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A Hstory Of The Councils Of The Church Volumes 1 to 5 by Charles Joseph Hefele D.D.

SEC. 170. The Monophysites begin the Conflict. Bishops Irenæus and Theodoret are persecuted

WHEN the Nestorian heresy began to separate too widely the two natures in Christ, the Godhead and the manhood, its false opponent, Monophysitism, was already in existence, namely, that which made the two natures unite or coalesce into one. This was at the time called Apollinarianism; and as certainly as S. Cyril did not deserve the reproach of Apollinarianism, so is it certain, on the other side, that not only the orthodox, but also those who held Monophysite opinions, took their place under his banner on the supposition that they might venture to regard him as their advocate. His anathematisms, especially the third, seemed to justify this supposition. But Cyril not only opposed Nestorianism, but also avoided the rock that lay over against it, and expressed this with remarkable clearness at the establishment of peace in the Church with the Orientals (see above, pp. 128, 131 ff.). From that time no one could any longer be in doubt as to his holding the orthodox Diophysitism. At the same time he united with this that wise moderation which required only the triumph of the dogma, but not the overthrow of its previous opponents. For this reason it was only necessary that Nestorius alone should be anathematized, and that the anathema on him should be universally recognized—all other opponents were forgiven. For this reason, however, as we saw before, p. 139, he was met with the reproach of treachery by many of his previous adherents; and although some of them, like Isidore of Pelusium, made the charge only from a misunderstanding, the others did so on intelligible grounds from their Monophysite point of view. As we also saw, Cyril defended himself with perfect clearness; but they persisted in requiring that anathema should be pronounced on all who spoke of two natures in Christ after the union of the Godhead and the manhood. So it was with Acacius of Melitene, Succensus of Diocæsarea, and others. That even in Egypt there were not a few of Monophysite opinions is asserted by Isidore of Pelusium, and this was shown, too, by the course of history. It was chiefly in the monasteries that this error had found admission; and many monks who had formerly exhibited so great zeal against Nestorius, now showed that they had themselves fallen into the opposite error. This was particularly the case with Eutyches, the Archimandrite of Constantinople, whom we have frequently met with as the active assistant of Cyril, and whom we now see at the head of the new heretics.

It was a great misfortune that Cyril, who might have suppressed this new error by his predominating influence, died in the year 444, and had as his successor Dioscurus, who had been his archdeacon, a man who up to this time had enjoyed a good reputation, and had also accompanied his bishop to the Synod of Ephesus, but now was ever more visibly leaning to Monophysitism, and soon became the patron and the support of the new heretics in all dioceses and provinces. With this he united a bitter enmity to the memory of Cyril, accused him of having exhausted the treasury of the Church of Alexandria in the struggle against Nestorius, and therefore confiscated his not inconsiderable effects (for Cyril belonged to a very distinguished and wealthy family), procuring with the proceeds cheaper bread for the poor, and thereby gaining popularity for himself; whilst at the same time he expelled some of Cyril’s relations by violence from among the clergy of Alexandria, and plundered their benefices. We do not doubt that Dioscurus, with his Monophysite views, was in real earnest; but at the same time he is liable to the suspicion of having favoured this tendency in order that he might find a means of again elevating the see of Alexandria above that of Constantinople, and, still more, above the other Oriental patriarchates, in which he actually succeeded at the so-called Robber-Synod.

Trusting to the protection of such a man, who to his great position united still greater violence of action, the Monophysites ventured in various places to persecute orthodox bishops and priests as heretical, and, when possible, to remove them from their offices. The first striking case of this kind was their attack on Irenæus, since the year 444 Metropolitan of Tyre in Phœnicia, who, when an imperial Count, at the time of the Council of Ephesus, had certainly belonged to the patrons of Nestorius, and for that reason had been exiled by the Emperor Theodosius II. in the year 435, but had afterwards separated from Nestorius and joined the union of Cyril. His opponents brought against him the reproach of having been twice married when he was a layman; but Theodoret, who defended him (Epist. 110), speaks of his numerous virtues, of his great zeal, of his love to the poor, and his undoubted orthodoxy; and remarks that in former times, also, some who had been married twice had been ordained on account of other excellences of character. He specially adduces several cases of this kind, and adds, that the ordination of Irenæus had been approved of by the blessed Proclus, Archbishop of Constantinople, who had enjoyed so great distinction. Besides the opposition which Theodoret generally led against the rising sect of Monophysites, he had a special reason for a zealous defence of Irenæus, since he was certainly himself present at his consecration, and took part in it; indeed, Baronius and others have inferred, from the wording of his 110th letter, that he was himself the consecrator. Tillemont remarks, however, that a simple bishop of the province of Euphratesia would hardly have been chosen to consecrate the first metropolitan of Phœnicia, that this honour belonged rather to the Archbishop of Antioch, and that, besides, the Synodicon expressly says that Domnus of Antioch ordained Irenæus. With this, however, the expression of Theodoret is quite easily reconciled, if we only regard the words: ἐχειροτόνησα τὸν … Εἰρηναῖον κ.τ.λ., as spoken by Domnus, to whom he is writing. Domnus of Antioch, he thinks, should, in the manner which he proposes to him, make declaration to the Emperor in regard to Irenæus. The intercession of Theodoret was, however, of no avail. The Emperor Theodosius II. deposed Irenæus, and gave order that he should be expelled from the Church of Tyre, and live in his native country, without clerical title or dress, as a mere private man in all retirement. This happened in the year 448.

It was not long before Theodoret was forced even to defend himself, and now Dioscurus came forward publicly as the protector of the Monophysites. Invited by his patriarch, Domnus, Theodoret had on several occasions spent some weeks in Antioch, and had also preached there. In one of his discourses some persons professed to discover Nestorianism, and communicated this to the Patriarch Dioscurus of Alexandria, although neither they nor Theodoret were subject to his jurisdiction. Dioscurus received the charge, and wrote on the subject to Domnus of Antioch. Theodoret, being informed of this by Domnus, defended himself most brilliantly in a letter to Dioscurus, which is still extant (Ep. 83), and there laid down a clear statement of orthodoxy. In spite of this, Dioscurus pronounced an anathema upon him, and sent emissaries to the court in order to aggravate the persecution of Theodoret, which had already begun. An imperial decree then ordered that Theodoret should immediately return to his diocese and not again leave it, without, however, accusing him of the heresy; but a second edict went still farther, and forbade Theodoret to appear at the Synod, which was subsequently to be assembled (the Robber-Synod), unless he were expressly summoned. Pope Leo the Great, in his thirty-first letter to the Empress Pulcheria, says that God has perhaps allowed the appearance of Eutyches for this reason, ut quales intra ecclesiam laterent possent agnosci; and in fact the Monophysites, up to this time, with great cunning, followed the practice of accusing bishops who were perfectly orthodox, and even the whole Eastern episcopate, of Nestorianism, under the pretext of orthodox zeal. This mask was now to be torn from them, and first from one of their most distinguished men, the Archimandrite Eutyches, from whom the whole controversy received the name of Eutychian.

