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Kiprian ( Bulgarian / Russian Киприан , Greek Κυπριανός / Kyprianos ; * around 1330 ; † September 16, 1406 ) was Metropolitan of Lithuania (1375-1380) and from 1390 Metropolitan of Moscow as well as an important ecclesiastical writer and hagiographer .

He is venerated as a saint ( Святитель ) in the Russian Orthodox Church . Remembrance days are May 27th and September 16th .


Kiprian was born around 1330. He came from Tarnowo in Bulgaria . He went to Constantinople and later to a monastery on Mount Athos .

Around 1373 he was sent as a metropolitan to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by the Patriarch of Constantinople Philotheos .

On December 2, 1375, Philotheos made Kiprian metropolitan of Kiev, all of Russia and Lithuania . Kiprian was to unite the two metropolitan seats of Moscow and Lithuania in one person. However, Kiprian did not succeed in this until 1380. That year he was appointed (provisional) Metropolitan of Moscow by Grand Duke Dmitri Donskoy . In 1381 he announced the veneration of Prince Alexander Newski as a saint. In 1382 he had to leave Moscow again.

It was not until 1390 that he was appointed the rightful Metropolitan of Kiev, all of Russia and Lithuania with his seat in Moscow. In 1406 Kiprian died. St. Kiprian Peak , a mountain on Greenwich Island in Antarctica , has been named after him since 2006 .

Literary activity

Kiprian was a student at the Tarnowo School of Writing . His stylistic reworking of the vita of Petros, the first metropolitan of Moscow , written by Prochoros , the Metropolitan of Rostov , was the signal for a reworking of the entire hagiographic material.

Kiprian wrote in the then modern Central Bulgarian style , which replaced the simple, formulaic style of the old Russian legends and in which the content took a back seat to artistic rhetoric , but also to abstract considerations.

As the first Russian hagiographer, he stepped out of anonymity and also woven his own experiences into his work.

He gained political importance because he propagated the idea of ​​the unity of all Russian-speaking countries. He laid the foundation for a historical compilation of the annals of these areas and managed to simultaneously become metropolitan of the rival cities of Moscow and Kiev.


  • NF Droblenkova, GM Prokhorov: Kiprian (ok. 1330-16.IX.1406) Mitropolit Kievskii i vseia Rusi. In: Dmitrij S. Likhachev (Red.): Slovar 'knižhnikov i knižnosti drevnej Rusi. Volume 2: Vtoraja polovina XIV - XVI v. Part 1: A - K. Nauka, Sankt-Peterburg 1988, pp. 464-465.
  • Detlef Kulman: Kiprian . In: Biographical Lexicon on the History of Southeast Europe. Volume 2. Munich 1976, p. 402 f.
  • John Meyendorff : Byzantium and the Rise of Russia. St. Vladimir's Seminary, Crestwood NY 1989, ISBN 0-88141-079-9 , pp. 214-221.
  • Татиана Георгиевна Карцева: Русские святые: 1000 лет русской святости / Жития собрала монахиня Таисия. Азбука, Москва 2000, ISBN 0-88465-020-0 , pp. 557-558.
  • Жития русских святыхъ, собрала монахиня Таисия. New York 1984, Vol. 2, p. 162.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. cf. Соборное деяние о русском [митрополите] кир Киприане , in: Протоиерей Иоанн Мейендорф. Византия и Московская Русь. Очерк по истории церковных и культурных связей в XIV веке. YMCA PRESS 11, rue de la Montagne-Ste-Genevieve. Paris, 1990
predecessor Office successor

Dionysius I.
Metropolitan of Moscow