The term exarch (/ˈɛksɑːrk/) comes from the Ancient Greek ἔξαρχος, exarchos, and designates holders of various historical offices, some of them being political or military and others being ecclesiastical.

In the late Roman Empire and early Byzantine Empire, an exarch was a governor of a particular territory. From the end of 3rd century or early 4th, every Roman diocese was governed by vicarius who was titled "exarch" in eastern parts of the Empire where the Greek language and the use of Greek terminology dominated,[1] even though Latin was the language of the imperial administration from the provincial level up until the 440s (Greek translations were sent out with the official Latin text). In Greek texts the Latin title is spelled 'Bicarios.' The office of exarch as a governor with extended political and military authority was later created in Byzantine Empire, with jurisdiction over a particular territory, usually a frontier region at some distance from the capital Constantinople.[2]

In the Eastern Christian Churches (Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic), the term exarch has three distinct uses: metropolitan who holds the office of exarch is the deputy of a patriarch and holds authority over bishops of the designated ecclesiastical region (thus, a position between that of patriarch and regular metropolitan); or, an auxiliary or titular bishop appointed to be exarch over a group of the faithful not yet large enough or organized enough to be constituted an eparchy or diocese (thus the equivalent of a vicar apostolic); and, a priest or deacon who is appointed by a bishop as his executive representative in various fields of diocesan administration (in the Byzantine Empire, executive exarchs were usually collecting diocesan revenues for local bishops).

Roman Empire with dioceses in 300 AD
Original dioceses of the Roman Empire, created by emperor Diocletian (284–305)
Roman Empire with dioceses in 400 AD
Later dioceses of the Roman Empire, around 400 AD

Political exarchs

In the civil administration of the Byzantine Empire the exarch was, as stated above, the imperial governor of a large and important region of the Empire. The Exarchates were a response to weakening imperial authority in the provinces and were part of the overall process of unification of civil and military offices, initiated in early form by Justinian I, which would lead eventually to the creation of the Thematic system by either the Emperor Heraclius or Constans II.

After the dissolution of the Western Empire in the late fifth century, the Eastern Roman Empire remained stable through the beginning of the Middle Ages and retained the ability for future expansion. Justinian I reconquered North Africa, Italy, Dalmatia and finally parts of Spain for the Eastern Roman Empire. However, this put an incredible strain on the Empire's limited resources. Subsequent emperors would not surrender the re-conquered land to remedy the situation. Thus the stage was set for Emperor Maurice to establish the Exarchates to deal with the constantly evolving situation of the provinces.

In Italy the Lombards were the main opposition to Byzantine power. In North Africa the Amazigh or Berber princes were ascendant due to Roman weakness outside the coastal cities. The problems associated with many enemies on various fronts (the Visigoths in Spain, the Slavs and Avars in the Balkans, the Sassanid Persians in the Middle East, and the Amazigh in North Africa) forced the imperial government to decentralize and devolve power to the former provinces.

The term Exarch most commonly refers to the Exarch of Italy, who governed the area of Italy and Dalmatia, still remaining under Byzantine control after the Lombard invasion of 568. The exarchate's seat was at Ravenna, whence it is known as the "Exarchate of Ravenna". Ravenna remained the seat of the Exarch until the revolt of 727 over Iconoclasm. Thereafter, the growing menace of the Lombards and the split between eastern and western Christendom that Iconoclasm caused made the position of the Exarch more and more untenable. The last Exarch was killed by the Lombards in 751.

A second exarchate was created by Maurice to administer northern Africa, formerly a separate praetorian prefecture, the islands of the western Mediterranean and the Byzantine possessions in Spain. The capital of the Exarchate of Africa was Carthage. The exarchate proved both financially and militarily strong, and survived until the Arab Muslim conquest of Carthage in 698.

