Byzantine missions among the Slavs. SS. Constantine-Cyril and Methodius

Francis Dvornik


IX. Byzantium and the Cyrilo-Methodian Heritage in Kievan Russia


Eastern Slavic tribes among the last to be Christianized; Armenian and Georgian claim to apostolic origin of their Churches—St. Andrew and Scythia—Future Russia—Slavic tribes approaching the Crimea; the Byzantines and the Slavs on the Dnieper; influence of the Khazars on the Slavs—Christianity among the Slavs around Don river?; Byzantine mission in Kuban—First contact of Byzantium with the Rhos—Attack on Constantinople; first Christianization of Kiev; its ruin and survival—Baptism of Olga; her message to Otto the Great—Vladimir's conversion; introduction of Slavonic liturgy—Main features of Kievan literary school— Characteristic traits of Kievan Christianity—St. Vladimir a new Constantine, isoapostolos—Byzantine impact on Russian art— Russian and Byzantine jurisprudence—Byzantine political ideas and Russia; Moscow a Third Rome.



The Slavic tribes, which were to become the nucleus from which the immense political unit known as modern Russia was formed, were among the last of the Slavic family to be introduced into the orbit of Christian influence. This seems rather strange when we take into consideration the fact that the southern lands which are now part of the modern Russian state were the nearest to that most important Christian center in the East, Constantinople, which had Christian outposts, not only in the Crimea, but also in the Caucasus. The Transcaucasian lands of Georgia and Armenia were the intermediaries between Asia Minor, where Christianity predominated in its early history, and the cradle of







Christianity in Palestine. Both lands claimed that Christianity had been implanted in the midst of their populations in the time of the Apostles. The Armenians appropriated the Apostles Bartholomew, Judas Thaddaeus, and Simon as their first teachers and patrons, [1] but they had competitors in Edessa, Syria, Mesopotamia, Phoenicia, and Persia who made the same claims. It is, however, possible that Christianity had already penetrated into Armenia during the first century a.d. Traces of Christianity are reported in the second century, and the Christianization was brought to an end by Gregory the Illuminator (240-320), who had also won over King Tiridat I to the new faith. Armenia was also the first land which declared Christianity to be the official religion of the state (about 280). Gregory also became the head of the Armenian Church, as Catholicos with twelve suffragan bishops. The Catholicos Sahak, with the help of Mezrob, invented, in about the year 396, a special alphabet for their language, a deed which became the source of a flourishing Armenian literature.


Georgia [2] possessed numerous Jewish Diaspora which seems to have been strengthened by refugees after the destruction of Jerusalem. Lively contacts with Palestine and Syria opened the land for Christian missionaries as early as the first century. During the reign of Constantine the Great the country was Christian, and the Christian religion was declared the official religion of the state between 297 and 356. Its religious center in Mzchet was in touch with all the important eastern Christian centers, and Georgian monachism developed lively missionary activities.


Justinian the Great supported Christian missionaries in the Caucasian region, especially among Ossetes, Alans, and Abasques, and even the Huns are said to have been touched by Christian propaganda. [3]


*  *  *


The claims of the Armenians to the apostolic origins of their conversion are doubtful, as is well known. However, the claim of the Russians that their land had been at least touched upon by an apostle before the Slavs came there may have more solid basis. There is a tradition codified by the first Church historian, Eusebius of Caesarea, and based on the report given by Origen (died 253) that the Apostle Andrew had preached the new faith in





Scythia. [4] There were two Scythias, one between Thrace and the Danube which had become a Roman province (modern Dobrudsha), and another Scythia, called “cold,” which lies between the rivers Danube and Don in modern southern Russia. We are entitled to suppose that Origen had in mind the “cold Scythia,” and this seems to be suggested also by the apocryphal Acts of Andrew. According to them, Andrew preached first in Asia Minor with his brother Peter. This could be so because the cities of Asia Minor possessed strong Jewish colonies. Jewish propaganda was successful even among the pagans. The synagogues were the first places from which the apostles began to preach about Christ. These cities, and their Jewish Diaspora, were in lively contact with the Greek cities and Jewish Diasporas in the Crimea and in the ancient Greek colonies around the Azov sea. The legendary Acts of Andrew allow him to come as far as Sinope, the important port of Asia Minor whence it was easy to reach the Crimea and its main port, Cherson. Andrew may have used this maritime commercial way to reach the Crimea; it is quite possible that he also touched upon the land of the Scythians, and it seems that he may even have died somewhere in these parts. There is a tradition that he returned from Cherson to Asia Minor, passed through Byzantium and travelled on to Greece, where he died as a martyr at Patras. But this should be considered as legendary. The only reliable information we have concerning Andrew’s travels is that transmitted to us from Origen by the first Church historian, Eusebius, who tells us that Andrew preached the new faith in Scythia.


This tradition appears to be much more trustworthy than that of the Armenians concerning Bartholomew, Judas Thaddaeus, and Simon. Therefore, the claim made by the Russians that Andrew did visit the lands which were to become Slavic has some solid basis. The author of the Russian Primary Chronicle tried to make the most of this tradition about the apostle, which was increased by legend, for the glory of his nation which, when he wrote his Chronicle at the beginning of the eleventh century, was already Christian. There we read that “when Andrew was teaching in Sinope and came to Cherson, he observed that the mouth of the Dnieper was nearby. Conceiving a desire to go to Rome, he proceeded therefore to the mouth of the Dnieper and thence journeyed up the river and, by chance, halted upon the shore beneath the hills. He prophesied to his disciples that on that spot





a great city with many churches would arise. He blessed the spot, erecting there a cross, then continued his journey to Novgorod, and, after a stay with the Varangians, reached Rome. Leaving Rome, he returned to Sinope.” [5]


This last passage shows us that in the eleventh century the Russians were well acquainted with the legendary Acts of Andrew, which tell of his travels from Sinope to Thrace and Achaia, where he is said to have died. The chronicler had to allow Andrew to leave from Rome for Sinope in order to fit his account to that of the legendary Acts.


*  *  *


At the time the Apostle was supposed to have reached the Dnieper and travelled this river, the Slavs had not yet arrived. Some of their tribes had already left their original home between the Vistula, Oder, and Rug, and were expanding toward the territory of the Scythians, from whom they borrowed many pagan beliefs. The movement to the south was accelerated by the migration of the Germanic Goths. The first knowledge of Christianity reached the Eastern Goths (Ostrogoths) after they penetrated the Crimea, from reports of prisoners taken by them in Trebizond (between 256 and 267). [6] The Gothic Church in the Crimea maintained relations with Palestine and stayed independent of the Byzantine Church up to 451. The Western Goths (Visigoths) had already sent a bishop to the First Oecumenical Council of Nicaea (325), and Ulphila (311-381) translated the Gospels into Gothic. They adhered to the heretical doctrine of Arius, but those Goths who had remained in the Crimea professed the orthodox faith, although using Ulfila’s translation. Thanks to John Chrysostom (398-404), Byzantium, for the first time, was able to play a direct role in the conversion of the peoples in the Crimea and in former Scythia. Georgian and Armenian monks brought the Christian faith to the peoples in the northern Caucasus; these missions were supported by the Emperor Justinian (527-565) who, at the same time, defended the Crimea against the Huns.


