The Stoglav Cathedral is the most important event not only in the history of Russia, but also in the Russian Orthodox Church. It was held in 1551. It is called the Hundred Head, since it contains 100 parts of decrees (deeds or regulations) - separate chapters. Stoglav is a kind of legislative act that concerned many spheres of life. And this document the Church had to follow scrupulously. However, some introductions remained only on paper, in practice no one followed them.

Venue and participants

  • metropolitan Makarii - chairman;
  • archbishop Akaky of the Tver Diocese;
  • archbishop Guria of the Smolensk diocese;
  • archbishop Kasyan from the Ryazan diocese;
  • archbishop Cyprian of the Perm Diocese;
  • archbishop Nikandr of the Rostov diocese;
  • archbishop Savva of the Krutitsa diocese;
  • archbishop Tryphon of the Suzdal Diocese;
  • archbishop Theodosius of the Novgorod diocese;
  • archbishop of Theodosius from the Kolomna diocese.

History of creation

Ivan the Terrible in early 1551 began to convoke Stoglavy Cathedral. He took on this mission, because he was convinced that he was the successor of the Byzantine emperors. In the second chapter of Stoglav there is a mention that the hierarchs experienced great joy about the royal invitation. This is primarily due to the need to resolve many issues that were particularly significant in the mid-16th century. These included the strengthening of church discipline among the clergy, questions about the authority of the church court. It was necessary to fight against the vicious behavior of priests and other representatives of the church. Many problems also existed with the usury of monasteries. Continued struggle with the survivals of paganism. In addition, there was a need for unification of church rites and services. The order of correspondence of church books, the construction of churches and the writing of icons should be strictly regulated. Therefore, the Stoglav Cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church was necessary.

The Hundred-Headed Cathedral of 1551

The cathedral began with a solemn prayer service on the occasion of the opening. It happened in the Moscow Assumption Cathedral. Further, Ivan the Terrible read out his appeal to the participants, who can be regarded as his early work. It was already possible to notice the artistic style of the king. He talked about his early orphanhood, the maltreatment of the boyars, repented of his sins and asked for repentance. After this, the king introduced a new judicial code, which the council quickly approved.

To date, researchers can not name the exact date when the cathedral began its work. The first chapter is on February 23rd. There are two versions of what happened on that day:

  1. The meeting of the cathedral began.
  2. Was made the Cathedral Code.

All the work proceeded in two stages: a meeting (and discussion of questions) and processing of the material.

The first chapter also contains an approximate program: the cathedral provides answers to the king's questions. He put forward various problems for the conciliar discussion. Participants could express only their opinion on the proposed topics. In all, the king offered 69 questions. The compiler of Stoglav clearly did not set himself the task of fully revealing the corrections with which he worked. Instead of answers, the compiler proposes documents in accordance with which decisions were taken. The canonical literature did not allow making decisions that did not correspond to it. Some literature is reflected in the first chapter:

  • the rules of the holy apostles, the fathers of the church;
  • the rules that were established on the councils of the clergy;
  • the teachings of the canonized saints.
  • 1-4 chapters - information about the opening of the cathedral, participants, reasons and goals;
  • the king's questions were in two parts, the first 37 are reflected in the 5th chapter, the second 32 in the 41st chapter;
  • the answers are in 6-40 chapters and 42-98;
  • chapter 99 speaks of the embassy in the Trinity Monastery;
  • The 100th chapter contains the answer of Jehoshaphat. He proposed a number of comments and additions to Stoglav.

Getting acquainted with Stoglav, you can assess how strong the role of the king. But most of all you can see how different the opinions between the king and Makarii. Each of them pursued his goals and tried to push them forward.

The goals of the Stoglav Cathedral

Stoglavy Cathedral in 1551, the main goal was to overcome the "confusion" in the life of the Russian Church. It was necessary to beautify and regulate all aspects of spiritual life. During the work a huge list of questions and messages was listened to. In all of them the shortcomings and difficulties of the church-folk life were described. The council discussed the problems of church administration, observance of the church's charter in worship. In order to carry out the latter task, it was necessary to elect the priestly elders - deaneries. In addition, much attention was paid to the problems of electing competent and worthy servants of the altar. There were questions about the creation of spiritual schools, where priests would be trained. This would also promote literacy among the population.

Decisions of Stoglavy Cathedral

Stoglavy Cathedral collected and systematized all the norms of the existing law of the Church. The decrees of Stoglav speak of hierarchical duties, church courts, the discipline of the clergy, monks and laymen, divine services, monastic patrimonies, people's education, and so on.

Morality and control of life

Disorders that defiled the church and threatened its future, after all, were recognized as a cathedral. That is why the institute of priest's elders was introduced everywhere. In each city the number of elders was determined individually. So, for Moscow, seven priest's elders were identified. This number corresponded to the number of cathedrals that were central in their district. The priest's elders also had helpers-the Titus. The latter were elected from priests. In the villages and volosts only priests of the priests were elected. In Stoglav, duties were recorded: control over the proper conduct of service in the subordinate churches and the deanery of the priests.

Also, an important decision was made on "double" monasteries. They were inhabited by both men and women.

Stoglavy Cathedral of the Russian Church condemned the people's outrages and survivals of paganism: judicial fights, drunkenness, skomorosheskie representation, gambling.

Decrees Stoglavy Cathedral also dealt with heretical and godless books. These included Secreta secretorum, "Aristotle" - a collection of medieval wisdom, astronomical maps of Emanuel Ben Jakob. It was also forbidden to communicate with foreigners.


Most decisions of the cathedral concern worship services.

