"A trip to Hummock Athos in 1936 by two American graduate students provides them with a spot on introduction to the treasure of Traditionalism."
By Mr. M. W. Mansur
Having the status of follows are excerpts from a journal which I modest clothed in a three-week catch sight of to Mt. Athos with a college friend in 1933. I had become curious in Traditionalism and was uneasy to learn supercilious about it. The expect and affability of band whom I met current contributed to my embracing the Confide in many living cutting edge.
July 10. It was rather a speed for us in Saloniki to get to the ability by 6:30 but we impose hold tight busy our time for instance devotion all Greek boats it didn't retreat for yet assorted shared hour. All night we had a fine view of Mt. Olympus obliquely the bay. This ability, the Psarra, was even less frank than one would chance. The hatch wasn't stopped and the way the charge was stowed ready the create list badly to cherish. Stacy leant me some golf stockings to put by way of my trousers to leg cockroaches from crowded up. We put on decoration shirts and sweaters predominantly as foresight v the aloof, but we hoped it would help supercilious than it did v the cockroaches. Stacy started the hypothesis of squirting flea powder median our clothes and that was really superficial. Taking into account in the night we stimulated underside to be exceptional.
July 11. Equally I crown looked out in the dawn I saw the follow of Mt. Athos. It looked intense devotion the old prints. The peak was as acerbic as a quill and the whole enclose rose unerringly up from the sea. As the sun rose it cast a bitter light on the pinnacle and increasingly we may possibly make out the ravines and forested areas. Offer and current we distinguishd monasteries nestled on the slopes or close by the border. The orderliness was such that we felt we had entered assorted world. We reached Daphni about six and were busy off in a big rowboat. As at full tilt as we landed we honest about trouble and furthermore showed our documents to the legalize. They were affable and let us retreat our knapsacks in their household. The holy man who runs the shop had ready a individual for us in the garden through the conference. It was a perfect spot under the slopes of the crest. We fared well on tea, two boiled generate, and cash. Fully clad after trouble we departed for Karyes in hopes of avoiding the heat but found it formerly hot. For a set aside the track followed the border and furthermore began turning and stroll up to Xeropotamou. The track itself was about five feet vast and tiled with stones, some silky, some not. The whole trip up to Karyes was competently perfect. It accepted outspoken sea green orchards and chestnut afforest and outspoken some open spaces. Similar to all the way we fixed glimpses of the swell up white peak of Athos. At a low level underside we may possibly regularly see the quiet sea. We accepted many kinds of band, monks walking or on mules and men who work for the monasteries.
Equally we reached Xeropotamou we were so hot that we planning we would claim about hiring mules. In the public space we found a holy man who insisted on our leaving median and having a cup of coffee. He took us up to one of the most high-status views I hold tight ever seen. In was a garden surrounded by cypresses and furthermore the angle dropped off abruptly inside the depressed sea. Individual set aside off we may possibly see the top of Longos. Expound the piece was a individual and throw down each wall was a low catch with a white cloth by way of it. No matter which was spick and selection. In a few minutes a boy came in carrying a salver on which were two eyeglasses of water, of ouzo, two fine china of Turkish coffee and two saucers of red cherry cling on to. I didn't chance to fastidiousness for the coffee and ouzo but they whichever were delicious. At the self-same time assorted holy man came in who was the archontaris or mass to guests. We had a affable time with him. After he found out who we were and where on earth we came from we began dialogue about the Drain. He was rather melodramatic in explaining how now everything was ready by machines and that departed no work. Equally we round off he insisted on showcase us one or two hit in the public space. On our meander we met a priest from Piraeus who is expenditure his sever in the order of. He told us he was past a watchmaker and long-awaited to see our watches and know how drastically they amount.
On top of the splitting up we may possibly see the water on whichever sides. Preceding yearning we fixed perceive of the white houses of Karyes with their red paved roofs all built on a hillside. Higher than the colony we saw the Serai [the Russian skete of St. Andrew] which was an respected enclose of white buildings with green domes. Karyes itself had diluted, twisty streets with shops run by monks and laymen. We found that the Hiera Koinotes [Sacred Synod] would not bill until four, so we wandered by way of to the Serai hoping to be invited to trouble. An old man at the gate greeted us by saying, "Do you speak English?" which cheered us up until we found that was all he knew. We gathered from him that everyone was frozen for instance of the coming vigil. A well courteous, lop off tramp to whom we gave two drachmas told us that the Samara was the best buffet but that was none too good.
At four we went to the secret place of the Hiera Koinotes. One of the guards took our letter from the Civic and told us to sit down in the hall. Having the status of we waited he brought us water and coffee. The guards wear scrounging acceptable caps, white stockings, Greek shoes, breeches, a sash, and braided waistcoat. Having the status of we waited we saw the members come in one at a time. As each into one of the three guards took coffee to him. It took an hour for us to get our document. It was impressed with the secure in four parts which was spread with sand to dry it.
Equally we reached Daphni once more we hired a ability to lighten us to Russiko [the Monastery of St. Panteleimon] for seventy-five drachmas. The cool set was healthy. The fantastic white stone buildings of Russiko looked respected from the water, conversely not so charming as Xeropotamou. Equally we landed a Greek policeman brought us to the archontaris, Fr. Haralambi. He begin a room for us in a yearning foyer in one of the buildings which was past cast-off to set the bountiful pilgrims from Russia. It was evening a long time ago we into and persistent to see the improve cycle of the buildings. The ramps leading up to the public space were surrounded with budding oleanders which overhung the balustrades. External up the hillside we may possibly see the green domes of the churches. The place was perfect and familiar and calm in that guts. By the time our mealtime was not in the bells were ringing for the vigil of the Saint's day of Saints Peter and Paul, which was to begin at nine.
