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Daniel, Metropolitan


(d. 1547), Metropolitan of Moscow, 15221539; leading Josephite and "Possessor."

Daniel was a native of Ryazan with a powerful frame, an encyclopedic turn of mind, a preacher's bent, and disciplined work habits. He was tonsured by Joseph of Volokolamsk (also known as Iosif or Joseph of Volotsk) around 1500 and designated to succeed him before his death in 1515, when he and his monastery were under virulent attack by Vassian Patrikeyev and out of favor at court.

As abbot, Daniel demonstrably enforced the rule of communal property, and the cloister continued its remarkable growth as a landowner and center of learning, training future prelates, and writing. He oversaw the completion of the extended redactions of Joseph's Enlightener and Monastic Rule and masterminded the creation of the Nikon Chronicle with its milestone grand narrative, sacralizing Rus history and granting Moscow the contested succession to Kiev.

Selected metropolitan by Basil III, Daniel issued a worthless writ of safe-conduct to a suspect appanage prince (1523) and permitted Basil's controversial divorce and remarriage (1525), which resulted in the birth of the future Ivan IV (1530). In turn Daniel was able to organize synods against Maxim Greek (1525, 1531) and Vassian (1531), and canonize Joseph's mentor Pafnuty of Borovsk. Daniel also placed an enterprising ally, Macarius, on the powerful, long vacant archepiscopal see of Novgorod (1526) and Iosifov trainees as bishops of Tver (1522), Kolomna (1525), and Smolensk(1536). Presiding over Basil III's pre-death tonsure and the oaths to the three-year-old Ivan IV (1533), Daniel remained on his throne through the dowager Helen Glinsky's regency (15331538), but could not exercise his designated supervisory role, prevent murderous infighting at top, or keep his post after she died.

Using his office to bolster church authority, Daniel systematized canon law and the metropolitan's chancery, built up its library, and tried to impose Iosifov practices on some other monasteries. He handled dissenting voices in a variety of ways. The 1531 synodal sentences ended Vassian Patrikeyev's career with imprisonment in Iosifov, but permitted the less bellicose and eminently useful Maxim a milder house arrest in Tver. Foregrounding the Orthodox principle of patient endurance in public life, Daniel contested the diplomat Fyodor Karpov's Aristotle-based insistence upon justice, but did not prosecute him. Daniel also utilized Basil III's German Catholic physician Nicholas Bülew and commissioned Russia's first translation of a Western medical work, but obliquely opposed by pen Bülew's astrology and arguments favoring union of the Orthodox and Catholic Churches.

Daniel left two collections of original writings modeled on the encyclopedist Nikon of the Black Mountain and Joseph of Volokolamskone with sixteen discourses, the other with fourteen missives. They cover a variety of theological and ethical issues and evince both Nil Sorsky's and Joseph's influences. Daniel composed six other similar extant pieces and still others now lost. These collections, however, unlike the Nikon Chronicle and Daniel's canonic compilation, never achieved the authoritativeness and popularity of Joseph's Enlightener or Maxim's works.

See also: basil iii; ivan iv; joseph of volotsk, st.; maxim the greek, st.

David M. Goldfrank

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