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with Theodote. It has been thought that the firm attitude which they then assumed may have been in some measure due to the fact that Theodote was nearly related to them; that they may have determined to place themselves beyond all suspicion of condoning an offence against the canons in which the interests of a kinswoman were involved.1 Now, when the question was revived, they persisted in their attitude, though they resorted to no denunciations. Theodore wrote a respectful letter to the Patriarch, urging him to exclude Joseph from sacerdotal ministrations, and threatening that otherwise a schism would be the consequence.2 The Patriarch did not deign to reply to the abbot, and for two years the matter lay in abeyance, the Studites saying little, but declining to communicate with the Patriarch.3
The scandal of this schism became more public when Joseph, a brother of Theodore, became archbishop of Thessalonica.1 He was asked by the Logothete of the Course, why he would not communicate with the Patriarch and the Emperor. On his alleging that he had nothing against them personally, but only against the priest who had celebrated the adulterous marriage, the Logothete declared, "Our pious Emperors have no need of you at Thessalonica or anywhere else." 5 This occurrence (A.D. 808) roused to activity Theodore's facile pen. But his appeals to court-dignitaries or to ecclesiastics outside his own community seem to have produced little effect." He failed to stir up public opinion
against the recent synod, and in their schism the Studites were isolated.1 But the attitude of this important monastery could no longer be ignored.
The mere question of the rehabilitation of a priest was, of course, a very minor matter. Nor was the legitimacy of Constantine's second marriage the question which really interested the Emperor. The question at issue was whether Emperors had power to override laws established by the Church, and whether Patriarchs and bishops might dispense from ecclesiastical canons. Theodore firmly maintained that "the laws of God bind all men," and the circumstance that Constantine wore the purple made no difference.2 The significance of Theodore's position is that in contending for the validity of canonical law as independent of the State and the Emperor, he was vindicating the independence of the Church. Although the Studites stood virtually alone-for if any sympathised with them they were afraid to express their opinions-the persistent opposition of such a large and influential institution could not be allowed to continue. mixed synod of ecclesiastics and Imperial officials met in January A.D. 809, the legality of the marriage of Theodote was reaffirmed, and it was laid down that Emperors were above ecclesiastical laws and that bishops had the power of dispensing from canons. Moreover, sentence was passed on the aged Plato, the abbot Theodore, and his brother Joseph, who had been dragged before the assembly, and they were banished to the Prince's Islands, where they were placed in separate retreats.1 Then Nicephorus proceeded to deal with
whom Theodore complains (i. 26, addressed to the abbot Simeon, a different person) that he was ȧμÞотEρóγλωσσος.
1 If there were secret sympathisers, they had not the courage of their opinion (see i. 31, p. 1009 vUKTEρIVOL Oeoreßeis, afraid to come out into the light).
2 Ib. i. 22. At this time Theodore wrote (i. 28) to an old friend, Basil of St. Saba, who was then at Rome, and had renounced communion with him; and we learn that Pope Leo had expressed indifference as to the "sins' of Joseph (p. 1001).
3 The date is given by Theophanes (484) whose words, however, admit
the possible interpretation that the synod was held in Dec. 808 and the expulsion followed in January (cp. Hefele, iii. 397). For the acts of the synod (σúvodos dŋuoría) see Theodore, Εpp. i. 33, pp. 1017-19 οἰκονομίαν οὖν τὴν ζευξιμοιχείαν δογματίζουσιν· ἐπὶ τῶν βασιλέων τοὺς θείους νόμους μὴ κρατεῖν διορίζονται· . ἕκαστον τῶν ἱεραρχῶν ἐξουσιάζειν ἐν τοῖς θείοις κανόσι παρὰ τὰ ἐν αὐτοῖς κεκανονισμένα ἀποφαίνονται. Of course this is Theodore's way of putting it. The Acts assuredly did not speak of Toùs elovs vóμovs. For the composition of the Synod cp. ib. i. 34, p. 1021.
4 Plato in the islet Oxeia (Theodore, Epitaph in Plat. c. 39, p. 841, where
the seven hundred monks of Studion. He summoned them to his presence in the palace of Eleutherios, where he received them with impressive ceremonial. When he found it impossible to intimidate or cajole them into disloyalty to their abbot or submission to their sovran, he said: "Whoever will obey the Emperor and agree with the Patriarch and the clergy, let him stand on the right; let the disobedient move to the left, that we may see who consent and who are stubborn." But this device did not succeed, and they were all confined in various monasteries in the neighbourhood of the city.1 Soon afterwards we hear that they were scattered far and wide throughout the Empire.2
During his exile, Theodore maintained an active correspondence with the members of his dispersed flock, and in order to protect his communications against the curiosity of official supervision he used the twenty-four letters of the alphabet to designate the principal members of the Studite fraternity. In this cipher, for example, alpha represented Plato, beta Joseph, omega Theodore himself.3 Confident in the justice of his cause, he invoked the intervention of the Roman See, and urged the Pope to undo the work of the adulterous synods by a General Council. Leo wrote a paternal and consolatory letter, but he expressed no opinion on the merits of the question. We may take it as certain that he had other information derived from adherents of the Patriarch, who were active in influencing opinion at Rome, and that he considered Theodore's action ill-advised. In any case, he declined to commit himself.4
The resolute protest of the Studites aroused, as we have seen, little enthusiasm, though it can hardly be doubted that many ecclesiastics did not approve of the Acts of the recent synod. But it was felt that the Patriarch had, in the circumstances, acted prudently and with a sage economy. In later times enthusiastic admirers of Theodore were ready to read 'Oceîa), Theodore in Chalkitês,
now Halki (id., Epigramm. 98-104, p. 1804).
