Dionysius (Kalliarchis) of Ephesus

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His Eminence Dionysius (Kalliarchis) of Ephesus was a hierarch under the jurisdiction of the Church of Constantinople who served as Metropolitan of the Dioceses of Larisa and Ephesus during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. He was martyred at the beginning of the Greek War of Independence.


Metropolitan Dionysius was born into a wealthy family of Constantinople that may have moved to Constantinople from Chios after the Fall of Constantinople. The date, other than it was in the latter half of the eighteenth century, and place of the birth of Dionysius is unknown as well as anything of his early life.

Dionysius was elected Metropolitan of Larisa ın Thessaly in 1793. He succeeded his uncle, Meletius. At the time, the Diocese of Larissa had under its jurisdiction a large area that extended over all of Thessaly as well as the dioceses of Gardiki, Trikki, Stages, Lidoriki, Litzas, Agrafa, Radobestia, Zitouni, Thaumakos, Skiathos, and Skopelos. When he was installed as metropolitan, a large part of Thessaly was facing serious problems from looting by Klephts, oppression by the janissaries, and the actions of the local Ottoman rulers who appropriated properties of childless deceased Christians. After undertaking his duties, Metr. Dionysius, by spending a large amount of money, was able to get a firman issued that ordered the reduction in the janissaries’ tax. Through his connections in Constantinople, he managed to get another firman under which the wills of childless Christians were validated.

Metr. Dionysius, also, embarked on a program of church and school building, specifically building the Church of St. Achilleios that had fallen in ruins in 1770 and, in 1794, rebuilding the old Greek school within the church’s courtyard. He also donated to the school of Tyrnavos and founded other schools within his diocese. The reconstruction of the Church of St. Achilleios caused a disturbance on part of the Muslim population against Metr. Dionysius, including attempts to assassinate him.

In 1796, Metropolitans Dionysius and Hierotheos of Euripus were elected by the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate as provosts of the Great School of the Nation in Constantinople who, the, embarked on a successful program of restructuring the declining patriarchal academy.

In September 1803, Dionysius was elected Metropolitan of Ephesus, succeeding the deceased Makarius. As he had done when Metropolitan of Larisa, Metr. Dionysius spent most of his time in Constantinople. In Ephesus, his chose subordinate bishops with whom he had confidence. Paisius, a former collaborator, was elected Bishop of Elaea in June 1814, upon his recommendation. As he had done in Larisa, he repeated in Ephesus the building of churches, using construction material that – in many cases – came from ancient Greek temples in the surrounding areas. He established the schools of Magnisia, Pergamon, Briulla, and Ephesus and supported the Philological School of Smyrna. He also contributed to the Academy of Cydoniae and Veniamin Lesvios.

As he lived primarily in Constantinople, Metr. Dionysius maintained a residence in Therapeia, now Tarapya, that was a gathering place for local or foreign scholars who exchange views regarding the current political issues. He also stayed in Kuruçeşme, where the senior hierarchs lived, including the Patriarch himself. In Constantinople, Metr. Dionysius, as a member of the Holy Synod, was actively involved in the current ecclesiastical affairs, including the election of Gregory V to the patriarchal throne in 1797 and when Gregory was returned after his earlier deposition in 1806.

Dionysius became a member of the Society of Friends (Filiki Etaireia), the secret organization that looked to the establishment of an independent Greek state. On February 23, 1821, the Greek Revolution began at Iasio, Romanian Iaşi, the news of which reached Constantinople five days later. On March 9, Patr. Gregory was ordered to send some hierarchs, including Metr. Dionysius, to the Sublime Porte. On March 10 Metr. Dionysius was imprisoned. A month later, on April 10, 1821, on Pascha Sunday, after Patr. Gregory V had been hanged, Metr. Dionysius was also hanged at the fish bazaar (balık pazarı) in Constantinople.

Succession box:
Dionysius (Kalliarchis) of Ephesus
Preceded by:
Metropolitan of Larisa
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Metropolitan of Ephesus
Succeeded by:
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