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Ch. 21
This webpage reproduces a chapter of
History of the Later Roman Empire

by J. B. Bury

published by Macmillan & Co., Ltd.,

The text is in the public domain.

This page has not been proofread.
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Ch. 23

Vol. II
Chapter XXII

Ecclesiastical Policy

§ 1. Ecclesiastical Legislation

Theoretically the Emperors were as completely competent to legislate in all religious as in all secular affairs. How far they made use of this right was a question of tact and policy. No Emperor attempted to order the whole province of sacred concerns. Questions of ritual, for instance, were left entirely to the clergy, and the rulers, however bent they might be on having their way in questions of doctrine, always recognised that doctrine must be decided by ecclesiastical councils. The theory, which was afterwards to prevail in western Europe, of a trenchant separation between the spiritual and temporal powers was still unborn, and ecclesiastical affairs were ordered as one department of the general civil legislation. In framing laws concerning the organisation of the Church, it was a matter of course that the Patriarch of Constantinople should be consulted, but it is significant that such contributions were often addressed not to the Patriarch or the bishops, but to the Praetorian Prefect of the East whose duty it was to make them publicly known throughout the Empire.

Justinian took his responsibilities as head of the Church more seriously than any ever had hitherto done, and asserted his authority in its internal affairs more constantly and systematically. It was his object to identify the Church and State more intimately, to blend them, as it were, into a single organism, of which he was himself the controlling brain. We must view in this light his important enactment that the Canons of the four great Ecumenical Councils should have the same validity as  p361  Imperial laws.​1 And we can see in his legislation against heretics and pagans that he set before himself the ideal of an Empire which should be populated only by orthodox Christians. He determined "to close all the roads which lead to error and to place religion on the firm foundations of a single faith,"​2 and for this purpose he made orthodoxy a requisite condition of citizen­ship. He declared that he considered himself responsible for the welfare of his subjects, and therefore, above all, for securing the salvation of their souls; from this he deduced the necessity of intolerance towards heterodox opinions.​3 It was the principle of the Inquisition. None of his predecessors had taken such a deep personal interest in theology as Justinian, and he surpassed them all in religious bigotry and in the passion for uniformity.

The numerous ecclesiastical laws of Justinian, which do not concern doctrine or heresy, deal with such topics as the election of bishops, the ordination of priests and deacons, the appointment of the abbots of monasteries, the management of Church property, the administration of charitable institutions, such as orphanages, hostels, and poorhouses, the privileges and duties of the clergy.​4 We learn from this legislation the existence of various abuses, simony,​5 for instance, an illiterate priests and bishops. Little regard was shown for freedom in the restrictive enactments which were intended to prevent bishops from neglecting their sees;​6 and the clergy were strictly forbidden to indulge in the pastimes of attending horse-races or visiting the theatres.7

But the most important feature in this section of Justinian's legislation is the increasing part which the bishops were called upon to play in civil and social administration. They were gradually taking the place of the defensores civitatis, and probably served as a more power­ful check on unjust or rapacious provincial  p362  governors.​8 In certain matters of business they could act instead of the governor himself.​9 They were expected to take part in overseeing the execution of public works, to take charge of the rearing of exposed infants, to enforce the laws against gambling. When Justinian issued a law against the constraint of any woman, slave or free, to appear on the stage, it was to the bishops that he addressed it, and they were charged to see that it was enforced, even against a provincial governor.​10 It was on their vigilance that the government chiefly replied for setting the law in motion against heretics.

On any theory of the relations of Church and State, it would have been reasonable that, as the State granted to the bishops judicial and administrative authority and to the clergy special privileges, it should insist on their fulfilling certain qualifications and should lay down rules binding on the clerical order. It was not so clear why the Emperor should consider it his business to regulate the conduct of monastic institutions,​11 seeing that they discharged no function in the political organisation and were established only for those who desired to escape the temptations, the troubles, and the labours of social life. He justifies his action in one of his laws, where he expresses the superstitious belief that the prosperity of the State could be secured by the constant prayers of inmates of monasteries. "If they, with their hands pure and their souls bare, offer to God prayers for the State, it is evident that it will be well with the army, and the cities will prosper and our land will bear fruits and the sea will yield us its products, for their prayers will propitiate God's favour towards the whole State."​12 The great pestilence and numerous earthquakes were a commentary on the Emperor's faith, which he was not likely to take to heart.

It has been observed that his legislation "became in the Byzantine Empire the true foundation of monastic institutions."​13 During his reign the number of monasteries enormously increased,​14 and in later times the growth of these parasitic institutions  p363  multiplied more and more. Rich men and women vied with each other in adding to their number.

In Syria and Palestine monastic houses were particularly numerous and power­ful, and the oriental monks enjoyed and merited a higher reputation than any others for extreme asceticism. A certain number of cells were reserved in the Syrian convents for those who, not content with the ordinary rule and desiring a more rigorous mortification of the flesh, yet preferred the shelter of a monastery to the life of the recluses who lived isolated in deserts or mountains. The historian, John of Ephesus, has left us a gallery of contemporary eastern monks, who were distinguished by their piety or eccentricities, and his portraits are sufficiently repulsive. They exercised an extraordinary influence not only over the common people, but even at court, and could indulge with impunity in the most audacious language in the Imperial presence. For instance, when proceedings were taken against the Monophysites in Egypt in A.D. 536, Maras, a heretical anchoret of the most savage manners, arrived at Constantinople for the purpose of loading the Emperor and Empress with vituperation. Admitted to an audience he used language which would have been almost incredible if it had been flung at persons of low degree; his panegyrist declines to reproduce it. But Emperor and Empress, if astonished, did not resent the insults of the ragged hermit; they said that he was a truly spiritual philosopher.15

One important change in diocesan administration was introduced by Justinian. He divided the ecclesiastical vicariate of Illyricum into two parts for the strategy of increasing the prestige and importance of Justiniana Prima, as he had renamed the town of Scupi, which was close to his own birthplace. Having first transferred the seat of the Praetorian Prefect of Illyricum from Thessalonica to Justiniana, he resolved to increase to prestige of his home​16 by making it also a great ecclesiastical centre. The bishop of Justiniana was raised to the rank not only of a metropolitan but of an archbishop, and his diocese  p364  corresponded to the civil diocese of Dacia, with its seven provinces. He was independent of Thessalonica, but the see of Thessalonica retained its authority over the rest of Illyricum, the diocese of Macedonia. This arrangement, which was carried out with the consent of the Pope, did not change the position of ecclesiastical Illyricum as a vicariate of the Roman see. The only difference was that the Pope was now represented by two vicars.17

§ 2. Persecution of Heretics and Samaritans

The measures which Justinian adopted to suppress heresy were marked by a consistency and uniformity which contrast with the somewhat hesitant and vacillating policy of previous Emperors. Laying down the principle that "from those who are not orthodox in their worship of God, earthly goods should also be withheld,"​18 he applied it ruthlessly. Right belief was made a condition for admission to the service of the State, and an attestation of orthodoxy from three witnesses was required.​19 Heretics were debarred from practising the liberal professions of law and teaching.​20 But Justinian went much further in the path of persecution. He deprived heretics of the common rights of citizen­ship. They were not allowed to inherit property; their testamentary rights were strictly limited; they could not appear in court to bear witness against orthodox persons. On the other hand, they were liable to the burdens and obligations of the curiales.​21 The spirit of the Imperial bigot is shown by a law which deprived a woman, if she belonged to a heretical sect, of her legal rights in regard to her dowry and property. The local priests and officials were to decide whether she was orthodox, and attendance at Holy Communion was to be regarded as the test.​22 Here we have a foretaste of the Inquisition.

It is noteworthy that the sect of the Montanists in Phrygia was singled out for particularly severe treatment. But the penalty of death was inflicted only on two classes, the Manichaeans, whom the government had always regarded as the worst enemies of humanity, and heretics who, having been converted to the  p365 true creed, relapsed into their errors.​23 Perhaps these severe laws were not executed thoroughly or consistently, but we have a contemporary account of a cruel persecution of Manichaeans, which occurred perhaps about A.D. 545.24

Many people adhered to the deadly error of the Manichaeans. They used to meet in houses and hear the mysteries of that impure doctrine. When they were arrested, they were taken into the presence of the Emperor who hoped to convert them. He disputed with them but could not convince them. With Satanic obstinacy they cried fearlessly that they were ready to face the stake for the religion of Manes and to suffer every torture. The Emperor commanded that their desire should be accomplished. They were burned on the sea that they might be buried in the waves, and their property was confiscated. There were among them illustrious women, nobles, and senators.

The most important of all the heretical sects, the Monophysites, were hardly affected by the general laws against heretics. Their numbers and influence in Egypt and in Syria would have rendered it impossible to inflict upon them the disabilities which the law imposed on heretics generally, and they were protected by the favour of the Empress. Moreover, the Emperor's policy vacillated; he was engaged throughout his reign with doctrinal questions arising from the Monophysitic controversy, and the position of the Monophysites will most conveniently be considered in that connexion.

The Jews and Samaritans were subject to the same disabilities as heretics.​25 This severity was followed by the destruction of the Samaritan synagogues, and a dangerous revolt broke out in Samaria in the summer of A.D. 529.​26 Christians were massacred; a brigand named Julian was proclaimed Emperor; and the rising was bloodily suppressed.​27 The desperate remnant of the people then formed a plan to betray Palestine to the Persians,​28 but their treachery appears to have had no results. Twenty years later, at the intercession of Sergius, bishop of Caesarea, and his assurance that the Samaritans had been converted from their  p366  evil ways and would remain tranquil, the Emperor removed some of the civil disabilities which he had imposed.​29 But the hopes of Sergius were not realised. Samaritans and Jews joined in a sanguinary revolt at Caesarea, and murdered Stephanus, the proconsul of Palestine.​30 Their ringleaders were executed, but the Samaritans were refractory and abandoned the pretence of having been converted to Christianity. The civil disabilities which had been imposed on them by Justinian were renewed by his successor.​31 The Samaritan troubles are a black enough page in the history of persecution.

