Michael II of Constantinople

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Michael II Kourkouas (Oxeites) (Greek: Μιχαήλ Β΄ Κουρκούας) was an Eastern Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople (July 1143 – March 1146).

In early 1143 Patriarch Leo and Emperor John II Komnenos died within a few months of each other, bringing a period of turbulence to the Byzantine Church.[1] John's appointed successor, his son Manuel I Komnenos arrived in Constantinople on June 27 1143, from Cilicia where his father had died.[2] In order to fully assure his position as emperor, Manuel needed to arrange his coronation. However, to do this he first needed to appoint a patriarch. His choice fell on the abbot of the monastery of Oxeia, Michael Kourkouas.[2] The coronation did not take place until November 28, 1143, because Michael threatened to resign for unknown reasons.[2]

During his reign Michael had to deal with the highly political trial of a monk called Niphon[disambiguation needed].[2] On February 22, 1144 Michael condemned Niphon for supporting two Cappadocian bishops who were accused of heresy and later found guilty of Bogomil practices.[1][2] This forbade orthodox believers from associating with him.[1] Michael II resigned in March 1146 to return to the monastery of Oxeia,[2] most likely because of disillusion with the emperor.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Paul Magdalino. (2002). The Empire of Manuel I Komnenos, 1143-1180, Cambridge University Press, pp.276-277
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Angold, Michael. Church and Society in Byzantium under the Comneni, 1081-1261. Cambridge University Press, 1995, p.78-79
Eastern Orthodox Church titles
Preceded by
Leo Styppeiotes
Patriarch of Constantinople
Succeeded by
Cosmas II Atticus