Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

From Bethlehem to Beloozero

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

Biblical Languages and National-Religious Boundaries in Muscovy

image of Russian History

Inspired in part by conversations with David Goldfrank, this essay considers aspects of how attitudes toward biblical language contributed to representations of national and religious identity in late medieval and early modern Muscovite Russia. At roughly the same time in history that revived Hebrew and Greek study in Western Europe helped to stimulate the Renaissance and Reformation, bookmen in East Slavia also reconsidered the original languages of sacred writings. Contrary to what is sometimes assumed, such interest was neither unknown nor marginal within Muscovite religious culture. Hebrew-Russian glossaries circulated in leading monasteries from at least the thirteenth century; major infusions of Greek (and other) words and definitions in the sixteenth century transformed these texts into multilingual dictionaries. This mainstream tradition in Russian Orthodoxy can be linked to such important religious figures as Nil Sorskii and Maksim Grek. I argue that by “appropriating” biblical languages and terminology, often via inaccurate translations, Muscovite Russian literati created and defended their distinctive identity vis-à-vis Jews and Greeks, who were considered God’s former chosen peoples. These findings suggest reconsideration of the nature and boundaries of faith in Muscovy in the “age of confessionalism.”

Affiliations: 1: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem1,


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Russian History — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation