Christianity in the 9th century

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Brothers Cyril and Methodius bring Christianity to the Slavic peoples. Venceslav Cerny - Prichod verozvestu Cyrila a Metodeje na Moravu.jpg
Brothers Cyril and Methodius bring Christianity to the Slavic peoples.

In 9th-century Christianity, Charlemagne was crowned as Holy Roman Emperor, which continued the Photian schism.

Charlemagne King of the Franks, King of Italy, and Holy Roman Emperor

Charlemagne or Charles the Great, numbered Charles I, was king of the Franks from 768, king of the Lombards from 774, and emperor of the Romans from 800. During the Early Middle Ages, he united the majority of western and central Europe. He was the first recognised emperor to rule from western Europe since the fall of the Western Roman Empire three centuries earlier. The expanded Frankish state that Charlemagne founded is called the Carolingian Empire. He was later canonized by Antipope Paschal III.

Coronation of the Holy Roman Emperor

The Coronation of the Holy Roman Emperor was a ceremony in which the ruler of Europe's then-largest political entity received the Imperial Regalia at the hands of the Pope, symbolizing both the pope's right to crown Christian sovereigns and also the emperor's role as protector of the Roman Catholic Church. The Holy Roman Empresses were crowned as well.

Photian schism 9th-century schism between Rome and Constantinople

The Photian Schism was a four-year (863–867) schism between the episcopal sees of Rome and Constantinople. The issue centered around the right of the Byzantine Emperor to depose and appoint a patriarch without approval from the papacy.


Carolingian Renaissance

On Christmas day in 800, the Roman Patriarch Leo III crowned Charles (Charlemagne in French) as the "Holy Roman Emperor," in essence denying the status of the Byzantine Empress Irene, reigning in Constantinople. This act caused a substantial diplomatic rift between the Franks and Constantinople, as well as between Rome and the other patriarchs in the East. Though the rifts were settled to some degree and the Church in Rome in theory remained united with Constantinople and the rest of the imperial church, paths culminating in the Great Schism.

Christmas holiday originating in Christianity, usually celebrated on December 25 (in the Gregorian or Julian calendars)

Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world. A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it is preceded by the season of Advent or the Nativity Fast and initiates the season of Christmastide, which historically in the West lasts twelve days and culminates on Twelfth Night; in some traditions, Christmastide includes an octave. Christmas Day is a public holiday in many of the world's nations, is celebrated religiously by a majority of Christians, as well as culturally by many non-Christians, and forms an integral part of the holiday season centered around it.

Pope Leo III 8th and 9th-century pope

Pope Leo III was Pope and ruler of the Papal States from 26 December 795 to his death in 816. Protected by Charlemagne from his enemies in Rome, he subsequently strengthened Charlemagne's position by crowning him Holy Roman Emperor and "Augustus of the Romans".

Holy Roman Emperor Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire

The Holy Roman Emperor, officially the Emperor of the Romans, and also the German-Roman Emperor, was the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire during the Middle Ages and the early modern period. The title was, almost without interruption, held in conjunction with title of King of Germany throughout the 12th to 18th centuries.

With Charlemagne's coronation, the papacy had acquired a new protectorate in the West. This freed the pontiffs to some degree from the power of the emperor in Constantinople but also led to a schism, because the emperors and patriarchs of Constantinople interpreted themselves as the true descendants of the Roman Empire dating back to the beginnings of the Church. [1] Pope Nicholas I had refused to recognize Patriarch Photios I of Constantinople, who in turn had attacked the pope as a heretic because he kept the filioque in the creed, which referred to the Holy Spirit emanating from God the Father and the Son. The papacy was strengthened through this new alliance, which in the long term created a new problem for the Popes, when in the Investiture Controversy succeeding emperors sought to appoint bishops and even future popes. [2] [3]

Pope Nicholas I pope

Pope Saint Nicholas I, also denominated (Pope) Saint Nicholas the Great, was Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church from 24 April 858 to his death on 13 November 867. He is remembered as a consolidator of Papal authority, exerting decisive influence on the historical development of the Papacy and its position among the Christian nations of Western Europe. Nicholas I asserted that the Pope should have suzerain authority over all Christians, even royalty, in matters of faith and morals.