Ecclesiastical exarchs

Early tradition

The term exarch entered ecclesiastical language at first for a metropolitan (an archbishop) with jurisdiction not only for the area that was his as a metropolitan, but also over other metropolitans within local political dioceses. Since imperial vicarius (governor of a political diocese) was often called "exarch" in eastern, Greek speaking parts of the Empire, it became customary for the metropolitans of the diocesan capitals (Ephesus in Diocese of Asia, Heraclea in Thrace and Caesarea in Cappadocia) also to use the title "exarch" in order to emphasize their precedence and primatial status over other metropolitans within local political dioceses.[3]

The Council of Chalcedon (451), which gave special authority to the see of Constantinople as being "the residence of the emperor and the Senate," in its canons spoke of diocesan "exarchs", placing all metropolitans in dioceses of Asia, Thrace an Pontus (including metropolitans-exarchs of Ephesus, Heraclea and Caesarea) under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Constantinople. Metropolitans-exarchs of Ephesus tried to resist the supreme jurisdiction of Constantinople, but eventually failed since imperial government supported the creation of a centralized Patriarchate.[3]

When the proposed government of universal Christendom by five patriarchal sees (Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem, known as the pentarchy), under the auspices of a single universal empire, was formulated in the legislation of Emperor Justinian I (527-565), especially in his Novella 131, and received formal ecclesiastical sanction at the Council in Trullo (692), the name "patriarch" became the official one for the heads of major autocephalous churches, and the title of "exarch" was further demoted by naming all metropolitans as "patriarchal exarchs" in their ecclesiastical provinces. The advance of Constantinople put an end to privileges of three older, original exarchates, which fell back to the state of ordinary metropolitan sees.[4]

Local ecclesiastical development in some regions also included the title of exarch. Since the Church of Cyprus was declared autocephalous (431), its Primate received the title of Exarch of Cyprus. On the similar principle the Archbishop of Mount Sinai and Raithu is an exarch, though in this case, as in that of Cyprus, modern Eastern Orthodox usage generally prefers the title "Archbishop".

Eastern Orthodox Churches

Грузинский экзархат - საქართველოს საეგზარქოსო - Exarchate of Georgia
Georgian Exarchate in the 19th century
Platon (Rozhdestvensky)
Metropolitan Platon (Rozhdestvensky), last Exarch of Georgia (1915-1917) and first Exarch of Caucasus (1917-1918)
Map of the Bulgarian Exarchate (1870–1913).

In modern ecclesiastical practice of the Eastern Orthodox Church, the title of exarch was often used to designate the highest hierarchical office under the rank of patriarch. When Russian Patriarch Adrian of Moscow died in 1700, Emperor Peter the Great abolished the patriarchal office and appointed Metropolitan Stefan Yavorsky as "exarch" and head of the governing council of the Russian Orthodox Church.

After imperial Russia annexed Georgia (eastern part in 1801, and western part in 1810), the ancient Georgian Orthodox Church (autocephalous since 750, whose head was since 1008 styled Catholicos-Patriarchs) was reorganized into Georgian Exarchate, and the newly appointed Exarch of Georgia (since 1817 always an ethnic Russian) sat in the Russian Holy Synod at St. Petersburg.[5] Since the entire region of Caucasus fell under the Russian rule, jurisdiction of Georgian Exarchate was expanded, encompassing territories of modern-day Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. On 7 April 1917, the Georgian Patriarchate was restored for the Archbishops of Mtsheta and Tbilisi, with the style Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, and the title Exarch of Georgia was extinguished, but only for the Georgian part of the Exarchate. The Russian Orthodox Church and its exarch Platon (Rozhdestvensky) kept their jurisdiction over non-Georgian parts of the Caucasian region, and for those territories Caucasian Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church was created in the summer of 1917, with metropolitan Platon as Exarch of Caucasus. In the spring of 1918, he was succeeded by metropolitan Cyril (Smirnov) as new Exarch of Caucasus, but after his transfer to another post in the spring of 1920 no new exarch was appointed.[6]

On 28 February 1870 the twenty-year-old struggle between Greeks and Bulgarians for the control of the Orthodox Church in Bulgaria culminated when the Ottoman Sultan Abd-ul-Aziz created an independent Bulgarian ecclesiastical organization, known as the Bulgarian Exarchate. The Orthodox Church in Bulgaria had now become independent of the Greek-dominated Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The Bulgarian Exarch, who resided in Constantinople, became the most famous bearer of the title of exarch; his adherents throughout region were called exarchists, as opposed to the Greek patriarchists.The ensuing struggle, waged especially in Macedonia, was not only religious but had a conspicuous political dimension of a contention between competing Greek and Bulgarian national aims. For more information see Bulgarian Exarchate and Bulgarian Orthodox Church.

In 1921, eparchies of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine were reorganized as Ukrainian Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church, headed by patriarchal exarch with seat in Kiev. The Ukrainian Exarchate existed until 1990 when it was granted a higher degree of ecclesiastical autonomy within the Moscow Patriarchate. In 1989, an autonomous Belarusian Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church was formed, with jurisdiction over eparchies in Belarus.

