Maxim, the Greek


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Icon within kyot, complex, tempera, kyot of linden tree; fogged subframe, gilded brass frame, glass. Silkscreen painting.

Size: 7 x 9 in.

History of the Saint:

A learned Greek monk, translator of biblical and Byzantine texts, writer of historical, liturgical, philological works, and descriptions of the world (he was the first to mention Columbus's discovery of the New World), Maxim was born Michael Trivolis (Triboles) in the Greek city of Arta about twenty years after the Turkish capture of Constantinople. He went to Italy as a young man studying with many prominent Renaissance figures, and became a monk in 1502. Soon, rejecting Roman Catholicism and the humanist world of his youth, he returned to Greece, entering the monastery on Mount Athos under the monastic name of Maximos, and concentrated upon the Eastern Orthodox theological tradition.

In 1516 he was sent to Moscow to correct Russian ecclesiastical books. There he fell into disfavor with Grand Prince Vasily and Metropolitan Daniel of the Russian Church, was convicted of treason and heresy (1525, 1531), one of the reasons being his use of the past perfect tense, which arguably expressed his disbelief in the eternal being of Jesus Christ. Despite his official disgrace, Maxim's voluminous compositions were greatly revered and very influential in Old Russia. He died in Moscow without regaining his freedom.

Product CodeMRRW20Z79

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