ΓΕΝΝΑΔΙΟΣ: к 70-летию академика Г. Г. Литаврина

Борис Николаевич Флоря (отв. ред.)


17. Annotationes Byzantino-Russicae


Simon Franklin (Clare College, Cambridge)



   1. George Tornikes and the Metropolitan of Rhosia. In one of his letters to the metropolitan of Athens - probably George Bourtzes (c. 1153-60) - the Byzantine churchman and writer George Tornikes complained of being unjustly vilified. In particular, he was attacked for wishing to honour the memory of a certain patriarch, who had died some six months earlier. Tornikes’ main critic was the notable (or notorious) controversialist Soterichos Panteugenos, who at that time was, like Tornikes, a deacon in St. Sophia. But there were others, too, who took pleasure in Tornikes’ discomfort: Γέγονε γοῦν ταῦτά τισι πρὸς ἡδονῆς ὅσοι καθ’ ἡμῶν τι πεπόνθασιν, ἐπείπερ ἤκουσται (τῆς) Ῥωσίας ἡμῖν τι προσμαρτυρῆσαι χρηστόν [1].


Darrouzes in his edition of Tornikes’ letter, proposes that “τῆς” should be emended to ”τόν” implying “the metropolitan”, and that sense of “χρηστόν” is ironic. He translates as follows: “Cela a fait évidemment le bonheur de quelques-uns qui ont quelque animosité à notre egard car il se dit (que le métropolit?) de Russie ajoute contre nous un beau témoignage” [2].


If one accepts Darrouzes’ emendation, then the obvious question is: to which metropolitan of Rhosia does Tornikes’ letter refer? For Darrouzes the answer can be found by simple chronology. Soterichos Panteugenos claimed that the deceased patriarch was inclined towards Bogomilism. Robert Browning, in his ‘brief reconstruction of Tornikes’ biography, assumed that the patriarch was Kosmas Attikos, who had been deposed in 1147 on account of his alleged Bogomil leanings, and who had been a patron of Tornikes [3]. The date of Kosmas’ death, however, is not clear. Darrouzes re-identifies the patriarch as Theodotos and hence dates Tornikes’ letter to late summer or early autumn 1154. The metropolitan of Rhosia in mid-to-late 1154 was, he notes, Klim Smoliatich. Klim Smoliatich was therefore the man to whom Thornikes referred in his letter [4].


Yes and no. In July 1147 Klim was elected metropolitan by a rigged synod of local bishops, under the patronage of the Kievan prince Iziaslav Mstislavich, without the customary blessing of the patriarch.





It is worth pointing out that the patriarchal throne happened to be vacant at the time, but nevertheless a minority of bishops in Rus felt that the procedure for Klim’s election was improper. The likelihood is that in Constantinople Klim’s appointment was regarded as invalid, and that he was not recognised as the legitimate metropolitan. Patriarch Nicholas Mouzalon wrote a letter of encouragement to one of the dissenting local bishops, Niphont of Novgorod, in which he referred to Klim as an “evil serpent”. Metropolitan Constantine, Klim’s successor, made a point of refusing to acknowledge any of Klim’s ecclesiastical appointees unless they made a formal renunciation of Klim. Even in native sources Klim’s name is omitted from later lists of metropolitans [5]. In such a context Darrouzes’ identification of Klim looks incongruous. Why should Klim, the rusin, become involved in the internal squabbles among the deacons of St. Sophia in Constantinople? In what language were his alleged jibes expressed? There is no record of Klim travelling to the Byzantine capital during his tenure of office. And, most importantly why should Tornikes make any reference at all to a man whose status as metropolitan was not acknowledged?