SEC. 171. Eutyches and his Accusers

Eutyches, who, according to his opponents, had previously borne the name of Atyches (i.e. the unlucky), had become a monk in early youth, and thus was able to say of himself in the year 448 that he had been for seventy years consecrated to the life of continence. In the Acts of the fourth session at Chalcedon, a certain Abbot Maximus, otherwise unknown, is mentioned as his teacher (διδάσκαλος); it is, however, doubtful whether it is the education of Eutyches as a monk or as a heretic which is attributed to him. What is certain is, that Eutyches was at the same time monk and priest, and that he had been for nearly thirty years the archimandrite (μάνδρα = monastery) of a convent outside the walls of Constantinople, which numbered no fewer than three hundred monks. When the Nestorian heresy broke out, he placed himself with great zeal on the side of the opponents of that error, and therefore was able to boast that he had contended for the faith with the Synod of Ephesus. He did not mean by this that he had been personally present at Ephesus (he must not be confounded with the deacon Eutyches who attended upon Cyril at that Synod), but he directs attention to the fact that he had contributed greatly at the imperial court to the overthrow of Nestorianism. In particular, he had probably taken part in the procession which had been set on foot, as we have heard, by Dalmatius, the archimandrite of another convent, in order to bring the Emperor tidings of the oppression of the orthodox party at Ephesus. Cyril’s archdeacon, Epiphanius, makes mention of him in connection with the same Dalmatius, when he urgently entreats the two archimandrites to adjure the Emperor and the high officers of court in reference to Nestorius, and to support the cause of Cyril (p. 137). The latter prized him so highly that he transmitted to him a special copy of the Acts of Ephesus. The most influential patron of Eutyches, however, was the then all-powerful imperial minister Chrysaphius, a eunuch, at whose baptism he had stood sponsor. He endeavoured also to gain over Pope Leo the Great to his side, writing a letter to him at the beginning of the year 448, in which he complained that Nestorians were still in existence. From his point of view the orthodox necessarily appeared so to him, and Pope Leo seems to have had a suspicion of this, and therefore answered him very cautiously (June 1, 448), praising his zeal, indeed, but adding that he could not intervene until he had obtained more exact information respecting the accused. In a subsequent letter, however (June 13, 449), Leo says expressly that Eutyches had endeavoured to wound the good name of the orthodox by the reproach of Nestorianism. We may assume that Eutyches thought that, by these accusations, and also by the obstinate retention of his own views, he was certainly defending the orthodox dogma, and that every doctrine which was less rigidly opposed to Nestorianism than his own had a Nestorian tendency. He could not grasp the strong opposition which existed between the orthodox and the Nestorian Diophysitism, and threw out the charge of heresy against every one who spoke of two natures. It was on account of this spiritual narrowness that Leo the Great repeatedly spoke of him as imprudens and nimis imperitus (e.g. Epist. xxviii. c. 1, and Epist. xxxv. c. 1), and said of him that his error was de imperitia magis quam de versutia natus (Epist. xxx. c. 1). Quite as striking were the expressions respecting him of the famous Bishop Alcimus Avitus of Vienne, a younger contemporary of Eutyches, who said: Nihil existit clarœ eruditionis in viro; and very nearly to the same effect was the judgment of the learned Petavius.

In former days it was thought that Eusebius, bishop of Dorylæum, was the first who, in 448, came forward in opposition to Eutyches; but we learn from Bishop Facundus of Hermione, in his work, Pro defensione trium capitulorum, that before this Bishop Domnus of Antioch had publicly accused Eutyches of Apollinarianism, and had given information of this to the Emperor Theodosius II. At what time this was done we cannot certainly ascertain. Tillemont and the Ballerini think it was in the beginning of the year 448. Facundus also gives us the letter of Domnus to the Emperor; but we do not derive from it any true insight into the principles of Eutyches, for what Domnus specially brings forward, that “he had accused Diodorus of Tarsus and Theodore of Mopsuestia of error,” might be said not merely of a Monophysite, but of a thoroughly orthodox theologian, as the controversy of the three chapters shows. Whether the complaint of Domnus against Eutyches had any effect is nowhere said. On the contrary, however, the accusation which Eusebius of Dorylæum brought against him at Constantinople in November 448 had the most serious consequences. Flavian was then Archbishop of Constantinople, having succeeded in the year 447, after the death of the former patriarch, Proclus. As Theophanes relates, the powerful minister Chrysaphius was from the beginning averse to this new bishop; and, besides, Flavian lost the favour of the Emperor immediately, because, instead of the accustomed golden eulogiæ, he had, on his entrance upon his office, presented to him only consecrated loaves—that is, the eulogiæ of the ancient Church. The consequences of this disfavour showed themselves.

SEC. 172. Synod at Constantinople, A.D. 448

Some misunderstandings, respecting which we have no minute information, between Florentin, Metropolitan of Sardes, and his two suffragans John and Cassian, decided Archbishop Flavian of Constantinople to assemble the bishops then present in the capital to a so-called σύνοδος ἐνδημοῦσα, holy and great, as the Acts express it, in the episcopal Secretarium, on the 8th of November 448. The matter was arranged in the first session, as it would appear, with all despatch. Afterwards, one of the bishops present, Eusebius of Dorylæum in Phrygia, handed in a complaint in writing against Eutyches, and prayed that it might be read. This is the same Eusebius who, almost twenty years before, when he was still a layman, was among the first of those who perceived and opposed the error of Nestorius (see above, p. 14), so that the bishops at the Synod of Chalcedon said of him: Eusebius Nestorium deposuit; and now he was to make the first serious attack on the opposite extreme.

Archbishop Flavian now had his memorial read. It begins with the complaint that Eutyches accused orthodox teachers, even Eusebius of Dorylæum himself, of Nestorianism, and then asks that the Synod will summon him before it, and require an answer to these accusations. He (Eusebius) was ready to prove that Eutyches had no right to the name of Catholic, and was far from the true faith. Flavian remarked upon this that this accusation against the venerable priest and archimandrite caused him astonishment, and Eusebius should first have an interview and a discussion with him on matters of faith privately. If he then showed himself to be a heretic, the Synod might summon him before it. Eusebius replied that he had formerly been a friend of Eutyches, and had spoken with him privately, and warned him not merely once or twice, as several who were present could testify. Eutyches, however, had remained obstinate, and therefore he adjured the Synod to let him appear, so that, being convinced of his error, he might at last abandon it, for many had already been scandalized by him. Flavian wished that Eusebius would go to Eutyches once more, and make another attempt with him; as, however, he utterly refused to do so, the Synod decided to send the priest John and the deacon Andrew as deputies to Eutyches, so that they might read to him the accusations which had been handed in, and invite him to attend before the Synod. The first session then closed.

The second took place four days later, on the 12th of November. Eusebius of Dorylæum renewed his complaint, with the remark that Eutyches by conversations and discussions had misled many others to adopt his error. At his suggestion some earlier documents were now read, as examples of the orthodox faith—namely, (a) the second letter of Cyril to Nestorius (see above, p. 4 f.); (b) the approval of this letter given by the Synod of Ephesus (p. 47); and (c) the celebrated letter which Cyril had addressed to John of Antioch after the restoration of peace (p. 137). On the proposition of Eusebius, Flavian now required that every one should assent to these declarations of the faith, as explaining the true sense of the Nicene Creed. These contained that which they who were there present had always believed, and still believed, namely, “that Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, is true God and true man, of a reasonable soul and a body subsisting, begotten of the Father before all time, without beginning, according to the Godhead, but in the last times, for us men and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, according to the manhood: of one substance with the Father according to the Godhead, and of one substance with His mother, according to the manhood. We confess that Christ after the Incarnation consists of two natures (ἐκ δύο φύσεων) in one Hypostasis, and in one Person; one Christ, one Son, one Lord. Whoever asserts otherwise, we exclude from the clergy and the Church. And every one of those present shall set down his view and his faith in the Acts.” They did so, some in longer, some in shorter forms, and therein expressed their faith in the duality of the natures in the one Hypostasis. On the proposition of Eusebius of Dorylæum, the Acts were sent to those who were absent through sickness in their residences, that they also might be able to declare and to subscribe.

