Zoe Sofia Palaiologina was born circa 1448 to Thomas Palaiologos (c1409-1465) and Katharina Zaccaria of Achaea (1411-1462) and died 7 April 1503 of unspecified causes. She married Ivan III Vasilyevich of Russia (1440-1505) 12 November 1472 JL in Moscow, Russia. Notable ancestors include Charlemagne (747-814), Alfred the Great (849-899), William I of England (1027-1087), Hugh Capet (c940-996). Ancestors are from France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Russia, Ukraine, Italy, Hungary, Turkey, the Byzantine Empire.
Zoe Palaiologina or Zoe Paleologos(Greek: Ζωή Παλαιολογίνα), later changed her name to Sophia Palaiologina (Russian: София Фоминична Палеолог), (born between 1440 and 1449 or c. 1455 – died 7 April 1503), Grand Duchess of Moscow, was a niece of the last Byzantine emperor Constantine XI and second wife of Ivan III of Russia.
Her father was Thomas Palaiologos , the Despot of Morea. When, in 1460, 7 years after the fall of Constantinople, Morea was also conquered by the Ottoman Empire, Thomas moved to the island of Corfu, and then to Rome. In order to gain support for his claim on the Byzantine Empire, Thomas converted to Catholicism in 1464.
Zoe and her two brothers Andreas and Manuel moved to Rome with their father. As their mother, Katharina Zaccaria of Achaea (1411-1462) had died in Corfu in 1462 and Thomas Palaiologos died in 1465, the Pope appointed Greek scholar Bessarion of Nicaea as tutor of the heirs of the Byzantine emperor. Bessarion was a Catholic, but also a strong supporter of the union of the Catholic and Orthodox churches. The letter in which he gave instructions to the teachers of the orphans still exists. According to this letter the Pope was going to allocate 3600 crowns a year for their needs, i.e. 200 crowns a month for the children and their clothes, horses and servants, plus any unexpected expenses and 100 crowns per month for the maintenance of a modest court. The court included doctors, professors of Latin, a professor of Greek, an interpreter and 1-2 priests. Being under the tutelage of the Pope, the children, though baptized Orthodox were raised in Roma as Catholics. The princesse's Greek name Zoe was changed to Sofia. 
Sofia Palaiologina is said to have been monstruosly ugly and to have weighed 25 stones (350 pounds or 160 kg),. 
- We entered a room where, on a the high stage, a painted doll sat in a chair. On her breast were two huge Turkish pearls. She had a double chin, thick cheeks, her face was shining with grease, her wide open eyes looked like saucers, and around the eyes were rows of fat and meat, having the appearance of the high dykes along the Po river]]. Her legs were far from being thin and the same could be said about all other parts of her body - I have never seen a person so ridiculous and disgusting as this country fair freak. The whole day she constantly chattered with the help of an interpreter - this time it was her brother, a similar thick-skinned blockhead. Your wife was looking, as if she was bewitched, at this ludicrous distorsion of feminine beauty, and listened mesmerized to the words of the translator. One of the gentlement of our party, expressed admiration at her painted lips of the doll and felt that she spits with amazing grace. All day long, until the evening, she was talking in Greek, but never invited us to have some food or drinks, neither in Greek, nor in Latin or in Italian. However, she somehow managed to explain to Donna Clarice, that for the tailoring of her tight and ugly dress, she had used at least six pieces of expensive silk cloth, which whould have been enough to the entire dome of Santa Maria Rotonda . Since then, every night I dream of mountains of butter, fat, bacon, rags and other such filth.
Other reports are less critical. Bologna chroniclers who described the her passage through the city during her travel to Moscow, state that she was not tall, had very beautiful eyes and an amazing white skin. She looked about 24 years old. 
The Vatican was concerned with finding a suitable husband for Sophia. In 1466 the Signoria of Venice, seeking to gain control over Cyprus proposed her as a bride to the King of Cyprus Jacques II de Lusignan. Around 1467, Pope Paul II offered her hand to Prince Caracciolo, a rich Italian nobleman. Though they were solemnly betrothed the marriage never took place.
