7. Of CONSTANTINOPLE, was the son of the patrician Justinian, who was put to death by the emperor Constantine IV. Pogonatus, by whom Germanus himself was castrated, apparently on account of his murmurs at his father's death. Germanus was translated A. D. 715 from the archbishoprick of Cyzicus, which he had previously held, to the patriarchal see of Constantinople. About two years afterwards he negotiated the abdication of Theodosius III. in favour of Leo III. the Isaurian, with whom he was subsequently involved in a contest on the subject of the use of images in worship.
It is probable that some difference between them had commenced before Germanus was called upon to baptize Constantine, the infant son of Leo, afterwards the emperor Constantine V. Copronymus.
The infant polluted the baptismal font (whence his surname), and the angry patriarch declared prophetically that "much evil would come to the church and to religion through him." Germanus vehemently opposed the iconoclastic measures of Leo; and his pertinacious resistance occasioned his deposition, A. D. 730.
He was succeeded by Anastasius, an opponent of images, and the party of the Iconoclasts obtained a temporary triumph. Germanus died A. D. 740.
He was anathematised at a council of the Iconoclasts held at Constantinople A. D. 754, in the reign of Constantine Copronymus; but after the overthrow of that party he was regarded with reverence, and is reckoned both by the Latin and Greek churches as a confessor.
Several works of Germanus are extant.
This work, in an imperfect form, and without the author's name, was, with the Nomocanon of Pllotius, published by Christopher Justellus, 4to. Paris, 1615
: it is also contained in the Bibliotheca Canonica of Henry Justellus
; but was first given in a complete form, and with the author's name, in the Varia Sacra of Le Moyne.
Three letters addressed to different bishops, are in the Acta
of the Second Nicene, or Seventh General Council, held A. D. 787.
These are included in the Collection of Pantinus (8vo. Antwerp, 1601); the Auctarium of Ducaeus, tom. ii.; and the Novum Auctarium, and the Originum rerumque Constantinopolitanarum Manipulus of Combefis. Latin versions of them are in the various editions of the Bibliotheca Patrum.
A work against those who disparaged or corrupted the writings of Gregory Nyssen
mentioned by Photius, but now lost.
5. Commentaries on the writings of the pseudo-Dionysius Areopagita.
vol. i. pp. 539, 599-630; Phot. Bibl.
cod. 233; Zonaras, 14.20
; Fabric. Bibl. Gr.
vol. vii. p. 10, vol. viii. p. 84, vol. xi. pp. 155-162; Cave, Hist. Litt.
vol. i. p. 621, ed. Oxford, 1740-43.