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Eighteen centuries of the Orthodox Greek 


3 1924 029 361 890 

M Cornell University 
B Library 

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REV. A. H. HORE, M.A., 








^nj-l *] 




THE present Work is an attempt to supply an acknow- 
ledged want, and to give, in a popular form, a history 
of the oldest Church in Christendom ; the Church of the 
land hallowed by the sacred memories of our Saviour. 
To write a hislory of the Greek Church, says John Mason 
Neale, whose own valuable work was cut short, through 
his early death at the age of forty-six, is a difficult and 
a dangerous task. It seems, therefore, a presumptuous 
undertaking ; my plea for indulgence must go for its 
worth ; but that I am the owner of the house where Hymns 
Ancient and Modern, to which Dr. Neale was so valuable 
a contributor, saw their birth ; where the first Committee 
meetings were held, and the chief contributors, he probably 
in the number, frequently met ; is the excuse I plead, to 
be, in my humbler endeavour, his successor. 

Dr. Neale might have added, that to write a history 
of the down-trodden Greek Church is also, in one sense, 
an unwelcome task ; for it necessitates controversy ; to me 
religious controversy is distasteful ; and, as the lengthen- 
ing shadows of the evening of life warn me that this may 
be the last which I shall write, I should have preferred 
a work of a different character. The conflicts for supremacy 
between Constantinople and Rome, and the arrogance and 
injustice of the latter were, in only a less degree than 
the Saracens and Ottomans, the cause of the fall of the 
Greek Church. The two Sees were placed by the great 
CEcumenical Councils on an equality ; it is, therefore, 
necessary to point out the process and the causes, through 
which the downfall of the one and the victory of the other 

vi Preface. 

were effected. If it is shown that I have overstated my 
case J or if, in order to prove it, I have gone out of my 
way to introduce unnecessary or irrelevant matter, I shall 
be willing to acknowledge my error. I can only say that 
I have endeavoured not to do so. 

My thanks for valuable assistance are due, amongst 
others, to the Very Reverend Eustathius Metallinos, Archi- 
mandrite, of the Greek Church at Manchester, and to 
my old schoolfellow, Mr. Morfill, Reader in Russian and 
the other Slavonic Languages at Oxford ; but I must 
add the proviso that, for whatever of good may be found 
in the Book, I am indebted to my friends, whilst all errors 
(and I cannot but fear that there may be some) are my 


January i, 1899. 







































General View of the Orthodox 

Greek Church . . . i 
The Conflict between the Fourth 

AND Fifth Empires . . 43 

The Victory of Christ's Kingdom . 93 

The First CEcumenical Council . iii 

The Struggle for the Homoousion . 132 

The Second (Ecumenical Council . 167 
The Third and Fourth CEcumenical 

Councils . . . 204 
The Separatist Churches of the 

East .... 242 
The Fifth and Sixth CEcumenical 

Councils . . . 279 

The Saracenic Conquests . . 320 

The Seventh CEcumenical Council . 335 
The Culminating Schism of the 

Greek and Roman Churches . 364 

The Schism widened by the Crusades 408 
Intrigues of the PALiEOLOGi with 

Rome, and Fall of Constantinople 442 

The Making of Russia . . 486 
The Three Romes . -532 

The Holy Governing Synod . 580 
Partial Recovery of the Greek 

Church . . .621 

The Greek Church in its present 

relation to Western Christendom 659 
* . .695 


General View of the Orthodox Greek Church. 

'pHE Orthodox Greek or Eastern Church is the most 
1 ancient of the Christian Churches. Jerusalem was the 
mother-Church of Christianity; in Antioch the believers 
were first calkd Christians. There is no certain proof that 
St. Peter was ever in Rome ; there is certain proof that his 
mission was m. Syria ; and, if the words of his First Epistle 
(i Pet. V. 13) are to be taken in their ordinary sense, that 
he proceeded as far as Babylon. St. Paul was a native 
of Tarsus in Cilicia. From the East the Gospel was brought 
into the West ; the Church of Rome is a Greek Church ; 
"a colony," says Dean Stanley, "of Greek Christians and 
Grecizgd Jews." 

The original language of the Church, not only in the 
East but also in the West, was Greek. Of the Churches 
of the West, says Dean Milman, " the language was Greek, 
their organization Greek, their writers Greek, their Scrip- 
tures Greek, and many traditions show that their Liturgy 
was Greek." 

The old Hebrew language became extinct during the 
Babylonian and Persian conquests, or was supplanted by 
the Chaldaic and Aramaic dialects. After the conquests 
of Alexander the Great, Greek became the prevalent lan- 
guage of Egypt and Syria ; and for the sake of the Jews in 
his new colony of Alexandria, who had lost their own 
language and spoke Greek, the Scriptures were translated 
into the Greek language, and the translation, known as the 
Septuagint, had its place in the famous library of the 
Ptolemies. To quote Dean Stanley once more — " The 
humblest peasant who reads his Septuagint and New 


2 Introduction. 

Testament on the hills of Boeotia may proudly feel that he 
has an access to the original oracles of divine truth which 
Pope or Cardinal reaches by a barbarous and imperfect 

Rome, B.C. 148, subdued Macedon, and Greece became 
a Roman province under the name of Achaia. But Greece 
moulded the minds of its conquerors, and though the lands 
became politically Roman, they remained intellectually and 
socially Greek, and Greek was the language of the civilized 
world at the time of our Saviour's coming, those who spoke 
another language being called barbarians". Greek, says 
Kurtz, was like a temporary suspension of the confusion 
of tongues (Gen. xi.) which had accompanied the rise of 
heathendom. And as Greek accompanied the rise, so was it 
the language of the growth, of Christianity. The earliest 
Fathers came from the East, and, with the exception of 
TertuUian (he too a native of Carthage), wrote in Greek. 
The earliest principal writers of Ecclesiastical history were 
Greeks ; Eusebius, Socrates, Sozomen, Theodoret, Evagrius. 
All the GEcumenical Councils were held in the East, and 
their decrees and canons and the Nicene Creed were 
written in Greek. A Synod of the Greek Church, that of 
Laodicea, A.D. 367, determined the Canon of Scripture, 
and so "made the Bible." 

Thus Greek Christianity is the parent of Latin Chris- 
tianity, and the Churches of Rome and England are really, 
in the present divided state of Christendom, separated limbs 
of the Greek Church. To the Greek Church the Armenians, 
Transylvanians, Slavonians including the Bulgarians and 
Russians, and many other, once heathen, nations, owe their 
conversion. Uninterrupted successions of Metropolitans and 
Bishops of the Greek Church stretch themselves back to 
Apostolic times ; venerable Liturgies exhibit doctrines un- 
changed and discipline uncorrupted. The same Eucharist is 
offered now, the same hymns are chanted by the Eastern 

•Hence the Greek words: Church, Bishop, Priest, Deacon, Ecclesiastic, 
Paraclete, Epiphany, Liturgy, Litany, Hermit, Monk, &c. 

General View of the Orthodox Greek Church. 3 

Christians of to-day, as those of the Churches of SS. Athana- 
sius, Basil, and Chrysostom. Fixing her Patriarchal thrones 
in the city of Antioch, where the disciples were first called 
Christians ; in Jerusalem, where James the brother of our 
Lord was the first Bishop ; in Alexandria, where St. Mark 
founded the Episcopate ; in Constantinople, where the 
victory of Christianity was consummated ; in the splendour 
of Byzantine glory ; through the tempests of the Oriental 
Middle Ages ; in the desolation and tyranny of the Turkish 
Empire ; she is now, as she was at the beginning, immut- 
able in faith, or,, as she delights to call herself, One, Holy, 
Catholic and Apostolic *•- 

Until the Fourth Century, and the foundation of Con- 
stantinople, Christianity continued to be, both in the East 
and West, a Greek religion. But after Constantine settled 
his capital in the old Greek City of Byzantium, whilst 
Greek Christianity continued to be the religion of the East, 
Latin by degrees supplanted it at Rome ; and part of the 
Church services began to be said or sung there, and gradu- 
ally in other parts of the West, in Latin. But it was not 
till the Pontificate of Pope Damasus (366 — 384) and the 
Translation, at his bidding, of the Vulgate edition of the 
Bible by St. Jerome, that the Roman Church became com- 
pletely Latinized and turned from a Greek into a Latin 
Church. Not long afterwards we find a Pope, Ccelestine \. 
(422 — 432), excusing to Nestorius, Patriarch of Constan- 
tinople, his delay in answering a Letter, on the ground 
that he could not find any one able to translate it from 
Greek into Latin. And it is well known that Pope Gregory 
the Great (590 — 604), the first Pope to whom the title 
of Theologian can be applied, was completely ignorant of 
the Greek Language. 

If one Church therefore more than another has a right 
to impose its language on Christendom, it is the Greek 
Church, for Greek is the language of the Septuagint, of 
the New Testament, and of the early Church. 

•■ Neale's Introduction to the Holy Eastern Church. 
B 2 

A Introduction. 

In the earliest days of the Christian Church, the eccle- 
siastical divisions corresponded with the civil arrangement 
of the Roman Empire, of which Rome was at that time 
the capital. Consequently Alexandria and Antioch were 
the Metropolitan Sees of the Eastern, as Rome was 
of the Western, Church. Egypt had for its Metropolitan 
the Bishop of Alexandria, whose See extended over the 
whole of Africa, except that part which belonged to the 
European Praefecture, and acknowledged the supremacy 
of the Roman See ; but that also was afterwards transferred 
to the Eastern part of the Empire, and consequently to 
the See of Alexandria. Jerusalem was dependent on 
the See of Csesarea, Byzantium on that of Heraclea. 

Subsequently to the foundation of Constantinople, but 
at what exact date is uncertain, Rome, Constantinople, 
Alexandria and Antioch were raised to the dignity of 
Patriarchal Sees, the four Patriarchates corresponding with 
the four Praetorian Prefectures created by Constantine. An 
ecclesiastical ascendency over the Churches of the East, 
which was afterwards confirmed by the Councils, was ac- 
corded to Constantinople, the New Rome as it was called, 
on the same ground that it had been accorded to the Old 
Rome; viz., that it was the seat of the Imperial govern- 
ment. By the Council of Chalcedon, Jerusalem was raised 
into a Fifth Patriarchate. Contests for superiority soon 
arose between the Patriarchs of Old and New Rome. But 
the circumstances between East and West were widely 
different, and the contest was an unequal one. New Rome, 
being the See of the Imperial residence, was from the first 
hampered by the despotic interference of the Emperors, 
whilst at the same time it enjoyed only a barren pre- 
cedence over the three other Eastern Patriarchates. The 
See of Old Rome on the contrary was the only Patriarchate 
in the West ; and, being situated at a convenient distance 
from the civil government, enjoyed freedom of action ; 
whilst to a certain extent it succeeded to the dignity vacated 
at Rome by the transference of the Imperial throne to 

General View of the OrtJiodox Greek Church. 5 

Constantinople. And, although after the suppreSsion of the 
Western Empire it was -subject to a Gothic King at Ra- 
venna, acting under an Emperor resident at Constantinople, 
yet both Emperor and King resided at too great a distance 
to exact obedience, and the Popes of Rome became gener- 
ally mere nominal subjects. Thus the Popes gradually ac- 
quired notions of temporal as well as of spiritual dominion ; 
they put forth claims which it was impossible they could 
have done, had there been an Emperor or King resi- 
dent in Rome ; ^nd those claims went on increasing, till 
in time the Popes magnified the Primacy, which they 
had originally enjoyed as Bishops of the Imperial city, 
into a divine authority handed down by St. Peter, who, there 
is some reason for believing, may have been bishop of 
Antioch, but who was certainly never bishop of, if indeed 
he ever went to, Rome. 

It was impossible for the Patriarchs of Constantinople, 
though recognized as the oecumenical Patriarchs by the 
Emperors, to assume the same power in the East as the 
Patriarchs of Rome did in the West, or to play the same 
conspicuous part in the world's history. Rome, freed from 
restraint, was able to become, in the Middle Ages, the 
barrier against the wickedness and injustice of Emperors 
and Kings, and the Christian world owes to the Church of 
Rome a deep debt of gratitude. But, instead of the gentle 
spirit of the Gospel, the Heads of the Latin Church resorted 
to carnal weapons, and to the abuse of the fearful engine 
of excommunication, the foulest contrivance since the creation 
of the world, whereby a minister of Christ claimed the 
power and right to deprive of the means of Grace, not only 
the guilty but innocent souls for whom Christ died. From 
such a temptation the Heads of the Greek Church were, 
through local circumstances, free, and any defect, if defect 
there was, had its corresponding advantage ; for the same 
circumstances which prevented them from rising to such 
a height of grandeur as that to which the Popes of Rome 
attained, secured them against falling into the abyss of 

5 Introduction. 

moral degradation which often, especially in the Tenth 
Century, overwhelmed their Western brothers. 
For long ages past the existence of the Greek Church 
has been one continued martyrdom, and under the grinding 
oppression of its successive conquerors, Arabs, Mongols, 
Turks, it has indeed fallen low. Yet at the time when 
Constantinople was overwhelmed by the Crusaders and 
the Latin kingdom established, the Patriarchs of Con- 
stantinople and Rome were well-nigh on an equality. 
From that time the fate of Constantinople was certain. 
It was the Fourth Crusade and the action of Pope Inno- 
cent III. that led to its sacking by the Turks in 1453, 
the destruction of the Eastern Empire, and the down- 
fall of the Greek Church. And since the days of Ma- 
homet II., not the Turks alone, but, shame to say, Western 
Christendom also, have been its persistent enemies. 

The existence of the Greek Church to the present day 
is alone a proof of its divine origin. The wonder is, not 
that it should have fallen so low, but that, afflicted on every 
side, oppressed by schism from within and cruel persecution 
from without, it should so nobly have struggled on ; many 
of its members no doubt succumbed in the unequal contest ; 
but the way in which the Orthodox Church has weathered 
the storm and adhered to its faith and Litnrgy is little short 
of a miracle, "The Greek rite," says the Rev. W. Palmer", 
who afterwards joined the Church of Rome, " is like a plant 
which though covered with dust, and somewhat shrunk, has 
preserved its original shape and proportions, whereas the 
Latin is so changed that it is like a new building con- 
structed in part out of the ruins of the old." " The Holy 
and Orthodox Eastern Church glories in the Lord over the 
long and terrible persecutions and conflicts of martyrdom ; 
the Heavenly Bridegroom having pitied and loved, did not 
deprive it of the bright mystic candlestick and of all the 

- Dissertations on the Orthodox Communion. 

General View of the Orthodox Greek Church. y 

perfect and unsullied treasure of the Apostolic and God- 
delivered faith *." 

The conversion of Russia by the Greek Church is the 
mightiest conquest the Christian Church has ever made 
since the time of the Apostles, and the future of that 
Church is a problem which it would be difficult to solve. 
Now that the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire in Europe, 
or at any rate the end of its tyranny over the Christians, 
is only a matter of time, will the Third Rome inherit the 
succession of the Second Rome on the Bosphorus ? And 
what are to be the relations of the Church of England to 
that of Russia, and to the Greek Church generally ? There 
are many points of contact ; a national Church, an open 
Bible, the recognition of the principle of the vernacular 
language in the Church services ", an unmutilated Eucharist, 
a married clergy, the acknowledgment of Christ as the 
alone Head of the Church ; these points create a chord of 
sympathy between the Greek and English Churches. British 
Orders were probably derived from France, and French 
Orders from Smyrna, where Polycarp, the disciple of St. 
John, was Bishop ; so that the Church of Britain was founded 
when the Church of Rome was still a Greek Church ; and 
whatever debt of gratitude England owes to SS. Gregory 
and Augustine, it owes a more ancient and important 
one to the Greek Church. 

The Orthodox Greek Church was, as before stated, in 
early time under the Four Patriarchs, of Constantinople, 
Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. In the Sixteenth 
Century a new Patriarchate, that of Moscow, was consti- 
tuted for Russia, to complete the number of five Patri- 
archates, in the place of " Old Rome which had fallen 

^ Letter of the Patriarch of Constantinople to the Archbishop of Canterbury 
in 1870. 

" Mr. Birkbeck, in a Lecture at Brighton on February 10, 1898, instances 
a tribe in Siberia possessing a language of only two hundred words, who in 
order that the services might be performed in their own language had to be 
educated before the Lord's Prayer could be fully translated. 

8 Introduction. 

away," but it was supplanted in the reign of Peter the Great 
by the " Holy Governing Synod of All the Russias." In 
1833 the Sacred Synod of the Church of Greece, in imitation 
of the Holy Synod of Russia, was established for the 
Kingdom of Greece, as soon as it gained its independence ; 
within his own Patriarchate, each Patriarch, and in Russia 
and Greece their Synods, which have Patriarchal rank, 
have full jurisdiction. There are also other independent 
Orthodox Greek Churches, three in Austro-Hungary, and 
those of Cyprus, Georgia, Servia, Montenegro, and Roumania. 
But all branches of the Orthodox Church own, theoretically, 
the supremacy of the Patriarch of Constantinople, as the 
Anglican Church throughout the world owns that of the 
Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Roman Church that 
of the Pope of Rome. 

Besides the Orthodox Church there are several separate 
Greek Communities, under their own Patriarchs, of which 
mention will be made in a future chapter. They are m 
reality national churches which co-exist with, and some- 
times have supplanted, the Orthodox Church ; but they 
are, some of them heretical, and, so far as they are out 
of communion with the Orthodox Church, all of them 

As the higher clergy are forbidden, and the lower clergy 
are almost always, and at one time were even obliged, to 
be married men, the Bishops are taken from the monas- 
teries, the superiors of which are styled Archimandrites 
(ft,dvBpa, a fold), and Hegumens (■^yov/jievoi), the monas- 
teries following the Rule of St. Basil. The lower clergy 
are of two classes, the Regular, who live in monasteries, 
and the Secular, or Parish Priests ; or, as the two classes 
are called in Russia, the Black and White Clergy. The 
monastic clergy are styled Kaloirs (KaXoyipoi), a title origin- 
ally given, as the name implies, to old men, but now to 
all alike. The Clergy are not allowed to marry after they 
have taken Priest's Orders, and on the death of their wives 
may return into a monastery and are then eligible for Bi- 

General View of the Orthodox Greek Church. g 

shoprics. In Russia the Parish Priests are styled Popes, 
chief amongst whom are the Protopopes. 

The time of the Parish Priests is so taken up in the 
daily routine of the services, and in mastering the inter- 
minable length of the Office-books, that they have little 
or no time to devote to study. The Office-books are con- 
tained in twenty folio volumes, in a language, vernacular 
indeedj but generally out of date, scarcely understood at 
all by the people, and little more by the clergy; besides 
an extra folio directing how they are to be used, and the 
manner in which the services are to be performed. There 
are different services for every day and for different parts 
of the day. 

The services being said in Russia in the Old Slavic 
language, and in other countries in an idiom equally un- 
inteUigible, the people are not expected to take part in 
them. Their great length, sometimes extending to five 
hours, obliges the Priest to hurry over them in a manner 
which to our Western feelings seems scarcely reverent ; and 
their length explains the great predominance in Russian 
congregations of the stronger over the weaker sex, women 
not being ordinarily able to endure the fatigue which they 
entail. Reverence for their office and an implicit confi- 
dence in their Priests is almost an article of faith, and the 
people are contented with the belief that they are praying 
for them. 

Nearly every day in the week has its appropriate Saint, 
sometimes more than one, and on the observance of those 
days the people lay great stress. Sunday they call the 
Lord's Day (^ KvpiuKi]) ; the five following days they 
name numerically ; Saturday, besides the Seventh Day, 
they style the Sabbath (ad^^aTov), and on that day, except 
in Holy Week, they consider it unlawful to fast. 

The Fasts are very numerous (226 days out of the 365 
in the year), and very rigorously observed, not only meat 
but nearly every kind of fish, as well as eggs, cheese, butter, 
and milk, being prohibited. Besides the Western Lent, 

10 Introduction. 

there are three other Lents ; one lasting from Whitsuntide 
to St. Peter's Day, a second, for the dormition of the Virgin 
{KoCjJLritns -nj? iravayias), (August i to August 15), a third, 
corresponding with our Advent, during the 40 days before 
Christmas. In monasteries another Fast is observed during 
the first fourteen days of September, to commemorate the 
Exaltation (ui^wo-w) of the Holy Cross. To compensate 
for the rigorous observance of these Fasts, an opposite 
license, which the Priests too often connive at, is prac- 
tised on their Festivals. 

The Greek Church bases its belief (i) on Holy Scripture ; 
(2) On the Nicene, or Constantinopolitan, Creed ; (3) On 
Seven CEcumenical Councils ; (4) On Seven Mysteries or 
Sacraments. Beyond the Creed, no authoritative exposition 
of faith was promulgated till the XVIth Century, the Trea- 
tise on the Orthodox Faith^ of St. John Damascene being 
considered a sufficient guide. The Greek Church holds that 
the writings of the Fathers are of great use, and to be con- 
sulted, but all doctrine must be brought to the test of the 
Bible. " Neither the writings of the Holy Fathers nor 
the traditions of the Church are to be confounded or 
equalled with the Word of God and His commandments, 
for the Word of God is one thing, but the writings of the 
Holy Fathers and Traditions ecclesiastical are another k." 

" As regards the questions of doctrinal authority gener- 
ally," writes Mr. Blackmore '', " the members of the Eastern 
Church are neither bound in conscience, on the one hand, 
to every word of any modern documents, nor left free, on 
the other hand, to indulge in an unlimited license of criticism. 
Beyond the Creed itself, the Eastern Church has no general 
doctrinal tests .... no XXXIX Articles, like that subscribed 
in England." 

The principal authoritative standards are the following : — 

(i) The Answers of the Patriarch feremias, in 1576, to 
the Letters of the Wittenberg Divines, who wished to 

' 'EicSoffts KKpifirls Tijs 'OpBoSS^ov nlareais. 
e Duty of Parish Priests. ■* Doctrine of the Russian Church. 

General View of the Orthodox Greek Church. 1 1 

strengthen the Lutheran cause by an alliance with the 
Eastern Church ; this document was afterwards approved 
by the Council of J assy, A.D. 1642, under Parthenius, Pa- 
triarch of Constantinople, and that of Bethlehem, A.D. 1672, 
under Dositheus, Patriarch of Jerusalem ; and is entirely 
free from Latinism. 

Between this and the two next expositions, says Mr. 
Smith, a Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, who was 
Chaplain at Constantinople in the latter part of the XVIIth 
Century ', there is so great a difference " as shows the sub- 
tle designs of Rome, which took advantage of its poverty 
and distress to bring the Greek Church to a compliance 
with its doctrines in order to bring it into subjection." 
The two expositions to which' he alludes are the Confession 
of Peter Mogila, and the XVIII Articles of the Synod of 
Bethlehem. " The success of Roman intrigues in the East 
may," says Mr. Masson \ " be estimated from the fact 
that of the Greek Ecclesiastics who from the fall of the 
Eastern Empire to the beginning of the XVIIth Century 
(a space of 150 years) successively filled the Patriarchal 
throne of Constantinople, thirteen were the tools of Rome. 
The fate of the Patriarch Cyril Lucar is well known ; from 
his firm resistance to papal domination he was for many 
years unremittingly persecuted by the agents of Rome, who 
at last accomplished his murder in 1638." 

(2) The Orthodox Confession of Faith was the work of 
Peter Mogila, Metropolitan of Kiev in the Ukraine (1632 — 
1647). It was written at a time when the Church of Western 
Russia was infected not only with Roman but Calvinistic 
doctrines, with both of which Mogila himself became uncon- 
sciously tainted. It was submitted to the Council of Jassy 
of 1642, which found in it many strange and unorthodox 
doctrines. After alterations made in the Council, and having 
been translated from Russian into Greek by Meletius Syriga, 
Exarch of the Patriarch of Constantinople, it was approved 
and confirmed by the four Eastern Patriarchs, and put forth 
■ Account of the Greek Church. ■• Apology for Greek Church, p. 87. 

1 2 Introduction. 

in 1662 (fifteen years after the death of Mogila), prefaced 
by a Letter from Nectarius, Patriarch of Jerusalem, as " The 
Orthodox Confession of the Faith of the Catholic and Apos- 
tolic Church of the East." It is in the form of Question 
and Answer, and consists of three parts ; Faith, Hope, and 
Charity. It was approved in 1696 by Adrian, the last 
Patriarch of Moscow, and was acknowledged in the Spiritual 
Regulation of the Russian Church of 1720, and " all Russian 
theologians have rested very much on this book '-" 

(3) The next exposition is The XVIII Articles of the 
Synod of Bethlehem of 1672, which is a counter Confession 
to the " Confession " attributed to Cyril Lucar, the latter 
of which was of a decidedly Calvinistic character. They 
seem to have been for the first time communicated to the 
Russian Church in 172 1 by the Eastern Patriarchs, to be 
sent on to England as their ultimatum to the Non-juring 
Bishops'" who were seeking Communion with the Greek 
Church. Of these XVIII Articles, XVII., which treats of 
Transubstantiation, and XVIII., on Prayers for the Dead, 
have a strong tinge of Latinism, and in many points are 
modified in the Russian translation authorized in 1838. 

(4) Another exposition is The Orthodox Docti'ine of Plato, 
Metropolitan of Moscow, which appeared in 1772 with the 
same threefold division as the Orthodox Confession of 
Mogila ; but it never received Synodical authority. It is 
however an authorized text-book in the Greek Church, 
and, says Mr. Pinkerton, " has been introduced into almost 
every place of religious instruction in Russia." "The 
Orthodox Doctrine " is " scriptural and evangelical to a 
degree that must astonish those who are accustomed to 
regard the Eastern Church as in her standards and 
tendency merely on a level with the Western "." 

(5) The Longer and Shorter Catechisms of the Russian 
Church are the work of Philaret, Metropolitan of Moscow. 
The former received the sanction, although not synodically, 

' Blackmore's Russian Church, XXV. ° See Chap. XVI. 

" Masson's Apology, 

General View of the Orthodox Greek Church. 1 3 

of the Patriarchs, and, says Dr. Neale, makes good its 
title, " A Full Catechism of the Orthodox Catholic Church 
of the East." Both Catechisms were in 1838 promulgated 
by the Holy Governing Synod, as "the Catechism of the 
Church herself," and have since then been in use in all 
the Churches and Schools of Russia. 

(6) The last authoritative work is " The Treatise on the 
Duty of Parish Priests^' the work in 1776 of George 
Konissky, Bishop of Mogilev, with the assistance of Par- 
thenius Sopkovsky, Bishop of Smolensk, which " has been 
adopted by the whole Russian Church (and even beyond 
its limit wherever the Slavic language is understood °) ;" 
and all candidates for Holy Orders are expected to be 
acquainted with its contents. 

As to the structure and ornaments of the Churches. In 
the miserable state of oppression to which the Greek Chris- 
tians have so long been subjected, it cannot be expected that 
in their sacred buildings splendour or anything that deserves 
the name of architecture can ordinarily be found ; in fact 
till recently, their churches were for the most part mean and 
ill-furnished, often almost subterraneous, as a necessary pre- 
caution against the avarice and rapacity of the Turks. " I 
have seen churches," says Sir Paul Ricaut, for some time at 
the end of XVI Ith century Consul at Smyrna, " which are 
more like caverns or sepulchres than places set apart for 
divine worship, the top thereof being scarcely level with 

the ground for fear that they should be suspected, 

if they raised them to any considerable height, of an evil 
intention to rival the Turkish mosques." But in this respect 
a better state of things has set in since the last century ; 
decent Churches have been erected, and there is no reason 
to doubt that, when the Greek Church has been emanci- 
pated from its fast-vanishing thraldom, its Churches will 
be, if not as sumptuous, yet as well adapted to God's 
service, as our own in England. 

Where there is any architecture at all, it is of the By- 

° Blackmore. 

14 Introduction. 

zantine style, the Cathedral of St. Sophia at Constantinople 
being the general model, although in Armenia there is 
another style, which is termed Armenian. 

A Byzantine Church may, says Dr. NealeP, be fitly de- 
scribed as a gabled Greek Cross, with domes, five and 
sometimes even seven in number, which in Cathedrals and 
even in some Parish Churches are gilded, and have an 
imposing outward appearance. An inexperienced eye might 
pronounce a Greek Church to be a mosque, except that 
"whatever is beautiful in the mosque of the Mahometans 
is derived from the Christians, whatever is unsightly is 
their own." 

On some Russian Churches the Crescent still remains 
under the Cross ; when the Grand Duke Ivan III. delivered 
his country from the Tartar yoke, he left the Crescent re- 
maining and put the Cross on it as a mark of the 
victory of the Orthodox Church \ 

In a Greek Church no seats (except in Cathedrals and 
some larger Churches the stalls (o-rao-t'Sm) for the Bishops) 
are provided for the Clergy or people, it being considered 
as an act of irreverence for any one of a lower dignity than 
a Bishop to sit in the House of God. The congregation, 
following the ancient practice, stand ; they do not kneel in 
church, and only incline their bodies in receiving the Holy 
Communion ; but they express their reverence by pros- 
trating themselves, even touching the ground with their 
foreheads ; especially is this the case with the lower classes. 
Orientation of the Churches is more scrupulously observed 
in the East than in the West, and the practice of praying 
towards the East is almost universal amongst them. In 
their Churches there is a fourfold division ; — 

(i) The Narthex (vapdri^, 7rp6vao<:),the derivation of which 
is uncertain, some thinking it is so called as being vepde 
{below the nave), forms the western end, immediately inside 
which is the Font {K6Kvp,^riepa). The Narthex was origin- 

' Holy Eastern Church, I. 169. 
1 King's Rites and Ceremonies of the Greek Church in Russia. 

General View of the Orthodox Greek Church. 1 5 

ally set aside for catechumens, penitents, and the possessed 
{ivepyovfiivoi) , but is now the part occupied by women, 
the former women's gallery having fallen into disuse. 

(2) The Nave (mo?), so called from the symbolical 
significance of a ship as a figure of our salvation (Gen. 
vii. 23) ; or Trapeza ; where, in the case of cathedrals, are 
the stalls, one higher than the rest for the Patriarch, the 
others for the Metropolitans and Bishops. 

(3) The Choir (xopos) under the Trullus or Dome. 

(4) The Bema (ayiov ^rj/io), or Altar {dvaiaa-T^piov). 

At the entrance of the Church there is usually a Porch 
(irpoavXiov), extending along the whole Western width. 

There are several sets of gates, as to the position of which 
accounts are so confusing, that it is difficult to determine 
their position ; but perhaps the following description may be 
given. (1) The Beautiful Gates (TrwXai mpatai, so named 
from the Beautiful Gate of the Temple) leading from the 
Porch into the Narthex ; (2) The Royal gates [irvXai 
fiaaiXiKai), or Silver gates, in imitation of the Silver gates 
in St. Sophia's at Constantinople, dividing the Narthex 
from the Nave ; (3) The Holy Gates (ayiai Bvpai), three 
in number with veils before them, leading from the 
Choir through the Iconostasis ; the middle one into the 
Bema, which corresponds with the Chancel of Latin 
Churches', that on the North side to the Prothesis, that 
on the South to the Diakonikon. In the centre of the 
Bema, which is raised above the other part of the Church 
by steps s, is the Holy Table ("Ayia Tpdire^a), with four 
columns supporting a canopy (Ki^mptov). The name of Altar 
is not commonly applied to the Holy Table, but includes 
tlie whole space between it and the Iconostasis '. 

This last is a high screen corresponding with our Altar 
rails, but higher and solid, so that the congregation is 
prevented from seeing the Consecration of the Elements 

' Hence the Clergy were sometimes called oj to5 B^juaras, Bingham, Bk. viii. 
Ch. vi. 
' Schann's Euchology. ' King's Rites and Ceremonies, p. 27. 

l6 Introduction. 

and the Communion of the Clergy. On it are many Icons ; 
one of the Saviour on the North, another of the Virgin 
Mary on the South side, others to different Saints, one 
being the Patron Saint of the Church ». Between the Ico- 
nostasis and the Choir is the part called the Soleas 
(amXeas). On the North of the Choir in the Church of 
St. Sophia at Constantinople, but frequently in other 
Churches on the North of the Trapeza, is the Ambon 
{avafialvm), a stone, raised by one, two, or three steps, 
■where the Deacon says the Ectanias, reads the Gospel, 
gives out the Church notices and the diptychs, and from 
which the sermon, when there is one (which till lately 
except in Russia was rarely, but now, especially in Con- 
stantinople and Greece, is frequently, the case), is preached. 
Before the Iconostasis, lamps, sometimes perpetually burning, 
are generally hung. The Epistle is read by the Reader. 

At the back of the Holy Table is a representation of 
the Crucifixion, before which stands a lamp with seven 
branches. A Pyx (apro^opiov) containing the Reserved 
Sacrament stands on the Holy Table, a lighted lamp being 
suspended before it, and on the Table lies a Book of the 
Gospels and a Cross. The Antiminsia, or Consecrated Cor- 
poral, is spread upon the Holy Table over the usual covering, 
and forms an important feature in the Celebration. 

The East end of Greek Churches is generally tri-apsidal. 
The centre apse is the Bema {"Aytov Bfjfia) ; the northern 
apse the Prothesis (UpoOeais) ; the southern the Sacristy 
(SiaKoviKov, aKevo^vKaKLOv, fiivcyaTcoptov) ; these two last are 
generally divided, but sometimes not, from the Bema by 
walls {•irapa^riiiaTa). The Sacristy is the Vestry for the 
Clergy. There is usually only one Holy Table and one 
Chapel ; where there are more than one, it is generally 
in places which have been under Latin influences, as in 
Russia where the Russians have been brought into contact 
with the Latins of Poland and Lithuania. 

Greek Churches contain no stoups for holy water. The 
" King's Rites and Ceremonies. 

General View ofjhe Orthodox Greek Church. 17 

piscina {ddXaaaa), now commonly called j^avevTijpiov, is in 
the Prothesis, near the Table of Preparation ; Church Bells 
are forbidden by the Turks, and consequently, except in 
Russia and in countries not subject to Turkey, are not used. 
Organs and musical instruments are rigidly prohibited by 
their own laws, and the singing, except in Russia, where 
it is of a very beautiful description, is generally of an 
indifferent character; totally different notes are used to 
those which we use, but their hymns, as may be judged 
from the hymns which have been translated by Dr. Neale, 
are very pleasing and melodious. 

