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Mysterious Library of Ivan the Terrible

Thursday, 02 September 2010

mysterious library Ivan the TerriblePeople from all over the world are keen on interpreting various historic, mystic and psychological pseudo secrets created by the impetuous fantasy of Dan Brown and people like him. And it is surprising that one of the most effective and showy secrets of the real history are not revealed to the wide public. It is in the aware of the intimate circle of people with active, perhaps, too active social positions. It concerns the so-called Liberia or the library belonging to the Russian tsar Ivan Vasilyevich aka Ivan the Terrible which disappeared mystically.

Liberia has nothing to do with Liberia, a country in Africa. The Latin word «liber» stands for «book», so Liberia means library, the collection of books in Greek. Liberia is the collection of books belonging to Ivan the Terrible and the books were of greatest value. The importance of the supposed library of Ivan Vasilyevich is first determined that it is of Constantinopolitan origin. The lords of Byzantine Empire, the former Oriental Roman Empire in the old times supposedly collected the rarest antique and early mediaeval papyruses, books and manuscripts. In the middle of XV century the Byzantine Empire fell under the Ottoman Turkish nation attack and this invaluable collection off books was evacuated from Constantinople.

The most interesting is the fact that the Byzantine princess Sophia of the Palaeologus family, the niece to the latest Emperor marred to the Great Prince of Moscow Ivan III and it is stated that she arrived to Russia with that precious library of her ancestors as the dowry. Furthermore the collection was replenished with new arrivals, mainly with rare church books and by the time of reigning of Ivan the Terrible the collection totaled over 800 rarest and most invaluable volumes. According to the information under dispute from the so-called «list by Dabelov», the library contained such worthless books for the modern science and culture as the full version of «History» by Titus Livius (today only 5 of 142 volumes are available); several volumes of «History» by M. Claudius Tacitus, likely unknown to the modern scientists; «History» by Polybius, also in the edition not accessible for the wide public; anonymous works by Publius Vergilius, Pindarius, Marcus Tullius Cicerō, Calvus and other famous thinkers, poets and public characters of the antique time. The ancient Прибавьте сюда якобы находящиеся там же древние manuscripts from Egypt, Phoenicia, Judea, China and India and you will acquire the treasure that is culturally priceless and which is evaluated in billion or sometimes several billions dollars. There is little information about this library since it was concealed in the particular secret compartment.

There were too many people willing to get to secret place since the early XVIII century when they made digging works to find the treasure in five different points of the Moscow Kremlin, however everyone failed. The library was searched in the second half of the previous century and in 30s of the previous century Stalin personally permitted to make digging works in the territory of the Kremlin. Since 90s the works intensified though nothing was found. Plenty of guesses and version make confusions about the disposition of the secret place which is around sixty where the books were buried y the order of Ivan the Terrible. The most general and likely potential places included Moscow Kremlin, House by Pashkov where several underground lines are located when the data on medieval wells came during construction of the underground station, the regal residence Kolomenskoe, the Alexandrovs village, «capital» oprichnina (special administrative elite under tsar Ivan the Terrible; its territory and army) and Vologda here Ivan the Terrible visited regularly. The largest problem is that the library by Ivan the Terrible is the vast but not so worthless collection containing mainly medieval church books.

The point is that the qualified historians operate the various justified opinions and doubts that the library by Ivan the Terrible ever contained rare antique books and whatever books from collections by the Constantinopolitan Emperors. There is no data, first of all, that Sophia of the Palaeologus family arrived in Moscow with any books, leaving apart hundreds of them.  She was hardly able to bring anything with her since the members to the imperial family of he Byzantine Empire escaped the capital with some of belongings on them and further their financial state was not prosperous if not difficult. Here they would not fail to sell some of them to improve their financial state.  Yet, Sophia fail to marry anyone sine there was no one among the young men to marry a «dowerless girl».

Moreover, there are unreliable evidences considered by the followers of Liberia theory. Some of them were distorted later and some of them are found to be inauthentic, as the much talked-about «list by Dabelov».

Yet, finally, modern scientists are rather confident to affirm that they have a lot to discuss the fate of books that belonged to Ivan the Terrible. It is possible to define the trace they paved in private collections and state librarian archives. Therefore, the amateurs of historic secrets are likely to find the other legend on secrets of previous times.

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