Nicephorus, Blemmidas or Blemmydas

Nicephorus, Blemmidas Or Blemmydas, a noted Greek ascetical writer, flourished in the 13th century. According to a recent Russian bibliographer, Nicephoῥrus was born at Constantinople in 1198. He was of a noble and wealthy family; but, converted to Christianity, he decided for a life of devotion, and after taking holy orders fell into extreme asceticism. The wealth which came to him from his friends he spent for the good of the Christian cause. At Nicaea he built a church at his own expense, and served it as presbyter. Universally esteemed for his Christian life, he yet suffered many trials and disappointments. From imperial friends he encountered opposition for his censures on concubinage. Under the emperor Theodore Lascaris, the successor of the licentious Ducas, Nicephorus was more favored, and on the death of patriarch Germanus, in 1255, was offered his place. Nicephorus, however, declined the honor. In the religious disputes between the Greeks and the Latins, Blemmidas showed himself well-disposed towards the latter. He died as abbot of a convent near Ephesus in 1272. He wrote various works, but all-of them were devoted especially to secure the peace of the Church, and this, says Neander," he was induced to do by a purely Christian interest, separate from all other considerations." Nicephorus's writings are not all accessible as yet, but twelve works have thus far been determined as his, and have recently been brought out in the Bibliotheca Ecclesiastica continens Graecorum Theologorum Opera, vol. i (Leips. 1866, 8vo). Nicephorus's principal writings thus far determined are: (1.) Opusculum de Processione Spiritus Sancti, etc. In this work he adopts entirely the views of the Roman Catholics on the procession of the Holy Ghost and other matters; which is the more surprising as he wrote a second work on the same subject, wherein he defends the opinion of the Greek Church. Leo Allatius (De Consensu, 2:14) eideavors to justify him for his want of consistency, showing that he either wrote that work when very young, before he had formed a thorough conviction on the point, or that some schismatics published their opinions under the name of Blemmidas: —

(2.) De Processione Spiritus Sancti libri 2: This is the second work just mentioned, the first book of which is dedicated to the emperor Theodore Lascaris, and the second to Jacob, archbishop of Bulgaria (ed. Greece et Latine, by Oderius Raynaldus, in the appendix, to the first volume of his Annalis Ecclesiast. by Leo Allatius in the first volume of Orthodoxce Graecice Script.): —

(3.) Epistola ad plurimos data postquam Marchesinam templo ejecerat, Greece et Latine, in the second book of Leo Allatius, De Consensu: —

(4.) Ε᾿πιτομὴ λογικῆς (Augsburg, 1605, 8vo). There are also many other writings by Blemmidas extant in manuscript in the libraries of Munich, Rome, Paris, and other places. See Cave, Hist. Liter. ad ann. 1255; Fabricius, Bibl. Graec. 11:394; Neander, Church Hist. 4:541. sq.; Hauck, Theolog. Jahresbericht, 1867, 2:253, 254.

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