Just finished reading Catherine The Great: Portrait of a woman by Robert K. Massie📚😊🌟 Catherine the Great's rule brought a literary, land expansion, philosophical, artistic and medical advancements to the Russian empire. Under Catherine's rule there was a serge in hospitals, art centers and libraries. Catherine's love for the French enlightenment inspired her to buy out all of Voltaire's volumes and Diderot's library! She promoted medical advancements and defeated the Smallpox. Catherine constructed The Hermitage by collecting art from across Western Europe by buying entire galleries from the elite. Under her reign she obtained property like the Black sea, Lithuania and had a puppet king in Poland. She wrote the a book called Nakaz, which was mainly about law reform and parliament. It attempted to rid of serfdom in Russia, but it was taken out due to rise of revolutionaries and she feared dethronement. Sadly serfdom didn't end until 1861 under Emperor Alexander II's rule.
Catherine II was born of German aristocratic decent with the name Princess Sophia Friederike Auguste Von Anhalt Zerbst Dornburg but her mother determined for her daughter to marry her cousin Peter the future tsar of Russia. Both spent their childhood in Germany and met at the age of 10. However, although Peter liked her, he wasn't in love with her but this was enough for his aunt, Empress Elizabeth of Russia. Catherine married Peter when she was 16 years old and for sorrow they didn't have a happy marriage, she suffered from abuse and didn't produce his child till 9 years of marriage. Catherine ended up having 12 lovers, but to me she only truly loved 3 of them.
Sophia changed her name to Catherine when she converted to Russian Orthodoxy to marry Peter. Catherine was ambitious by embracing the Russian culture, learning the Russian language in the middle of the night and purposely surrounding herself with the Russian elite.
Catherine was determined to have power in her husband's reign. She came to power through a military coup.
Painting- Equestrian portrait of Catherine II the Great of Russia by Vigilius Erichsen. #catherinethegreat #books #russianhistory #learning #russianculture