based around Curtea de Arge§, who sought Byzantine approval for the creation of an Orthodox see for his territories, as a way of solemnising his secession from the Angevin kingdom of Hungary. For some time he had been hosting at his court the displaced metropolitan of Vicina, Hyakinthos. In 1359 Byzantium acceded to his request that his guest should become the 'legitimate pastor of all Oungrovlachia for the blessing and spiritual direction of himself, his children and all his lordship' and agreed to the creation of a metropolitan see for 'all Oungrovlachia' after Hyakinthos's death. The centre of gravity of Orthodox ecclesiastical organisation in the region thus shifted inland to Alexander's court. In 1370 Alexander obtained permission from the ecumenical patriarchate to create a 'metropolitan see of part of Oungrovlachia', which covered the Banate of Severin, his territories along the Hungarian border. He himself was dubbed 'great voevoda and master of all Oungrovlachia'. In return, he provided a written pledge that the patriarch and his synod would appoint all future heads of his church and that all Oungrovlachia should remain under the authority of the Great Church.54 The emperor and patriarch thereby gained a new out-station of appointees, personal contacts and admirers, north of the Lower Danube. The transfer of Hyakinthos received imperial approval, which was, according to Patriarch Kallistos's letter to Alexander of 1359, 'especially because of your Honour's unblemished good-faith and love towards my most excellent and holy autocrat from God, most sublime emperor of the Romans, the quintessence of all good things'.55 How far Alexander's 'good-faith' had substance is debatable, but his son and heir Vladislav took a bride who may well have belongedto the imperial court-circle.56 Around the same time, responding to repeated requests from Mount Athos, Alexander made generous donations to the dilapidated monastery of Koutloumousiou, while his son Vladislav went further still, becoming its 'proprietor and founder', according to his charter for the monastery of 1369.57
Young Wallachian monks streamed into the rebuilt house, and their desire to relax some of its disciplines aroused objections from the Greeks remaining there. These were, however, essentially problems of success, exemplifying the attraction exerted by the mountain. An agreement on the degree of asceticism to be practised in Koutloumousiou was eventually reached between its abbot,
54 RPKiii,no. 243, 412-13,414-17; Reg. no. 2411. For the secondmetropolitanate, see Miklosich and Muller, i, 532-3, 535-6; Reg. nos. 2588, 2593.
56 S. Andreescu, Alliances dynastiques des princes de Valachie (XIV-XVI siècles)', Revue des Etudes Sud-Est Europeennes 23 (1985), 359-60.
57 Actes de Kutlumus, ed. P. Lemerle [AA 2], new edition (Paris: P. Lethielleux, 1988), 9-11; 104 (text).
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