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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Theophanes of Byzantium

the designation of two early ecclesiastical characters.

1. A historian who is supposed to have lived at Constantinople at the close of the 6th century. He wrote a history of the war waged with Persia from 567 to 573, and also, it is said, a history of the reign of Justinian. Photius mentions both works, and quotes from the former (Cod. 64). See Labbeus, Excempta Legationum (Paris, 1647).

2. The chronographer, confessor, and saint. Of this man an ancient biography, said to be the work of Theodore Studita (q.v.), relates that he was born in or about the year 578, and that the emperor Constantine Copronymus became his guardian. The monastic impulse led him to bind himself to a life of continence on the eve of his marriage with the daughter of a wealthy patrician chosen to be his bride by the emperor himself, and subsequently to separate himself from his wife altogether. Leo IV called him to court, laid upon him official responsibilities, and placed him over the public buildings in Mysia; but, in Irene's reign, Theophanes became a monk in Lesser Mysia, and in time abbot of the monastery of Ager, which he had built. He was a zealous image-worshipper, and present as such at the second Council of Nice in 787. In 813 Leo the Armenian sought to persuade him to renounce the worship of images, and punished his. obstinate refusal with imprisonment and banishment to the island of Samothrace, where Theophanes died about 816. A Chronography by him is extant, which records both ecclesiastlcal and secular matters from the first year of the reign of Diocletian to the first year of Leo the Armenian. It lacks many excellences, and has been attributed, though without sufficient reason, to other authors; but its statements possess considerable value as sources for the Iconoclastic troubles. The best edition is that of Classen (Bonn, 1839, 2 vols.), preceded by a Greek Vita and an Officium S. Patris Nost. Theophanis, etc., of March 12. See Vossius, De Hist. Gr. 2, 24; Cave; Oudin; Fabr., Bibl. Gr. 6:151 (old ed.), etc. Herzog, Real- Encyklop. s.v.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Theophanes of Byzantium'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/t/theophanes-of-byzantium.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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