Filioque is a Latin term added to the original Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, and which has been the subject of great controversy between Eastern and Western Christianity. It is not in the original text of the Creed, attributed to the First Council of Constantinople (381), the second ecumenical council, which says that the Holy Spirit proceeds "from the Father", without additions of any kind, such as "and the Son" or "alone".

Holy Spirit, is a term found in English translations of the Bible that is understood differently among the Abrahamic religions. The term is also used to describe aspects of other religions and belief structures.

Charles followed with a policy of forcible conversion of all Frankish subjects to the Roman Church, specifically declaring loyalty to Rome (as opposed to Constantinople). The strength of the Frankish armies helped repel further incursion of Muslim forces in Europe. Charles was seen in the West as having revived the Roman Empire and came to be known as Charles the Great. The re-unification of Europe led to increased prosperity and a slow re-emergence of culture and learning in Western Europe. Charlemagne's empire came to be called the Holy Roman Empire by its inhabitants. The Church in Rome became a central defining symbol of this empire.

The Carolingian Renaissance was a period of intellectual and cultural revival during the late 8th and 9th centuries, mostly during the reigns of Charlemagne and Louis the Pious. There was an increase of literature, the arts, architecture, jurisprudence, liturgical and scriptural studies. The period also saw the development of Carolingian minuscule, the ancestor of modern lower-case script, and the standardisation of Latin which had hitherto become varied and irregular. To address the problems of illiteracy among clergy and court scribes, Charlemagne founded schools and attracted the most learned men from all of Europe to his court, such as Theodulf, Paul the Deacon, Angilbert, Paulinus of Aquileia, and Alcuin of York.

Carolingian Renaissance

The Carolingian Renaissance was the first of three medieval renaissances, a period of cultural activity in the Carolingian Empire. It occurred from the late 8th century to the 9th century, which took inspiration from the Christian Roman Empire of the fourth century. During this period, there was an increase of literature, writing, the arts, architecture, jurisprudence, liturgical reforms, and scriptural studies.

Louis the Pious Holy Roman Emperor and King of the Franks and of Aquitaine

Louis the Pious, also called the Fair, and the Debonaire, was the King of the Franks and co-emperor with his father, Charlemagne, from 813. He was also King of Aquitaine from 781. As the only surviving adult son of Charlemagne and Hildegard, he became the sole ruler of the Franks after his father's death in 814, a position which he held until his death, save for the period 833–34, during which he was deposed.

Literature Written work of art

Literature, most generically, is any body of written works. More restrictively, literature refers to writing considered to be an art form or any single writing deemed to have artistic or intellectual value, often due to deploying language in ways that differ from ordinary usage.

By the 9th century, largely under the inspiration of the Emperor Charlemagne, Benedict's Rule became the basic guide for Western monasticism.


Western theology

With the division and decline of the Carolingian Empire, notable theological activity was preserved in some of the Cathedral schools that had begun to rise to prominence under it – for instance at Auxerre in the 9th century or Chartres in the 11th. Intellectual influences from the Arabic world (including works of classical authors preserved by Islamic scholars) percolated into the Christian West via Spain, influencing such theologians as Gerbert of Aurillac, who went on to become Pope Sylvester II and mentor to Otto III. (Otto was the fourth ruler of the Germanic Ottonian Holy Roman Empire, successor to the Carolingian Empire).

Auxerre Prefecture and commune in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, France

Auxerre is the capital of the Yonne department and the fourth-largest city in Burgundy. Auxerre's population today is about 39,000; the metropolitan area comprises roughly 92,000 inhabitants. Residents of Auxerre are referred to as Auxerrois.

Chartres Prefecture and commune in Centre-Val de Loire, France

Chartres is a commune and capital of the Eure-et-Loir department in France. It is located about 90 km (56 mi) southwest of Paris. Chartres is famous world-wide for its cathedral. Mostly constructed between 1193 and 1250, this Gothic cathedral is in an exceptional state of preservation. The majority of the original stained glass windows survive intact, while the architecture has seen only minor changes since the early 13th century. Much of the old town, including the library associated with the School of Chartres, was destroyed by bombs in 1944.

Holy Roman Empire Complex of territories in Europe from 962 to 1806

The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western and Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. The largest territory of the empire after 962 was the Kingdom of Germany, though it also came to include the neighboring Kingdom of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, and numerous other territories.