In the third session, on the 15th of November, the two clerics commissioned by the Synod to Eutyches gave an account of their mission. First, the priest John told them that Eutyches had utterly refused to comply with their command to appear before the Synod, and that he had explained that it was his rule, that from the beginning (of his monastic life) he had resolved never to leave the convent and go to any place whatever; that he would rather remain in it as in the grave. The Synod should, however, know that Eusebius of Dorylæum had long been his enemy, and had slandered him only out of malice, for he was ready to affirm and subscribe the declarations of the holy Fathers of Nicæa and of Ephesus. If these, however, had erred at all in any expressions, he found no fault with this, and did not even believe it, but rather searched in the Holy Scriptures, which were more certain than the declarations of the Fathers. After the incarnation of the Logos, that is, after the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, he worshipped only one nature, that of God made flesh and man (μίαν φύσιν προσκυνεῖν, καὶ ταύτην Θεοῦ σαρκωθέντος καὶ ἐνανθρωπήσαντος). Thereupon he had read from a little book which he produced, and added that the expression had been falsely ascribed to him, that the Logos had brought His body from heaven; this he had never said. But that our Lord Jesus Christ consisted of two Persons, united in one Hypostasis, this he had not found in the declarations of the holy Fathers, nor should he accept it if he should find it in one, because, as he had said, the Holy Scriptures were to be preferred to the teachings of the Fathers.—At last Eutyches had, indeed, acknowledged that HE who was born of the Virgin Mary was true God and true man, but he added that His body was not of the same substance with ours.

The second envoy of the Synod, the deacon Andrew, asserted that he had heard the same from the mouth of Eutyches, and this was also confirmed by the deacon of Bishop Basil of Seleucia, named Athanasius, who had been present during the whole conversation with Eutyches.

Upon this, Eusebius of Dorylæum said that what the three witnesses had testified would certainly suffice (to make them take proceedings against Eutyches), but he prayed them to invite him a second time. He was ready to prove by many witnesses that he was a heretic. Archbishop Flavian now sent the two priests, Mamas and Theophilus, to exhort him to appear before the Synod, as he had not only given offence by that which Eusebius of Dorylæum had brought against him, but also by his most recent heterodox declarations to the deputies of the Synod. If he would come and abjure his error, he should be forgiven.

The two new envoys of the Synod took with them also a short letter to Eutyches, to the effect that “he was now summoned for the second time, and must not fail to appear, if he did not wish to experience the stringency of the divine canons. His excuse that he had resolved never to leave the convent was not valid.”

While Mamas and Theophilus were making their way to Eutyches, and the Synod were waiting their return, Eusebius of Dorylæum mentioned that he had learnt that Eutyches had sent a writing (τόμος) on the faith round the convents, and was stirring up the monks. This should be examined, for it concerned the safety of the Synod. The priest at the Martyrium (chapel) of Hebdomus (Septimus) should declare whether Eutyches had not sent a “tome,” and asked for signatures. This priest, Abraham by name, when required by Flavian to state the truth, declared that the priest and Archimandrite Emmanuel had, according to his own statement, received such a tome, sent to him by Eutyches, with the request that he would subscribe it. On the requirement of Eusebius of Dorylæum, several priests and deacons were then sent to the other monasteries, in order to ascertain whether Eutyches had ventured upon the same with them.

In the meantime Mamas and Theophilus had returned. The first declared: “When we came to the monastery of Eutyches, we met some monks standing before the gate, and we asked them to announce us, as we had a commission from the Archbishop and the holy Synod to speak with the Archimandrite. They answered: ‘The Archimandrite is sick, and cannot admit you; tell us, therefore, what you want and why you are sent.’ We were not satisfied with this, and declared that we had only been sent to Eutyches, etc. Thereupon they went into the convent, and speedily returned with another monk of the name of Eleusinius, whom the Archimandrite had commissioned to hear us in his stead. We replied: ‘Was it in this way that they dealt with envoys of the most holy Archbishop and the holy and great Synod?’ and then remarked that they muttered something to each other in embarrassment. It seemed to them very suspicious that we should bring a written decree with us; but we assured them that there was nothing hard in it, and nothing secret, and acquainted them with the contents. They immediately returned into the convent, and we were then conducted to Eutyches. We handed to him the letter of the Synod; he had it read in our presence, and said: ‘It is my purpose never to leave the convent until death compels me to do so. And, besides, the holy Synod and the pious Archbishop know that I am old and weak.’ We requested him again to appear and answer for himself; but he replied: ‘I do not leave the convent, for so I have resolved. The holy Archbishop and the holy Synod may do what seems good to them, only let them not trouble themselves to invite me a third time.’ He would also have given us a letter to bring with us, but we did not receive it, declaring that if he had anything to say, he might appear personally before the Synod. Then he wanted to have the letter read to us, but we would not agree to that either, but took our departure, while he said: ‘I will then send this letter to the Synod.’ ”

After the second envoy of the Synod, the priest Theophilus, had testified that he had heard the same as Mamas, Eusebius of Dorylæum again addressed the Synod, and said: “The guilty have ever ways of escaping; Eutyches must now be brought here, even against his will.” The Synod resolved to summon him a third time, and Flavian commissioned the two priests, Memnon and Epiphanius, and the deacon Germanus, to convey to him the third invitation, again in writing. It said: “It is not unknown to thee what the holy canons threaten to the disobedient, and to those who refuse to answer for themselves. In order that thou mayest not now plunge thyself into misfortune, we invite thee for the third time, and trust it may please thee to appear early on the day after to-morrow, that is, on Wednesday the 17th of November.”

Before the expiration of this time, on Tuesday the 16th of November, the fourth session was held. Archbishop Flavian was speaking on the subject of the dogma, when they were informed that envoys from Eutyches, the monks and deacons Eleusinius, Constantine, and Constantius, with the Archimandrite Abraham, were at the door and desired admission. The Archbishop asked them to enter, and Abraham then said that Eutyches was ill, and had been unable to sleep the whole night, but had sighed and called him to him, that he might speak for him with the Archbishop. Flavian replied that they would not urge him, but wait for his recovery, but that then he must appear, for he was not coming to men unknown, but to fathers and brothers, and even to those who had hitherto been his friends. He had given offence to many, and therefore must of necessity defend himself. At the time that Nestorius endangered the truth, he had for the sake of that left his monastery and gone into the city, and so much the more was it his duty to do so now, for the sake of himself, and of the truth as well. If he acknowledged and anathematized his error, then he would receive forgiveness for the past; for the future, however, he must give assurance to the Synod and the Archbishop that he believed in accordance with the explanations of the Fathers, and that he would not again teach anything different.—At the close of the session, when they had all risen, the Archbishop further spoke as follows: “You know the zeal of the accuser,—fire itself seems cool to him in comparison with pure zeal for religion. God knows! I besought him to desist, and to yield; as, however, he persisted, what could I do? Shall I scatter you (the monks), and not rather gather? To scatter is the work of enemies; but it is the work of fathers to gather” (Luke 11:23; John 10:12).

We can see that Archbishop Flavian had an earnest desire for the maintenance of the peace of the Church, but duty required him to hear and examine the charges against Eutyches, and the heretical obstinacy of the latter made all peaceable understanding impossible. He had been invited to appear on Wednesday the 17th of November. On this day the fifth session was held, and Memnon, Epiphanius, and Germanus gave an account of the result of their mission to Eutyches. Memnon declared: “After we had handed Eutyches the letter of the Synod, he explained that he had sent the Archimandrite Abraham to the Archbishop and the Synod that he might in his name give his assent to the declarations of the Synods of Nicæa and Ephesus, and to all that Cyril had uttered.”

Eusebius of Dorylæum here interrupted the narrator, and said: “Even if Eutyches will now assent, because some have told him that he must yield to necessity and subscribe, yet I am not therefore in the wrong, for it is with reference, not to the future, but to the past, that I have accused him.” The Archbishop agreed to this; and Eusebius asserted further that he had entreated Eutyches, not merely once or twice, but frequently, to abandon his error, and that he could bring forward many witnesses against him.

After this interruption Memnon further related: “Eutyches said that on account of his sickness he had sent Abraham. But when I urged him more strongly to appear in person, he decided to await first the return of the Abbot Abraham, since he perhaps would soften the Archbishop and the Synod. When I remarked that we would remain with him until the return of Abraham, he asked us to request the Archbishop and the Synod to give him a respite for this week, and then he would, if it pleased God, present himself on the Monday of next week.”

