Still more Pantoleon!

After writing my last post, I thought to check JSTOR.  And … I got a hit![1]  This discusses marginalia in an Old English manuscript, but the author wanders quite far afield, discussing devotion to St Michael the Archangel:

Greek devotion to St. Michael is well attested, but one writer in particular deserves attention in connection with the Corpus homily. In a sermon on the power of St. Michael, the deacon Pantoleon attributes a series of Old Testament miracles to the intervention of the Archangel.[108]

The sermon opens with a eulogistic passage which describes Michael by a string of epithets: he is “maxime et imprimis admirabilis Michael princeps Dei militiae” (the greatest and especially wonderful Michael chief of God’s troops), “benigne Michael” (kind-hearted Michael), “qui es fortissimus pugnator et propugnator ac defensor eorum qui Dominum diligunt” (who are the most powerful combatant and champion and defender of those who love the Lord).[109]

Of the miracles Pantoleon attributes to Michael, perhaps the most striking is the Archangel’s intervention at the sacrifice of Isaac: Michael stays the hand of Abraham as he is about to slay his son Isaac (§ XI). Michael is also said to be the angel who wrestles with Jacob (§ XI); who leads the Israelites out of Egypt to the promised land (§ XIII); who contends with the Devil over the body of Moses (§ XIV); who aids Joshua in destroying Jericho (§ XV); who saves Sidrach, Misach, and Abednago from the flames of Nabuchodonosor’s furnace (§ XX); and who preserves Daniel in the lion’s den (§ XXI).

108. Pantoleonis, Diaconi et Chartophylacis magnae Ecclesiae: “Narratio miraculorum Archangeli Michaelis,” PG 140. 573-88.
109. Ibid., 574-75.

The reference to PG 140 means that Migne printed the Encomium a second time.

On visiting PG 140, the table of contents is at the back.  There are a couple of pages of introduction, which did not add much.

On col. 483 ff. is the Tractatus contra Graecorum Errores, clearly written after the schism between Greeks and Latins.  This is given in Latin, as printed by Stevartius.

On col. 573-591. is the Narratio, in Latin only.  Migne seems to be aware that he has already printed it; so presumably is just reprinting his source.

No other works of Pantoleon appear.

Further Google searching turns up a Laudatio S. Michaelis Archangeli, (BHG 1289) listed in manuscript by PinakesDe luminibus sanctis is mentioned at Pinakes as BHG 1945; the mysterious collection of homilies through the year appears in manuscripts listed here; and the Miracula S. Michaelis Archangeli is given as BHG 1285-1288e, 1288i-m, and appears in many mss listed here.

I probably ought to look at the BHG entries, but not tonight!

  1. [1]Richard F. Johnson, “Archangel in the margins: St Michael in the homilies of Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 41”, Traditio 53, 1998, 63-91; p.89

I say Pantaleon, you say Pantoleon – more notes on this figure

Yesterday I collected what I could find about the mysterious writer Pantoleon or Pantaleon, a bunch of whose sermons appear in PG 98.  The data was rather a farrago, and a testimony to the obscurity of this medieval figure or figures.

This evening I venture a little further into the mine!

Migne prints the following items.  I have supplemented his statements from the the Clavis Patrum Graecorum:

  • 1. In sacra lumine or De luminibus sacris, about Christ and St John the Baptist.  (PG 98, 1243-1247)
  • 2. In transfigurationem Jesu Christi (1247-1253)
  • 3. A second sermon, In transfigurationem Jesu Christi (1253-1259).  This is CPG 5207.2º, which attributes it to “Pantaleon Constantinopolitanus diaconus”.

The CPG says that this is a sermon usually attributed to Cyril of Alexandria.  Cyril’s Commentary on Luke, is made up of a series of homilies.  Most of these are extant only in Syriac.  Homily 51 (BHGa 1994) is extant in Greek, and printed in PG 77, 1009-1016; and again as PG 98, 1248-1254.

A note in the CPG adds that this homily is attributed sometimes in the manuscripts to Proclus of Constantinople, to Pantaleon (spelled thus), and to Theophilus of Alexandria.

Migne states that some manuscripts attribute this to Cyril of Alexandria, as Homily 51 of the Commentary on Luke.

  • 4. Pantaleon, deacon and chartophylax of the great church, Narratio (or Encomium) de miraculis sancti Michaelis. (1259-1265)
  • 5.  In exaltationem crucis. (1265-1269) Edited by Gretser from 3 manuscripts, but Migne lists a bunch of them. Savile’s edition of Chrysostom also prints it, vol. 7, p.661-663.  This is CPG 7915, which attributes it to “Pantoleon Byzantinus presbyter”, and says that it is BHG 430.

