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vacant ecclesiastical throne to be filled by Antonius Kassymatas, bishop of Syllaion, who had been the coadjutor of Leo V. in his iconoclastic work. By this step those hopes which the Imperial leniency had raised in the minds of Theodore and his party were dissipated.
The negotiations, as they were conducted by Theodore, had raised a question which was probably of greater importance in the eyes of Michael than the place of pictures in religious worship. The Studite theory of the supremacy of the Roman See in the ecclesiastical affairs of Christendom had been asserted without any disguise; the Emperor had been admonished that the controversy could only be settled by the co-operation of the Pope. This doctrine cut at the root of the constitutional theory, which was held both by the Emperors and by the large majority of their subjects, that the Imperial autocracy was supreme in spiritual as well as in secular affairs. The Emperor, who must have been well aware that Theodore had been in constant communication with Rome during the years of persecution, doubtless regarded his Roman proclivities with deep suspicion, and he was not minded to brook the interference of the Pope. His suspicions were strengthened and his indignation aroused by the arrival of a message from Pope Paschal I. Methodius (who was afterwards to ascend the Patriarchal throne) had resided at Rome during the reign of Leo V. and worked there as an energetic agent in the interests of image-worship.?
He now returned to Constantinople, bearing a document in which Paschal defined the orthodox doctrine. He sought an audience of the Emperor, presented the Papal writing, and called upon
the sovran to restore the true faith and the true Patriarch. Michael would undoubtedly have resented the dictation of the Pope if it had been conveyed by a Papal
1 Theodotos was Patriarch for six 2 See Vit. Meth. 1 § 4, p. 1248 ; cp. years (Theoph. 362 ; Zonaras xiv. 24, Theodore, Epp. ii. 35. Methodius was 14, p. 350 : Zonaras probably had a a native of Syracuse. He went at list of Patriarchs before him, see an early age to Constantinople, and Hirsch, 384). As he became Patriarch became abbot of the monastery of at Easter 815, his death occurred in Chenolakkos. He went to Rome in 821. Cp. Andreev, Konst. Patr. 200. A.D. 815. See Pargoire's papers in His successor Antonius was already Échos d'Orient, 6, 125 sqq. and 183 sqq. Patriarch at Whitsuntide (see above, (1903). p. 80 n. 5); we may conjecture that 3 Vit. Meth. 1 $ 5 tóuous doymatikoùs he was inaugurated at Easter. See ήτοι όρους ορθοδοξίας. further Vasilev, Pril. 147-148.
envoy; but it was intolerable that one of his own subjects should be the spokesman of Rome. Methodius was treated with rigour as a treasonable intriguer; he was scourged and then imprisoned in a tomb in the little island of St. Andrew, which lies off the north side of the promontory of Akritas (Tuzla-Burnu), in the Gulf of Nicomedia. His confinement lasted for more than eight years.”
After the outbreak of the civil war Michael took the precaution of commanding Theodore and his faction to move into the city, fearing that they might support his opponent, who was said to favour images. The measure was unnecessary, for the iconolaters of the better class seem to have had no sympathy with the cause of Thomas, and the ecclesiastical question did not prove a serious factor in the struggle. On the termination of the war, the Emperor made a new effort to heal the division in the Church.
He again proposed a conference between the leading exponents of the rival doctrines, but the proposal was again rejected, on the ground that the question could be settled only in one of two ways-either by an ecumenical council, which required the concurrence of the Pope and the four Patriarchs, or by a local council, which would only have legal authority if the legitimate Patriarch Nicephorus were first restored.4
1 Vit. Meth. 1 § 5. For the island see Pargoire, Hiéria, 28.
2 Vit. Meth. 1 § 6, says nine years. As he was imprisoned in spring 821, and released (ib.) by Michael just before his death (Oct. 829), eight and a half would be more accurate.
3 Michael, Vit. Theod. c. 61. Vit. Nicol. Stud. 900. Grossu (149) and others think that Theodore, while he was in the city, was probably reinstalled at Studion. I doubt this. During the latter part of the war (Grossu omits to notice) he was in the Prince's Island, as we learn from a letter written there, Epp. ii. 127, p. 1412. (Nicephorus, it would seem, was allowed to remain in his monastery on the Bosphorus.) From Epp. ii. 129, p. 1416, we learn that Theodore had no sympathy with the rebel : povio kos επάν κρατηθη δικαίως αποτίσει προς του νόμου την αντισηκούσαν ποινήν.
