Russia the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres, Russia is by far or by a considerable margin the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, the ninth most populous, with about 146.77 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77 % of the population live in the European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world and the second largest city in Europe. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Estonia, Latvia and Poland, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, China and North Korea, it shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U. S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.
The East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, the medieval state of Rus arose in the 9th century. In 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Rus' disintegrated into a number of smaller states; the Grand Duchy of Moscow reunified the surrounding Russian principalities and achieved independence from the Golden Horde. By the 18th century, the nation had expanded through conquest and exploration to become the Russian Empire, the third largest empire in history, stretching from Poland on the west to Alaska on the east. Following the Russian Revolution, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic became the largest and leading constituent of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the world's first constitutionally socialist state; the Soviet Union played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II, emerged as a recognized superpower and rival to the United States during the Cold War.
The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space. By the end of 1990, the Soviet Union had the world's second largest economy, largest standing military in the world and the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, twelve independent republics emerged from the USSR: Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and the Baltic states regained independence: Estonia, Lithuania, it is governed as a federal semi-presidential republic. Russia's economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity in 2018. Russia's extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the leading producers of oil and natural gas globally; the country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and an active global partner of ASEAN, as well as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the G20, the Council of Europe, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Trade Organization, as well as being the leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and one of the five members of the Eurasian Economic Union, along with Armenia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan; the name Russia is derived from Rus', a medieval state populated by the East Slavs. However, this proper name became more prominent in the history, the country was called by its inhabitants "Русская Земля", which can be translated as "Russian Land" or "Land of Rus'". In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as Kievan Rus' by modern historiography.
The name Rus itself comes from the early medieval Rus' people, Swedish merchants and warriors who relocated from across the Baltic Sea and founded a state centered on Novgorod that became Kievan Rus. An old Latin version of the name Rus' was Ruthenia applied to the western and southern regions of Rus' that were adjacent to Catholic Europe; the current name of the country, Россия, comes from the Byzantine Greek designation of the Rus', Ρωσσία Rossía—spelled Ρωσία in Modern Greek. The standard way to refer to citizens of Russia is rossiyane in Russian. There are two Russian words which are commonly
In Eastern Orthodox Christian theology, the Tabor Light is the light revealed on Mount Tabor at the Transfiguration of Jesus, identified with the light seen by Paul at his conversion. As a theological doctrine, the uncreated nature of the Light of Tabor was formulated in the 14th century by Gregory Palamas, an Athonite monk, defending the mystical practices of Hesychasm against accusations of heresy by Barlaam of Calabria; when considered as a theological doctrine, this view is known as Palamism after Palamas. The view was controversial when it was first proposed, sparking the Hesychast controversy, the Palamist faction prevailed only after the military victory of John VI Kantakouzenos in the Byzantine civil war of 1341–1347. Since 1347, it has been the official doctrine in Eastern Orthodoxy, while it remains without explicit affirmation or denial by the Roman Catholic Church. Roman Catholic theologians have rejected it in the past, but the Roman Catholic view has tended be more favourable since the 20th century.
Several Western scholars have presented Palamism as compatible with Roman Catholic doctrine. In particular, Pope John Paul II in 1996 spoke favourably of hesychast spirituality, in 2002 he named the Transfiguration as the fourth Luminous Mystery of the Holy Rosary. According to the Hesychast mystic tradition of Eastern Orthodox spirituality, a purified saint who has attained divine union experiences the vision of divine radiance, the same'light', manifested to Jesus' disciples on Mount Tabor at the Transfiguration; this experience is referred to as theoria. Barlaam held this view of the hesychasts to be polytheistic inasmuch as it seemed to postulate two eternal substances, a visible and an invisible. Seco and Maspero assert that the Palamite doctrine of the uncreated light is rooted in Palamas' reading of Gregory of Nyssa. Instances of the Uncreated Light are read into the Old Testament by Orthodox Christians, e.g. the Burning Bush a purported descendant of, kept at the Saint Catherine's Monastery at Mount Sinai in the Sinai Peninsula.
