Feofan Prokopovich (1681-1736), sotrudnik of Peter I, his church re- former and apologist, left three writings relating to the succession crisis of 1730 in Russia which historians have largely ignored. This essay hopes to repair the omission. It will attempt to establish when and why these docu- ments were written; to pinpoint what they might tell us, both individually and when taken together, about Prokopovich's own role in the crisis; and to suggest, in sum, how they might contribute to our understanding of the crisis itself-an "event," to be sure, which has been the subject of sharply different interpretations. The longest of these writings by far is a narrative interspersed with com- mentary which is known either as the "Istoriia" of the election and succes- sion of Anna Ivanovna or as the "Skazanie" of Peter II's death and Anna's assumption of the throne. Prokopovich's "Account" of the crisis, as we will call it, is much too long, indeed prolix, to merit verbatim translation in its entirety. Yet it is the fullest, in fact the only overall account of the crisis by someone who was both an eyewitness and a participant that sur- vives; and for this reason, as
Canadian-American Slavic Studies – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1
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