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St Photios (Photius) the Great

On Byzantine Culture section:
  • Letter to a Hegemon of Bulgaria

    On Patrology/Studies section:
  • Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit

    The adjective "Great" is too little for a man who made so many contributions in both the literary, political, and religious sphere.

    St Photios (later known as Photios the Great - Patriarch of Constantinople) was born around 820 AD. Photios's Bibliotheca (or Myriobiblos) is perhaps the earliest example of the literary review genre, and preserves valuable information about ancient books which still existed in the 9th century, but were since lost, especially since 1204.

    In the political sphere, St. Photius' major contributions were in dispatching St. Cyril and St. Methodius to the Slavs, to bring them into the Christian fold and to translate the Holy Scriptures into Slavonic. This action, as well as his role in winning the Bulgars for the Roman rather than the Latin faith that rightly make him responsible for the orthodoxy of most of the eastern Europeans.

    In the religious sphere, St. Photius was a proponent of Orthodoxy, and he was the first to notice the heresy of the filioque, which first sprung in Spain, but was introduced by Latin missionaries to the East. The filioque controversy has both a theological dimension (it is heretical) and a political one, as it was fiercely contested by orthodox Western Roman popes, but was upheld by the Franks who came to dominate western Christendom.

    The On line Library of the Church of Greece is named by its founder Archbishop Christodoulos Myriobiblos in honor of Photios the Great.

    Picture: Fresco from Grachanitsa monastery, Kosovo, Serbia.

    Related links:
    On Myriobiblos Library,
  • The history of Schism see N. Karmiris
  • On filioque see J.C. Larchet
  • Οn the relations between the Byzantine and Roman Churches see Milton Anastos
  • On the Byzantine missionaries see Pan. Christou
  • On St Photius attitude of cultures see Metropolitan Emilianos
  • On Tertullian Project, see the text of Myriobiblos, in English
  • On St Paul’s Orthodox Church, see The Great Schism, by Bishop Kallistos Ware