The Jews were treated less harshly. Though the lawgiver regarded them as "abominable men who sit in darkness," and they were excluded from the State-service, they were not deprived of their civil rights. Justinian recognised their religion as legitimate and respectable so far as to dictate to them how they should conduct the services in their synagogues.​32 He graciously permitted them to read aloud their Scriptures in Greek or Latin or other versions. If Greek was the language they were enjoined to use the Septuagint, "which is more accurate than all others," but they were allowed to use also the translation of Aquila.​33 On the other hand, he strictly forbade the use of the "Deuterosis," which he described as the invention of uninspired mortals.​34 This amazing law is thoroughly characteristic of the Imperial theologian.

§ 3. The Suppression of Paganism

We saw in a former chapter how throughout the fifth century the severe laws against paganism were not very strictly enforced.  p367  So long as there was no open scandal, men could still believe in the old religions and disseminate anti-Christian doctrine. This comparatively tolerant attitude of the State terminated with the accession of Justinian, who had firmly resolved to realise the conception of an empire in which there should be no differences of religious opinion. Paganism was already dying slowly, and it seemed no difficult task to extinguish it entirely. There were two distinct forms in which it survived. In a few outlying places, and in some wild districts where the work of conversion had been imperfectly done, the population still indulged with impunity in heathen practices. To suppress these was a matter of administration, reinforced by missionary zeal; no new laws were required. A more serious problem was presented by the Hellenism which prevailed widely enough among the educated classes, and consequently in the State-service itself. To cope with this Justinian saw that there was need not only of new administrative rigour, but of new legislation. He saw that Hellenism was kept alive by pagan instructors of youth, especially in teaching establishments which had preserved the Greek tradition of education. If the evil thing was to be eradicated, he must strike at these.

Not long after his accession, he reaffirmed the penalties which previous Emperors had enacted against the pagans, and forbade all donations or legacies for the purpose of maintaining "Hellenic impiety," while in the same constitution he enjoined upon all the civil authorities and the bishops, in Constantinople and in the provinces, to inquire into cases of pagan superstition.​35 This law was soon followed by another which made it illegal for any persons "infected with the madness of the unholy Hellenes" to teach any subject, and thereby under the pretext of education corrupt the souls of their pupils.36

The persecution began with an inquisition at Constantinople. Many persons of the highest position were accused and condemned.​37 Their property was confiscated, and some may have  p368  been put to death; one committed suicide. Among those who were involved were Thomas the Quaestor and Phocas, son of Craterus. But Phocas, a patrician of whose estimable character we have a portrait drawn by a contemporary,​38 was speedily pardoned, for, as we saw, he was appointed Praetorian Prefect of the East after the Nika riot.

Some of the accused escaped by pretending to embrace the Christian faith, but we are told that "not long afterwards they were convicted of offering libations and sacrifices and other unholy practices."​39 There was, in fact, a second inquisition in A.D. 546. On this occasion a heretic was set to catch the pagan. Through the zeal of John of Ephesus, a Monophysite, who was head of a Syrian monastery in the suburb of Sycae, a large number of senators, "with a crowd of grammarians, sophists, lawyers, and physicians," were denounced, not without the use of torture, and suffered whippings and imprisonment. Then "they were given to the churches to be instructed in the Christian faith." One name is mentioned: Phocas, a rich and power­ful patrician, who, knowing that he had been denounced, took poison. The Emperor ordered that he should be buried like an ass without any rites. We may suspect that this was the same Phocas, son of Craterus, who had been involved in the earlier inquest and knew that death would be the penalty of his relapse.​40 There was yet another pagan scandal in the capital in A.D. 559; the condemned were exposed to popular derision in a mock procession and their books publicly burned.41

It may be considered certain that in all cases the condemned were found guilty of actual heathen practices, for instance of  p369  sacrificing or pouring libations in their private houses, on the altars of pagan deities. Men could still cling to pagan beliefs, provided they did not express their faith in any overt act. There were many distinguished people of this kind in the highest circles at Constantinople, many lawyers and literary men, whose infidelity was well known and tolerated. The great jurist Tribonian, who was in high favour with the Emperor, was an eminent example. He seems to have made no pretence at disguising his opinions, but others feigned to conform to the State religion. We are told that John the Cappadocian used sometimes to go to church at night, but he went dressed in a rough cloak like an old pagan priest, and instead of behaving as a Christian worshipper he used to mumble impious words the whole night.42

It can hardly be doubted that by making the profession of orthodoxy a necessary condition for public teaching Justinian accelerated the extinction of "Hellenism." Pagan traditions and a pagan atmosphere were still maintained, not only in the schools of philosophy, but in the schools of law, not only at Athens, but at Alexandria, Gaza, and elsewhere. The suppression of all law schools, except those of Constantinople and Berytus, though not intended for this purpose, must have affected the interests of paganism. But philosophical teaching was the great danger, and Athens was the most notorious home of uncompromising Hellenists. After the death of Proclus (A.D. 485) the Athenian university declined, but there were teachers of considerable metaphysical ability, such as Simplicius and Damascius, the last scholarch,​43 whose attainments can still be judged by their works.44

The edicts of Justinian sounded the doom of the Athenian schools, which had a continuous tradition since the days of Plato and Aristotle. We do not know exactly what happened in A.D. 529.​45 We may suppose that the teachers were warned that  p370  unless they were baptized and publicly embraced Christianity, they would no longer be permitted to teach; and that when they refused, the property of the schools was confiscated and their means of livelihood withdrawn.46

This event had a curious sequel. Some of the philosophers whose occupation was gone resolved to cast the dust of the Christian Empire from their feet and migrate to Persia. Of these the most illustrious were Damascius, the last scholarch of the Academy, Simplicius, and Priscian. The names of four others are mentioned, but we do not know whether they had taught at Athens or at some other seat of learning.​47 These men had heard that king Chosroes was interested in philosophy, and they hoped, protected by his favour and supported by his generosity, to end their days in a more enlightened country than their own. But they were disappointed. Chosroes was flattered by their arrival and begged them to remain. But they soon found the strange conditions of life intolerable. They fell homesick, and felt that they would prefer death on Roman soil to the highest honours the Persian could confer. And so they returned. But the king did them a great service. In his treaty with Justinian in A.D. 532 he stipulated that they should not be molested or forced to embrace the Christian faith. We are told that they lived comfortably for the rest of their lives, and we know that  p371  Simplicius was still writing philosophical works in the later years of Justinian.48

In western Asia Minor, in the provinces of Asia, Phrygia, Lydia, and Caria, there was still a considerable survival of pagan cults, not only in the country regions, but in some of the towns, for instance in Tralles. In A.D. 542 John of Ephesus, the Monophysite whose activity in hunting down the Hellenes at Constantinople has already been noticed, was sent as a missionary to these provinces to convert the heathen and to put an end to idolatrous practices. He tells us in his Ecclesiastical History that he converted 70,000 souls. The temples were destroyed; 96 churches and 12 monasteries were founded. Justinian paid for the baptismal vestments of the converts and gave each a small sum of money (about 4s.).49

In Egypt, in the oasis of Augila, the temple dedicated to Zeus Ammon and Alexander the Great still stood, and sacrifices were still offered. Justinian put an end to this worship and built a church to the Mother of God.​50 At Philae the cult of Osiris and Isis had been permitted to continue undisturbed. This toleration was chiefly due to the fact that the Blemyes and Nobadae, the southern neighbours of Egypt, had a vested interest in the temples by virtue of a treaty which they had made with Diocletian. Every year they came down the river to worship Isis in the island of Elephantine; and at fixed times the image of the goddess was brought back to the temple.​51 Justinian would tolerate this indulgence no longer. Early in his reign he sent Narses the Persarmenian to destroy the sanctuaries. The priests were arrested and the divine images sent to Constantinople.​52 Much about the same time the Christian conversion of the Nobadae and Blemyes began.

Justinian was undoubtedly success­ful in hastening the disappearance of open heathen practices and in suppressing anti-Christian  p372  philosophy. Although in some places, like Heliopolis,​53 paganism may have survived for another generation, and although there were inquisitions under his immediate successors, it may be said that by the close of the sixth century the old faiths were virtually extinct throughout the Empire.

§ 4. Persecution of Monophysites under Justin

Throughout his reign one of Justinian's chief preoccupations was to find an issue from the dilemma in which the controversy over the natures of Christ had placed the Imperial government. Concord with Rome and the western churches meant discord in the East; toleration in the East meant separation from Rome. The solution of the problem was not rendered easier by the fact that the Emperor was a theologian and took a deep interest in the questions at issue on their own account apart from the political consequences which were involved.

In the abandonment of the ecclesiastical policy of Zeno and Anastasius, in order to heal the schism with Rome, Justinian, co-operating with Vitalian and the patriarch John, had been a moving spirit. The greater part of the correspondence between Pope Hormisdas and the personages at Constantinople who took part in the negotiations has been preserved.​54 The main question was settled by a synod which met in the capital in 518 and decided that the Monophysite bishops should be expelled from their sees. The only difficulty which occurred in the negotiations with the Pope regarded the removal of the name of Acacius from the diptychs of the Church. There was a desire at Constantinople to spare the memory of the Patriarch, but Hormisdas was firm,​55 and in April A.D. 519 the Patriarch despatched to the Pope a memorandum, in which he anathematised Acacius and all those who had participated with him, and confessed that "the Catholic faith is always kept inviolable in the Apostolic see."56  p373  The names of five Patriarchs, Acacius, Fravitta, Euphemius, Macedonius, Timotheus, and of two Emperors, Zeno and Anastasius, were solemnly erased from the diptychs of the Church of Constantinople, and it only remained for the Pope to remind the Emperor that he had still to take measures to "correct" the Churches of Antioch and Alexandria.57

"Correction" meant persecution, and the Emperor did not hesitate. The great Monophysite leader Severus had already been expelled from Antioch, and more than fifty other bishops driven into exile, including Julian of Halicarnassus, Peter of Apamea, and Thomas of Daras. The heretical monastic communities in Syria were dispersed and the convents closed. Resistance led to imprisonment and massacres. Such measures did not extirpate the heresy. In Egypt, Palestine, Syria, and the Mesopotamian deserts the Monophysites persisted in their errors, hoping for better days. Severus himself was able to live quietly in Alexandria.58

The persecution continued throughout the reign of Justin. But Justinian determined to essay a different policy. He did not despair of finding a theological formula which would reconcile the views of moderate Monophysites with the adherents of the dogma of Chalcedon. For there was after all a common basis in the doctrine of Cyril, which the Monophysites acknowledged and the Dyophysites could not repudiate. For the Council of Chalcedon had approved of the views of Cyril, and Severus would hardly have admitted that his own doctrine diverged from Cyril's, if rightly interpreted.