4 The source is Theodore's letter to
Leo, the Sakellarios (whom Michael had charged with the negotiation), rejecting the proposition on behalf of his party (Epp. ii. 129). The writer refers to the audience which the Emperor had accorded to him and his friends in 821 as pò tpc@ Tv. This enables us to assign the date to the first months of 824. At the same time Theodore addressed a letter directly to the Emperors Michael and Theophilus (ii. 199), setting forth the case for pictures. At the end of the war Theodore retired (along with his disciple Nicolaus) to the monastery of St. Tryphon, close to the promontory of Akritas, in the Gulf of Nicomedia (Michael, Vit. Theod., ib. ; Vit. Nicol. Stud. 900), where he lived till his death, Nov. 11, 826 (Vit. Nicol. 902; Naukratios, Encyclica, 1845 ; Michael, Vit. Theod. c. 64). He was buried in Prince's Island, but the remains were afterwards removed to spathar rank; Nicetas, bishop of 1 Mich. Ep. ad Lud. 420. It is Myra ; Theodore, oekonomos of St. dated April 10, A.D. 824.
The Emperor was convinced that the obstinacy of the image-worshippers rested largely on their hopes that the Roman See would intervene, and that if he could induce the Pope to assume a cold attitude to their solicitations the opposition would soon expire. In order to influence the Pope he sought the assistance of the Western Emperor, Lewis, to whom he indited a long letter, which contains an interesting description of the abuses to which the veneration of images had led.
Lights were set in front of them and incense was burned, and they were held in the same honour as the life-giving Cross. They were prayed to, and their aid was besought. Some used even to cover them with cloths and make them the baptismal sponsors for their children. Some priests scraped the paint from pictures and mixed it in the bread and wine which they give to communicants; others placed the body of the Lord in the hands of images, from which the communicants received it. The Emperors Leo V. and his son caused a local synod to be held, and such practices were condemned. It was ordained that pictures which were hung low in churches should be removed, that those which were high should be left for the instruction of persons who are unable to read, but that no candles should be lit or incense burned before them. Some rejected the council and fled to Old Rome, where they calumniated the Church.” The Emperors proceed to profess their belief in the Six Ecumenical Councils, and to assure King Lewis that they venerate the glorious and holy relics of the Saints. They ask him to speed the envoys to the Pope, to whom they are bearers of a letter and gifts for the Church of St. Peter.
The four envoys who were sent on this mission met with a favourable reception from the Emperor Lewis at Studion in 844 (Michael, ib. c. 68). the false idea of some historians that During his last years he continued his Michael held a council in 821. He epistolary activity in the cause of simply adhered to the acts of 815. orthodoxy, and many people came to 3 Theodore, a stratégos of protosee and consult him (ib. c. 63).
Sophia ; Leo, an Imperial candidatus. 2 “Propterea statuerunt orthodoxi The Patriarch Fortunatus of Grado imperatores et doctissimi sacerdotes (who had fled to Constantinople in locale adunare concilium.” This state- 821) accompanied them (Ann. 7. F., ment, which of course refers to the
sub 824). synod of A.D. 815, seems to have led to
Rouen, and were sent on to Rome, where Eugenius had succeeded Paschal in St Peter's chair.1 It is not recorded how they fared at Rome, but Lewis lost no time in making an attempt to bring about a European settlement of the iconoclastic controversy. The Frankish Church did not agree with the extreme views of the Greek iconoclasts, nor yet with the doctrine of image-worship which had been formulated by the Council of Nicaea and approved by the Popes; and it appeared to Lewis a good opportunity to press for that intermediate solution of the question which had been approved at the Council of Frankfurt (A.D. 794). The sense of this solution was to forbid the veneration of images, but to allow them to be set up in churches as ornaments and memorials. The first step was to persuade the Pope, and for this purpose Lewis, who, like his father, was accustomed to summon councils on his own authority, respectfully asked Eugenius to permit him to convoke the Frankish bishops to collect the opinions of the Fathers on the question at issue. Eugenius could not refuse, and the synod met in Paris in November 825. The report of the bishops agreed with the decision of Frankfurt; they condemned the worship of images, tracing its history back to the Greek philosopher Epicurus; they censured Pope Hadrian for approving the doctrine of the Nicene Council; but, on the other hand, they condemned the iconoclasts for insisting on the banishment of images from churches. Lewis despatched two learned bishops to Rome, bearing extracts from the report of the synod, but the story of the negotiations comes here to a sudden end. We hear of no further direct communications between Rome and Constantinople, but we may reasonably suspect that a Papal embassy to Lewis (A.D. 826), and two embassies which passed between the Eastern and Western Emperors in the following years, were concerned with the question of religious pictures.
Till his death, from disease of the kidneys, in October A.D. 829, Michael adhered to his resolution not to pursue or imprison the leaders of the ecclesiastical opposition. The only case of harsh dealing recorded is the treatment of Methodius, and he, as we have seen, was punished not as a recalcitrant but as an intriguer.
3 Sickel, Acta Lud. 235, 236, pp.
1 Paschal seems to have died some time in spring 824 ; cp. Simson, Ludwig, i. 212, n. 1.
2 For all this, see Simson, ib. 248 sqq., where the sources are given.
4 Ann. r. F., sub 826, 827, 828. See below, p. 330.