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Book: How to Do Things with Myths

Chapter: The Myth of Moscow, Third Rome: What It Seeks to “Do”

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.44975


Since the mid-19 th century, Russian nationalism rests, in part, on what the presumably ancient myth of Moscow, Third Rome “does” to insure the legitimacy of Russia’s claims to leadership of Christendom. The myth implies that Muscovy assumes a political pre-eminence for all time from Constantinople after its fall to the Ottomans in 1453. Historical data, however, defeat all the main arguments in this mythological origin-story of modern Russia.

Chapter Contributors

  • Ivan Strenski ([email protected] - istrenski) 'University of California Riverside (retired)'