Cap of Monomakh

Dublin Core


Cap of Monomakh


The Cap of Monomakh occupies a place of legend in Russian culture. Supposedly a gift from a Byzantine emperor, or basileus, to Vladimir I, the cap signifies Russia’s shared heritage with Byzantium and with Kievan Rus’. However, the basileus who is said to have gifted the cap to Vladimir lived close to one hundred years before him (Shields Kollman, 39). The legend of the Cap of Monomakh was popularized by Macarius, a Metrpolitan of Moscow and all Russia at the time when the court was shifting away from Mongol influences are more toward Byzantium (Crummey, 137). This legend had real political consequences for the first tsars. Joasaph II, Patriarch of Constantinople, viewed the Cap of Monomakh as the legitimizing factor of Ivan IV’s status as tsar (Ostrowski, 176). Since Ivan IV, the cap has been an important symbol for Russia’s rulers and was used in coronation ceremonies until 1682 (Shields Kollman, 39). Today, the Cap of Monomakh remains to be an important cultural object, and is displayed in Moscow’s Kremlin.


Nancy O'Neil


Crummey, Robert O. The Formation of Muscovy 1304-1613. Print. New York: Longman, 1987. Print.

Ostrowski, Donald. Muscovy and the Mongols. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998. Print.

Raffin, J.F. Bonnet de Monomaque. N. p., 2003. Wikimedia Commons. Web. 4 May 2014.

Shields Kollmann, Nancy. “The Cap of Monomakh.” Picturing Russia: Explorations in Visual Culture. Ed. Valerie A. Kivelson and Joan Neuberger. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008. 38–41. Print.




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