Christianization of Kievan Rus'

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The Baptism of Kievans, a painting by Klavdiy Lebedev Lebedev baptism.jpg
The Baptism of Kievans, a painting by Klavdiy Lebedev

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 (the year is disputed [1] ), 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' (Russian : Крещение Руси, Ukrainian : Хрещення Русі) in Russian and Ukrainian literature.

Photios I of Constantinople Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople

Photios I, , also spelled Photius or Fotios, was the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 858 to 867 and from 877 to 886; He is recognized in the Eastern Orthodox Church as Saint Photios the Great.

<i>Primary Chronicle</i> literary work

The Tale of Bygone Years, known in English-language historiography as the Primary Chronicle or Russian Primary Chronicle (RPC) or, after the author it has traditionally been ascribed to, Nestor's Chronicle or The Chronicle of Nestor, is a history of the Kievan Rus' from about 850 to 1110, originally compiled in Kiev about 1113. The work’s name originates from the opening sentence of the text, which reads: “These are the narratives of bygone years regarding the origin of the land of Rus’, the first princes of Kiev, and from what source the land of Rus’ had its beginning.” The work is considered to be a fundamental source in the interpretation of the history of the East Slavs. The Chronicle's content is known to us today from several surviving editions and codices that have been revised over the years and evince a slight degree of variation from each other.

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.

Contents

Prehistory

Saints Cyril and Methodius on the Millennium of Russia monument in Veliky Novgorod 1000 Kirill i Mefody.jpg
Saints Cyril and Methodius on the Millennium of Russia monument in Veliky Novgorod

According to the Church Tradition, Christianity was first brought to the territory of modern Belarus, Russia and Ukraine by Saint Andrew, the first Apostle of Jesus Christ. He traveled over the Black Sea to the Greek colony of Chersonesus Taurica in Crimea, where he converted several thousand men to the new faith. Allegedly Saint Andrew traveled also north along the Dnieper River, where Kiev would be founded around the 5th century, and as far north as the future location of Veliky Novgorod. The legendary account of the Rus'ian Primary Chronicle tells that Saint Andrew was amused by the Slavic customs of washing in hot steam bath, banya, on his way.

Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and the savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Hebrew Bible, called the Old Testament in Christianity, and chronicled in the New Testament. It is the world's largest religion with about 2.4 billion followers.

Belarus country in Eastern Europe

Belarus, officially the Republic of Belarus, formerly known by its Russian name Byelorussia or Belorussia, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe bordered by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital and most populous city is Minsk. Over 40% of its 207,600 square kilometres (80,200 sq mi) is forested. Its major economic sectors are service industries and manufacturing. Until the 20th century, different states at various times controlled the lands of modern-day Belarus, including the Principality of Polotsk, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, and the Russian Empire.

Russia transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia

Russia, or the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres (6,612,100 sq mi), Russia is, by a considerable margin, the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, and the ninth most populous, with about 146.79 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77% of the population live in the western, European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world and the second largest city in Europe; other major cities include Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and Nizhny Novgorod. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U.S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.

North Pontic Greek colonies, both in Crimea and on the modern Ukrainian shores of the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea, remained the main centers of Christianity in Eastern Europe for almost a thousand years. Notable Christian locations there include the Inkerman Cave Monastery, a medieval Byzantine monastery where the relics of St. Clement, the fourth Bishop of Rome, were supposedly kept before their removal to San Clemente by Saints Cyril and Methodius.

Crimea Peninsula in the Black Sea

Crimea is a peninsula on the northern coast of the Black Sea in Eastern Europe that is almost completely surrounded by both the Black Sea and the smaller Sea of Azov to the northeast. It is located south of the Ukrainian region of Kherson, to which it is connected by the Isthmus of Perekop, and west of the Russian region of Kuban, from which it is separated by the Strait of Kerch though linked by the Crimean Bridge. The Arabat Spit is located to the northeast, a narrow strip of land that separates a system of lagoons named Sivash from the Sea of Azov. Across the Black Sea to its west is Romania and to its south Turkey.

Sea of Azov Sea on the south of Eastern Europe linked to the Black Sea

The Sea of Azov is a sea in Eastern Europe connected to the Black Sea by the narrow Strait of Kerch, and is sometimes regarded as a northern extension of the Black Sea. The sea is bounded in the northwest by Ukraine, in the southeast by Russia. The Don River and Kuban River are the major rivers that flow into it. There is a constant outflow of water from the Sea of Azov to the Black Sea.

Black Sea Marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean between Europe and Asia

The Black Sea is a body of water and marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean between Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Western Asia. It is supplied by a number of major rivers, such as the Danube, Dnieper, Southern Bug, Dniester, Don, and the Rioni. Areas of many countries drain into the Black Sea, including Germany, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine.

