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

SEC. 175. Convocation of the Synod

A FEW weeks before those two commissions of inquiry met, the Emperor Theodosius II. had summoned an Œcumenical Council to Ephesus. He did this at the united request of Eutyches and the Patriarch Dioscurus of Alexandria, supported probably by the minister Chrysaphius. Dioscurus stood on the same doctrinal ground as Eutyches, understanding the teaching of Cyril in the same sense as he did, and discovered Nestorianism in every other view. He was perhaps also drawn on by envy against the Patriarch of Constantinople, whose see began to obtain precedence over that of Alexandria, a circumstance which, half a century before, had occasioned the irreconcilable hatred of Theophilus of Alexandria against S. Chrysostom. Dioscurus now went so far that, in opposition to all canonical laws, he received back Eutyches into the communion of the Church, and declared him to be restored to his dignities as priest and archimandrite even before the greater Synod of Ephesus, which had been called for the examination of the subject, had given a decision upon it; and this although Eutyches had been excommunicated by a competent tribunal, and although Dioscurus had not the least jurisdiction over him.

Of the convocation of this Synod, as imminent, Flavian had spoken in his second letter to Pope Leo, and frequently declared that he expected no good of it (see above, p. 210). Bishop Eusebius of Dorylæum, on the contrary, seems to have regarded the prospect as more favourable, as we may infer from his expressions already mentioned (p. 216). The imperial brief of convocation itself, which, as was usual, was sent forth in the name of the two Emperors, Theodosius II. and Valentinian II., is dated from Constantinople on the 30th of March 449. It was addressed in identical terms to the great metropolitans, and still exists in the copy sent to Dioscurus. The Emperors declare in it their zeal for orthodoxy, and explain that, as doubts and controversies have arisen respecting the right faith, the holding of an Œcumenical Synod has become necessary. Dioscurus must therefore, with ten of the metropolitans subject to him and ten other holy bishops distinguished for knowledge and character, present themselves at Ephesus, on the approaching first of August. The same invitations were sent also to the other bishops, and they were warned that none of those who were summoned could, without great responsibility, decline or delay their arrival. Theodoret of Cyrus, on the contrary (the strenuous opponent of Monophysitism), was not to appear unless the Synod itself should summon him.

In a second letter to Dioscurus, dated the 15th of May of the same year, the Emperor says he has learned that many Oriental archimandrites were with great zeal opposing some Nestorianizing bishops; he had therefore given command that the Priest and Archimandrite Barsumas (of Syria) should also appear as representative of all his colleagues at the Council of Ephesus with a seat and a vote, and Dioscurus is required to receive him in a friendly manner as a member of the Synod. With this agrees the letter of the Emperor to Barsumas himself, dated on the 14th of May, which has also come down to us; and therefore we may suppose that in fact some Nestorianizing bishops in the East had been raising controversies at the same time with Eutyches, only in a directly opposite manner, and that this was, in the Emperor’s view, a second reason for the convocation of the Synod. About the same time the Emperor appointed two high officers of state, Elpidius (Comes sacri consistorii, as he is called in the letter to the proconsul Proclus) and the tribune and prætorian notary Eulogius, as his commissioners at the approaching Synod, and gave them written instructions (commonitorium) which still exist in the copy addressed to Elpidius, and run as follows: “But lately the holy Synod of Ephesus had been engaged with the affair of the impious Nestorius, and had pronounced a righteous sentence on him. Because, however, new controversies of faith had arisen, he had summoned a second Synod to Ephesus, in order to destroy the evil to the roots. He had therefore selected Elpidius and Eulogius for the service of the faith in order to fulfil his commands in reference to the Synod of Ephesus. In particular, they must allow no disturbances, and they must arrest every one who aroused such, and inform the Emperor of him; they must take care that everything is done in order, must be present at the decisions (κρίσει), and take care that the Synod examine the matter quickly and carefully, and give information of the same to the Emperor. Those bishops who previously sat in judgment on Eutyches (at Constantinople) are to be present at the proceedings at Ephesus, but are not to vote, since their own previous sentence must be examined anew. Further, no other question is to be brought forward at the Synod, and especially no question of money, before the settlement of the question of faith. By a letter to the proconsul he had required support for the commissioners from the civil and military authorities, so that they might be able to fulfil his commissions, which were as far above other business as divine above human things.”

A short decree to the proconsul Proclus of Asia acquainted him with the imperial resolution thus expressed, and ordered him to support the commissioners as well as possible, otherwise he would expose himself to great responsibility.

We possess, besides, two other imperial decrees which preceded the actual opening of the Ephesine or Robber-Synod. The first of them is an edict to Dioscurus, to the effect that “the Emperor has already forbidden Theodoret of Cyrus, on account of his writings against Cyril, to take part in the Synod, unless he is expressly summoned by the Synod itself. Because, however, it was to be feared that some Nestorianizing bishops would use every means in order to bring him with them, the Emperor, following the rule of the holy Fathers, would nominate Dioscurus to be president of the Synod. Archbishop Juvenal of Jerusalem and Thalassius of Cæsarea, and all zealous friends of the orthodox faith, would support Dioscurus. In conclusion, the Emperor expresses the wish that all who should desire to add anything to the Nicene Confession of Faith (Symbolum), or take anything from it, should not be regarded in the Synod; but on this point Dioscurus should give judgment, since it was for this very purpose that the Synod was convoked.”

The second rescript, addressed to the Synod itself, says: “The Emperor had indeed wished that all had remained at rest, and that he had not found it necessary to trouble the bishops; but Flavian had brought into question some points respecting the faith, in opposition to the Archimandrite Eutyches, and on that account had assembled a council. The Emperor had several times entreated him to allay again the storm which had been raised, so that the confusion might not become universal; but Flavian had not allowed the controversy to drop, and therefore the Emperor had judged necessary the opening of a holy Synod of the bishops of all parts, so that they might learn what had already been done in this matter, that they might cut off this controversy and all its diabolical roots, exclude the adherents of Nestorius from the Church, and preserve the orthodox faith firm and unshaken, since the whole hope of the Emperor and the power of the empire depended upon the right faith in God and the holy prayers of the Synod.”

An invitation to take part in the Synod of Ephesus was also despatched to Pope Leo I., and reached Rome, May 13, 449. The Pope, however, was unable to respond to the wish of the Emperor that he should appear personally, on account of disquieting conjunctures, and therefore he appointed three legates, Bishop Julius of Puzzuolo, the priest Renatus (Cardinal of S. Clement), and the deacon Hilarus, to take his place at the Synod, and to convey his letters to Archbishop Flavian, to the Emperor, to the Synod, to Pulcheria, etc.

SEC. 176. The celebrated Epistola Dogmatica of Leo to Flavian

The first of these letters, to Flavian, contains that complete doctrinal treatise on the doctrine of the person of Christ which Leo had already (p. 210) promised to the bishop of Constantinople, and which afterwards, as approved by the fourth Œcumenical Synod, received symbolical importance.

