Second Council of Ephesus

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Second Council of Ephesus
Accepted by Oriental Orthodox Church
Previous council
First Council of Ephesus
Next council
Council of Chalcedon (not accepted by the Oriental Orthodox)
Convoked byEmperor Theodosius II
President Dioscorus of Alexandria
Topics Christology, Nestorianism, Monophysitism
Documents and statements
Condemnations of Flavianus of Constantinople, Pope Leo I, Theodoret, and Domnus II of Antioch
Chronological list of ecumenical councils

The Second Council of Ephesus was a Christological church synod in 449 AD convened by Emperor Theodosius II under the presidency of Pope Dioscorus I of Alexandria. [1] It was intended to be an ecumenical council, and it is accepted as such by the miaphysite churches but was rejected by the Chalcedonian dyophysites. It was explicitly repudiated by the next council, the Council of Chalcedon of 451, [1] recognised as the fourth ecumenical council by Chalcedonian Christians, and it was named the Latrocinium or "Robber Council" by Pope Leo I. [1] [2] The Chalcedonian churches, particularly the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox communions, continue to accept this designation, while the Oriental Orthodox repudiate it.

Synod council of a church

A synod is a council of a church, usually convened to decide an issue of doctrine, administration or application. The word synod comes from the Greek σύνοδος (sýnodos) meaning "assembly" or "meeting", and it is synonymous with the Latin word concilium meaning "council". Originally, synods were meetings of bishops, and the word is still used in that sense in Catholicism, Oriental Orthodoxy and Eastern Orthodoxy. In modern usage, the word often refers to the governing body of a particular church, whether its members are meeting or not. It is also sometimes used to refer to a church that is governed by a synod.

Theodosius II Byzantine Emperor (401–450)

Theodosius II, commonly surnamed Theodosius the Younger, or Theodosius the Calligrapher, was the Eastern Roman Emperor for most of his life, taking the throne as an infant in 402 and ruling as the Eastern Empire's sole emperor after the death of his father Arcadius in 408. He is mostly known for promulgating the Theodosian law code, and for the construction of the Theodosian Walls of Constantinople. He also presided over the outbreak of two great Christological controversies, Nestorianism and Eutychianism.

Pope Dioscorus I of Alexandria 5th-century Coptic/Orthodox pope

Pope Dioscorus I of Alexandria, 25th Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark. He was deposed by the Council of Chalcedon in 451 but was recognized as Patriarch by the Coptic Church until his death. He died on the Island of Gangra, Paphlagonia, in September 454. He is venerated as a saint by the Coptic and other Oriental Orthodox churches.


Both this council and that at Chalcedon dealt primarily with Christology, [1] [2] the study of the nature of Christ. Both councils affirmed the doctrine of the hypostatic union and upheld the orthodox Christian doctrine that Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully Man. The Second Council of Ephesus decreed the formula of Cyril of Alexandria, stating that Christ is one incarnate nature [mia physis] (a qualitative description of the union of divinity and humanity), fully human and fully God, united without separation, without confusion, without mixture and without alteration. The Council of Chalcedon decreed that in Christ two natures exist, "a divine nature [physis] and a human nature [physis], united in one person [ hypostasis ], with neither division nor confusion". [1] [2] [3]

Hypostatic union

Hypostatic union is a technical term in Christian theology employed in mainstream Christology to describe the union of Christ's humanity and divinity in one hypostasis, or individual existence.

Cyril of Alexandria Pope of Alexandria from 412 to 444

Cyril of Alexandria was the Patriarch of Alexandria from 412 to 444. He was enthroned when the city was at the height of its influence and power within the Roman Empire. Cyril wrote extensively and was a leading protagonist in the Christological controversies of the late-4th and 5th centuries. He was a central figure in the Council of Ephesus in 431, which led to the deposition of Nestorius as Patriarch of Constantinople.

