Theophilos

Theophilos

Theophilos was emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 829 to 842 CE. He was the second ruler of the Amorion dynasty founded by his father Michael II. Popular during his reign and responsible for a lavish rebuilding of Constantinople's palaces and fortifications, Theophilos is chiefly remembered today for a major defeat by the Arab Caliphate in 838 CE and as the last emperor who supported the policy of iconoclasm, that is the destruction of icons and their veneration being treated as heresy.

Succession & Popularity

Theophilos was from Amorion, the city in Phrygia which gave its name to the dynasty begun by his father Michael II (r. 820-829 CE). Michael's reign, tarnished right from the beginning by his brutal murder of his predecessor Leo V (r. 813-820 CE), continued its downward spiral with a serious revolt led by Thomas the Slav and significant defeats at the hands of the Arabs in Sicily and Crete.

Theophilos was popular because of his exuberant personality, even participating once in a chariot race in the Hippodrome.

Inheriting the throne in 829 CE aged 25, Theophilos was seen as a new hope for the empire to get back on its feet again. A return to former glories was not to be but at least Theophilos was popular because of his exuberant personality, even participating once in a chariot race in the Hippodrome of Constantinople (which he won, of course). The emperor also enjoyed a reputation as a lover of learning and justice, especially when he introduced the tradition of the emperor riding to church on Fridays and permitting any commoner to throw questions of justice or appeals his way. The historian J. Herrin recounts one such episode:

On one of the occasions a widow complained to Theophilos that she had been defrauded of a horse by the city eparch. Indeed, she claimed it was the vey horse he was riding! He ordered an investigation and discovered that her story was correct: the eparch had taken her horse and given it to the emperor. Theophilos immediately returned the horse to its rightful owner and had the very high-ranking official punished. (75)

Another eccentricity of the emperor was the habit of walking about the streets of his capital in disguise asking the people what they thought of the problems of the day and checking if the merchants were selling their goods at fair prices. Theophilos' reputation for learning stemmed not only from his own education but his endorsement of everyone else's - he increased the faculties of the university at the capital, increased the number of scriptoria where manuscripts were duplicated, and ensured that teachers were paid by the state.

Building Projects

Theophilos' other domestic achievements included a lavish restoration of the royal palace and its gardens, which, over the centuries, had become something of a hotchpotch architectural mess. Buildings were ripped down and new homogenous ones with connecting corridors were built using white marble, fine wall mosaics and columns in rose and porphyry marble. Best of all was the throne room, here described by the historian L. Brownworth:

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No other place in the empire - or perhaps the world - dripped so extravagantly in gold or boasted so magnificent a display of wealth. Behind the massive golden throne were trees made of hammered gold and silver, complete with jewel-encrusted mechanical birds that would burst into song at the touch of a lever. Wound around the base of the tree were golden lions and griffins staring menacingly from beside each armrest, looking as if they could spring up at any moment. In what must have been a terrifying experience for unsuspecting ambassadors, the emperor would give a signal and a golden organ would play a deafening tune, the birds would sing, and the lions would twitch their tails and roar. (162)

Other projects, all probably funded by the discovery of gold mines in Armenia, included the building of the Bryas summer palace in the capital, adding the bronze doors to the Hagia Sophia which are still there today, extending the city's harbour fortifications, and introducing a new copper follis coin. Theophilos' reputation for extravagant spending was epitomised by the bridal show he organised to find himself a wife. The winner was an Armenian girl named Theodora who received as her prize, besides the emperor himself, of course, a magnificent golden apple just as in the judgement of Paris story from ancient Greece. If ever an emperor knew how to market to his people the good times were here again, it was Theophilos.

Defending the Empire

In foreign affairs, Theophilos benefitted from Leo V's defeat of the Bulgars in 814 CE and the sudden death of their leader, the Khan Krum. A 30-year peace allowed both the Bulgars and Byzantines to concentrate on other threats. Theophilos strengthened the empire's defences, notably building the Sarkel fortress at the mouth of the Don River c. 833 CE to protect against invasion from the Rus Vikings who had formed the state of Kiev. In a similar vein, new provinces or themes, were established: Cherson (in the Crimea, and protected by the Sarkel fortress), and Paphlagonia and Chaldia (both intended to better protect the area south of the Black Sea). Smaller military districts (kleisoura) were created at Charsianon, Cappadocia, and Seleukeia in central and southeast Asia Minor to protect the mountain passes most likely to be used by invading armies.

Elsewhere, although in the East the Arab Caliphate had previously been kept quiet by its own internal problems, the Byzantines lost the initiative to the western Arabs in Italy when Taranto fell in 839 CE, splitting the Byzantine territory there in two. Theophilos concentrated on meeting the Arab threat closer to home in Asia Minor and he made inroads into Cilicia in 830 and 831 CE for which he awarded himself a triumph. Relations were not always hostile between the two states as during the middle part of his reign the emperor twice sent the learned clergyman John VII Grammatikos on diplomatic missions to the Arabs from which he brought back new scientific knowledge and ideas which influenced Byzantine art and architecture.

The acquisition of Amorion - the emperor's hometown - was sweet revenge for the Arab Caliph Mutasim.

Caliph Mutasim (r. 833-842 CE) was ambitious, though, and he sent a huge army into Byzantine territory in 838 CE. Despite having the two gifted generals of Theophobos and Manuel, the Byzantines were unable to prevent defeat at the battle of Dazimon in Pontos (northern Asia Minor) on 22 July 838 CE. The victorious Arab army, led by the Caliph's own star general Afshin, were then able to sack and take the strategically important cities of Ankara and Amorion. The acquisition of Amorion - the emperor's hometown - was sweet revenge for Mutasim, whose father's city of Zapetra had been sacked by Theophilos only the year before. This fact may also explain the Caliph's forced relocation of the entire civilian population and infamous execution of the so-called 42 Martyrs of Amorion who had all refused to convert to Islam after seven years of imprisonment.

