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Chrysoce'phalus, Maca'rius

Μακάριος Χρυσοκέφαλος), a Greek ecclesiastical writer of great repute. The time at which he lived has been the subject of much investigation : Cave says that it is not correctly known; Oudin thinks that he lived about A. D. 1290; but Fabricius is of opinion that he lived in the fourteenth century, as would appear from the fact, that the condemnation of Barlaam and Gregorius Acindynus took place in the synod of Constantinople in 1351, in presence of a great number of prelates, among whom there was Macarius, archbishop of Philadelphia.

The original name of Chrysocephalus was Macarius, and he was also archbishop of Philadelphia ; he was called Chrysocephalus because, having made numerous extracts from the works of the fathers, he arranged them under different heads, which he called χρυσᾶ κεφάλαια, or " Golden Heads."


Chrysocephalus was a man of extensive learning: his works, which were very numerous, were entirely on religious subjects, and highly esteemed in his day.

Only one of Cynoscephalus' works, of comparatively small importance, the Oratio in Exaltationem Sanctae Crucis.


This has been published, with a Latin translation, by Gretserus, in his great work De Cruce.

Commentary on St. Matthew

The most important work of Chrysocephalus is his Commentary on St. Matthew, in three volumes, each of which was divided into twenty books. Only the first volume, containing twenty books, is extant in the Bodleian. (Cod. Baronianus; it is entitled Ἐξήγησις εἰς τὸ κατὰ Ματθαῖον ἀ̔γιον Εὐαγγέλιον, συλλεγεῖσαα καὶ συντεθεῖσα κεφαλαιωδῶς παρὰ Μακαρίου Μητροπολίτου Φιλαδελφείας τοῦ Χπυσοκεφάλου, &c.) Fabricius gives the prooemium to it, with a Latin translation.

Other Works

The most important among his other works are Orationes XIV. in Festa Ecclesiae, Expositio in Canones Apostolorum et Conciliorum, which he wrote in the island of Chios, Magnum Alphabetum, a Commentary on Lucas, so called because it is divided into as many chapters as there are letters in the alphabet, viz. twenty-four; it is extant in the Bodleian, and is inscribed Εὐαγγελικων διάνοιαν νοημάτων Χρυσοκέφαλος συντίθησιν ἐνθάδε ταπεινὸς Μακάριος Φιλαδελφείας, οἰκέτης τῆς μακαπίας Τριάδος.

Fabricius gives the prooemium, Cosmogenia, a Commentary on Genesis, divided into two parts, the first of which is entitled Cosmogenia, and the second Patriarchae.

The MS. works of Chrysocephalus were nearly all known to Gretserus, and still more so to Leo Allatius, who often refers to them, and gives some fragments or passages of them in his works De Concilio Florentino, adversus Creightonium, Diatriba de Script. Symeon., De Psellis, &c.

Further Information

Fabric. Bibl. Graec. viii. pp. 675-683; Cave, Hist. Lit. vol. ii. D. pp. 19, 20.


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1290 AD (1)
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