During the 20th century, the pentarchy-number principle, already abandoned in the case of Bulgaria (10th century), Serbia (14th century) and Russia (16th century), gave way to the desire of the now politically independent orthodox nations to see their sovereignty reflected in ecclesiastical autonomy – autocephaly – and the symbolic title to crown it: a 'national' Patriarch. For example, Bulgarian Exarchate was raised to the rank of Patriarchate in 1953.

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the office of exarch can be also given to a special deputy of a Patriarch, with jurisdiction over a community outside the home territory of the Patriarchate. Thus, in the United States there are Exarchs representing, among others, the Serbian, Romanian, Bulgarian and Jerusalem Patriarchs. The style of the Exarchs of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem is "Exarch of the Holy Sepulcher".

The Mexican Orthodox parishes in five deaneries (Mexico City, D.F., State of Mexico, State of Jalisco, State of Veracruz and State of Chiapas) of the Orthodox Church in America are governed as the "Exarchate of Mexico", currently under the leadership of Bishop Alejo of Mexico City.[7]

The third officer of the court of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, who examines marriage cases (analogous to the Catholic defensor matrimonii), is called the Exarch.

Oriental Orthodox Churches

The Oriental Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch currently has under his authority an Exarch in India, known by the ancient title Maphrian, although he is popularly referred to as Catholicos. This is not to be confused with the autocephalous Catholicate of the East, which is also located in India.

Latin Church

Historically, there have been a very few cases of the civil title of Exarch granted by the civil authority to prelates of the Latin Church, as when Emperor Frederick I named the Archbishop of Lyon Exarch of Burgundy in 1157.

However, the ecclesiastical title of Exarch has disappeared in the Western Catholic Church, being replaced by the terms "Primate" (ranking above Metropolitan Archbishop) and "Apostolic Vicar" (ranking below Suffragan Bishop).

Modern Eastern Catholic Churches

In Eastern Catholic Churches (of Eastern tradition but in full communion with the Bishop of Rome, the Pope), the ecclesiastical title of Exarch is in common use, just as with its Orthodox counterparts.

These Churches are, in general, not identified with a particular liturgical rite. Thus, no less than fourteen of them use the one same Byzantine Rite, mostly in one or other of only two languages, Greek and Church Slavonic, but they maintain their distinct identities. Because of population shifts, half or so of these Churches have not just exarchates but full-scale eparchies (bishoprics) or even archeparchies (archdioceses) outside their original territory.

Apostolic exarchs

Apostolic exarch is usually a consecrated bishop of a titular see to whom the Pope, as Bishop of the Roman See of the Apostle Peter, has entrusted the pastoral care of the faithful of an autonomous Eastern Catholic particular Church sui iuris in an area, not raised to the rank of eparchy (diocese), that is situated outside the home territory of an Eastern Catholic Church. The office of apostolic exarch thus corresponds to what in the Latin Church is called an Apostolic vicar. Apostolic exarchates are generally exempt (immediately subject to the Holy See), with limited oversight by the Patriarch, Major Archbishop or Metropolitan in chief of the particular Eastern Church. It there is no metropolitan in a particular Eastern Catholic church, apostolic exarchates in their territories are directly subjected to Rome. For example, Byzantine Catholic Apostolic Exarchate of Serbia belongs to the Byzantine Catholic Church of Croatia and Serbia, but since there is no metropolitan in that church, Apostolic Exarch of Serbia is directly subjected to the Holy See.[8]

Patriarchal exarchs

Patriarchal exarch is appointed in those Eastern Catholic churches whose head is styled as patriarch. Office of patriarchal exarch is often (not always) given to a consecrated bishop of a titular see. Their appointments are limited to the traditional territory of their church, with main task of governing the region not yet raised to the rank of eparchy (diocese). They may be suffragan to an archdiocese or archeparchy of the Eastern Catholic Church, or be immediately subject to the Patriarch.

Archiepiscopal exarchs

Archiepiscopal exarch is appointed in those Eastern Catholic churches whose head is styled as Major Archbishop. Office of archiepiscopal exarch is also usually given to a consecrated bishop of a titular see. Appointment of archiepiscopal exarchs is limited to the traditional territory of their particular church. They also may be suffragans to an archdiocese or archeparchy of their Eastern Catholic Church, or be immediately subject to the Major Archbishop.

Coadjutor exarchs

In particular cases, usually because of illness or some other problem, an exarch of any rank can be assisted by the appointment of a colleague who is called Coadjutor exarch. The position of coadjutor exarch towards his superior exarch is similar to the position of Latin coadjutor bishop towards his superior diocesan bishop. Coadjutor exarchs are appointed with rights of succession. For example, in 1993 titular Bishop Christo Proykov of Briula was appointed Coadjutor to Apostolic Exarch of Sofia, Methodius Stratiev, and when the latter died in 1995 coadjutor exarch succeeded him as the new Apostolic Exarch.[9]

Auxiliary exarchs

In practice, exarch of any rank can be additionally assisted by an auxiliary exarch, who is appointed in order to help the exarch in administration of his exarchate. Position of auxiliary exarch towards his superior exarch is similar to position of Latin auxiliary bishop towards his superior diocesan bishop. Auxiliary exarchs are appointed without the rights of succession.

List of Eastern Catholic exarchates

The following Eastern Catholic exarchates can be found in the 2006 Annuario Pontificio and newer sources.[10] The Apostolic Exarchates are exempt, i.e. immediately subject to the Holy See, rather than to their Patriarch or other head of the particular Church

Byzantine Rite
Antiochian Rite
Armenian Rite
  • Armenian Catholic Church:
    • Armenian Catholic Apostolic Exarchate of Latin America
    • Armenian Catholic Apostolic Exarchate of Mexico

Patriarchal Exarchates

Armenian Rite
Byzantine Rite
Antiochian Rite

Archiepiscopal Exarchates

Byzantine Rite

Former Eastern Catholic Exarchates

(probably still incomplete)

in Europe - Byzantine Rite
in Asia - Armenian Rite
in Asia - Antiochian Rite
in Asia - Syro-Oriental Rite
in Africa - Alexandrian Rite
in Africa - Antiochian Rite
in the Americas - Antiochian Rite
  • Maronite Catholic Apostolic Exarchate of the USA
in the Americas - Armenian Rite
in the Americas - Byzantine Rite
in the Americas - Syro-Oriental Rite


  1. ^ sfn|Meyendorff|1989}}
  2. ^ Ostrogorsky 1956.
  3. ^ a b Meyendorff 1989.
  4. ^ A. Fortescue, Orthodox Eastern Church, 21-25.
  5. ^ Fortescue 1908, p. 295, 304-305, 351.
  6. ^ "Vladimir Moss, The Orthodox Church in the Twentieth Century". romanitas.ru.
  7. ^ "Dioceses - Diocese of Mexico". www.oca.org.
  8. ^ Cheney, David M. "Serbia (Apostolic Exarchate) [Catholic-Hierarchy]". www.catholic-hierarchy.org.
  9. ^ Cheney, David M. "Bishop Christo Proykov [Catholic-Hierarchy]". www.catholic-hierarchy.org.
  10. ^ "Catholic Dioceses in the World (Apostolic Exarchates)". www.gcatholic.org. Retrieved 2018-12-28.


External links


The term coadjutor (or coadiutor, literally "co-assister" in Latin) is a title qualifier indicating that the holder shares the office with another person, with powers equal to the other in all but formal order of precedence.

These include:

Coadjutor bishop, or Coadjutor archbishop

Coadjutor vicar, or Coadjutor apostolic vicar

Coadjutor eparch, or Coadjutor archeparch

Coadjutor exarch, or Coadjutor apostolic exarchThe office is ancient. "Coadjuter", in the 1883 Catholic Dictionary, says:

One who helps a prelate, or a priest holding a benefice, in discharging the duties of his bishopric or benefice. Coadjutorship may be of two kinds: one temporary and revocable, allowed on account of sickness or other incapacity, and implying no right of succession; the other perpetual and irrevocable, and carrying with it the right to succeed the person coadjuted. In this latter sense it is expressly forbidden by the Council of Trent; nevertheless the Pope, for special causes, sometimes concedes it, the plenitude of his apostolic power enabling him legally to dispense with the law. If a coadjutor is required for a parish priest, it is for the bishop of the diocese to nominate one; if for a bishop, the nomination belongs to the Pope, any usage to the contrary notwithstanding. In the case of a priest, if the incapacity is temporary or curable, he must appoint a vicar or substitute, not a coadjutor. The various infirmities which justify coadjutorship—serious and incurable illness, leprosy, loss of speech, &c. —are specified in the canon law. In the case of a bishop, the terms "administrator " and "suffragan" mean much the same as coadjutor, the differences being, that the administrator's function ceases when the bishop resumes charge of the diocese or dies, and a suffragan assists the bishop in things which relate to his ministry, but has no jurisdiction; while a coadjutor has jurisdiction, and his rights may, as we have seen, by special Papal permission, subsist after the death of the coadjuted. Various points affecting the precedence, dignity, and ceremonial attaching to a coadjutor bishop have been settled from time to time by the Congregation of Rites.

