Compromise between Alexandria and Antioch in 433

The story begins in 433 with the union enforced by court influence between the parties of Alexandria and Antioch (see Nestorius, § 6 ) which had only concealed the opposition between their Christological teachings. It was, however, not without its effects. It was fatal to those who had refused to condemn Nestorius, and compelled the submission of such men as Theodoret and Andrew of Samosata. It forced Cyril to take his stand in defense of formulas which had been worked out by the school of Antioch and could not be so


easily fitted in as some zealous Alexandriana then desired. It tended rather to favor the acceptance of two natures in Christ. It is true,

:. Com- there was in the East no theology promise with which these formulas were al between together harmonious. They corre

Aleaadria sponded to the traditions of the

and West, where it was possible to assert in

Antioch the same breath the unity of the person in 433. and the duality of nature. In the West the conception of the single personal ity of Christ had, with unphilosophical simplicity, attached itself to the historic Christ, and thus pre vented the assertion of two natures, for the pur pose of emphasizing both the divinity and the humanity, from working out philosophically so as to endanger the conception of the unity, and the consequent intelligibility of the person of Jesus.

In the East the word prosbpon, the nearest equiva

lent for the Latin persona, had by no means a wholly parallel sense. In its technical meaning it had been employed since the triumph of the later

Nicene doctrine of the Trinity, as a synonym of

hypostasia, though it could also be employed in the original signification, to denote a phenomenon, a figure presented to the senses, or the form under

which either one or more hypostases are presented.

It was thus very useful as a compromise formula.

Both parties, however, accepted the compromise

as an earnest of complete victory, the patriarch of

Alexandria hoping in this for more than the mere triumph of the Alexandrian Christology. Since the days of Athanasius this see had acquired a position in the East which could inspire an ambitious bishop with the hope of dominating his rivals both at

Antioch and Constantinople. This ambition was

abundantly possessed by Cyril (see Cyril of Alexandria), and nothing else explains his acceptance of the compromise. Peace, however, endured as long as John of Antioch and Proclue of Constan

tinople as well as Cyril lived; but it became less secure each year as the extreme tendencies on both aides came into play. This was especially the case

on Cyril's side. It was not unnatural that some of his partizans, incapable of comprehending his fine distinctions, should push his Cbristology into what was practically Monophysitism. The proceedings against Neatorius for a while kept the opposition

party quiet--though the moat prominent theolo gian on that aide, Theodoret, remained true to the fundamental principles of the school of Antioch.

As time went on still more zealous upholders of the

Antiochian views appeared among the bishops of

Asia Minor. In 435 Ibas, who had censured the dogmatic position of Cyril and the synod of Ephe sus and supported Theodore of Mopsuestia, became bishop of Edessa. In 441 or 442 John of Antioch was succeeded by Domnus, a more ardent partizan

of the traditions of that see; this Domnus, between

443 and 447, filled the bishopric of Tyre, contrary

to the canons, with a man who had been twice

married, Irenæus, formerly a friend of Nestorius and exiled on this account about 435. After the death of Proclus (446), the see of Constantinople was filled by Flavian, who had indeed accepted the union but still came from the Antioch party. Cyril died in 444 and was succeeded by Dioecurus, much less important as a theologian, but still more un scrupulous in his struggle for supremacy, and will ing to avail himself of monastic fanaticism and obscure intrigues to win the favor of both populace and court. The time was favorable to his purposes.

The feeble emperor Theodosius (408-450), since the

downfall of his sister Pulcheria's influence about 440, had been under that of his favorite Chrysaphius, who was in close relations with the Alex andrian party, especially with the aged presbyter and archimandrite Eutyches, who was among the moat influential members of that party. Born in

378, Eutyches had acquired the reputation of an honorable and pious man, but was uneducated and unfamiliar with the laws of thought. As a veteran monk, and a zealous foe of Nestorianism, he counted as one of the heads of the monastic or Alexandrian party. He was accordingly a useful instrument in the hands of Dioscurus, whose principal agent in

Constantinople he was after the death of Proclua.

On Feb. 17, 448, the emperor renewed the edict

against the Nestorians, and decreed the deposition

of Irenaeus of Tyre; and about the same time intrigues against Bishop Ibas began at Edessa in which Eutyches had a hand. Both parties now

felt that the decisive conflict was approaching.

Domnus showed no signs of recognizing the depo

sition of Ibas, and maintained a close alliance with

Theodoret, who had just before thrown down the

gauntlet to the Alexandrian party

2. The Be- in his Eranistes; and certain clerics ginning from Edessa who had come to Anti of Strife. och with charges against their bishop were detained there as prisoners. On the other aide Dioacurus arrogantly censured Dom nus, and Eutyches invoked the aid of Leo of Rome, asserting that the Nestorian heresy was being

revived. The case of Ibas was discussed by a

synod at Antioch in the summer of 448; Theodoret, who seems to have come to Antioch to attend it, was ordered by the emperor to return to his dio cese and remain there. Possibly to the late summer belongs the unsuccessful attempt of Domnus to

discredit Eutyches as an Apollinarian heretic.

Probably through court influence, Irenaeus was replaced in September by Photius, who at once came out on the Alexandrian side. The accusers

of Ibas, who had now gone on to Constantinople,

had better success there than at Antioch; they obtained a decree from the emperor calling for a rehearing of their case before three bfshops, two of

whom at least were known as antagonists of Ibas.

All seemed to be going well f^r Dioscurus when a renewed accusation against Eutychrs provoked him to attempt to reap his harvest before it was

ripe. This new charge was nominally brought by

Bishop Eusebius of Doryla?um, who, from what is

known, seems to have had little sympathy with the

Antioch party, though he was not an avowed ad herent of the other side. To his moderate views some thoughtless expressions of Eutyches on a point of dogma may have seemed dangerous, and it is possible that personal dislike helped to deter

mine his attitude-at least Eutyches asserted

afterward that Eusebius had long been his enemy.


However that may be, he appeared at a local synod held by Flavian of Constantinople in Nov., 448, with a charge against Eutyches which named him in general terms as a heretic. Eusebius succeeded in forcing the synod to summon Eutyches before it.

He returned answer that he was unwilling to leave his monastery; that he adhered to the decrees of

Nicaea and Ephesus; but that he declined to be bound by expressions taken at random from the

Fathers, preferring to follow the Scripture, which was a more certain rule of faith than all of them.

He denied ever having taught that the Divine Word had brought his body with him from heaven; he acknowledged "one nature of God made flesh," and that Christ was at once perfect God and per fect man, though his body was not homoousios with ours. The synod now sent a more formal summons to Eutyches, which had to be twice re peated before, on Nov. 22, he at last appeared, escorted by a military guard and a large number of monks. His heterodoxy was not long in mani festing itself to the assembly. Attempts were made to find a way out of the difficulty, and for a moment he seemed to yield; but his settled con viction was expressed in the words "I confess that our Lord was born of two natures before the union."

The council found Apollinarianism and Valen tinianism in his admission, deposed him from his priestly and monastic offices, and excommunicated him. This condemnation, of course, did not touch the Christology of Cyril himself; but many of the

Alexandrians thought as Eutyches did. The blow was thus a heavy one for them and there is no doubt that it was the cause of the energetic counter stroke represented by the Synod of Ephesus in 449.

Of the intervening events it is known only that

Eutyches attempted to set aside the condemnation and to win to his defense a number of prominent bishops, including Leo of Rome and Peter Chrysolo gus of Ravenna, and probably Dioscurus and others in the East; that he made the most of his favor at court; and that he asserted a falsification of the acts of the Constantinopolitan synod and induced the emperor to order an investigation of his charge.

