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PALAMAS.

upon Barlaam the charge of blasphemy and per-verseness. In the end the council decided in favour of the monks, and Barlaam, according to Cantacuzenus, acknowledged his errors, and was reconciled to his adversaries. Mortified, however, at his public defeat, he returned to Italy, and re­conciled himself to the Latin church. Nicephorus Gregoras states, that the decision of the council on the question of the Massalian heresy charged against the monks, was deferred, that Barlaam was con­victed of malignity and arrogance, and that the heresy of Palamas and his party would probably have been condemned also, had not the completion of the business of the council been prevented by the emperor's death, a. d. 1341. (Cantacuz. c. 40 ; Niceph. Gregor. c. 11.)

The cause which Barlaam had forsaken was taken up by another Gregory, surnamed Acindy-nus [acindynus, GREGORius] ; but the party of the monks continued in the ascendant, and Palamas enjoyed the favour of John Cantacuzenus, who then exercised the chief influence at the court of the emperor, John Palaeologus, a minor [joannes V. cantacuzenus; joannes VI. pa­laeologus J, to such a degree that it was reported that Cantacuzenus intended to procure the depo­sition of the patriarch of Constantinople, Joannes or John Calecas or Aprenus [calecas, joannes], and to elevate Palamas to his seat (Cantacuz. Hist. iii. 17). In the civil war which followed (a. D. 1342 —1347), between Cantacuzenus and the court (where the Admiral Apocaucus had supplanted him), Palamas, as a friend of Cantacuzenus, was imprisoned (a. d. 1346), not however on any po­litical charge, but on the ground of his religious opinions ; for the patriarch now supported Gregory Acindynus and the Bnrlaamites against the monks of Athos, who were favourable to Cantacuzenus. The Barlaamifes consequently gained the ascend­ancy, and in a council at Constantinople the Pa-lamites, as their opponents were called, were con­demned. The patriarch and the court were, how­ever, especially anxious to clear themselves from the suspicion of acting from political feeling in the imprisonment of Palamas. When the entrance of Cantacuzenus into Constantinople, in January 1347, obliged the court to submit, Palamas was released, and sent to make terms with the conqueror. (Can­tacuz. Hist. iii. 98 ; Niceph. Greg. Hist. Byz. xv. 7, 9.) The patriarch Calecas had been deposed by the influence of the empress mother, Anna, just before the triumph of Cantacuzenus, and Gregory Palamas persuaded Cantacuzenus to assemble a synod, by which the deposition was confirmed, and to banish Calecas to Didymotichum. Acindynus and the Barlaamites were now in turn condemned, and the Palamites became once more predominant. Isidore, one of their number, was chosen patriarch. (Cantac. Hist. iv. 3 ; Niceph. Greg. xv. 10, 11.) Palamas himself was soon after appointed arch­bishop of Thessalonica ; though, as that city was in the hands of some of the nobility who were hostile to Cantacuzenus, he was refused admit­tance, and obliged to retire to the isle of Lemnos, but he obtained admittance after a time. This was in a. d. 1349. (Cantac. c. 15 ; Niceph. Greg. c. 12.) Meanwhile, the ecclesiastical troubles con­tinued: the Barlaamites withdrew from the commu­nion of the church ; their ranks received continual increase, and Nicephorus Gregoras, the historian, adroitly drew over to their side the empress Irene,

PALAMAS. 91

wife of Cantacuzenus, by persuading her that the recent death of her younger son, Andronicus (a. d. 1347), was a sign of the Divine displeasure at the favour shown by the emperor Cantacuzenus to the Palamites. To restore peace, if possible, to the church, a synod was summoned, after various con­ferences had been held between the emperor, the patriarch Isidore, Palamas, and Nicephorus Gre­goras. Isidore died a. d. 1349, before the meeting of the synod, over which Callistus, his successor, presided. When it met (a. d. 1351) Nicephorus Gregoras was the champion of the Barlaamites, who numbered among their supporters the archbishop of Ephesus and the bishop of Ganus or Gannus - the archbishop of Tyre, who was present, appears to have been on the same side. Palamas was the leader of the opposite party, who having a large majority and the support of the emperor, carried every thing their own way ; the archbishop of Ephesus and the bishop of Ganus were deposed, Barlaam and Acindynus (neither of whom was present) were declared to be excommunicated, and their followers were forbidden to propagate their sentiments by speech or writing. (Cantacuz. Hist. iv. 23 ; Niceph. Gregor. Hist. Byz. xvi. 5, xviii. 3—8, xix., xx.) The populace, however, favoured the vanquished party, and Palamas narrowly escaped their violence. Of his subsequent history and death nothing appears to be known.

The leading tenets of the Palamites were the ex­istence of the mystical light discovered by the more eminent monks and recluses, in their long exercise of abstract contemplation and prayer, and the un­created nature of the light of Mount Tabor, seen at the transfiguration of Christ. The first attracted the notice and animadversion of their opponents, but the second, with the consequences really or appa­rently deducible from it, was the great object of attack. The last seven books (xviii.—xxiv.) of the Historic/, Byzantina of Nicephorus Gregoras are taken up with the Palamite controversy : and in the bitterness of his polemic spirit he charges Palamas with polytheism (xviii. 2. § 4) ; with con­verting the attributes of the deity into so many dis­tinct and independent deities (xxii. 4. § 9); with affirming that the Holy Spirit was not one alone, or even one of seven (an evident allusion to Revel, i. 4), but one of " seventy times seven" (xxiii. 3. § 4) ; with placing in an intermediate rank between God and angels a new and peculiar class of uncreated powers (ko.ivov ti kcu Idiov aKrtcrruv yei'os zvepyeiwv} which he (Palamas) called " the bright­ness (Xa/uTrpor-riTa) of God and the ineffable light," (tyws appTirov) • with holding that any man by par­taking of the stream of this light flowing from its inexhaustible source, could at will become uncreated and without beginning {aKrtcrry edehovri yiveadai Kal avapxy (xxiii. 3) ; and with other errors which our limits do not allow us to enumerate (ibid.). It is plain, however, that these alleged errors were for the most part, if not altogether, the inferences deduced by Nicephorus Gregoras and other opponents from the Palamite dogma of the uncreated light, and not the acknowledged tenets of the Palamite party. The rise, continuance, and vehemence of the controversy is a singular manifestation of the subtilty and misdirection of the Greek intellect of the period. The dogma of the uncreated light of Mount Tabor has apparently continued to be the recognised orthodox doctrine, of the Greek Church (Capperonnerius, Not. «4

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