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heresy. The virtue of the saint proved efficacious; the young man recovered; but the repentance was hollow, he returned to his error; then retribution followed and he died. This is one of the numerous stories invented to glorify the abbot of Studion, the bulwark of image-worship.1

One of the gravest offences of Theodore in the Emperor's eyes was doubtless his attempt to excite the Pope to intervene in the controversy. We have two letters which he, in conjunction with other image-worshippers, addressed to Pope Paschal I. from Bonita.2 His secret couriers maintained communications with Rome, where some important members of the party had found a refuge, and Paschal was induced to send to Leo an argumentative letter in defence of images.



The rigour of the treatment dealt out to Theodore was exceptional. Many of the orthodox ecclesiastics who attended the Synod of April A.D. 815 submitted to the resolutions of that assembly. Those who held out were left at large till the end of the year, but early in A.D. 816 they were conducted to distant places of exile. This hardship, however, was intended only to render them more amenable to the gentler method of persuasion. After a few days, they were recalled to Constantinople, kept in mild confinement, and after Easter (April 20), they were handed over to John the Grammarian, who presided over the monastery of Saints Sergius and Bacchus. He undertook to convince the abbots of their theological error, and his efforts were crowned with success in the case of at

least seven. Others resisted the arguments of the seducer, and among them were Hilarion, the Exarch of the Patriarchal monasteries, and Theophanes the Chronographer.

1 These details about Theodore's banishment are derived from Theodore's Letters, from Michael's Vita Theodori, and a few from the Vita Nicolai.

2 Theodore, Epp. ii. 12 and 13. Paschal was elected in Jan. 817, and the letters belong probably to 817 and 818 respectively. John of Eukairia, a signatory of the first letter, did not sign the second; he had in the meantime joined the iconoclasts (ib. ii. 35).

3 Dionysios who was in Rome at the beginning of 817; Euphemian (ib. ii. 12); and Epiphanes, who was caught and imprisoned at Constanti

nople (Ep. 277, Cozza-Luzi).

4 Methodius, abbot of Chênolakkos (afterwards Patriarch of Constantinople); John, Bishop of Monembasia (Ep. 193, Cozza-Luzi).

Part of this epistle is preserved in a Greek version and has been edited by G. Mercati, Note di letteratura biblica e cristiana antica = Studi i Testi, 5), 227 sqq., 1901. It contains some arguments which appear to be new.

6 Our chief source here is Theosteriktos, Vit. Nic. xxx. sq. Nicetas, abbot of Medikion, was taken to Masalaion (possibly in Lycaonia, cp. Ramsay, Asia Minor, 356), where he



Theophanes, whose chronicle was almost our only guide] for the first twelve years of the ninth century, had lived a life unusually ascetic even in his own day, in the monastery of Agros, at Sigriane near Cyzicus.1 He had not been present at the Synod nor sent into exile, but in the spring of A.D. 816 the Emperor sent him a flattering message, couched in soft words, requesting him to come to pray for us who are about to march against the Barbarians." Theophanes, who was suffering from an acute attack of kidney disease, obeyed the command, and was afterwards consigned to the custody of John. Proving obstinate he was confined in a cell in the Palace of Eleutherios for nearly two years, and when he was mortally ill of his malady, he was removed to the island of Samothrace where he expired (March 12, A.D. 818) about three weeks after his arrival.3

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When we find that Leo's oppressions have been exaggerated in particular cases, we shall be all the more inclined to allow for exaggeration in general descriptions of his persecutions. We read that some were put to death by the sword, others tied in sacks and sunk like stones in water, and women were stripped naked in the presence of men and scourged." 4 If north of the estuary of the Rhyndakos. Sigriane is to be carefully distinguished from Sigrêne near the river Granikos, with which Ramsay (Asia Minor, 162) and others have identified it (Pargoire, ib. 45-47).

remained for only 5 days. He succumbed to the arguments of John, but afterwards repented, and was banished to the island of St. Glyceria "in the Gulf," which Büttner-Wobst (B.Z. vi. 98 sq.) identifies (unconvincingly) with Niandro. See also Theodore, Ep. 79, Cozza-Luzi, and Epp. ii. 9; Sabas, Vit. Macar. 154 (Makarios of Pelekete was one of those who did not yield); and the Vitae of Theophanes. John was assisted in his work by Joseph, famous as the subject of the Moechian controversy. Theodore Stud. wrote to Theophanes (while he was in SS. Sergius and Bacchus), congratulating him on his firmness (Ep. 140, Cozza-Luzi).

