Constantine Akropolites

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Constantine Akropolites or Acropolites (Greek: Κωνσταντίνος Ἀκροπολίτης, Konstantinos Akropolitês), son of the scholar and statesman George Akropolites, was a minister of the Byzantine emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos, until the Emperor dismissed him for his opposition to the union of churches created by the Second Council of Lyon (1272). Under the new emperor Andronikos II, however, Akropolites returned to favor; perhaps as early as 1282 he was appointed Logothete, and on the death of Theodore Mouzalon in 1294, Akropolites was raised to the title of megas logothetes, which he held perhaps as late as 1321. He died sometime before August 1324, for a document dated May-August 1324, concerning the Monastery of the Anastasis, states he is dead.[1]

Like his father, Akropolites wrote much on theology, especially on the more recondite doctrines, such as the procession of the Holy Ghost. In compiling lives of saints he was more usefully employed—that of St. John of Damascus is in the huge collection of Jean Bolland. According to Donald Nicol, his numerous versions of saints' lives earned him the name of Neos Metaphrastes.[2]

Constantine married Maria Komnene Tornikina,[3] and they had two daughters. Their daughter Theodora married the general Alexios Philanthropenos.[4] Their daughter Akropolitissa married Emperor Michael of Trebizond.[5]


  1. ^ Donald M. Nicol, "Constantine Akropolites: A Prosopographical Note", Dumbarton Oaks Papers, 19, (1965), p. 249
  2. ^ Nicol, "Constantine Akropolites", p. 249. A list of his surviving works, both published and unpublished, can be found on pp. 354-6
  3. ^ Nicol speculates that Maria "was an otherwise unknown daughter of John Tornikes, Dux of the Thrakesion Theme in 1258, and later sebastokrator". (Nicol, "Constantine Akropolites", p. 251)
  4. ^ George Pachymeres, Andronicus Palaeologus, III.9-11.
  5. ^ Nicol, "Constantine Akropolites", p. 253

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