Fathers of the Solovetsky Monastery and Their Sufferings


This manuscript was made around 1800 by an often-persecuted group of Russian Christians, the Old Believers. Because books were frequently confiscated from this group and its members were denied the use of printing presses, they continued to write important books such as this one by hand. This text chronicles and illustrates the story of a group of monks at the Solovetsky Monastery who opposed the controversial reforms introduced by Nikon (Patriarch of Moscow, 1652−58) and who endured a siege of eight years (1668−76) before they were finally betrayed. Most of the monks were killed, though some escaped, and many went to the Vyg region, where the author of this book, Simeon Denisov (1682−1741), seen in a full-page miniature on folio 1 verso, was a leader in the Old Believer community. Among the scenes shown are the beheading and torture of monks and attacks on the besieged monastery.

Last updated: February 12, 2016