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Canon XXXIX.

Since our brother and fellow-worker, John, bishop of the island of Cyprus, together with his people in the province of the Hellespont, both on account of barbarian incursions, and that they may be freed from servitude of the heathen, and may be subject alone to the sceptres of most Christian rule, have emigrated from the said island, by the providence of the philanthropic God, and the labour of our Christ-loving and pious Empress; we determine that the privileges which were conceded by the divine fathers who first at Ephesus assembled, are to be preserved without any innovations, viz.:  that new Justinianopolis shall have the rights of Constantinople and whoever is constituted the pious and most religious bishop thereof shall take precedence of all the bishops of the province of the Hellespont, and be elected [?] by his own bishops according to ancient custom.  For the customs which obtain in each church our divine Fathers also took pains should be maintained, the existing bishop of the city of Cyzicus being subject to the metropolitan of the aforesaid Justinianopolis, for the imitation of all the rest of the bishops who are under the aforesaid beloved of God metropolitan John, by whom, as custom demands, even the bishop of the very city of Cyzicus shall be ordained.


Ancient Epitome of Canon XXXIX.

The new Justinianopolis shall have the rights of Constantinople, and its prelate shall rule over all the bishops of the Hellespont to whom he has gone, and he shall be ordained by his own bishop:  as the fathers of Ephesus decreed.


Hitherto the bishop of Cyzicus was metropolitan of the province of the Hellespont.  Now he too is to be subject to the bishop of New-Justinianopolis.  What, however, is meant by “the right of Constantinople”?  It was 384impossible that the Synod should place the bishop of Justinianopolis in equal dignity with the patriarch of Constantinople.  But they probably meant to say:  “The rights which the bishop of Constantinople has hitherto exercised over the province of the Hellespont, as chief metropolitan, fall now to the bishop of New-Justinianopolis.”  Or perhaps we should read, instead of Constantinople Κωνσταντινέων πόλεως, as the Amerbachian ms. has it, and translate:  “The same rights which Constantia (the metropolis of Cyprus) possessed, New Justinianopolis shall henceforth have.”  The latter is the more probable.

Van Espen.

To understand this canon it must be remembered that the Metropolis of Cyprus, which was formerly called Constantia, when restored by the Emperor Justinian was called by his name, New Justinianopolis.

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