Slike stranica

in A.D. 787 had settled the question of image-worship for ever.

Soon after these preliminary parleys, soldiers of the Tagmata or residential regiments showed their sympathies by attacking the Image of Christ over the Brazen Gate of the Palace. It was said that this riot was suggested and encouraged by Leo; and the inscription over the image, telling how Irene erected a new icon in the place of that which Leo III. destroyed, might stimulate the fury of those who revered the inemory of the Isaurian Emperors. Mud and stones were hurled by the soldiers at the sacred figure, and then the Emperor innocently said, “Let us take it down, to save it from these insults.” This was the first overt act in the new campaign, and the Patriarch thought it high time to summon a meeting of bishops and abbots to discuss the danger which was threatening the Church. The convocation was held in the Patriarch's palace. All those who were present swore to stand fast by the doctrine laid down at the Seventh Council, and they read over the passages which their opponents cited against them.' When Christmas came, Nicephorus begged the Emperor to remove him from the pontifical chair if he (Nicephorus) were unpleasing in his eyes, but to make no innovations in the Church. To this Leo replied by disclaiming either intention.”

These preliminary skirmishes occurred before Christmas (A.D. 814). On Christmas day it was noticed by curious and watchful eyes that Leo adored in public a cloth on which the birth of Christ was represented.' But on the next great feast of the Church, the day of Epiphany, it was likewise observed that he did not adore, according to custom. Meanwhile, the iconoclastic party was being reinforced by proselytes, and the Emperor looked forward to a speedy settlement of the question in his own favour at a general synod. He issued a summons to the bishops of the various dioceses in the Empire to

1 The riot of the soldiers and the 133.135 ; Ebersolt, Sainte-Sophie de meeting of the bishops occurred in Constantinople, 26-27 (1910). December beforo Christmas: so ex. pressly Scr. Incert. 355 tallra ét páxon

? He evidently had an audience of προ των εορτών. C. Tlionias (ib. 107,

tho Emperor, perhaps on Christmas n. 5) seems to have overlooked this.

day, φθασάντων (sic) των εορτών (Ser. The Patriarch's palace was on the

Incert. ib.). south side of St. Sophia, probably 3 βουλόμενος διαβάσαι την εορτήν towards the east; seo Bieliaev, ii. (ib.).


assemble in the capital, und perhaps stirred the prelates of Hellas to undertake the journey by a reminiscence flattering to their pride. He reminded them that men from Mycenae in Argolis, men from Carystos in Euboea, men from Corinth, and many other Greeks, joined the Megarians in founding that colony of the Bosphorus which had now grown to such great estate, According as they arrived, they were conducted straightway to the Emperor's presence, and were prohibited from first paying a visit to the Patriarch, as was the usual practice. The Emperor wished to act on their hopes or fears before they had been warned or confirmed in the faith by the words of their spiritual superior; and this policy was regarded as one of his worst acts of tyranny. Many of the bishops submitted to the arguinents or to the veiled threats of their sovran, and those who dared to resist his influence were kept in confinement. The Patriarch in the meantime encouraged his own party to stand fast. He was supported by the powerful interest of the monks, and especially by Theodore, abbot of Studion, who had been his adversary a few years ago. A large assembly of the faithful was convoked in the Church of St. Sophia, and a service lasting the whole night was celebrated. Nicephorus prayed for the conversion of the Emparor, and confirmed liis followers in their faith.

The Emperor was not well pleased when the news reached the Palace of the doings in the Church. About the time of cockcrow he sent a message of remonstrance to the Patriarch and summoned him to appear in the Palace at break of dry, to explain his conduct. There ensued a second and more famous interview between the Emperor and the Patriarch, when they discussed at large the arguinents for and against image-worship. Nicephorus doubtless related to his friends the substance of what was said, and the admirers of that stint afterwards wrote elaborate accounts of the dialogue, which they found a grateful subject for exhibiting learning,