It is doubtful if any of these attempts to Christianize the lands of modern southern Russia influenced the Slavic tribes which, in the seventh century, were already firmly established on the middle Dnieper. Perhaps after the Goths had become Christian and had





extended their sway over them, certain Christian elements did penetrate. On the other hand, Byzantine cultural influences did reach those Slavic tribes living in the middle Dnieper in the seventh century. Archaeological finds made in this region present very important discoveries. Hidden treasures found in Martinovka, Sfenkov, Chacki, and especially in Malaja Peresčepina and in the cemetery of Pastyrskoje, included Byzantine silver ware, ornaments, and coins in large numbers. These finds show us that trade with Byzantium existed in the sixth and seventh centuries. Broken pieces of silver and semi-manufactured objects testify that some of these pieces must have been produced on the spot by foreign or native artisans, who also made a special kind of fibulae (brooches) characteristic of the Dnieper region. The imported objects could have reached this area from Byzantine possessions in the Crimea, or from the cities on the Black Sea. It is of interest that some of the objects produced in the Dnieper workshops were found in the Crimea where the Goths lived. This would seem to indicate that commerce between the Slavs on the Dnieper and the Goths of the Crimea must have existed.


None of the objects discovered bears a religious character, but it is quite possible that the Slavic tribes on the Dnieper had acquired a slight knowledge of Christianity from the Christian Goths in the Crimea, and from the Byzantines living in Cherson. The finds reveal that the Slavic tribes of this region had reached a certain level of culture and had acquired a certain amount of wealth. [7] These tribes were the predecessors of that Slavic group which was to build, on the middle Dnieper, that important Slavic settlement called Kiev.


It is to be noted that the coins found in that region are of the reign of Constans II (641-668). The treasures I have described must have been buried during the second half of the seventh century, which indicates the threat of invasion, possibly from the Khazars.


*  *  *


This Turkic nation, whose people lived between the Don and the Caspian Sea and near the delta of the Volga, extended their domination in the sixth century toward the West. [8] They cut off the Slavic tribes on the Dnieper from the cultural Christian centers





in the Crimea and succeeded in taking the city of Kerch in 576 for a short time. They extended their dominion over the Slavic tribes on the Dnieper and occupied the growing commercial and cultural region in the middle Dnieper which had developed into the flourishing city of Kiev.


Perhaps some knowledge of Christianity reached the Slavic tribes during the Khazar occupation, for the latter were in touch with the Christian Transcaucasian countries of Georgia and Armenia, and Christian merchants traded in Khazaria. From the seventh century on, the Khazars maintained friendly relations with the Byzantines as a protection from their common danger threatening from the Persians and later from the Arabs. The Life of St. Abo, a converted Arab who travelled in Khazaria and who died in Georgia in 786, testifies that Christian communities existed in many Khazarian cities and villages. He himself was baptized in Khazaria. The presence of Christian communities among the Khazars is confirmed also by the reports of Arab historians, especially by Idrisi and Ibn-Hauqual. But Moslem propaganda also had some success among the Khazars. [9] The Jewish Diaspora in the Crimea and in Transcaucasian cities was also very active among the Khazars, and in about the year 740 the Jews succeeded in winning over the Khagan of the Khazars to Judaism. Political reasons were behind this strange decision of the Khagan. Fearing that if he accepted either the Christian or the Islamic faith, his country would become dependent on Byzantium or on the Arabs, he chose Judaism, which also offered a higher degree of civilization than did paganism. In spite of this, the Khazars maintained a tolerant religious policy toward both Christians and Mussulmans.


*  *  *


There are indications that Christianity in the Crimea and in the Caucasian lands flourished during the eighth century. We have but to recall the Notitia of bishoprics from this time, in which a number of new sees is noted in the Crimea and its neighborhood. Although these listings are unreliable, the document seems to suggest that this region was thoroughly Christianized and quite capable of launching a Christian offensive among the population on the Don and the Dnieper. [10] Unfortunately, we





have no direct reports of the spread of Christianity in these lands which, at that time, were inhabited by Slavic tribes, and archaeological research has produced only vague indications of Christian life on the Don. One of them deserves a special mention. Near the confluence of the river Tichaja Sosna and the Don stands an old castle called Majackoe gorodišče. It was built on a high rock, and on one side of the rock was discovered a catacomb with two stories, connected on the interior by a corridor. The lower part of the catacomb seems to have served as a church, while the upper story revealed several cells. This may mean that the place was a monastery with a church. On the top of the rock remnants of stone buildings and fortifications were also discovered, and a cemetery with an inscription which, however, is not yet deciphered. The tombs of the cemetery can be dated from the eighth to the tenth centuries. [11]


This region was inhabited from the sixth to the ninth centuries by Slavic tribes called Antes, probably because their governing class was of non-Slavic, perhaps of Alanic or Sarmatic, origin. It is thus quite possible that in the eighth and ninth centuries the Slavic tribes on the Don came under the direct influence of Christian elements. The missionaries came probably from the Crimea. Perhaps further excavations will throw more light on this problem.


Further missionary activity from the Crimea, on the initiative of the Patriarch Photius, in the territory which was to become part of the Russian Empire, can be traced in the ninth century in the region of Kuban, among the Indo-European people of the Alans. We have seen that this mission had introduced into that territory a new type of ecclesiastical architecture which had developed in Greek provinces on the basis of early Christian church architecture. [12] But even this attempt, although very interesting and lasting over almost a century among the Alans, did not get as far as the Slavic tribes of modern southern Russia.


*  *  *


A direct contact with the center of Eastern Christianity was necessary in order to win over these new peoples to the faith. This was effected by another pagan nation from Scandinavia, the Varyags from Sweden, who for some time had been trading with





the Khazars by means of the river Volga. These adventurers crossed even the Caspian Sea in order to reach the Arab capital of Baghdad. During their piratical and commercial expeditions they must have learned of the splendors of Constantinople and of the riches which had accumulated within her walls. The opportunity of reaching this marvelous city was offered to them after they discovered the river way to the Black Sea—the Dnieper. The discovery of this new highway was not made by Rurik (probably Roerek), the founder of the first Varyag colony in Slavic lands, later called Novgorod, but by another group of Varyags led by Askold and Dir. Together with their retinue, they subdued the Slavic tribes on the upper Dnieper and got as far as Kiev, then under Khazar rule. The Slavs welcomed the newcomers, believing them to be better protectors against the invasions of the nomadic tribes than their present rulers, and Kiev became a center of Varyag political formation on the Dnieper. The Finns called the new invaders the “Ruotsi,” and the Byzantines, when they got in touch with them, adapted this word to the nature of their own language and called them the “Rhôs.” [13] This name is given to the new rulers of the Slavic tribes on the Dnieper for the first time by the Byzantines in 839, as is attested in the Annales Bertiniani, [14] The Emperor Theophilus sent an embassy to Louis the Pious asking him to give free passage through his lands to the Rhôs, whose Khagan had sent them to Constantinople to affirm the state of peace existing between himself and the emperor. They were unable to return to their own country by the same route as it was in danger from hostile invaders. Louis the Pious, after enquiring about their homeland, found that they were from Sweden.


If this report is reliable, we can see in it the first attempt by the Rhôs to enter into peaceful relations with Byzantium. It is also possible that these envoys were in the service of the Khazar Khagan who had sent them to Constantinople. However, the title of Khagan, as given to the chief of the Rhôs, could also have been used by Askold of Kiev, although borrowed from the Khazars.


Nevertheless, the Rhôs of Kiev got as far as the delta of the Dnieper river by the beginning of the ninth century, at the latest. There are reports of their attempting to attack the Byzantine cities in the Black Sea basin. The Life of St. Stephen of Surož





(Sugdaea) tells of an attack against Sugdaea in the Crimea during the early part of the ninth century, and in the Life of St. George of Amastris is a description of the Rhôs plundering the city in 835. Both reports are legendary, especially the description of the miraculous intervention of the saints, who stopped or punished the attackers. [15]


*  *  *


The only historical expedition against Byzantium is that in June of 860. However, it could not have been organized by the Rhôs who, according to some scholars, lived on the peninsula of Taman opposite Kerch. The existence of a Russian settlement in this region is an invention of some patriotic Russian scholars who would not accept the fact that the founders of the Kievan State were Germanic Swedes, and who saw its origin in the south where the Rhôs, united with the Indo-European Alans, had founded a colony. [16]


The consequence of this incident was the sending of an embassy to the Khazars in order to renew the alliance against the new danger which threatened both Byzantium and the Khazars. [17]


Their defeat, under the walls of Constantinople, was a sharp lesson for the Rhôs and their Slavic tribes. Being pressed by the Khazars and the Byzantines, they began to entertain friendly relations with Byzantium. The Patriarch Photius, taking advantage of this change in disposition, sent missionaries to the Russians and to the peoples of the Caucasus, and the Indo-European Alans on the Kuban river appear to have been partly converted as a result. Photius’ disciple, Patriarch Nicholas Mysticus, completed the work in the same area in the tenth century. [18] The missions to the Rhôs and the Slavs on the Dnieper were successful. In a letter to the Eastern patriarchs written in 867, Photius announced that the Rhôs, who were renowned for their cruelty and among the worst enemies of Byzantium, were now their friends, had accepted bishop and priest, and were showing great zeal for the Christian teaching. [19]


The bishop in question could only have resided in Kiev, where a Christian church was built and probably dedicated to the Prophet Elias. At least, such a church is mentioned in the Russian Primary Chronicle on another occasion. But, unfortunately, this





first attempt to Christianize the Rhôs and the Slavs did not last. Jealous of the success of the Rhôs in Kiev, the Rhôs from Novgorod-Ladoga led by Oleg, a kinsman of Rurik, invaded Kiev about 882. Askold and Dir were killed, and later were venerated as martyrs by the Russians. [20] It seems that Christianity was not completely eradicated from Kiev. Constantinople attracted even the new ruler of Kiev, and we learn from the Primary Chronicle that Oleg concluded a treaty of friendship with Byzantium in 911, which contained stipulations regulating commercial relations between Byzantium and Kiev favorable to the Russians. On this occasion the Emperor Leo VI (886-912) is said to have presented precious gifts and relics to Oleg’s envoys, and ordered that they should be instructed in the Christian faith. [21]


Commerce with Byzantium could only strengthen the remnants of Christianity in Kiev. The most zealous converts to the new faith were the Varyags, who, while trading with Byzantium, now had occasion to discover the attractions of the capital and to visit its beautiful churches.


The spread of Christianity in Kiev is illustrated by yet another trade agreement with Byzantium in 943. It was concluded after the disastrous expedition against Constantinople in 941, led by Oleg’s successor, Igor. We read in the Chronicle [22] that the pagan Rhos were obliged to confirm the treaty on oath in Kiev, in the temple of Perun, but that the Christian Varyags took their oath in the church of St. Elias and in the Christian manner.


The growth of Christianity in Kiev explains the decision of Olga, the widow of Igor, to become a convert. She was instructed in the faith in Kiev, and in 957 went to Constantinople, where she was baptized. In his Book of Ceremonies Constantine Porphyrogenitus describes the honors with which she was received at court, but he does not mention her baptism. Because of this omission many scholars are of the opinion that her reception into the Church took place in Kiev, and that she was baptized by the priest Gregory, who had accompanied her on her journey to Constantinople. The imperial author described her solemn reception at the court in order to make known the manner in which a Byzantine court would receive a Russian prince, but he did not speak of her baptism, for it would be assumed that such a visitor would already be a Christian. [23]


It appears that her conversion and visit to Constantinople displeased





the influential Varyags in Kiev, who feared the possibility of Byzantine political influence in their country. In order to dispel these fears and to make Christianity more acceptable to them, Olga asked the Western Emperor Otto I to send a bishop to Kiev. Here, for the first time, we notice the attraction which the West held for the Kievan State, and the oscillation of the Russians between East and West. It is possible that some of the Varyags were aware of the Western brand of Christianity. Two bishops from Hamburg-Bremen, St. Ansgar (died 865) [24] and St. Unni (died 936), were zealous missionaries who worked in Denmark, in Sweden, and especially in Roslagen in Sweden. Many of the Varyags came from that part of Sweden called Roslagen, and it is thus quite possible that they suggested to Olga that she approach the Western emperor, in order to .prevent the Byzantines from becoming too powerful in Kiev.


Olga’s messengers were well received at the court of Otto the Great. It had been his desire to extend his influence as far as the Slavonic lands, and he founded the metropolis of Magdeburg which, in his dreams, was destined to embrace all the Slavonic nations from the Elbe to the East, as far as his ambition would carry him. In answer to Olga’s request, he sent her Bishop Adalbert, who, in company with some German priests, went to Kiev. [25]


*  *  *


But Olga was deposed as regent before Bishop Adalbert arrived, and her son Svjatoslav was the new master of Kiev. He was unsympathetic to Christianity in either form, East or West. He was a true Varyag, only interested in military display. He extended the Kievan State in the East on the middle Volga by defeating the Khazars and the Turkic Bulgars who had settled there. The Bulgars had become Mussulmans, and the Arab splendor which Svjatoslav found in the city of Bolgar made such an impression on him that he dreamed of transferring his capital to the Volga. This was just one more example of the attraction which Eastern civilization held for him, and there was a danger that the Russians might embrace the religion of the Prophet, should Svjatoslav reject the request of the Byzantines to help them defeat a division of the Bulgars living south of the Danube





in former Byzantine territory. But Svjatoslav accepted their invitation, and was at first so successful that once more he had dreams of founding an empire, this time on the Danube. This, of course, did not suit the Byzantines, who turned against him. Defeated by them, he died on his return to Kiev. [26]


Christianity continued to exist in Kievan Russia even during the reign of Svjatoslav. There are traditions which cannot be completely substantiated, such as that Olga had built a church in Pskov, [27] a chapel over the remains of Askold and Dir, [28] and that even in Novgorod a church had been built in her lifetime. [29]


The existence of Varyag Christians in Kiev before Vladimir’s conversion is attested also by the Primary Chronicle. We read there that, in 983 [30] when Vladimir had conquered the Yatwigians, a Lithuanian tribe, he offered sacrifices to the gods for the victory. The boyars thought that the sacrifice of a maiden or a youth would be more appropriate on such an occasion. There was a certain Varangian who had emigrated from Greece and lived with his son in a house where later the church of the Holy Virgin was built. The boyars chose the boy by lot to be the object of the sacrifice. Both were Christians. When the father refused to surrender his son, the crowd invaded his house; when the father again refused, they destroyed the house and killed both of them, “and no one knows where they are buried,” adds the chronicler.


The story tells of a genuine event and shows, at the same time, that Christianity attracted the Varangians and that Christian influences were coming directly from Constantinople. The martyred Varangian was evidently a merchant who, after becoming a Christian in Constantinople, had returned to Kiev for business reasons.


