Siberian Chronicle, Containing a Narration on the Russian Conquest of the Siberian Lands under Ivan the Terrible; Includes a Short Account of Previous Events


Letopis' Sibirskaia (Siberian chronicle) details the conquest of Siberia by the Russians, beginning in the late 16th century under Tsar Ivan the Terrible. The author, G. I. Spasskii, created the first Siberian magazine early in the 19th century and was a well-known popularizer of Siberian history. This work is a chronological account of the gradual but steady eastward movement of the Cossacks into the lands of the former Golden Horde, the patrimony of the Mongol khans who ruled parts of Russia from the early 13th century until the late 15th century. By the late 16th century, the remnants of this Mongol empire was split between the Khans of Kazan and Astrakhan in the Lower Volga region and the Khan of Sibir’ just to the east of the Ural Mountains. The Cossack hetman Yermak Timofeyevich (1532–85) is a major figure in the book. He led the forces that crossed the Urals in 1581 and claimed new lands for the Russian tsar. He ultimately conquered the capital of Qashliq in the Khanate of Sibir’ and began the fitful process of politically integrating the conquered lands into the Russian state. Much of the volume concerns the larger framework for the Russian expansion into Siberia. It discusses how Ivan the Terrible received emissaries from the Khans in the Moscow Kremlin and then dispatched commanders to Siberia to conquer new regions, thereby moving Russian control eastward. The book emphasizes the important political and economic role played by the famous Stroganov family during this period and describes the circumstances by which the Stroganovs became the wealthiest merchants in Russia. The Russians benefitted from clan rivalries within the Khanate of Sibir’ — especially between the Shaybanid clan, which claimed lineage from Ghengis Khan, and a local rival group known as the Taibugid clan. The book highlights the fact that the Russians capitalized on local infighting and the gradual implosion of Mongol authority and thus found little serious opposition on their eastern borders. The final 12 pages of the book include detailed footnotes to each chapter.

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Subject Date

Publication Information

Department of Education, St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg


Title in Original Language

Лѣтопись Сибирская, содержащая повѣствованiе о взятiи Сибирскiя земли Русскими при Царѣ Iоаннѣ Васильевичѣ Грозномъ; съ краткимъ изложенiемъ предшествовавшихъ оному событiй

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Physical Description

82 pages ; 20 centimeters

Last updated: June 9, 2017