This letter, the original text of which we append in the note; with the omission of a few unimportant sentences, runs as follows:—“Chap. I. Thy letter, at the late despatch of which I am astonished, and the synodal Acts which were appended, have at last made me acquainted with the offence which has arisen among you in opposition to the true faith. What has hitherto been dark has now become quite clear. Eutyches there shows himself as in a high degree ignorant and lacking in intelligence.… What knowledge of the Old and New Testament can he have who does not even understand the beginning of the creed? And that which the catechumens throughout the whole world confess, the heart of this old man cannot comprehend.—Chap. II. If He did not know what he ought to believe respecting the incarnation of the divine Word, and would not search throughout the whole Scriptures on the subject, then he ought to have adhered to the creed, which all know and confess: To believe in God, the Father Almighty, and in Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord, who was born by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary. By these three propositions almost every heresy is overthrown. For, if one believes in God the Father Almighty, then is the Son declared to be co-eternal with Him, differing in nothing from the Father, because He is God of God, Almighty of the Almighty, Co-eternal of the Eternal, not later in time, not inferior in power, not unequal in glory, not divided in essence. And this only-begotten eternal Son of the eternal Father was born by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary. This birth in time has taken nothing from, and added nothing to, the eternal birth (from the Father), and its only end is the redemption of men. For we could not overcome sin and the author of death, unless our nature had been assumed and made His own by Him whom neither sin could stain nor death could hold. He was conceived by the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Virgin, and she bare Him without injury to her virginity, even as she conceived Him without loss of the same. If Eutyches in his own blindness cannot comprehend this, then he ought to have submitted to the utterances of Holy Scripture which treat of the incarnation of the Logos. He could not then have asserted that the Word had only so far become flesh, that Christ who was born of the womb of the Virgin had received the form of a man, but not a true body like His mother’s. Perhaps Eutyches believed that Christ was not of the same nature with us, because the angel said to Mary: ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee: wherefore also the holy thing which is to be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.’ He believed perhaps, because the conception of the Virgin was a divine work, that therefore the flesh of Him who was conceived was not of the nature of her who had conceived. But this is not so. The proper nature of the (human) race is not removed by the new mode of creation. The Holy Ghost gave fruitfulness to the Virgin, the truth of the body, however, comes from the body (of the mother). Therefore the evangelist says: ‘The Word was made flesh,’ that is, the wisdom of God has builded for Himself a house in that flesh which He assumed of a human being (Mary), and which He animated by the spiritus animœ [vitœ?] rationalis (by a reasonable soul).—Chap. III. Since, then, the properties of both natures and substances remained uninjured, and united in one person, lowliness was assumed by majesty, weakness by strength, mortality by eternity. In order to pay our debt, the inviolable nature was united to the passible, so that, as our salvation required, the one Mediator between God and man on the one side could die, on the other could not die. In the inviolate and perfect nature (in integra perfectaque natura) of a true man, true God is born, complete in His own (in His Godhead) and complete in ours (in the manhood). I say, ‘in ours,’ and I mean, as the Creator formed our nature, and as Christ wills to restore it (that is, Christ’s manhood is the integra, not corrupted by sin). For of that which the tempter has brought into us there was in the Redeemer no trace. He participated in our infirmities, but not in our sins. He took upon Him the form of a servant without the stain of sin, and He raised the human without impairing the divine. The emptying of Himself (Phil. 2:7), by which the Invisible showed Himself visible, and the Lord and Creator of the world willed to become one of the mortals, this emptying of Himself was no loss of power, but a working of compassion. He who in the form of God had made man, became man in the form of a servant. Each nature preserves its property inviolate, and as the ‘form of God’ did not annihilate the ‘form of a servant,’ so the form of a servant in nothing impairs the form of God (forma Dei).—Chap. IV. The Son of God, then, enters into this lower world, descending from His heavenly throne, and not receding from the glory of the Father, coming to the world in a new order of things, and in a new kind of birth. In a new order of things, since He who is in His own invisible, in ours (in our nature) has become visible, the incomprehensible willed to be comprehended, He who existed before all time began to be in time, the Lord of all veiling His majesty took upon Him the form of a servant, the impassible God does not disdain to be a suffering man, and the Immortal has subjected Himself to the laws of death. But it was by a new kind of birth that He came into the world, since the inviolate virginity, without experiencing concupiscence, furnished the matter of flesh. He assumed from His mother nature not guilt, and, as His birth is wonderful, so is His nature not unlike ours. For He who is true God is at the same time true man, and in this unity there is no lie, for the lowliness of man and the loftiness of God have penetrated each other (invicem sunt). As God is not changed by His compassion (i.e. since He became man out of compassion), so neither is man (the manhood) consumed (absorbed) by His dignity. Each of the two forms (natures) does in communion with the other that which is proper to it, since the Word (of God) performs that which is of the Word, and the flesh performs that which is of the flesh. The one of them shines forth in miracles, the other submits to insults. And as the Word does not recede from the equality of the Father’s glory, so does the flesh not abandon the nature of our race. For He who is one and the same, as must be often repeated, is truly Son of God and truly Son of man. God in this, that ‘in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God;’ man in this, that ‘the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us;’ God in this, that all things were made by Him, and without Him nothing was made; man in this, that He was made of a woman, and under the law. The birth of the flesh is the revelation of human nature; the being born of a virgin is the sign of divine power. The weakness of the child is shown by the lowliness of the cradle; the glory of the Highest is proclaimed by the voice of the angels. He is like to the beginnings of men (rudimentis hominum—that is, children) whom Herod wishes cruelly to slay; but He is Lord of all, whom the wise men rejoice humbly to adore. And that it might not be concealed that the Godhead is covered by the veil of the flesh, the voice of the Father called from heaven: ‘This is my beloved Son,’ etc. He who as man is tempted by the cunning of the devil, He, as God, is ministered to by angels. Hunger, thirst, weariness, and sleep are evidently human; but to feed five thousand men with five loaves, etc., to walk on the sea, to command the storms, is without doubt divine. As it does not belong to one and the same nature to bewail a dead friend with deep compassion, and to call him back to life when he has been four days dead by the mere command of His word, or to hang upon the cross and to make the elements tremble, etc; so it does not belong to one and the same nature to say: ‘I and the Father are one,’ and ‘the Father is greater than I.’ For although in Jesus Christ there is only one person of God and man, yet the common glory and the common lowliness of the two natures have a different source. From us he has the manhood, which is inferior to the Father; from the Father He has the Godhead, which is equal to the Father.—Chap. V. For this reason that the two natures constitute only one person, we read that the Son of man came down from heaven (John 3:13), while the Son of God took flesh of the Virgin; and also, that the Son of God was crucified and buried, while He suffered not in the Godhead, according to which He is the only-begotten, co-eternal and consubstantial with the Father, but in the weakness of the human nature. For this reason we say in the creed that the only-begotten Son of God was crucified and buried, in accordance with the words of the apostle: ‘Had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory’ (1 Cor. 2:8). But when the Lord wished to instruct His disciples in the faith by questions, He said: ‘Who do men say that I the Son of man am?’ and on receiving diverse answers from them, He said: ‘But who say ye that I am,’ that is, I, the Son of man? Peter, divinely inspired, and anticipating all nations with his confession, replied: ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,’ and thus confessed the Son of man as at the same time Son of God, because the one without the other could not have brought us salvation.… And after the resurrection of the true body (for it is no other which was raised than that which was crucified), what else happened in those forty days, but that our faith was cleared from all darkness?… He ate with His disciples, came through closed doors, imparted the Holy Ghost, and allowed them to touch His hands, etc., so that they might know that He possessed the properties of the divine and human natures undivided, and that we, without identifying the Word and the Flesh, should yet confess that the Word and the Flesh are one Son of God. This mystery of the faith was quite strange to Eutyches, who acknowledged our nature in the only-begotten Son of God, neither in the humiliation of mortality nor in the glory of the resurrection, and was not afraid of the saying of the apostle: ‘Every Spirit which looses (parts) Jesus is not of God, is Antichrist’ (1 John 4:3). [According to the Vulgate: Omnis Spiritus qui solvit Jesum cx Deo non est; et his est antichristus: derived from the reading of the original, placed in the margin by the revisers and by Westcott and Hort, which substitutes λύει for μὴ ὁμολογεῖ.] But what is the meaning of ‘loosing’ Jesus but separating the human nature from Him? But he who is thus in darkness as to the nature of the body of Christ must also, in like blindness, teach foolishly in reference to His sufferings. For he who does not regard the cross of Christ as false, but holds that His death was real, must also acknowledge the flesh (the true manhood) of Him in whose death he believes. He cannot deny that the man whom he acknowledges as passible was of our body (that is, had a body of the same substance with ours); for the denial of the true flesh is also a denial of the bodily suffering. If he then confesses the Christian faith, he can also see what nature, pierced by nails, hung upon the wood of the cross; he may know whence (from what nature) blood and water flowed when the side of the crucified One was pierced.… The Catholic Church lives and grows in the faith that in Christ Jesus there was neither manhood without true Godhead, nor the Godhead without true manhood.—Chap. VI. When Eutyches answered to your question: ‘I confess that our Lord before the union consisted of two natures, but after the union I confess only one nature,’ I wonder that such a foolish and blasphemous confession was allowed to pass, as though nothing offensive had been heard. The first proposition, that the only-begotten Son of God before the union had two natures, is as impious as the other, that after the incarnation there was only one nature. In order that Eutyches may not suppose from your silence that his explanation was right, or at least tolerable, we exhort thee, beloved brother, that when through God’s mercy he comes to give satisfaction, the folly of the ignorant man may be cleansed from this pestilential opinion. As the acts show, he began in a praiseworthy manner to abandon his view, and under thine influence declared that he would confess what he had not hitherto confessed, and believe what he had not hitherto believed. As, however, he refused to anathematize the impious doctrine, your Fraternity perceived that he was persisting in his error, and was deserving of condemnation. If, however, he again manifests genuine penitence, and acknowledges the righteousness of the episcopal sentence, and condemns orally, and in writing, his false statements, then he should be treated gently.… In order, however, to bring this whole matter to the end desired, I send in my stead my brethren, the Bishop Julius and the priest Renatus, with my son, the deacon Hilarus, with whom I associate the notary Dulcitius, hoping that by God’s assistance he who had erred may abjure his false opinion, and so may find salvation. May God preserve thee, dearest brother.—Given on the 13th of June, under the consuls Asturius and Protogenes” (A.D. 449).

