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§ 3. The Monophysite Controversies and the Fifth Council.420420The enormous and varied documentary material is given only in part in Mansi VII-IX. The Pope’s letters are in Thiel, 1867. Much new in Mai’s Script. Vet. Nova Coll.; Joh. of Ephesus (Monophysite) hist. eccl., German translation by Schönfelder, 1862, something different in Land, Anecd. Syr. Information regarding further sources in Möller, Monophysiten (R.-Encykl. X.) and Loofs, Leontius, 1887, (Texte u. Unters. III. 1, 2). Accounts by Tillemont, Gibbon, Walch, Schröckh, Hefele, Dorner, Baur, cf. the articles on the subject by Möller, Gass, and Hauck in the R.-Encykl.: in the same place the special literature in connection with the Theopaschitian, Tritheistic, and Origenist controversies and that of the Three Chapters. The special investigations, however, which had been carried on up till the beginning of the 18th century have rarely been resumed in recent times, but see Gieseler, Comment., qua Monophys. opin. illustr., 2 parts, 1835, 1838; Krüger, Monophys. Streitigkeiten, 1884 and Loofs, op. cit.; Kleyn, Bijdrage tot de Kerkgeschiedenis van het Oosten gedurende de zesde Eeuw, 1891 (from the chronicle of Dionysius of Tellmahre, who made extracts from the Church History of John of Ephesus. Kleyn gives the portions referring to the 6th century; they are identical with the second and third parts of John’s Church History. Kleyn has published for the first time the sections for the years 481-561 [in Dutch]; they are of great importance for the history of Monophysitism, its spread, and the persecution it underwent).
I. The severest condemnation of the Chalcedonian Creed as decree wrung from the Eastern Churches, is to be found in the history of the next 68 years. These years are not only marked by the most frightful revolts on the part of the populace and the monks, particularly in Egypt, Palestine, and a part of Syria, but also by the attempts of the Emperors to get rid of the decree which had been issued with a definite end in view, and which was a source of difficulty and threatened the security 227of the Empire.421421Leo I., Martian’s successor, had already made a beginning with this, though he proceeded cautiously; see Leon. papæ ep. 145-158, 160-165, 169-173. One can see here what trouble it cost the Pope to maintain the Chalcedonian Creed. The opposition parties made the strongest efforts to prove that the Chalcedonian Creed was Nestorian. Of the memorial of Timotheus Aelurus (Heruler? hardly) the Monophysite Patriarch of Alexandria, Gennadius says (de vir. inl. 73): “librum valde suasorium, quem pravo sensu patrum testimoniis in tantum roborare conatus est, ut ad decipiendum imperatorem et suam hæresim constituendam pæne Leonem, urbis Romæ pontificem, et Chalcedonensem synodum ac totos occidentales episcopos illorum adminiculo Nestorianos ostenderet.” The fact that the Emperor Leo called for an expression of opinion regarding the Chalcedonian Creed, was a step towards getting rid of it. They were all the more under the necessity of making these attempts, that in the East energetic theologians who could defend the Chalcedonian Creed were entirely lacking. At this period it maintained its position only by means of the great importance given to it by the imposing Council, by the majority of the clergy in the capital, and by the Roman bishop. These were strong forces; but the strength of the opposition to it, which was supported by the increasing aversion to the Byzantine Emperor and his Patriarch, by national aspirations and personal antipathies.422422Monasticism which was hostile to the State, the aspirations after independence on the part of the Egyptians, and jealousy of the influence of the Byzantine Patriarch, all played a part behind Monophysitism. This feeling of jealousy was shared by the Roman bishop who, however, felt himself under the necessity primarily of guarding the dogmatic formula. was also great. In addition to this the pious-minded felt as much aggrieved by the fact that a new formula had been introduced at all as by what was in the formula itself.423423See the opinion of a Pamphylian Council supplied to the Emperor, printed in Mansi VII. p. 573-576. We can see from this that not only was the new definition which went beyond the Nicene Creed felt to be objectionable by the bishops, but that they disapprove too of the distinction of nature and person, prefer to speak with Cyril of one nature and wish to make the Chalcedonian Creed authoritative only in connection with controversies as being a formula which originated in and was rendered necessary by controversy, but not for the instruction of ordinary Christians. The Armenian Church has kept to this position; it is not Monophysite, but Cyrillian; see Arsak Ter Mikelian, Die Armenische Kirche in ihren Beziehungen zur Byzantischen vom. 4-13 Jahrh., Leipzig 1892, cf. Karapet, Die Paulikianer, (Leipzig 1893) p. 54 ff. The Encyclical letter (ἐγκύκλιον) of the usurper 228Basilikus (476) which abrogated the Chalcedonian Creed and decided in favour of Monophysitism, had certainly only a passing importance.424424Basilikus had the ep. Leon. ad Flav. and the Chalcedonian Creed condemned. About 5oo bishops of the South and West actually subscribed it, but not Acacius; see Euagr. h. e. III. 4. The decree takes its stand upon the Nicene Creed and the two following Councils, but orders the Chalcedonian canons to be burned. Basilikus afterwards withdrew it (Euagr. III. 7), see also the epp. Simplicii papæ. But state-policy was successful in uniting a section of the Chalcedonians and Monophysites by means of a Henoticon (482), which, when issued as an imperial edict by Zeno, virtually annulled the decree of 451.425425The Henotikon (Euagr. III. 14) declares in the first part that the sole authoritative creed is the Nicene-Constantinopolitan, and excludes all the other σύμβολα or μαθήματα; it then expressly condemns Nestorius and Eutyches while accepting the anathemas of Cyril. Then, however, there further follows a full Christological Confession in which the following statements are specially worthy of note: ὁμολογοῦμεν τὸν μονογενῆ τοῦ Θεοῦ υἱὸν . . . ἕνα τυγχάνειν καὶ οὐ δύο· ἑνὸς γὰρ εἶναι φαμὲν τὰ τε θαύματα καὶ τὰ πάθη ἅπερ ἑκουσίως ὑπέμεινε σαρκί . . . ἡ σάρκωσις ἐκ τῆς θεοτόκου προσθήκην υἱοῦ οὐ πεποίηκε. μεμένηκε γὰρ τριὰς ἡ τριὰς καὶ σαρκωθέντος τοῦ ἑνός τῆς τριάδος Θεοῦ λόγου . . . πάντα δὲ τὸν ἕτερόν τι φρονήσαντα ἢ φρονοῠντα, ἢ νῦν ἢ πώποτε ἢ ἐν Καλχηδόνι ἢ οἵᾳ δήποτε συωόδῳ ἀναθήματίζομεν. An appeal on behalf of union is then made to the Egyptians to whom the epistle is addressed. Its dogmatic substance is not orthodox; the insincere way, however, in which the Council of Chalcedon is not condemned, but ignored, shews that there was a desire to tolerate Monophysitism. The Emperor. indeed cannot be blamed for issuing the edict; in doing this he simply did his duty. But Petrus Mongus played a double game, and so too did Acacius. The result was that soon instead of two parties there were three; for not only did the strict Monophysites renounce their allegiance to the Alexandrian patriarch Peter Mongus who had concluded a union with his Constantinopolitan colleague Acacius, but the Roman bishop too, Felix II., (see the epp.) rejected the Henoticon and pronounced sentence of excommunication on Acacius. Old and New Rome, which were already separated by political circumstances, now came to be divided ecclesiastically, and this schism lasted from 484 to 519. Since the Henoticon soon shewed itself to be ineffective, it would