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Anastasius II, bp. of Rome

Anastasius II., bp. of Rome, succeeded Gelasius I. in Nov. 496 (Clinton's Fasti Romani, pp. 536, 713). The month after his accession Clovis was baptized, and the new Pope wrote congratulating him on his conversion. Anastasius has left a name of ill-odour in the Western church; attributable to his having taken a different line from his predecessors with regard to the Eastern church. Felix III. had excommunicated Acacius of Constantinople, professedly on account of his communicating with heretics, but really because Zeno's Henoticon, which he had sanctioned, gave the church of Constantinople a primacy in the East which the see of Rome could not tolerate. Gelasius I. had followed closely in the steps of Felix. But Anastasius, in the year of his accession, sent two bishops, Germanus of Capua and Cresconius of Todi, (Baronius) to Constantinople, with a proposal that Acacius's name, instead of being expunged from the roll of patriarchs of Constantinople as Gelasius had proposed, should be left upon the diptychs, and no more be said upon the subject. This proposal, in the very spirit of the Henoticon, gave lasting offence to the Western church, and it excites no surprise that he was charged with communicating secretly with Photinus, a deacon of Thessalonica who held with Acacius; and of wishing to heal the breach between the East and West—for so it seems best to interpret the words of Anastasius Bibliothecarius—"voluit revocare Acacium" (vol. i. p. 83).

Anastasius died in Nov. 498. He was still remembered as the traitor who would have reversed the excommunication of Acacius; and Dante finds him suffering in hell the punishment of one whom "Fotino" seduced from the right way (Dante, Inf. xi. 8, 9).

Two epistles by him are extant: one informing the emperor Anastasius of his accession (Mansi, viii. p. 188); the other to Clovis as above (ib. p. 193).

[G. H. M.].

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