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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.…

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 prominent representative of Byzantine scholarship from Constantinople (?), where he obtained a classical education. He was a deacon and a teacher at the patriarchal school (grammar, rhetoric, philosophy). Initially called as metropolitan of Myra, he was transferred by the emperor to Thessalonica c. 1178…

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…

Eutychian Controversy

(509 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] The so-called Eutychian Controversy was an episode in the christological controversy (Christology: II, 1), that forced the Roman and Latin West to take a dogmatic position and led directly to the christological formula of Chalcedon (Monophysites/Monophysitism). The unstable equilibrium of the Union of 433 between moderate Antiochenes and Alexandrians ( DH 272) was always in danger. Dioscorus of Alexandria, the successor of Cyril of Alexandria, was not prepared to accept a signif…

Eudoxius of Antioch

(205 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (died 370) first appears as bishop of Germanicia at the Council of Antioch in 341. He was one of the leading supporters of the ecclesiastical policies of Constantius II and participated in almost all the important councils of the Eastern church as an opponent of Athanasius; he nevertheless played a role in the unsuccessful attempts to frame a theological compromise with the West ( formula macrostichus, Hahn, BSGR, §159). After he became bishop of Antioch in 357, his support of Aetius and Eunomius led to a breach with the…

Peter Mongo

(191 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (“Stammerer,” or “hoarse”; died 490). In 477 Peter was elected bishop (patriarch) of Alexandria by opponents of the decrees of Chalcedon, as successor to Timotheus Aelurus, but he was able to take office only after the death of Timothy Salophaciolus and the recognition of the Henotikon in 482; because of the intervention of John Talaia (Acacius of Constantinople), he was not recognized by the West. He was also opposed in Egypt by Monophysites because he had signed the Henotikon and refused to condemn Chalcedon. Theologically, Peter must be considered less a…

Miles Christi (Soldiers of Christ)

(1,391 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] I. Definition – II. Early Christianity and Military Service – III. The Militia Christi in Primitive Christianity and the Early Church – IV. Middle Ages – V. Modern Period I. Definition Latin militia Christi (“military service for Christ”; cf. the more common miles Christi/ dei, “soldier/warrior of Christ/God”) is a metaphorical description of the life and service of Christians in the world (cf. “the church militant”). Borrowing the language of apocalypticism and imagery common to antique philosophy, it interprets the C…

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 …

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, 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…

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 …

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…
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