Iconoclasm

The emperor's domestic affairs were largely focussed on the battle within the church on whether or not the veneration of icons was acceptable or not as orthodox practice. Leo V had begun a second wave of iconoclasm in the Byzantine Church (the first having occurred between 726 and 787 CE), whereby all prominent religious icons were destroyed and those who venerated them were persecuted as heretics. After a lull during the reign of Leo's successor Michael II, Theophilos picked up the pace again and vehemently attacked the iconophiles. In this campaign he was aided by the staunch iconoclast John VII Grammatikos who had served under Leo V and who was made Patriarch (Bishop) of Constantinople c. 837 CE. A major force behind the iconoclasm policies of Leo V, the fact that John was Theophilos' tutor and advisor, perhaps unsurprisingly, led to a new wave of attacks on icons and their supporters.

Important figures who suffered for their pro-icon beliefs included the brothers Theodore and Theophanes Graptos and the icon-painter Lazaros. The Graptos brothers acquired their name after both had their foreheads branded (graptos). Theophilos ordered that twelve iambic pentameters were to be tattooed on the pair as a warning to all of the dangers of superstition and disobeying the law. Lazaros' punishment was different but no less painful, as he was flogged and had his hands burned with red-hot nails. The painter was permitted to leave Constantinople, though, and he sought refuge in the Phoberou Monastery at the north end of the Bosphorus.

Theophilos might have been good at bending the clergy to his way of thinking but closer to home he was rather less successful. The emperor's consort Theodora remained a regular venerator of icons in secret, even inside the royal palace. After Theophilos' death, John VII Grammatikos was exiled in 843 CE and in March of the same year Theodora swiftly ended iconoclasm in a move widely known as the “Restoration of Orthodoxy' or even the “Triumph of Orthodoxy”, which was celebrated in a new outbursting of religious art.

Death & Successors

When Theophilos, aged 38, died of dysentery in January 842 CE he was succeeded by his son Michael III but as he was still a minor Theodora ruled as his regent until 855 CE. Besides ending iconoclasm, for which she was later made a saint, she also ensured that her husband's memory was not condemned by the Church, successfully persuading the bishops that Theophilos had repented of his iconoclastic zeal on his deathbed. Theophilos gained literary immortality as he is one of the judges in hell in the famous mid-12th century CE satire Timarion - illustrating the emperor's reputation for justice was long-lasting indeed. His son Michael would be the last ruler of the Amorion dynasty as he unwisely befriended and promoted Basil the Armenian who killed his sponsor and took the throne for himself in 867 CE as Basil I, founding the enduring Macedonian dynasty.


Theophilus

lover of God, a Christian, probably a Roman, to whom Luke dedicated both his Gospel ( Luke 1:3 ) and the Acts of the Apostles ( 1:1 ). Nothing beyond this is known of him. From the fact that Luke applies to him the title "most excellent", the same title Paul uses in addressing Felix ( Acts 23:26 24:3 ) and Festus ( 26:25 ), it has been concluded that Theophilus was a person of rank, perhaps a Roman officer.

These dictionary topics are from
M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely. [N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
[H] indicates this entry was also found in Hitchcock's Bible Names
[S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary
Bibliography Information

Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Theophilus". "Easton's Bible Dictionary". .

Hitchcock, Roswell D. "Entry for 'Theophilus'". "An Interpreting Dictionary of Scripture Proper Names". . New York, N.Y., 1869.

( friend of God ) the person to whom St. Luke inscribes his Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. ( Luke 1:3 Acts 1:1 ) From the honorable epithet applied to him in ( Luke 1:3 ) it has been argued with much probability that he was a person in high official position. All that can be conjectured with any degree of safety concerning him comes to this, that he was a Gentile of rank and consideration who came under the influence of St. Luke or under that of St. Paul at Rome, and was converted to the Christian faith. [N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
[E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary
[H] indicates this entry was also found in Hitchcock's Bible Names
Bibliography Information

Smith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Theophilus'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary". . 1901.

the-of'-i-lus (Theophilos, "loved of God"):

The one to whom Luke addressed his Gospel and the Ac of the Apostles (compare Luke 1:3 Acts 1:1). It has been suggested that Theophilus is merely a generic term for all Christians, but the epithet "most excellent" implies it was applied by Luke to a definite person, probably a Roman official, whom he held in high respect. Theophilus may have been the presbyter who took part in sending the letter from the Corinthians to Paul, given in the "Acta Pauli" (compare Hennecke, Neutestamentliche Apokryphen, 378). There is also a magistrate Theophilus mentioned in the "Ac of James" as being converted by James on his way to India (compare Budge, The Contendings of the Apostles, II, 299), but these and other identifications, together with other attempts to trace out the further history of the original Theophilus, are without sufficient evidence for their establishment (compare also Knowling in The Expositor Greek Testament, II, 49-51).


Theophilos » Who was

Definition and Origins

Author:Mark Cartwright

Theophilos was emperor of the Byzantine Empirefrom 829 to 842 CE. He was the second ruler of the Amorion dynasty founded by his father Michael II. Popular during his reign and responsible for a lavish rebuilding of Constantinople’s palaces and fortifications, Theophilos is chiefly remembered today for a major defeat by the Arab Caliphate in 838 CE and as the last emperor who supported the policy of iconoclasm, that is the destruction of icons and their veneration being treated as heresy.

SUCCESSION & POPULARITY

Theophilos was from Amorion, the city in Phrygia which gave its name to the dynasty begun by his father Michael II (r. 820-829 CE). Michael’s reign, tarnished right from the beginning by his brutal murder of his predecessor Leo V (r. 813-820 CE), continued its downward spiral with a serious revolt led by Thomas the Slav and significant defeats at the hands of the Arabs in Sicily and Crete.

