==History==
In the late 15th and early 16th century, this religious movement spread over Moscow. In 1480, even Grand Prince [[Ivan III]] himself invited a few prominent adherents to visit the city. The Grand Prince's seemingly strange behavior could be explained by the fact that he had sympathized with heretics’ ideas of [[secularization]] and the struggle against [[feudal]] division. Thus, the Judaizers enjoyed the support of high-ranking officials, statesmen, merchants, [[Yelena Stefanovna]] (wife of [[Ivan the Young]], heir to the throne) and Ivan's favorite [[deacon]] and diplomat [[Feodor Kuritsyn]]. The latter even decided to establish his own club in the mid-1480s.
 
Despite the growing popularity of this religious movement in Novgorod and Moscow, Ivan III was wary of the fact that it could irreversibly infiltrate broader masses of ordinary people and deprive him of ecclesiastic support in his foreign policy. Indeed, a denial of the Trinity and the divinity of Christ would destroy Christianity, while the adherents' opposition to the clergy and the secular authorities would have undermined the entire society. This made Ivan III renounce his ideas of secularization and ally with the clergy.<ref>On Ivan's policies regarding the sect, see George Vernadsky, "The Heresy of the Judaizers and the Policies of Ivan III of Moscow", ''Speculum'', Vol. 8, No. 4 (Oct., 1933): 436-454.</ref>
=== Zacharias de Ghisolfi ===
===The Sect of Zacharias Persecuted===
 
Despite the growing popularity of this religious movement in Novgorod and Moscow, Ivan III was wary of the fact that it could irreversibly infiltrate broader masses of ordinary people and deprive him of ecclesiastic support in his foreign policy. Indeed, a denial of the Trinity and the divinity of Christ would destroy Christianity, while the adherents' opposition to the clergy and the secular authorities would have undermined the entire society. This made Ivan III renounce his ideas of secularization and ally with the clergy.<ref>On Ivan's policies regarding the sect, see George Vernadsky, "The Heresy of the Judaizers and the Policies of Ivan III of Moscow", ''Speculum'', Vol. 8, No. 4 (Oct., 1933): 436-454.</ref>
The struggle against the adherents was led by hegumen [[Joseph Volotsky]] and his followers (иосифляне, ''iosiflyane'' or Josephinians) and [[Gennady (Archbishop of Novgorod)|Archbishop Gennady of Novgorod]].<ref>John I. L. Fennell, ''Ivan the Great of Moscow'' (London: Macmillan, 1961), 329; David M Goldfrank, "Burn, Baby, Burn: Popular Culture and Heresy in Late Medieval Russia", ''The Journal of Popular Culture'' 31, no. 4 (1998): 17–32; Andrei Pliguzov, "Archbishop Gennadii and the Heresy of the 'Judaizers'" ''Harvard Ukrainian Studies'' 16(3/4) December 1992: 269-288.</ref> After uncovering adherents in Novgorod around 1487,<ref>Vernadsky, ''The Heresy of the Judaizers and the Policies of Ivan III'', 439.</ref> Gennady wrote a series of letters to other churchmen over several years calling on them to convene ''sobors'' ("church councils") with the aim "not to debate them, but to burn them." Such councils were held in 1488, 1490, 1494 (the last in 1504). The councils outlawed religious and non-religious books and initiated their burning, sentenced a number of people to death, sent adherents into exile, and [[excommunicate]]d them. In 1491, Skhariya the Jew was executed in Novgorod by the order of Ivan III. More adherents were executed with Gennady's approval, including [[archimandrite]] Kassian of the Iuriev Monastery (who had allowed a number of adherents to hide there), Nekras Rukavov (they first tore out his tongue and then burnt him at the stake), a [[Pskov]]ian monk Zakhar and others.<ref>E. E. Golubinskii, ''Istoriia Russkoi Tserkvi'' (Moscow: University Typography, 1900), vol. 2, pt. 1, p. 582.</ref>
===Fate===
Thus several years passed before guides were sent to Ghisolfi, but in the spring of 1496 they reached the mouth of the [[Miyusha]] and [[Taigana]] rivers, where Zacharias was to meet them four weeks after [[Easter]]. It had been arranged that in the event of either party reaching the rendezvous before the other, the first should wait until [[Whitsuntide]], and if need be until [[Feast of Saints Peter and Paul|Peter and Paul's Day]]. The guides waited until [[St. Nicholas]]' Day (Dec. 6), when they learned that Ghisolfi was unable to advance on account of "disturbances " among his people, for "the man Zacharias is substantial, his family is great, and probably it is difficult to induce them to move." In his report to Ivan, the Crimean ambassador declared that, out of friendship for Muscovy, the khan Meñli I Giray would take Ghisolfi under his protection, but expressed concern due to Ghisolfi's having antagonized antagonised the Turks, who were the khan's overlords.<ref>ib. pp. 77-114.</ref>
By the end of the 15th century, some of the adherents to the Sect of Zacharias remained under the protection of Yelena Stefanovna and her son [[Dmitry Ivanovich (grandson of Ivan III)|tsarevich Dmitry]] (grandson of Ivan III). From subsequent events, it is evident that Ghisolfi entered the service of the Giray khan, for further negotiations were carried on, and in April 1500, Ivan, instructing his ambassador, refers to Ghisolfi as "Zacharias the Fryazin,"<ref>i.e., "the Italian".</ref> who had lived in [[Circassia]] and is now in the service of [[Meñli I Giray]], but who never reached Russia."<ref>ib. p. 309.</ref>
===Aftermath===
By the end of the 15th century, some of the adherents remained under the protection of Yelena Stefanovna and her son [[Dmitry Ivanovich (grandson of Ivan III)|tsarevich Dmitry]] (grandson of Ivan III). However, in In 1502 Dmitry was stripped of his title (transferred to [[Vasili III]] &ndash; son of Ivan III and [[Sophia Paleologue]]). As soon as Ivan III died in 1505, Yelena and Dmitry were arrested and imprisoned, leaving the adherents vulnerable to attacks from the authorities. In 1504, diak (secretary) Ivan-Volk Kuritsyn, Dmitry Konoplev and Ivan Maksimov were burnt at the stake.<ref>Golubinskii, Ist. Russk. ''Tserk'', vol. 2, pt. 1, p. 582</ref> Other adherents were banished, imprisoned, or excommunicated. Feodor Kuritsyn's adherents' club ceased to exist. The remnant of the Judaizers sought refuge in the Crimean Khanate for which they became known as Karimi.
===Analysis===

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