Vassian Patrikeev

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Vassian Patrikeev


(nickname, Kosoi—the cross-eyed; before becoming a monk, Prince Vasilii Ivanovich Patrikeev). Year of birth unknown; died prior to 1545. Russian ecclesiastical and political leader and publicist.

In 1499, after the defeat of the prince-boyar faction that was opposed to the strengthening of the power of Grand Prince Ivan III, Vassian Patrikeev was forced to become a monk and was sent to the Kirill Belozerskii Monastery. After the death of Nil Sorskii (1508), Vassian Patrikeev became head of the nonacquirers and used their doctrine in the interests of the opposing prince-boyar faction. Around 1509 he returned from exile to Moscow; he became close to Vasilii III at the time when the grand prince was attracted by plans to secularize church lands. In a polemic against Iosif Volotskii and his disciples, Vassian Patrikeev defended the theory of the church’s independence from the state; he argued against ownership of land by the monasteries and called for tolerance with regard to heretics. Although he drew attention to the hard lot of the peasants toiling on the patrimonies owned by monasteries, Vassian Patrikeev ignored the cruel exploitation of the peasants by secular feudal lords. Ideological differences, as well as Vassian Patrikeev’s opposition to Vasilii Ill’s divorce and second marriage, led to a cooler relationship toward him on the part of the grand prince. The latter, moreover, did not wish to quarrel with followers of Iosif Volotskii, who were in the majority in the Russian Church. Vassian Patrikeev wrote a number of epistles, treatises, and so forth. In 1531 he was condemned for heresy by a church assembly and exiled to the Volokolamsk Monastery, where he died.


Arkhangel’skii, A. Nil Sorskii i Vassian Patrikeev. St. Petersburg, 1882.
Kazakova, N. A. Vassian Patrikeev i ego sochineniia. Moscow-Leningrad, 1960.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the 16th century, Orthodox bookmen composed numerous new lives of saints (mostly Russian) and liturgical compositions, and they began to create native variants of the Greek traditions of monastic spirituality and polemic (Iosif Volotskii, Nil Sorskii, Vassian Patrikeev).