Sylvester Syropoulos

 

Sylvester Syropoulos was a megas ecclesiarches and deacon of the Great Church. This was a very high patriarchal office, fifth in the hierarchy after the chartophylax and before the sakellios. We know little about Syropoulosís dates, but it is likely that he was born around 1400 and died sometime after 1453. His parents and ancestors were also employed in the Church: there are records of Syropouloi in ecclesiastical offices in Constantinople from the eleventh century onward. It is likely that Syropoulos received an excellent education in the patriarchal school but, somewhat surprisingly, he did not write his Memoirs in a high literary style or present the theological issues discussed at the council of Ferrara-Florence in a very sophisticated way. It is possible that these tendencies reflect his desire to reach a wide audience. Syropoulos also possessed some legal abilities: he also served as dikaiophylax, a job which after the ninth century was conferred exclusively on churchmen by imperial appointment. The duties of the dikaiophylax involved cases of an ecclesiastical nature, but required knowledge of both civil and canon law (Gill 1948, 305-55; Laurent 1971, 1-9).

M.C.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Translation is © Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies, IAA, University of Birmingham 2008

 

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Last updated 19 June 2008