The definite conversion of the Russians is due to the intervention of the Byzantines. The Emperor Basil II (976-1025) was endangered by the rebellion of Bardas Phocas, a pretender to the imperial throne, and he asked Vladimir, Olga’s grandson and Svjatoslav’s successor, to send auxiliaries to help him crush the revolt, according to the stipulations of the treaties concluded with Oleg in 943, and with Svjatoslav in 971, after his defeat. Vladimir was willing to oblige but, as a condition, he demanded to be given in marriage an imperial princess “born in purple.” The prestige of Byzantium was so great in Kiev that its ruler regarded it as the greatest honor to be related to the imperial house.


Vladimir sent six thousand Varyags to Byzantine territory in





the spring of 988, where, led by the emperor, they defeated the rebels in a crushing victory. They remained in the service of the emperor to the great satisfaction of Vladimir, who did not know what to do with them. This Varangian contingent, reinforced by new arrivals from Scandinavia, became an important factor in the Byzantine army.


When, after the defeat of the insurgents, the emperor hesitated to send an imperial bride to Vladimir, the latter invaded the Byzantine territory of Crimea and occupied Cherson. Finally, the emperor yielded and sent his own sister, Anne, daughter of the Emperor Romanus II, to Cherson. As she was “born in the purple” and the daughter of an emperor, Vladimir was satisfied. In 988 or 989 he was baptized in Cherson by its bishop, flanked by Greek priests who had accompanied the princess. Marriage followed, and Vladimir gave back the city of Cherson to his brother-in-law, the emperor, as a present.


The Russian Primary Chronicle reports that before deciding to abandon paganism Vladimir sent envoys to the Mussulman Bulgars, to the Jewish Khazars, to the Germans, and to Byzantium, asking them to investigate the relative merits of the religions practiced by these peoples. The envoys are said to have given a glowing description of the splendor and beauty of the liturgy they had seen and admired in the Byzantine churches. On the strength of their report, Vladimir decided to accept the eastern version of Christianity. Of course, this account is legendary, but it shows that cultural and political influences both of East and West were to be found in Kiev during the tenth century.


Western Christianity is also represented by the Germans in this account, and this recalls the hesitation of Olga between the East and the West. If we are to believe the report of the German Annals of Lambert, another Russian embassy went to Germany in 973 and was present at the last diet held by Otto I. This would indicate that Vladimir’s brother, Jaropolk, who occupied the throne after the death of Svjatoslav, and whom Vladimir had defeated, had again reopened negotiations with Otto I, which would lead us to believe that the attraction of the Germanic West was still quite strong in Kiev. [31]


Because the Russian Primary Chronicle speaks of an embassy sent from Rome to Vladimir after his baptism, some scholars have assumed that Rome played a leading part in the organization of





the new Kievan Church. This theory is completely unfounded. Vladimir did receive an embassy from Rome, not from the pope, but from his wife’s cousin, the Empress Theophano, widow of Otto II. The sister of Basil II had not fancied her union with a barbarian. Her cousin sympathized, for she, too, had had to marry a barbarian, the son of Otto I, for political reasons. Hence she sent her relics of some saints, together with a few words of consolation. At that time, she resided in Rome with her son Otto III; if the pope had anything to do with her embassy, it was simply to send his blessing to the Russian princess and her husband. [32]


The poor imperial princess, although so disinclined to union with a barbarian, at least found consolation in the knowledge that, for her sake, her husband had dismissed his five wives and his eight hundred concubines. But this seems to be too great a number even for a pagan Varyag. Surely the chronicler must have added to these figures, perhaps to demonstrate what a miraculous transformation holy baptism could make in a pagan soul. Vladimir endeavored to console his new wife by showing her how sincerely he appreciated his new faith. First, he ordered that the statue of the Slavic supreme god Perun “should be bound to a horse’s tail and dragged to the stream.” He appointed twelve men to beat the idol with sticks, in order to “affront the demon who had deceived man in this guise, that he might receive chastisement at the hands of men” as the chronicler has it. After they had dragged along the idol, they cast it into the Dnieper. Vladimir then organized another exhibition in an effort to console his new wife. All the inhabitants of Kiev, rich or poor, were ordered to gather on the banks of the Dnieper. Standing beside the princess, and with the bishop and priests from Cherson, he commanded the assembled multitude to go into the water to be baptized. The chronicler describes this remarkable scene with great relish. [33]


As' concerns the ecclesiastical organization of the Kievan Church, it seems that a compromise was reached by establishing the Archbishop of Cherson as a kind of supervisor of the young Russian Church. This state of affairs lasted until the reign of Jaroslav the Wise (1036-1054), on whose initiative Kiev was raised to metropolitan status. As Dimitri Obolensky suggested, it is possible that, according to an agreement concluded by the Russians with the Byzantines—probably under Jaroslav the Wise—





the metropolitan see of Kiev was to be held alternately by Greek and Russian prelates. Should a native be elected, he must be consecrated by the Patriarch of Constantinople. [34]


Although the methods adopted by Vladimir to implant Christianity were forceful, he encountered serious opposition only in Novgorod. It seems that the introduction of the Slavonic liturgy helped considerably in spreading the new faith across the Russian lands. It is not yet quite clear how and by whom Slavonic liturgy and Slavic letters were brought to Kievan Russia. In any case, Bulgarian priests were probably the most zealous propagators of Slavic letters, but we do not know when the first Slavic priests reached Kiev from Bulgaria. It was probably before the destruction of the first Bulgarian Empire by Basil II (1018). It is possible that priests from Bulgaria accompanied Svjatoslav’s army on its return to Kiev from Bulgaria in 972, after its defeat by the Byzantines.


Following the destruction of the first Bulgarian Empire, the exodus to Kiev of Slavic priests from their cultural centers must have increased considerably. The refugees brought with them not only Slavic liturgical books, but all the literary achievements of Slavic schools under Tsar Symeon (893-927), and Tsar Peter (927-989). It was a great contribution to the cultural development of the Kievan State. The Byzantines appear to have favored this exodus because, in this way, they were rid of a discontented element liable to threaten their rule in the Bulgarian provinces. The Patriarchs of Constantinople, though trying to reintroduce the Greek liturgy into Bulgaria, permitted the spread of Slavonic liturgy in Kiev, which was such a great distance from Byzantium.


These works brought by the Bulgarian refugees were written in a language based on a Macedonian dialect which, however, thanks to the philological genius of Constantine-Cyril and also of Methodius, became the official language of the Bulgarian Church and of the Bulgarian intellectual elite. [35] This language imported from the Balkans also became the language of the Russian Church, and the literary language of the Russian intellectuals.


*  *  *


On the basis of the Old Slavonic literary treasures which had





reached Kiev from Bulgaria, as well as from Bohemia, literary activity was developing. Many translations from the Greek were made in Kiev especially by the literary school of Jaroslav the Wise. They are mostly of a religious character. It is true that the Russian language developed an excellent philosophical terminology. This, however, is based not on translations of Greek philosophical works, but on Old Slavic translations of the works of the Greek Holy Fathers so familiar with classical philosophers. What a difference there is between the Russian and Arabic translations from the Greek! Before St. Thomas Aquinas, the works of Aristotle were known in the West only in Arabic translations, for the Arabs rivalled the Byzantines, not only in philosophy, but also in mathematics, geometry, and other sciences. Even the Armenians possessed translations of the works of some of the classical and Hellenistic philosophers, because they were converted to Christianity when interest in classical philosophy was very much alive in Byzantium.


