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General Information

Monophysitism is the doctrine that Jesus Christ had only one nature, rather than two - divine and human. This belief is sometimes known as Eutychianism, after Eutyches, a mid - 5th - century archimandrite of a Constantinople monastery. Eutyches taught that in Jesus Christ the humanity was absorbed by the divinity, "dissolved like a drop of honey in the sea." Eutyches fought against the Nestorian doctrine that the two natures of Christ represented two distinct persons. His doctrine was condemned as heretical, however, at the Council of Chalcedon in 451.

Strict Monophysitism, or Eutychianism, explains the one nature in Christ in one of four ways:

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A more moderate Monophysitism was put forward by Severus (c. 465 - 538), patriarch of Antioch. It was less rigid and in many ways differed only nominally from the doctrines of the Council of Chalcedon. Nonetheless, all Monophysites rejected the dogmatic formulas of Chalcedon, and efforts to reach an acceptable compromise failed. By the 6th century Monophysitism had a strong institutional basis in three churches: the Armenian Church, the Coptic Church, and the Jacobite Church, all of which remain nominally Monophysite today.

Agnes Cunningham

R C Chesnut, Three Monophysite Christologies (1976); W H C Freud, The Rise of the Monophysitic Movement (1972).


Advanced Information

Derived from monos, "single," and physis, "nature," monophysitism is the doctrine which holds that the incarnate Christ had only a single, divine nature, clad in human flesh. It is sometimes called Eutychianism, after Eutyches (d.454), one of its leading defenders. Since the Council of Chalcedon, which confirmed as orthodox the doctrine of two natures, divine and human, monophysitism has been considered heretical. Its roots probably go back to Apollinaris (c. 370), who laid tremendous stress on the fusion of the divine and human. Alexandria (as opposed to Antioch) became the citadel of this doctrine, and Cyril, although deemed orthodox, furnished fuel for the fire kindled by his successor, Dioscorus, and Eutyches, who denied that Christ's body was the same in essence as the bodies of men. Their chief opponent was Leo I of Rome, whose formulation of the doctrine of two natures in one person triumphed at Chalcedon.

Monophysites tended to divide into two main groups: Julianists, who held to the immortality and incorruptibility of Christ's incarnate body, and the more orthodox Severians, who rejected the Eutychian view that the human and divine were completely mingled in the incarnation. In the remnant of Syrian Jacobites and in the Coptic and Ethiopian churches (and to a limited extent in the Armenian) it survives to the present day.

D A Hubbard
(Elwell Evangelical Dictionary)

A A Luce, Monophysitism Past and Present; R V Sellers, Two Ancient Christologies and The Council of Chalcedon; E R Hardy, Christian Egypt: Church and People; W H C Frend, The Rise of the Monophysite Movement; W A Wigram, The Separation of the Monophysites.

Monophysites and Monophysitism

Catholic Information

The history of this sect and of its ramifications has been summarized under EUTYCHIANISM (the nickname somewhat unfairly given by Catholic controversialists). The theology of Monophysitism has also been described under the same heading. Two points are discussed in the following article: first, the literary activity of the Monophysites both in Greek and Syriac; secondly, the question whether they can be exculpated from material heresy in their Christology.


From many points of view the Monophysites are the most important of early heresies, and no heresy or related group of heresies until the sixteenth century has produced so vast and important a literature. A large portion of this is lost; some remains in manuscript, and of late years important publications have brought much of this material to the light of day. Nearly all the Greek literature has perished in its original form, but much of it survives in early Syriac translations, and the Syriac literature itself is extant in yet greater amount. The scientific, philosophical, and grammatical writings of Monophysites must for the most part be passed over here. Ecclesiastical history and biography, as well as dogmatic and polemical writings will be described for the fifth and sixth centuries, together with a few of the chief works of the centuries immediately following.

Dioscurus has left us but a few fragments. The most important is in the "Hist. Misc.", III, i, from a letter written in exile at Gangra, in which the banished patriarch declares the reality and completeness of our Lord's Human Body, intending evidently to deny that he had approved the refusal of Eutyches to admit Christ's consubstantiality with us.

Timothy Ælurus (d. 477) who had been ordained priest by St. Cyril himself, and preserved a profound attachment to that saint, published an edition of some of his works. He accompanied Dioscurus to the robber Council of Ephesus in 449, as he says himself "together with my brother the blessed priest Anatolius" (the secretary of Dioscurus, promoted by him to the See of Constantinople). It is not necessary to infer that Timothy and Anatolius were brothers. When the death in exile of Dioscurus (September 454) was known, Timothy assumed the leadership of those who did not acknowledge the orthodox Patriarch Proterius, and demanded a new bishop. He had with him four or five deprived bishops. The riots which followed were renewed at the death of the Emperor Marcian, and Proterius was murdered. Even before this, Timothy had been consecrated patriarch by two bishops. Eusebius of Pelsium and the famous Peter the Iberian, Bishop of Maïuma, the latter not even an Egyptian. At Constantinople Anatolius was scarcely his enemy; the minister Aspar was probably his friend; but the Emperor Leo certainly desired to acquiesce in the demands for Timothy's deposition addressed to him by the orthodox bishops of Egypt and by Pope St. Leo, and he punished the murderers of Proterius at once. Meanwhile Ælurus was expelling from their sees all bishops who accepted the Council of Chalcedon. It was not, however, till Anatolius was dead (3 July, 458) and had been succeeded by St. Gennadius, that the Emperor put into effect the opinion he had elicited from all the bishops of the East in the "Encyclia", by exiling Ælurus first to Gangrus in Paphlagonia, and then in 460 to the Cheronesus. During the reign of Basilicus he was restored, at the end of 475, and Zeno spared his old age from molestation.

Under EUTYCHIANISM something has been said of his theology, and more will be found below. Of his works a fragment on the Two Natures, is in Migne (P.G., LXXXVI, 273). The unpublished Syriac collection of his works (in British Mus., manuscript Addit. 12156, sixth cent.) contains

a treatise against the "Dyophysites" (Catholics) which consists mainly of a collection of extracts from the Fathers against the Two Natures, the last of the citations being from letters of Dioscurus. This is, however, but a summary of a larger work, which has recently been published entire in an Armenian translation under the title of "Refutation of the Council of Chalcedon". We learn from Justinian that the original was written in exile.

Extracts from a letter written to the city of Constantinople against the Eutychianizers Isaias of Hermopolis and Theophilus, followed by another florigeium from "the Fathers" (almost entirely from Apollinarian forgeries). This letter is preserved entire by Zacharias (in Hist. Misc., IV, xii, where it is followed by the second letter) and also in the "Chronicle" of Michael the Syrian.

A second letter against the same.

Extracts from two letters to all Egypt, the Thebaid, and Pentapolis on the treatment of Catholic bishops, priests, and monks who should join the Monophysites.

A refutation of the Synod of Chalcedon and of the Tome of Leo, written between 454 and 460, in two parts, according to the title, and concluding with extracts from the "Acts" of the Robber Synod and four documents connected with it.

A short prayer which Blessed Timothy used to make over those who returned from the communion of the Dyophysites.

Exposition of the faith of Timothy, sent to the Emperor Leo by Count Rusticus, and an abridged narration of what subsequently happened to him. A similar supplication of Ælurus to Leo, sent by the silentiary Diomede, is mentioned by Anastasius Sin. The contents of this manuscript are largely cited by Lebon.

A translation into Latin of patristic testimonies collected by Ælurus was made by Gennadius Massil, and is to be identified with the Armenian collection. A Coptic list of Timothy's works mentions one on the Canticle of Canticles. The "Plerophoria" (33, 36) speak of his book of "Narrations", from which Crum (p. 71) deduces an ecclesiastical history by Timothy in twelve books. Lebon does not accept the attribution to Timothy of the Coptic fragments by which Crum established the existence of such a work, but he finds (p. 110) another reference to a historical work by the patriarch in manuscript Addit. 14602 (Chabot, "Documenta", 225 sqq.).

Peter Mongus of Alexandria was not a writer. His letters in Coptic are not genuine; though a complete Armenian text of them has been published, which is said to be more probably authentic. Peter Fullo of Alexandria similarly left no writings. Letter addressed to him exist, but are certainly spurious. Timothy IV, Patriarch of Alexandria (517-535), composed "Antirrhetica" in many books. This polemical work of his was lost; but a homily of his remains and a few fragments. Theodosius, Patriarch of Alexandria (10-11 February, 535, and again July, 535- 537 or 538) has left us a few fragments and two letters. The Severians of Alexandria were called Theodosians after him, to distinguish them from the Gaianites who followed his Incorruptibilist rival Gaianus. The latter left no writings.

Severus: The most famous and the most fertile of all the Monophysite writers was Severus, who was Patriarch of Antioch (512-518), and died in 538. We have his early life written by his friend Zacharias Scholasticus; a complete biography was composed soon after his death by John, the superior of the monastery where Severus had first embraced the monastic life. he was born at Sozopolis in Pisidia, his father being a senator of the city, and descended from the Bishop of Sozopolis who had attended the Council of Ephesus in 431. After his father's death he was sent to study rhetoric at Alexandria, being yet a catechumen, as it was the custom in Pisidia to delay baptism until a beard should appear.

Zacharias, who was his fellow-student, testifies to his brilliant talents and the great progress he made in the study of rhetoric. He was enthusiastic over the ancient orators, and also over Libanius. Zacharias induced him to read the correspondence of Libanius with St. Basil, and the works of the latter and of St. Gregory of Nazianzus, and he was conquered by the power of Christian oratory. Severus went to study law at Berytus about the autumn of 486, and he was followed thither by Zacharias a year later. Severus was alter accused of having been in youth a worshiper of idols and a dealer in magical arts (so the libellus of the Palestinian monks at the council of 536), and Zacharias is at pains to refute this calumny indirectly, though at great length, by relating interesting stories of the discovery of a hoard of idols in Menuthis in Egypt and of the routing of necromancers and enchanters at Berytus; in both these exploits the friends of Severus took a leading part, and Zacharias asks triumphantly whether they would have consorted with Severus had he not agreed with them in the hatred of paganism and sorcery. Zacharias continued to influence him, by his own account, and induced him to devote the free time which the students had at their disposal on Saturday afternoons and Sundays to the study of the Fathers. Other students joined the pious company of which an ascetic student named Evagrius became leader, and every evening they prayed together in the Church of the Resurrection. Severus was persuaded to be baptized. Zacharias refused to be his godfather, for he declared that he did not communicate with the bishops of Phoenicia, so Evagrius stood sponsor, and Severus was baptized in the church of the martyr, Leontius, at Tripolis. After his baptism Severus renounced the use of baths and betook himself to fasting and vigils. Two of his companions departed to become monks under Peter the Iberian. When the news of the death of that famous monk (488) arrived, Zacharias and several others entered his monastery of Beith-Aphthonia, at the native place of Zacharias, the port of Gaza (known also as Maïuma), where Peter had been bishop. Zacharias did not persevere, but returned to the practice of the law. Severus intended to practise in his own country, but he first visited the shrine of St. Leontius of Tripolis, the head of St. John Baptist at Emea, and then the holy places of Jerusalem, with the result that he joined Evagrius who was already a monk at Maïuma, the great austerities there did not suffice for Severus, and he preferred the life of a solitary in the desert of Eleutheropolis. Having reduced himself to great weakness he was obliged to pass some time in the monastery founded by Romanus, after which he returned to the laura of the port of Gaza, in which was the convent of Peter the Iberian. Here he spent what his charities had left of his patrimony in building a monastery for the ascetics who wished to live under his direction. His quiet was rudely disturbed by Nephalius, a former leader of the Acephali, who was said to have once had 30,000 monks ready to march on Alexandria when, at the end of 482, Peter Mongus accepted the Henoticon and became patriarch. Later on Nephalius joined the more moderate Monophysites, and finally the Catholics, accepting the council of Chalcedon. About 507-8 he came to Maïuma, preached against Severus, and obtained the expulsion of the monks from their convents. Severus betook himself to Constantinople with 200 monks, and remained there three years, influencing the Emperor Anastasius as far as he could in the support of the Henoticon, against the Catholics on the one hand and the irreconcilable Acephali on the other. He was spoken of as successor to the Patriarch Macedonius who died in August 511. The new patriarch, Timotheus, entered into the views of Severus, who returned to his cloister. In the following year he was consecrated Patriarch of Antioch, 6 November 512, in succession to Flavian, who was banished by the emperor to Arabia for the half-heartedness of his concessions to Monophysitism. Elias of Jerusalem refused to recognized Severus as Patriarch, and many other bishops were equally hostile. However, at Constantinople and Alexandria he was supported, and Elias was deposed. Severus exercised a most active episcopacy, living still like a monk, having destroyed the baths in his palace, and having dismissed the cooks. He was deposed in September, 518, on the accession of Justin, as a preparation for reunion with the West. He fled to Alexandria.

