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

Monomacho's crown (click to enlarge)

Monomakhos' crown (click to enlarge)

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

About GShep


  1. Congratulations, George. I’ll be reading with interest.

  2. Wesley, I cannot tell you how honored I am that you are the first response to my blog. I’m a huge fan of your work. Do you speak on the lecture circuit? I saw where you were at St Tikhon’s.

  3. Welcome to the fray! Glad to see another solid Orthodox voice step forth in the battle for the hearts and minds of the people. I’ll definitely visit.

  4. I check AOI out everyday for new articles and, to be honest, I get the most out of the insightful comments. I am so glad to see your blog site. I will check it everyday!

  5. Hi George,


    I just bookmarked you into my favorites. This ought to be a blast!

    I’ve only been here a few minutes and have found some interesting stuff…The Gates of Vienna site is pretty interesting.

    In any case….very nice job with the layout…Kalorizico!

    Best Regards,

  6. Bishop David says


    Great to see you in the blogosphere! Perhaps, little by little, we can move toward unity among the various Orthodox jurisdictions in the USA. Then move on to bring Christian America back into alignment with the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. If we don’t do something soon, I am afraid we are going to lose much more ground. Keep up the good fight!

  7. Christ's unprofitable servant, Seraphim says

    Dear George, I received your puzzling text message yesterday evening & checked the AOI blog this morning…now I get it : ) My initial impression: I love the aesthetics – choice of icon, colors, photos & the name itself. I just finished a 130 hour stint over the last 9 days working nights in the hospital & a couple of days in the clinic to boot. I’ve got at least 8 hours of paperwork & phone calls to make today before I can take a break, but I’ll be sure to give Monomakhos a closer look when I’m free. Warmest regards!

  8. Congratulations on your new blog, George. I like to read articles by authors who tell it like it is — regardless of what position a person who is being critiqued may hold.

    You are absolutely right: It is time for our bishops to get on the stick and stop playing games. We have had enough of splintered ethnic Orthodoxy in the United States long enough — in fact, for too long. It’s time for the various Orthodox jurisdictions in the United States to unite into one united Orthodox Church of the USA.

    It is imperative that this goal is achieved quickly, and regardless of the feelings of the Ecumenical Patriarch and various motherland patriarchs. The fact is that most of these patriarchates do not want to relinquish their paternalistic control of the American Orthodox jurisdictions, because they are afraid that doing so will weaken their status; therefore, the American Orthodox bishops will have to “cut the umbilical cord” if it still attached to the motherland, and declare an independent American Patriarchate.

  9. George, thanks for the compliment. I’ve been following your commentary on the AOI for some time now. I’d like to follow your blog. I’m glad to see other Hellenes out there who see the necessity of a united and accountable (and local) American Orthodox Church.

    Keep fighting the good fight!