Polychronios 3

Prosopography of the Byzantine Empire
FloruitM/L VII
Dates681 (taq) / 682 (tpq)
Variant NamesPolychronius
LocationsZeuxippos (Baths of, Constantinople);
Chrysopolis (Bithynia);
Rome (exileplace);
Herakleia (Pontus) (officeplace);
Rome (residence);
Herakleia (Pontus);
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);
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);
Zonaras = Ioannis Zonarae Epitome Historiarum, libri XIII-XVIII, ed. Th. Büttner-Wobst, (Bonn, 1897) (history)

Polychronios 3 was a priest and monk, an ardent monothelete and supporter of Makarios 1 and Stephanos 17; at the fourteenth session of the Third Council of Constantinople (the Sixth Ecumenical Council), on 5 April 681, the bishop of Prousias, Domitios 1, requested that Polychronios 3 appear before the Council to defend his views, claiming that he had led many astray by his teaching: Riedinger II 2. 662-664 (= Mansi XI 601). Admitted at the fifteenth session (on 26 April), Polychronios 3 proposed to place the document containing his statement on a corpse in order to bring the dead to life; the document, sealed with a seal bearing the monogram Πολυχρονίου ὁμολογητοῦ and addressed to the emperor, was produced and read out to the Council; in it he described seeing a crowd of white clad men, one of whom told him to hasten to warn the emperor against innovations in the faith; en route from Herakleia (perhaps Herakleia Pontica), at Chrysopolis, he was standing in the sun at the seventh hour when he again saw a man clad in white who told him that the doctrine of One Will and One Energy was the true Christian doctrine; he then told the man that this was the emperor's faith and the man said this was good and pleasing to God; Polychronios 3 then vouched for the authenticity of this document to the Council, which adjourned to the Baths of Zeuxippos; there Polychronios 3, in the presence of the Council and a large crowd of spectators, placed the document on a dead man and tried for several hours to revive him, whispering over him all the time; eventually he gave up and admitted defeat; the crowd anathematised him; the Council then reconvened and Polychronios 3 was further questioned about his faith; he refused to abandon the doctrine of One Will and was deposed and anathematised together with Makarios 1 and Stephanos 17: Riedinger II 2. 672-682 (= Mansi XI 605-612).

He was already an old man in 681 and had supported monotheletism for a long time: Riedinger II 2. 680 (= Mansi XI 609D), cf. Zon. XIV 21. 9 (unnamed old man, a longstanding monothelete). He was presumably a priest and monk at a place called Herakleia, from which the route to Constantinople lay through Chrysopolis; the likeliest city seems to be Herakleia Pontica in Honorias, with Herakleia in Caria as another possibility. His name is included among the anathemata at the end of the sixteenth session of the Council: Riedinger II 2. 702, line 21 (= Mansi XI 621). He was anathematised again at the eighteenth session: Riedinger II 2. 798, line 20 (= Mansi XI 656). During the address of the Council to the emperor at this session he is mocked as a foolish old man who tried to raise the dead (Πολυχρόνιον τὸν νηπιόφρονα καὶ ληρήσαντα γέροντα, τὸν τοὺς νεκροὺς ἐγείρειν ἐπαγγελλόμενον καὶ τῷ μὴ ἐγείρειν γελώμενον): Riedinger II 2. 816, lines 7-9 (= Mansi XI 665B). He is recorded in the definition of the faith sent to the bishop of Rome, Agatho 1, as one of those anathematised by the Council: Riedinger II 2. 889, line 4 (= Mansi XI 685). In the imperial edict issued after the Council he is named as an old man and an obdurate monothelete: Riedinger II 2. 834, line 19, 852, line 18 (= Mansi XI 700, 712).

After the Council Polychronios 3 was sent with Makarios 1 and Stephanos 17 to Rome for the new pope Leo II (Leo 16) to try to convince of their errors: Riedinger II 2. 896, lines 27-31, 864, lines 5-8, cf. 878, line 17 (= Mansi XI 716, 724, cf. 733) (without success), Lib. Pont. 81. 14 (a former priest and monk, one of those exiled to Rome with Makarios 1). Condemned by the Sixth Ecumenical Council as a monothelete, he was exiled to Rome, where he refused to abandon his faith and was shut up in a monastery by pope Leo II (Leo 16): Lib. Pont. 82. 2 ("Polychronius novus Simon"). Recorded in the proceedings of the Third Council of Nikaia (the Seventh Ecumenical Council) among those previously anathematised by the Council of Constantinople: Mansi XII 1142. A priest and monk, he was a monothelete and a supporter of Makarios 1, with whom he was condemned at the Council of Constantinople: Photius, Ep.1, line 332 (I 12 Laourdas-Westerink).

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