The Acts of the Council of Chalcedon - Vol. 2

The Acts of the Council of Chalcedon - Vol. 2

The Acts of the Council of Chalcedon - Vol. 2

The Acts of the Council of Chalcedon - Vol. 2

Excerpt

The second session, held on 10 October 451, was the first session on ‘how to confirm the true faith’ (II. 2). the emperor’s chief representative, the patrician Anatolius, who chaired this and most of the sessions of the council, proposed the setting up of a committee of bishops to draft a definition of the faith. the bishops responded with apparently unanimous opposition, which the chairman simply ignored, declaring that his proposal would be put into effect; this is a striking instance of the way that imperial policy rather than episcopal wishes dominated the proceedings of the council. the session was largely taken up by the reading of a series of credal and dogmatic documents, including the Tome of Leo; the supporters of miaphysite (onenature) Christology criticized certain of its statements, which its apologists defended by citing similar statements in Cyril of Alexandria, whose unique authority in Christology was taken for granted throughout the council.

Commentary

The second or ‘corrected’ edition of the Latin text of the Acts, as well as that of Rusticus, gives the session of 10 October (on the faith) as the second act of the council and that of 13 October (the trial of Dioscorus) as the third. the Greek version, however, and also the first edition of the Latin (versio antiqua), reverse the order though not the dates; the purpose of this was to achieve a logical sequence, with the acts that dealt with Dioscorus (I and iii in our numeration) coming before the acts of the sessions (II, iv, V, VI) that dealt with the faith. We follow the chronological order given in most of the Latin witnesses, with the session on the faith of 10 October as the second session.

It has occasionally been suggested that the order in the Greek Acts is in fact chronologically correct, with the trial of Dioscorus preceding the first of the sessions on the faith, and that it is the dates of the sessions that are in . . .

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