The whole question was being studied anew by a theologian whom modern authorities regard as the ablest interpreter of the Chalcedonian Creed, Leontius of Byzantium.​59 In his youth he  p374  had been ensnared in the errors of Nestorianism, but, happily, guided into the ways of orthodoxy, he lived to write with equal zeal against Nestorians and Monophysites. He has the distinction of introducing a new technical term into Greek theology, enhypostasis, which magically solved the difficulty that had led Nestorians and Monophysites into their opposite heresies. Admitting the axiom that there is no nature without a hypostasis, Leontius said: it does not follow that the subsistence of two natures in Christ involves two hypostaseis (as the Nestorians say), nor yet that to avoid the assumption of two hypostaseis we must assume only one nature with the Monophysites. The truth is that both natures, the human like the divine, subsist in the same hypostasis of the Logos; and to this relation he gave the name of enhypostasis.60

Of much greater interest is the fact that in his theological discussions he resorts to a new instrument, the categories and distinctions of the Aristotelian philosophy.​61 Substance, genus, species, qualities, play their parts as in the western scholasticism of a later age. It is not probable that Leontius himself was a student of Aristotle, but at this period there was a revival of Aristotelian thought which influenced Christian as well as secular learning. The ablest exponent of this movement was indeed in the camp of the heretics, John Philoponus of Alexandria, a philosopher, and a Monophysite. His writings are said to have been partly responsible for the development of a theory about the Trinity, known as Tritheism, which had some vogue at this period and was ardently supported by Athanasius, a grandson of the Empress. The Tritheites held the persons of the Trinity to be of the same substance and One God; but they explained the identity of substance as purely generic, in the Aristotelian sense. Numerically, they said, there are three substances and three natures, though these are one and equal by virtue of the unchangeable identity of the Godhead.62

 p375  To return to Leontius, it is a curious fact that notwithstanding the importance and considerable number of his theological works contemporary writers never mention him. Modern writers have indeed proposed to identify him with other persons of the same name who played minor parts in the ecclesiastical history of his time, but these conjectures are extremely doubtful.​63 His works were composed during a period of fifteen or twenty years (about A.D. 530‑550), and it is probable that they helped Justinian in his efforts to interpret the creed of Chalcedon in such a way as to win Monophysites of the school of Severus.

The Monophysites were far from being a united body. The ground common to all was the repudiation of the Council of Chalcedon and the reception of the Patriarch Dioscorus. There were ultimately twelve different sections,​64 but the only division of much importance was that between the followers of Severus of Antioch and those of Julian of Halicarnassus. Julian, identifying the substance and qualities of the divinity and humanity of Christ, deduced that his body was indestructible from the moment at which it was assumed by the Logos. This doctrine, which was known as aphthartodocetism, called forth the polemic of Leontius; but no Chalcedonian could have attacked it with more energy than Severus.65

§ 5. Justinian's attempts at Conciliation, and the Second Persecution

Justinian began his policy of conciliation by allowing the heretical bishops and monks to return from exile, about A.D. 529.​66 His plan was to hold a conference, not a formal synod, at Constantinople, and to have the whole question discussed. Severus himself resisted all the Emperor's efforts to induce him to attend it, but some of his followers came and the conference was held  p376  in A.D. 531.​67 Leontius, representative of the orthodox monks of Jerusalem, took part in it, and we may possibly identify him with Leontius of Byzantium, the theologian.​68 The conference led to no results.

The failure of his first attempt did not deter Justinian from making a second, and he sought a formula of conciliation in what is known as the Theopaschite doctrine. The thesis that it was orthodox to hold that "one of the Holy Trinity suffered in the flesh" had been defended in A.D. 519 by four Scythian monks, in the presence of John the Patriarch and the Papal legates who had come to restore peace to the Church.​69 The formula was denounced as heretical by the Sleepless monks, who had been so active in opposing the Trisagion, to which it had suspicious resemblance. Justinian was interested in the question, and he wrote to Pope Hormisdas repeatedly, urging him to pronounce a decision.​70 But the Pope evaded a definite reply. Justinian recurred to the subject in A.D. 533, with a political object. He issued an edict which implicitly asserted that one of the Trinity suffered in the flesh, and he procured a confirmation of the edict by Pope John II.​71 The Sleepless monks, who refused to accept the doctrine, were excommunicated.

The recognition of a formula which did not touch the main issue​72 could not deceive Severus and the Monophysites, and  p377  having suffered two defeats the Emperor seems to have been persuaded by Theodora to allow her to deal with the situation on other lines. At least it is difficult otherwise to explain what happened. When Epiphanius, the Patriarch of Constantinople, died (June, A.D. 535), she procured the election of Anthimus, bishop of Trapezus, who was secretly a Monophysite. He addressed to Severus a letter containing a Monophysitic confession of faith; he communicated with Theodosius, the Monophysite Patriarch of Alexandria,​73 and induced the Patriarch of Jerusalem to follow his example. Severus was invited to the capital and Theodora lodged him in the Palace.​74 The Patriarch of Antioch, Ephraim, was a firm adherent of Chalcedon, and he sent a message to Pope Agapetus warning him that heresy was again in the ascendant. Agapetus, arriving at Constantinople early in A.D. 536 and received with great honour by Justinian,​75 refused to communicate with Anthimus, procured his deposition (March 12), and consecrated Menas as his successor.​76 The Pope died suddenly a few weeks later, but in May Menas summoned a synod which anathematised Anthimus, Severus, and others, and condemned their writings.​77 The Emperor then issued a law confirming the acts of the synod, and forbidding Anthimus, Severus, and the others to reside in any large city.​78 Severus spent the last years of his life in the Egyptian desert. Anthimus lived in concealment in Theodora's palace, along with other Monophysites like Theodosius of Alexandria.79

A new persecution was now let loose in the East. It was organised by Ephraim of Antioch, who acted as grand inquisitor, and the Monophysite historians have their tale to tell of  p378  imprisonments, tortures, and burnings.​80 The Emperor, abandoning his policy of conciliation, was perhaps principally moved by the consideration of his designs on Italy. It was important at this juncture to make it quite clear that his own zeal for orthodoxy was above cavil and to dispel in the minds of the Italians any suspicion that he was inclined to coquette with the Monophysites.81

The fall of Anthimus, the ensuing synod, and the Imperial edict which confirmed it, were deeply displeasing to Theodora. But she did not lose heart. She not only protected the heretical leaders, but she formed the bold design of counteracting her husband's policy from Rome itself. The deacon Vigilius was at this time the apocrisiarius or nuncio of the Roman see at Constantinople. He was a man of old senatorial family, the son of a consul, and he had been a favourite of Boniface II, who had desired to secure his succession to the pontifical throne. On the death of Agapetus he saw his chance, and Theodora, who thoughº she knew what manner of man he was, saw her opportunity. An arrangement was made between them. Theodora promised to place at his disposal 200 lbs. of gold (£9000) and provided him with letters to Belisarius and Antonina, and on his part, if he did not definitely promise, he led her to believe that he would repudiate the Council of Chalcedon and re-establish Anthimus in the see of Constantinople.​82 He hastened to Italy, but he arrived too late. King Theodahad had received early notice of the sudden death of Agapetus, and under his auspices Silverius had been elected Pope (in June).83

The Empress then wrote to Silverius asking him to procure the restoration of Anthimus, and on his refusal she determined to avail herself of the military occupation of Rome by Belisarius  p379  to intimidate or, if necessary, to remove him. She sent secret instructions to Antonina, probably leaving it to her ingenuity to concoct a plot against the Pope. Silverius resided at the Lateran beside the Asinarian Gate, and a letter was fabricated as evidence that he was in treacherous communication with the Goths and proposed to admit them into the city. Belisarius summoned him to the Pincian palace, showed him the danger of his position, and intimated that he could save himself by obeying the wishes of the Empress. Silverius refused to yield, and was suffered to depart, but he took the precaution of withdrawing from the Lateran toº St. Sabina on the Aventine at a safe distance from the walls, to prove that he had no desire to communicate with the enemy. He was called a second time to the general's presence and went attended by a numerous retinue, including the deacon Vigilius, who had come to Rome with Belisarius and was eagerly awaiting the development of events. The chief hall in the Pincian palace was divided by curtains into three apartments. The Roman clergy remained in the two outer rooms; only Silverius and Vigilius were admitted into the presence of Belisarius. When the Pope again proved inflexible, two subdeacons entered, removed his pallium, and clothed him in the garb of a monk. He was banished to Patara in Lycia. This perfidious act occurred about the middle of March, and was followed by the election of Vigilius, who was undoubtedly accessory to it. He was ordained bishop of Rome on March 29, A.D. 537.84

There is a certain mystery about the subsequent fate of the unhappy Silverius. The government of Constantinople deemed it expedient that he should leave Patara and return to Italy. It is not clear whether Theodora approved or not, but Pelagius, the Papal nuncio, protested. It would be difficult to believe that Pelagius was not perfectly aware of the scandalous intrigue to which Vigilius owed his elevation, and it was certainly in the interest of Vigilius that he desired to keep Silverius far from Italy. When Silverius returned, Vigilius appealed to Belisarius and Antonina. With their permission, he caused his victim to  p380  be conveyed to the island of Palmaria, where according to one account he died of hunger and exhaustion, while there is another record that he was done to death by a creature of Antonia.85