The only Creed which the Greeks recite in their 
services is the Nicene or Constantinopolitan ; which being 
an exposition and enlargement of the Apostles' Creed ac- 
counts for the omission of the latter. The Athanasian, 
which is probably a Western, Creed was palmed off on them 
in the Xlllth Century as having been composed by St. 
Athanasius, the great Champion of their Faith, when he 
was an exile in Rome ; but if they were for a time deceived, 
they never accepted it without the omission of the Fihoque 

A few words may be said as to the vestments worn by 
the clergy. The full canonical vestments of a Bishop 
are : — 

(i) The Sticharion or Stoicharion, signifying purity, and 
corresponding with the Latin al5. It was originally made 
of white linen, but now, especially in Russia, it is of the 
richest silk or velvet, and on the ordinary days of Lent, 
of a purple colour. 

(2) Epitrachelion, sto/e, but differing from the Latin stole, 
in that it has a hole at the upper extremity for the head 
to pass through. It represents the easy yoke of Christ. It 
and the Sticharion are attached to the body by the Zone 

(3) Epimanikia (a word compounded of the Greek eViand 
Latin manus), wristbands, signifying the bands with which 
our Saviour was bound. They somewhat correspond with 


iS Introduction. 

the Latin maniple, but not altogether ; as they are worn 
on both hands, and differ from it in shape. 

(4) Phselonion, chasuble (or Phaenolion, Latin pcenula). 
This is by way of excellency the vestment, and none of 
the Clergy of an inferior Order to a Priest can wear it. It 
signifies the purple robe which the soldiers put on Christ, 
and is supposed to be the vestment, translated cloak, which 
St. Paul left at Troas (2 Tim. iv. 13). 

(5) Omophorion, pall, signifying the wandering sheep 
whom Christ brings home on His shoulder. 

(6) Saccos, dalmatic, signifying Christ's coat without 
seam, woven from top to bottom. 

(7) Epigonation, kerchief, so called because it reaches 
to the knee, representing the towel wherewith our Saviour 
girded Himself and washed the feet of the disciples. 

The sacramental vestments of the Priest are the same 
as the above, omitting the Omophorion, the Saccos, and the 
Zone. The Deacon wears only two robes, the Sticharion, 
and, over his left shoulder, instead of the Epitrachelion, the 
Orarion (perhaps from wpa"), called also cttoXt?, and which 
exactly corresponds to the Latin stole, except that the word 
a.'^ios is embroidered on it. 

The ordinary daily dress of an ecclesiastic is a tall flat 
cap, and a cassock of any sober colour that he chooses, 
over which is thrown a loose black cloak. A beard also 
is a matter of obligation. 

The Greek Church recognizes seven Sacraments or Mys- 
teries. This limitation or definition of the number of 
Sacraments was not known to the undivided Church, but 
was first defined by Peter Lombard, teacher of Theology 
at Paris (1159 — 1164), and the Latin Schoolmen. Scholas- 
ticism, it must be remarked, plays absolutely no part 

* So called because the officiating Clergyman thus wears it in announcing the 
time for prayer. Mouraviev, Letters on the Ritual of the Divine Offices, de- 
rives it from orare, to pray. Neale, Littledale, and Bulgaris give other 

General View of the Orthodox Greek Church. 19 

in the history of the Eastern Church, and the authority 
of the Schoolmen is disregarded. Yet, contrary to the 
usual conservatism of the Greeks, the exact number of 
seven Sacraments was probably imported into the Greek 
from the Latin Church. The Greek word (ivaTqpiov is 
more comprehensive than the Latin Sacramentum, and in 
the Greek Church it is used in a wider sense. But, like 
the English, the Greek Church insists that two Sacra- 
ments only are generally necessary to salvation {ra Kvpico- 
repa t&v fiVCTTT/picav &v hij(a aeodrjvai aZuvarov). 

A mystery is defined to be " a ceremony or act ap- 
pointed by God in which God giveth or sanctifieth to us 
His grace." From The Orthodox Doctrine of the Russian 
Church we learn ; " The two chief and most eminent 
Mysteries in the New Testament are Baptism and the 
Eucharist or Communion. Of the rest the Chrism and 
Penance belong to every Christian, but Ordination, Mar- 
riage, and the Sanctified Oil are not binding on all." 

The Seven Mysteries or Sacraments are : — 

1. Baptism {jo BaTTTia-iia), whereby a person is mys- 
teriously born to a spiritual life. 

2. Unction with Chrism {to Mvpov rov xP^a-fiarosi), by 
which he receives grace, or spiritual growth and strength. 

3. The Eucharist (^ Evxapiarla), by which he is spiri- 
tually fed. 

4. Penance (17 Merdvoia), whereby he is healed of spiri- 
tual disease, i.e. sin. 

5. Holy Orders [tj 'lepcoavvq), in which he receives power 
to spiritually regenerate, feed and nurture others by doc- 
trine and Sacraments. 

6. Marriage (0 Pa/ios), in which he receives Grace, sanc- 
tifying the married life, and the natural procuration and 
nurture of children. 

7. Unction with Oil (jo EvxeXatov), in which he has 
medicine even for bodily diseases, in that he is healed of 

We must confine ourselves to a brief description of the 

c 2 

20 Introduction. 

Sacraments, touching mostly on such points as are peculiar 
to the Greek Church. 

(i) Baptism in the ordinary acceptation of the word wash- 
ing, was during the first two centuries the universal rule 
of the Church. To the ancient rule the Eastern Church, 
with its capacious Baptisteries, still adheres, whilst the 
Western Church allows, as a necessity arising from climate, 
affusion, but it does not disallow immersion. Trine im- 
mersion is held by the Greeks to be of equal importance 
with the water in Baptism, it being the custom prevailing 
from the earliest ages, in order to signify the distinction 
of the Three Persons in the Trinity y. The Arian Eu- 
nomius' was the first to introduce single immersion into 
the Eastern Church. 

The custom of rebaptizing converts from the Western 
Church, Roman Catholics not excepted, has only been 
abandoned by the Patriarch of Constantinople within the 
last 25 years. The Russian was the first of the Greek 
Churches to break through this long standing rule ; in 
order to receive Western Christians without re-baptizing 
them, they in 1718 consulted Jeremias III., the Patriarch 
of Constantinople, who gave his consent. By the Longer 
Catechism, Baptism cannot be repeated, for "as a child 
is born but once, there can only be one spiritual birth." 
If a nurse or any other lay person of either sex, in- 
the absence of a Priest or in case of necessity {ds Kaipov 
TWOS avd<YK-q<;), baptize an infant, the Priest, if it recovers, 
gives the Sacrament of Unction with Chrism. The Duty 
of Parish Priests says, " there are some ignorant persons 
who would re-baptize Romans as well as Lutherans and 
Calvinists when they come over to the Eastern Church. . . . 
But the Seventh Canon of the Second CEcumenical Council 
.... forbids to re-baptize not only such as are Romans 

y For precisely the opposite reason single immersion was introduced into , 
Spain by the Fourth Council of Toledo, A.D. 633, against the Arians, who ' 
practised trine immersion to signify the different degrees in the Trinity 

' See Chap. IV. 

General View of the Orthodox Greek Church. 2 1 

■Lutherans, and Calvinists (who all clearly confess the Holy- 
Trinity, and admit the work of our salvation accomplished 
by the Incarnation of the Son of God), but even the Arians 
themselves and the Macedonians and Pneumatomachi and 
other heretics .... and orders that they should only be 
made to renounce and anathematize their own and all other 
heresies, and to be received by Unction with the Holy 
Chrism." Notwithstanding this, many Russians in the 
present day hold that Baptism performed by heretics is 
invalid. • 

Baptism is valid, so long as the proper form (in the name 
of the Trinity) and matter (water) are observed. The 
Sacrament may be performed either in a Church or in 
a house, but clinical Baptism, unless afterwards completed, 
is a bar to Holy Orders. 

On the day of the birth of a child, or the day after, the 
Priest goes to the house, and uses a form of prayer for 
the mother and the child. On the eighth day the child 
(according to the strict rule) is taken to Church to receive 
a name, in accordance with Christ's receiving a Name on 
■ that day, but the rule, though frequently, is not generally 
observed. Forty days after the birth the mother goes with 
the child and sponsors to be churched in imitation of the 
Purification of the Virgin and Christ's Presentation in the 
Temple. It was at that time the infant was formerly 
baptized, but now Baptism, which takes the place of Cir- 
cumcision, is generally performed on the eighth day *. 

At the entrance of the Church stands the font, which 
the Priest incenses for the. Baptism. First takes place the 
Exorcism, or driving away the evil spirit with which an 
tinbaptized person is supposed to be infected, and it is held 
to be in accordance with Christ's words, " In My name they 
shall cast out devils." The Priest having made the child 
a Catechumen by the Exorcism, turns it, as held by the 
nurse, towards the West (the region of darkness and sin), 

' Georgia was an exception, where children were not brought to Church to 
be baptized till their eighth year, but this there is reason to believe is changed. 

22 Introduction. 

and blows three times (upon the mouth, the breast, and the 
forehead), with the thrice-repeated prayer that "every un- 
clean thing hidden and lurking in the heart" may be 
driven out. The child is first anointed with oil blessed by 
the Priest, and then signed with the sign of the Cross, as 
a seal of divine Grace. 

Next follows the Baptism proper. The child having been 
anointed is immersed three times, the first in the Name 
of the Father, the second in that of the Son, the third in 
that of the Holy Ghost, the Priest saying after each im- 
mersion, Amen. The form of the words used in Baptism 
differs from that of the Western Church, being instead of 
" I baptize thee," &c., " Such an one is baptized," a form 
which Romanists cavil at, because the person of the Priest 
is not brought into prominence. The child is then washed 
with a sponge, moistened with water ; after which the Priest 
says, " Thou hast been baptized, enlightened, anointed, sanc- 
tified, washed, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, 
and of the Holy Ghost ; now and for ever, even unto ages 
of ages. Amen V The service concludes with the tonsure, 
or cutting off the hair, a practice which is ordered by the 
rubric to be done crosswise ■'- 

In the present day, says King, the prayer for the mother's 
delivery and the giving a name to the child are joined 
together and used the day of the birth or the day after; 
and if the Baptism is performed in Church, the Presentation 
is commonly added at the end of the tonsure. 

(2) Unction with Chrism corresponds with and takes 
the place of Confirmation in the Western Church, confirm- 
ing the Grace given in Baptism ; but unlike Confirmation 
is conferred by a Priest, with ointment consecrated by the 
Patriarch or Bishop on the Thursday in Holy Week. In 
Russia it can only be consecrated in Moscow for Great, and 
in Kiev for Little, Russia. In the early Church laying on 

'' Smith's Account. 

"= This ceremony is perhaps in reference to that at Cenchraea (Acts xviii. 18) 
to signify that the new Christian is, like St. Paul, under a vow. 

General View of the Orthodox Greek Church. 23 

of hands immediately followed Baptism, whilst in the Latin 
Church, Baptism and Confirmation are now dissociated. 
In the Greek Church the Sacrament of Unction with 
Chrism follows immediately after Baptism, and is conferred 
without imposition of hands. " It is certain," says the Longer 
Catechism, "that the Apostles, for imparting to Baptism the 
gift of the Holy Ghost, used imposition of hands, but it may 
be supposed that the words of St. John refer to a visible 
as well as an inward Unction. The successors of the 
Apostles therefore introduced Unction with Chrism, draw- 
ing perhaps their precedent from the unction used in the 
Old Testament." It is grounded on I John ii. 20, "Ye 
have an unction from the Holy Ghost," and on 2 Cor. i. 21, 
22, "he which stablisheth us with you in Christ and hath 
anointed us is God, who hath also sealed us ;" whence the 
Sacrament is called " the Seal of the Holy Ghost *." 

The baptized person is anointed with the sign, made 
with ointment, of the Cross, severally on the different parts 
of the body ^ — on the forehead, to signify the sanctification 
of the mind ; on the chest, that of the heart ; on the eyes, 
ears, and lips, that of the senses ; on the hands and feet, 
of the works and whole walk of the Christian ; at each sign 
of the Cross, the words a(f)pdyis Boapeds TIvevfJiaTos 'AyLov, 
^Afijjv being repeated. 

This sacrament is always administered on the admission 
of a Christian convert, and is not repeated except in the 
case of heretics and apostates on their re-admission into 
the Church. The only exception in the present day is 
with regard to the Tsar, who, like the Eastern Emperors in 
former times, is anointed for a second time at his corona- 
tion, which generally takes place in the Cathedral of the 
Assumption at Moscow. Immediately after the Communion 
of the Clergy, the Holy Gates are opened ; the Tsar 
descending from his throne, proceeds to them, and after 

"• aippiyti tupias UveiiiaTOS 'Aylov. 

' This is ordered to be done in the reception of heretics by the 7th Canon 
of the First Council of Constantinople. 

24 Introduction. 

being anointed by the Metropolitan, he is conducted to the 
Holy Table, where he receives the Eucharist in both Kinds 
separately, as no longer an ordinary layman, but the Lord's 
Anointed and temporal Head on earth of the Russian 
Church '. 

(3) The Eucharist. This Sacrament the Greeks some- 
times call (as well as by its usual title, Evxapiaria) 
EvXo'^U, in reference to I Cor. x. 16, "the cup of blessing" 
(to TTOTTiptov Trji evXoyla<i). They also call it avva^K or 
union, the Sacrament, that is, by which we are made one 
with Christ. Sometimes the Sacrament itself is called 
Liturgy {XeiTovpyia), but that word is generally applied to 
the Service. The matter of the Eucharist is leavened 
bread (dpro^, raised), for which the best wheaten flour is 
required, i.e. bread not impregnated with any foreign sub- 
stance such as yeast. Communion in both Kinds is the 
express command and practice of the Orthodox Church, 
in accordance with the command of Christ, the practice of 
the Apostles, the Institution of the Sacrament as narrated 
by St. Paul, and the universal custom, previously to the 
separation, of both the Eastern and Western Churches. On 
June 14th, 1415, at the Council of Constance, the uncatholic 
decree was passed, ordering that the Eucharist should be 
administered to the laity in one Kind only, that of Bread. 
It was a time when there was an interregnum in the Papacy, 
Pope John XXHI. having been deposed in May, and his 
successor, Martin V., not appointed until November. The 
practice, which originated in the truism " Totus Christus 
sub utraque specie," was adopted in the Western Church 
from a feeling of reverence, lest any of the consecrated 
Wine should be spilt ; a similar feeling of reverence in 
the Greek Church shows itself in the mode of administering 
the Bread soaked in the Wine s. This latter precautionary 
expedient was recognized at the Council of Clermont hy 

Romanov's Sketches of the Rise and Customs of the Grseco-Russian Church, 
s "It should be most carefully guarded, " says St. Cyril, "lest a crumb -fall 
of that which is more precious than gold or precious stones." 

General View of the Orthodox Greek Church. izg 

Pope Urban II., who ordered it to be so administered to 
the sick, and in other cases of necessity, lest any of the 
Wine should be spilt. But the withholding of the Cup 
from the Laity was opposed to the strongest declara- 
tion of the Popes themselves. Pope Gelasius declared 
that the Sacrament should be either received in its en- 
tirety or not at all, and that the separation could not 
be effected without great sacrilege ■'. Leo the Great de- 
clared Communion in One Kind. to be a Manichaean heresy, 
and a sacrilegious deceit, and those who practised it to 
be expelled from the fellowship of the saints'. In the famous 
Council of Clermont, A.D. 1095, under Pope Urban II., one 
of the Canons enacted that no one should communicate 
unless he received the Body and Blood of Christ separately 
and alike. The English Church at the Reformation re- 
turned to the Catholic practice; but the Roman Church 
in the Council of Trent confirmed the innovation, and it 
remains in the present day one of the great differences 
between the Roman and Eastern Churches. 

The Roman Church uses unleavened bread (whence 
Romanists are called by the Greeks Azymites (' A^vfilrai), 
and this is another of the principal causes of the schism 
between the two Churches. Says the Orthodox Confession : 
" What answer will the superstitious Pope be able to give 
at the dreadful day of Judgement, for having, in evident 
opposition to the Lord, taken away the Cup of Communioa 
from the common people and for giving them the Com- 
munion only in unleavened wafers J .' " 

The service in which the Eucharist is celebrated, which 

in the Latin Church is called Mass, is called in the Greek 

Church Liturgy {Xeirovpyta), and the celebrant (Xeirovpyos), 

The Liturgy ascribed to St. James is used in Jerusalem on 

the festival of that Saint. With that exception the Litur- 

'^ Divisio unius ejusdemque mysterii sine grandi sacrilegio non potest provenire, 
Notati et prohibit! a sanctorum societate, sacerdotali auctoritate pellantur.. 
The English Rubric directs, " /( shall suffice that it (i.e. the bread) be 

such as is usual to be eaten, but the best and purest wheat. bread that may 

conveniently be gotten." 

26 Introduction. 

gical offices of the Orthodox Church are three in number, 
those of SS. Basil, Chrysostom, and Gregory Dialogus 
(the Great), to the last of whom the Liturgy of the 
Pre-sanctified (»; \enovp'^'la t&v irporjyi.atT/jLevwv) is generally 
ascribed''; all other Liturgies the Orthodox Church rejects 
as spurious 1- The Liturgy of St. James, though ascribed 
to the first Bishop of Jerusalem, is probably so caUed 
because it represents his teaching ; its actual date being 
somewhere about A.D. 200. Dr. Neale describes St. Basil's 
Liturgy as " a recast of that of St. James," and St. Chrysos- 
tom's as " an abbreviation " and new edition of St, Basil's. 

The Liturgy of St. Chrysostom is that in ordinary daily 
use ; that of St. Basil is used on all the Sundays of the 
Great Lent, except Palm Sunday; on Holy Thursday 
and Holy Saturday, on the Vigils of Christmas Day and 
the Epiphany, and on St. Basil's Day. The Liturgy of the 
Pre-sanctified is that in general use during the Great 
Lent, except on Saturdays and Sundays and the Feast 
of the Annunciation, which are exempt from fasting ; it 
is celebrated with the elements (hence called Pre-sanctified) 
consecrated on the preceding Sunday, the Priest communi- 
cating and exhibiting to the people, who may also com- 
municate ", the previously consecrated elements. 

In the Liturgical office there is generally at least one 
Deacon attendant on the Priest. We will confine ourselves 
to the Liturgy of St. Chrysostom, that being the one most 
frequently in use. It consists of two parts, the Pro- 
Anaphora, corresponding with the Missa Catechuminorum, 
and the Anaphora with the Missa Fidelium, of the Western 
Church. It is preceded by a preparatory service, which 
is pre-eminently called the Oblation". This service com- 

' It is by some, however, attributed to Germanus, Patriarch of Constantinople. 

' When it Liturgy is called by the name of any Father, all that is implied 
is that he made some alteration and improvements in the Liturgy which he 
found existing in the Church in his time. — Diet, of Christian Biog., under 

"• This statement is from the highest authority, made to the Writer. 

" Bulgaris' Catechism. 

General View of the Orthodox Greek Church. 57 

Tnences with the vpocrKOfiiS'q (TrpoaKo/xl^a}), the bringing in to 
the Prothesis by the Priest and Deacon of the Prosphers 
('rrpoa-<j)ep(o), or Offerings (so called from the ancient custom 
of the people to bring to the church their offerings of bread 
and wine), from which the bread and wine for the Eucharist 
are taken. The Priest and Deacon entering the holy Bema 
say, " I will enter into Thine House ; " robe themselves in 
the sacred vestments ; go to the XavevTTjpiov, and washing 
their hands say, " I will wafh my hands in innocency, and 
so will I go to thine Altar ; " after this they go to the 
Prothesis ; and the preparatory service commences. 

The Prosphers, besides the wine, consist of five loaves, in 
allusion to the five loaves with which our Saviour fed the They must be made, as has been before said, of 
the purest wheat flour, and leavened, and are round, and 
in shape like our cottage loaves. From the top part of one 
Prospher the Priest cuts a square piece bearing the fourfold 
inscription IS\\XS\\NI\\ KA, or in Russian, 1C\\XC\\NI\\ KA 
('I'^ffovs XpiaT6<! viKa). This is called the Seal. Into 
one part of the Seal he thrusts a lance (dyi'a Xo'yx'?). saying, 
"He was led as a lamb to the slaughter;" into a second, 
saying, " and as a sheep before her shearers, so he shall not 
open [ovK dvoi^ei) his mouth ; " into a third, "in his humilia- 
tion, his judgment (17 Kpiais ainov) was taken away ;" into 
a fourth, "but who shall declare His generation." He then 
elevates the Seal, saying, "for His life is taken from the 
earth," and places it on the Paten (SiWo?), with the words, 
" The Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the 
world, and on behalf of the sin of the world," and thrusts 
into it the Lance, saying, " And one of the soldiers pierced 
His side with a lance, and straightway there issued forth 
blood and water." This is the "^740* 'A/iv6s (Holy Lamb), 
and is the part for Consecration. 

The Deacon mixes wine and water in the Chalice which 
the Priest blesses ; the practice of mixing water with wine 
{Kpa/ia) was universal in the early Church. Particles are 
then in like manner cut from the first and the four other 

'2? Introduction: 

Prosphers, and placed with the Holy Lamb on the Paten. 
One portion is in honour of the Virgin Mary; another in 
honour of St. John the Baptist, the Prophets, Apostles, 
Martyrs and Saints ; another commemorates living mem- 
bers of the Church, whose names are designated ; another 
is in remembrance, as well as for the remission of sins, 
of certain deceased members whose names are also desig- 
nated ». The Priest then censes the various ornaments 
in the Prothesis. The Holy Lamb alone is for consecra- 
tion ; the remainder of the Prosphers form the Antidoron p, 
which corresponds to the Panis benedictus {^ain benii) of 
the Latin Church. 

There are three Oblations 9, the first being that at the 
Service of the Prothesis. The Paten is covered with a 
veil, usually of linen or silk, beneath it being placed 
a bent Cross, termed the Asterisk [aaTkptaitos), to prevent 
it falling on the Bread, the Priest saying the words, " And 
the star came and stood over where the young child was." 
The Chalice is covered with another veil, whilst a third 
veil called the Aer (djjp) covers both together. The Bread 
and Wine are blessed with a solemn prayer (ij ^v'}0 tj?? 
irpoOiaecos;) . The Paten and Chalice are then left in the 
Prothesis. The second Oblation is when they are taken 
from the Prothesis to the Holy Table ; the third and 
solemn Oblation is made at the Prayer of Consecration. 

After the service of the Prothesis is ended, the Proana- 
phora commences. There are two entrances, the Little 
(17 irpwTr] Kal /MKpa e'iaoSos) and the Great (^ fieydXt) eta-o- 
80?). The former, preceded by several prayers, one of 
which is the Prayer of St. Chrysostom'' which we have in 
our Prayer Books, and by a hymn corresponding to the 
Introit of the Western Church, is when the Deacon, 
having received the Book, often magnificently bound, of 

" But see a Letter in Church Times, Aug. 15, 1868, by W. Palmer. 
>" See below. 1 Comber, p. 84. 

' The Prayer of St. Chrysostom, as is usual in the Greek Church, does not 
end in the Name of our Saviour. 

General View of the Orthodox Greek Church. 29 

the Gospel from the Priest, taper-bearers going before, and 
the Priest after him, holding it on high so that the people 
may see, enters the Bema through the Middle Door, and 
deposits it on the Holy Table. Then follows the Trisa- 
gion,'^7tos 06OS, ajto^ Icr'x^upos, ayoos addvaros, iXirjaov 
■fjiias (" Holy God, holy and powerful, holy and immortal, 
have mercy upon us "). The Deacon reads from the Ambon 
the Gospel, and the Proanaphora concludes with the dis- 
missal of the Catechumens by the Deacon ; oaoi Karrj^ov- 
fievoi, irpoeXdere. Unction with Chrism, which in the Greek 
Church corresponds with Confirmation, is administered at 
once after Baptism. Catechumens therefore are those 
who have not been baptized, and are being instructed in 
the faith, and as there are not ordinarily such present 
in the Church, there are no Catechumens to depart. 

The Great Entrance is then made commencing with the 
Ter Sanctus or Triumphal Hymn, (" Holy, holy, holy, 
Lord God of Hosts"). 

The Priest advancing to the Prothesis, takes from un- 
der the Aer the Paten and Chalice, and, preceded by the 
Deacon who carries the Paten (probably on his shoulder, 
but according to the Rubric on his head), and the censer, 
and by taper and incense-bearers, himself carrying the 
Chalice, passes into the Nave of the Church, the people 
showing their reverence by crossing themselves, bowing 
their heads, prostrating themselves on the ground, and 
kissing the hem of his stole. If there is no Deacon, 
and only one Priest, the latter takes the Paten in his 
left hand, and "bears it on the nape of his neck, and 
carries the Chalice in his right hand before his breast," 
the censer being suspended from the fingers of one hand^.. 
The Priest enters the Bema through the Middle Door, 
and first places the Chalice on the Holy Table, and then 
taking the Paten from the Deacon, places it there also '. 

• Covel, Account of the Greek Church, p. 34. 

' Dr. Covel comments severely on the ritual of the Great Entrance, and' 
on the Deacon carrying the paten on his head or shoulder, and says the' 
practice was evidently derived from the worship and sacrifices of the heathen. 

30 Introduction. 

Having entered into a more lengthened detail of the 
ceremonial than our space can well afford, we can only 
briefly touch on the remaining part of the service. 

The completeness of the mystery is held by the Greek 
Church to be consummated by the Invocation of the Holy 
Ghost, following the words of Institution by our Saviour. 
The Deacon fans the Holy Table and the holy things 
upon it with the pnrtBiov (fan), and covers the Paten and 
Chalice with veils. Dr. King says", that a common fan 
(piviBiov) was originally used for the purpose of preventing 
flies from falling into the Chalice, but that it was after- 
wards changed into silver, and used in winter as well as 
in summer as a processional ornament. The fan is also 
used in other processions ; in the account of the funeral 
procession of Philaret, the great Metropolitan of Moscow, 
we read of the superiors of all the monasteries of Moscow, 
and the Bishops of the adjacent Dioceses, being headed by 
the Metropolitan of Kiev, whilst the Arch-Priest carried 
" a perfect cloud of fans." The Kiss of Peace is then given, 
and the Priest inclining his body and placing his hand 
first upon the Bread, and then taking the Chalice in his 
hands, repeats the words of Institution: "Take eat .... 
drink ye all of this." He then offers the prayer of Invo- 
cation, " Send Thy Holy Spirit upon us, and upon these 
gifts which lie before us." Next, after some short prayers 
and adorations, the Priest, standing upright, and thrice 
signing the elements with the sign of the Cross, pro- 
nounces the words, " Make this Bread the precious Body 
of Thy Christ, and that which is in the cup the Blood of 
Thy Christ, changing them (fiera^aXoiv) by Thy Holy 
Spirit." After the Consecration just enough warm water 
is added as is sufficient to represent the temperature of 
our Lord's Blood. 

The change, says TAe Confession of Faith, " is made by 
the operation (Sta t?5s iuepyeias:) of the Holy Spirit Whom 
the Priest invokes at that time, consummating the Mys- 
" Rites and Ceremonies, p. l68. 

General View of the Orthodox Greek Church. 31 

tery by praying and saying, ' Send Thy Holy Spirit upon 
us, and upon these gifts that lie before us.' For after 
those words the /leTovalioffii immediately (-TrapevOvs) fol- 
lows." The Priest then advancing to the middle of the 
Bema elevates the Paten, and returning, places it on the 
Holy Table. The Priests and Deacons then communicate. 

During the Consecration the Bema is obscured from the 
people either by the gate from the Iconostasis being shut, or 
by a veil beinj; drawn across it. This is meant to signify the 
mystical nature of. the Supper of Christ with His Apostles, 
His sufferings, Death and Burial. After the Priests and 
Deacons have received the Bread and Wine separately, 
the gate is opened, or the veil withdrawn, to signify the 
appearance of the Saviour after His Resurrection. The 
Deacon standing at the gate with the Chalice, containing 
the Wine and the Bread sopped in it, lifted up in his 
hands, invites the communicants to draw near ; the Priest 
takes it from the hands of' the Deacon, and gives the Com- 
munion ; a spoon (Xa^h) is dipped into the Chalice, and 
from it some of the consecrated Bread is extracted and 
put to the mouths <jf the communicants (who receive, ac- 
cording to the practice of the Early Church, standing), with 
the words, " The Servant of God N, receiveth the precious 
and holy Body and Blood of our Lord and Saviour Jesus 
Christ, for the remission of his sins and for everlasting 
life" (to rijjLiov Koi ayiov a&/ia xal at/ia rod Kvpiov Kai 
SaTTJpos '^fi&v 'Iijffoi) Xpiarov els d^eaip tS>v dfiapriuv xal 
els ^toijv alcopiov). 

"The Deacon wipes the mouths of the communicants 
with one of the veils covering the Holy Gifts*." 

The Communion ended, the Holy Bread which remains 
unconsecrated (avTiSupov, avrl tov Bd)pov, instead of the 
gift), but which has been blessed by the Priest, is distri- 
buted amongst the people present, who take it home for 
the sick and such others as had been unable to attend 
at Church. The absent ones receive it with fasting and 
* Neale's Holy Eastern Church, I. 524. 

3,2 Introduction. 

reverence, as a representation of the Holy Eucharist which 
was in the early Church received daily y. The rubric directs 
tliat the Deacon is to dispose of whatever of the consecrated 
elements remains " with the greatest circumspection, so that 
not the smallest particle may fall or be neglected, pouring 
wine and water into the cup, the better to drink it all, and 
then he must wipe the cup quite dry." This Service 
concluded, the Priest dismisses the congregation with the 

The Greeks, it need scarcely be said, communicate fasting, 
not the slightest refection being allowed before communi- 

The Greek MerovtricoaK in the Sacrament connotes the . 
Roman Transubstantiatio ; but there is between them the 
same difference as there is between the Greek ovaia 
and the Latin Substantia, and the English essence and 
substance, the former not implying the materialistic sense 
of the latter. Neither word is primitive. In doctrine both 
Churches long followed the ancient Liturgies and Fathers, 
but subsequently to the separation between East and West 
the Latins adopted both the name and full doctrine of Tran- 
substantiation. This was at the famous Lateran Council, 
A.D. I2IS, under Innocent III. That Council declared that 
" Christ's Body and Blood are really contained under the 
species of bread and wine, the bread being transubstantiated 
into His Body and the wine into His Blood." The College 
de Propagandd Fide, founded in Rome, A.D. 1622, by Pope 
Gregory XV., was influential in Latinizing the Church of 
Western Russia, many Russians being educated in it who 
returned to their own country imbued with Roman prin- 
ciples. In 1642 the word MeTovaimais found its way into 
the Orthodox Confession of Peter Mogila ; Christ is said in 
it to be present in the Sacrament, KaTo, /lya-TrjptcoSri rpoirov, 
but also KUTo. fierova-iuxnv. In 1672 the word was imported 
into the XVIII Articles of the Synod of Bethlehem. Christ 
" is present on earth," it says, " in a mysterious manner by 

y Ricaut's Present State of Greek Church, 1678. 

General View of the Orthodox Greek Church. 33 

Metousiosis, for the substance ^ of the bread is changed into 
the substance of His holy Body, and the substance of the 
wine into His precious Blood." "After Consecration" it says 
that "the bread, and wine are transmuted (/leTa^dWeaOai), 
trans-substantiated {fierova-iova-Oai), converted (fierairoteia-daL) , 
remodelled {/lerappvOfii^ea-dai), the bread into the Lord's body 
which was born in Bethlehem and ascended into Heaven, 
and the wine into the Blood which flowed from His Side 
on the Cross ; and the bread and wine no longer remain 
after Consecration, but only the very Body and Blood of 
the Lord {airb to aa)fia koI alfia) under the appearance 
(etSei) and form (tutt^)), that is to say under the accidents 
{(TVfi^e^TjKocriv). " By the word Metousiosis," it adds, " we 
cannot explain the mode of the conversion of the elements, 
for this is known to God alone ; but they truly, really, and 
substantially become the Body and Blood of Christ." 

The chief difference between the Greek and Roman 
Churches is with regard to definition, which the Eastern 
Church strives as much as possible to avoid. The Eastern 
Church does not argue for victory, it searches for truth. 
" The Roman Church is always trying .to define the manner 
of change in the Sacraments ; the Eastern Church says it 
is a mystery." In the Russian Church some alterations were 
made from the words of the Council. Instead of the words 
" the substance of bread and wine no longer remain," it says, 
" the bread and wine no longer remain ; " instead of " under 
the accidents of bread and wine," " under the appearance 
and form of bread and wine." 

From the time of the Council many Russian theolo- 
gians adopted the Roman doctrine of Transubstantiation, 
whilst others strongly disapproved of it. After the re- 
formation of the Russian Church in the last century, in 
the reign of Peter the Great, more evangelical principles 
prevailed, and a return to primitive truth manifested itself 
in Russia. Dr. King, who wrote in 1772, says that " the 
Confession " of Peter Mogila was at that time held in 
^ We follow the usual translation ofaitrta, 

34 Introduction. 

slight reputation. Since then, evangelical principles have 
found expression in the writings of Plato and Philaret, the 
latter of whom died in 1867, both Metropolitans of Mos- 
cow, and two of the most learned and revered Prelates 
who ever presided over the Russian Church. Plato says : 
"We must ever bear in mind, first, that the Gospel re- 
quires us to worship God in spirit and in truth ; secondly, 
that the only safe rule of worship is the Word of God, 
whereunto, says St. Peter, ye do well that ye take heed 
as unto a light that shineth in darkness." The views that 
those Prelates held now find favour with the more culti- 
vated portion of the Russian people. A materialized sense 
of the Eucharist, Philaret disallowed. "The manner of 
our Lord's Presence in the Eucharist," he says % " is a mys- 
tery to be apprehended by faith, not a matter to be 
speculated or dogmatized upon, or to be reasoned about." 

The Longer Catechism, the work of Philaret, says ; " As 
to the manner in which the Bread and Wine are changed 
into the Body and Blood of our Lord, none but God can 
understand ; only thus much is signified, that the Bread 
truly, really, and substantially becomes the very true Body 
of the Lord, and the Wine the very Blood of the Lord." 
The Catechism refers to the words of St. John Damascene ; 
" It is truly that Body united with the Godhead which 
had its origin from the Holy Virgin ; not as though that 
Body which ascended came down from heaven, but because 
the Bread and Wine are changed themselves into the 
Body and Blood of God. But if thou seekest after the 
manner how this is, let it suffice thee to be told that it is 
by the Holy Ghost, in like manner as by the same Holy 
Ghost Christ formed Flesh to Himself from the Mother of 
God." " The Russian Church," says Dr. Neale, " has evi- 
dently determined to decline the use of the distinction of 
the ohawL and trvfi^e^riKOTa in the Bread and Wine which 
the Council of Bethlehem brought prominently forward ''- 

" Quoted by Headlam, Teaching of the Russian Church, p. 8. 
*■ Introduction to the History of the Eastern Church. 

