Methodios Anthrakites

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Μεθόδιος Ανθρακίτης.jpg

Methodios Anthrakites (Greek: Μεθόδιος Ανθρακίτης; 1660–1736) was a Greek scholar, priest and director of the Gioumeios and Epiphaneios Schools in Ioannina. He made a significant contribution in the growth of Greek Enlightenment (Diafotismos) during the Ottoman occupation of Greece.


Methodios Anthrakites' signature.

Anthrakites was born in the village of Kaminia (Καμινιά) or Kamnia (Καμνιά), in the Zagori region (Epirus). He studied in the Gioumeios (later Balaneios) School in Ioannina under Georgios Sougdouris. After becoming a priest, he left for Venice in 1697, where he studied Philosophy and Mathematics (geometry, trigonometry, astronomy and physics).[1] His stay in Venice lasted until 1708, during which period he was priest at the San Giorgio dei Greci. He returned to Greece in 1708 to become the first director of the Ierospoudasterion, a new school founded in Kastoria in Macedonia with a benefaction from Georgios Kastriotis, a wealthy Greek from Kastoria, living in Wallachia. There he focused on teaching contemporary European philosophy and mathematics.

In his book “The Way of Mathematics”, later edited and re-printed by his student Balanos Vasilopoulos, Anthrakites referred to the Copernican heliocentric system, although he supported the geocentric system.[2] His teachings were regarded as unusual enough at the time to give rise to suspicion in Church circles. Anthrakites resigned from the Ierospoudasterion in 1718 and moved to Siatista, also in Macedonia, where he taught for another two years. He returned to Kastoria and in 1723 appeared before the Bishop of Achris Ioasaph to defend his Christian faith. After that journey he moved back to Ioannina where he became director of the Gioumeios.[3]

On 23 August 1723, the Patriarchate of Constantinople formally accused him for heresy as a “Cartesianist” and issued a condemnation of his teachings. Anthrakites was also suspended (“unfrocked”) from the Church. Scholars from Ioannina protested the decision to the bishop of Nikopolis Paisios. Subsequently Anthrakites went to Constantinople, where he publicly burned his manuscripts after defending himself at the Orthodox Synod. He was restored but was forbidden from teaching anything other than accepted theological doctrine.[4] From 1725 he became director of the Epiphaneios School in Ioannina, probably until his death in 1736.


Some of his manuscripts have been lost because of his excommunication. His known works are:

  • Επίσκεψις Πνευματική “Spiritual Visitation“, Venice, 1707
  • Βοσκός λογικών προβάτων “Shepherd of rational sheep“, Venice, 1708
  • Θεωρίαι χριστιανικαί και ψυχοφελείς νουθεσίαι “Christian Theories and Spiritual Advises“, Venice, 1708
  • Οδός Μαθηματική “The Way of Mathematics” (edited Balanos Vasilopoulos), Venice, 1749
  • Λογική ελάττων “Lesser Logic”, 1953
  • Εισαγωγή της Λογικής “Introduction to Logic”, (manuscript)
  • Λόγος εις τον προφήτην Ηλίαν ”Sermon on Prophetes Elias“, (manuscript)


  1. ^ Χρήστου Π. Μεθόδιος Ανθρακίτης. Βίος – Δράσις – Ανέκδοτα έργα, Ioannina 1953.
  2. ^ Pappas V & Karas I. "The printed Book of Physics: the Dissemination of Scientific Thought in Greece 1750-1821 before the Greek Revolution", Annals of Science 44(1987):237–244
  3. ^ Χρήστου Π. Μεθόδιος Ανθρακίτης. Βίος – Δράσις – Ανέκδοτα έργα, Ioannina 1953.
  4. ^ Μπόμπου-Σταμάτη Β., "Ο Μεθόδιος Ανθρακίτης και τα ‘Τετράδια’", Ελληνικά 45, 1995.