Jean Gouillard on Bekkos

May 2, 2008

The following is a quick translation (made yesterday) of Jean Gouillard, “Michel VIII et Jean Beccos devant l’union,” an essay that appeared on pp. 179-190 of the volume 1274 — Année charnière – Mutations et continuités (Paris 1977). It was originally a lecture given at a conference commemorating the Second Council of Lyons; the aforesaid volume gives the minutes of that conference. I do not know if any copyright issues are involved in my presenting a translation of this essay here; if the publishers are unhappy about it, they are certainly welcome to the income I am getting from publishing this translation on my blog, which is to say, nothing.

The essay is rather long for a blog posting; I will leave comments on it to some future occasion. For the present I will simply say that, while I agree with much of what Gouillard says, I think, in the end, he undervalues Bekkos as a theologian.


Jean Gouillard

Michael VIII, John Bekkos, and their approaches to the Union

From the viewpoint of Byzantium, the peace of Lyons was inseparably the work of Michael VIII Palaiologos and of John Bekkos. The emperor conceived it and enforced it, but it was Bekkos, the chartophylax and later patriarch, who, without subtracting an iota from the project’s political inspiration, conferred upon it a religious dimension and continued to bear witness in favor of both the one motivation and the other, at the price of his freedom, even after the agreement had been renounced on both sides. Michael had extracted from the episcopate a precarious compromise, as the lesser of two evils; Bekkos transformed it into a matter of ecclesial “economy,” something worthy of approval.

The compromise of the lesser evil

Ever since the first crusades, reconciliation with the papacy, the privileged mediatrix of the balance of international power, had haunted Byzantine diplomacy. The imperiled empire hoped for a life-raft from that source. Occasionally, the theologians were invited to clear away paths for reconciliation. But even though, in the depths of their conscience, they could not but yearn for the restoration of unity, they had little faith in its possibility. They assessed it to be an idle dream. How could one think otherwise, when, for each side, union meant the conversion of the other, sanctioned for the one by an ecumenical council, received for the other by the pope? There was no getting beyond that. All the theological meetings during the first sixty years of the thirteenth century, of which history has preserved for us the memory, turned into a dialogue of the deaf.

Certain isolated men of the Church, such as, in the twelfth century, the bishop Nicetas of Maroneia, and, during this period, the monk Nikephoros Blemmydes (both of whom would be influential upon Bekkos, as it proved [1]), exhibited towards union a less platonic affection, but the real opening move came from the side of diplomacy. Both by temperament and as forced by circumstances, the diplomat did not burden himself with the subtleties and extra-temporal futilities which filled those treatises Against the Latins which had become a literary genre. He went straight to the places where the fundamental religious paths of divided Christians converged, and he minimized, in proportion, their differences. “In the view of my royal Highness, the rift between us and you appears very small … small is the gap that separates us,” wrote Isaac II Angelos to Pope Celestine III in 1193 [2]. The Filioque? Basically, a clumsy expression to be ascribed to the poverty of the Latin language [3]. There was no lack of hope that the pope might be mollified by being accorded that particular homage that he had enjoyed in times gone by. Little by little, the rest would correct itself.

Michael VIII was the direct inheritor of this diplomatic practice. To Clement IV, he stressed the point that Greeks and Latins are equally Christians, children of the same Church [4]; to his subjects he pointed out that they share, with the West, in the same great mysteries (the sacraments of initiation), and that many misunderstandings are to be accounted for by the difference of idioms [5] and at times amount to “little words” [6] whose importance has been overblown. Like his predecessors, he ran up against the preexisting dogmatic views of the theologians. For them, to reinstate the Roman prerogatives was to place the plough before the oxen: let the Latin Church first renounce its errors and abuses. The chartophylax Bekkos was of that opinion, and he expressed the general feeling when, pushed by the emperor into his trenches, he observed that the Latins, in spite of being generally given a better title, are basically heretics [7]. This claim, and others less discreet (“it is not right to attach a rotten head to a sound body” [8]), resulted in his being thrown in prison. It was in these circumstances that, badgered by his unionist friends of the imperial circle, he consented to becoming better informed [9], and finally set out upon the road of Damascus, according to the expression of one of them, Constantine Meliteniotes [10]. By reflection, he was led to spell out a solution of “economy,” which we shall consider subsequently, in which political agreement went hand-in-hand with theological legitimation.