The two other deputies of the Synod confirmed this statement, and those clerics were then heard whom the Synod had sent and commissioned to obtain information respecting the attempts of Eutyches to stir up the monks. In their name the priest Peter testified: “We went first into the convent of the Archimandrite and Presbyter Martin, and learned that Eutyches had certainly sent a writing to him on the 12th of November, and had requested him to sign it. On Martin replying that it was not his business, but that of the bishops, to subscribe declarations of faith, Eutyches sent him the reply: ‘If you do not support me, then the Archbishop, after he has overthrown me, will do the same with you.’ For the rest, the Archimandrite Martin had not even read the writing sent by Eutyches, and could only say as to its contents that Eutyches had sent him word that it contained what the Synod of Ephesus and Cyril had taught. Thereupon we had recourse to the Archimandrite and Presbyter Faustus, who told us that the monks Constantine and Eleusinius had brought him the writing of Eutyches for his signature, and had said that it contained the declarations of the Fathers of Nicæa and Ephesus. On his replying that he must, before subscribing, compare the tome with the Acts of the two Councils which he possessed, in order to see that nothing was added, they had departed again discontented. Another president of a monastery, Job, stated that Eutyches had sent him no writing, but had bid them tell him that the Archbishop would shortly lay something before him for his signature; but he was not to give it. Finally, we went to (abbot) Emmanuel and to Abraham, who asserted that they had received no writing and no request from Eutyches.”

Thereupon Eusebius of Dorylæum said: “The offence of Eutyches in attempting to stir up the monks and in teaching error is now shown, and therefore we must proceed against him. Besides, he is a liar, since on one occasion he said it was his principle not to go out, and on another he promised to come.” Archbishop Flavian, however, was unwilling even now to proceed to extremities, and granted Eutyches the respite he had desired until the 22d of November, remarking that in case he did not appear even then, he should be deprived of his sacerdotal dignity, and deposed from his headship of the monastery.

On Saturday the 20th of November the bishops assembled for the sixth session, and Eusebius of Dorylæum demanded that on the next Monday, when Eutyches should appear, four of his friends should also be invited as witnesses, namely, the priest Narses, the Syncellus of Eutyches; the Archimandrite Maximus his friend; the deacon Constantius his secretary, and the already-mentioned monk and deacon Eleusinius. After Flavian had assented to this request, the indefatigable Eusebius brought forward one other point. He had learned, he said, that Eutyches had said to the clerical envoys Mamas and Theophilus, who had gone to him with the second invitation, something which was not in the Acts, but which would throw a clear light upon his views. They ought to hear those deputies of the Synod on that subject. The only one of them present was Theophilus, and he testified: “Eutyches wished to dispute with us; but when Mamas would not agree to this, he said in the presence of the priest Narses, the Archimandrite Maximus, and several other monks: Where in the Scripture is anything said of two natures, and what Father has stated that God the Logos has two natures? (That certainly no one said!!) Mamas answered him that the ὁμοούσιος too was nowhere in Holy Scripture, and yet this was brought out by the explanations of the Fathers, and so it was in reference to the two natures. Then I (Theophilus) asked if God the Logos were perfect (in Christ). Eutyches said He was. I asked further, whether the man who appeared in the flesh (ἄνθρωπος ὁ σαρκωθεὶς) was also perfect. He also affirmed this, and then I said: If, then, (in Christ) God is perfectly present, and a perfect man, then those two perfects form the one Son. Why then should we not say: The one Son consists of two natures? Eutyches answered: Far be it from him to say that Christ consisted of two natures, or to dispute respecting the nature of God. If they were pleased to depose him or to undertake anything else against him, they must do it. He must abide by the faith which he had received.”

After this testimony Flavian asked why Theophilus had not said this at the very beginning, and he replied: “Because we had not been sent for this purpose (to make inquiries into the faith of Eutyches), but only to invite him. As we were not questioned about that, we thought we ought to be silent.” At this moment Mamas, the other envoy of the Synod, arrived. They read to him the new statements of his colleague, and he testified to nearly the same, with the like excuse for his previous silence. He also added: “Eutyches said, God the Logos became flesh in order to raise up again human nature which had fallen. I immediately replied: Consider, you say, to raise up human nature; but by what (other) nature is then this human nature assumed and raised up? Eutyches (not attending to this) said: In the Holy Scriptures I find nothing of two natures. But I replied: It is the same with ὁμοούσιος which is not found there; but we are taught by the Fathers respecting the ὁμοούσιος and also respecting the two natures. Then Eutyches said that he did not examine into the nature of God, and would not speak of two natures. Here he was, he said, if he were condemned, then might the convent be his grave, and he would willingly suffer anything; but two natures he would not confess.”

Flavian found the new testimonies of the two envoys clear and sufficient, and so closed this session.

The seventh and last session, which was also the most important, was in conclusion held on the following Monday, the 22d of November, and in order to increase its solemnity the books of the holy Gospels were publicly set forth. As Eusebius of Dorylæum wished to appear as accuser, he placed himself first at the door of the Secretarium in which the session was held, and asked for admission. Archbishop Flavian gave permission, and at the same time sent two deacons, Philadelphius and Cyril, in order to inquire, in the neighbourhood of the Episcopeion (the episcopal dwelling), whether Eutyches had arrived, and then to invite him to the assembly.

They soon returned with the information that he had been sought for in the whole church (the Episcopeion lay close to the church), but neither he nor any of his people had been seen. Flavian again sent two deacons, and these brought the intelligence that they had not seen Eutyches himself, but they had heard that he was coming directly with a great multitude of soldiers, monks, and servants of the Prefect of the Prætorian guard. It was shortly announced by the presbyter John, who was an official (ἔκδικος) of the Synod, that Eutyches had now really arrived, but his convoy would not allow him to enter, unless the Synod first promised that his person should again be restored to liberty. Among his attendants, he said, was also the exalted Silentiar Magnus (assessor in the privy council), as representative of the Emperor. Flavian requested them to enter, and the Silentiar read to him the letter with which the Emperor had entrusted him, as follows: “I wish the peace of the Church and the maintenance of the orthodox faith, which was asserted by the Fathers at Nicæa and Ephesus, and because I know that the Patrician Florentius is orthodox and proved in the faith, therefore it is my will that he be present at the sessions of the Synod, as the faith is in question.”

The bishops of the Synod received this decree with the usual Byzantine courtesies, crying out: “Many years to the Emperor, his faith is great; many years to the pious, orthodox, high-priestly Emperor (τῷ ἀρχιερεῖ βασιλεῖ).” Thereupon Flavian declared: “We all know that Florentius is orthodox, and are willing that he should be present at our session. But Eutyches must also say whether he agrees to his presence.” Eutyches replied: “Do what God and your holiness will; I am your servant.” Thereupon the Silentiar brought Florentius forward, and the Synod appointed that the accuser and the accused should place themselves in the midst, and that all the previous proceedings in the matter between Eusebius and Eutyches should be read. This was done by the deacon and notary Aetius. When he came to the passage in the letter of Cyril to the Orientals (pp. 130, 137) in which it is said: “We confess our Lord Jesus Christ as perfect God and perfect man, and as of one substance with the Father according to the Godhead, and of one substance with us according to the manhood; for an union of the two natures has taken place (δύο γὰρ φύσεων ἕνωσις γέγονε), therefore we confess One Christ, One Lord, and, in accordance with this union without confusion (τῆς ἀσυγχύτου ἑνώσεως), we call the holy Virgin God-bearer, because God the Logos was made flesh and man, and in the conception united the temple which He assumed from her (Mary) with Himself,”—at this point Eusebius of Dorylæum exclaimed: “Certainly such is not confessed by this man here (Eutyches); he has never believed this, but the contrary, and so he has taught every one who has come to him.” The Patrician Florentius asked that Eutyches should now be questioned as to whether he agreed with what had been read; but Eusebius of Dorylæum objected, remarking that if Eutyches now agreed, then he, Eusebius, must appear as having been lightly a slanderer, and should lose his office. Eutyches had already threatened him even with banishment to the Oasis, and he was rich and influential, whilst he himself was poor and possessed nothing. Florentius renewed his request that Eutyches should be asked how he believed and taught (and why he expressed himself differently at different times), and Eusebius now agreed on condition that no prejudice should arise to him from the present assent of Eutyches; for he was able to prove that previously he had not taught correctly.