In the tenth century the Byzantines were more interested in encyclopedic works, as illustrated, for example, by the literary activity of Constantine Porphyrogenitus and his circle. Because of this the Eastern Slavs became acquainted with certain sayings of Greek philosophers only from translations of encyclopedic works, particularly the Greek Melissa (Bee), and other similar writings. Only in historical compositions were the Kievan clergy able to develop a literature, based on the Byzantine model, and sometimes surpassing them, as we see particularly in the Russian Primary Chronicle. This is based on many sources, even including Scandinavian Sagas and the Life of St. Methodius, which had reached Kiev from Bohemia; the erudition of the compilers is genuine. It is rightly regarded as one of the best chronicles written during the Middle Ages in East and West. It became the basis of numerous local annalist compilations. Almost all Russian principalities and great cities had their own annalists. Very few Western nations possessed so many mediaeval chronicles.


Other original works were composed in Kiev or the Byzantine model—Duke Vladimir Monomach’s book of instruction for his children; Abbot Daniel’s description of his pilgrimage to the Holy Land; Pecherski Paterik, a collection of translated and original biographies; the sermons of Cyril of Turov (1185), who was compared to St. John Chrysostom; Clement Smoljatic, Metropolitan





of Kiev (1147-1155), who was accused of quoting Homer, Plato, and Aristotle in his sermons. Kievan literary products show, in general, more originality than works produced by the Bulgarian literary schools.


Russian epic literature was also influenced by the translation of the great Greek epic of Digenis Akritas, describing the fight of Byzantine frontiersmen with the Arabs. The most original Kievan epic poem is the Lay of Igor’s Campaign of the twelfth century. [36]


*  *  *


We should stress yet another character of Kievan Christianity. Although the Byzantine impact on its development is incontestable and very profound, the Kievan Christians were conscious that their Church was a sister to all older Churches, and wanted to stay in union with them. This seems attested by the embassies which Vladimir is said to have sent to all famous Christian centers and shrines—to Jerusalem, Egypt (probably Alexandria), Babylon, and Rome, informing the old Christian centers that his country had entered into the Christian commonwealth. [37]


This is also indicated by the lively contact with the Bohemian Old Slavonic clergy, by the popularity which some Western saints enjoyed in the Kievan Church, by the ready acceptance of translations of Western saints, [38] and by the contact with Western Catholic courts. [39]


Another interesting and characteristic trait of Kievan Christianity is the tendency to connect its Christian origin with an apostle and with that of other Slavic nations. In this respect we find in the Primary Chronicle a very curious passage. [40] The author describes the requests addressed to Michael III by Rastislav, Svatopluk, and Kotsel (sic!) to send them a teacher who would reveal to them the words of the Scriptures, and how the emperor prevailed upon the sons of Leo of Thessalonica, Constantine and Methodius, to undertake the mission. He relates the discovery of the Slavic alphabet, the first translations of the Holy Book into the Slavic language, the defense of the Slavic books by Constantine, and the approval of the innovation by the pope. He even goes on:


“Prince Kotsel appointed Methodius Bishop of Pannonia in the see of St. Andronicus, one of the Seventy, a disciple of the





holy Apostle Paul. Methodius chose two priests who were very rapid writers, and translated the whole of the Scriptures in full from Greek into Slavic in six months between March and the twenty-sixth day of October. After completing the task, he appropriately rendered praise and honor to God, who had bestowed such a blessing upon Bishop Methodius, the successor of Andronicus. Now Andronicus is the apostle of the Slavic race. He travelled among the Moravians, and the Apostle Paul taught there likewise. For in that region is Illyricum, whither Paul first repaired and where the Slavs originally lived. Since Paul is the teacher of the Slavic race, from which the Russians too are sprung, even so the Apostle Paul is the teacher of us Russians, for he preached to the Slavic nation, and appointed Andronicus as Bishop and successor to himself among them. But the Slavs and the Russians are one people, for it is because of the Varangians that they latterly became known as Rus’, though originally they were Slavs.”


These passages mostly interested only Slavic historians and specialists in Old Slavonic literature, who tried to discover the probable sources used by the author of the Primary Chronicle. As already said, the main source of this passage is the Life of St. Methodius, with modifications of later Bulgarian origin to which the many inaccuracies in the recital are due. What interests us here is the insistence on the apostolic origin of the Slavic Church, on the fact that Methodius was a successor of St. Andronicus, “one of the Seventy, a disciple of the holy Apostle Paul.” In his desire to bring Andronicus and his master Paul as near to the Slavs and the Russians as possible, the author invents the story that the Slavs lived primitively in Illyricum “whither Paul first repaired.” Therefore St. Paul is the teacher of the Slavs and also of the Russians who are Slavs. This insistence on an apostolic origin of the Slavic Church is explained by the desire of the young Kievan Church to show that the Russians are no “poor relations” of other Christian nations, because they are entitled to claim both St. Andronicus and St. Paul as their patron saints. This is certainly an improvement on the legend about the Apostle Andrew, who is said to have travelled in Russia, but before the country was Christian.


*  *  *





This was, however, not enough. The young Kievan Church needed also to exalt its first Christian ruler who was, on his merits, not inferior to the first Byzantine Christian ruler, St. Constantine the Great.


This idea inspired the Metropolitan of Kiev Ilarion (Hilarion) who, about the middle of the eleventh century, composed the famous Treatise on Law and Grace, one of the most remarkable writings of the Kievan period. After discussing God’s plan of human salvation—first the Mosaic Law and Jewish history, then its realization through the Savior, the source of grace—Ilarion enumerates the main nations and their Christian teachers in the following way: [41]


With grateful voices the Roman land praises Peter and Paul, through whom it was induced to believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God; Asia and Ephesus, John the Theologian of Patmos; India, Thomas; Egypt, Mark—all these countries, cities, and peoples, venerate and praise the teachers who instructed each of them in the orthodox faith. Let even us thus praise with modest paeans our great miraculous [man] who became our teacher and instructor, the great Khagan of our land—Vladimir.


Then Ilarion describes the virtues of the first Russian Christian ruler in the spirit of treatises on kingship, preserved from the Hellenistic and Byzantine periods, which praised the king as benefactor of his people. Byzantine inspiration is even more perceptible in the following passage :


How much you should be praised, because you have not only confessed that Christ is the Son of God, but you have established the faith in this entire land. You have erected churches to Christ, and have guided his servants. You are similar to Constantine the Great, you are equally wise, and you love Christ as much, and therefore you equally deserve respect from his servants. Constantine, with the holy Fathers of the Nicaean Council, established the law for men, and you, after deliberating often with our new Fathers, the bishops, have announced with much humility how the law should be kept by men newly acquainted with it. While he established the Kingdom of God among Greeks and Romans, you [accomplished something] similar, O praiseworthy one, because Christ is recognized as Tsar among them and among us, and whilst he and his mother, Helena, brought the Cross from Jerusalem, and sending to all his empire, confirmed the faith, you again like them, brought the Cross from the new Jerusalem—the city of





Constantinople—and after planting it in your land confirmed [the faith].


Thus Russia had a new Constantine who was similar to the first Christian emperor—Constantine, the isoapostolos—similar to the apostles.


*  *  *


Byzantium’s legacy to Russia was especially generous in the arts. [42] If one wants to study Byzantine architecture and the art of the eleventh century, one has to go to Kiev. A jewel of Byzantine art is the church of Holy Wisdom, begun by Jaroslav the Wise. Its mosaics and frescoes are particularly striking, and native artists soon began to imitate them. The church of Holy Wisdom in Novgorod and the Nereditsa church were imitations of the Kievan church. Its crown of thirteen cupolas appealed especially to Russian taste and became the classic feature of Russian religious architecture.