A Syriac version of this work is mentioned by Baumstark in Geschichte, p.262; and J.-M. Sauget, in Ecclesia Orans 3 (1986), p. 132-133.

An Old Slavonic version is mentioned in Makarij, Velikija Minei Cetii sobrannyja vserossijskim mitropolitom Makariem, Sanktpeterburg, 1868 ff, Sept. (14-24), col. 718-721.  Manuscripts of the Old Slavonic are mentioned in Chr. Hannick, Maximos Holobolos in der kirchenslavischen homiletischen Literatur (Wiener byzantinistische Studien XIV), Wien , 1981, p. 98 sq., n. 20.

  • Orationes sive homiliae panegyricae per totum annum, but vaguely, and prints nothing.

The Clavis Patrum Graecorum adds a little to this.  In volume 5, the index volume, three authors are listed:

  • PANTALEON Constantinopolitanus diaconus 5207.2º
  • PANTALEON 9411
  • PANTOLEON Byzantinus presbyter 7915-7918, and supplementary vol. p.455.

This gives us a couple more works:

  • 7.  CPG 9411 is a letter of Pope Martin to a “Pantaleon” (CPL 1733 for Latin version), sent after the Lateran Council, on 31 Oct. 649 AD.  It is printed in PG 87, 169-174, and Mansi, volume X, 819-824, in both Greek and Latin.

References are given in CPG to Jaffe-Loewenfeld, Regesta pontificum Romanorum ab condita ecclesia …, 2 vols, Leipzig, 1885-1888, 2nd ed, n. 2068; and P. Conte, Chiesa e primato, p.448, n.152.

  • 8. Homilia de exaltatione crucis (BHG 427p).  This is CPG 7918, an unpublished homily, also attributed to “Pantoleon Byzantinus presbyter”.  Information about manuscripts can be found in BHG 427p.

The Patrologia Graeca also has some interesting information on the author, from older sources.  In volume 98, we find in the table of contents the following:

PANTALEON DIACONUS CP. Orationes, ex Frontonis Ducae.  Supplemento ad Bibliothecam Patrum.  Col. 1243-1273.

[Pantaleon the Deacon of Constantinople, Orations, from Fronto de Duc, with supplement to the Library of the Fathers]

The introduction for the author, starting on column 1243, begins with “Date disputed”.  The material given mainly comes from Fabricius, Bibliotheca Graeca, ed. Harles. volume 11, p.445.

We are told that “Pantaleon Graecus”, both deacon and chartophylax of the great church of Constantinople, whom Fabricius says was a Dominican, and dates him to 1252 – for this is the period of the Latin occupation of Constantinople – wrote a work De Graecorum erroribus, on the errors of the Greeks, which was translated into Latin by Petrus Stevartius using the library of Bavaria (i.e. Munich), and printed by him, without the name of its author, in Ingolstadt in 1616, vol. 4, p.553; and reprinted in vol. 26 of the Patrum Lugd. (aren’t abbreviations annoying?) p. 467-471.  That Pantaleon was the author was stated by Combefis in his preface on new publications.

Migne’s footnote to this is a mess of abbreviations.  But I learn from it that Bandini, in his catalogue of the manuscripts of the Mediceo-Laurentiana library in Florence, vol. 1, p.503, mentions Codex. Laurentianus 9, Plutei II, as written at the start of the 11th century.  This manuscript is said to contain the Narration, the miracles of St Michael the Archangel. A. Mingarelli references[1] a 9th century “Nanios manuscript 38” which contains part of the In exaltatione crucis.  (Apparently a couple of Venetian noblemen were named “Nano” but I can discover nothing about them; the manuscripts are now in Venice and form part of the Marciana collection.)  In his index he refers to Pantaleon as “priest of the monastery of the Byzantines”, as being so called in ms. Nan. 73, n.13; ms. Nan. 154 (?) n. 54 and elsewhere; and as “deacon”, based on ms. Nan. 63, 30 and others.

However Margarin de la Bigne (not “Margaret” as I first thought!) refers Pantaleon to the 8th century.  We are given no more on this.

There is also mention of a further Pantaleon Ligarides or Ligaridus, also a Greek, whose letter to Allatius is cited by Nic. Comnenus.  Another Pantaleon the Logothete is known, to whom Theodore the Studite addressed some letters.  A Pantaleon of Nicomedia, and Martyr, is also known.

