Alexander of Constantinople
|Bishop of Byzantium and then Archbishop of Constantinople|
|Venerated in|| Eastern Orthodoxy |
Alexander of Constantinople (Greek : Ἀλέξανδρος; c. 237/240 – c. 340) was a bishop of Byzantium and the first Archbishop of Constantinople (the city was renamed during his episcopacy). Scholars consider most of the available information on Alexander to be legendary.
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.
A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight.
Byzantium was an ancient Greek colony in early antiquity that later became Constantinople, and then Istanbul. The Greek term Byzantium continued to be used as a name of Constantinople during the Byzantine Empire, even though it only referred to the empire's capital. Byzantium was colonized by the Greeks from Megara in 657 BC, and remained primarily Greek-speaking until its conquest by the Ottoman Empire in 1453 AD.
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Information from the Synaxarion mention that Alexander was originally from Calabria in Italy and his parents were George and Vryaine. From very young he was given to God and stayed in a Monastery, where he cultivated virtue and became a good labourer of God's commands. He was granted divine visions, while for twenty days he stayed completely fasting. But he also stayed naked for four years and fell into thousands of problems because of attacks of the Saracens. In this way, he lived many years travelling around Greece with his pupils Vitalius and Nicephorus.
Calabria, known in antiquity as Bruttium, is a region in Southern Italy.
Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a European country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps and surrounded by several islands. Italy is located in Southern Europe, and it is sometimes considered as part of Western Europe. The country covers a total area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and shares land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. Italy has a territorial exclave in Switzerland (Campione) and a maritime exclave in the Tunisian Sea (Lampedusa). With around 60 million inhabitants, Italy is the fourth-most populous member state of the European Union.
A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics, monks or nuns, whether living in communities or alone (hermits). A monastery generally includes a place reserved for prayer which may be a chapel, church, or temple, and may also serve as an oratory, or in the case of communities anything from a single building housing only one senior and two or three junior monks or nuns, to vast complexes and estates housing tens or hundreds. A monastery complex typically comprises a number of buildings which include a church, dormitory, cloister, refectory, library, balneary and infirmary. Depending on the location, the monastic order and the occupation of its inhabitants, the complex may also include a wide range of buildings that facilitate self-sufficiency and service to the community. These may include a hospice, a school, and a range of agricultural and manufacturing buildings such as a barn, a forge, or a brewery.
Alexander was elected as a vicar to assist the aged bishop Saint Metrophanes of Byzantium. As a result, both Alexander and Metrophanes are reported as the first Bishop of Constantinople (both are also sometimes listed as first "Patriarch" of Constantinople, though the episcopal see had not yet been elevated to that rank).Alexander served as bishop for about 23 years, until his death at 73 years of age, in 337. At the time of Metrophanes' death, he left instructions in his will to elect his vicar to the throne of Constantinople.
A vicar is a representative, deputy or substitute; anyone acting "in the person of" or agent for a superior. Linguistically, vicar is cognate with the English prefix "vice", similarly meaning "deputy". The title appears in a number of Christian ecclesiastical contexts, but also as an administrative title, or title modifier, in the Roman Empire. In addition, in the Holy Roman Empire a local representative of the emperor, perhaps an archduke, might be styled "vicar".
The highest-ranking bishops in Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Catholic Church, and the Church of the East are termed patriarchs.
An episcopal see is, in the usual meaning of the phrase, the area of a bishop's ecclesiastical jurisdiction.
During his episcopacy, Alexander engaged in debate with pagan philosophers and opposed heresies. He was highly praised by Gregory Nazianzusand Epiphanius of Cyprus. Theodoret called him an "apostolic" bishop.