Saints Cyril and Methodius were the missionaries of Christianity among the Slavic peoples of Bulgaria, Great Moravia and Pannonia. 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, [2] Later on their students created the Cyrillic script in the First Bulgarian Empire used now in many Slavic countries, including Russia. After their deaths, their pupils continued their missionary work among other Slavs. Both brothers are venerated in the Ukrainian Catholic and Byzantine Catholic Churches as well as the Orthodox Church as saints with the title of "equal-to-apostles".

First Bulgarian Empire medieval Bulgarian state that existed in southeastern Europe between the 7th and 11th centuries AD

The First Bulgarian Empire was a medieval Bulgarian state that existed in Southeastern Europe between the 7th and 11th centuries AD. It was founded in 681 when Bulgar tribes led by Asparuh moved to the northeastern Balkans. There they secured Byzantine recognition of their right to settle south of the Danube by defeating – possibly with the help of local South Slavic tribes – the Byzantine army led by Constantine IV. At the height of its power, Bulgaria spread from the Danube Bend to the Black Sea and from the Dnieper River to the Adriatic Sea.

Great Moravia 9th century Slavic state

Great Moravia, the Great Moravian Empire, or simply Moravia, was the first major state that was predominantly West Slavic to emerge in the area of Central Europe, chiefly on what is now the territory of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Serbia (Vojvodina). The only formation preceding it in these territories was Samo's Empire known from between 631 and 658 AD. Great Moravia was thus the first joint state of the Slavonic tribes that became later known as Czechs and Slovaks and that later formed Czechoslovakia.

Pannonia ancient province of the Roman Empire

Pannonia was a province of the Roman Empire bounded on the north and east by the Danube, coterminous westward with Noricum and upper Italy, and southward with Dalmatia and upper Moesia. Pannonia was located in the territory of present-day western Hungary, eastern Austria, northern Croatia, north-western Serbia, northern Slovenia, western Slovakia and northern Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Ninth century

Vasily Perov's painting illustrates clandestine meetings of Christians in pagan Kiev. PerovVG PervHristianKievGRM.jpg
Vasily Perov's painting illustrates clandestine meetings of Christians in pagan Kiev.

The most authoritative source for the early Christianization of Rus' is an encyclical letter of Patriarch Photius, datable to early 867. Referencing the Siege of Constantinople of 860, Photius informs the Oriental patriarchs and bishops that, after the Bulgarians turned to Christ in 863, [3] the Rus' followed suit. As was the case with the Bulgarians, the Patriarch found it prudent to send to the barbarians a bishop from Constantinople. [4]

Siege of Constantinople (860) only major military expedition of the Rus Khaganate recorded in Byzantine and Western European sources

The Siege of Constantinople of 860 was the only major military expedition of the Rus' Khaganate recorded in Byzantine and Western European sources. The cause of the siege was the construction of the fortress Sarkel by Byzantine engineers, restricting the Rus' trade route along the Don River in favor of the Khazars. Accounts vary regarding the events, with discrepancies between contemporary and later sources. The exact outcome is unknown.

Bulgarians are a nation and South Slavic ethnic group native to Bulgaria and its immediate region.

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.

With some modifications, the story is repeated by Constantine VII in De Administrando Imperio , followed by several generations of Byzantine historians, including John Skylitzes and Joannes Zonaras. That the imperial court and patriarchate regarded the 10th-century Rus' as Christians is evident from the fact that the bishopric of Rus' was enumerated in the lists of Orthodox sees, compiled during the reigns of Leo the Wise and Constantine VII. There is also an argumentum ex silentio: no Greek source recorded the second baptism of the Rus in the 990s.

Constantine VII Byzantine emperor

Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos or Porphyrogenitus was the fourth Emperor of the Macedonian dynasty of the Byzantine Empire, reigning from 913 to 959. He was the son of the emperor Leo VI and his fourth wife, Zoe Karbonopsina, and the nephew of his predecessor, the emperor Alexander.

<i>De Administrando Imperio</i> literary work

De Administrando Imperio is the Latin title of a Greek-language work written by the 10th-century Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine VII. The Greek title of the work is Πρὸς τὸν ἴδιον υἱὸν Ρωμανόν. It is a domestic and foreign policy manual for the use of Constantine's son and successor, the Emperor Romanos II.

John Skylitzes Greek historian of the late 11th century

John Skylitzes, Latinized as Ioannes Scylitzes, was a Greek historian of the late 11th century.

