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1882 painting of Tsar Alexis of Russia choosing his bride in 1648. Painting by Grigory Sedov.

The bride-show was a custom of Byzantine emperors and Russian tsars to choose a wife from among the most beautiful maidens of the country.

Notable marriages resulting from a bride-show: Theophilos and Theodora, possibly Irene of Athens to Leo IV the Khazar, three wives of Ivan IV of Russia, Peter the Great's mother Natalya Naryshkina.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Afinogenov, D. "The Bride-show of Theophilos: Some notes on the Sources", Eranos 95. 1997, pp. 10–18.
  • Rydén, Lennart. "The Bride-shows at the Byzantine Court - History or Fiction?" Eranos 83, 1985, pp. 175–191.
  • Treadgold, W. T., "The Bride-shows of the Byzantine Emperors", Byzantion 49. 1979, pp. 395–413.
  • Bourboulis, Photeine, “The Bride-Show Custom and the Fairy-Story of Cinderella.” In P. P. Bourboulis, Studies in the History of Modern Greek Story-Motives. Thessalonike, 1953. Pp. 40–52.