Dorotheos II of Trebizond

1. Career

The origins of Dorotheos II are unknown. Before assuming the position of the metropolitan of Trebizond he was the metropolitan of Athens. It is very possible he died as an active metropolitan of Trebizond and Gennadios I, who is mentioned as holding this office in 1501, was probably his immediate successor.

His former tenure at the diocese of Athens is known only through the text of his election act in the diocese of Trebizond, preserved today in a manuscript at the Pantokrator monastery of Mount Athos.1 Nevertheless, the historians of Athens under Ottoman rule appear to ignore him; in general they make no mention of any names of metropolitans of the city for the first period after the Ottoman conquest of the city (1458 onwards).2

Dorotheos was appointed as the metropolitan of Trebizond in 1472, after the brief service of Pangratios in the same year, when the former was forced to resign after the demand of the sultan himself. His rapid replacement by the metropolitan of Athens Dorotheos was due to the special care of the patriarch Symeon I of Trebizond not to leave such an important city without a religious leader, but to the wish of the sultan too.3

2. The reasons for the appointment of Dorotheos

We must consider a certainty that the changes concerning the ecclesiastic matters of Trebizond and the replacement of Pangratios –shortly after his rising to the throne- by Dorotheos are directly connected to the political matters in the region, since there was a rebellious uproar amongst the Christian inhabitants against the new Ottoman authority, instigated by the ambitious chieftain Uzun Hasan, an adversary of the Ottomans, who also used Alexios Komnenos, a member of the former imperial house of Trebizond. Apparently, the sultan, seeking to restore peace in the area, appointed for a second time in the patriarchal throne Symeon I of Trebizond, who took care of filling the metropolitan throne of the region, empty since 1461, hoping to contribute to the restoration of calmness. It is very possible that Pangratios did not contribute towards this direction, since he might have also participated in the ongoing rebellions; thus, the sultan demanded his removal. Doroheos must have had a similar contribution to the effort for the pacification of the inhabitants, something which explains the sultan’s wish to fill in the position of the metropolitan. From the later service of Dortotheos as a metropolitan the only information available is that he also bore the office of the metropolitan of Caesarea.

1. Χρύσανθος (Φιλιππίδης), αρχιεπίσκοπος Αθηνών, Η Εκκλησία Τραπεζούντος (Athens 1936),  p. 532, reprinted from Αρχείον Πόντου 4-5 (1933).

2. After the Ottoman conquest of Athens (1458) and the removal of Isidoros, the metropolitan of the city, the next person known to have taken the office during the end of the 15th century is Neofytos. Kambouroglou and Philadelpheus refer to a metropolitan of Athens who is not mentioned by name and signs a synodal act of the year 1465. Philadelpheus believes that the former, as any other metropolitan of Athens during these years, would remain in Constantinople and would not move to Athens, but this is a mere hypothesis. See Καμπούρογλου, Δ., Μνημεία της Ιστορίας των Αθηναίων: Τουρκοκρατία, περίοδος πρώτη 1458-1687, vol. II (Athens 1890), p. 145-148; Φιλαδελφεύς, Θ., Ιστορία των Αθηνών επί Τουρκοκρατίας από του 1400 μέχρι του 1800, vol. I (Athens 1902), p. 219-220. The first modern scholar locating Dorotheos is Μανουήλ Γεδεών, «Ημίγνωστοι Σελίδες της Ιστορίας των Αθηναίων», Θεολογία 5 (1927), p. 120-121. It is very possible that the anonymous metropolitan of Athens in 1465 is Dorotheos, the later metropolitan of Trebizond.

3. As we read in the election act of Dorotheos: “…considering unjust to leave this city leaderless and unprotected, something which the ruler also disliked, he ordered that a spiritual shepherd, protector and teacher should be appointed there, for the sake of the instruction and benefit of the soul of the people living there”, Χρύσανθος (Φιλιππίδης), αρχιεπίσκοπος Αθηνών, Η Εκκλησία Τραπεζούντος (Αθήναι, Εστία 1936), p. 532, reprinted from Αρχείον Πόντου 4-5 (1933).