The emperor, to his great vexation, failed to draw all the advantage he had promised himself from espousing this cause [11]; the episcopate no longer recognized its voice in the one who had recently been its oracle and had proceeded to lead the synod “by the end of its nose” [12]. Michael found himself, this time, at the end of his rope. The documents exchanged between him and the bishops on 24 December 1273, with the goal of defining the platform for negotiations with the pope, are eloquent [13]. Harassed by Michael, who made it a test of their loyalty, the prelates accepted restoring to the bishop of Rome the rank of “first among bishops,” the right of receiving appeals in review of sentence, and, finally, his being commemorated in the diptychs. “Nothing more than these three points.” [14] The parties to the agreement, as a supreme precaution, mutually prohibited one another to allow themselves ever again to be drawn into further concessions, and thus to consent to any modification whatsoever in the doctrines and practice of the Greek Church [15]. In other words, the impression was given that relations were to be renewed at the point at which they had been broken by the schism.

Corresponding clauses of the imperial chrysobull and the synodal letter imply a calculated disregard of Rome’s centralizing pretentions. Not only is there an abstention from pronouncing the least judgment upon the basic orthodoxy of the Latins, which Bekkos, shortly earlier, had acknowledged, but Michael VIII’s irrevocable commitment to “maintain forever in their purity the dogmas as words of God and traditional practices as the inheritance from the Fathers” [16] smacks of commiserating one’s poor relations [16a].

Below the turns of phraseology, obligatory to acts of chancery, the twin documents reveal, between the lines, the argumentation which the basileus had had to employ to turn minds in his favor: the prerogatives conceded to the pope were only formalities, no occasion would ever arise of honoring them; commemoration in the diptychs cost nothing — “some words for the needs of the cause,” said Pachymeres [17]; on the other hand, what was politically at stake was vital, it was nothing less than the existence of the empire [18]. One senses an echo of this language in the episcopal document: “…such that peace will be altogether profitable for the affairs of Christians, with the further advantage of being inoffensive to souls” [19].

The bishops’ letter, sent to Gregory X at Lyons, reproduced the terms of the transaction worked out in the capital [20]. The emperor’s accompanying letter strayed a little from it, although without always appearing to do so. Michael had personally recognized the orthodoxy of Clement IV’s profession of faith, but he had not promised to have it endorsed by his Church. Above all, in the spirit of the accords of December 1273, he reaffirmed the absolute necessity for the Greeks to safeguard their original religious character. Even if he presented this as a favor granted by the pope, this wouldn’t have changed a great deal. He attempted to practice upon Gregory X the same astuteness that had helped him to win over the Byzantine hierarchy; the great popes of the past, he had essentially said to them, always respected the usages of our Church [22].

One could make a long epilogue on the sincerity or cynicism of Palaiologos. Caught between rival, irreducibly intransigeant positions and the imperative of public safety, the man of State had no choice of other means. There is no proof that he would not have gladly accepted a better-founded union if it had depended upon him to impose it upon the minds of his subjects. The urgent necessity of neutralizing the menace of Charles of Anjou drove him into a reconciliation that was a facade, credited at Lyons by an astute ploy, applied within the empire by violence.

The silence concerning the Latins’ creed, to which the bishops had been made to apply their signatures, removed from the agreement all lasting force. It did not take long for the masks to fall. One of the most prominent of the prelates, the metropolitan of Ephesus, Isaac, acknowledged bluntly that he had concealed, deliberately but in bad conscience, a caricature of “economy” [23]; others did not hesitate to speak of “a farce” [24].

Alone, or nearly so, Bekkos took the view that a purely formal reestablishment of the three Roman “honors,” apart from all doctrinal verification, would be unsound and ineffective. He had accepted the prospect of recognizing the ancient prerogatives only after having reversed his position on the Latin theology regarding the procession of th Holy Spirit. Therein lay the inital and fundamental originality of his contribution.