Those who do not accept the decrees of Chalcedon nor later ecumenical councils are variously named monophysites [1] (though this term is only correctly used to describe a small minority and is most often pejoratively applied to others), miaphysites, [1] or non-Chalcedonians, [4] and comprise what is today known as Oriental Orthodoxy, a communion of six autocephalous ecclesial communions Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, Syriac Orthodox Church, and the Armenian Apostolic Church. Those who accepted the teaching of Chalcedon but resided in areas dominated by Oriental Orthodox bishops were called by the non-Chalcedonians Melkites , or "King's men" (as the Emperors were usually Chalcedonians),. [1] The Antiochian Orthodox Church historically descends from these people. Shortly after the Council of Chalcedon, the miaphysite party appointed a Pope of Alexandria in opposition to the Chalcedonian Pope of Alexandria. Over the next few centuries, various popes usually held to either one side or the other although some accepting the Henotikon. Eventually, two separate papacies were established, each claiming sole legitimacy. [1] [2]

Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria major transnational Oriental Orthodox church led by the Patriarch of Alexandria on the Holy See of St. Mark

The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria is an Oriental Orthodox Christian church based in Egypt, Africa and the Middle East. The head of the Church and the See of Alexandria is the Patriarch of Alexandria on the Holy See of Saint Mark, who also carries the title of Coptic Pope. The See of Alexandria is titular, and today the Coptic Pope presides from Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in the Abbassia District in Cairo. The church follows the Alexandrian Rite for its liturgy, prayer and devotional patrimony. With 18–22 million members worldwide, whereof about 15 to 20 million are in Egypt, it is the country's largest Christian church.

Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Oriental Orthodox Church in Ethiopia

The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is the largest of the Oriental Orthodox Christian churches. One of the few pre-colonial Christian churches in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church has a membership of between 45 and 50 million people, the majority of whom live in Ethiopia. It is a founding member of the World Council of Churches. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is in communion with the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, the Syriac Orthodox Church, the Armenian Apostolic Church, and the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, having gained autocephaly in 1959.

Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church Oriental Orthodox church

The Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church is an Oriental Orthodox church with its headquarters in Asmara, Eritrea. Its autocephaly was recognised by Shenouda III, Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria after Eritrea gained its independence from Ethiopia in 1993.


Nestorius was Archbishop of Constantinople. His opponents charged him with detaching Christ's divinity and humanity into two persons existing in one body, thereby denying the reality of the Incarnation. It is not clear whether Nestorius actually taught that. A combination of politics and personalities contributed to Nestorius being judged a heretic and deposed at the Council of Ephesus. John Anthony McGuckin sees an "innate rivalry" between the Sees of Alexandria and Constantinople. [5]

Nestorius Archbishop of Constantinople

Nestorius was Archbishop of Constantinople from 10 April 428 to August 431, when Emperor Theodosius II confirmed his condemnation by the Council of Ephesus on 22 June.

Council of Ephesus ecumenical council in Ephesus in June–July 431, convened by Emperor Theodosius II; confirmed the Nicene Creed; condemned Nestorianism and Pelagianism; condemned interference by the Bishop of Antioch in affairs of the church in Cyprus

The Council of Ephesus was a council of Christian bishops convened in Ephesus in AD 431 by the Roman Emperor Theodosius II. This third ecumenical council, an effort to attain consensus in the church through an assembly representing all of Christendom, confirmed the original Nicene Creed, and condemned the teachings of Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople, who held that the Virgin Mary may be called the Christotokos, "Birth Giver of Christ" but not the Theotokos, "Birth Giver of God". It met in June and July 431 at the Church of Mary in Ephesus in Anatolia.

John Anthony McGuckin is a theologian, church historian, Orthodox Christian priest and poet.

Eutyches was an archmandrite in Constantinople. In his opposition to Nestorianism, he seemed to take an equally extreme, although opposite view. In 448, Flavian, Bishop of Constantinople held a synod at which Eusebius, Bishop of Dorylaeum, brought a charge of heresy against the Eutyches. [6] Eutyches was summoned to appear and clarify his position regarding the nature of Christ. Finding his response unsatisfactory, the synod condemned and exiled Eutyches, who sent an appeal to Pope Leo I. When St. Leo had received the Acts of the Council, he concluded that Eutyches was a foolish old man who had erred through ignorance, and might be restored if he repented. Dioscurus of Alexandria, imitating his predecessors in assuming a primacy over Constantinople, simply annulled the sentence of Flavian, and absolved Eutyches. Dioscurus and Eutyches had obtained the convocation by the Emperor of an ecumenical council to meet at Ephesus in August, 449.