THEOPHILOS WAS POPULAR BECAUSE OF HIS EXUBERANT PERSONALITY, EVEN PARTICIPATING ONCE IN A CHARIOT RACE IN THE HIPPODROME.

Inheriting the throne in 829 CE aged 25, Theophilos was seen as a new hope for the empire to get back on its feet again. A return to former glories was not to be but at least Theophilos was popular because of his exuberant personality, even participating once in a chariot race in the Hippodrome of Constantinople (which he won, of course). The emperor also enjoyed a reputation as a lover of learning and justice, especially when he introduced the tradition of the emperor riding to church on Fridays and permitting any commoner to throw questions of justice or appeals his way. The historian J. Herrin recounts one such episode:

On one of the occasions a widow complained to Theophilos that she had been defrauded of a horse by the city eparch. Indeed, she claimed it was the vey horse he was riding! He ordered an investigation and discovered that her story was correct: the eparch had taken her horse and given it to the emperor. Theophilos immediately returned the horse to its rightful owner and had the very high-ranking official punished. (75)

Another eccentricity of the emperor was the habit of walking about the streets of his capital in disguise asking the people what they thought of the problems of the day and checking if the merchants were selling their goods at fair prices. Theophilos’ reputation for learning stemmed not only from his own education but his endorsement of everyone else’s - he increased the faculties of the university at the capital, increased the number of scriptoria where manuscripts were duplicated, and ensured that teachers were paid by the state.

Follis Coin of Theophilos

BUILDING PROJECTS

Theophilos’ other domestic achievements included a lavish restoration of the royal palace and its gardens, which, over the centuries, had become something of a hotchpotch architectural mess. Buildings were ripped down and new homogenous ones with connecting corridors were built using white marble, fine wall mosaics and columns in rose and porphyry marble. Best of all was the throne room, here described by the historian L. Brownworth:

No other place in the empire - or perhaps the world - dripped so extravagantly in gold or boasted so magnificent a display of wealth. Behind the massive golden throne were trees made of hammered gold and silver, complete with jewel-encrusted mechanical birds that would burst into song at the touch of a lever. Wound around the base of the tree were golden lions and griffins staring menacingly from beside each armrest, looking as if they could spring up at any moment. In what must have been a terrifying experience for unsuspecting ambassadors, the emperor would give a signal and a golden organ would play a deafening tune, the birds would sing, and the lions would twitch their tails and roar. (162)

Other projects, all probably funded by the discovery of gold mines in Armenia, included the building of the Bryas summer palace in the capital, adding the bronze doors to the Hagia Sophia which are still there today, extending the city’s harbour fortifications, and introducing a new copper follis coin. Theophilos’ reputation for extravagant spending was epitomised by the bridal show he organised to find himself a wife. The winner was an Armenian girl named Theodora who received as her prize, besides the emperor himself, of course, a magnificent golden apple just as in the judgement of Paris story from ancient Greece. If ever an emperor knew how to market to his people the good times were here again, it was Theophilos.

DEFENDING THE EMPIRE

In foreign affairs, Theophilos benefitted from Leo V’s defeat of the Bulgars in 814 CE and the sudden death of their leader, the Khan Krum. A 30-year peace allowed both the Bulgars and Byzantines to concentrate on other threats. Theophilos strengthened the empire’s defences, notably building the Sarkel fortress at the mouth of the Don River c. 833 CE to protect against invasion from the Rus Vikings who had formed the state of Kiev. In a similar vein, new provinces or themes, were established: Cherson (in the Crimea, and protected by the Sarkel fortress), and Paphlagonia and Chaldia (both intended to better protect the area south of the Black Sea). Smaller military districts (kleisoura) were created at Charsianon, Cappadocia, and Seleukeia in central and southeast Asia Minor to protect the mountain passes most likely to be used by invading armies.

The Byzantine Empire in the mid-9th century CE

Elsewhere, although in the East the Arab Caliphate had previously been kept quiet by its own internal problems, the Byzantines lost the initiative to the western Arabs in Italy when Taranto fell in 839 CE, splitting the Byzantine territory there in two. Theophilos concentrated on meeting the Arab threat closer to home in Asia Minor and he made inroads into Cilicia in 830 and 831 CE for which he awarded himself a triumph. Relations were not always hostile between the two states as during the middle part of his reign the emperor twice sent the learned clergyman John VII Grammatikos on diplomatic missions to the Arabs from which he brought back new scientific knowledge and ideas which influenced Byzantine art and architecture.

THE ACQUISITION OF AMORION - THE EMPEROR’S HOMETOWN - WAS SWEET REVENGE FOR THE ARAB CALIPH MUTASIM.

Caliph Mutasim (r. 833-842 CE) was ambitious, though, and he sent a huge army into Byzantine territory in 838 CE. Despite having the two gifted generals of Theophobos and Manuel, the Byzantines were unable to prevent defeat at the battle of Dazimon in Pontos (northern Asia Minor) on 22 July 838 CE. The victorious Arab army, led by the Caliph’s own star general Afshin, were then able to sack and take the strategically important cities of Ankara and Amorion. The acquisition of Amorion - the emperor’s hometown - was sweet revenge for Mutasim, whose father’s city of Zapetra had been sacked by Theophilos only the year before. This fact may also explain the Caliph’s forced relocation of the entire civilian population and infamous execution of the so-called 42 Martyrs of Amorion who had all refused to convert to Islam after seven years of imprisonment.

