Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Cyril Lucaris

Cyril Lucaris

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Cyril Lucaris'
Start a new discussion about 'Cyril Lucaris'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Cyril Lucaris born Constantine Lukaris or Loucaris (1572–1638) was a Greek
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 prelate
Prelate
A prelate is a high-ranking member of the clergy who is an ordinary or who ranks in precedence with ordinaries. The word derives from the Latin prælatus, the past participle of præferre, which means "carry before", "be set above or over" or "prefer"; hence, a prelate is one set over others.-Related...

 and theologian
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

, and a native of Candia
Candia
-Places:* The old Venetian name for Heraklion, Crete* Kingdom of Candia, colony of the Republic of Venice * Candia Canavese, Italy* Candia Lomellina, Italy...

, Crete
Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

 (then under the Republic of Venice
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

). He later became the Greek Patriarch of Alexandria as Cyril III and Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople as Cyril I. Loukaris strove for a reform of the Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

 along Protestant and Calvinist lines. Attempts to bring Calvinism into the Orthodox Church were rejected, and Cyril's actions and motivations remain a matter of debate among the Orthodox.

Life


Kyrillos Loukaris was born in Candia
Heraklion
Heraklion, or Heraclion is the largest city and the administrative capital of the island of Crete, Greece. It is the 4th largest city in Greece....

, Crete
Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

 on 13 November 1572, when Crete was part of the Venetian Republic's maritime empire. In his youth he travelled through Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, studying at Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

 and Padua
Padua
Padua is a city and comune in the Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Padua and the economic and communications hub of the area. Padua's population is 212,500 . The city is sometimes included, with Venice and Treviso, in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area, having...

, and at Geneva
Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

 where he came under the influence of the reformed faith as represented by John Calvin
John Calvin
John Calvin was an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism. Originally trained as a humanist lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church around 1530...

. Lucaris pursued theological studies in Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

 and Padua
Padua
Padua is a city and comune in the Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Padua and the economic and communications hub of the area. Padua's population is 212,500 . The city is sometimes included, with Venice and Treviso, in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area, having...

, Wittenberg
Wittenberg
Wittenberg, officially Lutherstadt Wittenberg, is a city in Germany in the Bundesland Saxony-Anhalt, on the river Elbe. It has a population of about 50,000....

 and Geneva
Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

 where he came under the influence of Calvinism
Calvinism
Calvinism is a Protestant theological system and an approach to the Christian life...

 and developed strong antipathy for Roman Catholicism.

In 1596 Lucaris was sent to Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 by Meletios Pegas, Patriarch of Alexandria
Patriarch of Alexandria
The Patriarch of Alexandria is the Archbishop of Alexandria and Cairo, Egypt. Historically, this office has included the designation of Pope , and did so earlier than that of the Bishop of Rome...

, to lead the Orthodox opposition to the Union of Brest-Litovsk, which proposed a union of Kiev with Rome. For six years Lucaris served as professor of the Orthodox academy in Vilnius
Vilnius
Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, and its largest city, with a population of 560,190 as of 2010. It is the seat of the Vilnius city municipality and of the Vilnius district municipality. It is also the capital of Vilnius County...

 (now in Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

).

Due to Turkish
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 oppression combined with the proselytization of the Orthodox faithful by Jesuit
Society of Jesus
The Society of Jesus is a Catholic male religious order that follows the teachings of the Catholic Church. The members are called Jesuits, and are also known colloquially as "God's Army" and as "The Company," these being references to founder Ignatius of Loyola's military background and a...

 missionaries, there was a shortage of schools which taught the Orthodox Faith and the Greek language
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

. Roman Catholic schools were set up and Catholic churches were built next to Orthodox ones, and since Orthodox priest
Priest
A priest is a person authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities...

s were in short supply something had to be done. His first act was to found a theological seminary in Mount Athos
Mount Athos
Mount Athos is a mountain and peninsula in Macedonia, Greece. A World Heritage Site, it is home to 20 Eastern Orthodox monasteries and forms a self-governed monastic state within the sovereignty of the Hellenic Republic. Spiritually, Mount Athos comes under the direct jurisdiction of the...

, the Athoniada school.

He sponsored Maximos of Gallipoli
Maximos of Gallipoli
Maximos of Gallipoli, was a hieromonk who made the first translation of the New Testament into modern Greek after 1629. This was at the initiative of the reforming Patriarch Cyril Lucaris of Constantinople, who was later strangled...

 to produce the first modern Bible translations into Greek
Bible translations into Greek
Bible translations into Greek begin with the Septuagint , the ancient translation of the Hebrew Bible into Koine Greek , was the very first Bible translation in any language...

