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DOI 10.12887/33-2020-4-132-15

Anna KOŚCIOŁEK, On the Sacralisation of the Monarch: The Coronation of Alexander II, as described in the Memoirs of Andrey Muravyov

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The article, based on the narrative Vospominaniya svyashchennogo koronovaniya [Memoirs of the Holy Coronation] by Andrey Muravyov, a religious writer, poet, theologian, as well as a church and State activist, is an attempt to present his views on the sacralisation of the monarch. It describes the elements of Alexander II’s coronation ceremony, which, according to Muravyov, was the apogee of the ruler’s life. According to the tradition, the ceremony in question had four elements: (1) a grand procession to the Dormition Cathedral (the most important sacred space in the Empire), (2) crowning the sovereign and investing him with regalia, followed by anointing the tsar with chrism, (3) visitation of the Cathedral of the Archangel and the Cathedral of the Annunciation to honour the ancestors buried there, and (4) the procession back to the palace, during which the Tsar stopped on the Red Staircase and bowed three times to the people assembled in the courtyard. In his account of the ceremony, Muravyov paid much attention to the rituals of investing the ruler with regalia and anointing him, the latter identified in Russia with the sacrament of Confirmation. To Muravyov, the coronation rite was a symbol of the tsar’s unity with the people, which was sanctified by the Church. The writer described the Russian people as the people of God and the new Israel, and considered their attachment to the tsar, as well as their love for him, as the guarantee of the greatness of Russia.

Keywords: Muravyov, Tsar, coronation, regalia, anointing

Contact: Katedra Literatur Słowiańskich, Instytut Literaturoznawstwa, Wydział Humanistyczny, Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika, ul. Fosa Staromiejska 3, p. 313a, 87-100 Toruń, Poland
E-mail: Anna.Kosciolek@umk.pl
Phone: +48 56 6113598

  1. ISSN 0860-8024
  2. e-ISSN 2720-5355
  3. The Republic of Poland Ministry of Science and Higher Education Value: 100.00
  4. Quarterly “Ethos” is indexed by the following databases: EBSCO, CEEOL, Index Copernicus (ICV 2017: 55.26), Philosopher’s Index, ERIH Plus.
  5. DOI Prefix 10.12887