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The First Iconoclast Schism - 726 and 787.



it is VERY important in this study to isolate all the religious figures and political figures who were against images. These men were being used by God (one way or another) to try to clean idolatry out of Orthodoxy in a first step to reform it into true Christianity, tho there would be a LONG way to go with a religion so saturated with the sacerdotalist heresy, or Nicolaitan Heresy (power over the laity).

Justinian II put Christ on the obverse of coins, but apparently his Quinisext Council said this represented only his humanity, it was not to be seen like a theophany. This helped use of icons to grow more common, and may have later triggered the schism, according to this video....

The Byzantine Iconoclasm Schism refers to two periods in the history of the Byzantine Empire when the use of religious images or icons was opposed by religious and imperial authorities within the Eastern Church and the temporal imperial hierarchy.


The "First Iconoclasm", as it is sometimes called, lasted between about 726 and 787.


The "Second Iconoclasm" was between 814 and 842. According to the traditional view, Byzantine Iconoclasm was started by a ban on religious images by Emperor Leo III and continued under his successors. It was accompanied by widespread destruction of images and persecution of supporters of the veneration of images.

Council of Nicaea III. Under Empress irene, the veneration of images was vindicated with the Council of nicaea iii (787). At the Synod of Constantinople (843), held under theodora (2) and Michael III (842–867), iconoclasm was definitively vanquished. As a souvenir of this event, the Sunday of Orthodoxy was established. the odore the studite, founder of the Studite monastery at Constantinople (798) and an ascetical and poetic writer, defended the Roman primacy and the cult of images with the same arguments as those used by John Damascene.

Carolingian controversies. During the Carolingian age, Western theologians took an interest in the iconoclastic controversy of the Byzantines. Under Alcuin, they opposed the iconophile doctrine defined at the Council of Nicaea III. In the collective work called the Carolingian Books (Libri Carolini ) they attempted to achieve a via media; while they repudiated the exaggerations of the iconoclasts, they did not agree with the iconophiles that images were to be worshiped with the cult of dulia. This stemmed from a misunderstanding. Actually, for the Westerner the cult given to images is a relative worship, going directly to the person represented, while for the Oriental, the cult given to images is an external veneration or proskynesis that differs from the worship rendered to God and that given to the saints. Images, in the thought of John Damascene, possess a superior virtue because of their consecration and their quality as instruments by which God works miracles.

The Carolingian theologians also complained that the Council of Nicaea III had employed a formula proposed by Patriarch tarasius of constantinople concerning the procession of the Holy Spirit "from the Father through the Son." They charged that this was a vague and even equivocal expression, giving the impression that the Holy Spirit was a creature. They defended the filioque formula and accused Tarasius of dogmatic error. Pope Adrian came to the defense of the patriarch by showing that the formula "through the Son" was well founded among the Greek fathers. Thus the filioque dispute changed terrain and became a quarrel between the Carolingians and the Romans. At the behest of Charlemagne, Alcuin defended the filioque in his Libellus de processione Spiritus Sancto.


the  Head of Saint Andrew that Pope Paul VIth returned to the Church of PAtras at the end of the II. Vatican COuncil, which then - helas - an overly zealot ignorant monk destroyed with a sledge-hammer with the accusation it being a full representation of a human head; today the precious relic is kept in a rather uninteresting silver reliquary in the form of a byzantine mitre.

Eastern Icons - by Robert Lentz 

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