1 Michael, Vit. Theod. Stud. 269; cp. Anon. Vit. Theod. Stud. 160.
2 Theodore, Epp. i. 48, pp. 1072-73. Some were exiled at Cherson, others in the island of Lipari.
3 Ib. i. 41.
4 The first letter that Theodore wrote to Leo he destroyed himself (see ib. i. 34, p. 1028). The second is extant (i. 33). We learn the drift of the Pope's reply from i. 34, written in the joint names of Plato and Theodore. See also their letter to Basil of Saba, i. 35. For the activity of the other side at Rome, see i. 28.
allow that Nicephorus had wisely consented lest the Emperor should do something worse.1 And after the Emperor's death he showed that his consent had been unwillingly given.
If the Emperor Nicephorus asserted his supreme authority in the Church, it could not be said that he was not formally orthodox, as he accepted and maintained the settlement of the Council of Nicaea and the victory of Picture-worship. But though his enemies did not accuse him of iconoclastic tendencies, he was not an enthusiastic image-worshipper. His policy was to permit freedom of opinion, and the orthodox considered such toleration equivalent to heresy. They were indignant when he sheltered by his patronage a monk named Nicolas who preached against images and had a following of disciples.2 The favour which he showed to the Paulicians gave his enemies a pretext for hinting that he was secretly inclined to that flagrant heresy, and the fact that he was born in Pisidia where Paulicianism flourished lent a colour to the charge. These heretics had been his useful supporters in the rebellion of Bardanes, and the superstitious believed that he had been victorious on that occasion by resorting to charms and sorceries which they were accustomed to employ." Others said that the Emperor had no religion at all. The truth may be that he was little interested in religious matters, except in relation to the State. He was, at all events, too crafty to commit himself openly to any heresy. But it is interesting to observe that in the policy of toleration Nicephorus was not unsupported, though his supporters may have been few. There existed in the capital a party of enlightened persons who held that it
1 Michael, Vit. Theod. Stud. 268 ᾠκονόμησεν μὴ βουλόμενος ἀλλὰ βιασθεὶς ὑπὸ τοῦ ἄνακτος. Ignatius in his Life of Nicephorus completely omits this passage in his career. Theophanes touches on it lightly in his Chronography, and we know otherwise that he did not blame the policy of the Patriarch and therefore incurred the severe censure of Theodore, who describes him as a Moechian, i.e. one of the adulterous party. See Theodore, Epp. ii. 31, p. 1204, where μov ȧ тoû σχήματος ἀνάδοχος refers to Theophanes, who had been Theodore's sponsor when he became a monk, as Pargoire has shown (Saint Théophane, 56 sqq.). See also ib. ii. 218, p. 1660.
2 Theoph. 488. In writing to the monk Simeon (i. 21) Theodore Studites himself speaks thus of Nicephorus: οἱ δεσπόται ἡμῶν οἱ ἀγαθοὶ μεσῖται καὶ κριταὶ τοῦ δικαίου. φιληταὶ τῶν παρρησιαζομένων ἐν ἀληθείᾳ· ὡς αὐτὸ τὸ τίμιον αὐτῶν στόμα πολλάκις διαγορεύει.
3 Theoph. ib. He is said to have slaughtered a bull in a particular way, and to have ground garments of Bardanes in a mill.
4 Anon. Vit. Theod. Stud. 153: he was "nominally a Christian, really an enemy of Christianity." Ignatius, Vit. Nicephori Patr. 153, admits that he was orthodox.
was wrong to sentence heretics to death,' and they were strong enough in the next reign to hinder a general persecution of the Paulicians.
But for the most part the policy of Nicephorus was reversed under Michael, who proved himself not the master but the obedient son of the Church. The Patriarch knew the character of Michael, and had reason to believe that he would be submissive in all questions of faith and morals. But he was determined to assure himself that his expectations would be fulfilled, and he resorted to an expedient which has a considerable constitutional interest.
The coronations of the Emperors Marcian and Leo I. by the Patriarch, with the accompanying ecclesiastical ceremony, may be said to have definitely introduced the new constitutional principle that the profession of Christianity was a necessary qualification for holding the Imperial office.2 It also implied that the new Emperor had not only been elected by the Senate and the people, but was accepted by the Church. But what if the Patriarch declined to crown the Emperor-elect? Here, clearly, there was an opportunity for a Patriarch to do what it might be difficult for him to do when once the coronation was accomplished. The Emperor was the head of the ecclesiastical organization, and the influence which the Patriarch exerted depended upon the relative strengths of his own and the monarch's characters. But the Patriarch had it in his power to place limitations on the policy of a future Emperor by exacting from him certain definite and solemn promises before the ceremony of coronation was performed. It was not often that in the annals of the later Empire the Patriarch had the strength of will or a sufficient reason to impose such capitulations. The earliest known instance is the case of Anastasius I., who, before the Patriarch crowned him, was required 1 Theophanes calls them какотρÓTV συμβούλων (495). They argued on the ground of the possibility of repentance, έδογμάτιζον δὲ ἀμαθῶς μὴ ἐξεῖναι ἱερεῦσιν ἀποφαίνεσθαι κατὰ ἀσεβῶν θάνατον, κατὰ πάντα (adds the writer) ταῖς θείαις γραφαῖς ἐναντιούμενοι περὶ τούτων.
2 The case of Marcian is not quite certain.
3 Cp. Bury, Constitution of Later
R. Empire, 27-29. In later times a regular coronation oath (we do not know at what date it was introduced) rendered special capitulations less necessary. In the tenth century the Patriarch Polyeuktos was able to extort a concession from John Tzimisces as a condition of coronation. It must always be remembered that coronation by the Patriarch, though looked on as a matter of course, was not a constitutional sine qua non (ib. 11 sq.).