Tensions between East and West

In the 9th century, Byzantine Emperor Michael III struggled to appoint Photius as Patriarch of Constantinople, and Pope Nicholas I struggled to keep Ignatius there. After Michael was murdered, Ignatius was reinstated as patriarch without challenge. [4] An ecumenical council in Constantinople, held while Ignatius was patriarch, anathematized Photius. [4] With Ignatius' death in 877, Photius became patriarch, and in 879-880 a second ecumenical council in Constantinople annulled the decision of the previous council. [4] The West takes only the first as truly ecumenical and legitimate. The East takes only the second.

Filioque clause

Since the 5th century, Christendom had been divided into a pentarchy of five sees with Rome holding the primacy. This was determined by canonical decision and did not entail hegemony of any one local church or patriarchate over the others. However, Rome began to interpret her primacy in terms of sovereignty, as a God-given right involving universal jurisdiction in the Church. The collegial and conciliar nature of the Church, in effect, was gradually abandoned in favor of a supremacy of unlimited papal power over the entire Church. These ideas were finally given systematic expression in the West during the Gregorian Reform movement of the 11th century.

This fundamental difference in ecclesiology would cause all attempts to heal the schism and bridge the divisions to fail. Rome bases her claims to "true and proper jurisdiction" (as the Vatican Council of 1870 put it) on St. Peter. This "Roman" exegesis of Mathew 16:18, however, has been unacceptable to the patriarchs of Eastern Orthodoxy. For them, specifically, St. Peter's primacy could never be the exclusive prerogative of any one bishop. All bishops must, like St. Peter, confess Jesus as the Christ and, as such, all are St. Peter's successors. The churches of the East gave the Roman See primacy but not supremacy, the pope being the first among equals but not infallible and not with absolute authority. [5]

The other major irritant to Eastern Orthodoxy was the Western interpretation of the procession of the Holy Spirit. Like the primacy, this too developed gradually. This theologically complex issue involved the addition by the West of the Latin phrase filioque ("and from the Son") to the Creed. The original Creed sanctioned by the councils and still used today by the Orthodox Church did not contain this phrase; the text simply states "the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father." Theologically, the Latin interpolation was unacceptable to Eastern Orthodoxy since it implied that the Spirit now had two sources of origin and procession, the Father and the Son, rather than the Father alone. [6] The balance between the three persons of the Trinity was altered and the understanding of the Trinity and God confused. [6] The result, the Orthodox Church believed, was theologically indefensible.

But in addition to the dogmatic issue raised by the filioque, the Byzantines argued that the phrase had been added unilaterally and, therefore, illegitimately, since the East had not been consulted. [7] [8] In the final analysis, only another ecumenical council could introduce such an alteration. Indeed, the councils, which drew up the original Creed had expressly forbidden any subtraction or addition to the text.

Photian schism

The controversy also involved Eastern and Western ecclesiastical jurisdictional rights in the Bulgarian church. Photius did provide concession on the issue of jurisdictional rights concerning Bulgaria, and the papal legates made do with his return of Bulgaria to Rome. This concession, however, was purely nominal, as Bulgaria's return to the Byzantine rite in 870 had already secured for it an autocephalous church. Without the consent of Boris I of Bulgaria, the papacy was unable to enforce its claims.

Justinian I

The city of Rome was embroiled in the turmoil and devastation of Italian peninsular warfare during the Early Middle Ages. Emperor Justinian I attempted to reassert imperial dominion in Italy against the Gothic aristocracy. The subsequent campaigns were more or less successful, and the Imperial Exarchate was established in Ravenna to oversee Italy, though actually imperial influence was often limited. However, the weakened peninsula then experienced the invasion of the Lombards, and the resulting warfare essentially left Rome to fend for itself. Thus the popes, out of necessity, found themselves feeding the city with grain from papal estates, negotiating treaties, paying protection money to Lombard warlords, and, failing that, hiring soldiers to defend the city. [9] Eventually, the failure of the empire to send aid resulted in the popes turning for support from other sources, especially the Franks.

