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Notes on the History of the Russian Church from the Beginning of Christianity until the Synodal Period

Professor Talberg's grave at the cemetery of Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, NY

Since 1950 and until 1967 Nikolai D. Talberg was a professor of Russian Church History at Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Jordanville, NY. He is the author of the textbook in Russian, which was for long time used for teaching.

From the Editor 

Answers to the Russian Questionnaire composed by Archbishop Alypy (Gamanovich)[1] based on Nikolai Talberg.[2] Istoriia Russkoi Tserkvi (Jordanville, 1959). Translated and edited by N. Lochmatow, J. Marjanac, M. Radovanovic, E. Willmarth 2008-2009, Roman Kuhen 2011. Further edits by D. Mahand, N. Kotar, Novice Donald of St. Herman Monastery in Platina 2011- 2012.

Although this document has some idiosyncrasies with respect to transliteration of names and formatting, I believe that it can be very helpful to a student of Russian history. I would be grateful if you could inform me about any problems that you would come across in using this text (

 Deacon Andrei Psarev


1. Who were the parents of Cyril (Constantine) and Methodius? Where did Constantine receive his education?  Where was he active?

Their father Leo was from Thessalonica.  He was a helper of a military captain.  Some sources say he was a Slav while the mother was a Greek.  Therefore, the brothers already had some knowledge of the Slavic language and people.  Constantine received his education in Constantinople.  He studied at the same imperial academy where Metropolitan Photius of Thessalonica and later Leo the Philosopher taught. He went and stayed around the Sea of Marmora.  He also taught at the academy under Caesar Bardas.  He was later active in Baghdad, where he explained certain theological issues (e.g., Christology).

2. What was the reason that caused Constantine to create Church Slavonic? In which year did Constantine and Methodius go to Moravia? 

In 862 the prince Rastislav of Moravia informed Emperor Michael that Moravia had received Christianity, but it had not received teachers to explain the faith in their own language.  Therefore, Emperor Michael and Patriarch Photius sent the brothers to create an alphabet and translate Holy Scripture for these Slavic peoples.  They were chosen because of their spiritual maturity and knowledge of both Greek and Slavic languages.  In 863 the brothers arrived in Moravia with the alphabet and some previously translated texts and began their work.  They translated church services into Slavonic, built schools, and taught the people.

3. Where did Constantine die? Where did Methodius continue to preach and under what rank?

Constantine (Cyril) got sick while in Rome, and 50 days before his death he took the monastic schema.  On February 14, 869 he reposed.  He was buried in the Church of St. Clement in Rome.  Methodius was consecrated bishop of Moravia and Panonia and continued to preach in this region (Prince Kozel asked for this).  He had a blessing from Pope Adrian to continue preaching in the Slavonic language, but to read the Gospel first in Latin and then in Slavonic.  St. Methodius’ mission spread to Czechoslovakia, Serbia, Panonia, Carpatho-Russia, and parts of Poland.

4. What was the fate of the Slavic enlightenment after the death of Methodius?

  1. Bulgaria:
  2. The Bulgarian Tsar Boris (named Michael at his baptism) was a student of Methodius. By 870 Bulgaria had become an Orthodox nation.  Boris wanted to have autocephaly and thus invited Methodius’ students: St. Clement, St. Gorazd, and St. Nahum to come to Bulgaria and help him in this endeavor.  Consequently, Tsar Simeon (the son of Boris) declared autocephaly in 907 and made Leontius the first patriarch of Bulgaria.
  3. Bohemia (Czech lands): St. Methodius had baptized Prince Borivoy and Princess Ludmilla in 874.   King Wenceslaus (her grandson) supported Orthodoxy in these lands, but he was murdered by his brother.  Christianity returned under Bolislav II, but in the form of Roman Catholicism. The Orthodox tried to retain their faith, but in 1097, the last bastion of Orthodoxy (Sazan Monastery) was destroyed.
  4. Poland: Part of Poland was under St. Methodius’ diocese.  In 965 Prince Mstislav married the Czech prince’s daughter and became Orthodox.  Later he remarried to a papist princess, recognized the primacy of the pope, and changed the service language to Latin.  In 1055 Mstislav II chased out all remaining Orthodox priests.


5. What is the first evidence regarding Christianity around the northern coast of the Black Sea?

From 94 St. Clement of Rome sent Christians to Crimea from Rome.  In the towns of Uglich and Teveretz there were tribes living around the Dniester and Danube rivers, which bordered the province of Scythia.  St. John Chrysostom was the first to convert these Scythian neighbors of the Greeks to Christianity.  Also there was a Christian diocese among the Goths who lived near the Don and Dniester rivers.

6. What was the result of Rus’s attack on Constantinople in 860?

After the procession with the robe of the Mother God had circled the walls of the Queen City, the Russians retreated. Then a Russian embassy arrived in Constantinople requesting that missionaries be sent to the Rus.

7. What was the agreement between Prince Igor and Byzantium? Why is it noteworthy?

Because this document is divided into two parts (between Christians and non-Christians) it signifies that many Orthodox people were living in Kiev already.

8. When was Princess Olga baptized and what meaning did it have?

She was baptized between 954 and 957.  In 957 she went on pilgrimage to Constantinople and wanted to venerate the saints there.  She could not influence her son, but her grandson was influenced by her words and deeds (her life was recognized by many as righteous and good).

9. Why did St. Prince Vladimir receive Christianity? What were the facts that St. Vladimir received Christianity?

His grandmother’s righteousness and wisdom, the lifestyle of Kievan Christians, the martyrs in his realm, the emissaries he sent to the Greeks, his Greek wife (Anna; the sister of the emperor) all contributed to the fact of St. Vladimir’s conversion in 988.


10. What were the circumstances of St. Vladimir’s conversion and where did it happen?

Before marrying Anna, he was already receptive to conversion.  Baptism was necessary to marry a “purple-born” Byzantine princess (porphyrigenitos).  However, his eye infection and Anna’s suggestion to be immediately baptized helped seal his interest.  Soon after his baptism his eye was healed and he got married.  It happened in Kherson, according to the Primary Chronicle.

11. How did the baptism of Russia take place and in which city?

Vladimir directed that the people in his realm be baptized (beginning with the city of Kiev and in the Dnieper River) and decreed that Christianity was to be the faith of his people.

12. How did conversions happen in other parts of Rus’? Who was glorified in this apostolic efforts?

Missionary work spread from Kiev into the other areas of Rus’.  From Kiev it went to Novgorod where Bishop Joachim had a hard time to convert the people and thus called in the army.  Bishop Leontius of Rostov was having some success, but he was killed by pagans in 1077.  His successor, Isaiah, finally succeeded in baptizing the people of Rostov and the neighbors of Suzdal.  He was assisted by Prince Vladimir Monomakh.  In the lands of Murom the pagans murdered Prince Yaroslav (Constantine) but his father and brother (Michael and Theodore) continued missionary work there.  The most stubborn pagans were the Viatichi .  St. Gerasimus went there from Kiev in 1147 to spread Christianity.

13. What books were influential in early Russia and which books did they possess?

Exposition of the Orthodox Faith by St. John of Damascus; The Book of Six Days adopted by John of Bulgaria; the hagiography; The compositions of St. Methodius of Patras, the Ladder of Divine Ascent of St. John the Abbot of Mount of Sinai and others including works by St. Gregory the Theologian, Ephraim the Syrian, St. Theodore the Studite, etc.

14. Which princes were noted for their piety?

Yaroslav the Wise, Vladimir Monomakh, Sts. Boris and Gleb.


15. Name the famous authors of spiritual writings and their compositions or teachings.

  1. Among the most important were Nestor, the chronicle writer and historian from the Kiev Caves monastery. Metropolitan Hilarion was also a bishop who wrote the “Sermon on Law and Grace,” thus comparing the Old and New Testament with the periods before and after baptism in Rus’, respectively. Also Abbot Daniel wrote about his pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
  2. Metropolitan Leonid wrote against the Latins. Polemic letter from John II to Pope Clement III (regarding church rules).  Two letters to the Russian princes from Metropolitan Nicephorus regarding the Latins, and a letter to Vladimir Monomakh regarding fasting and teachings for example about cheese-fare.

16. Which were the famous churches and where were they built under the following princes: Vladimir, St. Yaroslav the Wise, St. Vladimir of Novgorod, St. Andrew Bogoliubskii, Mstislav Vladimirovich, and Vsevolod III? 

St. Andrew (Kiev), St. Basil (Kiev), St. Nicholas (Kiev), Sts. Peter and Paul (Kiev), St. Sophia (Surozh), Elevation of the Cross (Pereiaslavl’), the Holy Mother of God (in Smolensk by St. Vladimir).

17. What was the social significance of the first churches after the baptism of Rus’?

The first churches were extremely significant in the social sphere. The simple neighborhood parish was the central point of all more important social buildings and happenings. Around it, important announcements were made. Meetings were held, trade and sales were finalized. Also there was a parish school connected to the church in which the clergy taught. Also a bogadel’nia (i.e., mercy house) was there where the people would be able to get the priests to perform religious services for them. The parish also had a bratchina (i.e., communal meal), which was where the community did things like make beer and kasha from a collectively owned resources. The sobor (i.e., cathedral) was the same principle but on a municipal level. It was where the bishop and the prince lived. The veche (i.e., assembly) also met at the sobor at the ringing of a bell as in Novgorod. The cities were thought to belong to the saint of the sobor; for example: Pskov to the Holy Trinity, Novgorod to St. Sophia, etc.

18. Which icons of the Theotokos were glorified as miracle-working during this period?

  1. Icon of the Mother of God of Pechersk (1083);
  2. Icon of the Mother of God of Smolensk (brought from Constantinople in 1111);
  3. Icon of the Mother of God of Vladimir (by tradition written by the Evangelist Luke);
  4. The Miracle-Working Icon of the Mother of God in Novgorod (appeared in 1170).

19. Which Russian saints were glorified during the Kievan period and which holy days were established?

Sts. Theodore and John, St. Vladimir, St. Olga, Sts. Boris and Gleb, translation of St. Nicholas’ relics to Bari, procession of the Honorable of the Life-Giving Cross of the Lord.

20. Which church ustav was fully implemented, when and by whom?

St. Theodosius of Kiev sent one of his monks to Constantinople to bring back the Studite Rule.  It spread from there throughout Russia and became the main ustav.

21. How was church singing established in Rus?

Church singing before Yaroslav was established from the Bulgarian Slavs. In 1053 Greeks came and brought their very melodious singing to the Rus’. From that point the two-voice and three-voice Byzantine chant was used. From this we also have the eight-tone system.


22. What was the structure of the Russian Church and its relationship to Constantinople?

  1. According to the canon law recognized by the Russian Orthodox Church in the medieval period, a council of bishops was to appoint bishops (as established in the fourth canon of the First Council of Nicaea and reaffirmed in the third canon of the Second Council of Nicaea). The spirit of the law may very well have intended that the bishops meet in council to elect and consecrate episcopal candidates, thus keeping the entire process within the Church.
  2. There was one metropolitanate for Kiev and all of Russia, and there were several bishops’ sees. The twenty-eighth canon of the Fourth Ecumenical Council (451) laid down that the actual selection of a candidate for a metropolitan, who is the senior bishop of a province, be carried out by a council of bishops. However, the sole right to consecrate belonged to the patriarch. Since the church in Russia was under the patriarch’s omophorion, the metropolitan had to be consecrated by the patriarch of Constantinople.
  3. The Kormchaia Kniga the canon law collection in use by the medieval Russian Church, contained the texts of the Apostolic Canons, the Ecumenical Councils of Nicaea, Chalcedon, Ephesus, and others, regional councils such as the Councils of Antioch, Carthage and Sardica, as well as patristic writings and imperial laws.

23. Which metropolitans were Russian?

Hilarion, Klim (Clement), Cyril II, Peter, Alexis.

24. Which metropolitan’s consecration caused a conflict? How was it resolved?

  1. Mitropolitan Kilim’s (Smoliatich).
  2. In 1155 Prince Yurii took over Kiev and expelled Klim. In 1156 Metropolitan Constantine was assigned from Constantinople. He was a Greek and therefore was not connected to any rival parties.

25. What was the significance of the metropolitans and bishops when the princes were in conflict among each other? Give an example.

The metropolitans, beginning with Nicholas (1092-1104) and Metropolitan Michael (1130-1145) began to mediate in the political struggles.  For example, Metropolitan Nicholas intervened by pleading for peace in the internecine wars between Sviatopolk Iz”iaslavich and Vladimir Monomakh.  Metropolitan Michael mediated between the Monomashishchi  (the descendants of Vladimir Monomakh) and the Ol’govichi (the descendants of Oleg, the son of Sviatoslav of Chernigov).

26. According to Patriarch Nikon’s chronicle, which were the first dioceses and which were established later? What was the title of the hierarch of Novgorod? 

  1. In the 35 years following Vladimir’s baptism: there were at least four sees before 1025: Belgorod (close to Kiev), Novgorod, Chernigov and Polotsk.
  2. The title for the hierarch of Novgorod was “Archbishop.” Novgorod first elected a bishop in 1156, when the veche chose Bishop Arkadius. All together there were 15 known dioceses, which existed in the pre-Mongol period.  Further growth took place in the 11th century with Turov, Pereiaslavl’, Yur’ev, Rostov and Vladimir in Volynia. Note: there were about nine bishops at this time that served an area the size of Byzantium; the Byzantine empire by comparison had about 750 sees and bishops.

27. What people and forms of life were governed by the church?

The villagers and servants that lived in lands owned and operated by the monasteries were under church jurisdiction.  Both pagans and faithful throughout the Christian lands were under the ethical code of conduct which the church imposed.  Many transgressions were judged by the church and penalties, penances, and fees were imposed.

28. Who was in the bishop’s administration and what was it called?

The administration was consisting of bodies of priests called the krilosy. They were involved in the administration of the cathedrals. On the diocesan level were the namestniki, tiuni, and desiatiniki. The namestniki had their own krilos sometimes as well. There were namestniki which were close to the bishops and there were those which functioned in their own deanery. Tiuni appeared in the 12th century. They were judges and courts in which most often people which knew the laws and courts participated in.

29. What were the rules and laws used by the church to govern itself? Name them.

The rules and laws for the governing of the church was essentially the Nomokanon. This was a compilation of the church canons. The name comes from the Greek nomos – law and kanon – which means rule. Apart from the original Bulgarian edition of the Nomokanon made by John the Scholastic, we also have the compilation which makes the Kormchaia. The Kormchaia was also supplemented by the questions from Hierodeacon Kirik and the answers provided by various bishops and spiritual fathers. These questions give insight into the various situations that arose because of local traditions, pagan remnants, and the nature and character of the clergy and people. Also mandatory were the decrees from the patriarch of Constantinople regarding the Church of Russia (until the Tartar Yoke there were two of these).

30. What were the sources of support for the metropolitans, the bishops, and clergy?

  1. Fees from the “white clergy;”
  2. Monasteries’ contributions to their bishops;
  3. contributions from parishioners;
  4. legal fines for a series of statutory offenses within the jurisdiction of the church (a major source);
  5. landed possessions (taxation of the inhabitants of eparchial estates – also a major source).


31. What remnants of paganism were left among the people?

Pagan customs were deep-seated.  The church had a difficult time in completely uprooting them.   Among these customs were gatherings where people would get drunk,      replace their wives with new ones, and perform common pagan sacrifices.  Metropolitan John taught how to fight some of these evil customs and the influence of sorcerers  (magic).

32. What was the evidence that there had appeared truthful and simple customs showing sincere Christian understanding?

Holy Prince Vladimir radically changed his life style.  Saintly life of his sons Yaroslav, Boris and Gleb, demonstrates his own rightness. Abbot Daniel undertook pilgrimage to Jerusalem. A number of Russian metropolitans of that time have been canonized.

33. Which monasteries were established by Yaroslav the Wise?

There were two kinds of monasteries built in ancient Russia:  sobstvennye and nastoiashchie. Sobstvennye was a monastery which built by wealthy people, and nastoiashchie was a monastery built by monks. There were also nesobstvennye, which were next to churches.  The first monasteries were built in the second half of Yaroslav’s reign.  They were the men’s Monastery of St. George, and the women’s monastery of St. Irene, both in Kiev. They were built by Yaroslav after 1037.

34. Who was the founder of the Kiev Caves Lavra? When was it founded?

  1. The founder of the Kiev Caves Monastery was Venerable Anthony, and the first builder and organizer was Blessed Theodosius.
  2. It was founded in 1051 when St. Anthony returned to Russia from Mount Athos, Greece. He didn’t want to stay in any existing monasteries but wanted to stay in an isolated place.  He ended up on the land of the grand-princely village called Berestova.  This is the land of present-day Pechersk.  By 1054, the time of the death of Prince Yaroslav, he was already praised for his holy life.  Many good people brought gifts and received his blessing.

35. Whom do you know of the ascetics of the Kiev Caves Lavra who are counted among the saints?

Many followed the path of St. Anthony during and after his life.  The chronicles show us these ascetics already in 1154 and 1174.  These include Sts. Hesychius, Nikita, Lawrence, John, and Pimen.  The long-suffering John and Athanasius were the first to show the difficulties of common asceticism and how the grace of God strengthens the weakness of man.

36. What significance does the Kiev Caves Monastery have in church and communal life?

The Kiev Caves Monastery brought authentic Orthodox monasticism to Russia.  It became the example for all the other monasteries. It had a huge influence throughout the Russian Orthodox Church.  The ascetic bent of this monastery spread throughout the whole Christian community.  Piety was understood according to the form seen in the Kiev Caves Monastery.  It had the glorious status of being the oldest among the monasteries. It received the Studion Rule from Constantinople, which became the standard typicon throughout Rus.  More than fifty Russian bishops came from this monastery.  Abbots for other monasteries also were picked out from this monastery.

37. Indicate how many monasteries were in the major cities of Rus.

At this time, after the Kiev Monasteries, new monasteries followed in all the cities, primarily from the middle of the 12th century.  In Kiev there were 13 monasteries.  In Pereiaslavl’, four.  In Chernigov, four.  From these, the most important were Dormition-Yeletskii and Il’inskii-Trinity.  In the princedom of Galicia, there were three.  In Polotsk, there were three plus the Monastery of the Savior, built by St. Euphrosyne.  In Tmutorakan’, one.  In Smolensk there were five.


