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Servatius, Saint

(185 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] Servatius, Saint, the first verifiable bishop of Tongeren ( civitas Tungrorum) in the Roman province of Germania II; by the 6th century, nothing more was known of him. According to Athanasius ( Apol. sec. 49.1, where he is called Sarbatios), he signed the decrees of the Synod of Serdica (342/343). His signature on the forged decrees of a purported Synod of Cologne in 346 must be ruled out as a source. In 350 he was on a diplomatic mission in the East on behalf of the usurper Magnentius, which included Athanasius ( Apol. Const. 9); at the Synod of Rimini in 359, he was amo…

Silvester I, Pope

(194 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] ( Jan 31, 314 – Dec 31, 335). According to the Liber pontificalis and hagiographic tradition, Silvester was a Roman presbyter under Bishop Miltiades and a confessor in the Diocletian persecution (Persecutions of Christians: I). He did not come forward as bishop of Rome in succession to Miltiades during the reign of Constantine the Great. ¶ He was informed of the results of the Synod of Arles (Donatism), which he probably did not attend out of fear of endangering his episcopate; he played no role in the conflict with Arius and Arianis…

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…

Dionysius of Rome

(185 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] was a Roman presbyter who became bishop of Rome after the execution of Sixtus II in 259. He was able to reorganize the church, which had suffered greatly from the persecution by Licinius Valerianus. He died in 267/268. Almost nothing of him is recorded in the Liber pontificalis ; an exchange of letters with Dionysius of Alexandria and the congregation in Cappadocian Caesarea is attested. The authenticity of the fragment against the Origenistic theology of Dionysius of Alexandria (preserved in Athanasius, De decretis Nicaenae symboli [decr.…

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…

George of Laodicea

(193 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (died c. 360), a presbyter in Alexandria, was deposed and expelled because of his support for Arius. In the context of the reversal of church policy after the Council of Nicea (325), he was bishop of Syrian Laodicea after around 335. As one of the leading Eusebians, he was deposed and excommunicated in absentia in 342/43 at the (Western) Synod of Sardica, actions that remained without effect in the East. Through his protest in 358 against the usurpation of the Antiochene episcopacy by Eudoxius of Constantinople and his support by Ge…

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…

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…

John I, Pope (Saint)

(141 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] 523–526. At the command of Theodoric the Great, John I, of whom almost nothing is known, had to travel in 525 to Constantinople with a delegation of Roman senators and bishops and intervene there for the religious freedom of the homoean Goths, who were affected by the heresy laws. The triumphal reception of the pope in Constantinople must be regarded as a political demonstration against Theoderic, who, for that reason, had John held in Ravenna after his return; shortly afterward John died there. In ¶ the hagiographic tradition, he is therefore regarded as a victim…

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.…

Erlangen, University of

(1,222 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] I. History – II. Theological Faculty I. History In the early modern period, as territorial states were being formed on the soil of the Holy Roman Empire, Brandenburg-Ansbach/Bayreuth took the side of the Reformation in 1526. In 1529, at Luther's suggestion, it set out to establish a territorial university, but this hope was never realized, not least because …

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…

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…

Eutyches,

(122 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] priest and archimandrite of the Monastery of Job in Constantinople, exercised great influence at the court so that Cyril of Alexandria sought his assistance as mediator as early as 432. As a radical proponent of the theology of one nature (Monophysites/Monophysitism) and an opponent of the union of 433, he was accused of Apollinarianism (Apollinaris of Laodicea) in 447/48 at over 70 …

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…

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…

Constantius II

(508 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (Aug 7, 317 – Nov 3, 361). The Roman emperor Constantius II was the second son of Constantine and Fausta. He was made Caesar in 324; upon Constantine's death in September of 337, he became Augustus over the eastern half of the empire. Because his primary military challenge was securing the eastern border, until 350 he spent most of his time in Antioch. After the death of Constantine II in 340, the rivalry between Constantius and his younger brot…

Dioscorus of Alexandria

(476 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] was a deacon of Cyril of Alexandria who became his successor as bishop of Alexandria following the latter's death in 444. In spite of the extant hagiographic vita (CPG 3, 5470) from the Monophysite milieu, hardly anything is known about his life. Unlike Cyril, whose theology was his absolute norm, Dioscorus cannot be regarded as an independent or prominent theolo…

Theban Legion

(177 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] according to the Passio Acaunensium martyrum of Eucherius of Lyon (before 450), a group of soldiers under the leadership of Mauritius, who were executed as Christians in the early 4th century under Emperor Maximian (Persecutions of Christians: I). The cult of the martyrs described by Eucherius goes back to the collection of their relics by Bishop Theodore of Octodunum (Sion, Switzerland) at the end of the 4th century. Especially in the early Middle Ages, the cult of the Theban Legion e…
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