Michael & Nicetas Akominatos
FREE Catholic Classes
Two famous Greeks of the later Byzantine period. While studying at Constantinople by their father's wish, Michael acted as tutor to his younger brother Nicetas. Michael became a priest ; Nicetas studied history and jurisprudence, in addition to theology, and rose to high honors in the imperial service. As governor of the province of Philippopolis, he witnessed the passage of the Third Crusade under Frederick Barbarossa, in 1189, a march which entailed great hardships and sufferings on the whole Eastern Empire, and which Walter Scott has dealt with, incidentally, in his "Count Robert of Paris." Michael, who, by his brother's influence, had been made Archbishop of Athens in 1175, had a similar experience of "Latin" aggressions, and was even forced to retire to the island of Chios. Nicetas, with his family, fled from Constantinople to Nicaea, where he died. Nicetas is the author of several important works concerning Byzantine theology and history. His "Treasure of Orthodoxy" ( Thesauros Orthodoxias ) is a historical and polemical work against all anti-Christian heresies, valuable among other reasons for the treatment of contemporary errors, and in a way supplementary to the famous "Armory of Doctrine" ( Panoplia Logmatike ) of Euthymios Zigabenos. It is also prized for its quotations from the synods of his time and for the fragments it has saved from lost Monophysite and other heretical writings. It has never been printed in its entirety; some portions of it are reprinted from earlier editions in Migne (P.G., CXXXIX, 1101-1444; CXL, 9-281). The work was written probably between 1204 and 1210. His fame as an historian of medieval Constantinople rests on his description in twenty-two books of the period from 1180 to 1206; it is practically an account of the fateful reigns of the last of the Comneni especially the vicissitudes of the royal city during the Fourth Crusade (1204); its siege, capture, and pillage by the Latin Christians (P.G., CXXXIX, 287-1088). Krumbacher vouches for his generally objective temper and equitable treatment of persons and events. The style is bombastic and overladen with rhetorical ornament. His little treatise on the statues destroyed by the Latin "barbarians" (De Signis, P.G., CXXXIX, 287) is highly prized by students of classical antiquities. Michael, of whom Krumbacher says (p. 469) that his tenure of the see of Athens was equivalent to a ray of light amid the obscurity of ages, was a meritorious orator, pastoral writer, poet, and correspondent. His discourses cast a sad light on the wretched conditions of contemporary Attica, as does his iambic elegy "On the City of Athens ", described as "the first and only surviving lamentation for the decay and ruin of the ancient and illustrious city." Of his letters 180 have reached us. His character is described as energetic, but gentle and upright. He was too much a Byzantine to denounce the imperial authority in the person of the cruel Andronicus, while that monster lived; but after his death, says Krumbacher, he could not find words enough to depict his iniquities. Many of his writings are in Migne (P.G., CXL, 298-384; 124-1258). The best edition of his works is that of Spiridion Lambros (Athens, 1879-80).
FREE Catholic Classes Pick a class, you can learn anything
Join the Movement
When you sign up below, you don't just join an email list - you're joining an entire movement for Free world class Catholic education.
Mysteries of the Rosary
St. Faustina Kowalska
Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Saint of the Day for Wednesday, Oct 4th, 2023
St. Francis of Assisi
Female / Women Saints
7 Morning Prayers you need to get your day started with God
Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- Daily Readings for Sunday, December 03, 2023
- St. Francis Xavier: Saint of the Day for Sunday, December 03, 2023
- Prayer to Saint Therese De Lisieux for Guidance: Prayer of the Day for Sunday, December 03, 2023
- Daily Readings for Saturday, December 02, 2023
- St. Bibiana: Saint of the Day for Saturday, December 02, 2023
- The Angelus: Prayer of the Day for Saturday, December 02, 2023
This Christmas Season, we humbly ask you to join the 1% of readers who give. If everyone reading this right now gave just $5, we'd hit our annual goal in a couple of hours. The price of a cup of coffee is all we ask. Thank you. Help Now >
Copyright 2023 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2023 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.