Russian national character: foreigners’ notes (XVI, XVII, XVIII centuries) (Anthology)
The anthology presents European ambassadors’, diplomats’, merchants’ notes of the Russian national character in XVI-XVIII centuries, with the help of which you can identify the invariant features of the Russians. Most of the opinions are negative. The most frequently mentioned constants of the Russian character are: greediness, dishonesty, theft; staleness and commitment to their country and religion, which bar progress and development of positive traits and exacerbates swagger and high self-esteem; wildness, savagery, immorality, stubbornness; cunning that is often valued as a positive feature; lack of good manners and artistic taste; addiction to evil.
However, the authors also note some positive traits, sometimes opposing to the declared that explains the inconsistency of the Russian national character: dreaming, imagination and creativity, passion; good learnability, ingenuity, flexibility of mind, good sense, and sanity.
Keywords: Russian national character, invariants, foreigners.