Hisatsugu KUSABU

Orthodox Identity for Byzantine Theologians, Heresiologists, and ‘Inquisitors’:

A Byzantine View of Popular Faith in the Twelfth Century




The Byzantine view of Orthodoxy was confronted by a critical situation from the twelfth century on, because of their receding boundaries and the shrinking of their political authority over the Turks, Latins, and Slavs. This situation gradually reviewed the way the Byzantines viewed the oikoumene under the Imperium. Byzantine authorities considered the Imperium to be a unified consolidation of orthodoxy under the spiritual and political leadership of the Christian Roman emperor, and his subjects, the Byzantines were absolutely confident of their orthodox identity. In the twelfth century, however, Constantinople was literarily a ‘melting pot,’ a ‘mosaic of variety,’ and a crossroad of various languages, ethnicities, and faiths. The ‘visitors’ to the city included slaves, mercenaries, ambassadors, and émigrés from foreign countries, who did not even conceal their heterodox faiths. Some stood directly against the imperial Church authorities, arguing for their non- Chalcedonian Christology. Some wandered around the city as self-styled holy men. Byzantines had to confront the reality that they were not ‘outsiders’ anymore but a component of Byzantine 'Orthodox' demography. Although the imperial Church as ecumenical authority enjoyed an exclusive status in the society, in actuality popular religious views were multifarious.

Nevertheless, the Byzantines never thought the situation as the crisis of Orthodox taxis (Order) and Orthodox faith (Christianity). Even though some “schools (haireseis)” and their teachings were condemned of heterodoxy and of “heresies” at church courts, many of them seemed to be treated with tolerance and even survived under the Orthodox authorities after the condemnation. The Byzantines seldom sentenced the heretics to death penalty. Here is one of Byzantine questions; Byzantine Religious Tolerance.

This papr argues that the Byzantine view of their heterodoxy caused by ambivalent and seemingly “tolerant” attitude toward the doctrinal outsiders represents the Orthodox identity for the Byzantines. Through the investigation of the Bogomils trial in 1099, two important conditions are to be noted for the understanding of Byzantine views of heterodoxy: the City is filled with a variety of ordinary people of Orthodox faith and the heresiologist-theologians were simply offering guidebooks for the classification of heresy.



1.      Byzantine Tolerance?


Historians see the lack of persecution of heresy as a case of Byzantine tolerance along with the lack of inquisition office. Yet, we have to be cautious about calling it “tolerance” in historiography comparing with Western “intolerance,” when we consider the critical differences in treatment of heterodoxies between Western and Byzantine society. The Byzantine society since the fourth century to the fifteenth century, did not have a solid social orders such as the three Orders (those who pray, who fight, and who work), but was characterized by intense social mobility both vertical and horizontal. The intellectuals, both secular and ecclesiastical, and lower and upper classes were proud of their education and literacy in the Bible and Scriptures in their native Greek. Neither the monastic orders nor the Inquisition had been established as offices in Byzantine Church. There was no inquisitor such as Konrad von Marburg, Bernard Gui nor Nicholas Eymeric who published the guidebook for the treatment of doctrinal defendants. It is improper to celebrate the Byzantine tolerance simply through the lack of those intolerance systems, people and society in Byzantium.

Actually, however Byzantine Orthodoxy definitely hated and attacked the Heterodoxy. Rather, Byzantines were very intolerant of outsiders’ doctrinal problems. Byzantines were so proud of the extreme conservative views of the ecumenical canons, the imperial status as epistemonarches (Angelov 2007), and Orthodox way of life emphasizing monastic asceticism (not Mysticism) that they rejected any support from the “heretical” Latin Church, even when the Empire was in a critical situation in the face of Turkish advance. Byzantines were harshly critical of the Filioque, Western Papocaesarism (not Caesaropapism), and Scholasticism. Furthermore, the Byzantines did not hesitate to conduct brutal attack against their opponents, with military, political and ecclesiastical forces. The brutal treatment of Bulgarian captives by Emperor Basil the Bulgar-Slayer, frequent assassinations of emperors, murders of priests are all well documented. The Menologion and the Saints Lives give us plenty of examples of bloodshed among the Byzantines. The Arian, Monophysite and Iconoclast emperors attempted to eliminate “orthodox” people before themselves posthumously being condemned as cruel heretics. Byzantine Laws, especially the Ecologa, legislated physical punishments for traitors, including the Stake, the Sword, the Eyes and the Nose. It certainly declared that Manicheans deserved to be killed by the sword. A vast number of heresy condemnations are reported. Theological controversies produced many losers who were later stigmatized as heretics. Sectarian movements by ordinary people that kept appearing continuously were routinely banned. While we do not expect the social value of “freedom of speech” in Byzantium, Imperial officers conducted harsh tortures while investigating dissenters. Once anathematized, a social class had to be deposed, imprisoned or executed. Their possessions were immediately confiscated and citizenship restricted.

Nevertheless, official sentence of death is seldom reported. Rather, the Byzantines avoided “persecuting” the heterodox people physically. Theodore Balsamon, a Byzantine jurist, criticized death penalty of heretics. The apparent anti-death penalty attitude toward the heretics is one of the remarkable characteristics of Byzantine society when we compare it with Medieval and Early Modern Western society. Nominally, the Byzantine Church abhorred the shedding of blood as well as the Latin Church: Ecclesia abhorret a sangune. However it is still remarkable that none of secular documents evidence the sentencing of condemned heretics to capital punishment in Byzantium. The Westerners even accused Byzantine authorities of being reluctant to take action to exterminate the heretics. Liudprand of Cremona (ca. 922-972), a diplomat from the West, cried out at the Byzantines at the imperial court: “All heresy has occurred and flourished in your place! (Haereses omnes a vobis emanarunt).”

With regard to popular piety, people had many occasions to meet foreigners and encounter heterodox teachings because of the movement of populations, commercial activities and itinerancy of monks. The non-orthodox people could live and freely walk around the City. Jews and Muslim merchants were segregated and crammed into city quarters, but foreign visitors dropped by at the City forums and streets. Armenians, who were labeled as heretics in the past, visited the City, often in parties. A Jewish traveler Benjamin of Tudela stayed in the City in his long journey and has left a note about the city scene. Visitors from the Latin Church came to the City in order to debate with Byzantine theologians. Ex-Muslims and émigré from the Seljuk Sultanate served as diplomatic counselors in the Great Palace. Transfers of populations occurred in the empire voluntarily or under coercion. Many clerics or educated citizens from the eastern districts of the empire also came to Constantinople to take refuge because of the gradual conquest by the Muslims of these areas. Add to this, the imperial policy of forced transfers of various groups resulted in a dynamic movement of people in and around Constantinople.

A contemporary literati, John Tzetzes (ca. 1110-1180), states that there were many kinds of self-styled ascetics in Constantinople who attempted to attract citizens’ attention. Some coiled chains around themselves, and some placed fetters on themselves. They were described as people who roamed in monastic garb, though Church canon prohibited ordinary people from wearing monastic clothing. For Tzetze, such men were “the thrice-sinful persons.” He hated citizen who adored them:

… Men of very thievish,

Cretes, Turks, Alans, Rhodes and Chians,

Namely, of every races and countries

All of most thievish and most adulterated,

Are appointed as holy men in Constantinople.[1]


Nicholas Kataskepenos, the author of the Life of Cyril Phileotes (d. 1110), wrote that Cyril severely criticized wandering monks, despite the fact that Cyril himself had had the experience of wandering.

“Just as a drunken man is never satisfied with a cup of wine, wandering monks are never satisfied with a cellar. This is because wandering monks are captives of apathy, slaves of selfishness, mercenaries and friends of intemperance, debtors of avarice, and servants of their own stomachs. They entice people to do wrong, cultivate the cowardice, favor laziness, and fail in their own duty.”[2]


Chapter fifty two of the Rule of John, a foundational document and regulation guide for the Monastery of St. John, the Forerunner of Phoberos (dated after 1113; re-edited ca. 1144), prohibited the admission of wandering monks. Serious orthodox people might be scared by the presence of outsiders and the contamination of faith within the walls of Constantinople, but most did not care for those strangers.


