Metochites, Theodore

▪ Byzantine statesman
born c. 1270, Nicaea, Nicaean empire [now İznik, Turkey]
died March 13, 1332, Constantinople, Byzantine Empire [now Istanbul, Turkey]

      Byzantine prime minister, negotiator for Emperor Andronicus II Palaeologus, and one of the principal literary and philosophical scholars of the 14th century.

      The son of George Metochites, a prominent Eastern Orthodox cleric under Emperor Michael VIII Palaeologus and a leading advocate of union with the Latin church, Theodore became a favourite of Emperor Andronicus II and undertook various diplomatic missions to enlist help against the encroaching Ottoman Turks. In a vain attempt to reverse Byzantium's military and political decline through an alliance with Serbia, Metochites, in 1298, led an embassy to the Serbian court at Skoplje and arranged the marriage of Andronicus's five-year-old daughter, Simonis, to Tsar Milutin. As a result, Serbia, although militarily stronger than Byzantium and acknowledged as ruler of formerly Byzantine Macedonia, admitted the universal sovereignty of the Eastern emperor. In his Presbeutikos (“Embassy Papers”), Metochites left a valuable historical account of these negotiations as well as a concrete description of Byzantine influence on Slavic royalty.

      Promoted to megas logothetes (“grand logothete,” or “chancellor”), Metochites married Irene Palaeologus and, as a relative of the ruling dynasty, directed Byzantine political affairs from 1321 to 1328, when Andronicus fell from power. Because of his fidelity to Andronicus II, he was deprived of his wealth and exiled by Andronicus III. In 1331 he retired to the Chora Monastery (now Kariye Museum), in Constantinople, to continue his scholarly pursuits. He directed the material and artistic restoration of the monastery, the mosaic work of which, particularly the extant piece showing him offering the church of Chora to an enthroned Christ, represents the acme of 14th-century Byzantine mosaic art.

      Metochites' voluminous writings range from scientific to theological matters. His best-known work, Hypomnematismoi kai semeioseis gnomikai (“Personal Comments and Annotations”), commonly designated the “Philosophical and Historical Miscellany,” is an encyclopaedic collection of tracts and essays on classical thought, history, and literature, comprising more than 80 Greek authors. Other treatises on physics, astronomy, physiology, and Aristotelian psychology survive only in Latin translations. His commentaries on the Dialogues of Plato were an important influence on the 15th-century Platonic renaissance.

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Metochites, Theodore —    Scholar and statesman during the reign of Andronikos II (q.v.). When he came to the attention of the emperor (q.v.) he had already authored a number of philosophical, scientific, and literary works. In 1298 he negotiated arrangements for the… …   Historical dictionary of Byzantium

  • Theodore Metochites — Théodore Métochitès Théodore Métochitès (Θεόδωρος Μετοχίτης, 1270–1332) était un homme d Etat byzantin , auteur, philosophe, protecteur des arts et des sciences. De 1305 à 1328, il fut ministre de l empereur Andronic II Paléologue …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Théodore Métochitès — Mosaïque du monastère de Chora : Métochitès présente son église au Christ. Théodore Métochitès (Θεόδωρος Μετοχίτης, 1270–1332) ou Théodore Métochite est un homme d État byzantin, écrivain, philosophe, protecteur des arts et des sciences. De… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Theodore Metochites — Theodoros Metochites (1270–1332) was a Byzantine statesman, author, gentleman philosopher, and patron of the arts. From c. 1305 to 1328 he held the position of personal adviser ( mesazon ) to emperor Andronicus II Palaeologus. Life Metochites was …   Wikipedia

  • Metochites — Theodoros Metochites präsentiert das Modell der renovierten Chora Kirche dem Christus Pantokrator Theodoros Metochites (griechisch Θεόδωρος Μετοχίτης, * …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Theodoros Metochites — präsentiert das Modell der renovierten Chora Kirche dem Christus Pantokrator Theodoros Metochites (griechisch Θεόδωρος Μετοχίτης, * 1270 in Konstantinopel; …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • George Metochites — (c. 1250 1328) was an archdeacon in Constantinople during the 1270’s and early 1280’s, and an important, fervent supporter of the Union of the Greek and Latin Churches that was agreed to at the Second Council of Lyons (1274). LifeOf Metochites’… …   Wikipedia

  • Byzantine Empire — the Eastern Roman Empire after the fall of the Western Empire in A.D. 476. Cap.: Constantinople. * * * Empire, southeastern and southern Europe and western Asia. It began as the city of Byzantium, which had grown from an ancient Greek colony… …   Universalium

  • Chumnus, Nicephorus — ▪ Byzantine scholar also spelled  Nikephoros Choumnos   born c. 1250 died January 16, 1327, Constantinople, Byzantine Empire [now Istanbul, Turkey]       Byzantine Greek scholar and statesman who left a number of writings, some still unpublished …   Universalium

  • mosaic — mosaically, adv. /moh zay ik/, n., adj., v., mosaicked, mosaicking. n. 1. a picture or decoration made of small, usually colored pieces of inlaid stone, glass, etc. 2. the process of producing such a picture or decoration. 3. something resembling …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.