have been brought to an end sooner if Rome had not insisted on the condemnation of Acacius by his successors. The Monophysites soon came forward again openly rejecting the Chalcedonian Creed, and those in the Eastern Empire who adhered to it, and also the Henotics, had at first difficulty in preventing the new Emperor Anastasius from formally doing 229away with the unfortunate decree.426426See Rose, Kaiser Anastasius I., Halle, 1882. The confusion was now greater than it had ever been. People who used one and the same Christological formula were often further apart and more bitter against one another than were those who were separated by. the wording of the formulæ. If the Emperor had not been a capable ruler, things in the Empire would have got out of joint. He was meanwhile always approaching nearer to Monophysitism with which he was personally in sympathy, and on the side of which stood not only the more fanatical, but also the more capable theologians, such as Philoxenus of Mabug, and Severus. In Syria and Palestine the Monophysite cause already triumphed amid terrors of all sorts; but the capital, Constantinople, and Thrace, with the true instinct of self-preservation held to the Chalcedonian Creed against the Emperor, the patron of heretics, and Vitalian,427427On the importance of the part played by Vitalian, see Loofs, p. 243 ff., and in addition Joh. Antioch. in Müller, Fragm. hist. gr. V., p. 32 sq. a fierce general, a semi-barbarian, and rebel who was yet the forerunner of Justinian who taught him politics, made common cause with the Chalcedonians against his monarch. The Emperor had to submit to the powerful general; but it was not possible, even by making all sorts of concessions in regard to the dogmatic question, to get Rome, which put forward exorbitant claims, to agree to a policy of oblivion in reference to Acacius. Anastasius did not come to any agreement with the Pope Hormisdas. But what he did not succeed in doing was successfully accomplished by his successor Justin, or rather by the nephew and director of the new Emperor Justin, Justinian, in conjunction with Vitalian. They saw that for the re-establishment of the authority of the Emperor and the state in the Empire, the re-establishment of the Chalcedonian Creed and of the league with Rome, was indispensable. After that the authority of the four Councils had been once more solemnly recognised in Constantinople, everywhere throughout the Empire the orthodox raised their heads. Hormisdas did not himself appear in the capital; but his legates succeeded in getting almost everything he had asked. Again did the Roman bishop, like Leo before him, help the Byzantine State to gain 230the victory over the ecclesiastical movements. Orthodoxy was again restored and the names of the authors and defenders of the Henotikon, from Acacius and Zeno downwards were erased from the sacred books (519). The purification of Syria and its chair from the monophysite heresy meanwhile created some difficulty. The attempt to get the more determined Monophysites out of the way was, it is true, successful, but as soon it became a question as to who were to be their successors, it at once became evident again that the Chalcedonian Creed was understood in a different way in Rome and in the East respectively, and that the East had not got rid of the suspicion of Nestorianism so far as Rome was concerned.
This difference emerged in a very characteristic fortn in the so-called Theopaschitian controversy.428428See Hauck in the Realencyklop. Vol. XV. p. 534 ff. The formulæ, “God has suffered”, “God was crucified”, were time-honoured forms429429See Vol. I., p. 187. of speech in the Church and had never been quite forgotten. But after there had been so much speculation regarding the Trinity and the Incarnation, these formula came to be discussed too. Still, even after the formation of the Chalcedonian Creed, it seemed to be impossible to disapprove of them; for if Mary was to be called θεοτόκος this meant that they were approved of. Nevertheless opposition soon shewed itself when the Monophysite patriarch of Antioch, Petrus Fullo, with the approval of his co-religionists, formulated the Trishagion as follows: Holy God, Holy the mighty one, Holy the immortal one who was crucified for us: ἅγιος ὁ Θεός, ἅγιος ἰσχυρός, ἅγιος ἀθάνατος, ὁ σταυρωθεὶς δι᾽ ἡμᾶς. The Emperor approved of this innovation which, however, at once met with opposition in Antioch itself, and which cost one of those who had to do with it his life. In the capital a controversy broke out when some Scythian monks, whose soundness in the faith was unimpeachable, defended the orthodoxy of the formula, “one of the Trinity was crucified—suffered in the flesh” (“unum de trinitate, esse crucifixum—passum carne”), about the year 518. The legates of Pope Hormisdas, bearing in mind Leo’s doctrinal letter, opposed it as being incompatible with the Catholic Faith! The Pope himself 231was now concerned in the matter. A decision was necessarily urgently desired—on the part of the Emperor too; for the relations had become so strained that any sudden movement might throw the whole Church into confusion. Hormisdas hesitated about giving an answer; he neither wished to disavow his legates nor too openly to reject the formulæ. The decision which he finally gave in a letter to the Emperor Justin (521), was to the effect that everything was already decided, without, however, saying what was to be regarded as authoritative. This declaration which shewed his perplexity roused just indignation not only in Constantinople but also in North Africa. Justinian, who at first did not approve of the formula,—so long, that is, as he still followed in the wake of Vitalian,— afterwards held to it all the more strongly, the more he urged the strictly Cyrillian interpretation of the Chalcedonian Creed. When he had the power he got the Popes too to acknowledge it, had the faithful but impolitic partisans of Rome, the Akoimetan monks in Constantinople, excommunicated, and finally got the formula sanctioned at the Fifth Ecumenical Council, that our Lord who was crucified in the flesh, Jesus Christ, was one of the Trinity.430430See on the controversy Marcellinus, Euagr. Theophanes, Victor Tun., The Letters of Hormisdas, Mansi VIII. c. IX. Noris, Hist. Pelag. Disser. I. 1702. On the Scythian Monks, see Loofs, pp. 229-261.
It is apparently necessary to make a sharp distinction between the attempt of the Monophysites to give an extension to the Trishagion in a Theopaschitian sense, and the assertion of the Scythian monks that the doctrinal formula: “One of the Trinity suffered in the flesh”, was orthodox. That attempt was rejected because it involved an innovation in worship and because it could be interpreted in a Sabellian sense. Orthodoxy putting this meaning on it, gave the name “Theopaschitian” a permanent place in its collection as a heretical name. On the other hand it was, to begin with, purely owing to Roman obstinacy that the formula proposed by the Scythians, and which, moreover, rather justifies than adopts the monophysite formula, was objected to. But it has been recently very justly remarked431431See Loofs, op. cit., pp. 53, 231 f., 248 ff., whose splendid investigations have been made use of is what follows. that the cause of the offence which the formula gave, 232even to some of the Chalcedonians, is not to be looked for within the Christological, but on the contrary within the Trinitarian, domain. This brings us to a complete change which took place in the theology of that period and which claims the most serious attention.
