Third Rome

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Image:Byzantine eagle.JPG
Coat of arms of the last imperial dynasty of the Eastern Roman Empire.

The Third Rome idea is that Moscow is the successor to the legacy of the Roman Empire (the Second Rome being Constantinople). This concept has been popular since the times of the early Russian Tsars.


[edit] Claim of Russia to be successor to Rome

Within decades after the Fall of Constantinople to Mehmed II of the Ottoman Empire on 29 May 1453, some were nominating Moscow as the "Third Rome", or new "New Rome". Stirrings of this sentiment began during the reign of Ivan III, Grand Duke of Moscow who had married Sophia Paleologue. Sophia was a niece of Constantine XI, the last Eastern Roman Emperor and Ivan could claim to be the heir of the fallen Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire).

It is noteworthy, that before Ivan III, Stefan Dušan, tsar of Serbia, and Ivan Alexander, tsar of Bulgaria, both related to the last Byzantine dynasty, facing the decline of the Byzantine empire in the XIV century, made similar claims. Bulgarian manuscripts advanced the idea that Turnovo, the capital of the Bulgarian empire, was the new Constantinople. These plans were never realized as the Ottomans defeated Serbs at Kosovo Polje in 1389, and put an end to the Second Bulgarian Empire in 1396 with the occupation of the Despotate of Vidin. However, the rhethorics developed to this respect earlier in Turnovo were imported to Moscow by Cyprian, a clergyman of Bulgarian origin, who became Metropolitan of Moscow in 1381.

The idea crystallized with a panegyric letter composed by the Russian monk Philoteus (Filofey) in 1510 to their son Grand Duke Vasili III , which proclaimed, "Two Romes have fallen. The third stands. And there will not be a fourth. No one will replace your Christian Tsardom!" Contrary to the common misconception, Filofey explicitly identifies Third Rome with Russia (the country) rather than with Moscow (the city).

[edit] Origin of Tsar title

Since Roman princesses had married the Grand Princes of Moscow, and, since Russia had become, with the fall of Byzantium, the most powerful Orthodox Christian state, the Tsars were thought of in Russia as succeeding the Byzantine Emperor as the rightful rulers of the (Christian) world. Like kaiser, the word "tsar", or czar, is derived from the word "caesar".

On 16 January 1547, Grand Duke Ivan IV was proclaimed the first Russian Tsar.

On 2 November 1721, Peter I restyled himself as "Emperor and Autocrat of All Russia" as part of his course of modernization and westernization of the country. The new title was supposed to reflect both the traditional claims of his predecessors and his success in establishing Imperial Russia as a new European power.

[edit] See also

[edit] Reference

  • Dmytryshyn, Basil (transl). 1991. Medieval Russia: A Source Book, 850-1700. 259-261. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Fort Worth, Rom

it:Terza Roma nl:Derde Rome ru:Третий Рим fi:Kolmas Rooma uk:Третій Рим

Third Rome

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