Friday, July 15, 2011

Theories Converge - the Patriarch Procopius (Προκόπιος A) of Zagoras, Jerusalem and Constantinople

I have stumbled upon a strange coincidence I hadn't noticed before while going through the Patriarchs of Jerusalem. As many of my readers already know, I have always thought that Mar Saba 65, the document Morton Smith found in a Palestinian monastery written in to the blank pages of a seventeenth century book by Isaac Voss, might somehow be connected with the Library of Zagoras. The reason for this is that a wealthy but originally illiterate merchant named John Priggos started sending books to Zagoras in 1762 to help build a school of learning in the city along with Callinicus III the former Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.

There are two main reasons that this connection was interesting to me. The reason that I became so interested in Zagoras lately was that Priggos was based in Amsterdam and the Isaac Voss book was published in the same city. The library at Zagoras claims to have received a 1646 edition from Priggos and we can only ascertain that they have a 1680 edition of that book published in London. Yet the original reason for even following this lead was that Morton Smith makes reference to a handwriting sample given to him by the eminent paleographer Vangelis Scouvaras identified as belonging to the same Callinicus III.

Scouvaras interesting, when asked by Smith to identify a date for the handwriting says that it might have been written by someone in the eighteenth century as an old man. In other words, someone who lived most of his life in the seventeenth century and carried over some of the handwriting traits from that generation into the new century.

The reason that I find all of this interesting is that while going through the list of Patriarchs of Jerusalem I found a native of Zagoras who must have been in contact with Callinicus as books were coming from Amsterdam. His name is Procopius (Προκόπιος) and he was Patriarch of Jerusalem from 1787-1788. Now I don't know whether this lead will necessarily go anywhere but it is possible that Scouvaras's identification of a handwriting same associated with Callinicus might be related to a 'Zagoran trait' that might be shared by Procopius.

Here is what the Zagoras library website says about Zagoras translated into English via Google translating feature:

Callinicus III is not the only Zagorianou, which reached the highest office of the priesthood. In this same year, another fine son of Zagora, following a parallel course, could become patriarch of Jerusalem. He was Panagiotis Sysmanis.

Born in the first decades of the 18th century. in the neighborhood of "Savior" he. The house was near the fountain "in Matsagkou" . Young, went into exile, after he finished school in his homeland. With a boat came to Constantinople looking for a better life. It is not known what work he did and what he educated there. From the City went to Moldova, where he was ordained a monk named Procopius. For many years he served as abbot of the monastery of the Holy Sepulchre, called Galata, near Iasi.

On December 12, 1775 he was ordained bishop of Caesarea in Palestine. The consecration took place in the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem, from the Bishop of Skythoupoleios Anthimos and archbishops Jeremiah and Jacob Lyda Strip.

After twelve years of episcopacy in Caesarea, on November 2, 1787, Prokopios elected patriarch of Jerusalem, succeeding Avramio. The consecration is listed in 693 Code of Sava Monastery of Sanctified. which is now in the patriarchal library in Jerusalem. He has written: " apspz '(1787) November second gave the public debt Avramios His Beatitude Patriarch of Jerusalem and became Prokopios Zagoraios that the day is Tuesday "

The deacon Gregory Palamas, in his book "Jerusalem." Procopius writes that " man was erromenos while the mind, and the preeminent enseveian, Agan and in the giros tetrychomenos and squatting under the weight of age " . was. ie, a man with a strong intellect and outstanding piety, but very crummy, aging, and with knees bent from the weight of age.

