Eustathius of Thessalonica
Eustathius of Thessalonica was a Byzantine Greek scholar and Archbishop of Thessalonica. He is most noted for his contemporary account of the sack of Thessalonica by the Normans in 1185, for his orations and for his commentaries on Homer, which incorporate many remarks by much earlier researchers, he was canonized on June 10, 1988, his feast day is on September 20. A pupil of Nicholas Kataphloron, Eustathius was appointed to the offices of superintendent of petitions, professor of rhetoric, was ordained a deacon in Constantinople, he was ordained bishop of Myra. Around the year 1178, he was appointed to the archbishopric of Thessalonica, where he remained until his death around 1195/1196. Accounts of his life and work are given in the funeral orations by Michael Choniates. Niketas Choniates praised him as the most learned man of his age, a judgment, difficult to dispute, he wrote commentaries on ancient Greek poets, theological treatises, letters, an important account of the sack of Thessalonica by William II of Sicily in 1185.
Of his works, his commentaries on Homer are the most referred to: they display an extensive knowledge of Greek literature from the earliest to the latest times. Other works exhibit impressive character, oratorical power, which earned him the esteem of the Komnenoi emperors. Politically, Eustathios was a supporter of emperor Manuel I. An original thinker, Eustathios sometimes praised such secular values as military prowess, he decried slavery, believed in the concept of historical progress of civilization from a primitive to a more advanced state. His most important works are the following: On the Capture of Thessalonica, an eye-witness account of the siege of 1185 and subsequent sufferings of the people of Thessalonica. In early sections of this memoir Eustathios describes political events at Constantinople from the death of emperor Manuel I through the short reign of Alexios II to the usurpation of Andronikos I, with sharp comments on the activities of all involved; the Greek text was edited with an Italian translation by V. Rotolo.
A number of orations, some of which have been edited by P. Wirth. In 2013 a translation of six of the earliest of these speeches was published with a commentary by Andrew F. Stone. Commentaries on Homer's Odyssey; these address questions of grammar, mythology and geography. They are not so much original commentaries as extracts from earlier commentators - there are many correspondences with Homeric scholia. Drawing on numerous extensive works of Alexandrian grammarians and critics and commentators, they are a important contribution to Homeric scholarship, not least because some of the works from which Eustathios made extracts are lost. Although it is that Eustathios quotes some authors second-hand, he seems acquainted with the works of the greatest ancient critics - Aristarchos of Samothrace, Aristophanes of Byzantium, others; this is a great tribute to the state of the libraries of Constantinople and of classical scholarship there in the 12th century. He was an avid reader of the Deipnosophistae of Athenaeus.
Some of the etymological and grammatical comments by Eustathios's Alexandrian predecessors are full of errors. The first printed edition, by Majoranus, was published in Rome in 1542-1550, an inaccurate reprint being published in Basel in 1559-1560. A. Potitus' edition, contains only the commentary on the first five books of the Iliad with a Latin translation. A tolerably correct reprint of the Roman edition was published at Leipzig, the first part containing the Odyssey commentary, 1825-1826, the second, containing the Iliad commentary, edited by J. G. Stallbaum for the Patrologia Graeca, 1827-1829; these were superseded by the edition of 1971 onwards. Extracts from the commentaries are quoted in many editions of the Homeric poems. A commentary on Dionysius Periegetes; this is as diffuse as the commentary on Homer, but includes numerous valuable extracts from earlier writers. A commentary on Pindar. No manuscript of this has come to light. (The introduction was first published by Gottlieb Tafel in his Eustathii Thessalonicensis Opuscula, from which it was reprinted separately by Schneidewin, Eustathii prooemium commentariorum Pindaricorum.
Other published works. Some were first published by Tafel in the 1832 Opuscula just mentioned, some appeared as by P. Wirth for the Corpus Fontium Historiae Byzantinae series. Unpublished works; these include commemorative speeches. Several of the latter are important historical sources. Angold, Michael. Church and society in Byzantium under the Comneni, 1081–1261. Cambridge University Pre
Eustathius of Mtskheta
Eustathius or Eustace of Mtskheta is an Orthodox Christian saint, executed for his apostasy from Zoroastrianism by the Sasanian military authorities in Caucasian Iberia. His story is related in the anonymous 6th-century Georgian hagiographic novel The Passion of Eustathius of Mtskheta. One of the earliest extant works of the Georgian literature, The Passion of Eustathius of Mtskheta was written by an anonymous author in the 6th century, within thirty years of Eustathius' reported death; the morphology of the work as well as some theological phrases supports this dating, although the earliest surviving manuscript dates from c. 1000. The text is interesting for the first Georgian formulation of the Ten Commandments, an account of the life of Jesus which recalls Tatian's Diatessaron, traces of influence of the 2nd century Apology of Aristides; the Passion was first published by Mikhail Sabinin in 1882. Eustathius is reported by the hagiographer to have been an Iranian cobbler called Gvirobandak, son of a high-ranking Zoroastrian priest, from Ganzak.
Having converted to Christianity, he flees persecution to Georgia under the Iranian military authority, in 541. He marries a Christian woman; the local Iranian cobblers’ guild denounces Eustathius to the marzban Arvand Gushnasp with seven other converts to be judged. Arvand punishes the apostates by having their noses pierced and casts them in prison under sentence of death. Six months Arvand releases them, however, as a farewell gesture to the local people, when recalled from Georgia by the king Khosrau I. Four years under the new marzban Vezhan Buzmihr, Eustathius is rearrested, but reaffirms his faith before the court in a speech of some 3,000 words that makes up nearly half the Passion; the marzban, albeit reluctant, has him beheaded in Tbilisi. The remains of Eustathius were buried at its principal church. Rapp, Stephen H.. The Sasanian World through Georgian Eyes: Caucasia and the Iranian Commonwealth in Late Antique Georgian Literature. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. pp. 46–49. ISBN 978-1472425522
Eustathios Maleinos was a leading Byzantine general and one of the wealthiest and most influential members of the Anatolian military aristocracy during the late 10th century. He held senior administrative and military posts in the East, was involved in the aristocratic rebellions against Emperor Basil II, fighting against Bardas Skleros but supporting the revolt of his nephew Bardas Phokas. After the failure of the latter, he was not punished, but his immense wealth caused his eventual downfall, as Basil II confined him to a mansion in Constantinople and confiscated his wealth after his death. Eustathios was the son of Constantine Maleinos, a senior general and long-time governor of the theme of Cappadocia; the Maleinos family had by that time, chiefly through their close association with the Phokas clan, become one of the most important and influential clans in the land-holding aristocracy of Asia Minor, which provided Byzantium with most of its generals. Thus, Eustathios could count both on his family's considerable authority and its expertise in military matters to secure high office.
He became strategos of the theme of Lykandos, before his cousin, Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas appointed him, alongside his original post, as the first Byzantine governor of Antioch after the city fell to the Byzantine Empire in October 969. About a year after the murder of Nikephoros II in December 969, Maleinos was transferred by his successor, John I Tzimiskes to the governorship of Tarsos in Cilicia, a post which he still held in 976, when the young Basil II became senior emperor. Basil's assumption of control over the imperial government did not go unchallenged by the military aristocracy, whose members, supported by the army, their large estates, their extensive network of clients, had dominated it during the previous thirteen years, when Nikephoros Phokas and John Tzimiskes had ruled as nominal protectors of Basil and his younger brother, Constantine VIII. Thus, soon after Tzimiskes's death in January 976, his principal supporter, the Domestic of the East Bardas Skleros, was declared emperor.
Maleinos, a Phokas adherent and hence opponent of Tzimiskes's supporters, remained loyal to Basil. Although he failed to prevent the rebel's outbreak from his original base around Melitene across the Anti-Taurus Mountains into Anatolia proper and suffered a heavy defeat at his hands in late summer 976, Maleinos continued to serve as a loyalist general until the revolt's final suppression in 979. In order to counter the rebel, however and his leading minister, the parakoimomenos Basil Lekapenos, had been forced to recall the general Bardas Phokas the Younger, the nephew of Emperor Nikephoros II, from exile in 978 and appoint him in command of the eastern armies. After his victory over Skleros and his adherents now began plotting to overthrow the emperor; the conflict did not break out but both sides settled in what the historian Mark Whittow terms a "cold war". In 985, the emperor moved first by sacking or demoting a number of eastern generals loyal to the Phokas clan: Bardas Phokas himself was demoted to doux of Antioch and Eustathios Maleinos was discharged from the army.
In 986, after the humiliating defeat of Basil himself by the Bulgarians at the Gates of Trajan and the return of Skleros from exile in Baghdad, the emperor was forced to re-appoint Bardas Phokas as commander-in-chief of the East. Phokas soon tricked Skleros into a meeting and placed him under arrest, but now the decisive conflict over the throne was inevitable: on 15 August or 14 September 987, in Maleinos's house in the Charsianon theme, the assembled leading aristocratic families proclaimed Phokas as emperor. Phokas's rebellion spread to all of Anatolia. Basil, in dire need of loyal troops, concluded a marriage alliance with the Kievan Rus': in exchange for his sister Anna, Vladimir of Kiev dispatched 6,000 Varangians with whom Basil managed to subdue the revolt, with Phokas himself falling in battle. With the exception of a few of the rebel's senior aides, Basil dealt generously with the supporters of the Phokades. Thus, despite being one of Phokas's most prominent supporters, Maleinos was allowed to keep his court title of magistros and his extensive estates.
In 995, however, as Emperor Basil II was returning from a campaign against the Fatimids in Syria, he stayed on Maleinos's estates. Maleinos lavishly provided for the needs of both the imperial retinue as well as the entire army from his own resources. Basil was impressed and alarmed by this display of a subject's wealth and power. Confined henceforth to the capital, Maleinos was well catered for, but, in the words of the chronicler John Skylitzes, "supplying him plentifully with everything he needed, Basil detained Eustathios as if he were nourishing a wild beast in a cage". After his death, his estates and fortune were confiscated by the emperor