Electronic Database

National Mentalities:

Studies in the Context of Globalization and Interaction of Cultures

Edited by Anna Pavlovskaya and Grigory Kanarsh
The site was developed with the support of the Russian Foundation for the Humanities (project №13-03-12003).

Main/Ethnic and Cultural Diversity of Russia/Russian National Character and Mentality/

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.

Full text in Russian

Print version