Talk:Catherine I of Russia

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I corrected a few typos and added what I thought was linguistic accuracy to Catherine's earlier name. These were reverted by Ghirlandajo, and called "ridiculous", without further explanation or discussion. I feel that within reason, most reversions, deletions and such should be addressed on the talk page. Otherwise "editors" might feel the "Royal Perogative" to do as they please, without question. My full position on the matter of the Catherine edit ( a matter which will not stop the world from spinning, by the way ), was posted on Ghirlandajo's talk page, at the bottom of "Link", under "RIDICULOUS"?... if interested, it is there.

First of all, articles must be duscussed at article's talk pages, not at user's so that other people could join the discussion.

Second, when you change something, and others disagree, it is your duty to provide proofs of your version, not previous authors (who may be long gone).

Now, you wrote "I asked a Lithuanian friend of mine, to tell me how they would spell and pronounce her name". This is not how it works. You should have found a friend that could have answered you how it was spelled". And preferrably both in her native language and in English traditional rendering. I see no evidence presented that her Slavic name was Lithuanized.

Your efforts in English langage are enormously appreciated, but please be careful with other languages.

P.S. The above doesn't mean that you are not right. A hint would be that her name was Ska.... If it were truly Polish, it would be Sko... (it comes from the name of the bird, "skowronek", hell, forgot it in English ). (I don't think it was Belarusian; otherwise all Belarusian neonationalists weree full of pride by now.) mikka (t) 00:53, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

  • We should keep in mind that Lithuanians (Litvins) was a name commonly applied to the ethnic group nowadays known as Belarusians. -ska ending is definitely Slavic. --Ghirlandajo 20:08, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
    • I am talking about the beginning, not ending. And ending selection is the root of the dispute, btw, not the basis of the decision. mikka (t) 20:21, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for the tips, I'm new to the game and happy to learn. As for the Sko and the Ska, no one said she was Polish or Russian. The article said she was a Lithuanian peasant girl, born in Latvia, which is a simple historical fact. I would think then, that she did not have a "Slavic" name, but especially as part of the Lithuanian peasantry (which resisted both Russification and Polonization), she would have a Lithuanian name. So you got your "preferrably in her native language". If you care to read the Mikhail Muravyov article in Wikipedia, you might get a feel for the real problem I think I'm dealing with. I did not change her later, Russian name, Yekaterina Alexeyevna, because I would be guilty of some crypto-Russophobic game playing, which was not my intention. I think I'll go back and put her name in all of the languages, i.e., byel., lith., pol., rus (note alphabetical order), and the free world and Zhirinovsky might sleep better. <unsigned>

  • May be I did not explain it correctly, but what we need is her documented original spelling and preferrable English spelling(s), the one(s) used in English historical texts. Ad I tried to say, I neither agree nor disagree with you, but when you are introducing changes of this type you must provide solid reasons. BTW, Encyclopedia Britannica gives a Polonized spelling: Marta Skowronska and says "Baltic (probably Lithuanian) birth". Lithuania was full of Poles at these times. And btw Marienburg is Malbork today, i.e., whatever her birth was as a peasant, her most documented name was either Polonized or Russified. (And I recalled what "skowronek" is in English: it is skylark.) And I seriously doubbt that at these times peasants of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth were spelt in Lithuanian. mikka (t) 08:30, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
    • Just noticed that the article links to wrong Marienburg, i.e., none of listed is the correct one.
  • Please sign your posts, for easier tracking of discussions.
  • Are you suggesting that Zhirinovsky is monarchist? Or what exactly are you hinting at? I don't track Russian politics. mikka (t) 08:30, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
    • Mikka, I formerly posted a genealogy of the Skavronski family here. The article on the family has been on my to-do list for ages. I hope to return to the issue soon, but suffice it to say that her origins were painfully obscure. Despite her Slavic name, Martha was born in present-day Estonia and brought up by Baltic Germans. Then she moved to Russia. I don't see why the Lithuanian spelling should be favoured on the basis that someone's friend says her name should be spelled in modern Lithuanian so and so. Why not Latvian, Estonian, Polish, Belarusian, German, Russian?.. --Ghirlandajo 08:41, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Where is Rome, and Where is the Crimea? transl. What do a lot of your remarks have to do with the price of soap in New Zeeland? <unsigned>
    • Please sign your posts, regardless the price of soap in New Zealand. mikka (t) 19:57, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
    • Please don't introduce changes you cannot back by solid references regardless the place of Crimea. mikka (t) 19:57, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