Attention has been already drawn to the fact, (Vol. III., p. 154 and above p. 126) that in the course of the transition from the fifth to the sixth century Aristotelianism once more became the fashion in science. This revolution helped to bring about the naturalisation of the Chalcedonian Creed in the Church, or what amounts to the same thing, contributed towards reconciling Greek religious feeling to it. While up to the beginning of the sixth century orthodoxy was without any theologians, we come across a man in the first half of the century who both as theologian and student of dogma was as able as he was prolific, and in the case of whom one feels that while he believes and thinks as Cyril believed and thought, his determined defence of the Chalcedonian Creed was nevertheless not in any way forced out of him—Leontius of Byzantium (c. 485-543).432432Loofs was the first to throw light on his works, his personality, and his history. When, however, we try to find out by what means he, as a theologian of the school of Cyril, succeeded in accommodating himself to the Chalcedonian Creed, it becomes clear that he was helped to this by the Aristotelian conceptual distinctions, and therefore by scholasticism. Leontius was the first scholastic.433433This description is to be taken with the qualification that in his theological thinking he still shewed a certain freedom. While the proofs alleged by Loofs in favour of the view that the “Origenist” Leontius is identical with the Byzantine (pp. 274-297) are indeed not absolutely decisive, though to my mind they are convincing, one can see that Leontius held the great master in veneration without following him in his doubtful statements. But nothing is more characteristic of the period upon which the Church had now entered than the fact that even this academic veneration for Origen was no longer tolerated. Leontius was described as “Origenist” and Loofs’ conjecture is quite correct (p. 296) that Joh. Damascenes, that in a certain sense the Eastern Church itself, consigned this theologian of theirs to oblivion because he was still too liberal. While, owing to his faith, he stood in an intimate relation to Greek religious feeling, the Chalcedonian formula presented itself to him as an inviolable doctrine promulgated by the Church. But 233while he unweariedly defended it against Nestorians, Apollinarians, and Severians, dogmatic and religious considerations were put entirely into the background; their place was taken by an exposition of doctrine based on philosophical conceptions.434434See Loofs, p. 60: “It is neither exegetical, nor religious arguments which are given a foremost place, but philosophical, and the philosophical theory upon which the arguments of our author rest, has a decidedly Aristotelian and not a Platonic origin. Our author is a forerunner of John of Damascus.” He treated of substance, genus, species, individual being, of the attributes which constitute the substance, of inseparable accidents and of separable accidents.435435See the explanations given by Loofs of the apparatus of conceptions used by Leontius, p. 60-74. The entire distinction between the Western conception and that which combines the views of Cyril and Leontius is to be found in scientific form in the statement of Leontius: οὐκ ἔστι φύσις ἀνυπόστατος . . . ἀνυπόστατος μὲν οὖ φύσις, τουτέστιν οὐσία, οὐκ ἂν εἴη ποτέ. The Western legal fiction of a distinction between person and nature is here pitched aside. I do not enter into further detail regarding the theology of Leontius because in an outline of the History of Dogma it must suffice to ascertain its tendency and methods. Anything further belongs to the history of theology. It was on the result of these discussions that the conceptions of the natures and the hypostasis in Christ were based; the Aristotelian δευτέρα οὐσία, or second substance, was given a place of prominence, and thus the Chalcedonian Creed was justified. All the Aristotelian splitting of conceptions did not, it is true, cover the most crucial point of all—namely, the exposition of the unity. Here, however, Leontius had recourse to the idea of the Enhypostasis of the human nature; thus proving in the clearest way that he wished to keep the Chalcedonian definition on the lines laid down by Apollinaris and Cyril and not on those laid down in Leo’s doctrinal letter.436436The expedient of the enhypostasis was adopted in order to meet the objection urged by the Monophysite Severus against the Chalcedonian Creed and Leo’s doctrine, that two energies necessarily lead to two hypostases. Leontius, following up a hint of Cyril herewith shews that if the relative standards of criticism are once abandoned, all Greeks who start from the doctrine of redemption, must be Apollinarians in disguise. Leontius was the first who definitely maintained that the human nature of Christ is not ἀνυπόστατις nor on the other hand an independent ὑπόστασις, but that it has its ὑποστῆναι ἐν τῷ λόγῳ. Leontius refers to the mode of the existence of the ποιότητες οὐσιώδεις in the ousia. The comparison is naturally defective since these ποιότητες do not in themselves constitute a φύσις. In fact all comparisons are defective. Neither Plato nor Aristotle is responsible for this philosophy. A pious Apollinarian monk would probably have been able to say with regard to the ὑποστῆναι ἐν τῷ λόγῳ: “Apollinaris says pretty much the same thing only in somewhat more intelligible words.” In the whole way in which Leontius 234transferred the Nestorian-Monophysite controversy into the region of Philosophy, we may accordingly see a momentous revolution. This much, however, is certain, that his violent μετάβασις εἰς ἄλλο γένος was the condition of the gradual reconciliation of the East with the Chalcedonian Creed437437Loofs, p. 72 ff. shews that the Chalcedonian element is strongly represented in the doctrine of Leontius and that in the efforts he made to do it justice we see the presence of the modern element of personality as distinguished from physic, though indeed only as a kind of shadow of it. and that in intrinsic importance it may be classed along with the method of counting up authorities. Only in this way was it possible for Leontius to accept the formula as authoritative, and, spite of the dry form in which it was put, to regard it with respect from the religious point of view and at the same time to see in it an inexhaustible subject for the display of dialectical skill. It is undeniable that Chalcedonian orthodoxy was first firmly established in the East in the age of Justinian, that is to say, inner agreement with the Chalcedonian Creed was then first secured to any large extent, and this without abandoning Cyril’s religious theology, but on the contrary while emphasising it and giving it the preference.438438The energetic opposition to the Antiochian theology is specially worthy of note in this connection. lip to the beginning of the Sixth Century the Chalcedonians were in such a state of alarm owing to the decree, that they could find no. fixed point from which to carry on the old and to them supremely important struggle against the “dismemberment”. Leontius was the first to resume Cyril’s attack on it and to carry on the interrupted work of repelling the most dangerous of all enemies. If this is so then the only possible explanation of these facts is that supplied by the entrance of Aristotelian scholasticism into the Church. The Chalcedonian dogma is lost in philosophical theology. The Faith and the Church were to a certain extent relieved, feeling reassured by the knowledge that the dogma was in safe keeping and in good hands, as it were. One can forget the scruples to which it gives rise, when one is confident that there are scholars who are able by the aid of a definite set of technical terms to make everything right. Here, too, for this reason, the work of the historian of dogma ceases; his place is taken by the historian of theology.235
Leontius was himself one of the Scythian monks.439439See Loofs, p. 228 ff. The fact that this great opponent of the Monophysites championed the Theopaschitian formula and his criticism of the Antiochian theology, prove how far removed he was from Nestorianism. But the formula by its characteristic difference from the older conception, that of Petrus Fullo, further proves that the introduction of the Aristotelian philosophy into theology called for a restatement of the docttine of the Trinity. The “unus ex trinitate” is opposed to the “thrice holy” who was crucified for us. Tritheistic tendencies were not wanting at that period, and this is true of both sides in so far as attention was given to the Aristotelian philosophy. That Petrus Fullo, who as a Monophysite so energetically made the Trinity into a unity, was, it is true, no Aristotelian, but neither is his formula in any way typical of Monophysitism as a whole.
