Arethas of Caesarea

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Arethas of Caesarea


Born circa 850; died circa 944. Byzantine church leader and writer..

Arethas was a follower of Photius, and he played an important role in collecting and copying the works of ancient authors, as well as commenting upon them. His scholia (notes in the margins of manuscripts) to the works of Lucian and other classical writers are extant. In 902, Arethas was elected archbishop of Cappadocian Caesarea. He took an active part in the political struggle which revolved around the fourth marriage of the emperor Leo VI. At first he expressed the opposition interests of the provincial aristocracy; later he switched to the camp of the capital aristocracy who had rallied around the emperor. The speeches and letters of Arethas which have come down to us are one of the important sources of Byzantine history during the tenth century. A number of unpublished works by Arethas are preserved in Moscow (in the manuscript section of the State Historical Museum).


Shangin, M. A. “Vizantiiskie politicheskie deiateli pervoi poloviny X v.” In Vizantiiskii sbornik. Moscow-Leningrad, 1945. Pages 228–48. (Bibliography.)
Beck, H. G. Kirche und theologische Literatur im byzantinischen Reich. Munich, 1959. Pages 591–94. (Bibliography.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.