ICONOCLASM

The emperor’s domestic affairs were largely focussed on the battle within the church on whether or not the veneration of icons was acceptable or not as orthodox practice. Leo V had begun a second wave of iconoclasm in the Byzantine Church (the first having occurred between 726 and 787 CE), whereby all prominent religious icons were destroyed and those who venerated them were persecuted as heretics. After a lull during the reign of Leo’s successor Michael II, Theophilos picked up the pace again and vehemently attacked the iconophiles. In this campaign he was aided by the staunch iconoclast John VII Grammatikos who had served under Leo V and who was made Patriarch (Bishop) of Constantinople c. 837 CE. A major force behind the iconoclasm policies of Leo V, the fact that John was Theophilos’ tutor and advisor, perhaps unsurprisingly, led to a new wave of attacks on icons and their supporters.

Byzantine Iconoclasm

Important figures who suffered for their pro-icon beliefs included the brothers Theodore and Theophanes Graptos and the icon-painter Lazaros. The Graptos brothers acquired their name after both had their foreheads branded (graptos). Theophilos ordered that twelve iambic pentameters were to be tattooed on the pair as a warning to all of the dangers of superstition and disobeying the law. Lazaros’ punishment was different but no less painful, as he was flogged and had his hands burned with red-hot nails. The painter was permitted to leave Constantinople, though, and he sought refuge in the Phoberou Monastery at the north end of the Bosphorus.

Theophilos might have been good at bending the clergy to his way of thinking but closer to home he was rather less successful. The emperor’s consort Theodora remained a regular venerator of icons in secret, even inside the royal palace. After Theophilos’ death, John VII Grammatikos was exiled in 843 CE and in March of the same year Theodora swiftly ended iconoclasm in a move widely known as the “Restoration of Orthodoxy’ or even the “Triumph of Orthodoxy”, which was celebrated in a new outbursting of religious art.

DEATH & SUCCESSORS

When Theophilos, aged 38, died of dysentery in January 842 CE he was succeeded by his son Michael III but as he was still a minor Theodora ruled as his regent until 855 CE. Besides ending iconoclasm, for which she was later made a saint, she also ensured that her husband’s memory was not condemned by the Church, successfully persuading the bishops that Theophilos had repented of his iconoclastic zeal on his deathbed. Theophilos gained literary immortality as he is one of the judges in hell in the famous mid-12th century CE satire Timarion - illustrating the emperor’s reputation for justice was long-lasting indeed. His son Michael would be the last ruler of the Amorion dynasty as he unwisely befriended and promoted Basil the Armenian who killed his sponsor and took the throne for himself in 867 CE as Basil I, founding the enduring Macedonian dynasty.


Theophilos - History

International Journal of Arts

p-ISSN: 2168-4995 e-ISSN: 2168-5002

Research Study in Two Unpublished Artworks of the Important Greek Artist, Theofilos Hadjimichael (1870-1934)

Stella Mouzakiotou 1 , Nikolaos Laskaris 2 , Theodore Ganetsos 2

1 Hellenic Open University & University of West Attica, Athens, Greece

2 Department of Industrial Design and Production Engineering, University of West Attica, Athens, Greece

Correspondence to: Stella Mouzakiotou, Hellenic Open University & University of West Attica, Athens, Greece.

Email:

Copyright © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Scientific & Academic Publishing.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY).
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

The purpose of this research is to highlight, study and publish two very important signed works of the Greek folk painter - hagiographer of modern Greek art, Theofilos Hatzimichael (1870-1934), which belong to a private collection. These are the works: 1. New type of rural Mytilene with its coexistence that weaves in rocket, wood painting, time: 1931. 2. The young Hercules Panais Koutalianos in England, wood painting, time: 1932. The dominant element in Theofilos' work is Greekness and the illustration of the Greek folk tradition and history. He spent most of his life in Pelion, while in 1927 he returned to Mytilene. In Mytilene, despite the mockery and teasing of the people, he continues to paint, making several murals in villages, for a fee, usually for a plate of food and a little wine. Many of the works of this period have been lost, either due to physical damage or destruction by their owners. In Mytilene, he was met by the renowned art critic and publisher Stratis Eleftheriadis (Tériade), who lived in Paris. Eleftheriadis owes much to the recognition of the value of Theophilos' work and its international promotion, which, however, took place after his death. Through the present study of the aforementioned works, we will highlight unknown aspects of the last phase of Theophilos' artistic creation, a period particularly important for the thorough and kaleidoscopic knowledge of his work, since it is the period that is visible through his color palette and His stylistic choices are the optimism and security conveyed to him by the acquaintance and support he receives from Eleftheriadis. Finally, the present work for the study of Theophilos' two unpublished works will be scientifically strengthened by utilizing the achievements of technology. Specifically, in the context of current study, the portable non-destructive techniques of the Non-Destructive Techniques Laboratory of the University of West Attica will be used. In particular, the techniques will be used: 1) portable Raman spectroscopy, for the authenticity test of the paintings 2) portable XRF spectroscopy, for the qualitative analysis of the data concerning the colour palette of the creator, compared to other identified paintings by NTUA.

Keywords: Theofilos Hatzimichael, Colour pallet, XRF spectroscopy, Raman Spectroscopy


The Emperor Theophilos and the East, 829-842: Court and Frontier in Byzantium during the Last Phase of Iconoclasm. Birmingham Byzantine and Ottoman Studies, 13

In the view of Signes Codoñer, modern historians have portrayed the emperor Theophilos (829-842) positively by accepting his legendary status as a “righteous and learned ruler” and by attributing his “military failures against the Muslims” to bad luck (p. 1). The author posits that the absence of significant military success would not have allowed an otherwise positive view of Theophilos to be sustained among his contemporaries and that recent progress on sources for the ninth century allows a more positive view of the emperor’s military record.

Signes Codoñer indicates that the greatly increased volume and organization of source materials make possible more accurate use of the evidence, but complicate its presentation and require more specifically focused topics. He thus chooses to limit his study to “the relationship of the empire under Theophilos with its eastern neighbors” (p. 8). His primary sources are Theophanes Continuatus, Genesios, the Annals of Tabari, the Chronicle of Michael the Syrian, and the Letter to Theophilos of the Melkite patriarchs numerous others are also employed. His approach is not to create a “coherent narrative” (p. 7) while relegating the source material to footnotes, but to include quoted source material and discussion of it in the main text, followed by his conclusions. He acknowledges that this will make reading more difficult, but argues that, “The reader can thus easily check the arguments at stake for every single passage and eventually refute them if unconvincing” (p. 7).

The book is organized in seven main sections followed by an Epilogue and Chronology of Theophilos’ Reign. Section I (“Prolegomena to a Reign: Internal Conflict in the Empire Under Leo V and Michel II”) examines the revival of iconoclasm and the ‘civil war’ of Thomas the Slav as essential background for understanding many aspects of Theophilos’ reign. Section II (“The Armenian Court”) sees in the influence of Armenians the link of Theophilos to Leo V the Armenian and to Theophilos’ interest in the east. Section III (“Supporting the Persian Uprising against the Abbasids”) sees the recruitment of Persians into the army as a check on Abbasid campaigns into Anatolia, but with consequences in the army’s declaration of the Persian Theophobos as emperor. Section IV (“Warfare against the Arabs”) reviews and assesses the sources of the military campaigns of the Abbasids and of Theophilos’ personally campaigning beyond the eastern Anatolian borders, “providing an improved and more detailed sequence of events” (p. 8). Section V (“The Khazar Flank”) redates the renewal of Byzantine interest in an alliance with the Khazars (due to their commercial ties with the caliphate) to the beginning of Theophilos’ reign, and places the shift to the Rus’ “only towards 838” (p. 8). Section VI (“The Melkites”) argues that the Letter to Theophilos of the Melkite patriarchs does not prove that the Melkites opposed Theophilos in his iconoclastic policy. Section VII (“Cultural Exchange with the Arabs”) sees in Abbasid philhellenism one of the factors in the origin of the ninth-century Byzantine revival. The volume concludes with an Epilogue (and Chronology) in which Signes Codoñer seeks “to balance Theophilos’ eastern policy against his image as a righteous ruler as advanced in contemporary or later sources” (p. 9).

Three examples give a sense of Signes Codoñer’s approach. All deal with a relatively specific and circumscribed issue and hence lend themselves to some description of the nature of argumentation, but even here the deep level of detail precludes a full presentation. Nasr, a Khurramite commander, is mentioned in a number of sources he fled the caliphate, came to Theophilos, and converted to Christianity. H. Grégoire proposed identifying him with Theophobos, also a Khurramite and one of Theophilos’ most trusted associates. In chapter 10 Signes Codoñer presents and examines in minute detail all the sources (e.g., Michael the Syrian, Tabari, the Golden Meadows of Masʿudi, the poetry of Abu Tamman, and a Byzantine seal of [Α]ΛΝΑΣΙΡ) which mention Nasr. Among them he notes Michael the Syrian’s report that the caliph Muʿtaṣim, following his victory at Amorion, demanded that “Nasr the Khourdanaya, his son and Manuel be handed over to him.” Signes Codoñer then argues by process of elimination that the only likely reason the caliph demanded the son was that the latter must have been a man who was himself of some military accomplishment. In chapter 11 Signes Codoñer likewise considers the sources (primarily the conflicting accounts of Theophanes Continuatus and Genesios) on the birth and education of Theophobos, concluding he must have been a child when taken into the palace by Theophilos, then suggesting that Theophobos was a child hostage to insure Persian loyalty in the combined effort against the caliphate. He postulates that the child’s unnamed father must have been a prominent Persian, and suggests Nasr. 1 He concludes that Grégoire’s identification of Nasr as Theophobos, “accepted until now by all scholars . . . must be discarded” (p. 162).

A second example concerns Muʿtaṣim’s motive for attacking Amorion in 838. In his campaign of 837 Theophilos had taken and destroyed Sozopetra. The Greek sources, Theophanes Continuatus and Genesios, report that Sozopetra was where the caliph Muʿtaṣim was born, information that must have been derived from two of their sources. The Logothete, drawing on yet another now lost source, apparently makes a similar attribution. Yet no Arab source makes the same attribution, and other scholars have argued that the Greek sources invented the claim to parallel Muʿtaṣim’s taking of Amorion. Signes Codoñer questions this explanation. While noting that according to Tabari Muʿtaṣim was born in Baghdad, Signes Codoñer suggests that Muʿtaṣim’s relatives may have established themselves in Sozopetra. He notes a reference in a hagiographical text that Theophilos took “illustrious cities of the Agarenes, where the γένος [Signes Codoñer translates the term as “family,” but allows that “race” or “nation” is possible”] of the ruler of the Ismaelites was living” (p. 281). Signes Codoñer finds support for this interpretation in a story reported by later Arabic sources of Muʿtaṣim’s immediate response — attacking Amorion — to the plea of a Hashemite woman (origin and exact kinship unspecified) captured by Theophilos’ troops in the campaign against Sozopetra, a story less specifically paralleled in Tabari. Signes Codoñer suggests that the reference to Hashim connects the Abbasids to the family of the Prophet and indicates the woman’s relation to Muʿtaṣim. He adds as further evidence a version of the story in the Arab epic the Dhat al-Himma in which an enslaved Hashemite girl in ‘Ammuriya cried out that she was related to the caliph and that Muʿtaṣim on being told of the incident marched on that city (pp. 279-282). 2

