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ΕΥΨΥΧΙΑ. Mélanges offerts à Hélène Ahrweiler

Tome II

The General and the Saint: Michael Maleinos and Nikephoros Phokas

Angeliki E. Laiou

Texte intégral

  • 1 H. Ahrweiler, L'idéologie politique de l'empire byzantin, Paris 1975, p. 40 ff.
  • 2 J. Noret, Vitae duae antiquae Santi Athanasii Athonitae, Leuven 1982, p. 15, 35, 42, 137-38; Typik (...)
  • 3 On this, see the analysis of R. Morris, The Two Faces of Nikephoros Phokas, BMGS 12, 1988. p. 83-1 (...)

1The close collaboration of church and state, which drove the great expansion of the Byzantine Empire in the late ninth and tenth centuries, was a cooperation of institutions as well as a confluence of religious and political ideals.1 The confluence was also, to some extent, one of persons and families, especially aristocratic families. In this context, the figure of Nikephoros II Phokas stands out as the incarnation of the cooperation of church and state; he was the (φιλομόναχος emperor, the commander who went into battle with the prayers and the presence of monks2 from the major monastic centers of the Empire, the man who was responsible, on the lay side, for the foundation of the Great Lavra on Mount Athos, who followed ascetic practices and often said that he wanted to end his life as a monk. But the relationship between church and state, whether political or ideological, was never simple, and in the case of Phokas it is well known that there were very tense moments with part, at least, of the church. By the end of his life, while some ecclesiastics considered him a martyr, others thought his actions detrimental to the church.3 While his relationship with St. Athanasios of Mt. Athos, the founder of the Great Lavra, has been investigated in detail, that with his uncle, St. Manuel /Michael Maleinos, has remained elusive and therefore tantalising. This small contribution is an effort to present what we know of it, and perhaps to clarify some aspects of the relationship between the Asia Minor aristocracy and the church at a specific moment.

  • 4 L. Petit, Vie de Saint Michel Maléinos, ROC 7. 1902, p. 545-46, 566 (hereafter, Vita). L. Petit, V (...)
  • 5 Vita, p. 551.
  • 6 The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, s.v. Maleinos, Michael, suggests that the Vita was written bef (...)

2The sources for this investigation are limited, and some are negative. The Vita of St. Michael Maleinos, written by Theophanes, his disciple since a very early age and for 40 years, gives little explicit information, certainly a curious but not a fortuitous state of affairs.4 The Vita was written at an uncertain date. It does not extend beyond the death of the saint, on July 12, 961, but at the time of writing Nikephoros Phokas had been crowned Emperor, and his brother Leo had acquired the title of Kouropalates; therefore, the redaction of the Vita postdates August 16, 963.5 Since there is no indication that Nikephoros had died at the time of writing, the terminus ante quern should be December 10, 969, the date of his assassination.6

  • 7 The most recent edition of the Vitae is by J. Noret, Vitae duae antiquae Sancti Athanasii Athonita (...)

3More information is provided by the two Vitae of St. Athanasios of Athos, of which version A was written in the first quarter of the eleventh century, and version B sometime thereafter. While version B is highly derivative, and adds little to our knowledge of historical events, on some matters connected with our topic it does offer information that differs somewhat from that of version A, and may depend on a different tradition.7 The Typikon of St. Athanasios, although referring to the same events as his Vita, gives significantly different details with regard to Michael Maleinos and his relationship with Phokas. While these are the major sources, other saints’ lives as well as documents and historiographical sources, provide some supplementary material which helps to clarify the picture.

  • 8 Vita, p. 550-51. Note that Bardas Phokas, son of Leo Phokas and therefore grand-nephew of Michael (...)
  • 9 This information of the Vita is corroborated by the treatise De velitatione, Dagron-Mihăescu, op. (...)
  • 10 There is an interesting parallel in the akolouthia of Nikephoros II: βασιλεύσας τὸ πρῶτον, μίάκαρ, (...)
  • 11 Vita, p. 551. This is the only source which draws a connection between St. Eudokimos and the Malei (...)

4The Vita of St. Michael Maleinos is most circumstantial with regard to the saint’s ancestry, birth, early life, and decision to enter the monastic life. The hagiographer insists on the hero’s family and wealth. He starts with the snobbish statement that those who lack the advantages of this world try to exalt their ancestry, wealth and power, while, on the contrary, Michael Maleinos, born in circumstances of glory, riches and pride, abandoned them in order to seek virtue. There follows his genealogy and a discussion of his homeland, Charsianon, presented as a very prosperous place in Cappadocia. His genealogy was, in fact, something to be truly proud of, and the hagiographer traces it lovingly, giving everyone the proper title, back to two grandfathers (Eustathios Maleinos and Adralestos), and one grandmother, «of imperial blood,» related to «the very great Emperor Romanos,» i.e., Romanos Lekapenos, to reach his parents and his siblings.8 Michael’s brother, Constantine Maleinos, we are told, became strategos in Cappadocia where he served «for many years,»9 while his sister married Bardas Phokas, and gave birth to «Nικηφόρον τε τόν θεοστεφῆ βασιλέα, τόν οὐχ ἧττον βαρβάρων ἢ παθῶν ὀλετῆρα,10καὶ Λέοντα τὸν μεγαλοπρεπέστατον κουροπαλάτην.» Among his relatives is mentioned Eudokimos, stratopedarches and monk.11

  • 12 According to his Vita, his parents were childless for a long time, and it was only after the inter (...)
  • 13 J.-C. Cheynet, Pouvoir et contestations à Byzance (963-1210), Paris 1990, p. 250, n. 5. thinks he (...)

5Born in 894, Manuel/Michael Maleinos was the eldest child in his family.12 This information is of some interest, given his subsequent life, for it suggests that it was by no means necessarily the younger sons of the Byzantine aristocracy who entered the Church. Being a well-born young man, he became a spatharokandidatos at a young age.13

  • 14 The base of the Maleinoi was, of course, in Cappadocia and the Charsianon; but they also held larg (...)
  • 15 This was in Paphlagonia (see R. Janin, Les églises et les monastères des grands centres byzantins, (...)
  • 16 Vita, p. 558-60; cf., for the dates, Janin, Les églises, p. 115-16. Vita, p. 558-60; cf., for the (...)
  • 17 Vita, p. 561. Arab travellers of the 9th-10th centuries (the dates are uncertain) mention a xenodo (...)