The latter on the contrary for the two or three generations after the Chalcedonian Creed, shews that it had in it sufficient life and vigour to be accessible to the influence of the most varied movements and thoughts. It shews during this period that it was the expression of spiritual and theological life in the East generally. The state of petrifaction, barrenness, and barbarism into which it afterwards got, did not yet actually exist, although signs of its approach were evident amongst the fanatical masses and the ignorant monks. It is significant, to begin with, that Monophysitism did not allow itself to be carried to extremes by the blow dealt it by the Chalcedonian Creed. That is a proof of the goodness of its cause and of its power. The Monophysites were strongly bent on keeping clear of “Eutychianism”. Anything like mingling or transformation was out of the question, in fact Eutyches himself was abandoned to his fate.440440See Martin, Pseudo-Synode, p. 53. Then the readiness shewn by a large section of the Monophysites to come to terms with orthodoxy if only the Chalcedonian Creed and the objectionable dogmatic development in Leo’s doctrinal letter were got out of the way, is a proof that they really strictly maintained the position of Cyril. This is true very specially of the most important champion of 236Monophysitism—Severus. The attempt has indeed been to draw a distinction, as regards doctrine, between Cyril and Severus, but the attempt does not seem to me to have been successful.441441See Loofs, p. 53 ff. The sources of information regarding the Christology of Severus are given there, p. 54. I refrain from giving any account of it (see Gieseler, op. cit. I., Dorner II., p. 166 ff.), since its identity with Cyril’s doctrine seems to me to follow from the evidence brought forward by Loofs. It is interesting to note that Severus deduces from the Chalcedonian Creed the hypothesis of two natural energies and two wills, and further employs this deduction against his opponents as an argumentatio ad absurdum. No one in the East knew just at that time what was still to come in the succeeding century. The statement of Severus: οὐκ ἐνεργεῖ ποτὲ φύσις οὐχ ὑφεστῶσα, from which he concludes that in Leo’s view there are two hypostases, is highly noteworthy and is quite in accordance with Cyril’s ideas. Gieseler, op. cit. I., p. 9. Cyril, equally with Severus, would have objected to Leo’s assertion that each nature in Christ effects what is peculiar to it, though in conjunction with the other. The emphasis laid by Severus on the one energy is genuinely Cyrillian, and the expression borrowed from the Areopagite, ἐνέργεια θεανδρική, “theandric energy”, by no means approaches so near the limits of the permissible as the expression θεοτόκος. But neither is there any difference in the formulæ, μία φύσις τοῦ λόγου σεσαρκωμένη, “one incarnate nature of the Logos” and μία φύσις τοῦ λόγου σεσαρκωμένου, “one nature of the incarnate Logos”; for Cyril too, logically attributed one nature not only to the God-Logos but also to the Christ. The communication of properties according to him, involves in every respect the natures. But there is not even any trace of a theological difference between Severus and Leontius.442442See the 30 κεφάλαια of Leontius κατὰ Σευήρου (Migne 86, 2, p. 1901 sq.). See the notice in Loofs, p. 79 ff. It is highly amusing to notice how two authors whose ideas are exactly the same appear to have absolutely distinct views owing to the different terminology, “one nature”, “two natures”. In Thesis XI. where the Trinity and Christology are treated together in a scientific way, Leontius says: “If, according to Gregory, we have in the case of the Holy Trinity the reverse of what we have in the οἰκονομία κατὰ τὸν σωτῆρα, then in the case of the latter we must have two natures and one hypostasis, just as in that of the former we have three hypostases and one nature.” The difference consists purely in the extent to which each was desirous of accommodating his views to the Chalcedonian Creed and interpreting Leo’s doctrinal letter in bonam partem, and also in the philosophico-theological terminology 237employed. The statements of Severus regarding the one composite nature, the μεταστοιχείωσις443443See Gieseler, op. cit. II. p. 3. or transformation etc., express absolutely nothing else than what is found in the formulæ of Leontius which are in part expressed in an entirely different and in fact in an opposite way. Leontius accepts the enhypostasis of the human nature in Christ, and Severus strictly defends himself against the supposition that he teaches that the human nature in any way loses its natural peculiarity in the union. It is simply that unfortunate Chalcedonian Creed which stands between the opponents, and what separates them therefore is the question as to whether the Western terminology is to be followed or not. That this is the case is proved by the attitude taken up by Severus to the Extreme Right of his party. The Henoticon had already split up the Egyptian Monophysites. One section of them had renounced connection with Petrus Mongus (ἀκέφαλοι). But in Syria, too, at the beginning of the Fifth Century we find several tendencies amongst them. The blow dealt them after the restoration of orthodoxy in 519 drove them to Egypt, and there actual splits took place. Even the strictest party amongst them did not put forth the catchword “transformation”; but in seriously reflecting on the problem as to how a human nature must be constituted after a God had made it His own, they arrived at propositions which were perfectly logical and which for this very reason referred back to Irenæus, Clemens Alex., Origen, Gregory Nyss., Hilary, Apollinaris, and to some utterances of Dioscurus and Eutyches. Their leader, Julian of Halicarnassus who was opposed by the Severians, developed the doctrine of the one nature into the doctrine of the identity of the substance and properties of the divinity and the humanity in Christ. The hypothesis of the indestructibleness of the body of Christ from the moment of the assumptio, became the shibloleth of the “Julianists” or Gaians, who, now nicknamed Aphthartodoketæ and Phantasiasts by the Severians, retorted with the word “Phthartolatry”. The Julianists, whose point of view was determined solely by the thought of redemption, did not shrink from maintaining the perfect glorification of the body of Christ from the very first, and in accordance with this saw 238in the emotions and sufferings of Christ not the natural—though in reference to the Godhead the voluntary—states consequent on the human nature, but the acceptance of states κατὰ χάριν, which were regarded as having no inner connection with the nature of the Redeemer as that of the God-man. This nature being entirely free from all sin was also supposed to have nothing in common with suffering and death.444444The extremely instructive second treatise of Gieseler supplies us with abundant material. Gieseler has brought out two things at the same time (1) that these Julianists (see the sixth anathema of Julius, p. 6) started from the idea of redemption, according to which the Logos assumed our flesh (ὁμοούσιος), but that as it (second Adam) was not subject to sin so neither was it subject to corruptio, and that in the moment of the assumptio He raised it to the state of the Divine. A homousia of the body of Christ with our body after the Incarnation would do away with all the comfort and the certainty of redemption. For the Logos assumed our nature just in order that He might free it from φθορά; if therefore the human nature of Christ had been still subject to φθορά then redemption would be rendered uncertain. Gieseler has shewn (2) that this idea is identical with the idea of the classic fathers of the Church, that while they undoubtedly shewed some hesitation as regards the conclusions to be drawn from it, still all the conclusions drawn by the Julianists, or by Philoxenus, are represented in one or other of the classical witnesses. Above all the Julianist and Philoxenian statement that in the case of Christ all passiones were not assumed naturally, but in the strictest sense voluntarily, κατ᾽ οἰκονομίαν or κατὰ χάριν, (Gieseler, p. 7) is merely the vigorous echo of the oldest religious conviction. It was the sharper distinction between the divinity and the humanity in the incarnate one, worked out in the Arian controversy, that first endangered this conviction. Apollinaris sought to give some help here, but it was no longer of any avail. Gieseler very rightly calls attention to the fact that in the Apollinarian school the dispute between the Polemians