A third example concerns the actions of Theophilos during the siege of Amorion in 838. Signes Codoñer cites Tabari’s comment at the end of his narrative of the siege, “The king of the Byzantines had sent an envoy [i.e. to negotiate peace] when Muʿtaṣim first besieged ‘Ammuriyya . . . . ” (p. 293). Signes Codoñer notes that the purpose of this embassy is not specifically stated by Tabari, but added by the modern translator, and suggests that this does not necessarily mean that Theophilos was ready to capitulate, but may have been trying to “win some time” (p. 298) to strike back. Tabari further describes Muʿtaṣim’s concern with Byzantine attacks during his withdrawal from Amorion, a fact in which the Signes Codoñer sees no indication that Theophilos “had given up the war against the invading Muslim army” (p. 299). Genesios provides a somewhat similar account of an embassy to Muʿtaṣim with no mention of its purpose, while Theophanes Continuatus also mentions an embassy whose stated purpose was “with gifts to make the other depart from thence and return to his own country” (p. 300). Signes Codoñer dismisses this as an “addition of the Continuator who liked to amplify the narrative of his sources” and comments that “no offer of peace is mentioned” (p. 300). Finally we have the comment of Yaʿqūbī in his History that when Theophilos learned of the attack on Amorion he campaigned with a large army, was defeated and put to flight by an Arab force, and sent an embassy to Muʿtaṣim offering to rebuild Sozopetra, restore prisoners and surrender those (= Persian Khurramites) who committed atrocities there. Other modern historians have seen in this last embassy the same one as that mentioned in the earlier sources. Signes Codoñer, however, notes chronological difficulties in this identification and a number of other inaccuracies in Yaʿqūbī leading to his conclusion that Yaʿqūbī has compressed details from an otherwise known second embassy from Theophilos to Muʿtaṣim that followed the campaign of 838. 3 He concludes that there is no evidence that Theophilos “made a humiliating offer of peace to the caliph when the latter began his siege of Amorion” (p. 302).

In chapter 17.5 Signes Codoñer describes the year 838 as the “annus horribilis” of Theophilos’ reign, noting the defeat at Anzes, the personal danger to the emperor himself, the loss of Ankyra, the rumors of usurpation which caused him to return to the capital, the loss of Amorion with the capture of important commanders, and the rebellion of the Persian allies. He argues, however, that despite modern views that the events left Theophilos ill and depressed, the sources indicate otherwise. He cites Tabari for Muʿtaṣim’s decision to use a secondary and problematic desert route for his withdrawal in order to avoid Byzantine harassment and the caliph’s resulting difficulties necessitating the execution of valuable prisoners. He also notes the absence of any subsequent large scale campaign against Byzantium by the caliph, Theophilos’ apparent involvement in the conspiracy of ‘Abbas to overthrow Muʿtaṣim, and the fact that the 42 martyrs of Amorion were executed three years after Theophilos’ death, and suggests that the emperor deserves a “more charitable verdict than he has received” (p. 312). In chapter 18.2 he analyzes Theophilos’ diplomatic efforts post Amorion to secure Frankish military assistance against the Muslims and in 18.3 details two Byzantine military successes in 841, the first into Cilicia, the second taking Adata and Germanikeia and raiding the outskirts of Melitene. He concludes that, “The military balance of the reign of Theophilos was not negative,” but merits a “moderately positive assessment” (p. 333). In the Epilogue Signes Codoñer offers “a provisional picture of the emperor as a ruler as he is portrayed through the Byzantine sources” (p. 448). He argues that Theophilos’ military prestige was not seriously damaged by the fall of Amorion. The caliph had his own difficulties, and Theophilos subsequently took effective action to counter the consequences of the defeat. He likewise suggests that Theophilos’ use of Persian and Rus’ mercenaries, despite aristocratic opposition, proved an effective strategy.

The volume is a tour de force in its integrated provision of a vast amount of relevant source material and detailed analysis of it. Numerous conclusions of other modern historians are subjected to detailed scrutiny and evidentiary tests. The results are provocative, but in some instances seem to rest on a significant degree of supposition and conjecture and are not always persuasive. Be that as it may, the volume is a fascinating methodological achievement and provides a valuable, if occasionally tendentious, reappraisal of Theophilos’ eastern policy and military accomplishments.

1. The argument here (p. 161) includes such phrases as “It could also be that,” “He could have been sent,” “It would have been quite strange,” “Nasr was probably,” and “If we suppose.”

2. The argument here includes such phrases as: “seems to draw from another source,” “This reference may appear as an error for Arsamosata,” “may be alluding to,” “is apparently corroborated,” “was apparently,” “the possibility remains,” “seems to be alluded to,” ”may perhaps lend some support,” “it thus appears,” “we may surmise,” “We can therefore hypothesize,” “may explain why,” “in fact, Theophilos seems.”

3. The argument here includes such phrases as: “We could equally surmise,” “he might have been,” “is perhaps evidenced,” “It could be that,” “He could have written,” “could have found it more expedient,” “It seems that.”


Little is known of the personal life of Theophilus. According to his 'apology to Autolycus' he was apparently born to pagan parents, about the year 120. He became a convert to Christianity after he had studied the Holy Scriptures. Ώ] Theophilus became the bishop of Antioch in the sixth year of the reign of Marcus Aurelius, which is the year 168. ΐ]

Eusebius and Jerome, among others, noted that Theophilus wrote a number of works against the heresies that prevailed in his day. Jerome also credited Theophilus with the works Commentaries on the Gospels and on the Book of Proverbs. The only work of his that has come down to us, however, is the Apologia ad Autolycum, in three volumes that apparently were written at different times. This work is addressed to his friend Autolycus as a rebuttal apparently of disparaging comments about Christianity by Autolycus.

In his Apologia, we have the first direct reference to the Trinity in a manner that its use is not new. Α]


Sources

In addition to the sources already mentioned, consult: THEODORET, Church History V.22 SULPICIUS SEVERUS, Dial., I, 6-7, in P.L., XX, 187-8 TILLEMONT, Mémoires, XI (Paris, 1698-1712), 441-99, 633-8 CEILLIER, Hist. generale, VII (Paris, 1729-63), 438-47 PRAT, Origene (Paris, 1907), xlviii sq. VINCENZI, Historia critica quaestiones inter Theophilum Epiphanium, Hieronymum, adversarios Origenis et inter Origenis patronos Joh. Chrysostomum, Rufinum et monachos Nitricenses (Rome, 1865) CAVALLERA, Le schisme d'Antioche (Paris, 1905), 283-4 KOCH, Synesius von Cyrene bei seiner Wahl u. Weihe zum Bischof in Histor. Jahrb., XXIII (1902), 751-74.