John Bekkos’s ecclesial “economy”

On 26 May 1275, nearly a year after the peace of Lyons, the chartophylax was elected patriarch in place of Joseph who had been deposed. His reputation for integrity and his experience at ecclesiastical administration assured him of a favorable initial reception [25]. The emperor had left it to him to consolidate the union; the clergy anticipated that he would limit himself to executing strictly the convention passed between the basileus and the synod, and to safeguarding internal peace. A paradoxical mission, both on account of the opposed requirements, but also because of Bekkos’s nature. In taking this consolidation to heart, the patriarch had condemned himself to make trouble for the general opinion and to inflame, in self-defense, the polemics [26] which, in return, would embarrass and even irritate the basileus. Bekkos very early accepted this risk.

The first and only important offical acts which have come down to us from his episcopate affirm the double position from which he never departed: to defend the non-negotiable rights of the Greek Church, in keeping with his mandate; to proclaim the theological legitimacy of the Union, in keeping with an essentially personal conviction.

These official acts [27] represent only two months (February-April 1277) out of the six and a half years he was in office, but they verify all that one may read in his private writings. Let us examine the facts. John XXI had succeeded to Gregory X. His legates were en route to Constantinople, with the mission of receiving official confirmation of the Union. The emperor and his patriarch took the initiative, without waiting for the embassy, which they wished to impress favorably. On February 19, a synod reaffirmed the Church’s adhesion to the three Roman prerogatives and took measures against opponents [28]. John Bekkos was desirous of informing the pope of this; at the same time, he inserted into his letter a profession of trinitarian faith [29]. The following April, a second synod met, this time in the presence of the legates, and sanctioned the provisions of the preceding one [30]. After that, the synod and the patriarch each separately addressed a fitting letter to Pope John XXI.

The first series of acts shows a striking lack of coordination between the synod, which held to the concessions seen earlier in the agreement of December 1273, and the patriarch, who added a dogmatic article of his own making. As for the second series of acts, there is every reason to think (the synod’s letter has not been preserved) that it reflected and accentuated the distortion already noted between the contract of 1273 and Michael VIII’s promise at Lyons. In that second series of acts, Bekkos, like the emperor not long before, declared himself in favor of Clement IV’s profession of faith, at least with the important variants which stress the principle of unity in diversity, which he raised concerning the procession of the Spirit and various conceptions and usages mentioned by Pope Clement IV.

The Filioque. Bekkos meant to convince John XXI that the two Churches, each in its own fashion, understand the procession of the Holy Spirit in the same manner, and that each possesses the right to recite its creed as before. Our profession of faith, he wrote, will “make clearly evident to Your Beatitude our sentiment concerning the Divinity and that, being devoted (as goes without saying) to the religion of the holy Fathers, we know that the apostolic Church of Rome is orthodox and that we are in agreement with it so far as concerns thought and idea. We believe, in fact, … in the Spirit who proceeds from the Father through the Son. He comes forth (proeisi) from the Father in nature and in essence, he comes forth from the Son in the same manner as from God the Father” [31]. Bekkos, in other words, is ratifying, with the nuances of Greek trinitarian theology, the constitution Cum sacrosancta of the VIth session of the Council of Lyons [32]. Concerning the addition, Bekkos is particularly explicit in his second letter: “There exists no difference in faith between those who read the creed of the first council of Nicaea, those who recite the creed of the second council of Constantinople, and those who revere this same creed such as it is read by the Roman Church, with the addition” [33]. In brief, the equivalence of intention of the Filioque, in Latin parlance, with the per Filium of illustrious Greek Fathers absolves the Westerners of all suspicion of heresy.

Bekkos adopts an analogous tactic, supple and firm at the same time, in dealing with the differences that Clement IV had hoped to reduce: “Seeing that the aforesaid holy Church of Rome professes and proclaims these diverse articles (peculiar to it, we may understand him to mean), we believe and affirm that it is in conformity with piety, with Orthodoxy, and with truth that the holy Church of Rome teaches and proclaims them. These things being admitted, we ought ourselves no less, by the same title, to persevere inalterably in the customs which have flourished in our Church since its origins” [35].

