A History of the Athonite Commonwealth

The Spiritual and Cultural Diaspora of Mount Athos

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Graham Speake
  • Cambridge, England: 
    Cambridge University Press
    , May
     303 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


***We have this title in eBook format ONLY***

This book examines the part played by monks of Mount Athos in the diffusion of Orthodox monasticism throughout Eastern Europe and beyond. It focuses on the lives of outstanding holy men in the history of Orthodoxy who have been drawn to the Mountain, have absorbed the spirit of its wisdom and its prayer, and have returned to the outside world, inspired to spread the results of their labours and learning. In a remarkable demonstration of what may be termed 'soft power' in action, these men have carried the image of Athos to all corners of the Balkan peninsula, to Ukraine, to the very far north of Russia, across Siberia and the Bering Strait into North America, and most recently (when traditional routes were closed to them by the curtain of communism) to the West. Their dynamic witness is the greatest gift of Athos to a world thirsting for spiritual guidance.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Graham Speake is Founder and Chairman of the Friends of Mount Athos. He is a regular visitor to the Mountain and was received into the Orthodox Church there in 1999. Trained as a classicist, he holds a doctorate in Greek from the University of Oxford and is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. His first book, Mount Athos: Renewal in Paradise (2nd edition, 2014), was awarded the Criticos Prize.


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