6Undoubtedly slated for a military career, the young Manuel had his moment of crisis at the hagiographically proper time, that is, when his parents were preparing to marry him off. The proximate cause of his decision was the death of the Emperor Leo VI (912), whose funeral he witnessed in Constantinople, where he was on a trip with his father. This was the year of the birth of Manuel’s nephew, Nikephoros Phokas, and one may conjecture that the visit to Constantinople was connected with this event, although the Vita does not give any such details. There follows a romantically rendered description of Manuel’s flight into monastic life. His father had left him in Constantinople with his relatives (presumably the Phokades): but he went to Asia Minor, pretending nostalgia for his home. Dismissing most of his large retinue, he went, on horseback and with a few retainers, and found an old anchorite near Mount Kyminas. The old man inquired whether Manuel was a slave, but was told that he was free-born, the son of people who lived «ἐν αὐταρκείᾳ,» that is, were neither very rich nor indigent. Manuel was in a hurry to get tonsured, fearing that his father would find a way to prevent him; after his tonsure, he told the old ascetic who his father really was, thus terrifying him. Indeed, Manuel’s (now Michael’s) parents took it very hard. His mother fainted and the father arrived with an army (λαόν), with which he proceeded to besiege the cell of the old anchorite. It should be mentioned, although the Vita does not mention it, that the area was probably part of the estates of the Maleinoi, so Eudokimos was on home territory.14 His words to the old man, as reported in the Vita, are those of a haughty aristocrat: «Do you not know who I am and why I have come here?» Manuel /Michael was brought willy-nilly back to Charsianon, where his mother lamented on seeing his changed appearance, his monastic garb, his tonsure. His parents tried to persuade him to give up his vows, but seeing that he was adamant, they threw him out of the house. He went back to Mt. Kyminas, where he served as trapezites. Two years later, in 914, he became a full-fledged monk, and his father, who was present, was reconciled to him. In 921, after much ascetic exercise, he went to Prousias on the Hypios, at a place called Xerolimne, conducive to the solitary life.15 But soon enough many others joined him, and since the resources of the place were not sufficient to feed so many people, he left again. He returned to Bithynia, where he bought land in a well-irrigated and fertile area at Mt. Kyminas, and built a lavra as well as a large and beautifully decorated church of the Theotokos (ca. 925).16 The monastery which, as we know from other sources, became an important center, also had a large xenodocheion.17

  • 18 Theophanes Continuatus, Bonn 1838, p. 680-81.
  • 19 Kaplan, Grands propriétaires, p. 144.
  • 20 Vita, p. 551.
  • 21 His father was called Basil and his mother Eudokia. They are described as ἐπίσημοι τὸ γένος, βαθεῖ (...)
  • 22 Bίος, p. 7-8; Zhitie, p. 208.
  • 23 The date of birth of this Eudokimos is not given. According to the Vita of Michael Maleinos, his p (...)

7St. Michael Maleinos, then, was a man from one of the largest, wealthiest and best-connected aristocratic families of Asia Minor. The estates of the Maleinoi in Bithynia and Cappadocia were vast. His family is known to have been involved in political affairs since at least 866, when his ancestor, Nikephoros, helped put down a rebellion by Smbat, an in-law of the Caesar Bardas who had objected to the power wielded by Basil the Macedonian.18 However, the family is much older than that, going back to the late eighth century.19 The family, quintessential representatives of the Asia Minor aristocracy, solidified their power through matrimonial alliances and through an early connection with the church. One of Michael’s ancestors was St. Eudokimos, who was «greatly acclaimed in the Queen of Cities, while his miracles illuminated the entire world.»20 But the story of this saint illuminates also a religious and military way of life which seems to have become a tradition among that aristocracy. Eudokimos was the son of powerful parents from Cappadocia, although his father, a patrikios, lived in Constantinople.21 During the reign of Theophilos, the young man was sent to Charsianon or Cappadocia as an army officer. He was a pious man who gave great alms and who also would look at no woman other than his mother, according to the two longer versions of his Vita. The Synaxarion version throws into relief his major virtue, which the other versions note as well: he was very just, judged cases equitably, and protected the widows and orphans.22 The Metaphrastic version also stresses the protection he gave to the «λαός,» here probably meaning the soldiers and their families. He died at the young age of thirty-three, and asked to be buried in his own clothes and shoes, presumably his uniform. Eventually, his mother came to Charsianon from Constantinople, having heard of the posthumous miracles that were already taking place. After a dispute with the local population, she managed to get his body back to Constantinople, where she encased his plain wooden casket in silver, and placed it in a church of the Virgin that she and her husband built. Michael Maleinos’ father, probably born ca. 866, was given the name of his relative Eudokimos.23

  • 24 Bίος, p. 13-14.
  • 25 Leo Diaconus, Bonn 1828, p. 89-90: ἐννομώτατα δικάζν καὶ νομοθετῶν ἀσφαλῶς; Petit, Office inédit, (...)

8Clearly, Eudokimos’ family promoted his sainthood, even employing underhanded means to get his body to Constantinople, where the beneficial effect of a family saint might be expected to be most useful. Equally clearly, this cult was sustained because the family was a powerful one; the fact that, at the time of the composition of the Vita of St. Michael Maleinos, this provincial soldier/saint enjoyed considerable reputation in the capital suggests that the Maleinos and Phokas families had encouraged the cult, which undoubtedly was profitable to them politically. It is also, however, instructive to look at the virtues of Eudokimos that earned him sanctity. He had piety, of course, but as the Metaphrastic version puts it, many are pious but few achieve the power to perform miracles.24 Along with piety, his main virtues were that he took care of his soldiers and was known as a paradigm of justice. A deeply pious and ascetic soldier, a profoundly just man; this is what Eudokimos is said to have been and it is also exactly how Leo the Deacon described Nikephoros Phokas. Moreover, the akolouthia of Nikephoros Phokas includes statements that bring to mind the life of Eudokimos: not only is Nikephoros said to have performed miracles posthumously, he is also described as the protector of the people in both temporal and spiritual terms: ὡς ἱερεύς, ὡς βασιλεύς / τοῦ λαοῦ σου προϊστάμενος.25 The two men, and others of their class, may well have shared the same virtues. At the same time, it is tempting to suppose that it was very useful for the Phokades to have had a man like Eudokimos as their remote relative, and that the connection was recalled and emphasized in the late tenth century.

  • 26 Noret, p. 5, 128. Noret, p. 5, 128.
  • 27 AASS, Nov. IV, par. 6, 27. 31.

9Connections between members of the aristocracy and the church, however, were not always unproblematic, especially, one suspects, if they occurred before the person involved chose the monastic life before he had had children and a career. Thus, the negative reaction of Michael Maleinos’ own parents to his decision to abandon the world, although a hagiographic topos, is presented in too circumstantial a fashion to be entirely fictitious. But the entrance of members of important families into the Church was a common enough phenomenon in the tenth century. Athanasios of Athos, although of a less illustrious family, was born of parents «of not undistinguished descent;»26 when he decided to become a monk, he was already well ahead in his career as a teacher and possibly as a civil servant (for in what capacity, except as a civil servant, did he accompany Zephinezer when the latter served as strategos of the Aegean Sea)? And, to take another example, Mary the Young and her husband, the tourmarches Nikephoros, had twin sons, one of whom became a soldier and the other, having begun his career as an apprentice for the civil service, ended up as a monk at Mount Kymi-nas.27 How much, other than by their prestige and prayers, did these pious men contribute to the development of the family fortunes?

  • 28 Vita, p. 558.

10According to the pious hagiographer of Michael Maleinos, not at all. Indeed, he makes a point of saying that, after his father’s death, the saint «threw off the care of parents and other relatives,» and entered into a truly ascetic and solitary life.28 But the evidence, both internal and external, suggests otherwise. His connections with his relatives, whether his immediate family or the Phokades, remained close for a long time, and were both economic and political.

  • 29 M. Kaplan has already noted that the family estates must have gone undivided to Constantine Malein (...)
  • 30 For a contrary example, see the case of the two sons of Mary the Young, one a soldier, the other a (...)
  • 31 Infra, p. 410-41 1. Infra, p. 410-41 1.

11An important point to notice is that St. Michael’s decision to become a monk had only limited economic effects upon the family property. True, when his father died intestate (sometime between 914 and 917), the mother called her two sons and divided their inheritance between them, subsequently entering a nunnery; the Vita does not mention the daughter in this connection, and one must assume that she had received her share as dowry. Michael then freed his slaves, with a legaton, and divided the movable property among the poor; the hagiographer marvels at the «large number of cattle and all other manner of things» that were given away. As for the immovable property, he sold it all to his brother Constantine, receiving its value in cash. Half of the price he gave to his spiritual father, to distribute to the poor and to enlarge the monastery. Certainly, the family property did suffer somewhat from such a disposition, given the importance of agricultural capital and labor; on the other hand, the process followed by Michael Maleinos hindered the fragmentation of landed property, thus preserving intact the political if not the economic power of the family.29 This was undoubtedly not the only way in which people gave to the church;30 but the dispositions of St. Michael are interesting, especially in view of the Novel on ecclesiastical property that his nephew Nikephoros II was to issue in 964.31 It is also noteworthy that, ascetic though he had become, St. Michael showed interest and wisdom in his financial affairs, and that he seems to have kept half of the price of his estates, which must have been a very considerable sum indeed. It was, undoubtedly, with part of this money that he later (925) bought the land on which he built his monastery on Mt. Kyminas; one wonders whether he bought the land back from his brother, since the Maleinoi had estates in that region.

  • 32 Vita, p. 560.
  • 33 This was Symeon, son of St. Mary the Young: AASS, Nov. IV, par 31.

12There are also references, veiled or not-so-veiled, to the involvement of St. Michael (and some of his monks) in the political life of the Empire and in the affairs of the Phokas family. When he returned to Bithynia and had just established his monastery, with a Typikon, there were efforts to hinder him. The hagiographer says the «demon» «moved every stone (so to speak) in order to impede the man of God and not permit the great and holy work to be accomplished.»32 But it is well known, and observable from the Vita of St. Athanasios, for example, that references to evil-doings by demons refer to more earthly troubles, whether from the monks or from others. What these troubles were we cannot know. One might hazard a guess that they were connected with the hostile attitude of Romanos Lekapenos toward the Phokades, which might have had an impact on the monastery, at least at that time; at an uncertain date, but certainly after 928, one of the monks of Mt. Kyminas was in Constantinople, presumably on the monastery’s business.33

  • 34 Vita, p. 563-64.
  • 35 In his commentary on this passage. Petit questions this possibility, since in 917 Michael Maleinos (...)
  • 36 Cheynet in Dagron-Mihăescu, op. cit., p. 296-98.

13It is, in any case, in the very early days of St. Michael’s monastic life that we find the first reference to involvement in political affairs, by the means of prophecy. The Vita tells us that during the «reign» of Constantine VII and Zoe Karbonopsina (914-920), when the Byzantine army was preparing to go on campaign against the Bulgarians, some «God-loving men» sent messengers to Michael to find out the outcome of the war. He gave the firm prediction that things would very soon go against the Byzantines, « which, for our sins, did happen. »34 If the mention of Zoe’s regency is accurate, the defeat meant here is the battle of An-chialos.35 As for the identity of the «God-loving men,» which is not given by the Vita, a conjecture may be made. The commander of the army at the time of the battle of Anchialos was Leo Phokas, and with him served Bardas Phokas, the father of Nikephoros II and brother-in-law of Michael Maleinos.36 I suggest that they were the ones who were most likely to seek out their relative, despite his relatively recent conversion to the monastic life. If this is so, we have once again a case where the family of the future saint furthers his career by seeking his advice, even if, in this case, the prophecy turned out against them.

  • 37 Vita, p. 564-66.Theophylact was Patriarch from 933 to 956.
  • 38 The three sons of Romanos Lekapenos would presumably be Stephen. Constantine and Theophylact, sinc (...)
  • 39 Theophanes Continuatus, p. 752-53; Skylιtzes, p. 233-37.

14The other explicit political reference is clearly anti- Lekapenos. The hagiographer says that the Romans suffered greatly from the actions of Romanos Lekapenos’ sons. At this point, some «wise» and «Christ-loving» men, unable to bear it any longer, but finding it difficult to decide what to do, because they were uncertain about the future, went to Michael and asked him for a prophecy. He reported a vision of four coffins in Haghia Sophia, one for Romanes and one for each of three of his sons. This suggested to Constantine VII that «he would soon recover his ancestral throne,» and his mood changed from melancholy to happiness. On the contrary, the Patriarch Theophylact, Romanos’ son, was very angry and tried with every means, but unsuccessfully, to harm Michael and disperse his monks.37 This vision must date to sometime between late 944, when the plot against Romanos Lekapenos was hatched, possibly with the connivance of Constantine VII and his supporters, and January 27, 945, when Constantine VII became sole Emperor.38 The people who sought the prophecy were, in all likelihood, the Phokades, who had suffered from Romanos Lekapenos; Nikephoros and Leo Phokas helped Constantine VII against the Lekapenoi, and it was probably they who sought to give legitimacy to the enterprise, and hearten the Emperor and his followers.39 With the success of Constantine VII, the political fortunes of the Phokades rose again, as Nikephoros became strategos of the theme of Anatolikon (December 944-955).

  • 40 D. Papachryssanthou, O Aθωνικός Mοναχισμός, Athens 1992, p. 159-60: Theophanes Continuatus, p. 418 (...)

