History of the Byzantine Era and Significance Today Essay

History of the Byzantine Era and Significance Today Essay

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Like John of Damascus, Theodore the Studite was an important literary figure and one of the principal people involved with the writing of the Canons. Theodore the Studite lived from 759-826 CE, and served as the abbot of the monastery of Studius in Constantinople from 798 CE until his death. Like John, Theodore was a defender of icons and believed that Iconoclasm was heresy. Theodore's arguments against Iconoclasm can be found in his three formal tracts and in his letter that opposed Iconoclasm based on the human side of Christ's nature, and on Theodore's belief that symbolism was necessary in religious worship. Though Theodore did admit that God could not, and should not be depicted in art, he still believed that the denial of the legitimacy of Icons of Christ meant the denial of the Incarnation. He argued that it was false to hold the belief, as the Iconoclasts did, that the symbol was the same as the essence it symbolized. Had this been true, he believed that the defenders of images would have agreed that the legitimate icon of Christ was the sacred elements of prayer and conscious. Along with his writings and stances against the Iconoclasm, Theodore also created two important funeral orations, one for his mother Theoctista, whom he painted as a pious yet practical Byzantine lady, and another for his uncle Plato, abbot of the Saccudion monastery, whose rules had provided Theodore with a pattern that would aid him in his own monastic reforms. These works, by Theodore, provide arguments from the Iconoclasm periods, and also, from his personal history that give scholars a view into that period of the Byzantine history.
Another influential scholar was Maximus the Confessor. In his early years, he studied philosophy, g...

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Newman, Garfield. Echoes from the Past World History to the 16th Century. Whitby, Ont:
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Nicol, Donald MacGillivray, Teall, John L. “Byzantine Empire.” Britannica Online
Encyclopaedia Academic Edition. Accessed January 27, 2014. Retrieved From http://0-www.britannica.com.aupac.lib.athabascau.ca/EBchecked/topic/87186/Byzantine-Empire

“St Maximus the Confessor.” Orthodox Church of America. Last Modified January 21, 2014.
Accessed February 20, 2014. Retrieved From http://oca.org/saints/lives/2014/01/21/100249-st-maximus-the-confessor

“Who is Saint Maximus?” St. Maximus the Confessor Orthodox Mission. Accessed February 20,
2014. Retrieved From http://www.stmaximus.org/who_is_st_maximus.html

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