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Euthymius I, Patriarch of Constantinople


February 907 to May 15, 912; b. Seleucia, Isauria, c. 834; d. Constantinople, Aug. 5, 917. Euthymius entered a monastery on Mt. Olympus, Bithynia, as a youth and eventually became abbot of St. Theodora in Constantinople, as well as confessor to Emperor leo vi the Wise (886912). He used his influence over the Emperor to protect many of the officials in the party of photius from the political reprisals of Stylianus Zautzes, father of Leo's mistress Zoe. He refused to appear at the imperial court, but on being appointed syncellus, he accepted a monastery built for him near the palace. After the death of Leo's first wife, he refused to sanction the Emperor's marriage with Zoe and was banished for two years but was recalled after Zoe's death. When Leo was denied a dispensation for a fourth marriage (see byzantine church, history of) by Patriarch nicholas i mysticus, the Emperor appealed to the "four other patriarchs," who granted it. He deposed Nicholas and nominated Euthymius as the new patriarch; but the latter refused the see until he was certain that Nicholas had resigned and that the "four patriarchs" through their representatives had pronounced again in favor of the dispensation. As patriarch he refused to enter the name of the Emperor's fourth wife in the diptychs and degraded the priest who had blessed their union. After the death of Leo VI, Nicholas was reinstated as patriarch and took revenge on the banished Euthymius. With heroic charity, Euthymius forgave him and the two were reconciled before his death. The life of Euthymius was written by a contemporary, and he was accepted as a saint in the Greek Church in 991. The Vita insists on Euthymius's competence as a preacher but only a few of his sermons are certainly authentic: three on the feast of St. Anna (Dec. 9) and one on the Theotokos. He also composed a canon or hymn on the Theotokos and an encomium of Hierotheos. The history ascribed to him of the first seven general councils and the Synod of Photius's rehabilitation (879880), may have been composed 500 years later by Euthymius II (141016).

Bibliography: v. grumel, Les Regestes des actes du patriarcat de Constantinople 625629. p. karlin-hayter, ed., "Vita S. Euthymii," Byzantion 2537 (195557) 1172; with Eng. tr. Kirche und theologische Literatur im byzantinischen Reich 549550. r. janin, Catholicisme 4:728729. m. jugie, Échos d'Orientalia 16 (1913) 385395, 481492; 23 (1924) 286288; ed. and tr., Patrologia Orientalis 16 (1922) 489514; 19 (1926) 441445. f. dvornik, The Photian Schism (Cambridge, Eng. 1948) 111117. j. darrouzÈs, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques 16:5859. v. grumel, "Observations diverses sur la question photienne," Diskussionsbeiträge zum 11. Internationalen Byzantinistenkongress, München 1958 (Munich 1961) 4854.

[m. j. higgins]

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