleev, A.A. Bestuzhev from Pushkin's circle who, condemning Pushkin's official patriotism, belonged among Mickiewicz's "Muscovite friends."

In contrast to the official patriotism of nationalized (state-controlled) society, the patriotism of civil society retained the Enlightenment dimension as a vital, living tradition. In its openness towards Europeanism, it did not depict its own particularity and universality in a dichotomous relationship, while remaining conscious of the limitations of their dialectical interconnection.

Pushkin, professionally interested in history, was a pupil and disciple of Nikolai Karamzin and thought like him, in state-building categories. Hence his Europeanism expresses itself in the political historiographical version, and differs precisely as such from the philosophical historical thinking of Petr Chaadaev and Adam Mickiewicz.[22] The foremost Russian philosopher and the foremost Polish Romantic poet are brought together by their common ideological outlook-Christian universalism-and it is precisely in its light that their vision of country and nation is outlined.

In those days of "word and action" a particular way of thinking arose and particular attitudes took shape, which in the course of their development were to exercise an important influence on future developments, and thus also on our contemporary world.

Thinking in the categories of a nationalized (state-controlled) society in itself divided Russians from Poles, while it isolated official Russia from the modernity of the West. (At that time, in the Empire of Nicholas I, there appeared the notorious definition "the rotten West" as opposed to Russian "grit"). On the other hand, thinking contrary to official ideology, in the categories of civil society, which-despite the political circumstances-brought Russians and Poles closer together, united them by this very fact within the universal civilizational space of their common European "native realm" (to borrow Czesław Miłosz's phrase).

Resulting from the internal division within Russianness into a nationalized (state-controlled) society and civil society, the two forms of Russian patriotism reflect the division in the Europeanized culture of Russia. One form of patriotism, locked in its already "domesticated" Europeanized Russianness, which in light of its bipolar division of the world (into "them" and "us")-as well as the attitudes and prejudices that stem from this-is treated politically, as the antithesis of the West. The second form of patriotism is cosmopolitan (in the Enlightenment sense), hence it is open-minded and treats Russianness civilizationally-as a constituent part of Europe. Hence its cultural essence represents a repudiation of the imperial essence of the state ideology, which by opposing Russia to the West, isolates Russia by this very act from the universal (transnational) civilizational community.

The clash between these two forms of patriotism appeared for the first time during the Decembrist Uprising and then, following its suppression, in the government of Nicholas I. At his instigation, the Russia that had emerged in the 18th century as a universalistic empire, was transformed-carried on the wave of 19th-century national ideas-into a nationalistic empire. The idea of Great Russia as a power was transformed into the idea of Great Russianness as a strictly ethnic notion. As a result of this conceptual transformation, the official ideology of Russia in the century of European nationalisms acquired a sense, a quality and a confrontational stance in relation to the other peoples of the Empire. The official ideological triad-of "orthodoxy," "autocracy" and "nationality (народность)"-placed the state-controlled (nationalized) form of religion, Russian power and the ethnic Russian people above all other religious and ethnic identities present within the Russian state. By the same token, the development of a political nation of Russia was rendered impossible. This inevitably drove, in the longer historical perspective, multi-ethnic Russia into successive crises and ultimately to its collapse.

The Polish question finds itself directly involved in this nationalistic reinterpretation of reasons of state. An offshoot of Nicholas I's change in approach to the West was his attitude to Polishness as an incarnation of Europeanness. This radical transformation is symbolized, on the one hand, by the friendship and cooperation of Alexander I and Adam Jerzy Czartoryski and, on the other, by the confrontation between this distinguished statesman and Nicholas I. The polonophobia of imperial ideology began precisely with Nicholas I. It was this fear that directly provoked the November Uprising, introduced from above into the consciousness of nationalized (state-controlled) society. In contrast, the polonophilism of civil society was an offshoot of its thinking in categories of Europeanism. And it was this that determined the internal division within Russianness and had a lasting impact on its attitude to Polishness: on the one hand, the hostility of the authorities and nationalized (state-controlled) society, and on the other, and the sympathy of civil society.[23]

The imperial tradition reinterpreted by Bolshevik totalitarianism in categories of social class, likewise excluded the possibility of creating a political nation and, along with the non-reformability of the political and economic system, brought the country similarly inevitably to its next crisis. At the same time, by distancing the country from universal European culture and values, the Russian central power-regarding itself as the single subject and demiurge of Russian history [24] -itself destroyed its own foundation, which sprang originally from a common European civilizational axiology.