Another source identifies three kinds of coadjutors:

(1) Temporal and revocable.

(2) Perpetual and irrevocable.

(3) Perpetual, with the right of future succession.It describes:

As regards temporal coadjutors. Since a cleric who enjoys a benefice cannot be deprived of it on account of old age or infirmity, it is fitting that he should have someone to assist him in the work. This substitute or coadjutor has a claim in justice to share the fruits of the benefice in a reasonable proportion. The sacred Sess. xxi. canons only speak of parochial churches; and the Council of Trent orders the bishops, as delegates of the Holy See, to provide parish priests, who are ignorant but of good life, with coadjutors and vicars, and to assign these a sufficient share of the fruits of the benefice. As regards benefices without cure of souls, it is not the custom to give these temporary coadjutors, as the end in view can be attained by other means.

As regards perpetual coadjutors. The Council of Trent forbids absolutely perpetual coadjutors except for bishops and abbots, and this only under the conditions—viz. (1) that the necessity is pressing and the utility evident; (2) and that the coadjutorship be not given with the hope of future succession.

Decius (exarch)

Decius was an Exarch of Ravenna. He held this position by October of 584, and Smaragdus succeeded him in 585. He is thought to have been the first exarch of Ravenna, although some believe that Baduarius had been exarch before him.

Duchy of the Pentapolis

In the Byzantine Empire, the Duchy of the Pentapolis was a duchy (Latin: ducatus), a territory ruled by a duke (dux) appointed by and under the authority of the Praetorian Prefect of Italy (554–584) and then the Exarch of Ravenna (584–751). The Pentapolis (from the Greek term πεντάπολις, "five cities") consisted of the cities of Ancona, Fano, Pesaro, Rimini and Sinigaglia. It lay along the Adriatic coast between the rivers Marecchia and Misco immediately south of the core territory of the exarchate ruled directly by the exarch (the Ravennate), east of the Duchy of Perugia, another Byzantine territory, and north of the Duchy of Spoleto, which was part of the Lombard Kingdom of Italy (founded in 568). The duchy probably extended inland as far as the Apennine Mountains, perhaps beyond, and its southernmost town was Humana (Numera) on the northern bank of the Misco. The capital of the Pentapolis was Rimini and the duke was both the civil and military authority in the duchy.The Pentapolis was one of the more commercially vibrant parts of Italy. The citizens of the Pentapolis tried constantly to reduce the authority of the exarch in the duchy, while Byzantine Italy generally experienced a general decentralisation during the 7th century. In 725, when the Exarch Paul wanted to lead a punitive expedition against the Duchy of Rome, where Pope Gregory II and the citizens had usurped imperial prerogatives and deposed and replaced the reigning duke, he raised troops in the Ravennate and the Pentapolis. The Lombard historian Paul the Deacon says that he had great difficulty in raising the necessary troops and his expedition was ultimately a failure. In 726, the iconoclasm of Emperor Leo III the Isaurian (r. 717–741) first became public, possibly even through an edict against sacred images. The inability of the exarch to impose his authority in Rome and his weakness in the Pentapolis was transformed into impotence when the "armies", that is, the Roman military aristocracies, of the duchies of the Ravennate, the Pentapolis, and Venetia rose in revolt declaring that they would protect the pope from the imperial decree, which Paul had been ordered to enforce throughout Italy (727).In 738, the Lombard king Liutprand marched through the Pentapolis on his way to Spoleto, and during his transit was attacked by a group of "Spoletans" (Lombards from central Italy) and "Romans" (local Pentapolitans). The locals may have been incited to this alliance against Liutprand by the exarch, Eutychius, who may have had a deal with the duke of Spoleto, Transamund II. The Pentapolitans were not traditionally on good terms with either the Byzantines, whom Liutprand fought in 728–729, or the exarch in Ravenna, whom Liutprand also fought frequently, but they were unlikely to regard Lombard incursions in their region as a "liberation". Liutprand attacked Ravenna and Cesena on the via Aemilia in 743, probably with the goal of controlling a passage through Byzantine territory to Spoleto. His successor, Ratchis, attacked several cities in the Pentapolis and Perugia in 749, before retiring to become a monk. By 752, the Pentapolis was conquered by King Aistulf of the Lombards.In 754 Pepin the Short crossed the Alps, defeated Aistulf, and gave to the pope the lands which Aistulf had torn from the ducatus Romanus (Duchy of Rome) and the exarchate (including the Pentapolis).

