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against him had been decided. This public slight enraged Gregory, who dashed his candle to the ground and loudly declared that not a shepherd but a wolf had intruded into the Church. The new Patriarch certainly displayed neither the wisdom of a serpent nor the harmlessness of a dove, and his own adherents admit that he was generally blamed.1 He had thus at the very outset taken pains to offend an able and eminent prelate of the party which had supported Methodius, and the action was interpreted as a declaration of war. The result was a schism. Gregory had many sympathizers; some bishops had marked their disapprobation of the action of Ignatius by leaving the church in his company." A schismatic group was formed which refused to acknowledge the new Patriarch-a group which expressed the general tendencies of the Methodian party and avowed an unreserved admiration for Methodius. But it was only a small group. The hierarchy in general supported Ignatius, as it had supported Methodius; for Ignatius was supported by Theodora. Nevertheless the followers of Gregory, though comparatively few, were influential. They alleged against the Patriarch that he was a detractor from the merits and memory of his predecessor, and that he was unduly rigorous and narrow in his application of the canons. Ignatius summoned Gregory to answer the charge which still hung over his head; Gregory declined, and, along with others of his party, was condemned by a synod. He appealed against this judgment to Pope Leo IV., who asked the Patriarch to send him a copy of the Acts. Ignatius did not comply, and Leo's successor, Benedict III., declined to confirm the deposition of Gregory, and contented himself with suspending him until he had inspected the documents."
1 Vita Ign. 232 οὐ καλῶς μέν, ὥς γε δοκοῦν τοῖς πολλοῖς.
2 Ib. Especially Peter, bishop of Sardis, and Eulampios, bishop of Apamea.
3 Lebedev seems, in his exposition of the continuity of the two parties, to have missed the importance of Theodora's attitude. On their own principles, the Methodians were bound to support the new Patriarch, so long as he was orthodox and was upheld by the Emperor. The greater number probably adhered to Ignatius, and
The schism of Gregory might be allowed to rest in the obscurity of ecclesiastical records if it had not won distinction and importance by the adhesion of the most remarkable man of the age. Photius was probably born about the beginning of the ninth century. His father, Sergius,' was a brother of the Patriarch Tarasius, and through his mother he was connected with the family of the Empress Theodora.3 His parents suffered exile for their devotion to image-worship under the iconoclastic sovrans, and it was probably in the first years of Theodora's reign that Photius entered upon his career as a public teacher of philosophy. He had an attractive personality, he was a stimulating teacher, and he soon found a band of disciples who hung upon his words. His encyclopaedic learning, in which he not only excelled all the men of his own time but was unequalled by any Greek of the Middle Ages, will call for notice in another chapter. His family connexions as well as his talents opened a career in the Imperial service; and he was ultimately appointed to the high post of Protoasecretis, or First Secretary, with the rank of a protospathar.5 It was probably during his tenure of this important post that he was sent as ambassador to the East, perhaps to Baghdad itself, perhaps only to some of the provincial emirs. Whatever his services as an envoy may have been, he established personal relations of friendship with Mohammadan magnates."
Photius had a high respect for Gregory Asbestas, and identified himself closely with the group which opposed
1 Pseudo-Simeon, 668. His brothers were named Sergius and Tarasius.
2 Photius, Ep. 113 θεῖον ἡμέτερον ; Ερ. 2 τὸν ἡμέτερον πατρόθειον.
3 See above, p. 156.
4 Photius, Ep. 113, Ep. 234 (ad Tarasium fratrem), Ep. 2 (Inthronist. ad episc. orient.), p. 145. Cp. Acta Conc. viii. 460 TOÚTOV καὶ πατὴρ καὶ μήτηρ ὑπὲρ εὐσεβείας ἀθλοῦντες ἐναπέθανον. These passages show that they died in exile. Photius himself was anathematized by the same iconoclastic synod which anathematized his father (Ep. 164), and this was probably the synod of A.D. 815. If so we cannot place the birth of Photius much later than
Ignatius.1 There was a natural antipathy between Photius, a man of learning and a man of the world, and Ignatius, who had neither tact nor secular erudition. It is probable that the Patriarch even displayed in some public way his dislike or disdain for profane learning.2 We can well understand that he was deeply vexed by the opposition of a man whose talents and learning were unreservedly recognized by his contemporaries, and who exerted immense influence in the educated society of the city. The synod, which condemned Gregory, seems to have also condemned Photius, implicitly if not by name; and he was numbered among the schismatics.3
In order to embarrass the Patriarch, and to prove that a training in logic and philosophy was indispensable for defending Christian doctrine and refuting false opinions, Photius conceived the idea of propounding a heresy. He promulgated the thesis that there are two souls in man, one liable to err, the other immune from error.4 Some took this seriously and were convinced by his ingenious arguments, to the everlasting peril of their souls. His friend, Constantine the Philosopher, who was afterwards to become famous as the Apostle of the Slavs, reproached Photius with propounding this dangerous proposition. "I had no idea," said Photius, "that it would do any harm. I only wanted to see how Ignatius would deal with it, without the aid of the philosophy which he rejects."
The Palace revolution which resulted in the fall of Theodora and placed the government in the hands of Bardas changed the ecclesiastical situation. Whatever difficulties beset Ignatius in a post which he was not well qualified to fill, whatever vexation might be caused to him through the active or passive resistance of his opponents, he was secure so long as the Empress was in power. But Bardas was a friend and admirer of Photius, and the Ignatian felt his access to power as a severe blow. was a sufficiently prudent statesman to have no desire wantonly to disturb the existing state of things, or to stir up
1 Nicolaus, Ep, 11. p. 163; Stylianos, Ep. 428; Pseudo-Simeon, 671.
2 Anastasius, Praef. 6 "qui scilicet viros exterioris sapientiae repulisset." 3 Libellus Ignatii, 300; Metrophanes, Ep. 415.
party must have Bardas, however,
4 Anastasius, Praef. 6; cp. PseudoSimeon, 673; Mansi, xvi. 456. Cp. Hergenröther, iii. 444-446. The doctrine had such a vogue that the fathers of the Eighth Council thought it expedient to condemn it (canon x., Mansi, ib. 404).
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
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 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 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. 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
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 called 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).