The article deals with the transformation of the image of the empress in the homilies of the 1740s: the image of the female empress created by Feofan Prokopovich, Gavriil Buzhinsky, and Feofi lakt Lopatinsky in the 1710–1720s for Catherine I was actively used by the preachers of the 1740s (Dimitry Sechenov, Kirill Florinsky, Markell Rodyshevsky, and others) after Elizabeth Petrovna’s ascension to the throne. Some of the empress Catherine’s marking features are easily taken over by Elizabeth, forming a strong homiletic canon for the laudation of the empress. Catherine and then Elizabeth are presented as «the embodiment of Peter’s spirit», and are directly identifi ed with Peter. In the homilies of the 1710–1720s, the preachers emphasised Catherine’s wisdom and piety, whereas in the 1740s’, piety becomes the empress’ main quality. The preachers of the 1740s give many examples of the empress’ piety, whereas wisdom is omitted and returns to the «laudation canon» during the reign of Catherine II. The cliché «mother of the homeland» is also being created and taking shape. Catherine’s physical maternity is transformed into her metaphysical maternity in relation to the people of the country. Thus, most identifying qualities of the empress Catherine are easily adopted by preachers for laudation of Elizabeth. Only the merits of the ideal spouse (who participates in military campaigns, among other things) cannot be used, because they contradicted Elizabeth’s biography. But Catherine I as the ideal spouse is portrayed as an example for the heir apparent’s spouse — Grand Duchess Catherine Alexeyevna, the future Catherine II.
homily, panegyric, XVIII century, Elizabeth, Catherine I, «scenario of power».
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