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Stephen Hagiochristophorites (in Greek, Stephanos Hagiochristophorites; d. 11 September 1185) first appears as a courtier under the Byzantine emperor Manuel I Komnenos. His last name literally means "Holy-Christ-Bearer".

Stephen had his nose cut off and was expelled from court as punishment for attempting to seduce a noblewoman. He returned to favour under Andronikos I Komnenos; according to Niketas Choniates he was nicknamed Antichristophorites (literally meaning "bearer of Antichrist"), implying that he was a bringer of evil.

Along with Constantine Tripsychos and Theodore Dadibrenos, Hagiochristophorites strangled Alexios II Komnenos with a bowstring in 1183, leaving Andronikos sole Emperor. In 1184, when Constantine Makrodoukas and Andronikos Doukas fell from favour because of their earlier support for Isaac Komnenos, who subsequently rebelled in Cyprus, Hagiochristophorites led the public stoning which preceded their impalement. On 11 September 1185, he undertook to arrest Isaac Angelos. Isaac was lucky enough to kill him first, and went on to depose Andronikos.

Sources

  • Niketas Choniates, Historia, ed. J.-L. Van Dieten (Berlin and New York, 1975) pp. 274, 293, 314, 336, 339-342, 353, 365; trans. as O City of Byzantium, Annals of Niketas Choniates, by H.J. Magoulias (Detroit; Wayne State University Press, 1984).

Bibliography

  • Alexios G. C. Savvides, 'Notes on 12th-century Byzantine prosopography' in Vyzantiaka vol. 14 (Thessaloniki, 1994) pp. 341-353.

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