Sources on St Cyril and Methodius Greek Ethnicity

 

All neutral sources mention that the two brothers had Greek names (we are keeping in mind Cyril was baptised as konstantinos), they were members of a noble family, their father Leon was a Greek military man and their mother of slavic background. Furthermore both brothers were born in Thessaloniki, were educated in Konstantinople where they took a highly Byzantine education and lived all their lives into Byzantine Empire apart from the fact they were send out on missions to bring christianity to various regions.We can find the following evidence from records of their Greek conscience on the Honorary Volume to Cyrillos and Methodios for the 1100 years, Thessaloniki-1968 by Henriette Ozanne. For example, the below for Cyrillos:In his dialog with the Muslims, he points out that “…every science stem from us…” implying the Greeks and the Greek culture .During the Hazars’ mission, the hagan of the Hazars asked him what present he wished to have offered to him and he said “…Give me all the Greek prisoners of war you have here. They are more valuable to me than any other present…” – Scientif Annals of the Theology Faculty of the Thessaloniki University (1968)  Also many non-Greeks accept that the 2 brothers were Greeks:The Slav Pope John Paul II who in 31/12/1980 (in an official encyclical-Egregiae Virtutis-to the Catholic Church) and 14/2/1981(in the S.Clement church in Rome) said that Cyrillos and Methodios were “Greek brothers, born in Thessalonikithe Serb historian V.Bogdanovich, says that “Kyrillos and Methodios were born in Thessaloniki and were Greeks in origin, not Slavs” (History of the ancient Serbian literature, Belgrade 1980, pg.119).

To anyone that has no ties with blind nationalism, it seems to be no doubt that Cyrill and Methodius were Greek, not only by birth but most importantly culturally as it was analyzed above.

 

As it is known both Cyrill and Methodius played probably one of the most important roles in spreading Orthodoxy among the Slavic population. Hence they were named “Apostles of the Slavs“, having the meaning simply that they brought the Christian faith to the Slavs.

I have to underline here of the false notion some have about the title “Apostle“. Fact is that having spread Christian faith among a certain population doesnt mean that they belong ethnically to any of the people they converted. If we followed this flawed logic Khazars would also claim them as Khazars since they went to covert them to Christianity even before they went to the Slavs or even Arabs since Konstantinos undertook a mission to the Arabs.

One of the many examples is the story of Saint Boniface. Saint Boniface – original name Winfrid or Wynfrith – was born at Crediton in Devon, England and was sent to propagate Christianity in the Frankish Empire during the 8th century. Rightfully Saint Boniface was named as “Apostle of the Germans” and another example is St.Thomas who is called “the Indian Apostle,” but we all know that he was not an Indian. Instead he simply brought Christianity to the Indians. Neither Germans nor Indians are upon the tiresome and flawed notion of claiming St Boniface and St Thomas ethnicities as the well-known propagandists do.
Professors Ivan Lazaroff, Plamen Pavloff, Ivan Tyutyundzijeff and Milko Palangurski of the Faculty of History of Sts. Cyril and Methodius University in Veliko Tŭrnovo, Bulgaria in their book, Kratka istoriya na bŭlgarskiya narod (Short History of the Bulgarian Nation, pp 36-38), state very explicitly that the two brothers were Hellenes (Greeks) from Thessaloniki.

The late Oscar Halecki, Professor of Eastern European History, in his book Borderlands of Western Civilization, A History of East Central Europe (chapter Moravian State and the Apostles of the Slavs) agrees with the authors of Kratka istoriya na bŭlgarskiya narod.

As you see the real scholars and not the fake admit the historical truth.

Also according Pope John Paul II in an official apostolic homily to the entire Catholic Church proclaimed that Methodius and Cyril “Greek brethren born in Thessaloniki” are consecrated as “heavenly protectors of Europe”. John Paul II’ repeated this statement in a speech delivered in the church of Saint Clements, in Rome.
References from books about the ethnicity of Cyril and Methodius.
1.
   

 


 

 

Then in the ninth century Cyril and Methodius, two Greek monks from Thessaloniki , developed the Cyrillic alphabet and spread both literacy and Christianity to the Slavs.


“The macedonian conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a transnational world” by Loring Danforth
 
 2.
  

 

 

Two Greek brothers from Salonika, Constantine, who later later became a monk and took
the name Cyril, and Methodius came to Great Moravia in 863 at the invitation of the Moravian Prince Rostislav


“Comparative history of Slavic Literatures” by Dmitrij Cizevskij, page vi
3.

 

 

the Byzantine court entrusted it to two brothers with wide experience o missionary work: Constantine the Philosopher, better known by his monastic name, Cyril and Methodius. Cyril and Methodius were Greeks.


“Czechoslovakian Miniatures from Romanesque and Gothic Manuscripts” by Jan Kvet, p. 6
 

4.
 

 

 

In answer to this appeal the emperor sent the two brothers Cyril and Methodius, who were Greeks of Salonika and had considerable knowledge of Slavonic languages.


The Balkans: A history of Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, Rumania, Turkey (1916)” by Forbes, Nevil, p. 21
 
5.
 