1 Sigriane has been located in the environs of Kurchunlu, at the foot of Karadagh, between the mouth of the Rhyndakos and Cyzicus. See T. E. Euangelides, Ἡ Μονὴ τῆς Σιγριανῆς ἢ τοῦ Μεγάλου ̓Αγρού (Athens, 1895) 11 sqq.; Pargoire, op. cit. 112 sqq. The island of Kalonymos (ancient Besbikos, modern Emir Ali Adasse), mentioned in the biographies of Theophanes, who founded a monastery on it, lies due

2 Nicephorus Blach. Vit. Theoph. 23. Theophanes had stone in the bladder.

3 For the day see Anon. B. Vit. Theoph. 397 (and Anon. C. 293). For the year see Pargoire, op. cit. 73 sqq., who fixes 818 by a process of exclusion. Note that Anon. A. (p. 12) and Theod. Prot. Enkomion 616, say that Theophanes received 300 strokes before his removal from Constantinople; if this were true, the other biographer would not have failed to mention it.

4 Ignatius, Vit. Nic. 206. The best evidence for the severity of the persecution is in Theodore Stud.'s letters to Pope Paschal and the Patriarch of Alexandria (Epp. ii. 12, 14). He mentions deaths from scourging and drownings in sacks (εἰσὶ δὲ οἳ καὶ σακκισθέντες ἐθαλασσεύθησαν ἀωρίᾳ, ὡς σαφὲς γέγονεν ἐκ τῶν τούτους θεασαμένων, p. 1156).

such atrocities had been frequent, we should have heard much more about them. The severer punishments were probably inflicted for some display of fanatical insolence towards the Emperor personally. His chief object was to remove from the capital those men, whose influence would conflict with the accomplishment of his policy. But there may have been. fanatical monks, who, stirred with an ambition to outstrip the boldness of Theodore of Studion, bearded the Emperor to his face, and to them may have been meted out extreme

1 The statements about the sufferings of individuals in hagiographical literature (in which the principle that suffering for orthodoxy enhanced merit guided the writers) cannot be accepted without more ado. It is said that Leo scourged Euthymios of Sardis and banished him to Thasos (Acta Davidis, 229). George the bishop of Mytilene was sent to Cherson, and replaced by Leo an iconoclast; he excited the Emperor against the holy Simeon of Lesbos, who, imitating his namesake the Stylite, lived on a pillar at Molos, a harbour in the south of the island, having fastened his calves to his thighs with chains. The inhabitants were ordered to bring wood to the foot of the column; when the fire was kindled, Simeon allowed himself to be taken down, and was banished to Lagusae, an island off the Troad (ib. 227 sqq). Theophylactus of Nico

media is said to have been struck in the face by the Emperor and banished to Strobilos in the Kibyrrhaeot Theme (see Synax. Ecc. Cpl. 519-520, cp. Loparev, Viz. Vrem. iv. 355). Michael, the Synkellos of Jerusalem (born c. 761, made Synkellos 811), his friend Job, and the two Palestinian brothers Theodore and Theophanes (see below, p. 136), were persecuted by Leo. But the Vita Mich. Sync. is full of errors and must be used with great caution. Theodore and Theophanes seem to have been among those monks who fled in the reign of Michael I. (on account of Mohammadan persecution: A.D. 812 monasteries and churches in Palestine were plundered) to Constantinople, where the monastery of Chora was placed at their disposal. Michael seems to have been sent by the Patriarch of Jerusalem on a mission to Rome in Leo's reign, and, tarrying on his way in Constantinople, to have


