This is one of several translated excerpts from Byzantine sources produced and mounted with historical introduction and commentary by Paul Stephenson.


Athonite documents, 1: Lavra 20

By Leonora Neville

 

Lavra 20

Paul Lemerle, André Guillou, Nicolas Svoronos, and Denise Papachryssanthou, eds. Actes de Lavra. Edited by Paul Lemerle. Vol. I, Archives de l'Athos 5. Paris: Lethielleux, 1970.

Document # 20. An act of donation by the nun Glykeria to Eustratios the hegoumenos of the Great Lavra. She and her late husband had founded a monastery on their land and disputed the local bishop's jurisdiction over it. While the damage to the text makes the meaning uncertain, Glykeria seems to repudiate a previous act of donation as having been made under duress. This document was written in 1016. The numbers in brackets are an estimate of the number of letters missing.





+Sign of Glykeria, nun.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. I, the nun Glykeria, true wife of the blessed koubouklesios [1] John and daughter of Constantine of eternal memory, having made my house and monastery in the island of Skyros, I establish and make, freely and without constraint and without compulsion or tyranny but rather with all enthusiasm and whole-hearted good-will, the present written and signed gift of my and my husband's ancestral possessions in the aforesaid island completely as they are, to you the reverend monk and my spiritual father lord Eustratios and the party in brotherhood with you in this case. For since I and my husband remained childless in our life and we had no heirs at all of our possessions, we both agreed, before others, on a spiritual and God-pleasing will and agreement. That is, I say, to change our poor house into a monastery and to found a church in the name of our Lord God and Savior, and to leave these to you reverend monk lord Eustratios and your party for the sake of our spiritual salvation through our God-loving decision and will for all ages and ever-running years. And wanting the fulfillment of the things desired by God we began and started to build the church in the name of the Savior, he ···always rejoicing and· a·[20] and being observed according to divine impulse not·[20] to see a worldly house transformed to a monastery and so to say from a wild olive remade into a cultivated olive, but being wily and evil and knavish stirred up the bishop of the said island in those days against us, he ·[7] [all of line 21 invisible] ····· fox putting on ··to flatter treacherously · [15] [lines 23 & 24 invisible] ··for the bishop of this present life and eternal life here hastened not to become···· ..poor monastery substance but his bishopric to possess all···so that also he hindered us from the divine liturgy, honoring with the presbyters in that place . ·.. ··..our··.. [25] [25] my husband·everywhere·.came to the ecumenical Patriarch of blessed memory lord Nicholas and brought to him the matter [12] ·.a seal which survives up to now and seal and letter for the bishop ···· you being at the impulse of the koubouklesios ·.·· [20] ·they being still blinded by the devil respecting the senses of the soul of all illogically since illogic · ·. The malignant ones tore down the church to the ground in the night. Then my husband dying amidst these circumstances, I being left a widow and childless, of what many profane and worthy laments·. ·the miserable not··? For there I will leave all the rest through the crowd in [15] ··entering the divine sanctuary the ·.. of the bema from above on this [15][15] called a sawmill · He then [threatened] to pierce all my limbs [15] [18] but also all these and the ·the spiritual and [15] ·.and my soul and I left the monastery made by me, I changed clothes [15] name and I was though worthy to become his child and a body with your brotherhood. But · [12] the above-said bishop became aroused again to complete the things left behind··.. ··..so that with me unwilling and not wanting and tyrannically and [15] [10] of the bishop to possess my substance and they made these things both with me unwilling [28] they thinking, neither fearing tyranny nor [12] ·· having neither what ... if not some other omen of the bishop [25] ·.. character and icon of virtue for all Christians by him of Christ and his disciples ····.knowing the desire of each heart, knowing the cause by which the monastery was ······ all the business he accomplished for both to be ineffective and useless and without strength and I have made complete the will and desire that I had with my husband, so that it has strength. For today in the presence of these said and undersigned witnesses, I confirm through the present ·· of donation and the first in Skyros · being and I certify also this through it, and I give all my material to my lord and spiritual father, the monk and hegoumenos Eustratios and through him the church built by me from the foundations and to the brothers already in it and those appointed by him.Ê Then besides these I give also all my pasture land and which may lie in ·.. in these said places have thus: [descriptions of the boundaries, lines 55-63]. These things · now having been conferred on my father lord Eustratios, the hegoumenos of the reverend Lavra in the holy mountain and through him to the party of this monastery in all ages and ever-running years. Yielding this, I ordain from now on and I arrange not to have any of all of my friends or relatives of acquaintances make any sort of motion regarding these things and even vain talk. For all these things, those of mine and those I inherited from my consort ··. and I do not have any heir or successor or any sort of possessor except only God and the monk and spiritual father lord Eustratios and the church in which I was tonsured. Then if someone tries ·. neighbors or bishop any kind of motion or to speak a word about these in the first place let his be alienated from the party of Christians and placed with Judas the son of destruction, then [let him] not be heard by some person but also marked and outraged to be excluded from every court, and then to give one pound of gold to the imperial vestiarios as a son of wretchedness and an implacable enemy of the spiritual house. Then thus to remain safe and secure incorruptible and undisturbed, I made whole-heartedly my present complete donation written and signed secure, being my own judgement and desire and choice and pleasure to you my spiritual father lord Eustratios and on it I set the life-giving cross and put my own signature. These things written at my behest and order by the reverend ecclesiarch of Lavra lord Athanasios in the presence and sight of the worth witnesses, month ··the 25th, of the 14th indiction. Andrew homeowner of Lemnosalso epeiktos of this ·.Thomas spatharokandidatos, Basil spatharokandidatos, Leo Gournakes homeowner and another Leo·. Sarkostenos, John surnamed Pselakis archon of Skyros, and Mitzos surnamed Laparis homeowner of Lemnos. +