In the reign of Justinian the patronage accorded to the Monophysites by Theodora raised their hopes. Severus went to Constantinople where he fraternized with the ascetical Patriarch Anthimus, who had already exchanged friendly letters with him and with Theodosius of Alexandria. The latter was deposed for heresy by Pope Agapetus on his arrival in Constantinople in 536. His successor Mennas held a great council of sixty-nine bishops in the same year after the pope;s departure in the presence of the papal legates, solemnly heard the case of Anthimus and reiterated his deposition. Mennas knew Justinian's mind as was determined to be orthodox: "We, as you know", said he to the council, "follow and obey the Apostolic See, and those with whom it communicates we have in our communion, and those whom it condemns, we condemn." The Easterns were consequently emboldened to present petitions against Severus and Peter of Apamea. It is from these documents that we have our main knowledge of Severus from the point of view of his orthodox opponents. One petition is from seven bishops of Syria Secunda, two others are from ninety-seven monasteries of Palestine and Syria Secunda to the emperor and to the council. Former petitions of 518 were recited. The charges are somewhat vague (or the facts are supposed known) of murders, imprisonments, and chains, as well as of heresy. Mennas pronounced the condemnation of these heretics for contemning the succession from the Apostles in the Apostolic See, for setting at nought the patriarchal see of the royal city and its council, the Apostolic succession from our Lord in the holy places (Jerusalem), and the sentence of the whole Diocese of Oriens. Severus retired to Egypt once more and to his eremitical life. He died, 8 February, 538, refusing to take a bath even to save his life, though he was persuaded to allow himself to be bathed with his clothes on. Wonders are said to have followed his death, and miracles to have been worked by his relics. He has always been venerated by the Jacobite Church as one of its principal doctors.

His literary output was enormous. A long catalogue of works is given by Assemani. Only a few fragments survive in the original Greek, but a great quantity exists in Syriac translations, some of which has been printed. The early works against Nephalius are lost. A dialogue, "Philalethes", against the supporters of the Council of Chalcedon was composed during the first stay of Severus at Constantinople, 509-11. It was a reply to an orthodox collection of 250 extracts from the works of St. Cyril. An answer seems to have been written by John the Grammarian of Caesarea, and Severus retorted with an "Apology for Philalethes" (remains of the attack and retort in Cod. Vat. Syr. 140 and Cod. Venet. Marc. 165). A work "Contra Joannem Grammaticum" which had a great success, and seems to have long been regarded by the Monophysites as a triumph, was probably written in exile after 519. Severus was not an original theologian. He had studied the Cappadocians and he depended much on the Apollinarian forgeries; but in the main he follows St. Cyril in every point without conscious variation.

A controversy with Sergius the Grammarian, who went too far in his zeal for the "One Nature", and whom Severus consequently styles a Eutychian, is preserved in manuscript Addit. 17154. This polemic enabled Severus to define more precisely the Monophysite position, and to guard himself against the exaggerations which were liable to result from the habit of restricting theology to attacks on Chalcedon. In his Egyptian exile Severus was occupied with his controversy with Julian of Halicarnassus. We also hear of works on the two natures "against Felicissimus", and "Against the Codicils of Alexander". Like all Monophysites his theology is limited to the controversial questions. Beyond these he has no outlook. Of the numerous sermons of Severus, those which he preached at Antioch are quoted as "Homilae cathedrales". They have come down to us in two Syriac translations; one was probably made by Paul, Bishop of Callinicus, at the beginning of the sixth century, the other by Jacob Barandai, was completed in 701. Those which have been printed are of astonishing eloquence. A diatribe against he Hippodrome may be especially noted, for it is very modern in its denunciation of the cruelty to the horses which was involved in the chariot races. A fine exhortation to frequent communion is in the same sermon. The letters of Severus were collected in twenty-three books, and numbered no less than 3759. The sixth book is extant. It contains theological letters besides many proofs of the varied activities of the patriarch in his episcopal functions. He also composed hymns for the people of Antioch, since he perceived that they were fond of singing. His correspondence with Anthimus of Constantinople is found in "Hist. Misc.", IX, xxi-xxii.

Julian, Bishop of Halicarnassus, joined with Severus in the intrigue by which Macedonius was deposed from the Patriarchate of Constantinople in 511. He was exiled on the accession of Justin in 518, and retired to the monastery of Enaton, nine miles from Alexandria. He was already of advanced age. Here he wrote a work "Against the Diphysites" in which he spoke incorrectly according to Severus, who nevertheless did not reply. But Julian himself commenced a correspondence with him (it is preserved in the Syriac translation made in 528 by Paul of Callinicus, and also partially in the "Hist. Misc.", IX, x-xiv) in which he begged his opinion on the question of the incorruptibility of the Body of Christ. Severus replied, enclosing an opinion which is lost, and in answer to a second letter from Julian wrote a long epistle which Julian considered to be wanting in respect, especially as he had been obliged to wait for it for a year and a month. Parties were formed. The Julianists upheld the incorruptibility of the Body of Christ, meaning that Christ was not naturally subject to the ordinary wants of hunger, thirst, weariness, etc., nor to pain, but that He assumed them of His free will for our sakes. They admitted that He is "consubstantial with us", against Eutyches, yet they were accused by the Severians of Eutychianism, Manichaeism, and Docetism, and were nicknamed Phantasiasts, Aphthartodocetae, or Incorrupticolae. They retorted by calling the Severians Phthartolotrae (Corrupticolae), or Ktistolatrae, for Severus taught that our Lord's Body was "corruptible" by its own nature; that was scarcely consistent, as it can only be of itself "corruptible" when considered apart from the union, and the Monophysites refused to consider the Human Nature of Christ apart from the union. Justinian, who in his old age turned more than ever to the desire of conciliating the Monophysites (in spite of his failure to please them by condemning the "three chapters"), was probably led to favour Julian because he was the opponent of Severus, who was universally regarded as the great foe of orthodoxy. The emperor issued in edict in 565 making the "incorruptibility" an obligatory doctrine, in spite of the fact that Julian had been anathematized by a council of Constantinople in 536, at which date he had probably been dead for some years.

A commentary by Julian on the Book of Job, in a Latin version, was printed in an old Paris edition of Origen (ed. Genebrardus, 1574). A manuscript of the original Greek is mentioned by Mai. It is largely quoted in the catena on Job of Nicetas of Heraclea. The great work of Julian against Severus seems to be lost. Ten anathematisms remain. Of his commentaries, one on Matthew is cited by Moses Barkepha (P.G., CXI, 551). It is to be hoped that some of Julian's works will be recovered in Syriac or Coptic translations. An anti-Julianist catena in the British Museum (manuscript Addit. 12155) makes mention of Julian's writings. We hear of a treatise by him, "Against the Eutychianists and Manichaens", which shows that Julian, like his great opponent Severus, had to be on his guard against extravagant Monophysites. Part of the treatise which Peter of Callinicus, Patriarch of Antioch (578-591), wrote against the Damianists is extant in Syriac manuscripts (See Assemani's and Wright's catalogues). The writers of the Tritheist sect next demand our attention. The chief among them John Philoponus, of Caesarea, was Patriarch of the Tritheists at Alexandria at the beginning of the sixth century, and was the principal writer of his party. He was a grammarian, a philosopher, and an astronomer as well as a theologian. His principal theological work, Diaitetes e peri henoseos, in ten books, is lost. It dealt with the Christological and Trinitarian controversies of his age, and fragments of it are found in Leontius (De sectis, Oct. 5) in St. John Damascene (De haer., I, 101-107, ed. Le Quien) and in Niceph. Call., XCIII (see Mansi, XI, 301). A complete Syriac translation is in Brit. Mus. and Vat. manuscripts. Another lost theological work, peri anastaseos, described the writer's theory of a creation of new bodies at the general resurrection; it is mentioned by Photius (cod. 21-23), by Timotheus Presbyter and Nicephorus. As a philosopher Philoponus was an Aristotelian, and a disciple of the Aristotelian commentator Ammonius, son of Hermeas. His own commentaries on Aristotle were printed by Aldus at Venice (on "De generatione et interitu", 1527; "Analytica posteriora", 1534; "Analytica priora", 1536; "De nat. auscult.", I-IV, and "De anima", 1535; "Meteorologica", I, 1551; "Metaphysica", 1583). He also wrote much against the Epicheiremata of Proclus, the last great Neoplatonist: eighteen books on the eternity of the world (Venice, 1535), composed in 529, and peri kosmopoitas (printed by Corderius, Vienna, 1630, and in Gallandi, XII; new ed. by Reichert, 1897), on the Hexaemeron, in which he follows St. Basil and other Fathers, and shows a vast knowledge of all the literature and science accessible in his day. The latter work is dedicated to a certain Sergius, who may perhaps be identified with Sergius the Grammarian, the Eutychianizing correspondent of Severus. The work was possibly written as early as 517 (for 617 in the editions is evidently a clerical error). A "Computatio de Pascha", printed after this work, argues that the Last Supper was on the 13th of Nizan, and was not a real passover. A lost theological work (entitled tmemata is summarized by Michael the Syrian (Chronicle, II, 69). A book against the Council of Chalcedon is mentioned by Photius (cod. 55). A work "Contra Andream" is preserved in a Syriac manuscript. Another work "Against the Acephali" exists in manuscript, and may be the work Philoponus is known to have written in controversy with Severus. In grammar his master was Romanus, and his extant writings on the subject are based upon the katholike of Herodian (tonika paraggelmata, ed. Dindorf, 1825; peri ton diaphoros tonoumenon, ed. Egenolff, 1880).

This sixth century Monophysite is to be distinguished from an earlier grammarian, also called Philoponus, who flourished under Augustus and Tiberius. Of his life little is known. On account of his Tritheistic opinions he was summoned to Constantinople by Justinian, but he excused himself on account of his age and infirmity. He addressed to the emperor a treatise "De divisione, differentia, et numero", which seems to be the same as a treatise spoken of as "De differentia quae manere creditur in Christo post unionem"; but it is lost. He addressed an essay on Tritheism to Athanasius Monachus, and was condemned on this account at Alexandria. At a disputation held by the emperor's order before the Patriarch of Constantinople John Scholasticus, Conon, and Eugenius represented the Tritheists; John condemned Philoponus, and the emperor issued an edict against the sect (Photius, cod. 24). In 568 Philoponus was still alive, for he published a pamphlet against John, which Photius describes with great severity (cod. 75). The style of Philoponus, he says, is always clear, but without dignity, and his argumentation is puerile. (For the theological views of the sect, see TRITHEISTS).

Conon, Bishop of Tarsus, though a Tritheist and, with Eugenius, a supporter of John Philoponus before the emperor, disagreed with that writer about the equality of the three Persons of the Holy Trinity (see TRITHEISTS), and together with Eugenius and Themistius wrote a book, kata Ioannou, against his views on the Resurrection. Eugenius is called a Cilician bishop by John of Ephesus, but Bar Habraeus makes him Bishop of Selucia in Isauria (see TRITHEISTS). Themistius, surnamed Calonymus, was a deacon of Alexandria, who separated from his patriarch, Timothy IV (517-535), and founded the sect of Agnoetae. He wrote against Severus a book called "Apology for the late Theophobius", to which a Severian monk named Theodore replied; the answer of Themistus was again refuted by Theodore in three books (Photius, cod. 108). Other works of Themistius are referred to by St. Maximus Confessor, and some fragments are cited in Mansi, X, 981 and 1117. Stephen Gobarus the Tritheist is known only by the elaborate analysis of his book given by Photius (cod. 232); it was a "Sic et Non" like that of Abelard, giving authorities for a proposition and then for the contrary opinion. At the end was were some remarks on curious views of a number of Fathers. It was evidently, as Photius remarks, a performance of more labour than usefulness.


