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"Muschoviten ... turcken icke olijk" : ryssatribut, och deras motbilder, i svensk heraldik från Gustav Vasa till freden Stolbova. Del 1
Published inJyväskylä Studies in the Arts
The quotation in the title of this thesis is from a letter by the Swedish king Gustavus Vasa to the Danish king, Christian III, dated August 18th and gives the basic view of the Swedish king towards the Russians. The coats of arms granted to private persons, those created for the Swedish provinces for the funeral of Gustavus Vasa in 1560, and the alterations done to provincial coats of arms along with those granted later, such as that of the Grand Duchy of Finland and the Order of the Saviour, created by Gustavus Vasa's second son King John III of Sweden are compared with their Swedish counterparts and studied with the tools of Panofskyan iconology - iconography. The Vasa dynasty in Sweden waged a propaganda war against Russia in order to depict the Russians as barbarians. The classical concept of the barbarian, which were identical with Asians, was applied to the Russians and they were vituperated for whatever the Scytians and other barbarians of the East had been thought to be guilty of. The Vasa kings used the medieval conception of the Russians as heathen and the enemies of Christianity, idolaters, puffed up with Asian hybris, predesposed to luxury, exessive in their use of alcohol, lecherous, cowardly, cruel apt to furor barbaricus. The Muscovite Grand Princes were Asian tyrants, despotical and the Russian population was enslaved by their rulers. How these negative features were applied to and expressed in the new Swedish heraldry created under the Vasa kings is demonstrated in the main section of the dissertation these negative faetures were applied to and expressed in the new Swedish heraldry. These Russian attributes are: "the Russian sabre","the Russian [Scythian] bow", "the Russian arrow", the coat of mail, "the Russian hat", "the Russian cap", "the Russian head", the Russian knout [the English word, "knout", is a loan-word from Russian] and the Russian eagle along with the Slavonic dragon. The Swedish [=Gothic] heraldic counterparts to the Russian attributes are: the lance, the straight sword, the crossbow, three different types of crossbow arrows: the Dalecarlian arrow, the so called "skäkta" och the so called "stråle", the chivalric armour, the Gothic hero Starkater och the Gothic lion. These heraldic devices are studied for themselves and as cultural expressions of Swedish superiority against the Russian cultural inferiority along the lines of the Dutch cultural antropologist, Dr Henk Driessens study of mock battles between Moors and Christians in Andalusia: "Every society that claims to be civilized needs a model of barbarism . ... They [the Moors] served as a model against which Spaniards could affirm and express their religion, collective identity and way of life." Exchange the word 'Moors' for Russians and Sweeds for 'Spaniards' and you will get the picture the Swedish kings of the 15th and early 16th century wanted to be spread over the whole of Europe of Swedish - Russian cultural relation. ...
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