In both the one and the other sphere of ideas, both procession of the Spirit and customs, Bekkos exceeded his ordinary mandate as patriarch, that is to say, such mandate as emanated from the synod. It was unthinkable that the hierarchy would have followed him upon this terrain. Upon his leaving office, it should have been recognized that he had preserved Orthodox custom without having conceded anything and that, on the issue of the procession, he had established the Latins’ orthodoxy only by reducing the Filioque to Greek schematisms.

Bekkos very nearly restricted his argumentation to his exchanges with Rome. Pachymeres, always well-informed, reports that he exerted himself in synods and meetings to gain adherents [36]. As the records of these meetings have not been preserved, we make use of a considerable body of work, wholly devoted to justifying his union philosophy.

Bekkos’s literary inheritance raises numerous problems of chronology and composition. Many of his works supply their own date, because of the events that occasioned them; thus, the diatribes against his successor Gregory of Cyprus, or the two apologies written following his deposition [37]. Others are the retractiones of editions made prior to his dethronement, and it is here that a sorting out of the different levels would be exceedingly valuable, making clearer the evolution of his thought, or at least of his manner of writing. Fortunately, these accidents of redaction are of little importance, so clearly does the author show, throughout his writings, a stubborn constancy of views and of resolve [37a].

Two themes, and no others, monopolize Bekkos’s thought: the one purely theological, the Filioque; the other historical, the schism. Both of them, moreover, are absolutely inseparable from a political vision.

The Filioque. A canonist more than a speculative man, a man of action more than a theologian, Bekkos aimed at what was essential, and at being effective. In his view, the contentious dogmatic question is summed up in the Filioque, as doctrine and as addition to the Creed. This simplification is less gratuitous than one might suppose. First of all, because, in the tactics and mindset of the anti-unionists, the “outrage against the Creed,” as it was called [38], sufficed to discourage all impulse of “economy”; because, on the other hand, if in the distant past other differences had not succeeded in beginning a schism [39], there was no reason why they should be keeping it going now.

Bekkos grapples with the Filioque under all its aspects: historical, dogmatic, canonical. Historical: the addition of this clause in an official confession of faith, hallowed by conciliar usage, had been deeply regrettable. “One cannot call ‘good’ that which has had, as its consequence, the division of brothers” [40]. Still, one ought not to lose one’s reason. It was not uncommon for the councils themselves to introduce into the faith, in spite of Paul’s veto (Gal 1:8), terms foreign to the Scriptures [41]. One ought not to forget, moreover, that the Latin addition did not, in all ages, arouse the scandal that attaches to it at present [42], and which is thus largely attributable to historical circumstances.

As regards the doctrine, it is certain that the Filioque does not immediately correspond to the notion Bekkos had formed of the procession of the Holy Spirit. The raw expression seems to contradict the Greek principle that the Father is exclusive “cause” in the Trinity, and that the Son could not be a “parallel cause.” The patriarch expressed his views upon this matter vigorously in certain anathemas of a synodikon which it is unfortunately impossible to date: “Anathema to those who think that the Son is the cause of the Spirit. Anathema to those who think that the Son is co-cause of the Spirit” [43]. All this is meant to make clear the intention of the content of the addition. Now, Bekkos thinks he can establish that this intention agrees with a formula familiar to various Greek fathers, notably Athanasius, Cyril of Alexandria, Maximus, namely, that the Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son. That which the Latin expresses in employing from the Son, the Greek Fathers speak of by means of through the Son. The thought does not change: the prepositions are equivalent [44]. “It is not in words, but in idea that the Church of Rome demonstrates its attachment to orthodoxy” [45]. Enough then with “quibblings” over “little words” [46]. To deliver us from them, let us examine the Fathers, revering the mystery [47]. Bekkos had arrived at this conclusion even before the Council of Lyons, he keeps on repeating it from one end of his writings to the other, and it will be the sole unionist article in his Testament [48].

