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Dochiariou Monastery

The Dochiariou Monastery is located on the southwest coast of the peninsula of Mount Athos, northwest of the Xenophontos monastery. The origins of Docheiariou are obscure: it was apparently first established before 1013 by John Docheiarios (probably the former cellarer of Xeropotamou) at the Athonite port of Daphne, with a church dedicated to St. Nicholas. It has been hypothesized that the monastery was transferred to a new location in the mountains between 1051 and 1056 and, finally, between 1083 and 1108 was moved to its present site near the sea. By the early 12th century, its dedication had changed to St. Michael. At this time the hegoumenos Neophytos, considered the second ktetor of the monastery, built a larger church and a fortification wall with a tower. He also acquired important properties in Chalkidike and composed a testament (sometime after 1118). From the 14th century Docheiariou was an imperial monastery. It played no role in the hesychastic controversy; its monks were more involved with temporal concerns and engaged in mercantile shipping. Docheiariou was always a cenobitic monastery inhabited by Greeks. In the early 15th century the Russian deacon Zosima recounted that Docheiariou was ninth in the Athonite hierarchy.

The archives contain 6o acts of the Byzantine period (1037-1424). The will of hegoumenos Neophytos boasts of the precious textiles (pepla) he had added to the monastery's treasury and of the ecclesiastical silver, books, and icons he had amassed. At present the library contains approximately 100 manuscripts of Byzantine date, of which a 12th-century menologion and four Gospel books are notable for their illustration. The monastery also possesses a relief of the Ascension of Alexander, who is raised to heaven by griffins. Docheiariou's present buildings are almost all post-Byzantine.


Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

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