Eustathius of Thessalonica

Eustathius Of Thessalonica, one of the most learned bishops of the Greek Church in the Middle Ages, was a native of Constantinople. He was at first a monk, subsequently a deacon of the church of St. Sophia, and a teacher of eloquence. He also held a position at the court, having charge of all petitions, and in this capacity presented to the emperor a petition of the city of Constantinople on the occasion of a great scarcity of water. In this period of his life Eustathius compiled his celebrated commentaries on Greek classics, which give proof of an immense amount of reading, and are the more valuable as they contain many extracts from works which are now lost. It is especially the commentary on Homer (Rome, 1542-50, 4 volumes; Basel, 1559-60, 3 volumes; with register by Devarius, edited by Stallbaum, Leips. 1825-30, 6 volumes), which is a storehouse of learning. Of his commentary an Pindar, only the proaemium is now extant (published by Schneidewin, Gotting. 1837). In 1174 (or 1175) he was elected bishop of Myra, in Lycia, but before he had assumed the administration of this diocese the emperor appointed him metropolitan of Thessalonica. In 1180 when the emperor Manuel desired a mitigation of the formula of abjuration which the converts from Mohammedanism had to pronounce, Eustathius, at the synod, firmly opposed the emperor, who was greatly displeased with this opposition, but nevertheless remained a patron of Eustathius. When, in 1185, Thessalonica was conquered and plundered by the Normans under William II of Sicily, Eustathius was indefatigable in his efforts in behalf of the city. His theological writings were for the first time published by Dr. Tafel (Opusculae codd. Basil. Paris. Veneto, nune primum edidit Th. L.F. Tafel, Francof. 1832; and with an Appendix, in Tafel De Thessalonica, Berlin, 1839). They are noted for outspoken evangelical sentiments. Of special importance in this respect is the work Meditations on the Monastic State (ἐπίσκεψις βίου μοναχικοῦ; transl. into German Betrachtungen uber d. Monchsstand] by G.L.F. Tafel, Berlin, 1847). Saune of his works, e.g. a commentary on John of Damascus, are still extant in MS. Eustathius died in Tlcessalonica about 1194. — Herzog, Real-Encykl. 4:247; Wetzer u. Welte, Kirch.-Lex. 3:771; Neander, Karakteristik des Bustathius in seiner reformator. Richtung, in Neander, Tissenschaftliche Abhandl. (Berlin, 1851). (A.J.S.)

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