Book Series Studies and Texts, vol. 160

The Volokolamsk Paterikon

A Window on a Muscovite Monastery

T. Allan Smith

  • Pages: 240 p.
  • Size:150 x 230 mm
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2008

  • ISBN: 978-0-88844-160-7
  • Hardback
  • Available

This study of Santa Maria del Gualdo Mazzocca, a Benedictine priory, and then abbey, directly dependent upon the papacy, offers a remarkable glimpse into the nature of monastic life in the Middle Ages.


The purpose of this volume is to make accessible to mediaevalists, church historians and Slavists, texts associated with the Monastery of the Dormition in Volokolamsk, one of the most important monastic foundations in mediaeval Muscovy, and with its founder, Iosif of Volokolamsk. The Volokolamsk Paterikon by Dosifej Toporkov is the principal focus of the study, but also included in translation are Dosifej Toporkov’s Funeral Oration for Venerable Hegumen Iosif, Savva Cernyj’s life of Iosif and the Life of Kassian Bosoj and Life of Elder Fatej by Vassian Koška. All of these texts are contained in GIM Sinodal’noe sobr. No. 927, compiled by Vassian Koška in the middle of the sixteenth century. Some recently edited supplementary tales from the Volokolamsk Paterikon, compiled by Vassian Koška and preserved in RGB Muzejnoe sobr. No. 1257 of the mid-sixteenth century, are also included in this translation. All of these texts are valuable doc­u­mentary witnesses to the type of monasticism practised in a monas­tery which would become a major centre for literary production and provide the Russian church with numerous higher clergy.