John Chrysostom

Bishop of Constantinople

John, in this mosaic on the north tympanum in the Hagia Sophia, is the figure on the left; his name is discernable in Greek down each side of the figure: Iohanne Oxrisostomos. The surname Chrysostom means "golden mouthed" and was given to him by virtue of his compelling oratorical abilities - abilities, however, which were eventually to prove his undoing because of his "no punches pulled" sermons, which were invariably directed at the ruling classes and the misuse of wealth. This brought him into direct, long-standing and eventually fatal conflict with the Imperial family and after having been exiled twice by the machinations of Eudoxia the Empress he eventually died in 407 CE, presumably due to the rigours of his final journey into exile at the eastern end of the Black Sea. St John was Bishop of Constantinople towards the end of the 4th century CE.

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