+ Andrew Papadopoulos, being present for the present complete and immutable donation and witnessing, I signed by my own hand

+Thomas spatharokandidatos was present for the present complete and immutable donation and witnessing, I signed by my own hand.

+ Basil spatharokandidatos was present for the present complete and immutable donation and witnessing, I signed by my own hand.

+ Leo, present and witnessing, signed by my own hand. +

+John Pselakis, witnessing signed by my own hand.

+Mitzos I am present for the present complete and immutable donation and witnessing, I signed by my own hand.

+ ······· I am present for the present complete and immutable donation and witnessing I signed by my own hand.

+L·· for the present complete and immutable donation and witnessing I signed by my own hand.

+Constantine archon, I am present for the present complete and immutable donation and witnessing I signed by my own hand.

+Theophylaktos ···············. witnessing I signed by my own hand.

+John koubouklesios, being present for immutable donation and witnessing I signed by my own hand.

+········ and witnessing I signed by my own hand.

+ Theopemptos Zapon, I am present for this donation and witnessing I signed by my own hand the honored cross, the text by the monk Anthony.

+ Theophylaktos archon, being present and witnessing I signed by my own hand.

+ A ··.. I am present and witnessing I signed.

+ Constantine, presbyter by God's mercy, I am present for this complete and immutable donation and witnessing I signed.

+·.lord of Bounos, being present for the present donation and witnessing I wrote by my own hand the honored cross, the text by the monk Anthony.

+John, archdeacon, ···· of the church being present for the present gift and witnessing I signed by my own hand.

+ Glykeria, nun by God's mercy, I affix and establish the honored and life-giving cross by my own hand, having heard the things written and being pleased by everything ··········.. the text by the writer to be completed making by my own hand···

 

Note

[1] Koubouklesios was an imperial title given to patriarchal chamberlains. In court ceremony they are the church's parallel to the emperor's koubikoularioi. A tenth-century source indicates that they could be either priests or deacons.


 
© Leonora Neville, January 2004