Photios I of Constantinople

810 AD - 891 AD

Photios I, also spelled Photius, was the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople from 858 to 867 and from 877 to 886. He is recognized in the Eastern Orthodox Church as Saint Photios the Great.
Photios is widely regarded as the most powerful and influential church leader of Constantinople subsequent to John Chrysostom's archbishopric around the turn of the fifth century. He is also viewed as the most important intellectual of his time – "the leading light of the ninth-century renaissance". He was a central figure in both the conversion of the Slavs to Christianity and the Photian schism, and is considered "[t]he great systematic compiler of the Eastern Church, who occupies a similar position to that of Gratian in the West," and whose "collection in two parts...formed and still forms the classic source of ancient Church Law for the Greek Church."
Photios was a well-educated man from a noble Constantinopolitan family. Photius's great uncle was a previous patriarch of Constantinople, Saint Tarasius. He intended to be a monk, but chose to be a scholar and statesman instead.
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