Theophilus


Theophilus
/thee of"euh leuhs/, n.
1. a walled plain in the 4th quadrant of the face of the moon: about 65 mi. (105 km) in diameter.
2. a male given name.

* * *

(as used in expressions)
Painter Theophilus Shickel
Theophilus Presbyter
Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart

* * *

▪ Byzantine emperor
died Jan. 20, 842, Constantinople

      Eastern Roman emperor (829–842), principal promoter of the 9th-century Byzantine renascence of learning, and the last advocate of the Eastern heresy of Iconoclasm (the destruction of religious images) in a reign beset by Arab invasions.

      The son of the emperor Michael II, of the Phrygian dynasty traditionally favourable to Iconoclasm, Theophilus was liberally educated by the Byzantine scholar and ardent Iconoclast John Philoponus (Philoponus, John). He was also much influenced by the learned court of the early 9th-century caliph of Baghdad Hārūn ar-Rashīd.

      Theophilus was crowned as co-emperor in 820 and shortly thereafter married a beauty, Theodora, chosen from a group of candidates. On becoming sole emperor in 829, he emulated Hārūn ar-Rashīd by wandering about the capital informally, listening to his subjects' complaints. An intelligent financier and administrator, he dispatched architects and engineers to construct fortresses which would anchor Byzantium's northern defenses against the Vikings and the Magyars. He also bolstered his defenses, east and west, against the Muslims. For despite his interest in their culture, Theophilus was compelled to war with the Muslims throughout his reign.

      Having repelled the caliph Maʾmūn, Theophilus met with disastrous reversals at the hands of Maʾmūn's brother, the caliph al-Muʿtaṣim (Muʿtaṣim, al-), who struck at the most important centres of Asia Minor on the route to Constantinople. Theophilus was defeated in a bloody battle at Dazimon (now Dazmana, Tur.) in July 838. Ancyra fell, and a month later al-Muʿtaṣim took Amorium, one of the empire's chief fortresses and the home of Theophilus' dynasty. Exploiting dissension within the Arab camp, however, Theophilus in 841, with the help of Spanish Moors, captured Melitene on the Armenian border, forcing al-Muʿtaṣim to sign a truce.

      Under Theophilus, Iconoclasm was given full rein. To weaken the political influence of Greek Orthodox monasticism, the Emperor and John Philoponus (who had become patriarch of Constantinople) mounted a persecution against the users of icons in Orthodox liturgy and devotion. Support for Iconoclasm soon waned, however, and the vast majority of the Greek Orthodox rallied to the defense of their sacred art.

      The Byzantine cultural revival stimulated by Theophilus included two significant advances in the area of classical studies: the gradual substitution of the minuscule, or smaller, cursive hand for the uncial, or larger, script, and the increase in the number of scriptoria, or copyists' workshops. Theophilus also restored the University of Constantinople after its 8th-century decline and appointed the brilliant Byzantine teacher Leo the Mathematician as its new rector.

▪ German writer and artist
also called  Theophilus Presbyter, probable  pseudonym of  Roger Of Helmarshausen 
flourished 12th century

      German monk who wrote De diversis artibus (c. 1110–40; also called Schedula diversarum artium), an exhaustive account of the techniques of almost all the known crafts of the first half of the 12th century. From his writings it can be deduced that Theophilus was of the Benedictine order and that he was a practicing craftsman. He may have been the celebrated German metalworker Roger of Helmarshausen, a monk who made a portable altar (1100) now in the cathedral treasury at Paderborn. Theophilus shows considerable interest in the techniques of metalwork, but he also discusses the crafts of wall painting, manuscript illumination, stained glass, and ivory carving. The work is divided into three books, and the introduction to each is of interest in reflecting the attitude to his art of a practicing medieval craftsman who was also an educated person. It contains the earliest references in Europe to paper and to oil painting. C.R. Dodwell edited the definitive Latin text with an English translation in 1961.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Theophilus — • Second century Bishop of Antioch • Patriarch of Alexandria (385 412) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Theophilus     ♦ Theop …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Theophilus — (bzw. griechisch Theophilos, auch Theofilos umschrieben) ist ein Name, dessen Bedeutung aus dem Griechischen kommt. theós bedeutet Gott und philos bedeutet lieb bzw. freundlich, sprich Gottlieb. Bekannte Namensträger sind: Theophilos (Indo… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • THEOPHILUS° — THEOPHILUS°. Josephus (Apion, 1:216) includes one Theophilus in a list of Greek authors who mentioned the Jews at some length and whose writings testify to the antiquity of the Jewish people. His date and nationality are unknown but he may be… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • THEOPHILUS — (Heb. Yedidiah), high priest from 37 to 41 C.E. Theophilus, the son of Hanan son of Seth, was appointed by Vitellius, the Roman governor of Syria, in place of his brother Jonathan (Jos., Ant., 18:123) and served in that office until removed by… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Theophilus — Theophĭlus, nach der Sage im 6. Jahrh. Bistumsverweser zu Adana, verschrieb sich dem Teufel, erhielt aber, sein Vergehen bereuend, durch Maria Begnadigung; kath. Gegenstück zur prot. Faustsage, seit dem 10. Jahrh. im Abendlande verbreitet und… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Theophilus — m New Testament: Latin form of the name of the addressee of St Luke s gospel and the Acts of the Apostles; also borne by various early saints. It is composed of the Greek elements theos god + philos friend, and was popular among early Christians… …   First names dictionary

  • Theophilus — masc. proper name, Greek, lit. loved by the gods, from theos god (see THEA (Cf. Thea)) + philos loved, beloved see PHILE (Cf. phile)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Theophilus — Various people have been known by the name Theophilus or Theophilos, which means Friend of God in Greek, and is thus similar to the Latin word Amadeus PeopleArts* Teófilo Braga * Theophilus Cibber (1703–1758), English actor, playwright, author,… …   Wikipedia

  • Theophilus — (ca. 53)    Legendary monk who made a Pact with the devil. The story of Theophilus was popular during the Middle Ages, especially because of its triumphant ending. It was written in various languages, was read at many churches, and was made into… …   Encyclopedia of Demons and Demonology

  • THEOPHILUS — I. THEOPHILUS Archon Athenis, Olymp. 108. An. 1. II. THEOPHILUS Caesareae Palaestinae praesul, Severô imperante, librum in Marcionem edidit, tum alia quae ab Hieronymo commemorantur. Item Comicus antiquae comoediae; cuius fabulas enumerat Suidas …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.