His Grace Panagiotis Giannopoulos, Bishop of Caesarea - Vicky

Player: Vicky
Faction: Orthodox, Byzantium
Email: panagiotis_giannopoulos@crusade.chaosdeathfish.com

Panagiotis Giannopoulos is one of the youngest members of the Orthodox Church to have ascended so far in its hierarchy, having been named the Bishop of Caesarea in 1188, before his twentieth birthday. His opponents claim his youth and naivety make him unsuitable for the role but, whilst still incredibly timid, he has shown thus far to be remarkably compentent.



“The Orthodox Faith” by William Sturridge, Oxford University Press (1922).

[…] though by no means the longest serving of the Patriarchs of Constantinople few have had as large an impact on affairs both spiritual and temporal. Panagiotis Giannopoulos was only in his twenties when raised to a difficult and demanding bishopric, Caesarea but newly retaken from the collapsed Seljuks. Nevertheless his determination to spread the Orthodox faith, but with a peaceful understanding of the worries of the mostly Muslim population […]

[…] only a few years later to rise further to the rank of Metropolitan Bishop of Caesarea. Of course this could be dismissed as simply politics within the Byzantine Empire. Giannopoulos was well-known as an influential adviser to the new Emperor Alexios and his role in the events of the destruction of the demon Tiamat were noted within the Church hierarchy. That his promotion also benefited the prestige of the Church can only be regarded as a bonus.

His promotion to the highest authority in the Greek Orthodox Church, the Patriarch of Constantinople, was strongly supported by the Emperor Alexios following the death of his grace, Niketas II Montenous. Few other candidates were presented at the synod that met to appoint his successor and none were so widely supported. So it was that Panagiotis Giannopolous became the youngest Patriarch of Constantinople for three centuries.

Giannopoulos was a reforming Patriarch and, although the promise of the Fourth Covenant was cruelly dashed, he put many of the lessons learned into practice. Ecumenical cooperation with the Latin and Jewish faiths bloomed and in the universities and seminaries of the Orthodox world scholarly discussion and more heated debates with representatives of other faiths became commonplace.

Father and Husband

Extracts from “Reconsidering Giannopoulos - A Rebel Biography” by T. M Iovivus, Constantinople University Press (1987).

[…] the domestic arrangements of the Patriarch seem to have generated only a small amount of comment in the surviving correspondence from the period. Certainly note was taken of the close relationship between the Patriarch and Demetrios, the son of Basilopraetor Michael and thus a prince of the Empire (though no longer in the line of succession), but they were known to have been close childhood friends. We find more guarded evidence that some close to the Patriarch knew that his marriage to his wife, Vesta, was more intellectual than passionate.

[…] collected originally by Stephen Hagiochristophorites and then recovered by Giannopoulos immediately after the death of the courtier paint a very different picture. There is evidence of conflict between Demetrios and his father on a number of topics, including iconoclasm, but more personal issues too. It is clear to the modern reader that General Makis Karantenos (as he then was) disapproved of his son's sexuality and further that he suspected a relationship with Giannopoulos. The general does, however, seem to have spared no effort in covering up both aspects of his son's rebellious personality.

[…] had a wide network of agents within the Church and Court and issues of morality would naturally have been directed to him. Thus it is not surprising that the Patriarch would have learned about the speculation that surrounded Vesta and her maid. Nor that he would have been able to so deftly suppress those same rumours should he have chosen to. And it is even less surprising that the Church has so diligently prevented any scholars from seeing their earliest correspondence because those letters reveal the arrangement that was made between them and which resulted the following year in their marriage.

[…] known in the later years of his life to have expended significant resources investigating alchemical fertility treatments. Very few seem to have suspected that there might have been an additional motivation beyond assisting the royal family, but it appears that the Patriarch wished to have a family of his own. Obviously given his own preferences and those of his wife (and not to discount the important wishes of Demetrios or Vesta's maid Dominica) the most obvious means was less than desirable. So it was that Vesta conceived a child without ever sleeping with her husband, and yet still a child of Giannopoulos'.

[…] died in his sleep, in the home of his extended and unusual family, outlived by his lover Demetrios, his wife Vesta and their sons Paschalis and Alexios.

bio/panagiotis_giannopoulos.txt · Last modified: 2009/07/11 17:02 by ivan
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