SEC. 177. Subsequent Letters of Pope Leo the Great on account of Eutyches

On the same day Leo signed a series of other letters, which stand in still nearer relation to the council which had been summoned. This is especially the case with the letter to the Emperor Theodosius II. (dated June 13, 449). The Pope, in this letter, commends the Emperor’s zeal for the faith, and asserts that the heresy of Eutyches is made quite clear by the Acts of the Synod of Constantinople. The foolish old man ought, therefore, without further delay, to abandon his view; as, however, the Emperor had invited a synodal judgment (Synodale judicium) at Ephesus, in order that the blind might see, he had commissioned his three legates to take his place there. If Eutyches should again come to a right judgment, and keep the promise which he had given in his letter to the Pope,—namely, to correct what he had erroneously asserted (p. 205),—then he ought again to be received with goodwill. As regarded the belief of the Catholic Church concerning the incarnation of Christ, Leo had completely explained this in his letter to Flavian, which he appended.

Another letter of the same date is addressed to the Empress Pulcheria, the sister (and co-regent) of the Emperor, and, together with a short commendation of this Princess, contains an explanation of the fact that Eutyches had certainly fallen into the error directly opposed to Nestorianism, and had obstinately adhered to it more from ignorance than from wickedness. Pulcheria should use her influence for the extirpation of this heresy. If Eutyches should repent, then he ought to be forgiven, on which point Leo had already written to Flavian, and had given his legates commission. for the rest, it would be better if Eutyches should again correct his error in the place in which he had taught erroneously, and therefore in Constantinople, and not in Ephesus.

A second letter of Leo’s to Pulcheria, the thirty-first in the collection of the Ballerini, bears in some of the manuscripts the date, “June 13, 449;” it seems, however, improbable that the Pope should have committed to his legates two letters for Pulcheria of the same date and with the same contents, and the Ballerini are therefore of opinion that this second and longer one was never despatched. Walch even regards it as spurious. The contrary is maintained by Arendt in his monograph on Leo the Great, namely, that the longer copy of the letter (Epist. 31) is the genuine, and the shorter (Epist. 30) is only an extract from it. However this may be, both the letters to Pulcheria have quite the same leading thoughts, the commendation of the Princess, and the assertion that Eutyches had through ignorance fallen into the opposite extreme from Nestorianism. The only difference is that, in the second letter, this point and the doctrinal element are brought out at greater length; besides, that in this there is a complaint that the interval before the time fixed for the opening of the Synod of Ephesus is so short that the necessary preparations can hardly be made, and that it is not possible for the Pope to appear in person.

Leo further entrusted to his legates a letter to all the archimandrites of Constantinople, also dated June 13, saying that he is convinced that they do not agree with the error of Eutyches. If Eutyches did not recant, then he would be properly expelled from the Church. If, on the contrary, he should acknowledge and condemn his error, then their mercy should not be withheld. The true doctrine of the Church on the existing controversy might be seen from the papal letter to Flavian.

For the approaching Synod, Leo had prepared the following letter: “The Emperor had wished from zeal for the orthodox faith that the influence of the apostolic see should second the effect of his edict (in regard to the convoking of the Synod), and that Peter himself, as it were, should declare what he meant by the words: ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ If Eutyches had rightly understood this utterance, he would not have gone aside from the way of truth. On account of this answer of Peter, Christ had replied to him: ‘I say unto thee, Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church,’ etc. As, however, the Emperor wished to have a Synod, an episcopale concilium, that the error might be dispersed by a fuller judgment (pleniori judicio), Leo had sent the Bishop Julius, the priest Renatus, and the deacon Hilarus, together with the notary Dulcitius, who should be present as his representatives at the holy assembly, and in common with the bishops should draw up a decree which should be pleasing to God. First, the pestilential error should be anathematized, and then they should consider the restitution of Eutyches, in case he recanted. As to the dogma, Leo had thoroughly explained himself in the letter to Flavian.”

