Вестник Московского государственного областного университета (2020-01-01)

BYZANTINE CIVILIZATION AND ITS INFLUENCE ON THE HISTORICAL DESTINIES OF RUSSIA as a subject of comprehension within the framework of conservative socio-political discourse

  • Sergei F. Vititnev,
  • Anna V. Shmeleva

Journal volume & issue
no. 2


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The purpose is to conduct a critical analysis of theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of the problem of the Byzantine civilization’s influence on the civilizational development of Russia, which is characteristic for the authors representing conservative discourse in Byzantium studies – historians, political scientists, cultural scientists, and philosophers. Methodology and Approach. The article uses dialectical-materialistic positions and the principle of historicism for the system analysis and comparative studies in order to investigate the content of conservative scientists’ views. Key provisions and conclusions that define the essence of the conservative discourse in Byzantium studies are singled out. To solve this problem a wide range of scientific publications and sources on the history of Byzantium and Russia were involved. Results. The analysis suggests that the authors of this discourse are characterized by: the desire to idealize the state and political structure of the Byzantine Empire, the exaggeration of the degree of the Byzantine civilization’s influence on the civilizational development and historical destiny of Russia, the image of Russia as the immediate historical successor of Byzantium, identification of models of their historical development based on the mythologization of the concept of “Moscow is the Third Rome”. It is concluded that such attempts to draw subjective analogies between Byzantium and Russia (not only in its historical development, but also in modern one), their civilizational identification threatens to make mistakes not only of a scientific nature but also of a political one.Theoretical / practical implications. Comparative analysis of models of civilizational development of Byzantium and Russia significantly expands the discussion field of Russian Byzantine studies. The revealed specifics of the civilizational development of Byzantium and Russia can be taken into account by the state leadership of the Russian Federation in developing strategic priorities, goals and objectives, as well as ways to carry out political activities.