Flavian calmed him by the assurance that if Eutyches now agreed there should not arise from this the slightest disadvantage for Eusebius; and then he asked Eutyches: “Say now, dost thou acknowledge the union of two natures (εἰ ἐκ δύο φύσεων ἕνωσιν ὁμολογεῖς)?” Eutyches said: “Yes;” but Eusebius of Dorylæum put the question more exactly, and asked: “Dost thou confess the existence of two natures even after the incarnation, and that Christ is of one nature with us after the flesh, or not?” Eutyches answered: “I have not come to dispute, but to testify to your holiness what I think. My view, however, is set down in this writing; command, therefore, that it be read.” To the request of Flavian that he would read it himself he returned a refusal, remarking that he could not, and the like; whereupon the Archbishop said: “If it is thine own confession of faith, why shouldest thou need the paper?” To which Eutyches answered: “That is my belief, I pray to the Father with the Son, and to the Son with the Father, and to the Holy Ghost with the Father and Son. I confess that His (the Son’s) bodily presence is from the body of the holy Virgin, and that He became perfect man for our salvation. Thus I confess before the Father, before the Son, and before the Holy Ghost, and before your holiness.” The Archbishop asked further: “Dost thou confess also that the one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, is of one substance with the Father as to His Godhead, and of one substance with His mother as to His manhood?” Eutyches replied: “I have already declared my opinion, leave me now in peace.” When, however, the Archbishop further asked: “Dost thou confess that Christ consists of two natures?” he replied, “I have not hitherto presumed to dispute concerning the nature of my God; but that He is of one substance with us have I hitherto, as I affirm, never said. Up to this present day have I never said that the body of our Lord and God is of one substance with us. I do confess, however, that the holy Virgin is of one substance with us, and that our God is made of our flesh.” The Archbishop, as well as Bishop Basil of Seleucia and the imperial commissioner Florentius, now represented to Eutyches that if he acknowledged that Mary was of one substance with us, and that Christ had taken His manhood from her, then it followed of itself that He, according to His manhood, was also of one substance with us. Eutyches replied: “Consider well, I say not that the body of man has become the body of God, but I speak of a human body of God, and say that the Lord was made flesh of the Virgin. If you wish me to add further that His body is of one substance with ours, then I do this; but I do not understand this as though I denied that He is the Son of God. Formerly I did not generally speak of an unity of substance (after the flesh), but now I will do so, because your holiness thus requires it.” To the reply of the Archbishop: “Thou doest it then only of compulsion, and not because it is thy faith?” Eutyches made an evasive answer, and remarked again that hitherto he had never so spoken, but that now he would do so in accordance with the will of the Synod. In this answer there was involved the reproach that the Synod had allowed itself to make a doctrinal innovation, which Flavian decisively rejected. Thereupon Florentius asked, with precision and insight into the matter: “Dost thou believe that our Lord, who was born of the Virgin, is of one substance with us, and that after the incarnation He is ἐκ δύο φύσεων, or not?” And Eutyches answered: “I confess that before the union (of the Godhead and manhood) He was of two natures, but after the union I confess only one nature” (ὁμολογῶ ἐκ δύο φύσεων γεγενῆσθαι τὸν κύριον ἡμῶν πρὸ τῆς ἑνώσεως μετὰ δὲ τὴν ἕνωσιν μίαν φύσιν ὁμολογῶ).

The Synod finally demanded of Eutyches a public declaration and an anathema on every view which was in opposition to the doctrine which had been expressed. He answered again equivocally: “He would now indeed, since the Synod so required, accept the manner of speech in question (that Christ was of one substance with us, and of two natures), but he found it neither in Holy Scripture nor in the Fathers collectively, and therefore could not pronounce an anathema (on the non-acceptance of that expression), because in that case he would be anathematizing his Fathers.” Upon this the Synod arose and cried: “To him be anathema;” and the Archbishop asked: “What does this man deserve who does not confess the right faith, but persists in his perverseness?” Eutyches endeavoured once more to evade the condemnation by the distinction which he had already brought forward: “That he would now indeed accept the required manner of speaking in accordance with the will of the Synod, but he could not pronounce the anathema.”

The Patrician Florentius, however, shut him up within narrower limits by the question: “Dost thou confess two natures in Christ, and His unity of substance with us?” And when Eutyches replied: “I read the writings of S. Cyril and S. Athanasius: before the union they speak of two natures, but after the union only of one;” he asked still more precisely: “Dost thou confess two natures even after the union? if not, then wilt thou be condemned.” Eutyches then requested that the books of Cyril and Athanasius should be read; but Basil of Seleucia remarked that the Acts say (he himself disallowed it in some measure at the Robber-Synod): “If thon dost not acknowledge two natures after the union also, then thou acceptest a mingling and confusion (of the natures).” Florentius cried out: “He who does not say of two natures, and who does not acknowledge two natures, has not the right faith.” And the Synod replied: “And he who accepts anything only by compulsion (as Eutyches), does not believe in it. Many years to the Emperors!” At last the Archbishop announced the sentence: “Eutyches, a priest and archimandrite, has, by previous statements, and even now by his own confessions, shown himself to be entangled in the perversity of Valentinus and Apollinaris, without allowing himself to be won back to the genuine dogmas by our exhortation and instruction. Therefore we, bewailing his complete perversity, have decreed, for the sake of Christ whom he has reviled, that he be deposed from every priestly office, expelled from our communion, and deprived of his headship over the convent. And all who henceforth hold communion with him, and have recourse to him, must know that they too are liable to the penalty of excommunication.” This sentence was subscribed by Flavian and the rest of the bishops (according to the Greek text 28, according to the old Latin version 31) with the formula ὁρίσας ὑπέγραψα, that is, JUDICANS subscripsi, while the twenty-three archimandrites who likewise, but somewhat later, subscribed, used only the expression ὑπέγραψα, since they had a right not to pronounce judgment, but only to give their assent.

SEC. 173. Eutyches and Flavian both endeavour to gain over public opinion to their side

It was to be foreseen that Eutyches and his friends would bring forward many complaints and accusations against this Synod. We shall see, however, that some of these were quite futile, others incapable of proof, and that the few which could be proved were of no importance.

After the close of the Synod, and when its sentence was known, there arose great excitement among the people, and Eutyches, as he complains, was on his return home publicly insulted by the populace. He brought this forward again as so far a reproach to Archbishop Flavian that he had not hindered it. He speaks even of having come into danger of his life, from which, as he flatteringly writes to Leo the Great, he had only been saved by the intercession of this Pope (whose protection he had invoked) with the imperial soldiers. For the rest he did not fail to have put up at various public places in Constanstinople placards (contestatorios libellos), in which he complained abusively of what had been done, and sought to justify his teaching. He also made his complaint to the Emperor, and here he met with no unfavourable hearing, so that Flavian from this time fell into still greater disfavour.