The canonical solution is therefore obvious. Equivalence of faith, beyond diverging terminologies, justifies taking recourse to “economy,” after the example of the Fathers who used analogous “economies” in favor of the Latins in their day, on the occasion of clumsy expressions that lacked nothing in clumsiness in comparison with the Filioque [49]. “They disregarded the differences of expression once it had become manifest to them that there was an agreement in thought between the nations and individuals who owe their name to the same Christ” [50]. “Since the addition, in its tenor, causes no injury to our traditional faith, … I pardon my brothers for this; I overlook the addition of the word, I cast myself upon the agreement of thought, as a true disciple of those teachers who overlooked verbal disagreement so that they might embrace peace” [51].

Bekkos’s exegesis had little success. It was caught up in polemics, and, above all, it cast doubt upon his orthodoxy, undermining by the same token his credit as patriarch. Many people combatted this exegesis as erroneous; the more moderate, or the more destitute of theological intelligence, deplored the audacity of his analysis of the mystery [52]. The reading of the Fathers which the patriarch proposed would not satisfy an historian of comparative theology, and Pachymeres was not wrong to speak, in this regard, of artlessness and intemperate obstinacy [53]. It remains to Bekkos’s credit to have pointed out the most reasonable way to a preliminary reconciliation with the Latins: a sifting examination of the faith of the other that does not stop at the surface of discourse. A useless lesson: he ran up against a slothfulness of spirit disguised as docility of faith.

The schism. The same slothfulness manifested itself just as much in a comfortable resignation to the schism, whose long duration had caused it to be raised, in the general mindset, to a state of being right and obligatory [54]. Here again, the patriarch attacked head on. He lay a bitter indictment against a separation born of Photius’s frustrated ambition, nourished by bad faith, kept going among generations of inheritors by the zeal for having the final word, regardless of the discord between Christians and its irreparable consequences. He went so far as to summon Photius before the judgment seat of God, nearly so far as to damn him [55]. The historian will judge the pamphleteer’s information to fall a bit short. Bekkos would doubtless have laid fewer burdens on the doorstep of his predecessor if his enemies had not, after a prolongued semi-oblivion, brought forth again Photius’s anti-latin writings so as to make of them a shield. At the same time, Bekkos’s revulsion at the division of the Church is too deeply present in his writings for one to be able to reduce his Anti-Photius to a temporary mood. The patriarch’s unexampled temerity — it unsettled nothing less than a “national” tradition — was not simply the letting-go of the whims of a “hot and impulsive” nature [56]. It was, in spite of its excesses, a lucid act. Bekkos saw very well that the schism was the result of contingencies, of mindsets and of interests, more than a matter of faith, and from that point on it refuted itself by its disastrous consequences. And he concluded, not without reason: schism is wrongly founded, vain, pernicious to the Christian world [57].

A revolutionary in his views regarding theology and the vicissitudes of the schism, John Bekkos is a traditionalist in ecclesiology. He certainly shares the Eastern conception of the ecclesiastical institution, a federation of autonomies joined together by the exchange of communion and having in common a special reverence for the legitimate occupant of the see of Peter. While Rome must become again “the mother of the Churches” that it was in the golden age of the Fathers [58], the papacy is not the discretionary arbiter of dogmatic language nor of canonical or liturgical customs. One should guard against conscripting, to bear this meaning, such and such a passage from the letter to John XXI [59], which, besides, is modeled upon what is found in the letter of Clement IV. “Anathema,” Bekkos cries, making a plea for union, “to anyone who would allege that the Roman Church is, somehow, more orthodox than our own” [60]; again, “until death we will read our creed according to its present form” [61]. Better, if he had had the certainty “that the conflict with the Church of Rome had something advantageous for our orthodoxy — how far, in fact, it falls short of this! — he would have been ranged in the camp of those who prefer the scandal (of the schism)” [62]. The union to which Bekkos had devoted his life was thus not a submission to the Roman magisterium, a recognition of orthodoxy in the bosom of the papacy, but a recognition of brotherhood within the faith. Certainly, the schism was a crime against charity and against the empire; but its disavowal merited absolution. The papacy was not prepared to suffer such language. True, it had no need to put up with it, since the debate remained a domestic matter between the pastor and the faithful of his church whom he endeavored to bring over to his reasons.

