Regina Binomia: Re-Examining the Evidence for Re-Baptism and Renaming of Latin Christian Brides in Pre-Mongol Rus’

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On the basis of both normative and narrative sources, this study examines whether or not Latin Christian brides who married into the ruling clan of Rus’ in the eleventh to thirteenth centuries were renamed and/or re-baptised. It suggests that while brides who married into the ruling clan of Rus’ might have received an additional name of an Orthodox saint through the ritual of anointing, there is no way of knowing whether or not anointing was performed on a regular basis. It also suggests that a Latin Christian bride may have retained two names after her marriage in Rus’: her natal name and an Orthodox saint’s name in conformity with the practice of double-naming among newly converted elites in Poland, Rus’, Hungary, and Scandinavia. Finally, the study examines the possibility that the eastern-rite ritual of chrismation could have been misinterpreted by Latin Christian observers as re-baptism. The article concludes by examining seven specifi c case studies of individual Latin Christian brides who were allegedly renamed in pre-Mongol Rus’ and demonstrates that, in each of these cases, evidence for their respective renaming is lacking.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-290
Number of pages26
Issue number1-2
Early online date7 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020