The Church of Moscow to the Middle of the Fifteenth Century

The period begins with the transference to Moscow of the See of the Metropolitan of Russia (1325), and the establishment of the famous Russian monasteries in the middle and second half of the fourteenth century, such as those of Sergius of Radonezh (1314— 92) near Moscow, and Cyril Belozerskij ('of the White Lake') in the forests of the 'Northern Thebaid' near Vologda. More important, however, is that it begins with the flowering of the Russian Hesychast tradition, followed by the general establishment of monasti-cism and missionary work. One of the best-known missionaries of this period was St Stephen of Perm (1340-96), who invented an alphabet for the Zyrians, a Finnish people living in the region of Perm. The period from the middle of the fourteenth century to the middle of the fifteenth century was probably the closest to the ideal of 'Holy Russia'.

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