Nicetas, David

Nicetas, David commonly called Paphlago, either on account of his having been born in or having become bishop of Paphlagonia, lived about the year 880. He is best known as the author of a biography of the patriarch Ignatius, who died in 878. This biography is untrustworthy: at the end Ignatius is made to ascend into heaven, and his opponent Photius is accused of all possible wrongs. As in this the author served the Latin party, it is easy to understand why his work has been praised by the Roman Catholic writers. It must be admitted, however, that the work furnishes some valuable materials, for the history of the patriarchs. It has been repeatedly published (Gr. et Lat. ed. Matth. Raderus [Ingolstadt, 1604]), and in the acts of the councils, as in Hardouin, v. 955. Another polemic work, Liber pro Synodo Chalcedon. adv.

epistolam regis Armenic (Gr. et Lat. apud Allat. Graec. Orthod. 1:663), is also attributed, but without sufficient proofs, to Nicetas. He is besides considered as the author of a number of hymns, and panegyrics of saints and martyrs mentioned under his name in the catalogues of MSS., such as Laudatio s. Barbarae, Encomium in mart. Theodorum, in Nicolaum, in Panteleemonem, etc.; but on account of the many writers of the same name it is difficult to ascertain their authenticity. Some of the discourses (Apostolorum encomia, oratio in Marcunz evangel. etc.) are given by Combefis, Latine in Bibl. Concionatoria, Gr. et Lat. in Auctar. Bibl. patrum noviss. (Paris, 1672), and in Illustrium Christi martyrum triumphis (Paris, 1660). Nicephorus (lib. xiv, cap. 28) calls Nicetas a philosopher, but at present we know of no work of his to justify the appellation. The Quaestiones in Philosophiam et commentarii in Aristot. categor. et quinque voces Porphyrii, mentioned by Gesner, are proved by Fabricius to be due to a later writer. See Allat. De Simeon, p. 102, 111; id. De Psellis, § 13; Oudinuis, 2:215; Fabricius, Bibl. Gr. ed. Harl. 7:747; Hanckius, De script. Byzant. p. 261; Brucker, Histor. Philos. 3:543. (J. N. P.)

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