MONASTIC IDENTITY OF CONSTANTINE THE PHILOSOPHER AND METHODIUS AND THE FIRST SLAVIC TRANSLATIONS OF ASCETIC TEXTS
Abstract: Before their arrival in Great Moravia, the Thessalonian brothers from Thessaloniki Constantine and Methodius lived in the Polychron monastery at Bithynian Olympus, which belonged to the most prominent monastic centres of the Byzantine Empire in the 9th century. There, they became acquainted with the Byzantine Hesychastic tradition, which served as the foundation for their own work and which they passed down to their disciples. The relative shortness of Constantine and Methodius’ stay in Great Moravia precluded the organizing of a monastic way of life in this territory. For this reason, Byzantine Hesychastic tradition only entered the Slavic cultural space with the help of their pupils, who transposed it to the Bulgarian Empire, where first monasteries appeared in the 10th century and became the centres of spiritual and cultural life. The first Slavic translations of ascetic texts The Longer Responses and The Ladder of Divine Ascent are directly linked to the period of establishing the monastic way of life in Bulgaria, on which Constantine and Methodius’ disciples significantly participated. These texts would become the practical handbooks on ascetic way of life for monks. Byzantine monastic practice and ascetic tradition had a marked impact not only on monks, but also on pious laypeople, for whom ascetic texts became the models of virtuous life.
Authors: Zozuľak, Ján
Source: Konštatínove listy, 2022, vol.: 15, issue: 1, pages: 3-10 (PDF file)
Keywords: CONSTANTINE THE PHILOSOPHER, METHODIUS, MONASTICISM, ASCETICISM, HESYCHASTIC TRADITION, BYZANTINE EMPIRE