Another unexpected opportunity arose when two agent of Giambattista Della Volpe (?-a1515), known in Russia as Ivan Fryazin, an Italian adventurer living in Moscow showed up in Italy and related about recent events in Russia. Maria of Tver, the wife of Ivan III, Grand Duke of Russia had recently died . Cardinal Bessarion, who was concerned about the reunification of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, suggested to Pope Paul II that a union between Sofia Palaiologina and the Grand Duke might be a way of achieving this goal.
The negotiations for the marriage took three years. First a Greek delegation was arrived in Moscow on February 11, 1469, with a letter from Cardinal Bessarion to the Grand Duke, suggesting his marriage with an orthodox Christian princess, Sofia, daughter of the last despot of Morea, Thomas Palaiologos. Her conversion to Catholicism was not mentioned. After consulting his mother, metropolitan Philip and his boyars, Ivan accepted the proposal.
A delegation lead by Giambattista Della Volpe (Ivan Fryazin) was sent to Rome and was received by the Pope. He sent the Grand Duke a portrait of Sofia Palaiologina, which unfortunately has not been preserved. As it was made on order of the Pope, it was probably painted by Pietro Perugino, Melozzo da Forlì or Pedro Berruguete, who were the appointed painters of the Vatican at that moment.
Fryazin left again for Rome on January 16, 1472, arriving on May 23. On June 1, 1472 Pope Sixtus IV celebrated the wedding "in absentia" in the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul's with Fryazin representing Grand Duke Ivan. Among the guests who attended the wedding were Clarice Orsini, the wife of Lorenzo the Magnificent and Queen Catherine of Bosnia. Besides other gifts, the Pope, gave the bride a dowry of 6 thousand ducats and a great number of books, where are supposed to have represented the core of the library created by Ivan the Terrible.
On June 24, 1472 Sofia Palaiologina left Rome in company of a great number of dignitaries. The organizer of the voyage was Fryazin. Among the other dignitaries taking part were Yuri Trakhaniot , Dmitri Trakhaniot, Prince Constantine Comnenos (Saint Cassian the Greek) and the papal legate and apostolic nuncio Genovese Antonio Bonombra (?-1480), bishop of Accia (sometimes improperly metioned as a cardinal). Cardinal Bessarion of Nicaea also took part, but travelled only till Bologna. Having been appointed papal legate to France, Bessarion left the party and continued his trip to Paris. He was never involved in the relations between the Holy Sea and Russia. .
The voyage crossed Italy and Germany and was marked by ceremonial stops in Siena, Bologna, Vicenza, Nüremberg and Lübeck, which was reached on September 1. Normally travelers to Russia followed the land route through Poland. However, as Ivan III was at war with Poland the sea route over the Baltic Sea from Lübeck to Kolyvan (now Tallin), which took 11 days, was preferred. The voyage continued through Yuryev (now Tartu), Pskov and Novgorod. Finally on November 12, 1472 Sofia Palailogina and her suite arrived in Moscow.
Even as soon as the party reached the Russian territories, it became obvious that the plans of reuniting all Crhistians under the leadership of the pope were wishful thinking. Sodia immediately stated that she was renouncing her conversion to Catholicism and reverting to the faith of her ancestors. The Russians denied the papal legate to enter Moscow bearing the latin cross, sign of his mission as apostolic nuncio.
The wedding was officiated on November 21, 1472 in the Assumption Cathedral of Moscow by metropolitan Philip. According to Sofia's diary, it was officiated by a certain Hosea, protopope of Kolomna. It is however highly unlikely that a wedding of this importance would have been officiated by a relatively low level prelate.
Sofia's activity at the Russian court Edit
Over the years, Sophia started to have great influence over her husband's decision making. She is described as a "shrewd", and it was rumored that her husband let himself be directed by her suggestions.
In 1472, she was unfavorably impressed by the subordinate way in which her spouse greeted the Tatar representatives, and is believed to have convinced him to cease paying tribute to the Tatars, action which he took in 1480.
It is thought that she was the first to introduce grand Byzantine ceremonies and meticulous court etiquette to the Kremlin. The idea of Moscow as a Third Rome evidently pleased her. Sofia was apparently not obliged to follow the custom of traditional isolation by which other Russian noble and royal women were expected to live at that time. She was not confined to the women's quarters, but greeted foreign representatives from Europe in a way similar to the queens of Western Europe.
