of Daniil Aleksandrovich (1263-1303) annexed the lands of their kinfolk and rivals alike and secured Mongol approval for passing on the senior title of grand prince to their successors. In 1325 the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Peter, established his residence in Moscow at the court of Prince Ivan I (1325-40), which gave a major boost to the arts. In 1327 Peter and Ivan laid the foundations of the first stone-built Dormition cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin. Churches dedicated to the Dormition (Uspenie) of the Mother of God were credited with miraculous properties, based on the apocryphal stories of the assumption of Mary's body and soul into heaven from Jerusalem in the presence of the Apostles. In Constantinople what were alleged to be her coffin and shroud became associated with the protection of the city against enemy raids and with the victory of Orthodox Christians over non-Christians. In Kiev the eleventh-century church of the Dormition in the Caves monastery was inspired by the miraculous vision of Mary vouchsafed to a converted pagan. Mary is also said to have burned a plan in the ground with fire from heaven. Thus churches supposedly designed by Mary herself became models for later Dormition cathedrals, of which the grandest was built in Vladimir in the twelfth century.21 The construction of Moscow's Dormition cathedral expressed a belief in the transfer of God's grace to Moscow by way of Jerusalem, Constantinople, Kiev and Vladimir. The building's meaning was rooted in universal history and linked with sacred landscapes. It and other major cathedrals became key locations for the celebration of the liturgy in times of national victory and danger, as well as centres for the collection of the holiest icons and other cult objects.

Monasteries provided further protection for Moscow, both practical and spiritual. In about 1354 the future St Sergii of Radonezh (c. 1314-92) founded the Holy Trinity monastery (lavra) 40 kilometres to the north of the city. In Moscow itself in the i360s-i370s the Saviour-Andronikov, Chudov (Miracles) and Simonov monasteries were established. Further north Kirill of Beloozero (d.1447) built a monastery on a lake, which attracted the settlement of many hermits in the area, and in the 1420s Saints Zosima and Savatii founded the Solovetskii monastery on the White Sea. Painters developed the iconography of these and other monastic saints, the earliest surviving examples of which may suggest the inward gaze of hesychasm. The doctrine and practice of hesychasm (Greek ^ctuxoct^os, quietude) took form on Mount Athos in the fourteenth century and reached Russia from Constantinople and the Balkans.

21 D. S. Likhachev, 'Gradozashchitnaia semantika Uspenskikh khramovna Rusi', in Uspen-skii sobor Moskovskogo Kremlia, ed. E. S. Smirnova (Moscow: Nauka, 1985), 17-23.

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