Tales from Imperial Russia
Episode 12: The First Rasputin. The Tale of Fotii (Spasskii)
As is well known, Grigorii Rasputin wielded a considerable and scandalous level of influence over Tsar Nicholas II. What is less well known is that this was not the first time that a holy man managed to worm his way into the good graces of an emperor and create destructive consequences. This episode follows the life and career of Fotii (Spasskii), a monk who was able to persuade Tsar Alexander I to turn against one of his oldest and closest friends.
J. L. Wieczynski, ‘Apostle of Obscurantism: the Archimandrite Photius of Russia (1792-1838)’, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, vol. XXII, no.4 (1971), pp. 319-331.
A. V. Ivanov, A Spiritual Revolution: The Impact of Reformation and Enlightenment in Orthodox Russia, 1700-1825 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2020).
Brought to you by James White of Tales from Imperial Russia