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A History of the Athonite Commonwealth
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Table of Contents

Part I: 1. Introduction; 2. The monastic life; Part II: 3. St Athanasios the Athonite (c.925-1000/1): founder of cenobitic monasticism on Athos; 4. The enlighteners of Georgia; 5. St Antony (983-1073) and St Theodosius (1035-1074) of Kiev: fathers of Russian monasticism; 6. St Sava (1175-1236): illuminator of Serbia; 7. St Gregory of Sinai (c.1265-1346): initiator of the 'Hesychast International'; 8. St Gregory Palamas (1296-1359): champion of hesychasm on Athos; 9. St Theodosius of Trnovo (c.1300-1363) and the Bulgarian school of hesychasm; 10. St Nikodimos of Tismana (1320-1406): transmitter of hesychasm to Wallachia; 11. St Sergius of Radonezh (1314-1392) and St Nil Sorsky (c.1433-1508): revivers of Russian monasticism; 12. St Maximos the Greek (c.1470-1556): enlightener of Russia; 13. St Kosmas the Aetolian (1714-1779): teacher of the Greek nation, apostle to the Albanians; 14. St Paisy Velichkovsky (1722-1794): reviver of hesychasm; 15. St Nikodimos of the Holy Mountain (1749-1809): editor of the Philokalia; 16. Athos and the West; Epilogue.

Promotional Information

Explores the role played by Athos in the spread of Orthodoxy and Orthodox monasticism throughout Eastern Europe and beyond.

About the Author

Graham Speake is founder and Chairman of the Friends of Mount Athos. He is a regular visitor to the Mountain and was received into the Orthodox Church there in 1999. Trained as a classicist, he holds a doctorate in Greek from the University of Oxford and is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. His first book, Mount Athos: Renewal in Paradise (2nd edition, 2014), was awarded the Criticos Prize.

Reviews

'Dr Speake's earlier volume Mount Athos: Renewal in Paradise has quickly come to be recognised as the best book on the subject. Its sequel, A History of the Athonite Commonwealth, has the same good qualities: clear, based closely on the sources, scholarly yet readable. It breaks new ground, and is an important addition to our knowledge of the Holy Mountain.' Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia, Pembroke College, Oxford
'In this intriguing and important book Graham Speake shows how from their beginning with St Athanasios in the tenth century the influence of the monks and monasteries of Mount Athos has spread far afield and continues today. It is a fascinating account that shows just why Athos matters so much.' Dame Averil Cameron, Professor Emerita of Late Antique and Byzantine History and Warden of Keble College, University of Oxford
'The monastic communities on Mount Athos play a central role in Orthodox Christianity. Graham Speake, who has already written a superb account of their millennium-long history on the peninsula, now demonstrates in a way that has never been done before how Athonite monasticism in its various forms has been intimately involved in the history of Orthodoxy worldwide. This is a unique and compelling book.' Reverend Andrew Louth, Emeritus Professor of Patristic and Byzantine Studies, University of Durham
'Its very unfamiliarity makes Graham Speake's survey of the spiritual diaspora of Mount Athos a surprising window on the faith that East and West are meant to share.' Christopher Howse, The Daily Telegraph
'It is a book that takes the reader across to many different places and earthly nations. We see how in each of these the seeds of a common vision of the spiritual life as expressed through Athonite monasticism were planted and have borne fruit through the lives of manifold saints.' Nicholas Chapman, Orthodox Life
'This new book provides an astonishing and rich panorama of the many ways in which monastic life on Mount Athos has influenced Christian life across the Orthodox world for more than 1000 years. The book is highly readable, and it is also very well illustrated ... This is an outstanding book in every way, and a most valuable contribution not only to church history, but also to a fuller understanding of Orthodox Christianity around the world today.' Douglas Dales, Church Times
'Dr Speake's earlier volume Mount Athos: Renewal in Paradise has quickly come to be recognised as the best book on the subject. Its sequel, A History of the Athonite Commonwealth, has the same good qualities: clear, based closely on the sources, scholarly yet readable. It breaks new ground, and is an important addition to our knowledge of the Holy Mountain.' Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia, Pembroke College, Oxford
'In this intriguing and important book Graham Speake shows how from their beginning with St Athanasios in the tenth century the influence of the monks and monasteries of Mount Athos has spread far afield and continues today. It is a fascinating account that shows just why Athos matters so much.' Dame Averil Cameron, Professor Emerita of Late Antique and Byzantine History and Warden of Keble College, University of Oxford
'The monastic communities on Mount Athos play a central role in Orthodox Christianity. Graham Speake, who has already written a superb account of their millennium-long history on the peninsula, now demonstrates in a way that has never been done before how Athonite monasticism in its various forms has been intimately involved in the history of Orthodoxy worldwide. This is a unique and compelling book.' Reverend Andrew Louth, Emeritus Professor of Patristic and Byzantine Studies, University of Durham
'Its very unfamiliarity makes Graham Speake's survey of the spiritual diaspora of Mount Athos a surprising window on the faith that East and West are meant to share.' Christopher Howse, The Daily Telegraph
'It is a book that takes the reader across to many different places and earthly nations. We see how in each of these the seeds of a common vision of the spiritual life as expressed through Athonite monasticism were planted and have borne fruit through the lives of manifold saints.' Nicholas Chapman, Orthodox Life
'This new book provides an astonishing and rich panorama of the many ways in which monastic life on Mount Athos has influenced Christian life across the Orthodox world for more than 1000 years. The book is highly readable, and it is also very well illustrated ... This is an outstanding book in every way, and a most valuable contribution not only to church history, but also to a fuller understanding of Orthodox Christianity around the world today.' Douglas Dales, Church Times

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