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Joannes ANTIOCHENUS

9. ANTIOCHENUS, or of ANTIOCH (1). Patriarch of that city in the first half of the fifth century. Cave, we know not on what authority, describes him as having, early in life, studied in the monastery of St. Euprepius, in the suburbs of Antioch, where Nestorius and Theodoret were his fellowdisciples. He succeeded Theodotus as patriarch of Antioch A. D. 427 according to Cave, or 428 or 429 according to Tillemont. In the then rising controversy between Cyril and Nestorius, John of Antioch, with the Eastern bishops, were disposed to favour Nestorius; and John induced Theodoret, bishop of Cyrus, and Andreas of Samosata, to charge with the Apollinarian heresy the twelve " capitula," condemnatory of the doctrines of Nestorius, which had been issued by a synod held at Alexandria A. D. 429, under the auspices of Cyril. When the council of Ephesus (the third general council) was called (A. D. 431), John of Antioch was desirous of having no addition made to the confession of Nice, so that the doctrines of Nestorius might not be condemned; but as John was long on the road, he did not reach Ephesus till five days after the commencement of the council, when he found that the vehement Cyril had already procured the condemnation of Nestorius, and his deposition from the patriarchal see of Constantinople. With more zeal than discretion, John assembled the prelates of his partyat his own lodging, and with them issued a retaliatory anathema and deposition against Cyril, for the heretical views embodied in his " capitula," and against Memnon, bishop of Ephesus, for supporting Cyril. John also (according to Cave, who does not cite his authority) took an oath never to be reconciled to Cyril, even if Cyril should consent to the condemnation of his own " capitula." The council being over, John hastened to the emperor Theodosius the younger, to engage him in his cause, and at Chalcedon delivered an exhortation to the people of Constantinople who resorted to hear him, animating them to continue steadfast in adhering to the old confession of Nice. He then hastened homeward, and assembling councils of the prelates of his patriarchate at Tarsus (A. D. 431) and Antioch (A. D. 431 or 432), repeated the declaration of the deposition of Cyril. The emperor, however, supported the decision of the council of Ephesus; and Nestorius did not recover his see, though he was allowed to reside in the monastery of St. Euprepius, where he was treated with kindness and respect. Theodosius was anxious to heal the schism, and his interposition (and, according to Liberatus, his threats of exile in case of contumacy) softened the stubbornness of John, and some explanation by Cyril of his obnoxious " capitula" prepared the way for a reconciliation. After the schism had continued for about a year, John accepted the conditions of an amicable arrangement offered by Cyril, and (A. D. 432) sent Paul of Emesa, one of his bishops, to Alexandria to complete the arrangement. Cyril received Paul with great respect, and pronounced in public the highest eulogium on John. John now joined in the condemnation of Nestorius; and after much trouble and opposition, which he vanquished, partly by persuasion, partly by deposing the pertinacious, succeeded in bringing over the other Eastern bishops to do the same in provincial councils held at Antioch (A. D. 432), Anazarbus (A. D. 433), and Tarsus (A. D. 434). The unhappy Nestorius was banished to the Egyptian Oasis, and it is said (Evagr. H. E. 1.7) to have been at John's instigation that the emperor made his banishment perpetual ; which statement, if true, shows that either John had become exasperated against his former friend, or was anxious by the manifestation of zeal to regain the lost favour of his opponents. In a council held A. D. 438, John refused to condemn the writings and opinions of Theodore of Mopsuestia, and dictated, according to Liberatus, three letters in defence of him, one to Theodosius the emperor, one to Cyril of Alexandria, and one to Proclus, who had succeeded Nestorius in the see of Constantinople. John died in A. D. 441 or 442.

Theodoret dedicated his commentary on the Song of Solomon to John of Antioch. Gennadius speaks of John's power of extemporaneous speaking (" dicitur extempore declamare") as something worthy of notice.


Works

John of Antioch wrote,--


1. Ἐπιστολαί, and Ἀναφοραί,

Respecting the Nestorian controversy and the council of Ephesus.

Editions

Several of these are contained in the various editions of the Concilia.


2. Ὁμιλία,

The homily or exhortation already referred to as delivered at Chalcedon, just after the council of Ephesus.

Editions

A fragment of this is contained in the Concilia.


3. Περὶ τῶν Μεσαλιανιτῶν,

A letter addressed to Nestorius, and enumerated by Photius (Bibl. cod. 32) among the episcopal and synodical papers against that heretical body, contained in the history or acta of the council of Side, held A. D. 383.


4.

We have no account of the work except from Gennadius, and cannot give the title in Greek. It is probably from this work that the passages are cited which are given by Eulogius (Phot. Bibl. cod. 230, p. 269, ed. Bekker).


Further Information

Socrates, H. E. 7.34; Evagrius, H. E. 1.3-7; Gennadius, de Viris Illustribus, 100.93; Liberatus Diaconus, Breviarium, 100.5-8, apud Galland. Bibl. Platrum, vol. xii.; Theophanes, Chronographia, pp. 73-82, ed. Paris, pp. 58-66, ed. Venice, pp. 131-148, ed. Bonn. ; Cave, Hist. Litt. vol. i. p. 412; Tillemont, Mémoires, vol. xiv.; Fabric. Bibl. Gr. vol. x. p. 349, vol. xii. p. 392; Mansi, Concilia, vols. iv. v. passim.

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