38. What were the Roman-Catholic efforts which tried to win over Rus’ during the time of St. Prince Vladimir?

The pope sent ambassadors to Prince Vladimir in Korsun, and in Kiev (991 and 1000) in an attempt to persuade him to recognize papal supremacy.  Metropolitan Leontius accepted the ambassadors cordially, but sternly pointed out the errors in the Latin faith.  Another attempt to bring Catholicism occurred when Prince Vladimir’s son Sviatopolk married the Catholic daughter of the Bohemian Prince Boleslav.  Together with her spiritual father, Bishop Reinberg, Sviatopolk came to Kiev and plotted to install the Catholic faith.  St. Prince Vladimir learned of their plans and imprisoned them.

39. What were the Catholic efforts which were tied with Prince Iz”iaslav Yaroslavovich?

Prince Iz”iaslav, offended at both his brother Sviatoslav in Kiev and at Prince Boleslav of Poland, appealed to Pope Gregory VII for political aid.  He asked Pope Gregory to demand that Boleslav return Iz”iaslav’s lands, implying that he would recognize papal supremacy afterward.  However, Pope Gregory offered no assistance and Iz”iaslav remained Orthodox.

40. What were the Catholic efforts in the principality of Galicia?

Pope Innocent III sent an envoy to the Galician Prince Roman after the Crusaders conquered Constantinople (1204), stating that the sword of St. Peter was ready to conquer all peoples.  Prince Roman easily rebuked the envoy, stating that the pope had no right to wield a sword.  After Prince Roman’s death, while his sons were still too young to rule, Galicia was captured by the Hungarian Prince Koloman.  Under Hungarian rule, Orthodox clergy were persecuted and the people were forced to practice Catholicism.  Galicia returned to Orthodoxy after the Hungarians were driven out in 1220 by Prince Mstislav.

41. How do Roman Catholic authors try to prove that after the Schism of 1054 Russia continued to accept the pope’s authority? How does Professor Golubinskii answer this?

  1. The Roman Catholic authors argue that after Constantinople declared the pope a heretic at the Great Schism, the Russian Church never took any such official action and continued to recognize papal authority. As proof, they offer up evidence that the Russian Feast of the Translation of the Relics of St. Nicholas to Bari was created by the pope, and not recognized by the Greek Church.
  2. Professor Golubinskii counters by stating that as a metropolitante of Constantinople, it was not necessary for the Russian Church to issue a separate statement, and the Russian Church continued to receive its metropolitans from the Greek Church after the Great Schism. Regarding the Feast of St. Nicholas: at the same time as its inception, Pope Clement III offered a Uniate to Metropolitan John II, so the Russian Church could not have already been recognizing papal supremacy.  Furthermore, the pope didn’t install the feast throughout the Catholic Church, but only as a local feast in Bari.


42. How did the Mongol conquerors relate to the Orthodox faith? What did they follow? Did they change their attitude after converting to Islam?

  1. The Mongol conquerors were very tolerant to the Christian faith.
  2. They realized that if they wanted to create a world empire, it was necessary to allow their subjects to retain their religious beliefs to prevent internal uprisings. They followed the Yasa, a code of laws from Genghis Khan, which contained instructions on religious tolerance, and so they did not force clerics to pay a tax to the Khanate.  They regarded Christian priests with the same level of superstitious reverence as they accorded to their own shamans.
  3. Even after their conversion to Islam, most Mongols continued to honor the tenets set in the earlier rule of Genghis Khan.

43. What is known about Khan Gayuk and his attitude toward Christianity? What is the Christian-Observer witness regarding Khan Kublai?

  1. Khan Gayuk, after conquering the Russian land, had a Christian chapel in front of his palace, allowing clergy to perform the divine services, and even providing for them.
  2. The Christian-Observer writes that on Pascha and Nativity, Khan Kublai would venerate the Gospel and instruct his princes and warriors to do the same. They also participated in the feasts of Jewish and pagan religions.

44. In what manner did the Christian faith influence the Mongols? How was this expressed?

  1. The Christian faith influenced the Mongols by means of marriage and miracles. Khan Berku of the Golden Horde summoned Bishop Cyril of Rostov, who healed his son’s illness.  Metropolitan Alexis healed the blindness of Khan Jani-Beg’s wife.  Several Khans and Mongol princes married Russians and became Orthodox.
  2. Under Khan Berku of the Golden Horde, a diocese was established in Sarai, the Mongol capital in 1261, the first bishop being Metrophanes.

45. Who suffered under the Mongols and for what reasons?

Prince Michael Vsevolodovich of Chernigov was martyred by the Mongols when he was summoned to the Horde and refused to participate in their religious practice.  Prince Roman Ol’govich was martyred for rebuking his fellow Russian princes who had adopted the Mongol’s faith.  Three more Russian princes, Yuri Daniilovich of Moscow and Dimitri Mikhailovich and Alexander Mikhailovich of Tver were killed by the Mongols not for their faith, but for political infighting that was disloyal to Mongol rule.

46. In what manner was Russia freed from Tamerlane’s attack?

In 1395, Tamerlane’s advance was halted when all the people of Moscow turned to the Lord in prayer.  Prince Basil I asked Metropolitan Cyprian to bring the Vladimir Icon of the Theotokos in a procession from Vladimir to Moscow.  According to legend, Tamerlane had a dream that a holy woman sternly warned him not to advance any further into Russia.  Stopped by divine might, Tamerlane turned away from Moscow and soon left Russia.


47. Who is the enlightener of the Korelians and the Lapps? What is the significance of the Valaam monastery?  Who was its founder?  Who founded the Solovetsk Monastery?

  1. In the middle of the 13th century, 23 unknown ascetics struggled on an island on Lake Kubensk. After prayers they would spread the word of the Gospel among the wild tribes of Tshudy and Karelians, as well as to the travelers around the northeastern coast of Lake Kubensk. They suffered a lot from insults and beatings. Because of their poverty, they were not able to built a monastery, but St. (Prince) Gleb around 1260 built a wooden church there. Their sermons were highly influential.
  2. The significance of Valaam monastery: In 1329 Blessed Sergius arrived at the Valaam Islands on Lake Ladoga.  He was joined by Blessed Herman.  Through their labor the famous monastery was founded.  The Korelians were converted to the faith in this region.
  3. Regarding the Lapps: In the middle of the fourteenth century the eunuch Lazarus traveled to the Sea of Onezhk.  There on an island named Murman he built a church and converted the Lapps in the region.  He suffered and was persecuted, but in the end the Lapps recognized his goodness and honored him.  Many came to the faith after the miracles he did (e.g., healing of a leader’s son).
  4. The founder of the Solovetsk Monastery was Herman, the disciple of Lazarus. He was the first ascetic on the island of Solovetsk.  Zosima (a fellow companion) and Herman began to built the monastery.

48. Whom did Stephen of Perm enlighten? How did he prepare, and how did his apostolic works proceed? How did his efforts go forth even in the practical needs of those whom he enlightened?

  1. Stephen of Perm (born in 1345) enlightened the Zirian, the wild children of the northern woods. He desired to enlighten the pagans.
  2. He studied the pagan language and after 10-12 years became a monk. He was devoted to study – he studied day and night and learned Greek.  He made an alphabet for them and gave the pagans the services in their own language.  He was supported by the Great Prince Dimitri Ivanovich of Don, the metropolitan in Moscow, and the Muscovite boyars.
  3. At first he was not received well, and they even tried to chase him off. However, Stephen’s steadfastness prevailed (he was willing to die).  He translated books and built a church across from an idol and burned the idol.

49. Who enlightened Great Perm (the rivers Kama and Chusovaia)?

With St. Stephen’s efforts Little Perm was converted, but Great Perm not completely.  The successors, Sts. Isaac and Herman, continued to convert these people until St. Job in 1462 baptized the great prince of Perm.


50. The crusade against Northwest Russia: Under whose leadership did the Swedes attack? Who, where, and in what year? Under what circumstances were they defeated?

  1. The first pope to bless the crusaders into the Northwest was Alexander III at the request of the Latin monk Meingard, who was not being very successful in getting the idol-worshipers to convert. In 1196 the Germans under King Kanut IV came to the Estonian coast and started to Latinize the region by force. This was not very successful either because when his armies left the people simply “washed off” the baptism in the River Dvina. Soon after, Bishop Albert Bugegebden came with a fleet of 23 ships. He captured the city of Riga in 1200, and in 1202, with the blessing of Pope Innocent III, he founded a “sword-carrying” knights order, much like the Jerusalem Templar Knights. In 1224 they took Kukenois and Yuriev.
  2. The pope took advantage of the weak Russians and decided to bless the crusade not only against the pagans but also the Orthodox faith as well. In 1240 the Swedes, with support from the Germans and other crusaders, were ready to invade. The Swedes invaded under the leadership of the warlord Birger. He was also accompanied by many Catholic bishops and spiritual leaders. They first took over Ladoga, but stopped short of Novgorod at the mouth of the River Izhora. Birger sent a convoy to Alexander Nevsky threatening him and telling him that Swedish victory was guaranteed. When Alexander heard of the number of people under Birger he went to the Church of St. Sophia and prayed that God would give them the strength to defend themselves. He got a blessing from Bishop Spyridon and decided that victory would only happen if the attack on the Swedes was sudden and unexpected. On that morning of the July 15, 1240, a Fin tribe leader named Pelgusi gave Alexander information about the Swedes and told Alexander that he dreamed of Sts. Boris and Gleb supporting Alexander. And so it was that Alexander would, with a sudden and quick attack, defeat the Swedes and even “mark the face of Birger”, as we know from the chronicles.

51. Where, in what year, and under what circumstances did Alexander Nevsky defeat the Teutonic Knights and under what name is this battle known in history?

In 1242 the pope ordered the crusaders to attack again. The Germans, without announcing a war act, attacked the areas of Pskov and Novgorod. The people of Novgorod turned to Alexander who was busy building the monastery of the Holy Martyr Alexander in Pereiaslav Zaleskii. That same year he freed Pskov. The crusaders, angry at him and wanting to put an end to Alexander once and for all, decided to launch a huge campaign to get rid of him. The wise Alexander prayed to God and led the Germans onto the frozen Lake Chudskoe. Alexander circled them from behind and defeated them. The ice cracked and the Germans all drowned because of their heavy armor. This battle is best known as the “Battle on the Ice” or the Ledovaia Bitva and Alexander as Nevsky, after the name of the river Neva.

52. What did Pope Innocent IV try to do after the unsuccessful campaigns against Alexander Nevsky?

After the unsuccessful attempt at military intervention Pope Innocent IV resorted to sending a delegation to Novgorod in 1248 to offer Alexander the chance of getting to know the Roman Catholic Church. Alexander answered that he knew the faith and the history of the Church very well and that he was not interested in learning anything from the Roman Catholics.

53. Who defended Pskov from the Livonian Knights in 1266-1269? How did the invasion of King Magnus in 1347 end?

  1. In 1266, and again in 1299, the year of his death, the Prince Dovmont (Timothy by baptism) defended Pskov from the attack of the Lithuanians and Livonian knights. Interestingly enough, he was a Lithuanian himself who left his homeland because of feudal fighting. In 1347 the Swedish King Magnus came close to Novgorod and ordered the Orthodox to send wise people so that they could debate which faith was better; otherwise, he would force his faith onto them with his sword. Archbishop Basil answered that he should send his delegates to ask the patriarch because they got their faith from the Greeks.
  2. Magnus penetrated deeper into the Russian lands and converted half of the people. Soon after, he was defeated. Upon his departure, the lands left the control of Sweden and returned to Orthodoxy.


54. What events caused Prince Daniel of Galicia to turn to the West and how did this turn out?

Prince Daniel turned to the West because he expected to defeat the Mongols with a joint effort between the Orthodox and Catholics. In the 1240’s Daniel decided to accept the pope as primate of the Church and descendant of Peter under the condition that the Orthodox Church would not be condemned and that the pope would work to unite the two churches. Innocent IV allowed the priests to serve with leavened bread and he allowed the perpetuation of local traditions, which were not in accord with the teachings of Rome. In 1253 Daniel started having doubts about the support of the pope in the effort against the Mongols. To calm his fears, the pope sent a delegation, which crowned Daniel as the king of Galicia. He also cursed anyone who opposed the Greek Church. In 1255 the pope issued an order to all peoples under his control to support the fight against the Mongols. Nobody answered this call and Daniel broke his agreement with the pope. The new Pope Alexander IV threatened Daniel that he would be removed by God and the worldly powers, but Daniel continued to preach against the reunification of the Catholic Church with the Orthodox because of their sneaky and sly tactics. He died between 1264 and 1266 and was buried in the Church of the Most Holy Mother of God in Holme.

55. What happened to the princedom of Galicia when the male lineage died out, and how did it affect Orthodoxy?

After the death of Daniel his children and grandchildren remained loyal to the Orthodox Church. In 1336 however, there were no more male descendants and pretenders to the throne. Two Galician princesses were married to Liubart Gediminovich, who took reign in Volynia, and the other to the Prince of Mazovec Troy. Troy’s son Yuri was the ruler of Galicia. Liubart remained loyal to Orthodoxy, whereas Troy was a staunch Catholic. In 1340 Troy was sent away by the boyars of Galicia and the replacement for him was the Polish King Kazimir the Great. Liubart defended Volynia, but all else was conquered by Kazimir. Some time after that, under the leadership of the Polish Prince Vladislav Opolski, the icon of the Mother of God of Galicia, which had been brought from the Byzantine Empire by St. Vladimir, was stolen and taken to Chenstohov. It is still revered to this day there by the Polish as their own. In 1375, the pope made several Latin bishops for the regions and sent the Dominican monks to the region. The monks were very aggressive and even organized an inquisition in 1381.


56. Who started the Lithuanian kingdom and what faith was he?

The Lithuanian kingdom was established around 1238 by Prince Mindaugas (a contemporary of Alexander Nevsky and Daniel of Galicia).  He was originally a pagan, but in 1252 was baptized for political reasons by the Roman Catholic knights and later the pope of Rome sent him a crown.  However, he continued being a pagan.

57. What were relations between Lithuania and Prince Daniel of Galicia?

Having seen the power of Daniel of Galicia, Mindaugas sent his son Voishelk, the ruler of Novogoradok, to negotiate the marriage of Mindaugas’s daughter Mindoga to Daniel’s son Shvarna (after her baptism).  Volshelk gave the principality of Novgoradok to the second son of Daniel (called Roman) under the rule of Mindaugas.

58. Who was Voishelk and what is he known for?

He was a cruel and murderous ruler of Novgorodok.  After he traveled to Holm, where Prince Daniel was, he learned to love the Russians and their faith and received baptism there. After baptism he became very meek and even became a monk.  He is known for the monastery he established in Labrashev by the Namanie River (close to Novgorodok).

59. Who were the Holy Martyrs of Lithuania (John, Anthony and Eustathius) and for whom did they suffer?

John and Anthony were the favored servants of Olgerd Kumentz.  They were Christians who refused to offer sacrifices to the pagan god and were therefore imprisoned by Olgerd.  At first, after a year (in prison), John, the older brother, renounced Christianity and Olgerd released him, but Anthony continued to confess Christianity and was cruelly tortured.  His faith brought many to Christianity.  John later confessed Christ, was tortured and hanged (as was his brother).  Eustathius was baptized and confessed Christ, was cruelly tortured (limbs broken, nose and ears cut off, etc.) and was also hanged. An Orthodox church was built over their relics.

60. What was the essence of the change in the Lithuanian/Russian government under Great Prince Jagailo? What were its results?

Jagailo (1377-1434) was the son of Olgerd who gained power by cunning and guile.  He received the plan from the Polish bishops to marry the young Princess Jadwiga.  With this marriage they wanted to strengthen Poland and Catholicism in Latvia and the western part of Russia as well.  Jagailo converted to Roman Catholicism and wanted to replace Orthodoxy with Roman Catholicism throughout his lands.  In 1386 the marriage took place.   He was renamed Vladislav.  He forced the pagans to be baptized into Roman Catholicism and those who resisted were cruelly suppressed. Thus, he began to persecute the Orthodox and implemented policies such as: the Roman Catholic Lithuanians were only allowed to marry Russians who became papists; only Roman Catholics could serve and have services.  The Russians, however, remained Orthodox.

61. How did the Lithuanian Great Prince Vitovt and his descendant Svidrigailo treat the Orthodox?

Vitovt became the sole ruler and great prince of Lithuania (1392-1430).  Due to political reasons he became Roman Catholic, but was tolerant of the Orthodox.  A large number of his subjects were Orthodox.  Svidrigailo (+1452), the son of Olgerd favored Orthodoxy and got rid of many of the Roman Catholic clergy from his principality.  At that time the Council of Florence was in session (1439).


62. What circumstances broke the unity of the Metropolitanate during the Mongol period, and what was the result?

Before the Mongol invasion, metropolitans for Russia were chosen among Greeks in Greece.  After the invasion, it was allowed to choose metropolitans for Russia from within Russia itself, or Lithuania or Greece.  Thus, people who sought the title of metropolitan appeared within the Slavic lands and this caused attempts to divide the Metropolitanate into two or even three separate parts.  This also led people to consider new seats for the Metropolitanate.

63. At the time of the Mongol invasion, where was the seat of the great prince?

At the time of the Mongol invasion, there was no longer a single seat of the great prince.  Two rival princedoms, Vladimir and Galicia, claimed that their capital city was the seat of the great prince.

64. By whose initiative was Metropolitan Cyril III chosen? Where was his residence? What is he known for? Which great figure did he bury in Vladimir?

  1. Metropolitan Cyril III was chosen by the initiative of Prince Daniel of Galicia in 1242.
  2. He traveled widely through the Russian lands and was often in Galicia, but chose the city of Vladimir as his place of residence.
  3. He is known for founding a bishop’s see in the Mongol capital of Sarai, for obtaining the Slavonic Kormchaia book from Bulgaria, and for convening the Council of Vladimir in 1274, which adopted new rules for the reinstatement of clergy.
  4. In 1263 he buried his good friend, the great leader St. Alexander Nevsky, in Vladimir.