1 (Gen. 27 εντεύθεν και γράψας παντί assembly of the bishops was held in επισκόπο καταίρειν εν Βυζαντίω τω υπό the Palace (του δευτέρου Καϊάφα Μεγαρέων κτισθέντι και Βυζαντος, κατ' συνίστη το βουλευτήριον, ιδ.) before Ερώπην σινελθόντων εν τη τούτου the l'atriarch's counter - donoustraπολίσει Καρυστίων Μυκηναίων και tion ; but of courro it was not a Κορινθίων άλλων τα πολλών, φιλοσόφους "synod.” άμα και ρήτορσι äga kal pótopot. The mythological Ignatius, Vil. Nic. Patr. 187 The llourishi

may be due to Genesios. πάννυχον επιτελέσοντας σύναξιν. ? Ignatius, Vil. Nic. Putr. 100. An



every thorn

subtlety, and style. Ultimately Nicephorus proposed that the bishops and others who had accompanied him to the gate should be admitted to the Imperial presence, that his Majesty might become fully convinced of their unanimity on the question at issue. The audience was held in the Chrysotriklinos,' and guards with conspicuous swords were present, to awo the churchmen into respect and obedience.

The Emperor bent his brows and spake thus ::

Ye, like all others, are well aware that God has appointed us to watch over the interests of this illustrious and reasonable flock ;8 and that we are eager and solicitous to smoothe


and remove that grows in the Church. As some members of the fold are in doubt as to the adoration of images, and cite passages of Scripture which sceni unfavourable to such practicus, the necessity of resolving the question once for all is vital; more especially in order to compass our great end, which, as you know, is the unity of the whole Church. The questioners supply the premisses; we are constrained to draw the conclusion. We have already communicated our wishes to the High Pontiff, and now we charge you to resolve the problem specdily. If you are too slow you may end in saying nothing, and disobedience to our commands will not conduce to your profit.

The bishops and abbots, encouraged by the firmness of the Patriarch, did not flinch before the stern aspect of the Emperor, and several spoke out their thoughts, the others murmuring approval." Later writers edified their readers by composing orations which might have been delivered on such an occasion. In Theodore, the abbot of Studion, the Emperor recognised his most forinidable opponent, and some words are ascribed to Theodore, which are doubtless genuine. He is reported to have denied the right of the Emperor to interfere in ecclesiastical affairs :

Leave the Church to its pastors and masters; attend to your own province, the State and the army. If you refuse to do this, and are bent on destroying our faith, know that though an angel came from heaven to pervert us we would not obey him, much less you."


προς τα χρυσόροφα ανάκτορα (Ignatius, Vit. Nic. 168).

' I translate freely from Ignatius. The general tenor of the speech is doubtless correct.

την μεγαλώνυμον και λογικήν ποίμνην.

• Thoostoriktos, Vit. Nicct. 29,

enumerates those who took a promin. ent part: the bishops Euthymios of Sardis, Aoniilian of Cyzicus, Michael of Synnada, Theophylactus of Nicomedia, and Peter of Nicaca.

o Thcosterik tos, Vil. Nicel. 30 ; George Mon. 777 ; Michuel, l'il. Thevil. 280 899. (where, however, the strong tiguro of an angel's descent is omitted).


The protest against Caesuropapism is characteristic of Theodore. The Emperor angrily dismissed the ecclesiastics, having assured Theodore thut he had no intention of making a martyr of him or punishing him in any way, until the whole question had been further investigated.'

Immediately after this conclave an edict was issued for. bidding members of the latriurch's party to hold meetings or ilssemble together in privato housos, The iconodules wero thus placed in the position of suspected conspirators, under the strict supervision of the l’refect of the City; and Nicephorus himself was practically a captive in his palace, under the custody of one Thomas, a patrician.

The Patriarch did not yet wholly despair of converting the Emperor, and he wrote letters to some persons who might exert an influence over him. Ile wrote to the Empresa Theodosia,' exhorting her to deter her lord from his “terrible enterprise.” He also wrote to the General Logothete to the same effect, and in more threatening language to Eutychian, the First Secretary. Eutychian certainly gave no heedful ear to the admonitions of the pontiff. If the Empress saw good to intervene, or if the General Logothete ventured to remonstrate, these representations were vain. The Emperor forbade Nicephorus to exercise any longer the functions of his office.