Gregory Palamas defended Hesychasm in the 1340s at three different synods in Constantinople, he wrote a number of works in its defense. In these works, Gregory Palamas uses a distinction found in the 4th century in the works of the Cappadocian Fathers, between the energies or operations of God and the essence of God. Gregory taught that the operations of God were uncreated, he taught that the essence of God can never be known by his creatures in the next life, but that his uncreated energies or operations can be known both in this life and in the next, can convey to the Hesychast in this life and to the righteous in the next life as a true spiritual knowledge of God. In Palamite theology, it is the uncreated energies of God that illumine the Hesychast, vouchsafed an experience of the Uncreated Light. In 1341 the dispute came before a synod held at Constantinople and presided over by the Emperor Andronicus III Palaeologus. One of Barlaam's friends, Gregory Akindynos, a friend of Gregory's, took up the controversy, three other synods on the subject were held, at the second of which the followers of Barlaam gained a brief victory.
However, in 1351 at a synod under the presidency of the Emperor John VI Cantacuzenus, Hesychast doctrine was established as the doctrine of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Many Orthodox theologians have identified the Tabor light with the fire of hell. According to these theologians, hell is the condition of those who remain unreconciled to the uncreated light and love of and for God and are burned by it. According to Iōannēs Polemēs, Theophanes of Nicea believed that, for sinners, "the divine light will be perceived as the punishing fire of hell". According to Iōannēs Polemēs, Palamas himself did not identify hell-fire with the Tabor light: "Unlike Theophanes, Palamas did not believe that sinners could have an experience of the divine light Nowhere in his works does Palamas seem to adopt Theophanes' view that the light of Tabor is identical with the fire of hell." Palamism, Gregory Palamas' theology of divine "operations", was never accepted by the Scholastic theologians of the Latin Catholic Church, who maintained a strong view of the simplicity of God, conceived as Actus purus.
This doctrinal division reinforced the east-west split of the Great Schism throughout the 15th to 19th centuries, with only Pope John Paul II opening a possibility for reconciliation by expressing his personal respect for the doctrine. Roman Catholicism traditionally sees the glory manifested at Tabor as symbolic of the eschatological glory of heaven. Pope Saint Gregory the Great wrote of people by whom, "while still living in this corruptible flesh, yet growing in incalculable power by a certain piercingness of contemplation, the Eternal Brightness is
Andrei Rublev. Little information survives about his life, he lived in the Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra, near Moscow, under Nikon of Radonezh, who became hegumen after the death of Sergii Radonezhsky in 1392; the first mention of Rublev is in 1405, when he decorated icons and frescos for the Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Moscow Kremlin, in company with Theophanes the Greek and Prokhor of Gorodets. His name was the last of the list of masters, as the junior both by age. Theophanes was an important Byzantine master, who moved to Russia and is considered to have trained Rublev. Chronicles tell us that together with Daniil Cherni he painted the Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir in 1408 as well as the Trinity Cathedral in the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius between 1425 and 1427. After Daniil's death, Andrei came to Moscow's Andronikov Monastery where he painted his last work, the frescoes of the Saviour Cathedral, he is believed to have painted at least one of the miniatures in the Khitrovo Gospels.
The only work authenticated as his is the icon of the Trinity. It is based on an earlier icon known as the "Hospitality of Abraham". Rublev removed the figures of Abraham and Sarah from the scene, through a subtle use of composition and symbolism changed the subject to focus on the Mystery of the Trinity. In Rublev's art two traditions are combined: the highest asceticism and the classic harmony of Byzantine mannerism; the characters of his paintings are always calm. After some time his art came to be perceived as the ideal of Eastern Church painting and of Orthodox iconography. Rublev died at Andronikov Monastery between 1427-1430. Rublev's work influenced many artists including Dionisy; the Stoglavi Sobor promulgated Rublev's icon style as a model for church painting. Since 1959 the Andrei Rublev Museum at the Andronikov Monastery has displayed his and related art; the Russian Orthodox Church canonized Rublev as a saint in 1988, celebrating his feast day on 29 January and/or on 4 July. The liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America remembers Rublev on January 29.
