Alexander Nevski

Alexander Nevski one of the saints of the Russian calendar, second son of the Grand-duke Jaroslaus II, was born in Vladimir A.D. 1218. In 1238 he was made governor of Novogorod, which he defended against the Tartar hordes, who at that time grievously oppressed Russia. In 1239 an army of Swedes, Danes, and Teutonic knights appeared before the city and summoned Alexander to submit, who, however, bravely refused, and vanquished them in a bloody battle near the river Neva, whence he received the honorable surname which was then given to him. On the death of Yaroslav II, in 1247, his brother Andrew endeavored to deprive him of the throne of Vladimir, and Alexander fled to the khan of Sarai, with the aid of whom he ascended the throne in 1252, and reigned for 12 years with great wisdom. The rest of his life was spent in the defense of his country against the Tartars, the Swedes, and the Livonians, who continued their attacks. He died at Gorodetz, near Novogorod, Nov. 14, 1263, and was enrolled by the gratitude of his country among her saints. Peter the Great subsequently built the celebrated monastery of St. Alexander Nevski on the spot where Alexander's most renowned victory was gained. He also instituted under the same name an order of knighthood, which still exists in unabated lustre, and is only conferred as the reward of extraordinary services. — Biog. Univ. 1, 582; Rose, Biog. Dict.; Biog. Generale, 1, 857.

 
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