Nicephorus Gregoras

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Nicephorus Gregoras


Born between 1290 and 1295; died in 1359 or 1360. Byzantine scholar, historian, and theologian. Pupil of Theodorus Metochites. Favorite of Emperor Andronicus II.

Nicephorus Gregoras proposed a plan to reform the calendar. He polemicized with the humanist philosopher Barlaam of Calabria. In 1346 he began to sharply criticize the reactionary mysticism (hesychasm) of Gregory Palamas. In 1351 hesychasm was acknowledged as the official doctrine of the Byzantine church. Nicephorus Gregoras was excommunicated from the church and incarcerated in a monastery. His chief work, Roman History, covers the events of 1204 through 1359, treating primarily the ecclesiastical and theological struggle in Byzantium; the judgments of the author, who is inclined toward self-praise, are very subjective. The works of Nicephorus Gregoras also contain information of a political nature and describe the activities of the Zealots with extreme hostility.


Byzantina historia, vols. 1–3. Bonn, 1829–55.
Correspondance. . .. Paris, 1927.
In Russian translation:
Rimskaia istoriia, vol. 1. St. Petersburg, 1862.


Guilland, R. Essai sur Nicéphore Grégoras. Paris, 1926.