In other words, what does Skylark and Malbork have to do with any of these points, concerning, Marta Skavronskaite. In the future, Mikka, I'll take "your serious doubts", concerning other questions, as the final answer to them. The reference to Zhirinovsky, has nothing to do with Monarchists, but I suspect he would prefer Stalingrad to Volgograd, and Kowno to Kaunas. By the way "Historically", Kowno, and Kauen, etc. are on the maps and in the books, even though Lithuanian peasants called it Kaunas, whether or not they could spell it. One hundred years ago or more, the intejection of "Kaunas" into an article might cause a similar row in St. Petersburg as is being discussed by us, and your "logic", could be applied, i.e., " it's Kowno in our books and our maps", therefore it's KOWNO period. The attempts to Russify, Germanize, and Polonize, Lithuanian names and geography in the past, would constitute a large part of the historical record. But that wouldn't make it necessarily accurate or true, would it. I hope this subtelty isn't lost on you. <unsigned>

  • Ghirlandajo, when you reverted the original changes I made as "ridiculous", without explanation or discussion, can I assume that you felt it was beneath your diginity to do so? The article in Wikipedia says she was born in present day Latvia to a Lithuania peasant, your above link, says Estonia and a Baltic German connection, which is it? If you are correct, why didn't you make the changes? I also corrected the typos in MARFA to MARTA, and you reverted those too. I regret that the lack of information on Catherine's obcure origins cause you pain, but not much I can do about that. Life expentancy, being what it is, cautions me to tell you that if this truly has been on your to do list "for ages", get cracking. Have a Nice Day, boys. <unsigned>
    • The article says that she is a Lithuanian peasant because most references say so, starting from I don't know who said it first. I am not aware of any evidence presented that she was indeed Lithuanian. She was orphaned at 3 years old. and lived with Gluck. I seriously doubt that anyone bothered to care about proper spelling of the name of a 3-year-old peasant orphan. Not to say that the name "Samuil" of her father makes me think "Jew". That would be a blow to Zhirinovsky, no? :-) mikka (t) 19:57, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Most peasants had "Jewish" names stemming from religious associations, i.e., the Apostles and early Saints. Therefore that point means very little. My point, amongst other points, was whether a peasant could spell or not, didn't mean that they didn't have a name. And that name for an unmarried Lithuanian girl with the surname Skavronskis, would be Skavronaite. Wikipedia (English version), says Zhirinovsky's original last name was Eidelshtein, so it might not really be a blow to him. Besides, you claimed not to track Russian politics. What's the truth? Now, now, Mikka it's a "sin" to tell a lie.
    • Please tell me about the Saint Samuel or Apostle Samuel. Also, as you have already been explained, no one knows whether his name was skavronskis or anything. mikka (t) 16:56, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Incidentally, I notice that neither you, nor Ghirl, bothered to to respond to the Mikhail Muravyov aspect of my argument. I truly believe his actions, which were policy in Imperial Russia, are representative of the problem, and at the heart of the matter, i.e., Russification of names, geographical locations, etc., and of its people and provinces. So the "historcal" record would be skewed by this Russification. Evidently this mentality did not die with Imperial Russia.<unsigned>

  • Accidentally Peter I was long dead before Muravyov. mikka (t) 16:58, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Let me be like you for a moment, duh!, do you mean Incidentally?( maybe the issue is your ability to understand English? Mikka your web page touts the many languages you dabble in, but I don't think it refers to you native language. What, if I may ask, is it?