A new architectural style was introduced by the Byzantine masters at the end of the eleventh century. The church of Our Lady’s Assumption in Kiev was its typical example. Its style was copied by two other churches in Kiev, and the type was introduced also to Černigov. One of these churches, that of St. Michael with the Golden Cupola (1108), was decorated by the native monk Olympus, whose work is one of the finest examples of medieval Russian religious art. Native masters were also working with the Byzantines on the frescoes in the churches of Novgorod and Vladimir. The practice of painting icons also owes its origin to Byzantine inspiration.


This development was interrupted in Kievan Russia by the Mongol invasion toward the end of the thirteenth century. Fortunately the Kievan artistic traditions were preserved in Novgorod, the only principality that survived the onslaught. There a new school of architects, formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, improved the inherited traditions under the influence of the Byzantine renaissance of art during the period of the Palaeologan dynasty. Also, the Novgorod school of icon painters was famous in the fourteenth century.


The Novgorod artistic traditions were passed on to Moscow in the fifteenth century. Contacts with the West through Venice,





with Serbian and Bulgarian schools, and especially with the Italo-Cretan school famous for the Byzantine icons of a Western Renaissance character, brought about a revival of Russian painting during the Muscovite period from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century. The Greek Theophanes with his “illusionism” introduced the new fashion of icon painting. The most famous painter was Rublev (died 1430), followed by Daniel Černý and Dionysius. The latter’s frescoes at the Therapontov monastery (1500-1581) in Moscow are sometimes compared with the works of Giotto. Icon painting became a Russian national art, and it is to be regretted that its further development was stopped by the westernization introduced by Peter the Great.


During the Mongol period Russian architects made good progress in the craft of wood carving. Improving on their Byzantine models, they created new types of quadrilateral, octagonal and cruciform wooden churches. These often have a great number of onion-shaped domes and curiously pointed gables. The new period of Moscow stone architecture drew its inspiration from the old Vladimir-Suzdal school. The Italian Renaissance architects were bound to conform to the old Russian tradition, by order of Ivan III. The cathedral of the Assumption in the Kremlin is the finest work of this period (1475-9). Artisans from Pskov who built the cathedral of Annunciation (1490) reverted to native tradition, which followed the architecture of the wooden churches. Italian architects replaced their Greek counterparts in Moscow, fusing the Renaissance style with Russian forms. But the Russian architects soon mastered the new technique and adapted the forms peculiar to the national craft of woodwork to stone architecture. Many buildings were constructed in this new style, the finest of them being the cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed on Red Square in Moscow. Here we see the final stage of the evolution that took its origin from Byzantium.


*  *  *


The Byzantine impact was also considerable in the development of Russian jurisprudence. The first Slavonic handbook of civil law was a compilation called Zakon sudnyj ljudem, which was composed by disciples of Constantine-Cyril and Methodius for the Moravians, and had reached Kiev from Bulgaria. [43] It was





based on the Byzantine law handbook Ecloga, which was in use in Byzantium in the ninth century. But the original text of the Ecloga, and of the new handbook Procheiron, translated in Bulgaria, had also become known in Kievan Russia. In addition, the Byzantine Agrarian Law (Nomos Georgicos) was translated in the twelfth or thirteenth century. The ecclesiastical legislation was also Byzantine. It was a collection of Canon Law of John Scholasticus, a heritage from Archbishop Methodius of Moravia, and the Collection of Fourteen Titles. It is interesting to note that all these translations of civil and canon laws were united in Russia in the so-called Pilot’s book (Kormčaja Kniga) used by ecclesiastical courts in the Kievan and Muscovite period.


The first Slavic Code was so popular in Russia that a second edition was made, probably in the eleventh century. The original contained only thirty-two titles. To these forty-five more were added. Sixteen were adapted from the Greek “Mosaic Law,” the others were based on Byzantine law, and also on Russian customary law. [44]


In this respect, however, the Russians showed their independence from Byzantine legal practices. There had existed in Kiev a customary law before the conversion to Christianity, and the Kievan courts in many cases had to follow it. It was codified in the eleventh century in the legal collection called Russkaja Pravda (Russian law). This handbook continued to be used in Russian courts to the end of the Muscovite period. The language in which this codification was composed is not Old Slavonic, which is based on a Macedonian dialect and was promoted by Cyril, Methodius, and their disciples, to become the language in which most literary works were written. The Russkaja Pravda was written in the idiom spoken by the native Russian, which was probably also used in the courts. [45]


*  *  *


Some independence from Byzantine political ideas was manifested in Kievan Russia, such as in political philosophy and government. Together with the Byzantine version of Christianity, Russia also accepted the main principle of Byzantine political theory, based on the Hellenistic notion of the divinized king and adapted to Christian principles. According to this theory, the





Emperor of Constantinople was appointed by God as His representative on earth, and was therefore supreme legislator, even in ecclesiastical matters, for all Christians. [46] This kind of subordination to the Emperor of Constantinople, successor of Constantine the Great, in which Russia was held during the first four centuries of its existence, was perfectly compatible with the political independence of the Grand Prince of Kiev and other princes.


The other main principle of the Byzantine political theory was, namely, that the emperor, being instituted by God, was an autocrat wielding absolute power, was not applied to the political organization of the Kievan State. The Rurik dynasty preferred the old native system of division of the state into principalities governed by its members, the eldest of them becoming the Grand Prince of Kiev. The system of the večes—city councils which participated in the government of principalities or city states—was maintained, although it limited considerably the powers of the princes.


But, as concerns the relations between state and church, Kievan Russia accepted the Byzantine principle expressed by Justinian in his Novel VI on the Imperium and Sacerdotium, stressing the divine origin of both, the necessity of intimate relations between these two main factors in human society, the rulers role in establishing harmony between the spiritual and temporal powers, and his right, or rather his duty, to watch over the church. [47] The Kievan clergy willingly transferred these prerogatives to the Grand Prince of Kiev. The willing acceptance of this Justinian principle helps us to understand why the Russian hierarchy had made it its first task to be on good terms with the ruling princes. The preservation of a harmonious relationship between the Sacerdotium and Imperium—one of the leading principles of Byzantine political philosophy—became also the guiding star for political and religious development in Russia for many centuries.


The Byzantine system of absolute monarchy was applied for the first time in Russia by Andrew Bogoliubsky in the new principality of Vladimir-Suzdal established between the rivers Volga and Oka. His attitude seemed to be so strange and hateful that in 1174 he paid with his life for his despotic policy. [48]


It was only under the Mongol rule that the Russians learned to appreciate absolutism. The first attempts at strengthening the





power of the princes were made again in the principality of Vladimir-Suzdal, where the princes of Moscow had succeeded in subduing the princes of the territory. They found little difficulty in establishing gradually absolute power among the Russians. All the Byzantine notions of monarchism and absolutism were contained in the legal writings inherited from Byzantium, and needed only local adaptation. [49] In this the Russian Church, imbued with Byzantine principles as outlined in Byzantine writings, favored monarchism, as did her Byzantine confrères; when the Metropolitan of Kiev, the head of the Russian Church, eventually settled in Moscow (1326), the city rose to power uncontested. Dimitri Donskoy’s victory over the Tatars confirmed its supremacy and inaugurated the liberation from the Mongol yoke which the genius of Ivan III the Great completed in 1480. Russian absolutism was firmly established by Basil II and Ivan III. The latter declared in a Byzantine fashion that by God’s grace he was hereditary sovereign of the state, having received the investiture from God Himself, as had his ancestors. But it was not enough. The disciple wanted to replace his master—Byzantium.