Furthermore, you must take care that you do not in any circumstances accept any monks or unknown people coming from a different [monastery], observing also in this the tradition of the holly canons. But if you disregard this, you will suffer much grief and from this action there will come to you great harm and punishment of both a spiritual and physical kind.[3]



2. The Auto da Fé in Constantinople

The single exception to Byzantine “tolerance” was the trial of Basil the Bogomil in Constantinople in 1099 when Emperor Alexios eventually burnt alive the leader of the sect. Historian Anna Komnena and theologian Euthymios Zigabenos have left a breathtaking account of the affair from the beginning to the end. In 1099, a Byzantine Auto da Fé, or the burning alive ceremony of doctrinal outsiders, was held in the Hippodrome and Polo field in Constantinople. A doctor, Basil the Bogomil was burnt alive and his followers were harshly interrogated and imprisoned in pious ceremony. As for Bogomilism, unfortunately, no internal documents of the sect have survived, but close interrogation notes made by orthodox scribes exist. Their way of life emphasized monastic habit, fasting and incessant prayer of Pater Noster. They were vegetarians and offered passive resistance to the Great Church, by rejecting the Holy Cross and Icons, and the Fathers. In addition, they were very critical of the Church and established priests. They did not emphasize the liturgy of John Chrysostom and the apostles and Fathers, but Christ. They gave their own interpretation to Christ’s Sayings (Apophtegmata), and rejected those of the Great Church.[4]

Apart from the leading members, it is an important point that none of the Bogomil defendants ever called themselves as the “Bogomils,” but instead as “the citizen of Christendom” or simply “Christians.” Anna Komnena’s remarks on the followers of the sect describe them as rather good standing citizens who happened to be deceived and taken in by the sect.


A certain monk by the name of Basil had been most adept at spreading the heresy of the Bogomils, together with twelve acolytes whom he called apostles and with female followers too – women of loose morals and generally bad character – articulating their evil in every quarter... The emperor summoned Basil’s disciples and fellow mystics from far and wide, in particular the so-called twelve apostles... In fact the evil had deep roots: it had penetrated even the greatest households (eis oikias megistas) and had had an impact on an enormous number of people. As a result, the emperor condemned the heretics, with chorus and chorus leader alike to suffer death by burning. When they had been hunted down and brought together in one place, some clung to their heresy, but others denied the charges completely, protesting strongly against their accusers and rejecting the Bogomilian heresy with scorn. The Emperor was not inclined to believe them... he devised a novel scheme to ensure that many a Christian was not confused for a Bogomil, nor that any Bogomil would be mistaken for a Christian...[5]


At the Auto da Fé, Emperor Alexios ordered the executioner to set two pyres, one with a cross which the Bogomils rejected and the other without the cross. Emperor pretended to execute all of them by fire and let all the accused people to pick one of two. Some picked the pyres with a cross which meant non-Bogomilians. Then, Anna called them true Christians. Furthermore, ordinary people who witnessed the ceremony harshly criticized the Emperor’s mercilessness:


Just as they were about to be thrown on the flames, all the bystanders broke into mourning for Christians; they were filled with indignation against the emperor, unaware of his plan.[6]


Basil the Bogomil was a doctor and his teaching “had penetrated even the greatest households and had had an impact on an enormous number of people”. Later Armenian historian Matthew of Edessa speaks about the trial as follows:


In this period a certain vile and abominable heretic, who was a monk of the Roman nation, appeared in Constantinople. ... With such a false doctrine he corrupted many men and women, leading astray a small portion of the pious faithful of Constantinople, chief of whom being the mother of the emperor Alexius. The mother of the emperor became so audacious in her perverse aberration as to take a piece of the holy cross of Christ and hide it in the sole of the emperor’s shoe, so that he would walk on it. Finally God exposed this abominable heretic monk through his deeds. For, when the pious emperor Alexius heard of all this, he burned the leader of this heretical sect and had many of its members drowned in the Mediterranean- as many as ten thousand persons; moreover, he deprived his mother of her high position and expelled her from his court, and so peace was reestablished.[7]


