Cap of Monomakh

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cap of Monomakh


(Russian, shapka Monomakha), a symbol of autocracy in Russia. The crown of the Russian grand princes and tsars, the cap of Monomakh was made in Middle Asia during the 14th century. A pointed headdress with gold filigree, it is bordered with sable and embellished with precious stones. The crown is topped with a cross.

The legend that the crown was a gift from the Byzantine emperor Constantine Monomachus to his grandson Vladimir Vsevolodovich Monomakh, the grand prince of Kiev, arose in the late 15th or early 16th century as a unified Russian state took shape. The legend served as a basis for the political theory of Moscow as the third Rome.

The cap of Monomakh was first used in a coronation when Ivan III Vasil’evich crowned his successor with it. Ivan IV Vasil’evich (Ivan the Terrible) was crowned with the cap. In 1721 an imperial crown replaced the cap of Monomakh in the coronation ceremony.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The authors--each writing on his or her own specialty--undertake everything from the tsar's famous royal crown (the cap of Monomakh) to late-twentieth-century advertisements.
Chernetsov), and a clear explanation (thanks to Nancy Kollmann) that the famous golden Cap of Monomakh has nothing to do with Byzantium and is a typical Central Asian circlet.