Considerations on Voltaire scholar of Peter The Great and Russia
Keywords:Voltaire, Anecdotes concerning Peter the Great, History of the Russian Empire under Peter the Great, Russia
This paper offers a brief account of the genesis and development of Voltaire’s interest in the figure of Peter the Great, and his immense homeland, Russia. Voltaire has dedicated two of his works to these topics: Anecdotes concerning Peter the Great (1748), and History of the Russian Empire under Peter the Great (1759-1763). In both texts, the famous sovereign is portrayed as an enlightened monarch who hated prejudice and ignorance, and managed to initiate a vehement modernization process that led to the civilization of the Russian folk, despite the vigorous opposition of the conservative forces (Eastern Orthodox Church, boyars, and streltsy).
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