Zachariah of Mitylene, Syriac Chronicle (1899).  Book 5.


THE fifth Book (in its twelve chapters, which are written down distinctly below) tells of Basiliscus and Marcus the Illustrious; and the encyclical letter which they Wrote to the bishops of their dominion, in which also they anathematised the Synod of Chalcedon and the Tome. For after eighteen years of banishment in Gangra and Cherson, Timothy the Great returned and arrived at Constantinople; and then he and Paul the Sophist, and James, and Theopompus, his chosen monks, persuaded Basiliscus to write the Encyclical. It also tells about the petition sent by the bishops of Asia, who met at Ephesus and subscribed to the Encyclical.

Moreover, it tells about some Eutychian monks then residing at Constantinople, who, along with Zenaia the king's wife, basely conspired against Timothy to have him sent again into banishment. Whereupon he departed to Ephesus. And by means of a Synod, which he convened, he reinstated Paul there, and gave him the rights of the Patriarchate that the Synod of Chalcedon had taken away from him, and had given to the royal city, through the flattery and treachery of John, whom they made bishop instead of Bassian. For the latter resigned, and departed and went into banishment. Now Timothy was received with much state. And without any rancour he admitted to his communion the penitents from the Proterian party and from that of Timothy Salophaciolus, who was driven out before him by the king's command. |102 

But this Book also relates the deeds of Acacius in Constantinople, and how he raised an insurrection and rebellion against Basiliscus ; and he took possession of the Churches; and he compelled Basiliscus to write the Antencyclical, and to deny his former letter. And the bishops again subscribed to this Antencyclical, with the exception of Amphilochius of Side and Epiphanius of Magdolum. And then Zeno returned and became emperor, and he thrust out Basiliscus, and cancelled every law and enactment which he had made. And when he was wishing to depose Timothy, the latter died, having retained his See to the end; and Peter, who became bishop in his stead, hid from the threats of Zeno.

Then Timothy Salophaciolus returned, and took possession of the church, and sought for Peter. But this Book further tells about John the archimandrite, who was sent to Zeno with the petition of the party of Timothy Salophaciolus, praying for an order that, after the death of Timothy, one of their side should be the bishop in Alexandria. Now this John coveted the see for himself. And Zeno heard it; and, with the object of trying him, he required from him an oath in the presence of the Senate, and also of Bishop Acacius, that he would not take the bishopric.

And John then returned to Alexandria, bearing an order from the king that, in succession to Timothy, any of his party whom the citizens might desire should be appointed as bishop. But about the same time it happened that this Timothy Salophaciolus died. And then John transgressed his oath, and used bribery to get the bishopric there for himself. But when Zeno heard of it, through the report of eminent believers among the monks there who went up to him and informed him of all the events which had occurred in Alexandria from the time of the Synod, he was greatly moved; and he changed his mind, and wrote a letter called the "Henotikon."

And he gave orders that Peter should return to his place, upon the condition of his receiving the Henotikon, and that John the liar should be deprived. Whereupon John repaired to Rome, and declared that he had suffered deprivation for |103 the sake of the Synod and the Tome. And then Zeno wrote to the Patriarch there, and exposed John.

But Peter of Antioch also returned and convened a Synod, and received the Henotikon.

And in like manner, Acacius of Constantinople and Martyrius of Jerusalem, the successor of Anastasius.

And they all, except the bishop of Rome, wrote synodical letters, and received Peter of Alexandria into their communion.

But certain zealous monks withdrew from Peter and became separatists, because he had received the Henotikon in which there was no express anathema of the Synod. And Peter thrust them out from their monasteries. Accordingly some of them went up to Zeno and persuaded him to send back with them Cosmas the Spatharius, to inquire into their matter; and at another time he sent Arsenius the prefect, and a prolonged dispute ensued.

These, indeed, are the matters which are written expressly in the twelve chapters of this fifth Book, which (so to speak) has been translated from the same Greek History of Zachariah, and has here been written in the Syriac language for the study and instruction of the diligent, that they may learn the events that occurred in former times.



When Timothy had completed eighteen years in banishment, and Leo the emperor was dead, and Zeno, his successor, had received the kingdom, the people of Alexandria, observing this crisis in imperial affairs, sent a petition by certain chosen, and (as we may say) illustrious and noble monks, among them Amon who was called the wild bull, and Paul who had been a |104 sophist, and Theorion and James the miracle-workers, and Theopompus the brother of the master of the offices.

However,1 in consequence of a rebellion that was raised against Zeno by Basiliscus, the brother of Verina the wife of Leo, who had been associated with Zeno in the command of the army in the days of Leo, Zeno had betaken himself to the strongholds called Salmon; and Basiliscus had assumed the crown. And he appointed Theoctistus his physician, an Alexandrian, the brother of this Theopompus the monk, as master of the offices.

Now2 when these monks entered into the royal presence, the king, and the courtiers, and the queen were struck with admiration of them. But also Theoctistus the master of the offices and Acacius the bishop rendered them assistance.

So Basiliscus issued an order that Timothy should return from banishment.