The last of these letters, dated on the 13th of June, are the two to Bishop Julian of Cos, of which the one appears to have been entrusted to the papal legates, the other to Julian’s own emissary, the deacon Basil. Bishop Julian had been a member of the Synod of Constantinople which condemned Eutyches, and had on this occasion written a letter to Leo, which is now lost. The Pope commends his orthodoxy, and remarks that since the transmission of the Acts of the Synod he is convinced of the heresy of Eutyches. To the approaching Synod he has appointed three legates, and in the letter to Flavian he has expressed himself at large on the dogma. In case Eutyches should repent, they ought to be merciful to him. In the other letter to Julian, Leo explains briefly the orthodox doctrine, and refers to the more complete exposition of this matter in his letter to Flavian.

A few days after Leo’s legates had departed with this letter, a new opportunity of sending letters to the East presented itself to the Pope, and therefore, on the 20th of June 449, he addressed a few lines to Flavian, with the intelligence that the legates had now departed; adding that the Synod appointed by the Emperor was evidently not necessary. He made the same statement in the letter which he despatched to the Emperor himself on the same day, and at the same time excused his own non-appearance by saying that the troublous times forbade him to leave the city of Rome, and, besides, Roman bishops had never been present in person at any of the earlier Synods. More than a month afterwards, on the 23d of July, Leo again addressed a short letter to Flavian in answer to a letter in the meantime received from him, commending his attitude, and exhorting him to gentleness towards Eutyches, if he should abandon his error. This was the last letter written by Leo on this subject before the opening of the Synod.

Like Flavian (p. 221 f.) and Pope Leo, Theodoret expected no good from the Synod which had been convoked. He expresses this in his letters to Bishop Irenæus of Tyre and to his patriarch, Domnus of Antioch, and recommends to the latter great caution in the selection of the bishops and clerics whom he should take with him to the Synod. We can see from the last letter that Theodoret recognized the peace concluded between Cyril and the Orientals, and was willing to maintain it uprightly, but he had not yet given up his doubts as to the anathematisms of Cyril, but still suspected them of Monophysitism, and lamented that all the bishops did not see the poison in them. Now he was afraid that Dioscurus would attempt to have these anathematisms, and therewith Monophysitism, sanctioned at the Synod.

SEC. 178. The Proceedings at the Robber-Synod, according to their own Acts

In accordance with the imperial command, a numerous body of bishops actually assembled in Ephesus at the beginning of the month of August 449, and that Synod began which, under the name of the Robber-Synod, latrocinium Ephesinum, or σύνοδος ληστρικὴ, has attained to such a melancholy celebrity. Its Acts are preserved by their having been read over at the Œcumenical Synod of Chalcedon, and having thus been embodied in the minutes of that Synod. According to this document, the Synod, often called Ephesina II., was opened August 8, 449, in the church of S. Mary at Ephesus. Whether it lasted only one day, or several, is not indicated in the Acts. The principal proceedings, together with the deposition of Flavian, seem to have been completed in one day, a fact which is also asserted by the anonymous author of the Breviculus Historiæ Eutychianistarum (see below, p. 258); whilst on three subsequent days, and perhaps at three subsequent sessions, those depositions of several bishops, e.g. of Theodoret and Domnus, were pronounced, of which the Acts say nothing, but which we learn from other sources (see below, p. 256).

Among the members of the Synod, Dioscurus is first mentioned in the Acts; after him the papal legate Bishop Julius (here called Julianus), next Juvenal of Jerusalem, Domnus of Antioch, and only quinto loco Flavian of Constantinople, although the second Œcumenical Synod had assigned to the Bishop of Constantinople the rank next after the Bishop of Rome.

The author of the Breviculus Historiæ Eutychianistarum gives the number of the bishops present at this council as about three hundred and sixty; the synodal Acts, however, give a far smaller number, and, in fact, at the beginning of the Synod they mention only a hundred and twenty-seven bishops and eight representatives of eight others, altogether one hundred and thirty-five, to whom ultimo loco are added the two Roman clerics, the deacon Hilarus and the notary Dulcitius. So at the close of the Robber-Synod one hundred and thirty-five bishops subscribed, in part personally and in part by their representatives; upon which, however, it is to be remarked that here thirteen names appear which are wanting at the beginning of the Synod; and on the other hand, nine are wanting which are present at the beginning. Two of the bishops present had it added to their subscriptions that, as they could not write, they had been obliged to let others subscribe for them. These were Bishop Elias of Adrianople and Cajumas of Phænus in Palestine. Of those, however, who had also been members of the Synod of Constantinople, and therefore had no right of voting at Ephesus, there were, so far as the subscriptions testify, besides Flavian of Constantinople, the following, Basil of Seleucia, Seleucus of Amasia, Æthericus of Smyrna, Longinus of Chersonesus, Meliphthongus of Juliopolis, Timotheus of Primopolis, and Dorotheus of Neocæsarea, the last represented by the priest Longinus.

The proceedings of the Robber-Synod were opened by their first secretary (Primicerius Notariorum), the priest John, probably one of the clergy of Dioscurus, with the announcement: “The God-fearing Emperors have, from zeal for religion, convoked this assembly.” Thereupon he read, at the command of Dioscurus, the imperial brief of convocation (see p. 222), and the two Roman legates, Julius and Hilarus, explained through their interpreter, Bishop Florentius of Sardis in Lydia, that Pope Leo had also been invited by the Emperor, but did not personally appear, because this had not happened at the Synod of Nicæa or the first of Ephesus; therefore he had sent his legates, and had given them charge of a letter to the Synod. This papal brief was, at the command of Dioscurus, received by the secretary John, but instead of reading it, he published the second letter which the Emperor had sent to Dioscurus in reference to Barsumas (see above, p. 222).

Invited by Dioscurus, Elpidius, the first of the imperial commissioners, delivered a short discourse, saying: “The Nestorian heresy was now properly condemned, but new religious doubts had soon arisen, for the removal of which the present Synod had been arranged. He would immediately communicate what the Emperor had in this respect commissioned himself (and his colleagues) to perform; he would only first speak on one point. The Logos had on that day permitted the assembled bishops to give judgment upon Him (on His person and nature). If they confessed Him rightly, then He also would confess them before His heavenly Father. But those who should pervert the true doctrine would have to undergo a severe twofold judgment, that of God and that of the Emperor.” Then Elpidius read the imperial Commonitorium addressed to him and Eulogius (p. 223), and the secretary John read the edict of the Emperor addressed to the Synod (p. 224).

Thalassius of Cæsarea, the legate of Julius, and the Count Elpidius now declared that, in accordance with the command of the Emperor, they should first consider the faith, Dioscurus interpreted this to mean, not that the faith itself should first be declared, for this the former holy Synods had already done, but rather that they were now to consider whether the newly-introduced statements agreed with the declarations of the Fathers or not. “Or will you,” he cried, “alter the faith of the holy Fathers?” The assembled bishops are said to have answered: “Anathema to him who makes alterations in it: Anathema to him who ventures to discuss the faith;” but this cry (the latter part of it) was denied at the Synod of Chalcedon.

