3. Of CONSTANTINOPLE (1). On the death of Eusebius, patriarch of Constantinople, better known as Eusebius of Nicomedeia [EUSEBIUS of NICOMEDEIA], A. D. 341 or 342, the orthodox, which appears to have been the popular party, restored the patriarch Paul, who had been deposed shortly after his election (A. D. 339) to make room for Eusebius; while the leaders of the Arian party elected Macedonius, who had been deacon, and perhaps priest, of the church of Constantinople, and was already advanced in years. Jerome, in his additions to the Chronicon
of Eusebius, says that Macedonius had been an embroiderer, "artis plumariae," an art which Tillemont supposes he might have carried on while in his office of deacon or priest, but which Scaliger supposed to be attributed to him, by Jerome's mistaking the meaning of the term ποικιλότεχνος
, which perhaps some Greek writer had applied to Macedonius.
According to the account of the orthodox party, Alexander the patriarch had described Macedonius as a man having the exterior of piety, and possessing much address in secular affairs; but, according to the Arians, Alexander had commended his piety.
He had been one of the adversaries of Paul during the first patriarchate of that prelate.
Upon the election of Macedonius great tumults, accompanied by bloodshed, were excited either by his partisans or those of Paul; and the attempt to put these down by Hermogenes, magister equitum, who had been ordered by the emperor Constantius II. to expel Paul, led to still further seditions, and to the murder of Hermogenes.
These events compelled Constantius, then at Antioch, to return to Constantinople, and an end was put to the disturbances by the banishment of Paul. Constantius was, however, much displeased at the unauthorized election of Macedonius, and delayed to recognize him as patriarch, but he was allowed to officiate in the church in which he had been ordained.
These events occurred in A. D. 342. On the departure of Constantius Paul returned, but was soon again banished, and Macedonius and his partisans were then by the imperial officers put in possession of the churches, though not without the loss of several hundred lives, through the resistance of the multitude.
Macedonius retained possession of the patriarchate and the churches till A. D. 348, when the interposition and threats of Constans obliged Constantius to restore Paul, whose title had been confirmed by the council of Sardica (A. D. 347), and Macedonius was only allowed to officiate in one church, which appears to have been his own private property; but in A. D. 350, after the death of Constans, he regained possession of his see, and commenced a vigorous persecution of his opponents, chased them from the churches in his patriarchate, and banished or tortured them, in some instances to death. On the re-establishment of orthodoxy these unhappy persons were reverenced as martyrs, and their memory is still celebrated by the Greek and Latin churches on the 30th March and the 25th Oct. respectively.
By these cruelties Macedonius became hateful even to his own party, and an unexpected event increased the odium in which he was held.
He removed the body of the emperor Constantine the Great from the Church of the Apostles, in which it had been buried, and which (though built only twenty years before) was in a very dilapidated state.
The removal was made in order to prevent the corpse being injured by the apprehended fall of the church; but it led to a tumult, in which the people appear to have been influenced by hatred of Macedonius, and many persons were killed in the church to which the body had been removed. Constantius was very angry with Macedonius, both for his removing the body without orders and for the serious consequences to which his act had led ; and the emperor's displeasure prepared the way for his downfal.
At the council of Seleuceia (A. D. 359), where the Acacian or pure Arian party and the semi-Arians were openly divided and seceded from each other, some charges against him, apparently of cruelty, are said to have been contemplated.
He did not appear at the first sitting of the council, alleging sickness, but he was present afterwards; and if any hostile proceedings were contemplated, no steps appear to have been openly taken against him. In A. D. 3G0, however, in a council held at Constantinople, he was deposed by the Acacians, who were favoured by Constantius, on the plea that he had been the occasion of many murders, and because he had admitted to communion a deacon convicted of adultery; but in reality to gratify Constantius, who was irritated against him, and perhaps also because he would not adopt their views. Though expelled from Constantinople he was not disposed to remain quiet, but sought to unite himself more closely with the semi-Arians, in opposition to the Acacians. [ACACIUS, No. 3.] He appears to have resided in the neighbourhood of Constantinople till his death, of the date of which there is no account. Facundus asserts that he was summoned in A. D. 381 before the second oecumenical, or first council of Constantinople, at which his obnoxious tenets respecting the Holy Spirit were condemned; but this is probably a mistake, and it appears likely that he did not long survive his deposition.
Macedonius is known chiefly as the leader of a sect which took its name front him.
The term "Macedonians " (οἱ Μακεδονιανοί
) is applied somewhat indeterminately in the ancient ecclesiastical writers. Its first application was to the less heterodox division of the Arian party, commonly called the semi-Arians (Ἡμιαρειανοί
), who admitted and contended that the Son was ὁμοιούσιος
, "homoiousios," of like substance with the Father, in opposition to those who affirmed that he was ἀνόμοιος
, "anomoios," of unlike substance.
The latter party were known as Acacians, from their leader Acacius of Caesareia [ACACIUS, No. 3], while the former were designated from Macedonius, who was the most eminent among them in dignity, though he does not appear to have fully identified himself with them until after his deposition; and if Photius (Bibl.
Cod. 257) is correct, was at his election an Anomoian or Acacian.
The two sections came into open collision at the council of Seleuceia (A. D. 359); and the Acacians, though outnumbered in that council, succeeded, through the favour of Constantius, in deposing several of their opponents, and secured an ascendancy which, though interrupted in the reigns of Julian and Jovian, was fully restored under the reign of Valens, from whose time they were known simply as Arians, that designation being thenceforward given to them alone. Many of the semi-Arian party, or, as they were termed, Macedonians, being persecuted by the now triumphant Acacians, were led to approximate more and more to the standard of the Nicene confession with respect to the nature and dignity of the Son; and at last several of their bishops transmitted to pope Liberius (A. D. 367) a confession, in which they admitted that the Son was " ὁμοούσιος
," "homoousios," or" of the same substance" as the Father, and were addressed by the pope in reply as orthodox in that respect. Their growing orthodoxy on this point rendered their heterodoxy with respect to the Holy Spirit, whose deity they denied, and whom they affirmed to be a creature, more prominent.
This dogma is said to have been broached by Macedonius after his deposition, and was held both by those who remained semi-Arians and by those who had embraced orthodox views on the person and dignity of the Son; their only common feature being their denial of the deity of the Holy Spirit, on account of which they were by the Greeks generally termed Πνευματόμαχοι
, "Pneumatomachi," "Impugners of the Spirit."
The second general or first Constantinopolitan council (A. D. 381) anathematised the heresy of the semi-Arians or Pneumatomachi (Ἡμιαρειανῶν ἤγουν Πνευματομάκων
), thus identifying the two names as belonging to one great party; from which it appears not unlikely that the same fear of persecution which led the Macedonians, during the Arian ascendency under Valens, to court the orthodox, by approximating towards orthodoxy, led them, now that orthodoxy was in the ascendant under Theodosius, to draw nearer to the Arians, in order to secure their alliance and support. The Macedonians were also sometimes called Marathonians, Μαραθωνιανοί
, from Marathonius, one of their leaders. (Socrates, H. E.
2.6, 12, 13, 16, 22, 27, 38, 39, 40, 45, 4.12, 5.4, 8; Sozom. H. E.
3.3, 7, 9, 4.2, 3, 20, 21, 22, 24, 26, 27, 5.14, 6.10, 11, 12, 22, 7.7, 9; Theodoret. H. E.
2.6, 5.11; Philostorg. H. E.
5.1, 8.17 ; Greg. Nazianz. Orat.
xxxi. xli.; Athanas. Historia Arianor. ad Monach.
100.7; Pseud. Athanas. Dialog. de Trinit.
iii., and Contra Macedonianos Dialog.
i. ii.; Epiphan. Panarium. Huacres.
74 (s. ut alii, 54); Augustin. de Haeresibus,
100.52; Leontius Byzant. de Seclis. Act.
iv.; Phot. Bibl. l.c.
; Theophanes, Chronograph,
pp. 35-38, ed. Paris, pp. 64-70, ed. Bonn; Tillemont, Mémoires,
vol. vi.; Ceillier, Auteurs Sacrés,
vol. v. p. 594, &c.; Fabric. Bibl. Graec.
vol. ix. p. 247, Concilia,
vol. i. col. 809, 810, 817, 818, 819, ed. Hardouin.)