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A History Of The Church In Six Books by Evagrius

SINCE, then, these letters state, that the priests subject to Apamea had separated from Severus, let me now add a circumstance transmitted to us from our fathers, although it has not hitherto found a place in history. Cosmas, bishop of my native place, Epiphanea, which stands on the Orontes, and Severian, bishop of the neighbouring city of Arethusa, being troubled at the synodical letters of Severus, and having withdrawn from his communion, despatched an instrument of deposition to him, while still bishop of Antioch. They entrust the document to Aurelian, chief of the deacons at Epiphanea, and he, through dread of Severus and the majesty of so great a bishopric, on his arrival at Antioch puts on a female dress, and approaches Severus with delicate carriage and the entire assumption of a woman’s appearance. Letting his vail fall down to his breast, with wailing and deep drawn lamentation he presents to Severus, as he advanced, the instruments of deposition in the guise of a petition: he then passes unobserved from among the attendant crowd and purchased safety by flight, before Severus had learned the purport of the document. Severus, having received the document and learned its contents, continued, nevertheless, in his see, until the death of Anastasius.

On being informed of these transactions, for I must record the benevolent measure of Anastasius, he directs Asiaticus, who was commander in Phœnicia Libanensis, to eject Cosmas and Severian from their sees, because they had sent the instrument of deposition to Severus. Finding, on his arrival in the East, that many adhered to the opinions of those bishops, and that their cities resolutely upheld them, he reported to Anastasius that he could not eject them without bloodshed. So great then was the humanity of Anastasius, that he wrote in express terms to Asiaticus, that he did not desire the accomplishment of any object, however important and illustrious, if one drop of blood was to be shed.

Such, then, was the situation of the churches throughout the world down to the reign of Anastasius; whom some, treating him as an enemy to the synod at Chalcedon, erased from the sacred diptychs; and he was also anathematised at Jerusalem even during his life-time.








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