When the Byzantines had concluded the union of their Church with the West after the Council of Florence (1439), the Grand Prince Basil II and the Russian clergy denounced Byzantium’s betrayal of Orthodoxy. When Constantinople fell in 1453—which was God’s punishment for its betrayal—Ivan III was the legitimate successor of the Greek Basileus, and Moscow was henceforth to be known as the Third Rome.


In 1547 Ivan IV lent concrete and final expression to this general feeling by accepting the imperial crown and officially assuming the title of Tsar. The court of Moscow was organized on the Byzantine model, and the Tsar defined his absolute powers in words which not even a Byzantine emperor would have dared to use. The creation of the Moscow patriarchate in 1589 finally sealed the transition. [50]


So it happened that the barbaric Slavic tribes which were converted and educated by Byzantium had developed into a mighty nation, which outgrew its former teacher and took its place of precedence over al]. Eastern Christians, jealously guarding and developing the cultural, religious, and political ideas inherited from Byzantium, a unique example in the history of the Slavs and of Christianity.




1. Cf. F. Haase, Apostel und Evangelisten in den orientalischen Überlieferungen (Münster i. W., 1922), pp. 259-263, 273-275; idem, Alt christliche Kirchengeschichte nach orientalischen Quellen (Leipzig, 1925), p. 47 ff. For Armenia, see also J. Markwart, J. Messina, “Die Entstehung der armenischen Bistümer,” Orientalin Christiana, 27, no. 80 (1932). See the short history on the Christianization of Armenia by L. Petit in Dictionnaire de théologie catholique (Paris, 1931), cols. 1892-1896.


2. Cf. R. Janin, “Georgie,” Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, 6 (1924), p. 1244 ff.


3. See a short description of Justinian’s missionary efforts in these regions in F. Dvornik, Les Slaves, Byzance et Rome au IXe siècle (Paris, 1926), pp. 64-66, 70.


4. I discussed the problems concerning the legendary Acts of Andrew, his preaching in Scythia, his legendary travel from Sinope to Byzantium and Patras, where he is supposed to have died, in my book The Idea of Apostolicity in Byzantium and the Legend of the Apostle Andrew (Cambridge, 1958), p. 138 ff.


5. I quote from the English translation made by S. H. Cross and O. P. Sherbowitz-Wetzor, The Russian Primary Chronicle, Laur antian Text (Cambridge, Mass., 1953), pp. 53, 54. Original edition by A. A. Šachmatov, Povjest vremennykh let (Petrograd, 1966); ed. V. I. Adrianovoj-Perets (Moscow, 1950).


6. On the Christianization of the Goths in general and especially on the Goths in the Crimea, see the work by A. A. Vasiliev, The Goths in the Crimea (Cambridge, Mass., 1936), pp. 3-70 (The Early Period of Christianity and the Epoch of the Migrations). F. Dvornik, Les Slaves, p. 143 ff.


7. Cf., especially for bibliography and appreciation of the finds, J. Werner, “Slawische Bügelfibeln des 7. Jahrhunderts,” Reinecke Festschrift, ed. by G. Behrens, J. Werner (Mainz, 1950), p. 168 ff. Especially see the publication of the treasure of Perescĕpina by A. Bobrinskoj in Materialy po archeologii Rossii, vol. 34 (1914), pp. 111—120, plates 1-16.


8. On the history of the Khazars from their origin to the ninth century, on Christian missions among them, and on their conversion to Judaism, see my book, Les légendes de Constantin et de Méthode vues de Byzance (Prague, 1933), p. 148 ff. Cf. also above, p. 65 ff.





9. See F. Dvornik, Les legendes, p. 164; cf. also A. A. Vasiliev, The Goths in the Crimea, pp. 96—97. Recently G. von Rauch "Frühe christliche Spuren in Russland," Saeculum, 7 (1956), pp. 40-67, esp. p. 50. Von Rauch's study gives more details on the subject than the study by V. A. Mošin, "Christianstvo v Rossii do sv. Vladimira" (Christianity in Russia before St. Vladimir), Vladimirskij Shornik Beograd, 1938), pp. 1-19. An interesting attempt to show that the legendary founder of Kiev—Kyyě—had become Christian after an unsuccessful attack on Constantinople was made by E. Ericsson in his paper The Earliest Conversion of the Rus' to Christianity,” The Slavonic and East European Review, 44 (1966), pp. 98—121. The author attributes this conversion to the Emperor Theophilus and the Patriarch John the Grammarian. He identifies also the Rhôs, whom Theophilus had recommended to Louis the Pious for safeconduct to their native country, with the Slavs of Kiev. Because this first attempt was made by iconoclasts, it was obliterated by the iconodoules after the victory over iconoclasm. He thinks also that the people of Derbent to whom Constantine-Cyril was sent were the remnants of Kievan Christian Slavs under Khazar rule. This attempt is too daring and in collision with sources which are more reliable than this interpretation of Russian chronicles and Byzantine sources. Therefore this attempt cannot be accepted.


10. I made a thorough study of this Notitia in my book Les légendes, p. 160 ff., where I tried to identify the names listed there.


11. For documentation, see B. Spicyn, "Archeologija v temach načal'noj letopisi" (Archaeology in the Time of the Early Period), Shornik v čest' S. F. Platonova (St. Petersburg, 1922), pp. 1-12; cf. I. Stratonov, "Die Krim und ihre Bedeutung für die Christianisierung der Ostslaven," Kyrios, 1 (1936), p. 385; von Rauch, "Frühe christliche Spuren," p. 55.


12. See above, p. 121 ff.


13. I discussed the history of the Varyags and their discovery of the Volga and Dnieper routes in my book, The Making of Central and Eastern Europe (London, 1949), p. 61 ff., where all the most important bibliography on these problems will be found. See also the more recent discussion of the problem by H. Paszkiewicz, The Origin of Russia (London, 1954), pp. 109-132.


14. MGH Ss 1, p. 434, ed. G. Waitz (1883), pp. 19, 20; H. Paszkiewicz, The Origin of Russia, pp. 116, 124, 172, 414.


15. See for details, F. Dvornik, The Making, p. 313 ff.; G. Da Costa-Louillet, "Y eut-il des invasions russes dans l'empire byzantin avant 860?" Byzantion, 15 (1940, 1941), pp. 231-248. H. Paszkiewicz, The Origin, pp. 421, 422.





16. See above, Ch. II, p. 50. See F. Dvornik, The Making, pp. 312, 313, more recently H. Paszkiewicz, The Origin, p. 422. Cf. A. L. Jakobson, “Ranne srednevekovyj Chersones" (Chersones during the Early Middle Ages), Materialy i issledovanija po archeologii SSSR, vol. 63 (1959), pp. 46-66, for opinions of Russian scholars on the history of Cherson and Russians during the ninth and tenth centuries. On the Russian attack, see the English translation of Photius" two sermons on it by C. Mango, “The Homilies of Photius Patriarch of Constantinople," Dumbarton Oaks Studies 3 (Cambridge, 1958), pp. 74-122, with notes and complete bibliography. On editions and translations of these two Homilies see ibid., pp. 34-37. The easiest accessible Greek text was reprinted by C. Müller in his Fragmenta historicorum graecorum, 5 (Paris, 1883), pp. 162-173. A. A. Vasiliev, The Russian Attack on Constantinople (Cambridge, Mass., 1946). On the duration of the attack, see H. Grégoire, P. Orgels, “Les invasions russes dans le Synaxaire de Constantinople," Byzantion, 24 (1954), pp. 141-145.