In 1966, Andrei Tarkovsky made a film Andrei Rublev, loosely based on the artist's life. This became the first film produced in the Soviet era to treat the artist as a world-historic figure and Christianity as an axiom of Russia’s historical identity, during a turbulent period in the history of Russia. Andrei Rublev, a 1966 film by Andrei Tarkovsky loosely based on the painter's life. Mikhail V. Alpatov, Andrey Rublev, Moscow: Iskusstvo, 1972. Gabriel Bunge, The Rublev Trinity, transl. Andrew Louth, St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, New York, 2007. Sergius Golubtsov, Voplosh’enie bogoslovskih idey v tvorchestve prepodobnogo Andreya Rubleva. Bogoslovskie trudy 22, 20–40, 1981. Troitca Andreya Rubleva, Gerold I. Vzdornov, Moscow: Iskusstvo 1989. Viktor N. Lazarev, The Russian Icon: From Its Origins to the Sixteenth Century, Gerold I. Vzdornov. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1997. Priscilla Hunt, Andrei Rublev’s Old Testament Trinity Icon in Cultural Context, The Trinity-Sergius Lavr in Russian History and Culture: Readings in Russian Religious Culture, vol.
3, ed. Deacon Vladimir Tsurikov, 99-122. Priscilla Hunt, Andrei Rublev’s Old Testament Trinity Icon: Problems of Meaning and Transmission, Symposion: A Journal of Russian Thought, ed. Roy Robson, 7-12, 15-46 Konrad Onasch, Das Problem des Lichtes in der Ikonomalerei Andrej Rublevs. Zur 600–Jahrfeier des grossen russischen Malers, vol. 28. Berlin: Berliner byzantinische Arbeiten, 1962. Konrad Onasch, Das Gedankenmodell des byzantisch–slawischen Kirchenbaus. In Tausend Jahre Christentum in Russland, Karl Christian Felmy et al. 539–543. Go¨ ttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1988. Eugeny N. Trubetskoi, Russkaya ikonopis'. Umozrenie w kraskah. Wopros o smysle vizni w drewnerusskoj religioznoj viwopisi, Moscow: Beliy Gorod, 2003. Georgij Yu. Somov, Semiotic systemity of visual artworks: Case study of The Holy Trinity by Rublev, Semiotica 166, 1-79, 2007. Andrey Rublev Official Web Site Rublev at the Russian Art Gallery Selected works by Andrei Rublev: icons and miniatures "The Deesis painted by Andrey Rublev" from the Annunciation Church of the Moscow Kremlin - article by Dr. Oleg G. Uliyanov Historical documentation on Andrei Rublev, compiled by Robert Bird Venerable Andrew Rublev the Iconographer Orthodox icon and synaxarion
In Christian theology and ecclesiology, the apostles the Twelve Apostles, were the primary disciples of Jesus. During the life and ministry of Jesus in the 1st century AD, the apostles were his closest followers and became the primary teachers of the gospel message of Jesus. In modern usage, missionaries under Pentecostal movements refer to themselves as apostles, a practice which stems from the Latin equivalent of apostle, i.e. missio, the source of the English word missionary. For example, Saint Patrick was the "Apostle of Ireland", Saint Boniface was the "Apostle to the Germans", Saint José de Anchieta was the "Apostle of Brazil" and Saint Peter of Betancur was the "Apostle of Guatemala". While Christian tradition refers to the apostles as being twelve in number, different gospel writers give different names for the same individual, apostles mentioned in one gospel are not mentioned in others; the commissioning of the Twelve Apostles during the ministry of Jesus is recorded in the Synoptic Gospels.
After his resurrection, Jesus sent eleven of them by the Great Commission to spread his teachings to all nations. This event is called the Dispersion of the Apostles. There is an Eastern Christian tradition derived from the Gospel of Luke of there having been as many as 70 apostles during the time of Jesus' ministry. In early Christianity, Paul, is referred to as an apostle, because he was directly taught and commissioned by a vision of Christ during his journey to Damascus; the period of early Christianity during the lifetimes of the apostles is called the Apostolic Age. During the 1st century AD, the apostles established churches throughout the territories of the Roman Empire and, according to tradition, through the Middle East and India; the word "apostle" comes from the Greek word ἀπόστολος, formed from the prefix ἀπό- and root στέλλω and meaning "messenger, envoy". It has, however, a stronger sense than the word messenger, is closer to a "delegate"; the Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament argues that its Christian use translated a Jewish position known in Hebrew as the sheliach.