and Valentinians corresponds exactly to the dispute between the Julianists and Severians, i.e., in the case of the former the same conclusions had been already drawn and had in turn been denied, which the Monophysites afterwards drew. Of these some went the length of assuming the divinity of Christ's blood and spittle (see besides, Athanasius, ad Serap. IV. 14; “Christ spat as a man, and His spittle was filled with the Godhead”), and, strictly speaking, the Church itself never could nor would dispense with this ancient idea spite of its doctrine of the two natures. The very same people who got excited about Aphthartodoketism had never any scruples in speaking about the blood of God, and in thinking of that blood as actually divine. We cannot therefore avoid seeing in Aphthartodoketism the logical development of the Greek doctrine of salvation, and we are all the more forced so to regard it that Julian expressly and ex necessitate fidei acknowledged the homousia of the body of Christ with our body at the moment when the Logos assumed it, and rejected everything of the nature of a heavenly body so far as its origin was concerned. In opposition to this view the Severians laid so much stress on the relation of the sufferings of Christ to the human side of Christ's nature 239in order to rid them of anything doketic, that no Western could have more effectively attacked doketism than they did.445445The passages are in Gieseler I. p. 20. The distinctions which were made are highly significant in view of the period of scholasticism which was approaching. There are two sorts of φθορά; Christ was subject to the natural πάθη of the body, but not to the φθορά as ἡ εἰς τὰ ἐξ ὧν συνετέθη τὸ σῶμα στοιχεῖα διάλυσις. (Gieseler, p. 4). We find in general amongst the Severians such a determined rejection of all doctrinal extravagances—though these are not to be regarded as absurdities, but as signs of the settled nature of the belief in redemption—that we are glad to be able clearly to see how unnecessary it was in the East to adopt the Chalcedonian Creed, and to replace the μία φύσις of Cyril by the doubtful doctrine of the two natures. One section of the Monophysites nevertheless went the length of asserting that the human soul of Christ was not omniscient (“Agnoetæ”), so that as regards the one energy of the God-Man, a distinction is to be drawn even in the sphere of knowledge between what it did as possessed of divine knowledge and what it did as humanly ignorant. This idea yields to none of the Monophysite eccentricities in absurdity,446446Thomasius indeed finds it “remarkable” (p. 375) that the majority of the orthodox teachers of the Church, Jerome, Ambrose, the Patriarch Eulogius, the Roman Gregory, rejected the doctrine of the Agnoetæ and attributed to Christ an absolute knowledge which he concealed temporarily only κατ᾽ ὀικονομίαν. These Fathers had not yet succeeded in doing what the Agnoetæ and the modern theologians can manage and do—namely, to imagine a Christ who at the one and the same time knew as God what he did not know as man and was yet all the while one person. and indeed it differs from them for the worse by the fact of its having no religious thought as its basis. While one section of the Monophysites thus did the work of criticising their own party better than any Chalcedonian could have done without incurring the reproach of Nestorian-ism, a philosophy of identity made its appearance amongst certain individuals in the party itself, which might have raised the fear that it would turn into Pantheism, if there had been any danger of its doing this at the time. On the mystical side, this had indeed been accomplished long ago, but this was very far from involving an intellectual mode of conceiving of things. Still it is of importance to note that an approach was made in this direction from two sides. First there were Monophysites who took up with the thought that the body of Christ from 240the moment of the assumptio was to be considered as untreated, the view of the Aktistetæ. If the Father can communicate to the Son the attribute of unbegottenness, and at that time no one any longer doubted that he could, why should the Logos not also be able to give His body the attributes of the uncreated; and in fact if it is His body, could He help doing this? Here already we meet with the thought that something created can nevertheless be something eternal. We hear no more of a flesh which was brought hither from heaven, but a kindred idea takes the place of this heretical thought. In the second place there were people, the Adiaphorites,447447See Möller, R.-Encykl. X., p. 248. Stephanus Niobes is mentioned as the originator of this line of thought. who refused to make any distinction between the divinity and the humanity in Christ, and this denial of all distinction further led some Syrian and Egyptian monks to the speculative idea, or to put it otherwise, gave increased strength to the speculative idea, that Nature in general is of one substance with God (see Vol. III., p. 302), a thought which had points of contact with mystical religious practices.448448Frothingham in his Stephen bar Sudaili (1886) has now given us information regarding the Syrian Pantheistic thinkers amongst the Monophysites about the year 500 and further down. All Scotus Erigena is in Barsudaili. The Pantheistic mysticism of this Syrian and his friends merits the serious attention not of the historian of dogma, but of the historian of philosophy and culture. Scotus and the Pantheistic Mystics of the Middle Ages stand in closer connection with these Syrians than with the Areopagite. 1 Cor. XV. 28 supplies the central doctrine here. If all these movements illustrate the inner life of Monophysitism which within itself once more passed through old forms of development, the attention it gave to the Aristotelian philosophy and such excellent works as those published by Joh. Philoponus, finally proves too that it did not in any way shrink from contact with the great spiritual forces of the time. The tritheistic controversy was in all essential respects fought out on its own ground, and the boldness and freedom shewn by the scholarly Monophysites, in the face too of tradition,449449See Stephanus Gobarus in Photius, Cod. 232. He is also Aristotelian and Tritheist; noteworthy also for his bold criticism of tradition. bears witness to the fact that in the Chalcedonian Creed a foreign power had imposed itself on the Church of the East.450450On the Tritheists, see Schönfelder, Die Kirchengesch. des Johann v. Ephesus, p. 267 ff. The works of Philoxenus, Bishop of Hierapolis, who has lately been termed the best Syrian stylist, have been hitherto wholly neglected and still await an editor.241
2. The restitution of orthodoxy in the year 519 coincides with the successful efforts of the theologians who were skilled in the Aristotelian philosophy, to furnish the Church which clung to the Chalcedonian Creed with a good conscience. It is possible to accept the Chalcedonian Creed as authoritative and at the same time to think exactly as Cyril thought: this was the result arrived at by the “new Cappadocians”, the “new Conservatives”, as Leontius and his friends came to be called, who made terms with the two natures in the same way as the oriental scholars in the Fourth Century did with the ὁμοούσιος; and it is this conviction which lies at the basis of Justinian’s policy in reference both to the Church and the State. If the efforts of former emperors in so far as they favoured Monophysitism were directed towards getting rid of the Chalcedonian Creed or consigning it to oblivion, the policy of the Emperor, which had the support of the new conservative theology, was to make use of the power which every fait accompli, and therefore too a Council, supplies, and at the same time to do justice to the old tendencies of Greek piety. It was the Roman bishop who was hardest hit by such a policy. For the second time he had contributed towards giving the Emperor of the East a firmer position in the country, this time by doing away with the schism. But the friend had not become any more harmless than he was in the year 451. As at that time he was, after having done what was required of him, quietly pushed back within his own boundaries by the 28th Canon of the Council, so on this occasion too he was to get a poor reward for his services. It was not intended that Rome should triumph in the East, but that the Emperor of the East should once more become the Lord of Rome. The dogmatic union with the West represented the terms on which it was to be made ecclesiastically and politically subject to the Emperor.