If Darrouzes’ suggestion were to be correct, then it would require a significant change in the conventional picture of Byzantino-Kievan ecclesiastical relations in the mid twelfth century. We might have to surmise, for example, that the rift between Constantinople and the Kievan Church was not total but factional, reflecting factional disputes not only among the Rus but also in Constantinople. In this case Nicholas Mouzalon’s opposition to Klim might not be decisive, since in 1151 Mouzalon himself was forced to resign under a cloud. Might Klim perhaps have enjoyed the backing of at least one of the Constantinopolitan cliques, including Soterichos Panteugenos? The notion begins to become quite attractive when we recall that Klim’s successor and opponent, Metropolitan Constantine, was the man who initiated the investigation into Panteugehos’ suspect teachings on the eucharist at the synod of 26 January 1156. [6] Furthemore, the extant writings by and about Klim hint that he was not utterly out of touch with contemporary Byzantine debate [7].


Such a reassessment is not persuasive; or at least not so persuasive that we can afford to abandon further inquiry into possible alternatives. The main alternative, of course, is that Darrouzes could be wrong: either wrong in his textual emendation (e. g. the reference might not be to a metropolitan but to another churchman such as the distinquished Bishop Manuel of Smolensk) [8];





or wrong in the dating of the letter; or wrong in his choice of metropolitan. Leaving aside the problems of text and overall chronology, let us reconsider the choice of metropolitan.


We have reffered to Metropolitan Constantine as Klim’s successor, but when was he appointed? Constantine arrived in Kiev to take up the duties of his office in spring or summer 1156. In January of the same year, before his departure, he was involved in the synod in Constantinople. Iziaslav Mstislavich had died in November 1154. After the usual somewhat messy interregnum, Kiev was finally occupied in the spring of 1155 by Iziaslav’s uncle Iurii Vladimirovich (later called “Dolgorukii”) of Suzdal. Iurii had persistently objected to Klim as metropolitan. The most common assumption, therefore, is that Iurii, on taking Kiev, ejected Klim and requested a new metropolitan from Constantinople. According to this reckoning, Constantine was appointed in the middle of 1155 [9].


On the face of things, Constantine is a far more plausible candidate than Klim as the metropolitan to whom Tornikes refers. He was legitimate, he was a Byzantine nominee, he was in Constantinople before departing for Kiev, and we know that he was active and prominent in the doctrinal polemics among precisely this circle of fractious churchmen: at the synod of 26 January 1156 Georges Tornikes himself spoke enthusiastically in support of Constantine’s views [10]. Darrouzes does mention Constantine, but rejects him for chronological reasons [11]. If Darrouzes basic hypotheses are wrong - I. e. if the letter was written after 1154, or if the anonymous deceased patriarch was not Theodotos - then the objection to Constantine might evaporate. I suggest, however, that even the chronology of the letter need not be a barrier.


Scholars have assumed quite reasonably, that a replacement for Klim was requested by Iurii Vladimirovich. But in this connection they have tended to overlook the fact that Iurii had occupied Kiev on other occasions before the spring of 1155. He first ousted his nephew Iziaslav in the summer of 1149 and held Kiev almost continuously from then until the spring of 1151 [12]. Klim’s tenure as metropolitan depended on the presence and protection of his patron Iziaslav, and when Iziaslav was forced out of Kiev Klim was forced out with him. There is no reason to suspect that in 1149-51 Iurii regarded his own rule in Kiev as temporary. Why should one suppose that he only asked for a legitimate metropolitan in 1155 rather than in 1149-51? It is quite plausible that Constantine was designated as the legitimate metropolitan of Kiev before 1155,





perhaps even as early as 1149-51, and that he simply remained in Constantinople until he could securely take up his duties. This would help to explain why the acknowledged metropolitan of Rhosia was on hand to make nasty comments about George Tornikes in 1154.


It may seem odd to suggest that there were in effect two rival metropolitans of Rhosia, Constantine and Klim. Actually it is not at all odd: it was a situation with which Constantine was to become uncomfortably familiar. Iurii died in 1157, and his death set off another uncle-versus-nephew dispute. Iziaslav’s son Mstislav was strongly in favour of reinstating Klim, while Iziaslav’s brother Rostislav (of Smolensk) preferred to retain Constantine. On this occasion the princes turned to Constantinople for a compromise solution, requesting a new appointee who was neither Klim nor Constantine. Meanwhile Constantine was apparently relegated to the sidelines. He died in 1159, not in Kiev but in Chernigov [13]. From the late 1140s the metropolitanate of Rhosia had been treated as a pawn in domestic and regional political rivalries. There is no strong reason to suppose that Constantine was designated metropolitan only in 1155 and not earlier. Hence there is no strong chronological barrier to indentifying Constantine as the metropolitan of Rhosia in the letter of George Tornikes.



