Theophylact of Constantinople

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Theophylaktos Lekapenos or Theophylactus Lecapenus ([Θεοφύλακτος Λακαπήνος, Theophylaktos Lakapēnos] error: {{lang-xx}}: text has italic markup (help)), (917–February 27, 956), Patriarch of Constantinople from February 2, 933 to his death in 956.

Theophylaktos was the youngest son of Emperor Romanos I Lekapenos by Theodora. Romanos I planned to make his son Patriarch as soon as Nicholas Mystikos died in 925, but two minor patriarchates and a two-year vacancy passed before Theophylaktos was considered old enough to discharge his duties as patriarch (still only sixteen years old). At this time or before he was castrated to help his career in the church. Theophylaktos was the third patriarch of Constantinople to be the son of an emperor and the only one to have become patriarch during the reign of his father. His patriarchate of just over twenty-three years was unusually long, and his father had secured the support of Pope John XI for his elevation to the patriarchate. Apart from the bastard eunuch Basil, Theophylaktos was the only male member of the Lekapenoi to survive the family's fall from power in 945.

Theophylaktos supported his father's policies and pursued ecclesiastical ecumenicalism, keeping in close contact with the Greek patriarchates of Alexandria and Antioch. He sent missionaries to the Magyars, trying to help the efforts of imperial diplomacy in the late 940s. At about the same time, Theophylaktos advised his nephew-in-law Emperor Peter I of Bulgaria on the new Bogomil heresy. Theophylaktos introduced theatrical elements to the Byzantine liturgy, something which was not universally supported by the conservative clergy around him.

Theophylaktos' detractors describe him as an irreverent man primarily interested in his huge stable of horses, who was ready to abandon the celebration of Divine Liturgy in Hagia Sophia to be present at the foaling of his favorite mare. Perhaps ironically, Theophylaktos died after falling from a horse in 956.

Preceded by
Tryphon
Patriarch of Constantinople
933–956
Succeeded by
Polyeuctus

References