The Orthodox Church in the Byzantine Empire (Oxford History by J. M. Hussey

By J. M. Hussey

This e-book describes the position of the medieval Orthodox Church within the Byzantine Empire (c.600-c.1453). As an essential component of its coverage it used to be (as in western Christianity) heavily associated with many facets of daily life either respectable and differently. It used to be a formative interval for Orthodoxy. It needed to face doctrinal difficulties and heresies; even as it skilled the continuity and deepening of its liturgical existence. whereas protecting quickly to the traditions of the fathers and the councils, it observed yes advancements in doctrine and liturgy as additionally in management. half I discusses the landmarks in ecclesiastical affairs in the Empire in addition to the artistic impression exercised at the Slavs and the expanding contacts with westerners quite after 1204. half II supplies a short account of the constitution of the medieval Orthodox Church, its officers and association, and the spirituality of laity, priests, and clergy.

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On Easter Day (1 April 815) a new patriarch, Theodotus Mellissenus Cassiteras, was enthroned. He was reputed to be of some virtue though of unclerical habits, and he was inevitably an iconoclast. Leo would have liked to appoint John the Grammarian but was dissuaded on the grounds that he was not old enough nor of sufficiently distinguished lineage. Soon after Easter a synod was held in Hagia Sophia. The acta of this council were destroyed on the restoration of orthodoxy but something of the content can be gathered from the detailed refutation made 61 by the Patriarch Nicephorus in his Refutatio et Eversio.

Hence the embarrassment in which Hadrian I found himself on this occasion. Conflicting currents 787-843 The restoration of icons under Irene in 787 did not immediately provide a universally acceptable solution to the controversy which had rent the East Roman Empire under the North Syrian rulers. Whether from conviction or expediency a number of churchmen had obviously accepted iconoclasm; many people had long felt that the popular use of icons was giving rise to much superstition; and above all the military successes of Leo III and Constantine V had endeared them to the army and indeed to the general public.

60 When they approached Michael he made it clear that they could do what they liked provided that they were outside the capital, but he himself was not prepared to venerate icons and would leave the Church as he found it. Finally, since the Emperor would not make any further concessions or consider the reappointment of Nicephorus as patriarch, there was deadlock and all further discussion on 70 icons was prohibited. 70 Vita Theodori Studitae, ch. 60, PG 99, col. 317 and Vita S. Nicolai Studitae, PG 105, col.

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