SOPHRONIUS, Greek " sophist " and theological writer, was born at Damascus. For many years he was a monk in the monastery of Theodosius, near Jerusalem, removed to Alexandria, whence he was driven out by the advance of the Persians, and finally settled in Palestine, where he became (634) successor of Modestus in the patriarchate of Jerusalem. After his elevation he showed himself a staunch supporter of orthodox principles and one of the most determined opponents of the Monothelites. In 636, when Jerusalem surrendered to the Arabs under Omar, he succeeded in obtaining important concessions for the Christians in the exercise of their worship. He did not long survive the capture of the city, and after his death the see remained unfilled for 29 years. Sophronius was a prolific writer, both in prose and verse, in various departments of literature. His chief work is a long account of the Egyptian saints and martyrs Cyrus and John, and of the miraculous cures effected by them, valuable for its information concerning the topography of Egypt. The Life of Mary of Egypt, who abandoned immorality for a life of the strictest penance in Palestine for 48 years, is generally attributed to him. He was also the author of anacreontic odes, hymns, and epigrams.
Works in J. P. Migne, Patrologia graeca, Ixxxvii., and list in Fabricius, Bibliotheca graeca, ix. 162; see also L. de St Aignan, Vie de Sophronius (Orleans, 1884); C. Krumbacher, Ceschichte der byzantinischen Litteratur (1897) ; and for Sophronius and Omar, Gibbon, ch. 51.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)