Who is Theophilus

The evangelist Luke begins his Gospel with a reference to a person named Theophilus, “I too have decided, after investigating everything accurately anew, to write it down in an orderly sequence for you, most excellent Theophilus. …” (Lk 1:3-4). A few weeks ago on the feast of the Ascension, we hear this name again as our reading was taken from the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles, “In the first book, Theophilus, I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught until the day he was taken up” (Acts 1:1-2). So who is this Theophilus and what being does he have on the Truth & Love blog?

St. Jerome in his On Illustrious Men (De Viris Illustribus), tells us that Luke was a non-Jewish physician from Antioch (Col 4:10-14) and a companion to St. Paul (Acts 9, 11, 13-28). Elsewhere we learn that he also served as a scribe to Peter (Acts 1-6, 9-12) and Philip the Evangelist (Acts 8). At the beginning of his gospel, he notes that his account comes from eyewitnesses and ministers of the word (Luke 1:1-3). Given the detail of the Annunciation, the Infancy Narrative, and information about the Hidden Life of Christ one of his eyewitnesses would have included the Mother of God Mary (Luke 2). Was Theophilus a disciple who had been an eyewitness from the beginning? A newcomer that Luke was trying to convince? Or merely a creative everyman to convince all of us who stand in need of the Gospel’s message?

The Greek name Theophilus [theo-God & philia-love] may be translated as a lover of God or friend of God. So the name could refer to Christ calling us his friend friends (Jn 15:15). This would fit with the Old Testament types of Christ who were also called friends of God: David “a man after his own heart” (1 Sam 13:14), Moses who spoke to God “face to face, as one man speaks to another” (Ex 33:11), Or Abraham who is called a friend of God by James (Ja 2:23). Then again, Theophilus was also a common name at the time, as well as an honorary title among the learned Romans and Jews of the era. While there are a number of prime candidates, the fact is we will never know for sure until we stand before God and ask Him.

“We cannot know for sure who Theophilus was, but we can know what Luke’s intentions for writing were. His stated reason for writing to Theophilus was “that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught” (Luke 1:3-4). Luke wrote a historical account of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and detailed the spread of Christianity throughout the Roman Empire. His intention was to give Theophilus certainty that the “things he had been taught” were indeed true and trustworthy. Whoever Theophilus is, or in whatever generation he lives, Luke uses history to show him the Lord of History.” (In Search of Theophilus, 2013)

The pseudonym — Theophilus — allows for a contributor to share his or her personal experience — give a personal historical account of Christ’s work in his or her life as regards a particular topic — without the social and emotional risk of being identified or persecuted with past actions and present realities. At Truth & Love, we have members and contributors in many different walks of life who are comfortable with different levels of public knowledge about who they are, where they work, and what they believe. As we go forward you will note that the second post each month will often come from Theophilus. This post will usually respond or reflect upon earlier posts and will be a contribution from a member of Courage or EnCourage.

A good example of the use of a pseudonym would be J. Budsiszewski’s, Professor Theophilus. Although he is identified as the author, the original intent was to interact with students without either party feeling pressure within the academic world for their dialogue. I have enjoyed reading his Theophilos Unbound, which is a collection of some three hundred letters and questions posed to professor Theophilos by students of the decades.

As a side note: Michael O’Brien wrote a wonderful fictional narrative titled Theophilos, “in which Theophilus, Luke’s adoptive father — a Greek physician and an agnostic — embarks on a journey across ancient civilizations and through the heart of the Gospel for his adoptive son Luke. His journey will take him into the tension between good and evil, truth and myth, and the unexplored dimensions of his very self. It is a story about the mysterious interaction of faith and reason, the psychology of perception, and the power of love over death.” (Ignatius Press, Theophilos) I highly recommend Theophilos and Michael O’Brien’s other books, all of which are allegorical novels of the spiritual life and the end times.


Theophilos I, Eastern Roman Emperor

-https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theophilos_(emperor)_ Theophilos was the son of the later Emperor Michael II and his wife of Armenian descent Thekla, and the godson of Emperor Leo V the Armenian. Michael II crowned Theophilos co-emperor in 822, shortly after his own accession. Unlike his father, Theophilos received an extensive education, and showed interest in the arts. On October 2, 829, Theophilos succeeded his father as sole emperor.

Unlike his father Michael II, Theophilos showed himself a fervent iconoclast. In 832 he issued an edict strictly forbidding the veneration of icons but the stories of his cruel treatment of recalcitrants are so extreme that some think they are exaggerated. Theophilos also saw himself as the champion of justice, which he served most ostentatiously by executing his father's co-conspirators against Leo V immediately after his accession. His reputation as a judge endured, and in the literary composition Timarion Theophilos features as one of the judges in the Netherworld.

At the time of his accession, Theophilos was obliged to wage wars against the Arabs on two fronts. Sicily was once again invaded by the Arabs, who took Palermo after a year-long siege in 831, established the Emirate of Sicily and gradually continued to expand across the island. The invasion of Anatolia by the Abbasid Caliph Al-Ma'mun in 830 was faced by the emperor himself, but the Byzantines were defeated and lost several fortresses. In 831 Theophilos retaliated by leading a large army into Cilicia and capturing Tarsus. The emperor returned to Constantinople in triumph, but in the Autumn was defeated by the enemy in Cappadocia. Another defeat in the same province in 833 forced Theophilos to sue for peace, which he obtained the next year, after the death of Al-Ma'mun.

