« Timotheus, called Aelurus Timotheus Salofaciolus Timotheus, patriarch of Constantinople »

Timotheus Salofaciolus

Timotheus (19), commonly called Salofaciolus, patriarch of Alexandria, elected after the expulsion of Timotheus Aelurus, at the beginning of Aug. 460. He was attached to the Chalcedonian dogma, and may be identified with the "Timotheus, presbyter, and a steward of the Alexandrian church," who signed the memorial which the persecuted Catholic bishops presented to the emperor Leo in 457 (Mansi, Concil. vii. 530). His name Salofaciolus, or Salafaciolus, appears to be made up of a Coptic and a Latin word, and to signify "wearer of a white head-gear or cap" (Du Fresne, Gloss. Med. et Infim. Graecit. ii. 1659). After his consecration he sent a letter to pope Leo, who replied in terms of warm congratulation, and urged the newly appointed "Catholic bishop of the Alexandrian 990church" to root out all remains of Nestorian as well as of Eutychian error (Ep. 171, Aug. 18, 460). Ten orthodox Egyptian bishops had also written to Leo that the election had been unstained by "canvassing, sedition, or unfairness of any kind," and that Timotheus was approved as worthy of so eminent a bishopric for purity of character and integrity of faith (Ep. 173). "In his episcopal administration," says Liberatus, "he was exceedingly gentle, so that even those who were of his communion complained of him to the emperor for being too remiss and easy-going towards heretics, in consequence of which the emperor wrote to him not to allow the heretics to hold assemblies or to administer baptism; but he continued to treat them gently, and while he thus discharged his office the Alexandrians loved him, and cried aloud to him in the streets and in the churches, 'Even if we do not communicate with thee, yet we love thee.'" This gentleness became weakness when, in the hope of conciliating the Monophysites, he reinserted the name of Dioscorus in his church diptychs (Mansi, vii. 983), and so gave occasion for the blundering Eutychius to rank him with the other Timotheus as a "Jacobite" (Ann. ii. 103). When Timotheus Aelurus returned in 476 and took possession of the archbishopric, Salofaciolus was allowed to reside in the monastery of the monks of Tabennesus, situated in a suburb of Alexandria called Canopus (see Le Quien, Or. Christ. ii. 415). He remained there when Aelurus died, fearing to cause a "tumult" if he shewed himself in the city; whereupon the Monophysites took the opportunity of electing and enthroning Peter Mongus, who had been archdeacon under Aelurus; but the Augustal prefect Anthemius, acting on a mandate from Zeno, expelled Peter from the church, and reinstated Timotheus Salofaciolus (Evagr. ii. 11). This step was followed up by rigorous edicts, intended to overawe the numerous clerics, monks, and laymen who refused to communicate with the restored patriarch (Brev. Hist. Eutych. in Mansi, vii. 1063). Peter Mongus was lurking in corners of Alexandria, "plotting against the church"; the patriarch wrote to Zeno and Simplicius, begging that he might be removed to a distance (Liberat. Brev. 16; Mansi, l.c.). Simplicius pressed the point in letters to Acacius; but Zeno could not be induced to take this step against Peter, and probably Acacius was at least lukewarm in the cause. At last, according to the Breviculus, Timotheus sent John Talaia again to Constantinople, and obtained a promise that he should have a Catholic successor. Soon afterwards he "died undisturbed" (Liberat.), about midsummer 482, as we learn from letters of Simplicius dated July 15, 482 (Mansi, vii. 991).


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