| Videssos Cycle |
|Appearance(s):||All four volumes|
|Type of Appearance:||Direct|
|Nationality:||Empire of Videssos|
|Cause of Death:||Killed in action by an arrow|
|Political Office(s):||Patriarch of Videssos|
Balsamon was the Patriarch of Videssos during the reigns of four Avtokrators: Strobilos Sphrantzes, Mavrikios Gavras, Ortaias Sphrantzes, and Thorisin Gavras. He was a pragmatic theologian and pragmatic politician.
Balsamon was known to be the favorite of the people of the Empire of Videssos for his strong opposition to religious strife and was a ferocious critic of the 'pen-pushers'. This endeared him to the Gavras family as well. Another reason he was the favorite of both Gavrai and Videssians was because he was more tolerant, merry, flexible and learned than most of his fellow clergymen. He was highly intelligent; his rise to the position of Patriarch was made even more impressive as his father was a fuller, and Balsamon was thus a peasant by birth. He had a fondness for ivory statuettes. This trait was lampooned in the mime shows on Midwinter's Day; Balsamon was depicted whacking someone with a statue, then checking to see that the statue was unharmed. Balsamon also had the "gift" (or curse) of foresight, and some other magical skills.
He was present for the arrival of the "Ronams", and became friendly with Marcus Scaurus. He regretted the necessity of fighting the Yezda, who worshipped Skotos, and called for harmony between the orthodox followers of Phos and those who followed the Namdalener rites, but failed in the face of opposition from within. He was present when Ortaias Sphrantzes usurped the throne after the Battle of Maragha, and played an important role in the coup that deposed Ortaias and enabled Thorisin's besieging forces to enter Videssos the City. He served as a go-between for Marcus Scaurus and Alypia Gavras during their affair, and was ordered to Amorion by Thorisin to repair Zemarkhos' schism. At the final battle, he resisted Avshar's sorcerous assaults, protecting himself and the entire Videssian army, until Avshar killed him with an arrow.
Last known is
|Patriarch of Videssos|| Succeeded by|