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Anna Porphyrogenita

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Anna Porphyrogenita

40.00

Anna Porphyrogenita, the grand princess of Kievan Rus, was the daughter of Byzantine Emperor Romanos II and Empress Theophano and the sister of Emperors Basil II and Constantine VIII.

Anna’s hand in marriage was so highly prized that Vladimir the Great put aside his other wives, joined with the Byzantines in battle and converted to Christianity in order to have her as his wife. Nonetheless, Anna was deeply distressed about the marriage as uniting a legitimate Byzantine princess with a “barbarian” was unheard of and even considered blasphemous.

This unlikely marriage lead to great changes for Kievan Rus. The kingdom was allied with the Byzantine Empire and, with Anna as his religious adviser, Vladimir rejected paganism and began to Christianise the people. This was the beginning of the Russian Orthodox Church, a religion that now has an estimated 150 million adherents worldwide. This is why Anna was called ‘the Godmother’.

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Anna Porphyrogenita, the grand princess of Kievan Rus, was the daughter of Byzantine Emperor Romanos II and Empress Theophano and the sister of Emperors Basil II and Constantine VIII.

Anna’s hand in marriage was so highly prized that Vladimir the Great put aside his other wives, joined with the Byzantines in battle and converted to Christianity in order to have her as his wife. Nonetheless, Anna was deeply distressed about the marriage as uniting a legitimate Byzantine princess with a “barbarian” was unheard of and even considered blasphemous.

This unlikely marriage lead to great changes for Kievan Rus. The kingdom was allied with the Byzantine Empire and, with Anna as his religious adviser, Vladimir rejected paganism and began to Christianise the people. This was the beginning of the Russian Orthodox Church, a religion that now has an estimated 150 million adherents worldwide. This is why Anna was called ‘the Godmother’.