Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Saint Dorotheos Proios, Metropolitan of Adrianople (+ 1821)

St. Dorotheos Proios of Adrianople (Feast Day - June 3)

Saint Dorotheos was an ethnomartyr and one of the most important scholars and hierarchs of the nineteenth century, first as Metropolitan of Philadelphia (1805-1813) and then as Metropolitan of Adrianople (1813-1821).

He was born in Chios, where he was educated. He then studied at the Patmiada School in Patmos, where he was a student of Daniel Kerameas. Because of a correspondence, we know that he became friends with Benjamin of Lesvos. Their friendship remained undisturbed because they had common interests, as people who loved education and the nation.

In 1786 he was ordained Deacon and left for broader studies in Italy and France. He was appointed teacher at the School of Chios in September 1793, which was directed by Athanasios of Paros, where he taught philosophy and the sciences. However, in 1796 he abandoned his position to assume the responsibility for the education of the children of Constantine Hantzeris, dragoman of the Turkish fleet, and in 1797 settled in Constantinople. When Hantzeris was appointed ruler in Wallachia, Dorotheos followed him, taking as his assistant his disciple Neophytos Vamvas.

After Hantzeris was beheaded by the Turks, Dorotheos had to return to Constantinople in 1799. The patriarchate named him a preacher of the Great Church, and then became an Archimandrite.

When Demetrios Mourouzis founded the School of the Nation in Kouroutsesme (Xirokrini) in 1804, the direction was assigned to Dorotheos. He remained director of the School until 1807, and in the meantime he had been elected Metropolitan of Philadelphia.

He was a teacher of physics, mathematics, geometry, philosophy and logic. From papers and manuscripts procured by his students, it appears he administered well during the time of his direction. He did not limit himself to administrative and teaching duties, but he served in other projects that were advantageous for the nation. Among these was his structuring of the great lexicon of the Greek language, titled Kivotos (Ark), which was supported morally and financially by the Zosimades. Partners of Dorotheos in this work were Neophytos Vamvas and Nicholas Logadis. The first volume of the lexicon was published in 1819. As director, Dorotheos corresponded with eminent Greeks, asking their support for the operation of the School.

In 1807 he left as his successor at the School Pantaleon Fragkiadis (later Metropolitan Platon of Chios) and settled in Philadelphia, the seat of his Metropolis.

In 1813 he was transferred to the Metropolis of Adrianople. He tried to establish a seminary in the city, but without success. However, he organized a school and library in cooperation with George Sakellarios of Adrianople, who was one of the richest merchants of Austria. Stephanos Karatheodoris was appointed director, but Dorotheos taught theology, philosophy and the sciences.

As a member of the Synod of Constantinople he was invited there in 1820, but one year later in April of 1821 he was arrested by the Turks, together with Ecumenical Patriarch Gregory V, along with other prelates and eminent laymen, and was hanged in Méga Révma (Arnavutköy).

Dorotheos is among the great teachers of the nation at the decline of the Ottoman Empire, and contributed to its Helleno-centric enlightenment with the initiation of the sciences, but within the context of the tradition. He provided significant help through his correspondence, although he did not seek the publication of his scientific studies, but would merely gather aids for his students. However the many copies of these have been preserved in various libraries, which certify the fact that he is recognized very broadly as a valuable teacher. Among these manuscripts are included the subjects of arithmetic, geometry, algebra, and the Logic of Antonio Genovesi. With information from Carl Jakob Iken (Leucothea, Ι. Leipzig 1825, pp. 240/241), Dorotheos wrote a Church History, but it was never published. He edited the first edition of The Rudder of Saint Nikodemos the Hagiorite in 1800.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

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