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CNAA / Theses / 2009 / June /

The Holy Mountain and the athonits hesychasme in the spiritual life of Moldova Country in XV-XVIII centuries

Author: Melinti Maxim
Degree:doctor of history
Speciality: 07.00.02 - History of Romanians (with specification of time period)
Scientific adviser: Ion Eremia
doctor habilitat, professor, Moldova State University
Institution: Moldova State University
Scientific council: DH 30-07.00.02-27.03.08
Moldova State University


The thesis was presented on the 26 June, 2009
Approved by NCAA on the 11 February, 2010


Adobe PDF document0.45 Mb / in romanian


Synodical Act, аnchorite, monastic settlements, ecclesiastical architecture, asceticism, obedience, benefactor, byzantinism, canonization, catholicism, monk, liturgical books, celibasy, coenobic, cell, veneration, hut, communion, palamite controversy, copying of manuscripts, thought, purity, Divan, spiritual father, bishop, epitaphios, Gospel, devoutness, thaumatourgos, Philokalia, consecration, imperial chrisobull, Miraculous icons, Ortodox iconography, idiorhytmic, Ottoman Empire, Bizantine Hesychasm, Laura, tranquility, uncreated light, monastery, rock monastery, meditation, Methodology of spiritual development, mysticism, Western Monachism, Eastern Monachism, Ecumenical Patriarchate, pilgrim, Medieval Period, proselytism, Egiptian desert, hermit, Monastic rule, revelation, Bizantine rite, pray, schema, Divine service, Spiritual direction, saint, Holy Mountain Athos, Holy and Sacred Synod, Holy relics, cloister, Ortodox spirituality, ascetic theology, ascetic life, virtue.


The thesis represents the complete investigation of the appearance on the territory of Byzantine Empire of the new theological tendency with mystical-dogmatic character about heart’s prayer and hesychasme, which penetrated into the monastic settlements of Moldova due to the relations between the Moldovan voivodes and monks with the Agion Oros monasteries, which took place during the four decades. The work touches upon important subjects of these fruitful relations, reflecting the spiritual life of Moldova between XV-XVIII centuries.

The Introduction includes the relevance of the investigated subject, where is analysed its level of study, formulated the goal, is determined the studied object, the researched objectives and the working hypothesis, is established the geographic, chronologic and historic research framework, is reflected the research methodology, appreciated the new aspect and the practical value of the investigation, as well as the way of approving the fundamental results.

In chapter I: The origin of hesychasme. Hesychasme in the Romanian Country I established that the Byzantine hesychasme, the mystical-dogmatic precept or the new theological tendency, which appeared and developed especially with the beginning of the XIV century, was an important event in the history of orthodox spirituality and the relation history between the Church and the state. The Holy Mountain – the nest of orthodox hesychasme attracts the attention of persons wishing a contemplative life and of those wishing to better their virtues.

The second chapter: Hesychasme in Moldova Country and its role in the spiritual life of the Country I have showed that the evolution of hesychasme in the orthodox spirituality of Romanian countries passed two historic periods: the first is with regards to the establishment of the Romanian countries and their metropolises, the period which knows the coming of the Pious Nicodim from the Holy Mountain to Tismana or knows great names like that of patriarch Eftimie of Tîrnova.

Also here, I mentioned that, immediately after the dissolution of the Byzantine Empire, as assistants and main protectors of East orthodoxy, which offered multiple and varied support to the Christian East, patriarchates, monasteries and churches, become the Romanian voivodes, which borrow the traditions of Byzantine Basilians. As the result of these gifts, the Romanian voivodes wanted to be their legal successors.

The second period refers to the epoch in which Paisie Velicicovski comes to Athos Mountain and from there to Moldova, bringing a new inspiration, the hesychasme in the Romanian monasteries, due to which the whole patristic literature acquires new features.

The Hellenism in Moldova, supported and promoted by the Phanariots voivodes, enriched the educational, spiritual fields and had a nice correspondence with the Moldovan hesychasme. Due to some political factors of the land voivodes or phanariots, the hesychasme in Moldova gains favourable conditions for spreading and flourishing in all monastic settlements of the country, and the radius of Moldovan hesychasme got across its borders thanks to some great confessors like Vasile from Poiana Mărului and Paisie Velicicovski.

The Conclusion includes the basic ideas of the investigation, according to which the hesychasme penetrated, through many ways, into Moldovan monasteries and skits, and due to some circumstances obtained a special form, which can not be compared to hesychasme of the rest orthodox countries, contributing to people’s illumination, to the protection of the country against the Turkish invasion and sectarian proselytism. And due to some famous confessors, which discovered in Moldova a favourable land for practising the hesychasme, the Moldovan hesychasme became not only well-known, but it also put the basis of other schools and centres of orthodox spirituality from the neighbour countries.