Zyzanii, Stepan

Image - A page from Stefan Zyzanii's Grammar.

Zyzanii, Stepan [Zyzanij], b ca 1570 in Potylych, near Zhovkva, Galicia, d before 1621. Orthodox teacher and polemical writer (see Polemical literature); brother of Lavrentii Zyzanii. From 1586 he taught at the Lviv Dormition Brotherhood School, and he became its rector in 1592. From 1593 he was a teacher and secular preacher with the Orthodox brotherhood in Vilnius, where he sermonized against Catholicism and the clerical supporters of church union with Rome (see Church Union of Berestia). In 1595 and 1596 he published several anti-Catholic polemical works and a catechism in Vilnius. He was forbidden to preach by Metropolitan Mykhailo Rahoza, and in January 1596 he was condemned as a heretic for his inflammatory sermons and writings and excommunicated by the Orthodox sobor in Navahrudak. He was exonerated later that year by the Orthodox sobor in Brest. In 1599 he entered the Trinity Monastery in Vilnius but soon he was forced to leave by the municipal government under pressure from the crown. His further fate is unknown. His popular 1596 book distorting Saint Cyril's homily about the anti-Christ—in which Zyzanii developed the Protestant idea of the pope as the anti-Christ—was translated from Ukrainian into Church Slavonic and published in Moscow in 1644.

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

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