Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers
1530s, from Medieval Latin Russi "the people of Russia," from Rus, the native name of the people and the country (cf. Arabic Rus, Medieval Greek Rhos), originally the name of a group of Swedish merchant/warriors who established themselves around Kiev 9c. and founded the original Russian principality; perhaps from Ruotsi, the Finnish name for "Sweden," from Old Norse Roþrslandi, "the land of rowing," old name of Roslagen, where the Finns first encountered the Swedes. This is from Old Norse roðr "steering oar," from Proto-Germanic *rothra- "rudder," from PIE *rot-ro-, from root *ere- (1) "to row" (see row (v.)).
Derivation from the IE root for "red," in reference to hair color, is considered less likely. Russian city-states were founded and ruled by Vikings and their descendants. The Russian form of the name, Rossiya, appears to be from Byzantine Greek Rhosia. Russification is from 1842.
A vast nation that stretches from eastern Europe across the Eurasian land mass. It was the most powerful republic of the former Soviet Union; ethnic Russians composed about half of the population. It is the world's largest country. Its capital and largest city is Moscow.
Note: Russia was ruled by czars of the Romanov family from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries.
Note: Peter the Great, a czar who reigned in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, attempted to westernize Russian government and culture.
Note: During the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Bolsheviks, under Lenin, took control of the government; communists governed from 1917 until 1991.
Note: Russia now occupies the seat on the Security Council of the United Nations formerly held by the Soviet Union.
City in northwestern Russia, situated at the head of the Gulf of Finland on both banks of the Neva River and on the islands of its delta; the second-largest city in Russia; a major port, and one of the world's leading industrial and cultural centers.
Note: The first Russian city modeled after European cities, it was founded in 1703 by Peter the Great, who wanted to make it his “window to the West”; renamed Petrograd at the start of World War I and then Leningrad in 1924 in honor of Lenin.
Note: Because it is so far north, St. Petersburg experiences “white nights” for three weeks in June when the sky never completely darkens.
Note: It is the location of the historic Winter Palace, which was sacked during the Russian Revolution but later became the Hermitage Museum.
Note: With the collapse of communism, the city was renamed St. Petersburg.
City in western Florida.
Note: A popular winter resort.
Note: Home for many retired persons from colder northern areas.