This ecclesiastical meaning of the word was translated into Latin as missio, the source of the English "missionary". In the New Testament, the majority of the apostles have Hebrew names, although some have Greek names. Many Jews at the time had Greek names as well as Hebrew names. Mark 6:7–13 states that Jesus sent out these twelve in pairs to towns in Galilee; the text states that their initial instructions were to drive out demons. They are instructed to "take nothing for their journey, except a staff only: no bread, no wallet, no money in their purse, but to wear sandals, not put on two tunics", that if any town rejects them they ought to shake the dust off their feet as they leave, a gesture which some scholars think was meant as a contemptuous threat, their carrying of just a staff is sometimes given as the reason for the use by Christian bishops of a staff of office in those denominations that believe they maintain an apostolic succession. In the Gospel narratives the twelve apostles are described as having been commissioned to preach the Gospel to "all the nations", regardless of whether Jew or Gentile.
Paul emphasized the important role of the apostles in the church of God when he said that the household of God is "built upon the foundation of apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone". Although not one of the apostles commissioned during the life of Jesus, Paul, a Jew named Saul of Tarsus, claimed a special commission from the risen Jesus and is considered "the apostle of the Gentiles", for his missions to spread the gospel message after his conversion. In his writings, the epistles to Christian churches throughout the Levant, Paul did not restrict the term "apostle" to the Twelve, refers to his mentor Barnabas as an apostle; the restricted usage appears in the Revelation to John. By the 2nd century AD, association with the apostles was esteemed as an evidence of authority. Churches which are believed to have been founded by one of the apostles are known. Paul's epistles were accepted as scripture, two of the four canonical gospels were associated with apostles, as were other New Testament works.
Various Christian texts, such as the Didache and the Apostolic Constitutions, were attributed to the apostles. Bishops traced their lines of succession back to individual apostles, who were said to have dispersed from Jerusalem and established churches across great territories. Christian bishops have traditionally claimed authority deriving, by apostolic succession, from the Twelve. Early Church Fathers who came to be associated with apostles, such as Pope Clement I with St. Peter, are referred to as the Apostolic Fathers; the Apostles' Creed, popular in the West, was said to have been composed by the apostles themselves. The three Synoptic Gospels record the circumstances in which some of the disciples were recruited, Matthew only describing the recruitment of Simon, Andrew and John. All three Synoptic Gospels state that these four were recruited soon after Jesus returned from being tempted by the devil. Despite Jesus only requesting that they join him, they are all described as consenting, abandoning their nets to do so.
Traditionally the immediacy of their consent was viewed
Fresco is a technique of mural painting executed upon freshly laid, or wet lime plaster. Water is used as the vehicle for the dry-powder pigment to merge with the plaster, with the setting of the plaster, the painting becomes an integral part of the wall; the word fresco is derived from the Italian adjective fresco meaning "fresh", may thus be contrasted with fresco-secco or secco mural painting techniques, which are applied to dried plaster, to supplement painting in fresco. The fresco technique has been employed since antiquity and is associated with Italian Renaissance painting. Buon fresco pigment is mixed with room temperature water and is used on a thin layer of wet, fresh plaster, called the intonaco; because of the chemical makeup of the plaster, a binder is not required, as the pigment mixed with the water will sink into the intonaco, which itself becomes the medium holding the pigment. The pigment is absorbed by the wet plaster; the chemical processes are as follows: calcination of limestone in a lime kiln: CaCO3 → CaO + CO2 slaking of quicklime: CaO + H2O → Ca2 setting of the lime plaster: Ca2 + CO2 → CaCO3 + H2O In painting buon fresco, a rough underlayer called the arriccio is added to the whole area to be painted and allowed to dry for some days.
Many artists sketched their compositions on this underlayer, which would never be seen, in a red pigment called sinopia, a name used to refer to these under-paintings. Later,new techniques for transferring paper drawings to the wall were developed; the main lines of a drawing made on paper were pricked over with a point, the paper held against the wall, a bag of soot banged on them on produce black dots along the lines. If the painting was to be done over an existing fresco, the surface would be roughened to provide better adhesion. On the day of painting, the intonaco, a thinner, smooth layer of fine plaster was added to the amount of wall, expected to be completed that day, sometimes matching the contours of the figures or the landscape, but more just starting from the top of the composition; this area is called the giornata, the different day stages can be seen in a large fresco, by a sort of seam that separates one from the next. Buon frescoes are difficult to create because of the deadline associated with the drying plaster.
