the sakkos, Vasilii bore witness to the visual message of this gift from Constantinople. He thereby gained status vicariously: his daughter, at least, was now in the nimbus-league. Assent to union with Rome at the council of Florence in 1439 did not inflict lasting damage on the standing among the Slavs of the ecumenical patriarchate. Its reservations about alternative emperors had therefore to be taken into account by any would-be emperor of a New Rome even after Constantinople had fallen to the Turks. Hence the organisers of the coronation of Ivan IV took the precaution of seeking the patriarch's consent, which was eventually given. Even so, at the moment of anointing, the officiating metropolitan, Makarii, pronounced a different form of words from those used in late Byzantine inauguration-rituals. Seemingly, his self-restraint registered awareness that he was no more patriarch of Constantinople than Ivan was emperor of the Romans.17
Byzantium was long gone as a territorial empire by the time Makarii performed the coronation in 1547, and paintings in the Golden Hall portrayed Ivan being crowned by angels. Very few other rulers within the Byzantine ambit are shown being crowned, whether by Christ or by heavenly beings. Those few were generally intent on hegemonial status comparable to that of the basileus, rather than on his uniquely 'Roman' title. In 1344-45, for example, the Bulgarian Ivan Alexander was depicted in a miniature being crowned by an angel before Christ: Christ is termed 'tsar of tsars and eternal tsar' while Ivan is 'tsar and autocrat of all the Bulgarians and Greeks'.18 Such outright visual claims to sovereign authority divinely bestowed were rarer even than appropriation of an imperial title.
Such hesitations on the part of potentates suggest awareness of the special status on earth claimed by the basileus, whether or not they regarded his polity as the empire of the Romans or merely the land of the Greeks. As a working model of political order underpinned by law, the Byzantine state was of value for leaders seeking to gather the reins of power into their own hands and secure them exclusively for their offspring. With the help of God and His law the basileus presided over a hierarchy, which held out a moral for one's own troublesome domestic rivals and subjects in general. There is much to be said for regarding Byzantium as an exemplary centre, conveying in ritualised form the norms of hegemonial leadership. Such rites provided more or less
17 M. Arranz, 'L'aspect ritueldel'onctiondes empereurs de Constantinople et de Moscou', in Roma, Costantinopoli, Mosca [Da Roma alla terza Roma, documenti e studi 1] (Naples: Edizioni scientifiche italiane, 1983), 414-15.
18 C. Walter, 'The iconographical sources for the coronation of Milutin and Simonida at Gracanica',in VizantijskaumetnostpocetkomXIVveka, ed. S. Petkovic(Belgrade: Filozofski fakultet - Odeljenje za istoriju umetnosti, 1978), 199 and plate 16a.
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