engrained in their own society yet deriving from eastern Christian spirituality, as transmitted via Byzantium. The political holy fools (and occasional martyrs) of Ivan's Muscovy were performing individual variations - if not syncopations -on a Byzantine theme.
These cross-currents of belief and behaviour, not unlike Byzantine vision literature, the teachings of dualists or of other outright heretics, constituted the negative charges in a 'force field' whose principal coordinates had been determined far away. The Greek tsars remained objects of respect among Rus churchmen and some leading laymen, although lacking tangible powers over Rus princes, while Constantinopolitan patriarchs not only provided moral leadership, personnel and authoritative legal rulings but also rallied eastern Christians to the imperial ideal in the fourteenth century. Moreover, 'the workshop of virtue' on Athos still discharged monks, manuscripts and ideas about means of gaining access to God. But by the sixteenth century hierarchical constraints on the rulers of Rus were very faint and the idea of Moscow as the new Tsargrad was gaining ideological coherence. But while the belatedness of the Constantinopolitan patriarch's approval of the imperial coronation of Ivan did not hold back the ceremony, Ivan's sweeping interpretation of God-given autocracy evoked vigorous condemnation from the holy fools. Some 'horizontal' elements of the 'force field', at least, were still active among the urban populace. And, thanks to Athos, the notion of a right-believing empire-out-there, albeit now lost, was still fostered by occasional visiting monks, such as Maksim Grek.104 His sentiments were pieties: conventional calls for godliness and righteous conduct on the ruler's part, and a denunciation of assumption of imperial rank by the unworthy, who behaved like torturers rather than tsars. The inhibitions of an Orthodox autocrat in a realm far from the empire of the 'Romans' were largely self-imposed. Yet in appropriating the sort of authority symbols that were supposed to have been in the Greek tsar's gift and in drawing upon Agapetos's ideal of imperial hegemony, Ivan and his counsellors remained open to the countercharges and moral constraints which Byzantine imperial ideology could - and sometimes did - generate. We have seen how Metropolitan Makarii showed some compunction at the moment of anointing Ivan in 1547, apparently out of respect for past form and Constantinople's prerogatives.105
104 Maksim Grek, Tvoreniia (Moscow: Sviato-Troitskaia Sergieva Lavra, 1996), 1, 203-6, 211-12; D. Obolensky, Six Byzantine portraits (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988), 218.
105 See above, p. 11; I. Sevcenko, A neglected Byzantine source of Muscovite political ideology', Harvard Slavic Studies 2 (1954), 166-73.
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