Maximus IV of Constantinople

Maximus IV (Greek: Μάξιμος Δ΄), previously known as Manasses (Greek: Μανασσής), was an Orthodox Christian monk and bishop. He was Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 1491 to 1497.

Maximus IV
Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople
ChurchChurch of Constantinople
Appointedearly 1491
Term endedearly 1497
PredecessorDionysius I
SuccessorNephon II
Personal details
Previous postMetropolitan of Serres


He was abbot of the Vatopedi monastery on Mount Athos before being appointed by Patriarch Symeon I of Constantinople as Metropolitan bishop of Serres, which he governed under the religious name of Manasses.

In the first months of 1491 he was elected Patriarch of Constantinople with the support of the monks of Mount Athos.[1]:198 On his election he changed his name to Maximus, an unparalleled case in the history of the Ecumenical Patriarchate[2] because usually a monastic name is maintained throughout an ecclesiastic career. As Patriarch he defended the rights of Orthodox Christians living in territories under the Venetian Republic.[3]

During his reign arose some pieces of gossip about him, not specified by the sources, which led to his deposition in early 1497.[4]

After his resignation he remained actively involved with ecclesiastic issues, even plotting against his successor Nephon II, until he was forced to retire in the Vatopedi monastery, where he died at an unknown date.[5]


  1. ^ Runciman, Steven (1985). The Great Church in captivity. Cambridge University Press. pp. 198. ISBN 978-0-521-31310-0.
  2. ^ Kiminas, Demetrius (2009). The Ecumenical Patriarchate. Wildside Press LLC. p. 37,46. ISBN 978-1-4344-5876-6.
  3. ^ Haldon, John (2008). The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies. Oxford Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-19-925246-6.
  4. ^ B.G.Niebuhr, I.Bekker, ed. (1849) [1584]. "Historia Politica et Patriarchica Constantinopoleos". Corpus scriptorum historiae byzantinae, Volume 49. Bonn. pp. 133–4.(in Latin)
  5. ^ "Maximos IV". Ecumenical Patriarchate. Retrieved 15 August 2011.

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