We now turn to the historians. Zacharias of Gaza, brother of Procopius of Gaza, the rhetorician, Zacharias Scholasticus, Zacharias the Rhetorician, Zacharias of Mitylene, are all apparently the same person (so Kugener's latest view, Kruger, and Brooks). Of his early life we have a vivid picture in his memoirs of Severus, with whom he studied at Alexandria and at Berytus. His home was at the port of Iberian. To the latter he was greatly devoted, and believed that Peter had prophesied his unfitness for the monastic life. He in fact did not become a monk, when his friends Evagrius, Severus, and others did so, but practised law at Constantinople, and reached eminence in his profession. Of his writings, a dialogue "that the world did not exist from eternity" was probably composed in youth while he lived at Berytus. His "Ecclesiastical History" is extant only in a Syriac epitome which forms four books (III-VI) of the "Historia Miscellanea". It begins with a short account from a Monophysite point of view of he Council of Chalcedon, and continues the history, mainly of Palestine and Alexandria, until the death of Zeno (491). From the same history is derived a curious statistical description of Rome in "Hist. Misc.", X, xvi. The very interesting life of Severus carries the author's recollections up to the accession of his hero to the See of Antioch in 512. It was written subsequently to the history, as the cubicularius Eupraxius, to whom that work was dedicated, was already dead. His recollections of Peter the Iberian and of Theodore, Bishop of Antinoe, are lost, but his biography of Isaias, an Egyptian ascetic, is preserved in Syriac. A disputation against the Manichæans, published by Cardinal Pitra in Greek, was probably written after the edict of Justinian against the Manichæans in 527. He seems to have been still a layman. Up to the time he wrote the life of Severus he was a follower of the Henoticon; this was the easy course under Zeno and Anastasius. It would seem that he found it paid to revert to orthodoxy under Justin and Justinian, for he was present as Bishop of Mitylene at the Council of Mennas at Constantinople in 536, where he was one of the three metropolitans who were sent to summon Anthimus to appear. His name does not appear in the incomplete printed list of subscriptions to that patriarch's deposition, but Labbe testifies that it is found in some manuscripts (Mansi, VIII, 975); it is absent from the condemnation of Severus in a later session. Zacharias was dead before the ecumenical council of 553.

An important historical work in anecdotal form in the "Plerophoria" of John of Maïuma, composed about 515; it contains stories of Monophysite worthies up to date, especially of Peter the Iberian, whose life was also written by Zacharias, but is now lost. A later life of Peter has been printed, which contains curious information about the Iberian princes from whom the Monophysite bishop descended. The life of the ascetic Isaias by Zacharias accompanies it.

The interesting "Historia Miscellanea", often referred to as Pseudo-Zacharias, was composed in Syriac in twelve books by an unknown author who seems to have lived at Amida. Though the work was completed in 569, he seems to have used part of the history of John of Ephesus, which was finished only in 571. Certain parts were written earlier (or are borrowed from older writers), VII, xv before 523; X, xii in 545; XII, vii in 555; XII, iv in 561. The first book contains a quantity of legendary matter form Greek sources which are still extant; a few words are added on the Syriac doctors Isaac and Dodo. Book II has the story of the Seven Sleepers. History begins in II, ii, with an account of Eutyches, and the letter of Proclus to the Armenians follows. The next four books are an epitome of the lost work of Zacharias Rhetor. The seventh book continues the story from the accession of Anastasius (491), and together with general ecclesiastical history it combines some interesting details of wars with the Persians in Mesopotamia.

A curious chapter gives the Prologue of Moro, or Mara, Bishop of Amida (a Syriac writer whose works appear to have been lost), to his edition of the four Gospels in Greek, to which the writers appends as a curiosity the pericope of the woman taken in adultery (John 8) which Moro had inserted in the 89th canon; "it is not founded in other manuscripts" Book VIII, iii, gives the letter of Simeon of Beit-Arsham on the martyrs of Yemen, perhaps an apocryphal document. Book XI is lost, with most of X and XII. Some of X has been restored by Brooks from the "Chronicle" of Michael the Syrian (died 1199). It is necessary to mention the "Chronicle of Edessa", from 495 to 506, which is embedded in the "chronicle" attributed to Joshua the Stylite (who seems to have been a Catholic); this latter is included in the second book of the "Chronicle" attributed to the Patriarch of Antioch, Dionysius of Tell-Mahre, a compilation which has a fourth book (from the end of the sixth century to 775) which is an original work by the compiler, who was in reality a monk of Zonkenin (north of Amida), possibly Joshua the Stylite himself.

Some small chronicles of the sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth centuries have been published as "Chronica minora" in the "Corpus Script. Or." Of later histories, those of Bar Hebraeus (died 1286) must be noted. His "Chronicon Syriacum" is an abridgment of Michael with a continuation; the "Chronicon ecclesiasticum" contains the ecclesiastical history first of Western Syria and then of Eastern Syria, with lives of the patriarchs of Antioch, of the Jacobite missionary bishops (called maphrians) and of the Nestorian patriarchs. The "Chronicle" of Elias of Nisibis to 1008 is important because it mentions its sources, but it is very defective in the early period through the loss of some pages of the manuscript. Masil the Cilician and John of Ægea are counted as Monophysite writers by Ehrhard (in Krumbacher, p. 53), but Photius clearly makes them out Nestorians (cod. 41, 55, 107), and it is by a slip that he conjectures Basil to be the author of a work against Nestorius.

Syriac Writers

Of the Syriac Monophysite writers none is more important than Philoxenus, otherwise Xenaias, who was Bishop of Mabug (Hierapolis) from 485. For his life and the version of Scripture which was made by his order, see PHILOXENUS. His dogmatic writings alone concern us here. His letter to the Emperor Zeno, published by Vaschalde (1902) is of 485, the date of his episcopal consecration and of his acceptance of the Henoticon. His treatises on the Incarnation date perhaps before 500; to the same period belong two short works, "A Confession of Faith" and "Against Every Nestorian". He wrote also on the Trinity. A letter to Marco, lector of Anazarbus, is attributed to 515-518. After he had been exiled by Justin to Philippolis in Thrace in 518, he attacked the orthodox patriarch, Paul of Antioch, in a letter to the monks of Teleda, and wrote another letter of which fragments are found in manuscript Addit. 14533, in which he argues that it is sometimes wise to admit baptisms and ordinations by heretics for the sake of peace; the question of sacramental validity does not seem to have occurred to him. Fragments of his commentaries on the Gospel are found in manuscripts Thirteen homilies on religious life have been published by Budge. They scarcely touch upon dogma. Of his three liturgies two are given by Renaudot. Out of the great mass of his works in manuscript at Rome, Paris, Oxford, Cambridge, London, only a fraction has been published. He was an eager controversialist, a scholar, and an accomplished writer. His Syriac style is much admired. His sect had no more energetic leader until Jacob Baradaeus himself. He was president of the synod which elevated Severus to the See of Antioch, and he had been the chief agent in the extrusion of Flavian. He was an energetic foe of Catholicism, and his works stand next in importance to those of Severus as witnesses to the tenets of their party. He was exiled by Justin in 519 to Philippolis and then to Gangra, where he died of suffocation by smoke in the room in which he was confined.

James of Sarugh(451-521) became periodeutes, or visitor, of Haura in that district about 505, and bishop of its capital, Batnan, in 519. Nearly all his numerous writings are metrical. We are told that seventy amanuenses were employed to copy his 760 metrical homilies, which are in Wright's opinion more readable than those of Ephraem or Isaac of Antioch. A good many have been published at various times. In the Vatican are 233 in manuscripts, in London 140, in Paris, 100. They are much cited in the Syriac Liturgy, and a liturgy and baptismal rite are ascribed to him. Numerous letters of his are extant in Brit. Mus., manuscripts Addit. 14587 and 17163. Though his feast is kept by Maronites and even by some Nestorians, there is no doubt that he accepted the Henoticon, and was afterwards in relation with the leading Monophysites, rejecting the Council of Chalcedon to the end of his life. Stephen bar Soudaili was an Edessene Monophysite who fell into Pantheism and Origenism. He was attacked by Philoxenus and James of Sarugh, and retired to Jerusalem. The confession of faith of John of Tella (483-538; bishop, 519-521) is extant, and so is his commentary on the Trisagion, and his canons for the clergy and replies to the questions of the priest Sergius - all in manuscripts in the British Museum. The great James Baradaeus, the eponymous hero of the Jacobites, who supplied bishops and clergy for the Monophysites when they were definitively divided from the Eastern Catholics in 543, wrote but little; a liturgy, a few letters, a sermon, and a confession of faith are extant. Of Syriac translators it is not necessary to speak, nor is there need to treat of the Monophysite scientist Sergius of Reschaina, the writer on philosophy, Ahoudemmeh, and many others.

John of Ephesus, called also John of Asia, was a Syrian of Amida, where he became a deacon in 529. On account of the persecution of his sect he departed, and was made administrator of the temporal affairs of the Monophysites in Constantinople by Justinian, who sent him in the following year as a missionary bishop to the pagans of Asia Minor. He relates of himself that he converted 60,000, and had 96 churches built. He returned to the capital in 546, to destroy idol worship there also. But on the death of Justinian he suffered a continual persecution, which he described in his "History", as an excuse for its confusion and repetitions. What remains of that work is of great value as a contemporary record. The style is florid and full of Greek expressions. The lives of blessed Easterns were put together by John about 565-566, and have been published by Land. They include great men like Severus, Baradæus Theodosius, etc. (For an account of these works and for bibliography see JOHN OF EPHESUS.)

George, bishop of the Arabians (b. about 640; d. 724) was one of the chief writers of the Assyrian Jacobites. He was a personal follower of James of Edessa, whose poem on the Hexameron he completed after the death of James in 708. In this work he teaches the Apocatastasis, or restoration of all things, including the destruction of hell, which so many Greek Fathers learned from Origen. George was born in the Tehouma in the Diocese of Antioch, and was ordained bishop of the wandering Arabs in November, 686; his see was at Akoula. He was a man of considerable learning. His translation, with introduction and commentary, of part of the "Organon" of Aristotle ("Catagories", "De Interpretatione", and "Prior Analytics") is extant (Brit. Mus., manuscript Addit. 14659), as is the collection he made of scholia on St. Gregory of Nazianzus, and an explanation of the three Sacraments (Baptism, Holy Communion, and consecration of chrism, following Pseudo-Dionysius). His letters of 714 till 718 are extant in the same manuscript as this last work (Brit. Mus., manuscript Addit. 12154). They deal with many things; astronomical, exegetical, liturgical questions, explanations of Greek proverbs and fables, dogma and polemics, and contain historical matter about Aphraates and Gregory the Illuminator. His poems included one in dodecasyllables on the unpromising subject of the calculations of movable feasts and the correction of the solar and lunar cycles, another on the monastic life, and two on the consecration of the holy chrism. His works are important for our knowledge of Syriac Church and literature. His reading was vast, including the chief Greek Fathers, with whom he classes Severus and Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite; he knows the Pseudo-Clementines and Josephus, and of Syriac writers he knows Bardesanes, Aphraates, and St. Ephraem. His correspondence is addressed to literary monks of his sect. The canons attributed to George in the "Nomocanon" of Bar Hebraeus are apparently extracts from his writings reduced to the form of canons.

James of Edessa (about 633-708) was the chief Syriac writer of his time, and the last that need be mentioned here. His works are sufficiently described in a separate article. The Syriac literature of the Monophysites, however, continued throughout the middle ages. Their Coptic, Arabic, and Armenian literature is large, but cannot be treated in an article like the present one.


Were the Monophysites really heretics or were they only schismatics? This question was answered in the affirmative by Assemani, more recently by the Oriental scholar Nau, and last of all by Lebon, who has devoted an important work, full of evidence from unpublished sources, to the establishment of this thesis. It is urged that the Monophysites taught that there is but one Nature of Christ, mia physis, because they identify the words physis and hypostasis. But in just the same way the Nestorians have lately been justified. A simple scheme will make the matter plain:

Nestorians: One person, two hypostases, two natures.

Catholics: One person, one hypostasis, two natures.

Monophysites: One person, one hypostasis, one nature.

It is urged by Bethune-Baker that Nestorius and his friends took the word hypostasis in the sense of nature, and by Lebon that the Monophysites took nature in the sense of hypostasis, so that both parties really intended the Catholic doctrine. There is a prima facie argument against both these pleas. Granted that for centuries controversialists full of odium theologicum might misunderstand one another and fight about words while agreeing as to the underlying doctrines, yet it remains that the words person, hypostasis, nature (prosopon, hypostasis, physis) had received in the second half of the fourth century a perfectly definite meaning, as to which the whole Church was at one. All agreed that in the Holy Trinity there is one Nature (physia or physis) having three Hypostases of Persons. If in Christology the Nestorians used hypostasis and the Monophysites physis in a new sense, not only does it follow that their use of words was singularly inconsistent and inexcusable, but (what is far more important) that they can have had no difficulty in seeing what was the true meaning of Catholic councils, popes, and theologians, who consistently used the words in one and the same sense with regard both to the Trinity and the Incarnation. There would be every excuse for Catholics if they misunderstood such a strange "derangement of epitaphs" on the part of the schismatics, but the schismatics must have easily grasped the Catholic position. As a fact the Antiochene party had no difficulty in coming to terms with St. Leo; they understood him well enough, and declared that they had always meant what he meant. How far this was a fact must be discussed under NESTORIANISM. But the Monophysites always withstood the Catholic doctrine, declaring it to be Nestorian, or half Nestorian, and that it divided Christ into two.

Lebon urges that Severus himself more than once explains that there is a difference in the use of words in "theology" (doctrine of the Trinity) and in "the economy" (Incarnation): "admittedly hypostasis and ousia or physis are not the same in theology; however, in the economy they are the same" (P.G., LXXXVI, 1921), and he alleges the example of Gregory of Nazianzus to show that in a new mystery the terms must take new significations. But surely these very passages make it evident that Severus distinguished between physis and hypostasis. Putting aside the Trinity and the Incarnation, every physis is a hypostasis, and every hypostasis is a physis -- in this statement all Catholics and Monophysites agree. But this means that the denotation of the words is the same, not that there is no difference of connotation. Physis is an abstraction, and cannot exist except as a concrete, that is to say, as a hypostasis. But "admittedly" in the Trinity the denotation as well as the connotation of the words is diverse, it is still true that each of the three Hypostases is identified with the Divine Nature (that is, each Person is God); but if each Hypostasis is therefore still a physis (the one physis) yet the physis is not one by three Hypostases. The words retain their old sense (connotation) yet have received a new sense in a new relation. It is obvious that this is the phenomenon to which Severus referred. Catholics would add that in the Incarnation conversely two natures are one hypostasis. Thus the meanings of physis (abstract=ousia) and hypostasis (subsistent physis, physis hyphestosa or enhypostatos) in the Holy Trinity were a common possession; and all agreed further that in the created universe there cannot exist a nature which does not subsist, there is no such thing as a physis anhypostatos.

But Catholics hold the Human Nature of Christ considered in itself to be anhypostatos, but that the second Person of the Holy Trinity is its hypostasis. As the infinity of the Divine Nature is capable of a threefold subsistence, so the infinity of the Hypostasis of the Word is able to be the Hypostasis of the Human Nature assumed as well as of the Divine. The union in Christ is not a union of two natures directly with one another, but a union of the two in one hypostasis; thus they are distinct yet inseparable, and each acts in communion with the other.

The Nestorians argued thus: There are, according to the Fathers, two natures in Christ; but since every nature is a hypostasis, the Human Nature in Christ is a hypostasis. In order to make one Christ, they tried (in vain) to explain how two hypostases could be united in one person (prosopon). They did not mean to divide Christ, but their prosopic union leaked at every seam; it was difficult to express it or argue about it without falling into heresy. The Antiochenes were glad to drop such inadequate formulae, for it was certain that "person" in the Holy Trinity was only another name for "hypostasis". The Cyrillians were shocked, and could not be induced to believe (though St. Cyril himself did) that the Nestorianizers did not really mean two Christs, two Sons.

Conversely, starting from the same proposition that every physis is a hypostasis, the Monophysites argued that a Christ is one Person, one Hypostasis, so He is one Nature, and they preferred "is one nature" to the equivalent "has one nature". They alleged high authority for their formula, not only St. Cyril, but behind him St. Athanasius, Pope St. Julius, and St. Gregory the Wonderworker. These authorities, however, were but Apollinarian forgeries; the favourite formula of St. Cyril, the mia physis sesarkomene, had been borrowed unwitting from an Apollinarian source, and had been meant by its original inventor in a heretical sense. Nay, the "one nature" went back to the Arians, and had been used by Eudoxius himself to express the incompleteness of the Human Nature of Christ.

Yet the Monophysites were far from being Apollinarians, still less were they Arians; they were careful from the beginning that Christ is perfect Man, and that He assumed a complete Human Nature like ours. Dioscurus is emphatic on this point in his letter to Secundinus (Hist. Misc., III, i) and with need, since he had acquitted Eutyches who had denied our Lord's "consubstantiality with us". Ælurus is just as clear in the letters by which he refuted and excommunicated Isaias of Hermopolis and Theophilus as "Eutychians" (hist. Misc., IV, xii), and Severus had an acute controversy with Sergius the Grammarian on this very point. They al declared with one voice that Christ is mia physis, but ek duo physeon, that His Divine Nature is combined with a complete Human Nature in one hypostasis, and hence the two have become together the One Nature of that one hypostasis, howbeit without mixture or confusion or diminution. Ælurus insists that after union the properties of each nature remain unchanged; but they spoke of "the divine and human things", divina et humana, not natures; each nature remains in its natural state with its own characteristics (en idioteti te kata physin) yet not as a unity but as a part, a quality (poiotes physike), nor as a physis. All the qualities of the two natures are combined into one hypostasis synthetos and form the one nature of that one hypostasis. So far there is no heresy in intention, but only a wrong definition: that one hypostasis can have only one nature.

But however harmless the formula "one nature" might look at first sight, it led in fact immediately to serious and disastrous consequences. The Divine Nature of the Word is not merely specifically but numerically one with the Divine Nature of the Son and the Holy Ghost. This is the meaning of the word homoousios applied to the Three Persons, and if Harnack were right in supposing that at the Council of Constantinople in 384 the word was taken to imply only three Persons of one species, then that Council accepted three Gods, and not three distinct but inseparable Persons in one God. Now if the Divine and Human Natures are united in the Word into one Nature, it is impossible to avoid one of two conclusions, either that the whole Divine Nature became man and suffered and died, or else that each of the three Persons had a Divine Nature of His own. In fact the Monophysites split upon this question. Ælurus and Severus seem to have avoided the difficulty, but it was not long before those who refused the latter alternative were taunted with the necessity of embracing the former, and were nicknamed Theopaschites, as making God to suffer. Vehemently Severus and his school declared that they made the Divinity to suffer not as God, but only as man; but this was insufficient as a reply. Their formula was not "The Word made flesh", "the Son of God made man", but "one Nature of the Word made flesh";-the Nature became flesh, that is the whole Divine Nature. They did not reply: "we mean hypostasis when we say nature, we do not mean the Divine Nature (which the Word has in common with the Father and the Holy Ghost) but His Divine Person, which in the present case we call His physis", for the physis tou Theou Logou, before the word sesarkomene has been added, is in the sphere of "theology" not of "the economy", and its signification could not be doubted.

Just as there were many "Eutychians" among the Monophysites who denied that Christ is consubstantial with us, so there were found many to embrace boldly the paradox that the Divine Nature has become incarnate. Peter Fullo added to the praise of the Trinity the words "who was crucified for us", and refused to allow the natural inference to be explained away. Stephen Niobes and the Niobites expressly denied all distinction between the Human and the Divine Natures after the union. The Actistetae declared that the Human Nature became "uncreated" by the union. If the greatest theologians of the sect, Severus and Philoxenus, avoided these excesses, it was by a refusal to be logically Monophysite. It was not only the orthodox who were scandalized by these extreme views. An influential and very learned section of the schism rebelled, and chose the second of the two alternatives - that of making the Divine Nature threefold, in order to ensure that the Human Nature in Christ was made one with the Nature of the Son alone and not with the whole Divine Nature. John Philoponus, the Aristotelian commentator, therefore taught that there are in the Trinity three partial substances (merikai ousiai) and one common substance (mia koine), thus falling into Polytheism, with three, or rather four gods. This Tritheistic party was treated with leniency. It split into sections. Though they were excommunicated at Alexandria, the Patriarch Damian held a view not far different. He so distinguished between the Divine ousia and the three Hypostases which partake (metechousin) in it, that he conceded the ousia to be existent of Itself (enyparktos), and his followers were nicknamed Tetradatites. Thus Peter Fullo, the Actistetae, and the Niobites on the one hand, and the Tritheists and Damianists on the other, developed the Monophysite formulae in the only two possible directions. It is obvious that formulae which involved such alternatives were heretical in fact as well as in origin. Severus tried to be orthodox, but at the expense of consistency. His "corruptibilist" view is true enough, if the Human Nature is considered in the abstract apart from the union (see EUTYCHIANISM), but to consider it thus as an entity was certainly an admission of the Two Natures. All change and suffering in Christ must be (as the Julianists and Justinian rightly saw) strictly voluntary, in so far as the union gives to the Sacred Humanity a right and claim to beatification and (in a sense) to deification. But Severus was willing to divide the Natures not merely "before" the union (that is, logically previous to it) but even after the union "theoretically", and he went so far in his controversy with the orthodox John the Grammarian as to concede duo physeis en theoria. This was indeed an immense concession, but considering how much more orthodox were the intentions of Severus than his words, it is scarcely astonishing, for St. Cyril had conceded much more.

But though Severus went so far as this, it is shown elsewhere (see EUTYCHIANISM, MAXIMUS CONFESSOR, and especially MONOTHELITISM) that he did not avoid the error of giving one activity to our Lord, one will, and one knowledge. It is true enough that he had no intention of admitting any incompleteness in the Humanity of Christ, and that he and all the Monophysites started merely from the proposition that all activity, all will, and intelligence proceed from the person, as ultimate principle, and on this ground alone they asserted the unity of each in Christ. But it was on this ground that Monothelitism was condemned. It was not supposed by the best Catholic theologians who attacked the doctrine that the Monophysites denied Christ to have exercised human activities, human acts of the will, human acts of cognition; the error was clearly recognized as lying in the failure to distinguish between the human or the mixed (theandric) activity of Christ as Man, and the purely Divine activity, will, knowledge, which the Son has in common with the Father and the Holy Spirit, and which are in fact the Divine Nature. In speaking of one activity, one will, one knowledge in Christ, Severus was reducing Monophysitism to pure heresy just as much as did the Niobites or the Tritheists whom he certainly held in horror; for he refused to distinguish between the human faculties of Christ-activity, will, intellect-and the Divine Nature itself. This is no Apollinarianism, but is so like it that the distinction is theoretical rather than real. It is the direct consequence of the use of Apollinarian formulae. St. Cyril did not go so far, and in this Monothelite error we may see the essence of the heresy of the Monophysites; for all fell into this snare, except the Tritheists, since it was the logical result of their mistaken point of view.

Publication information Written by John Chapman. Transcribed by Michael T. Barrett. Dedicated to Fr. Michael Sprauer on his 25th anniversary of ordination The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume X. Published 1911. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York


For general literature see EUTYCHIANISM. In P.G. there are more fragments than complete writings. Important collections are ASSEMANI, Bibliotheca Orientalis (Rome, 1719-28); CHABOT and others, Corp. Script. Christ. Orient., Script. Syri; GRAFFIN and NAU, Patrologia Orient. (1905-, in progress); also DE LAGARDE, Analecta Syriaca (Leipzig, 1858); LAND, Anecdota Syriaca (Leyden, 1870). For the very numerous Monophysite writings contained in Syriac MSS. see especially the following catalogues: ASSEMANI, Bibl. Medicaeae Laurentianae et Palatinae MS. Orient. catal. (Florence, 1742); IDEM, Bibl. Apost. Vatic. catal., part I, vol. II-III (Rome, 1758-9); WRIGHT, Catal. of the Syriac MS. in the Brit. Mus. acquired since 1838 (London, 1870-2); WRIGHT AND COOK, Catal. of Syriac MSS. of the Univ. of Cambridge (Cambridge, 1901); SACHAU, Handschrift- Verzeichnisse der K. Bibl. zu Berlin, XXIII, Syrische MSS. (Berlin, 1899), etc. On the literature in general see ASSEMANI, op. cit., II, Dissertatio de Monophysitis: GIESELER, Commentatio qua Monophysitarum veterum errores ex corum scriptis recends editis illustrantur (Gottingen, 1835-8); WRIGHT, Syriac literature (Encyclop. Brit., 9th ed., 1887; published separately as A Short History of Syriac Lit., London, 1894); DUBAL, La litterature Syriaque (3rd ed., Paris, 1907); many excellent articles by KRUEGER in Realencyclopadie.

On TIMOTHY ÆLURUS see CRUM, Eusebius and Coptic Church Hist. in Proc. of Soc. of Bibl. Arch. (London, 1902); TER-MEKERTTSCHIAN and TER-MINASSIANTZ, Tim. AElurus' des Patriarchen von Alexandrien, Widerlegung der auf der Synode zu Chalcedon festgesetzten Lehre, Armenian text (Leipzig, 1908); LEBON, La Christologie de Tim. Ælure in Revue d'hist. ecc. (Oct. 1908); IDEM, Le Monophysisme severien (Louvain, 1909), 93-111.

