Theodotus, patriarch of Antioch
Theodotus (18), patriarch of Antioch, a.d. 420–429 (Clinton, F. R.
ii. 552). He succeeded Alexander, under whom the long-standing schism at Antioch
had been healed, and followed his lead in replacing the honoured name of Chrysostom
on the diptychs of the church. He is described by Theodoret, at one time one of
his presbyters, as "the pearl of temperance," "adorned with a splendid life and
a knowledge of the divine dogmas" (Theod. H. E. v. 38; Ep. 83 ad
Dioscor.). Joannes Moschus relates anecdotes illustrative of his meekness when
treated rudely by his clergy, and his kindness on a journey in insisting on one
of his presbyters exchanging his horse for the patriarch's litter (Mosch. Prat.
Spir. c. 33). By his gentleness he brought back the Apollinarians to the church
without rigidly insisting on their formal renouncement of their errors (Theod.
H. E. v. 38). On the real character of Pelagius's teaching becoming known
in the East and the consequent withdrawal of the testimony previously given by the
synods of Jerusalem and Caesarea to his orthodoxy, Theodotus presided at the final
synod held at Antioch (mentioned only by Mercator and Photius, in whose text Theophilus
of Alexandria has by an evident error taken the place of Theodotus of Antioch) at
which Pelagius was condemned and expelled from Jerusalem and the other holy sites,
and he joined with Praylius of Jerusalem in the synodical letters to Rome, stating
what had been done. The most probable date of this synod is that given by Hefele,
a.d. 424 (Marius Mercator, ed. Garnier, Paris, 1673, Commonitor. c. 3, p.
14; Dissert. de Synodis, p. 207; Phot. Cod. 54). When in 424 Alexander,
founder of the order of the Acoemetae, visited Antioch, Theodotus refused to receive
him as being suspected of heretical views. His feeling was not shared by the Antiochenes,
who, ever eager after novelty, deserted their own churches and crowded to listen
to Alexander's fervid eloquence (Fleury, H. E. livre xxv. c. 27). Theodotus
took part in the ordination of Sisinnius as patriarch of Constantinople, Feb. 426,
and united in the synodical letter addressed by the bishops then assembled to the
bishops of Pamphylia against the Massalian heresy (Socr. H. E. vii. 26; Phot.
Cod. 52). He died in 429 (cf. Theodoret's Ep. to Diosc. and his
H. E. v. 40). Tillem. t. xii. note 2, Theod. Mops.; Theophan. Chron.
p. 72; Le Quien, Or. Christ. ii. 720; Cave, Hist. Lit. i. 405.