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Messages - zoepaleologa

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Rulers Prior to Nicholas II / Re: Rurikid descendants?
« on: August 08, 2009, 10:53:00 AM »

Was the condition of the woman in the Russian society of those times so low that no-one ever thought to consider female-line descendants of tsars (not as in females, but males descended on the female line)? Or were they so obscure that people just preferred a powerful boyar?

Though she was not a Rurikid, Irina Godunov (the wife of Ivan's successor, Fedor I) was considered his heir when he died in 1598. She quickly indicated her wish to take holy orders, perhaps to ensure that the throne would default to her heir, Boris Godunov. As Tsaritsa, Irina apparently took some role in public affairs (unusual for the time) and was reported to receive ambassadors by the side of her husband.

However, the Muscovite state was otherwise male-dominated to an extreme!

There is a good article on Wikipedia about other Rurikids. The ruling Muscovite house before the Time of Troubles was more correctly called 'Danilovichi' (descendants of Grand Prince Daniil), as Rurikovichi can mean all descendants from the Kievan dynasty - who ruled appanages of the fragmented Rus' after the destruction of the Kievan state by the Mongol invasion. As an example, the Shuiski princes (holding lands around Suzdal') considered themselves an elder branch of the dynasty to the Danilovich. Sentiments which might not have been wise to utter in the presence of say, Ivan IV.

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