Isidore of Kiev

Isidore of Kiev

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Isidore of Kiev, also known as Isidore of Thessalonica ' onMouseout='HidePop("55056")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Rome">Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, 27 April 1463) was a Greek
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 Metropolitan of Kiev, cardinal
Cardinal (Catholicism)
A cardinal is a senior ecclesiastical official, usually an ordained bishop, and ecclesiastical prince of the Catholic Church. They are collectively known as the College of Cardinals, which as a body elects a new pope. The duties of the cardinals include attending the meetings of the College and...

, humanist, and theologian. He was one of the chief Eastern defenders of reunion at the time of the Council of Florence
Council of Florence
The Council of Florence was an Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. It began in 1431 in Basel, Switzerland, and became known as the Council of Ferrara after its transfer to Ferrara was decreed by Pope Eugene IV, to convene in 1438...

.

Early life


He arrived at Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

, became a monk, and was there made hegumenos of the monastery of St Demetrius. He knew Latin well, and had considerable fame as a theologian. He was also an accomplished orator; he seems from the beginning to have been eager for reunion with the West.

It was the time when the Court of Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

, on the eve of its final destruction by the Turks
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...

, was considering the chance of rescue from the Western princes as a result of reuniting with Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

. In 1434 Isidore was sent to Basle by John VIII Palaiologos
John VIII Palaiologos
John VIII Palaiologos or Palaeologus , was the penultimate reigning Byzantine Emperor, ruling from 1425 to 1448.-Life:John VIII Palaiologos was the eldest son of Manuel II Palaiologos and Helena Dragaš, the daughter of the Serbian prince Constantine Dragaš...

 (1425–1448) as part of an embassy to open negotiations with the Council of Basle. Here he made a mellifluous speech about the splendour of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 at Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

. On his return he continued to take part in all the preparations for reunion among his own people.

Metropolitan of Kiev



In 1437, Isidore was appointed Metropolitan of Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

 and Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 and all Rus' by Emperor John VIII Palaeologus to draw the Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

 into communion with the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 and secure Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

's protection against the invading Ottoman Turks
Ottoman Turks
The Ottoman Turks were the Turkish-speaking population of the Ottoman Empire who formed the base of the state's military and ruling classes. Reliable information about the early history of Ottoman Turks is scarce, but they take their Turkish name, Osmanlı , from the house of Osman I The Ottoman...

. Grand Prince Vasili II met the new Metropolitan with hostility. However, Isidore managed to persuade the Grand Prince
Grand Prince
The title grand prince or great prince ranked in honour below emperor and tsar and above a sovereign prince .Grand duke is the usual and established, though not literal, translation of these terms in English and Romance languages, which do not normally use separate words for a "prince" who reigns...

 to ally with Catholicism
Catholicism
Catholicism is a broad term for the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole....

 for the sake of saving the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 and the Orthodox Church of Constantinople.

After Isidore had received funding from Vasili II, he went to Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

 to attend the continuation of the Council of Basel in 1439. He was made a cardinal
Cardinal (Catholicism)
A cardinal is a senior ecclesiastical official, usually an ordained bishop, and ecclesiastical prince of the Catholic Church. They are collectively known as the College of Cardinals, which as a body elects a new pope. The duties of the cardinals include attending the meetings of the College and...

-presbyter
Presbyter
Presbyter in the New Testament refers to a leader in local Christian congregations, then a synonym of episkopos...

 and a papal legate
Papal legate
A papal legate – from the Latin, authentic Roman title Legatus – is a personal representative of the pope to foreign nations, or to some part of the Catholic Church. He is empowered on matters of Catholic Faith and for the settlement of ecclesiastical matters....

 for the province
Province
A province is a territorial unit, almost always an administrative division, within a country or state.-Etymology:The English word "province" is attested since about 1330 and derives from the 13th-century Old French "province," which itself comes from the Latin word "provincia," which referred to...

s of 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...

, Livonia
Livonia
Livonia is a historic region along the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea. It was once the land of the Finnic Livonians inhabiting the principal ancient Livonian County Metsepole with its center at Turaida...

, all Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 and Galicia (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...

). During this Council, Isidore fervently defended the union between the Churches of East and West, but he was opposed only by the secular representative from Russia - ambassador Foma (Thomas) of Tver
Tver
Tver is a city and the administrative center of Tver Oblast, Russia. Population: 403,726 ; 408,903 ;...

