Photius (patriarch of Constantinople 858–67, 877–86) was born c. 813. His father Sergius,
a wealthy official, was exiled along with Photius for opposing Iconoclasm, evidently in 833.
During this exile, which lasted until 842, Photius read voraciously. Later, probably in 845,
he catalogued his reading in his Bibliotheca. Yet Photius composed neither the Bibliotheca nor his
other pre-858 work as formal scholarly literature, for which the contemporary audience was
exiguous. Indeed he found no satisfactory use for his talents as the leading scholar of his time until
he was rewarded for his learning with the patriarchate.