A logical connection, or an “ideal” one if one prefers to call it this, of the events has just now been suggested. At the outset, a mediocre political arrangement; parallel to this, and weighing more and more heavily, an ecclesial version of it, of such a nature as to validate the diplomatic expedient. If this way of seeing things rewards ideas at the expense of deeper motivations, and to the extent that it does this, it is false; yet it has the advantage of disengaging, in the absolute, a type of realistic solution to the problem of union which talleys up, in profits and losses, the irreversible disharmony between the Churches. The discords of history are harmonized within the community of faith. Self-loves are repaid back to back; Byzantium does not deny its original nature, but Rome can chalk it up, to its own account, that it is charged with the folly of the rupture.

Having established this point, we do not pretend that Bekkos’s unionism ever had an isolated existence, separable from a political credo. He did not arrive at the former, and he did not hold to it, except as solicited by the latter. While still chartophylax, he had taken part in the diplomatic game of Michael VIII, who had sent him on an embassy to Tunis before Louis IX [63]. The opportunity of a political accord did not escape his notice, and one would hardly be unduly extrapolating in seeing him as holding, even from this time, the ideas which he would expound some years later concerning the lamentable effects of schism upon Christian States and their Churches. This reading of history haunts his writings too strongly for it not to have characterized his thinking as a man of the Church. For Bekkos, in fact, the rediscovered fraternity of Christians is merely the obverse side of an advantageous alliance with the “powerful Latin nation,” such that it becomes, for this Byzantine, a proof of patriotism. The patriarch will say with equal veracity: “Everything I have been able to write has been intended as a contribution to the peace between the Churches…. All my writings have been inspired by the general good of our emperors and of our government” [65]. “Without innovating in any way upon the customs cherished by our Church, after having demonstrated by the divine texts that we respect the requirements of the faith, we have given our cooperation to peace and mutual understanding with the Latin nation for the highest benefit of our State and of our emperors” [66]. The schism had been a political crime; it had divided two great orthodox nations [67]. Its ringleaders “prefer, to peace, the hostility of this powerful nation of the Latins” [68]. And when, after his fall from office had cast opprobrium upon his faith and his political agenda, he replies to his enemies: “Who is it, you or me, who has been a traitor to the faith and to his countrymen?” Bekkos speaks a language of Christianity.

This undeniably political stimulus did not emprison Bekkos in short-term calculations. He probably owes to it that permeability to the relative and that openness to the hostile interlocutor, rare among men of his time. Without them, would he have ventured to put the schism on trial, to defend the honor of the Latin Fathers against Photius [70], to promote “irenic” communication with the theologians of the West, frequently more courteous than the Greeks, in spite of their reputation [71]? In short, would he have dared, alone among all, as he fancies about himself, to attempt that before which a Nicetas of Maroneia and a Blemmydes had shied away [72]?

How is one to describe this attitude? Defiance without hope like that of Michael VIII, condemned as they both were beforehand by the Greeks’ inertia and (one might be tempted to say) by the Latins’ will to power? But could one really speak of two defiances, insofar as it is true that, in certain respects, the protagonists tend to coincide? Bekkos, as a man of the Church, assimilated the project of the politician, to the point of morally reviving it, of taking on the figure of “regent,” when the emperor had disappeared and even had ceased to believe in it. Michael had imposed his idea in the State, by the law of absolute power which he had consciousness and will to incarnate in himself; Bekkos had attempted to impose it, in his own degree — Emperor within the Church — by virtue of an orthodoxy which, for public opinion, no longer amounted to anything but his own. By right of orthodoxy and of patriotism, he always considered himself to have been dispossessed by a “bastard” [73] of Byzantium, and a heretic at that, Gregory of Cyprus.

