1. Gennadios in the diocese of Nicaea
Gennadios was born around 1660 on the island of Leros.1According to Dimitrios Prokopiou, he was a “god-fearing, decorous man; beseeming to a Christian polity, proficient in the Greek dialect, well versed in the Holy Writ.”2 On May 31st 1696 he was elected metropolitan of Chios, and he held that position until 1712, when he was transferred to the diocese of Nicaea, where he remained for two years.3 After that, according to what is mentioned in Codex 186 of the monastery of St. Panteleimon on Mt Athos, “on February 25th 1714, the saintly Gennadios of Chios was transferred to the seat of the diocese of Herakleia”.4
2. Gennadios in the diocese of Herakleia
The fact that Gennadios maintained connections and was on good terms with Chrysanthos, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, can be verified by Gennadios’ correspondence with the Patriarch, which is preserved in the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. In two letters Gennadios invited the Patriarch to come to Raidestos and perform Christmas Mass there; as we can see from the second letter, the request of the metropolitan of Herakleia was finally granted.
Gennadios’ signature is found in three documents: in 1714 in the sigillion of Kosmas III for the metropolitan of Hungary-Wallachia (Oungrovlachias) Anthimos, in the sigillion of Ieremias III for the monasteries of Attica and Livadia in 1716 and in the sigillion of Ieremias III for the Zlataridon monastery of Bucharest in 1718.5Gennadios passed away in October 19th, 1718 “in his diocese, in the bisdhopric of Tzourlou”;14 he was succeeded in the diocese of Herakleia by Kallinikos II.
An interesting aspect concerning the race for the succession to the throne of the Constantinople Patriarchate, but also concerning the stance maintained by Gennadios vis-à-vis the developments, can be gathered by a letter sent by a monk named Zacharias to Brincoveanu, the prince of Wallachia, dated March 2nd 1714.6 As it is mentioned in the letter, two sides ("tzates") were battling over the patriarchal throne; one had Kosmas as a leader (the later Patriarch Kosmas III) and the other consisted of persons coalesced around Ioannis Mavrokordatos, the dragoman of the Sublime Porte, and the dragoman of the Ottoman fleet Konstantinos Ventouras.7 After Gennadios’ assumption of the office of the metropolitan in Herakleia, the two interpreters “took through the mediation of the defterdar [Ottoman official, the head of the financial department] the metropolitan of Herakleia and had him stay in the house of the başbakı kulu [tax inspector]8 for two and even three days, so as to have time to do their business”.9 Even so, representatives of Kosmas’ team visited Gennadios daily, inciting him to take the actions that would allow him to become Patriarch of Constantinople. Gennadios, however, strongly resisted any such solicitations, but “said only that he would prefer to lose his life, rather than become Patriarch in such circumstances.”10
Eventually the issue was solved – as Zacharias mentions – after “Kosmas went to the commissioner [epitropos] with an arzuhal [petition] and asked for the Patriarchate promising to give the miri [tax];11 he succeeded12 right away and the matter came to a close”.13 It is important though, that, while all these was happening, Gennadios remained in custody to prevent him from hampering Kosmas’ actions. Zacharias adds that Gennadios remained very popular among the people of Chios –where he once was metropolitan– and they intended to mobilize for his release. Nevertheless, the metropolitan of Herakleia advised calm, pointing out that the peaceful way to solve the situation was the only fitting.
1. Γεδεών, Μ., «Πέντε συγγενείς εκ Λέρου Αρχιερείς Ηρακλείας», Θρακικά Ε΄ (1934), p. 3· ΘΗΕ, see. entry «Γεννάδιος», vol. 4, p. 290.
2. Προκοπίου, Δ., «Επιτετμημένη επαρίθμησις των κατά τον παρελθόντα αιώνα λογίων Γραικών, και περί τινων εν τω νυν αιώνι ανθούντων», inΣάθας, Κ. (ed.), Μεσαιωνική Βιβλιοθήκη Γ΄ (Venice 1872), p. 490.
