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God, Tsar, and PeopleThe Political Culture of Early Modern Russia$
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Daniel B. Rowland

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501752094

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501752094.001.0001

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Moscow—The Third Rome or the New Israel?

Moscow—The Third Rome or the New Israel?

Chapter:
(p.155) Chapter 7 Moscow—The Third Rome or the New Israel?
Source:
God, Tsar, and People
Author(s):

Daniel B. Rowland

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501752094.003.0007

This chapter reviews recent events in the former Soviet Union that have stimulated the rethinking of many previously axiomatic notions about the past and present of Russia. It also looks at situations in Russia that created a propitious environment for the famous idea that sixteenth-century Russians thought of themselves as inhabitants of “the Third Rome.” It also explains how the Third Rome helped to create the impression that Muscovite Russia was exotic and expansionist, a worthy predecessor of the evil empire that occupied people's attention in the 1980s and before. The chapter cites the flaws of the conventional notion that the Third Rome theory is an early justification for Russian expansionism. It points out the relative scarcity of evidence for the Third Rome theme in Muscovite sources, especially in sources that originated before the 1590s.

Keywords:   Soviet Union, Third Rome, Muscovite Russia, conventional notion, Russian expansionism

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