. Finally, the union agreement was signed and Isidore returned to Russia. In 1437 he was sent by the Byzantine Patriarch Joseph II
Patriarch Joseph II of Constantinople
Joseph II was Patriarch of Constantinople from 1416 to 1439.Born the son of Ivan Shishman of Bulgaria in 1360, little is known of his early life before he became a monk on Mount Athos. He became Metropolitan of Ephesus in 1393, before being elected Patriarch of Constantinople on 21 May 1416...

 (1416–39, a conspicuous friend of reunion, who died a Catholic at Florence) to be Metropolitan of Moscow As soon as he arrived he began to arrange a Russian legation for the council about to be held at Ferrara
Ferrara
Ferrara is a city and comune in Emilia-Romagna, northern Italy, capital city of the Province of Ferrara. It is situated 50 km north-northeast of Bologna, on the Po di Volano, a branch channel of the main stream of the Po River, located 5 km north...

. The Russian tsar, Vassili II
Vasili II of Russia
Vasily II Vasiliyevich Tyomniy was the Grand Prince of Moscow whose long reign was plagued by the greatest civil war of Old Russian history....

 (1425–62), made difficulties about this, and let him go eventually only after he had promised to come back with "the rights of Divine law and the constitution of the holy Church" uninjured. Syropulus and other Greek writers charge Isidore with perjury because in spite of this he accepted the union.

Council of Ferrara


Isidore set out with a great following on 8 September 1437, travelled by Riga
Riga
Riga is the capital and largest city of Latvia. With 702,891 inhabitants Riga is the largest city of the Baltic states, one of the largest cities in Northern Europe and home to more than one third of Latvia's population. The city is an important seaport and a major industrial, commercial,...

 and Lübeck
Lübeck
The Hanseatic City of Lübeck is the second-largest city in Schleswig-Holstein, in northern Germany, and one of the major ports of Germany. It was for several centuries the "capital" of the Hanseatic League and, because of its Brick Gothic architectural heritage, is listed by UNESCO as a World...

, and arrived at Ferrara on 15, August, 1438. On the way he offended his suite by his friendly conduct towards the Latins. At Ferrara and at Florence, whither the council moved in January, 1439, Isidore was one of the six chief speakers on the Byzantine side. Together with Johannes Bessarion he steadfastly worked for the union, and never swerved afterwards in his acceptance of it.

After the council, Pope Eugene IV
Pope Eugene IV
Pope Eugene IV , born Gabriele Condulmer, was pope from March 3, 1431, to his death.-Biography:He was born in Venice to a rich merchant family, a Correr on his mother's side. Condulmer entered the Order of Saint Augustine at the monastery of St. George in his native city...

 made him his legate
Papal legate
A papal legate – from the Latin, authentic Roman title Legatus – is a personal representative of the pope to foreign nations, or to some part of the Catholic Church. He is empowered on matters of Catholic Faith and for the settlement of ecclesiastical matters....

 for all Russia and Lithuania. On his way back news reached Isidore, at Benevento
Benevento
Benevento is a town and comune of Campania, Italy, capital of the province of Benevento, 50 km northeast of Naples. It is situated on a hill 130 m above sea-level at the confluence of the Calore Irpino and Sabato...

, that he had been made Cardinal-Priest of the Title of Ss Peter and Marcellinus. This was one of the few cases at the time in which a person not of the Latin Rite was made a cardinal.

From Buda
Buda
For detailed information see: History of Buda CastleBuda is the western part of the Hungarian capital Budapest on the west bank of the Danube. The name Buda takes its name from the name of Bleda the Hun ruler, whose name is also Buda in Hungarian.Buda comprises about one-third of Budapest's...

, in March 1440, he published an encyclical
Encyclical
An encyclical was originally a circular letter sent to all the churches of a particular area in the ancient Catholic Church. At that time, the word could be used for a letter sent out by any bishop...

 calling on all Russian bishops to accept the union, but when he at last arrived in Moscow (Easter, 1441), and proclaimed the union in the Kremlin church, he found that the Grand Duke Vasily II of Moscow and most of the bishops and people would have none of it. Then, at Vasily's command, six Russian bishops met in a synod, deposed Isidore, and shut him up in prison.