been thrown into prison. (Theod. Stud., writing to him in A.D. 824, Epp. ii. 213, p. 1641, asks him, "Why, when you had intended to go elsewhere, were you compelled to fall into the snares of those who govern here?") It is not clear why he did not return to Jerusalem under Michael II.; he is said to have lived then in a convent near Brusa. dore and Theophanes were confined by Leo in a fortress near the mouth of the Bosphorus (see Vailhe's study, Saint Michel le Syncelle). For the persecution of Makarios, abbot of Pelekêtê (near Ephesus) see Vit. Macarii 157-159, sq. (Cp. Theodore Stud. Ep. 38, ed. Cozza-L., p. 31.) John, abbot of the Katharoi monastery (E. of the Harbour of Eleutherios), is said to have suffered stripes and been banished first to a fort near Lampe (Phrygia) and then to another in the Bukellarian Theme (4.S. April 27, t. iii. 495). Hilarion, abbot of the convent of Dalmatos (or Dalmatoi; n. of the Forum Arcadii), was tortured by hunger by the Patriarch Theodotos, and then confined in various prisons (A.S. June 6, t. i. 759). Others who were maltreated, exiled, etc., were Aemilian, bishop of Cyzicus (Synax. Ecc. Cp. 875, cp. 519), Eudoxios of Amorion (ib. 519), and Michael of Synnada (ib. 703, cp. Pargoire, Echos d'orient, iv. 347 sqq., 1903). The last-named died in A.D. 826. Joannes, abbot of Psichâ (at Cple.), suffered according to his biographer (Vit. Joann. Psich. 114 sqq.) particularly harsh treatment. He was flogged, confined in various prisons, and then tortured by one "who outdid Jaunes." This must mean not, as the editor thinks, John the Grammarian, but Theodotos. Cp. the story of the treatment of Hilarion.


penalties. Again, it is quite possible that during the destruction of pictures in the city, which ensued on their condemnation by the Synod, serious riots occurred in the streets, and death penalties may have been awarded to persons who attempted to frustrate the execution of the imperial commands. We are told that "the sacred representations" were at the mercy of anyone who chose to work his wicked will upon them. Holy vestments, embroidered with sacred figures, were torn into shreds and cast ignominiously upon the ground; pictures and illuminated missals were cut up with axes and burnt in the public squares. Some of the baser sort insulted the icons by smearing them with cow-dung and foul-smelling ointments.2

1 Ignatius, Vit. Nic. ÈкTUπúμатα.

2 Ι. βολβίτοις καὶ ἀλοιφαῖς καὶ ὀδμαῖς ἀηδιζούσαις κατέχραινον.



(A.D. 820-829)

§ 1. The Accession of Michael (A.D. 820).

The Coronation

and Marriage of Theophilus (A.D. 821)

WHILE his accomplices were assassinating the Emperor, Michael lay in his cell, awaiting the issue of the enterprise which meant for him death or empire, according as it failed or prospered. The conspirators, as we have seen, did not bungle in their work, and when it was accomplished, they hastened to greet Michael as their new master, and to bear him in triumph to the Imperial throne. With his legs still encased in the iron fetters he sat on his august seat, and all the servants and officers of the palace congregated to fall at his feet. Time, perhaps, seemed to fly quickly in the surprise of his new position, and it was not till midday that the gyves which so vividly reminded him of the sudden change of his fortunes were struck off his limbs. The historians tell of a

difficulty in finding the key of the fetters, and it was John Hexabulios, Logothete of the Course, who remembered that Leo had hidden it in his dress.1

About noon, without washing his hands or making any other seemly preparation, Michael, attended by his supporters, proceeded to the Great Church, there to receive the Imperial crown from the hands of the Patriarch, and to obtain recognition from the people. No hint is given as to the attitude of the Patriarch Theodotos to the conspiracy, but he seems

1 According to Cont. Th. (41), however, the key was not forthcoming, and the fetters were loosened

or broken with a hammer (μόλις θλασθέντων).

2 At the seventh hour, Gen. 30.

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