This intrigue of the Empress did not profit her much. The theological convictions of Pope Vigilius were stronger than his respect for his plighted word, and, when he had attained the goal of his ambition by her help, his robust conscience had no scruples in evading the fulfilment of his promises. By evasions and postponements, and by the assistance of his loyal and tactful nuncio, Pelagius, who had succeeded in ingratiating himself with Theodora as well as Justinian, he managed to avoid a breach with the Empress, while he addressed to the Emperor and to the Patriarch letters in which he maintained the condemnation of the opponents of the Council of Chalcedon.86

§ 6. The Origenistic Heresies in Palestine

Theodosius, the Monophysite Patriarch of Alexandria, who had been deprived of his see in A.D. 536, was succeeded by Paul, a monk of Tabenna, who was ordained by Menas and went to Egypt with full powers to cleanse the sees of the Patriarchate from heretical bishops. Rhodon, the Augustal Prefect, received instructions to support him in all the measures he thought fit to take.​87 The submission seems to have been general; the treatment of Theodosius, who had not been popular, excited little resentment. But a certain deacon, named Psoes, headed an opposition to the new Patriarch, at whose instance he was arrested by Rhodon and died under torture. Theodora was furious and insisted on an investigation; Liberius, the Roman senator who had held high offices in Italy under the Ostrogothic kings and came to Constantinople as ambassador of Theodahad,​88 was appointed to succeed Rhodon, and a clerical commission, including  p381  the nuncio Pelagius, was sent with him to Alexandria to pronounce on the conduct of Paul. The clergy proceeded to Gaza, where they held a synod (about Easter, A.D. 542),​89 at which Pelagius presided, and Paul was found guilty for the death of Psoes and deposed. Rhodon, who fled to Constantinople, was beheaded, though it is said that he produced thirteen letters of the Emperor authorising all that he had done.90

Pelagius returned from Gaza through Palestine, where he fell in with some monks of Jerusalem who were on the point of starting for Constaninople for the purpose of inducing Justinian to condemn the opinions of Origen, which were infecting the monasteries of Palestine.

The revival of Origenistic doctrine in the sixth century was closely connected with a mystical movement which seems to have originated in eastern Syria and threatened to taint Christian theology with speculations of a pronounced pantheistic tendency. The teacher who was principally responsible for propagating a Christian pantheism, seductive to many minds, was Stephen bar-Sudaili, of Edessa, who in consequence of his advanced opinions was compelled to leave Edessa and betake himself to Palestine.​91 He seems to have been the author of a book which pretended to have been composed by Hierotheus, an Athenian who was alleged to have been a follower of St. Paul and to have taught Dionysius the Areopagite.​92 If this is so, Stephen was the spiritual father of the famous mystical treatises which, professing to be the works of Dionysius, were given to the world early in the sixth century. The author of these fabrications emphasises his debt to "Hierotheus," but he was also profoundly influenced by the writings of Proclus, the Neoplatonic philosopher, though this was an influence which naturally he  p382  could not acknowledge.​93 The learned physician Sergius of Resaina translated these mystical treatises into Syriac, and it is noteworthy that Sergius is described as versed in the teaching of Origen.94

Stephen bar-Sudaili, spending the later years of his life in a convent near Jerusalem, seems to have provoked by his teaching the return to Origen's speculations, which was to be for half a century the burning interest in the monasteries of Palestine. The ablest of the Origenist party and their leading spirit was a monk named Nonnus. It is not probable that they went so far in their speculations as Stephen himself, whose views are briefly summed up in the treatise of "Hierotheus" in the following words:

"All nature will be confused with the Father; nothing will perish, but all will return, be sanctified, united and confused. Thus God will be all in all. Even hell will pass away and the damned return. All orders and distinctions will cease. God will pass away, and Christ will cease to be, and the Spirit will no longer be called spirit. Essence alone will remain."95

Origen could not have endorsed such doctrine, but it is easy to understand that any one who entertained these ideas would find his writings more congenial than those of any other Christian theologian. There was common ground especially in the rejection of eternal damnation.​96 Among the other heterodox opinions which the Palestinian heretics derived from Origen were the persistence of the soul, the creation of the world not by the Trinity but by creative Nous, the similarity of Christ to men in strength and substance, the doctrines that in the resurrection our bodies will be of circular form, that ultimately matter will entirely disappear and that the kingdom of Christ will have an end.97

 p383  After the death of St. Sabas (December 5, A.D. 532), the number and influence of the Origenists grew in the monasteries of Palestine. Two of the most prominent, Theodore Ascidas and Domitian,​98 visited the capital in A.D. 536 to attend the synod which condemned the Monophysites, and gaining the favour of the Emperor they were appointed to fill the sees, Domitian of Ancyra and Theodore of Caesarea in Cappadocia. Both Pelagius and the Patriarch Menas were anxious to break the influence which Theodore Ascidas, a man of considerable astuteness and not over-scrupulous, exerted over Justinian; and they eagerly took up the cause of the monks who desired to purge Palestine of the heresy. Ephraim, the Patriarch of Antioch, held a synod in summer A.D. 542 to condemn the doctrines of Origen, but the heretics were so power­ful that they induced the Patriarch of Jerusalem to strike out Ephraim's name from the diptychs.

Pelagius and Menas convinced Justinian that it was imperative to take action, and in A.D. 543 the Emperor issued an edict condemning ten opinions of Origen.​99 It was subscribed by Menas, and the Pope and the other Patriarchs, including Peter of Jerusalem, signed it also.​100 Theodore Ascidas was in a difficult position. To refuse to accept the edict would have cost him his bishopric and his influence at court. He sacrificed his opinions and affixed his signature,​101 but he had his revenge by raising a new theological question which was to occupy the stage of ecclesiastical politics for more than ten years.102

§ 7. Controversy of the Three Chapters

There was no theologian whose writings were more offensive to the Monophysites than Theodore of Mopsuestia, who was esteemed the spiritual father of Nestorianism. He had also  p384  written against Origen and was detested by the Origenists. To Theodore Ascidas, who was apparently a secret Monophysite as well as an Origenist, there could hardly be a greater triumph than to procure his condemnation by the Church.

Ascidas, warmly seconded by Theodora, persuaded the Emperor that he might solve the problem which had hitherto baffled him of restoring unity to the Church, by anathematising Theodore of Mopsuestia and his writings. This, he urged, would remove the chief stumbling-block that the Monophysites found in the Council of Chalcedon. For their objection to that Council was based far less on its dogmatic formula than on the countenance which it gave to a Nestorian like Theodore. For if the formula were consistent with Theodore's opinions, it would not be consistent with the doctrine of Cyril, and therefore could not admit of an interpretation that could ever be acceptable to the Monophysites. What Ascidas proposed was a rectification of the acts of Chalcedon, so as to make it clear that Chalcedonian orthodoxy had no leanings to Nestorianism. There were some other documents which it would be necessary to condemn at the same time: certain writings of Theodoret against Cyril, and a letter of Ibas, bishop of Edessa, in which Cyril was censured. Justinian was impressed by the idea, and acted promptly. In A.D. 546 he promulgated an Edict of Three Chapters, condemning (1) Theodore of Mopsuestia and his works; (2) specified works of Theodoret; and (3) the letter of Ibas.​103 In the subsequent controversy the expression "Three Chapters" was perverted to mean the condemned opinions, so that those who opposed the edict were said to defend the Chapters.

The eastern Patriarchs were at first unwilling to subscribe to this edict. It seemed a dangerous precedent to condemn the dead who could not speak for themselves. And was there any prospect that anything short of the repudiation of the Council of Chalcedon would satisfy the Monophysites?​104 But the pressure of the Emperor induced the four Patriarchs to sign on the express condition that the Pope should be consulted.

On November 22, A.D. 545, during Totila's siege of Rome, Pope Vigilius was in the church of St. Cecilia in Trastevere, celebrating the anniversary of its dedication. In the middle of  p385  the ceremony a body of soldiers arrived, and an officer entered the church and presented Vigilius with a mandate to start immediately for Constantinople. He did not stay to finish the service, but accompanied the soldiers to the Tiber, where a ship was waiting. The congregation followed him and he pronounced the blessing which concluded the liturgy, but when the ship started, the crowd hurled missiles and maledictions. It looked as if the Pope were being carried off against his will, and general rumour ascribed his departure from Rome to the machinations of Theodora. But the sequel does not bear out this explanation. Vigilius was not taken to Constantinople under constraint. He went to Sicily, where he remained for ten months and made arrangements for sending provisions to Rome from the lands belonging to the pontifical patrimony. The truth seemed to be that the Emperor wanted Vigilius, that Vigilius was not reluctant to leave the besieged city, and that the scene in St. Cecilia was concerted in order to protect him from the reproach that he was voluntarily abandoning Rome.105

In Sicily, the Pope was able to learn the opinion of western ecclesiastics on the Three Chapters of Justinian. They were unanimously opposed to the edict. Dacius, the archbishop of Milan, arrived from Constantinople, where he had lived for some years, and informed him that he had broken off communion with Menas. Supported by western opinion the Pope resolved to oppose the edict, and in autumn A.D. 546​106 he set sail for Patrae, accompanied by Dacius. He travelled slowly, and when he reached Thessalonica he wrote a letter to Menas explaining his views and threatening to break off communion with him if he continued to support the Three Chapters.​107 On January 25 (A.D. 547) he arrived at the capital, where he was honourably and cordially received by the Emperor. He took up his quarters in the palace of Placidia, the residence of the Roman nuncios.