For French tr. of the letters of PETER FULLO se REVILLOUT in Revue des Questions Hist., XXII (1877), 83, and (in Coptic and French) AMELINEAU, Mon pour servir a l'hist. de l'Egypte chret. (Paris, 18888); the Armenian text in ISMEREANZ, The book of Letters, Armenian only (Tiflis, 1901); the letters to Peter Mongus are in Mansi, VII, 1109 sqq.; in favour of their genuineness see PAGI's notes to BARONIUS, ad ann. 485, No. 15; against, VALESIUS, Observ. eccles., 4 (in his edition of EVAGRIUS, Paris, 1673; P.G., LXXXVI), and TILLEMONT, XVI. Greek fragments from the homilies of TIMOTHY IV in Cosmas Indicopleustes (P.G., LXXXVII), an entire homily in MAI, Script. vet. nova coll., V (1831), and P.G. LXXXVI. Fragments of THEODOSIUS in Cosmas (ibid.), and of letters to Severus in P.G., LXXXVI; se also Mansi, X, 1117 and 1121. A letter from Theodosius to Severus and one to Anthimus in Hist. Misc., IX, 24, 26.

On SEVERUS see ASSEMANI; KRUGER in Realencycl. s.v.; VENABLES in Dict. Christ. Biog.; SPANUTH, Zacharias Rhetor, Das Leben des Severus (Syr. text, Gottingen, 1893); lives by ZACHARIAS and JOHN OF BEITH-APHTHONIA, followed by a collection of documents concerning Severus, edited by KUGENER in Patrol. Orient., II; The Conflict of Severus, by ATHANASIUS, Ethiopic text with English transl., ed. by GOODSPEED, together with Coptic fragments of the same work, edited by CRUM, in Patrol. Orient., III; DUVAL, Homelies cathedrales de Severe, 52-7, Syriac and French, in Patr. Orient., II; BROOKS, Sixth book of select letters of Severus in the Syriac version of Athanasius of Nisibis (Text and Transl. Soc., London, 1904); EUSTRATIOS, Seuneos ho Monophysites (Leipzig, 1894); PEISKER, Severus von Antiochien, ein Kritischer Quellenbetrag zur Geschichte des Monophysismus (Halle, 1903); and especially LEBON, Le Monophysisme severien, largely founded on the study of unpublished Syriac MSS. in the Brit. Mus. (Louvain, 1909).

On JULIAN see FABRICIUS, CAVE, GIESELER, DORNER, HARNACK; also DAVIDS in Dict. Christ. Biog. (1882); KRUGER in Realencycl. (1901); LIETZMANN, Catenen (Freiburg, 1897); IDEM, Aus Julian von Hal. in Rheinisch. Mus., LV (1900), 321. ON JOHN PHILOPONUS see CAVE, FABRICIUS, ASSEMANI, DORNER, etc.; SCHARFENBERG, Dissert. de Joanne Philop. (Leipzig, 1768); DAVIDS in Dict. Christ. Biog.; NAUCK in Allgemeine Encycl.; STOCKL in Kirchenlex., s.v. Joannes Philoponus; GASS and MEYER in Realencyckl.; RITTER, Gesch. der Philos., VI; KRUMBACHER, Gesch. der byz. Litt. (2nd ed., 1897), 53 and 581, etc.; LUDWICH, De Joanne Philopono grammatico (Konigsberg, 1888-9). On ZACHARIAS see KUGENER, La compilation historique de Ps.-Zach. le rheteur in Revue de l'Orient Chret., V (1900), 201; IDEM, Observations sur la vie de l'ascete Isaie et sur les vies de Pierre l'Iv. et de Theodore d'Antinoe par Zach. le Schol. in Byzant. Zeitschr., IX (1900), 464; in these articles KUGENER distinguishes the Rhetor from the Scholastic, whom he identifies with the bishop; but he has changed his mind acc. to KRUGER, Zach. Schol., in Realencycl. (1908). See also below under Historia Miscellanea. The Plerophoria of JOHN OF MAIUMA are preserved in an abridgement in the Chronicle of MICHAEL SYR. A French translation by NAU, Les Plerophories de Jean, eveque de Maiouma in Revue de l'Orient chret. (1898-9, and separately, Paris, 1899). The life of PETER THE IBERIAN, RAABE, Petrus der Iberer (Leipzig, 1895); BROOKS, Vitae virorum apud Monophysitas celeberrimorum in Corp. Script. Orient., Script. Syri, 3rd series, 25, including the life of Isaias, which is also in LAND, III (Paris, 1907); a Georgian version of the biography publ. by MARR (St. Petersburg, 1896); KUGENER in Byzant. Zeitschr., IX (Leipzig, 1900), 464; CHABOT, Pierre l'Iberien d'apres une recente publication in Revue de l'Orient latin, III (1895), 3.

The Historia Miscellanea of PSEUDO-ZACHARIAS was published by LAND, loc. cit., III, in Syriac; German tr. by AHRENS and KUGLER, Die sogennante Kirchengeschichte von Zach. Rh. (Leipzig, 1899); HAMILTON and BROOKS, The Syriac chronicle known as that of Zach. of Mitylene (London, 1899, English only); See KUGENER, op. cit. For MICHAEL THE SYRIAN, CHABOT, Chronique de Michel le Syrien (Paris, 1901-2, in progress). THere is an abridged Latin translation of the Chronicle of JOSHUA in ASSEMANI, loc. cit., I, 262-283; Syriac and French by MARTIN, Chronique de Josue le St. in Abhandlungen fur die kunde des Morgenlandes, VI (Leipzig, 1876), 1; in Syriac and English by WRIGHT, The Chronicle of J. the St. (Cambridge, 1882); Syriac and Latin (Chronicle of Edessa only) in Corpus Script. Orient., Chronica minora (Paris, 1902); HALLIER, Untersuchungen uber die Edessenische Chreonik in Texte und Unters., IX (Leipzig, 1892), 1; NAU in Bulletin critique, 25 Jan., 1897; IDEM, Analyse des parties inedites de la chronique attribuee a Denys de Tell-mahre in Suppl. to Revue de l'Orient chret. (1897); TULLBERG, Dionysii Tellmahrensis chronici lib. I (Upsala, 1851); CHABOT, Chronique de Denys de T., quatreme partie (Paris, 1895); BEDJAN, Barhebraei Chronicon syriacum (with Latin tr., Paris, 1890); ABBELOOS and LAMY, Barhebraei Chron. eccles. (With Latin tr., Louvain, 1872-7); LAMY, Elie de Misibe, sa chronologie (earlier portion, with French tr., Brussels, 1888).

On PHILOXENUS see ASSEMANI, WRIGHT, DUVAL; KRUGER's good article in Realencycl.; BUDGE, The Discourses of Philoxenus, Bishop of Mabbogh, Syriac and English, with introduction containing many short dogmatic writings, and a list of the works of Philoxenus, in vol. 2 (London, 1894); VASCHALDE, Three letters of Philoxenus Bishop of M., Syr. and Eng. (Rome, 1902); IDEM, Philoxeni Mabbugensis tractatus de Trinitate et Incarnatione in Corpus Script. Or., Scriptores Syri, XXVII (Paris and Rome, 1907); DUVAL, Hist. politique, religieuse et litteraire d'Edesse (Paris, 1892); GUIDI, La lettera de Filosseno ai Monaci di Tell Adda in Mem. dell' Acad. dei Lincei (1886); see especially LEBON, op. cit., 111-118, and passim. On JAMES OF SARUG see ABBELOOS, De vita et scriptis S. Jacobi (with three ancient Syriac biographies, Louvain, 1867); ASSEMANI, WRIGHT, DUVAL, loc. cit.; Acta SS., 29 Oct.; BARDENHEWER in Kirchenlex.; NESTLE in Realencycl.; MARTIN, Un eveque poete au xxx et xxxx siecles in Revue des Sciences eccl. (Oct., Nov., 1876); IDEM, Correspondance de Jacques de Saroug avec les moines de Mar Bassus in Zeitschr. der deutschen Morganlandl. Gesellsch., XXX (1876), 217; Liturgy in Latin in RENAUDOT, Liturg. Or. coll., II, 356; ZINGERLR, Sechs homilien des h. Jacob von S. (Bonn, 1867); BEDJAN, 70 Homiliae selectae Mar Jacobi S. (Paris and Leipzig, 1905-6); single homilies are found in various publications; several in CURETON, Ancient Syriac Documents (1864). FROTHINGHAM, Stephen Bar Sudaili, the Syrian mystic, and the book of Hierotheos (Leyden, 1886). On JOHN OF TELLA, KLEYN, Het leven van Johannes van Tella (Leyden, 1882); another life in BROOKS, Vitae virorum, loc. cit.; his confession of faith is cited by LEBON, loc. cit. On GEORGE THE ARABIAN see ASSEMANI, WRIGHT, DUVAL, a good article by RYSSEL in Realencycl. (1899); IDEM, Ein Brief Georgs, Bischop der Ar. an den Presb. Josua aus dem Syrischen ubersetzt and erlautert, mit einer Einleitung uber sein Leben und seine Schriften (Gotha, 1888); IDEM, Georges des Araberbischofs Gedichte und Briefe (Leipzig, 1891), this work gives a German translation of all George's authentic works, apart from the commentaries; Syriac of the letter to Josua in LAGARDE, Analecta; part of poem on chrism in CARDAHI, Liber thesauri de arte poetica Syrorum (1875); the whole, with that on the monastic life, ed. by RYSSEL in Atti della R. Acad. dei Lincei, IX (Rome, 1892), 1, who edited the astronomical letters also, ibi d., VIII, 1.

On the question of orthodoxy, see ASSEMANI, II; NAU, Dans quelle mesure les Jacobites sont-ils Monophysites? in Revue de L'Orient chretien, 1905, no. 2, p. 113; LEBON, op. cit., passim.


Catholic Information

Eutychianism and Monophysitism are usually identified as a single heresy. But as some Monophysites condemned Eutyches, the name Eutychians is given by some writers only to those in Armenia. It seems best to use the words indifferently, as no party of the sect looked to Eutychius as a founder or a leader and Eutychian is but a nickname for all those who, like Eutyches, rejected the orthodox expression "two natures" of Christ. The tenet "one nature" was common to all Monophysites and Eutychians, and they affected to call Catholics Diphysites or Dyophysites. The error took its rise in a reaction against Nestorianism, which taught that in Christ there is a human hypostasis or person as well as a Divine. This was interpreted to imply a want of reality in the union of the Word with the assumed Humanity, and even to result in two Christs, two Sons, though this was far from the intention of Nestorius himself in giving his incorrect explanation of the union. He was ready to admit one prósopon, but not one hypostasis, a "prosopic" union, though not a "hypostatic" union, which is the Catholic expression. He so far exaggerated the distinction of the Humanity from the Divine Person Who assumed it, that he denied that the Blessed Virgin could be called Mother of God, Theotókos. His views were for a time interpreted in a benign sense by Theodoret, and also by John, Bishop of Antioch, but they all eventually concurred in his condemnation, when he showed his heretical spirit by refusing all submission and explanation. His great antagonist, St. Cyril of Alexandria, was at first vehemently attacked by Theodoret, John, and their party, as denying the completeness of the Sacred Humanity after the manner of the heretic Apollinarius.

The fiery Cyril curbed his natural impetuosity; mutual explanations followed; and in 434, three years after the Council of Ephesus which had condemned Nestorius, peace was made between Alexandria and Antioch. Cyril proclaimed it in a letter to John beginning Lætentur cœli, in which he clearly condemned beforehand the Monothelite, if not the Monophysite, views, which were to be unfortunately based on certain ambiguities in his earlier expressions. If he did not arrive quite at the exactness of the language in which St. Leo was soon to formulate the doctrine of the Church, yet the following words, drawn up by the Antiochian party and fully accepted by Cyril in his letter, are clear enough:

Before the worlds begotten of the Father according to the Godhead, but in the last days and for our salvation of the Virgin Mary according to the Manhood; consubstantial with the Father in the Godhead, consubstantial with us in the Manhood; for a union of two natures took place, wherefore we confess one Christ, one Son, one Lord. According to the understanding of this unconfused union, we confess the Blessed Virgin to be Theotokos, because the Word of God was incarnate and made man, and through her conception united to Himself the temple He received from her. And we are aware that the words of the Gospels, and of the Apostles, concerning the Lord are, by theologians, looked upon some as applying in common [to the two natures] as belonging to the one Person; others as attributed to one of the two natures; and that they tell us by tradition that some are of divine import, to suit the Divinity of Christ, others of humble nature belonging to His humanity.

