The Riddle of Dmitri
The Riddle of Dmitri
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The Riddle of Dmitri

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The Riddle of Dmitri: Considered from Historical, Psychological, and Spiritual-Scientific Viewpoints

In a private conversation on his deathbed, Rudolf Steiner informed his friend Count Polzer-Hoditz of three spiritual problems that would need to be resolved in the coming years: First is the question of the two Johns (John the Baptist and John the Evangelist). Second is the question of who Dmitri actually was. Third is the matter of Caspar Hauser’s origin.

Tackling these issues, Steiner said, would be critically important to humanity’s future. He added, “In all three problems, it is important that one’s gaze is directed not toward death but toward birth. Where did they come from and with what tasks?” In the case of Dmitri, Steiner emphasized that the most important thing is to discover what was supposed to be achieved through his being.

Utilizing the significant clues left by Steiner, Prokofieff tackles the second of these tasks, a great unsolved mystery of Russian history. Tsarevich Dmitri, the son of Tsar Ivan the Terrible, was murdered as a young boy. He was later impersonated by a series of rogues and pretenders.

Prokofieff’s wide ranging study integrates historical, psychological, and spiritual-scientific perspectives in his effort to uncover the truth behind Dmitri’s brief life and mission and the distortions created by the “false Dmitris.” He also examines the significance of Friedrich Schiller’s unfinished play, Demetrius.

About the Author

Sergei O. Prokofieff (1954-2014) was born in Moscow, where he studied fine arts and painting at the Moscow School of Art. At an early age he encountered the work of Rudolf Steiner and quickly realized that his life would be dedicated to the Christian path of esoteric knowledge. He wrote his first book, Rudolf Steiner and the Founding of the New Mysteries, while living in Soviet Russia, and it was published in English in 1994. After the fall of Communism, he helped establish the Anthroposophical Society in Russia. In 2001, he became a member of the Executive Council of the General Anthroposophical Society at the Goetheanum in Switzerland. More than 30 of his books have been translated into English. Sergei Prokofieff passed away in Dornach, Switzerland.

Additional information

Weight 19 oz
Dimensions 6 × 0.75 × 9 in


Simon Blaxland-de Lange




January 2023






Temple Lodge Press


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