The Life of the Patriarch Tarasios by Ignatios Deacon (BHG1698): Introduction, Edition, Translation and Commentary, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Life of the Patriarch Tarasios by Ignatios Deacon (BHG1698)

Introduction, Edition, Translation and Commentary, 1st Edition

By Stephanos Efthymiadis


336 pages

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The patriarch Tarasios holds a key position in the ending of the first period of Iconoclasm in Byzantium, with the seventh Oecumenical Council at Nicaea in 787. His Life forms an equally key source for the history and culture of the Byzantine world in the eighth and ninth centuries. This book provides a full introduction, a critical edition with English translation, and a detailed commentary and indexes for this important document. The introduction first places the text within the framework of other patriarchal biographies composed in the period c.850-950. Dr Efthymiadis then looks at Tarasios himself, as layman, patriarch, and saint, and provides a biographical sketch of the author of the Life, Ignatios the Deacon, together with a discussion of the date and reasons for the work’s composition. In addition, this new text and translation makes more accessible a highly sophisticated example of Byzantine prose.


’St. E. fournit au lecteur une véritable ’banque de données’, à celui-ci d’en inaugurer l’abord critique.’ Analecta Bollandiana, Vol. 118, Nos. 1-2 ’This new edition has an excellent Greek text, established after a painstaking collation of the manuscripts, and an outstanding English translation…. complex historical questions are treated with exemplary clarity.’ Catholic Historical Review 'Efthymiadis has done exemplary work on polishing an Oxford dissertation to perfection…Written in excellent English, this book should be acquired by all university and seminary libraries. Students of Iconoclasm and of Byzantine literature should use this volume as the starting point for their study.' Religious Studies Review 'Efthymiadis's critical edition of The Life of the Patriarch Tarasios is a welcome addition to authoritative studies on saints' lives. It is a model of scholarship in philological and historical terms…. a definitive edition and study of Ignatios's Life of the Patriarch Tarasios. It is a useful contribution for Byzantinists but also for Western medievalists, who can discern here much about the problems, the mind, and the ethos of churchment of the Byzantine era…' Speculum 'This fine new edition brings out with meticulous care the different ways in which the Life of Tarasios contributes to our knowledge of this period of transition, from the middle of the eighth to the middle of the ninth century.' Journal of theological Studies

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; the historical context; The Vita: critical introduction; Text; Translation; Commentary; Index.

About the Author

Stephanos Efthymiadis is a professor at the Open University of Cyprus

About the Series

Birmingham Byzantine and Ottoman Studies

Birmingham Byzantine and Ottoman Studies is devoted to the history, culture and archaeology of the Byzantine and Ottoman worlds of the East Mediterranean region from the fifth to the twentieth century. It provides a forum for the publication of research completed by scholars from the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies at the University of Birmingham, UK, and those with similar research interests from around the world.

For further information about the series please contact Michael Greenwood at


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General