THE DESTINY OF A VENETIAN CRAFTSMAN IN PETER THE GREAT’S RUSSIA AND THE DESTINY OF A GENRE: THE TSAR’S GRAMOTA FOR SAFE CONDUCT IN THE CONTEXT OF DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDANCE BETWEEN RUSSIA AND THE REPUBLIC OF VENICE
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Abstract: This article examines the genre of the imperial gramota for safe conduct, which initially appears peripheral in the sphere of diplomatic correspondence due to its modest function, i.e. introducing the bearer of the document, explaining the reasons for his journey, and ensuring his safe passage through both Russian territory (in this case, the documents are internal mandates) and foreign states (here we are dealing with petitions to foreign authorities). Despite the willingness of Venetian authorities to assist Peter I in his shipbuilding projects in Voronezh, it was not easy for them to persuade their subjects to travel to distant Russia. Nonetheless, a number of craftsmen were engaged. At the completion of their work in Russia, however, they were not immediately released and their delayed return became a matter of national importance. Peter I himself wrote twice to the doge explaining why he had detained the craftsmen and then sent them back to Venice in a series of groups. For each of these groups traveling home, a gramota for safe-conduct was issued. Our analysis of these texts suggests that the genre of the safe-conduct contains changes in epistolary etiquette, analogous to those observable in Peter's petitions to Venetian authorities. In pre-Petrine diplomatic etiquette, the independent diplomatic status of the Russian tsars had allowed them to define its rules for themselves; this was now replaced by new norms that more closely resembled those of European usage. In this way, tsarist gramoty reflected the worldview of Russia's first emperor, his peculiar vision of Russian foreign policy. The office of foreign affairs (российское внешнеполитическое ведомство), which had become an important cultural center during the reign of Peter's father (when the tsar would indicate a gramota's contents and approve its final form), became under Peter laboratory where the norms of this new Russian epistolary etiquette were worked out.
Key words: DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE; WRITTEN PERMISSION TO TRAVEL; DIPLOMATIC ETIQUETTE; RUSSIAN; HISTORY OF THE RUSSIAN LANGUAGE
Kardanova, N. B. The Destiny of a Venetian Craftsman in Peter the Great’s Russia and the Destiny of a Genre: the Tsar’s Gramota for Safe Conduct in the Context of Diplomatic Correspondance between Russia and the Republic of Venice / N. B. Kardanova. In Philological Class. 2018. №4 (54). P. 49-55. DOI 10.26710/fk18-04-07.