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PRELIMINARY MEMOIR.

THE first dawn of civilization in Russia, does not appear to have commenced until the introduction of Christianity, towards the close of the tenth century. Before that period, the inhabitants were sunk in the deepest ignorance; and their religion consisted chiefly in the worship of Nature, which they represented under the character of a female. They paid religious homage also to different objects in nature, such as to fire, which they considered to be the creator of thunder, and called Perun; and to the earth, under the name of Volata. At the same time, however, they believed in the immortality of the soul, and a future state of rewards and punishments.

In the year 955, the Grand Princess Olga having visited Constantinople, and being honourably received by the then reigning emperor, Constantine VI. was instructed in the doctrines of

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