Dynastic disputes Edit
Tatishchev conveys evidence that though, thanks to the intervention of Sofia, was dropped by Ivan III Tatar yoke: when the council discussed the request of Grand Duke Khan Akhmat tribute, and many said that it was better to appease the wicked gifts, than to shed blood, though Sofia bitter tears and the reproaches urged spouse to end the tributary relationship.
Before the invasion of Achmat in 1480, for the sake of safety, children, court, noblewoman and the princely treasury Sofia was sent first to Dmitrov , and then on Beloozero , in the case, if Ahmad goes Oku and take Moscow, she was told to flee further north to the sea. This gave rise Vissarion, the master of Rostov, in his letters to warn the Grand Duke of constant doom and excessive attachment to his wife and children. In one of the chronicles says that Ivan had panicked: "horror Naidu on hemoglobin and vshote bezhati from the shores, and its Grand Duchess and The Roman treasury with her ambassador to Beloozero"  .
The family returned to Moscow only in winter. The Venetian ambassador Contarini said that he was in 1476 presented the Grand Duchess Sophia, which took him politely and kindly and earnestly requested the bow from her Most Serene Republic.
"The vision of st. Sergei Radonezhsky great Moscow Princess Sofia Palaeologus. " Lithography. Workshop of the Trinity Sergius Lavra. 1866 There is a legend associated with the birth of Sophia's son Vasili III, heir to the throne: that would be during one of the pious trips to the Trinity Sergius Lavra in Klementievo , Grand Duchess Sophia Palaeologus had a vision of St. Sergius , which "cast into the depths of her Founding of the Young males sex "  .
Dynastic problems and rivalry Edit
Over time, the second marriage of Grand Duke was one of the sources of tension in the court. Soon enough there were two factions at court nobles, one of which supported the heir to the throne - Ivan Ivanovich, Young, and the second - the new Grand Duchess Sophia Palaeologus. In 1476 the Venetian A. Contarini noted that the successor "in the doghouse with his father, so how badly it behaves with Despina (Sophia)  However, since 1477 Mr. Smith referred to as co-ruler of his father.
In subsequent years the grand prince's family has increased significantly: Sofia gave birth to the Grand Duke, a total of nine children - five sons and four daughters.
Meanwhile, in January 1483 the heir to the throne, Ivan Young was married to Elena of Moldavia. His wife was the daughter of Stephen the Great of Moldavia. On October 10, 1483 their son, Dmitri was born.
Elena was immediately caught in the intrigues of the Moscow court. After the accession of Tver in 1485 by Ivan Young appointed by his father Prince of Tver, in one of the sources of that time Ivan III and Ivan Young referred to as the "autocrat of the Russian land." Thus, for all the 1480-ies the position of Ivan Ivanovitch as the rightful heir was quite strong.
The position of the supporters of Sofia Palaiologina was much less profitable. In particular, the grand duchess could not get public positions for their relatives, and her brother Andreas Palaiologos departed from Moscow with nothing, and niece Maria Palaiologina , wife of Prince Vassily Vereiskiy (heir Vereiskaya-Belozersky principality), was forced to flee to Lithuania with her husband that affected the situation of Sophia.
Russian sources tell of a great scandal in Moscow regarding Sophia's niece Maria Palaiologina. The Grand Duchess arranged the marriage of her niece with Vasili Mikhailovich, Prince of Vereya and Belozero. Vasili was the son of Prince Mikhail Andreyevich of Mozhaisk (b1432-1486), a cousin of Grand Duke Ivan III. In 1483 Sophia gave to her niece a necklace from the dowry of Ivan III's first wife Maria of Tver, mother of her stepson Ivan the Young, the heir. When Ivan III wanted to present the same necklace to Ivan the Young's wife Elena of Moldavia he found out that the jewel was missing. Because of this scandal, Maria and her husband Vasily escaped to Lithuania, and Mikhail Andreevich of Mozhaysk lost the Principalities of Vereya and Belozero . Only in 1493 did Sophia persuade her husband to forgive Maria and Vasiliy.