65. How did the prince of Galicia, Yuri L’vovich, react to the fact that Metropolitan Maximus was based in Vladimir in 1300, and this lead to what?

Prince Yuri Lvovich of Galicia was offended that Metropolitan Maximus chose the city of Vladimir as his residence, and as a result, he petitioned the patriarch of Constantinople for a separate metropolitan of Galicia.  Metropolitan Niphon was posted to Galicia in 1303.

66. Why, from the two candidates, (from Tver, Hegumen Gerontius; and from Galicia, Hegumen Peter), did the patriarch of Constantinople choose Peter, and give him the title Metropolitan of Kiev and all Russia?

After the deaths of both Metropolitan Maximus and Metropolitan Niphon, Patriarch Athanasius chose Peter (of Galicia) as Metropolitan of Kiev and all Russia.  He surmised that Peter, being the candidate of Prince Yuri, would have enough charge over the land of Galicia despite living in Vladimir.

67. How did the princes of Tver treat Metropolitan Peter, and with which princes did Metropolitan Peter become close?

Metropolitan Peter was immediately met with hostility from the princes of Tver.  They quickly accused him of simony, and the patriarch was forced to conduct an investigation. Metropolitan Peter quickly became close to the princes of Moscow, particularly to Prince John, to whom he prophesied greatness if he fulfilled his obedience.

68. What directive did Metropolitan Peter give concerning widowed priests and deacons?

Metropolitan Peter ordered that widowed priests and deacons, if they wished to remain in their clerical order, should enter monasteries.

69. In which city did Metropolitan Peter choose to reside? During the reign of which prince?  What cathedral did he order to be built there?

Metropolitan Peter chose to reside in Moscow during the reign of Prince John Daniilovich Kalita, and he ordered the Dormition Cathedral to be built there shortly before his death in 1362.

70. Whom did Metropolitan Theognostus prepare as his successor and what was his nationality?

Metropolitan Theognostus, although a Greek, intentionally prepared the Russian Monk Alexis from the Monastery of the Epiphany in Moscow as his successor.

71. Who were Metropolitan Theodoritus and Metropolitan Roman, and why was Metropolitan Alexis forced to leave Kiev?

Metropolitan Theodoritus of Galicia was ordained by the Bulgarian patriarch and uncanonically claimed the see of Kiev.  The patriarch of Constantinople thus ordered that, due to this unfortunate circumstance, the see of Metropolitan Alexis officially became Vladimir.  Metropolitan Roman was metropolitan of Lithuania and Volynia, who also had designs on the see of Kiev.  Metropolitan Alexis was forced to defend his canonical right to the city, and in doing so was even imprisoned by Olgerd, Prince of Lithuania.

72. Why was it necessary for the patriarch of Constantinople to place Metropolitan Anthony in the realm of Galicia?

The patriarch of Constantinople was forced to place Metropolitan Anthony in the realm of Galicia at the behest of the Polish King Kazimir, who otherwise threatened to re-baptize the Russians living in that land to the Latin faith, as they had no metropolitan of their own.

73. What were the contributions of Metropolitan Alexis to the Moscow princedom? Give concrete examples.

Metropolitan Alexis occupied a unique position in the government of Moscow during the fourteenth century.  He was essentially the ruler of Moscow while simultaneously educating the young Prince Dimitri Donskoy, who ascended to the throne at age 9.  In 1362 his efforts with the Golden Horde resulted in the granting of a yarlyk for great prince to Dimitri Donskoy. That same year the see of the metropolitan was permanently moved from Vladimir to Moscow.  Metropolitan Alexis also supported Great Prince Dimitri in his struggles against the princes of Tver.  Through his efforts, Moscow received its origin as the capital of a great kingdom.

74. Why was Metropolitan Cyprian not accepted in Moscow the first time? Why was he not accepted in Moscow the second time? Finally, under which prince did he permanently become the metropolitan of Moscow?

  1. Metropolitan Cyprian was originally the metropolitan from Lithuania, slated to become metropolitan of all Russia after the repose of Metropolitan Alexis. As such, he was not accepted in Moscow the first time in 1378 because Great Prince Dimitri already had his own, Muscovite candidate for the Metropolitanate, Archimandrite Michael.
  2. The second time, after already becoming metropolitan in Moscow, he was chased out in anger by Dimitri after removing the grand prince’s family to Tver during the destruction of Moscow by Khan Tokhmatysh in 1382. Grand Prince Dimitri was personally insulted that his family was moved to Tver, the city of his arch-rival, even for the cause of their safety.
  3. Finally, after the death of Dimitri in 1389, his son Grand Prince Basil I accepted Metropolitan Cyprian as the permanent metropolitan of Moscow.

75. What changes did Metropolitan Cyprian make in church life? e., Nomokanon, books, ustav?

Metropolitan Cyprian made a new translation of the Kormchaia book of rules for the Church.  He also updated the Nomokanon based on the changes in character of the Russian lifestyle.  Furthermore, he adopted the new version of Patriarch Philotheus’ Service Book, standardizing the Church Slavonic translation of this text for the Russian Church. Likewise, he implemented the use of the Jerusalem Ustav, replacing the former Studite one. Additionally, he personally translated a number of Needs services from Greek to Church Slavonic.

76. What was the significance of the Khanate’s yarlyks under Metropolitan Cyprian, and how were the civil rights of clergy determined?

During the time of Metropolitan Cyprian, the Khanate’s yarlyks already began to lose significance.  The grand princes themselves began to determine the civil rights of the clergy. Clerics were generally subject to the metropolitan, but they still had to perform military service.  Also, the metropolitan was not allowed to choose men for clergy from among the servants of the grand prince.

77. What was the relationship between Metropolitan Cyprian with Jagailo and Vitovt, and how did this reflect on church life?

Metropolitan Cyprian enjoyed good relations with Jagailo and Vitovt of Lithuania.  While he was already the metropolitan of Kiev and all Russia, he was able to join to it the cathedra of Lithuania.

78. What was the relationship between Metropolitan Photius and Gregory Tsamblak?

Gregory Tsamblak was elected by a council of bishops within the Lithuanian principality, assembled under threats by Vitovt.  The patriarch of Constantinople had rejected Gregory as a candidate for the metropolitan of Kiev, so Vitovt retaliated.  He forced the bishops to enthrone Tsamblak as “Metropolitan of Kiev and all Russia.”  In spite of the patriarch’s excommunication and deposition of Gregory, Metropolitan Photius succeeded in reuniting the church only after the death of Tsamblak.

79. What was the nature of Metropolitan Photius’ ecclesiastical relationship with Galicia and Lithuania?

Under Metropolitan Photius, Galicia was again part of a unified Russian Metropolitanate.  After the death of Gregory Tsamblak, Metropolitan Photius forged a good relationship with Vitovt before Vitovt died.  He also had a good relationship with Vitovt’s successor, Svidrigailo.

80. What instruction of Metropolitan Peter did Metropolitan Photius confirm?

Metropolitan Photius confirmed Metropolitan Peter’s instruction that widowed clergy should become monks and cease from serving in parish churches.

81. What was the essence of the Strigolnik heresy?

The founders of this schism were the barber (strigolnik) Carpus and the deacon Nikita. They denied the validity of the hierarchy and of their services, accusing them of simony.  They also denied that prayers for the dead had any effect.  This was in reaction to the great wealth that the church had acquired.

82. How did Metropolitan Photius stand up for the 12 year-old Basil II’s rights to the grand-princely throne, and against which pretender (claimant)?

In 1425, after the death of Basil I, Prince Yuri Dimitrievich, the heir’s uncle, attempted to usurp the princely authority from his nephew. Military action having begun, Metropolitan Photius went to Galicia to Yuri to beg for peace.  At first the prince refused the metropolitan’s request, but then he changed his mind and agreed.

83. What claims were made by Metropolitan Gerasimus, Svidrigailo’s protege for Lithuania?

Metropolitan Gerasimus, sent by Svidrigailo to be enthroned as metropolitan, remained in Smolensk (his former see), although claiming the title of “Metropolitan of the Russian Land.” He was burned alive by Svidrigailo when his secret correspondence with Svidrigailo’s uncle and rival, Sigismund, became known.

84. For what is Metropolitan Isidore best known and how did his administration of the Muscovite Cathedra end?

Metropolitan Isidore was a leading supporter of the Union of Florence (1439).  Upon his return to Russia, he was rejected, along with the Union, by Prince Basil the Blind, and replaced by Metropolitan Jonah.  Having escaped to Lithuania and then Rome, he ended his life as a Roman Catholic cardinal with the title “Patriarch of Constantinople and Dean of the College of Cardinals.

85. In connection with what, and in what manner, was St. Jonah installed as metropolitan? (1448)

After eight years without a metropolitan, St. Jonah was enthroned upon the return to power of Basil II, who had been blinded and exiled by his cousin Dimitri Yurevich Shemiaka. He was enthroned, having been confirmed by a council of Russian bishops without confirmation from Constantinople.

86. What practice of installment as metropolitan was introduced after Metropolitan Jonah, and why?

After St. Jonah, the metropolitans were enthroned in Moscow by Russian bishops so that the Russian Church was de facto autocephalous from that time forth, and independent of the patriarchate of Constantinople.

87. With what were Metropolitan Jonah’s endeavors to extend his authority over the Lithuanian and Galician eparchies crowned?

In 1451, St. Jonah received a grammata from Kazimir, Prince of Lithuania, acknowledging him as the head of the Lithuanian eparchy, together with Kiev.  His attempts to gain authority of Galicia were unsuccessful.

88. What did Metropolitan Jonah carry out in the Lithuanian-Russian diocese?

He cleansed the Church of the Unia.

89. On what account did discord arise between Metropolitan Jonah and Archbishop Theodosius of Rostov?

In 1455, on the eve of Theophany, which was a Sunday that year, Archbishop Theodosius had instructed the monastics to eat milk, cheese and fish, and laymen, meat, after liturgy and vespers and violated the accepted practice to fast on the eve of Theophany. Theodosius referred to the sixty-fourth canon of the Holy Apostles, which forbids fasting on Sunday.  Metropolitan Jonah called a council to judge him and deprive him of his episcopal rank.  At the council, Archbishop Theodosius humbly repented and promised to strictly follow the ecclesiastical rules.

90. What was the significance of Metropolitan Jonah in the political life of the Moscow princedom and the other neighboring princedoms?

Metropolitan Jonah had to take on a big role in the political life and government of Moscow.  The king of Poland asked the metropolitan to assist his delegation, which was sent to Moscow.  The citizens of Pskov asked the metropolitan to be an intercessor on their behalf to Grand Prince Basil.  In the discussions between Basil, the Polish king and the prince of Ryazan, Metropolitan Jonah was the mediator.

91. What was the title of the metropolitans of Moscow up to and including Metropolitan Jonah, and why?

The title of the metropolitans of Moscow up to and including Metropolitan Jonah was the Metropolitan of Kiev and All Russia, because of its historical significance and official status as a part of the patriarchate of Constantinople. Subsequent metropolitans were enthroned in Russia.


92. What was the governmental significance of the metropolitans for Muscovite Rus, for example, Metropolitan Alexis and Metropolitan Jonah?

Metropolitan Alexis occupied a unique position in the government of Muscovite Rus, as he was both the metropolitan and a member of the government, the head of the boyars’ Duma.  He was metropolitan at the time when the princes needed a firm guardian over them.  Metropolitan Jonah influenced the government of Moscow by strictly enforcing the rule of succession from father to son among the princes, as instituted by Dimitri Donskoi.


93. What were the rights of revenue of the metropolitan, and how were his court and administration set up? What was the system of administration in revenue in other dioceses?

  1. The bishop’s finances were mainly based on taxation of parishes. He ruled the Moscow diocese and Kievan diocese respectively. He received rewards and gifts for visits to various parishes, and he also received money from the royalty and the rich upper class. This was how the first hierarchs financed their various monasteries and church building projects. The metropolitan’s residence was built like a prince’s castle. It had a whole court of boyars, youth and slaves. Close to his residence, the bishop had a group of advisors called the krilos. In Kiev he had a namestnik, or a dean, who dealt with all the administrative functions. For the courts and other ruling bodies the desiatniki (priests who oversaw ten parishes) fulfilled the quota. In other dioceses there was a similar system of rule in place.
  2. The administration and financial sources were of the same nature except on a smaller scale. The richest of the other bishops was the archbishop of Novgorod.

94. How was a candidate to the episcopacy promoted during the Mongol period?

The choosing of bishops was ultimately in the hands of the metropolitan. The bishops would all gather and recommend three candidates to the metropolitan. The bishops that could not attend this meeting would send a letter of agreement with the decision of their fellow brothers. The metropolitan would then take the three candidates and choose the one that he personally favored or thought was best suited for the job.  The bishop had to agree to teach the Orthodox faith, be obedient to the metropolitan, and avoid conflicts with the metropolitan’s administrative representatives.  He was obliged to respond to the metropolitan’s first invitation to a meeting and to strictly forbid marriages with Armenians and the Latins.

95. What was the situation of dioceses? Why were some abolished, while others were instituted?

There were many changes in the bishoprics when the Mongols invaded. Many bishops left their dioceses and headed north. It was often difficult to get replacements. There were bishoprics being founded in many different places for several reasons. The main reason was that cities, which were strategic for the Mongols were often given a bishop. For example when Sarai became the capital of the Mongol Khanate, a bishop was sent to rule there. Also, because of population increases due to migrations, regions like Pskov wanted to have their own bishop and be independent of the archbishop of Novgorod.

96. How were bishops placed in Novgorod?

In Novgorod the archbishop was chosen by the veche (town council). They chose three candidates whose names were placed on the altar of the cathedral. The main archpriest would call out the first two names which meant that the third was the person that God had left and had chosen to be the ruling bishop. This “choosing by lot” was also called the “apostolic method.”

97. What was the relationship between the bishop of Novgorod and the metropolitan?

Novgorod’s archbishop was in a tough position because the political relations between Moscow and Novgorod were not very cordial. In fact, the Archbishop of Novgorod was outright against the metropolitan at times because he had to comply with the political situation. Novgorod’s people thought that they had to distance themselves from Moscow and try to separate from their system of rule and lifestyle as much as possible. This is why there was much pressure put on the archbishop to keep the relations with Moscow to a minimum. One of the more famous conflicts of this nature was when St. Archbishop Moses complained to the Patriarch St. Theognostus of Constantinople that the metropolitan was not giving him a polystavrion (a crossed liturgical vestment). The patriarch granted it to him and the metropolitan complained. Finally, the patriarch went back on his word and supported the metropolitan. The Novgorod clergy then refused to follow any of the orders or directions of the metropolitan and declared them invalid. The people of Novgorod were also resistant in paying the taxation known as the “black pine.” Finally, after a visit from the metropolitan of Bethlehem they decided to bring back the regular payment of dues to the metropolitan.

98. What was the situation of Pskov in regard to the bishop’s cathedra?

As Novgorod tried to separate itself from Moscow, so did Pskov strive for independence from Novgorod. In 1331 the people of Pskov were denied a bishop when they requested one. In 1348 a promise was given to the people of Pskov that the bishop of Novgorod would appoint a namestnik from one of the local people instead of somebody from Novgorod. The church governance was similar to Novgorod in the way that the veche had ultimate control of the clergy and even at times held them accountable in courts. The relations between Novgorod and Pskov got worse when the clergy of Pskov avoided contact with their direct superior and filed complaints directly with the metropolitan, thus skipping over the hierarchical system of the church.


99. In what condition were the texts of the Divine Services?

The problems in church services were stemming from the lack of church books. That is, there was a serious lack of printed material for the clergy to use in their services as aides. An example of this is that the rich prince of Galicia, Vladimir Vasilkovich, could only afford to provide a full set of books including the triodion and the menaion to the main cathedral in Liuboml’. The other churches were only equipped with a gospel, apostol, and prayer book. Only in the mid-14th century did the Church start getting books from the outside, that is, from the Greeks who were making Slavonic text transcripts. Due to this, church books became a very valued object and the copying and transcribing of them was considered to be a very highly admired job.  There was a demand for removing all inconsistencies in the service books, but with the invasion and destruction of the Mongols, and the high costs, it became difficult.

100. Which questions were discussed at the Councils of Vladimir (1274), and of Constantinople (1276)?

  1. The Church Council of Vladimir was held in 1274 and was called by Metropolitan Cyril II. The council was mainly focused on the servers of the altar and their inconsistencies in serving. They outlined that there were practices, which were inconsistent with the Orthodox faith and tradition and that they had to be stopped immediately. They addressed the fact that many priests were not adequately educated and therefore the priesthood was not shown in a good light. The final ruling of the Council was that it is better to have one worthy priest than a thousand rebellious ones. They wrote that if someone desired to be ordained, he must be questioned in all details, for example: did he keep his purity, did he marry a virgin, was it according to the law, could he read and write well. After that they did not immediately ordain him; they wanted to make sure that he was not a robber, drinker, one who cursed, or quarrelsome.  If he was free from any guilt and qualified, they then needed the blessing of his spiritual father to make him first a reader until he learned all the church ranks.
  2. At the Council of Constantinople in 1276 the main question was of the baptism of people in Russia. Namely, there were problems arising when the priest had neither a large container in which to dunk the person nor natural bodies of water nearby which were large enough to perform a full immersion. The Council allowed for the pouring of water on the person being baptized. The also decided that Nestorians and other heretics who were coming to the faith were to be accepted into the church by Chrismation, pending their confession of the true faith.

101. What directives did Metropolitan Cyprian and Metropolitan Photius send to Pskov regarding baptism?

Metropolitans Cyprian and Photius both sent many letters to the clergy of Pskov because their service practices were being changed due to the influence of the Roman Catholics nearby. Namely, due to a lack of antiminsia, they started to cut up the existing ones and use these parts as whole ones. Also, they used Catholic chrism for baptisms and the sacraments. This was a problem in Russia all around because at this time there was no chrism being prepared and distributed by the Russian Church for its parishes. Instead, the Russians were supposed to receive their chrism from the patriarch of Constantinople. Also the clergy were criticized because they did not know how to properly serve the liturgies of St. John and St. Basil. They did not know how to prepare the lamb for the Pre-sanctified Liturgy, and they were inconsistent with the practice of saying “alleluia” thrice.