Eutyches was a presbyter and archimandrite at Constantinople. He first came to notice in 431 at the First Council of Ephesus, for his vehement opposition to the teachings of Nestorius; his condemnation of Nestorianism as heresy led him to an equally extreme, although opposite view, which precipitated his being denounced as a heretic himself.

Constantinople capital city of the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire, the Latin and the Ottoman Empire

Constantinople was the capital city of the Roman Empire (330–395), of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, of the brief Crusader state known as the Latin Empire (1204–1261) and of the Ottoman Empire (1453–1923). In 1923 the capital of Turkey, the successor state of the Ottoman Empire, was moved to Ankara and the name Constantinople was officially changed to Istanbul. The city is located in what is now the European side and the core of modern Istanbul. The city is still referred to as Constantinople in Greek-speaking sources.

Pope Leo I Pope from 440 to 461

Pope Leo I, also known as Saint Leo the Great, was Bishop of Rome from 29 September 440 and died in 461. Pope Benedict XVI said that Leo's papacy "...was undoubtedly one of the most important in the Church's history."

First session

The Acts by the Second Council of Ephesus are known through a Syriac translation by a monk that was published by the British Museum (MS. Addit. 14,530) and written in 535. The first session is missing. [7]

Syriac language dialect of Middle Aramaic

Syriac, also known as Syrian/Syriac Aramaic, Syro-Aramaic or Classical Syriac, is a dialect of Middle Aramaic of the Northwest Semitic languages of the Afroasiatic family that is written in the Syriac alphabet, a derivation of the Aramaic alphabet. Having first appeared in the early first century CE in Edessa, classical Syriac became a major literary language throughout the Middle East from the 4th to the 8th centuries, preserved in a large body of Syriac literature. Indeed, Syriac literature comprises roughly 90% of the extant Aramaic literature. Syriac was once spoken across much of the Near East as well as Anatolia and Eastern Arabia. Syriac originated in Mesopotamia and eventually spread west of Iraq in which it became the lingua franca of the region during the Mesopotamian Neo-Assyrian period.

British Museum National museum in the Bloomsbury area of London

The British Museum, in the Bloomsbury area of London, United Kingdom, is a public institution dedicated to human history, art and culture. Its permanent collection of some eight million works is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence, having been widely sourced during the era of the British Empire. It documents the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. It was the first public national museum in the world.

Attending signatories

There was insufficient time for Western bishops to attend except a certain Julius, Bishop of Puteoli, who, together with a Roman priest, Renatus (who died on the way), and the deacon Hilarius (who later became Pope himself), represented Pope Leo I. The emperor gave Dioscorus of Alexandria the presidency: ten authentian kai ta proteia (Greek). The legate Julius is mentioned next, but when his name was read at Chalcedon, the bishops cried: "He was cast out; no one represented Leo". Next in order is Juvenal of Jerusalem, above both the Patriarch Domnus II of Antioch and Patriarch Flavian of Constantinople. [7]

There were 127 bishops present at the Council, with eight representatives of absent bishops, and lastly the deacon Hilarius with his notary, Dulcitius. The question before the council, by order of the emperor, was whether Archbishop Flavian of Constantinople, in a synod held by him at Constantinople beginning November 8, 448 AD, had justly deposed and excommunicated Archimandrite Eutyches for refusing to admit two natures in Christ. Consequently, Flavian and six other bishops, who had been present at his synod, were not allowed to sit as judges in the council. [7]

Opening proceeding

The brief of convocation by Theodosius II was read. Then the legates to the Pope of the Church of Rome explained that although it would have been contrary to custom for their Pope to be present in person, the Pope of the Church of Rome had sent a letter with the legates to be read at the council. In the letter, Leo I referred to his dogmatic letter to Flavian, the Tome of Leo, which he intended the council to accept as a ruling of faith.

