Miscellanea Slavica. Сборник статей к 70-летию Бориса Андреевича Успенского
The psychology of royal imposture in Russia is directly connected with the question of the attitude to the Tsar, i. e. the special way in which royal power was understood. Pretenders made their appearance in Russia only after there were Tsars, and this is connected with the sacralization of the Tsar. The notion that the royal power was established by God accounts for the distinction (actual in Russia) between "righteous" and "unrighteous" Tsars. Hence the most striking pretenders crop up precisely at those moments when the natural order of succession has been broken and when the actual occupier of the throne could in fact be regarded as a pretender.
This is a collection of essays on the semiotics of history, a product of the 30 years collaboration of the two co-authors. All the articles are devoted to the history of the Russian culture, treating it not as an isolated phenomenon, but as an integral part of the world culture. Semiotic analysis of various fonts allows to define both universal and pecular characteristics in the history of Rusian culture.
It is argued that the Glagolitic alphabet was constructed as an ideographic illustration of sacred knowledge. The author attempts to demonstrate some basic ideas encoded in the forms of the letters. At the same time the alphabet seems to reveal the acquaintance of the inventor of the Glagolitic alphabet – St Cyril the Philosopher – with Semitic languages.
The present study simultaneously belongs to literary studies and to social history, including the history of culture and of political ideas. Indeed it concerns attitudes about the tsar in Russia during various periods of Russian history, and the linguistic - and more generally speaking, semiotic - means in which these attitudes were manifested. Obviously, this is connected to the history of political views. It is demonstrated how differing attitides toward the tsar correlate with various stages of Russian political and cultural history; how diverse aspects of Russian cultural life converged around this question; and how in different periods the very same texts could be interpreted as having very different content, relating to the interests of the particular time.
The political preconditions for the sacralization of the monarch in Russia were twofold. On the one hand, this was the transference onto the tsar of Moscow the functions of the Byzantine basileius, that could be realized both in the conception of Moscow as the Third Rome, which was contrasted to Byzantium, and in the later Byzantanization of the Russian state and ecclesiastical life (beginning in the reign of Aleksei Mikhailovich). On the other hand, this was the tsar’s assimilation of the functions of head of the church (beginning with the reign of Peter I). The very combination of these two essentially contradictory tendencies only became possible in the conditions of Baroque culture, insofar as texts that were authoritative for cultural consciousness could be reconceptualized in any direction within a Baroque framework.
The article is dedicated to the text critical investigation of the Troparion for the Translation of the Holy Mandylion from Edessa to Constantinople