102. How did the obetnye and obydennye churches come to be?

The obetnye (vow-type or pledge-type) and obydennye (ordinary-type or everyday-type) churches were those, which were built by the efforts of the people after the Mongols devastated their cities. The obetnye churches were built because of somebody’s promise. Even during famines, epidemics, natural disasters, and utter poverty the people would gather and in a day or two build a whole church out of wood. This became popular all over Russia and it was the single biggest contributor to the preservation of the faith. Many cities had as many as 50 churches of this sort. We know this by the record of the churches which were burned down during great fires.

103. Who built the Dormition, Archangel, St. John of the Ladder and Annunciation cathedrals in the Kremlin?

The Archangel Cathedral was built by Great Prince John Kalita, as was the Dormition Cathedral. Also he made the Cathedral of John of the Ladder. Great Prince Basil I Dimitrievich built the Annunciation Cathedral.

104. Which cathedral (1365) was built in Pskov on an old foundation?

The cathedral of the Holy Trinity was rebuilt in Pskov in 1365.

105. What is a bratchina?

The bratchina was a body of church members who were in charge of preparing the beer for church festivities. They were also a sort of judge when disputes erupted among parishioners. Only when they could not possibly solve the dispute would they go to the prince and ask him to be involved.  Bratchinas were all over Russia.  In the West it took the form of the “brotherhood.” In the fifteenth century, there were two famous brotherhoods in Vilna and Lvov.

106. Name the most famous iconographers of this era.

Some of the more famous iconographers of that period were Isaiah the Greek, from Novgorod. Also there were other Greeks who painted in Moscow, including Goitan, Semen, and John. In Novgorod there was also the Greek Theofanes. The most famous iconographer of that time is certainly the Russian Andrew Rublev and his assistant Daniel. They wrote the icons in some of the most famous churches in Russia, and Rublev is the author of probably the most famous Russian icon of the Holy Trinity in the form of the three angels.

107. Name the most famous icons of this era which were revered for their miracles.

The Mother of God icons of Vladimir, Tikhvin and Kursk were revered for their miracles. Also the Hodigitria is from this time period. One of the other famous, miraculous icons is the Fiodorskaia Icon of the Mother of God, which is believed to be written by the Evangelist Luke himself. St. Alexis of Moscow brought the Not-Made-by-hands Image of the Savior with him after a visit to Constantinople. This icon was soon copied all over Russia and became a standard icon in parishes.

108. By what circumstance was Dimitri Saturday established, and by whom?

Dimitri Saturday was made to commemorate warriors who had fallen in defense of the country, specifically those who gave their lives at Kulikovo Field in 1380. This holiday was instituted by the Great Prince Dimitri Ivanovich, who came to Holy Trinity Monastery after Kulikovo and asked St. Sergius of Radonezh to serve a liturgy and pannikhida for the fallen soldiers. It is celebrated on the Saturday before the Feast of St. Dimitri of Thessalonica (October 26), who is the patron saint of soldiers.


109. What customs prevailed during the Mongol period and why? Why were women sent into closed seclusion?

  1. This period was marked by frequent fights without moral limits. Russian society was plagued by the violence of the strong, the treachery of the weak, mutual distrust, raiding and killing.  With individuals, there was drunkenness, cursing and sensuality.
  2. The women would therefore lock themselves in their homes to keep moral purity in their family.

110. How were strong remnants of paganism expressed in Pskov, Vladimir, and elsewhere?

People believed in shamans and witches.  An example of paganism in Pskov was the burning of 12 witches during a plague. In Novgorod, when there was a period of drought, they dug out the bodies of those people, which died by drowning. There was also a constant presence of pagan sacrifices and many of the holidays, even Christian ones, were celebrated with pagan rituals and practices.  In some places they dug out bodies of people who died by drowning.

111. What was the attitude of Vladimir Monomakh and Dimitri Donskoy to capital punishment? Was this a reflection of their personal qualities or a reflection of the moral condition of the society?

  1. Dimitri Donskoy reinstated the death penalty, not because he wanted it personally but because there was simply a need for it. The people had become accustomed to the savage rules of the Mongols and the only way to keep order was to hang the serious offenders and to lash the less serious transgressors.
  2. This was of course not the case with Vladimir Monomakh who thought that the life of a guilty person is just as valuable as the innocent one’s because every Christian life is holy.

112. What educational significance did the “acts of God” (the Mongol yoke, poverty and hunger) have?

The relevance of the hunger, poverty and horrors of the Mongol yoke to this period is that they were seen as the whips of God, Who was trying to bring His people to a state of repentance and to return to their old Christian beliefs as they were taught by St. Vladimir. This of course was accepted among the people and it resulted in stricter rules and customs which society set for itself. It is usually the case in history that when people are oppressed they unite and fight harder to keep their identity. The hearts of the nobles were softened as they began to rely more on God’s will and not on their “sword.” During epidemics people expressed love and care for one another.  The best people would bury strangers, serve pannikhidas, and pray over the graves.  Many people went into monasteries.  Overall, they turned to God.

113. How many princes of the Mongol period became monastics before their death? Name the most famous.

Six princes during the Mongol yoke accepted monasticism before their death. Their names are Alexander Nevsky, Dimitri and Andrew, his sons, his grandson John Kalita, and Kalita’s sons John and Simon.


114. What is the difference between monasteries of the appanage period (Kievan Rus’) and monasteries of the Mongol period?

During the appanage period, the establishment of monasteries was linked to the foundation of a capital city in each prince’s realm as a symbol of wealth and status.  A city without a cathedral and monastery was considered to be incomplete.  During the Mongol period, the difficult circumstances of the era and the good inclinations of the people to the Christian faith led to a new growth of monasteries.  More monasteries were now built for spiritual and ascetic reasons.

115. How were the backwoods and forests populated with monastics?

Each monk, desiring to live a life of prayer and solitude, would leave his brethren and retreat into the forest.  Soon, his holy life would become famous and more monks would begin to live with him, small wooden churches would be built, good people would donate funds and soon entire monasteries were built within the deep forests of Russia.  The same monk or his disciple would then leave the populated monastery and again remove himself to solitude in a deep forest, where the process would repeat itself.

116. How many monasteries came from the Trinity-Sergius monastery?

During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, 27 hermitage-type monasteries and 8 city monasteries were established from the Trinity-Sergius monastery.

117. Which two monasteries, one from the Kievan period and the other from Muscovite Rus’, had equal meaning in terms of enlightenment and government influence?

The Trinity-Sergius monastery, founded by Sts. Sergius and Nikon, had the same meaning and influence on Muscovite government and the enlightenment of peasants as the Monastery of the Caves, founded by Sts. Anthony and Theodosius, did for Kievan Rus’.

118. What was the situation for peasants on monastery estates, and was this beneficial? How did monasteries distribute their means? (e.g., St. Cyril Monastery)

  1. Peasants living on the land donated to monastery estates were freed from serfdom, but many continued to work on the monastery land. They were subject to the authority and government of the monastery, and were judged by the Abbot of the monastery in all but the most heinous crimes.  This was indeed beneficial, as a better quality of life on the monastery estates meant that peasants preferred to live under the authority of a monastery than under a nobleman.
  2. Monasteries eagerly shared their means with the peasants; for example, St. Cyril Monastery provided food for 600 needy people daily. Monasteries often had hospitals, guest houses and libraries available for use by the peasants.


119. Name the Fools for Christ from this period.

  1. Blessed Isaac of the Kiev Caves – the first Fool for Christ in the Russian land;
  2. Blessed Procopius of Ustiug – formerly a rich trader, he lived on the banks of the River Sukhona, taking abuse daily and spending nights in prayer;
  3. Blessed Nicholas Kochanov, Blessed Theodore, Blessed Michael – Wonderworkers of Novgorod;
  4. Blessed Maximus – Wonderworker of Moscow;
  5. Blessed Isidore Tverdyslov – Wonderworker of Rostov;


120. What was the condition of translated literature, and where did it come from? What collections circulated in general practice?

  1. Efforts to translate literature increased. Russians traveled to the East for books, and monks stayed in Constantinople and the monasteries of Mount Athos translating and copying books for use in Russia.  Metropolitan Cyprian translated the Ladder of St. John and its explanation.
  2. The collection of Nikon of Montenegro was important for its contents of dogmatic, moral and liturgical theology, as was the book Pchela, containing passages from Holy Scripture and writings of the Holy Fathers; also important were classical philosophers, historians, and others such as the Golden Chain and the collection of Paisius, which contained Russian writings and translations from Greek articles.

121. From where did apocryphal writings come to Russia, and how did the pastors and archpastors fight against them?

Apocryphal writings came to Russia from the teachings of the Bogomils in Bulgaria and Serbia.  St. Cyprian fought against this by including in his collection a list of books that were deemed inappropriate to read.  It is possible that he even translated and distributed a Greek article about how to determine which books were beneficial and which were not.

122. Name the most famous preachers of homilies.

In the 13th century the most famous preachers were Metropolitan Cyril and St. Serapion, bishop of Vladimir.  St. Serapion’s teachings stemmed partly from the hardships of the Mongol invasion, for he spoke of being obedient to authority and helping those who were in need.  In the fourteenth century the most famous preaching was from Metropolitan Peter and St. Alexis to their flock, and of Bishop Matthew of Sarai, which emphasized the proper treatment of servants.  In the fifteenth century Bishop Simeon of Novgorod was renowned for his teaching on moral rules.

123. Who was Pachomius Lagothet?

Pachomius Lagothet was a great orator, born in Serbia, who lived in both Moscow and Novgorod.  He wrote between 16 and 18 church services and canons to Russian saints, several impressive homilies, and multiple hagiographies.

124. Who wrote the hagiographies of Sts. Sergius and Nikon of Radonezh?

Monk Epiphanius the Wise wrote the hagiographies of Sts. Sergius and Nikon, having known them personally.

125. Who wrote about the journey to the Council of Florence?

Monk Symeon of Suzdal traveled to the Council of Florence with Metropolitan Isidore and wrote the amazing story of that journey.  He disagreed with Metropolitan Isidore about accepting the a and was imprisoned.  He subsequently escaped to Novgorod.


126. What was the meaning of the Stroganovs around Perm?

The wealthy, influential and mighty Stroganov family firmly supported the Church, supporting the construction of churches and establishment of monasteries in their lands. These include the Pisorskii and Solikamskii monasteries.  Additionally, they built small castles and fortresses to protect this region.

127. Whom did St. Triphon Viatskii (+ c. 1612) enlighten?

St. Triphon began his missionary work in Ostyatsk, where he cut down the trees that the Ostiatskian people venerated.  He baptized many, including the families of the Ostiatskian and Vogulskian princes.  When he was finally driven out by locals, he came to Viatka and founded the Dormition monastery in 1580.  He was forced to leave as the brotherhood was intolerant of his strictness, and he continued to preach among the banks of the Kam and Viatki rivers, returning to the monastery, where he reposed after having lived many years.

128. From where did the enlightenment movement come among the Lapps, and who put forth the most effort in their enlightenment?

The enlightenment movement among the Lapps came forth from the Solovetsky monastery, with the blessing of Venerable Zosima.  One of his students, Blessed Theodoritus, built the Trinity hermitage on the River Kola, and baptized 2,000 pagans there in one day.  Also, St. Triphon of Pechenga or Kola spent many years stoically struggling against the Lapps’ wizards.  He managed to build a church and monastery to the Trinity in Pecheng.

129. From where did the enlightenment movement come among the Chud’, and how did it conclude?

The Chud’, although they had been exposed to Christianity, in the fifteenth century continued to be under the influence of pagan wizards, and the people worshiped trees and rocks, performing pagan rituals at birth and death.  Macarius, Archbishop of Novgorod, and his successor Archbishop Theodosius, sent a strong and capable priest to battle against this paganism.  The elders of the area watched in terror as their sacred trees were cut down and the rocks crumbled.  The younger generations of Chud’ were drawn to Christianity and helped to end paganism in this region.

130. Which cathedral was built to commemorate the victory of Kazan?

By the order of the Tsar John IV, the first church to be built in Kazan after its conquest was the Church of the Image of Christ Not-Made-by-Hands.  Then, on the very day of its conquest (October 2, 1552) the Church of Sts. Cyprian and Justina (the saints of that day) was founded.  On October 4 the Annunciation Cathedral was founded.

131. Who was the enlightener of Kazan after its conquest?

The first pastor of Kazan was the Bishop St. Gurii, who was assisted by the Archimandrites Sts. Herman and Barsanuphius.  He undertook his obedience in apostolic fashion, leading and teaching the citizens and children of Kazan with much love and patience.

132. The appearance of which icon raised up the glory of Christianity in the eyes of the Tatars in Kazan?

After her house had burned in the tragic fire of 1579, a ten-year-old girl named Matrona had a dream in which the Theotokos herself showed her the location of the Kazan Icon of the Theotokos in the dirt among the ruins.  The multitude of miracles streaming forth from this miraculous icon did much to convince many Muslims of the truth and glory of Christianity.

133. What was done for the spread of Christianity after the conquest of the Astrakhan kingdom?

After the conquest of the Astrakhan kingdom in 1556, the Astrakhan queen and her son received baptism in Moscow the following year.  In 1558 Hegumen Cyril was sent to the region for the baptism of the people and the establishment of churches and monasteries.  He taught the children literacy and the Law of God.  In 1573 a monastery and church dedicated to the Holy Trinity were built within the Astrakhan Kremlin.



134. Why did Metropolitan Theodosius (the successor of Metropolitan Jonah) go into retirement?

Metropolitan Theodosius was very concerned about the low morale of the clergy. He focused on the reeducation of those who lead an indecent life. On Sundays, Metropolitan Theodosius would summon the Moscow clergy and instruct them in piety. He required that widowed clergy be tonsured. During his short reign (1461-1464) many clerics were defrocked, and some people were complaining that the churches were left without divine services.  He retired and suffered a nervous break down.

135. For what reasons did Metropolitan Philip I (1464-73) suffer with respect to Novgorod?

He worked hard to persuade the Novgorodians not to recognize the authority of Grigorii the Bulgarian, a metropolitan of Kiev, who was consecrated in Rome by a Greek-Catholic patriarch.

136. How was the Catholic legate, accompanying Sophia Paleologus, met in Moscow.

A nobleman sent by Grand Prince Ivan III prevented the legate from entering the city, solemnly, with a processional crucifix ahead of him.

137. Who was involved in the rebuilding of the Dormition Cathedral and why did Ivan III take this matter into his own hands? Whom did he assign for this project?

Ivan III had to “manage the damage” caused by unskilled Russian architects. In order to complete the project he invited Aristotle Fioravanti from Italy.

138. What was the reason for the argument between Metropolitan Gerontius and the Grand Prince Ivan III, and how did it end?

The occasion for the great consecration of the Dormition Cathedral emphasized two different practices for church procession: clockwise and counter-clock-wise. Following the local practice, the metropolitan went counter-clock-wise, but the grand prince believed that the procession should go clock-wise. In an act of protest, the metropolitan vacated his see and retired to a monastery.  The grand prince, having learned that most clergy subscribed to the practice followed by the metropolitan, apologized and Metropolitan Gerontius returned from his self-imposed exile.

139. For what reason was there a conflict between Metropolitan Gerontius and Archimandrite Gennadii of the Chudov Monastery?

Metropolitan Gerontius was shocked when he had learned that Archimandrite Gennadii of Moscow’s Chudov Monastery permitted his brethren to drink holy water after the meal (that year the eve of the feast of Theophany fell on Sunday).

140. How did the clergy react when Ivan III came out with his army against the invading force of Khan Akhmat?

Metropolitan Gerontius and Archbishop Vassian of Rostov, a brother of St. Joseph of Volotsk, encouraged the grand prince to fight against the Tartars and condemned Ivan III for his inactivity.

141. Why was the Paschalia counted only until the 7000th year after the creation of the world?

It was not necessary to count further, since Russians believed that the world would not survive beyond this date.

142. For what activities was Archbishop Gennadii of Novgorod especially remarkable?

He fought against the Judaizers and composed the first complete Russian Bible.

143. Why was Metropolitan Daniil a remarkable person: note his interaction with Maxim the Greek, Prince Vasilii Shemiatich of Novgorod-Severskii, Prince Ivan Bel’skii, his response to the second marriage of Grand Prince Vasilii III and his attitude toward book learning?

St. Maxim was against church landownership, while Metropolitan Daniel was a disciple of St. Joseph and believed that landownership was justified. Daniel provided Prince Vasilii Shemiatich with a document that guaranteed his personal freedom in Moscow. Nevertheless, he was latter arrested by Moscow civil authorities when he arrived there. Metropolitan Daniel supported Bel’skii in his power struggle against Prince Vasillii Shuiskii. In order to ensure the succession of a male heir to the throne, Daniel blessed Vasilii III to divorce his wife Solomoniia and marry again (Solomoniia was tonsured a nun against her own will). Metropolitan Daniel wrote a book of sermons and also a book of his epistles.

144. What were the events of interest during Archbishop Makarii’s reign in the Novgorod eparchy, especially in the spheres of monastery life and missionary work?

St. Makarii instituted the coenobitic monastic life in Novgorod. He was concerned with the proper Christianization of the Finnish and Karelian inhabitants of his diocese.

 145. Who crowned the beginning of Ivan IV’s reign, and in what year?

Metropolitan Makarii in 1547.

 146. Who had a strong beneficial influence on the young Tsar Ivan IV?

Metropolitan Makarii and the tsar’s wife Anastasiia.

147. What were Metropolitan Makarii’s most famous written works?

He composed 12 huge volumes of Lives of Saints (Chet’i-Minei).

148. Who freed Maxim the Greek from his imprisonment?

Metropolitan Makarii.

149. Why was St. German of Kazan not chosen to be metropolitan?

Because in private conversation Archbishop German hinted to Ivan IV about the account that he would give in the future about all his deeds.  Ivan IV’s favorites suggested that Archbishop German would try to influence Ivan IV and as a result the tsar sent the archbishop away.

