The Idea of Holy Russia

A state in place or a state of mind? Soviet historian Sergei Averintsev considers the claims on universality and divine legitimacy made by the Russia of the Tsars in response to previous legacies of empire.

The most beautiful and peerless capital of all the inhabited earth'. This was how Theodore Metochites, a Byzantine writer, described Constantinople, as late as at the beginning of the fourteenth century. And it was not empty rhetoric.

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