(Vassian the Mug). Year of birth unknown; died Mar. 23, 1481. Russian ecclesiastical and political leader; publicist.
In his youth Vassian Rylo was tonsured as a monk of the Pafnutii-Borovsk Monastery. During the years 1455-66 he was abbot of the St. Sergius Trinity Monastery. Vassian Rylo was a member of the embassy to Lithuania (1458-61), and from 1467 he was archbishop of Rostov. In 1480 during the Great Stand at Ugra, when he learned about the retreat of Grand Prince Ivan III to Kremenets and about his negotiations with Khan Akhmat of the Golden Horde, he wrote his Epistle to Ugra, addressed to Ivan III in the beginning of October 1480. In it Vassian Rylo called for the complete annihilation of the Golden Horde in a great battle. This epistle, permeated with patriotic ideas, became a model in the 16th century for the genre of epistles addressed to tsars by church leaders.
REFERENCESKudriavtsev, I. M. “ ’Poslanie na Ugru’ Vassiana Rylo kak pamiatnik publitsistiki XV v.” In the collection Tr. Otdela drevnerusskoi literatury, vol. 8. Moscow, 1951.
Lur’e, Ia. S. Ideologicheskaia bor’ba v russkoi publitsistike kontsa XV-nachala XVI vv. Moscow-Leningrad, 1960.
S. M. KASHTANOV