In order, however, to gain to his side the most distinguished bishops of remote provinces, he addressed to several of them cautiously composed letters; and one of these, which was sent to Pope Leo, we have already noted. He says in it, that at the suggestion of Satan, Bishop Eusebius of Dorylæum had sent an accusation against him to Bishop Flavian of Constantinople, and to a number of bishops accidentally assembled for other causes, and had charged him with heresy, not in the interest of truth, but in order to ruin him and to embroil the Church. Invited to the Synod, he had been unable to appear in consequence of serious illness, but had been willing to transmit to them his confession of faith in writing. Flavian had not accepted this writing, nor would he allow it to be read, but required that Eutyches should confess two natures and anathematize all the opponents of this doctrine. He had not been able to do this, since even Athanasius, Gregory, Julius, and Felix had rejected the expression “two natures;” and, besides, he had wished to add nothing to the confession of faith of Nicæa (and Ephesus), and had not ventured to undertake inquiries into the nature of God the Word. He had therefore prayed that the Synod would acquaint the Pope with the matter, that he might pronounce a judgment, to which he would then entirely submit (he thus maintains that he had appealed to Rome, and speaks of it ad captandam benevolentiam, in a manner which must have been very pleasing at Rome). But they had not listened to him, but had suddenly broken off the Synod and published the sentence against him, so that he would have come in danger of his life, if the military had not, at the intercession of the Pope, delivered him. Then they had also compelled the heads of other convents to subscribe his deposition, which had not been done in the case of Nestorius, and had prevented him from circulating writings in his own justification (the placards) among the people, and having them read. He now appealed to Leo, the defender of religion, and adjured him, impartially and without being affected by the previous intrigues, to pronounce a sentence in reference to the faith, and henceforth to protect him (Eutyches), especially as he had spent seventy years in all continence and chastity. Finally, he presented two writings, the accusation of Eusebius and his new paper which had not been received (according to the supposition of the Ballerini, the document of appeal); besides (thirdly), his declaration of faith (probably a copy of the placard); and (fourthly) the declarations of the Fathers on the two natures.

To this letter the Ballerini, in their edition of the letters of Leo, have added another fragment, which, in their view, contains the beginning of Eutyches’ placard. He there asserts his orthodoxy. In the remaining part, now lost, the contestatio ad populum, that is, the complaint of the wrong which he had suffered, and the like, may have been contained.

A second letter to the same effect was sent by Eutyches to the then highly renowned Bishop of Ravenna, Peter Chrysologus, but we have now only the answers to it. Peter Chrysologus there laments the contentiousness of the theologians of his day, but prudently does not enter further upon the subject itself, but only remarks: “He would have answered more fully if his brother Flavian had, on his side, also made him acquainted with the whole subject. Upon a one-sided statement he would form no judgment. For the rest, Eutyches must acquiesce in that which the Pope had written, since the holy Peter, who still lives in his see, imparts the truth to those who seek it. We, however, cannot decide upon matters of faith without the assent of the Roman bishop.”

It is not without doubt, but it is very probable, that Eutyches now appealed also to Dioscurus of Alexandria and other great bishops, although no documents on the subject are extant.

On the other side, Flavian, Archbishop of Constantinople, only did his duty when he caused the sentence which had been pronounced against Eutyches to be published in his churches, and when he required of the various convents and heads of convents that they should subscribe and thus accept the sentence. In this way were added the already mentioned (p. 204) subscriptions of twenty-three archimandrites, which we still possess. In particular, Flavian sent deputies into the convent of Eutyches himself, with the command that the monks should no longer recognize him as abbot, that they should no longer speak with him, that they should no longer attend divine service with him, and that they should not leave the administration of their property any longer in his hands.

It was further natural that Flavian should acquaint the bishops of other provinces with what had been done. That he should do so, and also transmit the Acts of the Synod (the τόμος) to the Oriental bishops, had been requested in the second session by Bishop Sabbas of Paltus in Syria. That this was actually done is testified by the Patriarch Domnus of Antioch, who declared at the Robber-Synod that the decree of deposition on Eutyches had been sent to him from Constantinople, and had been subscribed by him. Besides, in regard to this matter, we possess a correspondence between Flavian, Pope Leo, and the Emperor Theodosius the younger. The first of these letters, according to the investigations of the Ballerini, was written by Flavian to Leo a short time after the close of the Synod at Constantinople, towards the end of the year 448, or early in 449, and begins with the lamentation that the Archbishop has not been able to save one of his clergy, and snatch him from ruin. There were people, he said, who, while they wore sheep’s clothing, were inwardly ravening wolves. So it was with Eutyches; he had appeared to maintain orthodoxy against Nestorius, and yet he had himself endeavoured to destroy the orthodox faith, and to renew the old heresies of Valentinus and Apollinaris. He had undauntedly declared before the holy Synod that we should not believe that after the incarnation Christ consisted of two natures in one person, and that His flesh was of the same substance as ours. The Virgin who bare Him was of the same flesh with us, but the Lord had not assumed from her a body of the same substance as ours, and the body of the Lord was not the body of a man, although the body which came from the Virgin was a human one. For the sake of brevity Flavian further appeals to the proceedings which had taken place some time ago (πάλαι) in this matter (Synod at Constantinople), the Acts of which he sent to the Pope (in the epistolary style: “I have sent”), according to which Eutyches was deposed. The Pope should make the bishops who were subject to him acquainted with it, so that they might have no communion with the heretic.

Before this letter reached Rome the Pope received a letter from the Emperor and one from Eutyches himself, from which we have given an extract above (p. 205). Leo now wrote on the 18th of February 449, as the subscription shows, to Flavian as follows: “The Emperor had made him acquainted with the ecclesiastical troubles in Constantinople, and Leo only wondered that Flavian had told him nothing of them, and had not taken care that the matter should be communicated to him first. He had also received a letter from Eutyches, who complained that, although innocent, he had been excommunicated on the accusation of Eusebius of Dorylæum, and that his appeal to Rome had not been regarded. Flavian should inform him of all, for until he knew everything accurately he could not judge in favour of either. Flavian should also send him an able envoy, who might give him complete information respecting the novelty which had arisen. He thoroughly desired the restoration of peace, that those who maintained error might be turned away from their error, and that the orthodox might be confirmed by the papal approval. And this could not be difficult, as Eutyches had declared in his letter that he was ready to correct what should be found blameworthy in him. In such a matter,” Leo says towards the end, “above all an effort must be made ut sine strepitu concertationum et custodiatur caritas, et Veritas defendatur.”

Leo’s letter of the same date to the Emperor is shorter. He rejoices that Theodosius has not only the heart of an emperor, but also that of a priest, and is rightly anxious that no discord should arise. For then is the empire best established when the Holy Trinity is served in unity. Further on he comes to speak of the letter of Eutyches, and of the accusation of Eusebius of Dorylæum which Eutyches had transmitted to him, and remarks that these two documents do not represent the matter with sufficient completeness. He had therefore written to Flavian, and had censured him for his silence.

To this Flavian replied in his second letter to Leo (No. 26), in which he explains somewhat more fully the heresy of Eutyches, and shows how his doctrine of one nature is in opposition to a clear utterance of the Synod of Ephesus. Eutyches had therefore been deposed by the Synod, as the Pope would perceive from the Acts attached to this letter. The Pope should know that Eutyches, after his righteous deposition, instead of repenting and amending, was, on the contrary, endeavouring to embarrass the Church of Constantinople, was putting up placards full of insults and calumnies, was importuning the Emperor with petitions, and treading the holy canons under foot. He (Flavian) had received the letter of Leo through the Count Pansophius, and had learned from that how Eutyches had lied; for it was not true that during the Synod he had put in an appeal to Rome. The Pope should certainly confirm the canonical deposition of Eutyches in a special brief, and strengthen the faith of the Emperor. In that way all would be made peaceful, and the future Synod, of which they were already talking, would be rendered superfluous.

It is evident that this letter was composed before the official convocation of the new Synod (Robber-Synod), which was published on the 30th of March 449. The letter probably belongs to the same month. The Pope used the first opportunity, the 21st of May 449, in order to acquaint Archbishop Flavian briefly that he had received his letter. He already acknowledges that Eutyches had erred from the right faith, and promises to send a complete letter on the subject by Flavian’s messenger on his return, in order to show how the whole matter must be judged. He refers to his Epistola dogmatica ad Flavianum, which afterwards became so famous, and of which we shall presently have to speak.

The Emperor’s letter to the Pope, which was mentioned above, is a proof to us that Eutyches had gained the favour of the court, and that Theodosius had endeavoured to save him. He therefore, as he says himself, frequently got Archbishop Flavian to come to him, in order to induce him to be contented with the Nicene Creed as confirmed at Ephesus, which Eutyches had naturally accepted without hesitation. As Flavian did not and would not agree to this, the Emperor became very angry; and as Eutyches continued to accuse the Archbishop himself of heresy, Theodosius went so far as to require a confession of faith from Flavian, which he presented, and which has come down to us.