It was unfortunate for him that Pelagius was no longer at Constantinople. He sorely needed the guidance of a man of ability and tact. He had a learned adviser in Facundus, bishop of Hermiane in Africa, who was well acquainted with Greek, but the disposition and manners of Facundus were far from  p386  conciliating.​108 Vigilius himself was not much of a theologian, and he seems never to have been quite sure as to the merits of the controversy. He was pressed on one side by the Emperor and the Patriarch, on the other by western opinion. His vacillations, due both to intellectual and to moral weakness, presented a pitiable spectacle. In view of his past record, he cannot excite much compassion, but it is not uninteresting to read the story of a Pope trailing in the dust the dignity of the Roman see.

When the Patriarch Menas, who, notwithstanding his first hesitations, had become a warm supporter of the Imperial policy, refused to withdraw his subscription to the Three Chapters, Vigilius excommunicated him and his followers, but a reconciliation was soon effected by the intervention of Theodora,​109 and presently the Pope was assailed with doubts whether the Three Chapters were not justifiable. He read extracts from the works of Theodore of Mopsuestia, which the Greeks translated for him, and came to the conclusion that his doctrines were extremely dangerous. He would not indeed sign the edict; to do so, would concede to the Emperor the right to dogmatise on matters of faith. But he promised to declare an independent judgment, and in the meantime gave the Emperor and Empress written assurances that he intended to pronounce in the sense of the edict.​110 On Easter-eve, A.D. 548, he issued a Iudicatum111 or pronouncement, addressed to Menas, condemning Theodore and the writings condemned in the edict, but carefully protecting the authority of Chalcedon.

The Papal decision created consternation in western Christendom. Facundus, bishop of Hermiane, published a learned treatise against the Three Chapters, on which he had been engaged.​112 The African Church dissolved communion with the Pope, and even Zoilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, who had provisionally subscribed to the edict, withdrew his signature and refused to accept  p387  the Iudicatum. The good opinion of the west was of more importance to Vigilius than the Emperor's favour, and, alarmed by the general outcry which his decision had provoked, he sought refuge in the expedient of a General Council. He told the Emperor that this was the only way of averting a schism, and persuaded him to consent to the withdrawal of the Iudicatum. But Justinian, before he agreed, made him swear on the Gospels and the nails of the Cross that he would use all his influence to procure the confirmation of the edict.113

Justinian, however, took further measures before the meeting of the Council. He deposed from their sees the Patriarchs of Alexandria and Jerusalem, who refused to approve the Three Chapters, and he issued another edict (A.D. 551) to the same purport as the former one. On the morning of its publication Theodore Ascidas and other Greek clergy visited the Pope in the Placidian palace. He urged them not to commit themselves to any judgment on the Imperial decree, but to await the decision of the Council. When they refused, he declined to receive them or enter their churches, and he excommunicated Menas and Ascidas. The rumour reached him that it was proposed to remove him by force from his residence, and he took refuge, along with the archbishop of Milan, in the sanctuary of SS. Peter and Paul near the palace of Hormisdas. Soldiers were sent to drag them away, and they clung to the altar. Vigilius was seized by his feet and beard, but he was a man of power­ful build and in the struggle the altar gave way and fell to the ground crushing him under its weight. There was a cry of horror from the crowd which had gathered in the church, and the soldiers and their commander​114 retreated, abandoning their purpose (August).

The Emperor comprehended that he had gone too far. He sent assurances to the Pope and his clergy that they would be safe if they returned to the Placidian palace. They went back, and though no further violence was offered, the house was guarded like a prison. This became so intolerable that, two days before Christmas, Vigilius resolved to escape and fled under cover of darkness to the church of St. Euphemia in Chalcedon, the scene of the council which had been the origin of so many  p388  troubles. The Emperor then sent Belisarius, chosen doubtless on account of his old relations with the Pope, at the head of a distinguished deputation, to offer him sworn guarantees that he would be honourably treated. The Pope replied that the time for oaths was past; let the Emperor abstain from holding relations with Menas and Ascidas. His tone enraged Justinian, who wrote him a long unsigned letter full of menaces. Vigilius enjoyed the days of his sojourn at St. Euphemia in composing an Encyclical Epistle, addressed "to the whole people of God," describing the violent treatment he had received, and declaring a profession of faith in which no mention was made of the Three Chapters. At length a new message arrived from the Emperor, again offering guarantees (Feb. 4, A.D. 552), but nothing came of it.​115 Some time afterwards the Pope published his sentence of excommunication against Menas and Ascidas and their followers.

This obstinate attitude wore out Justinian, and, not seeing how he could find any one to put in the place of Vigilius, he agreed with the Patriarch and his clergy that they should make submission to the Pope. They presented him with a declaration, couched in sufficiently humble terms, of their reverence for the Council of Chalcedon and the dogmatic Epistle of Leo, and he then returned to the Placidian palace.

The Emperor had hoped to avoid the convocation of a Council, but he resigned himself to the necessity before the end of the year. Menas died in August (A.D. 552),​116 and his successor Eutychius addressed a letter on the subject to the Pope, who replied favourably.​117 Then the Emperor proceeded to issue notes convoking the bishops. From Gaul and Spain, from Illyricum and Dalmatia none came; and from Africa only those were allowed to attend on whom the Emperor thought he could count. It was clear that the Council would consist almost entirely of bishops of the Eastern Patriarchates.

The bishops duly arrived, but they were kept waiting at Constantinople for months before the Council met. The delay  p389  was due to the Pope, who, though he had originated the proposal of a Council, now declared that he would not take part in it. Afraid, at the last moment, of injuring irrevocably his authority in the eyes of the western churches, he had bethought himself of a via media.118 He would condemn certain doctrines of Theodore of Mopsuestia without anathematising his person; but he would refuse to pass any judgment on the writings of Theodoret and Ibas, on the ground that their condemnation would bring discredit on the council of Chalcedon which had defended them. But he did not imagine that he would be able to induce the Council to adopt this compromise, and he therefore decided not to attend it but to issue his own judgment independently.

The meeting of the Council could not be indefinitely postponed, and at last the first session was held in the Secretariat of St. Sophia, on May 5, A.D. 553.​119 The proceedings opened by the reading of a letter of the Emperor reviewing the question of the Three Chapters. The assembly sent many deputations to the Pope requesting him to appear; he replied that he would send a written judgment on the question at issue.​120 On May 14 it was ready, and Belisarius proceeded to the Placidian palace, but only to decline to transmit the document. A messenger of Vigilius then carried it to the Great Palace, but the Emperor refused to receive it, on the ground that if it confirmed the Three Chapters, it merely repeated what Vigilius had already declared and was therefore superfluous; and if it was unfavourable, it was inconsistent with his previous utterances and could carry no weight.

At a subsequent session, Justinian presented to the Council documents in which the Pope had approved of the Chapters of his edict, and then laid before the assembly an Imperial decree directing that the name of Vigilius should be struck out of the  p390  diptychs on account of his tergiversation and because he refused to attend the council. This was done.

The decrees of the Fifth Ecumenical council, which condemned a Pope, as well as Theodore of Mopsuestia and works of Theodoret and Ibas, were accepted without opposition. In the west they led to the banishment of some bishops,​121 and Pelagius, who had signed the document of the Pope, was imprisoned.

Vigilius found himself alone, and once more he revoked his latest decision. In yielding to the Emperor's wishes, he may have been moved by the fact that Narses had just completed the subjugation of the Ostrogoths and that his own place was at Rome. "He chose among the different opinions which he had successively defended that which appeared most favourable to his personal interests and undoubtedly to those of his flock long deprived of its shepherd."​122 At the end of six months he addressed to the Patriarch Eutychius a letter signifying his acceptance of the decrees of the Council (December 8, A.D. 553),​123 and then prepared a formal judgment in which he refuted the arguments alleged against the condemnations of the Three Chapters (February 26, A.D. 554).​124 The Emperor showed his satisfaction by conferring benefits on the Roman see,​125 and in the following year the Pope set out for Italy. But he never saw Rome again. He died at Syracuse (June 7, A.D. 555), and his body was conveyed to Rome and buried in the Church of St. Silvester on the Via Salaria.

Pelagius had refused to follow Vigilius in his last recantation, and had written pamphlets against the Council. But he was soon to do even as Vigilius, when the Emperor, who valued his qualities, told him that he might succeed to the pontifical throne if he would accept the Council. He revised his opinions with little delay and was chosen and consecrated bishop of Rome.​126 On this occasion, Justinian assumed the right, which had been  p391  exercised by the Ostrogothic kings, of confirming elections to the Roman see.127

The fifth Ecumenical Council failed utterly in its main object of bringing about unity in the east, and it caused a schism in the west. Milan and Aquileia would know nothing of its decrees, and though political events, when the Lombards invaded Italy, forced Milan to resume communion with Rome, the see of Aquileia maintained its secession for more than a hundred and forty years.

It is possible that under the stress of persecution the Monophysitic faith might have expired, had it not been for the indefatigable labours of one devoted zealot, who not only kept the heresy alive, but founded a permanent Monophysitic Church. This was Jacob Baradaeus, who was ordained bishop of Edessa (about 541) by the Monophysitic bishops who were hiding at Constantinople under the protection of Theodora. Endowed with an exceptionally strong physical constitution, he spent the rest of his life in wandering through the provinces of the East, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Asia Minor, disguised as a beggar, and he derived the name Baradaeus​128 from his dress, which was made of the saddle-cloths of asses stitched together. His disguise was so effective, and his fellow-heretics were so faithful, that all the efforts of the Imperial authorities to arrest him were vain, and he lived until A.D. 578. His work was not only to confirm the Monophysites in their faith and maintain their drooping spirit, but also to ordain bishops and clergy and provide them with a secret organisation. His name has been perpetuated in that of the Jacobite Church which he founded.

§ 8. General Significance of Justinian's Policy

The Fifth Ecumenical Council differed from the four which preceded it in that, while they pronounced on issues which divided Christendom, and which called for an authoritative decision of the Church, the Fifth dealt with a question that had been artificially created. Constantine, Theodosius the Great, his grandson, and Marcian had convoked ecclesiastical assemblies  p392  to settle successive controversies which had arisen in the natural course of theological speculation and which threatened to break up the Church into sects; the purpose of the Council which Justinian summoned was to confirm a theological decision of his own which was incidental indeed to a vital controversy, but only incidental. His object was to repair the failure of Chalcedon and to smooth the way to reunion with the Monophysites; and it may be said that the Three Chapters were entirely in the spirit of the orthodox theological school of his time.​129 But the question was provoked by himself; it was not one on which the decree of a General Council was imperatively required.