However, the head notary declared that the emperor's letter should be read first, and Bishop Juvenal of Jerusalem commanded for the letter of the emperor to be presented. It ordered the presence at the council of the anti-Nestorian monk Barsumas. [8] The question of faith was next on the proceedings. Pope (Patriarch of Alexandria) Dioscorus declared that it was not a matter for inquiry but that they had to consider only recent activity, as all present had acknowledged that they strictly adhered to the faith. He was acclaimed as a guardian and the Champion of Oriental Orthodoxy.

Eutyches was then introduced, and he declared that he held the Nicene Creed to which nothing could be added and from which nothing could be taken away. He claimed that he had been condemned by Flavian for a mere slip of the tongue even though he had declared that he held the faith of Nicaea and Ephesus, and he had appealed to the present council. His life had been put in danger and he now asked for judgment against the calumnies that had been brought against him.

Eutyches' accuser, Bishop Eusebius of Dorylaeum, was not allowed to be heard. The bishops agreed that the acts of the condemnation of Eutyches, at the 448 Constantinople council, should be read, but the legates of Rome asked that Leo's letter might be heard first. Eutyches interrupted with the complaint that he did not trust the legates. They had been to dine with Flavian and had received much courtesy. Pope Dioscorus decided that the acts of the trial should have precedence and so the letter of Leo I was not read.

The acts were then read in full and also the account of an inquiry made on April 13, 449, into the allegation of Eutyches that the synodal acts had been incorrectly noted down and then the account of another inquiry on April 27, 449, into the accusation made by Eutyches that Flavian had drawn up the sentence against him beforehand. While the trial was being related, cries arose from those present, declaring a belief in one nature, that two natures meant Nestorianism, of "Burn Eusebius", and so forth. Flavian rose to complain that no opportunity was given to him to defend himself.

The Acts of the Second Council of Ephesus now give a list of 114 votes in the form of short speeches absolving Eutyches. Even three of his former judges joined in that although by the emperor's order, they were not allowed to vote. Lastly, Barsumas added his voice. A petition was read from the monastery of Eutyches, which had been excommunicated by Flavian. The monks asserted that they agreed in all things with Eutyches and with the Holy Fathers, and therefore the synod absolved them.

An extract from the acts of the first session of the First Council of Ephesus (431 AD) was read next. Many of the bishops and also the deacon Hilarus expressed their assent, some adding that nothing beyond that faith could be allowed.

Dioscorus then spoke, declaring that it followed that Flavian and Eusebius must be deposed, as if an anathema was passed unjustly, and he who passed it was to be judged by the same. Flavian and Eusebius had previously interposed an appeal to the Roman Pope and to a synod held by him.

Evidence given at the ecumenical Council of Chalcedon contradicts the account in the acts of the final scene of the session. It was reported that secretaries of the bishops had been violently prevented from taking notes and it was declared that both Barsumas and Dioscorus struck Flavian. It was further reported that many bishops threw themselves on their knees to beg Dioscorus for mercy to Flavian and also Alexandrine Parabolani, that some signed a blank paper, and that others did not sign at all, the names being afterwards filled in of all who were actually present. [9]

The papal legate Hilarius uttered a single word in Latin, "Contradicitur", annulling the sentence in Leo's name. He then escaped with difficulty. Flavian and Eusebius of Dorylaeum appealed to the pope, and their letters, only lately discovered, were probably taken by Hilarus to Rome, which he reached by a devious route. [9]

It was said Dioscorus had previously gathered 1000 monks, telling them to wait outside the church during the council and to come when he called them. When Dioscorus began to read the sentence of condemnation against Flavian and Eusebius, some bishops went up to Dioscorus, asking him not to. Dioscorus called the guards, and the 1000 monks who were waiting outside with some soldiers came in and charged at Flavian and his followers. Flavian ran to the altar and grabbed hold of it for his life. The soldiers and monks forcefully took him from the altar beating him, kicking him and then whipping him.

Flavian was deported into exile and died from his wounds a few days later in Lydia. [9] His body was buried in obscurity. It was not until Flavius Marcianus called the Council of Chalcedon that Flavian's body was buried with honour in Constantinople. No more of the Acts were read at Chalcedon. However, Theodoret, Evagrius and others note that the Council voted to depose Theodoret himself, Domnus, and Ibas, Bishop of Edessa, Mesopotamia.

