Glycas, Michael

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Twelfth-century Byzantine theologian and exegete, called also Sicidites; b. Corfu, c. 1118; d. c. 1200. Glycas came into prominence as secretary to Emperor Manuel I Comnenus (114380). In 1159 he was accused of practicing magic and was condemned and half blinded. His crime seems rather to have been an attack on the emperor for his addiction to astrology and the use of false patristic citations in one of Manuel's writings. In prison Glycas was allowed to seek the authentic citations. On release, he became a monk and participated in the theological controversies of the era.

He wrote a World Chronicle from Creation to the death of Emperor alexiusi comnenus (1118), in which he combined a rare blend of theology and antiquarian curiosities. His Kephalaia, or Chapters of Scriptural Difficulties (Aporiai ), is a complex work that is devoted both to exegesis of the Bible and to a sort of universal theology. It contains 95 solutions (Luseis ) to problems and includes historical and cultural information; it is of great interest for its sound skepticism as well as for its illumination of the humanistic concerns of its age. In an orthodox manner, he treated of the Assumption of Mary, the Immaculate Conception, the procession of the Holy Spirit, and the interpretation of Christ's statement "The Father is greater than I." His teaching regarding the presence of Christ in the Eucharist was challenged as unorthodox, however, for he maintained that the liturgical celebration reenacted the life of Christ and that the pre-Resurrection body of Christ was present before Communion and became the resurrected body at the moment of Communion. A patriarchal synod (11991200) dealt with this doctrine, ascribing it to Myron Sicidites, who was identical with Glycas. Glycas wrote also political verse and letters; many of his writings are still unedited.

Bibliography: Patrologia Graeca 158:648958. Catalogus codicum astrologorum graecorum, ed. f. cumont and f. boll, 5.1 (Brussels 1904) 125140. s. eustratiades, ed., Aporiai v.1 (Athens 1906), v.2 (Alexandria 1912), in Gr. v. grumel, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique 10.2:170507. h. hunger, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche 2 7:396. m. jugie, Theologia dogmatica christianorum orientalium ab ecclesia catholica dissidentium 1:413414. k. krumbacher, Michael Glykas (Sitzungsberichte der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu München 1894). h. pachali, Byzantinische Zeitschrift 18 (1909) 422423. Kirche und theologische Literatur im byzantinischen Reich 343, 654655, 665.

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