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Zacharias Scholasticus

c.465-after 536. Church historian and bishop of Mytilene. Also known as “Zacharias Rhetor,” he was educated at Gaza, and later studied philosophy and law. In 492 he went to Constantinople to practice law. His two names “Scholasticus” (“advocate”) and “Rhetor” (“pleader”) refer to his legal career. Later in life he took up an ecclesiastical career, and although little is known of his activities, it is clear that by 536 he was bishop of Mytilene. Nothing is known of his later years, and even the date of his death cannot be established. Zacharias is best known for his church history, which was probably written before 515. It is a valuable source for events in Egypt and Palestine from 450 to 491. Among his other surviving works are biographies of Severus of Antioch and Peter the Iberian. He also wrote two polemical works, Disputatio de Mundi Officio and Disputatio Contra Manichaeos.