PHILARET [THEODORE NIKITICH ROMANOV] (? 1553-1633), patriarch of Moscow, was the second son of the boyar Nikita Romanovich. During the reign of his first cousin Theodore I. (1584-1598), Theodore Romanov distinguished himself both as a soldier and a diplomatist, fighting against the Swedes in 1590, and conducting negotiations with the ambassadors of the emperor Rudolph II. in 1593-1594. On the death of the childless tsar, he was the popular candidate for the vacant throne; but he acquiesced in the election of Boris Godunov, and shared the disgrace of his too-powerful family three years later, when Boris compelled both him and his wife, Xenia Chestovaya, to take monastic vows under the names of Philaret and Martha respectively. Philaret was kept in the strictest confinement in the Antoniev monastery, where he was exposed to every conceivable indignity; but when the pseudo-Demetrius overthrew the Godunovs he released Philaret and made him metropolitan of Rostov (1605). In 1609 Philaret fell into the hands of pseudoDemetrius II., who named him patriarch of all Russia, though his jurisdiction only extended over the very limited area which acknowledged the impostor. From 1610-1618 he was a prisoner in the hands of the Polish king, Sigismund III., whom he refused to acknowledge as tsar of Muscovy on being sent on an embassy to the Polish camp in 1610. He was released on the conclusion of the truce of Deulino (Feb. 13, 1619), and on the and of June was canonically enthroned patriarch of Moscow. Henceforth, till his death, the established government of Muscovy was a diarchy. From 1619 to 1633 there were two actual sovereigns, Tsar Michael and his father, the most holy Patriarch Philaret. Theoretically they were co-regents, but Philaret frequently transacted affairs of state without consulting the tsar. He replenished the treasury by a more equable and rational system of assessing and collecting the taxes. His most important domestic measure was the chaining of the peasantry to the soil, a measure directed against the ever increasing migration of the down-trodden serfs to the steppes, where they became freebooters instead of tax-payers. The taxation of the tsar's slyuzhnuie lyudi, or military tenants, was a first step towards the proportional taxation of the hitherto privileged classes. Philaret's zeal for the purity of orthodoxy sometimes led him into excesses: but he encouraged the publication of theological works, formed the nucleus of the subsequently famous Patriarchal Library, and commanded that every archbishop should establish a seminary for the clergy, himself setting the example. Another great service rendered by Philaret to his country was the reorganization of the Muscovite army with the help of foreign officers. His death in October 1633 put an end to the RussoPolish War (1632-33), withdrawing the strongest prop from an executive feeble enough even when supported by all the weight of his authority.
See R. N. Bain, The First Romanovs (London, 1905) ; S. M. Solovev, Hist, of Russia (Rus.), vol. ix. (St Petersb. 1895, etc.) (R. N. B.)
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)