Dioscurus proceeded: “At Nicæa and at Ephesus the true faith has already been proclaimed, but although there have been two Synods, the faith is but one,” and he invited the bishops to declare that men must simply abide by the definitions of faith of Nicæa and Ephesus. The assembled bishops are said again to have shouted approvingly: “No one dare add anything or take anything away … a great guardian of the faith is Dioscurus!… Anathema to him who still discusses the faith.… The Holy Ghost speaks by Dioscurus,” etc. All these exclamations were afterwards disavowed at Chalcedon, and it is very probable that only some bishops thus exclaimed, and that the notaries put these words into the mouth of the whole Synod. They were all simply in the service of Dioscurus and his friends, while the other bishops were not allowed to have any notaries, and the memoranda which their clerics nevertheless made were violently taken from them and destroyed.

On the proposal of the Count Elpidius, Eutyches was now introduced into the Synod, that he might himself give testimony concerning his faith. He began by commending himself to the Holy Trinity, after which he uttered a short censure on the Synod of Constantinople (A.D. 448), and handed in a confession which the secretary John immediately read. In the introduction Eutyches says that even in his youth he had formed the intention of living in complete silence and retirement, but he had not attained to this good fortune, for he had been surrounded by the greatest dangers and plots, because, in accordance with the definitions of the former Synod at Ephesus, he had tolerated no innovation in the faith. Then he repeats the Nicene Creed, together with the annexed anathemas against Arius, and asserts that he had always thus believed. That to this faith, under penalty of excommunication, nothing should be added and nothing should be taken away from it, had been solemnly declared by the former Synod of Ephesus under the presidency of the holy Father Cyril, as might be seen from the copy of the Acts which Cyril himself had sent to him. He had always regarded the holy Fathers as orthodox, and had anathematized all heresies, Manes, Valentinus, Apollinaris, Nestorius, all back to Simon Magus, and also those who say that the flesh of our Lord and God Jesus Christ came down from heaven. Living in this faith he had been accused as a heretic by Eusebius of Dorylæum before Flavian and the other bishops. Flavian, the inseparable friend of Eusebius, had summoned him to answer to the accusation, but had assumed that Eutyches would not appear, and that he might then condemn him for disobedience. When, notwithstanding, he did appear before the Synod, Flavian had declared his presence to be superfluous, as he had already been condemned in consequence of his previous non-appearance. Neither had he received the confession which Eutyches wished to hand in, or allowed it to be read. Eutyches had at his request then orally given testimony to his faith, declaring that he held fast to the decrees of Nicæa and Ephesus. When they had further questioned him, he had asked for the holding of the present Synod, and had promised to obey it. Then they had suddenly published the judgment condemning him. When he left the assembly at Constantinople, he went in danger of his life, and Flavian had everywhere published the sentence against him; but he had prayed the Emperor to convoke a Synod, and now entreated the assembled fathers to declare how great wrong had been done him, and to punish his opponents. After the reading of this writing of Eutyches, Flavian demanded that his accuser, Eusebius of Dorylæum, should also be heard. But Elpidius replied that the Emperor had commanded that they who had sat in judgment upon Eutyches at Constantinople should now themselves be judged. Eusebius of Dorylæum had already brought forward his accusation at Constantinople, and there had conquered; he must not now for the second time appear as accuser, but it must be judged whether that first judgment was just. They must now pass on to that which had occurred in connection with the matter in question (that of Eutyches).

Dioscurus and many other bishops immediately expressed their agreement with this; but the papal legates demanded that Leo’s letter should first be read. Eutyches objected that the legates were suspected by him, because they had stayed some time with Flavian, and had supped with him; he therefore requested that any unfairness on their part should not be allowed to turn to his disadvantage. Dioscurus decided, as president, in accordance with the opinions expressed by many bishops, that the Acts of the Synod of Constantinople must first be read, and not till then the letter of the Pope. The reading of the first was undertaken by the secretary John, and he received for this purpose one copy from Flavian and another from Eutyches. The documents relating to the first session of Constantinople (see above, p. 190 f.) were listened to without interruption; at those of the second session, Bishop Eustathius of Berytus declared, after the reading of two letters of Cyril, that this holy father, on account of the misunderstanding of his words, had expressed himself more clearly in subsequent letters to Acacius of Melitene, Valerian of Iconium, and Succensus of Diocæsarea (see pp. 140–144), and not on the side of belief in two natures, but in one nature of the incarnate God. He wished also to remark that Cyril was more favourable to Eutyches than they had supposed at Constantinople; but he did not take the words of Cyril in their connection and in their true sense, and thereby gave occasion for subsequent discussions at the Synod of Chalcedon.

When, at the continuation of the reading of the Acts, the expression of Bishop Seleucus of Amasia was brought forward: “We confess two natures also after the incarnation,” the Robber-Synod declared this to be Nestorian, and exclaimed: “There are many Nestoriuses,” and “It was not the Bishop of Amasia, but he of Sinope.” The secretary John added, that it was clear from what had been read that the bishops at Constantinople had substituted another doctrine in the place of the Nicene faith which had been confirmed at Ephesus, and Bishop Olympius of Evazæ pronounced an anathema on such an innovation. Immediately upon this Bishop Æthericus of Smyrna declared that he had not said that which was entered in the Acts of Constantinople as his expression: the point was, however, unimportant, and Dioscurus therefore passed quickly over it; but Æthericus himself endeavoured afterwards to represent the matter differently at Chalcedon, and thereby showed himself to be both an ignorant and a fickle man. The remaining part of the Acts of the second session gave occasion for no remark, and in the same way those of the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth sessions (see p. 191 ff.) were read without interruption. At those of the seventh session, on the contrary, after the reading of the questions which Eusebius of Dorylæum had put to Eutyches (p. 199), the ill-will of the Robber-Synod found vent in the words: “Burn Eusebius,” and “Anathema to every one who speaks of two natures after the Incarnation.” “He who cannot shout this loud enough,” added Dioscurus, “let him hold up his hand in token of his assent;” and the Synod shouted: “Let him who teaches two natures be anathema!” That, however, it was only the Egyptians, and not the whole Synod, that thus exclaimed, came out in the first session at Chalcedon (see below, sec. 189). Soon afterwards Bishop John of Hephæstus remarked: “As long as Eutyches hesitated to appear before the Synod of Constantinople, they promised him every kindness, but afterwards they treated him in a very unfriendly manner.” Dioscurus, however, induced the assembled bishops to give their solemn approval to the declaration of faith which Eutyches had made at Constantinople (see p. 198). Again, this was done by the Egyptians alone, as was shown at Chalcedon. At the last Bishop Basil of Seleucia objected to the expression ascribed to him (p. 203) in the Acts: “If thou, Eutyches, dost not accept two natures even after the union, then thou teachest a mingling.” He had said: “If thou speakest of only one nature after the union, and dost not add, σεσαρκωμένην καὶ ἐν ἀνθρωπήσασαν (that is, one incarnate nature of the Logos; see above, pp. 4, 144, and 192), then thou teachest a mingling.” Subsequently he explained at Chalcedon that it was only from excitement and anxiety that he had at Ephesus denied and altered his former words (see p. 253).