.

Calvinism


However his ultimate aim was to reform the Orthodox Church along Calvinistic
Calvinism
Calvinism is a Protestant theological system and an approach to the Christian life...

 lines, and to this end he sent many young Greek theologians to the universities of Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, the northern Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 and England. In 1629 he published his famous Confessio (Calvinistic doctrine), but as far as possible accommodated to the language and creeds of the Orthodox Church. It appeared the same year in two Latin editions, four French, one German and one English, and in the Eastern Church started a controversy which culminated in 1672 with the convocation by Dositheos, Patriarch of Jerusalem
Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem
The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem is the head bishop of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, ranking fourth of nine Patriarchs in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Since 2005, the Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem has been Theophilos III...

, of the Synod of Jerusalem
Synod of Jerusalem
The Synod of Jerusalem was convened by Greek Orthodox Patriarch Dositheos Notaras in March, 1672. Because the occasion was the consecration of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, it is also called the Synod of Bethlehem....

 by which the Calvinistic doctrines were condemned.

Cyril was also particularly well disposed towards the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

, and his correspondence with the Archbishops of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. In his role as head of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop leads the third largest group...

 is extremely interesting. It was in his time that Mitrophanes Kritopoulos - later to become Patriarch of Alexandria (1636–1639) was sent to England to study. Both Lucaris and Kritopoulos were lovers of books and manuscripts, and many of the items in the collections of books and these two Patriarch
Patriarch
Originally a patriarch was a man who exercised autocratic authority as a pater familias over an extended family. The system of such rule of families by senior males is called patriarchy. This is a Greek word, a compound of πατριά , "lineage, descent", esp...

s acquired manuscripts that today adorn the Patriarchal Library.

Politics


Lucaris was several times temporarily deposed
Deposition (politics)
Deposition by political means concerns the removal of a politician or monarch. It may be done by coup, impeachment, invasion or forced abdication...

 and banished at the instigation of both his Orthodox opponents and the Catholic French
Kingdom of France
The Kingdom of France was one of the most powerful states to exist in Europe during the second millennium.It originated from the Western portion of the Frankish empire, and consolidated significant power and influence over the next thousand years. Louis XIV, also known as the Sun King, developed a...

 and Austrian
Habsburg Monarchy
The Habsburg Monarchy covered the territories ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg , and then by the successor House of Habsburg-Lorraine , between 1526 and 1867/1918. The Imperial capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague...

 ambassadors, while he was supported by the Protestant Dutch
Dutch Republic
The Dutch Republic — officially known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands , the Republic of the United Netherlands, or the Republic of the Seven United Provinces — was a republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795, preceding the Batavian Republic and ultimately...

 and English
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

 ambassador
Ambassador
An ambassador is the highest ranking diplomat who represents a nation and is usually accredited to a foreign sovereign or government, or to an international organization....

s to the Ottoman capital. Finally, when the Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 Sultan
Sultan
Sultan is a title with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic language abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", and "dictatorship", derived from the masdar سلطة , meaning "authority" or "power". Later, it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who...

 Murad IV
Murad IV
Murad IV Ghazi was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1623 to 1640, known both for restoring the authority of the state and for the brutality of his methods...

 was about to set out for the Persian War, the Patriarch was accused of a design to stir up the Cossack
Cossack
Cossacks are a group of predominantly East Slavic people who originally were members of democratic, semi-military communities in what is today Ukraine and Southern Russia inhabiting sparsely populated areas and islands in the lower Dnieper and Don basins and who played an important role in the...

s, and to avoid trouble during his absence the Sultan had him killed by the Janissaries
Janissary
The Janissaries were infantry units that formed the Ottoman sultan's household troops and bodyguards...

 on June 27, 1638 aboard a ship in the Bosporus
Bosporus
The Bosphorus or Bosporus , also known as the Istanbul Strait , is a strait that forms part of the boundary between Europe and Asia. It is one of the Turkish Straits, along with the Dardanelles...

. His body was thrown into the sea, but it was recovered and buried at a distance from the capital by his friends, and only brought back to Constantinople after many years.

Legacy


Lucaris' position in Eastern Orthodoxy continues to be a matter of debate in the church. Some Orthodox accept the view of most secular historians that he was an advocate of Calvinism. Others say his personal position was distorted by his enemies, and that he remained loyal to Orthodox teachings.

External links