Sunday, August 26, 2007

Whoever hung the sobriquet 'Great'...

…on Peter the… in Peter The Great, Tsar of Russia in the early 1700s, should have added Peter The Great Big Prick for he was a nasty bastard, going so far as to have his son the Tsarevich Alexis tortured and from which apparently he died a few days later, begging his father’s forgiveness.

...being knouted was not/is not a pleasant way to spend the afternoon…the Tsarevich skin was basically flayed like a trout while dad watched to make sure the soldier doing it didn’t wimp out…he was a monster was Peter The Great, but I suppose ‘great’ can be good great or bad great, in which case he was still Peter The Great. his time he would make the horrendous atrocities of today’s Taliban seem like child’s play; by the 1,000s were they led to the scaffold, to the wheel to be broken by sledge hammers, up the bloody steps to the executioner waiting with an axe to hack off your head, gulp, here comes Peter and the great big prick is pissed…

Peter hung some particularly recalcitrant home guardsmen – the Streltsy – from street lamps and trees throughout Moscow and just left them there to dangle & rot and collapse into a heap as they disintegrated, left for all to see to show those who did not get hung or broken on the wheel or pole-axed, that Peter the Great was not to be trifled with.

And if he – Peter – was a monster, what of Ivan the Terrible!? What must his history read like?! Well, for me, no one writes Russian history better than Robert K. Massie who wrote ‘Nicholas and Alexandra’ and this book I’m spellbound by, ‘Peter The Great, His Life and World’ – if you like reading history this is for you.

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