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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

George of Cyprus

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(afterwards called Gregory), patriarch of Constantinople, was born in the early part of the 13th century. He occupied an important position at Constantinople at the time of the accession of Andronicus Palseologus the elder, in 1282. He was a man of learning and eloquence, and revived the Attic dialect, which had for a long time fallen into disuse. Under the reign of Michael Palseologus, father of Andronicus, he was in favor of the union of the Greek and Latin churches, which Michael greatly desired. But the accession of Andronicus, who was opposed to this union, modified his sentiments. At the death of Joseph, Andronicus was called to the vacant see. The emperor, desiring to put an end to the existing troubles concerning the procession of the Holy Ghost, and a schism caused by the deposition of Arsenius, patriarch of Constantinople in 1266, wished to place a layman in the position; therefore George was rapidly advanced through the various degrees of monk, deacon, priest, and consecrated patriarch in April 1283, under the name of Gregory. The Armenians at first refused to recognize him, and at length were excommunicated by him. He severely prosecuted the adherents of John Beccus, or Veccus, ex-patriarch, and zealous advocate of the union of the Greek and Latin churches, which sentiment appeared particularly dangerous to Gregory. He expressed his opinions upon this subject in a book, entitled, ῎Εχθεσις τοῦ τόμου τῆς πίστεως, which excited so much opposition that he'was obliged to abandon his see in 1289. and accordingly retired to a monastery. He died the following year, and his death is believed to have been caused by chagrin. For mention of numerous other works, see Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Genirale, s.v.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'George of Cyprus'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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