Just what does Monomakhos mean anyway? (BTW, welcome to my new blog!)

Ok, so here’s the deal: It’s been a fun ride on the AOI. It’s my first love and I’m still a contributing editor. I intend to remain so (or until Fr Hans thinks I’ve gone around the bend). But I’d like to have a little more fun. Those of you who know me know that I’ve got an irreverent streak a mile wide. That’s why I started Monomakhos.com.

First of all, what does “Monomakhos” mean? It means “one who fights alone.” The first known personage to have that name was Constantine IX Monomakhos, Emperor of Byzantium. His daughter married the Grand Duke of Kiev and they had a son, Vladimir Monomakh, who in turn became Grand Duke. According to legend, the grandfather made a crown for his grandson and his heirs which they would wear when the assumed the ducal throne. It became known as the Cap of Monomakh. That’s just a legend, the real Cap of Monomakh was probably manufactured in the late 13th century and probably by Mongols. (It’s very Asiatic looking.) Anyway, it became the coronation crown of the Tsars of Russia and it was their mystical tie to Byzantium.

To my mind then, “Monomakh” becomes a kind of symbol of the Orthodox commonwealth –beginning in Byzantium and ending in Russia. But here we are in America. A land where Eastern sentiments won’t work (thankfully). I like to think that Americans like to call a spade a spade. I certainly do.

Now we get to the meat of the matter. Just like the AOI, I want to provide a forum for robust, honest, and open debate. You all know where I stand on the issues of American Orthodoxy. I welcome your opinions. Even if they don’t agree with mine. Especially if they don’t agree with mine. I’ll even tolerate ad hominem attacks. I don’t care. From time to time, I’ll even publish opinions that are diammetrically opposed to what I believe. Those however have to be argued in good faith and reasonably well-written. Those essays published by certain Phanar enthusiasts which remind me of the treacly poetry of Rod McKuen will be exposed for ridicule.

One final thing. This isn’t a one man band, I’ve got some help in this, my lovely cousin Jenny the Hammer and her gregarious husband, The Man from Flyover Country. Although this is primarily a blog devoted to Orthodoxy, they help me with color commentary and socio-political insights. They’re good people and they exemplify what’s the best of the American Heartland. The children and grandchildren of immigrants who have taken this great country to heart and want to pass on their love to their offspring.

So get on board! Give me your best! And let’s help create a united American Orthodoxy!