Are we further forward?  I think not.  My correspondent has said that he intends to translate at least some of these, and make them publically available.  Let us hope that he does!

  1. [1]A. Mingarelli, Graeci Codices Manu Scripti Apud Nanios Patricios Venetos Asservati, 1784, p.47.  Google Books

Who *was* that masked man?! The mysterious Pantoleon

A correspondent writes:

Do you know anything about Pantaleon the Deacon? It looks like we have 5 sermons of his, in the PG 98 columns 1244-1269, though sermon 4 (apparently an encomium on Michael the archangel) is only given in Latin. … I was curious if you know if his works existed in English yet.

This is indeed an obscure author.  A google search revealed little, beyond a Spanish translation of the Encomium on Michael, published in Strasbourg in 2014.[1]

Fortunately the indispensable “fifth volume” of Quasten, ed. Angelo di Berardino, reveals a “Pantoleon”, which is the form of the name in the CPG:


Pantoleon was a priest-monk of the monastery “of the Byzantines”, probably near Jerusalem. There survives a homily attributed to him on the Exaltation of the Cross (BHG 430) which also exists in a Syriac version of the 8th or 9th century, making it certain that Pantoleon is no later than the 8th century. Honigmann has sought to narrow this down still further to 650-750, by supplementing the evidence of the Syriac version with his theory about the introduction of the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross into Palestine. If this is correct, then Pantoleon may be the same as the Pantoleon to whom Pope Martin I addressed a letter of reproach after the Lateran Council in 649. Another homily on the Exaltation of the Cross (BHG 427p), as yet unedited, has also been ascribed to Pantoleon.

Editions: CPG 7915, 7918; PG 98, 1265-1269.

Studies: E. Honigmann, “La date de l’homelie du pretre Pantoleon sur la fete de l’Exaltation de la Croix (VIIe s.) et l’origine des collections homiliaires”, Bulletin de l’Academie royale de Belgique 36 (1950) 547-559; A. Labate: EEC 2 (1992) 640.

The CPG entries are:

  • 7915: Homilia in exaltationem crucis (BHG 430), PG 1265-1269, plus a Syriac translation;
  • 7918: Homilia de exaltatione crucis (BHG 427p), unpublished, but labelled DUBIA.

I find this entry in the CERL thesaurus here:

Pantaleon <Constantinopolitanus>

Biographical Dates: 7. bzw. 9. Jh. (früher: 13. Jh.)

General Notes:  CPG 5207,2: Sermo de luminibus sanctis; Sermones in transfigurationem Domini; vielleicht Verf. von “Contra Graecos”; Identität mit Pantaleon <Presbyter Byzantinus> (CPG 7915-7918) wahrscheinlich.

Which identifies “Pantaleon Presbyter Byzantinus” “probably” with “Pantaleon Constantinopolitanus”.

Searching for “Pantoleon Byzantinus” tells me here that there is a publication, Pantoleon Diaconus, Miracula sancti Michaelis edited by F. Halkin in Inedits byzantins d’Ochrida, Candie et Moscou, Brussels, 1963.

The Pinakes has an entry for “Pantoleon Cpl. Diaconus” here which references both a Laudatio S. Michaelis Archangeli (BHG 1289) and Miracula S. Michaelis Archangeli (BHG 1285-1288e, 1288i-m), plus a Sermo de luminibus sanctis (BHG 1945) and Opera.  But of course Pinakes is a list of manuscript holdings.

Likewise I find this in the old Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology:

2. A Constantinopolitan deacon and chartophylax, who probably lived in the middle of the thirteenth century. Several works of his, principally sermons, have been published, both in the original Greek, and in Latin, for which consult Fabricius, Bibl. Graec. vol. x. pp. 199, 242, 247, 258, vol. xi. p. 455, and Cave, Hist. Lit. vol. ii. Diss. p. 15. [W. M. G.]

I don’t quite know what to make of all this: but that’s what I have.

  1. [1]Pantaléon (Diacre de Constantinople). Narración de los milagros del supremo arcángel Miguel; y Panegírico del supremo y glorioso Miguel príncipe de la milicia celeste. Pantaléon diácono,… ; traducción, introducción y notas de Guillermo Pons. Strasbourg: Trifolium, 2014.  In series Archivum Angelicum, vol. 25.  ISSN 1969-5659; 25.  ISBN : 978-2-35813-028-8.  Info via Sudoc.