Niketas 3

Prosopography of the Byzantine Empire
FloruitE VIII
Dates718 (taq) / 718 (ob.)
PmbZ No.5372
LocationsXylinites (Monastery of, Constantinople) (property);
Constantinople (officeplace);
Constantinople (residence);
TitlesMagistros (dignity);
Patrikios (dignity)
Textual SourcesLeo Grammaticus, Chronographia, ed. I. Bekker (Bonn, 1842) (chronicle);
Nicephorus, Breviarium Historiae, ed. C. Mango, Nikephoros, Patriarch of Constantinople: Short History; prev. ed. C. de Boor Nicephori ArchiepiscopiConstantinopolitani Opuscula Historica Leipzig 1880 (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);
Zonaras = Ioannis Zonarae Epitome Historiarum, libri XIII-XVIII, ed. Th. Büttner-Wobst, (Bonn, 1897) (history)

Nicknamed Xylinites, in 718 Niketas 3 was a magister in Constantinople: Nic. Brev. de Boor 55-56, Mango 57:9 (Νικήταν τὸν μάγιστρον τὸ ἐπίκλην Ξυλινίτην; also τοῦ τὴν ἀξίαν μαγίστρου), Theoph. AM 6211 (Νικήτας ὁ Ξυλινίτης; also τὴν τοῦ Ξυλινίτου οὐσίαν μαγίστρου αὐτου ὑπάρχοντος), Zon. XV 2. 15 (ὁ δὲ μάγιστρος Νικήτας ὁ Ξυλινίτης). In 718 he was involved in the attempt by Artemios (i.e. Anastasios 6, the exiled former emperor Anastasios II) to regain the throne, but the accounts in Nicephorus and Theophanes differ on his role. According to Nicephorus, Artemios (Anastasios 6) wrote to him among others in Constantinople for support in his attempt to regain the throne; the letters were discovered and he was arrested and tortured until he admitted his part in the plot and was then beheaded: Nic. Brev. de Boor 55-6, Mango 55. According to Theophanes Niketas 3 wrote to Artemios (Anastasios 6) (then in Thessalonike) urging him to visit the Bulgar leader Tervel 1 to obtain his support for an attempt on the throne; when the expedition reached Constantinople and met with no support, the Bulgars surrendered Artemios (Anastasios 6) to the emperor, who executed Artemios (Anastasios 6) and Niketas 3 and confiscated the property of Niketas 3, which was very large: Theoph. AM 6211, cf. Zon. XV 2. 15-18 (following Theophanes's version). For the link between Artemios (Anastasios 6) and the Bulgars, see Sisinnios 2. The role of Sisinnios 2 is totally obscured in Theophanes, who has apparently omitted it from his summary of his source and begun his version only from the point where Artemios (Anastasios 6) was told to proceed to the Bulgars to join the expedition to Constantinople. In the later tradition from Symeon the Logothete he is styled Niketas Xylinites patrikios (Νικήτας δὲ ὁ πατρίκιος ὁ Ξυλινίτης); with other patrikioi (μετὰ καὶ ἑτέρων πατρικίων) he won over Terbel (Tervel 1) and they marched against Leo III but were betrayed by some of the Bulgars and executed (there is no mention in Leo Grammaticus of Anastasios): Leo Gramm. 179, 11-16, cf. Theod. Mel. 123, 26-124, 2, Symeon Slav. 78, 21-24. The version in the Arabic source Agapius is similar to that of Theophanes; Niketas is not named but alluded to as "un certain patrice grec" (Vasiliev's translation) who incited Anastasios 6 to rebel against Leo III (Leo 3); Anastasios 6 obtained the support of the Bulgars and marched to Constantinople, but when the people there gave no support to Anastasios 6, the Bulgars handed him over to Leo 3; once the Bulgars had withdrawn Anastasios 6 and the "patricians" were executed by Leo 3: Agapius, Kitab al-`unwan (in PO 8), p. 503. See Rochow, Theophanes, pp. 100-101. On the name Xylinites, see Winkelmann, Quellenstudien 181, 218.

Niketas 3 was a magistros who founded the monastery later known as the Monastery of Xylinites (τοῦ Ξυλινίτου) in Constantinople: Patria Const., p. 276 line 13.

(Publishable link for this person: )