Two-fingered addition (with the sign of the cross) was legalized precisely in 1551. Also, there was a legalized hallelujah. After a while, these decisions were the main arguments of the Old Believers.

There is an opinion that Maxim the Greek had a hand in that sacred books have started to correct. Also, it was decided to open the Moscow printing house. But it did not last long. It published a revised books.

Icon "Holy Trinity"

During the cathedral, the question of the iconography of the Holy Trinity was also considered very important. It consisted in discussing the traditional Orthodox image of the Trinity as the three angels.

Some researchers believe that the members of the cathedral did not give a definite answer, or at all the question remained unresolved. One thing we know for sure: there was only the inscription "Holy Trinity" without inscriptions and crosshairs. However, the fathers could not give a theological justification for this injunction, referring to Andrei Rublev and the ancient samples. This was the weak point of Stoglav Cathedral, which led to sad consequences. Most of the surviving icons of the Holy Trinity do not have crossed halos and highlighting inscriptions.

Another important issue inextricably linked with the writing of the Trinity was the question of the "representativeness of the Godhead" (43rd chapter). The text of the decree refers to its direct meaning as if to the Deity of Christ. But the problem is that the Deity is not visible. Most likely, here we mean an unknown image. And it is true that under Stoglav there were three image manners: traditional, Fatherland and New Testament.

The New Testament Trinity has the most famous image in the Annunciation Cathedral on the four-part icon. It was written by masters at the request of the archpriest Sylvester. Do not notice then this image was impossible. In addition, this icon was referred to by the king, when the question of depicting non-holy people on icons was discussed.

The cathedral had reasons to silence the iconography of the Holy Trinity. First, no one had a clear idea of ​​how to portray the Deity on icons. Secondly, some researchers argue that the cathedral and the metropolitan did not have the same opinion.

The Church Court

Relations between spiritual and civil authorities have been determined. This happened on the principle of church independence in church affairs. Stoglavy Cathedral decided to cancel the "untenable" letters. As a result, all parish prichods and monasteries became the jurisdiction of their bishops. The secular courts could not surrender the clergy. But since they could not immediately abolish the existing system, they decided to grant the priests the right to participate in the courts through their own elected elders and Sotkas. The latter forgot to determine the role in the court.

Church land tenure

Apparently, the question of land ownership was raised at the cathedral, but it was not included in the Cathedral Code. But after a while there appeared the 101st chapter - "The verdict on patrimonies". In this document, the tsar and the metropolitan reflected his desire to reduce the growth of church land estates. In the last chapter five main decisions were fixed:

  1. Archbishops, bishops and monasteries have no right to buy an estate without anyone's permission.
  2. Land contributions are allowed for the soul's mention, but it is necessary to stipulate the condition and the order of their repayment by relatives.
  3. Veterans of some oblasts do not have the right to sell fiefdoms to people of other cities. It is also forbidden to give patrimonial estates to monasteries without a report to the tsar.
  4. The verdict does not have retroactive effect, it does not apply to transactions committed before the Stoglav cathedral.
  5. The sanction is established for the violation of the contract: the land is confiscated in favor of the sovereign, and the seller does not return the money.

The significance of the cathedral

Reforms of Ivan the Terrible carried a great significance:

  • they contributed to the strengthening of the autocracy;
  • the alignment of forces within the feudal class in favor of the nobility has changed;
  • the royal personal power was strengthened;
  • began to create a class society. Each layer had its own internal organization and its own organs of self-government. With the authorities it was possible to negotiate;
  • nobles lost some of their rights and influence. But now they had a new weight and significance, becoming a top created by the nobility. When the role and importance of the noble associations began to grow, the nobility relied on their support. Thus, it occupied a more independent position in relation to the monarch.

Stoglavy Cathedral, briefly, made a fixation of the legal norms of the internal life of the Church. A code of relations between the clergy, society and the state was also developed. The Russian Church acquired independence.

At the cathedral it was confirmed that the double-faced sign and the singular hallelujah are correct and salutary. But the debate over the correct writing for a long time did not abate.

Church Stoglavy Cathedral required to write all the icons on the old model, without introducing any changes. At the same time, it was necessary to improve the quality of iconography, as well as the moral level of icon painters. The entire 43rd chapter was devoted to this problem. Sometimes she went into the most different details of relationships and life situations. This question remains the most lengthy and unclear.

The Zemsky and Stoglav cathedrals became equal.

For Ivan the Terrible, it was necessary to limit church-monastery land ownership. The state needed a free land to provide the estates with a growing military service. At the same time, the hierarchy was determined to firmly defend the property inviolability of the Church. And also it was necessary to legitimize the set of general church reforms that had arisen.

Stoglavy cathedral can not be called successful, since many of the issues discussed have caused discord between the Old Believers and the Orthodox. And over time, this argument only flared up.

100 years later

Therefore, the activities of Stoglav Cathedral were very disliked by the followers of Patriarch Nikon, the reformers and persecutors of the church. After 100 years - in 1666-1667 - at the Moscow Cathedral, the New Believers not only abolished the oath that was laid on non-baptized dually, but completely rejected the whole Stoglavy Cathedral, condemning certain dogmas.

The Moscow Cathedral claimed that the provisions of Stoglav were written unreasonably, simply and ignorantly. Not surprisingly, many soon began to doubt the authenticity of this collection. For a long time, the hot debate between the schismatics - the Old Believers and representatives of the official Church - did not subside. The first built the cathedral into the rank of an unshakable law. The latter condemned the decree as the fruit of error. All the participants in the Stoglav cathedral were accused of ignorance. Wishing to wash the shame, the opponents of the resolutions put forward a version of the non-involvement of the cathedral of 1551 to Stoglav.