And at first Acacius was preparing a lodging for him at the church called Irene; and he was setting apart some of his own clergy for his retinue and service. But afterwards, because he thought that they were forming a plan to make Theopompus bishop at the royal city instead of him, Acacius was distressed and indignant; and he endeavoured to put a stop to Timothy's coming. However, he did not succeed. For he returned, and was welcomed with great state by the Alexandrian sailors and the people who happened to be then in Constantinople. And he went to lodge in the king's palace. And large numbers were coming to him to be blessed, and to be sanctified, and to receive healing from him. And becoming intimate both with Basiliscus and his wife, Timothy,3 along with those who happened to be there with him and on his behalf, persuaded the king, so that he consented to write encyclical letters, in which he would anathematise the Tome and the addition which was made at Chalcedon. For Paul the monk, who was a rhetorician and a sophist, drew them up. And it was he who, in a discussion with Acacius the patriarch, |105 was able to show that the heresies of Nestorius and Eutyches are one and the same; though they are generally thought to be diametrically opposed to each other. For the one, indeed, making objection declares that it would be a degradation to God to be born of a woman, and to be made in all points like as we are, by becoming partaker of flesh and blood; whereas He was only partaker by identity of name, and by power and indwelling, and by operation. But the other, indeed, for the purpose of liberating and exalting God, so that He should not suffer degradation and contempt by association with a human body, publishes the doctrine that He became incarnate from His own essence, and that He assumed a heavenly body; and that just as there is no part of the seal left upon the wax, nor of the golden signet upon the clay, so neither did there cleave to Christ any portion of humanity whatsoever.

And when he spoke in this way, Acacius was astonished at the solidity of his reasoning, and he assented and agreed. And he went to Timothy and conversed with him, in a friendly manner, respecting the rights of his see. However, when he was requested by Timothy to sign the Encyclical, he hesitated.



"The king Basiliscus, the believing, victorious, all-virtuous ruler, Augustus, along with Marcus the most illustrious Caesar, to Timothy the reverend and God-loving archbishop of the great city Alexandria. Concerning all the laws justly and righteously enacted by the believing and memorable kings who have gone before us, for the salvation and good guidance of all |106 the world, and in defence of the true faith as taught by the apostles and holy fathers ; it is our will that all these laws should be ratified, and not lightly annulled. Rather do we agree to them, and hold them to be of equal validity with our own.

"And earnestly desiring to honour the fear of God more than any affair of man, through zeal for the Lord Jesus Christ our God, to Whom we owe our creation, exaltation, and glory; moreover also, being fully persuaded that the unity of His flock is the salvation of ourselves and our people, and is the sure and immovable foundation, and the lofty bulwark of our kingdom ; we now, moved by a wise impulse, are bringing union and unity to the Church of Christ in every part of our dominion, namely, the faith of the three hundred and eighteen bishops, who being previously prepared by the Holy Ghost, assembled at Nicea, the security and well-being of human life, the faith which we hold, like all who have been before us, and in which we believe and are baptized, that it may hold and rule all the Churches with their chosen canons: the faith which is complete and perfect in all piety and true belief, and which rejects and exposes all heresies, and thrusts them out of the Church: the faith which the one hundred and fifty bishops, being assembled here to oppose and condemn the fighters against the Spirit, the Holy Lord confirmed, and with which they concurred and agreed : the faith which was also confirmed by the transactions of the two Councils at Ephesus, along with the chief priests of Rome and Alexandria, Celestine and Cyril, and Dioscorus, in condemnation of the heretic Nestorius, and all who after him have held similar opinions, and have confounded the order of the Church, and disturbed the peace of the world, and cleft asunder the unity; we mean the Tome of Leo, and the decrees of Chalcedon, whether by way of definition of the faith, or doctrine, or interpretation, or addition, or whatsoever other innovation was said or done contrary to the faith and the definition of the three hundred and eighteen.

"And therefore we command that wherever, here or elsewhere, such written doctrine be found, it shall be anathematised and burnt in the fire. For in accordance with this order, our |107 blessed predecessors in the kingdom, Constantine the Great and Theodosius, in like manner, commanded and ordained. And also, the three subsequent Synods, that of the one hundred and fifty bishops here, and the two of Ephesus, ratified only the faith of Nicea, and agreed to the true definition there made.

"Moreover, we anathematise everyone who does not confess that the only-begotten Son of God truly became incarnate by the Holy Ghost from the Virgin Mary; not taking a body from heaven, in mere semblance or phantasy. And also we anathematise all the false teaching of all those heresies which are contrary to the true faith of the fathers," and so on with the rest of the Encyclical.

To 5 this document Timothy agreed and subscribed ; as did also Peter of Antioch and Paul of Ephesus, who were recalled from banishment, and the bishops of Asia and the East, and Anastasius of Jerusalem, and those of his jurisdiction ; so that the number of bishops who subscribed to the Encyclical is found to be about seven hundred, less or more. And they anathematised the Tome of Leo and the Synod ; and they sent a petition to Basiliscus and Marcus, which was as follows:—



"To6 the believing, and Christ-loving, victorious kings Basiliscus and Marcus the Augusti—Paul and Pergamius, and Gennadius, and Zenodotus, and Zoticus, and Gennadius, and Theophilus, and the other bishops assembled at Ephesus:— |108 In all things ye have shown yourselves to be believing and Christ-loving beings; so that when the true faith suffered persecution by the malice of men, ye also were persecuted along with it. For there are rebellious and vainglorious men, of a corrupt mind, foolish and void of the faith of the Son of God, Who humbled Himself for our sake and became incarnate, and rendered us meet for the adoption of sons. Be glad, then, and rejoice, and exult, and glory that ye have been counted worthy to suffer persecution with the faith. For there is reserved for these men the everlasting judgment of fire which devours the persecutors, and also the threat of your punishment which is upon them; because they have despised us, and slandered and belied us, and forced us with violence to agree to their doctrine.

"But now that the light of the true faith has arisen upon us, and the dark cloud of error been rolled away from us, we make known by this declaration our true faith to your Majesties and to all the world. And we say that freely and with willing consent, by the aid of John the Evangelist as our teacher, we have signed this Encyclical; and we agree to it and to everything in it, without compulsion, or fear, or favour of man. And if at any future time violence shall meet us from man, we are prepared to despise fire and sword and banishment and the spoiling of our goods, and to treat all bodily suffering with contempt; so that we may adhere to the true faith. We have anathematised and we do anathematise the Tome of Leo and the decrees of Chalcedon ; which have been the cause of much blood-shedding, and confusion, and tumult, and trouble, and divisions, and strifes in all the world. For we are satisfied with the doctrine and faith of the apostles and of the holy fathers, the three hundred and eighteen bishops; to which also the illustrious Council of the one hundred and fifty in the Royal City, and the two other holy Synods at Ephesus adhered, and which they confirmed. And we join with them in anathematising Nestorius, and everyone who does not confess that the only-begotten Son of God was incarnate by the Holy Ghost, |109 of the Virgin Mary; He becoming perfect man, while yet He remained, without change and the same, perfect God ; and that He was not incarnate from Heaven in semblance or phantasy. And we further anathematise all other heresies." But they wrote down some other things. And they applauded with loud voice and approved.

But the other bishops also of the various districts wrote another declaration, the beginning of which was to this effect:

"With the consent of our heart, we hold your Majesties to be in such accord with our fathers, the three hundred and eighteen bishops, as to make the three hundred and nineteenth : for you are very zealous for their true faith, that it may prosper and be preached among all nations in your dominion."



When 7 the purport of the king's Encyclical letters became generally known, certain monks holding opinions similar to those of Eutyches, who happened to be in the Royal City, came in a body to Timothy, supposing him to be of their way of thinking, and disputed with him about the terms of the Encyclical; because it anathematised everyone who affirmed that Christ was incarnate in semblance. But when he said to them, "What then is your opinion respecting the Incarnation?" then they brought up to him the illustration of the signet-ring which, after the impression, leaves no part of its substance upon the wax or the clay.

And having discovered their sentiments, he admonished and instructed them, that the Scriptures teach us that Christ |110 was made in all points like unto us, and took our nature perfectly, yet without the motions of sin. And although He was born supernaturally without copulation, nevertheless He became perfect Man, having been conceived in the Virgin Mary, and from her born, through the Holy Ghost. And being incarnate He yet remained the same and without change in His Godhead.

Then Timothy, having learned by the whole tenor of the conversation of those who came to him what their mind was, made a written statement, declaring that Christ was like unto us in everything belonging to humanity. Whereupon the monks of the place separated themselves from him, saying, "We will have no communion with the Alexandrians."

But the others, having discovered that he had no tendency to the Eutychian doctrine, attached themselves to him.

Then the Eutychianists, joining with their fellows, advised Zenona, the wife of King Basiliscus, a professor of their creed, that Timothy should be banished again. However, Theoctistus, the master of the offices, having heard what was likely to befall him, urged him to leave the city and to proceed without delay to Alexandria. And8 he left; and having, on his journey, arrived at Ephesus, he convened a Synod, and he reinstated Paul who had formerly been the bishop there, but was in exile at that time for not accepting the decrees of Chalcedon. To him Timothy canonically restored the rights of his see, which the Council of Chalcedon had snatched from it, and had given by partiality to the throne of the royal city.

And Timothy arrived at Alexandria, and he was received with great state, with torches, and also songs of praise by the various people and languages there, and even by the members of the Proterian party, who beheld the affection for him displayed by the citizens. But the band of the priests, and the monks, and the sisters in Christ, and all the people in a body, chanting their hymns, and saying, "Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord," conducted him into the great church. For Timothy Salophaciolus had by the king's command gone out before him. |111 

And inasmuch as he was a peaceable and kind man, and also gentle in his words, and by no means passionate, he remitted to the members of the Proterian party the term of repentance, which he had written and appointed for the penitents when he was in banishment.

And even Prolatius (?) himself, who had taken and dragged him from the font of the Baptistery, he received just as kindly and peaceably as the others, weeping and comforting him as to his former rebellious and insolent conduct towards himself.

For, such is the rule of the leaders of the Church, which Timothy truly showed towards the many, that brotherly charity which seeks not her own, and is not easily provoked.

But certain persons, who were ignorant of the rights of divine love, severed themselves from him on account of his gentleness and mildness towards the penitents, in that he required nothing else from them except that they should anathematise the Synod and the Tome, and confess the true faith; and because he did not hold them aloof, even for a little while, from the communion which they had made desolate.

But at the head of these persons was Theodoret 9 the bishop of Joppa, who had been consecrated by Theodosius some time before. And he was then filled with envy because he had not also been received back again to his see. And, lo! the illustrious Peter the Iberian did not return to Gaza; and he did not at all agree with this faction, but he was warmly attached to Timothy, and he proved that his conduct and actions were in conformity with the will of God. But the Separatists who sided with Theodotus fell into such error that they even practised reanointing, and they were called Anachristo-Novatians.

But the affection of the people for Timothy being great was increased the more because, by the king's command, he brought the bones of Dioscorus and of Anatolius his brother, along with him, in a silver coffin, and he buried him with great state, laying him in the place of the bishops, and honouring |112 him as a confessor. But his charity was so profuse that of his own free will he appointed that one denarius a day should be given by the Church, for expenditure and use, to Timothy, who was deposed, and who had been since then supporting himself by the work of his hands, by weaving baskets and selling them.

And he gave to the great men and rulers of the city a gift, assigning to each of them three paxamatia apiece. And to King Basiliscus and to the patricians he only sent the same. And at one time the tax-gatherer came to him with a royal letter, and he gave him just the same; and he answered and said, "I want a gift of denarii." And he said, "It is the duty of the Church to expend them upon the widows and orphans."

But the people heard that the prefect there, Boetius by name, was an Eutychian ; and they cried out in the church, "Pope! pronounce an anathema upon Nestorius and Eutyches." And he at once anathematised them by word of mouth in the presence of the prefect. And thereby he was cleared from the suspicion of associating with the prefect as an Eutychian.

Such were the transactions at Alexandria.



But10 Acacius of Constantinople, having heard respecting Paul of Ephesus that the rightful authority of his see, according |113 to its former constitution, had been restored to him by Timothy; and further, that Peter had returned to Antioch ; and that they were preparing to hold a Synod against him at Jerusalem with the intention of deposing himself and appointing Theopompus, brother of the master of the offices, in his stead : he, having heard all this, stirred up the monks and urged them on, and brought down Daniel from the pillar, and took possession of the churches, and raised an insurrection against Basiliscus, declaring that he was a heretic. Whereupon Basiliscus, for the report reached him at the same time that Zeno was returning with a great army, was compelled to make the "Antencyclicals," by which he cancelled his former letter.

Then Zeno, upon his return, and the ejection of Basiliscus, passed a law whereby all the proceedings of Basiliscus were to be cancelled. He also deposed Peter of Antioch and Paul of Ephesus;11 and he uttered severe threats against Timothy. However, the latter died, departing to be with his Lord ; and he was buried with great state, the obsequies being performed by Peter, who was canonically consecrated as his successor by the bishops of the country.

But the bishops of Asia made a libel to Acacius, finding fault with the "Encyclicals"; and they subscribed to the Antencyclicals. In like manner also, the Eastern bishops made a libel to Calandion, Peter's successor, whereby they, too, anathematised the "Encyclicals."

But Anastasius of Jerusalem persevered in his integrity, holding with him the three provinces of Palestine; and he would not give himself over to this party, nor would he deny the Encyclicals ; although he freely associated with the bishops who came together to him.

In like manner also Epiphanius of Magdolum 12 of Pamphylia, impelled by the greatness of his soul, departed to Alexandria, and was sojourning in the monasteries there, and was honoured by Timothy and by his successor Peter.

But King Zeno was greatly enraged when he heard about Peter; and he sent threats of which Peter had previous |114 intimation, and he hid himself in the city by moving about from one house to another. But, by the command of King Zeno, Timothy Salophaciolus, who had been ejected, returned and took possession of the great church, and a tumult and slaughter ensued upon his entry there.

And Theoctistus, the prefect of the city, was searching for Peter to apprehend him, when a Voice was heard, saying,

"I will hide him, and I will protect him, because he has known My Name; he shall call upon Me, and I will answer him ; in the day of trouble I will sustain him, and I will honour him." 13

But Timothy exerted himself by all ways and means to keep the people on his side. He preached the faith of Nicea and of the one hundred and fifty; he confessed and agreed to the transactions of Ephesus; he anathematised Nestorius; and he wrote in the diptych the names of Cyril and Dioscorus, and read them out; and he did more besides, and yet he was unable to draw the people to himself.



And Martyrius of Jerusalem was also one of those who, following Anastasius his predecessor, separated himself from the Antencyclical, and exerted himself greatly to unite the people. And he gained over Marcianus, an excellent monk ; and this man received him, and admonished the other monks to do the same. But those who did not receive him he expelled. And they say that, after his death, one of his disciples, who was quite blind, prayed to God, saying, "If the doctrine of our master be indeed the right one, when I lay mine eyes upon his corpse, let them receive their sight" ; and he received his sight. |115 


"Christ is our peace, Who hath made both one, and has taken down the middle wall of partition, and has destroyed the enmity by His flesh. For, behold, the Church is receiving back her sons, who never, indeed, of their own accord, departed far from her! And now they have shown this to us by deed, and it is time for us to say, 'Glory to God in the highest, and peace upon earth.'

"Wherefore, to their face we the God-loving bishops have blamed these chaste archimandrites and the excellent clergy, in order in your presence to convince the rest of our brethren that we have no other true definition of the faith but that into which we have been and are being baptized. For thus have they been baptized, and believe as we do.

"Whosoever, then, holds or has held or learned doctrine contrary to this definition of the faith which was framed by the three hundred and eighteen holy fathers, the bishops assembled at Nicea; to which definition the one hundred and fifty believing and true bishops, assembled in the royal city, adhered, ratifying and confirming the same, as did also the Synod held in Ephesus: whosoever (I say) holds or has held or learned what is contrary to this definition, let him be accursed, if he have any other teaching or doctrine defined elsewhere, whether in Rimini, or in Sardica, or in Chalcedon, or in any other place whatsoever, according to the saying of the apostle, 'If any man preaches to you more than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.' "14

And again, the same Martyrius spoke in the following terms: "If any man teaches, or brings in as new, or thinks or interprets, or holds any other definition or faith contrary to this approved and orthodox doctrine of faith of the three hundred and eighteen holy bishops and the one hundred and fifty, and them of Ephesus, he is an alien to the holy Church. |116 

"And, behold, I adjure you in the sight of God and His Christ, and the Holy Spirit, and the elect angels, that you do not suffer any man to lead you astray from this faith! But the confession, signed with your own signatures, lo, it is recorded in Heaven above! And you shall give account before the fearful and righteous Judgment-Seat, if you accept anything more or less than the true faith. I am clear from your blood ; I have not desisted from speaking unto you."

By using language such as this, the bishops were admonishing those who separated from them.

But in Alexandria not one believer would consent to hold communion with Timothy and his followers.

Then the monks and certain learned and wise men took counsel together, and they made a supplication to the chiefs of the cities, begging of them that, in the event of the death of Timothy, they would not accept as bishop any other member of his party; but that they would only be satisfied with Peter the believer, who was the lawfully-appointed bishop, although he was then hidden in retirement. And 15 the partisans of Timothy having heard of this, drew up a petition and sent it to the king by John, a presbyter of the Martyr Church of St. John the Baptist, a monk, and also one of the Tabennesiots.16 And in it they besought the king that, in the event of the death of Timothy, none but a member of his party should be made bishop, and that the people of Alexandria should not receive Peter.

And when John was admitted into the presence of the king, the latter said to him, for the purpose of trying him, "We think it well that you should yourself be the bishop there." For the king had previously learned that he was in league with Julius17 the general, who, on account of his command over the king's army, was preparing an insurrection against the king, in conjunction with Leontius and Euprepius. |117 And John disclosed this to Julius; and he said to the king,

"I am not worthy." Then he told him to take counsel upon it. And when Julius heard it he said to him, "Conceal your feelings, and be careful not to disclose them before the king." Then he took an oath in the presence of Acacius and the senators that he would never be the bishop.

And the king issued an order, and gave it to John, to the effect that any brother whom the clergy and the people of the city might choose, should be the successor of Timothy.

But when he returned to the city, he delivered a letter from Julius to Theognostus the prefect there, who was one of the conspirators with Julius, and he promised that if he should become bishop he would give the royal vessels which Arcadius the king devoted to the sanctuary, and presented to Theophilus, who was the bishop at that time, and he built a church there and called it after his name.



After 18 a few more days of life only, Timothy died. Then John belied his own sworn promises, and gave a bribe to Theognostus, and obtained the bishopric for himself.

But he drew over to his side Cyrus a presbyter, one of those who had formerly been in association with Dioscorus, and had afterwards forsaken him. This man also coveting the primacy, at one time would attach himself to Acacius of Constantinople, and at another time to that Timothy who died; and again, he would mock and revile Timothy the Great and Peter his successor. So that the Alexandrians |118 used to ridicule him on account of his tergiversations, holding up unripe dates before him in the public street, and charging him with vile conduct in connexion with a married woman. The blessed Dioscorus cursed this man, asying, "As God is true, Cyrus will die a layman." And so, indeed, it happened to him, as is written below.

But the king, when he heard about John, was very indignant, because the latter had belied his sworn promises, and obtained the bishopric for himself.

But there were in Constantinople at that time some chosen monks who were pleading for Peter. And they showed him, by written documents respecting them, the sad afflictions which, time after time, had occurred in Alexandria, and in Egypt, and in the other adjacent districts, on account of the Synod, And the king acceded to their request, and he issued an order that John should be ejected from the see as a liar, and that Peter 19 should be restored to the Church, upon the condition of his subscribing to the Henotikon which Zeno wrote and sent there, and to Egypt, and to Pentapolis, and of his receiving and holding communion with all the other bishops who would agree to the Henotikon ; and, moreover, with those in Alexandria called Proterians, as many of them as would confess that they agreed to the doctrines of the Henotikon, which indeed was framed by the counsel of Acacius the bishop, and was sent to Alexandria in the charge of Pergamius, the newly-appointed prefect there in the room of Theognostus.

This Pergamius,20 upon his arrival at the city, managed the matter prudently. For having discovered that John had escaped by flight, he sought out Peter, and informed him of the king's order. And he showed him the Henotikon, saying, "You must, after having carefully studied it, subscribe and agree to it; and further, you must receive the bishops and the other members of the Proterian party without any animosity whatsoever, if only they agree to all that the king has laid down in the same Henotikon."

And Peter, having considered the contents of this document, found that its provisions were framed faithfully and with |119 all righteousness. But he hesitated somewhat, because there was no clear and express anathema of the Synod and the Tome in it, and consequently he feared that it might prove a stumbling-block to the people. However, he decided to accept it, inasmuch as it proclaimed the definition of the faith laid down by the three hundred and eighteen ; and it confessed the truth of the one hundred and fifty bishops; and it also agreed to the twelve Heads of Cyril; and it anathematised Nestorius and Eutyches ; and it also confessed that the body of Christ, derived from the Virgin, was of the same nature as our body. Accordingly he subscribed to it. And he also promised that, if the others would repent and accept all the provisions of the Henotikon, and persuade the people to that effect, he would receive them into communion with himself from all orders.

Then the prefect, and the duke, and the chief men, and the clergy, and the monks, and the sisters, and the believing people assembled together at the place where he was ; and they set him upon a chariot, and with pomp and praise as one who kept the true faith, and doing homage before him, they brought him to the great church. And Pergamius urged him to receive the other members of the Proterian party, But he first declared to the people the interpretation of the meaning of the Henotikon, and explained it, saying, "It is well and faithfully written, inasmuch as it accepts the twelve Heads of Cyril, and it anathematises Nestorius and Eutyches, and it confesses the body of Christ, derived from the Virgin, to be of the same nature as our body, and that the sufferings which He endured in the flesh, and the miracles which He wrought, belong to the same God Christ. And this document further cancels and condemns the whole doctrine of Chalcedon and the Tome, because Dioscorus and Timothy the Great also thought and expounded similarly."

And he delivered a further address to the people, to the following effect: "It is right for all of us, men, women, and children, to offer with the open mouth of thanksgiving, prayer, |120 and supplication to our Lord and God, on behalf of the faithful reign of the victorious King Zeno, whose noble actions and' virtuous morals are urging the prudent in every place to this. For when our fathers, the chaste monks, presented a petition to him concerning the reformation of the faith, and informed him of the occurrences here, and of the tumults from which our people had suffered time after time; then he wept, and he looked up to heaven, and called God to help him, and to put it into his heart to command whatever would be in conformity with the divine will, and would conduce to the welfare of men and the unity of the people, by exerting himself to abolish the stumbling-blocks which were in all the Churches, on account of all the rash innovations and additions which were made at Chalcedon.21

"And now, beloved children, we have the light of the true faith of the holy fathers in this written statement of his Orthodoxy, which will now be read aloud in your presence, and heard by your ears. For by confessing herein the true faith, and accepting the twelve Heads of the blessed Cyril, and anathematising Nestorius and Eutyches, and proclaiming that God the Word, Who became incarnate, is one nature, sufferings and miracles; by all this he rejects the whole teaching of the Diphysites. For their doctrine and that of the Tome is quite the opposite of this; and against them our holy fathers, Dioscorus and Timothy, true witnesses of Christ, earnestly contended.

"But pray for him, that the Lord may keep him in the true proportion of his love and faith. For we trust, by the mercy of Christ our God, that when your praises and prayers are heard, we shall not fail to obtain any of those other petitions which we are rightly asking of Him ; but that He may freely receive your supplication and grant your requests."22

"Hear this honourable document, the Henotikon, which |121 he faithfully ordained, and which will now be read in your presence."



"Imperial23 Caesar, Zeno the king, believing, victorious, triumphant, mighty, ever-worshipful, Augustus, to the bishops and the people in Alexandria, and in Egypt, and in Libya, and also in Pentapolis. Since we know that the origin and stability and invincible might of our empire is the only right and true faith, which, by Divine Inspiration the three hundred and eighteen holy fathers in Council at Nicea declared, and which in like manner the one hundred and fifty holy fathers gathered at Constantinople, attested: We, by night and by day, employ constant prayers, and diligence, and enactments, that thereby the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church in every place, which is the incorruptible and imperishable mother of the sceptre of our kingdom, may be increased. That thus the believing people, being kept in godly peace and concord, may offer up, in conjunction with the pious and holy bishops, and the God-fearing clergy, and the archimandrites and monks, acceptable prayers on behalf of our empire. For if the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ, Who became incarnate from Mary the holy Virgin and Theotokos, shall approve and readily receive our unanimous praise and service, the race of enemies shall be destroyed and obliterated ; and all men will bow the neck to our sway, which is next to that of God ; and then peace, and its consequent blessings, and genial temperature, and abundance of fruits, and all those things which are adapted for man's good, shall be liberally granted. This unblemished faith, then, being thus the preserver of ourselves and of the Roman affairs, petitions have been presented to us |122 by God-loving archimandrites and other hermits entreating us with tears that there may be unity to the Holy Churches ; and that the limbs may be joined together which the haters of good have for a long time been striving to separate; because they knew that when one makes war with the whole and perfect body of the Church he is defeated.

"For it has happened that of the generations without number which Time, during these many years of life, has removed ; some, deprived of the Laver of Regeneration, have passed away; and others, without participation in the divine Communion, have been carried off by the inevitable journey of mankind. And they have been wasted by myriads of murders; and through the profuse blood-shedding, not the earth alone, but even the very air itself has been defiled. Who would not pray that this state of things may be exchanged for a good one ? For which reason, then, we desired you to know that both we and the holy Churches of the orthodox everywhere, and the God-loving priests who rule them, neither hold, nor have held, nor know any man holding, any other symbol, or doctrine, or seal of the faith, or creed, than that which we have mentioned above, the holy symbol of the three hundred and eighteen holy fathers, which was also attested by the one hundred and fifty holy fathers who met in Council here. And if there be any man holding such, we account him an alien. For, as we have already said, we are confident that this only preserves our kingdom; and also all people who are counted worthy of life-giving Baptism are baptized upon the simple reception of this creed alone. And, moreover, all the holy fathers, who met in Council at Ephesus, and deposed the wicked Nestorius and all his successors in doctrine, followed the same faith.

"This Nestorius, together with Eutyches, inasmuch as they held doctrines contrary to what have been here declared, we anathematise. And we also receive the twelve Heads delivered by the ever-memorable. God-loving Cyril, formerly archbishop of the Catholic Church of Alexandria. But we confess that the only-begotten Son of God, Himself God, |123 our Lord Jesus Christ, Who truly became man; He Who is of the same nature with the Father in the Godhead ; He Who is also of the same nature with us in the manhood; He Who came down and assumed flesh, through the Holy Ghost, and from Mary the Virgin and Theotokos,— is one Son and not two. For we affirm that the miracles which He wrought, and the sufferings which He freely endured in the flesh, belong to one Son of God alone. Moreover, we altogether reject those who either divide or confound, or introduce the phantasy. For the true and sinless Incarnation from the Theotokos did not cause the addition of a Son. For the Trinity remained even though God the Word, Who is one of the Trinity, became incarnate.

"Since, then, you know that both the Holy Orthodox Churches everywhere and the God-loving priests who rule them, and our own Royalty, neither have received nor do receive any other symbol or definition of the faith than the holy doctrine which has been declared above; be united together without doubting. For we have written this, not to make any innovation in the faith, but to assure you.

"And here we anathematise all who have held, or hold, now or at any time, whether in Chalcedon or in any other Synod whatsoever, any different belief; but chiefly those already mentioned, Nestorius and Eutyches and all their followers in the doctrine.

"Be joined, then, to your spiritual mother, the Church, and delight in her, together with us, in divine fellowship, according to that one definition of the faith alone which was framed by the holy fathers, as we have declared above. For our all-holy mother, the Church, longs for you, that she may embrace you as beloved children. And, for a considerable time, she has been eager to hear your sweet voice.

"Hasten, therefore! For by so doing you will attract to yourselves the goodwill of our God and Saviour Christ; and you will also be commended by our own Royalty." |124 



These matters having been thus transacted, some of the more ardent spirits were very indignant; because in the king's document, the Henotikon, there was no express anathema of the additions imposed at Chalcedon. However, they all remained in communion with Peter because he defended himself before them ; and especially as he said, "The king will not fail us in any of the requests that we shall make to him."

Then the rest of the Proterians, seeing how matters were, went off to a suburb of the city, called Canopus, and they kept crying out evil words. However, they were feeble and few, and at their head were some readers, and Cyrus the presbyter, concerning whom we have already stated that he was at one time a follower of Dioscorus, but he afterwards deserted him. Pergamius, hearing of this secession, sent for Cyrus to have a conversation with him. And the latter agreed to do what he was asked. So when he returned to them, he pleaded earnestly with his companions at Canopus, saying, "It is right for us to join in fellowship with the others, and to obey the king's command." But the zealous and believing priests who were on Peter's side, hearing about it, were greatly distressed. And they refused to hold communion with Cyrus. And although they received a large number of his associates upon their subscribing to the Henotikon, and anathematising everyone who thought differently from what was in it; yet they refused Cyrus himself. And even when he subscribed they would not have him. For they said to |125 Pergamius that the very sight of him would be enough to bring his deeds into the remembrance of the people, and to put a stumbling-block in the way of many. So Cyrus remained a layman ; and thus he died, according to the curse of the holy Dioscorus.