However, by 1490 will take effect the new circumstances. Son of Grand Duke, heir to the throne, Ivan fell ill gout. Sophie was discharged from Venice healer - "Mystra Leon, who confidently promised to Ivan III heal heir to the throne, however, all efforts of doctors were powerless, and March 7, 1490 Ivan Young died. The doctor was executed, and Moscow rumors of poisoning heir, a hundred years, these rumors, this time as indisputable facts, wrote Andrew Kurbsky . Modern historians refer to the hypothesis of poisoning Ivan Young as unverifiable for lack of sources.
February 4, 1498 at the Assumption Cathedral in an atmosphere of great splendor of the coronation took place prince Dmitry. Sofia and her son Vasily were not invited. However, 11 April 1502 the dynastic struggle came to its logical conclusion. According to the Chronicle, Ivan III «put a disgrace to the grandson of Grand Duke Dmitreya and his mother to the Grand Duchess Helen, and from that day had not commanded them pominati a litany and litiah nor naritsati Grand Duke, and ask them to sit for the bailiffs." A few days later Vasili Ivanovich was awarded the Grand Principality, Dmitri and his mother Elena of Moldavia were transferred from house arrest to prison. Thus, the struggle within the family ended in victory for the grand prince Vasily, he became co-ruler of his father and the legitimate heir of a huge empire. Dmitry drop-grandson and his mother also has predetermined the fate of the Moscow-Novgorod Reform Movement in the Orthodox Church: Church Council in 1503 finally defeated her, and many prominent progressive activists of the movement were executed. As for the fate of the losers themselves dynastic struggle, it was sad: 18 January 1505 died in captivity Elena of Moldavia, and in 1509 "in Nouzha in tyurme" died and Dmitry himself. "Some believe that he died from cold and hunger, others - that he had suffocated from the smoke" - reported Herberstein about his death  .
The transfer of the remains of Grand Duchess and queens before the destruction of the Ascension Monastery, 1929 She died on 7 April 1503, two years before her husband's death (he died on Oct. 27, 1505). She was buried in the massive white stone sarcophagus in the tomb of the Ascension Cathedral in the Kremlin next to the tomb of Maria Borisovna , the first wife of Ivan III. On the sarcophagus lid scratched with a sharp instrument "Sophia"  . This cathedral was destroyed in 1929, and the remains of Sophia, as well as other women, the reigning houses have been moved to an underground chamber of the southern extension of the Archangel Cathedral .
The Byzantine princess not popular, she was considered smart, but proud, cunning and insidious. Hostility to it has affected even in the annals: for example, about her return to Beloozero, the chronicler says: "The Grand Duchess Sophia ... ran from the Tatar for Beloozero, not chasing anybody does, and that countries attended, the Forest Tatars -from the knights slaves from the bloodsuckers of Christian. Give the same to them, O Lord, for their business and by the trickery of their undertakings "  .
Shroud of the Trinity Sergius Lavra Disgraced secretary to the Duma people Vasily III Bersenyev Beklemishev in an interview with Maxim the Greek was talking about it this way: "the land of our Russian lived in silence and in peace. I came here the mother of Grand Duke Sophia with your Greeks, so our land and mixed up and came to us nestroenija great as you have in King City, with the kings of your ". Maxim replied: "Sir, the Grand Duchess Sophia on both sides was a great race: the father - the royal family and on his mother - the Grand Duke of Italian side." Bersenev replied: "Whatever it may be, yes to our strife came." Discord is it, according to Bersenev, said that since that time "the old customs Grand Prince changed", "now our Emperor shut himself thirds of the bed makes all sorts of things"  .
Especially strict with Sophia Prince Andrew Kurbsky. He is convinced that "In predobry Russian princes born of all the devil evil manners, chiefly as the wives of their evil and charodeytsami, As in izrailsteh tsareh more than the same which poimovali from strangers; accuses Sofia of poisoning John Young, the death of Helena, in the conclusion of Dmitry , Prince Andrew Uglich and others disdainfully calls her Greek women, Greek "charodeytsey. In the Trinity-Sergius monastery kept silk veil, sewn hands of Sofia in 1498, to veil embroidered with her name, and she does not call himself the Grand Duchess of Moscow, and "Princess tsaregorodskoy. Apparently, she had a high opinion his former rank, if you remember him, even after 26 years of marriage.
