Revista Studii Teologice


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"Pomelnicul mănăstirii Radu Vodă din Bucureşti"

The Diptych of the Holy Trinity (Radu Voda) Monastery in Bucharest

Autor(i): Oana-Mădălina POPESCU

As one of the most famous and beautiful monasteries in Wallachia, the Holy Trinity Monastery (also named Radu Voda) has been described, throughout the centuries, by many travellers and has been studied by theologians and historians alike. For a better understanding of the history of this monastery, we intend to present, in the following paper, a valuable text, which has never been published. It concerns a manuscript, held by the Library of the Romanian Academy, which contains a diptych of this religious community. The text, dating back from 1760, as we read, is written in the Greek language, on paper and it has 28 leaves, written on both sides.
We wish to emphasize the importance of this historical source for Radu Voda Monastery, as well as the Romanian history. The manuscript contains the names of the founders, the names of the monks, priests, hegumens, deacons. It also provides valuable information on the rulers of Wallachia, from the fourteenth to the eighteenth century, during the Phanariote period. Among them, we note the name of Steven the Great, the ruler of Moldavia, which has a special relevance for our study. It proves that the copyist of the text used as a source a version of the chronicle named Letopiseţul Cantacuzinesc, in which the Moldavian ruler appears as the sovereign of Wallachia. The apparent error of the Wallachian chronicle highlights some moments of the medieval history, when Steven the Great dominated the rulers of Wallachia or entered the country in order to impose some rules favorable to the anti-Ottoman policy. The chronicle also intends to justify the presence of Wallachian rulers on the Moldavian throne, as happened beginning with the second half of the sixteenth century. According to the research carried out so far, this diptych is the first historical source of this type containing this information about Steven the Great.
Out text also mentions the names of some people who donated to the monastery various properties, estates, money or worship items, such as liturgical books or sacerdotal attires. This long list of persons demonstrates the reason for these donations, a spiritual one, namely the salvation of souls. Unfortunately, it is not possible to identify each person listed in the diptych, because it contains only the first names, without mentioning surnames. But, in some cases, we can identify famous landlords, belonging to renowned families, such as Cocorăscu, Bălăceanu, Comăneanu, Filipescu, Golescu. These details also enable us to ascertain the moment when the original diptych was written, as some donors are mentioned in another document. It is a charter issued in 1615 by Radu Mihnea, one of the founders of the monastery, which lists the donations and also the donors to the church, among them some persons included in the diptych.
Thus, we can conclude that a first diptych was drawn up immediately after the construction of the church, in late fifteenth century / early sixteenth century. Then, in 1760 the old text was transcribed by Antonie [Anthony] the protopsalter.
The manuscript also includes the names of the monastery’s estates in the villages all over Wallachian territory and it also records other possessions, such as vineyards or animals (horses, sheep, cattle). On the other hand, the manuscripts record some restorations and redecorations of the church, elements of extreme importance for architectural research.
Therefore, the diptych is a valuable historical source, providing both theologians and historians with valuable data on the history of the religious community of Radu Voda Monastery along the centuries.

Pagini: 191-218