previous next

Metro'phanes

Μητροφάνης), bishop of Smyrna, is renowned in ecclesiastical history for his obstinate opposition to the famous patriarch Photius. He was the son of the woman who was enveigled to entice Methodius, patriarch of Constantinople, but he was not the son of Methodius. The patriarch Ignatius having been deposed by the emperor Michael III., in 858, and Photius chosen in his stead, Metrophanes, who was then bishop of Smyrna, recognised Photius, although he was a friend of Ignatius. But he soon altered his opinion, declared publicly for the deposed patriarch, and so violently attacked Photius, that he was deprived of his see and thrown into a prison. When Photius was deposed in his turn, and Ignatius reestablished in the patriarchate by the emperor Basil I., Metrophanes recovered his see of Smyrna, and, in the council held in Constantinople in 869, showed himself one of the most zealous opponents of Photius. But in 879 Photius became once more patriarch on the death of Ignatius, and now Metrophanes was again deposed. He nevertheless continued to speak and to write against Photius, so that in 880 the patriarch and the emperor contrived his excommunication. Metrophanes died in an obscure retirement, but the year of his death is not known. He wrote besides other works :--1. Epistola ad Manuelem Patricium de Rebus in Causa Photii ab anno 858 ad 870 gestis, one of the most valuable documents bearing on the history of that turbulent patriarch. A Latin version by Melius, in Baronius, Annal. ad ann. 870, Greek and Latin, in the 8th vol. of Labbe, Concilia, and in Acta Concilii CP. quarti, by M. Raderus, Ingolstadt. 1604, 4to. 2. Ἐπιστολὴ Μητρυρφάνους Μητροπολίτου πρὸς Μανουὴλ Πατρίκιον καὶ Λογοθέτην τοῦ δρόμου, divided into four parts, a very remarkable and important document. The three first parts treat on Manichaeism, and the fourth on the Mystery of the Holy Ghost: it is very doubtful whether Metrophanes is the author of this work, which is now generally attributed to Photius. 3. De Spirilu Sancto, of which a fragment is extant in a Vienna codex. 4. Expositio Fidei, in a Paris codex. 5. Liber Canonum Triadicorum, in a Venetian codex, according to Leo Allatius. (Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. xi. p. 700; Baronius, Annal. ad ann. 870, &c.; Hankius, Script. Byzant. 17.1, &c., 18.66.)

[W.P]

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: