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«The Crusades from the Perspective of Byzantium and the Muslim World edited by Angeliki E. Laiou and Roy Parviz Mottahedeh published by Dumbarton Oaks ...»

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Finally, anti-Latin arguments do not develop sequentially from Photios to 1453. An examination of the transmission of texts shows that Photios’ writings against the Frankish missionaries had little impact. Nobody adopts his arguments on these issues, and few people even refer to his opinions, until late in the thirteenth century. At that time, the Filioque is central to Byzantine polemic for other reasons, to be discussed below.15 The Eleventh Century Anti-Latin arguments do, however, have a continuous life from 1054 on. In the middle of the eleventh century, Byzantine polemicists raised many issues, some of which already had a history. Photios had complained, for example, about Latin Lenten observances and the Latin rite of confirmation, and Michael Keroularios (patriarch of Constantinople, 1043–58) raised these same issues.16 But the most prominent complaint of the middle of the eleventh century had not surfaced in Photios’ period. Among the “Roman” errors Keroularios mentioned is the use of unleavened bread (azymes) in the eucharist. Other texts of the period echoed the theme. In terms of number of words written, or number of treatises written, azymes far outstrip the procession of the Holy Spirit.17 Some who mentioned the Filioque—Peter III of Antioch (1052–56), for example—maintained that the addition was more important than unleavened bread, but their actions belied these words. Peter wrote far more about azymes than about the Filioque.

To explain this emphasis, one needs to look behind Byzantine relations with the Western church to stresses within the empire. In general, the eleventh century saw a number of challenges to the definitions of “orthodox” and “Roman.” These were not purely external challenges—enemy attacks on the outer boundaries of Byzantium—but civil wars, causing disagreements among the powerful even at the heart of the empire. In Photius, Epistulae et Amphilochia, ed. B. Laourdas and L. G. Westerink (Leipzig, 1988), 1:43.

Dvornik, Photian Schism, 122.

This is one of the themes of Dvornik, Photian Schism; see esp. part 2, chaps. 5–6.

Details of the complaints about Lenten observance, confirmation, and other issues can be found in T. M.

Kolbaba, “Meletios Homologetes ‘On the Customs of the Italians,’” REB 55 (1997): 137–68.

J. H. Erickson, “Leavened and Unleavened: Some Theological Implications of the Schism of 1054,” SVThQ 14.3 (1970): 156–58. The best introductions to the azyme controversy are ibid., 155–76, and M. H.

Smith III, And Taking Bread... Cerularius and the Azyme Controversy of 1054 (Paris, 1978).

[ 122 ] Byzantine Perceptions of Latin Religious “Errors” other words, this was one of those periods in Byzantine history, like the sixth century and the iconoclast period, in which people fought over who had the right to define “orthodox” and “Roman.” Ironically, success had caused these fierce fights—the success of Byzantine armies, which had reconquered parts of southern Italy and huge areas of Asia Minor and Mesopotamia in the ninth and tenth centuries. These victories brought peoples into the empire who had been beyond its borders for a century or more. Their reintegration “posed a demographic problem, which the eleventh century transcribed and prolonged into a religious problem—that is to say, into a crisis of identity (for such is certainly the ultimate sense of Orthodoxy for the Byzantines).”18 The groups who reentered the empire considered themselves orthodox, catholic, apostolic Christians, but theologians in the great capital on the Bosphoros tended to label some of them as heretics. Others, considered orthodox, were not quite “Roman.” Armenians and Syrians, for example, might be neither “Roman” nor “orthodox” (meaning, to a Constantinopolitan, Chalcedonian in their theology). Then again, they might be “orthodox” but not Roman. Some Armenians had even become both “Roman” and “orthodox,” although this group probably did not include the recent immigrants. Only time would answer questions about the identity of these people—“foreign” or “Roman,” “orthodox” or “heretical,” “us” or “them.” Meanwhile, fierce struggles ensued. Most importantly for the evolution of Byzantine views of Latins, three of these questionable groups in the empire raised the issue of unleavened bread.