SEC. 174. The Examination on account of the pretended falsification of the Synodal Acts

Making use of the favourable disposition of the Emperor, Eutyches brought a new complaint in the early part of the year 449, that the Acts of the Synod of Constantinople, which Flavian had had prepared, were in many places falsified, and that therefore the notaries of Flavian, together with the deacon Athanasius of Seleucia, and the clerics whom the Synod had sent to Eutyches, should be examined in the presence of Thalassius (Archbishop of Cæsarea in Cappadocia) and other bishops. The Emperor acceded to this request on the 8th of April 449, and on the same day the imperial tribune, notary, and referendar Macedonius acquainted the bishops who were assembled under the presidency of Thalassius in the baptistery of the church of Constantinople with the Emperor’s command. Flavian is not included in the list of bishops, but many others are there who had co-operated in the deposition of Eutyches.

In consequence of this a second and greater synodal assembly of thirty-four bishops took place on the 13th of April in the greater portico of the church at Constantinople under the presidency of Flavian. Fifteen of them had also been, in the previous year, members of that Synod which had pronounced the condemnation of Eutyches. Besides these, the Patrician Florentius was also present again on this occasion, and with him two other imperial officials, the Count Mamas and the tribune Macedonius, already mentioned.

After the short minutes of the assembly of April 8 were read, Florentius asked whether representatives of Eutyches were present. When this question was answered in the affirmative, Eusebius of Dorylæum and Meliphthongus, Bishop of Juliopolis, raised a question as to their admission, as they thought that Eutyches himself ought personally to appear. When, however, the tribune explained that, as Eutyches, being excommunicated, would not venture personally to be present, the Emperor had ordered him to send representatives, they acquiesced, and the spokesmen for Eutyches were admitted. They were the three monks Constantine, Eleusinius, and Constantius. Thereupon the tribune requested that the bishops who had been present at the deposition of Eutyches should swear an oath that they would say the truth; but Basil of Seleucia, one of the most distinguished among those present, rejected this requirement as inadmissible, and as something which had never been done before; but, on the other hand, promised that all should speak with the same conscientiousness as though they stood before the holy altar.

Whether Macedonius upon this gave up his demand the Acts do not say, but they inform us that the petition which Eutyches had addressed to the Emperor, and which we have already mentioned, was now read. Then the notaries of Flavian, who had drawn up the criminated acts, were required to stand forth in the midst of the assembly, namely, the deacons Asterius, Aetius, Nonnus, Asclepiades, and Procopius. Aetius desired at first to be more accurately informed of what they were accused, and that they should be allowed time to reply. But Florentius refused this as an evasion of the question, and declared that the Acts should be read and their genuineness examined, but that no definite accusation should be brought forward against the notaries. To this Archbishop Flavian also agreed, remarking that the Acts had been drawn up by his notaries. If they were genuine, they must now maintain this without hesitation; but if anything in them were false, they must speak the truth as before the judgment-seat of God, and not conceal the falsifier. Florentius acknowledged that the Archbishop thus spoke from a sense of his innocence, and after another objection of Aetius had been put aside, they proceeded to the actual examination of the Acts, in such wise that the authentic copy of the notaries of Flavian was read from section to section, and the representatives of Eutyches were required to compare that which was read with their own copy which they had brought with them, and at once to bring forward their remarks in opposition.

No objection was made to the Acts of the first and second sessions of Constantinople (pp. 190, 191); but after the reading of the minutes of the third session one of the representatives of Eutyches, the deacon and monk Constantine, remarked that an expression of Eutyches had not been correctly reproduced. He had not said to those whom the Synod then sent to him: “If the Fathers of the Church erred in some expressions, I do not blame them for this, but only inquire in Holy Scripture” (p. 192). Instead, however, of stating how Eutyches did then actually express himself, he only explained his own view, “that the Fathers had spoken diversely, and I accept all from them, but not as a rule of faith (εἰς κανόνα δὲ πίστεως οὐ δέχομαι).” As, however, he noticed that this expression was also very offensive, he requested that it should not be used to the prejudice of Eutyches. He was answered properly that the representatives of Eutyches at their entrance had themselves given the assurance that they possessed full instructions and unrestricted authority from him, so that he would acknowledge all their explanations as his own words, and for that reason the request just made was quite inadmissible. Embarrassed by this answer, Constantine requested that the words, “but not as a rule of faith,” might be struck out, for he had uttered them only inconsiderately, being confused by the great noise in the assembly.

Bishop Seleucus remarked that this had not been so, for, on the contrary, he had made use of this expression while perfect silence prevailed, and before the noise (caused by his utterance) had arisen. Asked by Florentius to state their opinion, the two bishops, Thalassius of Cæsarea and Eusebius of Ancyra (neither of whom had been present at the Synod of the year 448), declared that the representatives of Eutyches could not confirm one part of what he had deposed and not the other; but all that he said must be confirmed and regarded as Eutyches’ own explanation. Constantine replied that he had not claimed to have received such extensive authority from Eutyches; but Florentius pointed out that it had been so stated by himself in the Acts. Bishop Meliphthongus of Juliopolis interposed the remark that it was now clear that they ought to have accepted his proposal, that Eutyches should again be heard in person. But again he found no response, and at the request of the Patrician the two earlier synodal deputies, the priest John and the deacon Andrew, declared most solemnly that Eutyches had certainly spoken the words in question to them. Upon the further remark of the monk Constantine, that the earlier report of the presbyter John had not yet been read from the minutes, the latter himself requested that this should now be done, and that he should put off taking the oath until the reading was completed.

After this the whole of the testimony which had been borne by John in the third session at Constantinople (see p. 191 f.) was now read from beginning to end, and after this was done, John remarked that, as they knew, it was not quite possible to repeat the very words which one had heard; but the deacon Andrew and the deacon Athanasius (of Seleucia) had also been present at the interview with Eutyches. Besides, he had immediately at the time made a note in writing of what he had heard, and still possessed this memorandum. At the request of Florentius it was read, and it agreed in every essential with the minute (of the Synod of Constantinople). For this reason Constantine, the friend of Eutyches, made no criticism; but his colleague Eleusinius called attention to the fact that the supposed expression of Eutyches which stood in the minutes of the Synod: “Christ’s body is not of one substance with ours,” was not found in the memorandum of John. John replied that he would swear that Eutyches had actually spoken these words, but to him alone, and not also to the others who were present, for which reason he had not put them in his memorandum.

Then the short testimony which the deacon Andrew had given in the third session at Constantinople (p. 192) was read, and he added to this that the priest John had then asked Eutyches whether he acknowledged that Christ, in His Godhead, was of one substance with the Father, but in His manhood of one substance with us. Eutyches had replied that the Creed (of Nicæa) spoke only of one consubstantiality, namely that of the Godhead, and we ought to be satisfied with that. Moreover, Eutyches had spoken something with John alone, which he had not heard. The same was deposed by the deacon Athanasius of Seleucia, only he knew nothing of the separate conversation between Eutyches and John. The monk Eleusinius, one of the agents of Eutyches, laid great stress upon the fact that John in his later testimony had added something to his first memorandum in his notebook, and both reports were then read again and compared. Athanasius explained that when in the third session of Constantinople the words of Eutyches, “not of one substance with us after the flesh,” were read, he had remarked that this was new to him; but the priest John had then again asseverated that Eutyches had uttered this in his presence alone. John now said the others, however, must have heard how he addressed the question to Eutyches: “Dost thou believe that the Son, as touching the Godhead, is of one substance with the Father, and as touching the manhood of one substance with us?” and they testified to this.

Then this point was left, and they proceeded with the reading of the Acts of Constantinople. At those of the fifth session the monk Constantine at the beginning tried to create a doubt as to whether Eutyches had really said to the Archimandrite Martin, that “if they (the other archimandrites) did not make common cause with him, the Archbishop would ruin them all, like him” (p. 196). He and his colleague Eleusinius, however, immediately gave up the demand for further examination of this point, which they themselves acknowledged to be unimportant.

