Petros 27

Prosopography of the Byzantine Empire
FloruitL VIII
Dates785 (taq) / 787 (tpq)
PmbZ No.6024
Variant NamesPetrus
LocationsHoly Apostles (Church of the, Constantinople);
Rome (officeplace);
TitlesArchpresbyter, St Peter's (Rome) (office);
Oikonomos (office)
Textual SourcesLiber 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);
Nikaia, Second Council of (Seventh Ecumenical Council, a. 787) (Mansi XII-XIII) (conciliar);
Photius, Epistulae, ed. B. Laourdas and L. G. Westerink, 3 vols. (Leipzig, 1983-85) (letters);
Theodorus Studita, Epistulae, ed. G. Fatouros, CFHB 31.1-2 (Berlin/New York, 1992) (letters);
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 Tarasii by Ignatius the Deacon, ed. I. A. Heikel, Acta Societatis Scientiarum Fennicae 17 (1891), pp. 395-423; new ed. S. Efthymiadis, The Life of the Patriarch Tarasios by Ignatios the Deacon, (hagiography)

Petros 27 was oikonomos of the Church of Rome; in 785 he was sent with Petros 28 to Constantinople by pope Hadrian I (Hadrianos 1) after the empress Eirene 1 asked for papal representatives to attend the forthcoming Council on iconoclasm; they are called honourable men of excellent character (ἄνδρας τιμίους καὶ πάσῃ ἀρετῇ κεκοσμημένους): Theoph. AM 6277 (Πέτρον, τὸν οἰκονόμον τῆς ἐκκλησίας αὐτοῦ). Since the letter which they took from pope Hadrianos 1 to the emperors (Constantine VI (Konstantinos 8) and Eirene 1) was dated 26 October 785 (Mansi XII 1076), they began their journey late in that year. They travelled with the bishop of Katana, Theodoros 70, other bishops from Sicily, and the deacon Epiphanios 3: Mansi XII 1075-1078. They arrived in time for the meeting of the Council in the Church of the Holy Apostles on 7 August 786 (so Theophanes; for the correct date, 31 July, see Grumel, Regestes, 355): Theoph. AM 6278. They remained in Constantinople until the Council was reconvened at Nikaia in October (in fact, September) 787: Theoph. AM 6279.

Petros 27 was an archpriest of Rome; he was an envoy of Hadrianos 1 to Konstantinos 8 and Eirene 1 at Constantinople, with Petros 28, delivering a papal letter reaffirming the tradition of venerating icons: Lib. Pont. 97. 88 ("missos suos, videlicet Petrum venerabilem virum, archipresbiterum sanctae Romanae ecclesiae, et Petrum ..."). Archpriest of the Church of St Peter at Rome (Πέτρου τοῦ εὐλαβεστάτου πρώτου πρεσβυτέρου τῆς κατὰ τὴν Ῥώμην ἁγιωτάτης ἐκκλησίας τοῦ ἁγίου ἀποστόλου Πέτρου or similar); in 787 he attended the Second Council of Nikaia (the Seventh Ecumenical Council) as one of the two representatives of pope Hadrianos 1 (see Petros 28); he was present at the first seven sessions and presumably attended all eight, from 24 September to 23 November 787: Mansi XII 991-994, 1051, 1114, XIII 1, 157, 204, 365, cf. Ignatius, Vita Tarasii 28 (πρωτοπρεσβύτερος; he and Petros 28 represented pope Hadrianos 1 at the Council), Photius, Ep. 1, lines 370-371 (I 13 Laourdas-Westerink), Ep. 2, line 365 (I 52 Laourdas-Westerink) (πρωτοπρεσβύτερος of the Church at Rome; he and Petros 28 represented pope Hadrianos 1 at the Council), Vita Tarasii 28, lines 12-13. They brought letters to the emperors (Konstantinos 8 and Eirene 1) and to the patriarch Tarasios 1 from pope Hadrianos 1: Mansi XII 1007, 1075, 1083 (the letter to Tarasios 1), 1086, 1127, XIII 459 (and see above). During the debate on the readmission of heretics at the first session Petros 27 recalled the attempts of pope Benedict II (Benediktos 3) to convince the heretic Makarios (Makarios 1) of his errors and also recalled how bishop Meletios (fourth century patriarch of Antioch), although ordained by Arians, had not been prevented from practising as bishop: Mansi XII 1035-1038. At the second session they asked if the Council accepted the statements from Hadrianos 1 about the faith and the traditional veneration of icons: Mansi XII 1075, 1083-1086. At the third session Petros 27 and Petros 28 declared their approval of the readmission to their sees of Gregorios 38 and other former heretics: Mansi XII 1119. Later he spoke accepting as orthodox the letter from the eastern patriarchs: Mansi XII 1146. At the fourth session, after a passage from the Miracles of Anastasios the Persian was read out, Petros 27 and Petros 28 observed that the saint's image there referred to as being at Kaisareia in Palestine was now at Rome in the monastery named after him together with his actual head: Mansi XIII 24. Later they described how the walls of the Church of the Saviour at Rome had been decorated with scenes from the Bible by the founder, Constantine the Great: Mansi XIII 36-37. He and Petros 28 produced a codex containing a work by the theologian Leontios of Neapolis in Cyprus (cf. ODB II, pp. 1213-1214): Mansi XIII 44. They also produced a codex containing a letter from St Basil to the emperor Julian the Apostate: Mansi XIII 72. Later at this session Petros 27 subscribed the statements read out from the Fathers in support of icon veneration: Mansi XIII 133. At the fifth session he and Petros 28 noted the Arian position disclosed in the writings of Eusebius of Caesarea: Mansi XIII 177. Towards the end of the session he read a statement from himself and Petros 28 to Tarasios 1 and the Council proposing that a holy icon be brought into their midst and that the writings of the iconoclasts be anathematised or burned; the Council approved both suggestions: Mansi XIII 200 (Πέτρος ὁ ἁγιώτατος πρωτοπρεσβύτερος καὶ τοποτηρητὴς τοῦ ἁγιωτάτου πάπα τῆς πρεσβυτέρας Ῥώμης). At the seventh session he subscribed the statement of the faith adopted by the Council: Mansi XIII 380 (Πέτρος ἀνάξιος πρωτοπρεσβύτερος τοῦ θρόνου τοῦ ἁγίου ἀποστόλου Πέτρου, καὶ τὸν τόπον ἀναπληρῶν Ἀδριανοῦ πάπα τῆς πρεσβυτέρας Ῥώμης).

After the Council they returned to Rome bringing with them the Greek text of the Acts of the Council and an imperial letter written by the emperor and empress themselves, which the pope had translated and placed in the papal library: Lib. Pont. 97. 88. Petros 27 and Petros 28 were the unnamed persons mentioned in a letter of Theodore the Stoudite (Theodoros 15) as communicating with the newly-appointed patriarch Tarasios 1: Theod. Stud., Ep. 53, pp. 155-159. In another letter Theodoros 15 claimed that they had been sent to Constantinople on other business and had no authority to attend the Council, and therefore were dismissed after their return to Rome: Theod. Stud., Ep. 38, pp. 108- 111.

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