5. Of CONSTANTINOPLE. On the death of Joannes or John II., the Cappadocian, patriarch of Constantinople, Epiphanius, then a preshyter, was chosen to succeed him : he had been the "syncellus" or personal attendant (the functions of the syncellus are not determined) of his predecessor.
The election of Epiphanius is stated by Theophanes to have taken place in Feb. A. D. 512 of the Alexandrian computation, equivalent to A. D. 519 or probably 520 of the common era; the account, transmitted only four days after his ordination, to pope Hormisdas, by the deacon Dioscurus, then at Constantinople, as one of the legates of the Roman see, given by Labbe (Concilia,
vol. iv. p. 1523), was received at Rome on the 7th of April, A. D. 520, which must therefore have been the year of his election.
He occupied the see from A. D. 520 till his death in A. D. 535. Theophanes places his death in June, A. D. 529, Alex. comput. = A. D. 536 of the common era, after a patriarchate of sixteen years and three months; but Pagi (Critic.
in Baronii Annales ad ann.
535, No. lviii.) shortens this calculation by a year. Epiphanius was one of the saints of the Greek calendar, and is mentioned in the Menologium
translated by Sirletus, but not in that of the emperor Basil.
He was succeeded by Anthimus, bishop of Trapezus.
Some Letters of Epiphanius to pope Hormisdas, and of the pope to him, are extant in Labbe's Concilia,
vol. iv. col. 1533-4-7, 1545-6, 1554-5; and in the Concilia
of Binius, vol. ii. pp. 360-61-64-65-68 (edit. 1606); in the latter they are given only in Latin.
A decree of Epiphanius, and of a council in which he presided (apparently the council of Constantinople in A. D. 520, during the continuance of which he was elected tothe patriarchate), condemning and anathematizing for heresy Severus, patriarch of Antioch, Petrus or Peter, bishop of Apamea, and Zoaras, was read at a subsequent council of Constantinople, A. D. 536, under Menas or Mennas, successor of Anthimius, and appears in Labbe's Concilia,
vol. v. col. 251, seq. Some laws and constitutions of Justinian are addressed to Epiphanius. (Justin. Cod. 1. tit. 3. s. 42; de Episcopis et Cleris ;
Novellae, 3, 5.)
In the library of the king of Bavaria at Munich is a Greek MS. described (Hardt. Catalogus MSS. Graec. &c. Cod.
cclvi.) as containing, among other things, a treatise by Epiphanius, patriarch of Constantinople, on the separation of the Latin and Greek churches; and a MS. in the Bodleian Library, Barocc. cxiv. (Catal. MStorum. Angliae et Hiberniae,
Oxon. 1697) contains, with other things, a work by Epiphanius the patriarch On the excommunication of the, Latins by the Greeks on account of the Controversy concerning the Procession of the Holy Spirit.
Allatius also (ad v. Creyghtonum
) cites Epiphanius Patriarcha, de Origine dissidii inter Graecos et Latinos,
probably the same work as that in the Bavarian MS.
But the subjects of these treatises shew they were of later date than our patriarch, nor have we the means of determining their authorship. An Arabic MS. in the King's Library at Paris (Catal. MStorum. Bibl. Regiae,
vol. i. p. 114, Codex
cxviii.) contains what is described as Canonum Epitome nec accurate nec antiqua,
ascribed to Epiphanius.
The account of Epiphanius by Evagrius contains two errors.
He makes him the successor of Anthimius instead of the predecessor; and to have been succeeded by Menas or Mennas, who was the successor, not of Epiphanius, but of Anthimius. (Labbe and Binius, l.c. ;
ad annos citat.; Evagrius, Hist. Eccles.
4.36; Fabric. Bibl. Graec.
vol. viii. p. 257, xii. pp. 666, 674.)