Recent acquisitions: Slavonic and East European Collections: three Polish pamphlets on Pseudo-Messiah Sabbatai Sevi
J. D. Alsop
IN 1669 the press of the Monastery of the Caves in Kiev published a substantial book Messyia pravdyvyi Isus Khristos [The true Messiah Jesus Christ] and in 1672 the Ukrainian version was followed by the Polish, Messiasz prawdziwy. Its Orthodox author, Ioannykii Haliatovskyi (Joanicjusz Galatowski), Rector of the Kiev Academy and archimandrite of a monastery at Chernihov (where he died in 1688) was a profilic writer of homilies and religious polemics. The Messiah was one of the latter, directed against the Jewish religion and in particular against the 'false messiah' Sabbatai Sevi. As the author explained in the preface addressed to Tsar Alexis, ' I have written this book in the Ruthenian, Polish and Latin languages because the Jews living in the Kingdom of Poland and in the Latin [Western] countries mocked and jeered Christ the True Messiah and the Christian people and rejoiced when they heard that in Eastern parts in the city of Smyrna their false messiah, Sabbatai Sevi by name, had appeared, the same as later suffered a horrible death in Constantinople'.