Slike stranica

a serious ecclesiastical controversy. If Ignatius had behaved with discretion and reconciled himself to a régime which personally he disliked, it is not probable that the sympathies of Bardas with the Photian party would have induced him to take any measure against the Patriarch.


Ignatius found in the private morals of the powerful minister a weak spot for attack. According to the rumour of the town, Bardas was in love with his daughter-in-law, and had for her sake abandoned his wife.1 Acting on this gossip, the Patriarch admonished Bardas, who declined to take any notice of his rebukes and exhortations. We may suspect that he refused to admit that the accusation was true-it would perhaps have been difficult to prove-and recommended Ignatius to mind his own business. But Ignatius was determined to show that he was the shepherd of his flock, and that he was no respecter of persons. On the feast of Epiphany (Jan. A.D. 858) he refused the communion to the sinner. It is said that Bardas, furious at this public insult, drew his sword; but he managed to control his anger and vowed vengeance on the bold priest.

The ecclesiastical historians speak with warm approbation of this action of the Patriarch. The same prelate, who adopted such a strong measure to punish the vices of Bardas,3 had no scruples, afterwards, in communicating with the Emperor Basil, who had ascended to power by two successive murders. And the ecclesiastical historians seem to regard the Patriarch's action, in ignoring Basil's crimes and virtually taking advantage of them to reascend the Patriarchal throne, as perfectly irreproachable. The historian who is not an ecclesiastic may be allowed to express his respectful interest in the ethical standards which are implied.

About eight months later the Emperor Michael decided to tonsure his mother and sisters and immure them in the monastery of Karianos. He requested the Patriarch to perform the ceremony of the tonsure, and we have already seen that

1 Simeon (Cont. Georg.) 826; Anas. tasius, Praef.; Gen. 99; Vita Ign.


2 Libellus Ignatii, 296; Vita Ign., ib. ὡς ἀνὰ πᾶσαν τὴν πόλιν περιβομβηθῆναι· καὶ οὐκ ἄχρι τῶν πολλῶν μόνον ἀλλὰ καὶ μέχρις αὐτοῦ τοῦ ἀρχιερέως τὴν πονηρὰν

phμnv EX0eîv. Cp. Lebedev, Istoriia, 23-24.

3 The expressions which Hergenröther (369) applies to Bardas "ein wollüstiger Höfling," "der mächtige Wüstling," are extraordinarily infelicitous.

Ignatius refused on the ground that the ladies themselves were unwilling.1 Bardas persuaded the Emperor that his disobedience, in conjunction with his unconcealed sympathy with the Empress, was a sign of treasonable purposes, and a pretended discovery was made that he was in collusion with an epileptic impostor, named Gebeon, who professed to be the son of the Empress Theodora by a former marriage. Gebeon had come from Dyrrhachium to Constantinople, where he seduced some foolish people; he was arrested and cruelly executed in one of the Prince's Islands.2 On the same day the Patriarch was seized as an accomplice, and removed, without a trial, to the island of Terebinthos (Nov. 23).


It is evident that there were no proofs against Ignatius, and that the charge of treason was merely a device of 1 the government for the immediate purpose of removing him. For in the subsequent transactions this charge seems to have been silently dropped; and if there had been any plausible grounds, there would have been some sort of formal trial. Moreover, it would appear that before his arrest it was 1 intimated to the Patriarch that he could avoid all trouble by abdication, and he would have been tempted to yield if his bishops had not assured him that they would loyally stand by him.3 Before his arrest he issued a solemn injunction that no service should be performed in St. Sophia without his consent.4 A modern ecclesiastical historian, who has no high opinion of Ignatius, cites this action as a proof that he was ready to prefer his own personal interests to the good of the Church.5

In the place of his banishment Ignatius was visited repeatedly by bishops and Imperial ministers pressing on him the expediency of voluntary abdication. As he refused to listen to arguments, threats were tried, but with no result." The Emperor and Bardas therefore decided to procure the election of a new Patriarch, though the chair was not de iure called

1 Libellus Ignatii, 296. Anastasius (Praef. 2) and the Vita Ign. (224) add that he alleged the oath which he had taken, at his elevation, that he would never engage in a plot against Michael and Theodora (τῆς βασιλείας ὑμῶν). Such an oath was apparently required from every Patriarch (secundum morem, Anastas.).

