GENNADIUS, jen''ê-dî'us or gen''a-dî'us: The name of two patriarchs of Constantinople.

Gennadius I.: Patriarch 458-471; died at Constantinople Aug. 25, 471. About the middle of the century he was presbyter and abbot of a monastery at Constantinople, wrote in opposition to the anathemas of Cyril of Alexandria, and was raised to the patriarchate by Leo the Thracian after the death of Anatolius. In the following year a synod held by him led him to issue an encyclical in which he sought to heal the schism caused by the decrees of the Council of Chalcedon, and also endeavored to reform certain ecclesiastical abuses. He likewise entered into negotiations with Pope Leo I. concerning the deposition of the Monophysite Patriarch Timotheus Ælurus of Alexandria in 460. According to Gennadius of Marseilles, he was famed for his learning and was the author of a commentary on the prophet Daniel as well as of numerous homilies, all of which are apparently lost.

Bibliography: The writings are in MPG, Ixxxv. Consult: ASB, Aug., v. 148-155; O. Bardenhewer, Patrologie, p. 502, Freiburg, 1894; Ceillier, Auteurs sacrés, x. 343-346, 710-711; DCB, ii. 629-631.

Gennadius II. (Georgios Scholarios): Patriarch in the fifteenth century, was born at Constantinople about the beginning of the fifteenth century; d. at Seres (47 m. n.e. of Salonica), probably in 1468. He was one of the last representatives of Byzantine learning and one of the last pillars of the Greek Church in the period of its negotiations for union with the Roman Catholic Church and its subjection to Mohammedan rule. Of his life few details are known. After receiving a thorough education in philosophy, theology, and law in Constantinople, he was apparently a teacher of philosophy for a time, but was later appointed imperial judge by the Emperor John VII., who esteemed him highly. In this capacity he accompanied the Emperor and Joseph, patriarch of Constantinople, to Ferrara and Florence in 1438-1439, where he thrice spoke as an earnest advocate of the union of the two Churches (see Ferrara-Florence, Council of). After his return, however, the opposition of the Greek people and clergy to the union made him a determined opponent of the movement, and from that time he ranked as the real head of the antiunion party in Constantinople, issuing a series of polemics against the Roman Catholic Church and the advocates of union. His attitude seems to have resulted in a break with the Byzantine court, so that, following an idea long cherished, he retired to the monastery of Pantocrator, became a monk, and exchanged his secular name for the monastic appellation Gennadius. After the capture of Constantinople, however, the Sultan Mohammed II. planned to restore the patriarchate, and the choice of the synod fell upon Gennadius, although he had never taken orders, and sought to decline the proffered honor. In the spring of 1454 he was consecrated by the metropolitan of Heraclea, but, since both the Church of St. Sophia and the palace of the patriarch were now in the hands of the Turks, he took up his residence successively in two monasteries of the city. In the latter he received a visit from the sultan, at whose request he wrote an outline of the most important truths of Christianity in twelve chapters, which he presented to Mohammed both in the Greek original and in a Turkish translation (Eng. transl., The Confession of Gennadius . . . Exhibited to Mahumet II., London [1585?]). A few years later, however, he found his position so difficult that he was forced to resign and again retired to a monastic life.

Gennadius was a most prolific writer. The number of his works has been estimated at over a hundred, but a complete list is impossible, since the majority exist only in manuscript, others have been printed only in part, and others still are of doubtful authenticity. They may be classified, so far as known, into philosophical (interpretations of Aristotle, Porphyry, and others, translations of Petrus Hispanus and Thomas Aquinas, and defenses of Aristotelianism against the recrudescence of Neoplatonism) and theological and ecclesiastical (partly concerning the union and partly defending Christianity against Mohammedans, Jews, and paganizing philosophers), in addition to numerous homilies, hymns, and letters. The majority, so far as they have been edited, are reprinted in MPG, lxxxv., clx.

(Philipp Meyer.)

Bibliography: Among the sources are the Historia of Dukas, pp. 142, 148, and of Georgios Phrantzes, pp. 305-308, in the CSHB; Fabricius-Harles, Bibliotheca Græca, vol. xi., containing the De Georgiisof Leo Allatius. Consult: E. Renaudot, De Gennadii vita et scriptis, Paris, 1709, reprinted in MPG, clx. 249 sqq.; W. Gass, Gennadius und Pletho, Breslau, 1844; idem, Symbolik der griechisen Kirche, pp. 34-39, Berlin, 1872; Steitz, in Jahrbücher für deutsche Theologie, xiii (1868), 672-677; Krumbacher, Geschichte, pp. 119-121.


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