Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Muscovy (Russian) winged horsemen crica 1678

The winged horsemen of Russian Tsardom - well, to many this may be a surprise, but during XVII century the Russian Royal (tsarist) Court embraced Polish, Turkish and even Persian fashions in costume, arms and horse furniture, along with already established Tatar and even older Mongol fashions.

 Well, I found the description written by a courtier to prince Michal Czartoryski talking about the spledors of Muscovite Court two decades before the beginning of new Russia under Pyotr I.
From the relation by Bernard Tanner, in Latin
Legatio Polono-Lithuanica in Moscoviam: Potentissimi Poloniae Regis ac Reipublicae Mandato & Consensu Anno 1678,

that depicts the entry of the Polish-Lithuanian envoy prince Czartoryski  into Moscow and Russian reception during AD 1678 - (published in Latin in 1689)
Approaching the town, we looked on with astonishment - a new, until now unseen troop of warriors.  They all had long robes of same red color; they were mounted on white horses, and at their backs they had attached wings, raised above their heads and painted in beautiful manner; in their hands they had long lances, and towards the lance point there was attached an effigy of winged golden dragon, that moved with the wind.  This troop turned out to be the legion of Angels. 
Подъехав к городу ближе, глядим — новый, невиданный дотоле отряд воинов! Цвет длинных красных одеяний был на всех одинаков; сидели они верхом на белых конях, а к плечам у них были прилажены крылья, поднимавшиеся над головой и красиво расписанные; в руках — длинные пики, к концу коих было приделано золотое изображение крылатого дракона, вертевшееся по ветру. Отряд казался ангельским легионом. [...]
[...] Then a new Tsar's courtier appeared and surrounded by fine riders. These  knights wore tightly fitting crimson żupans, over those żupans they had  'ferezye'* of rich textiles, lined with ermine fur, at the neck held with clasps/ brooches of silver and gold. These ferezye rolled up to the right and flapped onto the weares; backs, while on their heads they had kolpacks, looking like a mitre, shinning with the light made by gold and precious stones.
These horses had wonderful harnesses; [each horse] on the left and right side of the bit all the way to the saddle's pommel  [had] the silver, even some golden, 3-fingers wide finely chiseled  chains  attached that with each movement of a horse made pleasant jingles. Their saddles, quivers, horse shoes even, were made silver [or gilded with silver]. Riders changed horses by jumping from one horse onto another, with lightness and dexterity worth great admiration.
 On my friend Michal (Kadrinazi zhilcy) there is Polish language version of this description.
And this is the Russian version of the Tanner's relation (Russian winged horsemen appear on page 44) :
  Mounted zhilcy reconstructed in these  paintings by contemporary Russian artist Сергей Ефошкин (Sergei Efoshkin)  -  Zhilec and Zhilcy , more of his fine art here
 And this is XIX century reconstruction:
 The description of the envoy and his entourage by Tanner  is also very interesting and merits another post...
* ferezja at kismeta

1 comment:

Kadrinazi said...

Actually Czartoryski was Polish envoy, Lithuanian side was represented by Sapieha, voivod of Polock.