Thus the peace of the Church was never, in the final analysis, anything more than a personal adventure and the drama of a life, whose key is found in the psychology, still to be disentangled, of that person. Without pledging ourselves to this interpretation, we would simply put forward the view that his greatness was to identify himself passionately with the responsibility of his charge as patriarch and as representative of the basileus; his weakness was to have identified this office with himself. Byzantium does not offer too many examples before him of such a meeting of the man and of power upon the patriarchal throne: Sergius, Nicholas, and Photius, to treat them as equals with equals. Bekkos was not the greatest genius among these, but he may well have been the most human.

The Testament in which he stands upright, naked in his faith, faced with posterity and with the great Judge, presents us no doubt with the image that Bekkos desired to leave of himself: “Yes, I professed that ‘the Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son’; for that I was deposed.” “I do not hide myself at the accusation; I do not elude it as though it were a blame; I do not get rid of it as though it were a dishonor. I accept being wreathed with this diadem of shame. How could I reject it when I had incurred this humiliation for the honor of the faith? [74]” At the hour of his death, as in the days of his patriarchate, he continued to have “his eyes fixed upon that tribunal from which nothing escapes, before which no deposition of those who, against all reason, take the stand against him is able to touch him. There there is no more place for accusers” [75].

NOTES

[1] Bekkos, De depositione II : PG 141, 976-977 (all citations from Bekkos refer to the same volume of Migne’s Patrologia Graeca); cf. Pachymeres, History, Bonn edition, I.vi.23, pp. 477 ff.

[2] George and Demetrios Tornikes, Lettres et Discours, ed. J. Darrouzès (Paris 1970), pp. 338 and 340.

[3] Ibid. p. 338. This indigence was already recognized as an attenuating circumstance for the Latins by Gregory of Nazianzus, in his Praise of Athanasius, made use of by Bekkos, De unione 32-33.

[4] Letter reconstructed after the pope’s reply of 4 March 1267; analysis of F. Dölger, Regesten der Kaiserurkunden fasc. 3, München 1932, reg. 1942.

[5] Pachymeres, op. cit., I.v.12, p. 375.

[6] Cf. below, n. 45.

[7] Pachymeres, op. cit., I.v.12, p. 376.

[8] Cf. S. Lilla, “Un opuscolo polemico anonimo contro il patriarca Becco di Costantinopoli,” Byzantion 40 (1970), pp. 75-78.

[9] Pachymeres, op. cit., I.v.15, pp. 381-383.

[10] Meliteniotes, De processione, PG 141, 1040D-1041A.

[11] Pachymeres, op. cit., I.v.18, pp. 384-386.

[12] Ibid. I.v.13, p. 377.

[13] Edition of the texts by J. Gill, “The Church Union of the Council of Lyons (1274),” Orien. Chr. Periodica 40 (1974), pp. 12-18 (chrysobull); pp. 18-20 (synodal act).

[14] Ibid. pp. 12 and 18.

[15] Ibid. pp. 18-20; cf. p. 14.

[16] Ibid. p. 16.

[16a] [Perhaps Gouillard’s sense here is that, in Michael VIII’s view, the Latins, the Greeks’ (spiritually) poor relations, could not be trusted with maintaining the dogmas and the traditions, and had to be kept at arm’s length lest they steal the family inheritance. I am not quite certain how this sentence follows logically upon the previous one. (Tr.)]

[17] Judgment of Pachymeres, op. cit. I.v.20, p. 395.

[18] Ibid. I.v.12, p. 374 and I.v.18, p. 395.

[19] J. Gill, op. cit. p. 18.

[20] A. Tautu, Acta Urbani IV, Clementis IV, Gregorii X, (Vatican City 1953), 42, p. 126.

[21] French tr. of the letter in H. Wolter and H. Holstein, Lyon I et Lyon II (Paris 1966), pp. 276-280.

[22] J. Gill, op. cit. p. 16.

[23] Pachymeres, op. cit. I.vi.23, pp. 480-481.

[24] Ibid. I.vi.30, pp. 505 ff.

[25] Ibid. I.v.24, pp. 402-403.