Justinian’s policy has in it an element of greatness. He once more set up the world-empire and pacified the Church, and yet his civil and ecclesiastical policy of conquest was unsound and 242its results lacked permanence. He did not know how to win over the Monophysites, and by his Western policy he did harm to the much more important Eastern policy. Some years after his accession Justinian arranged a grand religious discussion in Constantinople between the Severians and the Theopaschitian Orthodox (531). It is of some importance because it shews the extent of the advances made by the Orthodox towards the Monophysites under the guidance of Hypatius of Ephesus in conformity with the wish of the Emperor.451451See the Acts in Mansi VIII., p. 817 sq., Loofs, p. 263 f. Leontius took part in the discussion and it was dominated by his theology. The orthodox held firmly to the Chalcedonian Creed, but allowed that the Council had also approved of the phrase, one incarnate nature (!);452452See 823: “Sancta synodus utrosque sermones (two and one natures) pari honore suscepit et pertractat.” on the other hand they rejected as Apollinarian forgeries the testimonies of their opponents in reference to the condemnation of the words “in duabis naturis” on the part of the ancient fathers.453453It was here that the Areopagite was first cited as an authority—by the Severians, p. 820; his writings were, however, described by the orthodox as doubtful. About the same time the Emperor issued several edicts regarding the true Faith (533), which in thesi were based on the Chalcedonian Creed, but did not reproduce its formulæ; on the contrary they evaded the use of them and contained besides, the addition that it is necessary to believe that the Lord who suffered was one of the Holy Trinity.454454Cod. Justinian (ed. Krüger), de summa trinit. 6-8. The words: ἑνὸς καὶ τοῦ αὐτοῦ τὰ τε θαύματα καὶ τὰ πάθη, ἅπερ ἑκουσίως ὑπέμεινεν σαρκί . . . οὔτε τετάρτου προσώπου προσθήκην ἐπιδέχεται ἡ ἁγία τρίας, are worthy of note. Pope John II., 534, had to approve of the Theopaschitian addition. The Emperor, who had himself an interest in dogma, already here shewed what his policy was, namely, to take back the Church in all that was essential entirely to Cyril, but to allow the Chalcedonian Creed to remain authoritative. Thus as matters stood, the formula: ἕνα τῆς ἁγίας τρίαδος πεπονθέναι σαρκί, “one of the Holy Trinity suffered in the flesh”, was a henotikon. But the Empress went still further. She had always favoured the Monophysites, one cannot even say secretly; the various threads of the undertaking the object of which was to assist “the pious doctrine” to triumph, 243all met in her cabinet, and it appeared not impossible that the Emperor might in the end be got also to agree to the formal abandonment of the Chalcedonian Creed and consequently to a new actual henotikon.455455Loofs, p. 304 f., has shewn, however, that at this time Justinian was following the lead of Leontius. The appointment of Anthimus, a Monophysite in disguise, as patriarch of the Capital, and the admission of Severus to the Court, prepared the way for the final blow which was to be struck at the Chalcedonian Creed. But once more did the Roman bishop, who was informed of what was going on by Ephraem of Antioch, save orthodoxy. In the year 536 Agapetus appeared at the Court of the Emperor and succeeded in getting Anthimus removed from his post and excommunicated. A Council which was held under the presidency of the new patriarch Mennas at Constantinople in the year 536, after the death of Agapetus who died in the capital, and which has left behind an extensive collection of Acts,456456Mansi VIII., pp. 877-1162. put an end to the Monophysitism which was making overtures in an underhand way, acknowledged anew the expression: “ἐν δύο φύσεσι”, “in two natures”, and deposed and anathematised Anthimus. It is important that the Council which followed in the track of the theology of Leontius and upon which Leontius himself had some influence, roundly declared through its leader that nothing whatever ought to be done in the Church contrary to the will and command of the Emperor, but at the same time also added the following: “We both follow and obey the apostolic throne (Rome) and we regard those in communion with it as in communion, and those condemned by it we also condemn”: ἡμεῖς τῷ ἀποστολικῷ θρόνῳ ἐξακολουθοῦμέν τε καὶ πειθόμεθα καὶ τοὺς κοινωνικοὺς αὐτοῦ κοινωνικοὺς ἔχομεν, καὶ τοὺς ὑπ᾽ αὐτοῦ κατακριθέντας καὶ ἡμεῖς κατακρίνομεν.457457P. 970. The days when the names of Marcian and Leo were mentioned together, seemed to have returned. But the Pope at this time was no Leo, and Justinian was more than Marcian. Besides Anthimus, Severus, about whom the very worst calumnies were spread—that he was a heathen in disguise—and the heads of the Monophysite party of conciliation, 244were condemned. Justinian confirmed this sentence458458P. 1150 sq. by a decree (Aug. 536), while he threatened all adherents of the accused with exile and ordered the books of Severus as also those of Porphyry,459459P. 1154. to be burned. At the first glance it seems paradoxical that the Emperor, who was himself not without Monophysite leanings, was now so genuinely furious at Severus and accused him at once of Nestorianism460460P. 1151. and Eutychianism. But after what has been remarked above, (p. 241) the charge of Nestorianism is quite intelligible, and we can understand too the aversion felt by the Emperor who had himself an interest in dogma. A Monophysitism, such as that of Severus, which merely rejected the Chalcedonian Creed, but which, moreover, in combating Aphthartodoketism got the length of teaching in the most definite way the “division” of Christ, when once it was thoroughly understood, could be regarded only with antipathy by the Imperial theologian who had on the contrary always wished to have the Chalcedonian Creed and Aphthartodoketism. A Jerusalem Council repeated the decrees of the Council of Constantinople;461461Mansi VIII., p. 1164 sq. but it was impossible to restore tranquillity in Egypt. The Severian Theodosius had to make way for the Julianist Gajanus as Patriarch, and the Patriarch sent by the Emperor so seriously compromised his patron that he had to be excommunicated.462462Liberat. Brev. 23.
In the measures he took the Emperor, however, never lost sight of his design which was to win over the Monophysites, and it is at this point that the humiliation of the Roman bishop begins, though he was himself undoubtedly mainly to blame. The theology of Antioch was still something highly objectionable in the eyes of all pious-minded persons. It seemed to be favoured by Leo’s doctrinal letter and in fact to be put in a place of honour, and yet a large section of the Eastern Orthodox were at one with all Monophysites in holding that the great Antiochians “would have betrayed the secret”. People hated it for the same reason that they hate the Liberals 245in the Church at the present day, and the Emperor certainly did not hate it least, not to speak of the Empress, the patroness of all pious monks. The Antiochians got the blame of “denying the divinity of Christ” and of dividing the one Christ into two. The influential bishop, Theodorus Askidas of Cæsarea in Cappadocia, is said to have advised the Emperor to make use of this widespread hatred in the interest of his ecclesiastical policy. This man, an enthusiastic pupil of Origen, had suffered seriously from the condemnation of the latter463463On this (in the year 544) see the concluding chapter. Since in the conflict with Origenism Christology did not constitute the main cause of offence, we can leave it out of account here. Still it must be admitted that certain features of the Christology of Origen were acceptable to the Monophysites and to the monks with Monophysite tendencies, and the discussions about Origen in the sixth century took their start from here. to which he had assented against his will, and in order to divert attention from Origen (Euagr. E. H. IV. 