General View of tke Orthodox Greek Church. 35 

In the Longer Catechism the question is asked, " Ought 
we to communicate often in the holy mysteries ? " and the 
answer is ; " Our mother the Church calls on all to confess 
before their ghostly Fathers an| to communicate four times 
yearly, or even every month.*' The Orthodox Confession 
requires all to receive once a year, and, as a rule, the 
laity seldom partake of the Communion more than once, 
although some more serious people receive oftener. It is 
the practice in the Greek Church for the Priests to com- 
municate every day. . As to non-communicating attend- 
ance, the Longer Catechism prescribes that those who do 
not intend to communicate may and should take part in 
the Liturgy by prayer and faith, and specially by a con- 
tinual remembrance of our Lord Jesus Christ. The laity 
claim and observe the right of attendance without com- 
municating at the Sacrament, and the practice of " hearing 
Mass" is considered the principal service of the Church. 
The Holy Eucharist is administered to children after Bap- 
tism. This was the custom in the Primitive Church, but 
was discontinued in the Latin about the Thirteenth Century. 

(4) Penance in the Greek Church is a mystery by which 
the Penitent, after fasting and prayer, and oral Confession, 
and the outward Absolution pronounced by the Priest, is 
inwardly loosed from his sins by Christ Himself A man, 
says the Orthodox Confession, discloses his repentance 
{jieravoid) or affliction of heart for sin committed "with 
a firm intention of mind to amend his life and readiness 
to fulfil that which the Priest, his spiritual adviser, may 
enjoin." Confession to a Priest is considered necessary 
for all persons, Clergy and lay persons alike. The Church 
prescribes that it is to be made four times a year ; 
once a year, at Easter, is, however, the general rule, and 
there is reason to believe that even this is often com- 
muted for a pecuniary fine. The degree of Penance- is 
left to the Priest, but it must be proportionate to the 
circumstances and ability of the penitent. In Russia the 
law of the land prescribes Confession once a year. In 


36 Introduction. 

the Spiritual Regulation it is expressly enjoined that the 
Monks should confess and receive the Eucharist four 
times a year ; and it requires all other persons to make 
their Confession at Easter. 

Not every Priest in the Greek Church is a Confessor; 
Confessors are especially licensed for the purpose by the 
Bishops, and are styled irvevfiaTiKoi (spiritual persons). 
Confession, says The Orthodox Doctrine, ought not to be 
made generally, but with regard to particular sins, for " it 
is impossible that the hidden wounds can be cured." But 
ordinarily a general confession is made in answer to the 
Priest who recites the Ten Commandments, and then asks 
the penitent which of them he has broken. 

It is sometimes contended that in the Greek Church the 
declaratory form of Absolution is not employed. Dr. Covel 
says, "The Confessors pretend to do no more than abate 
or remit the penance, declaring the pardon from God 
alone." It may be well on this point to quote the exact 
words of the Priest in the " Order of Confession " ; — " May 
Jesus Christ our Lord, through His grace, bounty, and 
love to mankind, forgive thee, my child, all thy sins ; 
and I, an unworthy Priest, by the power committed unto 
me, do pardon and absolve thee from all thy sins, in the 
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy 
Ghost, Amen." But, says Dr. King, " it is evident that 
this sentence has been foisted into the Greek Church from 
the Latin." " The Priest," says Tke Orthodox Confession 
of Peter Mogila, which we have before seen is tinged with 
Latinism, " rightly and canonically forgives sins ; as soon 
as any one receives Absolution his sins are immediately 
forgiven him by God through the ministry of the Priest." 

" What is Confession ? " asks the Shorter Catechism ; — 
" The person who has sinned after Baptism confesses his 
sin to the Priest, and through him receives Absolution 
from Christ Himself." 

(S) Holy Orders (ij 'leptoa-vvr], with which 'xeiporovia, laying 
on of hands, is synonymous), comprehend two higher classes; 

General View of the Orthodox Greek Church. 37 

the highest is the Episcopate, of which there are the grades 
of Patriarch, Metropolitan, Archbishop, and Bishop, who not 
only hallow the Sacrament themselves but transmit the 
power by the laying on of hands to others. The next Order 
is that of Priests, whose office consists of three principal 
parts, Confirming, i.e. administering, the Sacrament of 
Unction with Chrism, Consecrating the Eucharist in de- 
pendence on the Bishops, instructing and absolving the 
people. A lower Order is that of Deacons, whose duty 
is to assist the Priest and serve at the Sacraments. A still 
lower Order is that of the Sexton and doorkeeper {dvprnposi) ; 
the reader (avar/vtoarijs), who reads in church the Epistle 
and Gospel when the latter is not read by the Deacon ; the 
choirman (■^aXriys v/juvtpSos), whose duty is to sing the prayers 
and lead the hymns ; the subdeacon, who has charge of the 
vestments and ornaments of the Church. 

(6) Marriage is considered, agreeably to the words of 
St. Paul (Eph. v. 32), a mystery. The service consists of 
two parts, the Espousals and the Coronation. A preliminary 
condition of marriage is that either by certificate or sub- 
sequently to banns published in Church after Mass in three 
several services, no impediment is found to exist, on the 
ground, — (i) of consanguinity which extends to the sixth 
degree ; (2) of natural affinity to the fifth degree ; (3) of 
Spiritual or Baptismal affinity to the third degree. The 
presence of at least one paranymph (7rapdvv/i<f)os, avvTeKvos) 
as sponsor, is required ; this is " the friend of the bride- 
groom " (John iii. 29) ; whose presence is agreeable to 
a canon of the Council of Carthage, A.D. 398 ". 

Crowns are used to remind the parties that they will be 
crowned in Heaven, if they properly fulfil their duties. The 
Espousals ended, crowns made of flowers, or of vine or 
olive-twigs, one wrapped in gold, the other in silver paper, 
after being blessed by the Priest, are placed upon the heads 
of the bride and bridegroom ; in Russia the crowns are 
often of very costly material, and are kept in churches for 

"= " Sponsus et sponsa .... a parentibus suis vel paranymphisofferantur." 

2 8 introduction. 

the purpose. Eight days after the marriage there Js 
a special service, performed either in church or at home, 
for dissolving the crowns, with a prayer blessing the union, 
and entreating that it may be unbroken, and that they may 
live in lawful marriage ^. 

No marriages are celebrated in Lent ; a second marriage 
{Ziriaiila) is disapproved of; a third marriage (Tpiafila) is 
contrary to the Canons ; whilst a fourth constitutes poly- 
gamy {iroXvya/ila). The Greek Church declares the in- 
dissolubility of marriage except by death ; the practice of 
the Greeks however is opposed to the rule of the Church ; 
divorces are easily obtained, and for other causes besides 
unfaithfulness. We need only allude to the case of the 
Grand Duke Constantine of Russia, who in April, 1820, was 
by Imperial Ukase divorced from his wife, a Princess of 
Saxe-Coburg, without any plea of unfaithfulness being 
charged against her, and a few days afterwards contracted 
a second marriage which was performed by a Priest of the 
Orthodox Church. This teaches the lesson that the Russian 
Church must not cast stones at the Church of England, 
which has so many things in common with her. 

Marriage of Secular Priests before Ordination was at one 
time compulsory, but the rule is now somewhat relaxed. 
The Emperor Justinian forbade the election of a married 
man to the Episcopate ; the Council in Trullo, A.D. 691, 
confirmed the decree, and it remains unaltered in the present 
day ; (hence arises the necessity of the Bishops being chosen 
from the monasteries). That Council also forbade, what 
still remains in force, the second marriage of the Clergy. 

(7) Unction with oil. This mystery corresponds with 
that of Extreme Unction in the Roman Church ; with the 
difference that, whereas in the Roman Church it is only 
administered when recovery seems hopeless (in articulo 

' The above account is derived from a work, 'AKoKoMa toS y&jiov ^(toi 
' kppa$Sims Kol 2re(j)av^iiaros rfjs 'EWiivtHrjs 'EKKXijcruis, kindly sent to the 
writer by the Very Reverend Eustathius Metallinos, Archimandrite of the 
Greek Church at Manchester. 

General View of the Orthodox Greek Church. 39 

mortis), in the Greek Church it is administered in the 
hope that, whilst the body is anointed with oil, the sick 
person may be cured of his bodily as well as spiritual infir- 
mities. It is sometimes objected that, as the Sacrament 
in the Greek Church is usually administered in case of 
extreme illness, the practice of the two Churches is virtually 
the same, and that in the Greek Church the Sacrament has 
degenerated into Extreme Unction. But such is not the 
case. The people consider that the Oil (blessed by the 
Bishop) has a particular virtue in curing bodily infirmities ; 
and they are inclined to regard it as a specific in their 
ailments ; whilst it at the same time enables them to resist 
the temptations of the devil. 

The Sacrament was originally connected with the miracu- 
lous power of healing possessed in the primitive Church. 
Our Saviour sent forth His disciples and gave them power 
to "heal the sick." It was adopted by the Greek Church 
in agreement with the words of St. James (v. 14, 15): 
" Is any sick among you ; let him send for the Elders 
of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him 
in the Name of the Lord ; and the prayer of faith shall 
save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up, and if he 
have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him." 

As St. James uses the plural number, the Greek Church 
concludes that more than one Priest is required for the 
Sacrament. The number of seven Priests was adopted in 
allusion to the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit spoken of 
by Isaiah, and the Sacrament is not generally considered 
valid unless administered by at least three. But even that 
number is not rigidly adhered to, especially in country 
places, where so many as three Priests cannot be obtained. 

The Priest anoints the sick person on the forehead, 
nostrils, mouth, breast, and both sides of the hands, and 
offers a prayer that God, "the Physician of the soul and 
body, would heal His servant of his infirmity." After this 
the Holy Communion is given him. 

Before concluding this chapter some of the points of 

40 Introduction. 

difference between the Greek and Roman Churches may 
be mentioned. 

The difference with regard to the Filioque Clause in 
the Creed between the Greek Church on the one hand, 
and the Roman and Anglican Churches on the other, is 
familiar to all, and as we shall have occasion to speak of 
it further on in this work, we need not dwell on it now. 

The Greek Church utterly rejects Works of Superero- 
gation, Indulgences, Dispensations, Intention, Purgatory, 
and the Immaculate Conception. Infallibility it neither 
claims for itself nor allows in others. With regard to In- 
tention, it is evident that a Roman Catholic can never be 
certain whether he has received the Sacraments or not, 
and a wicked Pope or Priest can vitiate them. The Greeks 
do not believe in Purgatory ; " there is no such thing " as 
Purgatory, says Philaret, "there is no need of any other 
kind of Purification, for the Blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth 
from all sin." 

As to the Invocation and Intercession of Saints. From 
the earliest ages the Greek Church has held that there are 
two separate abodes, places of expectancy, for the souls of 
the departed, until the Resurrection ; that the wicked are 
confined in regions of darkness and that the Saints enjoy 
a certain state of bliss, not to be consummated and per- 
fected till the Resurrections The Longer Catechism teaches: 
^"The Saints who belong to the Church in Heaven .... 
by their prayers and intercession, purify, strengthen, and 
offer before God the prayers of the faithful living upon 
earth, and by the will of God work graciously and effectu- 
ally upon them." "The Greek Church," says Dr. King, 
"allows prayers for the dead, and even prayers for the 
remission of their sins, and pays regard to the relics of 
Saints and Martyrs, of which often superstitious use is 
made." The Invocation of Saints, The Orthodox Con- 
fession says, " is not repugnant to the First Commandment 
.... it is a uniting of our prayers with theirs. The Saints 

« Stourdza, " Sur la doctrine et I'esprit de I'Eglise Orthodoxe.'' 

General View of the Orthodox Greek Church. 41 

when alive on earth prayed for others, and entreated others 
to pray for them ; much more after death, when they are 
nearer God, and continually enjoy His presence, must they 
feel an ardent desire for the salvation of believers known 
to God." 

They have never held the modern doctrine of the Im- 
maculate Conception. Yet "the Greeks of all Christians 
in the world," says Dr. Covel, " seem to be ^iXodeoroKcoTaToi, 
the most zealous admirers of the Mother of God. The 
Latins in this -matter are extravagant enough, but truly 
the Greeks far outdo them .... they ascribe to her almost 
as great a precedence as to God Himself .... more prayers 
are made to her than to Christ." 

A few words must be said as to their reverence for Icons. 
The Iconostasis or Iconstand, with the lighted tapers in 
front of it, is the most prominent object in their churches. 
On it Icons of our Saviour, the Virgin, the Apostles, and 
Saints are always painted ^ ; in some Cathedrals it is 
resplendent with gold and precious stones of immense 
value. Icons are to be found everywhere. In every house 
the place of honour is assigned to them ; in every room 
they are to be found in the right-hand corner, and the 
first salutation on entering is made to them. It is said 
that " when a person is about to commit a sinful act which 
might shock them, he or she is careful to draw a curtain 
before them «." 

Strongly objectionable as this excessive veneration of 
Icons is, we must give some weight to their authoritative 
expositions and explanations. The Second Council of 
Nice determined the character of the veneration held to be 
due to Icons in the Eastern Church. Under Icons sanc- 
tioned by that Council, says Schaff, were understood the 
sign of the Cross, and pictures of Christ, of the Virgin 
Mary, of Angels and Saints. They may be drawn in 
colours, or composed of mosaics, or formed of other suit- 
able materials ; be placed in churches, and in houses, and 

' Pinkerton's Present State of the Greek Church, 
s Stepniak's Russian Peasantry. 

42 Introduction. 

in the streets, or made on walls or tablets, sacred vessels 
and vestments. Homage may be paid to them by kissing, 
bowing, burning lights and saying prayers before them, 
such objects being intended for the living objects in 
Heaven which the Icon represents. 

Such homage to Western minds seems little short of 
a violation of the Second Commandment. But it must 
be borne in mind that the Greek word, ■n-poaKvvqtn'i, trans- 
lated kissing, is an ambiguous expression ; a word including 
the worship of God, and extending to the ordinary saluta- 
tion and respect paid to a friend ^- By the educated classes 
the practice is carried to an extravagant height, and by 
the ignorant* it is no doubt sadly abused, but the Greek 
Church condemns the abuse as superstitious. Images it 
strictly forbids, all worship of Icons it expressly declares 
to be idolatry. " I do solemnly protest," says Dr. Covel, 
by no means an ardent admirer of the Greek Church, " that 
I never saw in all my stay up and down Turkey, amongst 
the Greeks, any other statue or Crucifix than this " (namely 
one in Prusa, where the Pope {-rrii-Kas) had, he says, been 
brought from Rome), " neither did I ever meet with any 
other religious brass, relieve, sculpture, or carved work in 
any of the Christian Churches or Oratories." 

We will conclude this chapter with a summary of the chief 
points on which the Greek Church differs from the Roman 
Church. It holds (i) that Christ is the alone Head of the 
Church ; (2) That (Ecumenical Councils can alone deter- 
mine the doctrine and discipline of Christ's Church ; (3) 
That the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father alone, 
through the Son ; (4) The free and unrestrained use of the 
Bible ; (5) The marriage of the Clergy ; (6) Communion 
in Both Kinds, and the mixing of a little warm water with 
the wine in the Liturgy ; (7) Leavened bread in the Holy 
Communion ; (8) Services performed in the vulgar tongue ; 
(9) It does not allow instrumental music in the services. 

'' It corresponds with the now ambiguous words in our own language, worship, 
■worshipful, and which we retain in our Marriage Service, "With my body 
I thee worship." 


The Conflict between the Fourth and Fifth Empires. 

The first four Empires— The Roman Empire— The Birth of Christ— The Wise 
Men from the East — Importance of the Septuagint Translation — Fulfilment 
of Prophecy — ^The misconception of the nature of Christ's Kingdom — The 
Day of Pentecost — Jerusalem the Mother Church of Christianity — Conse- 
quences of the Martyrdom of St. Stephen — Saul the Persecutor — St. Philip 
the Deacon — Conversion of Saul — Antioch the centre of Greek Christianity 
— Paul's First Apostolical journey — Council of Jerusalem — Paul's Second 
Apostolical journey — Paul at Athens, Corinth, Ephesus — Paul's Third Apos- 
tolical journey — Paul again at Ephesus, in Macedonia, Jerusalem — Paul sent 
from CEESarea to Rome — Foundation of the See of Alexandria — Peter could 
not have been at Rome before a.d. 67 — First Persecution under Nero — 
Martjnrdom of SS. Paul and Peter — Foundation of the See of Rome — Fall 
of Jerusalem — Second Persecution under Domitian — St. John at Patmos — 
Reason of the Persecutions — Third Persecution — The Christian Apologies — 
The Foundation of MX\a. Capitolina — Second Fall of Jerusalem — Fourth 
Persecution — Conference of Polycarp and Anicetus as to Easter — Victor, 
Bishop of Rome, excommunicates the Eastern Bishops — The Forged 
Clementines — The Fifth Persecution — The Sixth Persecution — The Seventh 
Persecution — The lapsed — St. Cyprian of Carthage and Stephen of Rome — 
The Eighth Persecution — Paul of Samosata — The so-called Ninth Per- 

THERE has always been one Church, although under two 
dispensations, the Jewish and the Christian ; " Judaism 
was the husk in which the kernel of Christianity ripened." 
But contemporaneously with it four great Kingdoms (^a- 
aiKelaC) or Empires {impend) passed along the stage of the 
world's history — the Assyrian, Persian, Grecian, Roman — 
all performing the work appointed them by God till "the 
fulness of time " should come ; all preparing the way for the 
" fifth Kingdom," " not made with hands," which should last 
for ever. 

Before the long promised Messiah came, the first three 
had run their allotted course, had misused their greatness, 
and having been " weighed by God in the balance and found 
wanting" (Dan. v. 27) had been succeeded by one still greater, 
" whose brightness was excellent, and the form thereof 

44 Chapter I. 

terrible" (Ibid. ii. 31). This was the Roman, the fourth 
great Empire of the world. The Prophet Daniel describes 
it as "bright and excellent," but "terrible;" bright and 
excellent, that is, in the majesty lent it by God, but 
" terrible " in the abuse of the gifts entrusted to it. 

Only words expressive of extreme terror can be found 
by the Prophet to characterize the great Roman Empire. 
" Strong as iron .... as iron breaketh in pieces and sub- 
dueth all things," it was to " crush and break;" "dreadful 
and terrible and strong exceedingly " to " stamp the residue 
under its feet " and " devour the whole earth." But it too, 
like the Empires which went before it, was to be broken 
in pieces and become " like the chaff of the summer thresh- 
ing floor " under " the great mountain that filled the whole 
earth" (Ibid. ii. 35). 

The eras which we classify as B.C. and A.D. are not an 
arbitrary distinction, but the one planned by God. At the 
time of Christ's Coming, the Kingdom of Brass, in the 
Prophet Daniel's language, had given way to the Kingdom 
of Iron, and for nearly a century and a half Greece had been 
a province of Rome. The physical might of Rome had 
subdued Greece, but the mind of Greece mastered Rome ; 
the Romans gave up much of their old beliefs, and the 
Greek Deities were incorporated into the Roman faith. 
Rome governed almost the whole world, but the world 
under the Roman Empire, instead of becoming better had 
become worse. The epoch which witnessed the early growth 
of Christianity was, says Dean Farrar ^, an epoch of which 
the horror and the degradation have rarely been equalled, 
and perhaps never exceeded, in the annals of mankind." 

In B.C. 63 Jerusalem was taken by Pompey ; Hyrcanus, 
the last of the Maccabees, was made a tributary Prince, and 
Judsea became a Roman province. The sceptre having thus 
departed from Judah " the fulness of time " had come, and 
the Roman Emperor himself was made the unwitting instru- 
ment for carrying out God's decrees. "There went out 
» Early Days of Christianity. 

The Conflict between the Fourth and Fifth Empires. 45 

a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should 
be taxed." Thus was brought about the fulfilment of 
Micah's prophecy (v. 2) that from Bethlehem He should 
come forth that was to be "the Ruler in Israel." " All went 
to be taxed, every one to his own city," and Joseph went 
from Nazareth to Bethlehem, the city of David, " because 
he was of the house and lineage of David." Women were 
not obliged by the edict to accompany their husbands, and 
the journey was long, some seventy miles ; yet the Virgin 
Mary, by diving guidance, went with him, thus fulfilling the 
prophecy of Isaiah (vii. 14), " a Virgin shall conceive and 
bear a Son." 

Immediately after the Saviour's Birth, Angelic messengers 

conveyed to humble shepherds, tending their flocks by 

night, the good tidings of great joy that on that day was 

born in the city of David a Saviour which was Christ the 

Lord. Twelve days afterwards occurred the event which 

we in the West commemorate as the Epiphany and the 

Greek Church as the 0eo4>dvei,a, the Manifestation of Christ 

to the Gentiles. Wise men {Mdyoi, as the Priests of Persia 

were called), recognizing in the Star which they saw in the 

East, the Star of Jacob predicted by Balaam (Numbers 

xxiv. 17), went to Jerusalem to enquire the birthplace of 

Him that was born King of the Jews. At Jerusalem the 

Star again appeared and went before them {-Trporjyev avrov^) 

to Bethlehem, till it came and stood over (iirdveo) the place 

where the Child lay — whether it was in the <f>dTvn, or whether 

His parents had removed to a house in Bethlehem, we are 

not told ; — but when they saw Him they fell down and 

worshipped Him, presenting Him with gifts, gold as to 

the King of Kings, frankincense to represent His eternal 

Priesthood, and myrrh to typify the Burial of the Man 


We may rest contented with the simple statement given 
by St. Matthew, and by him alone of the four Evangelists, 
without troubling ourselves about astronomical calculations. 
It may, however, be mentioned in passing, that an astro- 

46 Chapter I. 

nomical phenomenon, viz, the conjunction of the three 
planets of Jupiter, Mars and Saturn in one constellation, 
a conjunction which occurs only once in 794 years, has been 
established without doubt to have occurred at the epoch 
of our Saviour's Birth. But two questions naturally arise, 
Why did the Star appear to Wise Men in the East? and 
How did they know that it was the Star predicted by 
Balaam ? SS. Chrysostom and Jerome answer the first 
question. It was, says the former, "to penetrate the in- 
sensibility of the Jews, and to take all excuse from them 
if they would not receive Christ." " The Star," says 
St. Jerome, " arose in the East according to the prophecy 
of Balaam, and it was ordained to be a rebuke to the Jews, 
that they learnt Christ's Nativity from the Gentiles ; and 
the Wise Men were led by it to Judaea that the Priests, being 
interrogated by them where Christ was to be born, might be 
left without excuse for ignorance of the event." 

But how did the Wise Men know that the Star which they 
saw was the Star predicted by Balaam ? in other words, that 
" the fulness of time " had come .■' 

The translation of the Septuagint and the wide diffusion 
of the Greek language, consequent on the universal extension 
of the Roman Empire (jj olKov/ievri), had rendered many 
of the prophecies of Scripture familiar to heathen nations. 
That some great event was about to happen, some ex- 
traordinary Person to appear, by whom deliverance from the 
tyranny of evil under which the world groaned was to be 
effected ; a reign of peace to be inaugurated ; was the belief, 
and more especially was this the case in the East, of Jews 
and Gentiles, The expectation was fostered by Roman 
writers. Only forty years before the Birth of Christ, the 
poet Virgil ^ " as if inspired," says Gibbon ', " by the celestial 
muse of Isaiah, had celebrated the return of the virgin, the 

'■ " Magnus abintegro sseclorum nascitur ordo. 
Jamjredit et Virgo .... 

Jam nova progenies ccelo demittitur alto." (Eel. iv. ) 
' Decline and Fall, III. 270. 

The Conflict between the Fourth and Fifth Empires. 47 

fall of the serpent, the approaching birth of the God-like 
child .... who should expiate the guilt of human kind ; " 
and the Temple of Janus was, almost for the first time since 
the foundation of Rome, closed *. 

When Herod learnt, through the Magi, that a King of 
the Jews had been born, " he was troubled " for the security 
of his throne. So he enquired of the Chief Priests and 
Scribes where Christ should be born. They had no doubt, 
but at once told him in Bethlehem of Judaea ; for it was 
written by the Prophet that out of Bethlehem "shall come 
a Governor who shall rule My people Israel." 

The Magi were Persians, and to them the prophecy of 
Daniel would be familiar. Balaam was a Prophet of Pethor 
in Mesopotamia, ancj the Magi, being Priests, were, as 
St. Jerome says, " the successors of Balaam." Being also 
astrologers, when they saw the wonderful apparition of the 
Star, they would have no difficulty in construing the pro- 
phecy of Daniel, and that of Balaam. They would probably 
be less familiar with the prophecy of Micah as to the place 
of the Saviour's Birth ; so they went to Jerusalem to enquire 
where He was born ; of the Birth they had no doubt, and 
being led by the same Star, they at once recognized the 
predicted "Ruler in Israel" (Micah v. 2) in the Infant at 

The Chief Priests and the Scribes knew that in the time 
and the Birth of Christ at Bethlehem their own Scrip- 
tures had been fulfilled, yet the Jews wilfully shut their eyes 
and refused to acknowledge or receive Him as the Messiah. 
That the Greeks or Gentiles in general, who lived under 
a polytheistic system, should fail to recognize in the lowly 
Birth of the Saviour the fulfilment of the Jewish Scriptures 
and cavil at the divine authority of the Gospels, is intel- 
ligible, but that the Jews who believed in One God with 
their own Scriptures should refuse to acknowledge the 
long-expected Redeemer is at first sight incomprehensible ; 

■^ The Temple was always kept open in time of war. 

48 Chapter I. 

that which was to the Greeks (eSvea-iv) foolishness was to 
the Jews a stumbling-block (i Cor. i. 23). 

In order to understand the opposition of the Jews to the 
Gospel, we must look into the history of the Jewish nation. 
The Jews were impatient of the Roman yoke. The day on 
which Pompey took Jerusalem was the Sabbath, on which 
the Jews did not think it right to fight, and after the victory 
he penetrated into the very Holy of Holies. This profanation 
of the Temple the Jews never forgave, and in the civil war 
between him and Caesar they took the side of the latter. 
The Maccabees made several unsuccessful attempts to re- 
assert their rights ; Jerusalem was a constant scene of blood- 
shed ; and at the time of the Saviour's Birth the Jewish 
nation groaned under the tyranny of .Herod the Great, who, 
although a Jew and the husband of Hyrcanus' daughter 
Mariamne, was a vassal of the Roman Emperor. 

The Jews expected a Messiah, but a temporal, not a suf- 
fering, Messiah, a powerful King of Judaea who would 
deliver their nation from the hated thraldom of Rome. 
John the Baptist was sent to " prepare the way of the Lord 
and to make His paths straight." This the fore-runner of 
the Messiah did in two ways : — (i) by preaching repentance, 
for the wickedness of the people was immense, and without 
repentance it was impossible to receive the Gospel ; (2) by 
teaching the application of prophecy to a Spiritual Messiah. 
The Chief Priests and Scribes (the teachers of the Law) 
knew and confessed to Herod that their Scriptures had 
been fulfilled in the Birth at Bethlehem ; but Daniel had 
described the Son of Man as "coming in the clouds 
of Heaven ;" whilst their Scriptures spoke in one sense 
they interpreted them in another, and the prophecy of 
Daniel they ascribed to His First, instead of to His Second, 

Disappointed in their expectation, they forced themselves 
into the disbelief that He was the real Messiah. And this 
is the less remarkable when it is borne in mind that His 
own Apostles misunderstood the character of His Kingdom. 

The Conflict between the Fourth and Fifth Empires. 49 

They too, as Jews, hoped that He would set up a temporal 
kingdom and deliver them from the Romans. When He 
told them how He must suffer many things of the Elders 
and Chief Priests, and be put to death, and the third day 
rise again, He rebuked Peter for misunderstanding Him ; 
" Get thee behind Me, Satan, thou art an offence unto Me ;" 
he, whose faith was before " a rock " (Trer/ja) was now 
a stumbling-block (a-KapSaXov). Again and again we are 
told in the Gospels that they understood not His sayings ; 
and on His very last day on earth they asked Him, " Lord, 
wilt Thou at this time restore again the Kingdom to 

So that if the Apostles misunderstood the character of 
Christ's Kingdom, it is less remarkable that the Jewish 
nation at large misunderstood it. They " demanded of Him 
a sign from Heaven" (Matt. xii. 38 ; Mark viii. 11 ; Lukfe xi. 
16) ; " Master, we would see a sign from Thee ;" some sign 
that He would be a King of the Jews, such as they wanted. 
They were ready to accept Him, if He would reign as their 
temporal monarch, and on more than one occasion He was 
forced to elude their intention of making Him a King. As 
He wOuld not accept a temporal kingdom, they rejected 
Him ; and though He was able to call to His aid " more 
than ten thousand angels " (Matt. xxvi. 53), they crucified 
Him ; yet over the Cross Pilate wrote this superscription : 
" This is the King of the Jews." 

Death was to Him the first-fruits of victory and the gate 
of life. His last act before His death was to pray for His 
murderers and for the penitent thief. But one work more 
had to be accomplished. They laid indeed His human body 
in the new grave, in the garden of Joseph of Arimathea ; 
but, quickened in His human Spirit % He descended into 
the lower parts of the earth and preached there to the spirits 
in prison (iv <f>v\aKfj), which had been disobedient more than 
2,000 years before. We must be contented to receive with 
reverence what has been so briefly revealed to us without 

• 9avaTuee\s /xhy aapKt, ^o>oiron\9(Xs Se t$ vtici/iaTi ; 1 Peter iii. l8. 


50 Chapter I. 

striving to "be wise above what is written." After three 
days He gained the victory over death by rising from 
the dead, and after forty days longer on the earth, He 
ascended into Heaven. He led captivity captive (Eph. iv. 9), 
the captives that graced His triumph being Satan, sin, and 
death. He sat down at the right Hand of God, Angels, 
principalities and powers being made subject to Him. " He 
was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood," as a record 
of His own sufferings, and of the conflict of His Kingdom 
on earth before the final victory could be won ; but " on His 
Head were placed many crowns," and His Father gave Him 
a Name which is above every name, "King of Kings and 
Lord of Lords" (Rev. xix. 12, 13, 16) ; "that at the Name 
of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in Heaven and 
things on earth, and things under the earth." 

Thus He laid the foundation of the Christian Church. 
Not for Himself alone was the victory won, but by His 
victory the victory was foreshadowed for His Kingdom on 
earth. By His death He consecrated death, and by His 
Resurrection and Ascension He deprived death of its terrors. 
By depriving death and the grave of its sting He animated 
His Church to fight manfully against sin, the world, and 
the devil. If the General is in the forefront of the battle, 
we know with what courage it inspires his soldiers. So 
it was the unseen Presence of their Lord and Master in 
Heaven which encouraged the early martyrs in their long 
conflict with the Roman Empire, and nerved delicate women 
to endure not only death but sufferings worse than death, 
and tortures such as to us who read of them it seems im- 
possible that flesh and blood could have endured. 

During the forty days which He spent on earth after His 
Resurrection, Christ spoke of " the things pertaining to the 
Kingdom of God," i.e. His Church, and doubtless prescribed 
the plan of its government. St. Paul tells us (Eph. iv. 8) 
that " when He ascended up on high . . . He gave gifts 
(Sofiara) to men," and, i Cor. xii., he speaks of diversities 
of gz/ts (xapia-fidTcav). It was believed in the early Church 

The Conflict between the Fourth and Fifth Empires. 5 1 

that these gifts were the gifts of the Holy Spirit bestowed 
on the Day of Pentecost. The first step which the Apostles 
took after the Ascension was to elect a twelfth Apostle to 
take the place of the traitor Judas ; and Matthias was num- 
bered with the eleven Apostles. Ten days after the Ascen- 
sion, on the first great Festival, that of Pentecost, the 
XaplfffxaTa, or gifts of the Holy Spirit, were sent down from 
Heaven on the Apostles ; a miracle, counteracting the con- 
fusion of tongues at Babel, was wrought ; the Apostles were 
gifted with the Jongues of all nations, because Christ had 
commissioned them to preach to all nations, and they were 
thus prepared for their mission to preach the Gospel, first 
in Jerusalem and all Judzea, and in Samaria, and then unto 
the uttermost parts of the earth. Other gifts were also 
bestowed on them ; the power of healing the sick and cast- 
ing out devils. 

Thus Jerusalem was the mother-Church of Christianity, 
and St. James the brother, or more accurately the cousin, 
of our Lord, was appointed (and perhaps at this time) its 
first overseer {eTria kottos) or Bishop *. It is generally believed 
that the Apostles, in obedience to the Saviour's command, 
abode in Jerusalem for twelve years, only leaving it for short 
missionary tours in Judaea, and that they did not leave the 
Holy Land till A.D. 42. During their life-time they held 
the general supervision of the Church in their own hands, 
although here and there they appointed others as Bishops, 
to whom they gave power to ordain other Bishops as their 
successors, so that the office might never fail. 

Our Lord having in His life-time appointed a second Order 
of the Ministry (Luke x. i), that of irpetr^vTepoi, or Priests, 
the infant Church soon instituted a third Order of Deacons 
(BiaKovoi), at first seven in number, on whom the Apostles 
"when they had prayed, laid their hands." Chief amongst 
the Deacons were SS. Stephen, " a man full of faith and the 
Holy Ghost," and Philip. Stephen " did great wonders and 

' Eus. H. E., II. I. 
E 3 

52 Chapter I. 

miracles amongst the people;" and when "they were not 
able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit in which he 
spake," the Elders and the Scribes set up false witnesses 
and brought him before the Sanhedrim ; and the holy 
Stephen died (A.D. 33) the Proto-martyr of the Christian 
Church. , 

The first effect of the persecution which ensued after 
St. Stephen's martyrdom was the spread of the Gospel by 
believers who were scattered abroad and sought refuge in 
the regions of Judaea and Samaria. Philip the Deacon es- 
caped to Samaria, where he preached and worked miracles 
with such success that the people with one accord gave 
heed to him and were baptized, both men and women. 
But as he was a Deacon, he could only confer the Sacra- 
ment of Baptism ; the Church in Jerusalem therefore sent 
over Peter and John, who "laid their hands on them and 
they received the Holy Ghost." This is the first notice 
we have of Confirmation. 