A layer of plaster will require ten to twelve hours to dry. Once a giornata is dried, no more buon fresco can be done, the unpainted intonaco must be removed with a tool before starting again the next day. If mistakes have been made, it may be necessary to remove the whole intonaco for that area—or to change them a secco. An indispensable component of this process is the carbonatation of the lime, which fixes the colour in the plaster ensuring durability of the fresco for future generations. A technique used in the popular frescoes of Michelangelo and Raphael was to scrape indentations into certain areas of the plaster while still wet to increase the illusion of depth and to accent certain areas over others; the eyes of the people of the School of Athens are sunken-in using this technique which causes the eyes to seem deeper and more pensive. Michelangelo used this technique as part of his trademark'outlining' of his central figures within his frescoes. In a wall-sized fresco, there may be ten to twenty or more giornate, or separate areas of plaster.
After five centuries, the giornate, which were nearly invisible, have sometimes become visible, in many large-scale frescoes, these divisions may be seen from the ground. Additionally, the border between giornate was covered by an a secco painting, which has since fallen off. One of the first painters in the post-classical period to use this technique was the Isaac Master in the Upper Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi. A person who creates fresco is called a frescoist. A secco or fresco-secco painting is done on dry plaster; the pigments thus require a binding medium, such as egg, glue or oil to attach the pigment to the wall. It is important to distinguish between a secco work done on top of buon fresco, which according to most authorities was in fact standard from the Middle Ages onwards, work done a secco on a blank wall. Buon fresco works are more durable than any a secco work added on top of them, because a secco work lasts better with a roughened plaster surface, whilst true fresco should have a smooth one.
The additional a secco work would be done to make changes, sometimes to add small details, but because not all colours can be achieved in true fresco, because only some pigments work chemically in the alkaline environment of fresh lime-based plaster. Blue was a particular problem, skies and blue robes were added a secco, because neither azurite blue nor lapis lazuli, the only two blue pigments available, works well in wet fresco, it has become clear, thanks to modern analytical techniques, that in the early Italian Renaissance painters quite employed a secco techniques so as to allow the use of a broader range of pigments. In most early examples this work has now vanished, but a whole painting done a secco on a surface roughened to give a key for the paint may survive well
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was a Jewish itinerant preacher in the early first century AD. Other titles for John include John the Forerunner in Eastern Christianity and "the prophet John" in Islam. To clarify the meaning of "Baptist", he is sometimes alternatively called John the Baptizer. John the Baptist is mentioned by the Jewish historian Josephus and revered as a major religious figure in Christianity, the Bahá'í Faith, Mandaeism, he is called a prophet by all of these faiths, is honored as a saint in many Christian traditions. According to the New Testament, John anticipated a messianic figure greater than himself and Christians refer to John as the precursor or forerunner of Jesus, since John announces Jesus' coming. John is identified as the spiritual successor of the prophet Elijah. According to the New Testament John the Baptist was Jesus Christ's cousin; some scholars maintain that John was influenced by the semi-ascetic Essenes, who expected an apocalypse and practiced rituals corresponding with baptism, although no direct evidence substantiates this.
John used baptism as the central sacrament of his messianic movement. Most scholars agree that John baptized Jesus and some scholars believe Jesus was a follower or disciple of John; the New Testament texts in which John is mentioned portray him as rejecting this idea, although several New Testament accounts report that some of Jesus' early followers had been followers of John. John was sentenced to death and subsequently beheaded by Herod Antipas sometime between 28 and 36 AD after John rebuked him for divorcing his wife and unlawfully taking Herodias, the wife of his brother Herod Philip I. John the Baptist is mentioned in all four canonical Gospels and the non-canonical Gospel of the Nazarenes; the Synoptic Gospels describe John baptising Jesus. The Gospel of Mark introduces John as a fulfilment of a prophecy from the Book of Isaiah about a messenger being sent ahead, a voice crying out in the wilderness. John is described as living on locusts and wild honey. John proclaims baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sin, says another will come after him who will not baptize with water, but with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus comes to John, is baptized by him in the river Jordan. The account describes how. A voice from heaven says, "You are my Son, the Beloved. In the gospel there is an account of John's death, it is introduced by an incident where the Tetrarch Herod Antipas, hearing stories about Jesus, imagines that this is John the Baptist raised from the dead. It explains that John had rebuked Herod for marrying Herodias, the ex-wife of his brother. Herodias demands his execution, but Herod, who'liked to listen' to John, is reluctant to do so because he fears him, knowing he is a'righteous and holy man'; the account describes how Herod's daughter Herodias dances before Herod, pleased and offers her anything she asks for in return. When the girl asks her mother what she should request, she is told to demand the head of John the Baptist. Reluctantly, Herod orders the beheading of John, his head is delivered to her, at her request, on a plate. John's disciples bury it in a tomb. There are a number of difficulties with this passage.
