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Dedication, Council of the

(1,650 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
In 338 CE a short time after the death of Emperor Constantine, the new emperor of the West, Constantine II permitted Athanasius of Alexandria (Desert Fathers) to return from his exile in Trier to Alexandria (DGAS no. 41.1 introduction).Having returned from exile, Athanasius assembled a synod of 80 Egyptian bishops in Alexandria. This synod voted for Athanasius. This synod sent a circular to all bishops with many documents (Athan. Apol. sec. 3–19).The eastern bishops around Eusebius of Constantinople, who had deposed and excommunicated Athanasius at the Synod of Tyr…
Date: 2019-12-17

Continentes

(1,946 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
The haeresiologists of the early church call “Continentes” (Gk ἐγκρατῖται/ engkratitai; Lat. continentes/ encratitae; Eng. Encratites [continents]) some ascetics or groups living an ascetic life who are considered to be heretics because they demand from all Christians that they follow an ascetic way of life, particularly that they renounce marriage, the eating of certain foods (particularly flesh), and the consuming of intoxicating drinks (whereby “continentes” in the Latin tradition can stand generally and …
Date: 2019-12-17

Firmilian of Caesarea

(1,417 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
Firmilian (d. 268 CE), a well-known bishop of the Cappadocian metropolis Caesarea (from c. 230 CE), appears according to Eusebius of Caesarea ( Hist. eccl. 6.7) to have taken part in almost all of the significant debates in the formation of una sancta et catholica ecclesia (one holy and catholic church) and its standardized structures in the middle of the 3rd century CE as a representative of an episcopally organized church. The institution of synods and intensive epistolary communication between the churches appear to be for him a fundamental element in the structure of the ecclesia cath…
Date: 2019-12-17

Arianism

(7,353 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
In the literary tradition of late antiquity, there is only a single piece of evidence for the word Ἀρειανισμός/ Areianismos, in Gregory of Nazianzus ( Or. 21.22). The derivative neo-Latin term “Arianism” was constructed during the early modern period and subsequently adopted in the modern European languages (Fr. Arianisme; Ital. Arianesimo; Ger. Arianismus).“Arianism,” in its proper sense, both in the history of theology and in the history of dogma, refers to the theological positions or teachings of the Alexandrian presbyter Arius (Ἄρειος/ Areios), which brought him into con…
Date: 2019-12-17

Aërius

(616 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
According to Epiphanius of Salamis ( Haer. 75; see Epiph. Anc. 6) Aërius was an ascetic in the circle around Eustathius of Sebaste. He was still alive when Epiphanius wrote the Panarion at the end of the 370s CE ( Haer. 75.1.3); Filastrius, on the other hand ( Haer. 72), appears to take his death for granted, so he must have died before 390 CE.Epiphanius places Aërius among the followers of Eustathius of Sebaste. It is not known if he could already be counted among these disciples before the Synod of Gangra (c. 340 CE), where Eustathius or rather his radical…
Date: 2019-12-17

Monogram of Christ

(505 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
The oldest MSS tradition offers contractions of the divine names, especially ĪC̄ for Jesus (= IHCOYC) and X̄C̄ or X̄P̄C̄ for Christ (= XPICTOC). These contractions, which might be understood as ciphers for the salvation achieved in Christ (Christology), are also found to some extent in monogrammatic form (e.g., as the chrismon, or Chi-Rho) in the Middle Ages in introductions to letters and documents. From around 200 we also find the common symbol ⳨, the staurogram (Cross 3), which is made up of the superimposed letters tau (T) and rho (P) as an abbreviation for stauros / stauroō (cross …

Arianism

(1,169 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
Arianism is the teaching of the Alexandrian presbyter Arius (ca. 280–336) and his supporters. It arose originally in reaction to the Christology of the apologists. To preserve both monotheism and the deity of Christ, the apologists had adopted the philosophical idea of the Logos, and Origen (ca. 185-ca. 254), making use of ontological Platonic categories, had attributed autonomy to the Logos/Christ as a hypostasis, or ousia, subordinate to God (Ontology). Rejecting the Monarchian views of the Trinity of which he accused his bishop Alexand…

Aberglaube

(1,849 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
1. Begriff und antike-mittelalterliche Grundlegung 1.1. Die deutsche WortbildungDer Begriff A. (spätmhd.: abergloube) ist eine gelehrte und künstliche Wortschöpfung (eine Zusammensetzung aus ›aber‹ im Sinne von ›verkehrt‹ oder ›falsch‹ und ›Glaube‹), welche seit ihrem Auftreten an der Schwelle zur Nz. inhaltlichen Veränderungen unterworfen war (der bisher früheste Beleg ist eine in das 15. Jh. zu datierende Glosse der Wiener Handschrift des sog. St. Trudpert-Kommentars zum Hohelied des Alten Testaments); di…
Date: 2019-11-19

Theophylactus of Ochrid

(176 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (c. 1050 – c. 1126), student of Michael (actually Constantine) Psellus, deacon of the Hagia Sophia and royal tutor at the court of Michael VII. Around 1090 he was made archbishop of Ochrid and Bulgaria, de facto the Byzantine metropolitan even though Bulgaria remained autocephalous de iure under Byzantine rule. The majority of his literary output consists of biblical commentaries in a traditional vein; in the conflict with the Latins, he took a moderate position. Other surviving works include homilies, encomia of martyrs, a m…