Subsequent sessions

Attitude of schism

The Syriac Acts take up the history where the Chalcedonian Acts break off. Of the first session, only the formal documents, letters of the emperor, petitions of Eutyches, are known to be preserved in Syriac though not within the same manuscript. It is evident that the non-Chalcedonian editor disapproved of the first session and purposely omitted it, not because of the high-handed proceedings of Dioscorus but because the later Miaphysites generally condemned Eutyches as a heretic and did not wish to remember his rehabilitation by a council that they considered to be ecumenical but the rest of Christianity scorned.


In the next session, according to the Syriac Acts, 113 people were present, including Barsumas. Nine new names appeared. The legates did not appear and were sent for, but only the notary Dulcitius could be found and he was unwell. It was an uncanonical charge against St. Dioscorus at the Council of Chalcedon that he "had held an (ecumenical) council without the Roman See, which was never allowed". That manifestly refers to his having continued at the council after the departure of the legates.

Double jeopardy

The first case was that of Ibas, Bishop of Edessa. The famous champion of the Antiochian party, he had been accused of crimes before by Domnus, Bishop of Antioch, and had been acquitted soon after Easter 448. His accusers had gone to Constantinople and been granted a new trial by the emperor. Bishops Photius of Tyre, Eustathius of Berytus and Uranius of Imeria were to examine the matter. The bishops met at Tyre, removed to Berytus and returned to Tyre. Eventually, in February 449, they acquitted Ibas once more, together with his fellow accused: Daniel, Bishop of Harran and John of Theodosianopolis.

Cheroeas, Governor of Osrhoene l, was then ordered to go to Edessa to start a new inquiry. He was received by the people of Edessa on April 12, 449, with shouts in honour of the emperor, the governor and the late Bishop Rabbula and against Nestorius and Ibas. The detailed summary of the reception takes up some two or three pages of the report that Cheroeas sent, along with two letters of his own, to Constantinople. The report gave details of the accusations against Ibas, and led to the emperor's ordering for a new bishop to be chosen.

The report, which provided a history of the whole affair, was read at length by the order of Dioscorus. When the famous letter of Ibas to Bishop Maris was read, cries arose such as:

"These things pollute our ears.... Cyril is immortal.... Let Ibas be burnt in the midst of the city of Antioch.... Exile is of no use. Nestorius and Ibas should be burnt together!"

A final indictment was made in a speech by a priest of Edessa named Eulogius. Sentence was finally given against Ibas of deposition and excommunication, without any suggestion that he ought to be called to speak in his own defence.

In the next case, that of Ibas's nephew, Daniel of Harran, it was declared that they had clearly seen his guilt at Tyre and had acquitted him only because of his voluntary resignation. He was quickly deposed by the agreement of all the council. He, too, was not present and could not defend himself.

Next was the turn of Irenaeus, who, as an influential layman at the first Council of Ephesus, had been known to favour Nestorius. He had later become Bishop of Tyre, but the emperor had deposed him in 448 under charges of bigamy and blasphemy, and Photius had succeeded him. The synod ratified the deposition of Irenaeus.

Aquilinus, Bishop of Byblus, had been consecrated by Irenaeus and was his friend. He was the next to be deposed. Sophronius, Bishop of Tella, was a cousin of Ibas. He was, therefore, accused of magic, and his case was reserved for the judgment of the new Bishop of Edessa, a surprisingly-mild decision.

Condemnation of Theodoret

Theodoret, an opponent of Dioscorus and a personal supporter of Nestorius, had been confined within his own diocese by the emperor in the preceding year to prevent him from preaching at Antioch. Theodoret had been a friend of Nestorius, and for more than three years (431-434 AD), he was a prominent antagonist of Cyril of Alexandria. However, despite the fact the two great theologians had come to terms and had celebrated their agreement, Theodoret was rejected with scorn. Theodosius had twice written to prevent him.from coming to the council at Ephesus, and the council found a reason to depose him in his absence.

A monk from Antioch produced a volume of extracts from the works of Theodoret. First was read Theodoret's letter to the monks of the East (see Mansi, V, 1023), then some extracts from a lost Apology for Diodorus and Theodore. The very name of the work was sufficient, in the view of the council, to condemn Theodoret and Dioscorus pronounced the sentence of deposition and excommunication.