Spread of Christianity


Early evangelisation in Scandinavia was begun by Ansgar, Archbishop of Bremen, "Apostle of the North". Ansgar, a native of Amiens, was sent with a group of monks to Jutland Denmark around 820, at the time of the pro-Christian Jutland King Harald Klak. The mission was only partially successful, and Ansgar returned two years later to Germany, after Harald had been driven out of his kingdom. In 829 Ansgar went to Birka on Lake Mälaren, Sweden, with his aide friar Witmar, and a small congregation was formed in 831 which included the king's steward Hergeir. Conversion was slow, however, and most Scandinavian lands were only completely Christianised at the time of rulers such as Saint Canute IV of Denmark and Olaf I of Norway in the years following 1000.

The Roman emperor encouraged missionary expeditions to nearby nations including the Muslim caliphate, the Turkic Khazars, and Slavic Moravia.

St. Cyril and St. Methodius Monument on Mt. Radhost Cyril Metodej.jpg
St. Cyril and St. Methodius Monument on Mt. Radhošť

Though by 800 Western Europe was ruled entirely by Christian kings, Eastern Europe remained an area of missionary activity. The First Bulgarian Empire was the first of the Eastern European nations to adopt Christianity as a state religion in 868. It declared independence of Constantinople and Rome soon after. The Bulgarian alphabet was introduced in the late 9th century, and numerous Bulgarian missionaries introduced the Bulgarian script to Serbs, Russians, Vlachs and the rest of Eastern European peoples. The Baptism of Kiev in 988 helped spread Christianity throughout Kievan Rus', establishing Christianity among the Ukraine, Belarus and Russia.

Orthodox churches in Vologda, Russia Vologda Churches.jpg
Orthodox churches in Vologda, Russia


The evangelisation, or Christianisation, of the Slavs was initiated by one of Byzantium's most learned churchmen — the Patriarch Photius. The Byzantine emperor Michael III chose Cyril and Methodius in response to a request from King Rastislav of Moravia, who wanted missionaries that could minister to the Moravians in their own language. The two brothers spoke the local Slavonic vernacular and translated the Bible and many of the prayer books. As the translations prepared by them were copied by speakers of other dialects, the hybrid literary language Old Church Slavonic was created. Photius has been called the "Godfather of all Slavs." For a period of time, there was a real possibility that all of the newly baptized South Slav nations: Bulgarians, Serbs, and Croats would join the Western church. In the end, only the Croats joined the Roman Catholic Church.

In Great Moravia, Constantine and Methodius encountered Frankish missionaries from Germany, representing the western or Latin branch of the Church, and committed to linguistic, and cultural uniformity. They insisted on the use of the Latin liturgy, and they regarded Moravia and the resident Slavic peoples as part of their rightful mission field. When friction developed, the brothers, unwilling to be a cause of dissension among Christians, travelled to Rome to see the Pope, seeking his approval of their missionary work and the use of Bulgarian liturgy which would allow them to continue their work and avoid quarrelling between missionaries in the field. Constantine entered a monastery in Rome, taking the name Cyril, by which he is now remembered. However, he died only a few weeks thereafter.

Pope Adrian II gave Methodius the title of Archbishop of Sirmium (now Sremska Mitrovica in Serbia) and sent him back in 869, with jurisdiction over all of Moravia and Pannonia and authorisation to use the Slavonic Liturgy. Soon, however, Prince Ratislav died, and his successor did not support Methodius. In 870 the Frankish king Louis and his bishops deposed Methodius at a synod at Ratisbon and imprisoned him for a little over two years. Pope John VIII secured his release but instructed him to stop using the Slavonic Liturgy. In 878, Methodius was summoned to Rome on charges of heresy and using Slavonic liturgy. This time Pope John was convinced by the arguments that Methodius made in his defence and sent him back cleared of all charges, and with permission to use Slavonic Liturgy. The Carolingian bishop who succeeded him, Wiching, suppressed the Slavonic Liturgy and forced the followers of Methodius into exile.


After its establishment under Kubrat, the new First Bulgarian Empire found itself between the kingdom of the East Franks and the Byzantine Empire. Christianization then took place in the 9th century under Boris I. The Bulgarians became Eastern Orthodox Christians and the Bulgarian Orthodox Church was created.

