Why Moscow is Called the Third Rome

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In monk filofei’s letter to Grand Prince, he mentions the rise of Moscow as the third Rome. Moscow rises as the third Rome due to the merging of all the other orthodox Christian churches to join Grand Prince a well-respected ruler of Moscow who acts as the administrator of all the holy churches of God. In his letter, Monk specifically praises Grand prince because he has managed to triumph over others like the Church of Rome as well as the churches in Constantinople. The merging of the churches in Moscow led to the downfall of the old Rome.

The doors of the churches in the second Rome were all shattered down using axes by the Turks. The third Rome has risen to success over time and it is due to this fact that Filofei uses the phrase “it shines brighter than the sun in the universal orthodox Christian faith throughout the world” to describe it (Filofei). The history of churches in Constantinople indicates three main events that led to the rise of Moscow as the third Rome. The first main event took place in 1453, when the Turkish captured Constantinople and absorption of the most Christian states in the Ottoman Empire.

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The breakup of the golden Horde, a powerful state, vehemently followed this event. The golden Horde broke up into many troubled units. Finally the emergence of a super power, the Muscovy, The Monk articulate the fall of Constantinople to the fact that the Turks were not true Christians, thus the task of ensuring continuity in Christianity lay on the Grand Prince Vasilii, who was selected to lead the people of the New Rome. The need for the Third Rome to succeed against all advocacies influences Filofei to write the letter to Grand Prince.

The letter is an indication of yet another theory that explains the rise of Moscow as the Third Rome. From the letter, the rise of the Third Rome is mainly due to the Christianity wrangles in Moscow. The fall of the orthodox churches is actually the main causative agent. Although the rise of the Third Rome is entirely due to Christianity, there is evidence of political motives. Monk mentions the stinginess of the ruler Grand Prince and advises him against it. He further explains that stinginess is mainly a trait for politicians. Monk also mentions the presence of predecessors.

He also terms the predecessors as emperors and rulers. The third Rome is a Christian empire but headed by political rulers. Before the merger, the rulers are termed as greedy. Well illustrated by Monk’s advice to Grand prince; he encourages him not to concentrate on the wealth since wealth is an accumulation of assets on transit. He therefore discourages the accumulation of wealth habit, but rather share with the less fortunate “Wealth and gold are valued not when they are hidden, but when the people offers help to those in need”.

He finishes the letter by a reminder that the two Rome’s have fallen and in his rule the Third stands firm. (Filofei) The letter serves to warn Grand prince of all the possible dangers the Third Rome could face. The dangers include political instabilities and leadership wrangles. Filofei make suggestions that form his point of view could lead to the success of Moscow. He tells of the possible ways to avert failure. Towards the end of his letter, he warns Grand Prince of ways or traits to avoid in his leadership term.

For the success of the Third Rome, the ki dof leadership need should focus on kindness. “Comfort those who cry and moan day and night. Protect the innocent from their tormentors”. Since Filofei represents the larger population, he concludes this letter by a reminder “Pious Tsar! Listen and remember that all Christian kingdoms have now merged into one, your tsardom. Two Romes have fallen. The third stands firm and there will not be a forth, No one will replace your Christian Tsardom” (Filofei).

Works cited

Filofei, Monk. “Moscow The Third Rome”. (n. d. ): 1-2.

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Why Moscow is Called the Third Rome. (2017, Jan 28). Retrieved from


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