The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Nicephorus Iii

1180

NICEPHORUS.

bright qualities were darkened by a very treacherous disposition, as we best see from his transactions with the emperor Otho I., which the latter entered into with a view of obtaining the hand of the princess Theophano or Theophania, the daughter of the late emperor Romanus, and stepdaughter of Nicephorus, for his son Otho, afterwards emperor. To this effect he sent, in 968, bishop Liutprand to Constantinople, who wrote a work on his embassy, which is one of the most interesting and important sources for the reign of Nicephorus, and the public and private lives of the Greeks of those times. The emperor Otho I. also endeavoured to obtain the cession of the Greek possessions in Italy, as a dowry of the princess Theophania, and it would perhaps have been advantageous to both parties if such a cession had taken place, Nicephorus being unable to defend Italy. The marriage of Otho II. with Theophania subsequently took place, but space forbids us to enter into the details of these transac­ tions. (Liutprandus, Legatio ad NicepJiorum Pho- cam ; Cedren. p. 637, &c. ; Zonar. vol. ii. p. 194, &c. ; Manass. p. 114; Joel, p. 180 ; Glyc. p. 301, &c.) [W.P.]

NICEPHORUS III. BOTANIA'TES (6 Bo- Taj/uxTTjs), emperor of Constantinople A. D. 1078— .1081. He belonged to an illustrious family which boasted of a descent from the Fabii of Rome. He was looked upon as a brave general, but his military skill was the only quality that recommended him. It is related in the life of the emperor Michael VII. Parapinaces, how Michael lost his throne in conse­ quence of the contemporaneous rebellion of Bryen- nius and Botaniates, the subject of this article, and that the latter succeeded Michael on the throne. Botaniates was crowned on the 25th of March, 1078,and soon afterwards married Maria,the wife of Michael, from whom she became divorced by the deposed emperor taking holy orders. Before Nice­ phorus could enjoy his crown he had to defend it against Bryennius, whom he routed and made a prisoner in the bloody battle of Salabrya. Bry­ ennius met the fate of most of the unfortunate rebels : he had his eyes put out, and was finally assassinated. Nicephorus made himself so detested by his brutal manners, his ingratitude, and his de­ baucheries, that his short reign of three years was little more than an uninterrupted struggle against rebels, amongst whom Basilacius, who was defeated on the Vardar by Alexis Comnenus, Constantine Ducas, and Nicephorus Melissenus, aspired to the throne. The last was still in arms when the two Comneni, Alexis and Isaac, were compelled to leave the court if they would maintain their dig­ nity and independence, in consequence of which Alexis was proclaimed emperor and took up arms against his sovereign. Unable to resist the tor- tent, Nicephorus made propositions to Melissenus to abdicate in his favour, but Alexis Comnenus soon compelled him to do so in his own, and occu­ pied the throne in his stead (1st of April, 1081). Nicephorus was obliged to become a monk and conform to the austere rules of St. Basil: he died some time after his deposition. His complaint that he regretted the loss of his throne and liberty less than the necessity he was under to refrain from eating meat, shows sufficiently what sort of man he was. (Zonar. vol. ii. p. 289, &c. ; Br}renn. iii. 15, &c. ; Scylit. p. 857, &c. ; Joel, p. 185 ; Glyc. p. 332 ; Manass. p 135.) [W. P.] NICE'PHORUS (Nutrjfopos), Bv-zantine

NICEPHORUS.

writers, 1. blemmidas or blemmypas, lived in the thirteenth century. He was descended from a distinguished and wealthy family, but, neverthe­less, took holy orders, and led the life of an ascetic. Having erected a beautiful church at his own ex-pence at Nicaea, he was appointed presbyter of it, and, by his really Christian life, gave a good ex­ample to his people. One day Marehesina, the concubine of the emperor John Ducas, entered his church to hear the mass, when, to her astonish­ment and indignation, the honest Blemmidas ordered her to leave the church directly, and, as she refused to do so, he caused her to be turned out ; in consequence of which he had to suffer much annoyance from the emperor. Theodore Lascaris, the successor of John Ducas, behaved differently to him, and on the death of the patriarch Germanus, in 1255, offered him the vacant seat, which, however, Nicephorus declined. In the religious disputes between the Greeks and the Latins, Blemmidas showed himself well disposed towards the latter. The year of the death of Blemmidas is not known. He wrote various works, the principal of which are:—1. Opusculum de Processions Spiritus Saneti, fyc. In this work he adopts entirely the views of the Roman catholics on the procession of the Holy Ghost and other matters ; which is the more surprising, as he wrote a second work on the same subject, where he de­fends the opinion of the Greek church. Leo Alla-tius (De ConsensU) ii. 14) endeavours to justify him for his want of principle, showing that he either wrote that work when very young, before he had formed a thorough conviction on the point, or that some schismatics published their opinions under the name of Blemmidas. 2. De Processione Spiritus Sancti Libri II. This is the second work, just mentioned, the first book of which is dedicated to the emperor Theodore Lascaris, and the second to Jacob, archbishop of Bulgaria, ed. Graece et Latine, by Oderius Ragnaldus, in the appendix to the first volume of his Annales Ecclesiast. ; by Leo Allatius, in the first volume of Orthodoxae Graeciae Script. 3. Epistola ad plurimos data postquam Marcliesinam templo ejecevat, Graece et Latine, in the second book of Leo Allatius, De Consensu. 4. Epitome Logica et Pliysica, Graece, Augsburg, 1605, 8vo. There are also many other writings by Blemmidas extant in manuscript, in the libraries of Munich, Rome, Paris, and other places. (Cave, Hist. Liter, ad an. 1255 ; Fabric. Bihl. Graec. vol. xi. p. 394.)

2. bryennius. [bryennius.]

3. callistus xanthopulus, the celebrated author of the Ecclesiastical History, was born in the latter part of the thirteenth century, and died about 1450. According to his own saying (H. E. ii. p. 64), he had not yet completed his thirty-sixth year when he began to write that work, which he dedicated to the emperor Andronicus Palaeo-logus the elder, who died in 1327, whence we may infer the time of his birth. His works are:— 1. Historia Ecclesiastica, in twenty-three books, of which there are eighteen extant, compiled from Eusebius, Sozomemis, Socrates, Theodoretus, Eva-grius, Philostorgius, and other ecclesiastical writers. The eighteen extant books contain the period from Christ down to the death of the tyrant Phocas, in 610; of the remaining five books, there are Argu-menta extant, from which we learn that the work was carried down to the death of the emperor Leo

Pages
About | First

1179

1180

1181
letter/word  
volume
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of Isidore-of-Seville.com.