The importance of this episode of ecclesiastical history lies in the claim which Justinian successfully made to the theological guidance of the Church, a claim which went far beyond the rights of control exercised by previous emperors. Zeno had indeed taken a step in this direction by his Henotikon, but the purpose of the Henotikon was to suppress controversy, not to dictate doctrine. Justinian asserted the principle that doctrinal decisions could be made by Imperial edicts. An edict imposed upon the Church the orthodoxy of the Theopaschite formula; an edict condemned opinions of Origen; and, though the behaviour of Pope Vigilius forced the Emperor to summon a Council, the Council did no more than confirm the two edicts which he had issued on the Three Chapters. Justinian seems to have regarded it as merely a matter of policy and expediency whether theological questions should be settled by ecclesiastical synods or by Imperial legislation. Eastern ecclesiastics acquiesced in the claims of the Emperor when they adhered to the first edict on the Three Chapters, even though they made their adhesion conditional on the attitude of Rome; and at the synod of A.D. 536, while the assembled bishops said "We both follow and obey the apostolic throne," it was also laid down by the Patriarch that nothing should be done in the Church contrary to the will of the Emperor.130  p393  This Caesaro-papism, as it has been called, or Erastianism, to use the word by which the same principle has been known in modern history, was the logical result of the position of the Church as a State institution.

The Three Chapters was not the last theological enterprise of Justinian. In the last years of his life he adopted the dogma of aphthartodocetism, which had been propagated, as we have seen,​131 by Julian of Halicarnassus, and had sown strife among the Monophysites of Egypt. This change of opinion is generally considered an aberration due to senility; but when we find a learned modern theologian asserting that the aphthartodocetic dogma is a logical development of the Greek doctrine of salvation,​132 we may hesitate to take Justinian's conversion to it as a sign that his intellectual power had been enfeebled by old age. The Imperial edict in which he dictated the dogma has not been preserved. The Patriarch Eutychius firmly refused to accept it, and the Emperor, not forgetting his success in breaking the will of Vigilius, caused him to be arrested (January 22, A.D. 565). He was first sent to the Island of the Prince and then banished to a monastery at Amasea.​133 The other Patriarchs were unanimous in rejecting the Imperial dogma. Anastasius of Antioch and his bishops addressed to the Emperor a reasoned protest against the edict. Their bold remonstrances enraged Justinian, and he was preparing to deal with them, as he had dealt with Eutychius, when his death relieved the Church from the prospect of a new persecution.134

The Author's Notes:

1 C. J. I.3.44; Nov. 131.

2 Procopius, Aed. I.1.

3 C. J. I.5.18.

4 C. J. VIII. titles 1‑13, and 33 Novels are devoted to ecclesiastical laws.

5 To remedy bribery at episcopal elections, a definite tariff of fees was fixed, to be paid by the new bishop to those who ordained him and their assistants, according to the income of the see. E.g. if the income was not less than £1350, the total of the fees amounted to £250 (Nov. 123, § 3).

6 Ib. § 9. Bishops were forbidden to leave their sees without permission of their metropolitan, and they could only visit Constantinople with leave of the Patriarch or by order of the Emperor.

7 C. J. I.4.34.

8 Nov. 86. The defensores (ἔκδικοι) still existed (ib. and Nov. 15).

9 C. J. I.4.21, and 31. Other examples of the use which the government made of bishops will be found in this title.

10 Ib. 33.

11 The chief regulations will be found in Nov. 5, 123, 133.

12 Nov. 133, § 5 (A.D. 539).

13 Diehl, Justinien, 503. For a general picture of monasticism in this age, see the whole chapter (499 sqq.).

14 In A.D. 536 there were sixty-seven monasteries for men in Constantinople and its suburbs (Mansi, VIII.1007 sqq.). For the plan of the monastery of Saint Simeon, between Antioch and (p363) Aleppo, see Vogüé, Syrie centrale, Pl. 139‑150; for that of Tebessa in Byzacena, Diehl, L'Afrique byzantine, Pl. XI.

15 John Eph. Comm. de b. or. c37. Maras was a native of the region of Amida, but he set up a cell in the Thebaid. Another Monophysite monk, Zooras, about the same time used similarly audacious language to Justinian and made the Emperor very angry (ib. c2).

16 Nostram patriam augere cupientes, Nov. 11 (A.D. 535); 131, 3 (A.D. 545).

17 For details see Zeiller, Origines chrét. 385 sqq.; Duchesne, Églises sép. Scupi (Üsküb) remained a metropolitan see till 1914.

18 C. J. I.5.12, 5 (A.D. 527).

19 Ib. I.4.20.

20 Ib. I.5.12, and 18.

21 Ib. I.5.12; Nov. 45.

22 Nov. 109 (A.D. 541).

23 Cp. esp. Cod. J. I.5.20, and Procopius, H. A. 11.

24 John of Ephesus, H. E. Part II (Nau), p481. The date is uncertain, but the notice precedes events dated to the nineteenth year of Justinian.

25 C. J. I.5.12, 17, 18.

26 John Mal. XVIII p445; Procopius, ib.

27 Malalas says that 20,000 were slain and 20,000 (of both sexes) given to the Saracens, who assisted the duke of Palestine in the war, to be sold into slavery. Procopius says that 100,000 were reported to have perished.

28 John Mal. XVIII p455, states that 50,000 fled to Persia and offered their aid to Kavad.

29 Nov. 129 (A.D. 551).

30 John Mal. ib. p487.

31 Nov. 144.

32 Nov. 146 (A.D. 553).

33 Aquila, a native of Pontus, converted to Judaism (hence called by Justinian ἀλλόφυλος), published his translation in the second century A.D. His aim was to produce a version more literal and accurate than the Septuagint; it was so literal that it was often obscure.

34 It is uncertain what precisely the Deuterosis means. The term occurs several times in Jerome. In his Comm. in Matth. c22 (P. L. XXVI p165) he explains δευτερώσεις as the traditions and observations of the Pharisees. S. Krauss in an art. on Justinian in the Jewish Encyclopedia, and in his Studien zur byz-jüdischem Gesch. (1914), contended that by deuterosis must be understood the whole of the oral teaching, and repeated this view in Jewish Guardian, March 26, 1920, p4; but in the same periodical, April 2, 1920, p11, J. Abrahams maintains that what Justinian forbade under Deuterosis was "the traditional Rabbinic translation of the Law — the Targum." The words of the legislator certainly seem to imply a book. Mr. F. Colson has suggested to me that the Mishna is meant: deuterosis has the same meaning, "repetition."

35 C. J. I.11.9, evidently the law of Justinian which preceded the trials at Constantinople, which apparently began (John Mal. XVIII.449) in the last months of 528.

36 C. J. I.11.10, probably A.D. 529. One of the provisions is the penalty of death for apostates. The constitution I.15.18, seems to be later (cp. § 4 μηδὲ ἐν σχήματι διδασκάλου παιδείας).

37 John Mal. ib., but Theophanes, A.M. 6022, gives the fuller text of Malalas. Asclepiodotus, ex-prefect, took poison. Malalas says that Thomas, Phocas, and the others (p368) ἐτελεύτησαν; but Theophanes has συνελήφθησαν, evidently the right reading, leaving their fate open. The fact that Procopius does not mention executions in the brief passage where he refers to the persecution of pagans (H. A. II αἰκιζόμενος τε τὰ σώματα καὶ τὰ χρήματα ληιζόμενος) must make us hesitate to accept the text of Malalas. Those who were executed must have been condemned as apostates. It is to be observed that Thomas was still Quaestor in April 529, C. J. De Just. cod. confirmando; this shows that the investigations lasted a considerable time.

38 John Lyd. De mag. III.72; cp. Procopius, H. A. 21. This Phocas is not to be confused with Phocas who was Praet. Prefect of Illyricum in 529 and took part in compiling the Code (C. J. ib.).

39 Procopius, ib.

40 John Eph., H. E. Part II (Nau), p481. The date is given as the nineteenth year of Justinian, which was 546; but as John places the association of Justinian with Justin in 531 (p474), it may be that 550 is the true date. Against this is the apparent reference of Procopius (see last note) in a work written in 550.

41 John Mal. ib. p491.

42 Procopius, B. P. I.25.10.

43 Proclus was succeeded by Marinus his biographer; then came Isidore, Hegias, Damascius.

44 The excellent commentaries of Simplicius on Aristotle are well known. Damascius wrote commentaries on Aristotle and a treatise, περὶ πρώτων ἀρχῶν, which are extant. Their colleague, Priscian, also wrote on the Aristotelian philosophy, and we have in a Latin translation his "Solutions of Questions proposed by King Chosroes."

45 John Mal. XVIII p451 ὁ αὐτὸς βασιλεὺς θεσπίσας πρόσταξιν ἔπεμψεν ἐν Ἀθήναις, κλεύσας μηδένα διδάσκειν φιλοσοφίαν μήτε νόμιμα ἐξηγεῖσθαι. θεσπίσας seems to refer to C. J. I.11.10.

46 The provision in C. J. ib. § 2 μηδὲ ἐκ τοῦ δημοσίου σιτήσεως ἀπολαύειν αὐτους would hardly apply, as it refers only to grants from the fisc. But the seizure of the endowments might be covered by I.11.9, whereby it is provided that all property bequeathed or given for the maintenance of Hellenic impiety should be seized and handed over to the municipality. In case this law was applied, Athens at least had the benefit of the property which the Academy and the Lyceum had accumulated. Damascius, Vita Isidori, § 158, says that in the time of Proclus the revenue of the Academy was 1000 solidi (£625), or somewhat more. The closing of these schools — which was the result of Justinian's general laws, not of any edict aimed specially at Athens — has been discussed by Hertzberg, Gesch. Griechenlands unter der röm. Herrschaft, III.538 sqq.; Gregorovius, Gesch. der Stadt Athen, I.54 sqq.; Paparrigopoulos, Ἱστ. τοῦ Ἑλλ. ἔθνους, III.174‑175; Diehl, Justinien, 562 sqq.