Flavian, who was forced to satisfy the emperor of his orthodoxy by a special confession of faith, also sought help abroad, and Leo of Rome took a decisive stand on his side in a brief of May 21, 449.

The discontent of the Alexandrians, however, was so decided that they induced the emperor to call a new ecumenical council at Ephesus for Aug.

1, of the same year. Everything was prepared for a triumph of Dioscurus, whom the

3. The emperor designated to preside over

Robber the council; but the completeness of

Synod of his triumph was impaired by Pope

Ephesus, Leo, who developed in a famous

449. letter to Flavian of June 13, sent by his legates with another to the council, the Western doctrine of the two natures in its essen tial variation from the Alexandrian with a clearness that was fatal to the permanent maintenance of the latter. The number of participants in the

"Robber Synod" of Ephesus was never higher than 138. Two imperial commissaries were pres ent; Eusebius of Dorylaeum and Flavian of Con- stantinople found themselves placed by the emperor himself in the position of accused parties, while Eutyches was summoned almost as accuser. The first period of the synod's session, Aug. 8-18, was occupied with the rehabilitation of Eutyches and the deposition of Eusebius and Flavian. Among the tolerably certain facts are the unsuccessful demand of the Roman legates to be allowed to preside, and their failure to have the epistle of Leo to Flavian even read; their repeated protests against this so-called invasion of the rights of the Roman see; and the unsparingly masterful manner in which Dioscurus conducted the whole affair. The tumultuous scene described by Gibbon, which had given its opprobrious name to the synod, rests upon partizan accounts and can be shown inaccurate in detail. The proceedings of the second period, Aug. 20-22 (7) from which not only Eusebius and Flavian but also the Roman legates were absent, resulted in a number of depositions. Among others Ibas, Irenæus of Tyre, Theodoret, and even Domnus of Antioch were deposed and excommunicated as Nestorians.

The decision of the synod was received with approval at court, but by no means wholly so throughout the East. Yet Dioscurus had on his side, besides court favor, the sympathies of moat of the Eastern bishops, and Flavian's place at Con stantinople was soon taken by Anatolius, an Alex andrian partizan. The only hope for a revision of the settlement lay in the West, whither Theo doret and Flavian now turned. But for the moment even the influence of Rome was un- 4. The availing. The synod in Rome on Council Oct. 15, 449, rejected the decrees of of Chalce- Ephesus, and Leo attempted in vain, don, 451. through his ovm letters and those of the Western emperor to procure from Theodosius II. the calling of a new synod in Italy. The death of Theodosius in the next year brought about great changes. The power was now in the hands of Pulcheria, who had already been won over to Leo's side. Anatolius held a synod the same autumn at Constantinople which declared its agreement with Leo's epistle to Flavian, which had already found increasing assent in the East. Leo was not able, however, to secure that the new general council should be held in the West; and it finally sat at Chalcedon, across the Bosphorus from Constantinople, Oct. 8 to Nov. 1, 451, attended by about 600 bishops. The presidency, in a par liamentary sense, was held by the imperial commis saries; but the papal legates, recognized by the council as representing the spiritual head of the Church, took the lead among the ecclesiastics and presided formally when the imperial commis saries were absent.

Dioscurus had secured his triumph at Ephesus largely through the strength of- his Egyptian following; the emperor guarded against a repetition of this by ordering him to come alone to Constantinople. He had a private audience with the new emperor, Marcian, Pulcheria's husband, in the presence of Anatolius and others, which was intended to bring him to an accommodation-but without success. He soon recognized that the cause was


