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Late Byzantine period (1204-1430)

The Church
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Grigorios Palamas
Portable icon portraying Grigorios Palamas, 14th century, Moscow, Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts.

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Grigorios Palamas
Portable icon , 14th century

The fall of Constantinople to the Franks in 1204 was the beginning of a new phase in the history of the Church of Macedonia. An archbishop from the Church of Rome was installed in Thessalonike -- the capital of the Frankish state ruled by Boniface of Monferrat -- and the Orthodox hierarchy was expelled.

Throughout this disturbed period and until the liberation of Thessalonike by Theodore Doukas of Epirus, Orthodox parochial clergy and monks persisted in their efforts to uphold Orthodox views. After the restoration of the Byzantine Empire (1261) by the Palaeologan dynasty the metropolitan of Thessalonike was raised to a higher dignity, receiving the title of 'panagiotatos' (most holy), while the regional metropolises were partitioned once again.

During this period ending with the fall of Thessalonike to the Turks in 1430, the Church of Macedonia was at the peak of its intellectual and spiritual achievement, its influence being felt by all Orthodox peoples of the Balkans.

The Palaeologan renaissance, centred on Mount Athos, Thessalonike and other large cities (e.g. Beroia, Kastoria, Ochrid), produced outstanding intellectuals (e.g. Nikephoros Choummos, Grigorios Palamas, Barlaam the Calabrian, Constantine Armenopoulos), who contributed to the reinvigoration of Orthodox theology (Hesychast movement) and the strengthening of national morale among the people who were being harassed by Serbian expansion and Turkish advances.

See Also
History - Christianity (324-565)
The Church (565-867)
The Church (867-1204)
Travelling - Byzantine Veroia
Byzantine Kastoria

Macedonian Heritage
Content courtesy Ekdotike Athenon S.A.