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Article

Каким московские послы увидели двор Максимилиана I в 1517 г., да и увидели ли они его?

One of the first more or less extensive Russian official accounts, describing Muscovite embassies to European courts, depicts the mission of Vladimir Plemiannikov and Istoma Maloy to Emperor Maximilian I in 1517. Its reliability can now be examined anew due to several documents recently found (or reassessed) in state archives in Moscow and Innsbruck. This documentary evidence reveals the official report of the ambassadors to be not ingenuous and complete description of all relevant events (as it presents itself on the first glance) but rather a sophisticated construct. The authors' specific narrative strategy was based on selectivity of their account (where dubious episodes were omitted) and accentuation of those sides of their activity, that could show them in the most favourable light (as most devoted and skilful servants) in the eyes of the Grand Duke and his counsellors.