Not Forgetting Beauty by S. M. Hutchens

Column: Mortal Remains

Not Forgetting Beauty

by S. M. Hutchens

In a famous passage from the Russian Primary Chronicle, the a.d. 988 conversion of the pagan Vladimir I, Prince of Kievan Rus, is prefaced by the following explanation of events leading to his decision to choose eastern Christianity over Islam, Judaism, and the Roman Catholic West:

Vladimir summoned together his vassals and the city elders, and said to them: "Behold, the Bulgars [Muslims] came before me urging me to accept their religion. Then came the Germans [Catholics] and praised their own faith; and after them . . .