Then they were all associated in fellowship with Peter and Peter the Iberian, wonderfully celebrated, and the able monk Isaiah, and the other Palestinians, certain blessed monks of the monasteries of Romanus and Theodore.

And Peter, the bishop of Alexandria, sent Paul, surnamed Arcadius, to the king about certain matters of one kind and another that required correction.

But John,24 who had been bishop, went off to Rome; and there, with tears, he told Simplicius the patriarch what had befallen him ; alleging that he continued in danger for the sake of the Synod and the Tome. Whereupon the king, hearing of it, wrote a letter and sent it to the same Simplicius by the hand of Uranius the tax-gatherer, in which he set forth to him all the wickedness and lying treachery of John, and declared that by his own command Peter had been appointed bishop there in Alexandria, with the object of bringing the people into one communion.

But Calandion 25 of Antioch, having heard about the Alexandrian affairs, was much distressed, and wrote letters to Acacius, and to Zeno the king, and to Simplicius of Rome, in which he called Peter a false teacher,26 and he praised the Tome and the Synod. But he was closely attached to Nestorius, because in his letter he called Cyril a fool.27

However, as he took the side of Julius, and Leontius, and Euprepius, in the rebellion which they eventually raised against Zeno the king in the East, he was ejected from his place. And by the king's commands, Peter, who had once and |126 twice contended and suffered on behalf of the true faith, was restored to his see. And the people of Antioch received him with great pomp and glory as Simon Peter. Then he convened the Synod of his province, and he healed and closed the divisions, and set matters right. The Synod also, which he convened, drew up a letter of fellowship in canonical fashion, and sent it to Peter of Alexandria. It was to the following effect:—



"To our Father, the God-loving, holy, Archbishop Peter, from the Synod now convened at Antioch.

"Just as Joshua the son of Nun, the leader of the host, and invested with the mysteries of Jesus Christ our God, showed care and solicitude for the possession and rights of the tribes of Reuben, and Gad, and Manasseh ; when, according to the command of Moses, who delivered to him the leadership, they in conjunction with their brethren crossed the Jordan armed, and entered the land of promise to possess it ; and continued to help in the war until God caused their brethren, like themselves, to rest in peace there: in like manner we judge it to be the endeavour of thine Excellency, O bishop, that we also, being the bishops from Arabia and Libanus of Phoenice, and Syria Secunda, and Euphratesia, and Cilicia, should come to Antioch armed, until our Eastern brethren shall possess the inheritance of their Churches from God. But how, after the troubles and conflicts that have befallen us, |127 we are earnestly desirous of peace; and how, by the letters of the indulgent king, we have been now called to meet at Antioch ; thy son the beloved and illustrious Uranius the tax-gatherer will tell thee. For he, in the execution of the king's will and command, communicated and showed to us the letter sent by him to thy Holiness, and to the chaste monks, and to the believing people.

"But we, having met together and been received with the rights of divine love by our believing father Peter the patriarch, who showed us kindness and meekness with prudence, were in concord with him in all matters and he with us ; and we joined in fellowship one with the other in spiritual ministration. We were honoured also by the citizens, who met and welcomed him with joy and gladness, and with ministering praise; and extolled him as Peter Kepho our leader the Apostle. And, moreover, we heard about the transactions in the royal city, how, from the jurisdiction of the holy Archbishop Acacius, they had met together by the king's command ; and about their unity with him and with one another; and how he wrote to thy Blessedness, showing and explaining the will of the believing king; and that the contents of his excellent document the Henotikon were in complete accord with the faith of the holy fathers of Nicea; in which also the one hundred and fifty assembled in the royal city concurred ; and which was confirmed by the Council of Ephesus in the days of Celestine and Cyril ; the latter of whom also in the twelve Heads exposed and anathematised all the false doctrine of Nestorius and Eutyches, and the other heresies.

"These things, indeed, brought the Egyptians into full accord with the Easterns, or rather, we should say, with all who in every place are devoted to peace, and who love unity and the true faith.

"And we believe and are confident that the diligence and prayers of Thy Holiness have tended to bring about this happy result for the believing people everywhere, by the will of our Lord and Brother Jesus Christ, Whom we beseech to |128 preserve for us the life of thy Chastity, prospering in all virtue, and rejoicing in the Lord at what was done here upon the return of thine honourable brother our chaste father, through the diligence of this thy son Uranius, whom we commend to thy godly love, that thou mayest write and send thanks to the believing king. For he is indeed serving him with all his might, by carrying out his command, and earnestly endeavouring to promote the unity of the Churches of Christ, and to impart peace to His beloved sons."



Acacius, indeed, desisting from his former mind, which was in favour of the Synod, and connecting himself in loving agreement with the principles of the Henotikon, also wrote a letter to Peter of Alexandria in the following terms:—

"To our pious and God-loving fellow-minister and brother Peter, Acacius sends greeting. The very name of peace, indeed, is delightful ; but its effect is very sweet. For when, in accordance with the unity and the faith of the Church, it is perfected, it imparts the more abundant grace to the prudent, and works in them joy, for it announces great things.