lost; and his downfall was not. long in following. He appeared in the council practically as an accused person, while Theodoret, whom he had deposed at Ephesus, took his seat under the full protection of both pope and emperor. At the close of the first session the commissaries declared that Dioscurus himself and five of his principal supporters at Ephesus must be deposed, which took place in the third session, though a direct charge of heresy was avoided. He was banished to Gangra in Paphlagonia, where he died in 454. The five other bishops were restored to good standing in the fourth session. As to the dogmatic question, which the council treated with some hesitation, nominally out of respect for the First Council of Ephesus, after two epistles of Cyril (iv. and xxxix.) and Leo's to Flavian had been acknowledged, Anatolius was directed to draw up a proposed new definition. This, which was apparently decided in its expressions on the point of one person out of two natures, was approved by the majority at the fifth session; but the Roman legates threatened to take their departure and have a new council called in Italy if Leo's epistle was not closely followed. The majority was disinclined to yield until an imperial order forced them to appoint a new committee on definition, of which the legates were now members. The result of this work was laid before the council at the same session, and solemnly proclaimed, Oct. 25. This was from the dogmatic standpoint a complete victory of West over East; the council's definition is only intelligible in the light of Western Christology. After an introduction affirming the Nicene and so-called Constantinopolitan creeds, which it declares sufficient as general creeds, it proceeds, with the purpose of avoiding Nestorian and Monophysite perversions of the mystery of the Incarnation, to recognize the epistles of Cyril and Leo named above as orthodox expositions of the creed, and then to give a lengthy and precise restatement of the one person of the Lord in two natures. It is not difficult to see that the terms of this definition and the recognition of Leo's epistles go beyond Cyril's teaching; but the members of the council attempted to forestall objections by persuading themselves of their agreement with both, and of each with the other. The formulas of Chalcedon were acceptable to Western minds, with their firm hold on the single person of the historic Christ without danger of obscuring either of the two natures, the divine or the human. But it was not a real settlement of the question for the East, and the action of the council, for all its pacific intent, was but the beginning of new strife (see Monophysites). Eutyches, the nominal originator of the controversy, was not expressly anathematized at Chalcedon; he was considered to have been already sufficiently condemned by Flavian, by Leo, and by the synod held under Anatolius. But after the council two imperial edicts of the year 452 enforced the ecclesiastical condemnation of his party by the usual civil penalties. Eutyches himself was banished, and the last heard of him is in a letter of Leo, Apr. 15, 454, requesting his removal to a more distant place on the ground that he still continued to deceive the unwary in his original place of banishment. See Christology, Iv.

(F. Loofs.)

Bibliography: Sources for a history are the Acts of the Synods, printed in Manai, Concilia, vols. v. vii., cf. ix. 659-702 (a summary of the whole affair in vii. 1060 sqq.); Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, ii. 317 sqq., Eng. transl., iii. 186 sqq.; S. G. F. Perry, Second Synod of Ephesus, Acts, Dartford, 1881 (with Syriac text and sources): Theodoret, Hist. eccl., passim. Eng. transl. in NPNF, 2 ser., vol. iii.; idem, Eraniatea, in his Opera, ed. Schulze, vol. iv., Halls. 1774; Gelasius, Gesta de nomine Acacii, ed. Thiel, Epistolo: Romanorum pontificum, i. 510-519, Braunaberg, 1868; G. Hoffmann, in Schriften der Univeraittit zu Kiel, vol. xx., 1873.

Consult Tillemont, Mémoires, xv. 479-719; W. A. Arendt, Leo der Grosse, Mainz, 1835; E. Perthel, Papst Leo's 1. Lebeu and Lehreu, Jena, 1843; Wm. Bright, Hist. of the Church, pp. 313-451, Oxford, 1860; I. A. Dorner, Person of Christ, IL. i.-ii., Edinburgh, 1862; W. Cunningham, Historical Theology, i. 311-315, ib. 1863; P. Martin, Le Pseudo-Synods . . dipUae, Paris, 1875; A. Ehrhard, in TQ. Ixx (1888), 179-243, 406-450, 623853; Neander, Christian Church, ii. 560-569; Schaff, Christian Church, iii. 734-740; Moeller, Christian Church, i. 419-422; Harnack, Dogma, iv. 197 sqq.; DCB, ii. 404-412 (very full).


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