Greeks and Russians had coexisted on Athos for eight centuries, but from 1839 to the eve of the First World War their relations disintegrated. This book looks at the causes of this deterioration against the background of Balkan and European history, and examines the Prophet Elijah Skete, with which the modern story of the Russian Athonite community begins and is concluded. Hitherto, most of what has been written about the Russians on Athos has been from either a Greek or a Russian perspective. This book takes an objective view of the conflict. The author breaks new ground by using unpublished archive material, much of which has survived only on his microfilm.