How many times did Russia actually baptize

How many times did Russia actually baptize

Russia was baptized more than once. So say the Uniates, so they say, and many historians. It is not only the traditional date of the baptism of Rus that is challenged, but also the succession of the Russian Orthodox Church from the Byzantine Patriarchate.

What are the chronicles silent

Today, the thesis that our state was baptized at the end of the 10th century is not negotiable. He acquired the value of an incontestable dogma, despite the fact that there are many gaps in this issue. For example, even the authorities of the Orthodox Church tend to think that the date of baptism - 988 - may be approximate.

In Soviet historiography, the point of view gained popularity, according to which, under St. Vladimir, not all of Russia was baptized, but only the upper class. At the same time, the state continued to remain predominantly pagan.

That's curious. In foreign sources of the X-XI centuries, researchers still have not found evidence of the baptism of Russia in 988.For example, the medieval historian Fedor Fortinsky in 1888 - on the eve of the 900th anniversary of the “Vladimir's baptism” - did extensive work, looking for even the slightest hints of such a significant event in European sources.

The scientist analyzed the Polish, Czech, Hungarian, German, Italian chronicles. The result struck him: none of the texts contained any information about the adoption of Christianity by Russia at the end of the 10th century. The only exception was the message of the German canon Titmar of Merzebursky about the personal baptism of Grand Duke Vladimir in connection with the planned marriage.

“Even more strange is the silence of Orthodox sources, first of all, Byzantine and Bulgarian sources. The ideological and political moment in this case seems to be the most important, ”writes the historian Mikhail Braychevsky. And indeed in significant written sources of Byzantium we find information about the fall of Chersonesus, the treaty of Vladimir Svyatoslavich with Emperor Basil II, the marriage of the Prince of Kiev with Princess Anna, the participation of the Russian expeditionary corps in the internecine struggle for the throne of Constantinople, but not a word about baptism.

How do you explain the lack of information in foreign chronicles about the baptism of Russia under Vladimir? Maybe the fact that Christianity came to Russia at another time or our state was baptized more than once?

Controversy

At the end of the 16th century, part of the hierarchs of the West Russian metropolis decided to strengthen their positions through ties with Rome, which in 1596 led to the crossing of the western and eastern branches of Christianity - uniatism. The event caused a conflict in the environment of Western Russian society and forced to rethink not only the dogmatic differences of Orthodoxy and Catholicism, but also the entire history of relations between the two Churches.

One of the main topics discussed by the polemists was the emergence of Christianity in the Old Russian state. As the most important event in Russian history, it fundamentally influenced the character of national and religious identity. Among the many questions raised were the following: the source of baptism (Constantinople or Rome), the history of baptism itself (by whom and when), whether baptism was performed during a schism or unity of the Western and Eastern Churches, under which the Patriarch and the Pope were held.

One of the main sources of the ideas of Russian Uniatism — the writings of the theologian of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Peter Skarga — stated that Russia received the baptism from the Patriarch, obedient to Rome, and this happened in the 9th century, that is, before the baptism of Vladimir, when the Church was one. In other words, he argued that Russia had baptized Rome. The subordination of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Roman Metropolis, according to Skarga, was documented by the signature of the Metropolitan of All Russia Isidore under the Florentine Unity in 1439.

Multiple Baptisms

Another Uniate - Archbishop of Smolensk Lev Kreuvza - put forward the idea of ​​the threefold baptism of Russia. The first, in his opinion, occurred in the 9th century under the Byzantine Patriarch Ignatius, the second — in the same century during the missionary activities of Cyril and Methodius, and the third — generally accepted — under Vladimir.

The concept of dual baptism of Russia was proposed by the spiritual writer, Archbishop of Polotsk, Melety Smotrytsky. One (referred to by Krevza) baptism occurred in 872 under Patriarch Ignatia, supposedly obedient to Pope Nicholas I, and was associated only with Galician Russia. The adoption of Christianity by Kievan Rus under Vladimir Smotrytsky did not refer to 988, but to 980.However, he argued that Patriarch Nikolai Khriserg, who had blessed the baptism of Russia, was in unity with Rome.

In the "Palinode" of Archimandrite of Kiev-Pechersk Lavra of Zakharia Kopystynsky, only one baptism was discussed, which, however, was preceded by three "assurances." The first - “the assurance of Rossov” - Kopystensky connects with the traditional legend of the journey of the Apostle Andrew through the Russian lands.

But the Orthodox Bishop Sylvester Kossov, who put forward the hypothesis of the fivefold baptism of Russia in the 1630s, went the furthest: the first was from the Apostle Andrew, the second in 883 under Patriarch Photius of Cyril and Methodius, 886 (also with Photius), the fourth - under Princess Olga in 958, and the fifth - under Vladimir. All baptisms, according to Kossov, originated od graeków (from the Greeks).

The Western Russian theologian Laurentius Zizanius in the Great Catechism, created in the early 1620s, essentially explains why questions are being raised about the multiple baptism of Russia. He writes that “the Russian people are baptized not at one time, but four times,” since as a result of the first three baptisms “a small part of the people are baptized”.

Modern researchers attach great importance to the hypothesis of the baptism of Russia from the Kiev princes Askold and Dir. According to the well-known specialist in Slavic culture, historian and archeologist Boris Rybakov, in the middle of the 9th century Christians were mainly representatives of the ancient Russian social elite. However, the scientist regards this event on a nationwide background as having a direct significance for the further development of Russia.

“The editor of The Tale of Bygone Years,” writes Rybakov, “for some reasons, hid this event from us and attributed the baptism of Russia to Prince Vladimir Svyatoslavich. At the same time, the chronicle story turned out to be in contradiction with the text of the treaty of 944 included in the chronicle, where it speaks explicitly about Christian Russia and the church of Sts. Ilya in Kiev.

Why the whole dispute

In the controversy that has been going on for many centuries around the baptism of Russia, besides the problem of the number of baptisms and the significance of one or another baptism on the scale of the Old Russian state, the question of the continuity of Christianity comes to the fore. Who is the godfather of Russia - Rome or Constantinople? All this originated in the confrontation of Uniates and Orthodox in the Commonwealth and was expressed in the struggle of the two camps for the priority right to speak on behalf of "Rus".

“Such a detailed elaboration of multiple baptisms is connected with the need to challenge the ability of the Uniates to attach Kiev Metropolis to Rome and Western Christianity at least by some fact,” writes historian Oleg Nemensky. It was the turn of the XVI-XVII centuries, which led Russia to the times of the Troubles, that determined the political legitimacy of the state and its church orientation.

But if the Uniates of the Polish – Lithuanian Commonwealth, “tying” their Church to Rome, tried to prove their supremacy and secondary character of Moscow, then the Ukrainian Uniates acted more cunningly. They abandoned the unambiguous slogan “Russia baptized Rome” and set out to build a more complex scheme connecting the Greek Catholic Church with both Rome and Constantinople.

The Russian Orthodox Church put the point in these investigations: “Russia was baptized in accordance with the Greek model in 988 from Equal to the Apostles Saint Prince Vladimir.” Otherwise it can not be.

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