[St. Pachomius Library]

St. Athanasius of Athos

X/XI Centuries
An orphan from a wealthy family in Trebizond, Athanasios was educated at Constantinople and gave up his lectureship to become a monk under St. Michael Maleinos at Mt. Kyminas in Bithynia. To escape being named abbot, he became a hermit; however, he is best known for establishing the Great Lavra and cenobitic monasticism on Mt. Athos with the financial help of Emperors Nicephoros Phocas and John Tzimiskes. Athanasios wrote a rule and typicon based on those of Theodore of Studion, and some monks resented his authority. He survived two attempts on his life, but he died in 1003 when masonry in a church under construction collapsed on him and six monks.

Karen Rae Keck


Return to St Pachomius Library.