15This is, possibly, the most important intervention of St. Michael in the affairs of the Phokas family, although the Vita does not mention the Phokades specifically. Furthermore, it was an intervention which was motivated by family politics, and perhaps dynastic loyalty, rather than anything else. For Romanos Lekapenos had shown himself generous to the monks, and in 941-942 he had distributed to them, including the ones of Mt. Kyminas whose hegoumenos was, after all, his remote relative, annual revenues of one gold coin per person. He had also invited the most famous among the monks to visit him, and had sought their prayers.40 This, however, had not been sufficient to gain him the support of Michael Maleinos or his friends.

  • 41 Meyer, Haupturkunden, p. 102.
  • 42 For the chronology of the (documented) relations between Nikephoros Phokas and Michael Maleinos, s (...)

16If Michael Maleinos helped the cause of the Phokades in 944-45, his nephew, Nikephoros Phokas, gave material support to his monastery. Athanasios of Athos, in his Typikon, claims that Nikephoros Phokas built ἀσκητήρια συνεχῆ on Mt. Kyminas, established monks there and supported them, both from his own money and through mediation with emperors. He is supposed to have given the monastery annual revenues and solemnia, as also to Mt. Olympos.41 The information, as it stands, cannot be accurate. It seems to refer to the foundation of Maleinos’ monastery of St. Kyminas, at the time of which, in 925, Nikephoros Phokas was much too young. It thus must, in fact, describe later donations by Nikephoros Phokas. Both the Vita of St. Athanasios and he himself, in his Typikon, make every effort to emphasize Nikephoros’ good relations with Maleinos’ monastery, and that is probably why Nikephoros’ support is here presented as taking place in the initial phase of the foundation. The Typikon does not state that Nikephoros’ generosity continued during the period of his reign; therefore, the initial donations must have been made in the years 945-958/9, when his relations with his uncle were close, or possibly in 945-96142. The Emperors whose favor he sought for the monastery must be Constantine VII and Romanos II. The Vita of Maleinos does not mention any support from Nikephoros. Indeed, it does not mention Nikephoros Phokas (or his brother, Leo), at all after the early genealogical statement.

  • 43 From this point of view, the chronology of Maleinos depends on the chronology of the movements of (...)
  • 44 There is also a remote connection by marriage between Athanasios of Athos and the Maleinoi /Phokad (...)
  • 45 Vita A, Noret, p. 12. The Vita of Maleinos (p. 567) also mentions a trip to Constantinople, but wi (...)
  • 46 Cheynet in Dagron-Mihaescu, op. cit., p. 314.
  • 47 Vita A, NORET, p. 15-16. Cf. the Typikon of Athanasios, in Mayer, Haupturkunden, p. 103: συνεχῶς.. (...)
  • 48 Vita B, Noret, p. 136-38. This is stressed only in the later version, which seems to be trying to (...)
  • 49 For the date, see Lemerle, La vie ancienne, p. 98.

17The Vita of Michael Maleinos contains no reference to political events or personalities after the prophecy of 944-945. And yet, this year seems to have opened the period of most intense contact between the future Emperor and Michael. It is also at this point that the fates of Michael Maleinos, the Phokas brothers and St. Athanasios of Athos begin to become connected. Indeed, it was probably soon after 945 that Athanasios found himself back in Constantinople after a stint with Zephinezer, who had been strategos of the Aegean.43 In Constantinople, he found Michael Maleinos, «great by birth and great by virtue,» who was greatly renowned in the City, says the Vita of Athanasios, not only among the people but especially among the powerful. Athanasios was first brought to see Maleinos by his patron, Zephinezer, a very well/connected man. A Theodore Zephinezer (either Athanasios’ patron or a close relative), had been the brother-in-law of Leo Phokas. uncle of Nikephoros II. and therefore a connection by marriage of Michael Maleinos.44 Through Zephinezer, St. Athanasios became acquainted with Michael Maleinos, and through him with Nikephoros Phokas, then strategos ton Anatolikon.45 It is interesting to see that Michael, this ascetic monk, had contacts in Constantinople with a number of people connected, in one way or another, with the Phokades. For a few years thereafter, Nikephoros Phokas and his brother Leo (by now strategos in Cappadocia)46 were frequent visitors to Mount Kyminas, both because Maleinos was their relative and because they sought his spiritual guidance and prayers, as Athanasios’ Vita explains.47 Here they met again Athanasios of Athos, sometime after 950, and were impressed by his wisdom and virtue; according to version B of the Vita of Athanasios, which in this case departs somewhat from the narrative of version A, it was Michael Maleinos himself who insisted on taking them to see the younger monk. Here also there was some important development in the relationship between Athanasios, the Phokades and Michael Maleinos. For one thing, Nikephoros Phokas is supposed to have voiced his intention to become monk; for another thing, according to version B of the Vita of Athanasios, Michael Maleinos transferred to Athanasios the spiritual guidance of the Phokas brothers, and of all of the μεγιστᾶνας συγκλητικούς who still came to see him.48 At about the same time, always according to the various texts connected to Athanasios, Michael Maleinos declared him to be his successor; the texts insist that he meant «successor in grace,» not in the governing of the monastery. But the monks believed that Athanasios was to be the next hegoumenos, and began flocking to him. Only version B of the Vita presents an attempt at an explanation of these developments, saying that Michael was by now very old and frequently ill. Athanasios, thinking himself unworthy of leadership, and also seeking quiet, left for Mount Athos, in 957 or 95 8.49 His subsequent close connection with the Phokas brothers and his brilliant career, under the patronage of Nikephoros Phokas, is a well-known story. Michael Maleinos died a few years later, on July 12, 961, shortly after the conquest of Crete.

  • 50 The letters are published by J. Darrouzès, Épistoliers byzantins du xe siècle, Paris 1960. nos 83 (...)
  • 51 Vita A. Noret. p. 30-31; Vita B, Noret, p. 147-8.
  • 52 Methodios is called ἄνθρωπος αὐτοῦ in Athanasios’ Typikon (p. 104), and τινὰ τῶν oἰκειοτάτων αὐτοῦ (...)
  • 53 Leo Diaconus, p. 83. Skylitzes, p. 280, claims that it was a bearskin.
  • 54 The statement by R. Morris that Nikephoros Phokas «and his brother Bardas (sic)» continued their p (...)

