Ioakim Korsunianin

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Ioakim Korsunianin (Russian: Иоаким Корсунянин) was the first bishop of Novgorod the Great (r. ca. 989–1030). His surname suggests he probably came from the Byzantine town of Cherson (Korsun) on the Crimean Peninsula and, according to the chronicles, arrived in Kievan Rus’ around the time of the Conversion in 988.[1] Upon his arrival in Novgorod, he cast the idol of the god Perun into the Volkhov River and built the Peryn Monastery on the site where it once stood.[2] He also built the first, wooden, Cathedral of Holy Wisdom, “with 12 tops,”[3] on the site of a pagan cemetery. He also built the Church of Joachim and Anne, named for his patron saints, which stood near the present site of the Cathedral of Holy Wisdom. He was buried there on his death in 1030, but his remains were transferred into the current cathedral in 1598.

Very little is known of his episcopate; although the Ioakimovskaia Letopis (Ioachim Chronicle), a no longer extant source cited in the history of Vasilyev Tatishchev, was traditionally attributed to Ioakim Korsunianin. This is now considered to be highly questionable, as is the historical reliability of Tatishchev's work: it is more likely a seventeenth-century compilation and is now often attributed to Patriarch Ioakim of Moscow (d. 1690).[4] Upon his death in 1030, Ioakim's disciple, Efrem, administered the eparchy for five years (1030–1035) until the arrival of Luka Zhidiata.[5] Ioakim is venerated as a saint by the Russian Orthodox Church. His feast days are February 10 (the feast of the Novgorodian Saints, in which 10 other bishops and archbishops and others are commemorated) and June 19.[6]


  1. ^ ‘’Novgorodskaya pervaya letopis starshego i mladshego izvodov,’’(hereafter NPL) A. N. Nasonov, ed.(Moscow: Academy of Sciences of the Soviet Union, 1950), pp.159-160, 163, 552.
  2. ^ NPL, 160, 552.
  3. ^ Novgorodskaya Vtoraya Letopis, vol 3 of Polnoe Sobranie Russkikh Letopisei, (hereafter, PSRL) (St. Petersburg: Eduard Prats, 1843), p. 121.
  4. ^ S. K. (Sergei Konstantinovich) Shambinago, “Ioakimovskaia letopis’.” Istoricheskie Zapiski (1947): 254-70; O. Tvorogov, “Ioakim.” In D. S. Likhachev, ed., Slovar’ knizhnikov i knizhnosti drevnei Rusi, 3 vols. in 5 pts. (Leningrad and St. Petersburg: Nauk, 1987-1993) vol. 1 (XI-pervaia polovina XIV vv.). (Leningrad: Nauk, 1987): 204-205.
  5. ^ Letopisnyi sbornik, imenuemmyi Patriarsheiu ili Nikonovskuiu Letopisiu сборник, PSRL vol. 9, p. 79
  6. ^ P. I. Tikhomirov, Kafedra Novgorodskikh sviatitelei,(Novgorod, 1891), vol. 1, pp.9-18.