P. 1
Athos - Mountain of Silence P Sherrard Pt1

Athos - Mountain of Silence P Sherrard Pt1

|Views: 109|Likes:
Published by phorm

More info:

Published by: phorm on Apr 02, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

01/12/2012

pdf

text

original

ATHOS

THE MOUNTAIN OF SILENCE

i .

THE MOUNTAIN OF SILENCE

PHILIP SHERRARD

NEW YORK TORONTO 1960

WITH COLOUR-PHOTOGRAPHS

BY PAUL DU MARCHIE V. VOORTHUYSEN

LONDON

OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

GNV'I!I3:ZU&S NI G3:~NI!Id

'I3:SVH DV !I3:~U&H:)S °d :XH S)l:)O'IH N3:~'IO DV !I3:~'IV& O~~O DV'I!I3:A :XH G3:~NI!Id XV!I!IflW H~I3:)l '!I3:W'IVd G'IV!I3:D

'HSO WHVG SflWO~SOSX!IH:) °!Id '3:IH:)!IVW no 'IflVd :XH Q) SHdV!IDO~OHd

096r G!IV!I!I3:HS dI'IIHd Q) 096r NOUIG3: HSI'IDN3: ~S!IId

6,6 r '°!IH °1 D!IflHI3:!Id GNV 3:NNVSflV'I

'N3:~'IO DV'I!I3:A-dV!ID sun XH (~G!IVH)I:)!IflH sn.r.r.t XH G3:~V'ISNV!I~) Q)

NVW!I3:D NI G3:HSI'IHfld ~S!IId

VlI:X)V raoarvx NVOVIII NlllOL H<IV::> anawm vrvnx IH::>VlIVlI

SVlIOVW vr.tnorvo XVgWOg NOWNI11aM HNliilOg1HW OLNOliOL 1I110X&HN 1nO~SV'I~

. P oJ B uOPllo7 'JstJ0H uJruV 'SSJJd Al!SJJtI!Un PJoJxQ

TO

J.C.R.

COMPANION ON THE HOLY MOUNTAIN

all Oft\. Hli 0 d

'6r;6 T lJqtUJJaJS 'VJoqng '!UUI!7 'vlunoJv)J 'S 'd 'PJ!qns AUI fo UO!JVJUJSJJa JlfJ JOfJSJq pJtUJJS sVlf lfJllft11AVt11 v U! s?fJOt11 JJdlfJ UlO·1SpVlJXJ il15uVJJV uVlfJ sunu JIlJ!I ilUOP JilVl! I l! FtIf,lVail,la ul JVlfJ pvf illfJ fa puv 'uou; OJ szmo JXilJ iltfl UI ilr/Ivil AUV fo Sl JVlft11 lfJIltU mOt! fa puv 'Jqilp AUI fo snopsuoi UlV I-UOlJUilUi JOU op I ilsolfJ OJ puv uotiuinu I ilsolfJ oJ-lfJoq OJ JI1E[ 'Jvilaav JOU op-silzaulvxiI J.IV vJillpuilW ilp PUVUlV 'suI?ffl1va ·W·([ 'UOJAE[ JJilqO([-SJillfJo AUVlU fa SilUIVU ilt/L 'SilJOU JlfJ ul Uilill15 iI.W SJilJIJ(1t JSiltfJ fa siuos fo SiitUVU ilt/L 'sJilJ1Jm JillfJo fo s?/.wm Jlfl uIOAj-lVI"II!Jlas 'JiI!la!JJSilp 'lVJ1J01SIl/-sil15vssva AUVUI lXJJ illfJ ul. PJpnpuI JilVlf I PUiI Sllf! OL 'iljqlssoa sv AjilillPii{qo so S?fUOUI SI! fo puv SOlflV fa a]il ilt" fa spsds» U!Vl.JdJ tuosud OJ llf15nos =« I .Ii1lflV([ 'ulvlunow AloH Jtf! 01 'sussr: IVlililiis fa .10 'llslil V fo suoissudiu: souossed fo pJOJiI.I v iliI!15 01 Jlf15nos IOU ililvlf I (rIOllOf uiu; lXill .10 ssood illfl v: 'Juillu15pillfl"!Ou?fJV un 15UfdQ jO Avm Aq sl pJOfl1d.JOtI sllfL

Athos, the Holy Mountain. . . . .

I

CONTENTS

The History of Athonite Monasticism

5

The Organization of Monastic Life on Athos

The Life of the Monk. .

The Contemplative Life .

IIIA

"

I .1

I

ATHaS, THE HOLY MOUNTAIN

From the northern seaboard of Greece, from the low, treeless shore-of Chalkidike, three long arms reach out into the Aegean. Should you travel by boat from Salonika and sail eastwards, you must cross the long bay with that treeless shore to your left and with Olympos, snow-capped and towering, on your right, until the first of those three arms compels you out into the open. It is then that there rises upon your view the high ridge of the third and fmal arm running some thirty wooded miles out into the sea, and culminating at length in a single perfect peak, six thousand feet sheer from the water, white against the blue summer sky: Mount Athos, the Holy Mountain.