Theodoret of Cyrus or Cyrrhus was an influential theologian of the School of Antioch, biblical commentator, and Christian bishop of Cyrrhus (423–457). He played a pivotal role in several 5th-century Byzantine Church controversies that led to various ecumenical acts and schisms. He wrote against Cyril of Alexandria's 12 Anathemas which were sent to Nestorius and did not personally condemn Nestorius until the Council of Chalcedon. His writings against Cyril were included in the Three Chapters Controversy and were condemned at the Second Council of Constantinople. Some Chalcedonian and East Syriac Christians regard him as a "full" saint. Although the Eastern Orthodox Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky repeatedly refers to him as "Blessed", there is no evidence in his work that this is the official position of any Eastern Orthodox jurisdiction.
When the Arian controversy began, Alexander, the Patriarch of Alexandria, requested his cooperation in combatting what he perceived to be heresy.According to most sources, Alexander of Constantinople was present at the First Council of Nicaea as Metrophanes' deputy, although some sources state that Metrophanes (who would have been 117 years of age at the time) attended the council personally. At the council, Arius and his teachings were condemned.
The Arian controversy was a series of Christian theological disputes that arose between Arius and Athanasius of Alexandria, two Christian theologians from Alexandria, Egypt. The most important of these controversies concerned the substantial relationship between God the Father and God the Son.
Alexander I of Alexandria, 19th Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark. During his patriarchate, he dealt with a number of issues facing the Church in that day. These included the dating of Easter, the actions of Meletius of Lycopolis, and the issue of greatest substance, Arianism. He was the leader of the opposition to Arianism at the First Council of Nicaea. He also is remembered for being the mentor of the man who would be his successor, Athanasius of Alexandria, who would become one of the leading Church fathers.
The Patriarch of Alexandria is the archbishop of Alexandria, Egypt. Historically, this office has included the designation "pope".
Later, Arius desired to be received back into the communion of the Church. The Roman Emperor Constantine I, having been convinced by the Eusebians, commanded Alexander to formally receive Arius back.According to Socrates Scholasticus, Arius did not in fact repent of his heresy, but was equivocating, and Bishop Alexander was aware of this. Alexander, though threatened by the Eusebians with deposition and banishment, persisted in his refusal to admit Arius back into the Church, and shut himself up in the Church of Hagia Irene (which at that time was the cathedral of Constantinople) in fervent prayer that God would take him from this world rather than be forced to restore someone to communion who he feared was only feigning repentance. As it happened, Arius died on his way to the church, before he could be received back into communion.
Arius was a Libyan presbyter and ascetic, and priest in Baucalis in Alexandria, Egypt. His teachings about the nature of the Godhead in Christianity, which emphasized God the Father's uniqueness and Christ's subordination under the Father, and his opposition to what would become the dominant Christology, Homoousian Christology, made him a primary topic of the First Council of Nicaea, which was convened by Emperor Constantine the Great in 325.
Eusebius of Nicomedia was the man who baptised Constantine the Great. He was a bishop of Berytus in Phoenicia. He was later made the Bishop of Nicomedia, where the imperial court resided. He lived finally in Constantinople from 338 up to his death.
Hagia Irene or Hagia Eirene, sometimes known also as Saint Irene, is a Greek Eastern Orthodox church located in the outer courtyard of Topkapı Palace in Istanbul. It is one of the few churches in Istanbul that has not been converted into a mosque, as it was used as an arsenal for storing weapons until the 19th century. The Hagia Irene today operates as a museum and concert hall.
Alexander did not long survive Arius.On his deathbed he was said to have nominated his vicar, Paul, as his successor, and to have warned his clergy against Macedonius, who became bishop of Constantinople in 342 and whose teachings inspired Macedonianism.
After his death, Alexander came to be regarded as a saint of the Church. The service in his honor was printed in Venice in 1771. According to some ancient manuscripts, the feast of St Alexander was commemorated on June 2. Today, his feast day is celebrated annually on August 30, in a common commemoration with his fellow Patriarchs of Constantinople John the Faster (582–595, also commemorated on September 2) and Paul the New (780-784).
The First Council of Nicaea was a council of Christian bishops convened in the Bithynian city of Nicaea by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in AD 325.
Socrates of Constantinople, also known as Socrates Scholasticus, was a 5th-century Christian church historian, a contemporary of Sozomen and Theodoret.
Nikephoros Kallistos Xanthopoulos, Latinized as Nicephorus Callistus Xanthopulus, of Constantinople, the last of the Greek ecclesiastical historians, lived around 1320.
Epiphanius was the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from February 25, 520 to June 5, 535, succeeding John II Cappadocia.
Saint Meletius was a Christian bishop of Antioch from 360 until his death in 381. He was opposed by a rival bishop named Paulinus and his episcopate was dominated by the schism, usually called the Meletian schism. As a result, he was exiled from Antioch in 361–362, 365–366 and 371–378. One of his last acts was to preside over the First Council of Constantinople in 381.
Macedonius was a Greek bishop of Constantinople from 342 up to 346, and from 351 until 360. He inspired the establishment of the Macedonians, a sect later declared heretical.
Eudoxius was the eighth bishop of Constantinople from January 27, 360 to 370, previously bishop of Germanicia and of Antioch. Eudoxius was one of the most influential Arians.
Maximus, also known as Maximus I or Maximus the Cynic, was the intrusive archbishop of Constantinople in 380, where he became a rival of Gregory Nazianzus.
Atticus was the archbishop of Constantinople, succeeding Arsacius of Tarsus in March 406. He had been an opponent of John Chrysostom and helped Arsacius of Tarsus depose him, but later became a supporter of him after his death. He rebuilt the small church that was located on the site of the later Hagia Sophia, and was an opponent of the Pelagians, which helped increase his popularity among the citizens of Constantinople.
Saint Metrophanes was the bishop of Byzantium from 306 to 314. He may have retired from his episcopacy and died as late as 326.
Epiphanius Scholasticus was a sixth-century translator of Greek works into Latin.
Historiae Ecclesiasticae Tripartitae Epitome, the abridged history of the early Christian Church known as the Tripartite History, was the standard manual of Church history in Medieval Europe.
The Patrologia Graeca is an edited collection of writings by the Christian Church Fathers and various secular writers, in the Greek language. It consists of 161 volumes produced in 1857–1866 by J. P. Migne's Imprimerie Catholique, Paris. It includes both the Eastern Fathers and those Western authors who wrote before Latin became predominant in the Western Church in the 3rd century, e.g. the early writings collectively known as the Apostolic Fathers, such as the First and Second Epistle of Clement, the Shepherd of Hermas, Eusebius, Origen, and the Cappadocian Fathers Basil the Great, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Gregory of Nyssa.
The First Synod of Tyre or the Council of Tyre was a gathering of bishops called together by Emperor Constantine I for the primary purpose of evaluating charges brought against Athanasius, the Patriarch of Alexandria.
The Synod of the Oak was a provincial synod, held in Constantinople in July of 403, which condemned and deposed John Chrysostom as Patriarch of Constantinople.
The Pneumatomachi, also known as Macedonians or Semi-Arians in Constantinople and the Tropici in Alexandria, were an anti-Nicene Creed sect which flourished in the countries adjacent to the Hellespont during the latter half of the fourth, and the beginning of the fifth centuries. They denied the Godhood of the Holy Ghost, hence the Greek name Pneumatomachi or 'Combators against the Spirit'.
The Church History of Eusebius, the bishop of Caesarea was a 4th-century pioneer work giving a chronological account of the development of Early Christianity from the 1st century to the 4th century. It was written in Koine Greek, and survives also in Latin, Syriac and Armenian manuscripts.
Ursacius was the bishop of Singidunum, during the middle of the 4th century. Ursacius played an important role during the evolving controversies surrounding the legacies of the Council of Nicaea and the theologian Arius, acting frequently in concert with his fellow bishops of the Diocese of Pannonia, Germinius of Sirmium and Valens of Mursa. Found at various times during their episcopal careers staking positions on both sides of the developing theological debate and internal Church politicking, Ursacius and his fellows were seen to vacillate according to the political winds.
|Titles of the Great Christian Church|
| Bishop of Byzantium |
after 330 of Constantinople