Tenth century

Baptism of St. Princess Olga Kirillov knyaginya olga.jpg
Baptism of St. Princess Olga

Whatever the scope of Photius's efforts to Christianize the Rus', their effect was not lasting. Although they fail to mention the mission of Photius, the authors of the Primary Chronicle were aware that a sizable portion of the Kievan population was Christian by 944. In the Russo-Byzantine Treaty, preserved in the text of the chronicle, the Christian part of the Rus' swear according to their faith, while the ruling prince and other non-Christians invoke Perun and Veles after the pagan custom. The Kievan collegiate church of St. Elijah (whose cult in the Slavic countries was closely modeled on that of Perun) is mentioned in the text of the chronicle, leaving modern scholars to ponder how many churches existed in Kiev at the time.

The baptism of St. Princess Olga in Constantinople, a miniature from the Radzivill Chronicle Radzivill Olga in Konstantinopol.jpg
The baptism of St. Princess Olga in Constantinople , a miniature from the Radzivill Chronicle

Either in 945 or 957, the ruling regent, Olga of Kiev, visited Constantinople with a certain priest, Gregory. Her reception at the imperial court is described in De Ceremoniis . According to legends, Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII fell in love with Olga; however, she found a way to refuse him by tricking him to become her godfather. When she was baptized, she said it was inappropriate for a godfather to marry his goddaughter.

Although it is usually presumed that Olga was baptized in Constantinople rather than Kiev, there is no explicit mention of the sacrament, so neither version is excluded. Olga is also known to have requested a bishop and priests from Rome. [5] Her son, Sviatoslav (r. 963-972), continued to worship Perun and other gods of the Slavic pantheon. He remained a stubborn pagan all of his life; according to the Primary Chronicle, he believed that his warriors would lose respect for him and mock him if he became a Christian.

Sviatoslav's successor, Yaropolk I (r. 972-980), seems to have had a more conciliatory attitude towards Christianity. Late medieval sources even claim that Yaropolk exchanged ambassadors with the Pope. The Chronicon of Adémar de Chabannes and the life of St. Romuald (by Pietro Damiani) actually document the mission of St. Bruno of Querfurt to the land of Rus', where he succeeded in converting to Christianity a local king (one of three brothers who ruled the land). Alexander Nazarenko suggests that Yaropolk went through some preliminary rites of baptism, but was murdered at the behest of his pagan half-brother Vladimir (whose own rights to the throne were questionable) before his conversion was formalized. Following this theory, any information on Yaropolk's baptism according to the Latin rite would be suppressed by the later Orthodox chroniclers, zealous to keep Vladimir's image of the Rus Apostle untarnished for succeeding generations. [6]

Vladimir's baptism of Kiev

Background

Ivan Eggink's painting represents Vladimir listening to the Orthodox priests, while the papal envoy stands aside in discontent Eggink VelKnVladimir.jpg
Ivan Eggink's painting represents Vladimir listening to the Orthodox priests, while the papal envoy stands aside in discontent

During the first decade of Vladimir's reign, pagan reaction set in. Perun was chosen as the supreme deity of the Slavic pantheon and his idol was placed on the hill by the royal palace. This revival of paganism was contemporaneous with similar attempts undertaken by Jarl Haakon in Norway and (possibly) Svein Forkbeard in Denmark. His religious reform failed. By the late 980s he had found it necessary to adopt monotheism from abroad.

The Primary Chronicle reports that, in the year 986, Vladimir met with representatives from several religions. The result is amusingly described in the following apocryphal anecdote. Upon the meeting with Muslim Bulgarians of the Volga, Vladimir found their religion unsuitable due to its requirement to circumcise and taboos against alcoholic beverages and pork; supposedly, Vladimir said on that occasion: "Drinking is the joy of the Rus." He also consulted with Jewish envoys (who may or may not have been Khazars), questioned them about Judaism but ultimately rejected it, saying that their loss of Jerusalem was evidence of their having been abandoned by God. [7]

In the year 987, as the result of a consultation with his boyars, Vladimir sent envoys to study the religions of the various neighboring nations whose representatives had been urging him to embrace their respective faiths. Of the Muslim Bulgarians of the Volga the envoys reported there is no joy among them; only sorrow and a great stench. In the gloomy churches of the Germans his emissaries saw no beauty; but at Hagia Sophia, where the full festival ritual of the Byzantine Church was set in motion to impress them, they found their ideal: "We no longer knew whether we were in heaven or on earth," they reported, "nor such beauty, and we know not how to tell of it." [8]

