Agatho 1

Prosopography of the Byzantine Empire
FloruitM/L VII
Dates678 (taq) / 681 (ob.)
PmbZ No.129
Variant NamesAgathon;
pope Agatho
LocationsRome (officeplace);
Rome (residence);
Sicily (birthplace)
TitlesArchbishop, Rome (office);
Bishop, Rome (office);
Patriarch, Rome (office);
Pope, Rome (office)
Textual SourcesConstantinople, Third Council of (Sixth Ecumenical Council), ed. R. Riedinger, Concilium Universale Constantinopolitanum Tertium, ACO II.2. 1 (Berlin, 1990-1992); also cited from Mansi XI passim (conciliar);
Liber Pontificalis, ed. L. Duchesne, Le liber pontificalis. Texte, introduction et commentaire, 2 vols. (Paris, 1886-92); re-issued with 3rd vol. by C. Vogel, (Paris, 1955-57) (chronicle);
Michael the Syrian, Chronicle, ed. and tr. J.-B. Chabot, La chronique de Michel le Syrien (Paris, 1899-1904) (chronicle);
Nicephorus (patriarch), Apologeticus, PG 100. 833B-850A (theology);
Paulus Diaconus, Historia Gentis Langobardorum, ed. L. Bethmann and G. Waitz, MGH, Scr. Rer. Lang., pp. 12-187; also in MGH, Scr. Rer. Ger. 48, pp. 49-242 (history);
Photius, Epistulae, ed. B. Laourdas and L. G. Westerink, 3 vols. (Leipzig, 1983-85) (letters);
Zonaras = Ioannis Zonarae Epitome Historiarum, libri XIII-XVIII, ed. Th. Büttner-Wobst, (Bonn, 1897) (history)

Agatho 1 was bishop of Rome from 27 June 678 to 10 January 681.

A native of Sicily: Lib. Pont. 81. 1. According to a later version of the text he was once a monk (ex monachis): see apparatus criticus to Lib. Pont. 81. 1 (Duchesne, Lib. Pont., p. 350). Agatho 1 succeeded Donus (Donos 2) as bishop of Rome and occupied the see for two years six months four days; described as gentle and kindly and one whom everyone found agreeable: Lib. Pont. 81. 1.

Agatho 1He received the imperial letter (from Constantine IV, Konstantinos 2) addressed to his predecessor inviting him to send clergy to Constantinople to discuss church unity; he sent several representatives, among whom were the three bishops Abundantius of Paternum (Aboundantios 1), Ioannes of Regium (Ioannes 32) and Ioannes of Portus (Ioannes 21): Lib. Pont. 81. 3, cf. Paul. Diac. Hist. Lang. VI 4 (sent representatives to the Council of Constantinople).

Author of two documents read out at the Council of Constantinople on 15 November, 680: Riedinger, pp. 52-121 (= Mansi XI 233-286) (a dogmatic letter addressed to the emperor Constantine IV (Konstantinos 2) and his brothers Heraklios 1 and Tiberios 1), Riedinger, pp. 122-140 (= Mansi XI 285-298) (the decree of the Roman synod held at Easter, 680, subscribed by Agatho 1 and many Western bishops; cf. 140, lines 4-5 Ἀγάθων ἐπίσκοπος τῆς ἁγίας τοῦ Θεοῦ καθολικῆς καὶ ἀποστολικῆς ἐκκλησίας πόλεως Ῥώμης), Lib. Pont. 81. 10. For the date of this council, Easter (25 March), 680, see E. Caspar, Geschichte des Papsttums (Tubingen, 1930-1933) II, p. 540 with n. 2 (referring to Vita Wilfridi ep. Eborac., c. 53, in MGH, Scr. Rer. Mer. VI, p. 248).

Agatho 1 was represented at the Third Council of Constantinople (the Sixth Ecumenical Council) by three clergy from Rome, Theodoros 22 and Georgios 15 (both priests) and Ioannes 31 (deacon): Riedinger, p. 16, lines 3-5 (and passim) (= Mansi XI 209) (they were ἐπεχόντων τόν τόπον τοῦ ὁσιωτάτου καὶ ἁγιωτάτου ἀρχιεπισκόπου τῆς πρεσβυτέρας Ῥώμης Ἀγάθωνος; elsewhere he is also styled Ἀγάθωνος τοῦ μακαριωτάτου καὶ οἰκουμενικοῦ πάπα πόλεως Ρώμης, e.g. Riedinger, p. 818, line 1 (= Mansi XI 668)), and cf. Zon. XIV 21.6 (his τοποτηρηταί attended the Council), Lib. Pont. 4. 2 (sent Ioannes 31 together with priests to represent him at the Council of Constantinople), Photius, Ep. 1, lines 322-325 (I 12 Laourdas-Westerink) (represented at the Council by the priests Theodoros 22 and Georgios 15 and the deacon Ioannes 31). See also Konstantinos 22.

After the Council ended he was one of the five patriarchs to whom was sent a copy of the definition of the faith agreed by the Council: Riedinger, p. 830, line 5, 830ff. (Mansi XI 681, 684ff.), and cf. Lib. Pont. 84. 2 (Ioannes 31 returned with the documents).

Contrary to custom Agatho 1 assumed the post of arcarius of the church at Rome himself and personally signed documents, transacting business via a nomenclator; only when he fell ill did he return to the usual practice and appoint someone else as arcarius: Lib. Pont. 81. 17 (arcarius ecclesiae Romanae efficitur et per semetipsum causa arcarivae disposuit, emittens videlicet desuscepta per nomencolatorem manu sua obumbratas).

Bishop of Rome; his synodical letter was quoted by the patriarch Nikephoros 2: Nic., Apol. Min. 6 (841C-D).

He was buried in St Peter's on 10 January: Lib. Pont. 81. 18.

He was allegedly an acquaintance of Theodoros 3, who persuaded him to convene a council at Rome at which the alleged heresy of Maximos 10 was approved; he then persuaded the emperor Constantine IV by means of a bribe to accept it also: Mich. Syr. II 447-448, 452.

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