Matthew of Edessa did not attend the trial and his number of the dead may be exaggerated, but he intended to point out that Alexios’ treatment was considered very exceptional. It is certain that the Comnenian Era experienced a number of heresy condemnations. Historians considered the Comnenian era as the second great heresy persecution in Byzantium, next only to that of Justinians. However, before and after the trial of Basil the Bogomil, we have no other records to suggest that executions were conducted by the Imperial Church.

Historian Anna Komnena has left behind an interesting cliché about her contemporaries’ general view about the heretics: Every heretic gained popularity among established, innocent and noble citizens. Anna Komnena always emphasized the names of houses and social honors in her writings. John Italos, a Hellenist philosopher, condemned in 1082, attracted young students:


Look at who his [Italos’s] followers were: ... Most of them were frequent visitors to the palace and I myself perceived later on that they had acquired no accurate systematic knowledge of any kind...[8]


With regard to the condemnations of Neilos in 1094/95, Anna emphasized that those heretical leaders attracted people of noble families (Megale Oikia):


Not long after the dogmas of Italos had been condemned, the infamous Neilos appeared, descending on the Church like some evil flood, to the great consternation of all. Many were swept away in the currents of his errors. He was a man with a particular skill of dissimulating and of seeming virtuous. I do not know where he sprang from, but for a time he frequented the capital, living in obscurity alone, no doubt, with God and himself. ... He did attract a not inconsiderable band of adherents and wormed his way into illustrious households as a self appointed teacher, partly because of his own apparent virtue and austere way of life, partly maybe because of the knowledge with which he was supposed to be secretly endowed.[9]


And in the case of Theodoros Blachernites:


Afterwards, or to be more exact, about the same time, Blakhernites was also condemned for holding irreverent views contrary to Church teaching, even though he was himself an ordained priest. He... was deceiving many, undermining great houses in the capital (megalas en tei megalopolei oikias) and transmitting his evil dogma. On several occasions he was urgently summoned by the emperor, who personally instructed him...[10]


Thus, the heresy hunting in the City usually involved people of noble classes or ordinary citizens of the upper classes of society. Anna harshly criticized the leaders and their fervent disciples, but she described the majority of the followers as the victims who were intelligent and familiar enough to frequent the Great Palace. Emperor Alexios even invited them to the palace and let them talk freely.

For Byzantines, the critical purpose of heresy condemnation was not to arrest and exterminate crazy, illiterate and vulgar heresiarchs, but rather the rehabilitation of the people contaminated by heterodoxy, in which ordinary intellectuals and pious people had to be included. The Byzantines did not see heretics as marginal, illiterate or oppressed minorities in the City. But the heretics might include people of a variety of social classes. They knew that “heretics” were always around, and when they happened to “discover” them, the first thing they had to do was to take care of the citizen followers spoiled by heresy. Church authorities always explained this situation using the parable of tares or the phrase the wolf in sheep skin, describing the leaders of the sect as always humble and ascetic. The sect leader, Basil the Bogomil was just that sort of self-styled holy man. Byzantine views of the member heretics were the same, except the Auto da Fé of Basil the Bogomil.


3. Euthymios Zigabenos, a heresiologist or Byzantine “inquisitor”?


A court theologian and monk, Euthymios Zigabenos was the first to categorize the accused people in 1099 as heretics under the new “official” heresy title of “the Bogomils” in Dogmatike Panoplia. Although the people often called the Bogomiloi was known as influential sectarians originated in Bulgaria in the late tenth century, and found even in Asia Minor in the eleventh century. Another Euthymios of Acmonia reported their presence in the entire Empire in his small treatise. Constantinopolitans, however did not know much about Bogomilism in detail until the Basil the Bogomils’ trial. As a guidebook for precise refutation, Alexios ordered a monk theologian, Euthymios Zigabenos, to collect materials to refute the Bogomils with the publication Dogmatike Panoplia (Dogmatic Panoply).[11] Zigabenos was the first “professional” heresiologist ordered to compose it. We know about Zigabenos only by his name and his works. He must have been from an intellectual class. But his career and affiliation as a monk remain uncertain.