When Theodoret, in his remote diocese, heard of the sentence pronounced in his absence, he at once appealed to Leo in a letter (Ep. cxiii). He also wrote to the legate Renatus (Ep. cxvi), being unaware that he was dead.

Condemnation of Domnus

The council had a yet-bolder task before it. Domnus of Antioch is said to have agreed in the first session to the acquittal of Eutyches, but he refused, on the plea of sickness, to appear at the later sessions of the council. He seems to have been disgusted or terrified or both at the leadership of Pope Dioscorus. The council had sent him an account of their actions, and he replied, according to the Acts, that he agreed to all the sentences that had been given and regretted that his health made his attendance impossible.

Immediately after receiving this message, the council proceeded to hear a number of petitions from monks and priests against Domnus. Domnus was accused of friendship with Theodoret and Flavian, of Nestorianism, of altering the form of the Sacrament of Baptism, of intruding an immoral bishop into Emessa, of having been uncanonically appointed himself and of being an enemy of Dioscorus. Several pages of the manuscripts are missing, but it does not seem that the patriarch was asked to appear or given a chance to defend himself. The bishops shouted that he was worse than Ibas. He was deposed by a vote of the council, and with that final act, the Acts come to an end.


The council wrote the customary letter to the emperor (see Perry, trans., p. 431), who confirmed with another letter (Mansi, VII, 495, and Perry, p. 364). Dioscorus sent an encyclical to the bishops of the East, with a form of adhesion to the council that they were to sign (Perry, p. 375). He also went to Constantinople and appointed his secretary Anatolius as bishop of that see.

Juvenal of Jerusalem was loyal to Dioscorus. He had deposed the Patriarchs of Antioch and Constantinople, but one powerful adversary yet remained. He halted at Nicaea and with ten bishops (probably the same ten Egyptian metropolitans whom he had brought to Ephesus), "in addition to all his other crimes he extended his madness against him who had been entrusted with the guardianship of the Vine by the Saviour", in the words of the bishops at Chalcedon, "and excommunicated the Pope himself".

Meanwhile, Leo I had received the appeals of Theodoret and Flavian (of whose death he was unaware) and had written to them and to the Emperor and Empress, informing them that all of the Acts of the Council were nullified. He eventually excommunicated all who had taken part in it and absolved all whom it had condemned (including Theodoret), with the exception of Domnus of Antioch, who seems to have had no wish to resume his see and retired into the monastic life that he had left many years earlier with regret.

The Council of Chalcedon gave rise to what has been called the Monophysite Schism [1] [2] between those who accepted the Second Council of Ephesus and those who accepted the Council of Chalcedon: many Byzantine emperors over the next several hundred years attempted to reconcile the opposed parties, [1] [3] in the process giving rise to several other schisms and teachings later condemned as heresy, such as monoenergism and monotheletism, which were devised as attempted compromises between the Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian parties (cf. the Henotikon and the Three Chapters – the latter itself leading to another schism lasting over a century, the Schism of the Three Chapters). [1] [3]

Related Research Articles

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Council of Chalcedon Fourth Ecumenical Council held in 451; not accepted by Oriental Orthodoxy

The Council of Chalcedon was a church council held from 8 October to 1 November, 451, at Chalcedon, a town of Bithynia in Asia Minor. The Council was called by Emperor Marcian to set aside the 449 Second Council of Ephesus. Its principal purpose was to assert the orthodox catholic doctrine against the heresy of Eutyches and the Monophysites, although ecclesiastical discipline and jurisdiction also occupied the council's attention.

Ecumenical council conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice

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Monophysitism is the Christological position that, after the union of the divine and the human in the historical incarnation, Jesus Christ, as the incarnation of the eternal Son or Word (Logos) of God, had only a single "nature" which was either divine or a synthesis of divine and human. Monophysitism is contrasted to dyophysitism which maintains that Christ maintained two natures, one divine and one human, after the incarnation.