Mikka, golden rule: do not feed the troll. --Ghirlandajo 16:22, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Conclusion, the anon editor does not know neither history in question nor Lithuanian language. Discussion closed. mikka (t) 16:58, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Jawohl, konieczna, Mikka says discussion closed. Mikka has come to the final Conclusion!! So it must be! So it has been written, so it shall be done!!! Apostles, saints, biblical figures, if you don't understand, the gist of that point, I shouldn't have bothered to even answer the interjection of the "Jewish" aspect that you entered into the discussion. Also, my inclusion of Mikhail Muravyov, into the discussion has nothing to do with the timelime of Peter or Catherine, but to have the objective people who might consider my point of view, understand why names and places that have been Russified, Slavicized, Germanized, etc., are not the final arbitrer of historical fact. And again, I say this in light of the unimportance of this entire Skavronaite discussion. Mikka, since you know nothing about me, I'll leave your many errors in English, and possible lack of understanding of subtleties in English, as the basis of your saying that I ..."does not know neither history nor (THE)(sic) Lithuanian language. Maybe you didn't understand half of what I said. For all I know you maybe playing the "Devil's Advocate. p.s. I've added and interspersed some of my thoughts and answers in the earlier talk above. Wouldn't want you to miss them. <unsigned>

There's no doubt that his name could have been Russified in course of Russian rewriting the history of Eastern Europe in the end of 19th century. I'm not sure what can be done about that, though. --Lysy (talk) 23:20, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Case closed, but just for the record, according to Polish wikipedia :-) she was a daugther of Samuel Skawronski, a Lithuanian peasant settled in Latvia. I don't think that many peasants there in 17th century would speak Lithuanian, probably the name was Ruthenian when spoken and Ruthenian or Polish in writing. Samuel seems like Jewish origin name (also popular in Polish then). Samuil is a typo, probably. Skavronski may be an Anglicized form of a Russified form of Skowronski. I don't think the original name would be Samuil Skavronski in whatever language. Just 3 cents of MY original research here, but still not worth making it into the article. I think we should use "Samuel Skavronski" for now, until we have an English language source using any other form. --Lysy (talk) 18:49, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

She was latgalian, in that time known as lithuanian tribe (ljitovskoe plemja), but now living in present day Latvia. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 05:40, August 20, 2007 (UTC)

Suspicious statements[edit]

I find it suspicious that a "daughter of peasant" was born in a town (Jakobstadt). mikka (t) 17:45, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Maybe not so suspicious if he was Jewish ? --Lysy (talk) 18:54, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

As I'm using a friend's computer, sort of without permission, I can't sign in. After mine is fixed or I get a new one, I will. So sorry. Thank you for your consideration in the meantime. As to "Ghirl", and his second 'ad hominem' attack, ( "ridiculous" and "troll" ) I'll do him a favor and forget about him. He can continue uploading Russian "icons" from pre- Soviet and Soviet times, and not worry about any further contact from me. I won't stoop to his level and insult him, however deserving he may be of a good insult in return.<unsigned>

  • Mikka, I know you are not as simple as you make youself out to be. So as a probably last comment from me, I want to ask you to look at the first two sentences you put into this discussion. Yes, all the way up at the top of this page. The line "articles must be duscussed (sic) at (the) talk page". And let us all know why you have contacted Ghirl on his talk page, instead of sharing it with all of us on the discussion page, as you recommemded to me. (To anyone interested Mikka has contacted Ghirlando on his talk page concerning this edit, something he says I shouldn't have done). And, secondly, why you didn't rebuff him for his reversions without discussing them in the first place, as you also recommend? hmmm? Society has enough double standards. shame, shame, shame, mikkakalu, goodbye.


Cleanup tag was added because of the general style of the article: although its information is generally correct, the sentences are generally short and choppy, and many of the paragraphs are not well organised. Some of the sentences really belong elsewhere than the paragraphs where they are. Also: we probably ought to have section headers on the article. Nyttend 17:10, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

OK to whoever : lets start with suspicious statements. Marta Skavronskaya was not born in Jekobils according to the web she was born in a small town some miles from Jekobspil called Vishki in Latvia. Check the web site, maybe it is true maybe not but I would contact a resident. Then Peter hated Jews and did not allow them into Russia nor would he let Amsterdam Jews form trade relations. This was in the book The First Romanovs by Bain. Marta continued this policy did Elizabeth her daughter. There is no indication of her being Jewish either from her being raised by the Glück family of Lutheran ministers or in her choice of family. Marta ordered Peter Bestuzhev, Russian General Commissioner for Courland court "to find the name Kryshborhe Veselevskih and Duklyasov" in 1714 and these are not Jewish names.

