Nicholas, Studite Abbot, St.

views updated


Byzantine abbot and anti-Iconoclast; b. Kydonia, Crete. 793; d. Constantinople, 868. Nicholas joined his uncle Theophane, a Studite monk in Constantinople, at the age of ten and was sent by the Abbot Theodore (see theodore the studite, st.) to study in a school under the jurisdiction of the monastery. He became a monk and priest, and followed his abbot into exile during the iconoclastic persecution (see iconoclasm). After being flogged and illtreated, he was imprisoned for three years at Smyrna. In 821 he was freed, and, aided by his brother Titus, he rejoined the monastery after the invasion of Crete by the Saracens and the massacre of his family (c. 826).

Exiled anew in 829, he took refuge on the outskirts of Constantinople. In 846 he succeeded Naucratius as abbot and was forced out of the monastery again, but he returned to office in 853. In 858 he was among the first to oppose the depositions of the patriarch (St.) ignatius and the nomination of photius. There followed a new exile, deposition, and imprisonment. He died at the age 75, shortly after being reinstated (867).

As was the practice, his biography emphasizes the miracles he had accomplished. It was written in 916 under the fourth successor to Nicholas and is a most interesting document of the period aggravated by the later iconoclastic struggles and the affair of Photius. It is also a valuable source of precious information concerning the customs of the times.

Feast: Feb. 4.

Bibliography: f. combefis, ed., Vita, Patrologia Graeca. ed. j. p. migne (Paris 185766) 105:863926. Acta Sanctorum Feb. 1:544557. t. nissen, Byzantinisch-neugriechisch es Jahrbuch 14 (193738) 331339. g. da costalouillet, Byzantion 2527 (195557) 794812. e. v. dobschÜtz, Byzantinische Zeitschrift 18 (1909) 7072.

[i. dalmais]

About this article

Nicholas, Studite Abbot, St.

Updated About content Print Article