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CHAP. XXXI.-LETTER TO ALCISON FROM THE MONKS OF
THE monastic body in Palestine, writing to Alcison concern
1 ing Macedonius and Flavian, express themselves thus: “ On the death of Peter, they were again separated, but Alexandria, Egypt, and Africa remained at unity among themselves; as, on the other hand, did the rest of the East; while the churches of the West refused to communicate with them on any other terms than the anathematizing of Nestorius, Eutyches, and Dioscorus, including also Peter, surnamed Mongus, and Acacius. Such, then, being the situation of the churches throughout the world, the genuine followers of Dioscorus and Eutyches were reduced to a very small number; and when they were upon the point of disappearing altogether from the earth, Xenaias, who was truly a stranger to God, with what object we know not, or pursuing what enmity towards Flavian, but under colour of defending the faith, as is generally said, begins to raise a stir against him, and to calumniate him as being a Nestorian. When, however, he had anathematized Nestorius and his notion, Xenaias transferred his attacks from him to Dioscorus and Theodore, Theodoret, Ibas, Cyrus, Eleutherius, and John; and we know not whom besides and whence he mustered them: some of whom really maintained the opinions of Nestorius, but others, having been suspected, anathematized him, and departed in the communion of the church. “Unless,' said he, thou shalt anathematize all these, as holding the opinions of Nestorius, thou art thyself a Nestorian, though thou shouldest ten thousand times anathematize him and his notion. He also endeavoured by letters to induce the advocates of Dioscorus and Eutyches to take arms with him against Flavian, not however with a view of exacting from him an anathema upon the synod, but merely on the before-mentioned persons. But when the bishop Flavian had maintained a prolonged
1 This Alcison was bishop of Nicopolis, which is the metropolis of old Epirus; he was one of the chief defenders of the Chalcedonian synod. He died in the year of Christ 516. See Baronius, A. D. 516.
2 There were two Peters at the same time, the one bishop of Alexandria, the other of Antioch; it is uncertain which of these two is here meant. Valesius, however, thinks it more probable that Peter of Alexandria is intended; because the monks immediately afterwards speak of Alexandria, Egypt, and Libya.
resistance to them, and other persons had united with Xenaias against him, namely, Eleusinus, a bishop of Cappadocia Secunda, Nicias, of Laodicea in Syria, and others from other quarters, the motive of whose spite against Flavian it is the province of others, not of ourselves, to detail ; at last, in hope of peace, he yielded to their contentious spirit, and having in writing anathematized the before-mentioned persons, he despatched the instrument to the emperor, for they had stirred up him also against Flavian as a maintainer of the opinions of Nestorius. Xenaias, not contented with this, again demands of Flavian that he should anathematize the synod itself, and those who maintained two natures in the person of the Lord, namely, the flesh and the Godhead; and on his refusal, again accused him of being a Nestorian. After much stir upon this subject, and after the patriarch had put forth an exposition of faith, in which he confessed that he admitted the synod as far as regards the deposition of Nestorius and Eutyches, not however as defining and teaching the faith ; they again impugn him as secretly holding the opinions of Nestorius, unless he would further anathematize the synod itself, and those who maintained two natures in the person of the Lord, the flesh and the Godhead. They also win over to their side the Isaurians, by various deceitful expressions, and having drawn up a formulary of faith in which they anathematize the synod together with those who maintained the two natures or persons, they separate themselves from Flavian and Macedonius, but unite with others on their subscribing the formulary. At the same time they also demanded of the bishop of Jerusalem a written statement of faith ; which he put forth, and sent to the emperor by the hands of the party of Dioscorus. This they present, containing an anathema upon those who maintained the two natures. But the bishop of Jerusalem himself, affirming that it had been forged by them, puts forth another without such anathema. And no wonder. For they have often forged discourses of the fathers, and to many writings of Apollinaris they have attached titles assigning them to Athanasius, Gregory Thaumaturgus, and Julius ; their principal object in so doing being to draw over the multitude to their own impieties. They also demanded of Macedonius a written statement of faith; who put one forth, affirming that he recognised [Evagrius.)
only the creed of the three hundred and eighteen, and of the one hundred and fifty fathers, anathematizing at the same time Nestorius, Eutyches, and those who held the doctrine of two sons or two Christs, or divided the natures; making, however, no mention of the synod of Ephesus, which deposed Nestorius, nor that of Chalcedon, which deposed Eutyches. Indignant at this, the monastic bodies about Constantinople separate from their bishop Macedonius. In the mean time Xenaias and Dioscorus, associating with them many of the bishops, became insufferable, from the stir which they raised against those who refused to anathematize ; and, by various devices, they endeavoured to procure the banishment of those who persisted in their refusal. In this way, accordingly, they banish both Macedonius, and John, bishop of Paltus, and Flavian.”
Such are the contents of the letter.