38) he got the Emperor persuaded to believe that a great many Monophysites could be won over if a blow was struck at the Antiochians.464464Regarding the Three Chapters’ dispute and the Fifth Council, there has been a great controversy in the Catholic Church, which dates very far back and which is still continued. We owe this controversy to the writings of the Jesuit Halloix (for Origen; and unfavourable to the Fifth Council); the Augustinian Noris (Diss. historica de synodo V., in favour of the Council) the Jesuit Garnier, in the 17th century, and later, to those of the Ballerini. In more recent times Vincenzi has sought in a big work which falsifies history (In S. Gregorii Nyss. et Origenis scripta et doctrinam nova defensio, 5 Vols. 1864 sq.) to justify the theses of Halloix, to rehabilitate Origen and Vigilius, and on the other hand partly to “re-model” the Council and partly to bring it into contempt. The Romish Church is not yet quite clear as to the position it should take up in reference to the older Antiochians and Theodoret, and further, to Origen and Vigilius. I am not acquainted with the work of Punkes, P. Vigilius und der Dreicapitelstreit, München 1865. The fullest Protestant account is still that of Walch, Vol. VIII. The most thorough study of the chief opponent of the imperial policy, Facundus of Hermiane in North Africa, has been published by a Russian, Dobroklonskij (188o); see on his work Theol. Lit. Ztg. 1880, n. 26. As a matter of fact what had given most serious offence to the Monophysites in connection with the Council of Chalcedon, was that it pronounced Ibas and Theodoret orthodox and was silent about Theodore.465465Theodore had still in the East and even in the monasteries some secret adherents, apart from the Nestorians; see Loofs, pp. 274-297, 304. The Emperor, supported by Theodora, who 246had long ago established a Monophysite branch-regime which made its influence felt as far as Rome, issued, apparently in 543, an edict,466466No longer preserved. in which the person and writings of Theodore, the Anti-Cyrillian writings of Theodoret, and the letter of Ibas to the Persian Maris,467467Mansi VIII., p. 242 sq. were condemned. This was the edict of the τρία κεφάλαια, the three points or chapters. The orthodox found themselves placed by it in a most painful position. It was a political move on the part of the Emperor forced on him by the circumstances in which he was placed, and a better one could not have been contrived.468468Loofs, op. cit. has shewn that Justinian’s policy, which struck at once at Origen and at Theodore, was occasioned by the disturbances in the monasteries of Palestine where both had their sympathisers who had already come into sharp conflict with each other. “The explanation of the fact that Justinian pretty much about the same time struck at Origen with the one hand and at the Three Chapters with the other, is to be found not in the ill-humour of Theodorus Askidas, but in the state of things in Palestine.” The energetic attack already made by Leontius on Theodore in the years 531-538 had prepared the way for a decree which enjoined that the Chalcedonian Creed must positively not he interpreted in the sense in which it was understood by Theodore; see Loofs, p. 307. The resolution to add the writings of Ibas and Theodoret, seems only to have been come to at the last moment. The faithful adherents of the Fourth Council had to face the alternative either of actually departing from orthodoxy by the rejection of heterodox doctrines—for it was evident that a revision of the Chalcedonian Creed was intended, which limited freedom in the interpretation of it—or of having to defend what was questionable by way of protecting doctrinal unity; for nobody could deny but that Theodore in particular had actually taught heterodox doctrine. At the same time a sort of question du fait was to be decided in addition. The question as to the views held by the Council regarding things which it had not discussed, was to be settled. The Emperor dictated what these views were. Distinctions were to be made between what the whole Council had approved of and what had been approved of merely by individual members; for example, in reference to the letter of Ibas. It was plain that all this was bound only to be to the advantage of the Monophysites. It might be easy to point out to the Western opponents 247of the imperial decree that they had been too sharp-sighted in hunting for traces of Monophysite leaven, but as regards the main point they were entirely in the right. The condemnation of the three chapters, so far as its tendency was concerned, involved a revision of the Chalcedonian Creed. But the Emperor was in the right too; for he corrected the conciliar-decree in accordance with the spirit of the Eastern Church, which had been repressed at Chalcedon itself. He destroyed the Western influence; he carried the Chalcedonian Creed back to Cyril; he restored the dogmatic thought of the two Councils of Ephesus, without meddling with the Creed of Chalcedon. All four patriarchs of the East took offence at the condemnation of the Three Chapters and all four signed it after a brief hesitation. Thus powerfully did the Emperor make his rule felt in the Church; there had been no such monarch since Constantius and Theodosius I. The patriarchs worked their bishops and they too all submitted, although they felt it difficult to consent to the condemnation of a bishop who a hundred years before this had died at peace with the Church. What, however, they did not feel, was the desolation created by this imperial measure. Origen was already condemned; the condemnation of the Antiochene theology now followed on his. It was now that the Church first fully provided itself with a falsified tradition, by shutting out its true Fathers as heretics under the patronage of Justinian. It is pretended that its theology had always been the same, and any one who at an earlier period had taught otherwise, was no Father and Shepherd, but an innovator, a robber and murderer. This Church tolerated no recollection of the fact that it had once allowed room within it for a greater variety of opinion. Justinian who closed the School of Athens, also closed the schools of Alexandria and Antioch! He is the Diocletian of theological science and the Constantine of scholasticism! In doing this he did not, however, impose anything on the Church; on the contrary he ascertained what were the true feelings of the majority, probably realised them himself, and by satisfying them made the Church obedient to the State; for the World-Church is to be feared only when provoked; when satisfied it will allow any kind of yoke to be imposed upon it.248
The outbreak of the controversy of the Three Chapters which followed on this and its history, have an interest for the history of dogma merely owing to the fact that the North African bishops and, speaking generally, most of the Western bishops made such an energetic resistance to the condemnation of the Three Chapters. The conduct of the Africans and especially the work of Facundus “pro tribus capitulis”, are honourable pages in the history of the Punic Churches. On the other hand in the conduct of the Roman Bishop we have a tragedy, the hero of which was no hero, but on the contrary a rogue. Vigilius, the creature of Theodora, the intellectual murderer of his predecessor, the man who was Monophysite or Chalcedonian in accordance with orders, constantly changed his opinion in the course of the controversy, according as he considered compliance with feeling in the West or compliance with the commands of the Emperor, the more necessary. Twice over he was forced by the Emperor to appear before the tribunal of the Church as a liar when Justinian produced secret explanations of his which contradicted his public utterances. His conduct both before the great Council and after it was equally lamentable. The poorest of all the Popes was confronted with the most powerful of the Byzantine Emperors.469469Duchesne, Vigile et Pélage, 1884.