2 Vita Ign., ib. Bardas
Ignatius "Gebobasileutos."
3 De Stauropatis, 441.
4 Anastasius, Praef., ib.
5 Lebedev, op. cit. 25.

6 Vita Ign. 226. Physical violence was not employed at this stage (as the narrative in the Vita shows); Hergenröther is wrong here (373-374).

vacant, inasmuch as Ignatius had neither resigned nor been canonically deposed. Such a procedure was not an innovation; there were several precedents. The choice of the government and the ecclesiastical party which was opposed to [Ignatius fell upon Photius. He was not only a grata persona at Court; but his extraordinary gifts, his eminent reputation, along with his unimpeachable orthodoxy, were calculated to shed prestige on the Patriarchal chair, and to reconcile the public to a policy which seemed open to the reproaches of violence and injustice. Many of the bishops who had vowed to support the cause of Ignatius were won over by Bardas, and Photius accepted the high office, which, according to his enemies, had long been the goal of his ambition, and which, according to his own avowal, he would have been only too glad to decline.2 He was tonsured on December 20; on the four following days he was successively ordained lector, subdeacon, deacon, and priest, and on Christmas Day consecrated bishop, by his friend Gregory Asbestas.3 For this rapid and irregular elevation to the highest dignity of the Church, which was one of the principal objections urged against Photius, the recent precedents of his uncle Tarasius and Nicephorus, as well as others, could be alleged. The ambiguous position of Gregory, who had been deposed by a synod and suspended by a Pope, furnished another handle against the new Patriarch. But all the bishops who were present in Constantinople, except five, acknowledged him, and the five dissentients were persuaded to acquiesce when he gave them a written undertaking that he would honour Ignatius as a father and act according to his wishes.5 But two months later

[blocks in formation]


Metrophanes (loc. cit.), who was one of the five, says: "When we saw that the mass of the bishops had been seduced we thought it right to acknowledge him in writing (δι ̓ ἰδιοχείρου ὁμολογίας) as a son of our Church and in communion with its High Priest (Ignatius), in order that even here we might not be found in disagreement with his will; for he (Ignatius) had directed us to elect a Patriarch from our Church in Christ. So when Photius signed in our presence a promise that he would hold the Patriarch free from blame and neither speak against him nor permit others to do so, we accepted

he is said to have recovered the document on some pretext and torn it up into small pieces. Then those bishops who were really on the side of Ignatius, and had unwillingly consented to an impossible compromise, held a series of meetings in the church of St. Irene, and deposed and excommunicated Photius with his adherents.1 Such an irregular assembly could not claim the authority of a synod, but it was a declaration of war. Photius immediately retorted by holding a synod in the Holy Apostles. Ignatius, in his absence, was deposed and anathematized; and the opportunity was probably used to declare Gregory Asbestas absolved from those charges which had led to his condemnation by the ex-Patriarch (spring A.D. 859).2

In the meantime Bardas persistently endeavoured to force Ignatius to an act of abdication. He was moved from place to place and treated with cruel rigour. His followers were


unwillingly, on account of the violence of the government. It appears from this that Ignatius, though he refused to abdicate, would have been prepared to do so if another than Photius had been his successor. It is to be observed that while the Lib. Ign. and the Vita Ign. assert that Ignatius declined throughout to abdicate, Basil, archbishop of Thessalonica, a younger contemporary of Photius, in his Vita Euthym. jun. 178 states that he, partly voluntarily, partly under compulsion, executed an act of abdication (βιβλίον παραιτήσεως τῇ Ἐκκλησίᾳ Tapadidwol). Cp. Papadopulos-Kerameus, ὁ πατρ. Porios (cited above), 659-660; P.-K. accepts this statement. The evidence is certainly remarkable, but Basil, though he speaks sympathetically of Ignatius, is an ardent admirer of Photius; cp. ib. 179.

