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

You may know me from the American Orthodox Institute. It’s a great place, possibly the go-to place on the Web for serious discussions about American Orthodoxy. I’d like to continue the work of the AOI in a somewhat different vein.

First of all, let’s get the question on everybody’s mind out of the way. What does “Monomakhos” mean? The first known personage to have that name was Constantine IX Monomakhos. His daughter married the Grand Duke of Kiev and they had a son named Vladimir Monomakh. According to legend, the Byzantine grandfather fashioned an ornate crown for his grandson, which was used for all his descendents. It led the coronation procession of the Russian Tsars and you can still see icons of Nicholas II wearing this crown. (In reality, it probably was made by Mongols as it’s very Asiatic-looking.) Regardless, to my mind, “Monomakhos” signifies the continuity of the Orthodox Commonwealth.

OK, so that’s out of the way.

So what do I intend to accomplish? Just more of what the AOI does. I welcome all debate, even ad hominem attacks. Even against me. I’d prefer that opinions be reasonable and cogent, but sometimes even a bishop has to be brought to task. From time to time, I’ll even publish essays that are diammetrically opposed to what I believe. That’s fine, I just won’t tolerate treacly letters or essays that remind me of the sentimental poetry of Rod McKuen. I’ll gladly hold that tripe up for ridicule.

One final note: this isn’t a one-man-band. I’m assisted in this endeavor by my lovely cousin Jenny the Hammer and her gregarious husband The Man from Flyover Country. They’re good people. Like me, the children and grandchildren of immigrants who devoutly love this country. They provide this blog with political and cultural commentary that reinforces the dominant them of Monomakhos: enough of the ethic stagnation and Ruritanian triumphalism. It’s time for our bishops to get on the stick and stop playing games. This country’s too great to let us watch it continue its downward slide. Christianity conquered the Roman Empire and gave birth to Western Civilization. So why should we stop now?

–George C Michalopulos II