After the whole of the Acts of Constantinople had been read, Eutyches declared that they were in several parts falsified, and demanded that the minutes of that commission should be read, which, at his complaint, had been summoned to examine the synodal Acts. The secretary John immediately read them through in their whole extent (p. 211 ff.) without any interruption. The same was done with the Acts of that second commission which had to examine the complaint of Eutyches, that “Flavian had drawn up the sentence upon him beforehand” (p. 219). In order to justify his charge of a falsification of the Acts, Eutyches wished them to read a statement of the Silentiar Magnus bearing upon it (p. 219). Flavian replied that the charge was false, and when Dioscuras demanded that he should prove it, he replied: “They would not allow him to speak; the Acts of the second session of Constantinople were quite unfalsified, as Thalassius (p. 211) and others who were present knew, and had been examined in the presence of the Silentiar and others, and no falsification had been proved. Before God he had nothing to fear on account of these Acts, and he had never altered his faith (an allusion to Ætherious, Basil, and Seleucus).” Dioscurus and the bishops under his influence asserted, on the contrary, that Flavian had full liberty of speech; but the whole history of the Robber-Synod gives him the lie.

Thereupon Dioscurus requested that they should individually declare their view as to whether Eutyches was orthodox, and what was to be decreed concerning him; and there were now no fewer than 114 votes given, declaring the doctrine of Eutyches to be orthodox, and demanding his restitution as abbot and priest. The beginning was made by Juvenal of Jerusalem and Domnus of Antioch, the close by Abbot Barsumas and Dioscurus, when the latter confirmed the votes of the others and added his own. Although the Emperor had forbidden those bishops to vote this time who had co-operated in the deposition of Eutyches, yet the votes of Æthericus, Seleucus of Amasia, and Basil of Seleucia were received, because they were for Eutyches. Of the papal legates, on the contrary, no vote is found.

Upon this the secretary John informed them that the monks of the convent over which Eutyches presided had sent in a document. He read it, and it is that accusation against Flavian and his Synod from which we have already (see p. 207, note
made some extracts. They say: “They had left all earthly goods and taken refuge in the cloister, three hundred in number, and many of them had led the ascetic life for thirty years. Then Archbishop Flavian had laid hold on their archimandrite, and had condemned him, because he would not violate the Nicene faith, like Flavian, but, on the contrary, had held fast by the decrees of the first Synod of Ephesus. The Archbishop had then denied them all communion with their abbot, and forbidden that the affairs of the monastery should be administered by him, and even had gone so far as to deny them the celebration of the holy mysteries. In consequence of this they had now, for almost nine months, had no holy sacrifice upon their altars, and several had already died in this state of schism. They therefore prayed the Synod to restore to them Church communion, and to inflict a just punishment upon him who had so unjustly condemned them.” Only thirty-five monks had signed, the priest and monk Narses at their head, although the context speaks of the number of three hundred. Why the other two hundred and sixty-five did not also subscribe, the monks did not think good to explain.

Instead of entering upon the assertions of these monks, Dioscurus contented himself with questioning them on their faith; and as they declared that they were in full agreement with Eutyches, they were also absolved by the Synod, restored to their dignities (the priests among them), and brought back to the communion of the Church. Thereupon Dioscurus, for the instruction of his colleagues, gave order to read, from the Acts of the first Synod of Ephesus (A.D. 431), what had been there established concerning the true faith, and the secretary John read the Acts of the sixth session of Ephesus, which contain the Nicene Creed and a quantity of patristic and other passages, as well as many extracts from the writings of Nestorius, in proof that he was a heretic.

After the reading was finished, Dioscurus said: “You have now heard that the first Synod of Ephesus threatens every one who teaches otherwise than the Nicene Creed, or makes alterations in it, and raises new or further questions. Every one must now give his opinion in writing as to whether those who, in their theological inquiries, go beyond the Nicene Creed, are to be punished or not.” It is clear that he wanted to use this to make an attack upon Flavian and the Synod of Constantinople, since they, going beyond the Synod of Nicæa, had wished to introduce the expression “two natures.”

Several bishops, Thalassius of Cæsarea first, declared immediately that whoever went beyond the Nicene Creed was not to be received as a Catholic. Others simply affirmed their assent to the faith of Nicæa and Ephesus, without any addition in regard to overstepping it, and this was done by the Roman legate, the deacon Hilarus, who at the same time again demanded the reading of the papal letter. But Dioscurus went on as though he had not heard this, saying, “As, then, the first Synod of Ephesus threatens every one who alters anything in the Nicene faith, it follows that Flavian of Constantinople and Eusebius of Dorylæum must be deposed from their ecclesiastical dignity. I pronounce, therefore, their deposition, and every one of those present shall communicate his view of this matter. Moreover, he added, as a means of intimidation, everything will be brought to the knowledge of the Emperor.” Flavian now found it necessary to enter an appeal. That two papal legates were still present at that time, and both protested against the proceedings of Dioscurus, and accepted the appeal of Flavian, is stated by Pope Leo in his 44th letter; the other members of the Synod, on the contrary, Juvenal of Jerusalem, Domnus of Antioch, and Thalassius at their head, declared Flavian and Eusebius guilty, a hundred of them voting under influence, among them again those who had been present at the Synod of Constantinople, Æthericus, Basil, and Seleucus. At the close, the 135 bishops who were present subscribed, some personally, some by representatives, with the abbot Barsumas.

So far the minutes of the Robber-Synod take us, thus giving us the testimony of the Synod concerning themselves. In order, however, to gain a complete and true picture of this assembly, we must also consider and compare the other testimonies of antiquity on the subject.

SEC. 179. Testimonies of Antiquity respecting the Robber-Synod

In a communication addressed to the Emperor Valentinian III. and Marcian (the successor of Theodosius II.), and also read at the Council of Chalcedon, Bishop Eusebius of Dorylæum complains that Dioscurus, at the second Synod of Ephesus, by money and by the brute force of his troops, oppressed the orthodox faith, and confirmed the heresy of Eutyches. Besides, at the Synod of Chalcedon it came out that Dioscurus had given permission only to his own notaries, and to those of some friends, the Bishops Thalassius of Cæsarea and Juvenal of Jerusalem, to draw up the proceedings of the Synod; whilst the notaries of the other bishops were not once allowed to write anything for their masters. When, however, two notaries of Bishop Stephen of Ephesus did so, Dioscurus’ notaries came up to them, erased what they had written, and almost broke their fingers in taking away their writing materials. In the same manner it appeared that Dioscurus, at the close of the Synod, after the judgment had been pronounced upon Flavian and Eusebius, immediately compelled the bishops at the same time to append their names to a paper which was not yet filled up, so that they might not have the opportunity of further considering the matter, and that those who refused to sign had much to suffer. They were shut up in the church until night, and even those who were ill were not allowed to go out for a moment to refresh themselves. For companions they had soldiers and monks, with swords and sticks, and thus they were taught to subscribe. Bishop Stephen of Ephesus became security for a few who did not subscribe until the next day.

