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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: 2020-12-17

Dedication, Council of the

(1,645 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 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 Tyre in 335 CE, a…
Date: 2020-12-17

Continentes

(1,952 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
The heresiologists of the early church call “Continentes” (Gk ἐγκρατῖται; 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 meat), and the consuming of intoxicating drinks (whereby “continentes” in the Latin tradition can stand generally and in a positive way for “ascetics” while “encratitae” always means heretical ascetics). Using as reference…
Date: 2020-12-17

Firmilian of Caesarea

(1,418 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 eccles…
Date: 2020-12-17

Arianism

(7,347 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, 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), which brought hi…
Date: 2020-12-17

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…

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, …

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 priest and theological adviser to the patriarch and developed a rich literary activity in nearly all fields of church literature. His main dogmatic work Fountain of Knowledge, a first systematic summary of Christian dogmatics, is divided into three parts: (1) a corpus of philosophical definitions known as Dialectica (drawing esp. on Porphyry of Gaza), (2) a catalogue of heresies following up on Epiphanius of Salamis, and, (3) a dogmatics interpreting the Christian faith, influenced by Theodoret of Cyrrhus in its structure and containing a summary of the dogmatic tradition of the Greek church. In addition, John also addresses the christological heresies arising from the controversy surrounding the Council of Chalcedon in several dogmatic and polemic tractates (the attribution of the anti-Muslim dialogue CPG…

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.…

Studios Monastery

(273 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] monastery in the Psamathia quarter of Constantinople, founded by Studios, who was patricius and consul in 454. Its church, a three-aisled basilica dedicated to John the Baptist, was begun in 450; it was converted into a mosque after 1453. Today it is the only pre-Justinian church ruin in Istanbul. It was among the largest and most important monasteries of the capital, with great wealth. During the iconoclastic controversy (Veneration of images: VI) in the 8th and 9th centuries, under its abbot ( hegoumenos) Theodore of Studios it became the most important intel…

Euzoios

(186 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] of Antioch (died 376) was a deacon and partisan of Arius in Alexandria. He was deposed and excommunicated by an Alexandrian synod. With Arius, he presented a creed to Constantine in 327 which subordinated the Logos but avoided extremely subordinationist statements (Christology: II, 1). Rehabilitated at the Synod of Jerusalem in 335, he was a presbyter in Alexandria under bishop Georgos. After the deposition of Meletius of Antioch, he became bishop of Antioch in 360/61 at the behest of Constantius II, whom Euzoios baptized shortly before his death, and one of ¶ the leadin…

Eustathius of Thessalonica

(173 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (c. 1115, Constantinople[?] – c. 1195, Constantinople) was a …

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…

Simeon Stylites the Elder

(208 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (c. 390 in Cilician Sis – Jul 24 [Sep 1], 459). Without education, Simeon entered a monastery early in the 5th century; he was forced to leave on account of his extreme asceticism. He lived as a hermit in Telanissus (some 60 km east of Antioch). From the early 420s, he lived on a hill atop a pillar that gradually reached a height of over 20 m (Stylite); visited by co…

Ulfilas

(329 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (or Wulfila; early 4th cent. – 383), Gothic descendant of Cappadocian Christians kidnapped in the 3rd century. According to his biographer Auxentius of Durostorum, he was a trilingual lector in the Gothic Christian community, probably consecrated to the episcopate by Eusebius of Nicomedia when a Gothic delegation was sent to Constantine the Great, to serve as bishop of the Christians in the region controlled by the Goths. In the 340s, he and a group of Gothic Christians entered th…

Martin of Tours (Saint)

(374 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (c. 316–397; feast day Nov 11). The writings of Sulpicius Severus about Martin are the only contemporary sources ( Epistulae et dialogae [CSEL 1]; Vita Martini [SC 133–135]). In the Vita, written c. 395/397, the various episodes are only loosely linked. They are continued after Martin's death in three letters and three (or two) Dialogues, in which Sulpicius depicts Martin according to his monastic ideals. Martin was born c. 316/317 (conflicting chronology) as the son of a tribune in Pannonian Sabaria. He grew up in Pavia, and at the …

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.…

Simeon Stylites the Younger

(206 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (521 Antioch – May 24 [or Sep 3?], 592), son of St. Martha and a father from Edessa, became a stylite and miracle worker (Simeon Thaumaturgus) at the age of six. Located after c. 540/541 on the mons mirabilis near Antioch, he was ordained to the diaconate and later to the priesthood as a stylite; he was sought out by pilgrims as a thaumaturge. He wrote works on asceticism, hymns, prayers, and letters (to Justinian I and Justin II). The pilgrimage activity associated with his pillar, as well as his contact relics and p…

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…
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