18 October 2022


Seminar: Ritual and Dynasty in Early Modern Russian Royal Weddings

Russell Martin (Westminster College)



Professor Martin will discuss how Muscovite royal weddings from 1526 to 1745 served as instruments of dynastic legitimacy and continuity. Martin explores four related themes: weddings as ritual events, weddings and monarchical power, weddings and religion, and finally weddings and dynasty. Based on the complete corpus of manuscript descriptions of royal weddings over more than two centuries, Martin’s study shows not only how vital weddings were to the ruling dynasties as a means of broadcasting political messages about power and legitimacy, but also how court rituals of all kinds were essential to the political culture of pre-modern Russia.




Seminar Timetable

17:00 – 17:10: Introduction (Chair)

17:10 – 17:55: Presentations

17:55 – 18:15: Q&A


Russell E. Martin is professor of History at Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA (USA). He is the author, editor, and translator of eleven books, including A Bride for the Tsar: Bride-Shows and Marriage Politics in Early Modern Russia (2012), and The Tsar’s Happy Occasion: Ritual and Dynasty in the Marriages of Russia’s Rulers, 1495-1745 (2021). He has published more than 70 articles in peer-reviewed journals, served as Editor-in-Chief of Canadian-American Slavic Studies, and has been president of the Early Slavic Studies Association and the Association for the Study of Eastern Christianity. He is currently working on two monographs—a study of the law of succession in Romanov Russia, and a study of the writings and thought of Russia’s first secular intellectual, Semen Shakhovskoi.