Monomakh's Cap

Monomakh's Cap
Russian regalia used prior to the Great Imperial Crown. The crown is styled after the Monomakh Cap, and was made for Tsar Michael Fyodorovich by Kremlin masters in 1627. The orb and sceptre are of Western-European origin[citation needed] and may have been given to Tsar Boris Godunov in 1604.

Monomakh's Cap (Russian: шапка Мономаха, shapka Monomakha), also called the Golden Cap (Shapka Zolotaya), is one of the symbols of Russian autocracy, and is the oldest of the crowns currently exhibited at the Kremlin Armoury. It was the crown of all Muscovite Grand Princes and Tsars from Dmitri Donskoi to Peter the Great.

Monomakh's Cap is an early 14th-century gold filigree skullcap composed of eight sectors, elaborately ornamented with a scrolled overlay with sable trimming, decorated with precious stones and pearls. The cap is surmounted by a simple gold cross with pearls at each of the extremities.

Its obvious Central Asian origin[citation needed] has led some[who?] modern scholars to view the crown as a gift from Uzbeg Khan of the Golden Horde to his brother-in-law, Ivan Kalita of Moscow during the period of the Tatar yoke in Russia[1]. Boris Uspensky, in particular, argues that the Tatar headgear was originally used in coronation ceremonies to signify the Muscovite ruler's subordination to the khan.[2] At some point in the 15th or 16th century the crown was surmounted by a cross.

After Russia overcame the period of feudal fragmentation and Ivan III of Moscow and Vladimir asserted his position as successor to the Roman emperors, there arose a legend that the cap had been presented by the Byzantine emperor Constantine IX Monomachus to his grandson Vladimir Monomakh, the founder of the city of Vladimir and patrilineal ancestor of Ivan III. The legend served as one of the grounds for the "Moscow as the Third Rome" political theory. Accordingly, the crown became known as "Monomakh's Cap", the term first recorded in a Russian document from 1518.

After Ivan the Terrible had himself crowned the first Russian Tsar with this headgear, the Polish king asked him to explain the meaning of his new title. To that Ivan replied that whoever is crowned with Monomakh's Cap is traditionally called a tsar, because it was a gift from a tsar (i.e., Constantine IX) who had sent the Metropolitan of Ephesus to Kiev to crown Vladimir Monomakh with this cap.[3] Ivan's reply seems to have been a deliberate spoof, because at the time of Constantine IX Monomachus' death, Vladimir Monomakh was only two years old and he was not the Kievan sovereign yet.

In 1721, Peter the Great adopted the Western title of emperor and, on this occasion, replaced Monomakh's Cap with the Imperial Crown of Russia.


  1. ^ Vernadsky, George. (1949). History of Russia. New Haven: Yale University Press. 
  2. ^ Uspensky, Boris. Assorted Works, vol. 1. Moscow, 1996. Pages 89-90, 107-111.
  3. ^ Solovyov, Sergey. History of Russia From the Most Ancient Times, in 15 volumes. Moscow, 1959-66. Vol. 3, page 516.

See also

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Monomakh's Cap — ▪ Russian crown       oldest of the Russian (Russia) crowns kept in the Kremlin, Moscow. It is a gold skullcap composed of eight sectors elaborately ornamented with a scrolled overlay of gold filigree and bordered with fur.       The cap appears… …   Universalium

  • Vladimir II Monomakh — For the cruiser see Russian armoured cruiser Vladimir Monomakh, for the submarine see RFS Vladimir Monomakh Vladimir II Monomakh ( Russian: Владимир Мономах; Ukrainian: Володимир Мономах; Christian name Vasiliy , or Basileios ) (1053 ndash;May 19 …   Wikipedia

  • Vladimir Monomakh — Le Vladimir Monomakh, en russe : Владимир Мономах, croiseur blindé de la classe Dmitry Donskoï construit pour la Marine impériale de Russie. Ce bâtiment de guerre porta le nom du Grand Prince de Kiev Vladimir II Monomaque (1053 1125). Il fut …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Crown jewels — The Imperial State Crown of the United Kingdom Crown jewels are jewels or artifacts of the reigning royal family of their respective country. They belong to monarchs and are passed to the next sovereign to symbolize the right to rule. They may… …   Wikipedia

  • Monomachos — (Greek: Μονομάχος), or in Latin Monomachus, in Russian Monomakh, is a Greek epithet, meaning he who fights alone and gladiator . It applies specifically to: Monomachos (Byzantine family), a family of Byzantine officials Constantine IX Monomachos …   Wikipedia

  • Grand Duchy of Moscow — Muscovy redirects here. For other uses, see Muscovy (disambiguation). Grand Duchy of Moscow Великое Княжество Московское Velikoye Knyazhestvo Moskovskoye Tributary of the Golden Horde until 1480 …   Wikipedia

  • Ivan IV of Russia — Infobox Russian Royalty|monarch name =Ivan IV the Terrible title =Tsar of All Russia caption =Portrait of Ivan IV by Viktor Vasnetsov, 1897 (Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow) reign = 3 December, 1533 OldStyleDate|28 March|1584|18 March coronation =16… …   Wikipedia

  • Michael of Russia — Michael Romanov redirects here. For other uses, see Michael Romanov (disambiguation). Michael Tsar of All Russia Reign 21 February 1613 – 12 July 1645 C …   Wikipedia

  • Kremlin Armoury — The Kremlin Armoury ( ru. Оружейная палата) is one of the oldest museums of Moscow, established in 1808 and located in the Moscow Kremlin ( [,37.613336 spn=0.002811,0.007318 t=k hl=en map] ).The Kremlin… …   Wikipedia

  • Coat of arms of Russia — The coat of arms of Russia have gone through three major periods in their history, undergoing major changes in the transitions between the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, and the Russian Federation. They date back to 1472, when Ivan III began… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.