Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Aggei Shepelev - the first Russian general

"General" (from Latin generalis - general, chief) is a military rank, also used in religious and knight orders. For the first time it was used in France in the 16th century. In Russia this rank was mentioned for the first time in 1657 during the reign of Alexei Mikhailovich Romanov (the father of Peter the Great). The first Russian general was Aggei Alekseevich Shepelev (Аггей Алексеевич Шепелев, ??-1688), the first ever member of the Boyar Duma with the title Duma General. General Shepelev was also appointed the commander of the Moscow first (select) soldier regiment. He distinguished himself in this capacity during the second Chigirin war against Turkey (1678). General Shepelev with his regiment also accompanied Patriarch Nikon into exile at the Ferapontov Monastery in 1661. During the Strelecky revolt of 1682 he with his troops personally protected Tsarevna Sofia, and her brothers - Peter and Ivan (Peter would later become the Emperor of Russia also known as Peter the Great). The painting (on the right) by Oleg Fedorov (1687) depicts General Aggei Shepelev.


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