Tsamblak, Gregory

Image - Text by Metropolitan Gregory Tsamblak.

Tsamblak, Gregory [Цамбляк, Григорій; Camblak, Hryhorij], b 1364 in Trnovo, Bulgaria, d ca 1419. Churchman and writer. He was probably educated in Trnovo and Constantinople. In 1401 he was sent to Suceava by the Byzantine patriarchate to improve relations with the Moldavian church. He was consecrated (on the initiative of the Lithuanian grand duke Vytautas the Great) by several bishops from Belarus and Ukraine in Navahrudak in November 1415 and installed as metropolitan of the renewed Lithuanian metropoly. His installation was against the wishes of Euphemius II, the patriarch of Constantinople, who opposed a division of Kyiv metropoly and supported Photios, the metropolitan in Moscow. In February 1418 Tsamblak attended the ecumenical council in Constance. Subsequently he was accused of Uniate tendencies by the Muscovite church. In order to avoid persecution he abdicated, and probably died soon afterward.

Tsamblak wrote a number of sermons and panegyrics in the rhetorical style of the Trnovo school. His sermons for Palm Sunday, the Ascension, the Transfiguration, the Assumption, the Elevation of the Cross, the festival of Saint Demetrius, and the Confession of Faith (read on the occasion of his consecration), his panegyrics on Metropolitan Cyprian (1409) and Patriarch Euphemius, and other works are all from his Ukrainian period; a selection of his writings, edited by A. Yatsimirsky, appeared in 1904.

Iatsimirskii, Aleksandr. Grigorii Tsamblak: Ocherk ego zhizni, administrativnoi i knizhnoi deiatel’nosti (Saint Petersburg 1904)
Heppell, Muriel. The Ecclesiastical Career of Grigorij Camblak (London 1979)

Arkadii Zhukovsky

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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