Peter I of Russia

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Portrait of Peter I by Godfrey Kneller, 1698. This portrait was Peter's gift to the King of England.

Pyotr Alexeevich Romanov (June 9, 1672February 8, 1725), also known as Peter the Great, was a Russian monarch. He carried out a policy of Westernization and expansion that transformed the Tsardom of Russia into the Russian Empire, a major European power.



Quotes about Peter I of Russia

  • The history of the Romanovs is an Elizabethan tragedy that lasts for three centuries. Its keynote is cruelty, a barbaric, pointless kind of cruelty that has always been common in the East, but that came to Europe only recently, in the time of Hitler.
    • Colin Wilson in Rasputin and the Fall of the Romanovs, p. 61-62 (1964)
  • Here is the model which I intend to follow for the whole of my reign.
  • After Westphalia brought peace to Europe, the second half of the seventeenth century saw a further spread of resident ambassadors, with Louis XIV’s France leading the way, and French replaced Latin as the lingua franca. There was, however, still scope for summitry, for instance during Peter the Great’s tour of Western Europe in 1697–8. His meetings with William III of England helped bring Russia belatedly into the European diplomatic orbit. In due course, the czar created a “Diplomatic Chancellery” and a network of foreign embassies on the European model.
    • David Reynolds, Summits: Six Meetings that Changed the Twentieth Century (2007), p. 19