'The high pique or Peere thereof', wrote Sir Paul Rycaut of that Mountain in r679, 'is ... as uneven, I craggy and horrid as Caucasus; but somewhat beneath it is covered with trees, shrubs, and boscage.' From it, standing by the small beehive church of the Metamorphosis that like a glittering minuscule tips its naked marble shoulders, you can, on a clear day, see to the east the tiny contours ofLemnos and

the coast of Asia Minor: the plains of Troy, whence another traveller looked westward and saw this same peak' towering up from the horizon, like a vast spirit of the waters, when the rest of the peninsula 2 is concealed below'. In the north, all the coastline of Thrace, Kavalla, and Alexandroupolis winds away

to the junction of the Dardanelles, with Turkey's European remnant uncertain through the haze. In the west, molten at evening in the copper furnace of the setting sun, the other two arms of Chalkidike, Longos and Cassandra, rise one above the other in the sea; while, further south, another uncertain shape proclaims Euboea and the satellite Skiathos, the' Shadow of Athos'. At dawn, on the most lucid

of days, you can see, as all the Orthodox world knows, Constantinople and the flat dome of St. Sophia,

as Christ saw the old Byzantium when the devil brought him to this peak to tempt him.

Below this peak, the wooded ridge of the Mountain, at no place wider than five, and in some places only two, miles across, runs its thirty-odd miles northwards until it joins, by a narrow isthmus, the mainland. 'Our road', wrote Robert Curzon, journeying along this ridge ~ the early nineteenth 3 century- 'Our road lay through some of th~ most beautiful scenery imaginable. The dark blue sea was on my right at about two miles distance; the rocky path over which I passed was of white alabaster with brown and yellow veins; odoriferous evergreen shrubs were all around me; and on my left were the lofty hills covered with a dense forest of gigantic trees which extended to the base of the great white marble peak of the mountain.' Small green valleys finger into the hills, their slopes all covered with olives and vines, ilex and arbutus, the latter often swathed in tangles of the wild smilax. In autumn this creeper is hung with red berries in little bunches like scarlet grapes and it is then also that the male plant produces its tiny sweet-scented flowers. Clumps of the osmunda fern smother the ground. In early April Athos is a flower garden, a [ardin campestre, as one writer calls it. Great golden tufts of a fme St. John's wort, with grey leaves and big yellow flowers-Hypericum olympicum-line the paths, and above them hang the bright purple flowers of the Judas tree and the white plumes of the Manna ash, Fraxinus ornus. Streams and springs murmur through the thick green shades, in summer spilling themselves quietly into the untroubled waters of an inlet of the sea, in winter pouring down in white angry cascades.

But the compulsion of the Mountain is not only its natural beauty. For here, in its valleys, or perched perilously on some steep crag above the brooding sea, rise the weathered walls of monastery and tower, cottage and chapel. For a thousand years and more Athos has been the earthly home of saint and hermit, the site of a sprawling and vivid monastic community. Its rich human history fills the atmosphere about

'J·PCilllO JO U;)P1C8 puc 1lCd ;)L[l, 'siood UMO SlUO ;)UO Aq 'P;)TICJ U;);)q sCII SOL[lV lCL[l s 'a~pou JOJ iou S! l! lCL[l SMO~ ;)L[ pUC !~clunoW s!L[l uo SUO!Wl;)U;)'a 'auoI l~;)L[l TIc L['anolL[l S~OUl

;)L[l P;)MOPCL[Sl;)AO SCL[ lCL[l uCUlnL[ UCL[l orotn ;)lC:J C ';)dcJsPUCI S!L[l S;)lll'agSUClllCL[l IcmlcU uCL[l crom AlllC;)q C S! l! lCL[l SMO~ dL[ :J;)ACJd C S;)L[lC;).1q dUOlS L[JCd d.1;)L[M POJl SCL[ OL[M !P!q C JO TICJ TIPL[S

dL[l Aq 'a~pUCUlUlOJ dJOUl dpCUl dJUdI!S P;)PCOI-lUdJS lCd.1'a dL[l ci P;)UdlS!I SCL[ OL[M ~J~e JO .Hnd UdPpns

