Petrunina Olga

Neilos, Metropolitan of Pentapolis and his Role in Greek-Russian Church Relations in the 2nd half of the 19th c.

Petrunina Olga (2017) "Neilos, Metropolitan of Pentapolis and his Role in Greek-Russian Church Relations in the 2nd half of the 19th c. ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia II : Istoriia. Istoriia Russkoy Pravoslavnoy Tserkvi, 2017, vol. 79, pp. 30-45 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturII201779.30-45


Despite the fact that Metropolitan Neilos of Pentapolis (1809–1887) was an important Church fi gure known as one of the most educated clergymen of his epoch, his life and work have not been studied yet. This paper reconstructs Neilos’ biography drawing on previously unknown sources from Russian archives as well as on fragments of information from printed letters and other documents. It analyses main periods of Neilos’ biography as a church and public fi gure and evaluates them in the context of Greek-Russian relations. In the 1840–1860s, Neilos was in charge of Athos property in Moldavia. In his resistance to multiple attempts of local authorities to expropriate church properties in Moldavia and Walachia, Neilos collaborated closely with Russian diplomats and public fi gures. In the late 1860s, he took part in the struggle for the Patriarchal Throne in Alexandria. He was elected Locum Tenens of Alexandrian Throne, became Metropolitan of Pentapolis and then Patriarch of Alexandria. However, despite Russian diplomatic support, he failed to stop political struggle in Alexandrian Church and had to leave the Throne. Afterwards, he resided on Mount Athos being an active participant in church life and a proponent of Russian monastic community. Neilos’ longstanding collaboration with Russians was motivated by his conviction that Russia was the only genuine and effi cient defender of the Oecumenic Orthodoxy.


Romanian Church, Patriarchate of Alexandria, Patriarchate of Constantinople, Athos, inclinated properties, Russian foreign policy, Orthodox East, struggle for Patriarchal Throne, New Greek studies


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Information about the author

Petrunina Olga

Academic Degree: Doctor of Sciences* in History;
Academic Rank: Associate Professor;
Place of work: Lomonosov Moscow State University; 27/4 Lomonosovskii Prospect, Moscow, 119192, Russian Federation;
Post: Professor in Faculty of History;
Email: petrunina@narod.ru.

*According to ISCED 2011, a post-doctoral degree called Doctor of Sciences (D.Sc.) is given to reflect second advanced research qualifications or higher doctorates.


The article is written in 2017 within the framework of the project №16-01-00306 supported by RFBR Foundation.