Nicephorus, Saint

Nicephorus, Saint

(nīsĕf`ərəs), 758?–829?, patriarch of Constantinople (806–15), Byzantine historian and theologian. St. Nicephorus attended the Second Council of Nicaea as lay representative of the emperor. His appointment by Emperor Nicephorus I to the patriarchate while he was still a layman aroused the anger of the monastic party under St. Theodore of Studium, but the quarrel was quieted. St. Nicephorus opposed iconoclasmiconoclasm
[Gr.,=image breaking], opposition to the religious use of images. Veneration of pictures and statues symbolizing sacred figures, Christian doctrine, and biblical events was an early feature of Christian worship (see iconography; catacombs).
..... Click the link for more information.
 and secured a pledge of orthodoxy from Emperor Michael IMichael I
(Michael Rangabe), d. c.845, Byzantine emperor (811–13), son-in-law of Nicephorus I. He supported orthodoxy against iconoclasm and recalled Theodore of Studium from exile. He recognized (812) Charlemagne's claim as emperor.
..... Click the link for more information.
. Michael's successor, Leo VLeo V
(Leo the Armenian), d. 820, Byzantine emperor (813–20), successor of Michael I. A former general, Leo successfully defended (813) Constantinople against the Bulgars and concluded a 30-year truce with them.
..... Click the link for more information.
, however, insisted that the patriarch modify his views, but Nicephorus refused and was deposed and exiled. In his exile he wrote a brief narrative of Byzantine history from 602 to 769 and several tracts against iconoclasm. Feast: Mar. 13.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/