John the Oxite

John VІІ the Oxite was the Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch at the time of the Siege of Antioch in 1097 in front of the besieging army of the First Crusade. He was imprisoned by the Turkish governor, Yaghi-Siyan, who suspected his loyalty. On occasion he was hung from the walls and his feet were hit by iron rods. He was released and re-established as Patriarch when the crusaders captured the city in 1098. The crusaders soon established a Latin Patriarch as well, Peter of Narbonne. Peter was consecrated by John, and the two patriarchs existed side by side for a short time, until John became politically inconvenient for the first Prince of Antioch, Bohemund I. Bohemund accused him of conspiring with the Byzantine Empire, an old enemy of Bohemund and his Norman family, and John was exiled to Constantinople in 1100. The Eastern Orthodox Church was repressed in favour of the Latin Church, under Patriarch Bernard of Valence, who succeeded Peter of Narbonne. In Constantinople, John resigned and entered a monastery in Oxia, where he wrote anti-Latin treatises. A new Greek Patriarch was appointed in Constantinople until it was possible to restore them in Antioch later in the 12th century.


* Peter Frankopan, "Where Advice Meets Criticism in Eleventh Century Byzantium: Theophylact of Ohrid, John the Oxite and Their (Re)Presentations to the Emperor," "Al-Masaq", 20,1 (2008), 71-88.

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