17. F. Dvornik, Les légendes, p. 172 ff. Cf. also above, p. 65. On the Khazars see above, p. 68 ft.


18. Cf. above, p. 124.


19. Photii Epistolae, PG, 102, col. 736 D-737 C. Cf. F. Dvornik, Les Slaves, pp. 143-145.


20. See for details, F. Dvornik, The Making, pp. 65-67. The Russian Primary Chronicle (English translation quoted above), p. 61.


21. It is described in detail in The Russian Primary Chronicle, pp. 64-69.


22. The Russian Primary Chronicle (English translation), pp. 71-79.


23. See for details, F. Dvornik, The Making, pp. 67-69.


24. Cf. Vita Anskarii auctore Rimberto, ed. B. Schneid in Scriptores rerum germanicarum in usum scholarum (Hannover, 1917). E. de Moreau, Saint Anschaire, missionnaire en Scandinavie au IXe siècle (Louvaine, 1930). Between 852-853 Ansgar won even King Olaf for Christianity. He seems to have left Rimbert as bishop in Sweden.


25. On Otto's religious policy concerning the Slavs, see F. Dvornik, The Making, pp. 60, 68-70, 73, 167.


26. On Svjatoslav, see F. Dvornik, The Making, pp. 89, 90; G. Ostrogorsky, History of the Byzantine State (New Brunswick, 1969), pp. 292, 295 ft.


27. Cf. N. F. Okunic Kazarin, Sputnik po drevnemu Pskovu (Guide to Ancient Pskov) (Pskov, 1913), pp. 68, 69, 89, 113, 234, 262, on traditions concerning Olga’s activity in Pskov. Cf. G. v. Rauch, “Frühe christliche Spuren," p. 66.


28. Filaret of Černigov, Istorija russkoj tserkvi (St. Petrograd, 1862), 4th ed., vol. 1, p. 7.





29. A. M. Amann, Abriss der ostslavischen Kirchengeschichte (Vienna, 1950), p. 14,


30. Year 6491, English translation, pp. 95, 96, 244 (commentary) with bibliography on the names of the two martyrs.


31. Annals of Lampert, MGH Ss 3, p. 63. For details, see F. Dvornik, The Making, p. 169 ff.; G. Ostrogorsky, History of the Byzantine State, p. 269 ff.


32. F. Dvornik, The Making, p. 175. It is useless to repeat the different theories about the origins of Christianity in Kiev. They were neither Roman, nor Scandinavian, nor Bulgarian, but Byzantine. See a concise bibliography on those theories in D. Obolensky’s paper, “Byzantium, Kiev, and Moscow,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 11 (1957), pp. 23, 24. The problem is definitely solved.


33. Read the picturesque description of the scenes in the Primary Chronicle, year 6496, English translation, p. 111 ff.


34. Obolensky’s study, “Byzantium, Kiev, and Moscow,” DO, 11 (1957), pp. 23-78, gives an interesting appreciation of ecclesiastical relations between the Russian Church and the patriarchate of Constantinople. Although he was not able to bring more convincing evidence for his thesis, his proposed solution of these relations can be accepted as most probable.


35. Cf. the appreciation of the Church Slavonic language, based on a Slavic dialect, rich in vocabulary, and modelled according to the Greek syntax, by F. Grivec, Konstantin und Method, pp. 197-209. See also the study by A. Dostál, “Sprachenprobleme in der Zeit Cyrills und Methods,” Das Grossmährische Reich (Prague, 1966, Czechoslovak Academy), pp. 329-355. Cf. also bibliographical remarks by R. Večerka, “Grossmähren und sein Kulturerbe in den Arbeiten der tschechischen Philologie der Nachkriegszeit,” ibid., pp. 355-377.


36. I am limiting myself only to some general remarks in order to show the impact of Byzantium on Kievan literary production. I have treated the subject in detail in my The Making, p. 236 ff.; The Slavs, their Early History and Civilization (Boston, 1956), p. 189 ff., where the most relevant bibliography will be found. Cf. also my paper, The Slavs Between East and West, Marquette University Slavic Institute Papers (Milwaukee, 1964), p. 4 ff.


37. They are reported by the Chronicle of Nikon and the Book of Degrees, edited in the Polnoe sobranie russkich letopisij, vol. IX, p. 68 (ad a. 6509), Nikon’s chronicle; vol. 21, p. 127, ch. 67, Book of Degrees. Cf. F. Dvornik, The Making, p. 175.


38. See above, p. 219 ff.


39. See F. Dvornik, “The Kiev State and its Relations with Western Europe,” Transactions of the R. Historical Society, vol. 29 (London, 1947), pp. 27-46, reprinted in Essays in Mediaeval History, ed. R. W.





Southern (London, 1968), pp. 1-23. For more details, see N. de Baumgarten, “Généalogies et mariages occidentaux des Rurikides russes du Xe au XIIIe siècle," Orientalia Christiana, nos. 35, 94 (Rome, 1927, 1934).


40. Years 6396-6406, English transl., pp. 42, 43.


41. F. G. Kalugin, Illarion, mitropolit Kievskij i ego tserkovnoučitel'nyja proizvedenija (Illarion, Metropolitan of Kiev, and his Religious and Didactic Works), Pamjatniki drevne-russk učit. literatury, 1 (St. Petersburg, 1894). I am following here the translation from the original used by me in the paper, “Byzantine Political Ideas in Kievan Russia," Dumbarton Oaks Papers, 9, 10 (1956), pp. 103, 104.


42. I am limiting myself to giving only a general picture of Byzantine influences on the development of art in the Kievan State which was inherited by Muscovy. I treated this problem in more detail in my The Making, p. 239 If.; The Slavs, their Early History and Civilization, p. 223 ff.; The Slavs in European History and Civilization, pp. 316-319, 519, 524. In both works will be found also the most important bibliography on Russian art. A precise description will be found in my contribution to The Root of Europe, ed. M. Huxley (London, 1952), pp. 85-95 (Byzantium and the North), pp. 95-106 (Byzantine Influences in Russia).


43. Cf. above, pp. 178-180.


44. Indications as to the editions of these works, their history, and the most important bibliography on Kievan jurisprudence, the reader will find in my paper, “Byzantine Political Ideas in Kievan Russia," DO, 9, 10 (1956).


45. This difference is well illustrated by R. O. Unbegaum in his paper, “L'héritage cyrillo-méthodien en Russie," in Cyrillo-Methodiana, ed. Görresgesellschaft (Cologne, Graz, 1964), pp. 470, 482.


46. On the development of this Hellenistic theory and its adaptation to the Christian teaching, see my book Early Christian and Byzantine Political Philosophy, Origin, and Background, Dumbarton Oaks Studies, Vol. 9 (Washington, 1966), vol. 2, ch. X, p. 611 ff.


47. See the English translation of the Novel from the Kormčaja kniga (Pilot's Book) in my paper “Byzantine Political Ideas," DO, 9, 10 (1956), pp. 82, 83.


48. For details see F. Dvornik, The Slavs, pp. 215, 251.


49. This was shown in my paper, “Byzantine Political Ideas," in all detail.


50. I have tried to outline this development in my book The Slavs in European History, especially in ch. XV, p. 362 ff. The history of the growth of absolute monarchism in Muscovy and the role of the Church in this development would deserve a special, more detailed study.


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