Epiphanius Slavinetsky

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Epifany Slavinetsky (Russian: Епифа́ний Славине́цкий) (died November 19, 1675) was an ecclesiastical expert of the Russian Orthodox Church who helped Patriarch Nikon to revise the ancient service-books, thus precipitating the Great Schism of the national church.

Epifany Slavinetsky revising service-books.

He was born in Moscow. In the 1620s, he attended the Kiev Brotherhood School and later furthered his education abroad. Epifany was one of the most educated people of his period in Central and Eastern Europe. He came to master the Latin, Polish, Ancient Greek and Hebrew languages. On his return to Kiev, he took monastic vows in the Kiev Pechersk Lavra. In the late 1630s, he compiled the first Latin-Church Slavonic lexicon, which he would revise on several occasions.

Upon hearing about Epifany's scholarly expertise, the Imperial Russian Tsar Alexis invited him to correct the ecclesiastical books of Muscovy. Epifany arrived in Moscow in 1649 and visited the Trinity-Sergius monastery the same year. He quickly managed to secure the patronage of the boyar Boris Morozov and Metropolitan Nikon of Novgorod, who was elected Patriarch a short time later.

Epifany joined the Chudov Monastery in the Moscow Kremlin, where he was appointed head of the Patriarchal school and charged with administrating the Printery. He revived the mediaeval tradition of delivering sermons in Russian churches. In the 1650s and early 1660s, he was busy revising the Muscovite service-books and translating Erasmus and Copernicus from Latin.

When Nikon fell into disgrace, the scholar supported him and proved that his deposition was contarary to the laws of the church. He spent his last years translating the Septuagint and the New Testament, as commissioned by his patron Fyodor Rtishchev. Epifany died in Moscow in 1675.