Eutychius (exarch)

Eutychius was the last Exarch of Ravenna (c. 727–751).

The Exarchate of Ravenna had risen in revolt in 727 at the imposition of iconoclasm; the Exarch Paul lost his life attempting to quash the revolt. In response, Emperor Leo III the Isaurian (r. 717–741) sent the eunuch patrician Eutychius to take control of the situation. In certain historical works, Eutychius is mentioned as having served as exarch already in 710/11–713, between the tenures of John III Rizocopus and Scholasticus. This is however a modern interpolation based on an erroneous reading of the Liber pontificalis. Eutychius landed in Naples, where he called upon loyal citizens to assassinate Pope Gregory II. When the citizens responded by pledging to defend the Pope and to die in his defense, Eutychius turned his attention to the Lombards, offering King Liutprand and the Lombard dukes bribes if they would abandon Pope Gregory. Despite all of this, according to Jeffrey Richards, Pope Gregory persisted in his efforts to preserve imperial rule in Italy.Eutychius's efforts eventually gained results: King Liutprand came to an agreement with the Exarch, and agreed to support him in return for assistance in subjecting the duchies of Benevento and Spoleto. Pope Gregory, however, met with Liutprand, and convinced him to abandon the effort, then with Liutprand's help effected a reconciliation with Eutychius. When one Tiberius Petasius proclaimed himself emperor in Tuscia and Eutychius found himself critically short of manpower, Pope Gregory ordered the Roman army to help him put down the rebellion, and Petasius was killed.Conflict with the Lombards resulted in disaster in 737, when the exarchate's capital, Ravenna, was seized by Liutprand. Further warfare erupted in 739. Pope Gregory III had supported the dukes of Benevento and Spoleto against Liutprand, causing the latter to invade central Italy. The exarchate, as well as the Duchy of Rome, was ravaged and Ravenna fell to the Lombards; Eutychius was forced to go to the Venetian islands. He appealed to the inhabitants to help liberate Ravenna, and the Venetian fleet sailed with him to recover the city.Shortly after the accession of Pope Zachary in 741, Liutprand planned to campaign against the Lombard Duchy of Spoleto, which had defied him. Zachary, however, marched north to the Lombard capital of Pavia and convinced Liutprand to abort the expedition and to restore some of the territory he had captured. Nevertheless, Liutprand saw this treaty as between him and the Pope alone; in the words of Jeffrey Richards, "he still regarded the exarch as fair game." In 743, Liutprand marched on Ravenna, and Eutychius was so impoverished in resources that he, Archbishop John V of Ravenna, and the leading citizens petitioned the pope to intervene. Pope Zachary began a diplomatic offensive to dissuade Liutprand from conquering Ravenna, and on his journey to the Lombard court at Ticinum, he was met at the church of St. Christopher at Aquila by Exarch Eutychius and citizens of Ravenna. "The sight of the exarch begging the pope to save him from the Lombards testifies more powerfully than anything else to the utter enfeeblement of the exarchate and the effective transfer of authority in Catholic Byzantine Italy from the imperial governor to the pope," observes Richards. Pope Zachary was successful in convincing Liutprand to put off his intended campaign and return the rural districts around Ravenna he had seized.

Several years later, however, in 751, the Lombard king Aistulf captured Ravenna. The Exarchate came to an end, and Byzantine Italy was confined to Sicily and the southern, Greek-speaking regions.


An exarchate is any territorial jurisdiction (secular or ecclesiastical) whose ruler is described as an exarch.

Exarchate of Africa

The Exarchate of Africa was a division of the Byzantine Empire centered at Carthage, Tunisia, which encompassed its possessions on the Western Mediterranean. Ruled by an exarch (viceroy) it was established by the Emperor Maurice in the late 580s and survived until the Muslim conquest of the Maghreb in the late 7th century. It was one of two exarchates established following the western reconquests under Emperor Justinian to more effectively administer the territories, along with the Exarchate of Ravenna.