The Gospel refers to Antipas as'King' and the ex-husband of Herodias is named as Philip, but he is known to have been called Herod. Although the wording implies the girl was the daughter of Herodias, many texts describe her as "Herod's daughter, Herodias". Since these texts are early and significant and the reading is'difficult', many scholars see this as the original version, corrected in versions and in Matthew and Luke. Josephus says. Scholars have speculated about the origins of the story. Since it shows signs of having been composed in Aramaic, which Mark did not speak, he is to have got it from a Palestinian source. There are a variety of opinions about how much actual historical material it contains given the alleged factual errors. Many scholars have seen the story of John arrested and buried in a tomb as a conscious foreshadowing of the fate of Jesus; the Gospel of Matthew account begins with the same modified quotation from Isaiah, moving the Malachi and Exodus material to in the text, where it is quoted by Jesus.
The description of John is taken directly from Mark, along with the proclamation that one was coming who would baptise with the Holy Spirit "and fire". Unlike Mark, Matthew describes John as critical of Pharisees and Sadducees and as preaching "the kingdom of heaven is at hand" and a "coming judgment". Matthew shortens the account of the beheading of John, adds two elements: that Herod Antipas wants John dead, that the death is reported to Jesus by his disciples. Matthew's approach is to shift the focus away onto John as a prototype of Jesus. Where Mark has Herod killing John reluctantly and at Herodias' insistence, Matthew describes him
Daniel the Stylite
Saint Daniel the Stylite is a Saint and stylite of the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic Churches. He is commemorated on 11 December according to the liturgical calendars of these churches. St. Daniel was born in a village in upper Mesopotamia near Samosata in present-day Iraq, he lived there until he was thirty-eight. During a voyage he made with his abbot to Antioch, he passed by the city of Telanissos and received the benediction and encouragement of St. Simeon the Stylite, he visited various holy places, stayed in various convents, retired in 451 A. D. into the ruins of a pagan temple. St. Daniel established his pillar north of Constantinople; the owner of the land where he placed his pillars had not been consulted, hence he appealed to the Byzantine emperor and patriarch Gennadius of Constantinople. Gennadius was deterred through unknown means. Gennadius ordained Daniel as a priest; when the ceremony was over, the patriarch administered the Eucharist by means of a ladder, which Daniel had ordered to be brought.
Gennadius received the Eucharist from Daniel. People from all over came to touch his pillar because healed the faithful. Daniel stood through rain and the freezing cold. Daniel lived on the pillar for 33 years. Due to continuous standing, his feet were covered with sores and ulcers, the winds of Thrace sometimes stripped him of his scanty clothing, he was visited by both Emperor Leo I the Thracian—accompanied by King Gubazes I of Lazica—and Emperor Zeno. As a theologian, he came out against monophysitism; the following is his prayer before he began his life on the pillar:I yield Thee glory, Jesus Christ my God, for all the blessings which Thou hast heaped upon me, for the grace which Thou hast given me that I should embrace this manner of life. But Thou knowest that in ascending this pillar, I lean on Thee alone, that to Thee alone I look for the happy issue of mine undertaking. Accept my object: strengthen me that I finish this painful course: give me grace to end it in holiness; the following is the advice he gave to his disciples just before his death:Hold fast humility, practice obedience, exercise hospitality, keep the fasts, observe the vigils, love poverty, above all maintain charity, the first and great commandment.
Separate never from the Church your Mother. Simeon Stylites Pole-sitting Hermit Ascetic God: Sole Satisfier Dawes, Elizabeth & Baynes, Norman H. Three Byzantine Saints: Contemporary Biographies of St. Daniel the Stylite, St. Theodore of Sykeon and St. John the Almsgiver. London: B. Blackwell. Online version from Internet Medieval Sourcebook. St Daniel the Stylite Orthodox Icon and Synaxarion Orthodox Church in America - Lives of the Saints