Philip, under instruction of an Angel, next proceeded 
to the country of the Philistines, where he converted and 
baptized the Chamberlain of the Queen of Ethiopia, who 
was on his homeward journey from Jerusalem. Thus by 
means of Philip the words of prophecy were fulfilled ; 
" Upon Philistia will I triumph " (Psalm viii. 9) ; " Ethiopia 
shall soon stretch out her hands unto God" (Psalm 
Ixviii. 31). 

Witnesses who had been suborned to give false evidence 
against Stephen " laid down their clothes at a young man's 
feet named Saul," and in the persecution of the Church 
which followed Stephen's martyrdom he bore a prominent 
part. Saul continuing to "make havoc of the Church;" 
"breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the 
disciples of the Lord," obtained (A.D. 34) from the High 
Priests a commission to proceed to Damascus, a city 133 
miles from Jerusalem, and to seize and bring bound to Jeru- 
salem any Christians who had fled for refuge to that city. 
On his road thither his intention was miraculously arrested ; 

7"^!? Conflict between the Fourth and Fifth Empires. 53 

the persecutor Saul was converted and baptized, and 
"straightway preached Christ in the Synagogues that He 
is the Son of God." 

For some years a modified form of Judaism was combined 
with the two Sacraments which Christ Himself had or- 
dained in His Church, Baptism and the Holy Eucharist. 
Like their Master, Who was born and lived and died a 
Jew, the first Christians observed the ceremonies of the 
Mosaic Law ; they frequented the services of the Temple, 
and the rite of Qrcumcision was retained. The Apostles 
at first believed that the Kingdom of Christ was to be 
limited to the Jews ; but the barrier between Jews and 
Gentiles was broken down through the conversion and 
Baptism (A.D. 41) by St. Peter, acting under divine in- 
spiration, of Cornelius, a member of a noble family, and 
a Centurion of the Roman forces at Czesarea. 

For a few years "the Churches had rest throughout all 
Judaea, Galilee and Samaria." But, A.D. 44, a terrible 
calamity from the Jews visited the Church ; Herod Agrippa 
"stretched forth his hand to vex certain of the Church, 
and killed James " the Apostle, son of Zebedee and brother 
of St. John, "with the sword." Thus St. James was the 
Proto-martyr of the Apostles. 

St. Luke tells us that disciples flying from Jerusalem 
after the martyrdom of St. Stephen found their way to 
Antioch. Antioch, although it had fallen from the power- 
ful position which it held under the Seleucidae, was still, 
under the Roman Empire, regarded as the capital of the 
East, and was, next to Rome and Alexandria, the greatest 
city in the world. A great number of people at Antioch, 
we are told (Acts xi. 21), now "believed and turned to 
the Lord." When tidings of this success was reported 
to the Church in Jerusalem, they commissioned Barnabas 
to proceed to Antioch. Barnabas first went to Tarsus, 
the native city of Saul, where the latter was then residing, 
and together with Saul proceeded to Antioch, and at Antioch 
the two continued to preach for a whole year. There 

54 Chapter I. 

Christianity took deep root, and "the disciples were first 
called Christians at Antioch." 

Thenceforward Antioch became the centre of Greek 
Christianity, and was to the Greek converts what Jeru- 
salem was to the Jewish converts of Judaea, Galilee, and 
Samaria. Over the Church of Antioch, according to eccle- 
siastical tradition, Peter presided as Bishop for seven years. 
Whether he was so or not, it is useless to enquire, for the 
reason that it is impossible to decide with certainty. It 
is probable that the Apostles did not, except in the case 
of St. James at Jerusalem, become Bishops of individual 
Sees, but that they exercised a general supervision, en- 
trusting the newly-founded Churches to some Presbyter 
whom they consecrated to the higher rank of Bishop. 
There is reason to believe that Evodius was the first Bishop 
of Antioch, and, although he is not mentioned by St. Luke 
amongst the Prophets and Teachers of Antioch, that he 
was appointed at this time. Antioch was the first in date 
of the afterwards great Patriarchal Sees of the Church ; 
to the Bishop of the See the exclusive title of Patriarch 
originally belonged, and Innocent I., Pope of Rome, claimed 
for it a special dignity on the ground of its having been 
the See of St. Peter. 

Before proceeding further, it may be as well to draw 
attention to the fact that in estimating the value of eccle- 
siastical tradition it must be borne in mind that the nearer 
the source the purer is the stream. When we have St. 
Irenaeus telling us that he could point to the very spot 
where he used to sit and talk with Polycarp, Bishop of 
Smyrna, and disciple of St. John, and that Polycarp would 
tell him of the frequent conversations which he had held 
with the beloved Apostle and others who had seen our 
Lord, tradition derived from such a source is second only 
to sacred Scripture. But when in the Third and Fourth 
centuries we receive statements recording events which are 
supposed to have happened in the First Century, with no 
trustworthy connecting link, their value, in destroying tes- 

The Conflict between the Fourth and Fifth Empires. 55 

timony which would otherwise be conclusive, is abso- 
lutely nil. 

Barnabas and Saul had as yet only received the spiritual 
gifts [xapiafiara) which fitted them for the office of Prophets 
and Teachers. Whilst the Prophets and Teachers of An- 
tioch (Acts xiii. I ) ministered to the Lord and fasted, " the 
Holy Ghost commanded them to separate Barnabas and 
Saul " for the work to which they were called, that is, to 
the Apostleship of the Gentiles. They were consequently 
ordained, and we «oon find them reckoned amongst the 
Apostles (Acts xiv. 14). Immediately afterwards Saul, in 
company with Barnabas, started from Antioch on his First 
Apostolical journey. 

The "Acts of the Apostles" is mostly confined to the mis- 
sionary labours of the great Apostle of the Gentiles ; we must 
presume a knowledge of that Book on the part of readers 
and confine ourselves to little more than touching on the 
countries through which he was the instrument of ex- 
tending Christ's Kingdom. 

The First Apostolical journey. Barnabas and Saul, in 
company of John Mark, cousin {avk-^ioi) of Barnabas, left 
Antioch in Syria, A.D. 45 s, and taking ship at Seleucia, the 
Port of Antioch, landed in the Island of Cyprus, the native 
country of Barnabas. From Salamis they traversed the 
Island, a distance of 100 miles, to Paphos the capital, and 
after the conversion of Sergius Paulus the Proconsul, Saul 
took the name of Paul. From Paphos they crossed to Asia 
Minor, landing at Perga in Pamphilia, where John Mark 
left them to return to Jerusalem. They then went to 
Antioch in Pisidia. There Paul preached in the Synagogue 
on the Sabbath day, and so long as he spoke to the Jews of 
the promised Messiah, they listened to him attentively. 
But when on the following Sabbath the Greeks flocked 
to hear him, the Jews were filled with envy and "spake 
against those things which were spoken by him, contra- 
dicting and blaspheming." "Seeing ye put it from you, 

B This cannot be St. Mark the Evangelist, who died a.d., 62, whereas John 
Mark lived beyond that date. 

56 Chapter I. 

and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life," he said, 
" lo ! we turn to the Gentiles." The Greeks gladly heard 
him, and many of them were converted. Thereupon the 
Jews " raised a persecution " and expelled Paul and Barna- 
bas from their coasts. 

They next went to Iconium, the capital of Lycaonia, 
where a great multitude of both Jews and Greeks believed, 
but they were forced to fly from the city in consequence 
of a conspiracy to kill them. At Lystra, another city of 
Lycaonia, they for the first time came in contact with 
a thoroughly Pagan population, which, excited by Jews 
from Antioch and Iconium, stoned Paul, and dragged him 
out of the city, supposing him to be dead ; but he contrived 
to escape to Derbe, also a city in Lycaonia, where many 
disciples were made, and Presbyters were ordained in every 
city ; this is the first mention we have in the Acts of the 
Apostles of the second Order in the Ministry. Returning 
by the same route through Lystra, Iconium, and Pisidian 
Antioch, they arrived, after an absence of two years, at 
Antioch in Syria, where they remained a considerable time. 

At Antioch they related how God had opened the door 
of Faith to the Gentiles. The Jewish converts now resolved 
that heathen converts must conform to the Jewish Law. 
A question of such importance, on which the very existence 
of the Christian Church depended, seemed to require refer- 
ence to the parent Church at Jerusalem. Paul and Barnabas, 
therefore, and "certain others," amongst whom was Titus, 
an uncircumcised convert, went to Jerusalem, where the 
Apostles, and amongst them Peter, whose presence in the 
Council is the last mention of him made in the Acts, and 
John, assembled in a Council held under St. James (A.D. 50). 
SS. Peter, Barnabas, and Paul were the principal speakers, the 
deliberations being summed up by St. James, who, himself 
a strict adherent of the Jewish rites, proposed certain re- 
strictions in that direction, whilst in his sentence a com- 
promise in the spirit of Christian charity was adopted ; 
the Gentiles were not to be troubled with unnecessary 
burdens, whilst they on their part should observe a respect 

The Conflict between the Fourth and Fifth Empires. %^ 

for Jewish susceptibilities. The Council enacted ; " It 
seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us, that converts 
should abstain from meats polluted through being offered 
to idols, from the flesh of animals which had been strangled 
and contained blood, and from fornication." 

St. Paul's Second Apostolical journey. After the Council, 
Paul and Barnabas, carrying with them its decrees, returned 
to Antioch, whence Paul started, this time accompanied by 
Silas, on his Second Apostolic journey (52 — 54). Paul was 
unwilling that Mark, who had left them on their first journey, 
should now accompany them, and so sharp was the con- 
tention {irapo^viTiMos) between him and Barnabas, that they 
parted, Barnabas and Mark going to Cyprus. There Bar- 
nabas, after having appointed Heraclides, who fixed his See 
at Salamis, as its first Bishop, is supposed to have suffered 
martyrdom. Paul and Silas, travelling through Syria and 
Cilicia, confirming the Churches and leaving the decrees of 
the Council of Jerusalem, passed through Derbe and Lystra. 
At the latter place they met Timothy, who is called a disciple, 
from which we may infer that he had been baptized by 
Paul in his previous visit. Though Timothy's father was 
a Greek, yet his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice 
were Jewesses (2 Tim. i. S), and by them Timothy had 
been from his childhood instructed in the Holy Scriptures. 
In the matter of circumcision or uncircumcision Paul himself 
was indifferent, but he now " took and circumcised him be- 
cause of the Jews which were in those quarters." 

Taking Timothy with them and founding Churches in 
Phrygia and Galatia, where Paul fell sick, and being for- 
bidden by the Spirit to go into the province of Asia, they 
passed through Mysia, and were divinely guided to Troas, 
where they met with Luke " the beloved physician." Here 
Paul had a vision inviting him to go into Greece. Touching 
at Samothracia they arrived at Philippi, where Lydia, a sor- 
ceress, was converted, and also the gaoler of the prison in 
which the Apostles were, in consequence of their conversion of 
Lydia, confined, and from which they were miraculously re- 

58 Chapter I. 

leased. Here Luke and Timothy were left ; Paul and Silas, 
passing through Amphipolis and; Apollonia, arrived at Thes- 
salonica, the capital of Macedonia. There Paul preached for 
three Sabbaths in the Synagogue, and a great multitude 
of "devout Greeks, and of the chief women not a few," 
embraced the Gospel. But being assailed by a Jewish mob, 
Paul and Silas escaped to Beraea. There their preaching 
was blessed by the conversion of many, both Jews and 
Greeks. But Jews from Thessalonica stirring up a sedition, 
Paul left for Athens, Silas and Timothy (the latter of whom 
had rejoined them) continuing at Beraea. 

Athens Paul found "wholly given to idolatry." Of the 
two philosophical schools in that centre of Greek learning, 
the Epicureans and the Stoics, the former were Atheists 
and the latter Pantheists, and the people signified their 
complete ignorance of the true God in an inscription on 
their altars, To the unknown God, 

Standing in the midst of Mars' hill, the seat of their 
Council, the Areopagus, he preached to them of the God 
whom they "ignorantly worshipped." Thus was Christ's 
Kingdom set to oppose the city which with Alexandria 
was the most cultivated and philosophical in the world. 
Many of the people, when they heard of the Resurrection, 
ridiculed, but some, and amongst them was Dionysius the 
Areopagite, to whom tradition assigns the first Bishopric of 
Athens, believed. 

From Athens Paul went to Corinth, the mercantile 
metropolis of Achaia. Here he was rejoined by Timothy 
and Silas. The opposition which he met with from the 
Jews was so violent that shaking off the dust from his feet, 
he told them that thenceforward he would go to the Gentiles. 
But when Gallio, the Proconsul of Achaia, treated the 
complaints of the Jews and questions of mere Jewish 
ceremonial with indifference, Paul remained a year and 
a half at Corinth, where he probably met and converted 
Aquila and Priscilla ; and at Corinth a flourishing Church 
was established. 

Tlie Conflict between the Fourth and Fifth Empires. 59 

Paul now determined to leave Greece in order to attend 
the great Feast of Pentecost at Jerusalem. Touching at 
EphesuSj where the Jews requested him to prolong his 
stay, promising to return to them and leaving there Aquila 
and Priscilla, he landed at Caesarea and went up and saluted 
the Church at Jerusalem. This is all we are told of his 
visit ; he speedily went on to Antioch in Syria, where he 
arrived in the Summer, A.D. 54. In that year Nero suc- 
ceeded Claudius as Roman Emperor. 

St. Paul's Third Apostolical journey. Quitting Antioch 
in company of Timothy, Paul first visited Galatia and 
Phrygia, confirming all thg disciples; and passing by the 
"upper regions" of Asia Minor, he visited Ephesus for 
the second time, where he re-baptized certain converts who 
had received an imperfect form of Baptism from Apollos. 
At Ephesus he spent three years (54 — 57), and at that 
time probably appointed Titus Bishop of Crete (Titus i. S). 

For the space of three months he spoke boldly in the 
Synagogues of the Jews, but meeting with much opposition, 
he taught for the rest of the time in the school of one 
Tyrannus, as well as from house to house, preaching 
repentance and faith both to Jews and Greeks. St. Luke 
says (Acts xix. 10) that at this time " all they which 
dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both 
Jews and Greeks." As he had before made Corinth the 
Metropolitan See of Greece, so he now made Ephesus the 
Metropolis of Asia, and soon appointed Timothy as its 

From Ephesus he crossed to Macedonia ; all the in- 
formation St. Luke gives us is, " he departed to go into 
Macedonia ; " and " when he had gone over those parts 
and had given them much exhortation, he came into Greece," 
where he spent three months. From Corinth he at this 
time (a.D. 58) wrote his Epistles to the Romans, in which 
he announced his intention of visiting them on his road 
from Jerusalem to Spain. He then returned to Macedonia 
in the Spring and arrived at Philippi, where he was joined 

6o Chapter 1. 

by Luke, for Easter (Acts xx. 6). Leaving Europe on his 
way to Jerusalem, he stopped seven days at Troas, where 
he raised Eutychus to life, and then visited the Islands of 
the ^gean Sea. From Miletus he sent to Ephesus, which 
was only a few miles distant, asking the Presbyters to meet 
him, and there he held a visitation of the Church of Ephesus, 
which included the Churches of the neighbouring towns. 
In a solemn charge he told them that they would see his 
face no more ; that he was going " bound in the spirit to 
Jerusalem, not knowing what would befall him there," except 
that in every city the same testimony was given that bonds 
and afflictions awaited him. Laiyiching thence, they sailed 
past Coos and Rhodes to Patara, where they changed their 
vessel for another bound to Phoenicia, and landed at Tyre, 
where they remained seven days. In vain the disciples 
implored Paul not to go to Jerusalem. Passing on they 
landed at Ptolemais (Acre), where they remained one day, 
and the next day landed at Caesarea. There they abode 
" many days " in the house of Philip the Evangelist, one 
of the Seven Deacons, and the Prophet Agabus foretold 
Paul's imprisonment at Jerusalem. After an absence of 
several years (Acts xxiv. 17), Paul arrived at Jerusalem 
shortly before the Passover of A.D. 58. 

The city was at the time crowded with Jews who had 
come from all countries to attend the Passover. The Ju- 
daizing Christians "zealous of the Law of Moses" he pacified 
by taking upon himself the vow of a Nazarite (Numbers vi. 
2 — S). But a greater difficulty arose from the Asiatic Jews, 
who had been acquainted with him during his long sojourn 
at Ephesus. Incensed against him not only as an apostate 
Jew, but because of the great success with which he had 
preached Christianity, they were with difficulty prevented 
from tearing him in pieces. He was brought before the 
Sanhedrim, but his announcement that he was a Pharisee 
and the son of a Pharisee, and that it was the doctrine of the 
Resurrection that was called in question, created such a 
tumult between the Pharisees who believed, and the Sad- 

The Conflict between the Fourth and Fifth Empires. 6i 

ducees who denied, the doctrine, that the chief captain 
Lysias was obh'ged to rescue him, and sent him secretly 
by night to Cassarea, where Felix, the Procurator, resided. 

At Caesarea he remained two years (58 — 60), during which 
time Porcius Festus succeeded Felix as Procurator. The 
High Priests and the chief of the Jews desired Festus to 
put Paul on his trial at Jerusalem, " laying wait on the way 
to kill him." Paul learning that an attempt would be made 
on his life claimed the right of a Roman citizen and ap- 
pealed to Caesar. Festus had no choice ; " thou hast ap- 
pealed unto Caesar, unto Cassar shalt thou go." 

After having testified to the Saviour's kingdom in the 
capital of Greece, he was now to bear similar witness in 
the capital of the world. In the autumn of A.D. 60 he 
started for Rome. His journey thither ; his shipwreck and 
consequent detention for three months on the barbarous 
island of Melita (Malta) ; his landing and sojourn for seven 
days at PuteoH (Pozzuoli) ; his detention at Rome for two 
years (61 — 63) ; his being permitted, fastened to the arm 
of a Roman soldier, to reside in his own house, and to 
preach " the kingdom of God .... no man forbidding him ; " 
— these events are narrated in the concluding chapters of 
the Acts of the Apostles. 

In the second year of St. Paul's imprisonment occurred 
the martyrdom of St. James, Bishop of Jerusalem, surnamed, 
probably from his stature, the Less, and from his high 
character both with Jews and Gentiles, the Just. On the 
death of Festus, Judaea was left for a time without a gover- 
nor. St. James in his recently written Epistle to " the 
twelve tribes which are scattered abroad," reproved them 
with having "condemned and killed the Just." Taking 
advantage of the anarchy prevailing during the interregnum, 
the Scribes and Pharisees placing him upon a pinnacle of 
the Temple, ordered him to address the multitude below 
concerning "Jesus, the crucified one." "Why do ye ask 
me about Jesus, the Son of Man } " he asked them. " He 
sitteth at the right hand of the great Power, and is about 

62 Chapter I. 

to come in the clouds of Heaven." They waited to hear 
no more ; hurling him down headlong, they stoned him, 
his last words being those of the Saviour, " Father, forgive 
them, for they know not what they do ; " and whilst 
he was still praying a fuller despatched him with his 

In the same year as the martyrdom of St. James occurred 
that of St. Mark the Evangelist, the founder of the great 
See of Alexandria. That Mark laboured in Egypt is stated 
by Epiphanius and St. Jerome, and Eusebius mentions it 
as an event of which he had heard ; " They say ((pdaiv) ^ 
that this Mark was the first fha( was sent to Egypt .... 
and first established Churches in Alexandria," and from the 
statement of Eusebius*, that in the eighth year of Nero 
(i.e. 62) Annianus succeeded him in the parish (i.e. the 
Diocese) of Alexandria, we may infer that Mark died (and 
it is believed that he suffered martyrdom) in that year 
or shortly before. 

The mission of St. Mark to Alexandria is generally sup- 
posed to have been undertaken not later than A.D. 50, but 
this does not imply that there were not Christians in that 
city before his arrival. The Gospel was already known in 
Africa. Simon, whom " they compelled to bear the cross V' 
was " a man of Cyrene " in Africa. Amongst those who 
were present in Jerusalem on the great Day of Pentecost 
were dwellers "in Egypt and the parts of Libya about 
Cyrene ; " and the eunuch of Queen Candace must have 
passed through Egypt on his return journey to Ethiopia 
or Abyssinia. Simon Zelotes is supposed to have preached 
in Egypt and Cyrene, and amongst the Prophets and 
Teachers at Antioch (Acts xiii. i), was Lucius of Cyrene. 

But St. Mark is believed to have been the founder of 
the See of Alexandria, whence it gloried in the title of the 
Evangelical See, and the Bishops of that See, of whom 

>■ H. E., II. 16. ' Ibid., XXIV. 

ijyydpevaayj pressed into the service^ Matt, xxvii. 32. 

The Conflict between the Fourth and Fifth Empires. 63 

Annianus was the first •, as early as the middle of the Third 
Century was specially designated Popes ". 

We have now traced the foundation of the two first in 
date of the Patriarchal Sees of Christendom. The foun- 
dation of the great Patriarchate of Rome properly belongs 
to a history of the Latin Church, but as the unhappy con- 
tentions between the Eastern and Western Churches mainly 
turned on the question as to who was the founder of the 
Church of Rome, it cannot be passed over in silence. Its 
origin is veiled in mystery ; that St. Peter was its sole 
founder is an histofical impossibility ; the legend, based on 
a mistake, and supported by a forgery, when once it took 
root, " filled the land." 

After the Council of Jerusalem (a.d. Jo), Peter suddenly 
disappears from the Acts of the Apostles ; it may be because 
he was overshadowed at Jerusalem, as well as amongst the 
Jewish Christians of the Dispersion, by St. James, Bishop 
of Jerusalem, and amongst the Greeks by St. Paul, to whom 
the Apostleship of the Gentiles particularly fell. We know 
that he was a married man ", and that he was accompanied 
in his missionary tours by a Christian sister"; whether this 
was his wife or not we have no means of judging, except 
that Tertullian in reference to the passage thinks that 
St. Paul means, not "uxores sed simpliciter mulieres." 
Tradition tells us of his having a daughter named Petro- 
nilla, and St. Clement of Alexandria that he had sons, 
and some have imagined p that the " Marcus, my son," men- 
tioned in the First Epistle of St. Peter, may have been his 
own son. 

Peter's missionary work was especially amongst the Jews 

' Eus. H. E., III. 14. 

"> Theodore Balsamon says that, correctly speaking, the Bishops ef Rome 
and Alexandria were Popes, of Antioch, Patriarchs, of Constantinople and 
Jerusalem, Archbishops. 

" Some commentators have suggested that i Pet. v. 13, "the co-elect," 
awiKiKfii, in Babylon may have been his wife. 

° 6.liK^h\v yvytiiKa; I Cor. ix. 5. 

» See Farrar, Early Days of Christianity, II. U2. 

64 Chapter I. 

of the Dispersion mentioned in his first Epistle, which it 
seems reasonable to infer that he wrote from Babylon on 
the Euphrates, although it is true that in the Revelation 
(xvii. S) Rome is figuratively called Babylon ; for that he 
should have spoken of Babylon when he meant Rome is 

Lactantius says that Peter first went to Rome in Nero's 
reign, and Origen that he arrived there shortly before his 
death. Clement, Bishop of Rome, whilst relating the mar- 
tyrdom of SS. Peter and Paul, does not specify that it 
occurred in Rome, nor does any statement leading to the 
conjecture occur till made A.D. 170 by Dionysius, Bishop 
of Corinth, and later on at the end of the Second Century 
by St. Irenseus and Tertullian. As the tradition was all 
but universal, and as there is no counter tradition, we may 
perhaps accept Peter's martyrdom in Rome (there is nothing 
to justify the legend that he was crucified with his head 
downwards) ; but it is historically certain that he could not 
have reached Rome till towards the end of Nero's reign. 

The assertion of Eusebiusi that Peter visited Rome in 
the reign of Claudius is founded on an error made by Justin 
Martyr"'. All authorities agree that Simon Magus, men- 
tioned in the Acts of the Apostles, visited Rome at some 
time or another ; he was certainly there when Peter arrived, 
which we conclude was A.D. 67, and there is little doubt that 
he followed Peter thither, as his manner always was, to 
oppose and attack him. Justin Martyr says that Simon 
Magus went to Rome in the reign of Claudius, that he was 
honoured there as a god, and that a statue was erected to 
him between two bridges over the Tiber bearing the in- 
scription, Simoni Deo Sancto (to Simon the holy god). 
What reason could the Romans possibly have for venerating 
a Samaritan sorcerer as a god? But Justin was misled by 
the statue and the inscription. In 1574, in the Pontificate 
of Gregory XIII., the very statue was dug up in an island 
of the Tiber, now called Isola di San Bartolomeo, with its 
1 H. E., II. 2, 13, 14. 'Apol.,l. 16. 

The Conflict between the Fourth and Fifth Empires. 65 

inscription, Semoni $anco Deo Fidio Sacrum, Sancus being 
a god of the Sabines, by whom he was held to be deus 
fidius, i.e. a god in whom they believed ' 

The year 44 was the year of the martyrdom of St. James, 
the brother of St. John, and Peter also was thrown into 
prison by King Agrippa. On his release he went, we are 
told, "into another place" (Acts xii. 17). St. Luke, who 
had before specified such unimportant places as Lydda and 
Joppa, would not have dismissed the great capital of the 
world as "another place." The place referred to was 
probably Caesarea,* "where he abode." In a.d. 50 Peter 
was in Jerusalem at the Council. The late Professor Blunt, 
of Cambridge University, considers that Peter started on 
his long mission to Asia A.D. 54. In 58 St. Paul wrote his 
Epistle to the Romans ; yet he makes no mention of Peter, 
not even in the long list of salutations to the Roman 
Christians, which he certainly would have done if Peter had 
been their Bishop. In that Epistle he spoke of his desire 
to " preach the Gospel to you that are in Rome also," in 
order to " impart some spiritual gift, to the end that ye may 
be established." But he tells the Romans (Rom. xv. 20) 
that it was his rule not " to build upon another man's 
foundation," but to preach the Gospel where Christ was not 
already known. And what spiritual gift could St. Paul 
impart which St. Peter could not equally have imparted, 
had he been Bishop of Rome? It seems therefore impos- 
sible that Peter could have been in Rome before a.d. 58. 

In A.D. 60 Paul was sent a prisoner to Rome,.where he 
remained two years. After he had been a prisoner three 
days he called the chief of the Jews together (Acts xxviii. 
if). They told him they had heard nothing against him, 
but " we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest : for as 
concerning this sect we know that everywhere it is spoken 
against." Is it possible that if Peter had been Bishop of 
Rome they would not have obtained from him information 


• A statue of him, found in 1879 on the slopes of the Quirinal, is now to 
be seen in the Vatican Museum at Rome. 


66 Chapter I. 

about the great Apostle of the Gentiles ; that they would 
not have learnt the accusations that were brought against 
him ; the persecution which he suffered from their own 
brethren ? Paul was released from his imprisonment in 
A.D. 63 ; in A.D. 64 Peter wrote his First Epistle from 

St. Paul was sent for a second time a prisoner to Rome, 
A.D. 6^. It cannot be believed that St. Peter was at Rome 
at that time, for in his Second Epistle to Timothy, written 
in that year, Paul says (2 Tim. iv. 16), "At my first trial .... 
all men forsook me : I pray God it may not be laid to their 
charge," and (2 Tim. iv. 1 1) " Only Luke is with me." Would 
he so have written if Peter had been Bishop of Rome ? or if 
Peter had been in prison at that time at Rome, would not 
Paul have mentioned it .'' 

There is no reason for supposing that Peter left Babylon 
immediately after he wrote his epistle, A.D. 64. Even had 
he done so, weighed down as he was with age, the journey 
would have occupied a considerable time. He would revisit 
on his way several Churches which he had planted. We 
have no reason to suppose that he as yet ever visited 
Europe. St. Paul in his Epistle to the Corinthians (i Cor. 
iii. 6) says, " I have planted, and Apollos watered," but he 
makes no mention of Peter. At Corinth Peter had many 
followers, for Paul rebuked the Corinthians (i Cor. i. 12) for 
being broken up into several sects, some followers of Paul, 
some of Apollos, some of Peter. Peter on his way to Rome 
would naturally wish to preach to his followers in Corinth ; 
so that if Peter went to Rome at all, the journey from 
Babylon would have taken a considerable time. 

We may conclude, therefore, that Peter arrived for the 
first time at Rome A.D. 67, after St. Paul wrote his Second 
Epistle to Timothy. On the Day of Pentecost there were 
at Jerusalem " strangers of Rome." St. Paul in his Epistle 
to the Romans sends a salutation to his kinsmen Andronicus 
and Junia, the partners of pne of his imprisonments, " who 
were in Christ before him," and " of note among the Apos- 

The Conflict between the Fourth and Fifth Empires. 67 

ties" (Rom. xvi. 6). To them and such like Apostolic men 
a great extension of the faith in Rome was probably due, 
so that St. Paul could speak of the faith of the Romans 
as " being spoken of by the whole world." During his first 
imprisonment at Rome, Paul preached the Kingdom of God 
with all confidence to all that came to him, no man for- 
bidding him. But as yet there was nothing that could be 
called a Church ; no one to ordain Bishops, Priests and 
Deacons to the ministry. The Apostle of the Jews and the 
Apostle of the Geatiles were now in Rome together, and 
the Fathers speak of them as the joint-founders of the 
Roman Church ; and if this was so, it must have been at 
this time. 

The Christian Church had not, before the reign of Nero, 
been brought into contact with the Fourth Empire. Tiberius, 
so far from consulting the Senate, as he is reported to have 
done, as to admitting Jesus among the gods, probably never 
heard of the Christians.' Claudius was too much occupied 
with troubles from the Jews, whom he expelled from Rome, 
to concern himself with a religion so humble and harmless 
as Christianity. But his successor was Nero (A.D. 54-68), 
a monster in human form. Nero, says Eusebius ', was the 
first of the Emperors who showed himself an enemy of the 
divine religion. On July 18, A.D. 64, broke out the fire of 
Rome, which in its course of six days destroyed the greater 
part of the city. The crime was at once imputed to Nero ", 
who to avoid public execration alighted on the Christians, 
already the subjects of popular hatred, against whom any 
accusation would be readily accredited. A fearful persecu- 
tion ensued. Josephus, the Jewish Historian, makes no 
mention of a persecution of the Jews under Nero, who had 
his reasons for favouring them. Nor was the persecution 
under Nero so much directed against the Christian Church 
as against the Christians themselves ; " a set of people," says 
Tacitus, " the Founder of whom was Christ, who were held 
in abhorrence for their crimes." Still it is reckoned as the 

' H. E., II. 25. " Tacitus, Ann., XV. 39. 

F 2 

68 Chapter I. 

first and one of the most cruel of the ten persecutions of 
the Christian Church, and gave the Christians an insight 
into the terrible conflict which ensued with the Roman 
Empire. No kind of insult and cruelty was wanting. At 
the time when SS. Peter and Paul reached Rome the perse- 
cution was at its height. The legend goes that Peter was 
induced by the Christians to fly from Rome. St. Ambrose, 
or a pseudo-Ambrose, relatesi that just outside the gates he 
met the Saviour, who to his question, " Lord, Whither goest 
Thou ? " {Domine quo vadis f), replied, " I go to Rome to be 
crucified a second time " ( Vado Romam iterum crucifigi). 
The place of meeting is represented by the Oratory now 
standing on the Appian Way. Returning in shame and 
sorrow to Rome, Peter was imprisoned in the Tullianum, 
a name in later times changed to Mamertinum, after the 
God of War, Mars or Mamers. 

The martyrdom of the two Apostles is said by St. Jerome 
to have taken place on the same day, which is supposed 
to have been June 29, A.D. 68, the last year of Nero's reign. 
According to an ancient tradition, Peter, having first wit- 
nessed the martyrdom of his wife, was crucified on the pre- 
cise spot where now stands the obelisk in the centre of 
the Piazza di San Pietro. St. Paul being a Roman citizen 
was beheaded, as is supposed on the Ostian way, at a place 
called Ad Aquas Salvias, on the spot where now stands the 
Abbadia delle Tre Fontane, so called from the legend that 
three fountains sprang up on the spot where the martyr's 
head struck the ground. 

Mention has now been made of the martyrdom of four 
of the Apostles, James the brother of St. John, James, 
Bishop of Jerusalem, Peter and Paul. With regard to the 
other Apostles, with the exception of St. John, next to 
nothing is known for certain. Omitting what is obviously 
false, the sum of what general tradition asserts need only 
be given. 

Andrew having preached among the Scythians returned 
to Jerusalem, and afterwards went to Byzantium, where 

The Conflict between the Fourth and Fifth Empires. 6g 

he is said to have founded the Church and appointed 
Stachys Bishop ; and after other travels suffered crucifixion 
at Patrae at the hands of the Proconsul of Achaia. 

Philip was Bishop of Hierapolis in Phrygia, where he died 
at an advanced age. 

Bartholomew or Nathaniel preached in India, into which 
country he carried a copy of St. Matthew's Gospel, which 
Pantsenus, head of the Catechetical School of Alexandria, 
when he went on a missionary tour to that country at the 
end of the second century, found there amongst the Chris- 
tians. He suffered crucifixion at Albanopolis in Armenia. 

Thomas, the Apostle of India, was the founder of the 
community called the Christians of St. Thomas, and suf- 
fered death at the hands of the Brahmins. 

Simon Zelotes preached in Egypt and Mauretania, and 
was martyred in Persia. 

Jude, called also Lebbeus and Thaddeus, was sent by 
St. Thomas to Abgarus, King of Edessa, and suffered 
martyrdom at Berytus. 

Matthew or Levi preached in Parthia and Ethiopia, and 
died a natural death at Hieria in Palestine. 

Matthias, of whom little is known, is supposed to have 
lived and died in Jerusalem. 