 

 

In order to convert the Slavs to Christianity, Greek missionaries Cyril and Methodius learned the language.


“Lonely Planet Croatia” by Jeanne Oliver, P.35
 
6.

two brothers, the Apostles of the Sclavonians or Slavs, born in Greece and educated in Constantinople.


“Book of the Saints 1921″ by Monks Benedictine, P. 74
7.

Cyril, St 827-69 and Methodius, St 826-85, known as the Apostles of the Slavs – Greek Christian missionaries- They were born in Thessalonica.


“The Riverside Dictionary of Biography” by the American Heritage Dictionaries, p. 208
 
8.

two greek brothers, Cyril and Methodius, were sent in response to this request. This development was of particular importance to the formation of eastern european culture.


“historical Theology” by McGrath, p.125
 
9.

the byzantine emperor sent two greek monks, Cyril and Methodius, to spread Christianity to the slavic people.


“Global History and Geography” by Phillip Lefton, p. 130
 
10.

As the Slav tribes feel under the influence of Byzantium a considerable number of them were baptised but they were first converted to Christianity in Mass by the Greek brothers, Cyril and Methodius


Black lamb and Grey Falcon: A journey through Yugoslave” by Rebecca West, P. 710
 
11.

“Cyrillus autem et Methodius fratres, Graeci, Thessalonicae nati…”


http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/j…irtutis_lt.htmlhttp://www.vatican.va/holy_father/jo…rtutis_lt.html Pope John Paul II.
 
12.
R. L. Wilkens book “Judaism and the Early Christian Mind” (1971)
Quote:
 

 


Cyril and Methodius, Saints (muth..us) [key], d. 869 and 884, respectively, Greek missionaries, brothers, called Apostles to the Slavs and fathers of Slavonic literature. Their history and influence are obscured by conflicting legends. After working among the Khazars, they were sent (863) from Constantinople by Patriarch Photius to Moravia. This was at the invitation of Prince Rostislav, who sought missionaries able to preach in the Slavonic vernacular and thereby check German influence in Moravia. Their immediate success aroused the hostility of the German rulers and ecclesiastics. Candidates from among their converts were refused ordination, and their use of the vernacular in the liturgy was severely criticized. According to one source, when Photius was excommunicated by Rome the brothers were called there. Their orthodoxy was established, and the use of Slavonic in the liturgy was approved. Cyril died while in Rome, but Methodius, consecrated by the pope, returned to Moravia and was made archbishop of Sirmium. Despite the papal sanction the Germans contrived to have him imprisoned, and, though released two years later, his effectiveness appears to have been blocked. His last years were spent translating the Bible and ecclesiastical books into Slavonic. His influence in Moravia was wiped out after his death but was carried to Bulgaria, Serbia, and Russia, where the southern Slavonic of Cyril and Methodius is still the liturgical language of both Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches. The Cyrillic alphabet. used in those countries today, traditionally ascribed to St. Cyril, was probably the work of his followers. It was based probably by Cyril himself upon the glagolithic alphabet, which is still used by certain Croatian and Montenegrin Catholics. Feast: July 713.
The Significance of the Missions of Cyril and Methodius
Francis Dvornik
Slavic Review > Vol. 23, No. 2 (Jun., 1964) page: 196

Moravian Christianity even had species of ecclesiastical organization before the arrival of the Greek brothers

 

14.

Quote:


The Significance of the Missions of Cyril and Methodius
Francis Dvornik
Slavic Review > Vol. 23, No. 2 (Jun., 1964) page: 211

This short sketch of the cultural development of the Slavic nations in the Middle Ages seems necessary to show the real significance of the mission of the two Greek brothers. Its aim in Moravia was, above all, cultural.

 

15.

Quote:


Slavic Translations of the Scriptures
Matthew Spinka
The Journal of Religion > Vol. 13, No. 4 (Oct., 1933), pp. 415

When those ancient precursors of Bible translators, the Greek brothers Constantine and Methodius, translated certain parts of the Scriptures and the liturgical books into Slavic for the use of their Moravian converts

 

16.
Quote:


Slavic Translations of the Scriptures
Matthew Spinka
The Journal of Religion > Vol. 13, No. 4 (Oct., 1933), pp. 415

Thus in a sense the two Greek brothers and their disciples fought a fight in behalf of all the later Bible translators and liturgical vernacularists, the English among them.

 

17.

Quote:


Slavic Translations of the Scriptures
Matthew Spinka
The Journal of Religion > Vol. 13, No. 4 (Oct., 1933), pp. 416-17
In co-operation with Patriarch Photius they selected the renowned teacher of philosophy at the court school of Magnaura, Constantine, and his elder brother, Methodius, Greeks from Thessalonica, who were well acquainted with the language of the Macedonian Slavs, as best-fitted missionaries for the Moravian field.

 

18.

Quote:


Slavic Translations of the Scriptures
Matthew Spinka
The Journal of Religion > Vol. 13, No. 4 (Oct., 1933), pp. 424

The Slavic liturgy was, beyond any doubt, a radical innovation which the Greek brothers could not have justified except as an essential element in insuring the success of their work.

 

 

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