Nicephoras

(c. 758–829)
   Patriarch, Historian, Polemicist and Saint.
   Nicephoras was a strong defender of icons in the Iconoclastic Controversy and, as a secretary to the Emperor, he was present at the Second Council of Nicaea in 787. Soon afterwards he retired to a monastery, but he was appointed Patriarch of Constantinople in 806. However, in accepting the position, he exonerated the priest Joseph who had blessed the adulterous marriage of the Emperor Constantine VI. This aroused great resentment among the influential Studite monks. With the resumption of the Iconoclastic Controversy, Nicephoras was exiled in 815 and he returned to his monastery. Here he continued to inveigh against the iconoclasts and he produced an important history of Byzantium, the Historia Syntomos, in which he tried to find an explanation for the military success of Islam. Despite his weakness in the Adulterine Controversy (as it came to be called), he was regarded as a saint soon after his death.
   P.J. Alexander, The Patriarch Nicephorus of Constantinople (1958).

Who’s Who in Christianity . 2014.

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