Baptism of Vladimir

The Baptism of Vladimir, a fresco by Viktor Vasnetsov Vasnetsov Bapt Vladimir.jpg
The Baptism of Vladimir, a fresco by Viktor Vasnetsov
St. Vladimir's Cathedral in Chersonesus, with the statue of Saint Andrew in the foreground Khram sviatogo Vladimira 4.jpg
St. Vladimir's Cathedral in Chersonesus, with the statue of Saint Andrew in the foreground

Foreign sources, very few in number, present the following story of Vladimir's conversion. Yahya of Antioch and his followers (al-Rudhrawari, al-Makin, Al-Dimashqi, and ibn al-Athir) [9] give essentially the same account. In 987, the generals Bardas Sclerus and Bardas Phocas revolted against the Byzantine emperor Basil II. Both rebels briefly joined forces and advanced on Constantinople. On September 14, 987, Bardas Phocas proclaimed himself emperor. Anxious to avoid the siege of his capital, Basil II turned to the Rus' for assistance, even though they were considered enemies at that time. Vladimir agreed, in exchange for a marital tie; he also agreed to accept Orthodox Christianity as his religion and bring his people to the new faith. When the wedding arrangements were settled, Vladimir dispatched 6,000 troops to the Byzantine Empire and they helped to put down the revolt. [10]

In the Primary Chronicle, the account of Vladimir's baptism is preceded by the so-called Korsun' Legend. According to this apocryphal story, in 988 Vladimir captured the Greek town of Korsun' (Chersonesus) in Crimea, highly important commercially and politically. This campaign may have been dictated by his wish to secure the benefits promised to him by Basil II, when he had asked for the Rus' assistance against Phocas. In recompense for the evacuation of Chersonesos, Vladimir was promised the hand of the emperor's sister, Anna Porphyrogenita. Prior to the wedding, Vladimir was baptized (either in Chersonesos or in Kiev), taking the Christian name of Basil out of compliment to his imperial brother-in-law. The sacrament was followed by his marriage with the Byzantine princess. [11] The alleged place of Vladimir's baptism in Chersonesos is marked by St. Vladimir's Cathedral.

Baptism of Kiev

Volodimir Velikii.JPG
Volodimir Khrestitel'.JPG
Saint Vladimir Monument erected on Volodymyrska Hill in Kiev near the place of the mass baptism of Kiev people

Returning to Kiev in triumph, Vladimir exhorted the residents of his capital to the Dnieper river for baptism. This mass baptism became the iconic inaugural event in the Christianization of the state of Kievan Rus'.

At first Vladimir baptised his 12 sons and many boyars. He destroyed the wooden statues of Slavic pagan gods (which he had himself raised just eight years earlier). They were either burnt or hacked into pieces, and the statue of Perun the supreme god was thrown into the Dnieper. [12]

Then Vladimir sent a message to all residents of Kiev, "rich, and poor, and beggars, and slaves", to come to the river on the following day, lest they risk becoming the "prince's enemies". Large numbers of people came; some even brought infants with them. They were sent into the water while Orthodox priests, who came from Chersonesos for the occasion, prayed. [13]

The Orekhovo-Borisovo Cathedral was built in the 21st century to celebrate the millennium of the Baptism of Rus' Tserkov' Troitsy na Borisovskikh prudakh.jpg
The Orekhovo-Borisovo Cathedral was built in the 21st century to celebrate the millennium of the Baptism of Rus'

To commemorate the event, Vladimir built the first stone church of Kievan Rus', called the Church of the Tithes, where his body and the body of his new wife were to repose. Another church was built on top of the hill where pagan statues stood before. [14]

Aftermath

The Ostromir Gospels, written in the Church Slavonic, one of the first dated East Slavic books. Ostromirovo.jpg
The Ostromir Gospels, written in the Church Slavonic, one of the first dated East Slavic books.

The baptism of Kiev was followed by similar ceremonies in other urban centres of the country. The Ioakim Chronicle says that Vladimir's uncle, Dobrynya, forced the Novgorodians into Christianity "by fire", while the local mayor, Putyata, persuaded his compatriots to accept Christian faith "by the sword". At that same time, Bishop Ioakim Korsunianin built the first, wooden, Cathedral of Holy Wisdom "with 13 tops" on the site of a pagan cemetery. [15]

Paganism persisted in the country for a long time, surfacing during the Upper Volga Uprising and other occasional pagan protests. The northeastern part of the country, centred on Rostov, was particularly hostile to the new religion. Novgorod itself faced a pagan uprising as late as 1071, in which Bishop Fedor faced a real threat to his person; Prince Gleb Sviatoslavich broke up the crowd by chopping a sorcerer in half with an axe. [16]

The Christianization of Rus firmly allied it with the Byzantine Empire. The Greek learning and book culture was adopted in Kiev and other centres of the country. Churches started to be built on the Byzantine model. During the reign of Vladimir's son Yaroslav I, Metropolitan Ilarion authored the first known work of East Slavic literature, an elaborate oration in which he favourably compared Rus to other lands known as the "Sermon on Law and Grace"[ citation needed ]. The Ostromir Gospels, produced in Novgorod during the same period, was the first dated East Slavic book fully preserved. But the only surviving work of lay literature, The Tale of Igor's Campaign , indicates that a degree of pagan worldview remained under Christian Kievan Rus'[ citation needed ].

