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Theodore Metochita

Theodore Metochita (Theodoros Metochites) was a Byzantine author, man of learning and statesman, who flourished during the reign of Andronicus II Palaeologus (1282-1328).

After the deposition of his patron by Andronicus III, Metochita was deprived of his office of Grand Logothete (chancellor) and sent into exile. He was soon recalled, but retired from political life to a convent, where he died in 1332.

He was a man of very great learning, only surpassed by Photius and Michael Psellus. His pupil Gregoras Nicephorus, who delivered his funeral oration, calls him a "living library."

Only a few of his numerous works have been preserved. The best known is Miscellanea philosophica et historica (ed. CG Muller and T Kiessling, 1821). containing some 120 essays; for a list of them see Fabricius, Bibliotheca grueca (ed. Harles), x. 417; in these he chiefly made use of Synesius.

Of his rhetorical pieces two have been published by CN Sathas, and two poems on religious subjects by M Treu (1895). The poems, dealing mainly with contemporary and personal matters, are written in hexameter, not in the usual "political" verse.

Metochita was also the author of works on philosophical and astronomical subjects.

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.