18The known connections between Nikephoros Phokas and Michael Maleinos (or Mt. Kyminas) after the mid-950’s are very few indeed. Two letters, one of which is addressed to the monks of Latros, Olympos, Athos and Kyminas, asking for their prayers in the campaigns against Hambda and against Calabria, had been thought to date from the reign of Nikephoros II. But their redating to 958 and to 956 or 958-959 respectively, reduces their interest for our topic.50 Nikephoros did address himself to the monks of Mt. Kyminas, and of other monastic centers, just before the Cretan campaign, to seek their prayers.51 Furthermore, one of his «men,» the monk Methodios, sent to Mt. Athos in 962-963 to supervise the building of the Great Lavra, became hegoumenos of Mount Kyminas sometime thereafter, although we do not know whether he was the first successor of St. Michael.52 Finally, we are told that after the conquest of Antioch (968), Nikephoros Phokas, fearing his end, slept covered with his uncle Michael’s cloak.53 As far as I know, there is no mention of the fate of Mt. Kyminas, or of its connection with the Phokades, after 963.54

19The connections between Michael Maleinos and the Phokades, including Nikephoros II Phokas, may be summarised as follows.

  • 912: birth of Nikephoros Phokas; Manuel Maleinos in Constantinople with his father and his relatives.
  • 917: prophecy on the Bulgarian wars (sought by the Phokades?).
  • After 928: Symeon of Mt. Kyminas in Constantinople.
  • Late 944-late January, 945: prophecy on victory of Constantine VII (sought by the Phokades?).
  • Ca 945: Michael Maleinos in Constantinople; contacts with Phokas, Zephi-nezer and other powerful people.
  • p. 945-957 /8: repeated visits of Nikephoros and Leo Phokas to Mt. Kymi-nas; imperial donations (extending to 961?) and donations by N. Phokas.
  • 957 /8? transfer of spiritual guidance over the Phokades to Athanasios of Athos (still on Mt. Kyminas).
  • 961: appeal by Nikephoros Phokas to monks of Mt. Kyminas and others to pray for victory in Crete.
  • After spring 963: Methodios is made hegoumenos of Mt. Kyminas.

20Not only do relations between Nikephoros Phokas and Mt. Kyminas fall off after 957/958, but, as has been already mentioned, the Vita of St. Michael makes no reference to the saint’s imperial nephew except in the genealogical discussion. It also, as is well known, makes no reference to Athanasios of Athos. Why these silences?

  • 55 Vita A, Noret, p. 18. 115. 118; Vita B, Noret, p. 139, 200.
  • 56 Typikon, p. 103.
  • 57 Vita A, Noret, p. 4-35. P. Lemerle thinks this is a later tradition, incorporated more forcefully (...)
  • 58 Vita A, Noret, p. 34-35. The insistence of the Vita on Athanasios’ spiritual succession of Michael (...)

21With regard to Athanasios, the two versions of his Vita, as well as his own Typikon, insist on a few cardinal points regarding his relationship with Mt. Kyminas. They emphasize, first of all, that Michael Maleinos saw Athanasios as his spiritual, not his temporal successor. The physical symbol of this spiritual continuity was Michael’s gray «koukoulion,» which Athanasios took with him when he left Mt. Kyminas, and which he wore on great holidays and, miraculously, upon his death.55 In his Typikon, he claimed that the reason he had quit Mt. Kyminas was that he wanted to flee the troubles of a great monastery.56 Finally, Vita A goes to exceptionally great pains to establish the date of the death of St. Michael, so that everyone would know it precisely.57 The reason for this precision is that the hagiographer wishes to establish once again the line of descent of Athanasios from St Michael: he reminds the reader of Michael’s prophecy that Athanasios would succeed him «in grace,» and specifically connects this prophecy with the contemporaneous events of Michael’s death and the beginning of the construction of Lavra with money sent by Nikephoros Phokas through the monk Methodios.58 Both the death and the beginning of the construction are said to have occurred in July, 961.

22One cannot but wonder whether the insistence that Athanasios’ foundation of the Lavra was the fulfillment of the prophecy of Maleinos should not be connected with the utter silence of Maleinos’ Vita on the subject of both Athanasios and Nikephoros Phokas. The monk Athanasios. author of version A of the Vita of Athanasios, says specifically that «some» insisted on knowing the precise date of the death of Maleinos, while St. Athanasios in his Typikon claims that he left Mt. Kyminas only to flee the troubles of a full monastic life; was there a dispute regarding the departure of Athanasios from Mt. Kyminas? Furthermore, the transfer of spiritual guidance over the Phokas brothers from Michael Maleinos to St. Athanasios was undoubtedly, as subsequent events were to prove, attended by a very powerful temporal patronage on the part of Nikephoros and Leo. The sources close to St. Athanasios emphatically suggest that both transfers were effected not only painlessly but at the express orders and wishes of Michael Maleinos. However, that there were tensions between Athanasios and the monks of Mt. Kyminas before he left for Mt. Athos is clearly indicated by his Vitae and his Typikon. While these sources state that the tension lay in the fact that Athanasios did not wish to become hegoumenos of Mt. Kyminas (and that Maleinos, too, did not indicate that he should be), it is entirely possible that the problem lay elsewhere, and was provoked by the shift of patronage. This would explain the silence of the Vita of St. Michael on the subject of St. Athanasios.

  • 59 Of course, the fact that St. Michael Maleinos does not appear in the Synaxarion of Constantinople (...)

23The silence concerning Nikephoros Phokas is more problematic. If, indeed, the Vita of St. Michael was written during the reign of Nikephoros, the author had no reason to suppress the connection in order to protect the monastery from John Tzimiskes.59 If it was not fear of Tzimiskes, then a number of other possibilities remain. It is, for example, possible that there was some strong objection to Nikephoros Phokas’ polity as Emperor.

  • 60 Skylitzes, p. 286; Leo Diaconus, p. 49-50; Zonaras III, Bonn 1897, p. 499-500. The issue was resol (...)
  • 61 L. Petit, ROC 7, 1902, p. 598-603.

24There were two sets of difficulties between Nikephoros Phokas and the Church. One was connected with his marriage to the Empress Theophano, with whom he may have been linked with the bond of God-parenthood, which was an impediment to marriage.60 The monks of Mt. Kyminas may have also objected to that. A Treatise of Basil «tou Maleinou,» of uncertain date, is a document of dour and unrelieved ascetisism.61 If the monks were of a very strict persuasion, they might well have had objections to the marriage.

  • 62 Zepos and Zepos, JGR I, p. 249-52. For the interpretation, see P. Lemerle, The Agrarian History of (...)

