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3. CALLISTUS XANTHOPULUS, the celebrated author of the Ecclesiastical History, was born in the latter part of the thirteenth century, and died about 1450. According to his own saying H. E. ii. p. 64), he had not yet completed his thirty-sixth year when he began to write that work, which he dedicated to the emperor Andronicus Palaeologus the elder, who died in 1327, whence we may infer the time of his birth.


Nicephorus' works are:--


Historia Ecclesiastica, in twenty-three books, of which there are eighteen extant, compiled from Eusebius, Sozomenus, Socrates, Theoderetus, Evagrius, Philostorgius, and other ecclesiastical writers. The eighteen extant books contain the period from Christ down to the death of the tyrant Phocas, in 610; of the remaining five books, there are Argumenta extant, from which we learn that the work was carried down to the death of the emperor Leo Philosophus. in 911; but it is questionable whether they are the production of Callistus, or of some other writer. Although Callistus compiled from the works of his predecessors, he entirely remodelled his materials, and his elegant style caused him to be called Thucydides ecclesiast:cus; while his want of judgment, his credulity, and his love of the marvellous, in consequence of which his work abounds with fiables, induced some critics to style him the Plinius theologorumi. He had apparently studied the classical models, for his style is vastly superior to that of his contemporaries. Of this work there exists only one MS., which was originally in the library of Matthias Corvinus, king of Hungary and Bohemia (1458-1490), at Ofeni or Buda. When this city was taken by the Turks in 1526, the king's library was carried to Constantinople, where, soon afterwards, the MS. was purchased by a German scholar, who sold it in his turn to the imperial library in Vienna, where it is still kept.


A Latin version by John Lang, of Erfurt, Basel, 1553, fol.; the same with scholia, 1560(61); Antwerp, 1560; Paris, 1562, 1573; Frankfort, 1588, fol.; Paris, 1566, 12 vols. 8vo. The principal edition is by Fronto Ducaeus, Paris, 1630, 2 vols. fol., containing the Greek text, with Lang's translation, both carefully revised by the editor.

2. Σύνταγμα

de Templo et Miraculis S. Mariae ad Fonteri, extant in MS. in the libraries of the Vatican and of Vienna, the latter very much damaged.

3. Catalogus imperatorum Constantinopolitanorumn, Versibus iambicis,

finishing with Andronicus Palaeologus the elder, who died in 1327; a later hand has added the emperors down to the capture of Constantinople.


Editio princeps, the Greek text, by John Lang, Basel, 1536, 8vo.; by Labbe in Histor. Protrept. Byzant., Paris, 1648; and often, the text or translationm as an appendix to other works.

4. Catalogus Patriarchorume Constantinop.,

contains 141 persons, the last of whom is Callistus, who was made patriarch by the eniperor John Cantacuzenus; later writers have added to the number.


Ed. ad calcem Epigranatum Theodori Prodromi, Basel, 1536, 8vo.; and by Labbe quoted above, who gives a similar catalogue in prose containing 149 patriarchs.

5. Catalogus Libror. Geneseos, Exodi, Levitici, Nuserorusm et Deuteronomici,

in iambic verses, extant in MS.

6. Catalogus SS. Patrum Ecclesiae,

in eighteen iambic verses, first published by Fabricius in Bibl. Graec., quoted below.

7. Catalogus brevis Hymnographorum Ecclesiae Graecae,

nine iambic verses.


Published by Fabricius, ibid. vol. xi. p. 81.

8. ZZZMlenoloyiuts Sanctorum,

in iambic verses, published by the same, together with Gaulmini Vita Mosis, Hamburg, 1714, 8vo.

9. Excidium Hsolyinitanum,

in 150 iambic verses.


Published with a metrical Latin version, by F. Morellus, in Expositio Themsatum Dominicorum, &c., Paris, 1620, 8vo.

Hymns, Sermons, Homilies, Epistles

Further, a great number of hymns, sermons, homilies, epistles, &c.; Vita S. Andreae Apostoli, and other minor productions. Hody, the continuator of Cave, was of opinion that Anglicani ZZZSchdisinatis Redargutio, a work which he published at Oxford, 1691, 4to., ought to be ascribed to Nicephorus Callistus, but he afterwards changed his opinion. See his Letter to a Friend concerning a Collection of Canons, Oxford, 1692, 4to. That work was written about 1267.

Further Information

Oudin, Comment. de Script. Ecclesitst. vol. iii. p. 709, &c.; Cave, Hist. Lit. ad an. 1333; Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. vii. p. 437; Hamberger, Nachrichten von geehrten Männern.

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