In this "creed of the union" between John and Cyril, it is at least implied that the two natures remain after the union (against Monophysitism), and it is quite clearly enunciated that some expressions belong to the Person, others to each of the Natures, as, e.g. it was later defined that activities (-enérgeiai) and will are of the Natures (against Monothelites), while Sonship (against the Adoptionists), is of the Person. There is no doubt that Cyril would have understood rightly and have accepted (even apart from papal authority) the famous words of St. Leo's tome: "Agit enim ultraque forma cum alterius communione quod proprium est" (Ep. xxviii, 4). The famous formula of St. Cyril mía phúsis toû Theoû Lógou sesarkoméne, "one nature incarnate of God the Word" (or "of the Word of God"), derived from a treatise which Cyril believed to be by St. Athanasius, the greatest of his predecessors, was intended by him in a right sense, and has been formally adopted by the Church. In the eighth canon of the Fifth General Council, those are anathematized who say "one Nature incarnate of God the Word", unless they "accept it as the Fathers taught, that by a hypostatic union of the Divine nature and the human, one Christ was effected". In the Lateran Council of 649, we find: "Si quis secundum sanctos Patres non confitetur proprie et secundum veritatem unam naturam Dei verbi incarnatum … anathema sit." Nevertheless this formula, frequently used by Cyril (in Epp. i, ii, Ad Successum; Contra Nest. ii; Ad eulogium, etc.; see Petavius "De Incarn.", IV, 6), was the starting point of the Monophysites, some of whom understood it rightly, whereas others pushed it into a denial of the reality of the human nature, while all equally used it as a proof that the formula "two natures" must be rejected as heretical, and therefore also the letter of St. Leo and the decree of Chalcedon.

The word phúsis was ambiguous. Just as the earlier writings of Theodoret against Cyril contained passages which naturally permitted a Nestorian interpretation–they were in this sense condemned by the Fifth General Council–so the earlier writings of Cyril against Nestorius gave colour to the charge of Apollinarianism brought against him by Theodoret, John, Ibas, and their party. The word phúsis produced just the same difficulties that the word ‘upóstasis had aroused in the preceeding century. For ‘upóstasis, as St. Jerome rightly declared, was the equivalent of ousía in the mouths of all philosophers, yet it was eventually used theologically, from Didymus onwards, as the equivalent of the Latin persona, that is, a subsistent essence. Similarly phúsis was an especially Alexandrian word for ousía and ‘upóstasis, and was naturally used of a subsistent ousía, not of abstract ousía, both by Cyril often (as in the formula in question), and by the more moderate Monophysites. The Cyrillian formula, in its genesis and in its rationale, has been explained by Newman in an essay of astounding learning and perfect clearness (Tracts Theol. and Eccl., iv, 1874). He points out that the word ‘upóstasis could be used (by St. Athanasius, for example), without change of meaning, both of the one Godhead, and of the three Persons. In the former case it did not mean the Divine Essence in the abstract, but considered as subsistent, without defining whether that subsistence is threefold or single, just as we say "one God" in the concrete, without denying a triple Personality. Just the same twofold use without change of meaning might be made of the words ousía, eîdos, and phúsis. Again, phúsis was not applied, as a rule, in the fourth century, to the Humanity of Christ, because that Humanity is not "natural" in the sense of "wholly like to our nature", since it is sinless, and free from all the imperfections which arise from original sin (not pura natura but integra natura), it has no human personality of its own, and it is ineffably graced and glorified by its union with the Word. From this point of view it is clear that Christ is not so fully "consubstantial with us" as He is "consubstantial with the Father". Yet again, in these two phrases the word consubstantial appears in different senses; for the Father and the Son have one substance numero, whereas the Incarnate Son is of one substance with us specie (not numero, of course). It is therefore not to be wondered at, if the expression "consubstantial with us" was avoided in the fourth century. In like manner the word phúsis has its full meaning when applied to the Divine Nature of Christ, but a restricted meaning (as has been just explained) when applied to His Human Nature.

In St. Cyril's use of the formula its signification is plain. "It means", says Newman (loc. cit., p. 316), "(a), that when the Divine word became man, He remained one and the same in essence, attributes and personality; in all respects the same as before, and therefore mía phúsis. It means (b), that the manhood, on the contrary, which He assumed, was not in all respects the same nature as that massa, usia, physis, etc., out of which it was taken; (1) from the very circumstance that it was only an addition or supplement to what He was already, not a being complete in itself; (2) because in the act of assuming it, He changed it in its qualities. This added nature, then, was best expressed, not by a second substantive, as if collateral in its position, but by an adjective or participle, as sesarkoméne. The three words answered to St. John's ‘o lógos sárks -egéneto, i.e. sesarkoménos ên." Thus St. Cyril intended to safeguard the teaching of the Council of Antioch (against Paul of Samosata, 264-72) that the Word is unchanged by the Incarnation, "that He is ‘én kaì tò a-utò tê o-usía from first to last, on earth and in heaven" (p. 317). He intended by his one nature of God, "with the council of Antioch, a protest against that unalterableness and imperfection, which the anti-Catholic schools affixed to their notion of the Word. The council says 'one and the same in usia'; it is not speaking of a human usia in Christ, but of the divine. The case is the same in Cyril's Formula; he speaks of a mía theía phúsis in the Word. He has in like manner written a treatise entitled 'quod unus sit Christus'; and, in one of his Paschal Epistles, he enlarges on the text 'Jesus Christ, yesterday, and today, the same, and for ever.' His great theme in these words is not the coalescing of the two natures into one, but the error of making two sons, one before and one upon the Incarnation, one divine, one human, or again of degrading the divine usia by making it subject to the humanity" (pp. 321-2). It has been necessary thus to explain at length St. Cyril's meaning in order to be able to enumerate the more briefly and clearly, the various phases of the Eutychian doctrine. 1. The Cyrillian party before Chalcedon did not put forward any doctrine of their own; they only denounced as Nestorians any who taught dúo phúseis, two natures, which they made equal to two hypostases, and two Sons. They usually admitted that Christ was -ek dúo phúseon "of two natures", but this meant that the Humanity before (that is, logically before) it was assumed was a complete phúsis; it was no longer a phúsis (subsistent) after its union to the Divine nature. It was natural that those of them who were consistent should reject the teaching of St. Leo, that there were two natures: "Tenet enim sine defectu proprietatem suam utraque natura", "Assumpsit formam servi sine sorde peccati, humana augens, divina non minuens", and if they chose to understand "nature" to mean a subsistent nature, they were even bound to reject such language as Nestorian. Their fault in itself was not necessarily that they were Monophysites at heart, but that they would not stop to listen to the six hundred bishops of Chalcedon, to the pope, and to the entire Western Church. Those who were ready to hear explanations and to realize that words may have more than one meaning (following the admirable example set by St. Cyril himself), were able to remain in the unity of the Church. The rest were rebels, and whether orthodox in belief or not, well deserved to find themselves in the same ranks as the real heretics.

(2) Eutyches himself was not a Cyrillian. He was not a Eutychian in the ordinary sense of that word. His mind was not clear enough to be definitely Monophysite, and St. Leo was apparently right in thinking him ignorant. He was with the Cyrillians in denouncing as Nestorians all who spoke of two natures. But he had never adopted the "consubstantial with us" of the "creed of union", nor St. Cyril's admissions, in accepting that creed, as to the two natures. He was willing to accept St. Cyril's letters and the decisions of Ephesus and Nicæa only in a general way, in so far as they contained no error. His disciple, the monk Constantine, at the revision, in April, 449, of the condemnation of Eutyches, explained that he did not accept the Fathers as a canon of faith. In fact Eutyches simply upheld the ultra-Protestant view that nothing can be imposed as of faith which is not verbally to be found in Scripture. This, together with an exaggerated horror of Nestorianism, appears to describe his whole theological position.

3. Dioscorus and the party which followed him seem to have been pure Cyrillians, who by an excessive dislike of Nestorianism, fell into excess in minimizing the completeness of the Humanity, and exaggerating the effects upon it of the union. We have not documents enough to tell us how far their error went. A fragment of Dioscorus is preserved in the "Antirrhetica" of Nicephorus (Spicil. Solesm., IV, 380) which asks: "If the Blood of Christ is not by nature (katà phúsin) God's and not a man's, how does it differ from the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer? For this is earthly and corruptible, and the blood of man according to nature is earthly and corruptible. But God forbid that we should say the Blood of Christ is consubstantial with one of those things which are according to nature (‘enos tôn katà phúsin ‘omoousíon)." If this is really, as it purports to be, from a letter written by Dioscorus from his exile at Gangra, we shall have to class him with the extreme Monophysite "Incorrupticolæ", in that he rejects the "consubstantial with us" and makes the Blood of Christ incorruptible of its own nature. But the passage may conceivably be a Julianist forgery.

4. Timothy Ælurus, the first Monophysite Patriarch of Alexandria, was on the contrary nearly orthodox in his views, as has been clearly shown by the extracts published by Lebon from his works, extant in Syriac in a manuscript in the British Museum (Addit. 12156). He denies that phúsis, nature, can be taken in an abstract sense. Hence he makes extracts from St. Leo, and mocks the pope as a pure Nestorian. He does not even accept -ek dúo phúseon, and declares there can be no question of two natures, either before or after the Incarnation. "There is no nature which is not a hypostasis, nor hypostasis which is not a person." So far we have, not heresy, but only a term defined contrary to the Chalcedonian and Western usage. A second point is the way Ælurus understands phúsis to mean that which is "by nature". Christ, he says, is by nature God, not man; He became man only by "oikonomía" (economy or Incarnation); consequently His Humanity is not His phúsis. Taken thus, the formula mía phúsis was intended by Ælurus in an orthodox sense. Thirdly, the actions of Christ are attributed to His Divine Person, to the one Christ. Here Ælurus seems to be unorthodox. For the essence of Monothelism is the refusal to apportion the actions (-enérgeiai) between the two natures, but to insist that they are all the actions of the one Personality. How far Ælurus was in reality a Monothelite cannot be judged until his works are before us in full. He is, at all events in the main, a schismatic, full of hatred and contempt for the Catholic Church outside Egypt, for the 600 bishops of Chalcedon, for the 1600 of the Encyclia, for Rome and the whole West. But he consistently anathematized Eutyches for his denial that Christ is consubstantial with us.

5. In the next generation Severus, Bishop of Antioch (511-39), was the great Monophysite leader. In his earlier days, he rejected the Henoticon of Zeno, but when a patriarch he accepted it. His contemporaries accused him of contradicting himself in the attempt, it seems, to be comprehensive. He did not, however, conciliate the Incorrupticolæ, but maintained the corruptibility of the Body of Christ. He seems to have admitted the expression -ek dúo phúseon. Chalcedon and Pope Leo he treated as Nestorian, as Ælurus did, on the ground that two natures mean two persons. He did not allow the Humanity to be a distinct monad; but this is no more than the view of many modern Catholic theologians that it has no esse of its own. (So St. Thomas, III, Q. xvii, a. 2; see Janssens, De Deo homine, pars prior, p. 607, Freiburg, 1901.) It need not be understood that by thus making a composite hypostasis Severus renounced the Cyrillian doctrine of the unchanged nature of the Word after the unconfused union. Where he is most certainly heretical is in his conception of one nature not Divine (so Cyril and Ælurus) but theandric, and thus a composition, though not a mixture - phúsis theandriké. To this one nature are attributed all the activities of Christ, and they are called "theandric" (-enérgeiai theandrikaí), instead of being separated into Divine activities and human activities as by the Catholic doctrine. The undivided Word, he said, must have an undivided activity. Thus even if Severus could be defended from the charge of strict Monophysitism, in that he affirmed the full reality of the Human Nature of Christ, though he refused to it the name of nature, yet at least he appears as a dogmatic Monothelite. This is the more clear, in that on the crucial question of one or two wills, he pronounces for one theandric will. On the other hand utterances of Severus which make Christ's sufferings voluntarily permitted, rather than naturally necessitated by the treatment inflicted on His Body, might perhaps be defended by the consideration that from the union and consequent Beatific Vision in the Soul of Christ, would congruously ensue a beatification of the Soul and a spiritualizing of the Body, as was actually the case after the Resurrection; from this point of view it is true that the possibility of the Humanity is voluntary (that is, decreed by the Divine will) and not due to it in the state which is connatural to it after the union; although the Human Nature is of its own nature passible apart from the union (St. Thomas, III, Q. xiv, a. 1, ad 2). It is important to recollect that the same distinction has to be made in considering whether the Body of Christ is to be called corruptible or incorruptible, and consequently whether Catholic doctrine on this point is in favour of Severus or of his adversary Julian. The words of St. Thomas may be borne in mind: "Corruptio et mors non competit Christo ratione suppositi, secundum quod attenditur unitas, sed ratione naturæ, secundam quam invenitur differentia mortis et vitæ" (III, Q. 1, a. 5, ad 2). As the Monophysites discussed the question ratione suppositi (since they took nature to mean hypostasis, and to imply a suppositum) they were bound to consider the Body of Christ incorruptible. We must therefore consider the Julianists more consistent than the Severians.