At the time of the Thaw-that beginning of the end of the USSR-modern Polish culture, Polish literature and art again began to play, as in the 17th century, a leading mediatory role in the revival of the ties between Russianness and contemporary Europeanism.

Post-Soviet Russia finds itself at the crossroads.[25] The political thinking of its leaders has become stuck in the ruts of an archaic imperial tradition. The future depends on whether and when they will succeed in understanding that Historia magistra vitae est.




Translated into English by Ursula Phillips





[1] See A.W. Lipatow [A.V. Lipatov], Słowiańszczyzna-Polska-Rosja. Izabelin, 1999; idem, Rosja i Polska: konfrontacja i grawitacja. Toruń, 2003; idem, Rosja dzisiejsza: między przeszłością a teraźniejszością, Toruń, 2007.

[2] Significant evidence of the then common Slavic consciousness is the myth of the brothers Czech, Lech and Rus preserved in the Chronicle of Greater Poland (Kronika Wielkopolska) as well as in South Slavic sources.

[3] For the purpose of the current translation, I have chosen to use the standard established English-language form, hence: Kiev and not Kyïv-Trans.

[4] The author of the Primary Chronicle, for example, when enumerating the tribes of the "Rus' Land" (the proper title of the Kievan state) claims that the "Radimichs" and "Viatichs" came from the Polish land (literally: from the "liakhs ["od liakhov'"]"-from "Lech"-pronounced in the old Rus' language as "Lach").

[5] See B.N. Floria, "У истоков конфессионального раскола славянского мира (Древняя Европа и её западные соседи в XIII веке)," Славянский альманах, Moscow, 1996; idem, "Христианская Европа между Западом и Востоком," Исторический вестник, Moscow, 1996, nos.1-5; idem, История литератур западных и южных славян. vol.1, Moscow, 1997.

[6] Here are a few significant examples of such bonds: Sviatopolk (ruled 1015-1019) married the daughter of Bolesław I of Poland ("the Valiant"). Iaroslav the Wise (ruled 1019-1054), who figures in the genealogy of the present Queen of Great Britain, was married to a daughter of the King of Sweden. All his sons married daughters of rulers of Byzantium, Poland or Germany, while his eldest daughter Anne was given in marriage to Henry I of France, Anastasia to Andrew I of Hungary, and the youngest Elizabeth to Harald III of Norway. Iziaslav (ruled 1054-1073, 1076-1078) was married to Gertruda, sister of Kazimierz I of Poland ("the Restorer"), daughter of Mieszko II of Poland and Richesa of Lorraine.

[7] Throughout this article, I have translated the Polish form Ruś as Rus' (i.e. Русь), which is the standard usage in British historiography, and used Russia to translate Rosja (Россия). Until the reign of Peter I or at least until the establishment of the Romanov dynasty, however, English-language historiography tends to prefer Muscovy when referring to the "Russian" state-Trans.

[8] A. В. Липатов, [A.V. Lipatov], "Европейская цивилизация как дифференцированная целостность (Запад и славянe)," [in:] Европа, no.2 (3), Warsaw 2002.

[9] See the works referred to above in footnote 1.

[10] A.W. Lipatow, "Zmiana paradymatów: od średniowiecza ku literaturze nowożytnej," Barok, III/2 (6), 1996.

[11] История литератур западных и южных славян, vol.1. Moscow, 1997; A. W. Lipatow, "Ukrainizacja polonizacji a kwestia sarmatyzmu," [in:] Barok wobec Europy. Kierunki dialogu, edited by A. Nowicka-Jeżowa, volume editor E. Bem-Wiśniewska, Warsaw, 2003; idem, Sarmackie korzenie okcydentalizacji kultury rosyjskiej; idem, Rosja i Polska: konfrontacja i grawitacja. Toruń, 2003; M.V. Leskonen, Мифы и образы сарматизма, Moscow, 2002.

[12] Славянские литературы в процессе становления и развития, vol. 1. Moscow, 1987; A. V. Lipatov, "Древнеславянские письменности u oбщеевропейский литературный процесс. К проблеме исследования литератур как системы," [in:] Барокко в славянских культурах, Moscow, 1982; Литература эпохи формирования наций в Центральной u Юго-Восточной Европе. Посвещение. Национальноe возрождение, Moscow, 1982.