150. What was the relationship between Ivan IV and Metropolitan Philip, and how did it all end?

Abbot Philip became famous for his ascetic labors and his development of the Solovetskii monastery. Tsar Ivan IV wanted him to become the new metropolitan. Although Philip expressed his utmost discomfort with the Oprichnina, he nevertheless agreed to become the metropolitan. In 1568, when many people were innocently killed, St. Philip confronted the tsar in person and asked him to stop the bloodshed.  The tsar felt threatened and in the same year he convened a bishops’ council that defrocked this holy hierarch. St. Philip was sent to exile and in 1569 was suffocated by M. Skuratov.

151. What happened to the slanderers of Metropolitan Philip?

Archbishop Pimen was accused of treason; he was defrocked, and abused.  He died in exile. Bishop Philotheus of Riazan’ was defrocked and exiled. Monk Zosimus and ten other monks who slandered the holy hierarch were jailed in various monasteries.

152. Who were the kresttsovoe clergy?

Clergy that were not attached to any parishes would come to a church in Moscow that was located at a cross street (krestets) in order to be hired by the day.


153. What was the nature of the majority of the questions being discussed at the Stoglav Council (in particular the ones that had negative repercussions in the future), and how were they decided?

The council set very ambitious goals to address all problems of church life. The fathers of the council rigorously defended contemporary Russian liturgical practices (e.g., the proper way of crossing oneself and chanting the alleluia twice, but not thrice).

154. Where and how was Maxim the Greek educated?

He was educated mostly in Padua, in Italy by Roman Catholics.

155. Describe Maxim the Greek’s work in Russia, and explain why he was imprisoned.

He translated the Psalter from Greek into Latin and then two Russian diplomatic interpreters would translate his work into Slavonic.  St. Maxim revised a number of liturgical books and in the course of his work he made some serious mistakes due to his lack of proficiency in Slavonic. He also made critical remarks about church landownership and the Russian regime. The bishops’ council of 1525 excommunicated him and sentenced him to life in the monastery of St. Joseph of Volotsk, which was closely connected with Metropolitan Daniel, an enemy of St. Maxim.

156. How was the first printing press organized in Moscow, and in what way did its work end?

Tsar Ivan IV, using his own funds, built a print shop. The business was started in 1553 by Deacon John Fedorov and Peter Mstislavets. The first book (Apostol) was printed in 1564. The scribes were very much against printing works since they were losing their income. The printers, having been accused of heresy, fled from Moscow and the city dwellers set the print shop on fire.

157. Describe the church life of the time, in particular in the spheres of church building, church service, and iconography.

On various occasions people used to make oaths (obet) to God that in case of their deliverance from hardships they would erect a church to His honor. Such churches were known as obetnyia. During this period, the famous Moscow Kremlin cathedrals were built. People loved go to church. According to the Stoglav, iconographers were required to lead a blameless life and strictly adhere to standards of traditional iconography.  St. Andrew Rublev’s icons were considered models.


158. How did foreigners remark on the piety of the Russians?

People used to fast strictly and confess all their sins. Russians admired their sovereigns and were eager to give their lives for them. Masters treated their servants justly.

159. On the other hand, what were some of the limitations of Russian piety?

People were focused on the external forms of Christianity. In this sense, they could be called Christianized pagans.


160. Name and describe the ascetic labors and particularities of the famous monastic saints of this time period.

St. Nilus of Sora introduced the ancient “skete” style of traditional monasticism. St. Joseph of Volotsk was very much in favor of strong monasteries that could provide the church with educated bishops. St. Zosima settled on Solovetskii Island in the very rough environment of the White Sea. He met St. German there, and other recluses joined them.


161. In what ways did religious ignorance manifest itself ? In what form did religious instruction exist during this time?

  1. Many noblemen had interest in Astrology and consulted fortunetellers.
  2. Regular parish schools did not exist and religious instruction was often received in monasteries and in families of clergy.

162. What is the history surrounding the heresy of the Judaizers, and who was the most energetic antagonist of this heresy?

In 1470, a certain Jewish traveler named Skhari converted a few Novogordian priests to the teachings of the Kabbalah. This heresy spread among the Russian aristocracy due to prevailing attitudes, which favored mysticism. St. Gennady of Novgorod and St. Joseph of Volotsk became the main fighters against this heresy.

163. What is the Prosvetitel’? (The Enlightener)

St. Joseph of Volotsk composed this dogmatic manual against the teachings of Judaizers.  It was the first work of dogmatic theology in Russia.  It is the only extant source about their beliefs.

164. For what was Zinovii Otenskii famous?

He was a disciple of St. Maxim the Greek and a distinctly Russian theologian. He did not agree with his mentor on all points (e.g., he demonstrated that Josephite monks led a very rigorous, poverty-stricken live, whereas their opponent Prince Vassian enjoyed food that was sent to him by a grand prince.) In his treaty against Theodosius Kosoi, Zinovii argued with the former’s views, which were similar to the ones of Judaizers.

165. Name the most famous literary figures (in the sense of religious literature) of this time period (15th and 16th centuries)?

  1. Blessed Zinovii Ottenskii
  2. Joseph of Volotsk
  3. Nilus of Sora
  4. Tsar Ivan IV


166. Between whom and about what did the dispute about monastery estates develop during the reign of Great Prince Ivan III?

The dispute about monastery estates or landholdings developed between St. Nilus of Sora and St. Joseph of Volokolamsk during the reign of Great Prince Ivan III.  St. Nilus believed that monks should be dedicated followers of asceticism, living off of only what they could provide for themselves.  St. Joseph agreed that monks should not try to attain material wealth, but argued that a monastery could own and supervise an estate that included farms and peasants.

167. Between whom did the dispute about monastery estates continue during the reign of Basil III and the reign of Ivan IV?

During the reign of Basil III, the dispute about monastery estates continued among the followers and students of Sts. Nilus and Joseph.  Supporting the side of St Nilus and the “trans-Volga-elders” were the monk Vassian, formerly Prince Basil Patrikeiev and St. Maximus the Greek.  Supporters of St. Joseph included Metropolitan Daniel, who had succeeded St. Joseph as abbot of the monastery.  When Ivan IV was in power, Prince Andrew Kurbskii continued to vocally oppose the followers of St. Joseph.


168. What were the interrelations between the clergy and the government authorities? What does the phrase, “Sorrower for the whole Russian land,” mean?

  1. By the middle of the sixteenth century the rulers of Rus’ began to understand themselves as sons of the Church, and the metropolitans understood themselves as faithful servants of the monarch. The rulers were apt to ask for the advice of the metropolitans and the Church Council before making important decisions concerning the country and its people.  Also, the clergy were not afraid to act decisively, especially when the government was in danger.
  2. The Metropolitans became known as the “Sorrower for the whole Russian land,” because they became the defenders of those who were unjustly accused or wronged.



169. What was the relation of Russians to Protestantism, and how was this expressed by Ivan IV?

Russians opposed all Western ideas, but in Moscow, Protestantism was more tolerated than Catholicism was, because Lutherans and Calvinists did not get involved in politics and propaganda. Maxim the Greek refuted Luther’s ideas and defended the worship of icons. But Ivan himself called Germans to come live in Moscow, considering them good workers and soldiers. He allowed his niece Maria to marry the Protestant Prince Magnus, and the wedding took place in 1573 in Novgorod.

170. How was the relation of Ivan III to Catholicism expressed in connection to his daughter?

His daughter Elena married the Catholic great prince Alexander Kazimirovich.

171. With what goal did Antony Possevin come to Moscow and how did his affair end?

He was a Jesuit sent by the pope Gregory XIII.  His goal was to make the Tsar accept the Unia established in the Council of Florence. Tsar Ivan IV told him that the pope didn’t follow the teaching of the apostles and he was a wolf, not a pastor.



172. How did the “patronate” originate, and what was it concerned with?

Some bishops, to circumvent their metropolitans who were already linked to the Polish government, would appeal to local civic rulers for protection and support.  This was the origin of the “patronate.”  Regarding the church, the patronate had the rights to protect and support the church, the right to give or gift certain monasteries or churches to notable personages, the right to appoint whomever the patron felt was qualified to be clergy for a church or abbot for a monastery, and the right to rule and judge over the clergy, monastics and faithful, even in spiritual matters.

173. What were the shortcomings in the system of “patronage”?

The biggest shortcoming in the system of patronage was the over-involvement of secular people or authorities in matters of the Church.  Under the system of appointment, the patron was able to appoint his own close friends as bishops and abbots, often from among the laity.  Such a person was not forced to take orders or become clergy, and automatically enjoyed the ruling privileges over a church or a monastery, frequently leading to an abuse of power.

174. What did the kings’ appropriation of the right to appoint bishops lead to?

The appointment of bishops by kings meant that sometimes people who were not spiritual enjoyed the privileges of a bishopric but continued to live as secular nobility.  This led the remaining bishops to appeal to the Patriarch of Constantinople for spiritual support, and to affirm the choice of the Kievan Metropolitan.

175. What situation was Kiev in under Kazimir Yagailovich?

Under the reign of the Catholic prince Kazimir Yagailovich, the situation in Kiev became much worse for the Orthodox Church.  Kazimir placed Kiev under military rule, with his relative Prince Simeon in command.  Soon, a Latin bishop was sent to Kiev and the work of converting the city to the Roman Catholic faith began.

176. How did the Great Princess Elena, wife of Great Prince Alexander of Lithuania, behave?

Despite the earlier efforts of her husband, Great Prince Alexander, to convert her to Catholicism, Great Princess Elena staunchly remained Orthodox.  She chose her spiritual father, Jonah (II) to become the Metropolitan of Kiev after the death of Metropolitan Joseph, who had been inclined toward the Unia.  Together with Metropolitan Jonah, she continued to support Orthodox Christianity until her husband finally ended his persecutions, even returning some of the land and holdings previously confiscated.

177. How did Sigismund I, the Senior, relate to Orthodox Christians?

Although under pressure from the Catholic Church, Sigismund I tried to act respectfully toward Orthodox Christians.  He allowed Great Princess Elena to continue her support of Orthodoxy in western Rus’, and was held in high regard even by the Orthodox people whose land he conquered when approaching Moscow.  Nonetheless, he had to place the interests of the Catholic Church first.

178. What was the meaning of Metropolitan Joseph III in Western Rus’?

Metropolitan Joseph came from a prominent Lithuanian-Russian family, and as such he was able to communicate with both the Lithuanian government and the Orthodox faithful.  He supported the Lithuanian government and urged the people to submit to its authority.  Metropolitan Joseph was strict and upright, calling together a Council in Vilnius in 1509 to ensure that only worthy candidates would be considered for the ranks of clergy.  Furthermore, he successfully petitioned Sigismund to protect the rights of the Orthodox Church with a government order.

179. What was the meaning of Prince Constantine Ivanovich of Ostrog to church dealings, and why did King Sigismund reckon with him?

Prince C. I. of Ostrog was the grandson of Prince Daniel who bravely defended Lithuania from invasion by Poles.  He was a friend of Metropolitan Joseph, and used all his privileges and resources to defend the Orthodox Church.  To circumvent the previous ban on building Orthodox Churches in Vilnius, he swore an oath to God promising to build two churches there if he won a battle for Lithuania.  After his victory, permission was granted by the government to build the two churches, and to restore the cathedral.  Metropolitan Joseph even asked him to be the protector of the metropolitanate.

180. What was significance of Alexander Ivanovich Khotkevich to Orthodox Christians?

I. Khotkevich was another friend of Metropolitan Joseph who came from a notable Lithuanian-Russian family and defended Orthodoxy. He was a military leader of Novgorod and a co-administrator of the Supralskii Monastery together with Metropolitan Joseph. Their efforts to uphold and strengthen this monastery made it an example to all of Lithuania.

 181. Who were the “brotherhoods” in the sixteenth century?

The “brotherhoods” in the sixteenth century were groups of middle-class people who organized together into groups to defend and support the Orthodox Church.  They were originally founded by groups of like-minded people in support of the Church, then received the blessing of the hierarchy.  Early brotherhoods were composed of both Orthodox and Catholics.  A fully Orthodox brotherhood was assembled to uphold the cathedral in Vilnius, and was blessed by both Metropolitan Joseph and the Patriarch.

182. In what situation did Galicia find itself? Who were the “reformers”?

The situation for the Orthodox in Galicia was considerably more difficult than in Lithuania.  Under complete Polish control, the lands were frequently redistributed among Polish families until the number of Russian landowners dwindled.  This allowed the Poles to quickly appoint a Latin bishop for the region and aggressively catholicize the people.  Many chose to pay a special fine to the Polish king to avoid these repressions or simply escaped to the East.  The ‘managers’ were representatives of the Kievan Metropolitan who ruled the Church in Galicia.

183. How was the early Galician diocese established?

Being influenced by Prince C. I. of Ostrog, the king allowed for a namestnik of the Metropolitan of Kiev to be appointed to Galicia.  This namestnik turned out to be unsuccessful, so the people chose their own replacement.  The Catholic Archbishop protested that this choice was uncanonical and asked for him to be removed.  The people of Galicia appealed to the queen, sending her gifts, who interceded on their behalf.  The king then allowed the people of Galicia to present their candidate, Macarius Tuschapskii, to Metropolitan Joseph for ordination.  Macarius was made a bishop, and the king authorized an Orthodox diocese in Galicia independent of the Catholic Archbishop.

184. In what situation were the Orthodox Christians as a result of the formation of the Rzeczpospolita?

Under the Rex Pospolitorum, all of Little Russia fell under control of the Poles.  Polish Catholics freely infiltrated all Russian and Lithuanian lands, taking over estates and positions and spreading the influence of Catholicism throughout the region.  The Polish Catholics acted aggressively against the Orthodox faith, and were supported by the Polish government and Jesuits.


185. How did printing develop in the Western region? Who participated and what books were published?

  1. A printing press was established in Zabludov by the émigrés Deacon Ivan Feodorov and Peter Mstislavets. In 1568-69 they published an educational Gospel, and in 1569-70, a Psalter.  Later, Mstislavets moved to Vilnius, established another printing press and published a Service Gospel in 1574-75.  Feodorov founded another printing press in Ostrog, where he published a Psalter and New Testament in 1580, and in 1581 published the famous, complete Church Slavonic Bible.
  2. An earlier version of a Church Slavonic Bible, although not complete, had been printed in 1517-1519 by Francis Skorina, but was not held in high esteem by the Orthodox. Later on, Prince Andrew M. Kurbskii, after immigrating to Lithuania to avoid persecution by Ivan IV, placed much effort into the translation and publication of the writings of the Holy Fathers in Church Slavonic, especially between 1564 and 1583.


186. How did the Jesuits come to be in the Polish-Lithuanian Kingdom? What conditions were the precursor for this?

  1. King Sigismund II was not a staunch Catholic, and under his rule Protestantism took hold among the nobility in Lithuania. Concerned with this situation, Pope Pius V sent his emissaries to Sigismund to apprise him of the dangers of rising Protestantism.
  2. At the same time, Bishop Valerian of Vilnius turned to the Catholic Cardinal Gosiush for assistance in fighting Protestantism. The latter, a staunch Catholic and participant of the Tridentine Council, suggested that they turn to the Jesuits for help.

187. Of what did the dealings of the Jesuits consist?

The Bishop of Vilnius allowed the Jesuits to establish a college in Vilnius and in Yaroslavl, which became the center for Catholic propaganda in Galicia.  The Jesuits were allowed to use any means to fulfill their mission.  They were very strict in terms of confession, missionary work and the education of youth.  Their work in Lithuania was so successful that even some of the most ardent Protestants returned to Catholicism.


 188. Under which ruler and under what circumstances did the idea of a Patriarchate develop?

Tsar Fyodor Ivanovich, a simple but devout man, was very impressed with the visit of the Antiochian Patriarch Joachim, who came to Moscow in 1586 asking for money in support of his difficult position under the Turks.  Tsar Feodor Ivanovich, recognizing that the Eastern Patriarchs were Patriarchs in title only, suggested to the Duma to establish a Russian Patriarch to defend Orthodoxy throughout the world.

189. Under what circumstances was the Patriarchate established?

In the summer of 1588 Patriarch Jeremiah of Constantinople came to Moscow.  The Tsar and boyars invited him to stay in Russia and live in Vladimir, but he declined, stating it would be improper for him to live in Vladimir because the Patriarch traditionally lives near the Tsar.  To counter, the Russians asked Patriarch Jeremiah to consecrate their own Patriarch in Moscow.  Metropolitan Job was chosen from three candidates by Tsar Fyodor, and enthroned on January 23, 1589.  The Council of Patriarchs convened in Constantinople in 1590, and by 1593 the Patriarchate of Moscow was confirmed by the Eastern Orthodox Church, placing it as fifth in the rank of Patriarchates, after Jerusalem.

190. Following the establishment of the Patriarchate, what changes occurred in the episcopate?

Following the establishment of the Patriarchate, four seats were raised to the rank of Metropolitan within Russia: Novgorod, Rostov, Krutitsk and Kazan.  Additionally, six archbishoprics were established.  Also, during the Liturgy, the Patriarch vested alone while the other bishops vested in the Altar, and the other concelebrating bishops took Communion only after the Patriarch, and from his hand.


191. How was Patriarch Job in terms of moral qualities and obvious talents, and how did he behave during the intrusion of the impostor?

Patriarch Job was already well known as a dedicated clergyman of the Orthodox Church, having spent many years in monastic orders, being an abbot and a bishop previously.  As Patriarch, he was very concerned with the establishment of the Church in its new position in Russia, cared for the successes of the Christian mission, was interested in the correction of the service books and texts, and was watchful for the righteousness and proper behavior among clergy.  Knowing of the imminent danger to Russia from Poland, Patriarch Job immediately stood up against the first impostor and staunchly tried to prevent any evil for Russia from the beginning.  The followers of the false Dmitry arrested and publicly shamed Patriarch Job before sending him away to a distant monastery.

192. How did Patriarch Hermogenes demonstrate his steadfastness in critical events during the Time of Troubles? Indicate specific examples.

