This article examines when and how playing cards were introduced in Russia and links the adoption of card playing in the Russian Empire to the process of Westernization in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The author examines the role of card playing in noble culture and in the context of wider historical problems: the transition from medieval to modern culture; the translation and perception of cultural novelties; and the relationship cards and card playing had with other forms of celebration and leisure. The article is based on various sources, including Russian laws, import-export (customs) records, private sources in noble family archives, and literary works.
Gerda ReithThe Age of Chance: Gambling in Western Culture (London and New York: Routledge1999); David G. Schwartz Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling 2d ed. (New York: Winchester Books 2013) Nicholas Tosney “The Playing Card Trade in Early Modern England” Historical Research 84 no. 226 (November 2011): 637–656.
Erasm RotterdamskiiPokhvala gluposti (Moscow: Khudozhestvennaia literatura1983) ch. 39 110. The translation is taken from “The Project Gutenberg EBook of In Praise of Folly” http://www.gutenberg.org/files/30201/30201-h/30201-h.htm.
Iokhan KheizingaHomo Ludens (Moscow: Progress1992) 216. The translation is taken from Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture (London Boston and Henley: Routledge and Kegan Paul 1949) 191–192.