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In: Under the Shadow of White Tara
In: Under the Shadow of White Tara
In: Under the Shadow of White Tara
In: Canadian-American Slavic Studies
Author: Iulia Niţescu

Abstract

This paper addresses the issue of Sofiia Palaiologina’s religious identity during her time in Moscow, by analyzing the Russian chronicles’ accounts of her marriage negotiations. It suggests that the official Muscovite account offered a carefully tailored narrative of a pious tsarevna as an attempt to explain why the grand prince negotiated the marriage with Rome, and to integrate Sofiia into the official Orthodox narrative of the dynasty. Although contradicted by her background and largely missing from other Russian accounts of the event, the Orthodox elements of Sofiia’s identity emphasized by the official chronicles have been interpreted as proof of the “Byzantine lineage” brought by her to Moscow. The local context, namely the opposition of metropolitan Filip and the current ecclesiastical debates, as well as Sofiia’s later image as “the Roman,” explain how this official narrative sought to appropriate Sofiia for Muscovite ideology.

In: Canadian-American Slavic Studies