Patriarch Hermogenes stood staunchly in the defense of Orthodoxy Christianity and the Church during the Time of Troubles.  In 1591, at the council in Moscow, he was not ashamed to chide the false Dmitry about his desire to marry the Catholic princess Marina, who wished to enter into the marriage without first converting to Orthodoxy.  For this the Patriarch was placed under arrest in Kazan.  After the reign of the second false Dmitry, Patriarch Hermogenes grudgingly agreed with the boyars’ request to accept the Polish Prince Vladislav onto the Russian throne, but again insisted the Vladislav must first become Orthodox and swear to protect the Orthodox Church.



193. How was the service of the clergy to the fatherland expressed during the Time of Troubles?

The clergy, following the example of Patriarch Hermogenes, also opposed the Polish usurpers and false Dimitri. Metropolitans Efrem, Kirill, Jonah Sarskii and Theodorit Riazanskii played an important role in the Zemskii Sobor, which chose Mikhail Romanov as the Tsar.

194. What was the significance of the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra during the Time of Troubles?

The Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra was very important during the Time of Troubles. Besides donating much money and valuable objects to the government during those difficult times, it was one of the main bastions of resistance, housing 200 monks and 1300 soldiers, as well as many people from the villages close to it, during the great siege it suffered from the Polish on September 23, 1608.

195. Why was the Feast of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God established on October 22?

Because it was on this day that, with the help of the Mother of God, Moscow was recaptured from Polish control.


196. What educational measures were taken by Patriarch Philaret?

Patriarch Philaret created the Diocese of Siberia.  He started the Greco-Latin Patriarchal School at Chudov Monastery.  He printed many corrected books, including the trebnik and Great Catechism.

197. How did Patriarch Philaret participate in government affairs?

The Patriarch was considered the co-ruler of the Tsar and the Father of the Tsar and Velikii Gosudar’.  He had a great amount of power in the Church life and worldly life of the People.

198. How was the external and administrative side of Patriarch Philaret’s authority established?

He achieved complete rule over his own diocese.  He also had a great power because he strengthened the Church Court.  During his time, the court absolutely was not intimidated by any powerful person.  Patriarch Philaret had complete control.

199. What was the character of Patriarch Joasaph; what position did he occupy in relation to the Tsar; what measures were taken in church life?

He was a zealot  of Orthodoxy and prayer.  He was virtuous but was not audacious towards the Tsar. He also did much for the reprinting of liturgical books and nooks for Church education.  During his time there were 12 functioning printing presses, while during Philaret there were only 7.  He worked zealously to correct the lack of order that the clergy had in services.

200. What special features did the church court possess, and what caused (called for) censure?

For non-ecclesiastic crime the Church was exempted from civil jurisdiction, but for grave crimes it was not. Some churches and monasteries were seeking justice from the patriarch and tsar, others from bishops of various dioceses and civil authorities. The absence of a standard pattern for the entire land caused the state problems.

201. What censures were connected to church estates?

Monastery peasants complained that their landowners not only did not pay any taxes at all, but forced the peasants to pay them on their behalf. Noble men complained that monasteries lured from their peasants to resettle on monastery lands and as a result noble men did not have sufficient means to perform their military duties.

202. What tendencies were expressed in the Sobornoe Ulozhenie (Universal Code) in relation in the part dealing with the church? What is the Monastyrskii Prikaz (Monastery Ordinance)? What negative points became evident in this new establishment?

  1. The state was unhappy with uncontrolled growth of church proprieties and absence of accountability for non-ecclesiastical crimes;
  2. The Monastery Ordinance was charged to review all claims against alleged crimes of bishops, monks, clergymen and all church people;
  3. There was an overlapping of church and civil jurisdictions and Monastery Department sometimes interfered with purely church prerogatives (e.g., to appoint and remove clergy).

203. What measures were taken toward the correction of church books under Patriarch Joseph?

Much was done for the correction of church books.  Thirty members of the Brotherhood of the Andreevskii Monastery were appointed for translation of church books. Patriarch Joseph sent to the middle East and Mount Athos with an expedition with Arsenii Sukhanov as head in order to obtain ancient liturgical books.


204. How religious was Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich?

He was deeply religious. Vasilii O. Kliuchevskii wrote: “He was an example of piety with the fear of God and could have been compared to any other monk concerning fasting or prayers. During Great Lent and the fast of Dormition, he ate only once a day, and on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays he even renounced liquid. Sometimes he stood for five or six hours in church and did up to one thousand and five hundred prostrations. He was truly an ancient devout person.” He did not crave power as did Ivan the Terrible.

205. What special circumstances brought Patriarch Nikon close to Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich and were the reasons for his election to the Patriarchate?

During Nikon’s visit to Moscow in 1646, he met the young Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich. Nikon, with his appearance and speech made a great impression on him and they became friends. They complemented each other well. Aleksey needed a living example of Orthodox wisdom and holiness. Nikon was able to provide all of that in the early years.

206. How can Patriarch Nikon be characterized by his spiritual composition and abilities?

Vasilii O. Kliuchevski characterized Nikon as one of the greatest and original Russian people. “He had a complicated and uneven character so people were not able to understand him right away. When the times were quiet he would act power-hungry and easily lose his temper. He gave a strong moral impression. The conflicts with his enemies made him seem malicious, but in reality he would easily forgive if he saw that they were ready to listen to him. With stubborn enemies Nikon was harsh. However he would forgive everything at the sight of human tears and sorrow; doing good deeds, helping the weak and sick was something he did not only because of his duty as the member of the clergy, but because of his very nature. He had a strong mindset and morals. What everyone else was able to do easily he couldn’t do, but he would take on tasks and successfully complete them when no one else would dare try. He was one of those people who could endure great pain but would make a big deal out of a tiny pin prick.”

207. By what actions did the Patriarch set the government workers and clergy against himself?

During a campaign of the Tsar, Nikon was given the right to rule the country, which caused discontent among the highly regarded boyars. They were forced to bring reports and Nikon often let them wait for a long time sometimes outside in the cold. They all feared Nikon and had to bow before him to receive a blessing. His power over the church affairs was unlimited. He would reassign the most beautiful and rich churches to the Patriarchate. He would order some of the boyars property to be burned, such as paintings. Nikon was very strict.

208. Of what was Patriarch Nikon said to be guilty at his deposition? Which Patriarchs participated?

Patriarch Nikon was accused of abandoning the Patriarchy and leaving to go to Resurrection Monastery.  Due to his departure many people suffered in the investigations which took place. He was accused of being disobedient to the Tsar and arguing with the council. He accused the Metropolitan of Gaza of being a heretic. Nikon also was said to have forbidden some bishops to serve without giving them a proper trial. He was accused of being cruel to his subordinates. Patriarch Paisius of Alexandria and Macarius of Antioch participated in Nikon’s deposition.

209. How did Patriarch Nikon view spiritual authority?

  1. In November 1666, the Patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch came, having the proxies of the other Patriarchs. When Nikon showed up on the December 1 at the Patriarchal court, at which he was to be tried, he came in his Patriarchal regalia.  Much to his surprise, there was no seat amongst the Patriarchs for him, and he refused to sit amongst the other bishops.
  2. Nikon’s objection on December 12 when they defrocked him was that they did not have the jurisdiction to do this because he was begged by the people to become the Patriarch, and consecrated as such very publicly in the Cathedral.  By contrast, the Patriarchs were deposing him in closed meetings.  He objected because he refused to be the Patriarch when they chose him.  When he finally accepted, he did so on the condition that he would be allowed to do as he saw fit, even if they did not like it.  Therefore, he saw himself as the head of the Russian Church, and the Tsar did not have any authority over him in Church affairs.

210. Who was Paisius Ligarid, and what role did he play in the matter of Patriarch Nikon?

Paisius Ligarid was Greek, the Metropolitan of Gaza.  He was very sly and ambitious, and did not give much regard to his conscience or responsibilities. He would point out Nikon’s mistakes to the Tsar and write complaints.


211. What main questions were decided at the Council of 1667?

The council of 1667 tried to solve the main questions relating to the church’s governing status, church organization and the conditions of the clerical rank. The Council condemned Pat. Nikon’s actions as a ruler. It forbade the Patriarch to have the title “Great Ruler” and to interfere in lay matters, yet at the same time it established the Church’s self-governance independent from lay courts. It was declared that clergy could not be tried in lay courts, and that lay people and clergymen could only be tried in spiritual courts for matters relating to marriage and other such matters. The Council, among other things, also called for an improvement in the education of clergymen. The council also decided matters pertaining to clergy’s morals and outer wear, and it overturned several of Pat. Nikon’s decisions from 1655.

212. What position did the church take under Patriarch Joasaf II?

Under Patriarch Joasaph II the Church agreed with the Tsar, and did not even insist in following the decision’s of the Council of 1667 which displeased the Tsar.

213. What church measures were achieved under Patriarch Joachim?

During Patriarch Joachim’s rule, the Council of 1675 reaffirmed the decisions of the Council of 1667 about the spiritual courts, and after the council, the Monastyrskii Prikaz was issued. The Patriarch also devoted his attention to the financial means of the clergy and to lessen the diocesan collections from the clergy, which were constantly increasing. The Patriarch determined that there be only singular and predetermined collections.

214. How were many church questions decided at the Council of 1682? (about dioceses, clergy, monasteries and monks)

Many church questions were decided at the Tsar’s request. It was forbidden to form new smaller monasteries and hermitages; it was forbidden for people who were not monks to live in monasteries, and for monks to live in and go from house to house asking for alms; it was forbidden for monks to have contact with lay people, especially in convents, and nuns were forbidden to leave their convents even to visit other monasteries; it was encouraged that all monasteries should follow the cenobitic way of monasticism. Pat. Joachim was very energetic and strict in these matters.

215. How did the correction of books continue under Patriarch Joachim?

The correction of books flourished under Pat. Joachim. Under him were corrected and published editions of the Liturgies of Sts. Basil the Great and John Chrysostom, the Hexameron, the Trebnik, the Psalter, the General Menaion, the Octoechos, the Horologion, the Ustav and the Prologue or Synaxarion.

216. How did Patriarch Joachim relate to foreign and heterodox influences; the southern dioceses; the southern-Slavic churches?

Patriarch Joachim strongly opposed foreign and heterodox influences, and followed the Latin propaganda with constant pain of herat. He felt these influences were coming primarily from the southwestern parts of Rus’, which were under the Pat. of Constantinople, which of course, due to it being so far away, could not successfully look after these dioceses; for this, Pat. Joachim made all efforts for these dioceses to return to the bosom of the Moscow Patriarchate. His efforts were successful, with the agreement of Pat. Dionysius IV in 1686.

217. What conflicts did Patriarch Adrian have with Peter I?

Patriarch Adrian was a very conservative man who despised any changes and innovations, especially those caused by Peter I’s westernization of Rus’.  On his circular epistles, Adrian spoke against foreigners and their customs, against tobacco and against shaving one’s beard, and others, and this made his relationship with Peter very difficult, especially after Peter gained absolute power following the deaths of his mother and brother.


218. How did missionary work occur in Siberia?

The Moscow government helped by giving financial means and benefits to those who were converting to Orthodoxy. Siberian Cossacks settled in lands where soon Russian villages were formed, together with churches and monasteries. Books, icons and church vessels were sent from Moscow to Siberia. In 1620 Igumen Kiprian of Khutin was assigned to Siberia, where he baptized many pagans and corrected the moral life of the Russian settlers.

219. How did missionary work occur in southern Siberia?

Missionary work grew together with the cities which were being built in those parts. Churches and monasteries were built, and a mission was sent by Metropolitan Paul to convert the pagans in 1681.

220. How did missionary work come into China?

It came into China together with Russian settlers who came from Albazin, and in 1685 settled in Beijing. In 1695 Metropolitan Ignatii sent a mission there, with a priest, a deacon, antimins, myrrh, church vessels and books.

221. How did missionary work occur in the Kazan region? What administrative measures were taken?

  1. As related by Metropolitan Hermogenes, many converted pagans fell away from the Christian faith, due to living among those who were not baptized. Mosques were built in Kazan.
  2. Moscow took administrative measures to change this situation by forbidding Muslims to have Christians as their slaves, and by commanding that all Christians live together in their own village with a church in it. Christians were forced to either release their unbaptized slaves or to force them to convert to Orthodoxy, to take only Christian women as their wives and to fulfill all the requirements of the faith. Met. Hermogenes wrote the events relating to the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God and the lives of the Sts. Gurii and Barsanuphius. This greatly helped to increase everyone’s faith.

222. With whose name is missionary work among the Mordvi associated and how did it occur?

With the Archbishop Misael of Ryazan, who was close to Patriarch Nikon. In 1654 he started traveling through his diocese to baptize the Tartars and Mordvi. He made 3 trips, baptized thousands of people, but eventually suffered the resistance of the Muslims and died a martyr’s death in 1656.

223. How did Russia help Georgia, as a nation of the same faith?

By taking Georgia under its protection and defending it as its own land.


224. What forms did righteousness take in XV-XVI centuries; how was it expressed during the days of Great Lent, especially during Passion Week? (Ex. In the lives of the Tsar and the Patriarch)

During the first two days of Great Lent, both the Tsar and Patriarch did not eat anything, eating only something light on Wednesday, like compote. The same happened on Passion Week. None of the Kremlin bells sounded until Pascha night. The Tsar and the people dressed in black. The Tsar spent almost all of his time in church, and visited prisons at night, giving alms and helping the unfortunate with words and deeds.

225. How was the problem of the poor solved? Who was responsible for their care?

  1. On the great feasts and other important dates, the Tsar and the Patriarch gave alms to the poor; on the feast of the Dormition 2500 poor people were fed at the steps of the Dormition cathedral in the Kremlin; at the patriarchal cathedral, 12 poor people were supported with 35 kopecks every day; at the patriarch’s orders, several almshouses throughout the city cared for the poor.
  2. Diocesan bishops had to send money to help with this, yet they also had their own systems of support for the poor, such as hospitals, hostels and almshouses.

226. Where did homilies stand in the North during the XVI century? How did church homilies develop in the XVII century? Name the most famous preachers.

  1. Sermons lapsed into silence in the North during the XVI, but at the mid-XVII century, their voice began to be heard.
  2. Patriarchs Paisius and Macarius blessed parishes to have priests who preached.
  3. Famous preachers: Patriarch Nikon, Epiphanii Slavenitskii, Dimitrii Rostovskii.

227. How did monastery construction develop during the Patriarchal period? In what situation were monasteries during the second half of this period?

  1. There was a special love for monasticism during the first half of the patriarchal period, and the Patriarchs tried their best to support this love. During this period, except for the Kiev metropolitanate, 175 monasteries were built, and some of the most fervent builders were the patriarchs themselves. The three most famous monasteries of Patriarch Nikon were: New Jerusalem, Iverskii and Krestnyii.
  2. However, on the second half of this period, some monasteries were closed as a measure against schism, and others fell into the hands of the Poles and Swedes.

228. Which notable hierarchs headed the Chernigov diocese during the second half of the XVII century?

Archbishop Lazar Baranovich, Saint Theodsius Uglitskii, Saint Ioann Maksimovich (later Metropolitan of Tobolsk).

229. For what is Juliana of Lazarevo notable?

This saint is notable for her unique mercy and compassion towards the poor, especially during the famine of 1601-1604.

230. For what is Theodore Mikhailovich Rtishchev notable?

He lived as a hermit near Moscow and gave away his possessions to the poor. He was close to Tsar Alexis and Patriarch Joseph. He built the Andreevsky monastery, a school, and a hostel for the poor. During the famine in Goloda, he sold his possessions and gave the money to the hungry.

231. For what Ordin-Nashchekin is notable?

He was a diplomat and government official, greatly praised by Archbishop Philaret and Tsar Alexis. He later became a monk with the name Anthony.

232. What measures to uphold righteousness and to quell disorder were taken during the reign of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich?

In 1659 a decree was issued stating that all people had to prepare for Communion on Holy Week, those who did not had their names sent to the Monastery Ordinance. All people had to go to church every day during St. Phillip’s fast. No one was allowed to work on Sundays and feast days.

232. What was lacking in church life and righteousness?

The knowledge of the spiritual meaning behind the rituals performed. Services were done in a hurry, with 5-6 voices. People talked and laughed during services. Children played in churches. For people, going to church meant only being physically present there.

234. What measures were taken to fight against the remnants of paganism and superstition?

People accused of paganism were burned at the stake or exiled.

235. What was the death of Metropolitan Joseph of Astrakhan?

He was tortured and died a martyr’s death at the hands of the Cossacks, being thrown down from a height.



236. With the enthronement of Michael Feodorovich in connection to the revived printing of church books, who put forth effort toward their correction?

In 1617 elder Arsenius Gluhoi, from the Holy Trinity Lavra, who was earlier a monk at Nilova Pustin, and Clementian Priest Ivan Nasedka petitionined to the tsar, because of the number of mistakes in the Book of Needs (trebnik).  They were unable to continue correcting it without additional help. The Tsar then ordered Archimandrite Dionysius from the Holy Trinity Lavra to participate in the correcting of the Book of Needs. (page 405, third paragraph)

237. What was lacking in the singing? How did the people react to the correction of singing and to preaching in church?

There were numerous complaints against the chorus singing in many different voices. Patriarch Joseph asked Patriarch Parthenius of Constantinople whether the singing should be in one voice. Once he received the answer confirming this, there was a declaration passed to all the churches that the singing should be serene and in unison, the readings were to be done quietly and without hurry. Preaching was also reestablished. Some of the clergy complained about this, they were saying that this is some new heresy, because singing in unison and preaching in public was unheard of. (page 412, bottom half)

238. Where and for what purpose was Arsenius (Sukhanov) sent, and what were the results of his trips?

Patriarch Paisius of Jerusalem, upon his visit to Moscow, noticed some different practices, which the Russians had adopted, such as crossing themselves with two fingers, and he pointed these out. The Tsar and Russian Patriarch were ashamed and they decided to send Arsenius Sukhanov (who knew Greek) to the West to learn the Greek customs. In 1649 he went to Iasi (Moldavia) with Patriarch Paisius, from there he visited Moscow twice before proceeding further. Upon his second visit he brought a report of his travels and talks he had with Greeks. Arsenius told of such deviations of some Greek customs, that the Orthodox authority of the Greeks was shaken. (page 413, second half of the page) In July of 1652 he returned from the West and presented the Proskinitatii as the final report. Arsenius pointed out the inconsistency of keeping to the traditions within the Greek church.  However, he did acknowledge that the Greeks sung “alleluia” three times and crossed themselves with three fingers. (pages 416-417) In 1654-1655 Arsenius traveled to the East and came back with numerous ancient manuscripts of service books and the Gospels (one of which was 1050 years old) from Holy Mount Athos and other places. (page 422,  middle paragraph)

239. Which were the most important changes that were made in rituals and texts in connection to the corrections?

The differences in Russian rituals compared to the Western were: 1) The Liturgy of Preparation (prothesis or proskomedia) was done with seven prosphoras instead of five. 2) Alleluia was sung twice, instead of three times with “Glory to Thee, O God” at the end. 3) Processions with the cross were done in the same direction as the sun instead of against it. 4) Russians were crossing themselves with two fingers instead of three. The major differences in texts were: 1) the extra word “true” in the Creed: “and in the Holy Spirit the Lord the true giver of life” 2) the writing and pronunciation of the word Jesus (Iисусъ – “Iсусъ”) 3) distorted dismissal (otpust) on feast days. (page 416, third and fourth paragraphs)

240. The corrections which were introduced by Patriarch Nikon, were they works of his personal complaint or were they affirmed by some sort of authority?