[26] Ibid. I.v.28, p. 416; I.vi.23, pp. 476-479.

[27] Analysis of the texts by V. Laurent, Les régestes des actes du patriarcat de Constantinople, I.4 (Paris 1971), §§ 1431-1434.

[28] Ibid. § 1431.

[29] Letter edited by R. Stapper, Papst Johannes XXI (Münster 1898), pp. 115-122; official Latin text: PG 141, 943-950.

[30] Cf. V. Laurent, op. cit. p. 40.

[31] Letter of February-March: J. Gill, op. cit. p. 40.

[32] Compare the Greek reading (J. Gill, op. cit. p. 23) with the Latin reading of the COD p. 290.

[33] Letter of April 1277: R. Stapper, op. cit. p. 116.

[34] Ibid. pp. 119-121.

[35] Ibid. p. 121.

[36] Pachymeres, op. cit. I.vi.23, p. 480. We do not attempt here to give an account of Bekkos’s letter to Nicholas III (Laurent reg. 1444), whose tenor has not been established.

[37] PG 141, 863-926 and 949-1010.

[37a] Except for the abjuration, extracted from him by terror, and which he withdrew well before the synod which deposed him; cf. V. Laurent, op. cit. § 1456.

[38] Pachymeres, op. cit. I.v.11, p. 372.

[39] This is in fact what is shown from the history of the schism sketched by Bekkos, pp. 925-942.

[40] Bekkos, De unione, 52A; cf. De depositione II, 977C.

[41] Id., Refutatio photiani libri, 821BD; cf. De processione, 273D-274C etc.

[42] Id., De depositione II, 980A.

[43] Pachymeres, op. cit. II.i.8; p. 32.

[44] This equivalence recurs everywhere that Bekkos treats of the procession; one may dispense with references.

[45] Bekkos, Refutatio photiani libri, 741B.

[46] Id., De unione, 29D, 32B and passim; the same term figures in Michael VIII’s letter to the Council of Lyons (cf. above, n. 6).

[47] Id., De processione, 209D. This research, of which the Epigraphai (cols. 613-724) give the best example, inspires all of Bekkos’s work.

[48] Below, n. 74.

[49] See esp. De unione, 40 f.

[50] Ibid. 40.

[51] Ibid. 52AB.

[52] Pachymeres, op. cit. I.v.28, p. 416; I.vi.23, pp. 476-483; II.i.8, pp. 28 ff.

[53] Ibid. I.v.15, p. 381.

[54] Bekkos, De unione, 24AB.

[55] Id., Refutatio photiani libri, 864B. Photius’s trial, summarized in the historical treatment of the schism, cols. 925-942, inspired also numerous pages of the De unione, of the Refutatio photiani libri, etc.

[56] Pachymeres, op. cit. I.vi.10, p. 450.

[57] Bekkos, De unione fg., 940A.

[58] Id., Refutatio photiani libri, 824B; cf. 829B. Cf. also the letter, full of protocol, to Nicholas III (V. Laurent, reg. 1439).

[59] Ed. R. Stapper, op. cit. p. 117.

[60] Bekkos, De unione, 20D-21A.

[61] Ibid. 25.

[62] Ibid. 21D-24A.

[63] Pachymeres, op. cit. I.v.9, 361-362.

[64] Bekkos, De unione, 16B and passim.

[65] Id., De depositione I, 964C.

[66] Id., De depositione II, 985AB.

[67] Id., Refutatio photiani libri, 864B.

[68] Id., De depositione II, 1008A.

[69] Ibid. 1009A.

[70] Bekkos, De unione, 108 f.; Refutatio photiani libri, 813-824.

[71] Ibid. 44C; cf. 21C.

[72] Id., De depositione II, 977B.

[73] Id., Refutatio libri Georgii Cyprii, 865BC.

[74] Id., Testamentum, 1029B.

[75] Id., De unione, 20C; cf. Refutatio Georgii Cyprii, 896AB; Pachymeres, op. cit. II.i.8, p. 28.

One Response to “Jean Gouillard on Bekkos”

  1. Brandon Meister Says:

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful passage!


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