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History Of Russian Coronation

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London Echo. The first Russian Czar who introduced the ceremony of coronation into Russia was the mighty John III or Ivan (14621504), the contemporary of our Edward IV., Richard III., and Henry VII. He married Sophia, the niece of the very last Imperial orthodox Emperor of Constantinople and by this marriageclaimed a sort of succession to the lirst Christian Caesar. It was in his reign, when the Turk became master of the ancient capital of Eastern Christendorn, that the kings of Western Europe seem first to have become aware of the rise of the powerful new Christian monarchy in Eastern Europe, and began to send ambassadors to Moscow. Ivan did not crown himself, but in 1498 solemnly invested his grandson, Demetrius, with the Imperial Christian diadem and robe which had been brought from Constantinople, and had been worn by the Ctesars of the Eastern Empire. The ceremony of unction at the coronation was afterward introduced by Ivan IV, or "The Terrible." and has since remained as it had all along been in Western Europe, an inseparable adjunct ol the coronation. Ivan IV was the first Czar who received the Eucharist at his coronation. Michael Theodrovitsch insisted upon being anointed, not only on his forehead and over his lips, but on his beard also, after the biblical precedent. In earlier times the clergy o; the Russian Church played a greater part than they do a present in the coronation ceremony. As it was held almost indispensable alike in England, Franco and Germanv that the Nationa' Primates, the Arehbishops of Canterbury, Rheims and Mainz, should "consécrate" the national monarch to his office, so it was in Russia with the Patriarch of Moscow. The Prelate was supposed to be the peculiar stewarc and minister of the sacramental rite 01 coronation. Ho gave the divine confirmation and unction to the presumec frcc choice of the people. The voice o] the people was thus supposed to become tho voice of God. The notion of a divine right inherent in the head of a reigning family was a comparatively late conception in Russia, as well as in the West. This appears, however, to be now the predominant notion both oi the Russian Czars and the Prussian Kings. The present Germán Emperor took the crown from the altar and placed it upon his own head. Similarly in Russia the representatives of the Church now play quite a subordínate part in the coronation of the Czars, being little more than ministcring servan ts and and assisting spectators Formerly the Muscovite Patriarch stooc in much the same relatibn to the Muscovite Monarcli as the Roman Pope stood to the Roman Emperors throughout the Middle Ages. Tho thrones o: the Czar and tho Patriarch stood upon an equal level, and Russian secular anc eeclesiastical chieftans represented tho ancient theorv of "tho Two Swords." The postal cards are made at Holyoke, Mass., by forty men, who turn ou a million daily. They have diminishec the consumption of writing paper by from .$12,000,000 to $15,000,000 a year


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News