Patriarch Nikon personally compared the ancient Greek text of the Creed with the Slavic translation, he also looked at the liturgy Sluzhebnik (priest’s service book) and other books. The mistakes which he found were enough to convince him of his duty to stay consistent with the Western Patriarchs, and to get rid of any newness which may cause conflict within the church. (pages 417-418) He started introducing changes in 1653 to test for any opposition. Once he realized that his Patriarchal authority alone was not enough, he found support in combined Church authority. He asked the Tsar (Aleksey Mikhailovich) to call a council. The council took place in April of 1654 and they decided that the new books should be corrected according to Greek resources. Nikon also wrote to Patriarch Paisius of Constantinople asking him to clarify 25 questions and the Eastern hierarchs discussed these at their own council and sent back the answers which they agreed on. (pages 420-421)

241. Whom did Patriarch Nikon bring to the correction of books?

The Patriarch recruited the elders of the Kiev Brotherhood monastery: Epiphanii Slavenitskii and Arsenii Satanovkii in 1649. In a year another hieromonk came from Kiev, Damaskin Ptisckii. Dionysius, the Archimandrite of the Iveron monastery from Holy Mount Athos also participated in this (1655). The Greek monk Arsenius came back from his exile at the Solovetskii monastery and helped as well. He was suspected of leaning towards Catholicism but after a three year trial he was accepted as Orthodox) Patriarch Nikon especially valued Arsenius’ knowledge. (page 423, middle paragraph)

242. How does Paul of Aleppo describe the relation of Patriarch Nikon to icons of Frankish (western) style? How does this display the story of the Patriarch’s character?

  1. In 1655 Patriarch Nikon began to seriously oppose icons written in the Latin style. Archdeacon Pavel describes this as such: When the Tsar was in the church the Patriarch gave a brave speech against the new icons and vaguely proved that writing icons in the Frankish style was unlawful. He pointed to some of the new icons, which were brought out to the lectern; he used other Patriarchs for reference to prove that these icons were written not in Greek, but in Frankish style. Then both Patriarchs Macarius of Anthioch and Gabriel of Serbia called anathema upon all who would write or keep such icons in their homes. Nikon would hold up each icon for everyone to see and then throw it on the iron floor with such force that they would break, afterward he ordered them to be burned. Then the Tsar who was very pious and God-fearing after humbly listening to the Patriarch’s speech quietly asked if the icons could be buried instead of being burnt. That was how they dealt with them. Every time Nikon picked up an icon he would say which house it was taken from, he did this to publicly shame those people and to discourage anyone else from following their example.
  2. Patriarch Nikon had a very strong character and he was not afraid to do the right thing even in front of the tsar. He had little tolerance for any deviations from the traditional expression of Orthodox customs. (pages 423-424)

243. Who were the main opponents of the corrections? How did they act? Did their characters impact this work?

Soon after Nikon’s initial attempt to correct a couple of issues (1653) by sending out a Pamiat’ to the churches, his opponents became evident. These included: Ivan Neronov, Stephen Vonifatiev (spiritual father of the tsar), Avvakum from Yuriev, Daniel of Kostroma and Longin from Murom. These people were friends with Nikon when he was metropolitan, but after the death of Patriarch Joseph, they turned against Nikon. Once Nikon became the Patriarch he did not allow these unreliable friends to be close to him and Neronov found that degrading so he was waiting for an opportunity to take revenge on Nikon. After the Pamiat’ was sent out they wrote proof against it using the books they had and tried to make it look like a heresy. They sent this to the Tsar hoping that it would be damaging for Nikon, but it had no effect on him. Nikon became more upset towards his former friends. Although the conflict was largely based on personal issues it is worthy to note that Nikon did not demand that his enemies be put on trial for disobedience; in fact he did not persecute them at all. (pages 418-419)

244. How did Patriarch Nikon react when Gregory Neronov announced his agreement to join the Church and what does this indicate?

In 1653 Ivan Neronov (Gregory in monasticism) was exiled to Solovetskii monastery for insulting the Patriarch. He later escaped and on January 4, 1657, Gregory came to the Patriarchal residence after reading the Skrizhal’; which he found impressive (Skrizhal’ was composed by a Greek monk John Nafanail, Nikon included in it the teaching about using three fingers as the correct way to cross oneself, this was approved by the council in 1656). Gregory and Nikon had a long discussion and Gregory said that if Nikon agreed with the Western Patriarchs then he had no problem complying with those rules. Nikon sent Gregory to Holy Trinity Lavra and ensured that he had everything he needed and allowed Gregory to have complete freedom. On January 14 the Tsar came back and after seeing Gregory in the church he told Nikon to bless him, but Nikon said that the prayer of absolution has not been read. A week later he read the prayer of absolution, during which both Gregory and Nikon were crying. After that Gregory took Holy Communion from Nikon.  The same day Nikon had a meal where Gregory was the honored guest after that Nikon gave him gifts and let him go with peace. Later on Gregory still opposed Nikon on a few occasions.  He insisted that the chorus sang alleluia twice instead of three times. Nikon did not pay attention to this. (pages 426- 427) After Nikon left his Patriarchal service Gregory continued working toward causing the schism. (page 431)

245. What did the council of 1667 decree, in regard to the decrees put forth during the Patriarchate of Nikon? How did the hierarchs of the Russian Church continue to act in the future?

The council decreed that:

  1. all the books which were corrected and printed by Nikon, as well as the ones printed after he left the cathedra were accepted.
  2. The denunciation of the false opinions, which were condemned by Nikon and the council in 1666 was repeated. All who continued supporting the schism were put under anathema (or katathema?) unless they repented. (pages 441 – 442)

246. What character did the rejection of the corrections take on in the Solovetskii monastery? How did this end?

  1. Solovetskii monastery began refusing to accept the new books as early as 1657. It also did not accept the decrees made by the church councils in 1666 and 1667. The new archimandrite Joseph who was appointed by Patriarch Joasaph the second, was not accepted either. There was a strong influence of Prince L’vov and others who were in exile and opposed Nikon. When the monastery received the orders to serve differently, two monks wrote a complaint to the Tsar, condemning the changes and claiming that everyone in the monastery agreed with them. This of course was a lie because most monks wanted to comply with the council. Unfortunately the power was in the hands of the rebels. The Tsar took away the monastery’s villages. In 1668 when the rebellion in the monastery got very serious the Tsar sent solders to resolve the situation. They stayed at the Sumskii Ostrog and kept a siege on the monastery. Within the monastery there was a conflict among the rebels. Some monks continued to pray for the Tsar and disapproved of killing, while others including the commanders of solders were more malicious.
  2. In January of 1678 Meshcherinov with the help of a monk Theoktist (from the Solovetskii monastery) was able to get into the monastery through a weakened part of the wall. The two main provocateurs Archimandrite Nikanor and the centurion Kemlianin Samko were put to death. Others who did not repent were sent away to Kol’ski and Pustoozerskiii Ostrogi. Due to the strong influence of Solovetskii monastery in the North and because several of the rebels were able to spread out in that area, they persuaded many people not to accept the corrected books. Thus, many peasants were pulled into the schism. (pages 444-471)

247. In whose presence and how did the debate about the faith take place in the Granite Chamber? Who was the main instigator and how did this end?

  1. On the July 3, 1682, Prince Khovanskii came to Patriarch Joachim on behalf of all the soldiers (many of whom sided with the schismatics) and requested a debate concerning faith. Khovanskii did not want anyone from the Tsar’s family to be present (he was threatening rebellion), but Sophia was not intimidated despite the violent mood of the soldiers. The debate took place on July 5 and it was in the presence of the Princess Sophia, 3 other princesses, Patriarch Joachim, 7 metropolitans, 5 archbishops and 2 bishops. The schismatics read their petition, while Princess Sophia, Bishop Athanasius and the Patriarch responded to it. After the debate the schismatics claimed victory although they obviously were proven wrong. That night Sophia persuaded the soldiers to turn in their spiritual fathers. Nikita Pustosviat was brought to the place of execution and he was executed. His supporters were imprisoned. During the trial it became evident that they used lies and falsified evidence to convince people. Nikita’s supporters were sent to different monasteries.
  2. Prince Khovanskii began to scheme against Sophia, in the hopes of taking power for himself, but he was soon executed in September of 1682. (pages 448-452)

248. How did the struggle with the schism continue further, and what compositions were written to denounce the schism?

Patriarch Joachim composed Uvet Duhovnyii in 1682.  It was a refutation against the petition of Nikita Pustosviat. In it the Patriarch justified all the changes, which were made to the old books referencing more ancient sources. Besides written proof Joachim also sent teachers into the different regions where the schism prevailed. Archbishop Athanasius collected a big library of manuscripts and books for the enlightenment of those who were poorly informed. He also wrote The Shield of Faith. In 1688 Hierodeacon Michael was sent to Siberian ostrogs to correct the church dogmas and spiritual affairs. He later became Hegumen of Enisei and continued his missionary works. Novospasskii Archimandrite Ignatius (Rimskii-Korsakov) was sent to Kostroma and Kineshema to teach the schismatics. Metropolitan of Kazan, Adrian (the future Patriarch) wrote O krestnom znameni for his parishioners. (pg. 452 1st whole paragraph)

249. On what main points did the Old Believers divide?

From the very beginning the old believers divided into popovtsy (those who recognized priests) and bezpopovtsy (the priestless). This resulted after their priests died. The problem arose when they were trying to decide who should baptize and anoint. Some decided to allow for the elder laymen to do this, others accepted Orthodox priests, demanding that they denounce the views of nikonianstsy, or “Nikonians” which is what they called the Orthodox. The latter were the ones that composed popovtsy. An Avvakum sect was also formed around that time. Avvakum called one of his books “the eternal gospel” and claimed that it was written by the hand of God. He taught that it is okay to burn oneself. This sect viewed him as a saint. There were other slight variations among the different groups of Old Believers. (pages 452-453)


250. How was the educated brotherhood with a school founded?

During the time of Patriarch Joseph in 1649 and 1650, Metropolitan Nikon advised that the Tsar should invite educated elders from the Kiev Brotherhood monastery. These elders were: Arsenius Satanovkii and Epiphanius Slavenitskii. In the following year came Hieromonk Damaskin Ptitsin. They were all at St. Andrew’s monastery in Moscow and thus the brotherhood with the school was founded. When Nikon became Patriarch he called up the Greek monk Arsenius from the Solovetskii monastery. (page 454, second paragraph)

251. How was Epiphanius Slavinetskii educated? What were his works concerned with and for which efforts is he famous?

Epiphanius was educated in Domogilyanskii Greek style.  He was proficient in philosophy, theology, Greek and Slavic dialects. He was the main helper to Nikon in the correction of theological books. He also did many translations and preaching. Epiphanius composed the Slavonic-Greek-Latin lexicon and a lexicon with explanations of Church terminology. He was also correcting and translating the Bible, wrote prefaces for newly published books as well as liturgical canons and words of praise in honor of saints. (page 455, first whole paragraph)

252. What was the character of Simeon Polotskii’s learning? What works did he write? What distinguished his homilies? Whose support did he rely on?

  1. In 1664 the Tsar Aleksey Mikhailovich invited monk Simon Sitianovich Petrovskii (a.k.a. Polotski). He was the student of the new Mogilianskaia School, which had Latin influence. The Tsar commissioned Simeon to educate his children. Patriarch Joasaph II decided to use him to help disprove the schism.
  2. Simeon wrote Zhezl Pravleniia (Ruling Staff). This work was done quickly and contained some mistakes. It was published on behalf of the Great Council. He also wrote two catechesis: the extended version Venets Very (the wreath of faith) in 1670 and the brief version in 1671.  In 1676 he wrote Svod Evangelii (The Code of the Gospels) about the life and teaching of Jesus Christ.  Simeon also composed two volumes of his sermons Obed dushevnii in 1681, which were his Sunday sermons and Vecheria dushevnaia in 1683, his sermons from feast days.
  3. Archbishop Philaret said that Simeon’s sermons were simple and natural. Raising children, superstitions and the schisms were the topics he talked the most about. He also wrote Rifmonolog and Vertograd, which were collections of poems. Also, a psalter that was in rhymes.
  4. In 1676 a new Tsar Theodore Alekseevich came to power, Simeon got much support since Theodore was his student. (pages 455-456)

253. What were the relations between Epiphanius Slavientskii and Simeon Polotskii?

Epiphanius and Simeon had disagreements from the very beginning due to their different educations. Epiphanius had Greek influence and Simeon had more Latin influence. Moscow hierarchs sided with Epiphanius, who had a peaceful character and never attacked Simeon, but he did not hide his lack of sympathy for Simeon’s ideas. One issue that Epiphanius spoke against was concerning the timing when the gifts were consecrated. In Orthodox teachings it was during the calling upon them of the Holy Spirit, but Simeon taught that it was during the words “Take, eat this is my body…” and “Drink of it all of you this is my blood…” which was the Latin teaching. Epiphanius was also upset because, due to Simeon’s influence many people began reading Latin books and forgetting the truth. After Epiphanius passed away Simeon became very arrogant, even with the Patriarch. He would print his essays in the Tsar’s printing house without Patriarch Joachim’s blessing. (pages 457-458)

254. Of what direction (leaning) was Silvester Medvedev?

Monk Silvester was an admirer and follower of Simeon. He was later made Hegumen of Zaikonospasskii monastery after Simeon passed away. Silvester strongly opposed Calvinism. Patriarch Joachim was very cautious with Silvester because of his Latin ideology. (pages 458-459)

255. Who were the Likhudi brothers?

In March of 1685 Hieromonks Joannikius and Sophronius Likhudi came to Moscow. They were of noble birth from Cephalonia, educated first in Greece and then in the West (Venice and Padua). Before being called to Russia they were teachers in Greece. The Patriarch of Jerusalem Diodysius advised Tsar Feodor to invite them to teach at the academy. They were meant to counteract the Latin influence which was spreading in Russia. (page 460, first paragraph)

256. How was the debate about the time of consecration of the Holy Gifts resolved?

Silvester and his followers were arguing concerning the time of consecration with the Likhudi brothers and Efthemius, who was the pupil of Epifanius Slavenitskii. One of Silvester’s most famous supporters was Feodor Shaklovitii. When they were looking at books they noticed that the ones which were printed in the South supported Silvester’s idea. Patriarch Joachim conversed with the Metropolitan of Kiev Gideon and with the Archbishop of Chernigov Lazar. Later he wrote that although both of them initially were influenced by the Roman Church, through the writings of the Holy Fathers they turned back to the Greek Orthodox Church. This was how Silvester lost the argument, but the complete victory of Orthodoxy over the Latin faith came only in 1689 after Princess Sophia was overthrown and Shaklovitii put to death. Silvester repented of his opinions and was later executed in 1691 for his participation in an attempt against Tsar Peter. In 1690, the Likhudi brothers wrote a book, which was published on behalf of Patriarch Joachim summarizing the argument and bringing it to a closure.  This book was called Osten. (pages 460-461)

257. How did the Moscow Academy come to be? Who were its main teachers? What system of teaching was used there?

  1. The Academy education opened after the Likhudi brothers came to Moscow. The guardian and teaching positions were only opened to Greeks and Russians who were tested in Orthodoxy and promised to stay faithful to it.  Teachers from Little Russia and Lithuania were accepted only if reliable people vouched for them.
  2. The Academy was meant to be the guardian of Orthodoxy in all of Russia. Children were not allowed to be home-schooled in foreign languages, but had to attend the Academy.  Other duties of the Academy were to keep watch against foreign propaganda concerning faith and to monitor newly converted people and all others to make sure they were solid in their faith. The Academy had the power to judge people for religious crimes and to condemn and burn forbidden books. The first classes started in 1686 once the academic building was completed in the Zakonospasskii monastery. In their teaching, the Likhudi brothers tried to avoid any evidence of their western education.
  3. In three years they completed one course which covered grammar, poetry, rhetoric, logic and physics. Half was done in Greek and half in Latin languages.  Later on the Patriarch of Jerusalem Dositheus turned against the brothers due to false reports made by some jealous Greeks. The brothers had to stop teaching the main classes and later they were sent to Ipatievkii monastery in Kostroma in 1701. (pages 462-463)


258. What were the intentions of the Catholics in relation to Russia in connection with the false Dimitri?

The Catholics were trying to spread their influences and religion in Russia. False Dimitri was an unknown person who was serving in Poland under Prince Adam.  Commander Yuri Mnishek was his early supporter.  Rangoni, nuncio of the pope, offered False Dimitri support from King Sigismund III of Poland only if he would convert to Catholicism. The False Dimitri agreed to this and the king gave him a living allowance.  False Dimitri got engaged to Yuri’s daughter Marina.  He promised her Novgorod and Pskov, so that she would be able to build there Latin schools and monasteries.  Also in 1604 False Dimitri wrote to pope Clement VIII, and promised to convert Russia to Catholicism to which the Pope replied with an offer of his support.  False Dimitri had his own plans for the Pope’s support.  He wanted to wage a war against the Turks.  In Moscow, he delicately hinted at the possibility of uniting with Catholics to form one church, but he did not dare to openly discuss this for fear of the people. False Dimitri kept a correspondence with the new pope Paul V and got encouragements to build Catholic churches. More Poles were coming to Moscow, which also made the Russians unhappy and finally the False Dimitri was shot.  Even after that, the Polish king still had hopes to take over Moscow, but that didn’t happen, because the Polish occupation of the city earned them a bad reputation. (pages 464-467)

259. What was the attitude of Russians toward Catholics from the time of Patriarch Philaret until Emperor Peter the Great?