The hoary patriarch, fully realizing his inability to respond to the onerous requirements of the patriarchal throne, which undermined by Latin Propaganda, and seen to be approaching the end of his life, ensures timely to elect a replacement. Choose a worthy successor to the Skythoupoleos Anthimos, who first promoted to bishop of Caesarea. Invites him to Constantinople, where he resided temporarily, and announced his proposal, which Anthimos accept. Thus on October 24, 1788, about a year after his election as patriarch, resigned "their will" and 24 of the succeeding month Anthimos. Spend two more days and the day of the feast of St. Demetrios Prokopios "in the third hour of the night anepafthi Meanwhile Neohorio of Constantinople and buried in the Church the Holy Sepulchre, to the right

For the death of Procopius there remembering his compatriot and friend of the ecumenical patriarch Kallinikos, the 122 code Library Zagora, where he writes: " Apofimos rumor that the patriarch Zion Procopius, the patriot and friend to us, evadise the way of Alexandria Gerasimos Extreme friend, or the public egefthi cup of death and eternal memory of those trillion. "

We do not know if Procopius, the multiannual period of repose, he visited his birthplace, to operate side by side with his counterpart and other Kalinikos Zagorianou priests. It is however very likely. What is certain is that he always thought of the fatherland and help in the maintenance of churches.

The Code of the parish church of Agia Paraskevi was the following note: "now afpst '(1786) August: epitropefontos the Sun cerium Moraitis afierothisan tode that the temple temple of the Holy Martyr preparation manual Nicholas Cassavetes spite of St. Caesarea Mr. Prokopios hundred piastres; anth 's has the church ide epitelin on days express the ac-November evening per year agrypnian everything to him and parents through the priests only, until the end of the age, indicate prosperity of the high priest and his parents. "

Equal donations sent by the patriarch of the church of Agia Kyriaki and at the Monastery of Holy Archangels. with a mandate to committed and in such a vigil the evening of November 29, dedicated in memory of him and his parents.

One good reason would have to specify the three gifts of the eve of the feast of St. Andrew. as a day of celebration of the vigil.

It is reasonable to assume that donations be made to other churches of Zagora, in particular the Church of the Transfiguration, from which it was indelible childhood experiences.

Ο Καλλίνικος δεν είναι ο μοναδικός Ζαγοριανός, που ανήλθε στο ύπατο αξίωμα της ιεροσύνης. Στα ίδια με αυτόν χρόνια, ένα άλλο ε­κλεκτό τέκνο της Ζαγοράς, ακολουθώντας παράλληλη πορεία, μπό­ρεσε να γίνει πατριάρχης Ιεροσολύμων. Αυτός ήταν ο Παναγιώτης Συσμάνης.

Γεννήθηκε στις πρώτες δεκαετίες του 18ου αιώνα. στη συνοικία της "Σωτήρας" κι αυτός. Το σπίτι ήταν κοντά στη βρύση "τον Ματσάγκου". Νεαρός, πήρε το δρόμο της ξενιτιάς, αφού πρώτα τελείωσε το σχολείο της πατρίδας του. Με κάποιο καΐκι πήγε στην Κωνσταντινούπλη, για καλύτερη ζωή. Δεν είναι γνωστό ποια εργασία έκανε και ποια μόρφωση πήρε εκεί. Απ' την Πόλη πήγε στη Μολδαβία, ό­που χειροτονήθηκε μοναχός με το όνομα Προκόπιος. Για πολλά χρό­νια διετέλεσε ηγούμενος στο Μετόχι του Παναγίου Τάφου, το επο­νομαζόμενο του Γαλατά, κοντά στο Ιάσιο".

Στις 12 Δεκεμβρίου του 1775 χειροτονήθηκε μητροπολίτης Καισα­ρείας της Παλαιστίνης. Η χειροτονία έγινε στο ναό της Αναστάσεως στα Ιεροσόλυμα, απ' το μητροπολίτη της Σκυθουπόλειος Άνθιμο και τους αρχιεπισκόπους Ιερεμία της Λύδας και Ιάκωβο της Γάζας.

Έπειτα από δώδεκα χρόνια επισκοπείας στην Καισάρεια, στις 2 Νοεμβρίου του 1787, ο Προκόπιος εκλέγεται πατριάρχης Ιεροσολύ­μων, διαδεχόμενος τον Αβράμιο. Η χειροτονία του είναι καταχωρη­μένη στον 693 κώδικα της Μονής Σάββα των Ηγιασμένου. που βρί­σκεται τώρα στην πατριαρχική βιβλιοθήκη των Ιεροσολύμων. Έχει γραφτεί: "αψπζ' (1787) Νοεμβρίου β' έδωκε το κοινόν χρέος ο μακα­ριότατος Αβράμιος και έγινε πατριάρχης Ιεροσολύμων Προκόπιος Ζαγοραίος εν τη αυτή ημέρα Τρίτη"

Ο ιεροδιάκονος Γρηγόριος Παλαμάς, στο βιβλίο του "Ιεροσολυμιάς". γράφει ότι ο Προκόπιος "ήτο ανήρ ερρωμένος μεν την γνώμην και διαπρεπής την ενσέβειαν, άγαν δε υπό του γήρως τετρυχωμένος και οκλάζων υπό το βάρος της ηλικίας". Ήταν. δηλαδή, άντρας με ισχυρή διάνοια και εξέχουσα ευσέβεια, αλλά πολύ ταλαιπωρημένος από τα γηρατειά και με λυγισμένα τα γόνατα από το βάρος της ηλι­κίας.

Ο γηραιός πατριάρχης, συνειδητοποιώντας πλήρως την αδυναμία του ν' ανταποκριθεί στις δυσβάσταχτες υποχρεώσεις του πατριαρχι­κού θρόνου, που υπονομευόταν από τη λατινική προπαγάνδα, και βλέποντας να πλησιάζει στο τέλος της ζωής του, φροντίζει έγκαιρα για την εκλογή αντικαταστάτη του. Επιλέγει ως άξιο διάδοχο του τον Σκυθουπόλεως Άνθιμο, τον οποίο πρώτα προάγει σε μητροπολίτη Καισαρείας. Καλεί αυτόν στην Κωνσταντινούπολη, όπου προσωρινά διέμενε, και του ανακοινώνει την πρόταση του, την οποία ο Άνθιμος αποδέχεται. Έτσι στις 24 Οκτωβρίου του 1788, ένα περίπου χρόνο μετά την εκλογή του ως πατριάρχη, παραιτείται "οικεία βουλήσει" και στις 24 του ίδιου μήνα τον διαδέχεται ο Άνθιμος. Περνούν άλλες δυο μέρες και τη μέρα της γιορτής του Αγίου Δημητρίου ο Προκό­πιος "εν τη τρίτη ώρα της νυκτός ανεπαύθη εν τω Νεοχωρίω της Κων­σταντινουπόλεως και ετάφη εις την εκκλησίαν τον Παναγίου Τάφου, εις τα δεξιά

Για το θάνατο του Προκοπίου υπάρχει και θύμηση του συμπατριώ­τη και φίλου του οικουμενικού πατριάρχη Καλλίνικου, στον 122 κώ­δικα της Βιβλιοθήκης Ζαγοράς, όπου γράφει: "Απόφημος φήμη ότι ο πατριάρχης Σιών Προκόπιος, ο πατριώτης ημών και φίλος, εβάδισε την οδόν του Αλεξανδρείας Γερασίμου, ακροτάτου φίλου, ήτοι εγεύθη το κοινόν του θανάτου ποτήριον και αιωνία η μνήμη αυτών τρις".

Δεν γνωρίζουμε αν ο Προκόπιος, στο πολυετές διάστημα της απο­δημίας του, επισκέφτηκε τη γενέτειρα του, για να συλλειτουργήσει με τον ομόλογο του Καλλίνικο και τους άλλους Ζαγοριανούς αρχιε­ρείς. Είναι πάντως πολύ πιθανό. Βέβαιο είναι ότι είχε πάντα στη σκέψη του την πατρώα γη και βοηθούσε στη συντήρηση των εκκλη­σιών της.

Στον κώδικα του ενοριακού ναού της Αγίας Παρασκευής υπήρχε η εξής σημείωση: "τω αφπστ' (1786) αυγούστου: επιτροπεύοντος του κυρ δημητρίου μωραΐτη αφιερώθησαν εν τώδε τω ιερώ ναώ της αγίας μεγάλομάρτυρος παρασκευής διά χειρός νικολάου κασσαβέτη παρά του αγίου καισαρείας κυρίου προκοπίου γρόσια εκατόν, ανθ' ων ο­φείλει η εκκλησία ήδε επιτελήν επί ημέρα ρητή τη κθ' νοεμβρίου ε­σπέρας ανά παν έτος αγρυπνίαν υπέρ αυτου και των γονέων δια των ιερέων μόνον, έως της συντελείας του αιώνος, μνημονευουσα προκοπίου του αρχιερέως και των γονέων αυτου".

Ισόποσες δωρεές απέστειλε ο πατριάρχης στην εκκλησία της Αγί­ας Κυριακής και στη μονή τών Αγίων Ταξιαρχιών. με την εντολή να τελείται και σ' αυτές αγρυπνία το εσπέρας της 29ης Νοεμβρίου, αφιερωμένη στη μνήμη αυτού και των γονέων του.

Κάποιο σοβαρό λόγο θα είχε να ορίζει, και στις τρεις δωρεές του την παραμονή της εορτής του Αγίου Ανδρέα. ως ημέρα τέλεσης της αγρυπνίας.

Λογικό είναι να υποθέσουμε ότι οι δωρεές θα έκανε και σε άλλες εκκλησίες της Ζαγοράς, ιδίως προς την εκκλησία της Μεταμόρφωσης, απ' την οποία θα είχε ανεξίτηλα παιδικά βιώματα.

There is almost nothing about Procopius on the internet except for this article that I found at the Jerusalem Patriarchate's official website which mentions that he established a 'school of Learning' in Jerusalem (how Zagoran):

Patriarch Cyril in his rise unto the throne (of Constantinople), than the serious issues of pilgrimage, a major concern of katestisen the foundation of educational foundations in the interests of education of the clergy and people. In Jerusalem in the years 1788-1808 flourished the newly created Patriarchal School, to which we served as principal platform for the prominent scholar James Patmos. Famous Holy Cross which emathitefsan neighbor ikolouthisan the deed of his distinguished by an education and virtue, as Archimandrite Maximos Symaios appointed by Fr Anthimos, Director of the School, the monk Prokopios Aravoglou and Cypriot Neophytos, the who left us valuable works that illuminate the history of the Holy Land. Despite great risks, which ran the Agiotafitiki Brotherhood during those difficult times and struggles, which are conducted in defense of the laws of our nation against the Holy Land, synestisen In 1817 his great vivliothikin the temple, common and virgin; zilῳ ardent of monk Prokopios Aravoglou, Commissioner of the Patriarch Polycarpou, Munich Anthimus, who served as Chief Secretary of the public and the holy virgins, who greatly contributed to the preparation areas of the library, the enrichment and taxinomisin of her books.

Ὁ Πατριάρχης Κύριλλος μὲ τὴν ἀνάρρησίν του εἰς τὸν θρόνον, ἐκτὸς τῶν σοβαροτάτων προσκυνηματικῶν ζητημάτων, σπουδαῖον μέλημά του κατέστησεν τὴν ἵδρυσιν ἐκπαιδευτικῶν καθιδρυμάτων διὰ τὴν μόρφωσιν τοῦ κλήρου καὶ τοῦ λαοῦ. Εἰς τὰ Ἱεροσόλυμα τὰ ἔτη 1788-1808 ἤκμαζε ἡ ἱδρυθεῖσα Πατριαρχικὴ Σχολή, εἰς τὴν ὁποίαν ἐχρημάτισε σχολάρχης ὁ διαπρεπὴς λόγιος Ἰάκωβος ὁ Πάτμιος. Διάσημοι ἁγιοταφῖται, οἱ ὁποῖοι ἐμαθήτευσαν πλησίον του, ἠκολούθησαν τὸ ἔργον του διακρινόμενοι διὰ τὴν παιδείαν καὶ τὴν ἀρετήν τους, ὅπως ὁ Ἀρχιμανδρίτης Μάξιμος ὁ Συμαῖος διορισμένος ἀπὸ τὸν π. Ἄνθιμο, Διευθυντὴς τῆς Σχολῆς, ὁ Ἱερομόναχος Προκόπιος Ἀράβογλου καὶ ὁ Νεόφυτος ὁ Κύπριος, οἱ ὁποῖοι μᾶς ἄφησαν πολύτιμα ἔργα, τὰ ὁποῖα διαφωτίζουν τὴν ἱστορίαν τῶν Ἁγίων Τόπων. Παρὰ τοὺς μεγάλους κινδύνους, τούς ὁποίους διέτρεξε ἡ Ἁγιοταφιτικὴ Ἀδελφότης κατὰ τοὺς δυσκόλους ἐκείνους χρόνους καὶ τοὺς ἀγῶνας, τούς ὁποίους διεξήγαγε διὰ τὴν ὑπεράσπισιν τῶν δικαίων τοῦ ἔθνους μας εἰς τοὺς Ἁγίους Τόπους, συνέστησεν τὸ 1817 τὴν μεγάλην βιβλιοθήκην τοῦ Ἱεροῦ Κοινοῦ, καὶ τοῦ Παρθενίου, ζήλῳ διακαεῖ τοῦ Ἱερομονάχου Προκοπίου Ἀράβογλου, Ἐπιτρόπου τοῦ Πατριάρχου Πολυκάρπου, τοῦ μοναχοῦ Ἀνθίμου, ὁ ὁποῖος ἐχρημάτισε Ἀρχιγραμματεὺς τοῦ ἱεροῦ Κοινοῦ καὶ τοῦ Παρθενίου, οἱ ὁποῖοι τὰ μέγιστα συνετέλεσαν εἰς τὸν καταρτισμὸν τῆς βιβλιοθήκης, τὸν πλουτισμὸν καὶ τὴν ταξινόμησιν τῶν βιβλίων της.
I am sorry for the terrible translation but I can see from other sources on the internet what is probably being said here is that the Patriarchal School was established beside the Monastery of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem under Cyril at this time. I find the connection with writing history and books very interesting as this would clearly imply contact and the transcription of old manuscripts. Agamemnon Tselikas has also pointed out that another manuscript of Clement of Alexandria - Quis Dives Salvetur - was copied at this time in the Holy Cross Monastery. Apparently again a number of very interesting coincidences.

It would seem that there was also a Procopius who was Ecumenincal Patriarch of Constantinople between 1785 and 1788.   I don't know whether there is any confusion here.  In any event the closeness that exists between him and Callinicus reinforces that he must been a very learned man - a man of letters - and thus someone who would indeed have been capable and likely to have taken an interest in Ignatius and moreover a lost letter of Clement of Alexandria.

Now let me stress again that it doesn't have to be Procopius who wrote out the Letter to Theodore into the back of the Voss book. It could have been someone working for him at the Patriarchal School. Perhaps they recognized the letter was authentic and interesting but problematic - hence being assigned to marginalia (i.e. a reluctance to destroy something from antiquity even if it was problematic). Yes, it's all 'mere speculation' but at least the trail is getting warm again ...

UPDATE - Apparently there is something written on at least some of this lot. I found these books on the internet:

Νεόφυτος ὁ Κύπριος καὶ ἄλλοι Κύπριοι συγγραφεῖς, ἀντιγραφεῖς, συλλογεῖς καὶ κτήτορες κωδίκων τῆς Ἱεροσολυμιτικῆς βιβλιοθήκης / Ioannis Meimaris / 1984

Καταλογος των νεων αραβικΩν χειρογραφων της ιερας μονης αγιας ακιατερινης του ορους σιηα / كتالوج المخطوطات العربية المكتشفة حديثا بدير سانت كاترين المقدس بطور سيناء / I. Meimaris / Ethniko iDrum Ereunôn (Athens) - 1985

And this contact information for a very interesting organization I never heard of before:

Library and Research Institute for the History of Texts (CNRS / UPR 841 IRHT)
40, Avenue d'Iena
75116 PARIS
01 44 43 91 12 contact

Writing them an email in French right now ..

Email with comments or questions.

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