St. John, the beloved Apostle, is the only one who is known 
to have survived the destruction of Jerusalem, thus fulfilling 
the prediction of our Lord, " If I will that he tarry till I 
come (i.e. in judgment on Jerusalem), what is that to thee ? " 

Nothing short of the direct interposition of God in the 
destruction of Jerusalem, and the impossibility of their 
carrying out the Mosaic Dispensation, could have convinced 
the Judaizing Christians of their fallibility, and that, under 
the New Dispensation, the worship of the Temple and the 
observances of the Mosaic Law were not necessary require- 
ments. The time had come when the Old Testament was 
to have its fulfilment, when it was to be shown that the 
Law of Moses had only a typical meaning, and that the 
promises related not to the temporal Israel, but to the 

70 Chapter I. 

Church of Christ. In A.D. 70, Jerusalem fell under the arms 
of Titus, the son of the Roman Emperor Vespasian (69 — 79). 
The Christians, mindful of the warnings of their Saviour, and 
commanded, says Eusebius, by a divine revelation ^ had 
fled to Pella beyond the Jordan. Josephus, the Jewish 
Historian, ascribes the cause of the destruction of Jerusalem 
to the murder of St. James its Bishop. The days had come 
when the Jews saw the hated Romans " casting a trench 
about it, compassing it around, and keeping it in on every 
side." It is not necessary to recount the horrors that filled 
up the cup of unhappy Israel. Not one element of misery 
was absent. The city was levelled with the ground, and 
a plough passed over it in fulfilment of our Lord's prediction 
that " one stone should not be left upon another." Titus 
wished to save the Temple; a fire-brand cast into it by 
a Roman soldier caused a conflagration, and on Aug. 10 
the Temple was destroyed. The number of those who 
perished during the whole war, not including those who 
died of famine and other miseries, was reckoned at i, 337)490, 
the number of captives at 101,700. Part of the latter were 
consigned to perpetual imprisonment in the mines, part to 
fight in the Roman games with wild beasts and gladiators. 
Well might the Jews exclaim, " Zion is a wilderness and 
Jerusalem a desolation. Our holy and beautiful House, 
where our fathers praised Thee, is burnt up with fire, and 
all our pleasant things are laid waste" (Is. Ixiv. 10, 11). 

According to Sulpicius Severus, Titus thought to destroy 
Jerusalem, and with it Christianity, at one blow. After 
the fall of the City the Christian Church returned from 
Pella to its ruins, and probably at that time elected Simeon, 
the brother of James the Less, as their Bishop, and the 
Gentile Christians were thenceforward delivered from the 
bondage of the Mosaic Law. 

Titus, a man distinguished for his virtues, succeeded 
his father Vespasian as Emperor, and after a short reign 
of two years was succeeded by his brother Domitian (81 — 

* H. E., III. 5. 

The Conflict between the Fourth and Fifth Empires. 7 1 

96), the rival of Tiberius and Nero in vice and cruelty ; 
and under him the second persecution of the Christians 
broke out, a.d. 95. 

The Jews, notwithstanding the destruction of Jerusalem, 
continued to look forward to the coming of a temporal 
Messiah. With the Jews the Christians were confounded, 
and the suspicions of Domitian, who readily lent his ear to 
secret informers, were aroused on his hearing of Christians 
speaking of the Kingdom of Christ. Christianity had found 
its way into the £mperor's family. Two of his relativesj 
Flavius Clemens, his cousin, who held the Consulate, 
A.D. 95, and his wife Drusilla, were accused of Atheism 
{aQeortii), a charge commonly brought against Christians ; 
the former suffered death, the latter was banished. Domitian 
being informed that there were living in Palestine Christians 
of the race of David, who were dangerous to his throne, 
in the hope of preventing the possibility of a rival Kingdom, 
issued an edict for the extermination of the House of David. 
Two grandsons of St. Jude, the Lord's brother (or rather 
cousin), were brought before him. They acknowledged their 
relationship to the Messiah ; but when they showed him 
their hands, hardened by toil and in cultivating their small 
farm, and convinced him that Christ's Kingdom was not 
an earthly but a Heavenly one, they were contemptuously 

To the persecution under Domitian the Church is in- 
debted for the Revelation of St. John the Divine. Of 
the ministerial course of St. John, considering how eminent 
an Apostle he was, little is known. During the life-time 
of the Virgin Mary he would, if she resided there, in 
fulfilment of the Saviour's injunction, have lived in Jeru- 

Of the Virgin Mary, since just before the Day of Pente- 
cost, no mention is made in the Acts of the Apostles; 
no mention is made there of her death, although it probably 
came within the period which it covers; no mention of 
her is made in the Epistles ; and Revelation xii. i cannot 

72 Chapter I. 

refer to her. She disappears from the Bible ; she disappears 
from early Church history. Whether she died at Jerusalem, 
where her supposed tomb, close to Gethsemane, is now 
shown, or whether she accompanied St. John to Ephesus 
and died and was buried there, we nowhere learn. 

Epiphanius says it is not known whether she died or 
did not die ; whether she was buried or was not buried ; 
simply Scripture is silent from the overwhelming weight 
of the wonder (Sja ro inrep^aXXov tov davfiaros). The sword 
which "pierced her soul" (Luke ii. 35), is interpreted by 
the Fathers to apply to the pain of a mother on the Cruci- 
fixion of her son. The Festival of the Nativity of the 
Blessed Virgin was introduced into the Greek Church in 
theVIIth Century, and is commemorated on September 8th; 
in the Latin Church in the Vlllth Century. Her death is 
in the Greek Church commemorated on August nth, simply 
as " her falling to sleep," {KoifiTjcris) ; whilst in the Latin 
it is commemorated as the Assumption, to signify that 
her body was taken up into Heaven. The scanty details 
of her in the Fathers, some of whom go so far as to speak 
of our Saviour reproving her (Luke ii. 49), and charging 
her with unbelief (John iv. 2), and the fact that no special 
cultus was accorded her in the earliest ages of the Church, 
condemn the medieval error of paying her excessive 

After the Cbuncil of Jerusalem we do not again hear of 
St. John in the Acts of the Apostles. His name occurs only 
once in the Epistles of St. Paul (Gal. ii. 9) as one of the 
" pillars " of the Church. He is believed to have resided 
principally at Ephesus, the most important of the Asiatic 
cities. The next time after the Council that we hear of him 
is from himself (Rev. i. 9) ; " I, John, .... was in the Isle 
that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the 
testimony of Jesus Christ." This was probably in the per- 
secution under Domitian. Tertullian speaks of his having 
been harmlessly plunged into a cauldron of " boiling oil, and 
afterwards being banished to an island." The former of 

The Conflict between the Fourth and Fifth Empires. 73 

these events, which is supposed by Roman Catholics to have 
occurred at Rome outside the gate leading to Latium, is 
commemorated in the Western Church on March 6, as the 
Festival St. John "Ante Portam Latinam." The whole 
legend may be dismissed as false, and there is no evidence 
of St. John's ever having been at Rome. Domitian contented 
himself with banishing him to Patmos, where, being in the 
Spirit on the Lord's Day (for the Day of our Lord's Resur- 
rection supplemented, although it did not as yet supersede, 
the Jewish Sabbath), he received the Revelation, which on 
his return from Patmos after the persecution was ended he 
committed to writing, and sent to the Angels or Bishops 
of the seven Churches of Asia. 

Domitian was succeeded by Nerva (96-98), an Emperor 
of humane and just character, and averse to the secret 
informers who had prejudiced his predecessors against the 
Christians. He forbade accusations brought by slaves 
against their masters to be accepted ; ordered such in- 
formers under Domitian to be put to death, and issued an 
edict recalling the exiled Christians. After his return, 
St. John, making Ephesus his centre, travelled through the 
neighbouring countries, organizing and regulating Churches, 
probably on the model revealed to him at Patmos. Ter- 
tullian states that the Order of Bishops, if traced back, will 
be found to rest upon St. John, meaning thereby that under 
him the Episcopate was regulated and fully established in 
the Church. When too old and infirm to walk, he would be 
carried into Church, preaching the few words, " Beloved 
children, love one another;" this he would tell them after- 
wards was "the commandment of our Lord, and if this 
is obeyed it is enough." He died at Ephesus in extreme 
old age, in the last year of the First Century. 

There is reason for believing that by the end of the First 
Century the Gospel had been preached throughout the 
world. The history of the Church during the Second and 
Third Centuries is mostly the history of the persecutions 
which it suffered in its conflict with the Roman Empire. 

74 Chapter I. 

The blood of martyrs was the seed of the Church {sanguis 
martyrum semen Ecclesice). We have hitherto seen mon- 
sters of vice, like Nero and Domitian, men who delighted in 
cruelty for its own sake, persecuting the Christians ; we shall 
now find the worst Emperors often the most humane, and the 
best Emperors, those who concerned themselves most in the 
well-being of the State, the bitterest and cruellest foes of the 

A few words must be said in explanation of this otherwise 
unintelligible state of things. Amongst the Romans religion 
was closely connected with politics. From the time of 
Numa the Roman Kings held the title, and frequently 
performed the offices, of Pontifex Maximus, which Augustus 
and his successors continued to hold under the Empire. 
The Laws of the Twelve Tables forbade foreign and unlaw- 
ful religions {illicitcs religiones) ; and, although it was 
tolerant of the national religions of the countries which it 
vanquished, the State kept to itself the right of determining 
what religions were, and what were not, lawful. But Chris- 
tianity was not the religion of one nation, but a catholic 
religion, comprising all nations and languages. Nor was 
it a tolerant but a proselytising religion ; the polytheistic 
worship of the Romans was incompatible with the wor- 
ship of the One True God ; the Christian religion must 
be the religion of the whole world, which in the eyes of 
the Romans was only a mode of expressing the Roman 

Thus Christianity was at once brought into contact with 
the Empire. Loyalty to the Emperor was part of the 
Christian creed, but the divinity of the Emperor, whom 
the Romans enrolled amongst their gods, the Christians 
could not acknowledge. To them the heathen sacrifices 
were an abomination ; to the Roman merchants and me- 
chanics, the more gods and the more sacrifices there were, 
the greater the profit, and this profit Christianity threatened 
to destroy. Thus Christianity was thought not to be com- 
patible with subjection to the Empire ; whilst the Christians 

The Conflict between the Fourth and Fifth Empires. 75 

also loathed the popular spectacles of the arena which were 
bound up with Paganism. Religious societies {collegia, 
eraipelai) and nocturnal associations were forbidden by the 
Roman law, and the Christians held their religious meetings 
by night. For such reasons they were branded as dangerous, 
as morose, and even enemies of the human race. 

Under the short reign of Nerva, when persecution was 
suspended, Christianity rapidly advanced; but so long as 
it was a forbidden {illicita) religion, there could be no 
lasting security, and under his successor, Trajan (98-117), 
it broke out again, and now entered upon a new stage, 
A statesman like Trajan could little brook a community 
so thoroughly at variance with the Roman spirit. Pliny, 
a man of unimpeachable character, the Pro-consul of Pontus 
and Bithynia, countries in which the Christians were very 
numerous, finding that they refused to sacrifice to the gods 
or to take part in the heathen sacrifices, wrote to Trajan for 
instruction as to how he was to deal with them. With their 
character he concerned himself but little ; Paganism he re- 
garded as a matter of State, and Christianity as a violation 
of its laws. He could find no fault in them except that 
they met before daylight, and sang a hymn alternately 
to Christ as God, and bound themselves by an oath [sacra- 
mentum) against sin. Trajan in his rescript toldj Pliny that 
Christians were not to be sought out, but if they were 
brought before him and convicted they should be punished ; 
what the punishment was to be (although probably it was 
death) he does not state. But in no case should an accusa- 
tion be received without the signature of the informer ; and 
any Christian on showing his repentance by sacrificing was 
to be pardoned. 

The martyrdom of St. Clement, Bishop of Rome, must 
be dismissed as a fiction of the Ninth Century. He is said 
to have been first banished to the Crimea, and afterwards, 
by order of Trajan, to have been cast into the sea with an 
anchor fastened round his neck. The third persecution, that 
under Trajan, extended as far as Syria and Palestine. In 

76 Chapter I. 

A.D. 104, before the correspondence took place between 
Trajan and Pliny, occurred the martyrdom by crucifixion 
of St. Simeon, the Bishop of Jerusalem, venerable with one 
hundred and eleven years of age. No other accusation 
seems to have been brought against him except one by 
some Gnostic heretics of being a descendant of the House 
of David, and, as such, an imaginary aspirant to the 

After the publication of Trajan's edict, the most notable 
martyr of the reign was St. Ignatius (called Theophorus), 
a disciple of St. John and the successor of Evodius in the 
See of Antioch. At the time that Trajan was at war with 
Parthia and was passing through Antioch (A.D. 115), the city 
was visited by an earthquake, by which the Emperor's life 
was endangered. The calamity, as such calamities usually 
were, was attributed to the wrath of the gods for the tolera- 
tion granted to the Christians, and the cry Christianas ad 
leones was at once raised. Ignatius having voluntarily sur- 
rendered himself was brought before the Emperor. It may 
be that his excessive zeal for martyrdom provoked the 
Emperor, and he was sentenced to be taken in chains to 
Rome and thrown to the wild beasts. A morbid desire of 
martyrdom was condemned by the early Church ; " Who- 
ever," says St. Clement of Alexandria, " does not avoid 
persecution .... becomes an accomplice with the persecutor, 
and if he provokes and challenges the wild beasts, he is 
certainly guilty." Such, however, was not the feeling of 
St. Ignatius : " I thank Thee, O Lord," he said, when sen- 
tence was passed on him, "... that Thou hast made me to 
be put in iron bonds, with Thy Apostle Paul." 

On his journey towards Rome, several Bishops of the 
neighbouring Asiatic Churches met him in order to take 
a solemn farewell, amongst others being Onesimus, now 
Bishop of Ephesus, undoubtedly the same as the run-away 
slave mentioned in the Epistle to Philemon. At Smyrna, 
Ignatius stopped several days with its Bishop, Polycarp, 
once his fellow-disciple under St. John, and soon to become 

The Conflict between the Fourth and Fifth Empires, yj 

his brother in martyrdom. From Smyrna and again from 
Troas he wrote letters, in all seven, to various Churches, in 
which he lays particular stress on the necessity of the 
Episcopate. To the Trullians he speaks of the three Orders 
in the ministry, " without which there is no Church." " Every 
Bishop," he tells them, " is the Vicar of Christ." The Mag- 
nesians he enjoins : " Be subject to your Bishop .... as 
Jesus Christ to the Father, according to the Flesh." To the 
Church of Smyrna, " Without authority of the Bishop it is 
not lawful to bapt^e nor to celebrate the Communion;" 
"Hearken unto your Bishop, that God also may hearken 
unto you." 

The morbid hankering after martyrdom clung to him to 
the last ; and apparently in the fear that they might take 
some step to avert it, he wrote in his epistle to the Romans ; 
" I fear your love, lest it do me injury .... Ye cannot do me 
a greater kindness than by suffering me to be sacrificed unto 
God. . . . Suffer me to be food for the wild beasts. . . . My 
birthday is at hand. . . . Encourage the beasts, that they 
may become my sepulchre, and may leave nothing of my 

In his long and tedious journey to Rome, the fatigue of 
which an old man was ill able to endure, he suffered much 
cruelty from the soldiers who attended him ; he had to 
fight, he said in his letter to the Romans, "with beasts 
both by sea and land, by night and day, being bound to 
ten leopards, that is to a band of soldiers." Arrived at 
Rome his desire was at once accomplished. It was the 
last day of the Saturnalia, A.D. 115 ; being thrown to the 
lions, he was speedily despatched, nothing but the larger 
bones remaining. 

Trajan was succeeded by Hadrian I. (117 — 138), who, 
Tertullian says, was not a persecutor of the Christians. In 
his reign we have the first of a series of the Apologies 
published by Christians in the defence of their faith. 
Dionysius the Areopagite is said to have been the first 
Bishop of Athens, and to have been succeeded by Publius, 

78 Chapter I. 

who (although the date is uncertain) suffered martyrdom. 
The first of the Apologies addressed to Hadrian was 
written by his successor, Quadratus, and another soon 
afterwards by Aristides, a converted philosopher y. These 
drew forth from the Emperor a rescript which was even 
more favourable to the Christians than that of Trajan ; 
if Christians acted contrary to the laws, they were to be 
punished in proportion to the offence ; but the greatest 
care was to be taken {magnopere curabis) that calumnious 
accusations be visited as they deserve. 

Favourable as he was to the Christians, Hadrian's reign 
was terribly calamitous to the unhappy Jews. So recently 
as A.D. lis, the Jews of Cyrene had broken out into 
open rebellion. To curb their insurrectionary spirit and 
to dissipate their hopes of a national restoration, Hadrian 
inflicted on them the grossest indignities ; he refounded 
Jerusalem under the title of .^lia Capitolina, forbade them 
to practise the rite of Circumcision, and built a temple to 
Jupiter on Mount Moriah. A formidable rebellion of the 
Jews, A.D. 132, under a pretending Messiah, who assumed 
the name Barcochebas (the Son of a Star, a name meant 
to signify that he was the Star predicted by Balaam), was 
the consequence. The Christians now suffered from two 
opposite causes ; one from the Romans through their being 
confounded with the Jews, the other from the Jews because 
they refused to " deny Jesus of Nazareth " and to recognize 
the impostor. After a repetition of the horrors of the first 
siege, Jerusalem was reduced to a state of ruin ; 80,000 
persons, beside large numbers who died from hunger and 
other causes, are said to have perished in the war. The 
Jews were expelled from Jerusalem ; thenceforward no Jew 
was allowed to enter the City, except on one day in the 
year, the anniversary of its destruction, and then only by 
payment of a heavy fine. 

y A fragment of the Apology of Aristides was found in 1878 in the Armenian 
Convent in Venice, and in 1889 a complete Syrian translation in the Convent 
on Mount Sion. 

The Conflict between the Fourth and Fifth Empires. 79 

The Christian Church now finally emancipated itself from 
the trammels of the Synagogue. Fifteen Bishops, all of 
them Jews, had presided over the Church of Jerusalem. 
Between the death of Simeon and the second destruction 
of Jerusalem no fewer than thirteen Bishops presided over 
the See, a fact that seems either to show that the most aged 
Presbyters were selected, or to point to a severe perse- 
cution. The Christians, who had hitherto observed the 
outward ceremonies of the Law, now felt their deliverance 
from the bondage, and as a significant result, elected an 
uncircumcised Gentile, Mark, as Bishop of Jerusalem. 
Gentile, or only such of the Jewish, Christians as were ready 
to abandon the Law of Moses were allowed to inhabit 
Jerusalem. The Judaizing Christians again retired to Pella 
where they became split up into two sects, Nazarenes and 
Ebionites. The former name, hitherto the common appel- 
lation of Christians, was restricted to a party which accepted 
the Epistles of St. Paul, and held that the Mosaical Law 
was not binding on Gentile Christians. The Ebionites, who 
took their name from a Hebrew word signifying poor, were 
the virulent opponents of the memory of St. Paul, and 
favourers of St. Peter; they regarded Christ as a mere 
Man, and held that the Law of Moses was binding on 
Jews and Gentiles alike. 


The history of the first three centuries of the Christian 
Church has been so often and so fully written, that we 
must content ourselves with giving little more than the 
names of the most famous sufferers in the conflict which 
continued between the Christian Church and the Roman 
Empire before the final victory was achieved ^. 

The gentle Emperor, Antoninus Pius (138— 161), though 
personally favourable to the Christians, had his hands tied 
by the tumultuous charges brought against them on account 
of a prevailing pestilence; to annul the decrees of his 

» The writer has himself given a full account in a work entitled History of 
the Church Catholic. 

8o Chapter I. 

predecessors at such a time would have been the signal of 
a revolution ; and the martyrdom, in his reign, of Telesphorus, 
Bishop Of Rome (128—139), called forth, A.D. 139, the first 
Apology of Justin Martyr, a converted Pagan Philosopher. 
He demonstrated that Christ's Kingdom was not a temporal 
but a spiritual one ; he dwelt on the fulfilment of prophecy 
in the Person of the Saviour ; on the conversion of the 
Gentiles, and the destruction of Jerusalem ; on the innocent 
lives of the Christians, and their patient endurance under 

The peace of the Church was rudely interrupted in the 
reign of the successor of Antoninus, the Stoic philosopher 
Marcus Aurelius (161 — 180), an Emperor generally dis- 
tinguished for his wisdom and justice, as well as the 
simplicity and gentleness of his character ; but who was, 
next to Nero, the worst foe that Christ's Kingdom had as 
yet encountered. Between Stoicism and Christianity there 
was no affinity ; devoted to his philosophical pursuits, he 
had little time or opportunity of contrasting the lives of 
the Christians with those of the heathens ; Christianity he 
despised as obstinacy (i^tX^ 'n-apdra^is), and could not under- 
stand the convictions of men who preferred death to idolatry. 
The numerous calamities which assailed Italy during his 
reign were all attributed to the anger of the gods which 
the Christians had provoked. Under Aurelius persecution 
entered on a new stage ; the limited protection which his 
predecessors had granted was withdrawn ; Christians were 
now to be sought for, and to be subjected to the cruellest 
tortures in order to induce them to recant. 

In the early part of the reign, Justin Martyr published 
his second Apology. Even if the Emperor ever saw it, 
which it is doubtful, it was ineffectual in deflecting him 
from his purpose ; Justin was, A.D. 163, beheaded in Rome, 
and gained the title of Martyr, which has been accorded 
him from the earliest times to the present day. His 
martyrdom was followed (perhaps A.D. 166) by that of 
St. Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, the disciple of St. John, 

The Conflict between tJte Fourth and Fifth Empires. 8i 

and probably the Angel of the Church addressed in the 

A terrible persecution of the Churches of Vienne and 
Lyons in Gaul, which had shortly before been founded by 
missionaries from Asia Minor sent by St. Polycarp, took 
place A.D. 177. Some heathen slaves accused their Christian 
masters of eating human flesh, like Thyestes, and living in 
incestuous marriage, like CEdipus; charges which arose 
from mistaken ideas of the sacrifice of the Christian 
Eucharist, and of the Agape or Love Feast. The vener- 
able Bishop Pothimus, already broken down in health, 
and sinking under the weight of ninety-six years, after 
being unmercifully beaten and stoned by the mob^ was 
thrown, in an almost lifeless ^state, into prison, where he 
died in two days. He was succeeded in the See of Lyons 
by St. Irenaeus (177 — 202), whose name is derived from 
a Greek word, elpi]vrj, signifying peace. 

A memorable event in Polycarp's Episcopate was a con- 
ference between him and Anicetus, Bishop of Rome, with 
regard to the time of keeping Easter. The Asiatics fol- 
lowing the time of the Jewish Passover, celebrated the 
Paschal Supper on the fourteenth day of the first Jewish 
month, Nisan, whence they were called Quarto-Decimans ; 
and three days later, whether the day was Sunday or not, 
the Lord's Resurrection. The Western Church, on the other 
hand, always kept their Easter on a Sunday. The two 
Bishops failed in coming to an agreement, but the con- 
ference was carried on in a friendly spirit, Anicetus, in 
his Church at Rome, requesting Polycarp to celebrate at 
the Holy Eucharist, at which he himself was present. 

The question as to the proper time of keeping Easter 
was renewed under very different auspices in the Patriarchate 
of Victor I., Bishop of Rome (190 — 202). Victor conceived 
the idea that the Church of Rome had the right of coercing 
the Eastern Churches, and ordered them, under pain of ex- 
communication, to follow the Western observance, and on 
their refusal excommunicated them. Irenaeus, now Bishop 


82 Chapter I. 

of Lyons, whose own practise was in agreement with that 
of Rome, acted as mediator, and through him peace was 
restored, but he recalled to the mind of Victor the different 
spirit in which the question had been discussed between 
Anicetus and Polycarp. 

Under Victor we find the first beginnings of the claims 
of the See of Rome, and since the claims of that See so 
materially affect the history of the Greek Church, it will 
be as well to inquire whether between the Pontificate of 
Anicetus and that of Victor anything occurred which gave 
the handle to Roman claims over the Sees of Eastern 

There is no necessity for accusing a sister Church of 
wilful fraud, or of anything beyond a reckless credulity, 
but about this time the Church of Rome lent a ready ear 
to one of the most monstrous forgeries on the page of 
history. An Ebionite, that is to say a heretic of the sect 
which strove to magnify St. Peter, the Apostle of the Jews, 
and to discredit St. Paul, the Apostle of the Gentiles, makes 
St. Clement, Bishop of Rome, address a letter to St. James, 
Bishop of Jerusalem, saying that Peter, when on the point 
of death, appointed him as his successor, and forced him 
into his chair; hence arose the notion of Cathedra Petri, 
the chair of Peter. But Eusebius*, quoting from St. Irenseus, 
gives the succession of the earliest Bishops of the Roman 
See; he says: — "The blessed Apostles having founded and 
established the Church entrusted the office of the Episcopate 
to Linus ; Anencletus succeeded him, and after him in 
the third place from the Apostles, Clement received the 
Episcopate." So that, even had Peter ever been Bishop 
of Rome, two Bishops intervened between him and Clement, 
and as the Episcopate of Clement began A.D. 92, it was 
inipossible that Peter, who was martyred A.D. 68, could 
have ordained him as his successor. This romance gained 
credence and laid the foundation of the claims of the 
Popes of Rome, and Tertullian, who wrote about A.D. 200, 

■ H. E., V. 6. 

The Conflict between the Fourth and Fifth Empires. 83 

at the time that Victor was Bishop, mentions a belief pre- 
valent in Rome that Clement was ordained by Peter to 
be his successor. But even the romance itself, the object 
of which was to magnify not the Roman Church but St. 
Peter, is fatal to the papal pretensions of supremacy, and 
if one part was deserving of credit, the first paragraph 
was equally deserving of credit ; the letter is addressed, 
"Clement to James, the lord and Bishop of Bishops .... and 
oftJte Churches everywhere" 

The fifth persecution of the Christians occurred in the 
reign of Septimius Severus (193 — 211). Septimius, who 
was at first favourable to Christianity, whilst passing through 
Asia and the East came in contact with the Montanists, 
one of whose crotchets was that the end of the Roman 
Empire and of the world was at hand. Alarmed at such 
a prediction, and confusing Montanists with the orthodox 
Christians, he issued, A.D. 202, an edict forbidding his sub- 
jects to embrace either Judaism or Christianity. A terrible 
persecution of the Christians in Egypt and North Africa 
ensued. At Alexandria, the most famous of its victims 
was Leonidas, the father of the famous Origen. Amongst 
the martyrs, the names of two females of Carthage, a 
wealthy married lady named Perpetua, only twenty-two 
years of age, and a married slave, Felicitas, have ever since 
been household words ; the gaoler, we are told, was so 
struck with the fortitude of these and his other prisoners, 
that he himself became a convert, and to be a convert 
under such a circumstance was to be a martyr, for Chris- 

It was probably at the commencement of the persecution 
that Tertullian {circa 160—230) wrote his famous Apology. 
A native of Carthage and a Pagan by birth, he was con- 
verted to Christianity about A.D. 196, and being ordained 
at Carthage, was for a time its powerful literary defender, 
but soon afterwards attaching himself to the Montanists, 
became the bitter opponent of the Church. The Montanists 
derived their name from their founder Montanus, in the 

G 2 

84 Chapter I. 

latter half of the Second Century, a native of Phrygia, 
whence they were called Phrygians and Cataphrygians. 
Montanus was accused of calling himself the Paraclete or 
Comforter; and he and his followers, although they re- 
ceived the Old and New Testaments, and were orthodox 
on the doctrine of the Trinity, gave much trouble to the 
Church ; claiming for themselves a greater sanctity and 
superior light to that vouchsafed to the Church, and 
refusing to hold communion with persons who fell into 
sin after Baptism. It may be remarked that Tertullian, 
though a native of Carthage, was the first of the Fathers 
of the Church who wrote in Latin. The persecution smoul- 
dered on till the death of Severus, which occurred at York. 

The sixth persecution broke out under Maximin the 
Thracian (235 — 238). Earthquakes, which destroyed several 
cities, stimulated the fury of the populace against the Chris- 
tians ; the Emperor lent his ear to accusations brought 
against them, and thinking thus to destroy the Church, 
issued an edict against the clergy. The persecution, how- 
ever, was not violent, and was cut short by his death. 
Under his successor, Gordian (238 — 244), the Christians 
had rest. Gordian being murdered, was succeeded by 
Philip the Arabian (244 — 249), who is supposed to have 
been a Christian, and it is said that when he was passing 
through Antioch, Babylas the Bishop subjected him to 
penance, on the ground of the murder of his predecessor, 
before admitting him to Church privileges. 

Philip being killed in a rebellion at Verona, was suc- 
ceeded by Decius (249 — 251), under whom the seventh, 
the most terrible of all, except the tenth persecution, took 
place. Actuated by hatred of his predecessor he deter- 
mined to exterminate Christianity; every imaginable kind 
of torture and cruelty was resorted to, and a universal 
panic prevailed i>. The zeal and courage which characterized 

'' It was in this persecution that Paul, the first of the Hermits, at the age 
of twenty-two retired to the desert, where he dwelt for ninety years. 

The Conflict between the Fourth and Fifth Empires. 85 

the Church in its adversity had deserted it in its late period 
of comparative rest, and many Christians under torture 
and threat of the loss of their goods now succumbed. Of 
these lapsed (lapsi) Christians there were three classes, 
the most criminal being those who offered sacrifice to 
the heathen gods {sacrificatt) ; a scarcely less criminal class 
was that of those who offered incense {thurificati) ; a third 
class consisted of those who had purchased certificates of 
having complied with the Emperor's commands {libellatici). 
In the West, Fabian, Bishop of Rome (236 — 251), in the 
East, St. Babylas'', Bishop of Antioch (237 — 251), and 
Alexander, Bishop of Jerusalem, who had already forty 
years before been a Confessor in the persecution of Severus, 
were in the list of martyrs. The celebrated Origen, thrown 
into prison and laden with chains, with an iron collar round 
his neck, his feet in stocks, and his body daily stretched 
on the rack, was a Confessor in the persecution. 

Origen, born about A.D. 185 of Christian parents at Alex- 
andria, who, as before stated, lost his father in the persecution 
under Septimius Severus, succeeded, at the age of 18 years, 
Clemens Alexandrinus in the headship of the famous Cate- 
chetical School at Alexandria. In A.D. 228, when on a visit 
to the Holy Land, whither the fame of his learning had 
preceded him, he was at the age of 43 ordained Priest by 
Alexander, Bishop of Jerusalem, and Theoctistus, Bishop of 
Czesarea. This infringement on his episcopal rights, and 
perhaps envy of the increasing fame of Origen, excited the 
anger of his former friend, Demetrius, Bishop of Alexandria, 
by whom, after two Alexandrine Synods (A.D. 231 — 232), he 
was excommunicated, his Orders being annulled ; he was 
also deposed from the Catechetical School ; nor was the 
sentence removed under Heracleas and Dionysius, the two 
successors of Demetrius. Finding his position untenable 
at Alexandria he went to Csesarea, where for a quarter of 
a century he delivered lectures on philosophy ; one of his 
pupils being the famous Theodore or Gregory, who was 
■= He is commemorated in the Eastern Church on September 4. 

86 Chapter t. 

converted by him to Christianity. Gregory became Bishop 
of Neo-Csesarea {circa 230—270), where, by the miracles 
which he performed, he gained the name of Thaumaturgus, 
and continued for Origen so strong an affection that he 
compared it to that between David and Jonathan. 

The object of Origen was the legitimate one of reconciling 
philosophy, especially that of Plato, with Christianity, and 
the amount of his literary work was immense. He survived 
his imprisonment under Decius, but died immediately after- 
wards from the effects of his cruel treatment. Thus the 
father was a Martyr, and the son, if not a Martyr, a Con- 
fessor. His life-long opposition to heresy ; his great work, 
the Hexapla (so called from the six parallel columns of 
Hebrew and Greek versions of the Bible under which it was 
arranged), were enough to gain him esteem, but he was 
placed under the permanent ban of the Church. Dionysius, 
a man of almost universal knowledge, whom Eusebius calls 
" the great Bishop of Alexandria," and St. Athanasius terms 
" teacher of the Catholic Church," although he always bore 
him a sincere attachment, did not, as we have seen, remove 
the sentence of excommunication *. 

About the same time as Origen, lived St. Cyprian, Bishop 
of Carthage (248 — 258), the second writer after Tertullian, 
or, as some think, the greatest, in the Carthaginian Church. 
In the second year of his Episcopate the Decian persecution 
broke out, and the cry " Cyprian to the lions " was at once 
raised. Cyprian, like his great contemporaries, Dionysius 
of Alexandria and Gregory Thaumaturgus, did not court 
martyrdom, but pleading a divine command, sought a neigh- 
bouring refuge, from which he continued to govern his 
Diocese, waiting till the tyranny should be overpast. Re- 
turning after a year to Carthage he found himself over- 
whelmed in a sea of troubles. 

Soon after his return he convened a Council of Bishops 

"• Dionysius was, says Dean Farrar, " one of the most interesting and beau- 
tiful characters of ecclesiastical history.'' "The loss of his writings is," says 
Dr. Neale, "one of the greatest that has been suffered of ecclesiastical history." 

The Conflict between the Fourth and Fifth Empires. 87 

to consider the case of those who had lapsed, in which 
a moderate course was resolved on ; those who had offered 
sacrifice or incense were to be re-admitted into the Church 
after penance, whilst the libellatici, who were guilty of 
a lighter offence, were to be received at once. Against this 
course, Novatus, a Presbyter of Carthage, of evil notoriety, 
who had before opposed Cyprian, veering round from his 
former clemency for the lapsed, created a party of rigorists 
who succeeded in obtaining the consecration of one Fortu- 
natus, a well-known opponent of Cyprian, to the See of 
Carthage. Novatus having done all the harm in his power 
in the African Church proceeded to Rome, where two rival 
Bishops had been elected in succession to the martyred 
Fabian, Cornelius, by the unanimous voice of the clergy and 
people, and Novatian, who had been originally a Stoic 
philosopher, and had received clinical Baptism, and was 
uncanonically ordained to the Priesthood. Cyprian de- 
spatched two Bishops to Rome to enquire into the schism, 
with the result that Cornelius was recognised by the Cartha- 
ginian Church as the rightful Bishop, whilst a Council at 
Rome excommunicated Novatian and adopted with regard 
to the lapsed the same course that had been determined on 
at Carthage. Novatus succeeded in getting Novatian over 
to his side, and a sect of Novatians arose, holding the same 
doctrines, but differing from the Catholics in refusing to 
receive back the lapsed, and those who fell into sin after 
Baptism. The Novatians held much the same position to- 
wards the Church as the Montanists, and after a few years 
claimed the name of Cathari, or Pure, the Puritans of the 
Anglican Church. They found a supporter in Fabius (251— 
252), the successor of St. Babylas in the See of Antioch, but 
were condemned, A.D. 252, by a Council of Antioch under 
Demetrius (252—260), the successor of Fabius. 

Decius having been slain in battle by the Goths was 
succeeded by Gallus (251—253), who, following the example 
of his predecessor, issued an edict ordering the Christians 
to sacrifice. Gallus being assassinated was succeeded by 

88 Chapter I. 

Valerian (253 — 260), who associated with himself his son 
Gallienus in the government (253 — 268). 

