Zosimus, Metropolitan of Moscow

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Zosimus, Metropolitan of Moscow
Metropolitans of Moscow and all Russia
Митрополит Зосима.PNG
Zosimus the Bearded
ChurchRussian Orthodox Church
Term ended1494
PredecessorGerontius, Metropolitan of Moscow
SuccessorSimon, Metropolitan of Moscow
Personal details

Zosimus the Bearded (Зосима Брадатый in Russian) (died 1494) was Metropolitan of Moscow and all Russia from 1490. He was the author of the Third Rome conception.

For the first time in Russian history, Zosimus was appointed metropolitan by the decision of the council of the Russian bishops by order of the Grand Prince Ivan III. He had been archimandrite of the Simonovskii Monastery in Moscow when he was picked to replace Metropolitan Gerontii some six months after Gerontii's death.[1]

Archbishop Gennady of Novgorod had uncovered the Heresy of the Judaizers in 1487 and Zosimus's entire metropolitanate was overshadowed by this crisis. Gennady wrote a letter in 1490 to Zosimus and other bishops in the Russian church demanding a council be convened and the heresy be dealt with. The council convened less than a month after Zosimus' elevation to the metropolitan throne and condemned the heresy.[2] Gennady demanded that the heretics be severely punished - hanged and burned - and not merely incarcerated, but Zosimus and Grand Prince Ivan III opposed these harsher methods. Zosimus was eventually accused of being a secret heretic and, on 17 May 1494, he was removed from the metropolitan throne on charges of heresy and sodomy.[3] He died before any trial was held.

Zosimus is known for having compiled a list of banned books and written an epistle against heretics.


  1. ^ E. E. Golubinskii, Istoriia russkoi tserkvi, vol. 2, pt. 1, p. 567.
  2. ^ Golubinskii, vol. 2, pt. 1, p. 570.
  3. ^ Golubinskii, vol. 2, pt. 1, p. 577.
Eastern Orthodox Church titles
Preceded by Metropolitan of Moscow and all Russia
Succeeded by