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surnamed Metaphrasfes, from his having written the lives of the saints

, surnamed Metaphrasfes, from his having written the lives of the saints in a diffuse manner, was born of noble parents at Constantinople, in the tenth century, and was well educated, and raised himself by his merit to very high trust under the reigns of Leo, the philosopher, and Constantine Pruphyrogenitus his son. It is said, that when sent on a certain occasion by the emperor to the island of Crete, which the Saracens were about to surprize, a contrary wind carried his ship to the isle of Pharos. There he nut with an anchorite, who advised him to write tho life of Theoctista, a female saint of Lesbos. With this he complied, and we may presume, found some pleasure in the undertaking, as be gradually extended his researches to the lives of an hundred and twenty other saints, which, with respect to style, are not disgraceful to a scholar, but, cardinal Bellarmin says, he describes his saints rather as what they ought to be, than as what they were. There are Latin translations of this work by Lipotian, Surius, and others, but no edition of the original Gveek; and iiis translators are accused of having added much of a fabulous nature. Some other religious tracts of Metaphrastes are extant, and some “Annals.” He died in 976 or 977.