6. Julian, Bishop of Halicarnassus, was the leader of those who held the incorruptibility, as Severus was of those who held the corruptibility. The question arose in Alexandria, and created great excitement, when the two bishops had taken refuge in that city, soon after the accession of the orthodox Emperor Justin, in 518. The Julianists called the Severians phthartolátrai or Corrupticolæ, and the latter retorted by entitling the Julians -Aphthartodokêtai and Phantasiasts, as renewing the Docetic heresies of the second century. In 537, the two parties elected rival patriarchs of Alexandria, Theodosius and Gaianas, after whom the Corrupticolæ were known as Theodosians, and the Incorrupticolæ as Gaianites. Julian considered, with some show of reason, that the doctrine of Severus necessitated the admission of two natures, and he was unjustly accused of Docetism and Manichæanism, for he taught the reality of the Humanity of Christ, and made it incorruptible not formaliter quâ human, but as united to the Word. His followers, however, split upon this question. One party admitted a potential corruptibility. Another party taught an absolute incorruptibility katà pánta trópon, as flowing from the union itself. A third sect declared that by the union the Humanity obtained the prerogative of being uncreate; they were called Actistetæ, and replied by denominating their opponents "Ctistolaters", or worshippers of a creature. Heresies, after the analogy of low forms of physical life, tend to propagate by division. So Monophysitism showed its nature, once it was separated from the Catholic body. The Emperor Justinian, in 565, adopted the incorruptibilist view, and made it a law for all bishops. The troubles that arose in consequence, both in East and West, were calmed by his death in November of that year.

7. The famous Philoxenus or Xenaias (d. soon after 518), Bishop of Mabug (Mabbogh, Mambuce, or Hierapolis in Syria Euphratensis), is best known today by his Syriac version of the New Testament, which was revised by Thomas of Harkel, and is known as the Harkleian or Philoxonian text. It is unfair of Hefele (Councils, tr. III, 459-60) to treat him as almost a Docetist. From what can be learned of his doctrines they were very like those of Severus and of Ælurus. He was a Monophysite in words and a Monothelite in reality, for he taught that Christ had one will, an error which it was almost impossible for any Monophysite to avoid. But this mía phúsis súnthetos was no doubt meant by him as equivalent to the hypostasis composita taught by St. Thomas. As Philoxenus taught that Christ's sufferings were by choice, he must be placed on the side of the Julianists. He was careful to deny all confusion in the union, and all transformation of the Word.

8. Peter Fullo, Patriarch of Antioch (471-88), is chiefly famed in the realm of dogma for his addition to the Trisagion or Tersanctus, "Agios o Theos, Agios Ischyros, Agios Athanatos", of the words "who wast crucified for us". This is plain Patripassianism, so far as words go. It was employed by Peter as a test, and he excommunicated all who refused it. There is no possibility of explaining away this assertion of the suffering of the Divine Nature by the communicatio idiomatum, for it is not merely the Divine Nature (in the sense of hypostasis) of the Son which is said to have been crucified, but the words are attached to a three-fold invocation of the Trinity. Peter may therefore be considered as a full-blooded Monophysite, who carried the heresy to its extreme, so that it involved error as to the Trinity (Sabellianism) as well as with regard to the Incarnation. He did not admit the addition of the words "Christ our King" which his orthodox rival Calandio added to his formula. Some Scythian monks of Constantinople, led by John Maxentius, before the reconciliation with the West in 519, upheld the formula "one of the Trinity was crucified" as a test to exclude the heresy of Peter Fullo on the one hand and Nestorianism on the other. They were orthodox adherents of the Council of Chalcedon. Pope Hormisdas thought very badly of the monks, and would do nothing in approval of their formula. But it was approved by John II, in 534, and imposed under anathema by the Second Council of Constantinople in 553, which closed the so-called "Theopaschite" controversy.

9. We have further to catalogue a number of subdivisions of Monophysitism which pullulated in the sixth century. The Agnoetæ were Corrupticolæ, who denied completeness of knowledge to the Human Nature of Christ; they were sometimes called Themistians, from Themistus Calonymus, an Alexandrian deacon, their chief writer. They were excommunicated by the Patriarchs of Alexandria, Timotheus (d. 527) and Theodosius. Their views resemble the "Kenotic" theories of our own day. The Tritheists, or Tritheites, or Condobaudites, were founded by a Constantinopolitan philosopher, John Asconagus, or Ascunaghes, at the beginning of the sixth century, but their principal teacher was John Philopomus, an Alexandrian philosopher, who died probably towards the end of that century. These heretics taught that there were three natures in the Holy Trinity, the three Persons being individuals of a species. A zealot of the sect was a monk Athanasius, grandson of the Empress Theodora, wife of Justinian. He followed the view of Theodosius, that the bodies to be given in the resurrection are new creations. Stephen Gobaras was another writer of this sect. Their followers were called Athanasians or Philoponiaci. Athanasius was opposed by Conon, Bishop of Tarsus (c. 600), who eventually anathematized his teacher Philoponus. The Cononites are said to have urged that, though the matter of the body is corruptible, its form is not. The Tritheites were excommunicated by the Jacobite Patriarch of Alexandria, Damian (577), who found the unity of God in a ‘úparksis distinct from the three Persons, which he called autótheos. His disciples were taunted with believing in four Gods, and were nicknamed Tetradites, or Tetratheites, and also Damianists and Angelites. Peter Callinicus, Patriarch of Antioch (578-91), opposed them, and both he and Damian attacked the Alexandrian philosopher Stephen Niobes, founder of the Niobites, who taught that there was no distinction whatever between the Divine Nature and the Human after the Incarnation, and characterized the distinctions made by those who admitted only one nature as half-hearted. Many of his followers joined the Catholics, when they found themselves excommunicated by the Monophysites.


Of the origin of Eutychianism among the Cyrillian party a few words were said above. The controversy between Cyril and Theodoret was revived with violence in the attacks made in 444-8, after Cyril's death, by his party on Irenæus of Tyre, Ibas of Edessa, and others (see DIOSCURUS). The trial of Eutyches, by St. Flavian at Constantinople, brought matters to a head (see EUTYCHES). Theodosius II convened an œcumenical council at Ephesus, in 449, over which Dioscurus, the real founder of Monophysitism as a sect, presided (see ROBBER COUNCIL OF EPHESUS). St. Leo had already condemned the teaching of one nature in his letter to Flavian called the tome, a masterpiece of exact terminology, unsurpassed for clearness of thought, which condemns Nestorius on the one hand, and Eutyches on the other (see LEO I, POPE). After the council had acquitted Eutyches, St. Leo insisted on the signing of this letter by the Eastern bishops, especially by those who had taken part in the disgraceful scenes at Ephesus. In 451, six hundred bishops assembled at Chalcedon, under the presidency of the papal legates (see CHALCEDON, COUNCIL OF). The pope's view was assured of success before-hand by the support of the new Emperor Marcian. Dioscurus of Alexandria was deposed. The tome was acclaimed by all, save by thirteen out of the seventeen Egyptian bishops present, for these declared their lives would not be safe, if they returned to Egypt after signing, unless a new patriarch had been appointed. The real difficulty lay in drawing up a definition of faith. There was now no Patriarch of Alexandria; those of Antioch and Constantinople had been nominees of Dioscurus, though they had now accepted the tome; Juvenal of Jerusalem had been one of the leaders of the Robber Council, but like the rest had submitted to St. Leo. It is consequently not surprising that the committee, appointed to draw up a definition of faith, produced a colourless document (no longer extant), using the words -ek dúo phúseon, which Dioscurus and Eutyches might have signed without difficulty. It was excitedly applauded in the fifth session of the council, but the papal legates, supported by the imperial commissioners, would not agree to it, and declared they would break up the council and return to Italy, if it were pressed.

The few bishops who stood by the legates were of the Antiochian party and suspected of Nestorianism by many. The emperor's personal intervention was invoked. It was demonstrated to the bishops that to refuse to assert "two natures" (not merely "of" two) was to agree with Dioscurus and not with the pope, and they yielded with a very bad grace. They had accepted the pope's letter with enthusiasm, and they had deposed Dioscurus, not indeed for heresy (as Austolius of Constantinople had the courage, or the impudence, to point out), but for violation of the canons. To side with him meant punishment. The result was the drawing up by a new committee of the famous Chalcedonian definition of faith. It condemns Monophysitism in the following words: "Following the holy Fathers, we acknowledge one and the same Son, one Lord Jesus Christ; and in accordance with this we all teach that He is perfect in Godhead, perfect also in Manhood, truly God and truly Man, of a rational soul and body, consubstantial with His Father as regards his Godhead, and consubstantial with us as regards His Manhood, in all things like unto us save for sin; begotten of His Father before the worlds as to His Godhead, and in the last days for us and for our salvation [born] of Mary the Virgin Theotokos as to His Manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, made known as in two natures [the Greek text now has "of two natures", but the history of the definition shows that the Latin "in" is correct] without confusion or change, indivisibly, inseparably [-en dúo phúsesin -asugchútos, -atréptos, -adiairétos, -achorístos gnorizómenon]; the distinction of the two natures being in no wise removed by the union, but the properties of each nature being rather preserved and concurring in one Person and one Hypostasis, not as divided or separated into two Persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ; even as the Prophets taught aforetime about Him, and as the Lord Jesus Christ Himself taught us, and as the symbol of the Fathers has handed down to us."

So Monophysitism was exorcised; but the unwillingness of the larger number of the six hundred Fathers to make so definite a declaration is important. "The historical account of the Council is this, that a doctrine which the Creed did not declare, which the Fathers did not unanimously witness, and which some eminent Saints had almost in set terms opposed, which the whole East refused as a symbol, not once, but twice, patriarch by patriarch, metropolitan by metropolitan, first by the mouth of above a hundred, then by the mouth of above six hundred of its bishops, and refused upon the grounds of its being an addition to the Creed, was forced upon the Council, not indeed as a Creed, yet, on the other hand, not for subscription merely, but for its acceptance as a definition of faith under the sanction of an anathema, forced on the Council by the resolution of the Pope of the day, acting through his Legates and supported by the civil power" (Newman, "Development", v, §3, 1st ed., p. 307). Theodosius issued edicts against the Eutychians, in March and July, 452, forbidding them to have priests, or assemblies, to make wills or inherit property, or to do military service. Priests who were obstinate in error were to be banished beyond the limits of the empire. Troubles began almost immediately the council was over. A monk named Theodosius, who had been punished at Alexandria for blaming Dioscurus, now on the contrary opposed the decision of the council, and going to Palestine persuaded the many thousands of monks there that the council had taught plain Nestorianism. They made a raid upon Jerusalem and drove out Juvenal, the bishop, who would not renounce the Chalcedonian definition, although he had been before one of the heads of the Robber Council. Houses were set on fire, and some of the orthodox were slain. Theodosius made himself bishop, and throughout Palestine the bishops were expelled and new ones set up. The Bishop of Scythopolis lost his life; violence and riots were the order of the day. Eudocia, widow of the Emperor Theodosius II, had retired to Palestine, and gave some support to the insurgent monks. Marcian and Pulcheria took mild measures to restore peace, and sent repeated letters in which the real character of the decrees of Chalcedon was carefully explained. St. Euthymius and his community were almost the only monks who upheld the council, but this influence, together with a long letter from St. Leo to the excited monks, had no doubt great weight in obtaining peace. In 453, large numbers acknowledged their error, when Theodosius was driven out and took refuge on Mount Sinai, after a tyranny of twenty months. Others held out on the ground that it was uncertain whether the pope had ratified the council. It was true that he had annulled its disciplinary canons. The emperor therefore wrote to St. Leo asking for an explicit confirmation, which the pope sent at once, at the same time thanking Marcian for his acquiescence in the condemnation of the twenty-eighth canon, as to the precedence of the See of Constantinople, and for repressing the religious riots in Palestine.

