Anthim the Iberian
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St. Anthim the Iberian
Anthim's portrait in an engraved illustration
Kingdom of Kartli
|Romanian Orthodox Church
Georgian Orthodox Church
|Canonized||1992-09-27, Bucharest by the Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church|
(Romanian Orthodox Church)
(Georgian Orthodox Church)
Anthim the Iberian (Romanian: Antim Ivireanul, Georgian: ანთიმოზ ივერიელი - Antimoz Iverieli; secular name: Andria; 1650 — September or October 1716) was a Georgian theologian, scholar, calligrapher, philosopher and one of the greatest ecclesiastic figures of Wallachia, founder of the first printing press in Romania, and Metropolitan of Bucharest in 1708-1715.
He was born in the Kingdom of Kartli, a Georgian kingdom known as Iberia in the west. Anthim was taken prisoner by Ottoman Empire troops, and took orders in Istanbul, while living on the compounds of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. In 1689 or 1690, he was asked to settle in Wallachia by Prince Constantin Brâncoveanu, and was given charge of the newly founded princely printing press in Bucharest. Being appointed father superior (egumen) of the Snagov Monastery, Anthim moved the press to the new location.
He became bishop of Râmnic in 1705, and in 1708 Metropolitan of Wallachia. Anthim spoke and wrote many Oriental and European languages. Although a foreigner, he soon acquired a thorough knowledge of Romanian, and was instrumental in helping to introduce that language into the local church as its official language. In 1693, he published the Gospels in Romanian.
In 1709 Anthim was a founder of the first Georgian printing press in Tbilisi; he also trained Georgians in the art of printing, and cut the type with which under his pupil Mihail Ishtvanovitch they printed the first of Georgian Gospels (1710). In addition, Anthim published 25 other books - in Romanian, as well as Church Slavonic, Greek, and Arabic (usually in bilingual volumes, such as the Greek-Arabic Missal of 1702); this meant that he was also the first in Wallachia to use Arabic fonts).
His personal work, Didahiile, was a collection of sermons meant as a sharp critique of contemporary habits and morals; notably, beside Christian sources, Anthim made reference to classical philosophy. Alongside his literary output, the cleric was the builder of the All-Saints Monastery in Bucharest - nowadays known as the Antim Monastery in his memory.
Anthim's overt opposition to Ottoman tutelage over Wallachia made him an adversary of the Phanariote regime. The new Prince Nicholas Mavrocordatos imprisoned him, and subsequently exiled him to Mount Sinai. Anthim was captured by the Ottomans while he was taking the trip, and assassinated somewhere in modern-day Bulgaria (his body would have been discarded in the Maritsa or the Tundzha). It is alleged that his murder was ordered by Mavrocordatos himself.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. In turn, it cites as references:
- "Antimoz Iverieli", in Sakartvelo Encyclopedia, Vol. I, Tbilisi, 1997, p. 158
- Otar Gvinchidze, Antimoz Iverieli, Tbilisi, 1973
- (Romanian) Didahii (online transcript)