Sergey Ivanov

Professor of Byzantine Studies, Higher School of Economics, National Research University

Visiting Fellow, Eurasia in Global Dialogue
(March 2020)


Byzantium as an Argument in the Russian Intellectual Debate

Two Russian intellectuals recently wrote articles about Byzantium: one an encomium titled “On the Solid Ground”, the other a defamation titled “Byzantium: the Ideal Catastrophe”. Although their attitudes were diametrically opposed, the two authors shared a belief that Byzantium was responsible for everything in Russia today. Why does Byzantium appear so crucial in the current political and historiosophic debate in Russia? To answer, one must look at this undeservedly forgotten empire in the context of Russia’s self-perception in the last several centuries.

Previous stays at the IWM:

March 2013, Guest, Russia in Global Dialogue