   2. On the literary biography of Gregory the philosopher. Extant writings from pre-Mongol Rus are almost all anonymous. Named authors are very rare indeed, and any addition to their number must raise considerable interest. In 1980 the Lenin Library acquired a fifteenth-century florilegium which included a cycle of homilies for the days of the week. Homilies from the same cycle had been known from other manuscripts, sometimes ascribed either to “Cyril the Philosopher” or to “Gregory the Philosopher”. Scholars wavered over the precise attribution, but mostly concluded that the homilies originated in tenth-century Bulgaria. Dramatic new light appeared to be shed on this problem by the newly acquired manuscript, from the Chuvanov collection (GBL/RBL/ F. 775 /Chuvanov/, 1). Here the cycle is preceded by a uniquely eloquent heading:


В лето 6570 Григория Философа пришедшаго изъ Царяграда съ митрополитом Георгием при кн/я/зи Изяславе с/ы/на Ярославля словесъ седмь сотворено на ползоу д/у/ши по пению параклития [14].





“In the year 6570, seven homilies of Gregory the Philosopher, who came from Constantinople with Metropolitan George under Prince Iziaslav, son of Iaroslav, composed for the profit of the soul, following the singing of the Octoechos” [15].


The implications of this discovery have been explored by lu. D. Rykov and A. A. Turilov, who argue that the heading in the Chuvanov manuscript derives from the original heading of the cycle, and that it provides accurate historical and biographical information. In their view, Gregory the Philosopher was a Bulgarian (“most probably” from Western Bulgaria, “more specifically” linked to the see of Ochrid), who came to Kiev in the entourage of Metropolitan George. The date 6570 (March 1061 to February 1063, depending on the convention used) becomes the new terminus ante quem for the metropolitan’s arrival, which had tended to be placed somewhat later. The date is taken to refer specifically to the cycle s composition: hence the conclusion that the homilies were written in Rus for a Kievan audience; and hence the description of Gregory as a “Kievan writer” [16].


Exciting though it is, the heading in the Chuvanov manuscript needs more critical scrutiny. I would argue its value as evidence is in fact very limited, that it is far more likely to be a late compilation and that it cannot sustain the conclusions adduced from it. The main reasons are as follows:


  1. No equivalent text is known from pre-Mongol Rus. This is not itself cause for outright rejection, but it is grounds for caution. Turilov recognizes that the genre is unusual, but wrongly asserts that a parallel exists in the autobiographical colophon at the end of Metropolitan Ilarion’s works in the Synodal manuscript [17]. The analogy is false. Dated autobiographical colophons, written in the first person, are not especially rare. Some are placed at the end of a work or set of works within a manuscript: e.g. Ilarion’s colophon giving the date of his appointment as metropolitan (not the date of his works); or Silvestr’s note in the Laurentian chronicle sub anno 6618, giving 6624 as the year in which he wrote out the chronicle [18]. Others were written by scribes at the end of a complete manuscript [19]. The problem is that the heading of the cycle in the Chuvanov manuscript is neither autobiographical nor a colophon. It is a third-person introductory statement. It was not written or compiled by the author of the homilies; nor does it fall into known category of pre-Mongol rubrication. It is later than the text to which it is attached.





