The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.

How Russian women were punished for romance with foreigners


Source: Clever

In the 17th century, the French ambassador, Foix de la Neville, noted in his notes about visiting our country: "Russian women are very greedy for foreigners and very easily decide on intimacy."

Despite the fact that de la Neville’s testimony is not taken by all historians seriously (there is a suspicion that his work is a compilation from books of other travelers, written without leaving the office), it’s still possible to take the situation in these stingy lines faith writes Clever. In fact, why not?

Фото: Depositphotos

Since ancient times, there have been quite a few foreigners in Russia who came here to trade and serve, so why not happen a romance between a Russian beauty and an overseas youth? And how did society relate to these novels?

Marriages - only with your own!

With regard to the creation of families with the Gentiles, the laws of ancient Russia throughout its history from ancient times to Peter I were unanimous. It is impossible! The statute of Prince Yaroslav on the ecclesiastical court, in charge of marriage law, said that if a Jew or a Muslim marries a Russian woman, a fine of 50 hryvnias should be levied from a non-believer and a woman nun. Marriages with non-Orthodox Christians - Catholics and Protestants - were also not encouraged at all.

Non-Orthodox Christians were regarded as heretics. The 6th Ecumenical Council says about marriages with heretics quite unambiguously: “It is not worthy for an Orthodox husband to be united with a heretical wife by marriage, nor for an Orthodox wife to be combined with a heretic husband. If something like this is made, made by someone: it is not hard to honor the marriage and to dissolve the unlawful cohabitation. For it is not fitting to mix the immiscible, nor to combine with the sheep a wolf, and with the part of Christ the lot of sinners. But if anyone decides by us that transgress, let him be excommunicated. ”

As you can see, the punishment of the disobedient was threatened with serious: violent tonsure or excommunication.

However, for persons from noble families, an exception was made. The Kiev princes, as you know, gave their daughters to marry European sovereigns, and later, in the era of Peter the Great, marriages with the “Latins” and Lutherans became quite common. The absolute ban was preserved only for marriages with Jews and Muslims.

And no extramarital affairs!

“Free love” in Russia, of course, was not at all encouraged, nevertheless, there were plenty of cases when an unprofitable maid or a merry widow got into an affair with some kind good fellow. Such deviations from public morality are also very severely punished. The same charter of Yaroslav the Wise said that an unmarried girl or a widow, seen in fornication or who gave birth to a child, should be exposed and then imprisoned in a monastery to serve church repentance. Repentance meant imprisonment on bread and water, a myriad of bows and a presence at all church services. Guilty girl, in addition, threatened serious punishment from parents - the most severe flogging.

If so sternly suppressed the cohabitation with a Russian man, then the connection with a non-believer was punished twice as seriously. The confinement in the monastery and penance were especially strict.

However, Herberstein, who left detailed “Notes on Muscovy,” has a remark that the Russian people consider it less of a sin to have a Russian woman living with a foreigner than the connection between a Russian man and an innocent person. This is explained by the fact that a foreigner, having received a “seed”, can leave and give birth in a foreign land. In this case, the child of the Russian person will grow up a heretic. A child conceived by a Russian woman, albeit from a Gentile, will still be baptized and brought up in the Orthodox faith. Whether such an opinion existed or not, let us leave Herberstein on conscience, who was a great inventor in general, but there is some logic in this reasoning.

But sometimes you can

There are many foreigners who settled in Muscovy, faithfully serving the Russian sovereigns and becoming the founders of famous clans. Such, for example, is the Lermontov family, whose ancestor arrived in Russia in the 17th century, or the Barclayev de Tolly family, who served the Russian crown for three centuries. And there are a lot of such examples. The sovereign bestowed upon them for the faithful service of the village, rewarded from the royal treasury. And foreigners lived, served and married Russian women. How is this possible? Only with one indispensable condition: the bridegroom was to adopt Orthodoxy. Arrested, he took the Russian name (for example, Georg Lermont became Yuri Andreevich), and after that no obstacles to the marriage arose.

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