While the Poles occupied Moscow they blasphemed and robbed the Orthodox churches, so the Russians were rather hostile towards the Catholics. Patriarch Philaret was a Polish prisoner and his attitude was as such: not during his time or after him (until Peter the Great) was there any Catholic churches or Jesuits allowed in Moscow. All other religions were tolerated except for Catholic. In 1620 at the Church council, Patriarch Philaret made a decree that all Catholics who wanted to convert to Orthodoxy had to be baptized. (page 467, bottom half)

260. Why were the Russians distrustful toward and suspicious of people who were educated abroad, even if they denounced the Latin rite with an oath and asked to be joined to the Orthodox Church?

Archbishop Philaret wrote that the Russians who went to be educated in Rome had to publicly agree with Roman ideas and condemn the East to be accepted into the Roman Academy. The Roman influence was evident in heresies, which arose in Southern Russia. Deacon Peter Artemiev came back after studying in Italy and began to preach Latin ideas for which he was exiled to Solovki. This was when it became evident that Russian students had to denounce Orthodoxy when studying in the West.  Jesuit teaching made people get used to telling lies, hide their beliefs and make false promises. (467 bottom – 469 top)

261. What was the attitude toward Lutherans and Reformers?

The Swedish took over some part of Russia during the time of troubles, and began fanatically spreading Lutheranism in that area. In Stockholm they made a print shop that produced Lutheran Catecheses in the Slavonic language. Tsar Michael Feodorovich in 1624 ordered his commanders in Novgorod to check all Russians who came from the Swedish side to make sure that they did not accept anything Lutheran. These people were not allowed to go to the church of St. Sophia. The decree of 1620 concerning baptizing converting Catholics was applied to Lutherans as well. Tsar Mikhail also encouraged all Orthodox not to work for foreigners. In 1641 Tsar Michael wanted to marry his daughter Irina off to the Danish Prince Voldemar. However because the prince refused to convert to Orthodoxy this marriage never took place. Foreigners, Lutherans and Reformers were able to hold services in Moscow, they were allowed to have their churches, but they were not allowed to convert Russians. Russians became more cautious towards foreigners, especially after a German by the name of Kvirin Kul’man claimed to be the son of the Son of God and preached about the apocalypse.  His teaching was judged as crazy and he and his friend Norderman, along with his books, were burned. (pages 469-470)


262. How did the idea of a Union with Rex Pospolitorum come about? How did the Russian aristocracy and city inhabitants react to the position of the Russian Orthodox Church?

  1. The Union with Rex Pospolitorum came about after the Jesuits started pressuring the Orthodox to convert to Catholicism, only to realize that outright conversion was nearly impossible. In accord with the new plan, to trick the Orthodox, they infiltrated the educational system in Russia and started to promote and give privileges to those who became obedient to their plans. The Orthodox bishops, who were in a tough position compared to the rich Catholic bishops, wanted to enjoy the luxurious lifestyle and to have the sort of independence that latter enjoyed. It was a simple matter of personal interest.
  2. The Russian aristocracy, under the leadership of prince Constantine Ostrozhskii I, was for the Union in principle under the assumption that the theological differences would be smoothed out and that the Russian people would not have to bow down to the pope of Rome or the Roman Catholic Church. The common people, on the other hand, were completely against such a union and wanted nothing to do with it.

263. How did unworthy candidates become Orthodox bishops?

Unworthy candidates became bishops through appointments. This type of corruption was at the core of the problems that the Russian Church was facing in this region. The bishops were secular people, often of very weak moral fiber, and did not have any spiritual or theological qualifications for the job.  They were often not liked by the people or their clergy.  This unfortunately led to corruption and mistrust as the bishopric was seen as a reward for a favor done to the local prince or ruler. It led to a situation in which there were bishops who were married, had children, and some who were even married twice.

264. How did the nobility of Galicia complain about Metropolitan Onesiphorus?

The nobility of Galicia complained about Metropolitan Onesiphorus in 1588 in a letter which was signed by seven noblemen. They outlined that people were stealing from the churches. They also complained that the clergy was not spiritual enough and that they did not care about their flocks. The Church had become a club for rich priests. They also complained that Metropolitan Onesiphorus was making bishops without asking anyone about the candidates or considering the consequences of the people being unhappy.  As a result of this Patriarch Jeremiah defrocked the metropolitan and let the people confirm Michael Ragoza.

265. Which bishop participated the most in promoting the Union? What were they like in moral standing? How did they operate?

Cyril Terletskii was the main proponent of the Union.  He was not in the highest moral standing and signed the Union under pressure and false information from the Jesuits, saying that he would be rewarded greatly for his submission to the pope. The Union was done in a very sneaky and backhanded way.  The bishops called a council in Brest after the Union was signed by them. The decision was made, known to the public in 1591. Metropolitan Michael, who was for the Union, was very explicit in demanding that the word not get out that he had signed the document; he preferred that it remain a secret so that he could still have influence among the Orthodox.

266. Who was against the Union and in what form?

Those against the Union were Gideon Balaban, the bishop who originally signed it, Prince Constantine Ostrozhskii, and the Brotherhood of Lvov. The Brotherhood, led by its main writer Lawrence Zizanii, led a huge battle with the Uniates. The only way to respond to the Uniate council was to form a council of Orthodox clergy, aristocracy and laity that was against the Union.


267. In what year and how did the Council of Brest take place? How did the Orthodox and the Uniates operate?

The Council of Brest took place in 1596. The Orthodox and Uniate councils were done separately, and both had high ranking clergy, aristocracy and laity partake in the meetings. The Uniates met in the big cathedral while the Orthodox had to resort to meeting in the house of a Protestant man who was against the Catholics. The Uniates sent a Jesuit delegate one day to try to convince the prince to switch sides, but this was in vain. The Orthodox sent three different delegations to the Uniates to get them to attend the Orthodox council, but they refused to come. This resulted in the Orthodox anathematizing the Uniates, which was reciprocated the next day.

268. What were the consequences of the Union?

The Union had practical consequences on the residents of the affected areas.  The Orthodox started being persecuted and in many instances physically abused.  The cries for help to Russia were unanswered as Moscow was in no position itself to help them out.  Parallel dioceses were made in several places.  The official position of the King Sigismund III was that the Union was fair and that there was no backhanded dealing behind it. He fully supported it even though he issued some phony declarations that the Orthodox had complete rights to their churches and freedom of religion.

269. Why (by what) was a union formed between the Orthodox and Protestants? What was this union’s fate in the future?

  1. In 1599 the Orthodox and Protestants tried to form an anti-Catholic union in Vilnius. The Orthodox were represented by Prince Metropolitan Luke of Belgorod.
  2. The union did not bear any fruit because the Orthodox said that they had to obtain approval from the Patriarch before they signed anything. The Patriarch refused such a union but the Orthodox signed a political union against the Catholics anyway.

 270. How was the Holy Spirit Brotherhood of Volynia founded?

The brotherhood was founded as the Trinity monastery was given to the Uniates by the new Metropolitan Hypatius Potsei, who strengthened the persecutions against the Orthodox. The Volovich family had two very powerful nobles in their house and they helped to build the Church of the Holy Spirit. Alongside this church the brotherhood was formed.  Leontius Karpovich was the most notable member of the brotherhood, and he wrote much against the Uniates, especially against the actions of the Uniate Metropolitan Hypatius.

271. How did the Catholics treat the Uniates? Did the Uniates get equal rights with the Catholics? What were the goals of Terletskii and Potsei?

  1. The Catholics treated the Uniates as second-class citizens because they had not changed over to Latin rites, continuing to use all of the Orthodox traditions and liturgical practices.
  2. The Uniates did not obtain equal right.
  3. The final goal of the Jesuits was to force the Uniates to change over completely to the Latin liturgical tradition. Terletskii and Potsei were completely in accord with this plan and understood that the Uniate movement was a temporary way of passage to change the bias against the Roman Catholic Church held by those rooted in Orthodox tradition, and to build trust towards the pope.

 272. How was the order of St. Basil the Great founded and what did it do?

The Basilian order was founded by Rutskii, a Uniate clergyman who was very educated and popular in Rome.  He brought many Carmelites and more Jesuits for the founding of a new Uniate monastic fraternity.  He was the grand master of the order with the rank of general, and they did not have to answer to anyone except to the procurator who lived in Rome.

273. Why is Lawrence Drevinskii famous?

He is famous because as the deputy to the Rex Pospolitorum he gave a very stern speech of warning to Sigismund in 1620 during a council.  In this speech he highlighted that the Russians of the Greek faith were the ones that were being sent to the front lines to fight for his country, yet he still had not given them freedom of religion. During the address he named several prominent Uniate bishops and spoke of their questionable backgrounds prior to becoming clergy.  He ended the speech by saying that God will ultimately be the judge of them all.

274. Who was Kunzewicz? How did he act? How did the pope react to the death of Kunzewicz?

  1. Kunzewicz was the Archimandrite of Holy Trinity Monastery who became the new Uniate metropolitan. He was not very educated but had a very big following because people considered him an ascetic.
  2. Kunzewicz was a major persecutor of the Orthodox and eventually he died at their hands. During a visit to Vitebsk in 1623 he started to provoke the Orthodox people, and a rebellion started.  He was captured and beaten to death.
  3. Pope Urban VIII wrote a very strong letter to the king in which he calls for the king to “reach for his sword and torch” and to do everything to get rid of the schismatic Orthodox population.

275. What was the role of Cossacks in the defense of the faith?

The Cossacks were always loyal to the faith, and in this instance they proved their loyalty in many instances to the Orthodox Church.  Many leaders of the Cossacks died during these battles to protect the faith.  For example, Hetman Nalibaiko was burned alive in Warsaw in 1597.  In 1637 Pavliuka was skinned alive, and five of his colleagues were beheaded.  They were very helpful during the war with Tsar Michael Fiodorovich, and also in the wars against Turkey.  Also it is worthy to note the role of Hetman Peter Konashevich-Sagidachnyi.  Because of his defense of Poland from the Turks the king promised that he would not interfere with the religious affairs of the Orthodox, but as soon as Sagidachnyi succumbed to his wounds from battle, Sigismund went back on his word.

276. What was the role of the brotherhoods and monasteries in the defense of the faith? Who was Eliseus Pletenetskii, Leontius Karpovich, and St. Job Kniagininskii?

  1. The brotherhoods and monasteries were key to the survival of the faith. They were able to organize, often in secret, groups of people who were always willing to support the general cause of protecting the Orthodox faith.
  2. Eliseus Pletenetskii was an archimandrite of the Pechersk Monastery. He was assigned to this post in 1599.  He renewed monastery life and revived the historic monastery. In Vilnius, his contemporary was Leontius Karpovich.  Thanks to him, the Holy Spirit Monastery became a spiritual center for Lithuania.  In Galicia, St. Job Kniagininskii, who spent a long time on Mount Athos, played the same role. He founded five monasteries in the Lvov diocese.

277. How was the hierarchy re-established in the western Russian Church after the deaths of Gideon Balaban and Michael Kopystenskii?

The Patriarch Dositheus of Jerusalem was on his way to Moscow through the west and the Cossacks gave him protection from any nuisances.  In return they asked him to make bishops and priests for them.  He did this and thus renewed the hierarchy in the Western Russian Church.  He did this secretly during the night and consecrated seven bishops, and elevated one of them to the rank of metropolitan.

278. Who was made metropolitan and what measures were taken to uplift the moral and educational strengths of the Orthodox?

Job Boretskii was made the new metropolitan.  First the bishops were all chosen from the local monks, and they were all of high moral fiber. In 1621 the metropolitan called a council at which they determined that there was a need to place an emphasis on education and literature.  Monks from Athos were brought in to help with this.

279. What was the position of the Orthodox after the death of Sigismund III?

The Orthodox, after a very organized campaign to pressure the king, were finally able to get official recognition as a religion of the kingdom of Poland, following the death of Sigismund III.  There was a recognized right for an Orthodox metropolitan to exist parallel to the Unia, and the diocese of Lutsk was to be slowly given back to the Orthodox.  Also, the dioceses of Lvov and Peremishel were to be turned over in much the same fashion.  The Orthodox were given the freedom which they had fought so dearly for.



280. Who was Peter Mogila?

St. Peter Mogila was the son of the ruler of Moldavia, who, after losing a conflict with Kantemir Murza, had to flee to Poland.  He was very educated and studied in Paris and Holland. He was very western-minded and showed cordiality to the Roman Catholic faith. He became an archimandrite in 1627.  He became the metropolitan in 1633.  He was very well connected to King Vladislav and therefore was able to use his influence for the benefit of the Church in education, architecture, and finance.

281. How did Mogila form his group of cohorts?

Mogila gathered his cohorts by sending several of them to be educated in the West, namely, Innocent Gizel, Isaiah Koalovskii and Sylvester Kossov among others. Mogila wanted to set up a Latin-style college, which was based on the school of Rome.  Trofimovich was the first rector of the school that was eventually set up. The school was based on different classes such as grammar, syntax, theology, and philosophy. Latin was the language most widely used, and there was very little focus on the traditional Greek.  By the 1640’s the school was already well enough established that it received widespread criticism.  This in turn agitated Mogila and his colleagues enough to form written responses which became very strong theological material.

282. Which theological and service books came out during the Mogila period?

The hardships, which Mogila encountered were more of an academic competitive nature. His contemporaries did not agree with the way that he was approaching education and often criticized him for being too lenient and Latin-influenced. Some even accused him of running a Protestant educational facility. In defense of his school, Mogila and his cohorts, printed “Ektezis”, Mogila’s “Kamen”, Trofimovich’s “Confession of the Orthodox Faith.” In 1646 The Great Book of Needs was published. They were preparing the publishing of the entire Bible, and the translation of the Life of Simeon Metaphrastes, but he did not live long enough.

283. Why is Sylvester Kossov notable?

He was the first prefect of the Kievan Spiritual Academy, which was founded by Mogila. He later became metropolitan and is notable for the literature, which he scripted, most importantly the Didaskalia.

284. Why is Innocent Gizel notable?

He was a Protestant convert who eventually became the archimandrite of the Kiev Caves Lavra. He edited and reprinted the Kiev Caves Paterikon. He wrote a history of Russia until the time of Tsar Fiodor Alekseievich. He also engaged in polemics with Jesuit authorities who were criticizing the True Faith.

285. Why is Lazarus Baranovich notable?

Baranovich was also the rector of the collegiate.  He was also the archbishop of Chernigov since 1657. He wrote the Spiritual Sword and Truby Sloves. He also wrote many lives of saints and sermons in Polish, as well as A New Measure of the Old Faith, an answer to Jesuit misinformation which was being dispersed to the people.

286. Why is Adam Zernikov notable?

The best of all of the polemic writers was Adam Zernikov. He was a very educated man from Koenigsburg, where he finished university. He continued education in Ien, and eventually even Oxford. Upon reading Kritopul’s Confession of the Eastern Church he became Orthodox and went to Chernigov to Lazarus Baranovich where he worked for the hetman as an architect and artist. He is most famous for writing the document On the Origin of the Holy Spirit from the One God.  He died in the Baturin Monastery when St. Demetrius of Rostov was the abbot there.



287. How did unworthy bishops obtain their offices?

The Polish government was in favor of promoting persons who would compromise Orthodoxy. Noblemen extracted money from candidates and with bribes they could buy their way into episcopate.

288. How did Metropolitan Sylvester and some of the clergy react to the reunification with Ukraine? Why?

Metropolitan Sylvester and his clergy were in a very difficult position when the reunification with Moscow took place. They were of course glad that Moscow was coming and that the Orthodox would enjoy more freedom, but it was also a very likely possibility that the tables could be turned again anytime and that the old rule would come back. Sylvester could not afford to burn bridges. So he played both sides wisely. Also, there is speculation that he and some of the more powerful clergy would not be interested in Moscow coming in because of their personal interests. They were very powerful men who controlled much land. If Moscow came, their power would certainly diminish.

289. How were the relations between the Moscow Patriarch and Metropolitan Sylvester?

In the end, Sylvester wrote a letter to the patriarch of Russia asking him to be allowed to pray for him and be loyal to the king, but still to be administratively loyal to the patriarch of Constantinople.

290. What was the position of the Kievan metropolitanate during the inter-fighting of the Cossacks chiefs?

When Bogdan Khmelnakii died, the different Cossack groups started fighting among themselves over the role of leader. The new metropolitan of Kiev Dionysius Boloban was entirely on the side of Vygovskii, who was loyal to Poland and who dealt the Moscow forces a major blow. Boloban refused to be consecrated in Moscow, and this caused a whole new affair in the region.  Nikon singlehandedly decided to send Methodius, a new bishop, but he was not recognized by Constantinople or many of the other western bishops. Dionysius died in 1663, and Joseph became the new metropolitan. The constant competition continued back and forth on both sides of the Dnieper until Lazarus Baranovich became the new metropolitan of both camps.

291. Under what circumstances and in what year was the reunification between the Kiev and Moscow Churches?

Due to the Metropolitan Sylvester’s difficult position, he had no choice but to maintain good relations with both the Moscow Patriarchate, with which he was surely close at heart, and the Constantinople Patriarchate, which tended to appease the former rule of the Polish kingdom.  He wrote a very wise letter to Nikon in Moscow.  The Russian patriarch responded that he would be spiritually responsible for Sylvester but that he would not get mixed up administratively in their affairs.  This was a very tricky way of getting control over the jurisdiction, but without any major conflict with Constantinople.  Eventually, due to political maneuvering, in 1687, the patriarch of Constantinople sent a decree that the Moscow Patriarchate was recognized and thus had full control of all of its western Church territory as well.


2 Istoriia Russkoi Tserkvi (Jordanville, 1959).

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