Exarchate of Ravenna

The Exarchate of Ravenna or of Italy (Latin: Exarchatus Ravennatis) was a lordship of the Byzantine Empire in Italy, from 584 to 751, when the last exarch was put to death by the Lombards. It was one of two exarchates established following the western reconquests under Emperor Justinian to more effectively administer the territories, along with the Exarchate of Africa.

Hlib Lonchyna

Bishop Hlib Borys Sviatoslav Lonchyna (Ukrainian: Гліб Борис Святослав Лончи́на; born 23 February 1954) is eparchial Bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of the Holy Family of London since 18 January 2013. Previously, he served as the Apostolic Exarch for Ukrainian Catholics in Great Britain since 14 June 2011.

Lonchyna, was born to Ukrainian parents in Steubenville, Ohio within the Eparchy of Saint Josaphat in Parma for Ukrainians. He attended the Pontifical Urbanian University in Rome where in 1979 he obtained a degree in biblical theology and the Pontifical Oriental Institute, graduating in Eastern liturgical theology in 2001.

In 1975 he entered the monastery of Grottaferrata of Ukrainian Studite Monks, where he made his final vows 19 December 1976. He was ordained a priest 3 July 1977. He worked in the parish of St. Nicholas in Passaic, New Jersey and then was prefect of the students of the College of St. Sophia in Rome.

After his arrival in Ukraine in 1994, he was the spiritual director of the Major Seminary in Lviv. At the same time he taught at the Lviv Theological Academy. He served as associate in the local Apostolic Nunciature in Kyiv.

On 11 January 2002 and was appointed Titular Bishop of Bareta and Auxiliary Bishop of Lviv of the Ukrainians. Cardinal Lubomyr Husar consecrated him on 27 February. On 14 January 2003 he was appointed Apostolic Visitor for the Greek–Ukrainian Catholics in Italy and as the Major Archbishop's Procurator in Rome. On 4 March 2004 he also became Apostolic Visitor in Spain and Ireland.

On 25 March 2006 he returned to Ukraine, in charge of Consecrated Life, maintaining the commitment of Apostolic Visitor in Italy, Spain and Ireland. On 7 January 2009 he was replaced as Apostolic Visitor in Italy and Spain. On 2 June 2009 he was appointed Apostolic Administrator "sede vacante" of the Apostolic Exarchate for Ukrainian Catholics in Britain. He took part in the election of the new major archbishop in 2011 after Cardinal Husar's retirement.

He was formally named Apostolic Exarch by Pope Benedict XVI on 14 June 2011, and installed on August 2, 2011. With the elevation of the Apostolic Exarchate of Great Britain to the dignity of an Eparchy, he became her first bishop.

Isaac the Armenian

Isaac the Armenian was an Exarch of Ravenna hailing from the Kamsarakan clan. The chronology of the Exarchate in this period is uncertain: either he succeeded Euselnus and served c. 625 – 644; or he succeeded Eleutherius, and served 620 – 637.

John I (exarch)

John I (died 615) was Exarch of Ravenna (611–615).

John was made Exarch of Ravenna in 611, to replace Smaragdus. He seems to have avoided war with the Lombards throughout his 4 year reign from 611 to 615. In 615 he was killed along with a number of other officials. The Liber Pontificalis mentions that one of the first acts of his successor, Eleutherius, was to kill the persons accused of playing a role in the Exarch John's death.

John the Exarch

John the Exarch (also transcribed Joan Ekzarh; Bulgarian: Йоан Екзарх) was a medieval Bulgarian scholar, writer and translator, one of the most important men of letters working at the Preslav Literary School at the end of the 9th and the beginning of the 10th century. He was active during the reign of Boris I (852–889) and his son Simeon I (893–927). His most famous work is the compilation Shestodnev (Шестоднев – Hexameron) that consists of both translations of earlier Byzantine authors and original writings.

Olympius (exarch)

Olympius (died 652) was an Exarch of Ravenna (649–652). Prior to his term as exarch, Olympius was an imperial chamberlain at Constantinople.In 649, according to the Liber Pontificalis, the Byzantine Emperor Constans II ordered Olympius to arrest Pope Martin I on the grounds that the pope's election had not been submitted to the emperor for approval. Constans was upset with Martin's condemnation of the Monothelite heresy; he feared that it would resurrect the religious conflict that had plagued the empire. Olympius attempted to gain the support of the citizenry of Rome, as well as the bishops; he also allegedly considered ordering the assassination of Martin. None of his actions, however, met with much success.