In 1988, the faithful of the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox churches which have roots in the baptism of Kiev celebrated a millennium of Eastern Slavic Christianity. The great celebrations in Moscow changed the character of relationship between the Soviet state and the church. For the first time since 1917, numerous churches and monasteries were returned to the Russian Orthodox Church [ citation needed ]. In Ukrainian communities around the world, members of various Ukrainian churches also celebrated the Millennium of Christianity in Ukraine [ citation needed ].

In 2008 the National Bank of Ukraine issued into circulation commemorative coins "Christianization of Kievan Rus" within "Rebirth of the Christian Spirituality in Ukraine" series. [17]

See also

Related Research Articles

Saint Olga was a regent of Kievan Rus' for her son Svyatoslav from 945 until 960. Due to the imperfect transliteration between Old East Slavic and the English language, the name Olga is synonymous with Olha. Because of her Varangian origin, she also is known in Old Norse as Saint Helga. She is known for her obliteration of the Drevlians, a tribe that had killed her husband Igor of Kiev. Even though it would be her grandson Vladimir that would convert the entire nation to Christianity, her efforts to spread Christianity through the Rus’ earned Olga veneration as a saint. She is venerated in the Russian Orthodox Church as an apostle-like saint. Remembrance day in Russia is the 11th of July.

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Kievan Rus' was a loose federation of East Slavic and Finnic peoples in Europe from the late 9th to the mid-13th century, under the reign of the Varangian Rurik dynasty. The modern nations of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine all claim Kievan Rus' as their cultural ancestors, with Belarus and Russia deriving their names from it.

Christianity in the 9th century Christianity-related events during the 9th century

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Christianity in the 10th century Christianity-related events during the 10th century

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References

  1. Oleg Rapov, Russkaya tserkov v IXpervoy treti XII veka (The Russian Church from the 9th to the First 3rd of the 12th Century). Moscow, 1988.
  2. Liturgy of the Hours, Volume III, 14 February.
  3. History of the Bulgarians from Antiquity to the 16th Century by Georgi Bakalov (2003) ISBN   954-528-289-4
  4. Photii Patriarchae Constantinopolitani Epistulae et Amphilochia. Eds.: B. Laourdas, L. G. Westerinck. T.1. Leipzig, 1983. P. 49.
  5. Thietmar of Merseburg says that the first archbishop of Magdeburg, Adalbert of Prague, before being promoted to this high rank, was sent by Emperor Otto to the country of the Rus (Rusciae) as a simple bishop but was expelled by pagans. The same data is duplicated in the annals of Quedlinburg and Hildesheim, among others.
  6. Alexander Nazarenko. Древняя Русь на международных путях. Moscow, 2001. ISBN   5-7859-0085-8.
  7. Primary Chronicle, year 6494 (986)
  8. Primary Chronicle, year 6495 (987)
  9. Ibn al-Athir dates these events to 985 or 986.
  10. Golden, P.B. (2006) "Rus." Encyclopaedia of Islam (Brill Online). Eds.: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C. E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill.
  11. Lavrentevskaia Letopis, also called the Povest Vremennykh Let, in Polnoe Sobranie Russkikh Letopisey (PSRL), vol. 1, col.s 95-102.
  12. Longsworth, Philip (2006). Russia: The Once and Future Empire from Pre-History to Putin. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 38. ISBN   0-312-36041-X.
  13. Lavrent. (PSRL 1), col. 102.
  14. Lavrent. (PSRL 1), cols. 108-109.
  15. Novgorodskaia tretiaia letopis, (PSRL 3), 208. On the initial conversion, see Vasilii Tatishchev, Istoriia rossiiskaia, A. I. Andreev, et al., eds. (Moscow and Leningrad: AN SSSR, 1962), vol. 1, pp. 112-113.
  16. Arsennii Nasonov, ed. Novgorodskaia Pervaia Letopis: Starshego i mladshego izvodov (Moscow and Leningrad: AN SSSR, 1950), pp. 191-96.
  17. Commemorative Coins "Christianization of Kievan Rus", National Bank of Ukraine web-site, July 2008