combined disciplined self-denial with meditation and respect for book learning. He laid emphasis on translation into Slavonic of collections of lives of holy men and theological tracts.
It has been argued that while on Athos Gregory gave guidance to his namesake Gregory Palamas.86 Their adherence to a kind of 'fundamentalism', directing an individual to God via the strictest guidelines, formed part of a chain reaction among reflective souls across the Orthodox worldto the shortcomings of earthly institutions and to the intellectual challenge and material wellbeing of Latin churchmen, warriors and traders. This heightened their sense of what they held in common with one another and with the writings of the Fathers. Transcending obstacles of space, language and time was characteristic of these communally aware proponents of individual enlightenment, for whom hesychast is a convenient if 'catch-all' term.
To speak of a 'hesychast movement' is misleading if it implies a hierarchical leadership directing a programme, or card-carrying members with agreed objectives. But the personal bonds of pupil and teacher linked very many of the persons mentioned above.87 The 'workshop ofvirtue' on Athos served as a kind of seminary or haven for advocates of the new rigorism; the bonds forged there or in their own foundations transcended existing institutional frameworks. An example of this is the disregard of Feodosii and Roman for their local church leader and the reception they subsequently received from Patriarch Kallistos in Constantinople. Such priorities did not engender unqualified allegiance to any particular emperor. Indeed, these monks' values and frequent journeys across the eastern Christian world might seem on another plane from that of emperors. And yet, the Athonite houses continued to place themselves first and foremost under the protection of the Byzantine emperor, for the empire's existence was interdependent with the fate of mankind in Orthodox eschatology. If there was friction between the patriarchate and the monks of Athos, there was also constant interaction. The patriarchate drew on the networks of monastic rigorists, employing them for its own purposes. This nexus breathed life into the emaciated empire of the 'Romans', even while setting out new coordinates.
Not infrequently monks with affiliations to Athos or kindred houses received assignments from the patriarchate to far-flung sees or gave counsel to churchmen carrying out patriarchal business there. We have already encountered Chariton, the former abbot of Koutloumousiou, who was appointed
86 D. Balfour, 'Was St Gregory Palamas St Gregory the Sinaite's pupil?', St Vladimir's Theological Quarterly 28 (1984), 115-30.
87 See Obolensky, 'Late Byzantine culture', 25.
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