Info

have commissioned a work listing the current ranking-order of sees side by side with a traditional version.44

One example of the speed with which the ecclesiastical authorities reacted to the unexpected is the see instituted at the headquarters of the Golden Horde on the Lower Volga. The see of Sarai, named after the encampment that sprang up there, received in 1261 a certain Mitrofan, seemingly its first incumbent. Although Mitrofan himself was apparently Rus-born, appointed by the Rus metropolitan, his immediate successors were Greek-speakers and in close touch with Constantinople. In 1276, for example, Bishop Theognostos attended a meeting of the patriarchal synod and posed questions of canon law and Christian discipline. The synod's answers deal with such questions as what the bishop should do if he wished to celebrate mass and only had priests to hand, rather than (more appropriately) deacons. The responses made allowances for the steppe world in which the bishop was officiating. Masses could be celebrated without deacons, if none were available; consecrated bread could be transported around and former sacred vessels could be restored and reused. However, a priest who had fought in battle must be dismissed from office if he had killed anyone. And the prelates ofneighbouring sees were not to visit Sarai and claim the right to look after members of their congregations there,45 which suggests a predisposition of Orthodox churchmen to frequent the new power centre. Theognostos and his successors served as intermediaries between the khans and the Constantinopolitan authorities, while also brokering the frequent visits of the metropolitans and princes of Rus to the khan's court. In fostering this Christian out-station, the patriarchs of Constantinople acted in close liaison with the emperors, who generally sought amicable relations with the leaders of the Golden Horde, as pillars of stability on their northern approaches and allies against the Turks in Asia Minor. Illegitimate daughters of all three of the first Palaiologan emperors were married to khans, maintaining themselves at Sarai with sizeable entourages. Thus dynastic ties enlivened the Byzantine ecclesiastical presence on the Lower Volga from the turn of the thirteenth century, an example of the way the imperial-ecclesiastical complex extended its reach across the pax mongolica in competition with the Latin church.

The patriarchal registers also deal with issues of church order in the eastern Black Sea region. Alania is the subject of several entries. Its metropolitan

44 RPK11, no. 138, 300-1; Reg. no. 2235; Notitiae episcopatuum, ed. Darrouzes, 179-81; J. Darrouzes, 'Le traite des transferts. Edition critique et commentaire', REB 42 (1984), 169.

45 'Otvety konstantinopol'skogo patriarshogo sobora', in RIB vi, prilozheniia 1, cols. 8-12; Reg. no. 1427.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment