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Headword: Ἀκάκιος
Adler number: alpha,783
Translated headword: Akakios, Acacius
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
The patriarch of Constantinople, he was revered as no other. For he was the guardian of orphans, and it was evident to all that he managed the affairs of the orphans well and with pleasure. Moreoever, he became an acquaintance of the emperor Leo with whom he found immense favor. He [Leo] confided his affairs, both public and private, to this man first of all. When he assembled the senate, he invited this man as well and turned the beginning of every discussion over to him.
This Akakios realized the savagery of Leo Makelles[1] toward those who had offended him in some way and had accurately divined his character; but because this was something only those who flattered him had the opportunity to observe, he made a habit of marvelling at all that he did. Nevertheless he was readily able to rein [Leo] in and easily made him slacken his anger. He also brought about the salvation of many who ran afoul of him, and managed to have those sentenced to life-long exile recalled to their homeland.
After the death of Gennadios, patriarch of Constantinople, he was nominated to serve in that priesthood with the backing of Zenon. Since he was a natural leader and took all the churches under his direct control, he exercised a deliberate discrimination concerning those who were appointed to the churches. They in gratitude dedicated images of him in their prayer chambers. Thus, when images of him appeared in all the churches, some people began to think that he, in a pursuit of empty glory, had ordered their dedication, and no small confirmation of this suspicion was supplied by the mosaic image fashioned in the church by the harbor. For although the entire work had been completed in the time of Gennadios, in a conspicuous place in the temple they portrayed [Akakios] and after him the Savior saying to Gennadios 'destroy this temple', and over him 'after you I will raise him up.'[2] As a result of such images, then, Akakios, though he was generous and a capable leader, nevertheless seemed to all to be excessively ambitious.[3]
See concerning this man under Basiliskos.[4]
Greek Original:
Ἀκάκιος: ὁ πατριάρχης Κωνσταντινουπόλεως, αἰδέσιμος ἦν ὡς οὐκ ἄλλος τις. ὀρφανοτρόφος γὰρ γεγονὼς καὶ καλῶς τὰ τῶν ὀρφανῶν διοικῶν πᾶσιν ἐφαίνετο καθ' ἡδονήν. καὶ δὴ καὶ τῷ βασιλεῖ Λέοντι συνήθης γεγονὼς ὑπερφυῶς ἤρεσκε καὶ τούτῳ πρώτῳ ἀεὶ πάντα ἀνεκοινοῦτο τά τε κοινὰ καὶ τὰ ἴδια. καὶ ὅτε τὴν βουλὴν ἤθροιζε, συνεκάλει καὶ τοῦτον καὶ τῆς σκέψεως ἀρχὴν ἐξ αὐτοῦ πάσης ἐτίθετο. ὃς Ἀκάκιος τὴν τοῦ Λέοντος τοῦ Μακέλλη ὠμότητα συνιδὼν πρὸς τούς τι λυπήσαντας καὶ τὸ ἦθος ἀκριβῶς τὸ ἐκείνου φωράσας, ὅτι τοῖς ἐπαινοῦσι μόνον ὑπάρχει εὐάλωτον, ἐπετήδευε πάντα τὰ ἐκείνου θαυμάζειν. τοιγαροῦν πειθήνιον αὐτὸν εἶχεν ἑτοίμως τόν τε θυμὸν αὐτοῦ ῥᾳδίως κατέστελλε καὶ πολλοῖς προσκεκρουκόσι τὴν σωτηρίαν ἐπραγματεύετο καὶ τοὺς ἐξορίαν ἀί̈διον ἔχοντας ἀνεκαλεῖτο πρὸς τὴν πατρίδα. οὗτος μετὰ θάνατον Γενναδίου, πατριάρχου Κωνσταντινουπόλεως, σπουδῇ Ζήνωνος ἱερᾶσθαι προεβλήθη. ὃς ὢν ἀρχικὸς καὶ πάσας τὰς ἐκκλησίας ὑφ' ἑαυτὸν ποιήσας πεφροντισμένως τῶν ἐν αὐταῖς κεκληρωμένων ἐποιεῖτο τὴν κηδεμονίαν, οἳ εὐχαριστοῦντες ἐν γραφαῖς ἀνέθηκαν αὐτὸν κατὰ τοὺς εὐκτηρίους οἴκους. ἐπείπερ οὖν ἀθρόον ἐν πάσαις ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις ἐδείχθησαν αὐτοῦ εἰκόνες, ᾠήθησάν τινες κενοδοξοῦντα τὴν ἀνάθεσιν προστεταχέναι οὐ μικρὰν ἔχοντες τῆς ὑπονοίας πίστωσιν, τὴν ἐκ ψηφίδων γραφὴν δημιουργηθεῖσαν ἐν τῇ πρὸς τῷ νεωρίῳ ἐκκλησίᾳ. τοῦ γὰρ ἔργου παντὸς ἐπὶ Γενναδίου τελεσθέντος εἰς τὸν ἐπιφανῆ τόπον ἐξετύπωσαν αὐτὸν τοῦ νεὼ καὶ μεταξὺ τοῦδε τὸν Σωτῆρα λέγοντα τῷ Γενναδίῳ, λῦσον τὸν ναὸν τοῦτον, καὶ ἐπὶ τοῦ, μετά σε ἐγερῶ αὐτόν. ἐκ τῶν τοιούτων οὖν εἰκόνων Ἀκάκιος, εἰ καὶ εὐμετάδοτος ἦν καὶ προστατικὸς, ἀλλὰ δοξομανὴς πᾶσιν ἔδοξεν ὑπάρχειν. ζήτει περὶ τοῦτον ἐν τῷ Βασιλίσκος.
Notes:
On Acacius or Akakios, see web address 1.
[1] Leo "the Butcher": see lambda 267 and biography (by Hugh Elton) at web address 2.
[2] cf. John 2.19.
[3] Valesius (Henri de Valois 1603-1676) attributed this entry to Malchus (on Theodore the Reader 167); now accepted as Malchus fr.2b Cresci.
[4] beta 164.
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: architecture; art history; biography; children; Christianity; chronology; ethics; geography; historiography; history; law; religion
Translated by: William Hutton on 1 June 2001@11:30:21.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (added links) on 1 June 2001@18:44:50.
William Hutton (Modified translation) on 3 June 2001@11:10:35.
Catharine Roth (added note) on 28 February 2002@00:12:18.
Catharine Roth (augmented translation and notes) on 28 February 2002@13:38:30.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 9 October 2005@11:17:30.
Catharine Roth (tweaked note, added cross-reference) on 20 May 2008@11:40:57.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 22 January 2012@08:28:19.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 31 January 2015@07:57:40.
Catharine Roth (tweaked note) on 3 May 2015@23:35:20.

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