Role in HistoryEdit
There are different versions about the role of Sofia Palaeologus in the history of the Russian state: From Western Europe were caused by artists and architects to decorate the palace and the capital. Build new churches, new palaces. Italian Alberti (Aristotle) Fioraventi built cathedrals of the Assumption and the Annunciation. Moscow embellished Faceted Chamber, the towers of the Kremlin, the palace Terem, built, was finally and Archangel Cathedral. Introduced for the sake of the marriage of his son Vasily III Byzantine tradition - parade of brides . Third Rome
There are few data on Sofia Paleologina's children.
On April 18, 1474 Sofia gave birth to her first daughter Elena. It is assumed that her daughter died soon after her birth, because another daughter, born on May 19, 1476 was also named Elena. Given Sofia's Byzantine ancestry, the importance of giving her daughter the name of the Byzantine empress would be understandable. As the second daughter, born on May 28, 1475 was named Feodosiya, historians draw the conclusion than the first daughter was still alive at that date. As the chronicles do not mention anything about what happened to Feodosiya and another daughter born on May 29, 1485 was also given the same name, a similar assumption is made regarding an early death of the first Feodosiya. The information on the birth of another Elena, on April 8, 1484 is doubtful.
In February 1483 her daughter Evdokiya was born. She married a Tatar prince in 1506 and died in 1513.
Die Geburt von Semen am 21. März 1487 ist umstritten.
There is however a consensus of the birth of her last son, Andrei, on August 5, 1490.
- Helen (or Anna) (1474), died in infancy
- Feodosia ( 1475 -?).
- Elena Ivanovna ( 19 May 1476 - 1513 ) - the wife of Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Poland Alexander Jagiellon .
- Grand Prince of Moscow Vasily III ( 25 March 1479 - 3 December 1533 )
- Yuri Ivanovich ( 23 March 1480 - 1536 ) - Prince of Dmitrov.
- Dmitry Zhilka (6 October 1481 - 14 February 1521 ) - Prince of Uglich.
- Evdokiya (February 1483-1513) - January 25, 1506 wife of the Tatar prince Khudai Kula (Kudaykula), baptised as Pyotr Ibragimovich.
- Feodosia ( 29 May 1485 - 12 February 1505 ) - c 1500, wife of the prince and governor of Moscow Vasily Danilovich Kholmsk .
- Simeon I ( 21 March 1487 - 26 June 1518 ) - Prince of Kaluga.
- Andrew Starytskyi ( 5 August 1490 - 11 December 1537 ) - Prince Starytskyi  .
By the middle of XVII century, all of her offspring died down. Remains unknown but the fate of possible offspring of her great-great-granddaughter Anastasia Mstislav and Simeon Bekbulatovich . Shortly before her death she persuaded her husband to pass the throne to her son Vasili, rather than to Ivan's grandson Dmitri, as had been planned earlier. Apart from Vasili III, only her fifth son, Andrei of Staritsa, left issue. Her last known descendant Maria of Staritsa, wife of Livonia's king Magnus, died in 1610.
|16. Andronikos III Palaiologos|
|8. John V Palaiologos|
|17. Anna of Savoy|
|4. Manuel II Palaiologos (1350-1425)|
|18. John VI Kantakouzenos|
|9. Helena Kantakouzene|
|19. Irene Asanina|
|2. Thomas Palaiologos (c1409-1465)|
|10. Constantine Dragaš|
|21. Theodora of Serbia|
|5. Jelena Dragaš (c1372-1450)|
|1. Zoe Palaiologina|
|24. Centurione I Zaccaria|
|12. Andronikos Asanes Zaccaria|
|6. Centurione II Zachariainos (1404-1432)|
|26. Erard III, Baron of Arcadia and Saint-Sauveur|
|13. Mavros of Arcadia|
|3. Katharina Zaccaria of Achaea (1411-1462|
|28. Leonardo I Tocco|
|14. Leonardo II Tocco|
|29. Maddalena Buondelmonti|
|7. Creusa Tocco (c1404-a1424)|
Older sister Zoe Elena Paleologinya Moreyskaya (1431 - November 7, 1473) with 1446 was the wife of the Serbian despot Lazar Brankovic , and after the capture of Serbian Muslims in 1459 fled to the Greek island of Lefkada , which became a nun. Also Thomas had two surviving sons, Andrew Palaeologus (1453-1502) and Manuel Palaeologus (1455-1512). [ edit ] Italy
Bessarion of Nicaea
A few words should be said about the sad fate of the brothers, Sofia. After the death of Thomas Crown Paleologo de jure inherited son Andrew, who sold it to various European monarchs, and died in poverty. During the reign of Bayezid II 's second son, Manuel, turned out to be an heir, he returned to Istanbul and the sultan ceded his rights. According to some sources, he converted to Islam, started a family and served in the Turkish Navy.