The Armenians were the most important of the three. Armenia had been under Muslim rule until the ninth century. Then the decline of Abbasid power had allowed a period of independence. Then, in the second half of the tenth century, as Byzantium expanded eastward, Armenia was annexed to the empire, becoming the theme of Iberia in the early eleventh century. From 1045 to 1071 (battle of Manzikert), Armenia was ruled by the Byzantine Empire. Initially, the emperors involved in the annexation and integration of Armenia and Armenians into the empire were fairly tolerant of religious differences.

Because Nikephoros II Phokas (963–969) and John Tzimiskes (969–976) wanted to repopulate eastern regions of Anatolia, they welcomed Armenian noble families who migrated into Cappadocia and southeastern Anatolia. These Armenians settled themselves and their ecclesiastical hierarchy within the empire.19 But this sort of tolerance would not last. After the annexation of Ani in 1045, when the last independent Armenian area fell to the armies of Constantine IX Monomachos (1042–55), relations between Armenian communities and their Greek Chalcedonian neighbors worsened. Very soon after the conquest, Monomachos began to crack down on Armenian heterodoxy. In 1048 Peter I, katholikos of the Armenian church, traveled to Constantinople for discussions. Discussions were friendly enough (at least the katholikos managed to stay out of prison), but in general both the emperor and his patriarch, Michael Keroularios, were ´ ` `





G. Dagron, “Minorites ethniques et religieuses dans l’orient byzantin a la fin du Xe et au XIe siecle:

L’immigration syrienne,” TM 6 (1976): 177–79.

´´ ´ ` G. Dedeyan, “L’immigration armenienne en Cappadoce au XIe siecle,” Byzantion 45 (1975): 41–116.

Tia M. Kolbaba [ 123 ] determined to wipe out the Armenian species of Monophysitism (as they saw it). They would soon begin to act on that determination.20 Thus, in the decade before the more famous events of 1054, a group of antiChalcedonian, “azymite” Christians debated with Chalcedonian, leavened-bread Christians. From these debates came some of the first treatises against azymes.21 This battle with the Armenians had a negative impact on discussions with Latins, for when the Greeks discovered that Latins were using unleavened bread, they “often seem[ed] too preoccupied with contemporary Armenian and Jewish polemics to evaluate properly the Latin position.”22 The same series of tenth-century conquests that made Armenia part of the empire also reintegrated Syria and its capital, Antioch, a competitor with Constantinople for ecclesiastical and even imperial preeminence.23 As they had encouraged the Armenians, the emperors also encouraged the Syrian Monophysites to repopulate imperial territories, especially northern Syria.24 This influx of foreign heretics was decried by Chalcedonian churchmen, and conflict ensued between those who advocated or at least practiced tolerance and coexistence and those who would not tolerate the “heretics.” The history of competition between Chalcedonians and Monophysites in these territories was ancient and bloody. As it had with the Armenians, imperial tolerance dissolved after the death of Basil II (976–1025). In 1029 the non-Chalcedonian patriarch John VIII Bar Abdoun was summoned to Constantinople. After a chance to state his views, he was condemned, excommunicated, and exiled by the synod. But worries about heterodoxy in the region of Melitene continued for some years.25 In Antioch in the 1050s, there were some fearful fights, including the burning of Orthodox churches.26 The link between Syrian Monophysites and the azyme controversy is not direct, for they use leavened bread in the eucharist. Still, their presence in the empire influenced the eleventh-century azyme controversy in two ways. First, the conflict with these heterodox Christians added to the general crisis of identity within the empire. Indeed, the documents regarding their status open for us one of the few windows onto such a crisis, through which we get not only a clear view of those whose definitions of “orthodox” and “Roman” won in the end, but also a fleeting glimpse of their opponents. Those opponents seem to have acted more than they spoke. We can only guess at their motives.

