Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Jeg tror jeg har fået en prop i hjernen. En slags anti-prop af en art. Måske er jeg bare forvirret. Måske er jeg i virkeligheden lidt ked af det. Måske er frustrationen over ikke at forstå folk for meget. Måske føler jeg mig svigtet. I hvert fald kører det i tomgang. Derfor denne tavshed.

Det vender nok, på et tidspunkt. Indtil da hænger jeg helst ud med wikipedia og mig selv.

Alexei would only consent to return on his father solemnly swearing, that if he came back he should not be punished in the least, but cherished as a son and allowed to live quietly on his estates and marry Afrosina. On 31 January 1718 the tsarevich reached Moscow. Peter had already determined to institute a most searching inquisition in order to get at the bottom of the mystery of the flight. On 18 February a "confession" was extorted from Alexei which implicated most of his friends, and he then publicly renounced the succession to the throne in favour of the baby grand-duke Peter Petrovich. A horrible reign of terror ensued, in the course of which the ex-tsaritsa Eudoxia was dragged from her monastery and publicly tried for alleged adultery, while all who had in any way befriended Alexei were impaled, broken on the wheel and otherwise lingeringly done to death. All this was done to terrorize the reactionaries and isolate the tsarevich.

Peter I interrogates Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich at Peterhof, history painting by Nikolai Ge, 1871, State Tret'yakov Gallery, Moscow
Peter I interrogates Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich at Peterhof, history painting by Nikolai Ge, 1871, State Tret'yakov Gallery, Moscow

In April 1718 fresh confessions were extorted from Alexei. Even now there were no actual facts to go upon. The worst that could be brought against him was that he had wished his father's death. In the eyes of Peter, his son was now a self-convicted and most dangerous traitor, whose life was forfeit. But there was no getting over the fact that his father had sworn to pardon him and let him live in peace if he returned to Russia. The whole matter was solemnly submitted to a grand council of prelates, senators, ministers and other dignitaries on 13 June 1718. The clergy left the matter to the tsar's own decision. The temporal dignitaries declared the evidence to be insufficient and suggested that Alexei should be examined by torture.

Accordingly, on 19 June, the weak and ailing tsarevich received twenty-five strokes with the knout, and on the 24th - fifteen more. It was hardly possible that he could survive such treatment. On 26 June, Alexei died in the Petropavlovskaya fortress in Saint Petersburg, two days after the senate had condemned him to death for conspiring rebellion against his father, and for hoping for the cooperation of the common people and the armed intervention of his brother-in-law, the emperor. Some historians believe that Alexei actually died of strangulation by one of Peter's servants.

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