New Rome  

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The term "New Rome" has been used in the following contexts:

  • "Nova Roma" is traditionally reported to be the Latin name given by emperor Constantine the Great to the new imperial capital he founded in 324 at the city on the European coast of the Bosporus strait, known as Byzantium until then and as Kōnstantinoúpolis (Constantinople) since then, until it was renamed Istanbul in modern times. The first appearance of the term 'New Rome' in connection to Constantinople in any kind of document was at the First Council of Constantinople (381), in the context of deciding that the relatively youthful church of Constantinople should have precedence over Alexandria and Antioch 'because it is the New Rome'. Even after this, this name was not used in official proclamations by the civil authority, as opposed to the Christian church.
  • It is used to express connection with or discontinuity from the "old" Rome, depending upon context, and is particularly used by the Orthodox Church to emphasise that the See of Constantinople should be considered as second only to the Roman See in prestige. The full title of the Patriarch of Constantinople is "Archbishop of Constantinople New Rome and Œcumenical Patriarch".
  • It has been a cultural, historical, and theological concept within much of European culture (as far east as Russia) for centuries if not millennia.
  • The idea of Moscow being the "Third Rome", became popular since the time of the early Russian Tsars. Within decades after the Fall of Constantinople to Mehmed II of the Ottoman Empire on May 29, 1453, some were nominating Moscow as the "Third Rome", or new "New Rome". Stirrings of this sentiment began during the reign of Ivan III, Grand Duke of Moscow who had married Sophia Paleologue. Sophia was a niece of Constantine XI, the last Eastern Roman Emperor and Ivan could claim to be the heir of the fallen Eastern Roman Empire. The idea crystallized with a panegyric letter composed by the Russian monk Philoteus (Filofey) in 1510 to their son Grand Duke Vasili III, which proclaimed, "Two Romes have fallen. The third stands. And there will not be a fourth. No one will replace your Christian Tsardom!"
  • Paris has at various stages of its history been designated "nouvelle Rome" or New Rome, as early as the reign of Philip IV (1268–1314) but from a tradition starting most significantly under the rule of Louis XIV who dominated most of Western Europe, and whose capital experienced massive increases in population, wealth, lavish royal building projects (there were 500,000 people in Paris by the mid-17th century, compared to 350,000 in London). However it was Napoleon III's appointment of Baron Haussmann as city planner of Paris in the mid-19th century, that is the cause of the appellation in modern times.
  • Within the context of Protestant Reformation, it became a pejorative description, applied to nations or cities that earned a reputation for rapacity, immorality, or other social or political faults. This may have its roots in virulently anti-Roman (anti-Catholic) propaganda against "papists" and the city of Rome, home of the Pope and heart of the Roman Catholic Church, which drew the ire of many a Reformation author. In the present day, "New Rome" is used in this form mostly to refer to "political immorality", casting any large and powerful country into the role of an oppressive and expansionistic empire (for example, by Osama bin Laden, as a desription of the United States of America). "Babylon" is often used in a similar sense.
  • The planet New Rome is the political and legal centre of the human-inhabited worlds of Brian Stableford's six Hooded Swan science fiction novels. Its exact status is never clearly defined.


  • Dmytryshyn, Basil (transl). 1991. Medieval Russia: A Source Book, 850-1700. 259-261. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Fort Worth, Texas.

See also

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