In 863, a mission from the Patriarch of Constantinople converted Tsar Boris I of Bulgaria to Christianity. Boris realized that the Christianization of his subjects by the Byzantine mission would facilitate the undesired spread of Byzantine influence in Bulgaria, as the liturgy was carried out in the Greek language, and the newly established Bulgarian Church was subordinate to the Church of Constantinople. A popular revolt against the new religion prompted the king to request that the Bulgarian Church be granted independence by Constantinople.

After Constantinople refused to grant the Bulgarian Church independence, Boris turned to the Pope. In August 866, a Bulgarian mission arrived in Rome, carrying a list of 115 questions to the Pope by Boris, regarding the Christian way of life and a future Bulgarian Church under Rome's jurisdiction. In Constantinople, people nervously watched the events taking place in their northern neighbour, because a pro-Rome Bulgaria threatened Constantinople's immediate interests. A religious council was held in the summer of 867 in the Byzantine capital, during which the Roman Church's behaviour was harshly condemned. As a personal culprit, Pope Nicholas I was anathematized. On 13 November 866, Boris was presented with the Pope's 106 answers by Bishops Formosa from Portua and Paul of Populon, who led the pope's mission to Bulgaria. The arrival of the Roman clerical mission concluded the activity of the Byzantine mission, which was ordered by the king to leave Bulgaria. In a letter to Boris, the Byzantine emperor Michael III expressed his disapproval of Bulgaria's religious reorientation and used offensive language against the Roman Church.

The Roman mission's efforts were met with success, and King Boris asked the pope to appoint Formosa of Portua as Bulgarian Archbishop. The Pope refused. Pope Nicolas I died soon after. His successor Pope Adrian II was more disinclined to comply with Boris' demand that a Bulgarian archbishop be appointed by him.

Consequently, Boris again began negotiations with Constantinople. These negotiations resulted in the creation of an autonomous national (Bulgarian) Archbishopric, which was unprecedented in the practice of the Churches. Usually, churches that were founded by apostles or apostles' students became independent. Rome had been challenging Constantinople's equality to Rome, on the grounds that the Church of Constantinople had not been founded by a student of Christ. Nevertheless, Boris had been granted a national independent church and a high-ranking supreme representative. In the next 10 years, Pope Adrian II and his successors made desperate attempts to reclaim their influence in Bulgaria and to persuade Boris to leave Constantinople's sphere of influence, but their efforts ultimately failed.

The foundations of the Bulgarian national Church had been set. The next stage was the implementation of the Glagolitic alphabet and the Bulgarian language as official language of the Bulgarian Church and State in 893 — something considered unthinkable by most European Christians. In 886, Cyril and Methodius' disciples were expelled from Moravia, and the use of Slavic liturgy was banned by the Pope in favour of Latin. St. Kliment and St. Naum who were of noble Bulgarian descent and St. Angelaruis, returned to Bulgaria, where they were welcomed by Tsar Boris, who viewed the Bulgarian liturgy as a means of counteracting Byzantine influence in the country. In a short time, they managed create the Bulgarian Alphabet and to instruct several thousand future Bulgarian clergymen in the rites using the newly created Bulgarian language. In 893, Bulgaria expelled its Byzantine clergy and proclaimed Bulgarian as the official language of the Bulgarian Church and State. In this way it became one of the first European countries with its own official language.


Baptism of Vladimir Vasnetsov Bapt Vladimir.jpg
Baptism of Vladimir

After the First Bulgarian Empire was converted to Christianity, it started a massive missionary expansion north and east. As a result, it was able to convert and help convert many East Slavic peoples and introduce to them Bulgarian books and Church literature in Bulgarian, most notably the Rus' (Ruthenians), predecessors of Belarusians, Russians, and Ukrainians/Rusyns. By the beginning of the 11th century most of the pagan Slavic world, including Russia, Bulgaria and Serbia, had been converted to Christianity. Between the 8th and the 13th century the area was settled by the Kievan Rus'. An attempt to Christianize them had already been made in the 9th century, with the Christianization of the Rus' Khaganate. The efforts were finally successful in the 10th century, when about 980 Vladimir the Great was baptized at Chersonesos.


An early medieval mission of the Assyrian Church of the East brought Christianity to China, but it was suppressed in the 9th century. The Christianity of that period is commemorated by the Nestorian Stele and Daqin Pagoda of Xi'an.


