a brother of Joannes Eugenicus, who was a celebrated ecclesiastical writer, none of whose works, however, has yet appeared in print. (Fabric. Bibl. Graec.
vol. xi. p. 653. )
M. Eugenicus was by birth a Greek, and in early life he was engaged as a schoolmaster and teacher of rhetoric.
But his great learning and his eloquence raised him to the highest dignities in the church, and about A. D. 1436 he succeeded Josephus as archbishop of Ephesus. Two years later, he accompanied the emperor Joannes Palaeologus to the council of Florence, in which he took a very prominent part; for he represented not only his own diocese, but acted as proxy for the patriarchs of Antioch and Jerusalem.
He opposed the Latin church with as much bitterness as He defended the rights of the Greek church with zeal.
In the beginning of the discussions at the council, this disposition drew upon him the displeasure of the emperor, who was anxious to reunite the two churches, and also of the pope Eugenius.
This gave rise to most vehement disputes, in which the Greeks chose Eugenicus as their spokesman and champion.
As he was little acquainted with the dialectic subtleties and the scholastic philosophy, in which the prelates of the West far surpassed him, he was at first defeated by the cardinal Julian; but afterwards, when Bessarion became his ally, the eloquence of Eugenicus threw all the council into amazement.
The vehemence and bitterness of his invectives against the Latins, however, was so great, that a report was soon spread and believed, that he was out of his mind; and even Bessarion called him an evil spirit (cacodaemon
At the close of the council, when the other bishops were ready to acknowledge the claims of the pope, and were ordered by the emperor to sign the decrees of the council, Eugenicus alone steadfastly refused to yield, and neither threats nor promises could induce him to alter his determination.
The union of the two churches, however, was decreed. On his return to Constantinople, he was received by the people with the greatest enthusiasm, and the most extravagant veneration was paid him. During the remainder of his life he continued to oppose the Latin church wherever he could; and it was mainly owing to his influence that, after his death, the union was broken off. For, on his death-bed in 1447, he solemnly requested Georgius Scholarius, to continue the struggle against the Latins, which he himself had carried on, and Georgius promised, and faithfully kept his word.
The funeral oration on Eugenicus was delivered by the same friend, Georgius.
M. Eugenicus was the author of many works, most of which were directed against the Latin church, whence they were attacked by those Greeks who were in favour of that church, such as Joseph of Methone, Bessarion, and others.
The following are printed either entire or in part.
in which he cautions the Greeks against the council of Florence, and exposes the intrigues of the Latins.
It is printed, with a Latin version and an answer by Joseph of Methone, in Labbeus, Concil.
vol. xiii. p. 677.
addressed to all Christendom, on the same subject.
It is printed in Labbeus, 1. c. p. 740, with an answer by Gregorius Protosyneellus.
in which he maintains the spiritual power of the priesthood.
It is printed in the Liturgiae, p. 138, ed. Paris, 1560
of which a fragment, with a Latin translation, is printed in Allatius, de Consensu 3.3.4.
of which a fragment is given in Allatius, de Synolo Octaxa, 14, p. 544.
Other works still in MS.
His other works are still extant in MS., but have never been published.
A list of them is given by Fabricius.
vol. xi. p. 670,&c.; comp. Cave, Hist Lit.
vol. i. Appendix, p. 111, &c.