Furthermore, Emperor Alexios expected Euthymios Zigabenos to be a doctrinal instructor for the Citizens in Orthodoxy. In 1107, seven years after the trial of Basil the Bogomil, Alexios established an office in the Great Church that was titled “Didaskaloi” in which he assigned specialists for each of the Gospels, the Psalms, and the Apostles as “teacher (didaskalos) to the people.” Although we have no list of the members and no data of their activities, Euthymios Zigabenos must have been one of the ideal teachers for the office, as he was a specialist and author of general commentaries on all those three Scriptures. As an author of general commentary, Zigabenos gave simple explanations of words and very simple argumentations of theology. His commentaries were meant for students or people who were learning the Scriptures at a less advanced level.

Nevertheless, Zigabenos was not a judge or an official “inquisitor” working at the court to condemn the defendants and to sentence penalties on defendants. Rather he remained to be a working theological instructor in and around the imperial court for intellectual and popular inhabitants in Constantinople, who investigated the heresies for his encyclopedia. He was nothing but a heresiologist.

Heresiologies are one of well-developed literary genres in Byzantium. The term Heresiology or Heresiography is a modern academic term, which was first utilized in the seventeenth century. However, since antiquity Christian writers have studied Christian heresy and concerned themselves with heresiological works in order to refute heresies. Heresiology often indicates the heresy catalog itself, because the main role of heresiology is to construct a type of order of those categories. The classification of heresy is a critical issue for church theologians, because it requires them to have extensive knowledge of doctrinal controversies in order to stigmatize an opinion as heresy by designating it with a proper title and other doctrinal evidence. In order to avoid confusing different titles of the same school, theologians ordered the titles, tried to define the contents precisely, and made each category serve to identify heresies. Hippolytos (3rd Century) mentions that Justin the Martyr (2nd Century) wrote a fundamental heresiology as early as second century. After Epiphanios’ Panarion, heresiological works were revised continuously, for example in the works of Theodoretus (5th Century), Germanos I (715-730), Timotheos (8th Century), John Damascus (ca.650-ca.750), Euthymios Zigabenos (early 12th Century), and Nicetas Choniates (1155-1215/16) in Byzantine Orthodoxy. Because of those publications, the readers were well informed about the theology and ways of life of historical heretics. They easily categorized heretical thoughts in a sectarian movement and labeled them under the traditional heresy titles. After the ninth century, new heresy titles hardly appeared.

Zigabenos’ innovative contribution to the genre of heresiology was his compilation of the Dogmatike Panoplia as a practical source book for the identification of a variety of heretics. Zigabenos did not compile the Panoplia as a mere revision of the catalogues of previous Fathers. He did not refer to Epiphanios’ Panarion the articles of which were all obsolete. He was not a member of closed Church intellectuals, but rather an activist and instructor of people. Zigabenos had won the Emperor’s backing to serve as the editor of the Dogmatike Panoplia because of his theological knowledge and literary skill he had already demonstrated as an exegete of the Scriptures. The elaborate illuminations to be found in Vatican Codex Greek Manuscript 666 of the Dogmatike Panoplia argue eloquently for the imperial authority of this publication.  

In the first seven books of Dogmatike Panoplia, Zigabenos sets forth basic Christian teachings, such as the Trinitarian Unity, Christology, Creation and the Incarnation. The latter 21 books are refutations of heresies and rival religions. The Dogmatike Panoplia as a whole is a florilegium composed of more than four hundred separate textual pieces by twenty Church Fathers. Zigabenos utilized the textual segments from Church authors in order to compile the Dogmatike Panoplia– – a florilegium (see Papavasileiou 1979); the authors include Anastasios of Sinai (died after 700), Athanasios of Alexandria (295-373), Bartholomew of Edessa (9th-C. – 13th C. ?), Basil of Caesarea (329-379), Cyril of Alexandria (378-444), Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite (6th-C.), Germanos I (died 730), Gregory of Nyssa (died after 394), Gregory of Nazianzus (329-390), John Chrysostom (died 497), John Damascene (675-749), Leontios of Byzantium (died ca. 543), Leontios of Neapolitanus (7th Century), Maximos the Confessor (580-662), Nikephoros I (died 828), Petrus Siculus, Photius (died after 893), Theodret of Cyrrhus (393-466), Theodore of Studios (759-826) and Timotheos of Constantinople.

Considering the large number of surviving manuscripts it is evident that the Dogmatike Panoplia was widely read by Byzantines. This popularity probably stemmed from its usefulness as an anthology of Patristic works and also its utility as a practical manual for preparation for debates. Twelve manuscript copies of the work were made as early as the twelfth century, and we currently have more than seventy mediaeval Greek copies of it. After Zigabenos published the Panoplia, authors would use the title of “Dogmatike Panoplia” as a generic term for all heresiologies. His publication was so well accepted that the publication represented the literary genre. Niketas Choniates referred to the Dogmatike Panoplia of Zigabenos in his Thesaurus of Orthodox Faith. In the preface of “Thesaurus,” he introduced two preceding heresiologies, the Hairetikes Kakomuthias of Theodoret of Cyrrhus and the Dogmatike Panoplia. Furthermore, Niketas named his own “Thesaurus” the “Dogmatike Panoplia.” Nearly two centuries later, Gregory Akindynos cites the works of Gregory the Theologian, Dionysios Areopagites and Photios by referring to a book called “Dogmatike Panoplia.”

In order to publish Dogmatike Panoplia, the heresiologist Euthymios Zigabenos took advantage of being the resident of the greatest City in Christendom. He accessed the libraries and archives in order to publish a large encyclopedia of heresies. Libraries in Constantinople in the twelfth century could boast of the largest collections. After the revival of manuscript publication after the Iconoclasm and the age of the so-called "Macedonian Renaissance," the development of book collections reached an apogee by the twelfth century. Since the days of Photios (813-893), who published the Miliobiblon in the ninth century, Byzantines kept establishing their own personal libraries. Still Books were very expensive, though there were many cheap editions. Scriptoria developed in certain churches and monasteries and commercial bookstores. Libraries even compiled catalogs of their holdings. When Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos (905-959) ordered subjects to publish a general encyclopedia in more than fifty large volumes, he could access the ample possession of books. The monastery library of Patmos has left us a catalog of its collections in the thirteenth century. The catalog was primarily an inventory of property, but also a reference for researchers.

Thus, in Byzantium, especially in Constantinople, equipped with its libraries and intellectual infrastructure, the teacher heresiologist Zigabenos could publish an active guidebook for the ordinary citizens of Constantinople. Zigabenos’ activities was not for the hunting of heresies, but for the instruction of ordinary Orthodox inhabitants of Constantinople including the members of imperial magnates.





Medievalist Historians such as H. Grundmann and M. Lambert tended to celebrate Medieval heresy as popular piety or indigenous spirituality, the forerunners of the Reformation, the leading ideologues of Class struggles or popular dissent against the persecuting Church hierarchy. However, it seems difficult to apply such a technical concept of “Medieval Heresy” to the cases in the history of Byzantine Heresy due to critical differences in Byzantium as compared to contemporary Western Christendom.

In Byzantium, especially in Constantinople in the twelfth century, many kind of foreigners, outsider and heresies were present – diverse, autonomous, and ubiquitous. Byzantines were accustomed to the presence of a variety of heretics in the Empire, even after the declaration of the triumph of Orthodoxy in 843. They knew that heretics were around all over the Empire and in Constantinople. When the authorities encountered “heretics,” they knew what to do without causing panic. The Byzantine affairs of heresy condemnation in the City were primarily caused by city people including not only foreign visitors but also a large number of common followers of the heresiarch among whom were the members of imperial families. According to Zigabenos, the Bogomilism was simply a mixture of old heresies argued by the crazy Basil the Bogomil. He and Emperor Alexios were not terrified by the appearance of Bogomils, but worried about the people who would be deceived and contaminated by them. Then the Byzantines regarded the sect of Bogomils as composed of ordinary orthodox Christians deceived by Basil the Bogomil. They needed to show them that Basil could not help himself on the pyre and was useless.

