St. Theophanes the Confessor
A Byzantine monastic and chronicler, St. Theophanes (called the Confessor
or the Chronicler) was related to the Macedonian royal family and was
educated at the imperial court at Constantinople, where he later served
under Leo IV the Isaurian. Theophanes and his wife became monastics after
two years of marriage, and he founded two monasteries, one on Mt. Sigriane
and another on the island of Kalonymous. He was the abbot of the latter.
An outspoken iconodule, Theophanes participated in the Seventh Ecumenical
Council at Nicæa (787). Between
810 and 814, Theophanes composed his Chronographia, a continuation
of the work of his friend George the Synkellos, whose history ends at 284.
Theophanes' sources are now lost, and his is the most complete extant
history of VII and VIII Century Byzantium. The work describes the Arab
seige of Constantinople (674-8) and the use of Greek fire, but modern
historians complain that Theophanes lacks insight and objectivity.
Leo V the Armenian, an iconoclast, imprisoned Theophanes and had him
tortured. The emperor exiled him in 818 to Samothrace, where he died from
the wounds he had received in prison.
Karen Rae Keck
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