1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Anthim the Iberian

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13604421911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 2 — Anthim the Iberian

ANTHIM THE IBERIAN, a notable figure in the ecclesiastical history of Rumania. A Georgian by birth, he came to Rumania early in the second half of the 17th century, as a simple monk. He became bishop of Râmnicu in 1705, and in 1708 archbishop of Walachia. Taking a leading part in the political movements of the time, he came into conflict with the newly appointed Greek hospodars, and was exiled to Rumelia. But on his crossing the Danube in 1716 he was thrown into the water and drowned, as it is alleged, at the instigation of the prince of Walachia. He was a man of great talents and spoke and wrote many Oriental and European languages. Though a foreigner, he soon acquired a thorough knowledge of Rumanian, and was instrumental in helping to introduce that language into the church as its official language. He was a master printer and an artist of the first order. He cut the wood blocks for the books which he printed in Tirgovishtea, Râmnicu, Snagov and Bucharest. He was also the first to introduce Oriental founts of type into Rumania, and he printed there the first Arabic missal for the Christians of the East (Râmnicu, 1702). He also trained Georgians in the art of printing, and cut the type with which under his pupil Mihail Ishtvanovitch they printed the first Georgian Gospels (Tiflis, 1709). A man of great oratorical power, Anthim delivered a series of sermons (Didahii), and some of his pastoral letters are models of style and of language as well as of exact and beautiful printing. He also completed a whole corpus of lectionaries, missals, gospels, &c.

See M. Gaster, Chrestomathie roumaine (1881), and “Gesch. d. rumänischen Litteratur,” in Gröber, Grundriss d. rom. Philologie, vol. ii. (1899); and E. Picot, Notice sur Anthim d’Ivir (Paris, 1886).  (M. G.)