Info

recovered Constantinople; had he not extended the frontiers of the empire and successfully defended them against its enemies? He was especially bitter about opposition from within the church: had he not restored the seat of the patriarchate to Constantinople and rescued it from provincial obscurity?12

Michael Palaiologos's overtures to the papacy only became controversial when Pope Gregory X (1271-76) started to take them seriously. Superficially, the emperor's interest in union was as a means of blocking the ambitions of the king of Sicily, Charles of Anjou. But Michael's proposal to link union with a joint crusade suggested something more to the papacy: nothing less than the integration of eastern and western Christendom under papal auspices. The emperor was realistic enough to know that he could not foist union on the church of Constantinople without first obtaining at least token consent from the patriarch, Joseph I (1266-75). The latter was in a weak position. Having inherited bitter divisions within his church he was now caught between the emperor and the anti-unionists, the most prominent of whom was, at this stage, John Bekkos, the chartophylax of St Sophia. The patriarch was not entirely convinced by the emperor's assertion that union would mean minimal concessions to the papacy: no more than the commemoration of the pope in the prayers of the Orthodox Church, recognition of papal primacy, and Rome as a final court of appeal. He nevertheless gave his consent to negotiations on condition that Orthodox forms of worship were respected. This enabled Michael Palaiologos to obtain the adhesion of forty-four bishops for negotiations over union. The patriarch knew he was in a false position. His decision taken early in 1274 to retire to a monastery only confirmed how cleverly the emperor had managed the church.13

Winning over John Bekkos to the unionist cause was one sign that at this stage it was in the ascendant. Another was the sudden interest taken in Latin texts by Byzantine scholars including the young Maximos Planoudes. His major achievement in this field was the translation of Augustine's On the Trinity, which was vital for an informed view of Latin theology.14 Support for

12 A. A. Dmitrievskij, Opisanie liturgicheskikh rukopisei, i.i (Kiev: Kievan Academy, 1895), 769-94; H. Grégoire, 'Imperatoris Michael Palaeologi de Vita Sua', B 29-30 (1959-60), 447-74.

13 1274: Année charnière - mutations et continuités [Colloques internationaux du Centre national de la recherche scientifique 558] (Paris: CNRS, 1977); B. Roberg, Die Union zwischen der griechischen und der lateinischen Kirche aufdem II. Konzil von Lyon (1274) (Bonn: Ludwig Röhrscheid Verlag, 1964); B. Roberg, Das zweiteKonzilvonLyon[i274] (Paderborn: Schoningh, 1990).

14 W O. Schmitt, 'Lateinische Literatur in Byzanz: die Übersetzungen des Maximos Planudes und die moderne Forschung', Jahrbuch der (Osterreichischen Byzantinistik 17

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment