Maximos 10

Prosopography of the Byzantine Empire
FloruitE/M VII
Dates577 (n.) / 662 (ob.)
PmbZ No.4921
Variant NamesMaximus
LocationsHagios Theodoros (Monastery of, Rhegion) (residence);
Selymbria (Thrace);
Rhegion (Thrace);
Lazike (residence);
Perberis (Thrace) (residence);
Perberis (Thrace);
Bizye (Thrace);
Bizye (Thrace) (residence);
Bizye (Thrace) (exileplace);
Caucasus (exileplace);
Caucasus (deathplace);
Lazike (exileplace);
Perberis (Thrace) (exileplace);
Hesfin (Tiberias) (birthplace)
Textual SourcesActa in Primo Exilio seu Dialogus Maximi cum Theodosio ep. Caesareae in Bithynia, PG 90. 136-169 (theology);
Chronicon Anonymi ad annum 1234 pertinens, ed. and tr. J.-B. Chabot, I = CSCO 81-82 (Paris, 1916-20), II = CSCO 109 (Louvain, 1937) (chronicle);
Chronicon ad annum Domini 846 pertinens, ed. E. W. Brooks, tr. J.-B. Chabot, CSCO 3-4 (Louvain, 1904); also tr. E. W. Brooks, "A Syriac Chronicle of the Year 846", Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenländ (chronicle);
Constantinople, 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);
Michael the Syrian, Chronicle, ed. and tr. J.-B. Chabot, La chronique de Michel le Syrien (Paris, 1899-1904) (chronicle);
Relatio Motionis Factae inter Domnum Abbatem Maximum et Socium eius atque Principes in Secretario, PG 99. 109-130 (theology);
Theodoros Spoudaios, Hypomnesticum (Gk), ed. R. Devreesse, "Le texte grec de l'Hypomnesticum de Théodore Spoudée", Anal. Boll. 53 (1935), pp. 66-80; (Lat.) version of Anastasius Bibliothecarius, (history);
Theophanes Confessor, Chronographia, ed. C. de Boor, 2 vols. (Leipzig, 1883-85, repr. Hildesheim/NewYork, 1980); tr. and comm. C. Mango and R. Scott, The Chronicle of Theophanes Confessor, Oxford 1997 (chronicle);
Vita Syriaca Maximi Confessoris, ed. S. Brock, "An Early Syriac Life of Maximus the Confessor", Anal. Boll. 91 (1973), pp. 299-346 (hagiography);
Zonaras = Ioannis Zonarae Epitome Historiarum, libri XIII-XVIII, ed. Th. Büttner-Wobst, (Bonn, 1897) (history)

Maximos 10 was born in Palestine east of the sea of Galilee, in a village called Hesfin; his father was a Samaritan, a weaver by trade, and his mother a Persian slave: Vita Max. Conf. (Syr.) 1, p. 314. They were rejected by the other Samaritans and lived for two years in the house of a Christian priest, called Martyrios, who baptised Maximos: Vita Max. Conf. (Syr.) 2, p. 314. Maximos received the baptismal name of Moschion; after the death of his parents, he was taken by Martyrios to the monastery of Palaia Laura, then under a hegoumenos called Pantaleon, and he assumed the name Maximos: Vita Max. Conf. (Syr.) 3-4, pp. 314-15. Maximos became a disciple of Pantaleon: Vita Max. Conf. (Syr.) 6-7, p. 315.

Maximos 10 was born at Hesfin (Yspyn), "a village in the district of Tiberias": Chron. 1234, §130 (p. 266). A leader of the "Maximianist" heresy (named after him) in the reign of the emperor Constans II (Konstans 1); he visited Africa, where his views were found acceptable by Nestorian scholars living there; he also saw pope Martin (Martinos 6) in Rome and convinced him; after the Arabs attacked Africa (perhaps referring to the overthrow of Gregorios 1) he went to Constantinople and taught there; his views were discussed at a council summoned by the emperor and were rejected but he refused to recant and was dismissed to a women's monastery in disgrace; there he convinced the nuns of the rightness of his views; they were punished and Maximos 10 had his tongue cut out; he continued to spread his opinions by writing letters and first his right hand was cut off and then, when he persisted in writing with the other hand, his left also was cut off; he was sent into exile to the Caucasus where he died; this version of Maximos 10's life was copied by the author of the Chronicon Anonymi ad annum 1234 pertinens from a treatise attacking Maximos 10 by the priest and monk, Simon of Qinnasrin, whose source was the writings of the Maronites against the Maximianists: Chron. 1234, §130 (pp. 264-267).

According to the Syriac Life Maximos 10 went voluntarily to Constantinople, to continue his teaching at a time when the emperor Constans II (Konstans 1) was absent; he based himself in the nuns' convent of Ta Plakidias: Vita Max. Conf. (Syr.) 25-26, p. 319.

Maximos 10 was born in 577/578; cf. Relatio Motionis XIII, 128 (he was seventy five in 652/653). He was therefore aged about eighty five when he died, in 662.

Maximos 10 and his disciple Anastasios 1, with the bishop of Rome, Martinos 6, convened a synod at Rome which condemned the Typos of Konstans 1; subsequently Maximos 10 and Anastasios 1 were imprisoned by the emperor and after questioning were exiled to Bizye and Perbera in Thrace; they were later summoned from there and subjected to still further interrogation, and afterwards they were both mutilated, having their hands and tongues cut off, and were exiled to Lazica: Theod. Spoud., Hypomnesticum, praef., p. 67. Maximos and his disciple Anastasios 1 spent ten years in exile, first at Bizye and Perbera in Thrace and then in Lazica; they were first exiled in indiction eleven of the previous cycle (a. 652/653); Maximos 10 died on August 13 of indiction five (i.e. on 13 August 662); Maximos 10's tomb was the scene nightly of a miraculous display of lights, witnessed and attested by, among others, Mistrianos 1: Theod. Spoud., Hypomnesticum, 5, pp. 74-5, Hypomnesticum (Lat), VI, 198.

Maximos 10 was already an old man when taken to Constantinople (in 652/653); on arrival by boat, he and his companions were taken to separate prisons; then a few days later they were taken to the palace and Maximos 10 was taken before the senate (σύγκλητος) and a large crowd and questioned by the sakellarios (Anonymus 654): Relatio Motionis I, 109. He was first accused of treason and said to have betrayed Egypt, Alexandria, Pentapolis, Tripolis and Africa to the Arabs by preventing the despatch of troops to Egypt twenty-two years before (i.e. in c. 630) (cf. PLRE III, Petrus 70); a witness, Ioannes 488, was produced but, when Maximos 10 demanded the production of the documentary evidence mentioned, Ioannes 488 admitted that he was only repeating gossip: Relatio Motionis I, 112. Maximos 10 was then accused of supporting the rebellion in Africa of the patrikios Gregorios 1 nine years earlier; a witness, Sergios 112, claimed to have heard from Thomas 63 that he had been sent by pope Theodore (Theodoros 49) to Gregorios 1 with a message of encouragement since Maximos 10 had seen a vision prophesying that he would be victorious; Maximos 10 denied all knowledge of this before the present moment: Relatio Motionis II, 112-113. A third witness, Theodoros 346, claimed to have met Maximos 10 in Rome and heard him make disparaging remarks about the emperor; Maximos 10 denied this also and said that he had only had one meeting with Theodoros 346, and that was officially arranged when he was accompanied by Theocharistos 3, brother of the exarchos (Anonymus 655): Relatio Motionis III, 113. A fourth witness, Gregorios 150, now came forward and claimed that once in Rome when he visited Maximos 10 in his cell and remarked that the emperor was a priest, the disciple of Maximos 10, Anastasios 1, replied that the emperor was not worthy; Maximos 10 denied that his disciple had said anything and then, after throwing himself to the ground and swearing to describe what really happened, gave his own version, saying that Gregorios 150 had come to Rome and visited him, explaining that he had been sent by the emperor to invite the bishop of Rome to return to communion with the patriarch of Constantinople on the basis of the Typos; Maximos 10 had replied that this was impossible as the Typos was heretical, and when Gregorios 150 claimed that he was faithful to the Creed, Maximos 10 demonstrated that the Typos was inconsistent with it; he further replied that emperors were not priests and demonstrated it by pointing out that for instance at the altar emperors were not named with the priests but followed after them: Relatio Motionis IV, 113-117. At this Menas 7 cried out that Maximos 10 was dividing the Church; Maximos 10 denied the charge, but the sakellarios (Anonymus 654) turned to the representatives of the exarch and said that the exarch should not have allowed him to live: Relatio Motionis V, 117-120. Maximos 10 was then taken out of the enquiry and his disciple Anastasios 1 brought in: Relatio Motionis V, 120. Afterwards they were returned to their prisons, where Maximos 10 received a visit from Menas 7, who in the presence of officials (παρουσίᾳ τῶν ἀρχόντων) accused him of leading people into Origenist errors; Maximos 10 denied this and anathematised Origen, and Epiphanios 50 then remarked to Menas 7 that Maximos 10 had cleared himself of the charge: Relatio Motionis V, 120. On the evening of the same day Maximos 10 was visited by Troilos 3 and Sergios 113 and questioned at length; they asked about his debates in Africa and Rome with Pyrrhos 1 and wondered how he had persuaded Pyrrhos 1 to agree with him; Maximos 10 explained in detail that it was because his doctrine was that of the church; to the question why he refused to communicate with the see of Constantinople, he explained that it was because Constantinople accepted the Nine Chapters of Alexandria, which overturned the four ecumenical councils, as well as the Ekthesis of the patriarch Sergius and the Typos of the recent sixth indiction, all of which confirmed one another but had been condemned by the council held at Rome in the recent eighth indiction; when asked if he alone was saved and all the rest damned he firmly replied "No!": Relatio Motionis VI, 120. They then told him about the arrival in Constantinople of apokrisiarioi from Rome who would enter into communion with the see of Constantinople on the following day, a Sunday, to which Maximos 10 replied that they had not brought a letter and did not truly represent Rome: Relatio Motionis VII, 121. They then raised the subject of Wills and Energies; Maximos 10 agreed that all things have Will and Energy, but when asked why he opposed the emperor on this issue he threw himself on the ground and said that the emperor should not be angry with him as he was only repeating the teaching of the Bible: Relatio Motionis VIII-IX, 121-124. Next they asked him how he could accuse the patriarch of Constantinople of rejecting the church councils and he replied that he had already given the answer in his reply to Gregorios 150, but was ready with the emperor's approval to demonstrate it again except that his books had been taken away from him; after further discussion his visitors professed themselves satisfied with this and promised not to trouble him again: Relatio Motionis X, 124. Sergios 113 recalled that he had often visited Maximos 10 in his cell at Bebbai (εἰς Βέββας) and listened to his teaching; the one thing that troubled people was when he urged them not to communicate with the patriarch of Constantinople; Maximos 10 denied that he did this; Troilos 3 then observed that the Typos was anathematised in the West and asked if Maximos 10 thought it right that the emperor should be insulted in this way; Maximos 10 answered that God would pardon those who persuaded the emperor to issue it and, to the question who they were, replied that the Church leaders had persuaded him to it and the secular authorities (οἱ ἄρχοντες) had agreed; just as Herakleios had blamed Sergios for the Ekthesis, so the current emperor would blame the real author of the Typos: Relatio Motionis XI, 124-125. His visitors then left him; on a subsequent Sabbath day (Saturday) Maximos 10 and his disciple were again taken to the palace for questioning: Relatio Motionis XII, 125. After the disciple had been questioned and then removed, Maximos 10 was brought in to the sekreton, where Troilos 3 asked him if, in the event that any of the charges brought against him were true, he did not deserve to be executed; Maximos 10 denied the truth of the charges and claimed that though he had often anathematised the Typos this did not mean that he had anathematised the emperor but only a heretical document which had been condemned by the council at Rome; to questions from the eparchos of the Polis about his attitude to the church at Constantinople, he replied that he was not in communion with it because it rejected the councils; the presence of the patriarchs' names in the diptychs meant nothing if they rejected true doctrine, as he would prove if he were given the opportunity; the sakellarios then asked why he favoured the Romans and despised the Greeks and he denied this too, claiming to hate no-one, as instructed by the Scriptures, but loved the Romans who shared his faith and the Greeks who shared his language; asked about his age he replied that he was seventy-five years old, and said that his disciple (Anastasios 1) had been with him for thirty-seven years: Relatio Motionis XIII, 128. It was then put to him that the council of Rome had no validity since the person who summoned it (i.e. pope Martin, Martinos 6) had been deposed; Maximos 10 replied that he had not been deposed but persecuted and demanded the evidence that his expulsion had been canonical; Troilos 3 replied that what had happened had happened and Maximos 10 did not know what he was talking about: Relatio Motionis XIV, 128. After this Maximos 10 was taken from the sekreton back to prison and on the following day, a Sunday, at the request of the leaders of the church, he and Anastasios 1 were sent into exile separately; Maximos 10 was sent to the fort of Bizye in Thrace where he was allegedly kept naked, uncared for, without food or the necessities of life, and kept away from the sea and the possibility of visitors who might bring him comfort: Relatio Motionis XV, 129.

The end of Maximos 10's exile at Bizye is described in a document composed by Anastasius Apocrisiarius (Anastasios 66): Acta Primi Exilii. At this time Maximos 10 allegedly described himself as just a monk (ψιλὸς ὑπάρχων μοναχός): Acta primi exilii 153C. Maximos 10 was at Bizye in exile on August 24 of the past fourteenth indiction (i.e. 24 August 656) when he was visited by the bishop of Caesarea, Theodosios 20, sent by the patriarch Petros 2, and by the hypatoi Paulos 91 and Theodosios 76, representing the emperor; the bishop of Bizye, Anonymus 666, was also present: Acta Primi Exilii 137A. They held a long conversation (Acta Primi Exilii 137A-160C) before they parted: Acta Primi Exilii 160C. After the conversation at Bizye he was given a small sum of money and a cloak (στιχάριον) and tunic (κάμασον); the cloak was immediately taken from him by the bishop of Bizye (Anonymus 666), and all his other possessions were removed soon afterwards at Rhegion: Acta Primi Exilii 160C (and see below). On September 8 of indiction fifteen (i.e. 8 September 656) Paulos 91 returned to Bizye and took Maximos 10 to the monastery of St Theodoros near Rhegion: Acta Primi Exilii 160D-162A. On the following day he was visited there by Theodosios 20 of Caesarea and the patrikioi Epiphanios 50 and Troilos 3: Acta Primi Exilii 162Aff. He still refused to obey the emperor and accept the Typos, and received a flogging, until it was stopped by Theodosios 20: Acta Primi Exilii 162A-164D. The following morning he was visited by the hypatos Theodosios 76, who took away all his possessions: Acta Primi Exilii 168A. Theodosios 76 delivered him over to soldiers, who took him to Selymbria, where two days later, following an attempt to stir up feeling against him among the troops (cf. Anonymus 672), he was visited by a group of military officers and clergy (cf. Anonymus 673 and Anonymus 674) and allegedly convinced them of his views; he was removed from there to a place two miles away, where clergy still visited him, and he was then transferred from there to Perbera (cf. Anonymus 675): Acta Primi Exilii 168B-169A. He and his disciple Anastasios 1 were finally taken from Perbera to Constantinople, where they were anathematised together with Anastasios 66, pope Martin (Martinos 6) and Sophronios, formerly patriarch of Jerusalem; a council in Constantinople condemned Maximos 10 and his two followers, Anastasios 1 and Anastasios 66: Acta Primi Exilii 169Cff. They were then handed over to the eparchos and were mutilated and exiled to Lazica: Acta Primi Exilii 172B.

At the Third Council of Constantinople (the Sixth Ecumenical Council) Maximos 10 was described as a heretic by the monothelete Makarios 1 of Antioch; called a pagan by Makarios 1 and said to have followed the teachings of Theodore of Mopsuestia (condemned at the Fifth Ecumenical Council), he was condemned and exiled together with his disciples by a council held under the emperor Constans II (Konstans 1) (in 655): Riedinger II 2. 228-230 (= Mansi XI 357). In 657/658 the emperor Constans II (Konstans 1) had Maximos 10's tongue cut out and his right hand amputated because he had spoken and written so much against the Monothelete heresy, with his disciples, and rejected the emperor's attempts to convert him: Theoph. AM 6149. A confessor and martyr (τοῦ ὁμολογητοῦ καὶ μάρτυρος Μαξίμου), he had his tongue cut out and hand cut off by Konstans 1 for refusing to accept the emperor's heresy; two of his disciples, both called Anastasios (see Anastasios 1 and Anastasios 66), were also exiled and tortured: Theoph. AM 6160, cf. Zon. XIV 19. 5-6 (punished with his disciples by Konstans 1 for opposing monotheletism and condemning it at the Council of Rome). He suffered great maltreatment at the hands of Konstans 1: Zon. XIV 19. 28. He had earlier tried to correct the monothelete views of Pyrrhos 1, while the latter was in exile at Rome: Zon. XIV 19. 22. Involved in a discussion about the faith with the bishop of Neokaisareia in Bithynia, Theodosios 20, and secular officials: Mansi XIII 37 (a quotation from one of his own works). Said to be a monk who distinguished himself at the Council of Constantinople in the year 992 (680/681) when everyone who spoke of one will and one energy was anathematised: Chron. ad a. 846, p. 230, 22-25 = p. 175 (Chabot) = p. 579 (Brooks). This appears to be an allusion to Maximos 10 (Maximus the Confessor).

Native of the village of Hasfin in Tiberias, Maximos 10 went to Africa where he found and was welcomed by Nestorians whose views he shared; from there he went to Rome where he won over the bishop, Martinos 6, and then went to Constantinople: Mich. Syr. II 435-436. The emperor convened a council at which Maximos 10 argued with Konstantinos 298 of Perga and was shown to be a heretic, agreeing with Nestorius and Theodorus (of Mopsouestia); he was imprisoned in a convent for women, but converted them to his views; they were burned alive by the emperor Konstans 1 and Maximos 10's tongue was cut out, but he then wrote letters: Mich. Syr. II 436. His right hand was cut off, and when he then wrote with his left, that too was cut off and he was sent into exile: Mich. Syr. II 436-437. Maximos 10, of Hasfin of Tiberias, taught the doctrine of two Wills; he was exiled to the Caucasus, in Armenia, and his hands and tongue were cut off: Mich. Syr. II 443-444.

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