  2.The heading is not constructed as an integral text. A relatively minor point here is the switch from prepositional to genitive in the phrase "при князе Изяславе сына Ярославля" (cf. Ilarion’s consistent grammar in "владычествуюющу... кагану Ярославу сыну Владимирю"; or the colophon in the Mstislav Gospel, "Мьстиславоу... с/ы/ноу Володимирю” [20] not be confused with the perfectly correct switch to the genitive in constructions of the type ”o плъку Игореве, Игоря Святъславича”) [21]. This may be a sign merely of corruption, but perhaps also of infelicitous compilation. The more significant point, however, is the position of the date standing by itself at the start, more as in a chronicle than in a colophon. The obvious inference is not that the date is original but that it is a late addition, perhaps first jotted down as a marginal gloss and then transferred to the heading by a subsequent scribe. Turilov makes much of the fact that the date - 6570 - corresponds to that which appears in the Life of Feodosii Pecherskii shortly before Nestor tells of the introduction of the Stoudion Rule. And the Primary Chronicle asserts that the Rule was brought by a memeber of the entourage of Metropolitan George [22]. One could link these fragments and associate Gregory the Philosopher with the man who brought the Rule. Yet an equally plausible inference is that the heading in the Chuvanov manuscript is secondary, not primary: not that the heading is confirmed as accurate, but that it is revealed as derivative and therefore worthless: that its date originated in the Life, while its narrative vocabulary and phraseology (“пришедшаго изъ Царяграда с митрополитом Георгием”) is suspiciously close to that of the chronicle (“иже бе пришелъ из грекъ с митрополитомъ Георгиемъ”). In some of the manuscripts the cycle of homilies is accompanied by works of Theodore the Stoudite [23]. A medieval scribe, himself trying to locate the author, concocted a heading from the available information on the early transference of Stoudite texts to Kiev.


In short, the Chuvanov manuscript does not provide the evidence which would enable us to reconstruct the literary career of Gregory the Philosopher. It does not allow us to date the works, or to place them, or even to discover their original language. Why, for example, should one assume that Gregory was a Bulgarian who wrote the homilies in Slavonic for a Kievan audience? He could equally well have been a Greek-speaking Byzantine who wrote in Greek: there are, after all, several examples of Greek churchmen in Kiev whose Greek writings were conveyed to the locals in Slavonic [24], but there are no known examples





(from this early period) of Bulgarian churchmen preaching directly to the Kievans [25]. Not that I would wish to favour any particular hypothesis on this issue, but rather to stress no hypothesis is adequately supported by the available evidence, and so the questions must remain open. The most pressing task is to produce a full critical study of the texts themselves (Turilov prints widely differing versions in parallel columns, with no attempt to adjudicate), not to jump to dubious historical and biographical conclusions on the basis of an unreliable fragment. In the meantime the “Kievan writer Gregory the Philosopher” remains in the realm of wishful thinking.





1. Georges et Démétrios Tornikes. Lettres et discours. / ed. J. Darrouzès. Paris, 1970, p. 215, II. 11-12.


2. Ibid., pp. 214-5 and n. 22.


3. Browning R. An Unpublished Funeral Oration on Anna Comnena // Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society, No 188 (NS 8) Cambridge, 1962, pp. 2-3; repr. in: idem, Studies on Byzantine History, Literature and Education. London, 1977, N. VII; cf. also: idem. The Patriarchal School at Constantinople in the Twelfth Century (Continuation) // Byzantion, XXXIII, 1963, p. 34-37; repr. in: idem, Studies..., N. X.


4. Accepted also by Kazhdan A. P. in his review of Darrouzes in Византийский временник, 34, 1973, с. 291.


5. On Klim and the circumstances of his election see: Franklin S. Sermons and Rhetoric of Kievan Rus’. Cambridge, Mass., 1991, p. XLV-LVIII. For doubts about the extant texts of Mouzalon’s letter see: Poljakov F. B. Zur Authentizität des Briefes vom Patriarchen Nikolaos IV Muzalon an den Novgoroder Erzbischof Nifont // Die Welt der Slaven, Bd. XXXIII, N.F. XII (1988), p. 283-302.


6. On factional disputes among the deacons of St. Sophia in the 1140s and 1150s see: Magdalino P. The Empire of Manuel Komnenos, 1143-1180. Cambridge, 1993, p. 279-85; also Angold M. Church and Society in Byzantium under the Comneni, 1081-1261 Cambridge, 1995, p. 73-98. On Constantine and the synod of 1156 see: Grumel V. Les regestes des actes du patriarchat de Constantinople. I.III, N. 1038.


