Pachomios II of Constantinople

1. Life and activity

He originated from Lesvos, where he was born in the first half or during the middle of the 16th century. Pachomios Patestos (from the Italian name Battista) became the parish priest of the patriarchal church of Constantinople (Istanbul). Around 1583-1584 he was elected as the metropolitan of Caesarea, but the Patriarch Ieremias II due to their personal rivalry did not validate his election. Meanwhile, however, a crisis broke out in the relations between Ieremias II and the sultan because the patriarch, although a popular figure, was accused by his Christian enemies that he had baptised Muslims; the patriarch was eventually imprisoned, tortured and, although the accusation was never proved, deposed. With the initiatives of sultan Mehmet III, who was once a student of Pachomios in geometry and philosophy,1 Pachomios was placed on the patriarchal throne in the middle of March 1584. Apart from the personal relation of the two men, his appointment was also aided by Pachomios’ promise to increase the yearly tax (haraç) which was paid by the church, a promise he never managed to fulfil, although he sold for this purpose precious ecclesiastical heirlooms.2

2. Deposition-missions abroad

The service of Pachomios II ended quickly, since he never had the favour of the supreme hierarchy of the church, neither of the people. A synod of prelates deposed him on 26th or 27th February of 1585, a decision the sultan did not oppose to. He then accepted the return of Ieremias II to the throne, since the supporters of the former offered to pay an amount of money equal to the one Pachomios had promised. Approximately one year later Pachomios was allowed to travel to Egypt and Cyprus in order to organize money contributions for the patriarchate. During his travel there, however, he was accused of scandals,3and was exiled to Wallachia. As a patriarch Pachomios II was not distinguished for any special activity. He was, however, probably an important scholar, as inferred by the fact he was the teacher of the sultan Mehmet III.

1. Γεδεών, Μ. (ed.), «Κυρίλλου Λαυριώτου Πατριαρχικόν Χρονικόν», Αθήναιον 6 (1877), p. 31.

2. Μέρτζιος, Κ.Δ., Πατριαρχικά ήτοι Ανέκδοτοι Πληροφορίαι Σχετικαί προς τους Πατριάρχας Κωνσταντινουπόλεως από του 1556-1702 (Αθήναι 1951), p. 13-16.

3. We do not know what exactly these “scandals” were all about.