Drinking Diplomacy: The St. Petersburg ‘Ordre des Antisobres’ and Fraternal Culture among European Envoys in Early Imperial Russia
Early in 1728, in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Duke of Liria—a Spanish diplomat, prominent Jacobite, and an illegitimate grandson of James II—sought to establish a curiously-titled fraternity called the ‘Order of the Anti-Sober’. Using the surviving charter of the proposed fraternal order as a point of departure, this article reconstructs the context and the meaning of Liria’s initiative. While drinking has traditionally been associated with Russia and in particular with the mores of Peter I’s court, this microstudy helps us to see it as a part of European sociable and diplomatic practices of the era. This episode sheds light not only on the broader evolution of fraternal societies in the early eighteenth century, but also on the mechanisms that drove the spread of such forms of associational life across the continent.
Peter I; Peter II;