Exile


In September of 1443, after two years of imprisonment, Metropolitan Isidor escaped to Tver
Tver
Tver is a city and the administrative center of Tver Oblast, Russia. Population: 403,726 ; 408,903 ;...

, then to 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...

 and on to Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

. He was graciously received by the pope in 1443. Pope Nicholas V
Pope Nicholas V
Pope Nicholas V , born Tommaso Parentucelli, was Pope from March 6, 1447 to his death in 1455.-Biography:He was born at Sarzana, Liguria, where his father was a physician...

 (1447–1455) sent him as legate to Constantinople to arrange the reunion there in 1452, and gave him two hundred soldiers to help the defence of the city. On 12 December of that year he was able to unite three hundred of the Byzantine
Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

 clergy in a celebration of the short-lived reunion.

He saw the taking of the city by the Turks on 29 May 1453, and only escaped the massacre by dressing up a dead body in his cardinal's robes. While the Turks were cutting off its head and parading it through the streets, the real cardinal was shipped off to Asia Minor with a number of insignificant prisoners, as a slave. Afterwards he wrote an account of the horrors of the siege in a letter to Nicholas V.

He escaped from captivity, or bought himself free, and came back to Rome. Here he was made Bishop of Sabina, presumably adopting the Latin Rite. Pope Pius II
Pope Pius II
Pope Pius II, born Enea Silvio Piccolomini was Pope from August 19, 1458 until his death in 1464. Pius II was born at Corsignano in the Sienese territory of a noble but decayed family...

 (1458–64) later gave him two titles successively, those of Latin Patriarch of Constantinople
Latin Patriarch of Constantinople
The Latin Patriarch of Constantinople was an office established as a result of Crusader activity in the Near East. The title should not be confused with that of the Patriarch of Constantinople, an office which existed before and after....

 and Archbishop of Cyprus, neither of which he could convert into real jurisdiction. He was Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals from October 1461.

The Russian princes denounced the union with Rome, but Isidore persisted. On his return from Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, during his first Pontifical Divine Liturgy
Divine Liturgy
Divine Liturgy is the common term for the Eucharistic service of the Byzantine tradition of Christian liturgy. As such, it is used in the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches. Armenian Christians, both of the Armenian Apostolic Church and of the Armenian Catholic Church, use the same term...

 in the Cathedral of the Dormition
Cathedral of the Dormition
The Cathedral of the Dormition is a Russian Orthodox church dedicated to the Dormition of the Theotokos. It is located on the north side of Cathedral Square of the Moscow Kremlin in Russia, where a narrow alley separates the north from the Patriarch's Palace with the Twelve Apostles Church....

 in the Moscow Kremlin
Moscow Kremlin
The Moscow Kremlin , sometimes referred to as simply The Kremlin, is a historic fortified complex at the heart of Moscow, overlooking the Moskva River , Saint Basil's Cathedral and Red Square and the Alexander Garden...

, Isidore had a Latin Rite crucifix
Crucifix
A crucifix is an independent image of Jesus on the cross with a representation of Jesus' body, referred to in English as the corpus , as distinct from a cross with no body....

 carried in front of the procession and named Pope Eugene IV
Pope Eugene IV
Pope Eugene IV , born Gabriele Condulmer, was pope from March 3, 1431, to his death.-Biography:He was born in Venice to a rich merchant family, a Correr on his mother's side. Condulmer entered the Order of Saint Augustine at the monastery of St. George in his native city...

 during the prayers of the liturgy. He also read aloud the decree of unification. Isidore passed a message to Vasili II from The Vatican
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

, containing a request to assist the Metropolitan in spreading the Union in Russia. Three days later Isidore was arrested by the Grand Prince and imprisoned in the Chudov Monastery
Chudov Monastery
The Chudov Monastery was founded in the Moscow Kremlin in 1358 by Metropolitan Alexius of Moscow. The monastery was dedicated to the miracle of the Archangel Michael at Chonae...

. He was denounced by certain Russian clergy
Clergy
Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. A clergyman, churchman or cleric is a member of the clergy, especially one who is a priest, preacher, pastor, or other religious professional....

men, who were under pressure of Vasili II, for refusing to renounce the union with "heretical Rome".

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