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Alexander Nevsky

Alexander Nevsky (1220 - 1263) was a medieval leader of the Russian principality of Novgorod who rose to legendary status because of his great military victories.

His first great victory was in battle against the Swedes on the Neva River. This victory won him the appelation Nevsky. His most famous victory was his defeat of the Teutonic Knights in a battle on Lake Chud, in which the knights were routed with only minimal Russian loses. After his death he was proclaimed a national hero and a defender of the Orthodox faith. Later historians have downplayed Nevsky's greatness. While he won great victories in the West, he still was a vassal to the Mongols and forced the citizens of Novgorod to pay tribute to them. His great victory against the Teutonic Order also had been minimized with modern evidence pointing to only a few knights killed rather than the hundreds claimed by the Russian chroniclers.

Sergei Eisenstein made one of his greatest movies about Alexander Nevsky and his victory of the Teutonic Knights. See Alexander Nevsky (film). Music for the film was written by Sergei Prokofiev, who also reworked the score into a concert cantata.

See also : Famous military commanders\n