In Egypt the results of the council were far more serious, for nearly the whole patriarchate eventually sided with Dioscurus, and has remained in heresy to the present day. Out of seventeen bishops who represented, at Chalcedon, the hundred Egyptian bishops, only four had the courage to sign the decree. These four returned to Alexandria, and peacably ordained the archdeacon, Proterius, a man of good character and venerable by his age, in the place of Dioscurus. But the deposed patriarch was popular, and the thirteen bishops, who had been allowed to defer signing the tome of St. Leo, misrepresented the teaching of the council as contrary to that of Cyril. A riot was the result. The soldiers who attempted to quell it were driven into the ancient temple of Serapis, which was now a church, and it was burnt over their heads. Marcian retaliated by depriving the city of the usual largess of corn, of public shows, and of privileges. Two thousand soldiers reinforced the garrison, and committed scandalous violence. The people were obliged to submit, but the patriarch was safe only under military protection. Schism began through the retirement from his communion of the priest Timothy, called Ælurus, "the cat", and Peter, called Mongus, "the hoarse", a deacon, and these were joined by four or five bishops. When the death of Dioscurus (September, 454) in exile at Gangra was known, two bishops consecrated Timothy Ælurus as his successor. Henceforward almost the whole of Egypt acknowledged the Monophysite patriarch. On the arrival of the news of the death of Marcian (February, 457), Proterius was murdered in a riot, and Catholic bishops were everywhere replaced by Monophysites. The new emperor, Leo, put down force by force, but Ælurus was protected by his minister Aspar. Leo wished for a council, but gave way before the objections made by the pope his namesake, and the difficulties of assembling so many bishops. He therefore sent queries throughout the Eastern Empire to be answered by the bishops, as to the veneration due to the Council of Chalcedon and as to the ordination and the conduct of Ælurus. As only Catholic bishops were consulted, the replies were unanimous. One or two of the provincial councils, in expressing their indignation against Timothy, add the proviso "if the reports are accurate", and the bishops of Pamphylia point out that the decree of Chalcedon is not a creed for the people, but a test for bishops. The letters, still preserved (in Latin only) under the name of Encyclia, or Codex Encyclius, bear the signatures of about 260 bishops, but Nicephorus Callistus says, that there were altogether more than a thousand, while Eulogius, Patriarch of Alexandria in the days of St. Gregory the Great, puts the number at 1600. He says that only one bishop, the aged Amphilochius of Side, dissented from the rest, but he soon changed his mind (quoted by Photius, Bibl., CCXXX, p. 283). This tremendous body of testimonies to the Council of Chalcedon is little remembered today, but in controvresies with the Monophysites it was in those times of equal importance with the council itself, as its solemn ratification.

In the following year Ælurus was exiled, but was recalled in 475 during the short reign of the Monophysite usurper Basiliscus. The Emperor Zeno spared Ælurus from further punishment on account of his great age. That emperor tried to reconcile the Monophysites by means of his Henoticon, a decree which dropped the Council of Chalcedon. It could, however, please neither side, and the middle party which adhered to it and formed the official Church of the East was excommunicated by the popes. At Alexandria, the Monophysites were united to the schismatic Church of Zeno by Peter Mongus who became patriarch. But the stricter Monophysites seceded from him and formed a sect known as Acephali. At Antioch Peter Fullo also supported the Henoticon. A schism between East and West lasted through the reigns of Zeno and his more definitely Monophysite successor Anastasius, in spite of the efforts of the popes, especially the great St. Gelasius. In 518, the orthodox Justin came to the throne, and reunion was consummated in the following year by him, with the active co-operation of his more famous nephew Justinian, to the great joy of the whole East. Pope Hormisdas sent legates to reconcile the patriarchs and metropolitans, and every bishop was forced to sign, without alteration, a petition in which he accepted the faith which had always been preserved at Rome, and condemned not only the leaders of the Eutychian heresy, but also Zeno's time-serving bishops of Constantinople, Acacius and his successors. Few of the Eastern bishops seem to have been otherwise than orthodox and anxious for reunion, and they were not obliged to omit from the diptychs of their churches the names of their predecessors, who had unwillingly been cut off from actual communion with Rome, in the reigns of Zeno and Anastasius. The famous Monophysite writer Severus was now deposed from the See of Antioch. Justinian, during his long reign, took the Catholic side, but his empress, Theodora, was a Monophysite, and in his old age the emperor leaned in the same direction. We still posses the acts of a conference, between six Severian and seven orthodox bishops, held by his order in 533. The great controversy of his reign was the dispute about the "three chapters", extracts from the writings of Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret, and Ibas, which Justinian wished to get condemned in order to conciliate the Severians and other moderate Monophysites. He succeeded in driving Pope Vigilius into the acceptance of the Second Council of Constantinople, which he had summoned for the purpose of giving effect to his view. The West disapproved of this condemnation as derogatory to the Council of Chalcedon, and Africa and Illyricum refused for some time to receive the council.

The divisions among the heretics have been mentioned above. A great revival and unification was effected by the great man of the sect, the famous Jacob Baradai, Bishop of Edssa (c. 541-78). (See BARADÆUS .) In his earlier years a recluse in his monastery, when a bishop he spent his life traveling in a beggar's garb, ordaining bishops and priests everywhere in Mesopotamia, Syria, Asia Minor, in order to repair the spiritual ruin caused among the Monophysites by Justinian's renewal of the original laws against their bishops and priests. John of Ephesus puts the number of clergy he ordained at 100,000, others at 80,000. His journeys were incredibly swift. He was believed to have the gift of miracles, and at least he performed the miracle of infusing a new life into the dry bones of his sect, though he was unable to unite them against the "Synodites" (as they called the orthodox), and he died worn out by the quarrels among the Monophysite patriarchs and theologians. He has deserved to give his name to the Monophysites of Syria, Mesopotamia, and Babylonia, with Asia Minor, Palestine, and Cyprus, who have remained since his time generally united under a Patriarch of Antioch (see Eastern Churches, A. Schismatical Churches, 5. Jacobites). A number of these united in 1646 with the Catholic Church, and they are governed by the Syrian Archbishop of Aleppo. The rest of the Monophysites are also frequently called Jacobites. For the Coptic Monophysites see EGYPT, and for the Armenians see ARMENIA. The Armenian Monophysite Patriarch resides at Constantinople. The Abyssinian Church was drawn into the same heresy through its close connexion with Alexandria. At least since the Mohammedan conquest of Egypt, in 641, the Abuna of the Abyssinians has always been consecrated by the Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria, so that the Abyssinian Church has always been, and is still, nominally Monophysite.

Publication information Written by John Chapman. Transcribed by WGKofron. With thanks to Fr. John Hilkert, Akron, Ohio The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume V. Published 1909. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, May 1, 1909. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York


The chief materials for the general history of the Eutychians will be found in the Collections of the Councils by MANSI, HARDOUIN, or LABBE, that is to say the councils, letters of popes, and other documents. To these must be added the historians EVAGRIUS, THEOPHANES, etc., and the Monophysite historians JOHN OF EPHESUS, and ZACHARIAS RHETOR (both in LAND's Anecdota Syriaca, II-III, Leyden, 1879), a German translation of the latter by AHRENS and KRÜGER (Leipzig, 1899) and an English one by HAMILTON and BROOKS (London, 1889). The works of FACUNDUS, the Breviarium of LIBERATUS, and information imparted by PHOTIUS are valuable.

Of modern authorities, the larger and smaller histories are innumerable, e. g. BARONIUS, FLEURY, GIBBON, HEFELE, and (for the early period) TILLEMONT, XV; also the biographical articles in such large works as CAVE, Biogr. Litt. FABRICIUS; the Kirchenlexikon; HERZOG, Realencykl.; and Dict. Ch. Biog.; ASSEMANI, Bibl. Orient., II; WALCH, Ketzergeschichte (Leipzig, 1762-85), VI-VIII; for detailed biographies see the articles referred to above.

On the dogmatic side see PETAVIUS, De Incarn., VI; DORNER, Entwicklungsgeschichte von der Person Christi (Berlin, 1853), 2nd ed.; tr.: Doctrine of the Person of Christ (Edinburgh, 1861-3), 5 vols.–it should be noted that DORNER himself held a Nestorian view; Dict. de Théol. Cath.; the histories of dogma such as those of SCHWANE, HARNACK, and (up to 451) BETHUNE -BAKER; KRÜGER, Monophysitische Streitigkeiten in Zusammenhange mit der Reichspolitik (Jena, 1884); LOOFS, Leontius von Byzanz. in Texte und Unters., 1st series, III, 1-2; new light has come from the Syriac, Arabic, and Coptic of late years. In addition to the histories mentioned above: EVETTS, History of the Patriarchs of the Coptic Church of Alexandria, Arabic and English in Patrol. Orient., I, 2 (Paris, 1905); S. BEN EL MOGAFFA, Historia patriarchum Alexandr. in Corpus Script. Christ. Orient., Scriptores arabici, 3rd series, IX; CHABOU, Chronique de Michel le Syrien (Paris, 1901), II.

On the works of Timothy Ælurus, CRUM, Eusebius and Coptic Ch. Hist., in Proc. of Soc. of Bibl. Archæol. (London, 1902), XXIV; LEBON, La Christologie de Timothée Ælure in Revue d'Hist. Eccl. (Oct., 1908), IX, 4; on Severus of Antioch, KUGENER, Vies de Savère par Zaccharie le Rhéteur, et par Jean de Beith Apthonia in Patrol. Orient. II (Paris, 1907); DUVAL, Les homélies cathédrale de Sévère, trad. syr. de Jacques d'Edesse in Patrol. Orient.; BROOKS, Sixth book of the select letters of Severus in the Syrian version of Athan. of Nisib. (Text and Transl. Soc., London, 1904), besides the fragments published by MAI, etc.; on Julian see LOOFS, loc. cit.; USENER in Rhein. Mus. für Phil. (N. S., LV, 1900); the letters of Peter Mongus and Acacius publ. by REVILLOUT (Rev. des Qu. hist., XXII, 1877, a French transl.) and by AMÉLINEAU (Monum. pour servir à l'hist. de l'Egypte chr. aux IVe et Ve siècles, Paris, 1888) are spurious; DUVAL, Litt. Syriaque (Paris, 1900), 2nd ed.

Additional Information

Quoting from the American College Dictionary (Webster's is similar):
Monophysite, one holding that there is in Christ but a single nature, or one composite nature, partly divine and partly human, as the members of the Coptic Church of Egypt.

This definition, including two different interpretations, appears to be the source of a problem. Eastern Orthodox Churches apparently accepts the first definition (a single Nature) while the (Oriental Orthodox and) Coptic Church accepts the second (one composite Nature, partly Divine and partly human). Unfortunately, both groups use the exact same word for two rather different concepts, and that may be the source of a long-standing misunderstanding and conflict.

Protestant and Catholic understandings of the definition are generally quite close to the Coptic Church definition.

It appears that Eastern Orthodox Churches (Russian, Greek), using their understanding of the word, choose to criticize the Oriental Orthodox Churches by inferring that those Churches believe that the human nature effectively disappears into the Divine Nature. This claim is vehemently rejected by the Oriental Orthodox Churches, because that is NOT a description of their beliefs. Their beliefs involve a composite Nature that is composed of the two component parts.

This appears to be a problem of semantics, where the two Churches happen to use the same word to mean significantly different things. Actually, the conflict between the two Churches is quite intense and ingrained within both Churches, such that the word is a trigger point of controversy.

Because of this intense criticism by the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the Oriental Orthodox Churches choose not to use the word Monophysitism in describing their beliefs. They apparently do not want to admit to that word being technically appropriate (but with the very different meaning) because that would give the Eastern Orthodox Churches more fuel for their criticisms. The Coptic Church even says that it has never officially discussed Monophysitism.

Therefore, through Western eyes, the Coptic Church and the other Oriental Orthodox Churches follow the principle of Monophysitism, using the normal Western definition of involving a composite Nature. But, because of repercussions from the Eastern Orthodox Churches, they never use that word to describe that part of their beliefs.

The articles above were both written by Western authors, who have described the Coptic Church as containing Monophysitism. The usage of the two dictionary definitions of the word must be considered if these articles are read by members of any Orthodox Church.

(Editor, BELIEVE)

Also, see:
Coptic Church

Armenian Church

Oriental Orthodox Church
Council of Chalcedon



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