To the same effect Bishop Basil of Seleucia deposed at the Synod of Chalcedon, that he had certainly altered at Ephesus the vote which he had given at Constantinople (p. 248), but he had done this from dread of Dioscurus. The latter had exercised great constraint over those who were present, both by his words and by the people whom he had placed outside and inside the church. Armed soldiers had even been introduced into the church, the monks of Barsumas too, and the Parabolani, and a great crowd of people stood around. In this way Dioscurus had frightened them all. When some would not agree to the condemnation of Flavian, and others tried to get away, he had stood up in an elevated position, and cried out, “Those who do not subscribe will have to settle it with me.” As a completion of these statements of Basil, Bishop Onesiphorus of Iconium declared, that, after reading the fundamental proposition or rule, that nothing should be altered in the Nicene faith, he had immediately suspected that this would be turned against Flavian, and had said this quietly to those who sat near him. One of these, Bishop Epiphanius of Perga, had given his opinion that this was impossible, as Flavian had in no way offended; but Dioscurus had suddenly got up and proclaimed the condemnation of Flavian, as involved in that rule. Then he had risen with some other bishops, had embraced the knees of Dioscurus, and urged upon him that “Flavian had done nothing worthy of condemnation, but if he had done anything worthy of blame, they should be satisfied with blaming him.” But Dioscurus had risen from his throne, and cried: “Will you rebel? The Counts shall come.” Thus, he continued, we were intimidated, and subscribed.

When Dioscurus would have denied that he called for the Counts, Bishop Marinian of Synnada stood up and declared that he, with Onesiphorus and Nunnechius of Laodicea, had embraced the knees of Dioscurus, and said: “Thou hast also priests under thee, and a bishop ought not to be deposed for the sake of a priest.” But Dioscurus had replied: “I will pronounce no other judgment, even if my tongue should be cut out for it.” As, however, the bishops already named continued to clasp his knees, he had called for the Counts, and they had entered with the Proconsul, who brought with him many attendants and chains. In consequence of this, he said, they had all subscribed.—Dioscurus denied this, and proposed to appeal to witnesses, whom, however, he would not present until another time, as the bishops were then too much fatigued. He never presented them.

In the third session at Chalcedon, Eusebius of Dorylæum presented a second complaint in writing, in which he repeated the contents of his first, and added that he and Flavian had not ventured to bring forward their proof at Ephesus, and Dioscurus had constrained the bishops to sign a blank paper. It was further asserted at the fourth session of the same Council, by Bishop Diogenes of Cyzicus, that the Abbot Barsumas had killed Flavian. He had exclaimed: “Strike him dead.” When the bishops heard this, they all exclaimed: “Barsumas is a murderer, cast him out, out with him to the arena, let him be anathema.”

Important testimonies respecting the Robber-Synod are contained in the contemporary letters of Pope Leo. In the forty-fourth to the Emperor Theodosius, dated October 13, 449, he says (a) that Dioscurus had not allowed the two letters of the Pope to the Synod and to Flavian (the Epistola dogmatica) to be read at Ephesus; (b) that his deacon Hilarus had fled from the Synod that he might not be forced to subscribe; (c) that Dioscurus had not allowed all the bishops who were present to take part in the judgment, but only those of whose subserviency he was assured; (d) that the papal legates had protested against the heterodox declarations of the Synod, and had not allowed themselves to be forced by violence to assent to them; and (c) that Flavian had consigned to the papal legates a copy of his appeal. The Emperor should therefore be pleased to leave everything as it was before this Synod, and arrange for the holding of a new and greater Synod in Italy.

In the next letter addressed to the Empress Pulcheria, and also dated October 13, Leo complains that it had not been possible for his legates to deliver the letter which he had given them for this princess. Only one of them, the deacon Hilarus, had succeeded in escaping and returning to Rome. He therefore again sent the letter destined for Pulcheria as an appendix to the present. His legates had protested at Ephesus that everything had been decided by the violence, or even by the rage of one single man (Dioscurus), and he had requested the Emperor not to confirm what had been done there, but rather to appoint the time and place for a Synod in Italy; and he entreated her to intercede with the Emperor and support this petition.

A remarkable letter, undated, probably appended to the one just mentioned, is one from the papal legate Hilarus to the same princess, saying that, “as he had not agreed to the unrighteous condemnation of Flavian, but on the contrary had appealed to another Council, he had no longer been permitted to go either to Constantinople or to Rome. Therefore he had not been able to convey the Pope’s letter to the Princess. He had, however, succeeded, by leaving all his property behind him, in escaping by unknown ways to Rome, and informing the Pope.”

In his forty-seventh letter to Anastasius of Thessalonica, also of the 13th of October, Pope Leo congratulates this bishop that he had been prevented from taking part in the Synod of Ephesus; in consequence of which he had not been forced by armed violence and insolence to subscribe. Dioscurus had given vent to his ancient personal hatred and jealousy of Flavian. Anastasius, however, must not accept the decrees of that Synod. At the same time Pope Leo also expressed his sorrow at what had been done in his letters to Bishop Julian of Cos, to the clergy and laity of Constantinople, to the archimandrites there, and to Archbishop Flavian, as the death of the latter was not yet known to him. Many other of his letters no less contain numerous complaints of the outrages of Dioscurus; and the ninety-fifth, to Pulcheria, dated July 20, 451, for the first time designates the Ephesine assembly by the name which afterwards was universally applied to it, the latrocinium.

That Dioscurus also deposed the (absent) Theodoret of Cyrus at the Robber-Synod, without having heard him at all, or having interrogated him with respect to his faith on the point in question, Theodoret himself mentions in a letter to Pope Leo. In another to the monks of Constantinople, he says that his enemies had spent a great deal of money in order to procure this judgment. In a third letter to Bishop John of Germanicia, Theodoret mentions that Domnus of Antioch had also been deposed at the Robber-Synod, because he would not agree to the twelve anathematisms of Cyril, whilst Bishop Candidian of Antioch in Pisidia had remained unpunished, although often accused of adultery. They had also at Ephesus restored Bishops Athenius and Athanasius, who had been deposed by the Eastern Synod.

Noteworthy testimonies as to the outrages of Dioscurus and the intimidation of the bishops by military are also found in the letters of the Western Emperor, Valentinian III., of his wife Eudoxia, and of his mother Galla Placidia, to Theodosius and Pulcheria. In particular, the Empress Eudoxia calls the Synod of Ephesus a tumultuous and unhappy one, and Valentinian, too, speaks of its tumultuous character.

To these epistolary communications on the Synod of Ephesus may be added several testimonies of ancient historians, from which we learn some things which we could not obtain from other sources. We naturally place first among these the contemporary of the Robber-Synod, Prosper of Aquitaine, to whom in particular we owe three statements—(a) that Pope Leo had sent two legates, Bishop Julius of Puteoli and the deacon Hilarus, to Ephesus; (b) that Hilarus, because he opposed Dioscurus, when they were using the military to enforce subscription, went in great danger of his life, and only by leaving all his property behind, had been able to escape home; and (c) that the holy Flavian had gone to Christ by a glorious death, at the hands of those who were appointed to convey him to the place of his banishment.