47 It has been generally assumed that they were all Athenian professors, but Agathias, who is our authority, does not say so (II.30). The others were Eulamios of Phrygia, Hermeias and Diogenes of Phoenicia, and Isidore of Gaza, all otherwise unknown. Suidas, s.v. πρέσβεις, says that they accompanied Areobindus, who was sent as envoy to Persia; and Clinton (sub A.D. 532) accepts this, not perceiving what Agathias had said about the impostor Uranias (II.29). As Chosroes came to the throne in September 531, Clinton perhaps rightly places their journey after that date. Gregorovius notes that the pythagorean number of the seven philosophers is somewhat suspicious.

48 Agathias, II.31 ὁ ἐφεξῆς βίος εἰς τὸ θυμῆρές τε καὶ ἥδιστον ἀπετελεύτησεν. For the date of the commentaries of Simplicius on Aristotle's De caelo and Physica cp. Clinton, F. R. II. pp328‑329.

49 Of the new churches 55 were paid for by the treasury, 41 by the proselytes. John Eph., H. E. Part II (Nau), p482; Part III III. cc36‑37; Comm. de b. or. cc40, 43, 51, etc.

50 Procopius, Aed. VI.2.

51 Priscus, De leg. gent., fr. 11, p583.

52 Procopius, B. P. I.19. The death of Narses in 543 gives a posterior limit of date.

53 The great temple of Baal had been converted into a church; but sacrifices were still performed there in the sixth century. In A.D. 555 it was ruined by lightning. John Eph., H. E. Part II p490. See Diehl, Justinien, pp550‑551.

54 It will be found in the Collectio Avellana, Epp. 142‑181.

55 See ib. Ep. 147. Justinian's letter of September 7, received December 20, and the Pope's letters, Epp. 145, 148, 149.

56 Ep. 159. The Pope had already sent a deputation of bishops to Constantinople (January), and the deacon, Dioscorus, who attended them describes their journey by the Egnatian Way, their reception at the tenth milestone from the capital by Vitalian, Pompeius, Justinian, and many other illustrious persons, and their presentation to the Emperor in the presence of the Senate (Ep. 167).

57 Ep. 168 (July 9, 519).

58 For the persecutions see Zacharias Myt. IX.4, 5; John Eph. H. E. Part II. pp467‑468, and Comm. c5, p35 sqq., c8, p46 sqq. (cp. pp 217‑220); Chron. Edess. p124‑128.

59 The study of Loofs, Leontius von Byzanz (1887), rescued this theologian from neglect, and was followed in 1894 by a monograph with the same title by Rügamer, written from the Catholic point of view and traversing successfully some of the conclusions of Loofs. The earliest work of Leontius was probably the Three Books against the Nestorians and Eutychians (P. G. LXXXVI.1267 sqq.), which may be dated to A.D. 529‑530 (cp. Rügamer, 9 sqq.). The Epilysis of the Syllogisms of Severus (ib. 1915 sqq.) and the Thirty Chapters against Severus (P. G. cxxx.1068 sqq.) may have been composed in the years immediately following. Other works against the Monophysites (P. G. LXXXVI.1769 sqq.) and the Nestorians (ib. 1399 sqq.), and the Scholia, a treatise on Sects, which bears the marks of later editing (ib. 1193 sqq.), may be later than A.D. 544.

60 Cp. ib. 1277 sqq.; 1944.

61 See Loofs, op. cit. 60 sqq.

62 John Ascosnaghes is said to have been the founder of the Tritheite sect, to which bishops Conon of Tarsus and Eugenius of Seleucia belonged. See John Eph. H. E. Part III V.1‑12; Timotheus, De recept. haereticorum; Migne, P. G. LXXXVI. p64. John Philoponus in his Διαιτητῆς ("Arbiter") discussed the bases of Tritheism and Monophysitism. We possess a philosophical work by him On the Eternity of the World (against Proclus), written in A.D. 529 (cp. XVI.4), and an Exegesis of the Cosmogony of Moses, dedicated to Sergius, Patriarch of Antioch (c. 546‑549).

63 We may decidedly reject the identification, maintained by Loofs (op. cit.) with Leontius, the Origenist of Palestine, who visited Constantinople with St. Sabas in A.D. 531 and was repudiated by him. Cp. the criticisms of Rügamer, op. cit. 58 sqq. The other proposition of Loofs that Leontius of Byzantium is the same as Leontius, a relative of Vitalian, and one of the Scythian monks who raised the Theopaschite question at the beginning of Justin's reign, can neither be proved nor disproved.

64 Timotheus, op. cit. 52 sqq.

65 Leontius, Contra Nest. et Eut. book II; Zach. Myt. IX.9‑13.

66 John Eph. H. E. Part II p469; Zacharias Myt. IX.15.

67 Mansi, VIII.817 sq.; John Eph. Comm. 203. 245. For the attempt to win Severus cp. Evagrius, IV.11; Zacharias reproduces the letters of Severus, ib. 16. The date of the conference, at which Hypatius, bishop of Ephesus, presided, is 531 (not 533), cp. Loofs, op. cit. 283.

68 Mansi, ib. Leontius vir venerabilis monachus et apocrisiarius patrum in sancta civitate constitutorum. In the MSS. of some of his works Leontius Byz. is described as μοναχός and Ἱεροσολυμίτης. The same Leontius was present at the Synod of 536.

69 The sources for the affair of the Scythian monks are their joint letter to some African bishops exiled in Sardinia (P. L. LXV.442 sqq.), the writings of their patron John Maxentius (P. G. LXXXVI.73 sqq.), and the correspondence of Justin, Justinian, and others with Hormisdas concerning them (Coll. Avellana, Epp. 187, 188, 196, 216, 232‑239). The Papal legates were unfavourably impressed by them, and their secretary Dioscorus reported to the Pope that the monks, whom he describes as de domo Vitaliani, were "adversaries of the prayers of all Christians." The monks went to Rome (summer 519) to submit their views to the Pope and remained there till August 520. It has been already mentioned that Loofs identifies Leontius, one of these monks, with Leontius of Byzantium, but in this theologian's voluminous works he can only find one or two allusions to the Theopaschite dogma (Contra Nest. et Eut. 1289, 1377); see Loofs, op. cit. 228.

70 Coll. Avell. cxcvi.235.

71 C. J. I.1.6; Mansi, VIII.798. Cp. Loofs, ib. 260.

72 Loofs says (255): "The Theopaschite controversy is an event in the history of the doctrines of the Trinity far more than in that of Christology: it is one of the first signs of the victory of Aristotle over Plato."

73 Theodosius succeeded Timothy IV on February 9 or 11, 535, but at the same time a rival Patriarch, Gaian (whose views agreed with those of Julian of Halicarnassus), was elected and was Patriarch in possession for 103 days (till May 23 or 25). See Brooks, B. Z. XII.494 sqq. For the letter of Anthimus see Zach. Myt. IX.21.

74 Ib. IX.15, 19.

75 Ib. 19, where it is said that Justinian was particularly pleased to see Agapetus because he spoke the same language (Latin).

76 Anthimus had held office for ten months. Menas succeeded on March 13. Cp. Andreev, Kpl. Patr. 170‑173.

77 Mansi, VIII.877 sqq. Peter of Apamea and Zooras were the others who were condemned.

78 Nov. 42.

79 See John Eph. Comm. pp247‑248. At the time of the Council Anthimus could not be found anywhere (Mansi, VIII.941). The date of the death of Severus is probably February 8, 538 (Michael Mel. Chron. IX.29). Cp. Brooks, B. Z. XII.497; Krüger places it in 543 (art. Monophysiten in Realenc. f. protest. Theologie).

80 Zacharias Myt. (X.1) and John Eph. (cp. Comm. pp111, 134, etc.; 221 sqq.) are the chief sources on the persecution. John, bishop of Tella, died in consequence of the tortures which he underwent (John Eph. Comm. c24).

81 Dante (Paradiso, VI.13 sqq.) represents Justinian as holding Monophysitic opinions and converted by Agapetus:

E prima ch' io all' opra fossi attento,

Una natura in Cristo esser, non piue

Credeva, e di tal fede era contento.

Ma il benedetto Agabito, che fue

Sommo pastore, alla fede sincera

Mi dirizzò con le parole sue.

82 Liberatus, Brev. 22; Lib. Pont., Vita Silv. p292; Vita Vigil. p297. Victor Tonn. Chron., sub 542, says that Vigilius undertook to condemn the Three Chapters occulto chirographo which he gave to Theodora; that he was made Pope by Antonina; and he quotes a letter of Vigilius (probably spurious) in which Antonina is mentioned. The reference to the Three Chapters here is an anachronism.

83 June 8. In Lib. Pont. p290, it is erroneously said that Silverius held the pontifical chair one year, five months, eleven days, which would give November 18, 537, for his deposition.

84 The story is told in Lib. Pont., Vita Silv. 292‑293, and is noticed briefly by Procopius, B. G. I.25.13, who only gives the publicly alleged ground for the action against Silverius, namely ὡς δὴ προδοσίαν ἐς Γότθους πράσσοι, and says that he was immediately sent to Greece. But in H. A. (see next note) the hand of Theodora is recognised. Cont. Marcellini, sub 537, gives the official story: cui (Vitigi) tunc faventem papam Silverium Belisarius ab episcopatu summovit.

85 H. A. 1.14. Σιλβέριον διαχρησαμένη (Antonina, in the interest of Theodora), and 27 τῶν τινος οἰκετῶν Εὐγενίου ὄνομα ὑπουργήσαντός οἱ ἐς ἅπαν τὸ ἄγος, ᾧ δὴ καὶ τὸ ἐς Σιλβέριον εἴργασται μίασμα. Nothing is said of the motive. In Lib. Pont. 293, the other account will be found.