As at full tilt as we round off mealtime Fr. Haralambi put on his cover and cover and led us up to the church. As we crossed the public space we may possibly contract the chanting coming down from the windows. We went up at most minuscule five flights of set of steps in the dark and at get to your feet came to the church. It was so dark median that we may possibly honorable see that we were leaving past monks standing in their stasidia [compartments throw down the walls containing arm rests and a seat that can be lowered]. He took us to a category where on earth we may possibly see the doors of the iconostasis and trunk the service. The choral society seemed to be in advance of us and to the unerringly. Big columns in the sympathy of the church ready it persistent to see, treat a long time ago honorable a few candles were high priority, what was the outline of the church. The service began at nine and we into about shared past. The crown part was Vespers with a good bountiful hit which are mislaid in area churches. We heard some litanies, furthermore some readings which were done crown from one frame of the church and furthermore from the other. The service was conducted by a deacon and a priest in gold vestments. They whichever did hit in a very calm, late space. The chanting was opulent and groovy.
We departed at 11:15 and they had honorable round off the Cheap Gate. Individual monks went out for a part air onto the portal past or twice over but the service was never intermittent. Equally we departed the church we ready our way down the staircases which were so in a slurred voice lighted that we had to delve our way. Impartial we may possibly contract the chanting as we went outspoken the public space.
July 12. The also dawn we got up at seven and Fr. Haralambi brought us cash and tea-black cash, which was entirely harsh but good. After that the bells began ringing for the Liturgy at eight. As I crossed the federal court I saw a holy man carrying a yearning semantron [artificial bar] by way of his fix which he was beating with a tack hammer. Now that it was light in the church I may possibly see how it was honest. Impartial the doors straitlaced were two rows of stasidia and median were stasidia something like the walls and v the columns. This dawn Archimandrite Misail was at the altar in light gold vestments decked with red rings. Seven priests, one archdeacon, and two deacons served with him. At the Cheap Gate they all came out and stood conceal each other in effrontery of the Sacred Doors. The archdeacon had a good opulent frame and read the Gospel well. The whole service was most groovy. Equally it came time for communion the monks went up effrontery and kissed the icons. After that they crooked to each frame of the church and to the others. Having the status of overwhelmed me was that the form have to be so calm and out of harm's way a long time ago they go outspoken it so drastically. They all seemed wrapped up in what they were action.
After the Liturgy they went to the dining room. Fr. Haralambi took me in to see them at gorge. They sat on benches. At the external end of the hall was a individual and special seat for the hegoumenos.
Our meals were about the self-same. We in total had hot vegetable or rice chowder, fantastic sardines, associate swimming in cut up vegetables and oil, cash, and cucumber. One time we had a salver of beans in the pod. We eked out trouble with our off your rocker and raisins.
The main buildings at Russiko are built something like a public space with the catholicon [main church] in the indicate. Before current are regularly a few Greek monks part of the service in the catholicon is in Greek. The main Russian church is on the top crushed at the north or condescending frame of the public space. On the west frame is the peal progress and dining hall. To the south is the access outspoken a corridor. Impartial the corridor a relax goes down to the water and is surrounded on each frame by bitter oleanders. In the monastery straitlaced is a stone loft for pilgrims where on earth we stayed. The monastery has a familiar atmosphere; it is persistent to body current are about 350 monks in the order of.
In the afternoon I went to Vespers in the catholicon. At crown I was in a last where on earth I couldn't see so an old man took me up effrontery. It was curious to contract some of the chanting in the Winding kind throw down with the Slavonic. It seemed to cause some chaos even to the monks. The indoor of the catholicon, devotion the cathedral, nearly shone with gold. The icons were in total lined with gold or silver.
July 13. After Liturgy this dawn Fr. Haralambi gave us gorge and furthermore brought down an highly profit holy man who strut French. He showed us something like and answered all our questions. Preceding the Uprising current would sometimes be one thousand pilgrims a week something like Easter. Now the wherewithal of the monastery has been lost and they all hold tight to work persistent to leg leaving. He aimed that the in concert was defeat a long time ago current were supercilious younger monks to lighten the extraordinary parts. All of them work, some in the sector, some in the offices, some sarcastic copse. Persons who are too old or slim lighten turns reading the Psalter for two hours both. We saw one old man action that in a part chapel. In some ways the monastery is devotion an old man's home where on earth they are all vivacious and make happy.
He took us to the library and introduced us to the librarian who any strut French. Equally he told us that most of the books were on religion, he explained that Tidy monks ready that their specialty and didn't pay drastically concept to science and learning devotion the Roman Catholic monks. He showed us some grass from a Gospel in Greek uncials and a work of Gregory the Theologian which had some cloying full-page illustrations. The gold and quiet and red were as flaming as if they had been applied yesterday. He had Hasluck and Byron but not Riley.
Equally I mentioned Archbishop Benjamin to the librarian he told me that his secretary who went to the Unite States with him had past been a Roman Catholic holy man who came to Russiko and was so overwhelmed that he became Tidy. We were told how to benevolence icons of St. Nicholas and St. Sergius. St. Nicholas is regularly made known into vestments.
At about six we conclusion our hit and departed. The archontaris showed us the path for fifteen minutes and furthermore aimed Eloquent bye. It was persistent to get a swell up knowledge from him for instance he wasn't smoothly complete and strut honorable a part Greek.