Just at this time the Patriarch fell sick, and if the Michael, l'it. Theod. 281.284. and showed the old coins, the Emperor . She was the daughter of Arsaber,

asked him whether lie found them ex. patrician and quaestor (Gen. 21).

posed to the air or in a receptacle. He Dark hints were lot fall that there

said" exposed to the air." The Emperor was something queer about her mar.

had thon washed with water and the riage with Leo.' Perhaps she was a

images disappeared. The man con. relative within the forbidden limits.

fessed the imposture, and the l'atriarch Cp. ib. 19.

was discredited. The motif of this

fiction is doubtless an inciilent which Ignatius, l'il. Nic. 190. A curions occurred in the reign of Theophilus, story is told by Michael Syr. 71, when the golil circle (roupa) of the that the crown of a statue of "Augus. equestrian statue of Justinian in the tus Caesar," which stood on a hiigl Augusteum fell, and an agile workman column, fell off. It was dillicult, bat reached the top of the column by the important, to replace it, for it was be. device, incredible as it is described by lieved that the crown had the power Simeon (Leo Gr. 227), of climbing with ot averting pustilence from the city. a rope to the roof of St. Sophia, atWhen a man was found capable of the taching the rope to a dart, and hurling task, the Patriarch secretly gave him thie dart which ontered so firmly into some coins and instructed him to say tho #tatuo (iTTony, the Lut. trausl. that he had found them at the foot of has equum) that lio was able to swing the state. Ho wished to lorove that himself along the suspended rope to the representation of sacred images the summit of the column. was ancient. Whon tho man descendea + l'robably in February



malady had proved fatal, Leo's path would have been smoothed. A successor of iconoclastic views could then have been appointed, without the odium of deposing such an illustrious prelate as Nicephorus. If Leo did not desire the death of his adversary, he decided at this time who was to be the next l'utriurch. Hopos had been held out to John the Grammarian that he might nspire to the dignity, but on inaturer reflexion it was agreed that he was too young and obscure.' Theodotos Kassiteras, who seems to have been the most distinguished supporter of Leo throughout this ecclesiastical conflict, declared himself ready to be ordained and fill the Patriarchal chuir." But Nicophorus did not succumb to the discuse. Ho

llo recovered at the beginning of Lents when the Synod was about to meet. Theophanes, a brother of the Empress," was sont to invite Nicephorus to attend, but was not admitted to his presence.

A clerical deputation, however, waited at the Patriarcheion, and the unwilling Patriarch was persuaded by Thomas the patrician, his custodian, to receive them. Nicephorus was in a prostrate condition, but his visitors could not persuade him to make any concessions. Their visit had somehow become known in the city and a riotous mol), chietly consisting of soldiers, had gathered in front of the Patriarcheion. A rush into the building scemed so imminent that Thomas was obliged to close the gates, while the crowd of enthusiastic iconoclasts loaded with curses the obnoxious names of Tarasius and Nicephorus.

After this the Synod met and deposed Nicephorus. The enemies of Leo encouraged the belief that the idea of putting Nicephorus to death was seriously entertained, and it is stated that Nicephorus himself addressed a letter to the Emperor, begging him to depose him and do nothing more violent, for

Scr. Incert. 359. The disappoint- whose views were at variance with nient of John was doubtless due to the those of the Patriarch (sce Ignatius, interest of Theodotos.

Vit. Nic. Patr. 190). From the Scr. ? Ho belonged to the important Incert. we know that this patrician family of the Melissenoi. His father Was Thomas. Michael, patrician and general of the

Ib. 191 TÖv tîs Baoilloons oualuova. Anatolic Theme, had been a leading iconoclast under Constantino V. (op.

s 1b. 193. Tho doputation brought Thcoplı. 440, 445). For the family a A pamphlet with them -- TW STÓW Hoo Ducange, bumi. Bys. 145a,

ékeivw touw..-which thoy tried to por. 3 Scr. lucert. 308. In the mean.

suade him to ondorso, threatening him time, some of thoduties of the l'atriarch

with deposition. had been entrusted to it patrioian, # Ib. 196. Scr. Incert. 358.

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