In fact according to Massie Peter and Catherine had twelve children. Of the girls, Empress Elizabeth and Anna are well known, and Natalya who died after her father by a month. Then there is Margarita, Maria and another Natalya and the first girl Catherine. Her sons were two Pavels and three Peters who all died. No one knows what anyone died of in those day but the children of the rich often died of things they caught from the servant from being in closed quarters in winter with the windows closed, like tuberculosis which claimed a few of the kids, and the sanitary standards of the cooks was awful according to Johann Korb who was an Austrian diplomat at the court. Also water and milk were not boiled. Catherine herself was supposed to have died from an abscess of the lung and her husband of gangrene according to Pupils of Peter the Great also by Bain in 1897. (talk)Alice Gordon write me at —Preceding undated comment added 13:53, 6 December 2010 (UTC).


In the article, it states that "Catherine and Peter has three children, none of whom survived." The next sentence states that two of her children lived to adulthood. Could someone please clarify. If none of her three children survived, how can two live to adulthood. Also, a side note: I fixed the strikethrough in the talk page, because it was annoying (going through the second half of the page). 20:22, 31 May 2007 (UTC) Di

  • Nevermind, I reread that section, and it was correct, albeit confusing. 20:30, 31 May 2007 (UTC) Di

The article needs serious editing for the simple logic of presentation. Two examples: The article states that Catherine remained illiterate throughout her life, yet several lines down, a copious amount of letter confirming Peter and Catherine's mutual affection is mentioned. It would be nice to specify who wrote whom. Catherine dictated her letters."She never leam'd to read or write, but made one of the Ladies of her Bed-chamber iign any Writing for her, when there was need of it" according to John Motley in his second volume on the history of Russia written in the 1700s. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:00, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

The article also states that "BEFORE marrying secretly in 1707, Peter and Catherine had seven children." They met in 1703. Later in the article, it states they had seven children during all their years of marriage. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kriemhild 13 (talkcontribs) 17:03, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

 Before secretly marrying they had 5 kids, Catherine, Peter and Paul all dead and Elizabeth 3 and Anna five according to Massie 1991

I'm reading Massie's Life and Times book, and he lists 12 children total, including three before Anna that died young. Can someone confirm and edit the page accordingly?


"The commonly accepted version is that Catherine was born in Ringen (Röngu), in present-day Estonia." Where does you found somthing like this? WberПо словам Вебера, Екатерина родилась в деревне Рингене, Дерптского округа, и была незаконной дочерью крепостной девушки и шведского подполковника Розена 12 . According to Weber, Catherine was born in the village Ringene, Dorpat County, and was the illegitimate daughter of the land girls and Swedish Colonel Rosen 12. Но Вебер, передавая это известие, сам находил его довольно сомнительным, судя по тому, что в своем обширном сочинении — “Das veranderte Russland”, он нашел нужным сделать такую оговорку: “Сознаюсь, что относительно происхождения Екатерины я не знаю ничего основательного и заслуживающего доверия, потому что сообщаемые известия крайне противоречивы” 13 . But Weber, conveying the news, he found it very doubtful, judging from the fact that in his extensive essay - "Das veranderte Russland", he found it necessary to make such a declaration: "I confess that the origin of Catherine I do not know anything substantial and worthy of confidence, because the reported news is extremely controversial"in 13. "Das veranderte Russland", 1740, III, s. 6. 6.

It is listed in The life and Reign of Catherine vol 2 Motley 1744 and he probably has references. it is likely he is wrong and she was born in Latvia the town of Vishki claims she was born there. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:26, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

"Lowly origins"[edit]

I have removed the title of the first section. The title breaks wikipedias rules of NPOV, as no social class should be considered as "lowly". Of course, historical notions should be included in the article. But historical notions should be described in a neautral way, and to follow historical notions in the titles of sections is not very neutral, as it gives the impression to agree with these notions. The title "origins" is sufficient and completely neutral in every way. -- (talk) 18:57, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Juvenile mortality[edit]

Were the deaths of Peter and Catherine's children caused by some epidemic like diphtheria, etc.? Musicwriter (talk) 00:46, 12 October 2010 (UTC)


Was she a Catholic or Lutheran before her conversion? Her parents were Catholics but she was raised by a Lutheran pastor and I remember a documentary on Peter the Great that said she was Lutheran.--The Emperor's New Spy (talk) 04:42, 15 August 2012 (UTC)