Eventually Olympius decided to switch his allegiance and sided with the Pope, simultaneously declaring himself emperor. He marched into Sicily in 652, either to fight the Saracens or the local Byzantine forces. His army was stricken by an unknown disease, which killed Olympius that same year.

Paul (exarch)

Paul was a senior Byzantine official under Leo III the Isaurian, serving as the strategos of Sicily, and then as the Exarch of Ravenna from 723 to 727.

Plato (exarch)

Plato (Greek: Πλάτων, fl. 645–653) was the Exarch of Ravenna from 645 to 649. He is known primarily for his monothelitism and his opposition to the Pope Theodore I. He convinced the Patriarch Paul II of Constantinople to break with the Pope.

He is first attested as exarch in 645. By 649, when his successor Olympius is named as being at Ravenna, he was already back at the imperial court in Constantinople, functioning as the advisor of Emperor Constans II on the Italian situation regarding Pope Martin I's resistance to Monotheletism.

He is last attested in 653. A brother, the presbyter Theocharistos, and a brother-in-law or son-in-law named Theodore Chilas, are also attested two years later.

Pope Sergius I

Pope Sergius I (c. 650 – 8 September 701) was Bishop of Rome from December 15, 687, to his death in 701. He was elected at a time when two rivals, the Archdeacon Paschal and the Archpriest Theodore, were locked in dispute about which of them should become pope.

His papacy was dominated by his response to the Quinisext Council, whose canons he refused to accept. Thereupon the Byzantine Emperor Justinian II ordered Sergius' arrest (as his predecessor Constans II had done with Pope Martin I), but the Roman people and the Italian militia of the Exarch of Ravenna refused to allow the exarch to remove Sergius to Constantinople.

Stepan Meniok

Bishop Stepan Meniok, C.Ss.R. (Ukrainian: Степан Меньок; born 19 August 1949 in Nakonechne, Yavoriv Raion, Lviv Oblast, Ukrainian SSR) is a Ukrainian Greek Catholic hierarch, who servs as an Archiepiscopal Exarch of Ukrainian Catholic Archiepiscopal Exarchate of Donetsk and a Titular Bishop of Acarassus since 11 January 2002.

Syriac Catholic Apostolic Exarchate of Canada

The Syriac Catholic Apostolic Exarchate of Canada (informally Canada of the Syriacs) is an Apostolic exarchate (Eastern Catholic missionary pre-diocesan jurisdiction) of the Syriac Catholic Church sui iuris (West Syriac Rite in Syriac language) covering Canada.

It is exempt, i.e. directly subject to the Holy See (notably the Roman Congregation for the Oriental Churches), not part of any ecclesiastical province.

Theophylact (exarch)

Theophylact was an Exarch of Ravenna (701 or 702-709), succeeding John II Platinus.

According to T.S. Brown, the garrison of Ravenna made an attempt on his life in 701. Shortly after his promotion, Theophylact marched from Sicily to Rome, where John VI had recently been made Pope. His reasons for marching into the city are not known, but his presence infuriated the Romans. The local soldiers threatened Theophylactus, but John managed to subdue them; several of the exarch's minions, however, were set upon.In 709 the Byzantine Emperor Justinian II sent an expedition under the command of the patrician Theodore against the city of Ravenna, possibly in retaliation for the participation of the city's inhabitants in the rebellion of 695. Theodore, upon reaching Ravenna, invited all of the leading citizens of the city to attend a banquet. As they arrived, they were seized and dragged aboard ship. Ravenna was then sacked, while the captured officials were brought to Constantinople. There, Justinian sentenced them all to death; the Archbishop Felix alone was spared, although he was blinded. Theophylactus was apparently not a victim of the catastrophe, but had little control over the situation, and the exarchate was severely weakened.Theophylactus was succeeded by John III Rizocopus in 709.

Vasyl Tuchapets

Bishop Vasyl Volodymyr Tuchapets, O.S.B.M. (Ukrainian: Василь Володимир Тучапець; born 29 September 1967 in Yavoriv, Lviv Oblast, Ukrainian SSR) is a Ukrainian Greek Catholic hierarch as an Archiepiscopal Exarch of Ukrainian Catholic Archiepiscopal Exarchate of Kharkiv and Titular Bishop of Centuriones since 2 April 2014.

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