86 Coll. Avell., Epp. 92, 93 (also in Migne, P. L. LXIX p21 and p25). Pelagius, who was a man of large fortune and high social position, had gone to Constantinople with Agapetus, where he remained for the Council of 536, and was appointed nuncio, in succession to Vigilius, in the same year.

87 Procopius, H. A. 27.3 sqq.; and Liberatus, Brev. 22, 23, are the sources.

88 See above, p164.

89 See Mansi, VIII.1164. Ephraim, Patriarch of Antioch, attended. For the date see Diekamp, Die origenistichen Streitigkeiten, 41 sqq.

90 Procopius, ib. 15 and 18. Probably Justinian's letters only instructed the Prefect to obey Paul in all things, though Procopius seems to wish to suggest that they authorised a particular act. Arsenius, a converted Samaritan, who had co-operated with Paul, was hanged by Liberius at the instance of Theodora, ib. 19.

91 A letter of Jacob of Sarug (died 521) to Stephen himself, and another from Philoxenus (Xenaias) the Monophysite bishop of Mabug (485‑518) to two priests of Edessa, are the chief sources for the little we know of Stephen. They will be found with English translations in A. L. Frothingham, Stephen bar Sudaili.

92 A summary of the work (extant in a Syriac MS. of the British Museum) is given by Frothingham, op. cit. 91 sqq.

93 See Hugo Koch, Pseudo-Dionysius Areopagita in seinen Beziehungen zum Neuplatonismus und Mysterienwesen, 1900. The Pseudo-Dionysius works (of which the chief are entitled On the Heavenly Hierarchy; On the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy; On Divine Names; On Mystic Theology) will be found in P. G. 3 and 4. These works were referred to at the conference with the Severian Monophysites in 531, when Hypatius, bishop of Ephesus, pointed out that they could not be genuine (Mansi, VIII.821). But they were soon generally accepted in the Eastern Church. In the ninth century Michael II sent a copy to the Emperor Lewis the Pious, and soon afterwards they were translated into Latin by Joannes Erigena. The strong influence which they exerted on Thomas Aquinas is well known.

94 Zach. Myt. IX.19.

95 Frothingham, op. cit. p99.

96 This view is dealt with mercilessly in the letter of Philoxenus referred to above, p381, n3.

97 See the denunciations of Justinian and of the assembly of bishops in 553 (below, p389, n2).

98 Theodore was a deacon of the New Laura, Domitian was abbot of the convent of Martyrius. Mansi, VIII.910, 911; Cyril, Vita Sabae (the principal source for the Origenistic movement in Palestine), p518.

99 The text will be found in Mansi, IX.488 sqq.; and P. G. LXXXVI.945 sqq.

100 Liberatus, 22; Cassiodorus, De inst. div. litt. c1 (P. L. LXX p1111).

101 Domitian of Ancyra also signed but afterwards retracted.

102 After the death of Nonnus in 547, a schism arose among the Origenists. The Isochristoi of the New Laura, who held that in the ἀπροκατάστασις or restitution after the general Resurrection men will be united with God as Christ is, were opposed to the Proto­ktistai or Tetradites (of the Laura of Firminus), whose names and views are obscure. Se Diekamp, op. cit. 60 sqq.

103 The Edict has not been preserved. Diekamp (op. cit. 54) would date it to 543.

104 Cp. Duchesne, op. cit. 395‑396.

105 This is the view of Duchesne.

106 For the date see Procopius, B. G. III.16.1; Lib. Pont., Vita Vig. 297; Cont. Marcellini, s.a. 547; John Mal. XVIII.483.

107 Facundus, Contra Mocianum, P. L. p862; Pro def. trium capit. IV.3; ib. p623.

108 Duchesne, p402.

109 June 9, 547, Theophanes, A.M. 6039 (source, John Mal. cp. XVIII p483).

110 Acta V. Conc., Mansi, IX.350.

111 Only some fragments are preserved, Mansi, IX.104‑105, 181.

112 Pro defensione trium capitulorum. In its original form it consisted of two books, which were presented to the Emperor, but was afterwards expanded into twelve. Facundus returned to Africa, took part in the African Council of 550 which excommunicated Vigilius, and avoided imprisonment by flight. In 571 he wrote the treatise Contra Mocianum on the same subject. These two works are important sources for the story of the Three Chapters.

113 P. L. LXIX.121‑122.

114 Vigilius calls him praetor, and if this is not a loose term, the Praetor of the Demes must be meant.

115 Vigilius added an account of the interview to his Encyclical, which he signed on the following day. The text of the Encyclical will be found in P. L. LXIX.53 sqq.; the condemnation of Ascidas (dated in August 551), ib. 59 sqq.

116 John Mal. XVIII.486. This agrees with the Lists of the Patriarchs which assign sixteen years six months to Menas. Eutychius was consecrated immediately after his death. See Andreev, op. cit. 175.

117 P. L. LXIX.63 sq., and 65 sqq. (January 6, 553).

118 Duchesne thinks that this compromise was probably suggested by Pelagius.

119 The Acts are in Mansi, IX.173 sqq. There were eight sessions, the last on June 2. The Origenistic heresy seems to have been discussed at meetings of the bishops previous to May 5, which did not form part of the proceedings of the Council proper, and at one of these conferences a letter of the Emperor was read which is preserved in the chronicle of George Monachus (ed. de Boor, 630 sqq.). This is the result of Diekamp's investigations (op. cit.). Origen is mentioned in the eleventh Anathema of the Council, but the fifteen canons against Origenistic doctrines (Mansi, IX.395 sqq.) were drawn up at the previous meetings, and apparently were not specially confirmed by the Council.

120 It is known as the Constitutum Vigilii, and will be found in P. L. LXVII sqq., and Coll. Avel., Ep. 83.

121 Like Victor Tonnennensis and Liberatus. The Breviarium of Liberatus, which has been often quoted in the foregoing pages, was written with polemical intention against the Three Chapters. Primasius, who had succeeded the exiled Reparatus in the see of Carthage, yielded.

122 Duchesne, ib. 422.

123 Mansi, IX.413 sqq.; P. L. LXIX.121 sqq.

124 Mansi, IX.457 sqq.

125 By a so‑called Pragmatica, dated August 13, 554; Novellae, App. VII (= Nov. 164, ed. Zachariä).

126 Duchesne's dates for the pontificate of Pelagius are April 16, 556 (not 555) to March 4, 561 (not 560). Cp. op. cit. 428. At his consecration Pelagius declared a profession of faith in which he entirely ignored the Fifth Council.

127 Cp. Liber Diurnus Rom. Pont., ed. Rozière (1869), LVIII p103 sqq.

128 From the Arabic form al‑Barādi'ā, which corresponds to the Syriac Burde'ayā. The chief sources for Jacob are the Life by John of Ephesus, Comm. c49; another Life wrongly ascribed to the same writer, ib. p203 sqq.; and John Eph. Hist. ecc. Part III. B. IV.13 sqq.

129 Cp. Loofs, op. cit. 316. In one of his laws (Nov. 132, A.D. 544) Justinian appeals to his books and edicts to prove his zeal for orthodox doctrine. His extant works (see P. G. 86) include, besides the edicts against Origen and on the Three Chapters and some minor writings, a dogmatic refutation of the Monophysite doctrine, addressed to monks of Alexandria, c. 542‑543; and an open letter against the defenders of Theodore of Mopsuestia. See Loofs, op. cit. 310 sqq.; W. H. Hutton, The Church of the Sixth Century, 189 sqq.

130 Mansi, IX.970 προσήκει μηδὲν τῶν ἐν τῇ ἁγιωτάτη ἐκκλησίᾲ κινουμένων παρὰ γνώμην αὐτου καὶ κέλευσιν γενέσθαι.

131 See above, p375.

132 Harnack, History of Dogma, IV.238, where it is suggested that Justinian was inclined to this heresy in the early years of his reign.

133 Eustathius, Vita Eutychii, c5. Eutychius was succeeded in the Patriarchate by John of Sirmium, who held the see for twelve and a half years, and then Eutychius was restored (A.D. 577).

134 The sources for Justinian's heresy are: Evagrius, H. E. IV.39, 40; Eustathius, ib. cc4, 5; Theophanes, A.M. 6057 (= Cramer, Anecd. II.111), whose notice is probably derived from John Malalas; Michael Mel. Chron. IX.34, who gives the texts of the Antiochene document (his ultimate source was probably John of Ephesus, H. E. Part II); John of Nikiu, Chron. c94, p399; Nicephorus Patriarcha, Chronogr. p117, ed. de Boor. Victor Tonn., s.a. 566, notices the deposition of Eutychius, but does not assign the reason. There is also a letter of Nicetius, bishop of Trier, to Justinian, reproaching him with his lapse into heresy in his old age (in ultima senectute tua), though the bishop appears to have had no clear idea as to the nature of the heresy (P. L. LXVIII.378). An attempt to rescue the reputation of Justinian for unblemished orthodoxy was made by Richard Crakanthorp, who in 1616 published a pamphlet, Justinian the Emperor defended against Cardinal Baronius, in which he sought to invalidate the evidence (which at that time mainly consisted of Evagrius (p394) and Eustratius). In 1693 Humphrey Hody refuted his arguments in a treatise entitled The Case of Sees Vacant by an Unjust or Uncanonical Deprivation Stated. The thesis of Crakanthorp has been revived in modern times, with much greater ingenuity and learning, by W. H. Hutton (op. cit. 205 sqq., and articles in The Guardian, August 12, 1891, April 22, 1897; cp. my articles, ib., March 4, 1896, January 13, 1897). But the testimonies are too strong and circumstantial to be set aside or evaded. It may be noted that, according to Michael Mel. (loc. cit.), Justinian was perverted by a monk of Joppa; and according to some he returned to the path of orthodoxy just before he died.

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