The Rise of Bogomilism and Its Penetration into Constantinople
With a Complete Translation of Euthymios Zygabenos' Concerning Bogomilism
by John Sanidopoulos
This study examines the penetration and dissolution of Bogomilism within the Late Eastern Roman Empire. It begins by examining the origins of Bogomilism through the various dualistic sects of the Middle East, Armenia and the Balkans, including those of Zoroastrianism, Manicheism, Gnosticism, Messalianism and Paulicianism, and moves forward in the examination of how Bogomilism emigrated from Bulgaria and Macedonia into the borders of the Roman Empire. Particular attention is paid to Basil the Bogomil, who together with his twelve disciples entered the capital of the Empire, Constantinople, during the reign of Emperor Alexios Komnenos (1056-1118 AD), and had great influence over both the rich and the poor. After the Emperor failed to persuade Basil to deny his heresy and accept Orthodoxy, he had him burned to death in front of numerous spectators in the Hippodrome. This eventually led to the official condemnation of Bogomilism by the Orthodox Church and the fleeing of adherents of Bogomilism to the West where they reestablished themselves. Some attention is given also to how Bogomilism has influenced contemporary trends and theology. After this complete examination, the book focuses on the first complete translation into English of Euthymios Zygabenos' Concerning Bogomilism contained in his Panoplia Dogmatiki (Dogmatic Panoply). This very important text was commissioned by Emperor Alexios, and consists of a complete doctrinal statement of the Bogomilism taught by Basil the Bogomil in Constantinople. This information was obtained by Zygabenos in an interview he conducted with Basil while he was imprisoned. This transcript is a valuable addition in the field of history, patrology, heresiology and church dogma.
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