« Paulus, the Black Paulus of Asia Paulus I, bishop of Constantinople »

Paulus of Asia

Paulus (13), surnamed of Asia, Jacobite bp. of Aphrodisias and metropolitan of Caria in the reign of Justin II. We owe our knowledge of him to the Ecclesiastical History of John of Ephesus (Dr. R. Payne Smith's trans.). As his persecution by John Scholasticus, patriarch of Constantinople, marks a period in the history of the Monophysite body, it is important to fix its date, which in all probability was 571. The persecution fell chiefly on the numerous Monophysite monasteries, of both sexes, which had sprung up in and around Constantinople while the empress Theodora lived. These were burst into to admit the "synodite" clergy bearing the consecrated bread, of which the inmates were compelled to partake, though it was necessary in some cases to bind their hands and force it into their mouths. The chief difficulty was with the bishops, and Paul of Aphrodisias was singled out for the first example (p. 13). The historian describes him as an honest and simple-minded old man, dwelling quietly in his monastery in Caria, when the patriarch had him brought to Constantinople and imprisoned in his own palace, until, overcome by harsh treatment, he was compelled to receive the communion at his hands, besides signing an act of submission, which he was not allowed to read (given by the historian), to the effect that he accepted the decrees of Chalcedon and the jurisdiction of the patriarch of Constantinople. He was then sent back, but the "synodite" bp. of Aphrodisias had instructions to depose him from the episcopal office and consecrate him afresh to the see of the Carian Antioch, on the Meander, at the far east of the province and not very distant from Aphrodisias. All this was done, to the extreme grief and indignation of the venerable bishop, whom soon "death overtook, and his old age descended in affliction and misery to the grave" (p. 16).

[C.H.]

« Paulus, the Black Paulus of Asia Paulus I, bishop of Constantinople »
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