Justinian considered a great Council to be necessary although he himself, about the year 551, issued a second edict dealing with the affair of the Three Chapters. This edict470470Mansi IX., p. 539 sq. Loofs has briefly indicated the nature of the Emperor’s theological writing (p. 310 f.) and has shewn how closely it is related to that of Leontius. which was framed by the Emperor himself who was always theologically inclined, contains in the most verbose form the strictly Cyrillian interpretation of the Chalcedonian decree. The Cyrillian formula of the “one nature” is approved of, attention being, however, directed to the fact that Cyril made no distinction between nature and hypostasis. Christ is one “composite hypostasis”—ὑπόστασις σύνθετος. The Antiochian theology is rejected in strong terms, the three chapters are condemned in this connection; but it is asserted that we must abide by the Chalcedonian 249Creed. In order to sanction this edict, the Fifth Ecumenical Council was opened at Constantinople in May 553, Vigilius protesting. The patriarch of the capital presided. The Acts have not come down to us in their original form; we have only part of them in a Latin translation. But we know from the proceedings of the Sixth Council that interpolations were put into the Acts in the 7th century (on the part of the Monothelites?) and that these interpolations were traced at the time by means of palæographic investigations, though the documents which had been foisted in were in no sense forgeries. The proceedings of the Council which consisted of about 150 members amongst whom there were very few Westerns, were unimportant; all it had to do was to throw the halo of the Church round the imperial edicts. It condemned Origen, as Justinian desired;471471So with reason Noris, the Ballerini, Möller (R. Encykl. XI., p. 113) and Loofs (pp. 287, 291) as against Hefele and Vincenzi. it condemned the Three Chapters and consequently the Antiochian theology as Justinian desired; it sanctioned the theopaschitian formula as Justinian desired, and in its 14 long-winded anathemas it adopted the imperial edict of 551 as its own. But amongst those who thus said yes to everything, there were few who spoke contrary to their convictions. The Emperor was really the best dogmatist of his time and of his country—if it is the duty of the dogmatist to ascertain the opinions of the majority. While giving a position of exclusive authority to the interpretation of the Chalcedonian Creed on the lines of the theology of Cyril, he hit upon the sense in which it was understood by the Church of the East, i.e., by the majority in it.472472The anathemas so far as their positive form is concerned come very near Monophysitism without actually falling into it—the most distinct divergence is in No. 8. No. 7 goes furthest in the direction of meeting Monophysitism: εἴ τις ἐν δύο φύσεσι λέγων, μὴ ὡς ἐν θεότητι καὶ ἀνθρωπότητι τὸν ἕνα κύριον ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν γνωρίζεσθαι ὁμολογεῖ, ἵνα διὰ τούτου σημάνῃ τὴν διαφορὰν τῶν φύσεων, ἐξ ὧν ἀσυγχύτως ἡ ἄφραστος ἕνωσις γέγονεν, οὕτε τοῦ λόγου εἰς τὴν τὴς σαρκὸς μεταποιηθέντος φύσιν, οὔτε τῆς σαρκὸς πρὸς τοῦ λόγου φύσιν μεταχωρησάσης—μένει γὰρ ἑκάτερον ὅπερ ἐστὶ τῇ φῦσει, καὶ γενομένης τῆς ἑνώσεως καθ᾽ ὑπόστασιν—, ἀλλ᾽ ἐπὶ διαιρέσει τῇ ἀνὰ μέρος τὴν τοιαύτην λαμβάνει φωνὴν ἐπὶ τοῦ κατὰ Χριστὸν μυστηρίου, ἢ τὸν ἀριθμὸν τῶν φύσεων ὁμολογῶν ἐπὶ τοῦ αὐτοῦ ἐνὸς κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ τοῦ Θεοῦ λόγου σαρκωθέντος, μὴ τῇ θεωρίᾳ μόνῃ τὴν διαφορὰν τούτων λαμβάνει, ἐξ ὧν καὶ συνετέθη, οὐκ ἀναιρουμένην διὰ τὴν ἕνωσιν—εἷς γὰρ ἐξ ἀμφοῖν, καὶ δἰ ἐνὸς αμφότερα—ἀλλ᾽ ἐπὶ τούτῳ κὲχρηται τῷ ἀριθμῷ, ὡς κεχωρισμένας καὶ ἰδιοϋποστάτους ἔχει τὰς φύσεις· ὁ τοιοῦτος ἀνάθεμα ἔστω. Observe how the conception of number too gets a new meaning in Dogmatics and how in the dogmatic sense the conception of number is to be taken in one way in connection with the dogma of the Trinity and again in a different way in connection with the Christological dogma. There we have already the whole of scholasticism! In the same way “θεωρία” is now a conception which has first to get a new form for Dogmatics. All throughout in these conceptions things which are irreconcileable must be shewn to be reconciled. The importance of the dogmatic 250finding of 553 ought not to be underrated. In a certain sense the blow which the West gave to the East at the Fourth Council was parried by the Fifth Council—in the fashion in which this is done in general in matters of dogma. Rome had given the formula of the two natures to the East, but a hundred years later the East dictated to the West how this formula was to be understood, an interpretation of it which in no way corresponded to the actual wording of the formula. At first undoubtedly the decree of the Fifth Council called forth serious opposition in the West.473473The opposition in the East was wholly unimportant; see Hefele, p. 903 f. But first Vigilius submitted,474474Two statements of Dec. 553 and Feb. 554. Hefele, 905 ff. then five years later the African Church followed his example.475475Hefele, p. 913 f. Still the position of the successor of Vigilius, Pelagius I., was very seriously endangered in the West. The Churches of Upper Italy under the guidance of Milan and Aquileia renounced their allegiance to Rome. Never in antiquity was the apostolic chair in such a critical condition as at that time. Its occupant appeared to many in the West in the light of a State bishop at the beck of Constantinople and deprived of ecclesiastical freedom. The Lombard conquests set him free and rescued him from his position of dependence on Byzantium. Gregory I. having once more regained strength politically and his help being regarded as indispensable by those in Upper Italy who were threatened by the Arians and the pagans, again gained over the larger part of Upper Italy together with the Archbishop of Milan, though indeed it was at the price of a temporary disavowal of the Fifth Council.476476Gregor I., epp. 1. IV., 2-4, 38, 39. Gregory had to make his orthodoxy certain by acknowledging the four Councils. He was silent about the Fifth. Another part stood 251aloof from Rome for a whole century. But in the West too at the same period there was a decay of all independent interest in theological questions; when it once more revived, the Church had the Fifth Council and the Cyrillian Dogmatics, The East had revenged itself.
And yet one may doubt if Justinian’s policy was the right one which in dogmaticis aimed at a mean between the Western and the Egypto-Syrian dogmatic. It stopped half-way. For the sake of the West and of the basis supplied by the Council of 451, the Emperor had adhered to the Chalcedonian Creed; for the sake of the Monophysites and of his own inclinations he decreed the Theopaschitian formula and the rejection of the Three Chapters. But in doing this he roused the West against the spirit of Constantinople and against the Byzantine State, at the very moment when he was making friendly overtures to it, and yet he did not gain over the Monophysites.477477It was only temporally that the Melchites, led by some distinguished patriarchs, once more got the mastery in Egypt; see Gelzer, Leontios von Neapolis, Lehen des h. Johannes des Barmherzigen, Ezbischofs v. Alexandrien 1893. He could not find the right dogmatic formula for the World-Empire which he created; what he did settle was the specific formula for the patriarchate of Constantinople and its immediate belongings. He, however, saw that himself; he wished to sanction Aphthartodoketism (564)478478Euagr. H. E. IV. 39, 40. which was in harmony with his own dogmatic views and which might perhaps win over the Monophysites. His policy was a logical one, and the Emperor set about carrying it out with his wonted energy, beginning as usual by deposing the patriarch of the capital. We cannot now say what would have happened; the opposition of the Bishops, led this time by the Patriarch of Antioch, Anastasius Sinaita, would perhaps have been overcome; but the Emperor died in November, 565, and his successor Justin II. did not continue this policy. Still, under Justin II. the attempts to gain over the Monophysites, by dragonnades and by friendly methods, did not cease.479479A sort of henoticon of Justin’s in Euagr. V. 4; cf. the Church History of John of Ephesus. Even at that time the Imperial bishops were throughout kept from acceding to the 252extreme demands of the Monophysites by their desire to preserve communion with the West. The vacillation in the imperial policy, its partial success and partial failure, and the divisions among the Monophysites themselves, etc., belong to Church-History. The way was being prepared for renouncing entirely the authority of Byzantium—and here the political-national movement everywhere preceded the other,—and for the organisation in each case of a separate ecclesiastical constitution. These aims were not definitely accomplished till the seventh century, under entirely altered political conditions.480480On the Syro-Jacobite-Monophysite, the Coptic-Monophysite, the Abyssinian Church, as well as on the Armenian Church which continued to be Cyrillian, not Monophysite in the strict sense of word—see the article in Herzog’s R. Encykl., and better in the Dict. of Christ. Biog. and in Kattenbusch, op. cit. I., p. 205 ff.; cf. also Sibernagl op. cit.
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