815 -c. 897
Byzantine Patriarch

Photius was patriarch of the eastern church, a Byzantine scholar and writer who became the leader of the Orthodox Byzantine Renaissance.

He was in conflict with Pope Nicholas I over the rights of his church. Photius wrote a letter to other Eastern patriarchs complaining about theological innovations by Latin missionaries to the Balkans. He excommunicated the pope, but was himself deposed in 867.

When he returned as patriarch ten years later the schism between the Orthodox Eastern church and Rome became unsurmountable and the churches split apart.

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