1 Metrophanes, ib. The meeting lasted forty days.

2 The chronology is uncertain, and there is a discrepancy between Metrophanes and Vita Ign. According to the latter source Ignatius was removed to Mytilene in August (859), and was there when the synod in the Holy Apostles was held; the other assembly in St. Irene is not mentioned. Metrophanes implies that the two synods were almost contemporary, and that the persecution of Ignatius, prior to his deportation to Mytilene, was sub

sequent to the synod which deposed him. He evidently places the synods in the spring, for he connects the deposition of Ignatius with the recovery of the signed document of Photius (ὃς μετὰ βραχὺ καὶ τὸ ἴδιον ἀφείλετο χειρόγραφον καὶ καθεῖλεν Ἰγνάτιον). As Metrophanes was himself an actor in these transactions, and was incarcerated with Ignatius in the Numera, he is the better authority. It was, no doubt, hoped to extract an abdication from Ignatius without deposing him, but the assembly of St. Irene forced the hand of Photius. It was, however, no less desirable after the synod to procure an abdication in view of public opinion.

3 He was removed from Terebinthos to Hieria (where he was kept in a goat-fold), then to the suburb of Promotos (on the Galata side of the Golden Horn; see Pargoire, Boradion, 482-483), where he was beaten by Leo Lalakon, the Domestic of the Numeri (who knocked out two of his teeth), and loaded with heavy irons. Then he was shut up in the prison of the Numera, near the Palace, till he was taken to Mytilene, where he remained six months (c. August 859 to February 860). _He was then permitted to return to Terebinthos, and he is said to have suffered ill-treatment from Nicetas Ooryphas, who was Prefect of the City (see above, Chapter IV. p. 144, note). But a worse thing happened.

barbarously punished. The writers of the Ignatian party accuse Photius of having prompted these acts of tyranny, but letters of Photius himself to Bardas, bitterly protesting against the cruelties, show that he did not approve this policy of violence, which indeed only served to increase his own unpopularity. The populace of the city seems to have been in favour of Ignatius, who had also sympathizers among the Imperial ministers, such as Constantine the Drungarios of the Watch. The monks, from whose rank he had risen, generally supported him; the Studites refused to communicate with the new Patriarch, and their abbot Nicolas left Constantinople.2 Photius, as is shown by his correspondence, took great pains to win the goodwill of individual monks and others by flattery and delicate attentions.3


The announcement of the enthronement of a new Patriarch, which it was the custom to send to the other four Patriarchal Sees-Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem-had been postponed, evidently in the hope that Ignatius would be induced to abdicate. When more than a year had passed and this hope was not fulfilled, the formal announcement could no longer be deferred. An inthronistic letter was addressed to the Eastern Patriarchs, and an embassy was sent to Rome bearing letters to the Pope from Michael and Photius. The chair of St. Peter was now filled by Nicolas I., who stands out among the Pontiffs between Gregory I. and Gregory VII. as having done more than any other to raise the Papal power to the place which it was to hold in the days of Innocent III.5 Terebinthos, like the other islands in the neighbourhood of the capital, was exposed to the Russian invasion of this year (see below, p. 419). The enemy despoiled the monastery of Ignatius, seized and slew twenty-two of his household (Vita Ign. 233 sqq.). Ignatius himself (Libellus Ign., ad init.) mentions his sufferings from cold, insufficient clothing, hunger, stripes, chains.

1 See Photius, Ep. 159.

2 Nicolas of Crete had succeeded Naukratios as abbot in 848. He remained seven years in exile, first at Praenete in Bithynia, then in the Chersonese, whence (865-866) he was brought in chains to Constantinople and incarcerated in his own monastery for two years. He obtained his free

dom on the accession of Basil. In the meantime a succession of unwelcome abbots had been imposed on Studion. See Vita Nicolai Stud. 909 sqq.

3 See the correspondence of Photius. The material is collected in Hergenröther, i. 396 sqq. One abbot at least left his monastery to avoid the conflict. Cp. Vita Euthym. jun. 179.

4 The Patriarchate of Antioch was at this moment vacant, and the communication is addressed to the oekonomos and synkellos (Ep. 2, ed. Val.). Its tenor corresponds to the letter to the Pope.

5 He was elected in April 858. Regino, Chron., s.a. 868, says of him : 66 regibus ac tyrannis imperavit eisque ac si dominus orbis terrarum auctoritate praefuit."

« PrethodnaNastavi »