Euthymius I Syncellus of Constantinople

From OrthodoxWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

HIs All-Holiness Euthymius I Syncellus of Constantinople, Greek: Ευθύμιος Α΄, was the Patriarch of Constantinople from 907 to 912. He became patriarch after emperor Leo VI refused to acknowledge Leo's fourth marriage to Zoe Karbonopsina, but was deposed before Leo's death.


Little is known of the early life of Euthymius. A monastic, he was the confidential deacon (Syncellus, also Syngelus) for the Patriarch of Constantinople before his rise to patriarchal cathedra.

Euthymius became patriarch as a result of a controversy within the Church of Constantinople over emperor Leo's numerous marriages to produce an heir, and particularly over his fourth marriage, a marriage not then allowed within the Eastern Church. The controversy began after the death of Leo's second wife, Zoe Zaoutzaine. Patr. Nicholas I Mystikus permitted Leo's third marriage to Eudokia Baiana, but forbade him from marrying a fourth time. Thus, after the death of Eudokia, Leo took Zoe Karbonopsina as his mistress. In 905, Zoe gave birth to a son, the future Constantine VII. Leo wanted to legitimize Constantine by marrying Zoe. Patr. Nicholas refused the marriage and conspired to overthrow Leo.

In 907, Leo forced Nicholas to resign from office and replaced him with Euthymius Syncellus, who, while opposed, acknowledged the marriage but refused to let Zoe use the title "empress". In 912, near the time of Leo's death, Leo recalled Nicholas and deposed Euthymius. This began a long struggle between the supporters of Euthymius and those of Nicholas.

Patr. Euthymius was exiled to a monastery and died on August 5, 917.

It wasn't until the reign of emperor Romanus I Lecapenus that the supporters of Euthymius finally reconciled with those of Patr. Nicholas. Also, during his reign from 956 to 970, Patr. Polyeuctus, who had questioned the legitimacy of marriage of Constantine VII's parents, restored the good name of Patr. Euthymius I Syncellus. [1]


  1. Norwich, John Julius, Byzantium, The Apogee, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992) p. 173.
Succession box:
Euthymius I Syncellus of Constantinople
Preceded by:
Nicholas I Mystikus
Patriarch of Constantinople
907 - 912
Succeeded by:
Nicholas I Mystikus
Help with box


External link