Gennadius (2)

Gennadius patriarch of Constantinople (whose proper name was George Scholarius), was one of the most original and prolific writers in the Greek Church of the 15th century. He was secretary to the emperor John Palaeologus, and attended the Council of Florence in 1438, while yet a layman. He became an ecclesiastic in 1449 or 1450, and entered a monastery, taking the name of Gennadius. At Florence he had declared himself strongly on the side of union with the Latin Church, in three orations to be found in Hardouin, Concilia, 9:446 (supposed to be much interpolated). After becoming a monk he changed his views, and wrote against the Council of Ferrara- Florence. In 1453 he was made patriarch by the sultan, but retired in 1458, and died about 1460. Some have disputed the identity of Scholarius with Gennadius, but Renaudot puts it beyond doubt. A list of his writings will be found in Renaudot, who edited his homily De Eucharistia (Paris, 1704), and, in a larger edit, with Meletius and others (Paris, 1709, 4to). His treatise περὶ προορισμοῦ, De Predestinatione, was edited by Libertinus (Prague, 1673, 8vo). Migne, in Patrologia Graea, tom. 140, gives Renaudot's dissertation on the life and writings of Gennadius, with his writings as follows: Confessio Fidei (1, 2): — Homiliae: — Orationes in Synodo Florent. De Predestinatione: De Deo in Trinitate uno: Epistolae; and other writings. Fabricius, Bibliotheca Grceca (ed. Harles), 11:349 sq., gives Renaudot's list of the writings of Gennadius, seventy-six in number, and adds twenty-four more. See also a list of his writings and their various editions, in Hoffmann, Bibliographisches Lexikon, 2:155 sq. Of the writings attributed to him, perhaps the most important are the two Confessions made for the sultan, (1) ῾Ομιλία (or ) ῥηθεῖσα περὶ τῆς ὀρθῆς καὶ ἀμωμητου πίστεως τῶν Χριστιανῶν ; and (2) a dialogue περὶ τῆς ὁδοῦ τῆς σωτηρίας τῶν ἀνθρώπων, both given in Migne (Gr. and Lat.), in Kimmel, Monumenta Fidei Eccles. Orientalis (Jena, 1850, 8vo), and in Gass, Gennadius and Pletho (see below). These confessions have been critically studied by Dr. Otto, who gives the text of the dialogue, a literary history of the two confessions, and an investigation of the genuineness of the dialogue, in Zeitschrift far histor. Theologie, 20:389 sq.; 34:111 sq.; and separately, from additional sources, Des Patriarch Gennadios Confession (Wien, 1864). Otto decides that the dialogue was not written by Gennadius, but is probably a recension of the ἕτε ραί τινες έρωτήσεις (falsely ascribed to Athanasius), made by some Greek, in the interest of the Church of Rome, to favor the union of the Greek and Latin churches. As it gives the procession of the Holy Ghost from the Father and the Son (Migne, tom. 140, page 322 D), the Latins and Latinizing Greeks have made much use of it in the Filioque controversy. — Mosheim, Church History, cent. 15, part 2, chapter 2, § 23; Dupin, Eccl. Writers, 5:110; Fablicius, Biblioth. Graeca, 1.c.; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 19:913; Gass, Gennadius and Pletho (Breslau, 1844).

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