Flavian of Constantinople Archbishop of Constantinople

Flavian, sometimes Flavian I, was Archbishop of Constantinople from 446 to 449. He is venerated as a saint by the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

Anatolius of Constantinople Orthodox saint

Saint Anatolius was the first Patriarch of Constantinople.

Ibas was bishop of Edessa and was born in Syria. His name is the Syriac equivalent of "Donatus". He is frequently associated with the growth of Nestorianism, although this assertion is contentious and has been opposed.

Maximus II was a 5th-century patriarch of Antioch. After the deposition of Domnus II by the Second Council of Ephesus, 449, Dioscorus persuaded the emperor Theodosius II to fill the vacancy with one of the clergy of Constantinople. Maximus was selected and ordained, in violation of canon law, by Patriarch Anatolius of Constantinople, without the official sanction of the clergy or people of Antioch.

Domnus II, was Patriarch of Antioch between 442 and 449 and a friend of the influential Bishop of Cyrrhus, Saint Theodoret.

Eusebius of Dorylaeum was a 5th-century bishop who spoke out against heretical teachings, especially those of Nestorius and Eutyches, during the period of Christological controversy. He was bishop of Dorylaeum which is located in Phrygia. The name Eusebius may also be found as Eusebios which means “pious” in Greek. The surname “of Dorylaeum” is a result of his appointment to bishop in Dorylaeum.

Basil of Seleucia was a Bishop and ecclesiastical writer. He was archbishop of Seleucia by 448. He condemned Eutyches in the year 448, he "acquiesced" while "rehabilitating" at the Latrocinium in 449, "but recanted and signed" the Tome of Leo in 450.

Coptic history

Coptic history is part of history of Egypt that begins with the introduction of Christianity in Egypt in the 1st century AD during the Roman period, and covers the history of the Copts to the present day. Many of the historic items related to Coptic Christianity are on display in many museums around the world and a large number is in the Coptic Museum in Coptic Cairo.

First seven ecumenical councils

In the history of Christianity, the first seven ecumenical councils include the following: the First Council of Nicaea in 325, the First Council of Constantinople in 381, the Council of Ephesus in 431, the Council of Chalcedon in 451, the Second Council of Constantinople in 553, the Third Council of Constantinople from 680–681 and finally, the Second Council of Nicaea in 787.

Oriental Orthodoxy is the communion of Eastern Christian Churches that recognize only three ecumenical councils — the First Council of Nicaea, the First Council of Constantinople and the Council of Ephesus. They reject the dogmatic definitions of the Council of Chalcedon. Hence, these Churches are also called Old Oriental Churches or Non-Chalcedonian Churches.

The Third Council of Ephesus was held in the Anatolian city of Ephesus in 475. It was presided over by Pope Timothy II of Alexandria, and also attended by Peter the Fuller, then Patriarch of Antioch, and Paul the Exarch of Ephesus. It ratified a recent Encyclical of Emperor Basiliscus, reportedly signed by 500-700 bishops throughout the Empire, which condemned the Council of Chalcedon and particularly the Tome of Leo. This council thus constitutes one of the most significant synodical condemnations of Chalcedon for the Oriental Orthodox. In response to the accusations of certain Chalcedonians that they, the Non-Chalcedonians, had adopted the erroneous teachings of Eutyches, the attendees of Ephesus III summarily anathematized all teachings which compromised the humanity of Christ, but without any explicit mention of Eutyches. Additionally, the council restored the complete autonomy of the Ecclesiastical Exarchate of Ephesus, which had been compromised at Chalcedon by ascribing authority to the Patriarch of Constantinople over Thrace, Pontus, and Asia.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Davis, SJ, Leo Donald (1990). The First Seven Ecumenical Councils (325-787): Their History and Theology (Theology and Life Series 21). Collegeville, MN: Michael Glazier/Liturgical Press. p. 342. ISBN   978-0-8146-5616-7.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Kelly, Joseph F (2009). The Ecumenical Councils of the Catholic Church: A History. Collegeville, MN: Michael Glazier/Liturgical Press. p. 226. ISBN   978-0-8146-5376-0.
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Coordinates: 37°56′42″N27°20′21″E / 37.94500°N 27.33917°E / 37.94500; 27.33917