"Now we were blest with such joy as this in the congregations of our own city, when reports reached us respecting thy faith, which troubled us. And, moreover, they produced agitation and distress among many of the chaste monks here, and the people, and our excellent clergy. However, thine honoured letter, having been conveyed and delivered to us and to the illustrious chiefs here, exposed the entire falsehood of the rumour respecting thee, and rolled away the darkness of the cloud, and displayed the brilliancy and the purity of thy godly virtues. So that it is now time for us to |129 say, 'Glory to God in the highest.' For it is producing and manifesting the peace, which is in the land of our faith, and the goodwill amongst the men of our great God and Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ. And, therefore, that glory of which the angels from heaven in their companies were the first to sing in the ears of the shepherds over the earth, at Bethlehem, that same glory the shepherds and leaders of the sheep, His people, being joined together hand in hand in their union and concord, now ascribe in their song of praise to our Lord God, Who is the true Head and Shepherd of the flock.

"But also the triumphant Star of Christ from the East is now the believing and God-fearing king.

"And just as that star guided those of old to Christ our God, that they might repair to the cave and offer gifts for the honour of His worship ; so he also now has manifested and caused to shine forth the splendour of the true faith to the whole cave of his dominion. And he has also taken down the middle wall of partition that divided and cleft asunder the unity of the members of the holy Church; thereby making them grow into a perfect man of complete stature. So that he has displayed the body in one Person and figure, and he has made of two one. For we understand also from the thankful letter of thy Holiness that he too like David, in prophesying and in reigning, has now slain Goliath in the field with the Cross alone ; and having smitten the evil one as with a sling, he has overthrown and destroyed him by his faithful letter which he wrote ; and by the true sword of the Spirit which he displayed, he has cut off and taken away those heresies and stumbling-blocks which are the very heads of the Dragon ; whom also having overthrown, he has thrust into outer darkness, and has bound and imprisoned him in the lower parts of the earth.

"Accordingly Jerusalem above, the mother of the firstborn, shall rejoice, and also in her daughters the Churches she shall exult and sing, giving praise to God. with prayer for |130 the triumph of the king, and saying, 'Glory be to the Most High Lord, Who is greatly to be praised.' For we also were amazed at the triumph of God, when we learned from thy letter that the Henotikon, which in our own presence was despatched to thy Holiness by the hands of Pergamius, had reached thee, and that thou hast agreed to it. And we exult in thy faith, and we pray that the Lord may preserve for us the life of this believing king who has united us to the truth. And now I, and those who are with me, sending greetings to thy Chastity, and to the excellent clergy, and to the chaste monks, and to the believing people, have written this letter of reply."

The end of the letter of Acacius of Constantinople.



"Martyrius of Jerusalem — to the pious and Christ-loving chief priest, my lord, and brother, and fellow-minister Peter.

"It is time for us now to say, like the prophet, 'I praise Thee, O Lord God ; and I glorify Thy Name: for Thou hast done marvellous things ; for Thy will is true of old. Amen, O Lord!'30 For our mouth is filled with gladness and our tongue with praise ; because we have certainly seen the heart of the king in the Hand of the Lord, fulfilling His will in truth continually; and he has united again the severed members.

"And now that we have received thine Affection's reply, our people join with this prophet in crying aloud, 'Lift |131 up thine eyes round about thee, and behold thy children gathering together unto thee.'31 For which blessing, as is right, we exult; and we greet thy Holiness in the Lord. And, singing psalms with the prophet David, we say, 'May the Lord increase you more and more, you and your children ; blessed are ye of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.'32 I and those who are with me, send our best respects in the Lord also to the priests who are with thy Chastity, and to the believing people, and to the pious monks."

The end of this letter of Martyrius of Jerusalem.

[Note to the online edition: footnotes have been moved to the end.  Footnotes concerned only with bits of Syriac and Greek have been omitted because of the time it would take to transcribe it.]

1. 1 Evag. iii. 3.

2. 4 Evag. iii. 4.

3. 5 Evag. iii. 4.

4. 1 Evag. iii. 4.

5. 1 Evag. iii. 5 ; Liberat. 16. 

6. 3 Evag. iii. 5.

7. 3 Evag. iii. 5.

8. 2 Evag. iii. 6.

9. 1 Evidently a mistake for Theodotus ; see below, and Evag. iii. 6.

10. 5 Evag. iii. 7.

11. 1 The text has, "Paul of Antioch and Peter of Ephesus," an evident mistake.

12. 2 I.e. Magyda.

13. 1 Ps. xci. 14, 15.

14. 4 Gal. 1. 8, 9.

15. 2 Evag. iii. 12 ; Liberat. 16.

16. 3 ... MS.; but in Das Leben des Severus (ed. Spanuth), p. 6, it is written [Syriac], and said to be the name of a monastery situated in Canopus.—"Presbyter Tabennesiotis" (Lib.).

17. 4 I.e. Illus.

18. 2 Evag. ii. 12 ; Liberat. 17.

19. 1 Liberat. 18.

20. 2 Evag. iii. 13.

21. 2 The rendering of this passage is somewhat conjectural, owing to defects in the MS.

22. 3 Or, "when the report of your praises and prayers reaches him, he will not fail us in any of the other things which we justly ask from him, but will readily receive your petition and grant your requests."

23. 1 Evag. iii. 14; Liberat. 17.

24. 2 Evag. iii. 15 ; Liberat. 18.

25. 5 Evag. iii. 16; Liberat. 18.

26. 6 Literally, "an adulterer" ; perhaps it is intended to express illegal occupation of the see.

27. 7 See Mansi, vol. iv. p. 893.

28. 1 Cf. Evag. iii. 16.

29. 3 Cf. Evag. iii. 16.

30. 4 Isa. xxv. 1.

31. 1 Isa. lx. 4.

32. 2 Ps. cxv. 14, 15.

This text was transcribed by Roger Pearse, Ipswich, UK, 2002.  All material on this page is in the public domain - copy freely.
Greek text is rendered using the Scholars Press SPIonic font, free from here.

Early Church Fathers - Additional Texts