The arc of Orthodoxy

The Constantinopolitan patriarchs had reasons of their own for insisting on respect for the imperial majesty, now that they played a unique part in the inauguration ritual of emperors. They made themselves indispensable in the early thirteenth century once they began anointing the emperor with chrism, thus providing sacramental confirmation of his fitness to rule with God's grace. By the mid-thirteenth century the patriarch was being described as the spiritual image of Christ and source of the emperor's authority, redoubling claims already made by Photios in the ninth century. The mystique of high ecclesiastical office gained iconographic expression in the fourteenth century, when wall paintings in the Balkans began to depict Christ wearing a patriarchal sakkos in liturgical scenes.

In part, this was a reflection of the retreat of effective imperial authority, a consequence of the loss of Constantinople to the Latins in 1204. It was the Patriarch Germanos II (1223-40) who had to confront the new situation. He

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