See also

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Saints Cyril and Methodius Byzantine Slavic brothers

Saints Cyril and Methodius were two brothers who were Byzantine Christian theologians and Christian missionaries. Through their work they influenced the cultural development of all Slavs, for which they received the title "Apostles to the Slavs". They are credited with devising the Glagolitic alphabet, the first alphabet used to transcribe Old Church Slavonic. After their deaths, their pupils continued their missionary work among other Slavs. Both brothers are venerated in the Orthodox Church as saints with the title of "equal-to-apostles". In 1880, Pope Leo XIII introduced their feast into the calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. In 1980, Pope John Paul II declared them co-patron saints of Europe, together with Benedict of Nursia.

Boris I of Bulgaria Bulgarian emperor

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Pope John VIII pope of catholic church from 872 until 882

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Christianization of Kievan Rus

The Christianization of Kievan Rus' took place in several stages. In early 867, Patriarch Photius of Constantinople announced to other Orthodox patriarchs that the Rus', baptised by his bishop, took to Christianity with particular enthusiasm. Photius's attempts at Christianizing the country seem to have entailed no lasting consequences, since the Primary Chronicle and other Slavonic sources describe the tenth-century Rus' as firmly entrenched in paganism. Following the Primary Chronicle, the definitive Christianization of Kievan Rus' dates from the year 988, when Vladimir the Great was baptized in Chersonesus and proceeded to baptize his family and people in Kiev. The latter events are traditionally referred to as baptism of Rus' in Russian and Ukrainian literature.

Christianization is the conversion of individuals to Christianity or the conversion of entire groups at once. Various strategies and techniques were employed in Christianization campaigns from Late Antiquity and throughout the Middle Ages. Often the conversion of the ruler was followed by the compulsory baptism of his subjects. Some were evangelization by monks or priests, organic growth within an already partly Christianized society, or by campaigns against paganism such as the conversion of pagan temples into Christian churches or the condemnation of pagan gods and practices. A strategy for Christianization was Interpretatio Christiana – the practice of converting native pagan practices and culture, pagan religious imagery, pagan sites and the pagan calendar to Christian uses, due to the Christian efforts at proselytism (evangelism) based on the Great Commission.

Saint Naum Missionary to the Slavs

Saint Naum, also known as Naum of Ohrid or Naum of Preslav was a medieval Bulgarian writer, enlightener, one of the seven Apostles of the First Bulgarian Empire and missionary among the Slavs. He was among the disciples of Saints Cyril and Methodius and is associated with the creation of the Glagolitic and Cyrillic script. Naum was among the founders of the Pliska Literary School. Afterwards Naum worked at the Ohrid Literary School. He was among the first saints declared by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church after its foundation in the 9th century.

Bulgarian Orthodox Church national church

The Bulgarian Orthodox Church, legally the Patriarchate of Bulgaria, is an autocephalous Orthodox Church. It is the oldest Slavic Orthodox Church with some 6 million members in the Republic of Bulgaria and between 1.5 and 2.0 million members in a number of European countries, the Americas, Australia, New Zealand and Asia. It was recognized as an independent Church by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in AD 870, becoming Patriarchate in 918/919.

Christianization of Bulgaria

The Christianization of Bulgaria was the process by which 9th-century medieval Bulgaria converted to Christianity. It reflected the need of unity within the religiously divided Bulgarian state as well as the need for equal acceptance on the international stage in Christian Europe. This process was characterized by the shifting political alliances of Boris I of Bulgaria with the kingdom of the East Franks and with the Byzantine Empire, as well as his diplomatic correspondence with the Pope.

Christianization of the Rus Khaganate

The Christianization of the Rus' people is supposed to have begun in the 860s and was the first stage in the process of Christianization of the East Slavs which continued well into the 11th century. Despite its historical and cultural significance, records detailing the event are hard to come by, and it seems to have been forgotten by the time of Vladimir's Baptism of Kiev in the 980s.

History of the Eastern Orthodox Church

The history of the Eastern Orthodox Church is traced back to Jesus Christ and and the Apostles. The Apostles appointed successors, known as bishops, and they in turn appointed other bishops in a process known as Apostolic succession. Over time, five Patriarchates were established to organize the Christian world, and four of these ancient Patriarchates remain Orthodox today. Orthodox Christianity reached its present form in Late Antiquity, when the Ecumenical Councils were held, doctrinal disputes were resolved, the Fathers of the Church lived and wrote, and Orthodox worship practices settled into their permanent form.

Christianity in the Middle Ages aspect of history

Christianity in the Middle Ages covers the history of Christianity from the Fall of the Western Roman Empire until the Fall of Constantinople (1453), which is usually taken to make the end of the Middle Ages in the History of Europe.

State church of the Roman Empire a form of Christianity in the Roman Empire

With the Edict of Thessalonica in 380 AD, Emperor Theodosius I made Nicene Christianity the Empire's state religion. The Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, and the Catholic Church each claim to stand in continuity with the church to which Theodosius granted recognition, but do not look on it as specific to the Roman Empire.

Peter was a Bulgarian noble and relative of knyaz (khan) Boris I who was in charge of diplomatic missions during the Christianization of Bulgaria. His position in the Bulgarian administrative hierarchy is unknown but it has been suggested that he had the title kavhan, i. e. the second person in the state after the monarch.

Christianity is the predominant religion in Serbia. The Constitution of Serbia defines it as a secular state with guaranteed religious freedom. Eastern Orthodox Christians with 6,079,396 comprise 84.5% of country's population. The Serbian Orthodox Church is the largest and traditional church of the country, adherents of which are overwhelmingly Serbs. Other Orthodox Christian communities in Serbia include Montenegrins, Romanians, Vlachs, Macedonians and Bulgarians.

Christianization of Moravia

The Christianization of Moravia refers to the spread of the Christian religion in the lands of medieval Moravia.

History of Christianity in the Czech Lands aspect of history

The history of Christianity in the Czech Lands began in the 9th century. Moravia was the first among the three historical regions of what now forms the Czech Republic whose ruling classes have officially adopted Christianity, between 830s and 860s. In 845 Bohemian chieftains or duces also converted to the new faith, but it was just short-lived political gesture ; real beginning of efforts to promote Christianity in Bohemian territory have to be put to the period after 885. Moravia was the earliest center of Old Church Slavonic liturgy after the arrival of Constantine (Cyril) and Methodius in 863, but their opponents, mainly priests of German origin, achieved the banishment of their disciplines in the 880s. Bohemia became the center of Christianization following the fall of Moravia in the early 10th century. Changes in burials and the erection of churches throughout the Czech Lands demonstrate the spread of the new faith in the 10th century.

Archbishopric of Moravia Ecclesiastical province

The Archbishopric of Moravia was an ecclesiastical province, established by the Holy See to promote Christian missions among the Slavic peoples. Its first archbishop, the Byzantine Methodius, persuaded Pope John VIII to sanction the use of Old Church Slavonic in liturgy. Methodius had been consecrated archbishop of Pannonia by Pope Adrian II at the request of Koceľ, the Slavic ruler of Pannonia in East Francia in 870.


  1. Jedin 36
  2. Vidmar, The Catholic Church Through the Ages (2005), pp.107111
  3. Duffy, Saints and Sinners (1997), p.78
  4. 1 2 3 "Photius." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  5. The Orthodox Church London by Ware, Kallistos St. Vladimir's Seminary Press 1995 ISBN   978-0-913836-58-3
  6. 1 2 The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church by Vladimir Lossky, SVS Press, 1997. ( ISBN   0-913836-31-1) James Clarke & Co Ltd, 1991. ( ISBN   0-227-67919-9)
  7. History of Russian Philosophy by Nikolai Lossky ISBN   978-0-8236-8074-0
  8. History of Russian Philosophy by Nikolai Lossky ISBN   978-0-8236-8074-0 p. 87
  9. Richards, Jeffrey. The Popes and the Papacy in the Early Middle Ages 476–752 (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979) p. 36
  10. Neill, p. 69
  11. Barrett, p. 24
  13. Anderson, p. 202-203
  14. Latourette, 1953, p. 307
  15. Anderson, pp. 79-80
  16. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-05-13. Retrieved 2016-02-06.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  17. 1 2 Barrett, p. 25

Further reading

History of Christianity: The Middle Ages
Preceded by:
Christianity in
the 8th century
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Christianity in
the 10th century
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