Maxim the Greek

● Orthodox Remembrance Day: January 21
● Name means: the greatest (Latin.)
● Greek writer, translator and monk
● Born around 1470 in Arta, Greece
● Died on January 21, 1556 in Sergiev Posad
Maxim (birth name Mikhail Trivolis) came from an aristocratic Albanian family and received a
high education. He graduated from school in Corfu. At the age of about 20, he moved to Italy to
study ancient languages and devote himself to philosophical studies. There he was influenced
by humanists such as Aldo Manuzio. In Florence he heard Savonarola preach. In 1507 he
returned from Italy to Greece and entered a monastery on Mount Athos, where he took the
religious name Maxim. In 1517 he received a reputation from Grand Duke Vasily III, who sought
translators for the improvement and multiplication of Russian liturgical books. Maxim, who did
not yet know Russian, took up residence in Moscow in 1518. Soon, however, he came into
conflict with Metropolitan Daniel († 1539) because of the translation work, who in 1525 had
him condemned by a synod as a heretic and put him in monastic detention. By rejecting the
Grand Duke’s second marriage, Maxim also drew his enmity and the enmity of his wife, the later
regent Helena Glinskaya, and was condemned again in 1531. He spent the years 1525 to 1556
mainly in captivity in changing monasteries. Maxim died in the Trinity Monastery of Sergiev
Posad.