Thursday, February 19, 2009


An illustration of the adaptability of just about any system of symbolism; a Joseph Stalin/Virgin Mary icon, hanging in a church in Strelny:
The church's Beneficiary Evstafy Zhakov said the legend has it that Stalin would often hold discourse with Blessed Matrona of Moscow. And that is the scene depicted on the icon. However, church visitors didn't think it was a good idea and the icon was placed in the church's remote corner.

Beneficiary Zhakov explained that he sees Stalin as one of the nation's fathers, no matter how bad he was. He does not believe Stalin was an atheist.

Someone on the Mediev-L discussion list points out that Stalin has his back to the Virgin and seems to be striding away. Oh, well, he wasn't Russian, either.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Why I love English Russia

English Russia is a site which gives you some extraordinary picture of life in Russia today, every day. Many of the pictures are astonishing or hilarious.

I mean, Stalin himself is not funny, but who could not laugh at this? Granted, if you knew either Stalin or the car's owner, you might have a different reaction.

Why do I link to this site from an "early history" blog? The world historian in me has to love a site whose premise is: "just because something cool happens daily on 1/6 of the Earth's surface." Even the in the "sixths" we hardly ever think about.

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