Church Father Athanasios of Alexandria and of the Forty Martyrs, but also of 'the new Lithuanian martyrs', as its inscription terms them.93 Surviving letters of Kiprian addressed to Sergii presuppose that the patriarch and his synod together with the emperor were joint upholders of order within the church. The imperial-ecclesiastical complex held the key to the newly sacred, as well as to martyrs of old.
Kirill of Beloozero likewise showed enthusiasm for the Desert Fathers and for writings setting out their ways. He filled his monastery's library with a similar array of books to that in Sergii's Trinity monastery, whose holdings bear comparison with those available to monks in well-stocked Byzantine houses.94 To impart general knowledge about church history and exemplary societies Kirill used textbooks originally intended for Byzantine secondary schools, but glossing them with historical notes, to make them more accessible to his pupils. He himself compiled an encyclopaedia with the aim of providing a manual for right thinking and pure living, for individual contemplation and eventual enlightenment.95 Kyrill paid particular attention to the 'sketes - semi-eremitic houses - of Palestine and Mount Athos, because they offered an ideal spiritual environment. He included in his encyclopaedia the 'skete rule' (Skitskoi ustav), regulations composed earlier in the fourteenth century, whether in Greek or in Slavonic by someone familiar with contemporary Greek. It has been suggested that what appears to be a sketch-map on the encyclopaedia's manuscript is Kirill's attempt to adapt the standard layout of an Athonite skete to the lie of the land at Beloozero.96
Preoccupation with inner perfection and dedication to a better, invisible, world were compatible with care for the local secular population and also with evangelisation. The most celebrated embodiment of these qualities is Stefan, whose Life was composed by a contemporary, Epifanii the Wise, writing in the same mannered 'word-weaving' style that he used for his Life of Sergii of Radonezh. Stefan, son of a clergyman in 'the land of midnight', became a monk in Rostov, where the bishop, Parthenios, was apparently a Greek; he learnt Greek and always kept Greek books in his cell. Stefan was ordained a
93 V A. Kuchkin, 'Sergii Radonezhskii i "Filoveevskii krest"', in Drevnerusskoe iskusstvo. SergiiRadonezhskii i khudozhestvennaiakul'turaMoskvy XIV-XV vv., ed. M. A. Orlova etal. (St Petersburg: D. Bulanin, 1998), 16-22; Baronas, 'Three martyrs ofVilnius', 89-90,120-1.
94 I. Sevcenko, 'Russo-Byzantine relations after the eleventh century', reprinted in his Byzantium and the Slavs in letters and culture (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute 1991), no. 20, 274.
95 Entsiklopediia russkogo igumena XIV-XV vv., ed. G. M. Prokhorov (St Petersburg: Oleg Abyshko, 2003), 149-55 (text); 341 (commentary).
96 Ibid., 19-28 (introduction); 158-65 (text); 345-53 (commentary).
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