« Theodotus, martyr at Ancyra Theodotus, bishop of Laodicea Theodotus, patriarch of Antioch »

Theodotus, bishop of Laodicea

Theodotus (11), bp. of Laodicea in Syria Prima, claimed as a zealous advocate of Arian doctrines by Arius in writing to Eusebius of Nicomedia (Theod. H. E. i. 5; v. 7). Eusebius gives him a high character for skill as a physician of both body and soul, remarkable for kindness, sympathy, sincerity, and zeal to help all who needed aid, reinstating the church in its prosperity which had suffered much by the cowardice of its last bishop, Stephen, who seems to have renounced the faith in the persecution of Diocletian (Eus. H. E. vii. 32). Theodotus was at the council of Nicaea in 325 (Labbe, ii. 51); before which he is coupled by Athanasius with the Eusebian party (Athan. de Synod. c. i. § 17, p. 886). On the visit of Eusebius of Nicomedia to Jerusalem in 330 or 331, ostensibly to see the newly built church, he formed one of the Arian cabal which, proceeding to Antioch, succeeded in deposing Eustathius (Theod. H. E. i. 21) and electing Eusebius of Caesarea in his room (Eus. Vit. Const. iii. 62). He also took part in the council of Tyre in 335 (Labbe, ii. 436) and of the Dedication at Antioch in 341 (ib. 560), and is mentioned by Athanasius as having been at Seleucia in 359 (Athan. de Synod. c. i. § 12, p. 880). The two Apollinarii, father and son, were excommunicated by Theodotus for being present at the recitation of a hymn in honour of Bacchus, composed by a sophist of Laodicea with whom he had interdicted an intercourse. He restored them on their repentance (Soz. H. E. vi. 25; Socr. H. E. ii. 46). Gelasius of Cyzicus (bk. iii. c. 3) gives a letter from the emperor Constantine to Theodotus, warning him to return to the orthodox faith (Labbe, ii. 284). It is quoted as genuine by Benignus of Heraclea at the fifth general council (ib. v. 481). According to Gams, Theodotus was bishop 30 years.

[E.V.]

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