Vasilii Kalika

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Vasilii Kalika


Year of birth unknown; died 1352. Archbishop of Novgorod. De facto head of the Feudal Republic of Novgorod during the years 1331-52; prior to this, Priest Grigorii of the Church of Koz’ma and Damian. Ecclesiastical and political leader. Philosopher and theologian.

In expressing the separatist interests of the Novgorod boyars, Vasilii Kalika strove to gain a greater degree of independence for Novgorod from the Grand Prince of Moscow. But in connection with the intensifying class struggle in Novgorod, he was forced to maintain political unity with Moscow. In the course of this political struggle Vasilii Kalika secured ecclesiastical autonomy from Moscow. During the period of his activity, in connection with acts of aggression by German, Swedish, and Lithuanian feudal lords, Novgorod was considerably strengthened (stone fortifications were built for its kremlin and its suburbs), as well as the cities along its northwestern borders. In Novgorod a city bridge and churches were built, as well as the Vasil’ev Gate of the St. Sophia Cathedral (now in the city of Aleksandrov), and paintings were done in the churches. Vasilii Kalika is the author of a philosophical work—the epistle of 1347, written to the bishop of Tver’, Fedor the Good, in which he argued against humanistic and Reformation ideas and defended the dogmas of the official church.


Speranskii M. N. Iz starinnoi novgorodskoi literatury XIV v. Leningrad, 1934.
Rybakov, B. A. Remeslo Drevnei Rusi. [Moscow] 1948. Pages 767-76.
Klibanov, A. I. “K istorii russkoi reformatsionnoi mysli.” In the collection Voprosy istorii religii i ateizma, vol. 5. Moscow, 1958.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.