Cornelius and his successor, Lucius I., having suffered mar- 
tyrdom, the See of Rome was next occupied by Stephen I. 
(253 — 257), who allowed himself to be governed by the 
same arrogance that had marked the conduct of his prede- 
cessor, Victor, in the matter of the Asiatic Churches. With 
regard to the lapsed, Stephen and Cyprian were at one, but 
on a question which sprung up at this time, Baptism ad- 
ministered by heretics, they were hopelessly at variance. 
The question has a double importance, both intrinsically, 
and also as showing the relative position of the Eastern 
and Western Churches. At Rome Baptism conferred by 
heretics was held as valid ; but in Asia and Africa, on the 
ground that Baptism could only be conferred by the Church, 
such Baptism was considered no Baptism at all, and this 
view was adopted in two Councils held under Cyprian at 
Carthage, one A.D. 255, the other in the beginning of 
A.D. 256. Stephen branded and denounced Cyprian as 
a false prophet, and excommunicated the Asiatic and African 
Churches. Dionysius, the great Bishop of Alexandria, in 
a vain attempt to act as mediator, wrote several letters to 
Stephen, begging him to consider the grave consequences 
of his conduct. Cyprian wrote, A.p. 256, to Firmilian, 
Bishop of the Cappadocian Caesarea, a man eminent as 
a theologian and a philosopher, on the subject ; Firmilian 
strongly supported the view of Cyprian and the Eastern 
Church, that heretics ought to be re-baptized. 

Whilst the intemperate and arrogant assumption of 
Stephen must be condemned, on the point of doctrine the 
Easterns were wrong and Stephen right, as was afterwards 
determined in the Council of Aries (a.d. 314). To the 
excommunication of the Roman Bishop the Eastern Church 
paid no regard, and Firmilian told him that he separated 
himself from the other Churches {excidisti te ipsum), and not 
those Churches from him ; he tells him not to deceive him- 
self, and calls him a schismatic for that he had withdrawn 

The Conflict between the Fourth and Fifth Empires. S9 

himself from the unity of the Church. It is evident that 
Firmilian knew of no distinctive dignity between his own 
See and that of Rome. In the autumn of A.D. 256 was held 
at Carthage a Council, attended by eighty-seven Bishops 
from Africa, Numidia, and Mauretania, besides other clergy 
and a large body of laity, and there Cyprian, with an 
evident reference to the Bishop of Rome, laid it down as 
a maxim ; " None of us constitutes himself Bishop of 
Bishops, nor tyrannically frightens his colleagues into 
a necessary obedience {tyrannico terrore ad obsequendi 
necessitatem, collegas suos adigit), since every Bishop . . . 
is as incapable of being judged by another as he is of 
judging another.'' The Council unanimously affirmed its 
previous decisions. 

Cyprian, whilst supporting the independence of the Epis- 
copate, conceded a precftdence of dignity to the See of 
Rome, on account of the importance of the city [pro magni- 
tudine sud debet Carthaginem Roma precedere) ; and he 
speaks of it as the Chair of Peter {Petri Cathedra). The 
precedence of dignity accorded to the See of Rome is that 
afterwards, and for the same reason, accorded it by the 
QEcumenical Councils, viz. because it was Old Rome, the 
seat of Empire. His calling it the Chair of Peter shows 
that the Clementine fiction had now done its work ; it is 
evident that, if Peter was never Bishop of Rome, Cyprian 
had been deceived by what he had heard, and as he was 
speaking nearly two hundred years after Peter's death he 
is not an authority on that part of the subject. 

Cyprian's own conduct is the best evidence of the inde- 
pendent jurisdiction of the Episcopate, and of the primitive 
custom of Bishops seeking the counsel and advice of their 
brother Bishops. Two Spanish Bishops, Basilides and Mar- 
tiales, were, on their confession of crimes with which they 
were charged, canonically deposed ; they then went to Rome 
and consulted Stephen, who took their part. Thereupon 
a deputation from the Spanish Churches waited upon 
Cyprian, who saw that the deposition of the Bishops was 

$0 Chapter I. 

in accordance with the canons of the Church ; and after 
a Council attended by thirty-seven Numidian Bishops, 
without consulting Stephen, he wrote, in the name of the 
Council, to the Spanish Church, to adhere to what it had 
done, without regard to the opinion of the Bishop of 
Rome ^. 

The Emperor Valerian was at first favourable to the 
Christians, but in his fifth year the eighth persecution broke 
out. In A.D. 257, Dionysius, accompanied by Maximus, then 
a Priest, but afterwards his successor in the See of Alex- 
andria, was brought before the Prefect ^mihan (one of 
the so-called thirty tyrants who invaded the Imperial power 
in Egypt), and Dionysius was ordered to recant, and "adore 
the gods who preserve the Empire." " We reverence and 
adore," said Dionysius, " one God, the Maker of all things. 
Who gave the Empire into the, hands of Valerian and 
Gallienus, beloved of God, and to Him we pray continu- 
ally that their government may remain unshaken ; " he 
was then banished, first to Kephro in the Libyan desert, 
and afterwards to Coluthion, a city of Maraeotis. After 
the persecution was ended he returned to Alexandria, of 
which he died Bishop in the beginning of 265. 

On August 2, of the first year of the persecution, Stephen, 
Bishop of Rome, and in 251 Sixtus II., his successor, to- 
gether with his Archdeacon Laurence, suffered martyrdom. 
Cyprian was sent into banishment to Curubis, a place about 
forty miles from Carthage, but on the appointment of a new 
governour was enabled after a year to return, only to die 
a Martyr, A.D. 258. 

During the Valerian persecution an outbreak of the 
Sabellian heresy, or the denial of the real distinction of 
Persons 'in the Trinity, occurred in Alexandria. The 
heresy had been taught, A.D. 200, by Praxeas, a native 
of Asia Minor, and, about A.D. 235, by Noetus, a native of 
Smyrna, who communicated it to his pupil Sabellius, an 
Italian. Meeting with much opposition in Rome, Sabellius 

" Neander I., Bohn's Ed. Burton, Eccl. Hist., p. 549. 

The Conflict between the Fourth and Fifth Empires, gi 

went to the East, where he found a readier acceptance of 
his doctrine, and was ordained a Presbyter at Ptolemais. 
On account of the prevalence of Sabellianism in Alexandria, 
the matter was brought before Dionysius at the time he 
was an exile in Libya. Dionysius condemned the heresy, 
but, in doing so, laid himself open to what was afterwards 
known as Arianism, by asserting that the Son was made 
and produced and therefore was not before he was produced; 
and his words were reported by the Catholics of Pentapolis 
to Dionysius (259—269), the successor of Sixtus in the See 
of Rome. A Council at Rome condemned the extracts 
submitted to it, and the Bishop of Rome wrote to his 
namesake of Alexandria for an explanation. That this was 
no unusual course we have seen in the case of two Spanish 
Bishops appealing to St. Cyprian ; the Bishop of Alexandria, 
in a work entitled a Refutation and Apology, gave the 
explanation required, and was pronounced innocent of the 
charge of Sabellianism. Notwithstanding this acquittal, 
St. Basil the Great unjustly, and perhaps at second hand, 
charged him with being the originator of Arianism f. 

About the same time another form of Sabellianism was 
accredited to Paul, a native of Samosata on the Euphrates, 
who, about A.D. 261, succeeded to the Bishopric of Antioch, 
and possesses the unenviable notoriety of being the first 
Episcopal heresiarch. Paul, a mere ecclesiastical mounte- 
bank, and a man of low origin, having obtained the See 
of Antioch by simony regarded it in the hght of a profitable 
speculation. Through the interest of Zenobia a Jewess, 
(widow of Odenathus, King of Palmyra), who was for some 
years virtually Empress of the East, he obtained the lu- 
crative post of Ducenarius, under which title rather than 
that of Bishop he preferred to be called, affecting all the 
pomp of a Roman magnate, appearing in public with 
a large retinue of attendants, whilst he introduced a the- 
atrical affectation into his church. His moral character 
also was far from blameless. 

' Farrar's Lives of the Fathers. 

92 Chapter 1. 

These matters caused scandal enough, but they were 
brought to a head by his heretical teaching on the Incar- 
nation and the Trinity. Zenobia placed herself under Paul 
for instruction in the principles of Christianity, and the 
scheme which he presented to her was one which was 
reconcileable with Judaism. He taught that Christ had 
no existence before he was born of the Virgin Mary ; that 
there were not Three Persons in the Godhead but literally 
One God ; that the Logos, Word, was not a distinct Person ; 
that Jesus is only called God because the Logos descended 
on Him, without Personal union being inherited ; and the 
Christians in Antioch he forbade to worship the Saviour 
or to sing hymns in His honour. 

Paul was opposed by Dionysius of Alexandria and 
Dionysius of Rome, and having been condemned in two 
Councils at Antioch, one A.D. 264 under Firmilian, Bishop 
of Caesarea s, after which he promised amendment ; and 
in a second Council, A.D. 269, was, on his relapsing into 
his heresy, deposed, Domnus being appointed to succeed 
him in the See of Antioch. 

Valerian dying A.D. 260, his son Gallienus, in the interest 
of peace rather than from any attachment to Christianity, 
issued an edict for toleration ; the persecution came to an 
end, and till A.D. 274 the Church's peace was uninterrupted. 
In that year the Emperor Aurelian (270 — 275) planned what 
is called the ninth persecution ; it was, however, averted 
through his assassination in the same year at the hand 
of a pagan officer. 

The Church now enjoyed an immunity from persecution 
till the reign of Diocletian (284 — 305), under whom the 
tenth and last, but the severest, of all the persecutions 

■^ This Council rejected the word Homoousion, but in a different sense to 
that under which it was adopted at the Council of Nice. 


The Victory of Christ's Kingdom. 

The Tenth Persecution — Constantine becomes Emperor — Battle of the Mil- 
vian Bridge— Constantine's Vision of the Cross — Mode of election of the 
Alexandrine Bishops — Edict of Milan — The Donatists — Council of Aries — 
Of Ancyra — Of Neo-CEesarea — Defeat and Death of Licinius — Constantine 
sole Emperor — Christianity the Religion of the Roman Empire — Monasti- 
cism — The Pillar- Saints. 

DIOCLETIAN, a man of low birth, elected by the soldiers 
at Chalcedon after the murder of his predecessor Nu- 
merian, commenced, A.D. 284, the reign known in history 
as the era of Martyrs, and chose Nicomedia in Bithynia 
as the Imperial residence ^ In A.D. 286 he took as his 
colleague Maximian, a man like himself of low birth, to 
whom he gave the command of the West, whilst he himself 
kept that of the East. These two reigned as Augusti, and 
in 293 associated with themselves Constantius Chlorus 
{yhapos, the pale), who divorced his wife, Helena, and mar- 
ried Maximian's step-daughter, Theodora, and Galerius, who 
married Diocletian's daughter, Valeria ; these two bore the 
title of Csesars, the former governing Gaul, Spain, and 
Britain, the latter reigning in the East. 

With Maximian is connected the legend of the Theban 
Legion. According to the Martyrologies, or, as they are 
called in the Greek Church, Menologies (;aj;v, a mouth), 
the Emperor when about to proceed, a.d. 286, against an 
insurgent tribe, summoned from the East a Legion under 
its leader Maurice, entirely composed of Christians, which, 
from its having been enrolled in the Thebais was known 
as the Theban Legion. When called upon to sacrifice to 
the heathen gods, they to a man refused, and after being 

» The year of his accession formed the basis of Chronology till it was su- 
perseded by the Christian Era of Dionysius Exiguus, 

94 Chapter II. 

twice decimated without effect, were put to a wholesale 
massacre, the entire Legion to the number of 6,600 dying 
as Martyrs to the Faith. The scene of the massacre was 
the present St. Moritz, in the Engadine, which received its 
name from the leader, St. Maurice, one of the slain. What- 
ever degree of truth may attach to the legend, Maximian, 
a man of harsh and savage disposition, was imbued with 
a bitter hatred of the Christians, whilst his colleague in 
the West, Constantius, was favourably disposed towards 

In the interval of rest which followed the last persecution, 
the influence of the Christian Church had so increased that 
the heathen regarded it no less with astonishment than 
alarm. Christ, says Eusebius, was honoured amongst all 
men, Greeks and barbarians i'. Christians were appointed 
to high oiifices in the State and in the Imperial household ; 
spacious Churches with architectural adornments were built, 
conspicuous amongst them being the Church of Nicomedia, 
the city where Diocletian resided ; gold and silver vessels 
were used in the Eucharist ; persons of high station allowed 
not only their servants but their own families to embrace 
Christianity, and Diocletian's wife, Prisca, and his daughter, 
Valeria, the wife of Galerius, were favourably disposed to- 
wards it, and if not actually Christians, were probably Cate- 
chumens. Diocletian himself, not only by his naturally 
benevolent disposition, but also from political consideration 
of the large Christian population, was inclined to be tolerant ; 
the victory was almost gained, but one battle more had 
to be fought, one persecution more to be suffered, by the 

Galerius, a man without education, under the influence 
of his pagan mother, and his own innate aversion to Chris- 
tian morality, was a bitter foe to Christianity, and strongly 
in favour of the old superstition. During a visit to Nico- 
media at the end of the year 302, he availed himself of the 
opportunity for instilling into the mind of Diocletian his 

>■ H. E., VIII. I. 

The Victory of Christ's Kingdom. 95 

own hatred to the Christians. Whilst the Pagan priests 
were offering sacrifices in the presence of the Emperor, 
some Christian officers in attendance signed the Cross upon 
their foreheads ; and when on several subsequent occasions 
they persisted in the practice and refused to obey the 
Emperor's order to join in the sacrifice, they were deprived 
of their offices, and several of them, perhaps as insub- 
ordinate soldiers, executed. 

Galerius seized the occasion to urge the Emperor to more 
active measures, and Diocletian under his incessant im- 
portunities grew irresolute ; but, still averse to persecution, 
he consented to consult the oracle of Apollo at Miletus. 
The answer being unfavourable to the Christians, Feb- 
ruary 23, A.D. 303, the Feast of the Roman Terminalia, 
was chosen as the day for issuing a first edict for perse- 
cution, and at break of day the Church of Nicomedia was 
set fire to and burnt, the books and furniture being seized. 
On the following day an edict was passed for a general 
demolition of the Christian churches, and of the Sacred 
Books, the deprivation of officials, and the enslavement of 
other Christians. The edict was no sooner posted than it was 
torn down, the Christian who had the rashness to perform 
the act paying the penalty by being roasted alive over 
a slow fire. Twice the Emperor's palace at Nicomedia 
was in flames, and the guilt imputed by Galerius to the 
Christians. Diocletian goaded to fury now compelled his 
wife and daughter to free themselves from suspicion by 
offering sacrifice. Another edict was issued ordering all 
the clergy to be imprisoned, and many Christians, amongst 
them Anthimus, the Bishop of Nicomedia, were put to 


An order was now sent into the West for the adoption 
of similar measures as had been adopted in the East, an 
order which Maximian wiUingly followed, and in Rome, 
where he was governor, 60,000 persons were said to have 
received the crown of martyrdom. A well-founded tra- 
dition, the truth of which however St. Augustine denies, 

g6 Chapter II. 

asserts that Marcellinus, the Bishop of Rome (296 — 304), 
together with three of his Presbyters, who became his suc- 
cessors in the Papacy, Marcellus (304 — 310), Melchiades 
(311 — 314), and the famous Silvester (314 — 335), delivered 
up the Sacred Books and offered sacrifice " ; that Mar- 
cellinus afterwards suffered martyrdom is an invention. In 
Britain Constantius could not entirely disobey the order, 
and it was in this persecution that St. Alban, the Proto- 
martyr of Britain, is supposed to have suffered martyrdom 
at Verulamium. But Constantius exercised mercy, and 
generally only so far complied as to allow the Churches, 
which could be rebuilt, to be destroyed, but "the true 
temple of God, the human body, he preserved intact." 

In 305, Diocletian and Maximian abdicating the throne, 
Constantius and Galerius became Augusti. Constantius 
died at York, A.D. 306, and was succeeded by Constantine, 
his son by his first wife, Helena, who was according to 
some the daughter of a British Prince, but more probably 
a woman of humble birth. In 307 Maximian resumed the 
purple, and in that year the government of the Roman 
Empire, after having undergone several changes, was di- 
vided between six emperors, Maximian, his son Maxentius, 
Galerius, his nephew Maximin Daza, Constantine and Lici- 
nius. Constantine's first wife, Minervina, by whom he had 
a son named Crispus, having died, Constantine in 307 
married Fausta, the daughter of Maximian, and sister of 
Maxentius. Constantine was from the first inclined to 
favour the Christians. 

The two following years were the cruellest and the most 
sanguinary of all the persecutions. In 310 Maximian died, 
as is supposed by his own hand, at Marseilles. In 311 
Galerius, smitten with the same loathsome disease that 
carried off King Agrippa (Acts xii. 23), brought on by his 

" Eusebius, H. E., VII. 32, only says of Marcellinus, KwritKt\<^ev S Siuyii6s, 
" he was overtaken by the persecution." Theodoret speaks of him with praise, 
h T^ SiuyiiSi Smirpe'^/ai'Ta. But see Wace and Schaff's Eusebius, p. 317, 
and Smith's Diet, of Christ. Biog., III. 805. 

The Victory of Chris fs Kingaom. 97 

own excesses, seized with remorse or superstition, issued, 
in conjunction with Constantine and Licinius, an edict for 
toleration, with permission to the Christians to rebuild their 
churches, and in return implored them to pray to their God 
for his recovery. A few days afterwards he died, and with 
his death the persecution in Palestine came to an end. 

Maxentius, the son of Maximian, defeated by Constantine, 
on October 28, 312, in the battle of the Milvian Bridge (the 
present Ponte Molle), about a mile from Rome, was swept 
away by the waters of the Tiber, and Constantine entered 
Rome in triumph. He was now sole Emperor of the West, 
and the persecution in the West was ended. It was two 
days before the victory that he saw, or supposed he saw, 
in the Heavens the luminous Cross. The story of the 
vision his biographer Eusebius asserts was communicated 
to him by Constantine himself, when the latter was an old 
man, and consequently after he had had a long time for 
reflection. The story runs '', that on his way from Gaul 
to Rome, Constantine, whose mind was wavering between 
Christianity and Paganism, aware that his enemy was seek- 
ing the aid of magical and supernatural rites, pondered 
on what god he himself might best rely for protection and 
assistance. Remembering that the persecuting Emperors 
had trusted in a multitude of gods, and had all come to 
an unhappy end, whilst his own father, who honoured the 
One Supreme God, had found in Him a saviour and pro- 
tector, he determined to honour the God of the Christians. 
Whilst engaged in such thoughts and in prayer to God that 
He would reveal Himself, he saw, shortly after noon, a lumin- 
ous Cross in the sky bearing the inscription, eV touto) vUa 
(in this conquer). The whole army also witnessed the 
miracle. In the night, the Christ of God appeared to him 
in a dream, holding before him the same symbol which he 
had seen in the Heavens, and which He ordered him to use 
as a safeguard against his enemies. On the following day 
Constantine ordered the Cross, with the monogram of the 
" Eus. V. c, I. 27. 

98 Chapter II- 

first three letters of the Savtbur's name, to be inscribed 
on the Imperial standard {Labarum) ^. The Labarum, the 
derivation of which is uncertain says Gibbon f, was a long 
pike intersected with a transversal beam ; the upper part 
was in the shape of a cross, with the sacred monogram 
on the top, so that it was an expression of the figure of the 
Cross and the initial letters of the name of Christ. 

Of all the persecuting Emperors, Maximin Daza, under 
whose tyranny the provinces of Syria, Asia, and Egypt 
groaned for six years, was the cruellest. Beyond all the 
others his character was the most disreputable ; and he "stands 
forth as pre-eminent for brutal licentiousness and ferocious 
cruelty, 'lust hard by hates.'" His mind, says Eusebius, 
was deranged by drunkenness ; he suffered no one to 
surpass him in debauchery and profligacy, and tutored 
others, both rulers and subjects, in wickedness ^ and he 
prided himself that he was the most vigorous enemy of 
Christianity who had appeared. To the martyrs of Palestine, 
many of whom suffered under the eyes of Maximin, Euse- 
bius devotes a whole book. In 309, Pamphilus, a Presbyter 
of Caesarea, the friend of Eusebius (" a man thrice dear 
to him"), after two years spent in prison, during which 
the historian frequently visited him, was, with eleven others, 
put to death by Firmilian, Prefect of the city K 

The See of Alexandria had hitherto enjoyed a com- 
parative immunity from persecution ; nothing seems more 
clearly to show this than the fact that, whilst at the com- 
mencement of the tenth persecution twenty-nine Bishops 
had presided over the See of Rome, there had only been 
seventeen in Alexandria J. In the persecution which now 

' This representation on Constantine's Labarum, Eusebius asserts that he 
himself had seen. Julian the Apostate removed the Labarum and substituted 
a heathen symbol. ' IIL 258. 

B Diet, of Christ. Biog., IIL 872. '' Eus. H. E., VIII. 14. 

' Eusebius, Martyrs of Palestine, Chap. II. After the execution of Pam- 
philus, Eusebius styled him Eusebius Pamphili. 

i Neale's Alexandria, I. 90. 

The Victory of Christ's Kingdom. 99 

assailed Alexandria, apostasy, which was so prevalent 
during the Decian persecution, was almost unheard of; 
the martyrs in the Thebais alone were reckoned at 144,000 ; 
of one Confessor, the Bishop Paphnutius, we shall have 
occasion to speak in the next chapter. 

In A.D. 300, Peter I. succeeded Theonas in the See of 
Alexandria. Some difficulty exists as to the mode of 
election of the Bishops of the Alexandrine See. St. Jerome 
says;— "At Alexandria, from Mark the Evangelist down 
to the Bishops. Heraclas and Dionysius (i.e. to A.D. 249), 
it was the custom of the Presbyters to choose out of their 
own body one whom they placed in a higher dignity of 
Bishop." Eutychius, Patriarch (933—940), and the His- 
torian, of the Alexandrine Church, tells us that this system 
prevailed till the time of Alexander, who was Bishop of 
Alexandria at the Council of Nice. We will dwell further 
on this subject when we come in the next chapter to the 
Episcopate of Alexander ; but here {valeat quantum), in 
fairness to those who hold Presbyterian views, it must be 
mentioned that Peter is said by Severus, an Arabic His- 
torian, to have been constituted Bishop by the imposition 
of the hands of the clergy and laity. 

In A.D. 311, the aged hermit Antony left his cell to 
comfort the suffering Christians of Alexandria, and exhort 
them to steadfastness in the faith. In that same year 
Peter, "one of the most excellent teachers of Christ's re- 
ligion," Eusebius calls him, "was advanced to the crown 
of martyrdom ''." 

We need not dwell on the persecution within the See 
of Antioch, as it is only a repetition of the same horrors, 
during which the names of many illustrious martyrs are 
recorded. One name, however, must be mentioned, that 
of St. Lucian, a Priest of Antioch and editor of the Sep- 
tuagint, who was one of the- founders of the famous An- 
tiochene school of divines. At one time he was accused 
of heresy, but afterwards moderated his views, and lived 

'■ St. Peter is commemorated in the Greek Church on November 24. 

H Z 

100 Chapter II. 

to die a Martyr for the faith ; after being for a long time 
starved, he was tempted with meat offered to idols, and 
eventually put to death in his prison at Nicomedia. 

The end of the persecutions was now at hand. The 
superstitious tyrant would at one time vow to Jupiter 
that, -if he were successful in battle, he would blot out the 
Christian name from off the earth ; at another pray to 
the God of the Christians for victory. On May i, A.D. 313, 
Licinius, who had shortly before married Constantine's half- 
sister Constantia, routed him in the battle of Hadrianople. 
In that year Constantine and Licinius issued the famous 
edict of Milan for a universal toleration {et Christianis et 
omnibus). Maximin, who ascribed his defeat to his Pagan 
gods, now turned against the Priests and soothsayers who 
had urged him on, and issued a decree for a toleration of 
Christians and restitution of their property; but shortly 
afterwards, in a fit of despair which he endeavoured to 
drown by intoxication, he ended his life by poison at 
Tarsus in Cilicia ; the long agony of death wringing from 
him a piteous appeal to the Saviour. 

About the same time that the Edict of Milan was issued, 
Constantius wrote two Letters to Anulinus, Proconsul, con- 
ferring special privileges in "the Catholic Churches" of 
Africa, over which Caecilian, Bishop of Carthage, presided ; 
having suffered more than other Churches in the late per- 
secution, they were considered to be in greater need of 

There were now two Emperors left, Constantine, who 
governed in the West, and Licinius in the East. Diocletian 
survived to learn of the toleration granted at Milan to 
the Christians, but he had lived to excite the suspicion 
and enmity of the two Emperors, and died, according to 
one account of poison, in the same year. His wife Prisca, 
and his daughter Valeria, the widow of Galerius, survived 
him. After the death of Galerius they had taken refuge 
under the roof of Maximin, but on the refusal of Valeria 
' Kus. H. E., X. 15. 

The Victory of Christ' s Kingdom. loi 

to listen to his lustful desires, they were driven into exile, 
and their goods confiscated. After the death of Maximin 
they were for a time sheltered in the Court of Licinius, 
whose wife, Constantia, was a Christian. At the com- 
mencement of the persecution they had been, at the least, 
favourers of Christianity, which it is probable they now, 
under the influence of Constantia, embraced. Licinius, 
though he had given a half-hearted support to Constantine, 
ill issuing edicts of toleration, still hated Christianity, op- 
posed the Christians in his dominions, and destroyed theii» 
Churches. It may be that on the ground of their Chris- 
tianity, the wife and daughter of Diocletian incurred his 
enmity. At any rate, they had grounds for dreading his 
cruelty ; through fear of him they escaped from his palace, 
and wandered about in disguise from place to place, out- 
casts on the face of the earth, in a state of abject poverty, 
till at last being discovered at Thessalonica, they were 
executed, and their bodies cast into the sea. Such was the 
terrible fatality that attended the end of the last of the ten 

The province of Africa had by the death of Maxentius 
fallen to Constantine. There was nothing that Constantine 
more desired than peace, but peace he did not find in the 
Church of Africa. At Carthage continued divisions had 
arisen out of a disputed election which ensued in 311, on 
the death of its Bishop, Mensurius. Mensurius had given 
offence to many Christians by resorting, during the perse- 
cution under Maxentius, when required to give up the Holy 
Scriptures, to the subterfuge of hiding them, and passing 
off heretical books in their stead. And he gave still greater 
offence by opposing, as he felt bound in duty, the morbid 
desire of martyrdom, even amongst people who led licen- 
tious hves, which was then in vogue, and the mistaken 
reverence in which they were held as Confessors or Martyrs. 
On his death, Caecilian, who had been his Archdeacon and 
supported and consequently shared his unpopularity, was 
elected as his successor, and consecrated by Felix, Bishop 

to2 Chapter It. 

of Aptunga, a See of which, further than that it was in 
Africa, the situation is uncertain. Felix was accused of 
being a Traditor, i.e. one who during the persecution had 
deHvered up the Scriptures. The Bishops of Numidia, who 
were under the jurisdiction of Carthage, urged on by one 
Donatus, Bishop of Casa Nigra, further complained that the 
election had taken place in their absence, and that, instead 
of being consecrated by Felix, Csecilian ought to have been 
consecrated by Secundus, Bishop of Tigisis, Primate of 
Numidia. They, in consequence, in a Synod at Carthage, 
excommunicated Csecilian and appointed Majorinus in his 
place, thus causing a schism in the Church of Africa. The 
Donatists, to anticipate the name which they derived from 
another Donatus, were also exasperated by the Letters, above 
referred to, of Constantine to the Proconsul Anulinus, con- 
fining his benefactions to the Catholics of Africa under 
Caecilian. The matter being referred by the Donatists to 
Constantine, was decided by him in favour of Caecilian, and 
Felix was acquitted of the charge brought against him ; 
whilst throughout Christendom, except by the Donatists in 
Africa, Caecilian was regarded as the canonical Bishop. 

The Donatists laid themselves open to the charge of being 
the first Christians who called in the civil arm to decide an 
ecclesiastical cause. Having so done, they next asked Con- 
stantine to order it to be tried by the Bishops of Gaul, who, 
their country not having suffered in the late persecutions, 
might be expected to be impartial judges. Constantine in 
compliance with their request wrote to Melchiades, Bishop 
of Rome, and Marcus (who this latter person was is only 
a matter of conjecture), professing his own reverence for 
the legitimate (Ivdkaiim) Catholic Church, and bidding him 
summon a Council of enquiry at Rome, at which he had 
commanded Retecius, Bishop of Autun, Maternus of Co- 
logne, and Marinus of Aries, to be present, and before which 
Caecihan and ten of his accusing Bishops were to appear. 
The Council, consisting of the three Bishops summoned by 
Constantine, and fifteen from Italy, met under the Presi- 

The Victory of Christ's Kingdom. 103 

dency of the Bishop of the See in the Lateran Palace, the 
residence of the Empress Fausta. Caecilian was, on Octo- 
ber 2, A.D. 313, again acquitted, his Ordination by Felix 
declared to be valid, and Donatus condemned. The case 
of Felix was not entertained by the Council, but was after- 
wards tried by the Proconsul, who found the evidence 
brought against him a malicious scandal. 

The Donatists, still dissatisfied, appealed against the 
decision of Rome to the Emperor, and asked for a Council 
of all the Wester^ Bishops. Constantine then arranged for 
a Council to be held at Aries in Gaul, The sentence of 
the Council of Rome having been impugned on the ground 
that " those who expressed their opinions and decisions were 
few, and their judgment hasty""," Constantine in a letter 
to Chrestus, Bishop of Syracuse, assigns this as a reason 
for summoning a larger Council. The Council of Aries 
accordingly met on Aug. i, 314", under the nominal pre- 
sidency of Marinus, the Bishop of the See, Constantine 
having entrusted the general guidance to Chrestus ; Silves- 
ter, now Bishop of Rome, was represented by four Prelates ". 

St. Augustine says that the Council of Aries consisted of 
about two hundred Bishops and was " a plenary Council of 
the whole Church." But no Bishop (if we except Caecilian) 
of the Eastern Church was present, nor were the Eastern 
Bishops even invited ; indeed the Donatist Schism was 
ignored in the East. It cannot, therefore, be termed an 
CEcumenical Council, nor would it be mentioned here 
except for the reason that, not confining itself to the 
Donatist Schism, it included matters affecting the whole 
Church, such as the Paschal controversy, and its canons, 
twenty-two in number, concerned the Eastern as well as 
the Western Church. 

A few of these canons must be mentioned ; — Canon I. 

■» This seems to show that no superior importance at that time attached to 
the See of Rome. 
» At this Council three British Bishops were present. 
» Eus. H. E., X. 5. 

I04 Chapter II. 

enacted that Easter should be celebrated everywhere on 
the same day, and that the Roman computation should be 
followed. VI. that those who had been received into the 
Church in sickness {in infirmitate conversi) should afterwards 
receive imposition of hands. VIII. against the Donatists, 
who re-baptized their converts, that converts from heresy 
who had been baptized in the name of the Trinity should 
not be re-baptized but receive imposition of hands. X, 
forbade a second marriage even to a man whose wife had 
been convicted of adultery. XIII., concerning Traditors, was 
directed against the Donatists. XV. prohibited Deacons 
from celebrating the Holy Eucharist. XX. enacted that 
no Bishop should be consecrated by fewer than three 

By the Council of Aries, Caecilian was again acquitted. 
Majorinus dying a.d. 315, was succeeded by Donatus, who 
was called, in distinction to the Bishop of Casa Nigra, the 
Great Donatus. The Donatists still continuing to give 
trouble, Constantine granted them and Caecilian a con- 
ference, first at Rome in 315, and then in 316 at Milan, 
and Caecilian was again acquitted. But they were no better 
satisfied than before; denounced the Catholic Church, calling 
themselves the only true and the whole Church, and all 
other Christians schismatics, and continued, notwithstanding 
the Council of Aries, to re-baptize converts, and wrote to 
the Emperor that they would have nothing to do with 
his " fool of a Bishop." Constantine at first thought of 
punishing them with death, but eventually contented him- 
self with depriving them of their Churches and banishing 
them. But the heresy continued ; Donatists, if they gained 
possession of the Churches of the Catholics, purified them 
as unconsecrated and contaminated places ; burnt the Altars, 
cast the Eucharist to the dogs, and even dug up the graves, 
ejecting the bodies of the dead. Donatus became the ral- 
lying personage of all discontented people, civil and eccles- 
iastical. But his followers soon broke up into several parties. 
One fanatical sect, the Circumcellions (so called from their 

The Victory of Christ's Kingdom. 105 

going round the cells or cottages of the poor), begged, and 
if they could not succeed, under pretence of religion, stole 
what they wanted. They laid claim to inspiration ; but 
they were in reality nothing but common highway robbers, 
destroying harvests, laying violent hands on whoever they 
met, burning Churches and maltreating the Catholic clergy. 
Death they courted, consoling themselves that thereby they 
would win honour and be accounted martyrs. They found 
an opponent in the great St. Augustine of Hippo, in whose 
Diocese they ha^ their own Bishop and were more numerous 
than the Catholics ; and it was not before the Seventh Cen- 
tury that the last sparks of the schism were stamped out 
in the universal ruin, under the Saracens, of the Church of 
Northern Africa. 

About the same time as the Council of Aries two 
Councils were held in the East (perhaps A.D. 315), those 
of Ancyra, the Metropolis of Galatia, and of Neo-Caesarea 
in Cappadocia. Vitalis, Bishop of ^ntioch, accompanied 
by eighteen Bishops, was present at both the Councils, 
the object of which was tjie same ; viz. to regulate the 
penances of those who had lapsed during the late perse- 
cutton, and to restore discipline to the long afflicted Church 
of Antioch. Of the 25 Canons of Ancyra, the first nine 
and the twelfth dealt with the former subject. Canon X. 
forbade Deacons to marry, unless at their Ordination they 
had expressed their intention to do so ; XIII. prohibited 
Chorepiscopi (or rural Bishops) to ordain without per- 
mission of the Bishop of the Diocese ; by XIX. Deacons 
who broke their promise of celibacy were to be treated as 
digamists ; by XX. those guilty of adultery were to be 
subjected to a penance of seven years, before being ad- 
mitted the full rights of the Church. 

The Council of Neo-Caesarea was also attended by about 
eighteen Bishops, mostly the same that had attended at 
Ancyra. Of the 15 Canons, I. forbade Priests to marry; 
II. decreed excommunication against any woman who mar- 
ries two brothers ; VIII. forbade a layman whose wife had 

io6 Chapter II. 

been guilty of adultery to marry ; XI. prescribed thirty 
years as the earliest age for Ordination to the Priesthood ; 

XII. enacted that one who has been baptized in illness 
{kav voamv rls <j)(oria-6{j) should not be ordained a Priest ; 

XIII. forbade Country Priests to consecrate or celebrate 
the Eucharist in the presence of the Bishop or Priests of 
the city. 

Constantine had now become Emperor of the West and of 
Africa ; but one more enemy had to be overcome before 
the victory of Christianity was complete, and the Pagans 
made a last stand under Licinius. Before the battle of 
Hadrianople, in which he defeated Maximin, Licinius had 
put his army under the protection of the God of the Chris- 
tians ; it was scarcely possible but that he should feel 
some gratitude to God for the victory, and under such a 
transient feeling he immediately afterwards issued the edict 
of Milan. But he was never in his heart anything but 
a Pagan, and soon the feeling passed away. He forbade 
the Bishops to hold Councils, interfered with their services, 
destroyed the Churches, and it was said that he was on 
the very point of issuing an edict for a general persecution 
of the Christians. But this was not to be ; the battle that 
ensued between him and Constantine was really a religious 
one between Christianity and Paganism ; he told his sol- 
diers ; " the present occasion shall prove which is mistaken 
in his judgment, and shall decide between our gods and 
those whom our adversaries propose to honour p ; " Con- 
stantine before the battle appealed to the God of the 

On July 3, 323, Constantine defeated him in a second 
battle at Hadrianople, and pursued him to Byzantium, and 
on September 10 gained over him another and more de- 
cisive victory at ChrysopoUs. Licinius was taken prisoner, 
but at the entreaty of Constantia, his life was spared, and 
he was allowed to live at Thessalonica. His restless spirit 
led him on to further agitation and intrigue, for which 
p Eus. V. C, II. 5. 

The Victory of Chrisfs Kingdom. 107 

in the next year he paid the penalty of death. Thus the 
victory of Christ's Kingdom over the Roman Empire was 
complete; after this, says Eusebius', "those who had so long 
been divided by false deities acknowledged with unfeigned 
sincerity the God of Constantine, and openly professed their 
belief in Him as the only true God." From A.D. 324 — 337 
Constantine was sole Emperor. The edicts issued by Licinius 
against the Christians were repealed ; and a proclamation 
followed by many similar acts issued in their favour. 
Paganism was not extinguished, but thenceforward Chris- 
tianity was the religion of the Roman Empire. 

The mention made of St. Antony in connexion with the 
late persecution at Alexandria, brings into prominence the 
subject of Monasticism, which took its rise in the East, 
and which has been an integral part of Greek Christianity, 
from its rise to the present day. In its earliest form, that 
of Asceticism {a<Tic7jai,<;, the discipline of athletes), which 
existed from the earliest time, monasticism did not neces- 
sitate retirement from the world. The next form was that 
of the monk (^fiovaxos, living alone), strictly so called, hermit 
(€prjfj,iTr}<;, dweller in a desert), or anchoret {')(mp'r]Tris, 
retirer from the world), which had its rise in Paul, a native 
of the Thebaid, in- the time of the persecution of Decius. 
The next transition was one to less solitary dwellings, or 
Aavpai (Kavpa, alley), corresponding with the Latin Claustra, 
and the English Cloisters, a system founded by the famous 
St. Antony, which developed into the Csenobitic life (/coti/os 
/3ios), under his pupil Pachomius. Antony and Pachomius 
were both, like Paul, natives of the Thebaid. Pachomius 
associated a number of monks in one building (jiavSpa, 
a ford) with an Abbot {aP^as), or Archimandrite, at its head. 

The regulations which Antony made for his monks were 
introduced into Palestine and Syria by Hilarion, who had 
been sent by his pagan parents to Alexandria for education, 
where he was converted to Christianity, and lived for some 
time in St. Antony's monastery in the Thebaid. This rule 

1 V. C, II. 18. 

io8 Chapter II, 

of St. Antony formed the basis of the system which St. Basil 
the Great adopted, and which became, and has ever since 
remained, the pattern of all subsequent monasteries of the 
Eastern Church. 

When, imitating the example of the rich young man 
in the Gospel, who was told by Christ to sell all that he 
had and give to the poor, Antony commenced his ascetic 
life near his native village, Coma, we are told by his bio- 
grapher, who is supposed to be St. Athanasius, that he 
placed his sister in a house of virgins {irapdev&va) ; this is 
the first allusion to a Nunnery {vovCs), an Egyptian word, 
signifying Nun '^- 

So rapid was the advance of monasticism, that Antony's 
first disciple, Pachomius, found himself the superior of 
ten thousand monks ; in the district of Nitria alone there 
were no fewer than fifty monasteries ; and when St. Atha- 
nasius visited the desert, three thousand monks passed in 
his presence. By degrees the land first in the East and 
then in the West, into which Monasticism was introduced 
by St. Athanasius, was covered with monasteries. 

The ideal of monasticism was the perfecting of the spiritual 
life ; many thought and many were deceived in thinking 
that in the deserts they would be free from temptation ; 
and there can be no doubt that many people embraced 
the monastic life from holy motives. But in time not re- 
ligion, but idleness, or the desire to escape the duties and 
dangers of the military life, or the burden of taxes and 
imposts, attracted men to the monasteries, and so depopulated 
the lands, that the civil government was compelled to in- 
terfere, and to place a restriction on their numbers. Not- 
withstanding their degeneracy, the most distinguished Bishops, 
e.g. the great St. Basil, felt it their duty to take the monas- 
teries under their special care and supervision, and under 
such direction they became beneficial as places of refuge 
for the oppressed and persecuted, and benevolent institutions 
for the sick and poor. 

' Bingham's Antiquities, Bk. VII. Ch. IV. 

The Victory of Christ's Kingdom. 109 

From the first Greek monasticism was of a contemplative 
and less practical character than in the West, and little 
distinguished in literature and missions. A monk, said 
St. Antony, could no more live out of his cell than a fish 
out of water ; when a traveller demanded of a Greek monk 
how he spent his time and where his books were, the latter 
pointed to, " pour toute reponse, la terre et les cieux," and 
St. Antony himself made a similar remark to a pagan 
philosopher, " My book, O philosopher, is Nature." 

With the Acsqpet^ {sleepless), a class of monks in the 
monastery of Studium, near Constantinople, so called from 
their keeping watch night and day, we shall meet in the 
course of our narrative ; but we must not omit mention of 
the Stylites (o-TuXiVat), or Pillar-monks, a name derived 
from their practice of living on a pillar. Most famous of 
the number was the Syrian Anchorite, St. Simeon, who 
for more than thirty years, from A.D. 423, lived with a 
weighty chain round his body, at a place about forty miles 
from Antioch, on the summit of a pillar, a yard in diameter, 
and raised sixty feet from the ground. There to the people 
who flocked to him from all quarters he gave counsel and 
preached repentance ; Bishops and Emperors, and the King 
of Persia, sought his advice, and consulted him as an oracle ; 
and to his memory, soon after his death, a magnificent 
Church was erected, built round an hypsethral court, in 
the centre of which stood the world-famed pillar. 

Two other famous Stylites alone are known ; St. Daniel, 
who lived on a pillar four miles from Constantinople for 
forty years, and died, A.D. 494, at the age of eighty, and 
a younger Simeon, who died at Antioch A.D. 596. 

It is probable that, previously to the general relaxation 
of discipline which followed the Saracenic invasions, the 
Eastern monasteries never fell into so deep a degradation 
as the monasteries of the West, which by the evasion of 
their Rule were constantly necessitating reform and the 
creation of new Orders. The same conservative spirit which 
has always characterized the Greek Church, the same vener- 

no Chapter II. 

ation for antiquity, tended to preserve a fraternity amongst 
the monks of the East, and to retain the ancient unity of 
the Order of St. Basil, which has subsisted ever since his 
time with its original simplicity. 


The First CEcumenical Council. 

The Antiochene School — Arius — Mode of Election to the Alexandrine Epis- 
copate — The heresy of Arius — Constantine summons the First CEcumenical 
Council of Nice— The Homoousion adopted as its watchword — The Nicene 
Creed — The Meletian Schism^ — Time for observing Easter arranged — The 
celibacy of the clergy condemned — Ta Spx""" ^^tj KpoTeiro? — Prayers to 
be offered in Church by people standing — St. Athanasius elected Bishop 
of Alexandria — Some account of him — Constantine leaves Rome for ever — 
St. Helena's Pilgrimage to Jerusalem — Foundation of the Basilica of the 
Holy Sepulchre and other Churches in Palestine laid — Discovery of the 
Holy Cross — Constantine builds several Churches in Rome — Dedication 
of Constantinople — Transference of the capital thither — It was the founda- 
tion of the Papal power — Disadvantageous to the Bishops of Constantinople 
— Difficulties with which the Eastern Church had to contend. 

UNDER Constantine, Christianity had gained the victory- 
over the Roman Empire ; but was Constantine himself 
yet at heart a Christian ? From the first he had been averse 
to persecution ; he inherited his father's favour towards the 
Christians, and he had learnt to despise the religion of 
Greeks and Romans whom he had so often conquered. 
Since the vision of the Cross, which he thoroughly believed 
to have been miraculously revealed to him, he professed his 
belief in the God of the Christians. But even amongst the 
Pagans a kind of mysterious dread, a mistrust in their 
own gods, had begun to prevail, and preceded the final 
victory of Christianity. Licinius, before engaging in his 
last battle, counselled his soldiers not to attack the Labarum, 
not even to let their eyes rest incautiously on it'. Con- 
stantine, before the battle, prayed with a Cross erected in 
his tent, and after the victory assumed an attitude more 
distinctly favourable to the Christians. The victory he as- 
cribed to the One God, and after it commended the religion 
of the Christians b, recalled the exiles, restored the property 

* Eus. V. C, II. 1 6. •• Ibid., II. 19. 

112 Chapter III. 

taken from the Church, commended the observance of 
Sunday", built Churches, and adorned them with Crosses 
of precious stones. Still he hesitated to take the irre- 
trievable step of becoming the first Christian Emperor by 
accepting Baptism. 

Henceforward the history of Christianity and of the 
Roman Empire ran in the same channel ; the long death- 
struggle had ended ; and the Christian Church entered on 
a new phase of existence. A series of religious contro- 
versies ensued, the first of which was on the subject of the 
Incarnation. At the very time when a community of faith 
and worship was most required for cementing the foundation 
of the Church, a controversy arose as to the relation in the 
Godhead of the Son to the Father. In the earliest times 
the Eternity of the Logos, as declared in the Gospel and 
Epistles of St. John, had been firmly established in the 
Church. But in time false doctrine, especially in the East, 
had been taught, although not in so dogmatic or positive 
a manner as to call forth any public formula of the Church. 
In Antioch the teaching of Paul of Samosata had left its 
mark, and a famous school was formed which, whilst it 
produced such distinguished divines as Lucian, a native of 
Samosata, St. Chrysostom and Theodoret, produced also 
Diodorus and Theodore of Mopsuestia, as well as the 
chief leaders in the Trinitarian controversy. Lucian after- 
wards moderated his opinions and died a Martyr for the 
faith, but his rationalizing views had their influence on the 
school of Antioch. 

The author of the great Trinitarian controversy was Arius 
(256—336), a native of Libya, who had been educated in 
the school of Antioch under Lucian. Arius is described as 
a man of imposing appearance and unblemished character ; 
" a subtle-witted and marvellous fine-spoken man," Hooker 
calls him. He had been an adherent of the schism 
of Meletius, Bishop of Licopolis, who (a.d. 306) was 
deposed by Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, in his recon- 
' Under the heathen name, however, Dies Solis. 

The First (Ecumenical Council. 1 1 3 

ci'liation to the Church he was ordained Deacon by Peter, 
but on his return to the Meletian schism, Peter excom- 
municated him, and so badly did he think of him that, 
though Arius prevailed on some Presbyters of Alexandria 
to intercede for him, Peter shortly before his death anathe- 
matized him. On the martyrdom of Peter, Achillas suc- 
ceeded him in the See of Alexandria, and by him Arius 
was re-admitted to communion, ordained Priest, and, A.D. 
3i3i appointed to the most important charge in Alexandria, 
that of Baucalis.^in which he attained considerable popu- 
larity. After the short Episcopate of Achillas two candi- 
dates presented themselves for the vacant See, Alexander 
and Arius, the latter of whom was disappointed in being 
passed over in favour of Alexander (313 — 326). 

We have before* alluded to the early mode of election 
to the Alexandrine Episcopate as related by the historian 
Eutychius. This, the same author continues, was changed 
by Alexander ; " he ordained that upon the vacancy of the 
See the Bishop should meet to consecrate the successor, and 
that the power of election should be in their hands without 
confining themselves to the twelve Presbyters." Those who 
ground on this a precedent for a Presbyterian form of 
Church government fortify their case by an incident which 
occurred the year before the Council of Nice. CoUuthus, 
a Priest, had taken upon himself to confer holy Orders, one 
so ordained being Ischyras. In a Council at Alexandria, 
A.D. 324, by which both the Meletian schism and Arius were 
condemned, it was decided that Episcopal Ordination was 
necessary ; whereupon Colluthus submitted to the Church, 
and Ischyras was, on the ground that Colluthus was not 
a Bishop, pronounced a layman. 

Friendly relations between Arius and his Bishop seem to 
have been maintained until A.D. 319. In that year Alexander 
issued an address to his clergy on the mystery of the Trinity, 
insisting especially on the Unity, in which Arius professed 
to detect Sabellianism and a confusion of Persons. In 

^ See p. 99. 

114 Chapter III. 

attacking Alexander he denied the eternity and un- 
createdness of the Son ; he contended that as He was 
begotten by the Father, there must have been a time 
before He was begotten, and that He was not from all 
eternity i^v ore ovk ^v) ; that He was consequently created 
like all creatures out of a substance which had no previous 
existence (e^ ovk ovrtov e'^et Tr)v vTtocrraa-tv). His opinions 
spread rapidly in Egypt, where many Bishops adopted them. 
Alexander called upon Arius to retract his statements, and 
as he refused to do so, convened, A.D. 321, a Synod at 
Alexandria, which was attended by nearly 100 Egyptian 
and African Bishops, and in which the teaching of Arius 
was condemned, and he with two Bishops, Secundus and 
Theonas, who supported him, were anathematized. Amongst 
other Bishops, Arius had on his side the influential Eu- 
sebius, his fellow-pupil in the school at Antioch, who, having 
been first Bishop of Berytus, was translated to the See of 
Nicomedia, a See of great importance, not only as the 
capital of Bithynia, but also as the See of the Imperial 

Driven away from Alexandria, Arius went first to Pales- 
tine, whence he wrote to Eusebius of Nicomedia, setting 
forth the persecution he had suffered from the Bishops 
(whose doctrine he misrepresented), and his expulsion from 
Alexandria. Whilst in Palestine he made a favourable im- 
pression on Eusebius, Bishop of Csesarea, the Church his- 
torian. He then went to Nicomedia, where he wrote the 
Thalia, a work which contained Arianism in its most de- 
veloped form, speaking of the Son not only as not equal to, 
but not of the same essence with, the Father. In 323, availing 
himself of the confusion which existed in consequence of 
the war between Constantine and Licinius, he returned to 
Alexandria, where he was condemned in the Synod of 324. 

Constantine, when Emperor of the West, had to contend 
with the Donatist schism, but in the Eastern Church, of which 
the See of Alexandria was the most important, he had hoped 
that he should find peace; "Disunion in the Church," he said 

The First (Ecumenical Council. 115 

to the Fathers assembled at Nice, "I consider a more grievous 
evil than any kind of war." On his arrival at Nicomedia, 
after the defeat of Licinius, he had to contend with a more 
serious and wide-spreading schism than that of the Donatists, 
and encountered a far greater difficulty in the subtleties of 
Eastern theology. 

He wrote, through Hosius, Bishop of Corduba, who had 
been a confessor under Maximian, a letter to Alexander and 
Arius, in which he showed, as might have been expected in 
one whose life had been spent in the West, and whose mind 
was trained in war, a complete ignorance of the character 
and importance of the subject in dispute. Arius by denying 
the Eternity had denied the Divinity of the Saviour, thus 
destroying the very essence of Christianity. Yet Constan- 
tine wrote of it as a trivial matter which Arius had better 
not have given trouble about, and Alexander ought to have 
taken no notice of; and he gave advice such as an Emperor 
might well give, and which came within his province, to 
forgive one another. Arius answered in a tone of remon- 
strance which irritated the Emperor into retorting with 
a letter of coarse invective; he sneered at his dismal and 
emaciated figure, and called him "a shop of iniquity," 
and ordered him peremptorily to recognize the Son as of 
one Essence with the Father «. 

Constantine in his desire for union in the Church would 
persecute all kinds of sectaries, prohibit their assemblies, 
and confiscate their revenues. He was acting more strictly 
within his rights when he determined to call an CEcumenical 
Council, i.e. a Council of the universal Church, the only 
kind of Council to which the whole Church would defer, 
to decide the matter. There had before been what we 
should call Diocesan and Provincial Synods, but these 
would only have a limited authority. The creed of the 
Church had existed since the time of the Apostles, but in 
the days of the persecutions it was impossible that a Council 
of the whole Church could assemble, or such fixed rules 

• Bright's History of the Church, p. 20. 
I -2, 

Ii6 Chapter III. 

of doctrine and discipline be laid down as would receive the 
sanction of the collective Church. Nor could any one but the 
Emperor convene an CEcumenical Council, for there was no 
one recognized Bishop of the universal Church who could 
exercise such a power. The statement made in the Sixth 
CEcumenical Council, three hundred and fifty-five years 
afterwards, when, in consequence of the heresies in the East, 
the Pope of Rome had gained a pre-eminence which he had 
not before, that Constantine and Silvester, Bishop of Rome, 
together assembled (o-uveXeypi') the Council of Nice, can 
have no weight whatever against the authority of Con- 
stantine's biographer, Eusebius, who was himself present 
at the Council ; Eusebius expressly states that Constantine 
invited " the Bishops of every country to proceed to 

Nice was selected as a central place, and also as being in 
the neighbourhood of the Emperor's Palace at Nicomedia. 
The Council, attended by 318 Bishops (whence it is called 
the Council of the 318 Bishops), met on June 19, 325. 
Thither came Syrians and Cilicians, men of Phoenicia and 
Palestine, of Libya and Egypt ; Pontus and Asia, Phrygia 
and Pamphylia sent their best. Others came from Thrace 
and Macedonia, from Achaia and Epirus, and the regions 
beyond'. The Council was almost wholly composed of 
Eastern Bishops. Alexander of Alexandria, and with him 
his Deacon, Athanasius, Eustathius of Antioch, Macarius 
of Jerusalem, were present ; two Roman Priests, Victor and 
Vincent, represented Silvester, Bishop of Rome, whom his 
great age would prevent from attending. The two Eusebii, 
Paphnutius, Bishop of the Upper Thebais, who had suffered 
banishment and mutilation during the Diocletian persecution, 
John, Bishop of Persia, Theophilus, " Bishop of the Goths," 
and Acesius, a Novatian Bishop, were amongst those 
present. Theognis, Bishop of Nice, attended, as also the 
two Bishops, Secundus and Theonas, who had been ex- 
communicated with Arius at the Council of Alexandria. 

' Socr., V. 22. 

The First (Ecumenical Council. wj 

One other Bishop may be mentioned, not from any im- 
portant part which he took in its deh'berations (his name 
does not appear amongst the signatories), but as the Patron 
Saint in the present day of the Ionian Islands, St. Spi- 
ridion. Bishop of a See in Cyprus s. 

The Presidency of the Council would in ordinary circum- 
stances belong to the Bishop of Alexandria, but, as chief 
accuser, he would be incapacitated ; the next in rank was 
Eustathius of Antioch, and the Presidency of the sessions 
was probably ghared by him and Hosius. Constantine, 
magnificently attired, attended, but, Eusebius tells us, de- 
clined to take his seat on the golden throne until invited 
to do so by the assembled Bishops. He delivered a Latin 
speech, which the interpreters translated into Greek, the 
language of the great majority, and himself took part in 
the debates. 

Arius being called upon for his defence declared that 
the Son was a created Being, that at one time He did 
not exist, and was capable of sinning. The Eusebians, as 
the party of Eusebius of Nicomedia were afterwards termed, 
defended Arius ; on the other side Athanasius took the 
prominent part, exciting the admiration of all, but at the 
same time the jealousy of many. Henceforward he was 
the recognized champion of the Orthodox party, thus pro- 
voking the implacable enmity of the Eusebians, which 
pursued him to the end of his life. 

The Homoousion {of one essence') was adopted as the 
watchword of orthodoxy. Constantine himself, probably 
at the suggestion of Hosius, insisted on it. In vain Euse- 
bius of Nicomedia opposed it. Eusebius of Csesarea pre- 
sented a Creed, which, though it used the words " begotten 
before all creation, having been begotten of God the Father 
before all the ages; by Whom all things are made," yet 

B Dean Stanley mentions that his body was, on the capture of the city 
the Turks, transferred from Constantinople, where it was buried, to Corfu, 
wiiere it is annually carried round the island in procession. 

Ii8 Chapter III. 

because it omitted the words aXrjdtvov and ofioovaiov, was 

Hosius then, commissioned by the Council, drew up the 
Creed which has ever since been universally known as 
the Nicene, on the formula of the Creed of Eusebius, but 
with the addition of the word ofioovaio? : — 

"We believe in One God (Tnarevo/iev els eva Qeov) the 
Father Almighty, Maker of all things, both visible and 
invisible. And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 
Begotten of the Father, that is, of the Substance of the 
Father (ex ttjs ova-ia<s tov TlaTpos). God of God. Light 
of Light. Very God of Very God. Begotten, not made. 
Of one Substance (o/toouo-io?) with the Father. Bj' Whom 
all things were made, that are in Heaven and earth. Who 
for us men and our salvation came down, and was Incarnate, 
and was made Man. He suffered and rose again the third 
day, and ascended into Heaven. And He shall come again 
to judge the quick and the dead. 

" And in the Holy Ghost." 

The Council added the following declaration : — 

" And as to those who affirm that there was a time when 
the Son of God was not {oti rjv ore ovk fjv) ; and that before 
He was begotten He was not {-irplv yepvTiOrjvat ov/c ^v) ; and 
that He was made out of nothing (e^ ovk ovtwv yevvr)drivm) ; 
or that He is of a different Substance or Essence (e| eTepw; 
wTToo-Taaetas rj ova-ia<i <j}da-K0VTa^ elvai) ; or that He is created, 
or subject to change or alteration (i^ ktiotov, rj rpetrTov, r) 
oKKoioirov) ; they are anathematized by the Holy Catholic 

Seventeen Arian Bishops, as also Eusebius of Caesarea, 
at first refused to sign the formula. Eusebius soon gave 
way and subscribed. Eusebius of Nicomedia and Theognis 
of Nice signed the Creed, but not the condemnatory clauses. 
Ultimately the number of non-subscribers dwindled down 
to two, Secundus and Theonas, who stood firm to their 
convictions. Constantine was now a zealot for orthodoxy, 
which he tried to enforce by penal laws against the Arians. 

The First CEcumenical Council. 119 

Secundus and Theonas, together with Arius and two of his 
friends, Euzoius and Pistus, the former of whom was after- 
wards intruded by the Arians into the See of Antioch, the 
latter into that of Alexandria, were banished to Illyria. 
Arius' books were ordered to be burnt. The sentence of 
banishment was afterwards pronounced against Eusebius 
of Nicomedia and Theognis, the former of whom, by his 
opposition to his plans for peace, had offended Constantine. 

Another matter brought before the Council was the 
Meletian Schism^ ^ Meletius himself was dealt gently with. 
He was admitted to communion and allowed to be styled 
a Bishop, but deprived of the power of Ordaining ; those 
who had received their Orders from him were subjected 
to a second Ordination, and to hold afterwards a secondary 
rank amongst the Clergy. By such clemency the Council 
hoped to gain the Meletians ; but so far from this being 
the case, they entered into a union with Arians which 
was long unfortunate to the Church, and especially to 
Athanasius, nor do they disappear from history till the 
end of the Fifth Century. 

The diversity between the Asiatic and the Western 
Churches, as to the observance of Easter, with regard to which 
Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, and Anicetus, Bishop of Rome, 
had failed to come to an agreement, and Victor, Bishop of 
Rome, had issued the sentence against the Eastern Church, 
which brought on him the remonstrance of St. Ircnjeus, 
continued till the time of Constantine. The different times 
of its observance, some Churches continuing the fast of 
Lent whilst others were celebrating their festivities, must 
have offended the scrupulous uniformity of the Emperor 
in only a less degree than doctrinal differences. The con- 
servative spirit of the Easterns would incline them to adhere 
to the custom which had prevailed in the earliest times. But 
its observance on the same day on which it was kept by the 
descendants of the murderers of the Saviour now induced 

'' Not to be confounded with the Meletian Schism which agitated the Church 
of Antioch half a century later. 

I20 Chapter III. 

them to join the practice of the Western Church. The 
Synod of Aries being a Western Synod had little weight 
with the Eastern Church, and so failed to establish one 
uniform practice throughout Christendom. But the Council 
of Nice was composed almost entirely of Eastern Bishops, 
and the decree as to the future observance of Easter was 
determined " by common consent," and, with a few isolated 
exceptions, at once adopted. The Council decided that 
Easter should be kept on the next Sunday after the full 
moon following March 21st ; and the Bishops of Alexandria 
(that See enjoying the highest reputation in the branch 
of astronomical science) were deputed to ascertain the exact 
day in each year for its celebration, and to communicate 
it, through the Bishops of Rome, to the Western Church. 

With the Novatians Constantine appears to have had 
greater sympathy than with the other sectaries, and had 
invited their Bishop, Acesius, to the Council. The Emperor 
asked him afterwards whether he was satisfied with its de- 
crees. Acesius answered in the affirmative, for they were 
conformable to Apostolical authority, though he could not 
admit the right of the clergy to grant Absolution to those 
who fell into post-baptismal sin. " Then," said Constantine, 
" you had better take a ladder and climb up to Heaven by 

Since at the time of the Nicene Council no controversy 
with regard to the Holy Ghost had been brought into 
prominence, the Creed ended with the clause, " And the 
Holy Ghost." 

Twenty Canons were enacted, the most important of 
which were ; — IH., which forbade the clergy having in their 
houses a avveia-aKTO<i [subintroducta, meaning an introduced 
woman), with the exception of a mother, sister, aunt, or such 
relative as was free from suspicion. An attempt was made 
to introduce, what Socrates, the ecclesiastical historian, 
calls " a new law " (vo/j^os veapos) of clerical celibacy, into the 
Church. But a proposal that the married clergy should be 

' Socr., I. 10. 

The First (Ecumenical Council. 121 

compelled to put away their wives was met with a burst 
of indignation from the aged confessor Paphnutius, himself 
educated in a monastery and unmarried. He insisted on 
the Gospel precept that " marriage is honourable unto all," 
and on the old tradition of the Church (t^i/ 'EickXtjitui'; 
Trapdhoaiv) ; that it was sufficient that a man should be 
precluded from marrying after, but that he should not 
separate from a wife to whom he was already married 
before, his Ordination ; and his voice decided the matter. 
This rule was confirmed at the Council of Gangra in Paph- 
lagonia about A.D. 340 ; " If any man make a distinction 
{BiaxpivoiTO irapd) between a married and unmarried Pres- 
byter let him be anathema." The custom as approved by 
the Nicene Fathers has always been observed in the Greek 
Church, but in the Roman Church clerical celibacy is 

Canon V. allowed an appeal to provincial Synods, for 
which purpose two such synods were to be held every year, 
one before Lent, the other about Autumn. Canon VI., prob- 
ably passed against the Meletiahs who had invaded the 
rights of the Bishop of Alexandria, decreed that ancient 
customs in Egypt, Libya and Pentapolis should be observed 
(rd dp)(a,ia eOrf Kparel/rm) ; that over them, "as was customary 
with the Bishop in the City Rome," the Bishop of Alex- 
andria should hold jurisdiction. In like manner Antioch 
and all other Provinces {iirap'x^Ui'i) should preserve their 
rights (TTpeer/Seta) ^. It is evident that the Nicene Fathers 
recognized no special preeminence in the See of Rome ; 
had they done so, they would certainly have mentioned it ; 
they put " the Bishop in the City Rome '' on the same level 
as the other primatial Sees. 

Canon VII., perhaps at the instance of its Bishop Ma- 
carius, gave a special privilege (rrjv aKoKovdiav t^s Tif^ij';, 
i.e. probably after the three great Sees) to the See of ./Elia 

'' These Provinces were probably Ephesus and Caesarea, which latter com- 
prised Jerusalem, to which a higher dignity appertained, second only to the 
three great Sees, Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch- 

122 Chapter III. 

(the name given by Hadrian to the new colony founded on 
the ruins of Jerusalem), "saving the dignity (a^miiaros) 
belonging to the Metropolis," i.e. Csesarea. The saving 
clause was probably inserted at the instance of Eusebius, 
Bishop of Caesarea. It is worthy of remark that, notwith- 
standing this clause, Macarius signs in the fourth place, 
immediately after the two papal Legates, Hosius signing 
first. It is also deserving of notice that though he is com- 
memorated in the Western Church on March loth, no notice 
is taken of him in the Greek Mena:a. 

Canon VIII. treated the Novatians, or as they were called 
Kadapov^ (puritans), with the same forbearance as it had 
shewn to the Meletians, and decided that if they would 
adhere to the decrees of the Catholic Church and com- 
municate with those who contracted a second marriage 
(Siyafiois), and with such as had lapsed during persecution, 
they should be allowed to hold their Orders, but with an 
inferior status to the Catholic clergy. 

Canons XV. and XVI. forbade the translation of Bishops, 
Priests and Deacons ; a canon which circumstances ren- 
dered it impossible to carry out, and which was frequently 

Canon XIX. ordered the Paulianists, as the followers 
of Paul of Samosata were called, to be re-baptized, and their 
clergy to be re-ordained. 

Canon XX. enacted that, in order that there might be 
uniformity in every Parish, prayers should be offered in 
Churches by the people standing, a rule which has always 
been observed in the Greek Church. 

A fable was afterwards invented and found favour in the 
Western Church, that, on the receipt of the Nicene Canons, 
Pope Silvester convened a Council of 277 Bishops at Rome, 
in which the Canons were sanctioned and enforced by the 
Pope's authority. 

The most conspicuous figure in the Church during the 
Fourth Century was the great Athanasius, whose life is 
little short of a history of Christianity during his time. 

The First CEcumenical Council. 123 

On the death of Alexander, which occurred shortly after the 
Council of Nice, Athanasius was, in accordance with his 
dying request, elected by the suffrages of the whole people 
as his successor in the See of Alexandria (326—373). He 
reluctantly accepted, and even tried to avoid, the election 
by flight 1. 

Born at Alexandria about A.D. 296, his youth saved him 
from the persecution under Maximin. An interesting story 
is told by Rufinus, Socrates, and Sozomen, how that 
Alexander the Bishop once saw from his window a group 
of children playing on the sea-shore a game of religious 
ceremonies, and imitating the Sacrament of Baptism. 
Athanasius performed the part of the boy-bishop, dipping 
the others in the sea, the ceremony being accompanied with 
the usual questions and responses. Alexander sent for 
them, and whilst he determined that the Baptism so con- 
ferred was valid, himself completed the ceremony with the 
Sacrament of Unction with Chrism, whilst he was so struck 
with the knowledge and seriousness of Athanasius that he 
took him into his service. Under his careful eye the educa- 
tion of Athanasius was conducted, till in time he became 
the Archdeacon, or head-Deacon of the Bishop, in which 
capacity we have seen him attending the Council of Nice. 

He is described as being of diminutive stature ■", almost 
angelic countenance, hook-nosed, with auburn hair, and 
a slight stoop. That he was the greatest theologian of the 
day is acknowledged not only in the East but the West 
also. " The Great " was the title which the next generation 
conferred on him. He has been considered the Father of 
theology, and, says Dean Stanley, was the Father of or- 
thodoxy ; his life to his death was, he says, a witness to, 
and a struggle for, the Homoousion. 

It speaks wonders for him that he was a man who kindled 

' Dean Stanley, Eastern Church, p. 267, relates how to the present day 
his successors in the See are brought to Cairo loaded with chains, and strictly 
guarded so as to provide against escape. 

^ The Emperor Julian sneered at him as di/flpajn-KDciJj (manikin). 

1 24 Chapter III. 

the enthusiasm of Gibbon. In order to appreciate what he 
was and what he did, we must understand the evil against 
which he had to fight, and how thoroughly Arianism, during 
his whole life-time, permeated the Court, the Church, the 
legislature, even the Church Councils. Soon after the 
Council of Nice, the vacillating Constantine went over to 
the side of the Arians, and at one time Athanasius was 
almost the only Churchman of eminence who stood out 
firmly and openly against them. Hooker well sums up his 
position ; " the heart of Constantine stolen from him ; Con- 
stantius using every means to torment him which malice and 
his sovereign power could invent ; no rest under Julian ; as 
little under Valens ; crimes of which he was innocent laid 
to his charge, his accusers and judges being the same per- 
sons ; Bishops and Prelates feeling it unsafe to befriend him 
and falling away from him ; his life was a long tragedy. . . . 
During the space of 46 years from the time of his Conse- 
cration .... till the last hour of his life in this world, they 
(the Arians) never suffered him to enjoy the comfort of 
a peaceable day °." The history of the Church in his time 
is concentrated in the apothegm, "Athanasius contra 

In the year following the Council of Nice, Constantine, 
after his long sojourn in the East, went to Rome ; there 
he stopped only a short time, but it was a turning-point 
in the history of the world. In the East, if his character 
had not been softened by its influence, he had been brought 
into close contact with Christianity and had taken Hosius 
(fiaio<i, holy) as his guide. At Rome he* found Paganism, 
which in the East had been got under control, triumphant, 
and he viewed with disgust the pagan superstitions prevalent 
in the leading families ; the people resented his preference 
for Oriental manners and customs and for the religion which 
they had in vain tried to stamp out ; and he soon left it, 
never to return. The concluding years of his life have left 
an indelible stain on Constantine's name. In A.D. 326, for 
° Hooker, V. 42. 

The First CEcumenical Council. 125 

reasons, it was supposed, of political and domestic jealousy, 
he ordered the execution of his son, Crispus, a youth of 
brilliant promise and heir to his throne. In the same year, 
the young Caesar Licinius, son of his sister Constantia, shared 
the same fate. Some attribute the fate of Crispus to the 
false accusations of his step-mother Fausta, who desired 
the succession to the throne for her own sons. However 
this maybe, Fausta herself soon fell a victim to his suspicious 
jealousy, and was found strangled in her bath. 