Leo of Ochrid

(199 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] Leo of Ochrid, 11th-century Byzantine theologian, chartophylax of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, after 1025 in Achrida/Ochrid as autocephalous archbishop of Bulgaria under Byzantine rule. To support the anti-Western campaigns of the patriarch Michael Cerularius, in 1053 Leo composed an encyclical to “the Franks” ( RAPC 2, no. 862), addressed to the southern Italian bishop John of Trani, in which he attacked Western liturgical practices (Saturday fasting, unleavened bread in the Eucharist) as Judaizing heresy. Commissioned b…

Maximinus the Arian (Saint)

(216 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] Maximinus the Arian (Saint), a Homoean. In 428/429, Maximinus belonged to the retinue of the Goth Sigisvult in Africa, where a disputation with Augustine of Hippo on the doctrine of the Trinity took place (Possidius, Vita Augustini, 17), the minutes of which are preserved in the Conlatio (CPL 699). Augustine subsequently authored Contra Maximinum ¶ Arrianum (CPL 700) against him. Invoking the Synod of Rimini (359), Maximinus argued in favor of a subordination theology with an explicit use of biblical language. A typical aspect of latt…

Homoiousians

(910 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] Homoiousians, a term in use since the end of the 19th century to denote a theological group that arose from the Arian dispute while remaining particularly ¶ indebted to its Origenistic heritage. The name derives from the term ὁμοιούσιος/ homoiousios (= of similar substance, in contrast to ὁμοούσιος/ homoousios = of the same substance; Homoousios, Homoeans) as a description of the relation of God the Father to the Logos/Son in the Trinity. Today, the neutral “Homoiousian” has replaced such contemporary polemical terms as “Arians…

Julius I, Pope (Saint)

(229 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] Julius I, Pope (Saint), bishop of Rome from 337 to 352. With Athanasius's and Marcellus of Ancyra's flight to Rome in 339/340, the West became involved in the (church-)political controversies that followed upon the death of Constantine the Great. After the Eastern bishops failed to comply with a summons to attend a synod in Rome, a Roman synod convened under Julius in 340/341 annulled the verdicts of the Eastern synods against Athanasius and Marcellus and rehabilitated both of the…

Ignatius of Constantinople

(165 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (d. Oct 23, 877). The son of Emperor Michael I Rangabe, after whose deposition (813) he was forced to become a monk, was elevated uncanonically (without vote of a synod) to the patriarchate by Empress Theodora II in 847. After her fall in 858, he had to resign in favor of Photius. Pope Nicholas I did not recognize his resignation. In the context of the rapprochement with the West of Emperor Basileios I, which resulted in the deposition of Photius, Ignatius was reappointed as patriarch in 867; in a conflict with Rome over ecclesiastical jurisdic…

Severinus of Noricum (Saint)

(207 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] According to our only source, the Commemoratorium vitae s. Severini (511) of Eugippius, Severinus was a high-born Roman living as an anchorite in the East. After the death of Attila in 453, he went to Rhaeto-Romania as a monastic ascetic, charismatic, and miracle-worker. There he organized the Rhaeto-Romanic population politically and socially during the death throes of the western Roman Empire and prepared them for their journey to Italy. His positive relationship with the Rugian house me…

Morocco

(845 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] The Arabic name of Morocco is al-Mamlaka al-maġribīya (“The Western Kingdom”). The name Morocco derives from Marrakesh (Arab. Marrākuš). The country is located at the intersection or Europe, the Middle East, and West Africa. A clear ethnic distinction between Berbers and Arabs is not always possible. Some 60% of the population speak Arabic, the rest Berber languages. Obscurity still surrounds many aspects of the cultural, political, economic, and religious life of the population before the arrival of the Arabs and Islam in the 7th and 8…

Pope

(242 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] Pope is the designation of the bishop of Rome as successor to Peter (the disciple), head of the (Roman) Catholic Church, and holder of a universal primacy of teaching and jurisdiction within the church (Papacy). In the Greek church, πάπας/ pápas ¶ was originally a title or term of address for abbots and bishops; later it was reserved exclusively to patriarchs. There is inscriptional evidence from the second half of the 4th century for its use by the Roman bishops; in the Latin church, it has been reserved exclusively to t…

Homoousios

(383 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] The Greek term ὁμοούσιος means “having the same ousia/substance/essence.” This compound adjective, which denotes the essential identity of origin and emanation, is found in Gnostic texts and also in philosophical usage after the time of Plotinus and was probably adopted from Manichaeism. It was on account of its Gnostic/Manichaeist connotation that the term homoousios was probably not employed by the exponents of a trinitarian theology of identification (Monarchianism) to describe the relationship of God and the Son/Logos. It is unc…

John of Damascus (Saint)

(449 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (c. 650, Damascus – before 754, Mar Saba). The legendary vitae of John hardly contain any factual information. John of Damascus was born into a Christian family of the Greek Damascene upper class, which initially collaborated with the caliphs. His family enjoyed close ties to the court of the caliph, in whose service he also stood. Before the year 700, probably because the Christians were increasingly ¶ being driven out of public offices from the late 7th century on, he retired to the Mar Saba Monastery near Jerusalem. There, he officiated as pri…

Victor of Vita

(181 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] cleric in Carthage and author of a Historia persecutionis Africanae provinciae dating from 487/489, which describes the situation of the Catholic Church in Africa under the Vandals. In keeping with historiographic tradition, Victor included documents; the conclusion of the Historia (III 71) and the Passio VII monachorum (CPL 800) are secondary, but not the prologue. Hanns Christof Brennecke Bibliography Works: CPL 798 M. Zink, Bischof Victors von Vita Geschichte der Glaubensverfolgung im Lande Afrika, 1883 Storia della persecuzione vandalica in Africa, ed. S.…
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