John VIII of Constantinople

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"Patriarch John VIII" redirects here. There were also a Syriac Patriarch John VIII of Antioch who ruled in 1049–1057 and two Patriarchs John VIII of the Maronites. It can also refer to Pope John VIII of Alexandria, Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark in 1300–1320.
John VIII of Constantinople
Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople
Church Church of Constantinople
In office 1 January 1064 – 2 August 1075
Predecessor Constantine Leichoudes
Successor Cosmas I of Constantinople
Personal details
Born c. 1010
Died 2 August 1075
Saint John
Born c. 1010
Died 2 August 1075
Venerated in Eastern Orthodoxy
Feast August 30

John VIII Xiphilinos (Greek: Ἰωάννης Ηʹ Ξιφιλῖνος; c. 1010 – 2 August 1075), a native of Trebizond, was a Byzantine intellectual[1] and Patriarch of Constantinople from 1064–1075. He was the uncle of John Xiphilinos the Epimator. He is considered "an innovator in the field of the methodology of jurisprudential research."[2]


John Xiphilinos was born in Trebizond. He pursued studies at the University of Constantinople and eventually became nomophylax of its School of Law. Later he became a monk and was eventually selected by Emperor Constantine X (1059–67) to succeed Constantine Leichoudes.

In 1072 John VIII presided over an assembly of metropolitans and archbishops at the oratory of Saint Alexius in which the question of the election of bishops to vacant sees was discussed. Michael Keroularios had forbidden metropolitans who were resident in Constantinople from participating in such elections. John, however, recognized that metropolitans sometimes had to remain for a long period in the capital due to ecclesiastical business or illness. The assembly with John’s consent decreed that metropolitans who gave the patriarch advance notification of their intent could again vote while resident in Constantinople.[3] After his death his remains were buried at the monastery of Angourion on 2 August 1075.[4]

One of the leading Byzantine intellectuals of his day and a leader of legal studies, Xiphilinos was exiled, became a monk, and then was made Ecumenical Patriarch.

John VIII also wrote a hagiography of Saint Eugenios of Trebizond.[5]

Feast day[edit]

John VIII has been canonized in the Eastern Orthodox Church and his feast day is celebrated on August 30.


  1. ^ Xiphilinos, John VIII – Oxford Reference
  2. ^ Basil Tatakis, Byzantine Philosophy, Hackett Publishing, 2003, p. 147.
  3. ^ N. Oikonomides, "Un décret synodal inédit du Patriarche Jean VIII Xiphilin", REB 18 (1960), p. 56.
  4. ^ Raymond Janin, Les Églises Et Les Monastères Des Grands Centres Byzantins, Institut français d'études byzantines, 1975, p. 27.
  5. ^ William Miller, Trebizond: The last Greek Empire of the Byzantine Era: 1204-1461, 1926 (Chicago: Argonaut, 1969), p. 11

External links[edit]

Eastern Orthodox Church titles
Preceded by
Constantine III Leichoudes
Patriarch of Constantinople
Succeeded by
Cosmas I