The somewhat later anonymous author of the Breviculus Historiæ Eutychianistarum says: “At this Synod there were also present the representatives sent by the Apostolic See, Bishop Julius of Puteoli and the Archdeacon Hilarus. The Presbyter Renatus, however, died during the journey to Ephesus in the island of Delos. The Roman notary Dulcitius was also present. The dogmatic letter of Leo to Flavian was not allowed to be read, and they spent the whole of the first day, the 8th of August, in reading the Acts of the first Synod of Ephesus and the judgment of Flavian on Eutyches (i.e. the Acts of Constantinople). In spite of the opposition of the Roman legates, Flavian was deposed, and Eusebius of Dorylæum was condemned as a Nestorian, although he, when yet a layman, had stood up as an accuser of Nestorius. These Eutychianists would not allow that between them and Nestorius there was a third party, and held every one who was not an Eutychian for a thorough Nestorian (a very good remark!) … Three days after the deposition of Flavian, Domnus of Antioch was also deposed, after which Dioscurus departed in haste, and the assembly was dissolved. Flavian was carried into exile, and died at Epipa, a city of Lydia, whether by a natural or a violent death, and Anatolius, an adherent of Dioscurus, became Bishop of Constantinople.”

Something more we learn from Liberatus (sixth century) in his Breviarium. (a) Dioscurus had the bravest soldiers and the monks of Barsumas around him. (b) The legates of the Pope were not allowed to sit with the bishops, as the presidency had not been conceded to the Roman see; that is, because the legates were not allowed to preside, they took no seat at all, but stood extra ordinem. (c) At the command of Dioscurus the Synod condemned Bishop Ibas of Edessa in his absence as having, by not appearing at the Synod, shown his contempt for it. He was summoned three times, and his enemies accused him of having said: “I do not envy Christ for having become God, for I too can become this, if I like.” His letter to Maris was also brought against him. (d) In the same way, at the suggestion of Dioscurus, the Synod condemned Theodoret in his absence, on account of his writings against the twelve anathematisms of Cyril, and on account of his letter to the clergy, monks, and laity, which he had written against the first Synod of Ephesus, before the establishment of peace. (e) Bishop Sabinianus of Perrha was also deposed; and (f) last of all, Domnus of Antioch, although he had agreed in everything with Dioscurus. When on one occasion Domnus, by reason of sickness, was not present at a session of the Synod (some time back we saw that this was on the third day after the deposition of Flavian), Dioscurus brought out letters which Domnus had some time before addressed to him privatim against the twelve chapters of Cyril, and now condemned him on account of them. (g) Flavian appealed by the legates to the apostolic see (see above, p. 251, note
(h) Flavian, beaten and seriously injured, died in consequence of the blows which he had received. (i) In the place of Flavian, the deacon Anatolius, hitherto the secretary of Dioscurus, was appointed Bishop of Constantinople; in the place of Domnus of Antioch, Maximus; in the place of Ibas, Nonnus; and in the place of Sabinianus, Athanasius. No others were chosen in the places of Theodoret and Eusebius of Dorylæum. (k) Fleeing from Ephesus, the legates of the Pope came to Rome and reported what had taken place.

Evagrius relates that, besides those already named, Bishops Daniel of Carræ, Irenæus of Tyre, and Aquilinus of Byblus were also deposed at the Bobber-Synod; and, on the other hand, resolutions were drawn up in favour of Bishop Sophronius of Constantina (in Phœnicia). In another place (ii. 2) Evagrius also adduces the testimony of Eusebius of Dorylæum, to the effect that Flavian, beaten and kicked by Dioscurus, had miserably perished.

Finally, the Byzantine Theophanes, although belonging only to the eighth century, contributes something which is worthy of notice. (a) Agreeing with the expression of Leo: Latrocinium Ephesinum, he calls this Synod a σύνοδος ληστρικὴ, and says (b) that Flavian before his deposition was struck by Dioscurus both with hands and feet, and on the third day after died; (c) that the papal legates, being always ridiculed, had taken flight and returned to Rome.

SEC. 180. Fortunes of the Papal Legates who had been deputed to the Robber-Synod

This last statement leads us to some remarks on the legates of Leo. We know that he had named three of these—Bishop Julius, the priest Renatus, and the deacon Hilarus. In all the documents of the Synod, however, there is nowhere the very slightest mention of Renatus; even at the beginning of the Synod only Julius and Hilarus, with the notary Dulcitius, are mentioned as being present. Accordingly Renatus does not appear to have been at Ephesus, and therefore that is credible which is said by the author of the Breviculus Hist. Eutych. (see above, p. 258), that he died during the journey on the island of Delos. In direct contradiction to this, however, stands the hundred and sixteenth letter of Theodoret, which is addressed to this very Renatus, and is written after the close of the Robber-Synod. Theodoret praises him on account of his liberality and the zeal with which he had blamed the violence practised at the Robber-Synod. The whole world was, on this account, full of his fame. The legate had been present up to the deposition of Flavian, but he had then departed, and thus had not remained to witness the unjust condemnation of Theodoret.

Various attempts have been made to reconcile this contradiction, and to set some other points right. Quesnel gives it as his opinion, in his remarks on the twenty-eighth letter of Leo, (a) that “the author of the Breviculus made a mistake; (b) that not Renatus, but Bishop Julius of Puteoli, died at Delos during the journey, and then that Bishop Julian of Cos had taken his place at Ephesus as papal legate, and therefore the reading, Julianus instead of Julius, which occurs in most manuscripts, is the correct one; (c) that the fact of Renatus not being mentioned in the Acts is a consequence of their incompleteness (!); (d) that after the close of the Synod, Hilary and Renatus had travelled back to Rome (Julian of Cos naturally had no reason for going there), but the former had arrived the earlier, on which account Leo, in his forty-fourth and forty-fifth letters (see above, p. 255), says that Hilary alone had returned to Rome; (e) and that Theoderet had written the letter in question to Renatus, who also returned there, but at a later period.”

Against this hypothesis Baluzius and the Ballerini protested, and, as it appears to me, with full right. (a) In the first place, there are two quite arbitrary fictions, that the legate Julius died, and that Bishop Julian of Cos became his substitute. (b) In the next place, the silence of the Acts of Ephesus not only makes it probable that Renatus was not present at the Synod, but also the contemporaneous Prosper knows of only two papal legates, Julius and Hilarus, and this confirms the statement of the Breviculus. (c) If, however, Theodoret nevertheless writes to Renatus, either the superscription of the letter is false (for the name of Renatus never occurs in the text), or Theodoret has made a mistake and confounded Renatus with Hilarus, with respect to whom the statement in the letter is quite accurate.

To this we add only that we know nothing more of the legate Julius. Before the end of the first session at Ephesus, we meet only with Hilarus; he alone, and not also Julius with him, protests against the deposition of Flavian, and it is of Hilarus alone that Pope Leo says that he was able to escape and save himself. Of Julius, however, just as little as of Renatus, is there any word in the later epistles of the Pope. Theophanes (see above, p. 260) professes to know that Julius also had returned to Rome; and Liberatus also (p. 258 f.) speaks of the return of the legates in the plural. On this statement Tillemont makes the remark that Julius must necessarily have returned later than Hilarus, as Leo says nothing of him in his forty-fourth and forty-fifth letters.








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