3. There is a problem as to weather Gennadios was metropolitan of Nicaea in 1712-1714. In ΘΗΕ, p. 290, entry «Γεννάδιος» και ΘΧΕ, p. 869, entry, it is mantained that it was so. However, according to Gedeon (Γεδεών), Gennadios moved directly from the diocese of Chios to the dioceseof Herakleia; Γεδεών, Μ., «Πέντε συγγενείς εκ Λέρου Αρχιερείς Ηρακλείας», Θρακικά Ε΄ (1934), p. 4. Foropoulos (Φορόπουλος), who has composed the relevant entry in ΘΗΕ, mentions this detail.
4. Νέος Ελληνομνήμων Ζ΄ (1910), p. 210.
5. Κουρίλας, Ε., «Βιογραφικός Κατάλογος Μητροπολιτών Ηρακλείας», Θρακικά ΚΗ΄ (1958), p. 96.
6. About the exact date of the letter see Γεδεών, Μ., «Πέντε συγγενείς εκ Λέρου Αρχιερείς Ηρακλείας», Θρακικά Ε΄ (1934), p. 7. Pinelopi Stathi (Στάθη) writes that the letter is situated in the Archive of the Dependency of Holy Sepulchre (Μετόχι του Παναγίου Τάφου). She rightly points out that the letter was published in Μανουήλ Γεδεών, op.cit., pp. 8-9,. Στάθη, Π., «Αλλαξοπατριαρχείες στο θρόνο της Κωνσταντινούπολης (17ος-18ος αι.)», Μεσαιωνικά και Νέα Ελληνικά Ζ΄ (2004), pp. 37-66. The same letter was re-published in Ε. Κουρίλας, «Βιογραφικός Κατάλογος Μητροπολιτών Ηρακλείας», Θρακικά ΚΗ΄ (1958), pp. 97-98. Stathi published again the letter and added some lines that were missing from Gedeon (Γεδεών) and Kourilas (Κουρίλας). The three scholars do not agree as to the receiver of the letter. According to Gedeon, the receiver was the prince of Wallachia or Moldova, while Kourilas writes that it was Constantine Brîncoveanu, prince of Wallachia. Stathi believes that the receiver was a prince, probably the prince of Moldova Nikolaos Mavrokordatos.
7. Γεδεών, Μ., «Πέντε συγγενείς εκ Λέρου Αρχιερείς Ηρακλείας», Θρακικά Ε΄ (1934), pp. 9-10. Στάθη, Π., «Αλλαξοπατριαρχείες στο θρόνο της Κωνσταντινούπολης (17ος-18ος αι.)», Μεσαιωνικά και Νέα Ελληνικά Ζ΄ (2004), p. 63, note. 84.
8. In my opinion, the text published by Gedeon and Kourilas is right in this detail, as it implies that the metropolitan stayed in the house of the Ottoman official.
9. Probably Zacharias means that the metroplitan was under "house arrest".The text from Γεδεών, Μ., «Πέντε συγγενείς εκ Λέρου Αρχιερείς Ηρακλείας», Θρακικά Ε' (1934), p. 8.
10. Γεδεών, Μ., «Πέντε συγγενείς εκ Λέρου Αρχιερείς Ηρακλείας», Θρακικά Ε' (1934), p. 8.
11. Stathi and Gedeon write "μοιρί".
12. «Εμπουγιούρτησαν», according to Stathi. The text would be: "it was ordered accordingly".
13. Κουρίλας, Ε., «Βιογραφικός Κατάλογος Μητροπολιτών Ηρακλείας», Θρακικά ΚΗ' (1958), pp. 97-98.
14. «Ενθυμήσεων ήτοι χρονικών σημειωμάτων συλλογή πρώτη», Νέος Ελληνομνήμων, vol. Ζ΄ (1910), pp. 210-211.