CHAP. XXXII.-EJECTION OF MACEDONIUS AND FLAVIAN FROM
THERE were other things which caused secret vexation to Anastasius. For when Ariadne was desirous of investing him with the purple, Euphemius, who held the archiepiscopal see, withheld his approval, until Anastasius had presented to him an agreement, written with his own hand, and secured with fearful oaths, that he would maintain the faith inviolate, and introduce no innovation into the holy church of God, in case he should obtain the sceptre : which document he also deposited with Macedonius, the keeper of the sacred treasures. This measure he adopted, because Anastasius had generally the reputation of holding the Manichæan doctrine. When, however, Macedonius ascended the episcopal throne, Anastasius was desirous that the agreement should be returned to him, affirming it to be an insult to the imperial dignity, if the before-mentioned document, in his own hand-writing, should be preserved : and when Macedonius resolutely opposed the demand, and firmly protested that he would not betray the faith, the emperor pursued every insidious device for the purpose of ejecting him from his see. Accordingly, even boys were brought forward as informers, who falsely accused both themselves and Macedonius of infamous practices. But when Macedonius was found to be emasculate, they had recourse to other contrivances; until, by the advice of Celer, commander of the household troops, he secretly retired from his see.
With the ejection of Flavian, other circumstances are associated. For we have met with some very aged men who remembered all the events of this time. These say, that the monks of the district called Cynegica, and of the whole of Syria Prima, having been wrought upon by Xenaias, who was bishop of the neighbouring city of Hierapolis, and who was named in Greek Philoxenus, rushed into the city in a body with great noise and tumult, endeavouring to compel Flavian to anathematize the synod of Chalcedon and the tome of Leo. Roused at the indignation manifested by Flavian, and the violent urgency of the monks, the people of the city made a great slaughter of them, so that a very large number found a grave in the Orontes, where the waves rformed their only funeral rites. There happened also another circumstance of scarcely less magnitude than the former. For the monks of Cæle Syria, now called Syria Secunda, from sympathy with Flavian, since he had led a monastic life in a monastery of the district called Tilmognon, advanced to Antioch, with the intention of defending him. From which circumstance, also, no inconsiderable mischief arose. Accordingly, on the ground either of the former or latter occurrence, or both, Flavian is ejected, and condemned to reside at Petra, on the extreme verge of Palestine.
CHAP. XXXIII.-SEVERUS BISHOP OF ANTIOCH. FLAVIAN having been thus ejected, Severus ascends the episcopal throne of Antioch, in the five hundred and sixtyfirst
year of the era of that city,' in the month Dius, the sixth year of the Indiction ;3 the year in which I am now writing
| Nicephorus (b. xvi. ch. 27) thought there was a monastery so named from one Cynegius, its founder. But Valesius is of opinion that a district of Syria was so termed, in which there were many monasteries.
? This was the vear of Christ 513. For the first year of the Antiochians preceded the vulgar era of our Lord's nativity by 48 years.
See above, b, ii, ch. 12, note,
3 The literal meaning of these words is as follows, “In the sixth year of the indictional circle which then was.” An indiction is a circle of fifteen years, after the ending of which another circle begins of as many He was a
being the six hundred and forty-first of that era. native of Sozopolis, a city of Pisidia, and had applied himself to the profession of a pleader at Berytus; but immediately on his abandoning the practice of the law, having participated in holy baptism in the sacred precinct of the divine martyr Leontius, who is revered at Tripolis, a city of Phænicia Maritima,' he assumed the monastic life in a certain monastery situated between the city of Gaza and the town called Majumas ; in which latter place Peter the Iberian, who had been bishop of the same Gaza, and had been banished with Timotheus Ælurus, passed through the same discipline, and left behind him a famous memory.
Severus there engages in a discussion with Nephalius, who had formerly sided with him on the question of the single nature, but had subsequently been one of the synod at Chalcedon, and among those who held the opinion of two natures in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ; and he is, in consequence, expelled from his own monastery by Nephalius and his party, together with many others who held similar doctrines. Thence he proceeds to the imperial city, to plead the cause of himself and those who had been expelled with him, and thus obtains the notice of the emperor Anastasius, as is narrated by the author of the Life of Severus.
Accordingly, Severus, in issuing synodical letters, expressly anathematized the synod at Chalcedon ; on which point the letters addressed to Alcison speak as follows. « The synodical letters 3 of Timotheus of Constantinople were admitted here in Palestine, but the deposition of Macedonius years. Evagrius terms the partition of the circle of fifteen years, érivéunoiv toŨ kúrlov, which the Latins call an indiction. Evagrius has expressed himself in the same manner before, b. ii. ch. 12; where he speaks concerning the earthquake, which happened at Antioch in the times of Leo Augustus. Vales.
1 There were two districts called by this name, Phænice: the one which lay by the sea-coast, the metropolis of which was Tyre; the other named Libanensis, and its chief city was Emesa.
2 Concerning this Petrus Iberus, Evagrius has spoken already, b. ii. ch. 8.
3 Theophanes says that Timotheus sent his synodical letters, and the deposition of Macedonius, to all the bishops, that they might subscribe to them; and that the weaker persons amongst them, through fear of the emperor, subscribed to each libel, but that those who were more courageous, would subscribe to neither. And that some, taking a middle way, subscribed to the synodical letters, but would not subscribe to the deposition of Macedonius. Amongst these persons who took the middle way, were the bishops of Palestine, as the monks here testify. Vales.