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Russian Literature of the 16th Century
June 16, 2014 14:07

Literature of that time testifies to deep transformational processes, which embraced all the spheres in Russian society. Traditional chronicles and agiografies were supplemented with fiction literature and books with entertaining plots. Among them one should mention the translated Alexandria about life and adventures of Alexander the Great and The Story about Dracula written by the sexton Fedor Kuritsyn. These books told about autocratic governors and the mighty power that could handle the entire state.

The autocracy concept was distinctly and rigorously substantiated in philosophical and socio-political writings. Among them there stood out the spiritual adviser Philotheus’ doctrine about Moscow as “the third Rome”, which he described in his letters to Grand Prince Vasily III. Philotheus resorted to the wandering kingdom idea, which appeared in Byzantium, according to which the central place in the Christian world was taken by orthodox Constantinople that replaced Rome in its former position. Therefore it was natural that during the crisis of the Byzantine Empire followed with its fall Russia saw the Moscow orthodox kingdom as the heir of the historical mission of Byzantium. According to Philotheus, the Russian kingdom was the only orthodox kingdom in the world and the keeper of orthodox sanctuaries. Only Moscow State adhered to Orthodoxy and therefore became the world center of Christianity. Hence was the thought of Russia’s messianic role of preserving true Christian belief, i.e. authentic spirituality and thus saving the world from evil and filth. As he clamed, Moscow was intended to be the stronghold of truly universal Christianity till the second Advent of Christ. “Two Romes have fallen, the third Rome stands strong, and the fourth Rome is not to happen”.
The rise of Moscow put an end to feudal dissociation and promoted cultural rapprochement of Russian principalities.

Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Russian Culture Russian Literature Russian History   

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