Susana Torres Prieto
Title of Research
The Kyivan Origins of Muscovite Imperial Ideology
My working hypothesis is that the roots of Muscovite imperial ideology, inspired in Judaic political theory, go back to Kyivan Rus’, and, more specifically, to the moment when two severe political crises emerge in the newly created polity: on the one hand, the battle for legitimacy between several branches of the Rurik dynasty; on the other, the increasing threat coming for the Eastern steppes, which achieved its dramatic apex with the arrival of the Mongols in 1237. From that time, and even earlier, until the defeat of the Mongols in Kulikovo field in 1380, which also marked the definitive shift of power from the southern to the northern principalities, Judaic political theory offered two important ideas to reigning princes: firstly, a way to sacral legitimization by demonstrating God’s choice of his dynasty, and therefore of his land, if the case of a direct link between God and his newly chosen dynasty or realm was made convincingly; secondly, the assurance of divine protection of His newly chosen land from external, non-Christian enemies.
Since the Second Jerusalem political ideology is deeply rooted in Old Testament political ideology as expressed in the quotations of certain prophets and from certain books, my hypothesis is that, by studying the occurrence and meaning of biblical quotations in literary works in Kyivan Rus’ we could map the relevance of such ideology in a diachronic perspective.
Susana Torres Prieto has been working extensively on medieval Slavic literature for almost fifteen years. She completed her PhD dissertation on medieval heroic poetry in 2005, mainly on its analysis in the bigger history of ideas and also on translations from Greek into Slavonic.
Medieval Slavic literature, heroic literature in medieval Slavic, apocryphal Gospels in Slavic, imperial ideologies and history of ideas and mentalities