In terms of physical travel and the distances travelled, the third section of Bars'kyj's journal, between i730 and i744, is the least adventurous. For most of this period he was resident, studying or teaching in one of three centres, from where he travelled largely as a fare-paying passenger to specific destinations, for which he had letters of introduction as well as the necessary funding. The three centres were the patriarchal court of Sylvester the Cypriot in Tripoli and Damascus, the monastery of St John on Patmos, and the Russian Residence in Constantinople. When Bars'kyj travelled, it was more as a distinguished guest than as a mendicant pilgrim. In September i743 he sailed to Ephesos and then on to Chios, where the monks of Nea Moni invited him to come and inspect their monastery. He put them to shame, accusing them of hypocrisy for looking down on him when he visited as a pauper pilgrim and, now that he was a distinguished and recognised scholar, trying to win his favour. When Bars'kyj finally did come to the monastery, he promptly condemned the monks for not looking after the books in the library, describing them as lacking the will for learning or enlightenment.55 His new prosperity did not blunt his sense of the Orthodox as a persecuted people, never more vividly expressed than in his description of a meeting in i735 with the patriarch Sylvester the Cypriot, and his old teacher Jacob, who had been forced to take refuge on the island of Cyprus:

By chance in November my spiritual father and benefactor, the Patriarch of Antioch, Sylvester, with my first teacher Jacob visited Cyprus, having left their see. They were being persecuted by the Christian hating papists, who are of a different faith and who wanted to convert all of the Orthodox Arabs to their heresy.56

Bars'kyj saw similarities between the papists and the Muslims, who by imposing the kharadj tax on all non-Muslims in Cyprus had found a way of persecuting Christians. As I write this here, tears pour from my eyes as I remember how I saw many poor men, who could no longer endure the taxation and Turkish oppression, deny their faith in Christ.'57 Bars'kyj, who himself had difficulties in paying the kharadj, identified himself with the oppressed Orthodox community.

The circumstances surrounding his departure from Constantinople remain confused. On 29 July i745, his friend and benefactor the Russian Resident Vishniakov died, and Bars'kyj apparently quarrelled with his successor, Adrian

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Meditation Mastery

Meditation Mastery

Discover How Breath Watching Meditation Turned My Mind From Cluttered To Laser Focus. You Can Get More Things Done When You’re Focus And Aware Of Your Mind.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment