John of Ephesus, Ecclesiastical History, Part 3 -- Book 4
THE loss of most of the first five chapters of the fourth book of John's history has deprived us of the prefatory matter respecting the persons employed in the mission for the conversion of Nubia, and probably of several details respecting the church of Alexandria, which had long been the head quarters of the Monophysites; as also concerning its patriarch Theodosius, who was deposed for belonging to this heresy, but survived for a period of rather more than thirty-one years, during which he still administered the affairs of his party, and directed the consecration of new priests and bishops, as occasion required. In the discharge of these duties he was subsequently joined by Paul, patriarch of Antioch, whose fortunes and flight to the court of Harith, father of Mondir, have been detailed above. [IV. 5.] In the latter years, however, of Theodosius' life, as on account of his great age and feebleness he was unable to stand at the consecration of the Eucharist, a priest, named Longinus, was appointed, at his request, to officiate in his stead, and did so during the rest of his life. And it was this Longinus who was finally appointed by him bishop of the Nobadae 1, upon their conversion to Christianity, under the following circumstances; |251
[IV. 6] Among the clergy in attendance upon pope Theodosius, was a presbyter named Julianus, an old man of great worth, who conceived an earnest spiritual desire to christianize the wandering people who dwell on the eastern borders of the Thebais beyond Egypt, and who are not only not subject to the authority of the Roman empire, but even receive a subsidy on condition that they do not enter nor pillage Egypt. The blessed Julianus, therefore, being full of anxiety for this people, went and spoke about them to the late queen Theodora 2, in the hope of awakening in her a similar desire for their conversion ; and as the queen was fervent in zeal for God, she received the proposal with joy, and promised to do every thing in her power for the conversion of these tribes from the errors of idolatry. In her joy, therefore, she informed the victorious king Justinian of the purposed undertaking, and promised and anxiously desired to send the blessed Julian thither. But when the king heard that the person she intended to send was opposed to the council of Chalcedon, he was not pleased, and determined to write to the bishops of his own side in the Thebais, with orders for |252 them to proceed thither and instruct them, and plant among them the name of the synod. And as he entered upon the matter with great zeal, he sent thither, without a moment's delay, ambassadors with gold and baptismal robes, and gifts of honour for the king of that people, and letters for the duke of the Thebais, enjoining him to take every care of the embassy, and escort them to the territories of the Nobadae. When, however, the queen learnt these things, she quickly, with much cunning, wrote letters to the duke of the Thebais, and sent a mandatory of her court to carry them to him; and which were as follows : 'Inasmuch as both his majesty and myself have purposed to send an embassy to the people of the Nobadae, and I am now despatching a blessed man named Julian; and further my will is, that my ambassador should arrive at the aforesaid people before his majesty's; be warned, that if you permit his ambassador to arrive there before mine, and do not hinder him by various pretexts until mine shall have reached you, and have passed through your province, and arrived at his destination, your life shall answer for it; for I will immediately send and take off your head.' Soon after the receipt of this letter the king's ambassador also came, and the duke said to him, 'You must wait a little, while we look out and procure beasts of burden, and men who know the deserts; and then you will be able to proceed.' And thus he delayed him until the arrival of the merciful queen's embassy, who |253 found horses and guides in waiting, and the same day, without loss of time, under a show of doing it by violence, they laid hands upon them, and were the first to proceed. As for the duke, he made his excuses to the king's ambassador, saying, 'Lo! when I had made my preparations, and was desirous of sending you onward, ambassadors from the queen arrived, and fell upon me with violence, and took away the beasts of burden I had got ready, and have passed onward. And I am too well acquainted with the fear in which the queen is held, to venture to oppose them. But abide still with me, until I can make fresh preparations for you, and then you also shall go in peace.' And when he heard these things, he rent his garments, and threatened him terribly, and reviled him; and after some time he also was able to proceed, and followed the other's track, without being aware of the fraud which had been practised upon him.
[IV. 7.] The blessed Julian, meanwhile, and the ambassadors who accompanied him, had arrived at the confines of the Nobadae, whence they sent to the king and his princes, informing him of their coming : upon which an armed escort set out, who received them joyfully, and brought them into their land unto the king. And he too received them with pleasure, and her majesty's letter was presented, and read to him, and the purport of it explained. They accepted also the magnificent honours sent them, and the numerous baptismal robes, and every thing else richly provided for |254 their use. And immediately with joy they yielded themselves up, and utterly abjured the error of their forefathers, and confessed the God of the Christians, saying, 'that He is the one true God, and there is no other beside Him.' And after Julian had given them much instruction, and taught them, he further told them about the council of Chalcedon, saying, that 'inasmuch as certain disputes have sprung up among Christians touching the faith; and the blessed Theodosius being required to receive the council, and having refused, was ejected by the king from his throne, whereas the queen received him and rejoiced in him, because he stood firm in the right faith, and left his throne for its sake: on this account her majesty has sent us to you, that ye also may walk in the ways of pope Theodosius, and stand in his faith, and imitate his constancy. And moreover the king has sent unto you ambassadors, who already are on their way in our footsteps.' They then instructed them how they should receive them, and what answer they should give : and when every thing was fully settled, the king's ambassador also arrived. And when he had obtained an audience, he also gave the king the letters and presents, and began to inform and tell him, according to his instructions, as follows: 'The king of the Romans has sent us to you, that in case of your becoming Christians, you may cleave to the church and those who govern it, and not be led astray after those who have been expelled from it.' And |255 when the king of the Nobadae and his princes heard these things, they answered them, saying, 'The honourable present which the king of the Romans has sent us we accept, and will also ourselves send him a present. But his faith we will not accept: for if we consent to become Christians, we shall walk after the example of pope Theodosius, who, because he was not willing to accept the wicked faith of the king, was driven away by him and expelled from his church. If, therefore, we abandon our heathenism and errors, we cannot consent to fall into the wicked faith professed by the king.' In this manner then they sent the king's messengers away, with a written answer to the same effect. As for the blessed Julian, he remained with them for two years, though suffering greatly from the extreme heat. For he used to say that from nine o'clock until four in the afternoon he was obliged to take refuge in caverns, full of water, where he sat undressed and girt with a linen garment, such as the people of the country wear. And if he left the water his skin, he said, was blistered by the heat. Nevertheless, he endured it patiently, and taught them, and baptized both the king and his nobles, and much people also. He had with him also a bishop from the Thebais, an old man, named Theodore 3, and after giving them instruction and setting things in order, he |256 delivered them over to his charge, and himself departed, and arrived in safety at Constantinople, where he was most honourably received by the queen. And to her he related many wonderful particulars concerning that numerous people, but they are too long for us to write, nor can we spare space for more than we have already inserted.
[IV.8] The chief charge of the new converts was vested in Theodosius, as being patriarch of Alexandria; nor were they forgotten by him: for on the very day of his departure from this world he had them in his memory, and especially because the blessed Julian their teacher had died but a very short time before, and also because her late majesty, the queen Theodora, had given orders that the excellent Longinus should be made bishop there, as being an earnest man admirably adapted to convert and establish them in the doctrines of Christianity. Immediately therefore after the pope's decease, Longinus was consecrated bishop of those parts, and made ready to proceed thither. But scarcely had he embarked his goods on board ship, when men were found, such as those of whom it is written, that 'their teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword,' [Psalm lvii. 4.] who went and told the king, that 'Longinus, the enemy of our palace, has been made bishop, and has embarked his goods on board ship, ready to start. And should he go, for he is a passionate man, and arrive among that people in safety, he will immediately stir them up to |257 make war upon and pillage the territory of the Romans. Give orders therefore for his immediate arrest.' When the king heard these things, he was stirred up to anger, and gave orders for his arrest, and had his baggage removed from the vessel. Thus then he was not permitted to depart, and three years passed by, during which he was waiting for an opportunity; and finally, as he was aware that he was watched, and would not be permitted to leave, he disguised himself, and put a wig on his head,----for he was very bald;----and taking with him two servants, he fled, and God delivered him, and caused him to arrive in safety at that land. And there he was magnificently received, and great joy testified at his coming: and immediately he began to instruct them afresh, and enlighten them, and teach them. And next he built them a church, and ordained clergy, and taught them the order of divine service, and all the ordinances of Christianity. But when the king heard of his flight he was very angry, and gave directions that the ferries over the sea should be all occupied, and the roads watched, and letters written to the provinces; but all proved to no purpose. Longinus meanwhile prevailed upon the king of that people to send an ambassador to the king of the Romans with presents, and gifts of honour. And on his arrival, he had an audience, and was honourably received in the presence of myself and the rest of the court, and spake highly of Longinus, saying, 'Though we |258 were Christians in name, yet we did not really know what Christianity was until Longinus came to us.' And much more he related, greatly to his honour; but the king retained a bitter feeling against him, though he said nothing.
[IV. 9.] After Longinus had passed a space of five years, more or less, in Nubia, Satan, who envies everything that is good, contrived a device for driving him away from thence, and producing by his means ruin and schism and disruption in the church. He stirred up therefore Theodosius, the archpresbyter of the clergy at Alexandria, and Theodore, his sister's son, who held the office of archdeacon, to write letters to him, inviting him to quit Nubia, and journey to the suburbs of Alexandria to consecrate for them a pope, and so benefit the church----an act which was the beginning of much mischief and schism. When then Longinus received these letters, he was stirred up, and burnt with earnest zeal; and, despising all danger of death, began to make preparations for his journey, and for fulfilling what was enjoined in the letters. But when the king and his nobles learnt these things, they assembled, and tried to prevent him from leaving them. But he shewed them the letters, saying, 'The business for which I am commanded to set out upon this journey is one for the common good of the whole church, and I cannot therefore refuse to go.' And they still tried to prevail upon him, and lamented and wept, saying, 'Once again, as before your arrival, we shall be left like orphans without a |259 father.' But finally, with much sorrow and bitter lamentation, they let him go, and provided him with means for his journey. He started therefore, and went first to Theodore, the venerable bishop of Philae, in the further Thebais, and shewed him the letters, and took counsel with him as to what was therein written, requesting him, if it were possible, to accompany him on his journey. But he could not, from his extreme old age; for it was now nearly fifty years since he had been made a bishop by Timotheus 4, the predecessor of the blessed Theodosius: nevertheless he entirely agreed with the purport of the letters, and drew up a mandate appointing Longinus to act as his proxy, and certifying His consent to whatever he did. Thus encouraged, Longinus proceeded on his journey, and arrived at the place in the Mareotis indicated to him in the letters; and now it became a matter of deliberation what he should do next, for he was alarmed and afraid, lest the news should get abroad of his having entered the Roman territories after escaping from surveillance, and orders be given for his arrest; in which case he would die a painful death: and at this his heart was terrified.
[IV.10.] Now it so chanced that about this time two bishops, John of the monastery of Marbas, and George Eurtoyo 5, of whom the latter had just |260 been consecrated, but not yet permitted to perform episcopal functions, had been sent by the synod of the East to Longinus, and to the above-named Theodore of Philae, to consult them respecting the reception of Paul 6, patriarch of Antioch, into the church after his temptation and flight; and to learn whether they consented to admit him once again to communion and union. While, however, they were making their preparations to proceed up the Nile on their journey, they learnt that Longinus had left his |261 see, and come down to Egypt: and following in his track, as hearsay guided them, they at length found him in Libya, outside Alexandria, in a place called Mareotis. And he received them with joy, and on reading their letters, he was glad, and said, 'God has happily brought you hither, chiefly that you may give us a helping hand in the establishment of the church. For this is the purpose for which I also, being invited by letter, have travelled to this place from a distant land, in order that there may be a patriarch of Alexandria.' And they said, 'But how can we make a patriarch without the command of our own patriarch? If therefore this is your wish, let him by all means be found, for he is not far off; and we will go and bring him.' After much discussion, therefore, they went and brought into Libya Paul the patriarch from some place, as was said, in the neighbourhood, where he was dwelling disguised as a Roman. And on their return, they found Longinus actively engaged in going from place to place in search of a fit person for the office of archbishop. And on joining him, they travelled in his company to the desert of the hermits, beyond the blessed Mar Minas 7, to a place called Rhamnis; and they |262 found the abbot there to be a most excellent man, named Theodore, by birth a Syrian; and to him they addressed themselves, begging him to yield himself up, and consent to be made pope of Alexandria. But he, on hearing the proposal, was terrified, and refused, and fled from it, even taking solemn oaths, and condemning himself utterly, should he consent: but on their threatening him with excommunication if he persisted in his refusal, he was forced by violence, against his will, weeping and lamenting, to consent to their request: and thereupon, Longinus |263 and the two other bishops consecrated him, Paul, as they affirmed on oath, not being near, nor taking part in his ordination, because at present he was not absolved from his fall, nor admitted back into communion. But though unable to take part in any other way in his ordination, he subsequently gave it his approbation, and received him, and communicated with him, and, as was said, they even addressed a synodical letter to one another, as patriarchs respectively of An-tioch and Alexandria. And when now all imagined that, in accordance with the canons, they had performed a great work for the union and establishment of the church of Syria and |264 Alexandria, because the bishop was made without the knowledge of the Alexandrians,----a thing which justice forbade,----it proved the ruin of them all, and of the whole church of the East, and of the Egyptians; and a source of trial and confusion and quarrels, and schisms, and divisions, and the cause both of manifold evils to themselves personally and individually, and a pretext to the savage people of Alexandria for giving way to excessive and unrestrained fierceness and barbarity.
[IV. 11.] For when the Alexandrians received the letters of Longinus, and of the bishops who were with him, and subsequently of Theodore himself, giving an account of all they had done, and informing them that Theodore was their patriarch; and when further, as in duty bound, he addressed to them his synodic letter, chiefly to assure them of his soundness in the faith, but also containing such other matters as were fitting for him to write to his church; and among them an apology, in which he alleged his fear of the authorities, and of there being a disturbance, as his reason for not having come in person to their city, that every thing might be done in canonical order, and with their consent and decree; ---- when the chiefs, I say, of the clergy, whose names have been given above, and the rest, heard these things, they were greatly excited and agitated and enraged at every thing that had been done: and stirred up and inflamed the other clergy to the like fury and savage |265 violence against Longinus and Theodore, and even more fiercely against Paul, on whose account especially it was that they spurned and reviled and rejected the rest, and cried out both in the church and city against them in a disgraceful and disorderly manner, saying, 'Let us at once assemble without delay, and make us here a pope of our own selves.' At length they proposed the name of a certain Andronicus, whom we have once before mentioned 8. But in this their real purpose, as was said, was, that they might have full and unlimited power over the revenues of the church of Alexandria. When, however, they became aware that neither the clergy nor the laity would be content with him, because report said that a devil a short time before had appeared unto him; and as he himself now gave signs of declining the appointment, having fallen from their hope of electing one of themselves, they next fell upon the abominable artifice of nominating a contemptible and inefficient man, intending that he should possess nothing more than the name and dress, being prevented by his ignorance and simplicity from taking part in the administration of |266 the revenues, and those other duties which befit so princely an office: for they supposed that they could command, and turn him about and manage him as they chose, while he would not be able to command them. And this plan they succeeded in effecting: for they chose a simple and ignorant old man, named Peter, who belonged to the ordinary class of deacons, and who had been one of the companions of the blessed Theodosius in his exile, and proposed him as bishop. And on their determining to appoint him, only one bishop, a certain John, could be found to consecrate him, and even he was himself waiting his trial for some canonical offence. And when they knew not what to do next, two foreign bishops arrived, who had lately been consecrated for the church of Syria by the blessed Jacob, and who, it so happened, both bore the same name of Antoninus; and on them they laid violent hands, and made them consecrate the deacon Peter as bishop, though there was at the time another in possession of the throne, and they had themselves received his synodic letters. And without examination and trial, as order and the canons command, or making inquiry whether his appointment had been conducted in a proper manner, and according to the canons, or in violation of them, they were roused to bitter anger, and iniquitous contrivances; for their wrath led them into a course marked by savage violence and barbarous fury. And thus they made and appointed a second bishop upon the same throne from their |267 hatred to the first, causing thereby disturbance and confusion, and schism and quarrel, in the whole church. And, in fact, as the result shewed, it was done at the will and pleasure of the devil, who was the real instigator of these things, and who led them on as being a vindictive and intemperate people to so great turbulence and savageness, that no single thought of order entered their minds, or of the duty of judging and examining whether the former appointment had been made fittingly or not, as Theodore supposed they would do on hearing the news of his creation. Instead of this, they took so extreme a course as to appoint another in his place. Had their violence been bridled by the fear of God, they would have understood of themselves the mischiefs and schisms, and divisions and disputes, and struggles and disturbances, which they were about to occasion in His church: instead whereof their evil purpose was accomplished, and the quarrel so begun continues to this day, though eight years, more or less, have now elapsed 9. And to describe all the fightings which have sprung forth from this source, the mutual quarrels, the unappeasable hatred which has taken possession of many hearts, would require the lamentations of Jeremiah, the prophet of grief: for sense and moderation seem entirely lost, nor can they restrain themselves from |268 uttering reproach and contumely, and bitter calumnies? against one another.
[IV. 12.] Just therefore as a man who is weak and diseased in his eyes, cannot easily see with accuracy, and search for any thing in the rays of the sun; and again, as one who is burning with fever cannot do any thing whatsoever like a healthy man; so also those who are hurried away by passion, and dragged along by the fury of an angry zeal, can neither discern nor judge what is fitting, nor thereby regulate their conduct. And so also neither can those who are intoxicated with heat, and agitated with wrath and the spirit of opposition, either purpose or execute any thing whatsoever in a firm and steadfast manner. And this in fact happened to the wise clergy of Alexandria: for they were by no means men of inferior merit, or without knowledge, had not the gall of anger agitated them, and wrath made them stumble; and yet they lived to be an example of the Scripture, which says of those tossed by waves and winds and tempests, that [Ps. cvii.27] 'they shook and reeled like drunken men, and all their wisdom perished.' For so in their hasty and uncanonical proceeding, when the synodal letter reached them, informing them that a bishop had been consecrated for them by those who were orthodox like themselves, and members of their communion, because, owing to the urgency of the times, it was done without their vote, they took so violent a course as to seize upon and consecrate Peter as the second bishop, at the |269 same time upon the same throne. Whether this was right, any one may judge, who considers that during the whole space of ten years, which had elapsed since the death of the blessed Theodosius, they might have created for themselves a bishop without dispute; whereas they waited until the news reached them of the appointment of Theodore, and then made an election in anger, to be a cause of quarrel and dissension and schism in the church; for Peter, whom they elected, was immediately regarded by many as an adulterer, who had entered in unto his neighbour's wife 10. And moreover, to strengthen his position, they persuaded this second prelate, thrust contrary to church-laws and canonical order into another's throne, to consecrate no less, as was said, than seventy bishops; though were a man but seeking for labourers to till his fields, he would find it no easy matter to bring together at one time so many men fit for his purpose. What then shall we say of those who were chosen to feed Christ's rational flock, according to the |270 commandment given to the blessed Peter, 'Feed my sheep:' and of whom the apostolic rule and instruction to Timothy was, that with much care and enquiry and examination he should select those whom he appointed to the priesthood only, and how much more then those who are heads over the priests? And as the beginning of the matter was troubled and confused, and contrary to established precedent, so was its end. For even so no check was put upon his hasty course of violence, nor did he clothe himself in the quietness and gentleness of Christ, but let them hurry him into malignant proceedings, which caused a schism between the churches of Syria and Alexandria: for he ventured unjustly and uncanonically to depose Paul, who by the command of the blessed Theodosius had been consecrated patriarch of Antioch, and this too in his absence. Nor merely so, but he must needs bring accusations against Jacob, bishop of Syria, and even publish them in a circular letter, which he sent about in all directions: in which, from the old enmity and feud of the Alexandrians against Paul, he inserted a number of murderous and lying slanders, to the effect that Paul and his party had communicated with the Synodites. But those whom he calumniated solemnly abjured the charge, in the defence which they jointly addressed to the whole church, and in which they anathematized the authors and publishers of the scandal, and themselves, if ever knowingly and consciously, either in secret or in |271 public, they had been guilty of the act of which they were accused.
[IV.13] And though I thus write, let no man imagine that either here, or in what I shall hereafter relate concerning this turbulent affair, my purpose is to indulge in slanders, or to say any thing. untrue, or even superfluous, in the hope of gaining for the one side the victory, and of throwing blame upon the other. My sole object is briefly to record the events which happened in the year 886 of Alexander (A. D. 575), and subsequently: adding nothing to them, though we will not promise not to curtail them; for the confusion and turbulence and irregularity wrought by the contrivance of the enemy of mankind exceeds all measure, nor can we do more than give a short sketch of it, classing it all under the title of disorder. But to return to our narrative. When Theodore, who had been consecrated bishop of Alexandria against his will, by Longinus and the rest, learnt that the Alexandrians had behaved thus violently and savagely, and had refused to receive either him or his letters, and contrary to all canonical order had even appointed the above-named Peter after his election, and in his stead, he remained quiet, and continued to observe the rules of his former habit (as a monk), nor did he allow himself to be disturbed by what had happened, saying, 'Let there be no schism, and no quarrel, on my account; for my sole care is to live in peace, as I have done unto this day.' And so he |272 continued for awhile to avoid all agitation; but when in process of time many, both in the city and in the deserts, and in Egypt and the Thebais, came over to him, he also appointed vicars in his own name, and ordained priests 11.
[IV. 14.] Far different was the conduct of the other side, as regards both the patriarch Paul and Jacob. Of the former we have already given in the Second Book at full length an account of the fall, into which he was betrayed by the hope of unity: and now we have to tell how the people of Alexandria became possessed of the vain idea, that attended by his bishops he had travelled into Nubia, and there with Longinus had consecrated Theodore: whereas Longinus, in a letter which he sent in his defence, declared that this was false, and denied with solemn adjurations that Paul was either present at Theodore's consecration, or a party to it by word or privity. Nevertheless they prevailed on Peter, in their savage violence, audaciously to pronounce sentence of deposition against him, in violation of all canonical order; by which in fact his own consecration was illegal and invalid, inasmuch as he was the second appointed to fill a throne already occupied, a thing which the rules and canons of the church forbid. And moreover |273 they invented charges against the blessed Jacob, and, not content therewith, published them in circular letters. And this was done in the absence alike of Paul and Jacob, who were not cited as the canons require, nor were the charges brought against them in their presence, that so sentence might follow according to what they had done. And this proceeding of the church at Alexandria led to a bitter schism between them and Syria, and was itself the result of an old grudge which they harboured against Paul.
[IV.15] It may perhaps not be out of place here to say of the simplicity and innocence of the old man Jacob, that which is written in the Scriptures, concerning the brethren in the days of the blessed apostles, that 'in the singleness of their heart they praised the Lord.' [Acts ii. 46] For he, like them, to simplicity and innocence, joined great spiritual zeal, and from his youth, even unto old age, was indefatigable in his exertions and labours for the church. He was however too much under the influence of the crafty and designing men about him, who turned him every way they chose, and used him as a means of establishing their own power, swaying him now in this direction, and now in that, like a child. And so it was in the case of Paul, who originally had been consecrated by him and the rest, patriarch of Antioch the Great, and thereby elevated to be their own head and ruler: but when after his appointment they still continued to conduct matters at their own discretion, and without consulting |274 him; and others at length represented to them, that it was not right to act without the judgment of their patriarch, the rebuke greatly displeased them, nor would they even so desist from managing every thing as they chose. When then subsequently Paul and the other leading bishops were summoned to the capital, in the hope of establishing the unity of the church, and had arrived there, and been received by the king, many long discussions were held, and consultations, which extended over a period of more than two years, and of which we have recorded the leading particulars in the Second Book, and therefore think it better now to pass them over. Finally, however, Paul and the three others with him, through too great confidence in the oaths and declarations of those in power, were betrayed by their too eager hope of union into lapsing miserably into the communion of the two natures: and after much had passed, of which an account has been already given, and they had been all sent into banishment, Paul, setting his life at nought, fled from the palace, and was delivered from the hand of his enemies, and hastened unto Syria, where he laid his act of penitence before the synod of the East, and not content with one petition, sent also a second. And he continued as a supplicant for the space of three years, more or less, and then was duly and canonically received into communion by the blessed Jacob and his synod. Whereupon Jacob wrote letters, both to us at the capital, and to |275 Antioch, and to other quarters, as follows:---- 'Learn that we have received our blessed patriarch, the lord Paul, into spiritual communion; and we have taken the sacrament together: and every one who receiveth him, receiveth us; and every one who receiveth not him, receiveth not us.' And yet after a little time, by the contrivance of the evil one, various accusations were stirred up between them, which we for their habit's sake shall hide in silence.
The enmity and division between the two parties, and their mutual criminations concerning the disorderly proceedings at Alexandria, continued for a considerable time; and the blessed Jacob was especially active in writing in all directions in opposition to Peter, the second bishop consecrated to the see, and described him in his letters as a new Gaianus 12, who had |276 arisen for the disturbing of the church: he even sent me, though but of small account, three epistles upon this subject. |277
[IV.16] As for Peter, whom others had set up as bishop of Alexandria when the see was already occupied, to be but as a picture painted upon a wall, while they managed every thing at their own will, not content with his illegal and disorderly election, and with having induced him to ordain men without examination, young and old alike, until he had made a string 13 of seventy bishops, and other clergy in proportion, they now led him on to another violent act, and prevailed |278 upon him to venture to pronounce the formal deposition of Paul of Antioch, in violation of the order and canons of the church; nor did the fact of his having no legal rights himself restrain him from this piece of audacity. And for the purpose of stirring up opposition and hatred, he drew up a paper full of false accusations against Paul and others, and was guilty of such acts of tyranny and pride, that he can be compared only to a drunken man, who wanders about without sense after his vomit; nor had he any will of his own, but acted as they who appointed him led him on. And these missives he sent every where, and committed other acts, which became the fruitful source of schisms, and widened the breach and dissension already existing between the churches of Syria and Egypt.
[IV. 17.] To some of these acts the blessed Jacob was prevailed upon to give his consent; for being, as we have said above, a simple man, he was influenced by the violent persons who surrounded him, and whose object was to find an opportunity of showing the hatred, which by the instigation of the enemy of man, they entertained against Paul. They now, therefore, prevailed upon the old man to visit Alexandria, persuading him that he would thus establish unity between Alexandria and Syria, though they were themselves well aware of the old grudge and unappeasable enmity which had long existed at Alexandria against Paul, and of which the sole root was envy. They found means, therefore, of |279 inducing the unsuspecting old man to visit Alexandria, telling him he could do so without its being generally known; but many, when they heard what he was about to do, wrote to him and protested, that he ought not inconsiderately to go there alone, lest he should be prevailed upon by their wiles to take part in their hatred, and so fresh schisms and disputes be occasioned between Egypt and Syria, and the evil already existing be increased and strengthened. But those about him were deaf to persuasion, and took him to Alexandria, where he fell among 'a barbarous 14 people,' [Psalm cxiv.1] as Scripture says; and having led him there, they next induced him by trickery to submit to communion with Peter, though he had himself reproached him both verbally and in writing, and called him a new Gaianus risen up for the confusion of the church of God. And further they prevailed upon him to draw up a paper, professing to be articles of union, and offer it to the very person whom he had himself blamed and reproached, and said that he was nothing better than an adulterer, who had seized |280 upon another's wife, in having been consecrated to a see, which another orthodox bishop already filled. But in thus acting, their real motive was hatred to Paul, whom they hoped to find an opportunity of condemning and deposing; and thus they closed their eyes to all other considerations, and joined the very Peter whom they had reviled as a new Gaianus, and, as the saying is, trampled all propriety under foot, and counted as nothing the violation of the canons which they had themselves previously laid to Peter's charge; assenting and setting their seal to all his illegal acts, and, above all, to his deposition of Paul, patriarch of Antioch, which audaciously and tyrannically, and in violation of all canonical rules, had been pronounced by Peter and his party, in Paul's absence, before the arrival there of Jacob. For when they first heard of it, this act had delighted them and gratified their feelings of enmity; for they hoped that the yoke of their patriarch Paul was taken from off their neck, and they, therefore, wrote and gave their assent thereto. The old man Jacob, however, persuaded them that the deposition should not be accompanied by any act of excommunication.
[IV. 18.] On the completion of this turbulent business at Alexandria, which proved a fruitful source of ruin and disturbance and schism and quarrel to the whole church of Syria, Peter asked the blessed Jacob and his companions, on their departure, after having approved and confirmed every thing he had done, to allow three of his bishops |281 to accompany them back to Syria to give their testimony and confirmation to the disorder they had wrought. They travelled, therefore, in company; and all Syria, so to speak, was startled and astonished at their coming. And when they began to tell the purport of what they had done, and the deposition of Paul in violation of canonical law, a great division and schism and offence was the immediate consequence throughout the whole church of the believers in every part of Syria; for many assented to what had been done by the old man Jacob at Alexandria, some for his own sake, because for a long time they had looked up to him, and others, because they hoped that a firm and lasting union would so be made with Alexandria: but the rest at once dissented and disapproved and rejected all that had been done there, blaming and severely censuring Jacob and his party; for at first he had himself blamed Peter's appointment, and reproached both him and those who consecrated him, and called him a new Gaianus whom the Alexandrians had set up for the disturbing of the church: and said that his appointment was contrary to the canons, and invalid, and his priesthood nought, and that he was an adulterer; and then, after all this, he had gone and assented and submitted to the man whom he had rejected and reproached, and had communicated with him; nor so only, but had even presented to him a petition: for the three bishops who accompanied him back had |282 brought it with them, and showed it privately to many, saying, 'See, here is the petition which father Jacob made and presented to pope Peter.' And this they did in secret, as neither he nor his companions considered that it was a petition which they had drawn up, but articles of union; and were it not for the length of the narrative, we would have inserted it here in its place entire.
[IV. 19.] Unfortunately the schism was confined to no narrow limits, but spread from Syria into Cilicia, Isauria, Asia, Cappadocia, and Armenia; and especially to the capital, so that in this the 887th year of Alexander (A. D. 576), grief upon grief, and blow upon blow fell upon the persecuted and lacerated church of the believers every where, by reason of the division, and quarrels, and schisms, and wrongs, and evil deeds which sprang up and multiplied between Jacob and Paul, and spread like an ulcer cruelly, and without fear of God. For the bishops and clergy and monasteries, great and small, joined some one side and some the other, as also did the people of the churches, both in towns and villages, and in the country: and each faction eagerly set itself to injure, and ruin, and revile, and speak evil of the other, with barbarous and unmitigated violence, seeking the other's wrong, and slandering them, and dividing the people, and producing schism in the churches, and tearing the congregations to pieces, till each one abominated his neighbour, and rent himself from him, |283 and endeavoured to enlarge his own party, doing his utmost to produce division, and make others stumble, and cause schisms, and bring men over to his own views. And thus both sides were filled and exasperated with the spirit of opposition, in contempt of order and judgment, and the fear of God: to which had they not been strangers, they would have repented of their evil doings, and ceased from thus creating schism and disturbance in His church. But this course of murderous hatred and rancour, and reproach and mutual revilings was stirred up in them by one who asked 'that he might sift them as wheat,' [Lu. xxii.31] by tempting them to deride and reproach one another. For even of heathens and Jews and heretics, no one, however fierce and savage, would venture to speak so reproachfully as the believers did of one another; at the very time . when in matters of faith there was no difference or dispute between them.
[IV.20] Upon the breaking out of this fierce and cruel and disorderly schism between Jacob and Paul, and not between them only, but generally throughout all Syria, and the neighbouring countries, where every one took either one side or the other, some approving of and receiving all that had been done by Jacob in Alexandria, while others sided with Paul, and rejected Jacob's proceedings, as being entirely contrary to canonical order; to which view the chief monasteries principally inclined: when this savage and violent state of things everywhere prevailed, |284 Paul constantly sent to Jacob, by the hands of numerous messengers, saying, 'Why is there all this disturbance in the church of God? Let us hold a conference with one another, and examine canonically and legally the matters in dispute between us, and if I am guilty according to the canons, instead of one sentence and one canon, I am ready to submit to three; but if, on the contrary, the fault rests with you, even so for your sake I will submit to it.' But those who were about the simple old man Jacob, would not let him give way, and consent to see and converse with him; for they knew that they could not stand before him, and knew too that at his first word he would convict them as they deserved. Jacob therefore said, 'I have come to terms with and received the Alexandrians, and drawn up writings of agreement with them; and from them I cannot turn away, and without their consent neither shall he see me nor I him.' [IV. 21.] Equally in vain was the intercession of Mondir, son of Harith, king of the Arabs, who was both a believer, and an active and zealous man, and who spent much time in urging and supplicating both sides to cease from their wrath and contest, and hold a conference with one another, and talk the matter over, and make peace. But the Jacobites would not consent, though Paul besought both Mondir himself and others, that a full examination and inquiry might be made into those things which had been stirred up by Satan between them. And inasmuch as for a |285 long time, from the days of Harith his father, they had regarded Jacob as a great man, and subsequently, at a later time, had similarly respected Paul; and now the two had come to so fierce a difference and quarrel, and Jacob's party would not be appeased, the discussion spread also among the Arab tribes, and to many of them also the matter proved a stumblingbloek; for some went after Paul, while others took the side of Jacob.
[IV.22] The news of this dissension and disturbance caused Longinus and his companions, and with them Theodore, whom they had made patriarch, to proceed from Egypt to the countries of the East, and especially to Syria, where they joined themselves to the adherents of Paul, with the view of entering into a judicial examination of the matter with the partizans of Jacob, and if possible to put an end to the quarrel, and the continually increasing evils to which the dispute led. Theodore therefore remained quietly in the city of Tyre, but Longinus went to Hirah, the capital, founded by Gabala, son of Harith, to find Mondir, the son of Harith; and after he had conversed with him, and told him exactly the whole truth, the king was the more anxious to get them together, and reconcile them; but the partizans of Jacob utterly rejected his mediation. Finally, however, a large number of Jacob's party and himself assembled in the monastery of Mar Ananias 15 in the desert: and one of them, a |286 bishop, named John, belonging to the same monastery, was sent, with a fraudulent purpose, to Longinus and his companions, saying, 'Inasmuch as the old man, my lord Jacob, has come hither, and wishes to converse with you, come to him quickly: for there will be present only us three, myself, and you, and Jacob, and we will talk the matter over, and put an end to the quarrel, and bring this turbulent state of things to an end.' And upon the receipt of a letter to this effect, Longinus readily arose, and started, accompanied by the rest of his party, and arrived there. But no sooner had they come, than they conducted him and his company into a place where there was sitting no small crowd of monks, and laymen, and jurists, and lawyers. And when Longinus saw the partizans of Peter 16, he said to John, who had come to invite him, 'What fraud is this that thou hast done me, and hast written unto me falsely, saying, that the old man was here alone, and that I should come that we three might confer together? where is the old man? and what is this crowd?' And on |287 his thus speaking, one of the monks produced a written indictment against him, and said, 'Take and read this, and give in an answer thereto.' But he replied, 'I have been invited hither by fraud and falsehood, and I will not read it, nor give an answer to any man.' And upon his looking round for a means of escape, they laid hands upon him, and seized him, saying, 'You will not get out hence until you have read it: and if you will not read it, we will read it to you, and listen.' But when they began to read, he put his fingers into his ears, that he might not hear. Whereupon they began to pull him this way and that, and he cried out, 'Woe, woe, what have I done 17? why am I to be treacherously murdered?' And now a strife arose, and the quarrel grew louder, and a scene of disorderly violence ensued, and murder was at the very point of being committed, until he managed, still crying 'Woe!' to extricate himself from among them, and get out, and save himself from their hands, and flee away. Jacob himself he never even saw. And many such acts as these were committed everywhere by the evident instigation of devils . . . . . .
The rest of the chapter, and the next eight, are lost; but it is evident that they contained the recital of similar acts of unbridled temper |288 and fraud and violence, from the few lines of the thirtieth still preserved; in which we find our historian lamenting, that 'deeds were wrought on both sides by the two factions, into which the believers----so unworthy of the name----were rent, so insensate and unrestrained, that Satan and his herds of demons alone could rejoice in them, as involving the ruin of the church, while for all reflecting men they were a source of lamentation, and bitter sorrow, and groans.'
That these words are not stronger than the facts warrant, we learn from what he next narrates; for he tells us, [IV.31] that the principal and most famous monasteries, both in the south and east, were split and sundered into the two opposing parties of Paulites and Jacobites, and that they were so exasperated against one another as to come to blows and fighting, and the mischief wrought was incalculable, and often ended in murders. Finally, the civil powers interfered, and many arrests were made, and the monks dragged in chains and fetters to Antioch the Great, and cast into prison: and so the honoured dress they wore, but which they had not honourably kept, became an object of contempt and ridicule to heathens and Jews and heretics, when they saw them brought before the courts of justice, manacled and fettered, and charged with murder; being men of venerable aspect, aged monks, with beards so long as to reach to the hems of their garments, but now with collars round their necks, and standing before the judges to |289 answer for the crime of bloodshed. Who would not tremble and lament and wail over deeds so horrible? Who would not mourn as the hyaena, and lament as the jackal, over salt which had not only lost its savour, but itself become foul and rotten, and therefore was cast out and trodden under foot of men? And in other monasteries the monks divided into two parties, of which the one continued in their old home, while the other abandoned it, and went away and found some other place to dwell in, to which they gave the name of the monastery they had left; but even so each entertained against the other a feeling of deadly hostility unchecked by any thought of moderation and restraint.
[IV.32] Nor did the abbots shew greater moderation than the inferior monks; for after numerous meetings held in various places, they at length assembled in a great congress, and after long debate, and preparation for opposing the adherents of Paul, they decided upon appointing three of their most active partisans, men ready for any contest, to go as a deputation to the old man Jacob, and those who were with him, to rouse and incite and stir them up by a letter which they addressed to them, and which we are prevented from inserting only by its length, but its purport was to bid them stand up zealously, and make a patriarch for them in Paul's stead; and further they asked them, what they intended to do with respect to Paul's ordinations, and as to the Tritheites, and so on. And when |290 the letter was brought to the old man, he gave orders for a meeting to be held in the monastery of Mar Ananias; but when they began to talk the matter over, several of the bishops would not consent to create a patriarch while Paul was alive, and not canonically condemned; 'for how,' said they, 'can we trifle like children who have not yet arrived at discretion, and make another patriarch while there is one still living, and expose ourselves canonically to punishment?' And as they could not agree, the meeting separated without accomplishing any thing.
[IV. 33.] Soon after they had thus been prevented from making a patriarch, the blessed Jacob suddenly determined upon going down forthwith to Alexandria; and accordingly set out thither, accompanied by several bishops and other attendants, to the number of eight. And among the many opinions entertained concerning his journey, the most prevalent was, that he intended, in conjunction with Damianus 18, the patriarch there, |291 to create a new patriarch for Syria: while others affirmed, that his purpose was to come to terms with the followers of Paul: but as he kept his intentions secret from every body, it will never be certainly known what his real views were. But from the eyes of God nothing is hid, and ever does He watch over the good of the creatures of His hands. When therefore they had commenced their journey, and had reached the great monastery of Cassianus on the borders of Egypt, there first of all, as was said, immediately one of the bishops who accompanied him, and who was abbot of Cartamin 19, died. And the old man arose, and celebrated the communion over him to his memory. Almost immediately afterwards, Sergius his own syncellus, and who was also a bishop, fell sick and died; and then the old man also fell sick, and lingered for three days, and died; and finally the deacon who waited upon him. All these died unexpectedly one after another within a period of twelve days; and men wondered greatly, and interpreted it in various ways, and their thoughts were troubled. And when the news reached Alexandria, Damianus and the rest of the clergy hastened thither, but arrived after the old man's death, and wanted to carry away his remains with them, but the |292 inhabitants of the monastery would not give their consent. And astonishment seized them because of all these things, and wonder that the blessed Jacob and his company should so suddenly be snatched away; and many concluded in themselves that possibly he was about to do something strange, and likely to increase the troubles of the church; or that he was even purposing perhaps to make a patriarch; and so God took him to Himself, that the soul of the pious old man might not suffer loss.
[IV. 34.] As the death of the blessed Jacob and his company was so sudden and remarkable, it naturally led to various rumours, but there was one especially most wicked as well as unfounded, invented by men who have no fear of the account which hereafter they will have to give, nor care for their own souls. For counting as nothing the injury of their own souls, they were not ashamed to say, that some of Paul's party by his command lay in wait for father Jacob on the way, and beat him with staves, and stoned him and his companions, and so seriously injured him that he was just able to creep into Egypt to die there. But this story is not merely false, but very wicked; for to increase their own condemnation, and multiply the causes of offence already existing, they eagerly spread this rumour abroad every where, that they might terrify others, and cause them to stumble, and defile the consciences of believers, that others might be offended and their own party increased. As for the injury |293 and ruin which their own souls suffered by spreading abroad such murderous calumnies, it gave them no pain or solicitude, because plainly they were destitute of all fear of God.
[IV.35] Various attempts meanwhile were made from time to time to reconcile the Paulites and Jacobites; and especially the three ambassadors, who were sent in the year 888 (A. D. 577) to confer with the Persians about reestablishing peace on the borders, did their utmost in Paul's behalf. Their names were Theodore the patrician, and the consuls John and Peter, of whom we have read before, and who both were inclined to side rather with Paul; and so greatly did they interest themselves in his behalf, that they thought far less of the political objects for which they had been sent, than of assembling meetings every day, and addressing them in his defence. And even father Jacob went unto them, attended by numerous friends, and the debate between them was so long that the particulars of it would exceed the bounds we are obliged to set to our narration. But neither side could persuade the other, and they parted with feelings of mutual annoyance, and withdrew from one another. And in every city which the ambassadors visited they made the same attempt; but as the people in theEast along the banks of the Euphrates as far as the dominions of the Persians, for the most part, held rather with the blessed Jacob than with Paul, they could not be prevailed upon to give way; and so they returned hither |294 to the capital much offended, and reviling all the orientals.
[IV. 36.] The course taken by the Arabs of the desert was the only one marked by any degree of moderation; for originally, before the schism broke out, the tribes there acknowledged the authority of the blessed Jacob; but when, during the lifetime of the old king Harith, Paul fled thither, and remained in concealment among them, they were greatly edified also by his presence, because of his moderation and gravity and learning. And especially this was still more the case after the death of Harith, when both parties often met there, and received one another in a friendly manner: so that, in short, at Hirah all the Arabs equally respected Paul and Jacob. But when afterwards Satan put enmity between them, the Arabs were all grieved, and especially their king Mondir and his brethren and children. And they besought the old man Jacob to be reconciled and unite again one with the other; but he would not consent either to receive Paul, or join in union with him, making the Alexandrians his pretext; 'For if,' said he, 'they will not receive him, neither will I.' And at this the Arabs were all offended and annoyed; and when Paul went there, they received him, and took the communion at his hands; and when Jacob went there, they did the same, until he decreed that they were not to take the communion from Paul. And so they all continued offended and vexed and troubled until the death of the old man |295 Jacob: and after his death many still adhered to his party, but others went over to the side of Paul; and others received both alike. But all, without exception, were vexed and saddened at this strange schism and quarrel which had arisen between them, and especially king Mondir; for constantly he besought the two parties to make peace with one another; but the envy and hatred of Satan, and the evil counsellors on both sides who did his will, prevented there being any respite or reconciliation until the day of Jacob's death. And so, when the old man was in the thick of the quarrel, while busied in his journey to Alexandria, God Who knows all things, and Who had forethought for his real good, commanded that his end should overtake him on the way.
[IV.37] Besides the orthodox patriarch Damianus, Peter's successor at Alexandria, there was also the synodite patriarch, John 20, and repeated complaints being made by him in letters to Constantinople, orders came for the arrest of many of the orthodox clergy, with directions to send them to the capital. And on their arrival there in the month of May, in the year 890 (A. D. 579), the patriarch Eutychius refused to see them, and sent them a pompous message, saying, 'Inasmuch as on the former occasion, when ye were brought hither, I let you go upon your promising |296 to receive the communion from me, come and do so now, and then ye shall have an audience with me, and see me.' And on hearing this message, they sent in answer, 'We never promised to communicate with you, except upon the condition of your rejecting the council of Chalcedon.' Upon which he became angry, and had them sent away, and separated from one another, and imprisoned in various monasteries.
[IV. 38.] One of these clergy was the Theodosius, arch-presbyter and chancellor of the church of Alexandria, whose letter to Longinus, requesting him to consecrate for them a patriarch, had led to such disastrous results. He now was imprisoned in a monastery at the Natron Lakes, but soon after fell ill, and died in a good old age: and great grief was felt at his loss by all the Alexandrians, and especially by the imprisoned clergy. His death took place after their first summons to a discussion with the patriarch Eutychius; on which occasion they had said, that unless either the king or senate were present as moderators, they would not debate. Long negotiations followed, but finally they were sent back to the monasteries in which they had been imprisoned. And when they were now expecting a second summons to Constantinople to a discussion, their chief fell ill, as I have mentioned, and died, while they were still in prison and carefully watched.
[IV. 39.] At length, however, there appeared to be some chance of reconciliation between the followers of Paul and Jacob by means of the good offices of |297 Mondir, the son of Harith, king of the Arabs. For when a very furnace of Babylon seemed to be blazing and burning more hotly than ever between the two factions, kindled on insufficient reasons and groundless conjectures by the officiousness of men, who, to gratify their envy and an old grudge, envenomed the simple and laborious soul of the old man Jacob against Paul; and the two parties were mutually reviling and reproaching one another, beyond all bounds and rules of propriety, without restraint, and, unbridled by the fear of God, Mondir made a journey from Arabia to the capital, and there laboured zealously to bring about a peace. For though the will of God was fulfilled in the old man Jacob, and he rested from this painful and troubled life, and departed from the world, yet the same, or even more, grievous quarrels continued, and mutual anathemas, and their minds were everywhere savagely excited in every region and district and province alike, in the East and the West, until, in the words of Scripture, 'they had become a reproach to their neighbours, a scorn and derision to them that were round about them.' [Ps. lxxix.4] But the illustrious Mondir, who had been honoured with the title of Patrician, on visiting the capital by invitation, and being magnificently received there by the king, set himself manfully and piously to abate all these evils, which he saw mutually practised by men who were members of the same faith and the same communion. He assembled therefore both sides, and scolded and |298 admonished and reproached them for all the evils and schisms and quarrels which had sprung up between them: and advised them to cease from these strifes, and he at peace with one another; and the more so, because they were all members of the same faith. And advice to this same effect he had long ago given to Paul and Jacob in person, and had prayed them to live in peace and love one with another.
This visit of the illustrious Mondir to the capital took place in the year 891 (A. D. 580), on the eighth day of February; and he was received with great pomp, and endless honours conferred upon him by the merciful king Tiberius, who made him large presents and royal gifts, and did for him all that he desired, and gave him everything he asked, even bestowing military titles on the two sons, whom he had with him, and giving him leave to wear a royal crown.
[IV 40.] The meeting, which, with Tiberius' consent, was convened by the illustrious Mondir, was held on the second day of March in the above-mentioned year, and attended by the chief men of note on both sides, and also by the Alexandrian clergy; and his advice was, that they should cease from their quarrels, and put an end to and trample out the evils stirred up by Satan among them. And upon this, a debate took place too long for insertion here, and much was said, not only by the followers of Jacob and Paul, but also by the Alexandrians, who appeared as a third party, and finally by our own unworthy self: and inasmuch |299 as there were many persons of discernment on all sides, who deeply regretted the violent deeds wrought by turbulent men of all three parties alike, and rejoiced at the prospect of peace, and at an end being put to so many evils, they all consented, and unanimously promised, that they would unite again, and it was settled that they should enter into a compromise, and that all the points of difference which Satan had stirred up between them should be examined into, and done away. And when every one had agreed to this, a formal deed of union was drawn up, by which all schisms and quarrels were to cease, and the archbishops, and bishops, and clergy and monks of all the monasteries, and the laity, who were at variance, were to receive one another, and all with one accord consent to be at peace. And hereupon prayers for union were offered up by the priests on both sides, and also by the Alexandrians, and the reconciliation was complete; and all praised God for driving away the evil one, and putting an end to the wicked acts done at his instigation among them: and each and all promised that they would severally use their strenuous exertions to bring those of their party who were absent in the body to assent to this pacification. There were found, however, seditious and turbulent men, full of the canker of iniquity, who complained, and were displeased at the peace which had been made: and because the chiefs and notables alone had taken part in the conference with king Mondir, and the |300 common people had not been summoned to the meeting, chiefly on this ground they set themselves against it, and wished every thing that had been done annulled. They held meetings, therefore, and made disturbances, and wrote and agitated both in Syria and Alexandria, and prevailed on many to join their party, and not to submit to or accept any thing that had been done, to the great delight of Satan, and all his hosts of devils. The meeting however at the capital separated quietly and with joy, and all thankfully accepted the grace of God, and the services of the illustrious Mondir.
Our historian next relates an attempt of Damianus to consecrate a patriarch of Antioch, which must have taken place at least a year previously to the meeting just described as having been held in A. D. 580. The deacon Peter did not survive his consecration many months, so that the number of bishops created by him would be incredible were it not that at that time the ordinary officers of a patriarch's household were frequently members of the episcopate, as were also many of the abbots and leading monks, as well as the clergy of the towns; and as none probably had been consecrated during the ten years which intervened after the death of Theodosius, Peter had at least a specious pretext for thus increasing the power of his party. [IV.41] At his death, Damianus, a Syrian, was elected, and equally in John's eyes was a usurper, appointed contrary to all church laws, and moreover he describes him as an |301 illiterate and unwise man. Of this he gave a proof in conceiving the vain and foolish idea of journeying to Syria, and appointing, in violation of the injunctions of the canons, a patriarch of Antioch in the place of Paul while he was yet alive; in imitation, as it seemed, of his own appointment and that of his predecessor, after another had been nominated to the see, even Theodore, and had written his synodical letters to Alexandria; whereupon the Alexandrians became furious, and savagely and barbarously were stirred up in hot wrath, and consecrated Peter, a deacon, and a simple and unlearned man, whose name they used for their own purposes as they chose. And so there were two patriarchs at one time upon the same throne, and Peter therefore and Damianus his successor were often spoken of as adulterers, who had entered in and denied another man's wife. As though his purpose then had been to hide his own shame in occupying a throne, of which Theodore, who was consecrated even before Peter, was the rightful owner, Damianus formed the plan of appointing another patriarch for Syria while Paul was still alive, that there might be found among them a parallel case to that of which the shame rested upon himself. On his arrival therefore he summoned the Syrian bishops, and urged them to join him in appointing a patriarch of Antioch: but several of them, out of regard to the canons, declined, saying, 'Until Paul has been summoned, and tried and convicted of the offence laid to his charge, and |302 condemned and canonically deposed, we cannot consent to appoint another in addition to him. Nor must he be only canonically condemned, but also excommunicated.' But others agreed with Damianus, and consented to join in making another patriarch. They found, however, great difficulty in prevailing upon any one to allow himself to be appointed: for the first and second to whom they proposed it said, 'As long as the man is alive, and has not been cited and tried according to the canons, and condemned and deposed, I for my part cannot consent to be set in his place; for possibly the end would be, that I should myself be deposed.' At length, however, they found a silly man like themselves, named Severus; and Damianus, in company with two other bishops, took him with him, and entered Antioch by night; and sent secretly to the sexton of the church of Cassian, and promised to give him eighteen darics if he would leave the church open, that they might enter at night, and consecrate Severus there. And when the sexton had accepted their offer, and promised them his help, and they now felt confident of success, and every thing was ready, the news got abroad that they were about to consecrate some one or other by stratagem: and information being given to the patriarch 21 of the city, he immediately sent orders |303 for their arrest. They surrounded the house therefore, in which they were, and having effected an entrance, seized upon three monks, but Damianus and his bishops and some others managed to descend into the latrina, and thence scrambled out by a window at the back, and so made good their escape, but with both their persons and their dress all covered with filth and ordure. The names of those who escaped in this distressing manner were Damianus himself, and Sergius the single-browed 22, and George Sarcabinus, and the bishops who were to have joined in the consecration, and Severus, the intended patriarch: and they were more ashamed at having had to encounter this uncleanness than at the failure of their deep-laid plans. As for the monks who were arrested, they brought them to the patriarch, and he had them hung up and bitterly tortured, until they acknowledged every thing they had been about to do. Having confessed therefore about Damianus, and his party, orders were sent everywhere for their arrest, but they succeeded in making their escape. They confessed also about the sexton, and he was brought, and acknowledged his guilt, and was tortured even worse than the monks were, and his goods pillaged. Damianus, on his escape, made his way in disguise to Constantinople, just before the meeting was held for the |304 establishment of unity; and by the zealous services of certain who were anxious for peace, he was introduced by night to the illustrious Mondir, and they conversed with one another, and he promised that he would do his best to bring about a reconciliation, and assent to it himself. And after holding interviews with a few persons, he withdrew secretly, and arrived at Alexandria: it was said, however, that he had made bishops even at the capital.
[IV. 42.] The Alexandrian clergy who had been present at this meeting were at Constantinople under arrest, together with many laymen of note, and Mondir now offered his intercessions in their behalf with the merciful king Tiberius, and he let them go; and not content with this, Mondir made them handsome presents because they had consented to a reconciliation, and they left with joy, and went on board, and returned to their city. And subsequently the illustrious Mondir begged that he might himself be permitted to leave, having first interceded with Tiberius also for the peace of the church, and begged that all persecution of Christians might cease. And he further promised on oath, that if Tiberius would cease from all military proceedings, he would immediately make peace. And upon this promise Tiberius dismissed him with great honours, and kingly presents of gold and silver, and magnificent dresses, and saddles, and bridles of gold, and armour. And besides all this, he also gave him a royal crown, the right of wearing which |305 had never hitherto been conceded to any of the chiefs of the Arabs, but only leave to put on their heads a simple circlet. And thus then he was sent away, and departed with great pomp and joyfulness. And on his arrival at Antioch, he was similarly received there; and supported by the express wishes of the king, and his promises and oaths for the union of the church; and by his orders that the persecution should cease, he gave notice thereof to the patriarch and other officers of the city: and the patriarch immediately gave orders, and letters were written to the provinces, enjoining that no one should venture upon persecuting others; for that the king had commanded and wished peace to be made. And so for a short time the persecution was stilled. But when news of this reached the Dyophysites at the capital, they were very angry with Mondir, and went and accused him harshly before the king, but he would not listen to them. Now while Mondir was on his road, those hostile Arab tribes who were subject to the Persians, having imagined that his detention at the capital would be indefinitely prolonged, gathered themselves together, and supposing him to be far away, marched in company with the Persians into his territories to attack his sons and brothers, hoping to fall upon them and slay and take them captive. But at the very moment when they were drawn up in hostile array, Mondir suddenly arrived, and at once, without their expecting it, he gave orders for the attack, and |306 fell upon them and slew them until they were consumed, and very few escaped from his sword. And so his return was a joyful one, and he brought with him great spoil, and was extolled by every body, and his name magnificently praised.
[IV 43] The pacification, however, which he had wrought in the church was but of short duration: for no sooner had the Syrian, Damianus, returned to his see at Alexandria, than, being blamed for making peace with Paul, like one more desirous of pleasing men than God, and indifferent to the peace of the church, he violated his word and proved false to the promises he had made to the illustrious Mondir, and to the rest of the believers of both parties who had interceded with him, and turned round and opposed Paul, and wrote anathemas against him, and reproaches and contumelies of the harshest kind. And not content with this, he even penned a circular letter to the same effect, and sent it to Syria, and to all other places both in his diocese and elsewhere. And these letters were chiefly given to those men of turbulent and savage temper, who are Satan's yokefellows, and labourers with him, and who instead of gathering with Christ scatter abroad. And being thus encouraged, they stirred up schisms everywhere and disputes and quarrels and all the evils in which the devil delights, more vehemently even than before. And in thus acting, Damianus was guilty of deeds worthy of himself, or even |307 perhaps one may not unfitly say, of Satan. And the clergy also who were present at the meeting held in the capital for the purpose of bringing about a reconciliation, imitated his example in lying against the Holy Ghost, and proved false to their word, though they had been set at liberty and escaped from their troubles by the earnest intercession of Mondir in their behalf. And he had thus exerted himself because in his presence, and before a numerous assembly, they had promised to be reconciled and join in union, and had signed their names to a paper to that effect: and thereby had obtained their freedom, and escaped from confinement and from prison; and yet afterwards they turned round, and were 'faithless like their fathers,' [Psalm lxxviii.8] that is, like their father Damianus, who was as bad as they were, and they equally bad with him. When therefore king Mondir returned from battle with his enemies, and learnt their perfidy, and how they had changed from truth unto endless falsehood, he was very sorrowful: and surprised, moreover, and astonished, especially at Damianus' circular letters, which approached as near as possible to utter wickedness. Nor did he even decline the trouble of writing to each one of them by name, to admonish and reprove them for their falsehood against God and himself and the whole church. And they, from shame and mortification, would not receive his letters, nor would they write an answer. And he thereby was greatly offended, |308 because these letters lit up a flaming furnace of anger throughout the church of the believers, and multiplied the strife already existing, and made their quarrels blaze up more hotly than ever without restraint or fear of God's just judgment.
[IV. 44] For immediately that these letters were received in the east, they stirred men up to the irregular proceeding of creating a second patriarch, as far as the name went, of Antioch, while the first had never been publicly condemned as the canons direct; and this gave the mockers an opportunity of saying in sport and derision, 'A second patriarch, we suppose, was wanted to be nominated for Antioch, because there are three 23 at Alexandria, to say nothing of him of the synodites, and they cannot make game of one another.' So disorderly and confused was all that was done among the believers, because their incessant quarrels turned every thing upside down.
[IV. 45] They even endeavoured to draw John himself into the quarrel, by writing to him at the capital, and requesting him to communicate with their |309 new patriarch. For in the year 892 24 (A. D. 581), the bishops and abbots and clergy of the blessed Jacob, after his death, formed the plan of appointing as their patriarch a layman named Peter, son of Paul of the city of Callinicus; a man whom the blessed Jacob twice while he lived had endeavoured to raise to that office; and now again, after the death of the saint, they were desirous of consecrating him, but he would not consent, nor permit it; for he said, 'I can never agree to be set over a man who has not been cited canonically, and condemned and deposed according to law.' When, however, they proceeded to excommunicate him and eject him from the church, he was compelled to give way, and went, as was said, to Alexandria, and was there elected by Damianus and the rest, and named patriarch of Alexandria in addition to Paul, while he still lived, and had never been condemned by a synod and deposed: so great was the corruption and confusion in the church of the believers by the instigation and to the delight of the devil. And the next scheme they formed was for all the abbots who had consented to this proceeding to meet together, and draw up letters signed by their own hands to John bishop of Ephesus, who was dwelling at the capital, to invite him to union and communion with them and their patriarch, without, however, telling |310 him openly the name of him whom they had elected. And John at this time, because he stood neutral between the two parties, was equally the object of blame to both sides, while all he could do was to grieve and mourn at the disruption occasioned by the envy and rancour of the Alexandrians, and the schisms throughout the whole church of the believers; and to admonish them and protest against their doings, and entirely refuse to take part with either one side or the other, or join in the conflict. And when he received these letters, he gave way to tears and bitter lamentation at this fresh ruin and confusion of the church; and could he have done as he pleased, he would not have answered them; but because a year before they had addressed other letters to him, and invited him to join them, and oppose the other side; and he had refused even to send them a reply, and they had mentioned this reproachfully in their present epistles, he was obliged to write an answer, though it was one of strong reproof, for having violated all canonical order in what they had done, and invited him to union and communion with them. And it is only their length that prevents him from inserting here both their letters to him and the answer which he sent. [IV. 46.] Now let this be known for certain by both sides, who are thus embittered against one another by the instigation of the spirit of opposition, and to all men besides, that in whatsoever has been attempted or done by our unworthy |311 selves, and in our narrative of the proceedings of both parties, we have had no other object than the truth's sake, in blaming and condemning both sides alike; nor have we written with the view of wounding individuals, nor for factious purposes; for, as may be seen, we have directed our reproofs and admonitions now against one party, and at another time against their opponents, and have exposed the factiousness and irregularity and illegal nature of their several proceedings. And this we have done, with our own mind full of grief and sorrow, and our eyes running down with tears, at the mischief and ruin and schism and quarrel and division and enmity and scorn and reproach stirred up between them, to the delight of the enemy of mankind. At the sight of these evils, we were constrained in sorrow of heart to blame them, because, being members and children of the same faith, they allowed themselves, for insufficient reasons, to rush without thought and without restraint into these unworthy deeds. And to this same effect we wrote at the very commencement of the quarrel, to the leading men personally, and especially to the laborious old man Jacob, and repeatedly urged our intercession to the very day of his death, in words like these: 'I, though but of inferior rank, keeping to the laws of the church, and not perceiving any errors in matters of faith, will neither abandon thy communion, nor that of Paul, because you are at variance with one another on canonical grounds, |312 which may be true or may be false. And as to the other things which, without order or propriety, and contrary to the regulations of the church, have been or are now being done between you, I warn you, that if you anathematize the adherents of Paul, or depose him uncanonically; or if Paul so treats you, or the Alexandrians; or the Alexandrians so treat you or Paul; for these illegal acts you shall never have part or communion with me, until all these things have been examined and inquired into in a legal and canonical investigation before a synod, and it is decided whose actions are in accordance with and maintain the laws of the church, and whose are at variance with order and propriety.' Ten times in separate letters we wrote to this effect in person to the blessed Jacob, while he was yet alive, and similarly to the rest; and on this account, while I was full of grief and incessant sadness of heart, the accusation was brought against me by both parties, of nourishing opposition against them; but I call Him to witness, Who tries the reins and heart, that I take no part either with one side or the other, but remain strictly neutral up to this day, in grief and sighs and sorrow, at all the evils wrought by his instigation, who has asked to sift us as wheat.
[IV. 47.] As for Paul, the patriarch of evil days, on finding that the enmity of the other side was so inveterate against him, he withdrew in secret, and dwelt, as was said, in a cavern in the lofty |313 mountains of Isauria25, where he has continued for a period of four years, even unto this day, without being seen by any one, except the few who make answer for him: for he himself neither writes to any one nor receives their letters. And this has led to complaint and blame against him on the part of many, because of his withdrawing himself, and standing apart from the struggle maintained in every province on his behalf: and especially because even when his violent opponents consecrated another in his stead in Syria, yet even so he neither shewed himself, nor spake a single word, but still remained at this present moment in concealment and silence.
[IV.48] Meanwhile Theodore, whom we have mentioned above as having been consecrated patriarch of Alexandria by Longinus and the rest, continued to dwell openly in Alexandria itself, observing the customs of his order; for he had previously been a monk, and the head of a monastery, and in it he still calmly resided, and many gathered themselves round him. And because of his humility and peaceableness, no man troubled him, or drove him from the city, although Damianus, the successor of Peter, was against him; but they let him alone, knowing the sweetness of his temper, and that he said, |314 'My only care is, that there be no schism or disturbance in the church on my account.' In process, however, of time, he was grieved in mind at the conduct of Paul and Longinus; for Paul had hid himself, and paid no attention to any thing that was done; and Longinus had travelled still further onward, beyond the people of the Nobadae, to whom he had some time before returned, to another powerful tribe many score leagues beyond them, whom the Greeks call Alodaei, and who are supposed to be Aethiopians: but God had helped them, and spoken to their king and his princes, and to all the tribes under his rule, as we will in due time relate in order. But to return now to our former subject about Theodore; for by wishing to shew what were the fortunes of Paul and Longinus, our narrative has wandered away to a different subject. Being, as we said, vexed and annoyed at them both; 'for after coming,' said he, 'and exposing me to trouble, and getting me away from the desert, they have now left me, and neglect me, and do not even inquire whether I am alive or dead;' he wrote several letters expressive of his indignation, both to Syria and also to myself, and to others at the capital, filled with complaints and vexation. And these he sent by the hands of a blessed man, a Stylite 26, who had been |315 with him in the desert, a person of great worth, and who came accompanied by a priest named George. And when we had received them, and the letters which they brought, and had comforted them much, and had also written a reproof on this account to the partisans of Paul, a violent persecution overtook us, and we were hurried away and removed from the city, and never saw them again. And subsequently he wrote to us again repeating the same complaint, upon the same grounds, but we think it best not to record it, but pass it over in silence for peace sake.
[IV.49] For far more pleasing is the subject to which we alluded above, namely, the conversion of the people whom the Greeks call Alodaei, but whom we believe to be Aethiopians, to the Christian faith. For to repeat some part of our previous narrative, it was by the zeal of the late queen Theodora that the blessed Julian was originally sent to the powerful people called Nobadae, and taught both the king and his princes, and most of the tribes in his dominions, for a period of two years. And on his departure thence, he intrusted all that people to a certain Theodore, a very old man, and bishop of the city called Philae, situated in the further part of the Thebais, on their |316 borders, who went to them, and visited them, and gave them counsel, and returned to his own city; and so they continued for a period of eighteen years, more or less And then it was that Longinus escaped in disguise, and went to them, and taught and instructed them afresh, and baptized such of them as had never partaken of this rite, and continued with them six years: and ambassadors moreover were sent by them to the king, and arrived at the capital, and we were repeatedly in their company, and heard them praising and extolling Longinus in the highest terms. And when the people of the Alodaei heard of the conversion of the Nobadae, their king sent to the king of the Nobadae, requesting him to permit the bishop who had taught and baptized them, to come and instruct them in like manner. But Longinus had just then received the letters from Alexandria, and hastily departed into the Roman territories, and fell into all the troubles one after another, which we have mentioned above. Subsequently, however, the king, with great labour and trouble and difficulty, managed to send ambassadors to him, who prevailed upon him to return with them to their territories And the people of Alexandria, in their Satanic envy, wishing to set the king and his people against him, and turn them away from receiving him, drew up a formal act of deposition, iniquitously and against all canonical right, and sent it to the king; but he and his people would not look at it, or have anything to do with them, |317 saying, 'We will not receive any one but our spiritual father, who begot us again by a spiritual birth; and all that is said against him by his enemies we regard as falsehoods.' And so they sent the bearers away, and would have nothing to do with them.
[IV.50] Nevertheless, in spite of this failure, when the Alexandrians learnt that the king of the Alodaei had despatched a second embassy to the king of the Nobadae, requesting him to let them have the same Longinus who had taught him, in envy, and not in zeal, they sent to that people, in the hope of setting them against Longinus, and of teaching them the same corruption and lawlessness of which they were themselves guilty. Accordingly, they hurriedly drew up a letter to them against Longinus, without fear of God, or regard for justice, being drunk, as it were, with envy, and the hatred that was in their hearts, and not reflecting that it was a wrong thing to send to a people in the error of heathenism, and who now were asking to be converted unto Christianity, and to learn the fear of God, only confusion and offence, and the revilings of Christians against Christians, instead of those things which were useful for their edification. But, as Scripture says, 'their mind was darkened, and their reason blinded, that they could not understand,' [Eph.iv.18] and therefore they were eager, even under these circumstances, to implant hatred and a cause of offence among this heathen people, instead of instruction in the fear of God; and with this view they sent letters |318 to them against Longinus, the bearers of which were two of those bishops, whom, with many others, they had consecrated in opposition to church laws. And the letters were to this effect: 'Inasmuch as we have learnt that ye have requested permission for Longinus, who is in Nubia, to come unto you, to baptize you,we have sent you two bishops, and other persons, to give you instruction, that ye may not be baptized by him, for he is a heretic, and has been deposed, nor can he perform any of the functions of the priesthood, or baptize any one.' And much besides they wrote, to corrupt them, rather than admonish and instruct them. 'But the Lord turned back the recompense of Nabal upon his own head;' [1 Sam xxv.39] and, as it is written, 'the heathen, who knew not the law of righteousness, attained to the law of righteousness, and were a law to their own selves; but Israel, which ran after righteousness, did not attain to it:' [Rom. ix.30] and this text was fulfilled here: for they were rebuked and put to shame by a heathen people, who would not receive them, and sent them back abashed and ashamed; for they said, 'We know not who you are, nor can we receive you, or be baptized by you: but we will receive him who baptized the Nobadae, and by him will we be baptized. And as for what you say of him, we do not listen to it: for we see that you are his enemies, and speak thus of him from envy. Depart, therefore, from our land, that ye die not miserably.' And thus they had to retire, having neither been received themselves, nor |319 their words; for God so ordered it, who saw their crooked devices, and the perverse spirit which had aroused their zeal.
[IV.51] Meanwhile the king of the Alodaei had, as we have mentioned, sent a second embassy to the king of the Nobadae, requesting that the bishop Longinus might be sent to teach and baptize both him and his people: and it was plainly visible that the conversion of that kingdom was the good purpose of the grace of God. The Lord therefore stirred up the spirit of Longinus to go to them; and though the Nubians were grieved at being separated from him, they nevertheless sent with him nobles and princes and men well acquainted with the desert. Upon the journey, however, he became ill, as also did his companions: and so great were their privations, and the intensity of the heat, that, as he mentions in a letter, he lost in the desert no less than seventeen camels out of the baggage animals which accompanied him. Nor was this their only or chief danger; for between the Nobadae and the Alodaei is a country inhabited by another people, called the Makoritae 27; and when their king heard that Longinus had started on his journey, Satan in his envy stirred him up to set watchers in all the passes of his kingdom on all the roads, both in the mountains and in the plains, as far as the sea of weeds 28, in hopes of arresting Longinus, and so hindering the salvation |320 of the powerful people of the Alodaei. But God preserved him, and blinded the eyes of those who wanted to seize him; and he passed through them, and went on his way, and they saw him not. And on his arrival at the borders of the kingdom to which he was travelling, the king, as he tells us in his letters, on hearing of it, sent one of his nobles to meet him, named Aitekia 29, who received him honourably, and made him pass over into their land with great pomp: and on approaching nearer, the king went out in person to meet him, and received him with great joy. And immediately upon his arrival, he spake unto the king and to all his nobles the word of God, and they opened their understandings, and listened with joy to what he said; and after a few days' instruction, both the king himself was baptized and all his nobles; and subsequently, in process of time, his people also. And so the king, being glad and joyful, wrote a letter of thanks to the king of the Nobadae, as follows:
Letter of the King of Alodia to the King of the Nubians.
[IV.52] 'Thy love is remembered by us, my lord, our brother Orfiulo 30, because thou hast now shown thyself my true kinsman, and that not only in the body, but also in the spirit, in having sent me hither our common spiritual father, who has shown me the way of truth, and of the true |321 light of Christ our God, and has baptized me, and my nobles, and all my family. And in every thing the work of Christ is multiplied, and I have hope in the holy God, and am desirous moreover of doing thy pleasure, and driving thy enemies from thy land. For he is not thy enemy alone, but also mine: for thy land is my land, and thy people my people. Let not thy courage therefore fail, but be manful and take courage: for it is impossible for me to be careless of thee and thy land, especially now that I have become a Christian, by the help of my father, the holy father Longinus. As we have need, however, of church furniture, get some ready for us: for I feel certain that thou wilt send me these things with carefulness, and I will make thee an answer: but on the day on which I was keeping festival, I did not wish to write, lest my letters should fail. Be not anxious then, but encourage thyself, and play the man: for Christ is with us.' Such then was the letter which this new confessor, the king of the Alodaei, wrote to the king of the Nobadae. And next we will also give a short extract from a letter of the blessed Longinus, which he wrote from that land, and sent to the king of the Nobadae, with a request that he would forward it to Alexandria: which also he did; and it is as follows:
[IV.53.] ' . . . Not then to trouble you with our annoyances, and make the letter tedious, I have omitted all such matters, and will tell you, |322 secondly, that which will rejoice all who are real Christians, and strict members of the orthodox communion: and I do rejoice with you all, and will rejoice, and ye in like manner must rejoice with me. And, moreover, rejoice with me in this, that He Who willeth that every man should be saved, and desireth not the death of a sinner, such as I am, but forgetteth all my sins, hath remembered His mercy and grace towards me, and opened for me the door of His mercy, and delivered me from those who were hunting after my life, and led me safely through them, and blinded their eyes that they saw me not. Nor were we unvisited by His lovingkindness in chastening us, in that all of us, with my unworthy self, fell ill, from the greatest even to the least; and I was the first to suffer: for it was but right that I should be chastened first, because I am guilty of many sins, and many are the offences into which I have fallen. And not only did we become ill ourselves, and despaired of our safety, but also the animals that were with us died, not being able to bear the heat, and the thirst in the mountains, and the unwholesomeness of the water, so that we lost no less than seventeen camels. And when the king of the Alodaei heard that I had determined to come to him, he sent one of his princes, named Itika 31, who led me with great pomp into their land. |323 And on our arrival at the river's bank, we went on board a vessel; and the king hearing of our coming rejoiced, and came out in person to meet us, and received us with great joy. And by the grace of God we taught him, and have baptized him and his nobles and all his family; and the work of God grows daily. But inasmuch as there are certain Abyssinians, who have fallen into the malady of the fancy of Julianus 32, and say, that Christ suffered in a body not capable of pain, or of death, we have told them what is the correct belief, and have required them to anathematize this heresy in writing, and have received these persons upon their presenting their recantation ..... And again, after some things which we have omitted, he thus proceeds; . . . And let all your rulers and people, on learning these things, offer up with spiritual joy their praises and thanksgivings to our merciful God, for all these His innumerable gifts; and let the fathers take care that there be sent down hither bishops, who will be able to labour and minister in this divine work, which is pleasing both to God and men, and in the reality of which they may feel confident, and that it is going on prosperously. For there are a thousand thousand here who are hastening to salvation, to the glory of Him Who is the Saviour of us all, even Christ. |324
And believe what I say, that a short time ago a sort of purpose suggested by the weakness of human nature came to me, not to write to any one: but when I considered the danger which those incur who are negligent in their use of spiritual gifts, I have addressed this short letter to your spiritual love. For I desire neither silver, nor gold, nor dresses, as God is my witness, Who trieth the hearts of men, and Who knoweth all I do, and that I have not bread for my daily use, and am even glad to see with my eyes food of vegetables only. And thus far then let it suffice me to have told you.' This then was written by the holy Longinus himself, being extracts from the letter he sent from the land of the Alodaei to the king of the Nobadae, with a request that he would forward it to Alexandria, which he accordingly did, to Theodore, whom Longinus had himself appointed as patriarch: and at the same time the king himself sent him a letter to inform him of Longinus' arrival among them, and his subsequent departure, and the trials and difficulties which stood in his way, and the gracious aid which God in His goodness gave him, and so forth; writing in admiration of him, to the following effect:
Letter of the king of the Nobadae to Theodore of Alexandria.
'Before all things I especially desire your health in Christ, my blessed father; and next, my purpose is that you should know, that seven |325 months ago the king of the powerful people of the Alodaei in Ethiopia, sent hither, to obtain from me, my holy father, the bishop Longinus, to baptize him. And it was done according to all that the holy king my father wrote unto me. For when I had mentioned the matter to my father, he at once readily and with good will assented thereto, and in his kindness promised to visit them. And every day he urged me on, saying, We must not neglect this business, for it is of God. But because of the wicked devices of him who dwells between us, I mean the king of the Makoritae, I sent my saintly father to the king of the Blemyes, that he might conduct him thither by routes farther inland; but the Makorite heard also of this, and set people on the look out in all the passes of his kingdom, both in the mountains and in the plains, and as far as the sea of weeds, wishing to lay hands on my father, and put a stop to the good work of God, as my father has written hither to tell me. And great was the wearisomeness and the bitter trials of soul and body which he endured in the land of the Blemyes, together with extreme privation and want. And yet even so the wicked devices of his enemy could not hinder the readiness of my saintly father in doing the work of God; and the Lord our God directed his ways and ordered his paths so that he travelled safely over long tracks of country, and escaped the strong garrisons set in his way, although he lost his retinue of camels and the other beasts of |326 burden with him. But God helped him, and delivered him, and he arrived at the land, and was joyfully received by the king and all the people; and he taught and baptized them, as we learn from the letter which he has sent hither. And this further you must know, how God the Lord of all has been with my father, and accompanied him, that ye may wonder greatly at what he has done unto him. For when the king, my uncle, and his royal ancestors used to send an embassy to that kingdom, the ambassador generally took eight or ten years in going and returning. But when my holy father went thither, within two hundred days he sent an embassy to us from the king, whereas many of my former ambassadors had never returned hither at all. And not to make my account too long, my father has sent me hither letters which I was to forward to you; and see, I have sent them by his ambassador; and in them he has given us an account of all that has happened to him, and all that he has done. And the news which his messenger has brought us, you must make known; for it would not be right in your excellency to conceal and neglect all these matters: rather your holiness ought to aid my saintly father by your pious prayers.' Now this portion of the letter of the king of the Nobadae we insert here in confirmation of our narrative, because he bears witness to the whole of this providential history; and he wrote two others to the same effect, which we have not been able to insert for fear of making |327 our story too long. And inasmuch as the main purport of this divine transaction is made known to every one, and declared by means of these two letters of the bishop and the king, we have determined not to lengthen the narrative by adding anything of our own, except to apply to these things, in token of our praise and admiration, the word of our Saviour, which says,'Verily, I say unto you, that this good news of the kingdom shall be preached unto all the nations, and then shall the end be.' [Matt.xxiv.14] And these things then, which are now recorded by us, were done by the help of God in the year 891 (A. D. 580).
[IV.54] But to return now to the thread of our former narrative, when above we mentioned the flight and concealment of Paul the patriarch, we said, as we believed ourselves, and as men generally supposed to be the case, that he had hid himself in a cave in the mountains of Isauria. But, as the fact finally proves, according to the assertion of those who find pleasure in investigating any thing thoroughly, during the four years in which he was out of sight, and was supposed to be hid in the mountains of Isauria, he really was concealed in the mountains near the capital. And though we were dwelling there, we were entirely unacquainted with the fact of his being so near us, nor did any one disclose it to us until his death. And those who were in his confidence imagined that even this was kept secret from us, and from men generally, and that three persons |328 alone knew of his burial; but in so supposing they forgot the word of the Lord, which says, that 'there is nothing secret which shall not be revealed.' [Matt. 26]
[IV. 55] Paul's continued silence had been a source of great grief to Theodore; for during these four years he had never received an answer from him, though he had often written. And Longinus too, who had consecrated him, had gone far away unto those tribes who had been christianized by him in further Aethiopia, and so Theodore was left without consolation on all sides. He determined, therefore, upon writing a circular letter to all the partisans of Paul, complaining and lamenting that he so neglected and despised him. And this he sent by two of his priests, who came to the capital; and on their arrival, their complaints and murmurs made the fact of Paul's concealment more generally known. And many were annoyed, and blamed Paul, and wrote wherever they thought he was, but he could not be found. And with much excuse and consolation, the priests were next sent to the island of Cyprus, because there were some of Paul's bishops there; and finally they returned to Theodore without having gained any thing by their journey. And he was still more distressed, and finally started for Cyprus himself in person. [IV. 56] For when pope Theodore saw that he got no answer, either by letters or by the persons whom he sent, he determined to embark on board a vessel, and sail himself to the island of Cyprus. |329
But he did not find Paul, but only some of his bishops, and though much discussion took place between them, still he could not discover where Paul was: two of the bishops, however, accompanied him back to Alexandria. And so he returned disappointed and vexed; for he did not believe what they said, that Paul was neither there nor in Cilicia, and that he could not see him. But, as was subsequently proved, during all this period of four years, in which no one saw him, and they had spread abroad the report that he lay hid in a cave in the mountains of Cilicia and Isauria, he really was dwelling in concealment in the capital, and but very few were privy to his secret. And there his end overtook him, of which we will now give a more particular account.
[IV.57] For while, as men thought, Paul was in the regions of the East, he really spent these four years in concealment in a mountain near the capital, as every one became aware at his death, though even then those who took care of him did their best to conceal it, and would not even have had it known that he was mortal. For after, as was said and proved, he had come to this city with the privity of a few members of his party, and had lain concealed with certain of them during all these years, suddenly he fell into a serious illness, and after a short time died. And great alarm and extreme terror fell upon them, lest if those in power should hear that he had been hid either in their houses or with their knowledge, they |330 should get into danger on his account; and therefore they fetched three individuals only of those presbyters who were in communion with him, and exacted of them a solemn oath, that they would not tell any one that it was the remains of the patriarch Paul, but bade them say, if the truth were suspected, that an aged stranger, named Christopher, had come to the city, and died there. And this the three presbyters did, and took him up by night, with his face covered, and carried him for burial to a certain convent. And when the nuns heard their request to bury him, they were terrified, saying, 'We cannot receive a corpse at night, in the dark, without knowing who it is, or whether it may not be some person who has been murdered; for we shall get into trouble.' And when they earnestly besought them, saying, 'It is a great and righteous man, and a foreigner; be not afraid:' they were at length prevailed upon to admit him. And they brought him in, with a covering over his face, and began in great haste and hurry to let him down into the catacombs: but the nuns were angry, and said, 'If it is as ye affirm, and your words are true, that he is a great and righteous man, let us celebrate over him the proper service for the dead, and uncover his face, that we may see him, and bury him, and be blessed by him: and then ye shall let him down into the grave.' But they hastily wound him up in the graveclothes, and buried him, saying, 'Let us let him down at once, and go; for we are in haste.' |331 And so they buried him with the burial of an ass 33, without any regard to decency, and went their way. And the nuns, who were more than a hundred and fifty in number, fell into many conjectures, and spread abroad various stories; and many different opinions were held, not only in the capital and in Syria, but also at Alexandria and everywhere else; but it was the general belief that it was Paul who was dead, though the three presbyters still stoutly affirmed and swore that it was another who had died, and not my lord Paul our patriarch. But all the orthodox at the capital, who acknowledged him as patriarch, were very indignant and angry that the secret of his death had been revealed to three of them, and kept secret from the rest; and many finally ceased to mention even Paul himself with love, and especially when they learnt that his arrival and residence in the capital, and death, had been concealed from them, and confided to three only of their number. But those who were privy to the secret still swore by a lying artifice that Paul was not dead, but alive; imagining that by so doing his opponents would not be able to rejoice. And for a whole year this dispute continued, and his name, as though he were alive, was proclaimed in the diptychs of the living, in the vain idea that his death would not be known as a certain fact, whereas really everybody did know it. |332
[IV. 58.] And here our historian feels himself bound to make some solemn reflections upon the troubled deaths, one after another, of these two saints, Jacob and Paul, whose quarrel had led to so widespread a schism, and so bitter a dissension in the persecuted church of the believers. For no one, he says, can help wondering and clapping his hands, who considers how strikingly and suddenly and ignominiously they were taken from this present life, and made their exit from this world. For, first of all, the blessed Jacob, in the very heat of their quarrel and dispute, taking two other bishops with him and a number of monks, hurriedly hastened to Alexandria: but what was the purpose of his journey was kept a secret, and men held various opinions about it, some this and some that. But He Whose providence watches over the good of His creatures, saw perchance and knew that it was neither for his own good nor that of the church, and therefore hindered and prevented and forbade his arrival. Now a report, which some have spread abroad of him and his company, is, that when they had reached the sea, and begun their voyage, a violent storm arose, and their ship sunk, and all perished in the sea, and their corpses were never found. But evidently none can ever know whether this be true. And others, who zealously defend his memory, say, that even if the storm really happened, their ship did not sink, but they were thrown on land, and arrived at the borders of Egypt, and reached a monastery in the desert, |333 called by the name of Cassian. And within three days after their arrival there, the two bishops first died, and then my lord Jacob, and then one of his deacons, all four together, one after another. And which of these stories is true, God knows; but we cannot say for certain. After then an interval of two or three years, the burial of Paul took place, in the confusion and absence of all right order, which we have briefly described in the previous chapter, and in secret, as those thought, who were the doers of it. And of these things what ought we to think and write, except to lament unto God with the prophet in sorrow and with sighs, and say, 'If our sins testify against us, Lord have mercy for Thy name sake: for great is Thy goodness, and we have sinned against thee.' [Jer. xiv.7]
[IV.59] The death of the two leaders led to various attempts at healing the schism in the church: for on both sides men arose, and spake to one another about a reconciliation, but not in an upright manner, and with due regard to humility and the fear of God, but proudly and haughtily, each side thinking that it was the head, and that its neighbour was the tail; and that it was high and exalted, and pure and free from blame, while it sought to keep the other down, and make it take an inferior place. And each side threw upon the other the blame of causing all these evils and schisms and divisions, and each vaunted itself over the other, and swelled with pride, as though it was to receive |334 the other as a penitent, and upon submission; for they had yielded themselves up to the teaching and malignity of the devil, who embittered them, and set them against one other, and so their path never led them to success. [IV. 60.] Peter alone, who had been made against his will patriarch of Syria, in Paul's place, endeavoured, with something like sincerity, to bring about a reconciliation: for even while Paul lived, being reproved by his own conscience, and by many also of his contemporaries, for having uncanonically occupied the throne of another while he was yet alive in the body, when finally the two parties began speaking to one another of a reconciliation; and those on Paul's side unanimously rebuked Peter, because, in Paul's lifetime, he had set himself above him, Peter, 'whether in pretence or in truth,' [Phil. i.18] or by cunning artifice, I know not, but certainly he began to say; 'Let there be no quarrel on my account: I will withdraw, and dwell in retirement: be ye then reconciled one side with the other: and appoint whomsoever ye shall in concert choose in my place, and so let there be union between you.' And when what he said pleased many, as bearing the appearance of humility and gentleness, others rebuked him even to his face, and called out reproachfully, 'Thou sayest this deceitfully, and in craft, and not honestly out of a pure heart: for thou knowest that those on thy side who set thee up, will never abandon thee: and besides, thou wilt make an excuse of Alexandria.' |335 And when he heard this, and much besides, from many of them, to shew that he really was desirous of union, he arose, and took with him some of his partisans, and went to Alexandria, to urge them also, and Damianus, whom they had set over them as their head, to union. And after many matters had been mooted and discussed between them, it seemed, according to the word of the apostle quoted above, 'whether in pretence or in truth,' that while he had spoken and argued much for union, they had resisted him, and would not listen to what he said: and so, as it seemed, he went away in vexation. But some thought that this was done artfully, and by cunning: but God, Who trieth the mind and heart, knoweth what is the real truth in these things. Because, however, they parted in peace with one another, therefore some concluded, that he had gone thither and back under a false pretence: especially because afterwards he stood firm in the quarrel, and said, 'I shall do nothing without the Alexandrians.'
[IV.61] Subsequently, for the space of a whole year more or less, meetings on both sides of bishops and monks and others were held, in which they debated with one another, assembling now in one place, and now in another, and going to and fro, and sending messages, and exacting heavy and severe stipulations of one another, and treating one another, as we mentioned above, haughtily and despotically, and not in a friendly manner, |336 and with brotherly love. And these stipulations they exacted first of all by messengers, who went to and fro, but subsequently in a more formal manner in writings, which they drew up to bind one another. But no sooner had a meeting risen and broken up, than there were found quarrelsome and litigious men, both of their number who had been present at the meeting, and others as well, who hindered peace, and put fresh causes of quarrel between the two parties; and giving themselves up to the spirit of opposition, they tore to pieces even the written conditions which they had mutually adopted, and circulated written attacks on one another, both to the capital, and the East and West, each one thinking his own the victorious side, and reviling the other, and accusing it, and often falsely, of every thing that would lead to the idea that it was in the wrong. And these mutual slanders they have often sent to me and others in the capital in the form of official deeds, and have not only refused to be the ambassadors of peace to one another, but have persisted in this division and schism and quarrel and opposition to one another, even to this day, and lived in a tempest of passion, such as gives pleasure to Satan, who asks for us, 'that he may sift us as wheat:' and by the false and disorderly dealing of both sides alike, who have refused to approach one another in the wish to examine dispassionately, in the fear of God, into the points in dispute, he has |337 gained his end, and now dances with joy, in company with all his herds and hosts of devils, and rejoices in their mutual deeds.
Of these events then, we have, briefly recorded the sum, not entering into all particulars, because of their too great length, from their commencement down to the present year, 896, (A.D. 585).
End of Book the Fourth; in which are contained sixty-one chapters.
[Footnotes given numbers and moved to the end]
1. a Procopius de bello Persico, i. 19, tells us that the Nobatae dwelt beyond Elephantine, on the banks of the Nile, but the Blemyes inland : and he adds, that Diocletian had greatly increased their territories, and given them an annual subsidy on condition that they should protect the Roman borders from marauders.
2. b Bar-hebraeus says that at this time Theodosius was dwelling at Constantinople. Cf. Assem. Bib. Or. ii. 330.
3. c Curiously enough, traces remain of bishop Theodore of Phyle in some inscriptions discovered by M. Gau, and which are given in the Appendix.
4. d This was Timothy III, pope of Alexandria from A. D. 518 to 535. Like most of the clergy and people of Egypt, he was a Monophysite.
5. e This is possibly the person mentioned in Ass. B. O. ii. 63.
6. f It may not be without its use to compare the full account of Paul as related by our historian with the compendium given by Asseman, as we thus learn how different a complexion is given to history by the filling up of the outlines. His narrative, B. O. ii. 331, is as follows: 'Paul of Alexandria, after putting on the monkish dress, was for some time with Theodosius, the patriarch there: but after the death of Sergius, being ordained patriarch of Antioch by Jacob Burdoho and two others, he was driven away from Egypt by Athanasius, Theodora's grandson, for endeavouring to obtain the patriarchate of Alexandria, and fled to Harith, king of the Arabs. Thence having gone to Byzantium, he was prevailed upon by the Emperor's services to embrace the council of Chalcedon. But on his return to Syria, he sent in a petition to Jacob Burdoho, begging to be received back into the Mono-physite communion; and his request being supported by the prayer of Mondir, the son of Harith, Jacob admitted him on ejuring the true religion.' The nature of the Emperor's good services we have seen before, and it is a proof of the strictness of discipline then enforced that so much difficulty should have been experienced by Paul in obtaining readmission to his own party, after a submission extorted by such violent means: and it also explains the patience with which men like Stephan of Cyprus, after being flogged into communion with the church, abode by the step they had taken.
7. g In Quatremère's Mémoires sur l'Égypte, i. 489, a description is given of the church of St. Minas, taken from an Arabic MS., which well illustrates the magnificence to which the hermits in the Nitrian desert had attained. According to this account, the church of St. Minas was a vast building decorated with statues and paintings of great beauty: wax tapers burnt therein clay and night without interruption. At one end was a massive tomb, with two camels sculptured in marble, on which a man stood upright, with his feet resting upon the camels' backs. He held one hand open, and one closed. This figure, which was also of marble, represented, they said, St. Minas. In the same church were the statues of John, Zacharias, and of Jesus, placed inside a vast colonnade of marble, situated on the right-hand side of the entrance: and in front of them was a gate kept constantly closed. There were also the statues of the prophets, and of the Virgin Mary, concealed from view by two curtains. On the exterior of the edifice were statues representing all sorts of animals, and men of all professions: among them a slave-merchant, with a purse in his hand with the bottom out. In the centre of the church was a dome, underneath which were eight statues, representing, if what they said is true, the angels. The land round the church was planted with a multitude of fruit trees, especially almonds and carob trees, the fruit of which being sweet and sugary, was used in making sirops. There were also numerous vines, the grapes and wine from which were exported into Egypt. The author subsequently adds, that the town of Fostat every year sent a thousand dinars to maintain the church.
In this desert, called also Scetis, and Scete, the monkish population was so dense, that seventy thousand, with their staves in their hands, are said to have met Amrou-ben-el-as, on his return from Alexandria, to beg him to take them under his protection: which he did, and granted them moreover a yearly allowance of five thousand ardebs of corn levied on Lower Egypt.
On the mountain of Nitria itself, in the early ages of Christianity, there were nearly fifty monasteries, besides fifteen hundred hermits, subject to the authority of a superior. They did not, however, all follow the same mode of life, but might either dwell absolutely alone, or in pairs, or even in greater numbers. Seven bakeries were constantly employed in supplying the hermits with bread; there were also physicians, pastrycooks, and places where wine was sold. At the chief church on the mountain there were eight priests, the first of whom alone had the right to celebrate mass, to preach, and judge in cases of quarrel. Every Saturday and Sunday the hermits came to church. Just by was a hospice where they received strangers, and maintained them as long as they chose to stay, even if it was for two or three years but after the first week, they expected them to undertake some kind of employment. (Ibid. p. 485.)
8. h Probably in the lost chapters at the beginning of this book, as no mention is made of him in any of the extant parts. A word occurs just before [Syriac] which I am unable to translate. It does not belong to the Syriac language, and as nothing suggests itself in Greek, I have omitted the sentence: the construction apparently requires that it should be the name of some class of people, or order in the church, as it says that Andronicus belonged to them.
9. i This chapter must have been written therefore A. D. 585, in the second year of the reign of Maurice.
10. k This phrase was applied in the early church, not merely as in the present case, to a bishop elected to a see already filled by another, but even to one who deserted the bishopric to which he was first appointed, even though it was for a patriarchate. Thus when Epiphanius, patriarch of Constantinople, died in 535, and Anthimus, bishop of Trapezus, was translated to the see, Agapetus, pope of Home, 'Constantinopolim de Roma adveniens, Anthimum ecclesia pellit, dicens eum contra regulam adulterum qui sua ecclesia dimissa, ambierat alienam.' Com. Marcellinus in Chronico, Indict. xiv.
11. l I imagine that [Syriac] is the Greek word sugkri/tai, which occurs in the life of S. Theophylact, bishop of Nicomedia: 'coming to Constantinople, he was slave first of all to the most holy Tarasius, who held the office of prw~toj sugkri/thj first vicar or assessor in the patriarch's court.'
12. m On the death of Timothy, patriarch of Alexandria in A. D. 518, a double election took place, two persons, Gaianus and Theodosius, being chosen by the people, both opposed to the synod of Chalcedon, but differing upon a question, greatly agitated at that time in the church, Gaianus holding that the body of our Lord was incapable of corruption, whereas Theodosius maintained that though it did not actually see corruption, yet that it was capable of it. The scenes which followed are strongly indicative of the state of the church in the sixth century. On the death of a patriarch of Alexandria, the custom was for his successor to perform the funeral rites over his remains, during which he placed the hand of the dead man upon his own head, and after burying him, assumed the 'pall of St. Mark,' and so mounted the throne. As Theodosius was the court candidate, he succeeded in so far getting the start as to perform some of these ceremonies, but before the funeral was over, and the throne mounted, the monks and populace who sided with Gaianus drove him away. Gaianus now filled the see for three months, until Justinian sent the famous eunuch Narses to reinstate Theodosius; and when the citizens drove him out of the town by force, the very women throwing missiles from the roofs of the houses, Narses set fire to the city, and having burnt down most of it, obliged them in this manner to receive their bishop. The arguments of Severus of Antioch against Julian of Halicarnassus, the chief defender of the tenets of Gaianus and his party, (and which are still extant in MS. in the British Museum,) seem to have gradually brought over the better educated portion of the inhabitants of Alexandria to Theodosius' side, but as the mob there continued its resistance, he was at length deprived of his see by Justinian, and retired to Constantinople, where, as I have mentioned, he was supported by Theodora's influence, and still recognised by the Monophysites as the true patriarch of Alexandria. Cf. Le Quien, Oriens Chr. ii. 430.
The reason alleged by Renaudot for his being deprived of his see is, that really his restoration was brought about by Theodora, and Justinian vexed at seeing so great power in the hands of a man opposed to his theological tenets, wrote to him and required him to receive Leo's letter, and use his exertions to bring about its general acceptance in his diocese; in which case he promised to make him the temporal as well as spiritual governor of Egypt, and subject all the bishops of Africa to his authority, whereas should he refuse, he was immediately to quit his see. On receiving this letter, Theodosius told the prefect and the messengers, that the devil once took our Lord into a mountain and shewed him the kingdoms of the world and its glory, and said, 'All this will I give thee, if thou wilt worship me.' And so now the emperor offered him what would be the ruin of his soul, if it led him to desert Christ his King. Then raising his voice, he said in the presence of the multitude, 'I anathematize Leo's letter, and the council of Chalcedon; and all who approve of its articles of faith, be they accursed now and for ever.' Then turning to the prefect, he continued, 'The emperor has power over my body, but not over my soul. Jesus Christ the true emperor has power over both. I am ready, therefore, to follow the example of my predecessors, Athanasius and Cyril and Dioscorus and Timothy, and suffer as they have done for the faith.' He then went out, exhorting all who loved God to follow him; for naked he had left his mother's womb, and naked he must return to it: and that whosoever lost his life for the faith's sake, would save it. At night he was taken into custody, and sent into the Thebais, where he exhorted the monks to constancy; but the emperor, fearing lest his example should encourage the people to remain firm in their creed, commanded him to come to Constantinople. There his modesty and humility won for him the emperor's respect, who treated him kindly, and tried to win him over to his views; but finding all his efforts unsuccessful, he finally banished him to a place a few miles from the city. Ren. Pat. Alex. 239.
13. n The word [Syriac], used in the original, signifies, 1. 'a bow;' 2. 'chaff.' As, however, I find that the root has the meaning of 'collegit,' cf. Ges. Thes. sub [Syriac] I have translated it in this sense.
14. o This is now the third time that John has applied to the Alexandrians the remarkable epithet [Syriac], taken from Psalm cxiv. i, the only other place where it occurs. Bar Bahlul explains the verb as Aegyptiace locutus est: but plainly John intends by it 'savage,' 'barbarous.' The people of Alexandria do not seem to have borne a very good character in ancient times, if we may judge from Dio Cassius, who calls them (lib. 4. 24), [Greek], the greatest braggarts, and the most utter cowards in the world.
15. p Asseman, in his account of the Monophysites, mentions a monastery of Mar Ananias in Mesopotamia,, famous as being the residence of their patriarchs, from A.D. 1166 to the present day. But from his description, it is apparently a different place from the monastery in the desert mentioned here.
16. q The word in the original, [Syriac], is very uncertain: a point over the initial letter seems to require the vowel to be a, in which case it may be a Syriac plural for pate/rej, abbots; but I am rather inclined to read it petrei=oi, and refer it to the three Alexandrian bishops, sent to represent pope Peter.
17. r The Syriac is [Syriac] which signifies, 'I have a king;' but as this is nonsense, I imagine the right reading to be [Syriac].
18. s The Arabic authorities, quoted by Renaudot, Pat. Alex 144, agree in assigning two years to Peter in the see of Alexandria; but it is evident from our author, that the Canon Chronologicus is right, which fixes his death in the tenth month after his election Damianus, the next patriarch, had previously been Peter's syncellus, having been appointed to this office from the great reputation he had acquired as an ascetic in a monastery on mount Thabor, where he devoted his time to sermon writing, and to disputations with heretics I may mention, that the Chronology of Renaudot is hopelessly confused in this part of his work, from his not being aware that many years elapsed between the death of Theodosius and the election of Peter.
19. t Cartamin was a very ancient monastery of the Monophysites, situated near Marde, in Mesopotamia. An account of it is given by Asseman, in his Essay on the Monophysites, prefixed to the second volume of his Bibliotheca Orientalis.
20. u John, the synodite, or as we should say, the catholic patriarch of Alexandria, occupied the throne about eleven years from A. D. 568 to 579.
21. x By the patriarch is probably meant not Paul, but the synodite patriarch, as Paul would not have had power sufficient for the purpose In the next chapter it is certainly the synodite patriarch who is described in similar terms
22. y He is called 'Sergius Anophitor, that is, [Syriac] one whose eyebrows meet: whether Anophitor is the corruption of some Greek word, formed perhaps from a0nofrua&zomai, I must leave to others to settle.
23. z By referring to page 77, it will be seen that besides John, the catholic patriarch of Alexandria, and Damianus, the Monophysite, there was also one created by the followers of Gaianus, or Julianists, as they were indifferently called, because of the services of Julianus of Halicarnassus in defending their tenet of the incorruptibility of our Lord's body. His name was Dorotheus and Le Quien incorrectly supposes that the Theodosians concurred in his election Oriens Christ ii. 438
24. a The text has 882, but the previous dates show that it was not till A. D. 581 that Peter Callinicus was consecrated.
25. b It will be found afterwards that this report was untrue: Paul was actually concealed at Constantinople, where he was much more likely to remain undiscovered, than in the mountains.
26. c After the example of Simeon Stylites, or the pillar-man, who spent most of his life standing on a pillar, which every year was raised higher and higher, numerous monks and hermits adopted the same method of attaining to distinction: and naturally, for Simeon on his pillar became more powerful than any patriarch in the East, and all difficult matters, in church and state, were referred to his decision, which was received with undoubting faith and obedience as something infallible and inspired.
27. d A district of Nubia still retains their name in its modern title of 'Maqorrah.'
28. e The sea of weeds is the constant appellation given by all Syriac writers to the Red Sea.
29. f This word, [Syriac], Aitekia, is probably a corruption of the Greek name Eutychius.
30. g Orfiulo, [Syriac], is. also a corruption of a Greek name, Eurypylus.
31. h The carelessness with which John of Ephesus spells is extreme: in this case I have in each place given the name as he writes it.
32. i This is the Julianus of Halicarnassus, repeatedly referred to above, as the chief writer in defence of a heresy commonly held in the fifth century, of the body of our Lord being incorruptible.
33. k That is, without any religious service being performed over his remains.
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