all impacted upon the Muscovite state. Integral parts of pre-Tatar Rus - russo-phone, Orthodox territories in the west and south which will eventually form the modern Belarus and Ukraine - came under the rule of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (in alliance with Catholic Poland), fracturing the nascent Rus nation into two communities (often in rivalry) with very different political and religious experiences. In the fifteenth century the western Russians (to the Byzantines, 'Little Russians') managed to acquire their own metropolitan. Regional identities remained of paramount importance in Tver, Riazan, Iaroslav, Rostov, Viatka, Novgorod and Pskov, until the Muscovite grand princes swallowed these autonomous territories in their 'gathering-in of the Russian lands'.

Modern historiography no longer regards piety and culture as the preserve of elites, and the body of this chapter is concerned with the variegated material fabric of Russian life and the rich spectrums of belief and ritual shared by Russian society. Historians continue to grapple with dichotomies such as 'high' and 'low' culture, 'elite' and 'popular' belief, and seek to portray the diversity of a religious experience both male and female, clerical and lay, monastic and parish, urban and rural. To a certain extent, these historiograph-ical dichotomies have been modified by the recognition of the fundamentally shared or common (if complex) nature of medieval and early modern Christian belief. By the sixteenth century, at least in the christianised communities of Russia (there were pagan 'subject peoples' and fluctuating Muslim and Jewish minorities throughout this period), peasant and prince alike regulated their lives according to the church calendar of fasts and feasts, generally used Christian names and marked the transitions of birth, marriage and death with Orthodox sacrament and ritual.4 In supplication or thanksgiving they turned to pilgrimage, saints' cults and miraculous icons. They spoke a common language of devotion, and, if literature was primarily a medium of the educated, the culture of church architecture, liturgy, music, painting was accessible to all the faithful. Nor were proscribed forms of belief and practice confined to particular social classes or estates - local clergy as well as peasant women were reprimanded for practising charms and curses, and heretics were to be found in the entourage of the grand prince as well as amongst the urban poor.

'Lived Orthodoxy' and heterodoxy

One of the difficulties faced by those who seek to reconstruct Orthodoxy as it was actually practised during this period - 'lived' Orthodoxy - is that most

4 See D. H. Kaiser, 'Quotidian Orthodoxy Domesticlifein early modern Russia', in Orthodox Russia: belief andpractice under the Tsars, ed. V A. Kivelson and R. H. Greene (Philadelphia: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003), 179-92.

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