Epiphanius the Wise
Epiphanius the Wise (died 1420) was a monk
A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism, living either alone or with any number of monks, while always maintaining some degree of physical separation from those not sharing the same purpose...

 from Rostov
Rostov is a town in Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia, one of the oldest in the country and a tourist center of the Golden Ring. It is located on the shores of Lake Nero, northeast of Moscow. Population:...

, hagiographer and disciple of Saint Sergius of Radonezh.

He wrote hagiographies of both Saint Stephen of Perm and St. Sergius. The latter, The Life of Sergii Radonezhsky, he started to write a year after the death of Saint Sergius according to his own memories. He finished the writings 26 years after the death of Sergius, i.e., around 1417-1418. There was a rewriting of the work by Pachomius the Serb
Pachomius the Serb
Pachomius the Serb was a 15th-century Serbian-Russian hagiographer in the employ of the Russian Orthodox Church, most notably the archbishops of Novgorod, the Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra, and the grand princely and metropolitan courts in Moscow.He is believed to have written eleven saint's lives ,...

 (Пахомий Серб), which is usually more readily available.

Epiphanius was interested in portraying an idealized account of sanctity, and did so through lengthy panegyric
A panegyric is a formal public speech, or written verse, delivered in high praise of a person or thing, a generally highly studied and discriminating eulogy, not expected to be critical. It is derived from the Greek πανηγυρικός meaning "a speech fit for a general assembly"...

s. His literary style was given the name pletenie sloves, or "the weaving of words", and is marked by an abundance of neologisms, in which Epiphanius liked to form a large number of noun
In linguistics, a noun is a member of a large, open lexical category whose members can occur as the main word in the subject of a clause, the object of a verb, or the object of a preposition .Lexical categories are defined in terms of how their members combine with other kinds of...

 or adjective
In grammar, an adjective is a 'describing' word; the main syntactic role of which is to qualify a noun or noun phrase, giving more information about the object signified....

-noun combinations.

Serge Zenkovsky hails Epiphanius' writings as "a new page in Russian literary history". It is often thought that Epiphanius' new style was influenced by the contemporary surge in Russian painting, and it has been noted that Epiphanius was a great admirer of Theophanes the Greek
Theophanes the Greek
Theophanes the Greek was a Byzantine Greek artist and one of the greatest icon painters, or iconographers, of Muscovite Russia, and was noted as the teacher and mentor of the great Andrei Rublev.-Life and work:Theophanes was born in the capital of the Byzantine Empire, Constantinople...


Epiphanius travelled extensively in the East, and is known to have visited Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 and the Mount Athos
Mount Athos
Mount Athos is a mountain and peninsula in Macedonia, Greece. A World Heritage Site, it is home to 20 Eastern Orthodox monasteries and forms a self-governed monastic state within the sovereignty of the Hellenic Republic. Spiritually, Mount Athos comes under the direct jurisdiction of the...

 monastery complex.

He died bearing the ranks of a hieromonk
Hieromonk , also called a Priestmonk, is a monk who is also a priest in the Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholicism....

 and a confessor
-Confessor of the Faith:Its oldest use is to indicate a saint who has suffered persecution and torture for the faith, but not to the point of death. The term is still used in this way in the East. In Latin Christianity it has come to signify any saint, as well as those who have been declared...

 of the Troitse-Sergiyev monastery.


  • The Life of Sergii Radonezhsky, Житие преподобного Сергия
  • Слово похвально преподобному отцу нашему Сергию
  • Житие св. Стефана Пермского
  • Сказание Епифания мниха о пути в святой град Иерусалим (attributed to Epiphanius)
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