During the respite from the war against the Abbasids, Theophilos arranged for the abduction of the Byzantine captives settled north of the Danube by Krum of Bulgaria. The rescue operation was carried out with success in c. 836, and the peace between Bulgaria and the Byzantine Empire was quickly restored. However, it proved impossible to maintain peace in the East. Theophilos had given asylum to a number of refugees from the east in 834, including Nasr (who was Kurdish [1]), baptized Theophobos, who married the emperor's aunt Irene, and became one of his generals. With relations with the Abbasids deteriorating, Theophilos prepared for a new war.

In 837 Theophilos led a vast army towards Mesopotamia, and captured Melitene and Samosata. The emperor also took Zapetra (Zibatra, Sozopetra), the birthplace of the Caliph al-Mu'tasim, destroying it. Theophilos returned to Constantinople in triumph. Eager for revenge, al-Mu'tasim assembled a vast army and launched a two prong invasion of Anatolia in 838. Theophilos decided to strike one division of the caliph's army before they could combine. On July 21, 838 at Dazimon Theophilos personally led the Byzantine army against the troops commanded by al-Afshin. That outstanding general bore the full force of the Byzantine attack. He then counter attacked, and soundly defeated Theophilos. The emperor barely escaped with his life thanks to Theophobos. The Byzantine survivors fell back in disorder and did not interfere in the caliph's continuing campaign.

Al-Mu'tasim took Ankyra. Al-Afshin joined him there. The full Abbasid army advanced against Amorion, the cradle of the dynasty. Initially there was determined resistance. Then a Muslim captive escaped and informed the caliph where there was a section of the wall that had only a front facade. Al-Mu'tasim concentrated his bombardment on this section. The wall was breached. Having heroically held for fifty-five days, the city now fell to al-Mu'tasim on September 23, 838. Thirty thousand of the inhabitants were slain, the rest sold as slaves. The city was razed to the ground.

During this campaign some of Al-Mu'tasim's top generals were plotting against the caliph. He uncovered this. Many of these leading commanders were arrested, some executed, before he arrived home. Al-Afshin seems not to have been involved in this, but he was detected in other intrigues and died in prison in the spring of 841. Caliph al-Mu'tasim fell sick in October, 841 and passed away on January 5, 842.

TeophilosTheophilos never recovered from the blow his health gradually failed, and he died on January 20, 842. His character has been the subject of considerable discussion, some regarding him as one of the ablest of the Byzantine emperors, others as an ordinary oriental despot, an overrated and insignificant ruler. There is no doubt that he did his best to check corruption and oppression on the part of his officials, and administered justice with strict impartiality, although his punishments did not always fit the crime.

In spite of the drain of the war in Asia and the large sums spent by Theophilos on building, commerce, industry, and the finances of the empire were in a most flourishing condition, the credit of which was in great measure due to the highly efficient administration of the department. Theophilos, who had received an excellent education from John Hylilas, the grammarian, was a great admirer of music and a lover of art, although his taste was not of the highest. He strengthened the Walls of Constantinople, and built a hospital, which continued in existence till the latest times of the Byzantine Empire.

By his marriage with Theodora, Theophilos had several children, including:

Constantine, co-emperor from c. 833 to c. 835.

Michael III, who succeeded as emperor.

Maria, who married the Caesar Alexios Mouseles.

Thekla, who was a mistress of Emperor Basil I the Macedonian.

Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari History v. 33 "Storm and Stress along the Northern frontiers of the Abbasid Caliphate, transl. C. E. Bosworth, SUNY, Albany, 1991

John Bagot Glubb The Empire of the Arabs, Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1963

The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Oxford University Press, 1991.

This article incorporates text from the Encyclop๭ia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.


Theophilus III (Giannopoulos) of Jerusalem

His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilus III (Giannopoulos) of Jerusalem (b. 1952) is the current patriarch of the Church of Jerusalem.

Theophilus (also spelled Theofilos and Theophilos né Ηλίας Γιαννόπουλος [Ilias Giannopoulos]) was elected the 141st primate of the Church of Jerusalem on August 22, 2005, and enthroned on November 22 of that year. Formerly the Archbishop of Tabor, Theophilus was elected unanimously by Jerusalem's Holy Synod to succeed the deposed Irenaios I. Theophilus is regarded as having been more favorable to his deposed predecessor, which may assist him in bringing stability to the troubled patriarchate as Irenaios' supporters may thus unite around him and make peace with the synod. Upon his election, Theophilus said, "In the last few months we have had a lot of problems but with the help of God we will overcome them."[1]

Before becoming patriarch, Theophilus served for a short time as the Archbishop of Tabor, consecrated to the episcopacy by Irenaios in February of 2005. Prior to his return to Jerusalem and ordination as a bishop, Theophilus served as Exarch of the Holy Sepulchre in the country of Qatar for some years.

Since his enthronement, Theophilus has taken a major step forward in the pastorate of his primarily Palestinian flock by appointing Palestinians to the episcopacy and even to the Holy Synod of Jerusalem.[2]

Patriarch Theophilus, a native of the Peloponnese in Greece, is a cousin of former US CIA director George Tenet and also has met with American Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. Theophilus studied theology at the University in Athens and went on to complete a master's degree in London.

Besides his native Greek, he also speaks English and Arabic.

In May 2007, the Government of Jordan revoked its previous recognition of Patriarch Theophilus III, [3] who is still also not recognized by the Israeli Government. Metropolitan Theodosios (Attallah Hanna) of Sebastia, Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, has also called for a boycott of Patriarch Theophilus III. [4] But on Tuesday 12 June 2007 the Jordanian cabinet reversed its decision over the Patriarch of Jerusalem and announced that it is once again officially recognising Theophilos as Patriarch. [5]


Watch the video: Grupul Psaltic Theophilos-Moment Muzical- PS. Gherontie și Hristostom din Grecia