25The other point of contention between Nikephoros II and the Church, and by far the most serious one, was connected with his dispositions regarding ecclesiastical property as well as the governance of the church. In 963/64, Symeon Patrikios and Protasekretis, that is to say, Symeon Metaphrastes, issued a Novel, in the name of the Emperor, by which the Emperor sought to limit the donation of lands to monasteries and churches. He argued that the accumulation of property in the hands of the church went against the preaching of Christ and the apostles, and against the practice of the early ascetics, and endangered the spiritual effectiveness of the church. He counselled those laymen who wanted to attain salvation to do one of the following things, in order of preference: sell their property to laymen and give the proceeds to the poor; if they wished to endow monasteries and philanthropic foundations, they should endow existing ones with slaves, oxen, sheep and other animals, i.e., agricultural capital; if some church or monastery was seen to have become land-poor, it might be endowed with land, with imperial permission; and, finally, one might create new and small foundations (Κελλία δὲ καὶ τὰς καλουμένας λαύρας) in deserted places.62 What the Emperor clearly wanted to encourage was donations in cash and agricultural capital, thus facilitating the full economic exploitation of the land; what he also explicitly allowed was the sale of land between laymen (πρὸς οὒς τῶν κοσμικῶν βούλονταἷ, if this was necessary in order to find the cash to make such donations; what he was prohibiting was the transformation of the patrimonial land of the aristocracy into church land. There is a very powerful economic message as well as a spiritual one. Although the Novel strikes a modern observer as eminently sensible and not intrinsically anti-monastic, Nikephoros Phokas predicted that people would consider his legislation onerous and displeasing; but those who examined the matter in depth, he said, would see its usefulness.

  • 63 Along with the narrative sources, see the Vita of St. Nikephoros of Miletos, AB 14, 1895, p. 143-4 (...)

26Indeed, anti-monastic the Novel may not have been, but it did aim at preventing the fragmentation of lay holdings as well as their transformation into church property. It thus clearly served the long-term interests of the aristocracy. The bitter opposition of part of the Church (although not of Athanasios of Athos) to this and other measures of the Emperor is a known fact.63 As for the monks of the monastery of Mt. Kyminas, nothing explicitly says that they opposed Nikephoros’ policies. Indeed, it bears repeating that the actions of St. Michael Maleinos, when he founded his monastery, were very much what Nikephoros Phokas prescribed in 964. Manuel /Michael had, indeed, sold his property to a layman (his brother), had distributed a lot of it to the poor, had endowed an existing foundation with cash, and had created a foundation that was originally small, in a relatively deserted place, with his own funds. The scion and eldest son of this great family had behaved in a way that looks almost like a model for his imperial nephew’s injunctions. But it is possible that, over forty years, the monastery had developed in such a way that the original policies of its founder now seemed inadequate.

  • 64 It should, however, be noted that Nikephoros Phokas’ relations with the other Maleinoi continued t (...)

27These possible sources of friction, since they would have appeared after 963, may explain the reticence of the hagiographer on the subject of Nikephoros Phokas. But it also seems that relations between him and his uncle had been soured, or at the very least become very limited, at an earlier date. The most likely cause of that remains the transfer of the Phokas patronage to St. Athanasios, with all that meant in terms of loss of power, prestige, influence and revenue for the monastery of Mt. Kyminas.64

28The life of St. Michael Maleinos may be seen as an example of the role the church and its members played in the fortunes of the great families of Asia Minor. The Maleinoi were powerful enough on home ground, in Cappadocia and Bithynia. Their effect on the politics of the Empire as a whole was exercised through their activities in the army, through their matrimonial alliances, through their strong and consistently loyal connections with the Macedonians (until they were broken in the late tenth century), and through the impact of those members of the family who entered the church or otherwise were revered as saints. The Maleinoi could boast of two saints, one in the early stages of the ascendancy of the family and one in its heyday. Eudokimos undoubtedly became a saint because of his parents’ influence; St. Michael was credited with prophetic powers at an early age, and with renown later on, because of his powerful family; in turn, both of them, with their sanctity, helped to promote the interests of the family. Michael Maleinos, we have seen, was a man whose connections with the world were far from severed; and for a while, between 945 and the late 950’s, when the Phokades were reestablishing their dominance, he had the ear of great men in Constantinople. Laymen and ecclesiastics shared a staunch family loyalty, despite disagreements such as those which seem to have occurred between Nikephoros Phokas and his uncle, Michael Maleinos. They also shared a profound pragmatism. Indeed, what stands out in the relationship we have examined here is, first of all, that it formed a part of an extensive and intricate network of affines and relatives, whose family connections were also political alliances; and secondly, that it was based on a commonality of values and practices, very much including economic practices and ideas. The religiosity of laymen, such as Nikephoros Phokas, and the competence in secular matters of saints and men of the church, are two complementary aspects of the polity of the tenth-century aristocracy of Asia Minor, and not the least important aspect of its strength.

Notes

1 H. Ahrweiler, L'idéologie politique de l'empire byzantin, Paris 1975, p. 40 ff.

2 J. Noret, Vitae duae antiquae Santi Athanasii Athonitae, Leuven 1982, p. 15, 35, 42, 137-38; Typikon of Athanasios, ed. Ph. Meyer, Die Haupturkunden für die Geschichte der Athosklöster, Leipzig 1894, p. 102, 106. Skylitzes, ed. J. Thurn, Berlin 1973, p. 255.

3 On this, see the analysis of R. Morris, The Two Faces of Nikephoros Phokas, BMGS 12, 1988. p. 83-115.

4 L. Petit, Vie de Saint Michel Maléinos, ROC 7. 1902, p. 545-46, 566 (hereafter, Vita). L. Petit, Vie de Saint Michel Maléinos, ROC 7. 1902, p. 545-46, 566 (hereafter, Vita). L. Petit, Vie de Saint Michel Maléinos, ROC 7. 1902, p. 545-46, 566 (hereafter, Vita).

5 Vita, p. 551.

6 The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, s.v. Maleinos, Michael, suggests that the Vita was written before Tzimiskes' victories against the Bulgarians, since it contains prophecies foretelling the victory of the Bulgarians. I think, however, that these visions refer only to the wars of the time of Constantine VII and Romanos I. See infra, p. 405.

7 The most recent edition of the Vitae is by J. Noret, Vitae duae antiquae Sancti Athanasii Athonitae, Leuven 1982. For an analysis and the dating, see P. Lemerle, La vie ancienne de Saint Athanase l'Athonite composée au début du xie siècle par Athanase de Lavra, in Le millénaire du Mont Athos, 963-1963, Études et Mélanges, Chevetogne 1963, p. 59-100, and Noret, p. CV-CLIII.

8 Vita, p. 550-51. Note that Bardas Phokas, son of Leo Phokas and therefore grand-nephew of Michael Maleinos, married an Adralestina, thus reinforcing the matrimonial alliance between these two families. See the genealogical table in J.-C. Cheynet, Les Phocas, in G. Dagron, H. Mihăescu, Le traité sur la guérilla de l'empereur Nicéphore Phocas, Paris 1986, table on p. 311.