7. Franklin S. Echoes of Byzantine Elite Culture in Twelfth-Century Russia? // Byzantium and Europe. Athens, 1987, p. 177-87.


8. Franklin. S. Op. cit.; also idem, Who was the Uncle of Theodore Prodromes? // Byzantinoslavica, XLV, 1984, p. 40-45.


9. See e. g. A. Poppe’s Appendix to: Щапов Я. H. Государство и церковь Древней Руси Χ-ΧΙΙΙ вв. М., 1989, с. 197-8; also: Senyk S. A History of the Church in Ukraine. Volume I. To the End of the Thirteenth Century. Rome, 1993, p. 116.


10. MPG, CXL. col. 152. Further on this synod see also: Guillard J. Le synodikon de l’ortodoxie: edition et commentaire // Travaux et mémoires, II, 1967), p. 72-75 (II. 424-71), 210-15.





There is little doubt that this Metropolitan of Ephesos was Tornikes. The theological alliance between Tornikes and Constantine in 1156 is of course no argument against the notion that Constantine might have made some hurtful remarks in 1154.


11. Georges et Démétrios Tornikes..., p. 215, n. 22.


12. See e. g.: Лимонов Ю. А. Владимиро-Суздальская Русь. Очерки социально-политической истории. Л., 1987, с. 27-37.


13. ПСРЛ, I, кол. 349.


14. See: Рыков Ю. Д., Турилов А. А. Неизвестный эпизод болгаро-византийско-русских связей XI в. (Киевский писатель Григорий Философ) // Древнейшие государства на территории СССР. Материалы и исследования. 1982 год. М., 1984, с. 171.


15. Veder W., Turilov A. The Edificatory Prose of Kievan Rus’. Cambridge Mass., 1994, p. XLV; but cf. the slightly different phrasing of Veder’s translation in the same volume: ibid., p. 121.


16. Рыков Ю. Д., Турилов A. A. Неизвестный эпизод..., с. 170-176; also Turilov’s introduction in: Veder W., Turilov A. The Edificatory Prose..., p. XLI-LIII.


17. Veder W., Turilov A. The Edificatory Prose..., p. LI.


18. Идейно-философское наследие Илариоиа Киевского. T. 1. Μ., 1986, с. 41; ПСРЛ, I, col. 286.


19. For an extensive sample of colophons see: Карский E. Ф. Славянская кирилловская палеография. Л., 1928; repr. М., 1979, с. 258-308; also the analysis by Розов H. H. Книга Древней руси XI-XIV вв. Μ., 1977, с. 95-112, 154-7.


20. Апракос Мстислава Великого / Изд. Л. П. Жуковская. М., 1983, f. 213 а, с. 289.


21. Памятники литературы Дренисй Руси, XII век. М., 1980, с. 372.


22. Успенский сборник XII-XIII вв. М., 1971, f. 37b., с. 89; the chronicle names the man as the monk Michael: ПСРЛ, I, кол. 160.


23. Veder W., Turilov A. The Edificatory Prose..., p. XLIV-XLIX.


24. See: Podskalsky G. Der Beitrag der griechstammigen Metropoliten (Kiev), Bischöfe und Mönche zur altrussischen Originalliteratur (Theologie) // Cahiers du monde russe et soviétique, 24, 1983, p. 498-515.


25. Рыков Ю. Д., Турилов А. А. Неизвестный эпизод..., с. 173, cite irrelevant examples from the late fourteenth century and later. See the through survey of claims for the pre-Mongol period in: Thomson F. The Bulgarian Contribution to the Reception of Byzantine culture in Kievan Rus’: the Myths and the Enigma // Harvard Ukrainian Studies, vol. XII/XIII (1988/1989), p. 214-261; Thomson is uncharacteristically devoid of scepticism in allowing (ibid., p. 217) that Gregory is “the sole apparently authentic case”.


[Previous] [Next]

[Back to Index]