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OrthodoxWiki:Style Manual (People)

This page is an official policy on OrthodoxWiki. It has wide acceptance among editors and is considered a standard that all users should follow. If you are part of the administration, please feel free to update this page as needed, but make sure that changes you make to this policy really do reflect OrthodoxWiki's perspective before you make them.

Articles about people should be named without any titles in them. That way, searches and automatic alphabetization will work correctly. When naming an article, consider how and where it might be listed in an encyclopedia. However, instead of being alphabetical by last name, on OrthodoxWiki articles are named with the form Firstname Lastname (or sometimes in parentheses if applicable), so for instance, there's an article named Alexander Schmemann, but not Schmemann, Alexander. There are a number of special cases which require further explanation, so read on.


Articles about saints should be titled with the most common English version of how the saint is known, e.g., Seraphim of Sarov rather than Serafim Sarovskii or Cosmas and Damian rather than Kosmas and Damianos. See the above section on English names for clarification.

Don't use "Saint" for article titles

Saints should not include "Saint" (or any variant thereof) in the article names. That can be taken care of in the body of the article. Not only would it mess with alphabetization and searching to have every article name for a saint start with "saint," but there would also be potential issues with regard to which form we use: Saint, St., St, S., or S (all are currently in use in English convention). Additionally, there are potential quibbles over which persons are considered saints or not (Augustine of Hippo, Saint Augustine of Hippo, or Blessed Augustine of Hippo). Not using "saint" for article titles also means that the necessity of moving articles will be lessened should a person already with an article be declared a saint. The note can simply be made in the article body.

Commemorational Titles

Within the article body (not in the article title), if using the standard liturgical introductory phrases for the commemoration of a saint, see the Saint commemorations article for proper form. In general, articles about saints should begin with their first name, e.g., Constantine the Great. The only exceptions (because they are often referred to by a single name alone) are the apostles, whose articles will be named with "Apostle" first, e.g., Apostle James (son of Zebedee).

The Theotokos

When referring to the Theotokos in English texts or hymns, leave the term untranslated but simply in its Latinized form, i.e., Theotokos. See the Theotokos entry for explanation regarding translating the term.


All articles about saints should be included in Category:Saints and include a link to the saint's feast day(s), e.g., November 13.


Basic Style

When creating articles about bishops, name the article with the following style: Firstname I (Surname) of See, so if there is a bishop named Moses Jones who is the fifth bishop named Moses of the Patriarchate of Springfield, the name of the article would be: Moses V (Jones) of Springfield. In cases where no surname is known, it is of course omitted, which will especially be the case with ancient bishops, e.g., John I of Antioch. The see listed should be the last see that the bishop held. In cases where the surname is known but the see is not, the usage is Firstname (Surname).

Full titles are not included (e.g., Metropolitan or of Antioch and All the East), but simply that of the primary see or sees (usually a city). Thus, if a bishop's full title is Archbishop of Springfield, Patriarch of All Illinois and Indiana, the convention for the article name would be of Springfield. Certain autocephalous churches use the name of the whole country rather than the primary see in the titles, such as of Romania rather than of Bucharest.

Additionally, most sees will not usually have need of the ordinal (the I, II, III, etc.), so if the bishop is of a more minor see (as most are), the ordinal would be omitted, e.g., Anthony (Bloom) of Sourozh. It's typically used only to refer to the primate of an autocephalous church, e.g., Alexei II (Ridiger) of Moscow.

Sainted bishops (and other historic personages)

Exceptions would be saints or other historical figures who are generally known by other names. For instance, instead of having an article named John I (Chrysostom) of Constantinople, we simply have John Chrysostom. Or instead of Cyril I of Alexandria, we have Cyril of Alexandria. Some ambiguity will exist for recently glorified bishops, e.g., Raphael of Brooklyn rather than Raphael (Hawaweeny) of Brooklyn, because the former is currently the more commonly used form.


Also be sure to include the bishop in Category:Bishops, and if he is the bishop of an important see, include him in the category of that see's bishops, e.g., Category:Patriarchs of Constantinople.

Succession boxes

See the style for succession boxes at OrthodoxWiki:Style Manual (Succession boxes).

Other notes

The primary argument against naming articles with the bishops' first name in ALL CAPS is that such a usage is not common when referring to saints, and it is not a universal custom, anyhow. Certainly, within the text of an article a writer may choose to use ALL CAPS for bishops' names, but when creating articles or linking to existing or potential articles, the above convention should be followed.

A potential problem with this naming style is that a bishop may be transferred to another see, thus requiring the moving of the article to incorporate the new name. This wouldn't happen often, however, and having the move will be helpful if searchers are looking for the bishop under his old title.


The standard style for modern monastics is Firstname (Surname). Monastics from history who are generally known without the parentheses in scholarly works will of course omit them.