Rtishchev, Fedor Mikhailovich
Born Apr. 6 (16), 1626, in the village of Pokrovskoe, Likhvin District; died June 21 (July 1), 1673, in Moscow. Russian political and cultural figure.
Son of an okol’nichii (noble ranking below the boyars), Rtishchev began serving at court in 1645. He was a striapchii (officer of the tsar’s household), chamberlain, and majordomo. In 1656 he received the rank of okol’nichii. He was dispatched on a number of diplomatic missions during Russia’s wars with Poland and Sweden (1654–56). Rtishchev was one of Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich’s close advisers and a member of the Circle of Pious Zealots. He served at the head of such prikazy (offices) as the Prikaz Bol’shogo Dvortsa (Palace Prikaz) and the Prikaz Tainykh Del (Bureau of Secret Affairs).
Rtishchev worked to strengthen the political and cultural ties between Russia and the Ukraine. He invited learned monks to Moscow from Kiev, among them Epifanii Slavinetskii, and organized a school in Moscow at St. Andrew’s Monastery (Rtishchev Brotherhood), which was the predecessor of the Slavic, Greek, and Latin Academy. He also brought in a choir from Kiev in order to acquaint Muscovites with polyphonic music. Rtishchev helped broaden the network of such medical and charitable institutions in Russia as hospitals, almshouses, and hospices. His contemporaries nicknamed him “the kind man” for his high moral character and humanitarian work.
REFERENCESKozlovskii, I. P. F. M. Rtishchev. Kiev, 1906.
Kashkin, N. N. Rodoslovnye razvedki. St. Petersburg, 1912. Pages 402–49.