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Constantine III Leichudes, Patriarch of Constantinople


Reigned Feb. 2, 1059, to Aug. 9 or 10, 1063; Byzantine scholar and statesman. Constantine belonged to the group led by Michael Psellus, who promoted learning and reorganized the university in the mid-11th century. Leichudes was prominent in politics during the reign of Michael V (104142); he became first minister (protovestarius ) under Constantine IX until deprived of office by the Emperor's jealousy. Leichudes then turned to scholarship and teaching, apparently again falling from favor toward the end of Constantine IX's reign (c. 1055). Like Psellus, he was evidently back at court after Constantine's death and was sent by Michael VI on an embassy to Isaac Comnenus, shortly to displace Michael on the throne. Isaac I selected Leichudes as patriarch of Constantinople on the death of Michael Cerularius (1059); and the patriarch subsequently gave Isaac ecclesiastical tonsure during his illness and abdication. During the reign of Constantine X (105967), Leichudes was associated with a policy of persecution adopted toward the Monophysite Syrians and Armenians, and two synodal decrees (1063) ordered the expulsion from Melitene of

all non-Chalcedonians and the burning of their holy books.

Leichudes was a close friend of Michael Psellus, who provided most of the information about him in his Chronographia and Funeral Oration. It was very probably Leichudes who asked Psellus to write the Chronographia. Leichudes was a distinguished scholar and orator, who had studied and taught rhetoric and civil law. He was also a wise administrator and churchman, a man of marked integrity who won the respect of his contemporaries.

Bibliography: m. psellus, Chronographia, ed. e. renauld, 2 v. (Paris 192628), Eng. tr. without Gr. text by e. r. a. sewter (London 1953); Funeral Oration on Likudes, ed. k. n. sathas (Bibliotheca graeca medii aevi 4; Venice 1874). v. grumel, Les Regestes des actes du patriacat de Constantinople v.1.1 (1932), v.1.2 (1936), v.1.3 (1947).

[j. m. hussey]

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