[13] A. W. Lipatow, "Polskość w rosyjskości: różnokierunkowy paralelizm percepcji kultury zachodniego sąsiada (Państwo i społeczeństwo obywatelskie)," [in:] idem, Polska i Rosja: konfrontacja i grawitacja. Toruń, 2003; idem, "Literatura polska jako jeden z elementów literatury rosyjskiej (udział polskości w dziejach rosyjskości)," [in:] Romantyzm. Poezja. Historia. Prace ofiarowane Zofii Stefanowskiej, edited by M. Prussak and Z. Trojanowiczowa, Warsaw, 2002.

[14] История литератур западных и южных славян. Т.II, Moscow, 1997.

[15] From 1702 the first theatre open to the general public functioned in Moscow, while in Saint Petersburg the first printed newspaper appeared; the Academy of Sciences was founded in Saint Petersburg in 1725, Moscow University in 1755, and the Academy of Fine Arts in Saint Petersburg in 1757.

[16] Wacław Lednicki, "Czaadajew, Mickiewicz, Puszkin, Custine, Dostojewski, Lermontow, Turgieniew a filozofia dziejów Rosji." [in:] Puszkin 1837 - 1937, vol. 2, Kraków 1939, pp. 449 - 450.

[17] See Lednicki (op. cit.) and also his chapter "Wieszcz polski i wieszcz rosyjski: bliskość i opozycja" [in:] A. W. Lipatow, Rosja i Polska: konfrontacja i grawitacja. Toruń, 2003.

[18] Adan Mickiewicz, "Puszkin i ruch literacki w Rosji," reprinted from Le Globe, 1837, trans. A. Górski, Dzieła, Wyd. Jubileuszowe, vol. 5, Warsaw, 1955, p. 297. [19] This is how Lednicki described the 1831 poems "To the Slanderers of Russia" (Клеветникам России), "The Anniversary of Borodino" (Бородинская годовщина) and "Before the Holy Tomb" (Перед гробницею святой). (Wacław Lednicki, Aleksander Puszkin, Kraków, 1926, p. 36).

[20] A.S. Pushkin, Собрание сочинений в 10-ти томах, vol. 10, Leningrad, 1979, p. 161. (Letter to P. A. Viazemskii, 27 May 1826 ).

[21] I quote here from the Polish translation by Wacław Lednicki. (See Lednicki, "Czaadajew, Mickiewicz, Puszkin, Custine, Dostojewski, Lermontow, Turgieniew a filozofia dziejów Rosji" [in:] Puszkin 1837 - 1937, vol. 2, Kraków ,1939, p. 442).

[22] A. W. Lipatow, "Mickiewicz i Puszkin: portret na tle historiografii i historiozofii" [in:] idem, Rosja i Polska: konfrontacja i grawitacja. Toruń, 2003.

[23] Here is what one contemporary witness, Alexander Herzen, had to say: "All those in Russia who read, hate the authorities." (A. I. Hertsen, Полное собрание сочинений, Moscow, 1956, vol. 7, p. 220). "When the revolution broke out in Warsaw in 1830, the Russian people showed no hostility towards those who were rebelling against the Tsar; young people were wholeheartedly devoted to the Polish cause. I remember the enthusiasm with which we reacted to the news from Warsaw; we cried like children when we heard accounts of the requiem mass held in the Polish capital for the intention of our martyrs from Saint Petersburg. Our sympathies for the Poles exposed us to severe punishment, we had to hide them in our hearts and keep silent." (A.I. Hercen, Pisma filizoficzne, vol. 2, Warsaw, 1966, p. 212). From this and accounts of other witnesses, it transpires that Russian civil society had the same enemy as the Poles in the form of the Russian authorities, while support for the Decembrist revolt had an impact on the November Uprising which happened five years later.

[24] Iu.S Pivovarov, A. I Firsov, "Русская система: генезис, стpуктура, функционирование (тезисы и рабочие гипотезы)." Pyccкий исторический журнал, Summer 1998, vol. 1, no. 3; A. W. Lipatow, Rosja dzisiejsza: między przeszłością a teraźniejszością. Toruń, 2007.

[25] A. W. Lipatow, Rosja dzisiejsza: między przeszłością a teraźniejszością. Toruń 2007. (See also the chapter "Rosja z perspektywy dzisiejszej" [in:] A. W. Lipatow, Rosja i Polska: konfrontacja i grawitacja. Toruń, 2003).