J. Hussey, The Orthodox Church in the Byzantine Empire (Oxford, 1986), 131.

Knowledge of later events has often led to the conclusion that these treatises originate with the LatinByzantine conflicts of the 1050s. As Mahlon Smith, Jean Darrouzes, and John Erickson have pointed out, however, the earliest anti-azyme treatises were ammunition in the debates with the Armenians. J. Darrouzes, “Trois ` ´ ´ documents de la controverse greco-armenienne,” REB 48 (1990): 89–153; idem, “Notes: Un faux Peri tw'n ajzumwn de Michel Cerulaire,” REB 25 (1967): 288–90; Smith, And Taking Bread, 128 ff, 173; Erickson, “Leav´ ´ ened and Unleavened,” 175.

Erickson, “Leavened and Unleavened,” 175.

´ Dagron, “Minorites,” 205–7.

Ibid., passim.

` V. Grumel, Les regestes des actes du patriarcat de Constantinople, rev. ed. J. Darrouzes, vol. 1, fasc. 2–3 (Paris, ´ 1989), nos. 838–40, 846. Dagron, “Minorites,” 200–204.

The Chronicle of Matthew of Edessa, trans. A. E. Dostourian, Armenia and the Crusades, Tenth to Twelfth Centu´ ries (Lanham, Md., 1993), 2.2, 84–86; Dagron, “Minorites,” 208; Smith, And Taking Bread, 111.

[ 124 ] Byzantine Perceptions of Latin Religious “Errors” Some emperors, for example, apparently conceived of the empire as an ecumenical body, capable of integrating heterodox Christians in the short run and of converting them to Chalcedonian orthodoxy later. On this side of the debate, too, were the bishops and imperial officials around Melitene whom the patriarchal synod reprimanded for excessive tolerance of the “Jacobites,” as they called the Syrians. Among other things, these officials were accused of tolerating marriages between orthodox people and heretics and of accepting the testimony of heretics in court.27 One would like to know more about this largely unrecorded segment of the population for whom, it seems, the lines between “orthodox” and “heretic” were less clear or less important than they were for the members of the synod. On the other side of the debate were those whose voices have come to us in a multitude of texts. These men thought that the heretics would never convert.

It was a self-fulfilling prophecy, especially since, as time passed, they tended to give heresy “a definition more geographic and ethnic than dogmatic.”28 For these men, the definition of orthodox Romans included not only a Chalcedonian dyophysite creed, but also a set of rituals and customs that were, in fact, the rituals and customs of only part of the empire. Latins, Armenians, Syrians, and many others who might consider themselves both orthodox and Roman were excluded.29 The second link between Syrian Monophysites and the azyme controversy was in the minds of these same orthodox adherents of the Council of Chalcedon, for they did not always distinguish Armenians from “Jacobites.” They were encouraged in this conflation by the actions of the groups themselves, who sometimes forgot their differences in their common hatred of the imperial-orthodox establishment and its attempts to enforce conformity.30 So, for example, Syrians and Armenians did occasionally collaborate in violent opposition to imperial attempts to shut down their churches. Thus, although a direct link between Jacobites, who use leavened bread, and polemic against users of unleavened bread is questionable, it is significant that the first eleventh-century figure to write a treatise against azymes was Patriarch Peter III of Antioch, a city where clashes between non-Chalcedonians and Chalcedonians had recently resulted in the burning of several Chalcedonian churches.

Meanwhile, Jews, the group with the longest history of challenging Christian identity and self-definition, had not disappeared either. The number of Jews within the empire was increased by the return of areas of southern Italy to imperial control in the ninth century. Bari and Oria, for example, had substantial Jewish communities.31 After sporadic persecutions in the same century, renewed imperial tolerance for Jews encouraged many to migrate into the cities of the empire, especially into Constantinople, from further east.32 The status of these Jews in the empire remained ambiguous. On the one hand, Grumel, Regestes, no. 846.

´ Dagron, “Minorites,” 213.

´ Dagron, “Minorites,” 204: “The synod is alarmed, and we sense that there is a complete divorce between the orthodox, centralizing ideas of Constantinople and the political, social, and economic life of a region that is perhaps also ‘Byzantine’ but in a way different from the capital.” Smith, And Taking Bread, 110–11.

A. Sharf, Byzantine Jewry from Justinian to the Fourth Crusade (London, 1971), 2.

Ibid., 107–16.



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