Then, afterwards, in order to maintain the spiritual order in the City, the authorities assigned heresiologists to categorize the types of deviations to forewarn the citizens. After being elaborated by Zigabenos, the term “Bogomils” became an established heresy title or a heresiological label. Hereafter, Byzantine heresiologists began to use it arbitrarily to designate people who had nothing to do with the sect of the late Basil the Bogomil. There were four more Bogomil condemnations but none of them was related to the sect of Basil the Bogomil and his teachings.

After the exceptional Auto da Fé of Basil the Bogomil, the Byzantine authorities did not sentence anyone to death penalty under the label of heretics. Those titles were elaborated by heresiologists for classification of multifarious forms of popular and unauthorized “Orthodox” teachings. The Byzantines already knew who the main defendants were. The people under labels were nothing but ordinary Christians. They were not  rebellious and fanatic activists of heterodoxy but the common people in the City, who believed themselves as simply “Orthodox.”

This Byzantine Weltanschauung occurred not because of the tolerance in doctrinal and political dissidents, but arose from the understanding of the situation among the orthodox people themselves. Inhabitants of Constantinople became to be familiar with the foreign ways of spiritual life and ethical and institutional control by the imperial church. Orthodox people had each opportunity to contact the outsiders, including Armenians, Paulicians, or immigrants from the Asia Minor. They included the wandering preachers from Bulgaria, who received the heresy labeling of the Bogomils.

Although some of them were seduced by old heresies consciously or unconsciously, the Byzantines knew that it happened often in the City and they were far from those to be burnt at the Stake. Thus, heresy hunting in Byzantine Orthodox demography was moderately controled.



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———. “La Panoplie Dogmatique d’ Euthyme Zigabène: Les pères de l’Église, l’Empereur et les Hérésies du présent”Byzantine Theologians – Quaderni di Νέa Ῥώμη, 3 (2009): 19-32.

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[1] Chil. XIII, Hist. 483, 358-362.

[2] Ed. E. Sargologos, the Life of St. Cyrilos Phileotes: 24-4

[3] Byzantine Monastic Foundation Documents, p. 929, tr. by R. Jordan.

[4] John Sanidopoulos, an Orthodox author has recently published the complete English version of the interrogation reports of Byzantine Bogomils. The text has been very popular among historians and has received textual investigation and partial translation so far. The investigation of Bogomil Apophtegmata, see J. Hamilton (2005).


[5] Translation by Sewter-Frankopan, pp.457-459; Greek words from the edition of B. Leib.

[6] Tr. by Sewter-Frankopan, p.460.

[7] Armenia and the Crusades, Tenth to Twelfth Centuries, The Chronicle of Matthew of Edessa, translated from the Original Armenian with a Commentary and Introduction by Ara Edmond Dostourian, New York, London 1993. Sec. 91, pp. 155-156 .

[8] Tr. by Sewter-Frankopan, p.150.

[9] Tr. by Sewter-Frankopan, p.261.

[10] Tr. by Sewter-Frankopan, pp.261-262. Latinized Greek insertion by Kusabu.

[11] Edition: Dogmatike Panoplia: Euthymii Monachi Zigabeni, Orthodoxiae fidei dogmatica Panoplia. Patrologia Graeca 130, cols. 20-1360. Most recent and reliable work on the author is of A. Rigo “La Panoplie Dogmatique d’ Euthyme Zigabène: Les pères de l’Église, l’Empereur et les Hérésies du présent” Byzantine Theologians – Quaderni di Νέa Ῥώμη, 3 (2009): 19-32.