9 This information of the Vita is corroborated by the treatise De velitatione, Dagron-Mihăescu, op. cit., p. 34. Constantine Maleinos first appears in the sources in 955, when he succeeded his nephew, Leo Phokas, as strategos of Cappadocia; in November, 960, he participated in a victorious campaign against Saif ad-Dawla: Theophanes Continuatus, 479, and J.-C. Cheynet, in Dagron-Mlhăescu, op. cit., p. 309-10.

10 There is an interesting parallel in the akolouthia of Nikephoros II: βασιλεύσας τὸ πρῶτον, μίάκαρ, παθῶν,/ βασιλεύεις τὸ δεύτερον καὶ λαῶν: L. Petit, Office inédit en l'honneur de Nicéphore Phocas, B7. 13, 1904. p. 401. According to Petit, the author is probably the deacon Thcodosios who also wrote a poem on the conquest of Crete: ibid., p. 400.

11 Vita, p. 551. This is the only source which draws a connection between St. Eudokimos and the Maleinoi. It is to be noted that St. Michael's father was also called Eudokimos. Since the Saint was unmarried and had no children, the relationship must be along a collateral line. On St. Eudokimos. who died in Charsianon ca. 840, see infra, p. 402-403.

12 According to his Vita, his parents were childless for a long time, and it was only after the intervention of the Virgin that he was born: p. 552 and 557. Furthermore, his father, in a dream, identified Manuel as the greatest of two columns in his house, presumably an allusion to his two sons, Manuel and Constantine: p. 554.

13 J.-C. Cheynet, Pouvoir et contestations à Byzance (963-1210), Paris 1990, p. 250, n. 5. thinks he was about 15 years old at the time. The best study of the Maleinoi may be found in M. Kaplan. Les grands propriétaires de Cappadoce (vie-xie siècles). Le aree omogenee della Civiltà Rupestre nell'ambito dell'impero Bizantino: La Cappadocia, Atti del Quinto Convegno Internazionale di Studio sulla Civiltà rupestre medioevale nel mezzogiorno d'Italia, ed. Cosimo Damiano Fonseca, Galatina 1981, p. 143 ff. Cf. also Cheynet in Dagron-Mihăescu, op. cit., p. 309 ff. J.-C. Cheynet, Pouvoir et contestations à Byzance (963-1210), Paris 1990, p. 250, n. 5. thinks he was about 15 years old at the time. The best study of the Maleinoi may be found in M. Kaplan. Les grands propriétaires de Cappadoce (vie-xie siècles). Le aree omogenee della Civiltà Rupestre nell'ambito dell'impero Bizantino: La Cappadocia, Atti del Quinto Convegno Internazionale di Studio sulla Civiltà rupestre medioevale nel mezzogiorno d'Italia, ed. Cosimo Damiano Fonseca, Galatina 1981, p. 143 ff. Cf. also Cheynet in Dagron-Mihăescu, op. cit., p. 309 ff.

14 The base of the Maleinoi was, of course, in Cappadocia and the Charsianon; but they also held large areas in Bithynia: Kaplan, op. cit., p. 147.

15 This was in Paphlagonia (see R. Janin, Les églises et les monastères des grands centres byzantins, Paris 1975, p. 116, 176-77 ), and thus outside the domains of the Maleinoi.

16 Vita, p. 558-60; cf., for the dates, Janin, Les églises, p. 115-16. Vita, p. 558-60; cf., for the dates, Janin, Les églises, p. 115-16.

17 Vita, p. 561. Arab travellers of the 9th-10th centuries (the dates are uncertain) mention a xenodocheion for Muslims on the domains of the Maleinoi in Bithynia. It is possible, I think, that the reference is to Michael's foundation: E. Honigmann, Un itinéraire arabe à travers le Pont, AIPHOS 4, 1936, p. 268.

18 Theophanes Continuatus, Bonn 1838, p. 680-81.

19 Kaplan, Grands propriétaires, p. 144.

20 Vita, p. 551.

21 His father was called Basil and his mother Eudokia. They are described as ἐπίσημοι τὸ γένος, βαθεῖς τὸν πλοῦτον, ἐπιφανεῖς τὸ ἀξίωηα. There are three extant vitae of St. Eudokimos, one in the Synaxarion of Constantinople (Propylaeum ad AASS Novembris, Brussels 1902, col. 857-58), a longer Metaphrastic one (Chr. Loparev, Bίος τοῦ ἁγίου καὶ δικαίου Eὐ-δοκίμου, St. Petersburg 1893), and an even longer rhetorical one: Chr. LOPAREV, Zhitie sv. Evdokima, IRAIK 13, 1908, p. 152-252.

22 Bίος, p. 7-8; Zhitie, p. 208.

23 The date of birth of this Eudokimos is not given. According to the Vita of Michael Maleinos, his parents were childless after many years of marriage. If his father had married at 18, and had had no children for, say, ten years, he would have been born in 866.

24 Bίος, p. 13-14.

25 Leo Diaconus, Bonn 1828, p. 89-90: ἐννομώτατα δικάζν καὶ νομοθετῶν ἀσφαλῶς; Petit, Office inédit, p. 415 and p. 405. 80-81. Cf. Bίος, 7-8: πολὺς ἦν περὶ τὴν τοῦ λαοῦ πρόνοιαν, οὐ πατρικῶς μόνον προϊστάμενος καὶ τὴν ψυχὴν εἰ δέοι τ|ῆς ἐκείνων πρόνοιαν σωτηρίας... On the importance of justice and piety, and the other virtues of the aristocracy, see the statement of Skylitzes (p. 292) on Nikephoros Phokas’ paternal grandfather: ἀνὴρ γενναῖος καὶ συνετός, τά πρὸς τὸν θεὸν εὐσεβὴς καὶ πρὸς ἀνθρώπους. δίκαιος.

26 Noret, p. 5, 128. Noret, p. 5, 128.

27 AASS, Nov. IV, par. 6, 27. 31.

28 Vita, p. 558.

29 M. Kaplan has already noted that the family estates must have gone undivided to Constantine Maleinos. and from him to his son Eustathios, whose extraordinary wealth impressed Basil II, with the well-known results: Les grands propriétaires, p. 147-48.

30 For a contrary example, see the case of the two sons of Mary the Young, one a soldier, the other a monk. Ca. 928, they both donated their shares of the inheritance to their mother’s church in Vizye, turning it into a monastery. Of course, we do not know whether the soldier (Vaanes) had any children of his own: AASS, Nov. IV, par. 27.

