The Church in Ancient Society: From Galilee to Gregory the Great

By Henry Chadwick | Go to book overview

52 The Christological Debate, II: From Reunion (433) to a Breakdown of Unity (449)

Negotiation for Peace After the Council of Ephesus (431)

The emperor with his elder sister Pulcheria, whose dislike of Nestorius was unmitigated, was much distressed and displeased by the quarrel. He wrote to John of Antioch instructing him that he and Cyril must set aside antipathy and get together. Schism could spell disaster for the empire. A tribune and notary named Aristolaus was entrusted with the delicate negotiation. He travelled to Antioch, then to Alexandria, and lastly back to Antioch. The terms demanded by the emperor were clear. John must agree to the deposition of Nestorius to enable Cyril to grant agreement (ACO I i/4. 1ff.). A comparable letter was sent to Cyril. Meanwhile Theodosius begged Symeon Stylites, the holy man on his column not far from Beroea, to pray for unity. Symeon later approved of the Chalcedonian Definition, and although some Monophysites claimed him for their party, Severus of Antioch (Select Letters, 5. 11, p. 333, tr. Brooks) acknowledged that it was not so. Two Syrian bishops were ordered to be involved in the conversation, namely Paul of Emesa (Homs) in the province of Phoenicia and Acacius of Beroea. Acacius had the authority of great age and in his history of the monks of Syria (2. 16; 21. 10) Theodoret wrote of him in panegyrical terms; moreover at Alexandria he was held in respect for his role supporting Theophilus in the condemnation of John Chrysostom. But he disliked Cyril's Twelve Anathemas and thought Cyril's attack on Nestorius to be driven by non-theological motives (ACO I i/7. 141). He was also outraged by hard evidence of Cyril's bribery (ACO I iv. 85). His confession of faith (ibid. 243-5), stressing the distinction of the two natures, would not have pleased Cyril.

At an early stage in the negotiations, John of Antioch heard an alarming report that an anathema was to be imposed on all who spoke of 'two natures'. He feared that the emperor might support this. Yet even Cyril had never explicitly said such a thing (ibid. 91). The rumour reflected the view of Cyril's more extreme supporters such as Acacius of Melitene.

-538-

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The Church in Ancient Society: From Galilee to Gregory the Great
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Church in Ancient Society iii
  • Prefatory Note vi
  • Contents vii
  • Abbreviations ix
  • Introduction 1
  • 1: The First Followers of Jesus 5
  • 2: The Jewish Matrix 13
  • 3: Jews and Christians Survive Rome's Crushing of Revolts 21
  • 4: The Hebrew Scriptures in the Church 27
  • 5: Interpreting Scripture 32
  • 6: Apostles and Evangelists 43
  • 7: Women Among Jesus' Followers 53
  • 8: 'Barnabas', Jewish Christianity, Trouble at Corinth 56
  • 9: Ignatius of Antioch 65
  • 10: Didache 84
  • 11: Marcion 89
  • 12: Justin 93
  • 13: Irenaeus of Lyon 100
  • 14: The New Testament Text 108
  • 15: Celsus: A Platonist Attack 110
  • 16: Montanism: Perpetua 114
  • 17: Tertullian, Minucius Felix 118
  • 18: Clement of Alexandria 124
  • 19: Julius Africanus 130
  • 20: Hippolytus and Liturgy 132
  • 21: Origen 135
  • 22: Cyprian of Carthage 145
  • 23: Dionysius of Alexandria 161
  • 24: Paul of Samosata 166
  • 25: Mani 170
  • 26: Plotinus, Porphyry 173
  • 27: Diocletian and the Great Persecution; Rise of Constantine 176
  • 28: Constantine 190
  • 29: The Seeds of Reaction 201
  • 30: The Church at Prayer 212
  • 31: Athanasius, Marcellus, and the Gathering Storm 226
  • 32: A Fiasco at Serdica 240
  • 33: Religious Division 254
  • 34: Athanasius' Return 260
  • 35: Constantius' Double Council of Unity 279
  • 36: Julian and the Church 295
  • 37: Damasus, Siricius, Papal Authority, Synesius of Cyrene 314
  • 38: Basil of Caesarea (Cappadocia) 331
  • 39: Ambrose 348
  • 40: Ambrosiaster 379
  • 41: Donatism 382
  • 42: Monks: The Ascetic Life 394
  • 43: Messalians 411
  • 44: Schism at Antioch 415
  • 45: Jerome and Rufinus 433
  • 46: Pelagius, Caelestius, and the Roman See in Gaul and North Africa 446
  • 47: Julian of Eclanum 464
  • 48: Augustine 473
  • 49: John Chrysostom 479
  • 50: Innocent I and John Chrysostom's Honour 499
  • 51: The Christological Debate, I 515
  • 52: The Christological Debate, Ii 538
  • 53: The Christological Debate, Iii 557
  • 54: The Aftermath of the Council of Chalcedon 592
  • 55: Justinian, Origen, and the 'Three Chapters' 612
  • 56: The Ancient Oriental Churches 628
  • 57: The Church and the Barbarian Invasions in the West 633
  • 58: Pope Gregory the Great (590-604) 658
  • 59: Worship After Constantine 675
  • 60: Pilgrims 684
  • 61: Penance 688
  • Further Reading 694
  • Dates of Roman Emperors 714
  • Index 721
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