[ edit ] Life in Marriage
Family Life of Sofia, is likely to be successful, as svidetelstvet numerous offspring. For her in Moscow were built special mansions and courtyard, but they soon, in 1493, burned and destroyed during the fire and the treasury of the Grand Duchess.
Painting N. S. Pasha , "John III overthrew the Tatar yoke , breaking the image of Khan and ordered to kill the ambassadors "(1862)"
In art and literature Edit
== Literature ==:
- Nikolai Spassky , the novel "Byzantine." The action takes place in Italy XV century against the consequences of the fall of Constantinople. The protagonist is intriguing to Zoe Palaeologus of the Russian Tsar.
- George Leonardos , the novel "Sofia Palaeologus - from Byzantium to Russia."
in painting and graphicsEdit
- As indicated by the dictionary 19 th century, there is a mural, on which, in those deprived of the throne of princes surrounding Pope Sixtus IV, placed and Sophia, "but judging by the costumes, this image is probably not done in the XV century. And much later"  .
- Abeghian, Mher Manukovich (1909-1978). Figure "Wedding of Ivan III of the Byzantine Princess Sophia" .
- Assumption FI marriage of Tsar Ivan III Vasilyevich with Sophia Palaeologus. - Historical Journal. 1887, t. 8. № 11.
- Pirling, Paul. Russian and East. Tsarskoe wedding at the Vatican, Ivan III and Sophia Palaeologus. 1892.
- Panova TD Sophia Palaeologus. M., 2005.
- Chizhov, Irina. Sofia Palaeologus.
- I. Lazhechnikov. Basurman.
Sofia Palaeologus on the Commons ? ↑ Russian chronicles also met the wrong version of "Moldovan". ↑ The Independent chronicle the 80's. XV century. ↑ Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Sergiev Posad ↑ A. Contarini story about the journey to Moscow in the years 1476-1477. / / Russia XV-XVII centuries. through the eyes of foreigners - L., 1986, p. 24. ↑ 1 2 Zimin AA resurgent Russia  ↑ Skrynnikov RG Ivan III. - S. 192. ↑ Herberstein S. Notes on Muscovite affairs / Russia XV-XVII centuries. through the eyes of foreigners - L.: 1986, p. 45. ↑ 1 2 SA Nikitin, ETC Panova. Anthropological reconstruction ↑ 1 2 3 4 Polovtsiev ↑ Zimin AA, Khoroshkevich AL Russia since Ivan the Terrible . - M., 1982. S. 147-151.]
- ^ a b c d e f Isabel De Madariaga (in Swedish) : Ivan den förskräcklige ("Ivan the Terrible") (2008)
- ^ [http://books.google.com/books?id=M-Fz-xAHVSoC&pg=PA7&lpg=PA7&dq=sophia+paleologue&source=bl&ots=RmUbknG9Hd&sig=m2MqjDwdQIU4c2lFWNOndUzsx88&hl=en&ei=hPjRTZqFL8KugQeGtdnkCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CDAQ6AEwBDgU#v=onepage&q=sophia%20paleologue&f=false Caroline Brook - Moscow. A cultural history. - Oxford University Press 2006 - ISBN 0-19-530951-0
- ^ Ivan Cloulas -Laurent le Magnifique - Fayard, Paris 1997
- ^ [http://dic.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enc_biography/115582/София М. Клочков - София Фоминична - Большая биографическая энциклопедия]</
- ^ Donald W. Treadgold - The West in Russia and China: Russia, 1472-1917 - Cambridge University Press, 1973, ISBN 521-08552-7
- ^ Sophia Fominichna // Russian Biographical Dictionary