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Eutropios
Fictional Character
Agent of Byzantium
POD: c. AD 597
Appearance(s): "Images"
Type of Appearance: Direct
Nationality: Roman Empire
Religion: Eastern Orthodox
Date of Birth: 13th century
Occupation: Clergy
Political Office(s): Patriarch of Constantinople

Eutropios was the Patriarch of Constantinople in AD 1317. He presided over the emergency ecumenical council convened by Emperor Nikephoros III to discuss the iconoclast crisis. Arsakios, the patriarch of Alexandria, was the main opponent of icons and argued they were either the heresy of Nestorianism or Monophysitism and should be banned. Eutropios had no answer and so adjourned the council for the day.[1]

That night supporters of icons were invited to attend a meeting at the Patriarch's resident to develop a response. It was as disorderly as the Council meeting with various clergy loudly arguing with each other. Eutropios found himself unable to control the tempers of the council members, and looked like he wanted to hide.

Basil Argyros, although not a cleric, had been invited to attend. He unobtrusively sat down and listened. He began thinking aloud, stating platitudes to the archbishop beside him who sarcastically responded in kind. It did lead Argyros to a solution, that in Old Testament days, God had not yet incarnated as Jesus, and it would have been blasphemy to depict an immaterial deity. After God appeared among men and became a part of history, it became not only permissible, but necessary, to depict his human form. To do otherwise would deny the validity of the Incarnation. The archbishop saw the point and jumped up exclaiming "I have it!" He repeated Argyros' argument to widespread acclaim. Eutropios babbled with relief that he would not have to report failure to the Emperor, and muttered "Saved from Kherson!".[2]

At the next session of the Council, Eutropios presented this argument. The Iconoclasts did not back down but all their counters were anticipated and refuted.[3] The Council eventually decided in favor of icons and at the Hagia Sophia, Eutropios read out the new proclamation of anathema against anyone who equates icons with graven images.[4]

References[]

  1. Agent of Byzantium, 2018 edition, pgs. 208-212.
  2. Ibid., pgs. 216-217.
  3. Ibid., pgs. 221-222.
  4. Ibid., pgs. 235-236.
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