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§ 152. Nicetas Acominatos.


I. Nicetas Choniates: Opera, in Migne, Tom. CXXXIX., col. 287—CXL., col. 292. His History was edited by Immanuel Bekker in Scriptores Byzantinae. Bonn, 1835.

II. See Allatius in Migne, CXXXIX., col. 287–302. Ceillier, XIV. 1176, 1177. Karl Ullmann: Die Dogmatik der griechischen Kirche im 12. Jahrhundert, reprinted from the “Studien und Kritiken,” 1833.


Nicetas Acominatos, also called Choniates, to denote his birth at Chonae the old Colossae in Phrygia, was one of the great scholars and authors of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. He was educated at Constantinople, studied law and early rose to prominence at the imperial court. He married a descendant of Belisarius; and at the time when Constantinople was taken by the crusaders (1204) he was governor of Philippopolis. He fled to Nicaea, and there died about 1216. It was during this last period of his life that he composed his Treasury of Orthodoxy,976976    Θησαυρὸς ὀρθοδοξίας. Migne, CXXXIX. col. 1093-CXL. col. 292. for the consolation and instruction of his suffering fellow-religionists. This work was in twenty-seven books, but only five have been published complete, and that only in the Latin translation of Peter Morel, made from the original MS. brought to Paris from Mt. Athos.977977    So Morel believed. See the interesting story in Migne, CXXXIX. col. 295. Cardinal Mai has, however, given fragments of Books vi. viii. ix. x. xii. xv. xvii. xx. xxiii. xxiv. xxv., and these Migne has reprinted with a Latin translation. The work is, like the Panoply of Euthymius, a learned text-book of theology and a refutation of heresy, but it has more original matter in it, and being written by a layman and a statesman is more popular.

Book 1st is a statement of Gentile philosophy and of the errors of the Jews. Book 2d treats of the Holy Trinity, and of angels and men. Book 3d of the Incarnate Word. From Book 4th to the end the several heresies are described and combated. Nicetas begins with Simon Magus and goes down to his own day.

But his fame really rests upon his History,978978    Ἱστορια. Ibid. col. 309-1057. which tells the story of Byzantine affairs from 1117 to 1205; and is an able and reliable book. The closing portions interestingly describe the destruction or mutilation of the monuments in Constantinople by the Latins.



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