After the reading of the minutes of the sixth session, at the request of Constantine, the synodal deputy Theophilus, who had previously been sent to Eutyches, was examined anew on the words which Eutyches had then spoken to him (p. 198). In his new testimony he added that Eutyches had then also said: “I follow the explanations of the Fathers,” and the agents of Eutyches laid great stress upon this. Then Mamas, who had formerly been sent with Theophilus to Eutyches, repeated what he had said then, and, after a brief interposition from Constantine, they passed on to the minutes of the seventh session. The first doubt on this occasion was raised by Florentius, who remarked: “he had indeed said that they should ask Eutyches how he believed and taught;” but the words further ascribed to him, “why he expressed himself differently at different times (p. 20l), he had not added.” Archbishop Flavian asked who had made this (otherwise very unimportant) addition; but the notary Aetius thought it was not yet shown that it really was a foreign addition, and Florentius allowed the point to drop.

On the further reading Eleusinius maintained that everything was not set forth in its proper order, particularly that Eutyches had at the very beginning offered to hand in the paper mentioned in the minutes, which had contained the Creed of Nicæa, but which had not been accepted by Flavian. The latter asked, in reply, how it was certain that the Nicene Creed had really formed part of that paper; and Eusebius of Dorylæum wished to remove this whole point with the proposal that the chief question, whether Eutyches were really a heretic or not, should be left to the Œcumenical Council which was already summoned. But Bishop Seleucus of Amasia remarked, with great force, that Eutyches, in his letter to Pope Leo, said that the paper which he proffered to the Synod had contained an appeal to Rome: how could he then maintain that its contents was a confession of faith? he contradicted himself. After the further remark of Florentius, that Eutyches had, after the conclusion of the Synod of Constantinople, handed in that paper to him, they continued the reading of the minutes of the seventh session, and after a little Eleusinius maintained that the words of Eutyches were omitted, in which he said that “he thought exactly as the Synods of Nicæa and Ephesus had taught.” But the bishops testified in great numbers that Eutyches had not then, at least, spoken these words. On further reading, Eleusinius raised a doubt as to whether, at the point at which it stood in the Acts, “the Synod rose up and cried,” etc. (p. 203), the first anathema had been pronounced upon Eutyches. Florentius and several bishops could no longer remember this; others affirmed that they had so exclaimed; but the notary Aetius remarked that it might easily happen, and without any bad intention, that if several bishops cried out the same thing (and no one contradicted), this should be taken for the utterance of the Synod. And so it might have happened here. This point also was then passed over; but at the next section of the minutes Florentius remarked that he had spoken to Eutyches the words: “Dost thou acknowledge two natures, etc., and if not, thou wilt be condemned” (p. 203), not as a threat, but as an exhortation, in order to induce him to submit to the Synod. A further expression, however, attributed to him: “He who does not say ‘of two natures’ has not the right faith” (p. 203), was not his, and he should not have been justified, as a layman, in thus speaking. The notary Aetius appealed, however, to the testimony of the bishops and officers of state, in whose presence the Acts had been examined and approved after they were drawn up. Florentius might, perhaps, object that he at least had not read these Acts all through; but it was incomparably more probable that Florentius had learnt in the interval that the expression which he now wished to disavow was not in accordance with court-orthodoxy, than that the Acts should have been falsified at this place.

At the conclusion of the minutes of the Synod, Constantine had several points to represent, and first of all that the cause of the condemnation of Eutyches was not expressed with sufficient exactuess, for this had followed when, in answer to the demand of Flavian that he should pronounce an anathema on all who did not acknowledge two natures, he had replied: “Woe is me if I should anathematize the holy Fathers.” This was wanting in the Acts. (Certainly; but it appears in them somewhat earlier, and was objected to by the agents of Eutyches at that earlier place. The whole error then, if there was one, consists in a transposition which was made without the least purpose of deception.)

Constantine further noted the omission of several insignificant details at the close of the seventh session, particularly several expressions of some of the bishops, and the notice that Archbishop Flavian had wished to have another passage read from S. Athanasius on the question of one or two natures, but that his notary Asterius, without regarding this, had immediately published the sentence against Eutyches. On this Aetius and several bishops remarked that there had been such loud speaking at the close of that session that they might easily have failed to hear the one expression or the other. Besides, several of them said they could no longer remember particular details. During the proceedings on this subject Constantine asserted that the judgment on Eutyches which stood in the Acts had not been conceived first at the session, but had been previously dictated by the Archbishop. Aetius demanded that Constantine should tell them how he knew this; but Bishop Seleucus put the point aside as not belonging to the question, since the matter now before them was the alleged falsification of the Acts, and not the time at which the Archbishop had conceived the idea of the sentence on Eutyches.

Finally, the monk Constantine again made the assertion that during the reading of the judgment pronounced upon him, Eutyches had appealed to a council of the Bishops of Rome, Alexandria, Jerusalem, and Thessalonica (the primatial see of Illyria Orientalis), but that the minutes were silent on this subject. That this assertion was scarcely correct is clear from that which the imperial commissioner Florentius was able to say on the subject, namely, that Eutyches, after the Council was already dissolved, had said to him quietly that he appealed to a Roman, Egyptian, and Jerusalemite Council. He (Florentius) had immediately made Archbishop Flavian acquainted with this. Bishop Basil of Seleucia asserted that Eutyches had said, during the proceedings of the Synod, that he would acknowledge the two natures if the Bishops of Rome and Alexandria required this of him; but he had heard nothing of an appeal. Flavian, too, testified that he had not heard a word from Eutyches himself on the subject of an appeal, and that it was only after the close of the Synod that Florentius had given the intimation referred to. The same testimony, that they had heard nothing of an appeal, was given by all the other bishops. At the close, Florentius requested that these new proceedings should also be laid before the Emperor. He promised, in like manner, to bring to the knowledge of the Emperor the declarations of the notaries of Flavian that they had justified themselves, and that no one raised any complaint against them, so that in the future, when they no longer had the Acts at hand, they should not again be called to account.

As we have already seen, the monk Constantine had maintained in the assembly just described, of the 13th of April, that the sentence of deposition on Eutyches was not first drawn up at the seventh session of the Synod, but had been previously dictated by Flavian. This point had not then been entered upon. Notwithstanding, Eutyches did not allow this to pass, and at his request the Emperor appointed a new small commission of inquiry, which met on the 27th of April 449. The imperial Count Martial was its president, the Count Castorius his assistant, the tribune Macedonius and the Silentiar Magnus, of whom we have already spoken, had to be examined. First the petition was read which Eutyches had addressed to the Emperor on this subject, and as he appealed in it also to the Silentiar Magnus, who had conducted him into the presence of the Synod, and had then seen and heard something in reference to the sentence in question, the Silentiar was now required by Martial to give evidence of the truth. He deposed that, when he had come to Archbishop Flavian to announce to him that the Patrician Florentius would be present at the Synod by the Emperor’s commission, the Archbishop had said to him that it was unnecessary to trouble so distinguished a personage on this occasion, for the pattern in this matter (i.e. the sentence) was already given, and Eutyches was already condemned, because he had not appeared at the second invitation. He had also been shown a paper containing this condemnation, and this had been done before the Synod had pronounced its judgment.—This testimony was entered in the minutes, and then, at the request of the monk Constantine, Macedonius was desired to give an account of what he had heard from the priest Asterius, Flavian’s notary. He declared that after the close of the previously mentioned session for the confirmation of the Acts, Asterius had informed him that the Archimandrite Abraham and the notaries had falsified the Acts. This also was entered in the minutes, but no inquiry was made into the accuracy of this testimony, as it must have appeared, à priori, improbable that Asterius, one of the notaries of Flavian, who was thoroughly devoted to him, and who was himself implicated, should have betrayed himself and his colleagues.








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