31 Infra, p. 410-41 1. Infra, p. 410-41 1.

32 Vita, p. 560.

33 This was Symeon, son of St. Mary the Young: AASS, Nov. IV, par 31.

34 Vita, p. 563-64.

35 In his commentary on this passage. Petit questions this possibility, since in 917 Michael Maleinos was at the beginning of his monastic career. He is right to have qualms; on the other hand, the idea that Michael’s prophecy was sought at the time of Romanos Lekapenos’ negotiations with Tsar Symeon, in 924, cannot accommodate the reference to Zoe. In any case, R. Morris’ idea that Michael Maleinos’ foundation should be dated to 917, an idea somehow derived from this prophecy, is erroneous and should not be retained: Monasteries and their Patrons in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries, Byz. Forsch. 10, 1985, p. 194 and n. 40. The correct dates are established, from the internal evidence of the Vita, by Petit and by Janιn, Les églises et les monastères, p. 115-16.

36 Cheynet in Dagron-Mihăescu, op. cit., p. 296-98.

37 Vita, p. 564-66.Theophylact was Patriarch from 933 to 956.

38 The three sons of Romanos Lekapenos would presumably be Stephen. Constantine and Theophylact, since Christopher had died in 931. The three sons of Romanos Lekapenos would presumably be Stephen. Constantine and Theophylact, since Christopher had died in 931.

39 Theophanes Continuatus, p. 752-53; Skylιtzes, p. 233-37.

40 D. Papachryssanthou, O Aθωνικός Mοναχισμός, Athens 1992, p. 159-60: Theophanes Continuatus, p. 418-19, 429-30, 433-34, 439; Symeon Magister, p. 744; Georgius Monachus, p. 910.

41 Meyer, Haupturkunden, p. 102.

42 For the chronology of the (documented) relations between Nikephoros Phokas and Michael Maleinos, see infra, p. 408-409.

43 From this point of view, the chronology of Maleinos depends on the chronology of the movements of Athanasios of Athos, for which I am using Lemerle, La vie ancienne, p. 97-98.

44 There is also a remote connection by marriage between Athanasios of Athos and the Maleinoi /Phokades: the son of the strategos Zephinezer had married a daughter of Kanites who was a relative of Athanasios’s mother; thus, Athanasios was connected by ties of affinity to Zephinezer, bound with ties of affinity to the Phokades: Noret, p. 5-6, 131.

45 Vita A, Noret, p. 12. The Vita of Maleinos (p. 567) also mentions a trip to Constantinople, but with no indication as to the date.

46 Cheynet in Dagron-Mihaescu, op. cit., p. 314.

47 Vita A, NORET, p. 15-16. Cf. the Typikon of Athanasios, in Mayer, Haupturkunden, p. 103: συνεχῶς... ἀφικνούμενος.

48 Vita B, Noret, p. 136-38. This is stressed only in the later version, which seems to be trying to justify the relations of Athanasios and Nikephoros Phokas.

49 For the date, see Lemerle, La vie ancienne, p. 98.

50 The letters are published by J. Darrouzès, Épistoliers byzantins du xe siècle, Paris 1960. nos 83 and 88, p. 146-47 and 149. H. Ahrweiler, Un discours inédit de Constantin VII Por-phyrogénète. in EAD., Études sur les structures administratives et sociales de Byzance, London 1971, p. 395 n. 10, redates the first letter to 958; A. Kolia-Dermitzaki, Ὁ βυζαντινός «ἱερός πόλεμος», Athens 1991, p. 247-48 and nn. 81, 82, redates the second (which is actually meant only for Mt. Olympos) to 956 or 958/9.

51 Vita A. Noret. p. 30-31; Vita B, Noret, p. 147-8.

52 Methodios is called ἄνθρωπος αὐτοῦ in Athanasios’ Typikon (p. 104), and τινὰ τῶν oἰκειοτάτων αὐτοῦ in Vita A (p. 33), and Vita B (p. 149), which says that he became hegoumenos soon thereafter, while according to Vita A this happened χρόνοις ὔστερον οὐκ ὀλίγοις. For the date of his visit to Mt. Athos, see P. Lemerle, A. Guillou, N. Svoronos, D. Papachryssanthou, Actes de Lavra I, Paris 1970, p. 36.

53 Leo Diaconus, p. 83. Skylitzes, p. 280, claims that it was a bearskin.

54 The statement by R. Morris that Nikephoros Phokas «and his brother Bardas (sic)» continued their patronage of Mt. Kyminas even after the foundation of the Great Lavra, seems unsubstantiated: Monasteries, p. 226-27.

55 Vita A, Noret, p. 18. 115. 118; Vita B, Noret, p. 139, 200.

56 Typikon, p. 103.

57 Vita A, Noret, p. 4-35. P. Lemerle thinks this is a later tradition, incorporated more forcefully into the Vita than in the Typikon of Athanasios: Lavra I. p. 30 ff. Vita В does not mention the death of Michael Maleinos, but the point regarding his succession was made earlier: see supra, n. 48.

58 Vita A, Noret, p. 34-35. The insistence of the Vita on Athanasios’ spiritual succession of Michael Maleinos is noted by Lemerle, La vie ancienne, p. 76. n. 51. Lemerle has indicated that the relationship between Athanasios and Maleinos is unclear: Lavra I. p. 31.

59 Of course, the fact that St. Michael Maleinos does not appear in the Synaxarion of Constantinople may well be due to the adverse effects that the fall of the Phokades and the Maleinoi must have had on the monastery; but that is another story.

60 Skylitzes, p. 286; Leo Diaconus, p. 49-50; Zonaras III, Bonn 1897, p. 499-500. The issue was resolved when Bardas Phokas, Nikephoros’ father, said that it was he who was the godfather of the imperial children. Not everyone believed this.

61 L. Petit, ROC 7, 1902, p. 598-603.

62 Zepos and Zepos, JGR I, p. 249-52. For the interpretation, see P. Lemerle, The Agrarian History of Byzantium, Galway 1979, p. 108-14. N. Svoronos considers that the abrogation of this Novel by Basil II (or, according to a late tradition, by Tzimiskes) is a fabrication: N. Svoronos, Les novelles des empereurs macédoniens concernant la terre et les stratiotes, édition posthume et index établis par P. Gounaridis, Athens 1994, p. 186-87.

63 Along with the narrative sources, see the Vita of St. Nikephoros of Miletos, AB 14, 1895, p. 143-44, which claims that the revenues of the church were being seized.

64 It should, however, be noted that Nikephoros Phokas’ relations with the other Maleinoi continued to be good. Eustathios Maleinos, Constantine’s son and Nikephoros’ first cousin, was made governor of Antioch in 968.

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