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The Russian Empire 1450-1801$
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Nancy Shields Kollmann

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199280513

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280513.001.0001

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Broadcasting Legitimacy

Broadcasting Legitimacy

(p.129) 6 Broadcasting Legitimacy
The Russian Empire 1450-1801

Nancy Shields Kollmann

Oxford University Press

The chapter examines how the Muscovite state through the seventeenth century broadcast an ideology defining political legitimacy. That ideology was grounded in Orthodoxy, portraying the state as a godly community, with the ruler representing God’s appointee on earth. The legitimate ruler was expected to provide a moral example of righteousness, to give justice, and to defend the faith and the realm. In doing so he was expected to take advice from his people. The ideology was expressed inclusively and was not so closely linked to the institutional Church as to exclude non-Orthodox subjects. The chapter explores how ideology was disseminated by rituals, icons, cults of saints, chronicles, and the built environment, particularly in the Kremlin ensemble and in church architecture modeled on it and then built in towns across the realm. It briefly summarizes political succession in the Daniilovich and Romanov dynasties and addresses the problem of “despotism.”

Keywords:   architecture, translatio imperii, symbolic center, Oprichnina, chronicles, dynasty, icons, Kremlin, royal women, legitimacy

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