Anastasius of Constantinople

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Anastasius of Constantinople was the patriarch of the Church of Constantinople from 730 to 754. Anastasius succeeded Patr. Germanus I as patriarch during the time that emperor Leo III banned the veneration of icons. As patriarch, Anastasius first favored iconoclasm, then opposed it before finally becoming forced to return to iconoclasm.


Little is known of the early life of Anastasius. He appeared in history when he was appointed Patriarch of Constantinople in 730 by Leo III, having sided with the emperor on the question of veneration of icons after Leo had deposed Germanus, an iconodule, as patriarch.

At Leo's death in 741, his son Constantine V became emperor and continued the iconoclastic policies of his father. Soon Constantine was embroiled in a dynastic battle with his brother-in-law Artabasdos, who was married to Constantine's older sister Anna. After defeating Constantine, Artabasdos declared himself the "Protector of the Holy Icons", and with the support of many of the clergy and lay people, convinced Patr. Anastasius to crown him emperor. Anastasius, switching sides, became an ardent defender of icons, which he reinstalled in the churches. Anastasius also excommunicated Constantine V and declared him a heretic who denied Jesus.

Having gained the support of the Anatolian and Thracesian themes, Constantine again confronted Artabasdos and his sons in a series of battles in 743. After defeating Artabasdos Constantine entered Constantinople on November 2, 743, captured Artabasdos and his sons, blinded them publicly and then imprisoned them in the Monastery of Chora. He then took bitter vengeance on his enemies including Patr. Anastasius. Treating him horribly, Constantine had him beaten, then blinded followed by being paraded through the streets of Constantinople. Constantine then forced Anastasius to revert to his position as an iconoclast before restoring him to his position as patriarch.

Anastasius continued as patriarch of Constantinople until he reposed in 754.

Succession box:
Anastasius of Constantinople
Preceded by:
Germanus I
Patriarch of Constantinople
Succeeded by:
Constantine II
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