AGAPETI – AGAPETAE

AGAPETI – AGAPETAE. In Christology, the Greek term agapetos indicates the Son on whom God’s favor rests. This was extended to ascetics of both sexes who imitated the Master. It is mostly known, however, for its pejorative use by 4th-c. authors, designating virgins who lived with an ascetic or a celibate cleric: a practice already opposed by Cyprian of Carthage, by the opponents of Paul of Samosata who called them syneisaktoi, by the synods of Ancyra and Nicaea, by Aphraates and Ephrem the Syrian, Epiphanius Panarion 63,2, Pseudo-Athanasius Syntagma, PG 28, 837, Jerome Ep. 22,14, Gregory of Nazianzus, John Chrysostom, etc. A. Guillaumont, Le nom des agap¨tes: VChr 23 1969 30-37. AGAPETUS, deacon ca. 6th c.. Deacon of the Church of St. Sophia in Constantinople, he is thought to have been the teacher of the emperor Justinian I 527 565. Shortly after the latter’s ascension to the throne, Agapetus dedicated to him an Ekthesis kephalaion parainetikon, also called Schede basilik¨, i.e., an exposition of the obligations of a Christian prince in 72 mostly brief chapters, ordered acrostically. In the composition of these capitula admonitoria, Agapetus displays a great knowledge of the Hellenistic rhetorical tradition, drawing on Isocratean and Platonic models and combining them with elements of the Christian tradition. Among the moral counsels are the following: respect laws, reprove the sinner, avoid bad company, do not employ dishonest persons in the administration of the state, resist anger toward enemies, don’t be swayed by the praise of friends and be of fixed purpose in every action 27-35. Agapetus also offers typically Christian counsels: the emperor has received the scepter from God, needs only God and is the friend and servant of God; he must bear well in mind the passing nature of this world and persevere in the ascent to the good, so as to enjoy the eternal kingdom 61-72. Because of its simplicity, Agapetus’s work had a great influence; it was used in scholastic teaching and translated into Armenian and Old Church Slavonic. It was diffused in the West as an expression of the political pedagogy of humanism. CPG III, 6900; PG 86, 1, 1153-1186; P. Henry, A Mirror for Justinian: The Ekthesis of Agapetus Diaconus: GRBS 8 1967 281-308; I. Sevcenko, Agapetus, East and West: The Fate of a Byzantine Mirror of Princes: RESE 16 1978 3-44; J. Irmscher, Das Bild des Untertanen im F¼rstenspiegel des Agapetos: Klio 60 1978 507-509; W. Blum, Byzantinische F¼rstenspiegel. Agapetos, Theophylakt von Ochrid, Thomas Magister, Stuttgart 1981; R. Frohne, Agapetus Diaconus: Untersuchungen zu den Quellen und zur Wirkungsgeschichte der ersten byzantinischen F¼rstenspiegels, Diff. T¼bingen, 1985; R. Romano, Retorica e cultura a Bisanzio. Due Fuerstenspiegel a confronto: Vichiana 14 1985 299-316; S. Rocca, Un trattatista di et  giustinianea: Agapeto Diacono: Civilt  Classica e Cristiana 10 1989 303-328; F. Iadevala ed., Scheda regia, introduction, critical text, Italian version, notes and indexes, Messina 1995; R. Riendiger ed., Der F¼rstenspiegel f¼r Kaiser Iustinianus, first critical edition, Athens 1995.
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