C Aq osronbrm Ud;)J'a .10 dnlq A.1dATIS P;).U~lS .10 pc;)d C JO S.1noIOJ dL[l TIC 'a~C;)I'a C;)S dNC10Xd~ lCL[l

re pdZC'a SCL[ ~ S.H!IJ pc.ndstn dL[l L[lCdU;)q PdTICS pUC Sd'aPP pdpOOM dL[l P;)H;)ACJl SCL[ OL[M ~ UlJOlS dJJdg

dL[l ldU'aCUl C se l~ ci MCJp Jdl~M U~ 10 'uns .roumms dL[l ~ Ad.1'a dlcd JO rtru dlCJ!IdP l~CJ C uo d1q pUC ;)IqJCUl dl!L[M JO SSCUl doors -e ~ S.1g JO UO!'ib.l dL[l dAOqc dS!.11C;)d ;)L[l JO dUOJ dL[l PdL[JlCM SCL[ OL[M !dJc;)d lCL[l Aq 'AldlOUl;).1 .1dAdMOL[ 'p;)L[JnOl U;)dq SCL[ pUC ~clunoW AIOH dL[l uo poumofos SCL[ OL[M dUOAUC O~ :SOlPV lunoW uo S;)Dl.1~A HC JO A10lClOqcI ;)L[l ~ 'aUffidMp S!L[ SCL[ pUC 'ppOM dL[l dUlOJldAO

SCL[ OL[M 'd;).g S!.;')UOIC ;)L[ JOd ';)Jc;)d P.1CM~ pUC UlOP;);)JJ-s'a~ssdlq HC JO lSdlC;)J'a dL[l pUC 'SdZ;)dlq lJOS pug WM nOA d.1;)H jS;)L[snq .1dPUC;)IO dL[l 'aUOUlC smunmu n MOL[ 'SdUOlS dL[l L[lCdU;)q Ul01J '.ldATIS

SC lII'a!.1q 'L[l.1OJ sdlqqnq .1;)lCM dL[l MOH jdplAUl pUC 'ucPdlcA 'S;)'aP;)L[ IdJllCI 'S;)l{JUC.1q d~A JO lSp~

;)L[l ~ 'lS;).1OJ lnulS;)L[J AJcdI dL[l JO Ud;).1'a lL['apq dl{l UlO.g mo sdood pdcL[J dL[l AI'a~lcL[J MOH j soued MOp~M Sl~ uo S;)L[scB uns 'aU~.1dlS;)M dL[l MOL[ 'urenmour dL[l uo d'aCl!Ull;)L[ ;)L[l re 'SHCM J~CJ Sl! L[l~M d.1;)L[llC;)Jl;)(I dL[llC 100Ilnq oa 'ssd~ddcL[ JnOA pug WM nOA sn L[l!M, ~AJDlUdJ lSCY dL[l JO ldHdACll

C PIOl S~OUl dS;)L[l JO ;)UlOS ',sn U~O! pUC PPOM dL[l d1CS,lOd, 'Sd~.1;)lSCUOUl 'a~A!AlllS AlU;)Ml dL[l JO 17

L[JCd JO S~OUl-UO?f!lotfJ/J?f dL[l-L[JlllL[J ICJlUdJ dL[l oi STIdJ l!dL[l UlO.g SUOUlUlns WlS 'aUO'a U;)POOM dL[l !S;)PAd .1~dL[l ~ SdI'aC;) IDJL[JlCM =m 'Sl~J;)L[ ;)L[l .1dlsnp WlS 1Cdd lC;)l'a dl{l JO dSCq ;)L[l ae S1JOl Pd1CU lddL[S dL[l »o 'P;)lS!Sl;)d SCL[ Al~UlUlOJ J~lSCUOUl dL[l JO dJ!I dL[l A.1OlS!L[ s~p TIC L['anOJL[l ld A 'AlllSC;)ll

.10 L[JJt1L[J UlO:g ~c'a JO odoq ;)L[l Aq JdlP!L[ UMC.1p '1JCUl J~dL[llPI TIC dACL[ uclclc:::> puc ~C.1d '.1dPCSnJ:::> 'UdJCJCS 'lscd lUdInqml puc J~lUC'a~'a C JO SlCJS crruonrrs J!;)L[l U! JC;)q UdlJO WlS S;)AldSUl;)L[l SUO~lCp -unoJ dS;)L[l JO s'aI~PTInq =u 'suopcpunoJ JPSCUOUl dIp ~qsns or dldL[ WlS AdUOUI pUC PUCI JO SlUCJ'a IC~.1ddUlI 'AldlSCUOUl L[JC;) JO AJClq~I dL[l ~ pdplcn'a AUnplCJ d!I Sll1qOSA,Up IC!lddUlI 'lnnq pCL[ S;)AIdS -urcqi SlOJddUl3: ;)L[l JO dUlOS L[J~IM 'S;)lpmL[J ;)L[l ~ punOS;)J WlS srorodurq dl~lUCZAHJO SdUlCU dL[~ 'l~

The Monastery ofDionysiou on the western seaboard of the Athos peninsula.

3

t

SIJJ.j0'LU011)f

J~ 9- M ,

OOOOO~ : f td]"e:Jf)

-I-

N

~ U1?.>fV)SOSS1:.J,8

S'Jrf~j,V oJ

~--------~

- • 0;;

- ~~ ~ ~

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->