Zosimus, a heathen historian who probably flourished 
in the middle of the Fifth Century, would convey the idea 
that Constantine was at this time a Pagan. He relates that 
after the murder of Crispus Constantine resorted for comfort 
and absolution to the pagan Priests, who told him that for 
such sins as he had committed there was no expiation. He 
thereupon betook himself to a Spaniard (probably Hosius, • 
Bishop of Corduba), through whom he was induced to 
embrace Christianity. That he did resort to Hosius is pro- 
bable ; Eusebius tells us " that Constantine converted his 
mother, Helena, to Christianity ; we may therefore, perhaps, 
conclude that, although he deferred his Baptism from re- 
ligious scruples and perhaps political motives, he continued 
to profess Christianity ever since the Vision of the Cross. 

Now that there was a Christian Emperor, the recovery 
of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem, which Eusebius says 
was a divine impulse and long contemplated by the Emperor, 
was possible, and to that the mind of Constantine and his 
pious mother, Helena, at once turned. Macarius, Bishop 
of Jerusalem, had, as we have seen, been present at the 
Council of Nice, and in the year after the Council, Helena 
started on her pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Constantine 
wrote to Macarius enjoining him to provide her with money 
at the public cost for the erection of a magnificent Basilica, 
the Church of the Holy Sepulchre ; he also purposed to 
build other churches in Palestine, one at Bethlehem to com- 

» V. C, III. 57. 

126 Chapter III. 

memorate the Nativity, another on the Mount of Olives, the 
Ascension, and a third at Mamre, where the Saviour and 
two Angels appeared to Abraham. Pilgrimages to the Holy 
Places were coming in vogue, and were often thought 
necessary as an atonement for some great crime. No doubt 
the journey was an act of piety on her part, and perhaps 
a vicarious expiation for the crimes of her son ; but one 
object was to expedite the works which Constantine had 

Though nearly eighty years of age, Eusebius says she 
entered upon her purpose " with youthful alacrity." Arrived 
at her destination, she was directed, we are told, by the 
local tradition to the site of our Lord's Burial. Everything, 
no doubt, had been done by the heathen to desecrate and 
obliterate it. Hadrian had built a Temple over it ; the 
heathens had heaped up rubbish around it. But instead 
of obliterating it, the means which they adopted would only 
serve to draw attention to it. " The Church had never," 
says Mr. Williams p, "been absent from Jerusalem for more 
than a few years, probably not more than two, and would 
any Christian who had once known the place Golgotha fail 
to identify it, however accident or design might have altered 
its character } " The first thing that Christian pilgrims 
would ask would be to be directed to the Sepulchre of their 
Lord. There could have been no doubt, no mere local 
tradition, as to the site ; and Helena could have had no 
difficulty in discovering it. 

She immediately ordered the stones and rubbish which 
concealed it to be cleared away, the Temple which had 
been built on it to be demolished ; and the Holy Sepulchre 
was brought to light. Near the Sepulchre the three Crosses 
were found lying, the true Cross being distinguished, accord- 
ing to SS. Chrysostom and Ambrose, by its inscription, 
according to later authorities by the operation of a miracle. 
The Sepulchre Helena caused to be separated from the cave 
in which it was built, and enclosed in a Chapel. Part, 
P Holy City, II. 70. 

The First (Ecumenical Council. 127 

together with two nails, of the Cross she sent to Constantine, 
one of which he placed in his crown, the other he used 
for his horse's bit. 

As early as the Fifth Century the discovery of the Cross 
by Helena was credited in the Church. But the Pilgrim 
who went, A.D. 333, a few years therefore after the supposed 
event, from Bordeaux to Jerusalem, in the description which 
he gives of the Scriptural places of the latter city, neither 
mentions Helena, nor the discovery of the Cross ; and 
Eusebius, writing only a few years later, whilst he speaks of 
the visit of Helena, is equally silent as to the discovery. 
From the pontificate of St. Gregory the Great, the Invention 
of the Cross has been commemorated in the Western Church 
on May 3 ; but in the Eastern Church the Festival of the 
Sravpo^avela (appearance of the Cross), on September 14, 
commemorates not the discovery by Helena, but its recovery 
from Chosroes, King of Persia, by the Emperor Heraclius. 
The date and place of Helena's death are uncertain. It 
is generally supposed that she died about A.D. 328. Between 
the time that she started on her pilgrimage and the time 
of her death, Constantine had left Rome. Eusebius says 
that she died in the presence of the Emperor, but he does 
not say where (probably it was in the palace at Nicomedia) ; 
and that her body was carried with great pomp to the 
Imperial city, which would be Constantinople, the founda- 
tions of which had been lately laid ; and that she was burled 
in a royal tomb 1, that is, in the Church of the Holy 
Apostles which Constantine built. 

Shortly before this, and probably in expiation of his crimes, 
Constantine provided for the building of several churches 
in Rome ; one on the site now occupied by St. Peter's, two 
others in memory of SS. Laurence and Agnes, the former 
Archdeacon of Rome, who perished in the Valerian perse- 
cution, the latter a martyr under Diocletian. To Con- 
stantine also, probably at this time, the foundation of the 

1 Eus. V. C, III. 47. 

128 Chapter III. 

Lateran Biasilica where the Palace of Fausta stood is 

In 327, Constantine's half-sister, Constantia, widow of the 
Emperor Licinius, died at Nicomedia. There she had been 
brought by Eusebius, Bishop of the See, under Arian in- 
fluence, with what disastrous results to the religion of the 
impulsive Emperor will be seen in the next Chapter. 

On May 11, 330, took place the Dedication of New Rome, 
or Constantinople. Constantine, though he still held the title 
of Pontifex Maximus, determined to found a new Capital 
which should be from its foundation Christian ; and having 
first turned his thoughts to Sardica, Thessalonica, and Troy, 
he eventually settled on the ruined city of Byzantium. He 
did not destroy the pagan monuments which he found 
existing there, but he forbade any new ones to be erected ; he 
became there the same prodigal builder of churches as he 
had been before in Palestine and Rome ; the chief was the 
one dedicated to the Wisdom of God, which afterwards 
received the name of St. Sophia ; another was the Church 
of the Holy Apostles ; and Metrophanes was consecrated its 
first Bishop by Eustathius, Patriarch of Antioch. The 
transference of the capital of the Roman Empire to Con- 
stantinople was one of the most important events in the 
history of the world. Its geographical and political im- 
portance is unhappily familiar to all in the present day, 
and its political founded its ecclesiastical importance ; it 
was so with Old Rome, it was the same with New 

So long as the Old Rome was the metropolis of the 
Empire, an honorary precedence of a vague and undefined 
nature had attached to the Roman Bishop, and that he 
never lost. In addition to Rome being the capital of the 
Empire, many circumstances favoured the Roman Church 
and increased its importance ; its foundation not by one 
but by two, and those the two greatest, Apostles ; the 
number of its martyrs ; the high character of its Bishops ; 
the purity of its faith. Bishops of neighbouring Churches,. 

The First CEcumenical Council. 129 

before the faith was clearly defined at Nice, naturally con- 
sulted the Bishop of the Imperial city on matters in which 
they differed amongst themselves. Nor was this deference 
entirely confined to the West. The Church historian, 
Socrates, himself a Greek, speaks of a similar reverential 
feeling existing in the Eastern Church "■ : M^ heiv -irapa rvv 
yvcofj/rjv tov 'ETrta-KOirov 'Pco/iris ras 'EKKk-qaias Kavovi^eiv. 
The fact that the Bishops of Rome afterwards put forth 
extravagant claims, on the fictitious supposition that St. 
Peter had been its Bishop and delegated to them his au- 
thority, does not derogate from the historical fact that in 
the earliest times an honorary precedence was accorded, 
both in the East and West, to their predecessors. 

Through the transference of the Imperial throne to the 
East, New Rome in one sense gained whilst Old Rome lost. 
It was the metropolis of the whole Empire whilst it was 
united, and remained the metropolis of the East after 
it was divided ; the Empire of the East still continued to 
be styled the Roman Empire, and the Eastern Emperors 
claimed to be the legitimate successors of the first Roman 
Emperor, Augustus. 

But in the long run old Rome was the gainer. The 
removal of the seat of Empire to Constantinople, if it did 
not consummate, laid the seeds of the separation between 
East and West. It was, says Dean Stanley, the foundation 
of the Papal power. East and West became ranged under 
two spiritual and rival Heads, Old Rome, when it ceased 
to be the metropolis of the Empire, aimed at being the 
metropolis of the whole Church, and towards the attainment 
of that end, for which it was never over scrupulous as to the 
means, it had everything in its favour =. In the first place 
it possessed, what the See of Constantinople lacked, an 
Apostolical foundation, of which it promptly availed itself. 
It was also the only Patriarchate in the West, whereas 

' Eccl. Hist., II. 8. 
It is difficult to explain away the Forged Clementines, the Forged Donation 
of Constantine, and the Forged Decretals. 


13© Chapter FIT. 

in the East there were two other Patriarchates, those of 
Alexandria and Antioch, both of which were inclined to 
resent the pre-eminence allowed by the CEcumenical Councils 
to the Patriarch of Constantinople. 

The residence of the Emperors at Constantinople and 
the remoteness of Old Rome from the new seat of govern- 
ment, were advantages which immensely told in favour of the 
latter. The position which Constantine claimed, viz. to be 
Head of the Church in external matters, had some appearance 
of reason ' ; but he went beyond this, and whereas his pre- 
decessors had persecuted it, he was the first Emperor who 
interfered in the guidance of the Church, not only in merely 
external matters, but also in its internal government. Fol- 
lowing his example, his successors claimed and exercised 
the temporal Headship of the Church, and in that capadty 
the Emperors convened all the great CEcumenical Councils. 
The temporal Headship exercised by the Emperors told 
differently in the East and in the West. The history of 
the Eastern Empire is, says Professor Freeman ", largely 
a history of ecclesiastical disputes ; yet we never find there 
the same kind of disputes between Church and State, be- 
tween the ecclesiastical and temporal powers, which make 
up so great a part of Western history. The reason is obvious. 
In the East the Emperors were close at hand, and if only 
the Patriarch, in the conscientious discharge of his duties, 
opposed the arbitrary will or any unrighteous act of the 
Emperor, he was subject to deposition and banishment. 

But it would be erroneous to suppose that the Emperors 
limited the exercise of their temporal Headship to the 
Eastern Church. To some extent the dependence of the 
Church on the temporal Ruler must have been still more 
galling in the West than it was in the East. After the fall 
of the Western Empire, the Emperors, who resided at Con- 
stantinople, theoretically governed the West through the 

' "tiuh liiv (the Bishops) tuv tXaa t^s 'EKKAT)<riis, tyii Be rSm dKrhs iirh 
0eo5 Kaeui'rdii.evos eirlaKoiros ftp elfi)!/. Eus. , IV. 24. 
» General Sketch, p. 116. 

The First (Ecumenical Council. 1 3 1 

Kings of Italy, who were practically independent of them, 
and, though Arians in religion, claimed authority in the 
confirmation, and even in the election, of the Popes of 
Rome\ And after the Western Empire was restored by 
Charlemagne, the example set by the Eastern Emperors 
was continued under the Holy Roman Empire ; the German 
Emperors, more than once called in by the people of Rome 
to reform the Papacy, themselves deposed and appointed 
the Popes, and, it must be allowed, much better Popes, at 
their own will. But even then the continued absence of 
the Emperors from Rome fought for the Popes ; the circum- 
stances of the times enabled the latter in their conflict with 
the Emperors to exercise the fearful engine of excommuni- 
cation, by which the consciences of the people were worked 
upon to believe that they must either be traitors to their 
sovereigns, or that by disobeying Rome be cut off from 
all hope not only in this world but also in the next. It was 
by such means that the Popes gained the victory over the 

Other circumstances, to which we need not allude at present, 
occurred, owing to which the Western Patriarchate went on 
and on, whilst the Eastern, though saved from the abyss 
of degradation which overwhelmed the Papacy, went back 
and back. It is necessary to take into consideration the 
difficulties with which the Patriarchs of Constantinople had 
to contend. The Eastern Church is often accused of sub- 
servience to the Emperors. The accusation is true, and 
from it the Western Church was free. But the different 
circumstances between East and West, to which the ag- 
grandisement of the one Patriarchate and the decadence 
of the other is attributable, must be taken into account. 

'' Thus a disputed election to the Papacy was settled by the Arian King 
Theodoric, a.d. 498, in favour of Pope Simplicius, and, a.d. 526, Theodoric 
himself appointed Pope Felix IV. 

K 2 


The Struggle for the Homoousion. 

CoNSTANTiNE goes over to the Arians — The struggle for the Homoousion com- 
mences — Eusebius of Nicomedia — Eustathian Schism in Church of Antioch 
— Persecution of Athanasius commences — Council of Tyre — Eusebius of 
Csesarea — Marcellus of Aneyra — Council at Constantinople — Athanasius 
banished to Treves — Death of Constantine — Fiction of the Baptism and 
Donation of Constantine — Constantine's three sons — Recall of Athanasius 
— ^Julius, Bishop of Rome — The Dedication Council — Athanasius deposed, 
and goes to Rome — Council at Rome — Councils of Sardica and Philip- 
popolis — Apiarius and the African Bishops — Councils of Laodicea and 
Gangra — Athanasius restored — Battle of Mursa — ^Athanasius banished — 
Homoiousians, Homoians, Anomceans — Lapse of Hosius of Corduba and 
Liberius of Rome — Councils of Rimini and Seleucia — Macedonius matures 
his heresy as to the Holy Ghost — Julian the Apostate — Athanasius recalled 
—Attempt to rebuild Jerusalem — Athanasius banished — Death of Julian 
and recall of Athanasius- -Valentinian and Valens Emperors — Athanasius 
banished — But soon recalled — His death — The Three Cappadocians — 
" Rule " of St. Basil — Victory of the Homoousion. 

THE Council of Nice had given its Creed to the Church, 
Constantine himself approving and even suggesting the 
Homoousion. The Bishops had scarcely returned to their 
Sees than he went over to the side of the Arians, recalled, 
A.D. 330, without any stipulation being required that they 
would obey the voice of the Church, Arius and his allies, 
and ordered Athanasius, on pain of deposition, to admit 
Arius to communion. 

There is no reason for believing that at any time of his 
life Constantine's religious convictions disposed him to em- 
brace orthodoxy. He had favoured Christianity because 
it was congenial to his reason. He wanted peace and 
uniformity, so he supported the Orthodox against the 
Donatists, as he again supported them at Nice. He let 
himself be guided for some time by the orthodox Hosius, 
and considered the Council of Nice the bulwark of the 
Christian faith, yet immediately afterwards he gave himself 
over to the influence of Eusebius, the Arian Bishop of 

The Struggle for the Homoousion. 133 

Nicomedia. His rude intellect could never really grasp the 
points at issue between the Orthodox and the Arians ; 
whether the Son was of the same essence {piioovcnos) or only 
of like essence (ofioiovatos) with the Father was to him one 
and the same thing. But it was the very question which he 
had summoned the Council of Nice to decide ; and having 
called that Council, and himself having approved the 
ofioovffwv, he should have abided by the decision of the 
universal Church, or have summoned another (Ecumenical 
Council. At an/ rate he should not have listened to what 
he himself knew to be absurd and false accusations, nor have 
allowed Orthodox Bishops to be deposed and exiled, simply 
because he imagined them, instead of their false accusers, 
to be the disturbers of the peace. The result was that in- 
stead of making peace he added to the divisions of the 
Church, and the Council of Nice, so far from ending, was 
only the commencement of a contest which lasted more 
than half a century, during which Arians and Semi-Arians 
applied themselves to the rejection of the word 6/jMovaiov. 
And now the Arians under the leadership of Eusebius of 
Nicomedia, and in a lesser degree of his namesake of 
Csesarea, had the Emperor and the Court as their allies. 

The first object of their attack was Eustathius, Bishop of 
Antioch, who as the defender of the Nicene Faith takes rank 
second only to Athanasius. Eustathius had been Bishop 
of Berrhcea, from which See he was translated to Antioch 
about A.D. 324. He was a man of holy life and great learn- 
ing, who had taken a prominent, perhaps the most prominent, 
part amongst the Bishops at the Council of Nice, and 
afterwards had exerted his authority in counteracting heresy. 
The Arians, about the beginning of 331, accused him of 
Sabellianism (a common charge of the Arians against 
Athanasius and the Orthodox party), and in order that they 
might have more weapons in case one failed, they fabricated 
against him an accusation of immorality. Eustathius was 
summoned before their self-constituted tribunal at Antioch, 
condemned and sentenced to banishment into Illyria, the 

134 Chapter IV. 

Emperor ratifying the sentence ; and he died in banishment 
about A.D. 337. A lamentable schism in the Church of 
Antioch, which lasted nearly a hundred years, and which 
was not completely healed till the episcopate of Alexander 
(413 — 420), was the result. Arian Bishops were appointed 
to the See, and the schism was rendered doubly disastrous 
by schism amongst the Orthodox Christians themselves. 

The Arians availed themselves of the deposition of 
Eustathius to ordain Eudoxius, whom Eustathius had re- 
jected on the ground of the unsoundness of his doctrine, 
and appointed him to the Bishopric of Germanicia. 

Their vengeance, however, was especially directed against 
Athanasius, whom they assailed with a series of charges 
of a personal character, which it cannot be supposed that 
they believed, but under which. they veiled their theological 
hatred. One only need be mentioned, as a specimen of the 
rest. They accused him of having cut off the hand of 
a Meletian Bishop, named Arsenius, and having used it 
for magical incantations. Constantine thought it so serious 
that he summoned, in 334, a Council to Caesarea to enquire 
into the charge. Athanasius feeling that no justice would 
be meted out to him in a city where the Bishop was one 
of his principal accusers, refused to attend, and wrote to the 
Emperor that an investigation had been made which dis- 
proved the story about Arsenius. The Emperor recognizing 
the deceit practised upon him stopped the investigation. 

The Arians being thus outwitted, next bethought them- 
selves that something might be done against Athanasius, 
through means of a Council. The thirtieth anniversary of 
Constantine's reign was approaching, on which the Basilica 
of the Holy Sepulchre which the Emperor had built at 
Jerusalem was to be consecrated. They represented to Con- 
stantine how noble a thing it would be if that event could 
be inaugurated by the cessation of ecclesiastical disputes. 
Constantine fell into the trap thus laid for him ; the heal- 
ing of the troubles in the Church, even after he had joined 
the Arians, was a thing he had still at heart ; he arranged 

Tlie Struggle for the Homoousion. 135 

that the Bishops should meet together at Tyre, and after 
the desired reconciliation had been effected, proceed to 

He consequently summoned a Council to Tyre (A.D. 335), 
under Flaccillus, or Placillus, Bishop of Antioch, and not- 
withstanding the deceit practised by the Meletians was 
known to him, he compelled Athanasius, who was still 
reluctant to entrust his cause to the Eusebians, to attend. 
Athanasius went to the Council, which, besides his own 
Bishops, was atteijded by sixty Bishops, mostly his enemies. 
The Meletians were his accusers, the Eusebians his judges, 
and his enemy, Eusebius of Csesarea, took a prominent part. 
The Count Dionysius, who was appointed by the Emperor 
to represent him at the Council, was influenced by the 

An aged Egyptian Bishop, named Potamon, who had 
suffered mutilation in the Diocletian persecution, tauntingly 
asked Eusebius ; " Were we not in prison together, Euse- 
bius, in the time of persecution ? How came you to escape 
without betrayal of the Lord's cause, when I was thus 
maimed in upholding it .' and how come you to sit as judge 
of the innocent Athanasius ? " 

Several new charges were now brought against Athanasius, 
and whilst his slanderers were listened to, his own Bishops 
were refused a hearing. The story of the murdered Arsenius 
was revived, and the hand was produced in a wooden box. 
The Meletians had persuaded their murdered man to go 
into hiding in a monastery of the Thebaid, and when that 
place was found to be too public, they next sent him 
to a private house in Tyre. There being discovered, he 
denied his identity, until confronted by Paul, the Bishop 
of Tyre, who had known him of old and now convicted him 
of the fraud. The man whom the Eiisebians had 'thought 
in safe concealment was introduced before the Council 
muiifled in a cloak from head to foot. Athanasius, who 
had hitherto sat silent under the clamour and objurgations 
of the opposite faction, asked them, " Is this the Arsenius 

136 Chapter IV. 

whom I murdered ? " First he drew out one hand and 
then another, and then, with pointed irony and humour 
which was a well-known trait of his character, he added, 
" No need to ask for a third hand, for two hands, and two 
only, has the Creator of ail things bestowed." 

We have given the story at length (as it has been handed 
down), for it may give some insight into the character 
of Constantine, who notwithstanding such absurd and 
notorious calumnies could still lend his ear to Arian calum- 
nies, and send the confessor of the Orthodox faith into 
banishment. Other charges brought against him, such as 
one of immorality with a consecrated virgin, need not be 
entered into ; they were one and all unfounded impostures. 

Incredible as it may appear, the Arians still persisted 
in accusing him of magic arts. Two Arian Bishops, who 
had in their early years been degraded from the Priesthood, 
Valens, Bishop of Mursa, and Ursacius of Syngidon, now 
appear on the scene at Tyre with fresh accusations against 
him, and such was the feeling against Athanasius, that 
the civil authorities were called upon to rescue him, and 
by them he was conveyed by night on board a ship to 
Constantinople. The Council of Tyre pronounced against 
him a sentence of excommunication, the ex-murdered 
Arsenius signing the decree of condemnation. 

In consequence of the tumultuous proceedings at Tyre, 
Athanasius now determined to bring his cause before the 
Emperor himself at Constantinople. Meeting Constantine, 
who was riding on horseback and tried to avoid the man 
whom he considered the disturber of the peace of Egypt, 
Athanasius demanded that either a lawful Council should 
be summoned, or the opportunity afforded him of meeting 
his accusers face to face in the presence of the Emperor. 
The demand was one which Constantine could not refuse. 
The Bishops had gone from Tyre to Jerusalem to attend 
the consecration of the new Church. He accordingly wrote 
to them complaining of the riotous proceedings at Tyre, 
and ordering them to appear on their return from Jerusalem 

The Struggle for the Homoousion. 137 

to justify their proceedings at Constantinople. During the 
short time which they spent in Jerusalem the Arians had 
occupied themselves in attacking Marcellus of Ancyra, an 
Orthodox Bishop who had been one of their opponents 
at Nice, and had since defended Athanasius. Further pro- 
ceedings, however, against him were stopped through Con- 
stantine's peremptory order for them to proceed to Con- 

Maximus, who had recently succeeded Macarius, was at 
that time Bishop of Jerusalem. He had been an Othodox 
Bishop, a Confessor in the Diocletian persecution, and at- 
tended the Council of Nice. But even then his brother 
Confessor, Paphnutius, had discovered in him a vacillating 
spirit, and now the Arians had during their stay in the 
Holy City succeeded in bringing him over to their party. 

Most of the Bishops alarmed at the summons, and the 
apparent change in the mind of the Emperor, instead of 
obeying it, fled in terror to their Dioceses. Only six, but 
amongst them Athanasius' greatest enemies, Eusebius, 
Theognis, Ursacius, and Valens, obeyed. They now brought 
a charge of a different nature against him, and accused 
him of forbidding the exportation of corn from Alexandria, 
which was the principal granary of the East, to Constanti- 
nople. The accusation was as groundless as the rest, but 
such as they were well aware was well suited to influence 
the Emperor's mind. " How could I, a private person, do 
such a thing ? " Athanasius asked. But the Emperor was 
entirely in the power of Eusebius of Nicomedia ; at any 
rate he thought it desirable, as a means of bringing peace 
to the Church, to get rid of Athanasius ; he affected to 
believe the charge, and Athanasius was banished in Feb- 
ruary, 336, to Treves. At the same time the Emperor 
rejected the petition of Eusebius, that another Bishop 
should be appointed to the See of Alexandria. At Treves 
he was received with marks of great honor and reverence 
by the Bishop Maximin (afterwards canonized), and there 
he made the acquaintance, which was afterwards of much 

138 Chapter IV. 

value to him, of Constantine, the Emperor's eldest son, an 
orthodox Prince who was at the time resident in the 

At Constantinople the Arians renewed the charges which 
they had brought at Jerusalem against Marcellus, adding 
another, with perhaps some truth, of his holding the views 
of Paul of Samosata, and he was sentenced to deposition 
from his Bishopric. Marcellus then repaired to Rome, where 
he was received into communion by Pope Julius. 

Arius had not ventured till the condemnation of Atha- 
nasius to return to Alexandria. He now, however, thought 
it a favourable opportunity to do so, but the Alexandrians, 
faithful to their Bishop, refused to admit him to communion. 
Constantine knowing that Alexandria was too remote, and 
its people too staunch to Athanasius for him to use com- 
pulsion, summoned Arius to Constantinople, and ordered 
its aged Bishop, Alexander (317—336), to admit him to 
communion. The Eusebians threatened him with depo- 
sition and exile if he refused to do so. He could not, he 
told the Emperor, receive the Heresiarch. On the evening 
of the day before he intended to offer himself, or early on 
the Sunday morning, Arius died, his death being accelerated 
by excitement. 

In the same year (336), Alexander, the Bishop of Con- 
stantinople, at the age of nearly a hundred years, and in 
the following year the Emperor, died. To the end, although 
entreated by the aged hermit, St. Antony, whom he held 
in high respect, Constantine persisted in refusing to recall 
Athanasius ; Athanasius was, he wrote to him, a quarrel- 
some man, a promoter of dissension, and it was impossible 
that so many excellent Bishops could be wrong in their 
judgment respecting him. Constantine had persisted to 
the last in deferring his Baptism. There are few characters 
in ecclesiastical history which present such flagrant contra- 
dictions as that of Constantine the Great. Abjuring Pagan- 
ism yet continuing to hold the title of Pontifex Maximus ; 
professing to be a Christian and inscribing the sacred mono- 

The Struggle for the Hontoousion. 139 

gram on his banner, yet rejecting tlie initiatory rite of 
Christianity, which both Orthodox and Arians accepted ; 
sanctioning the decrees of the Council of Nice, yet im- 
mediately afterwards persecuting the Homoousians, he in 
his self-confidence made shipwreck of his faith till he was 
brought face to face with death. Being seized with illness 
and feeling that his end was near, he became a Catechumen, 
and soon afterwards sent for Eusebius, the Arian Bishop of 
Nicomedia, and from him received the Sacrament ; he had 
he said delayed* it in the hope that it might be conferred 
in the waters of Jordan. On Whit Sunday of the same 
year, wearing to the end the white robes of his Baptism, 
he died. 

We cannot omit a story which sprang up about the end 
of the Fifth Century, as it materially conduced to the 
aggrandisement of the Roman over the Eastern Patri- 
archate. The story runs that Constantine had received 
Baptism at an earlier time in his life from Silvester, Bishop 
of Rome, and on that fictitious event was grounded the 
further fiction of the Donation of Constantine. Of Silvester 
little is known, and of that little, it may we think be said 
with certainty, every item is a fiction. 

The See of Rome in his Pontificate was, as always, held 
in high reverence. Silvester was Bishop of Rome at the 
time of the Council of Aries, but Constantine took no notice 
of him, and committed the arrangements of the Council to 
the Bishop of Syracuse. His Episcopate extended over the 
Council of Nice, which old age, if no other reason, would 
have prevented his attending. But we hear nothing of him 
in connexion with that Council ; Hosius, Bishop of Corduba 
in Spain, was at that time Constantine's chief confidant 
among the Bishops, and perhaps presided, but whoever 
presided, it was in his own name and not in that of the 
Bishop of Rome. 

It may be hoped that the accusation brought against him 
of having, when still a Presbyter, in company with his three 
predecessors in the Papacy, offered incense to the Pagan 

140 Chapter IV. 

deities, may be as unfounded as are the other statements 
with regard to him. It is with the strangest of all, his 
alleged Baptism of Constantine, and the famous Donation, 
that we are concerned. Eusebius, Constantine's biographer, 
tells us that the Emperor, when he was "convinced that his 
life was drawing to a close," received Baptism at Nicomedia. 
The Roman story as to his Baptism by Silvester states : — 
Silvester, in order to escape the persecution under which the 
Christians were sufifering, had fled to Soracte. Constantine 
being at that time afflicted with leprosy was advised by the 
soothsayers to seek a cure by bathing in a tub filled with 
the blood of a child. Moved by the cries of the child and the 
tears of the mother, he abandoned the idea, and in a vision 
by night of SS. Peter and Paul he was directed to recall 
Silvester, by whom he was cured of his leprosy and baptized. 
The Emperor, in gratitude, not only destroyed several heathen 
Temples and built Christian Churches, but conferred on the 
Papacy the temporal dominion of the City of Rome and 
of all the provinces of Italy and the Western Empire, to- 
gether with the Lateran palace. As a residence for himself, 
Constantine founded Constantinople, considering it unfit 
(Justum non est) that the place where " the Head of Christ's 
Church was settled by its Heavenly Ruler {ubi religionis 
Caput ab Imperatore caelesti constitum est) should be subject 
to an earthly Head." 

The " Donation of Constantine " was long accredited, 
and was the foundation of Rome's claim to temporal power. 
It was incorporated in the Forged Decretals, known as the 
Pseudo-Isidore, in the middle of the Ninth Century, which 
were long accepted as genuine and acted on by the Popes ; 
their spuriousness was only fully exposed in the revival 
of learning in the Fifteenth Century, and then, but not 
till then, the Roman Church itself discarded them. 

On the death of Alexander, Bishop of Constantinople, a 
conflict occurred between the orthodox party and the Arians 
on the election of his successor. Two candidates were 
brought forward, Paul, who had been secretary to the late 

The Struggle for the Homoousion. 141 

Bishop, and Macedonius, soon to become of heretical notoriety 
as the Head of the Pneumatomachi. Paul was elected, but 
his election was the cause of much trouble to the See of Con- 
stantinople. The Bishops of Constantinople were consecrated 
by the Metropolitan of Heraclea, whom it was an obvious 
advantage for the Arians to gain over to their party. They 
now, under the influence of Eusebius of Nicomedia, com- 
plained that he had not been so consecrated : Paul was 
consequently deposed by a Synod of Arian Bishops, and 
banished. • 

Constantine the Great divided his dominions between his 
three sons, Constantine II., the eldest, having Great Britain, 
Spain and Gaul, with a certain precedence over his two 
brothers, and Constantinople the capital ; Constantius, the 
second, Asia, Syria and Egypt, whilst Italy and Africa fell 
to the youngest, Constans. Constantine II. was a pious and 
orthodox Prince, and, as was also Constans, a favourer of 
Athanasius; whilst Constantius, who was first Emperor of 
the East but afterwards became sole Emperor, was a per- 
secuting Arian, and from first to last the bitter enemy of 
the Homoousians. 

Constantine II. carrying out, as he said, his father's inten- 
tion, immediately sent back Athanasius from Treves to 
Alexandria, where he, after two and a half years' exile, 
arrived in November, A.D. 338, and was triumphantly received 
by the people. Paul also was enabled to return to Constan- 
tinople. An orthodox Bishop was however distasteful to 
Constantius, and Paul was, in A.D. 339, deposed by an 
Arian Councilj and Eusebius translated from Nicomedia to 
the See of Constantinople. 

Eusebius the historian, dying A.D. 340, was suceeeded in 
the See of Caesarea by Acacius, an Arian, known from a 
personal deformity as the one-eyed ijiovo^QcCKikos), of whose 
relations with St. Cyril of Jerusalem more will be said 
further on. 

In 340, Constantine II. was, unhappily for the Church, 
slain in battle with his brother Constans. 

142 Chapter 1 V. 

Eusebius only survived his translation to Constantinople 
a short time, and on his death in 341 Acacius became the 
Head of the Arian party. Paul was now again restored to 
the See of Constantinople, but Macedonius, being again 
brought forward by the Arians, was consecrated by the 
Metropolitan of Heraclea. 

The Arians were not inclined to leave Athanasius or Paul 
in peace. But now both they and Athanasius consulted 
JuUus, the Bishop of Rome (337—352), who proposed that 
the two parties should attend a Council at some place in 
the West to be selected by Athanasius. The Eusebians, 
however, as the majority of the Arian party were called, 
unwilling to attend a Western Council, availed themselves 
of the opportunity offered by the dedication of the Church 
at Antioch, called the Golden Church, commenced ten years 
previously by Constantine the Great, to hold a Council 
in that city. The Council known as the Council in Encseniis, 
or the Dedication Council, and attended by ninety-seven 
Bishops, of whom thirty-six were Arians, was held in the 
early part of 341 under Flaccillus, a Eusebian, Bishop of 
Antioch, Constantius himself being present. 

Four Creeds, the second of which became known as the 
Dedication Creed, and twenty-four canons, all of a vaguely 
orthodox character, by way of persuading the Western 
Church of its orthodoxy, were drawn up ; the more ob- 
jectionable tenets of the Arians were avoided ; the Son 
of God was pronounced to have been begotten before the 
Creation of the world, but the word Homoousion was studi- 
ously avoided. The Canons were of importance as having 
been adopted by, and therefore having the authority of, 
the Eastern and Western Church. Of these the principal 
ones may be here mentioned ; — Canon I. renewed the decree 
of the Council of Nice with regard to Easter ; III., in 
agreement with Canons XV. and XVI. of Nice, related 
to Priests migrating from one Diocese to another ; V. con- 
demned schism and forbade Priests and Deacons setting 
up an Altar against their own Diocesan ; VII. and VIII. 

Tfu Struggle for the Homoousion. 143 

ordered commendatory Letters {kovovikoX iinarokai,) to be 
adduced by strangers from another Diocese with a view 
to their admission to communion ; IX. shows the antiquity 
of the Apostolical Canons ; X. forbade Chorepiscopi to 
ordain without leave of the Bishop of the See to which they 
were subject ; XL, XII., XIV., XV., XX. (evidently directed 
by the Arians against Athanasius) forbade appeals to the 
Emperor against the judgment of Synods^; XXI. forbade 
the translation of Bishops ; XXII. forbade a Bishop, even 
&t the point of death, from electing his successor. 

It has been surmised that after these orthodox Canons 
were passed, most of the Catholic Bishops returned to their 
Dioceses, and that the Arians remaining took advantage 
of their majority to turn the Canons against Athanasius. 
Certain it is that the Council took high ground against 
him, and insisted that, though his return had been sanc- 
tioned by the Emperor, Constantine II., yet, that having 
been deposed by a Synod he could only be re-instated by 
the same authority. It confirmed the sentence of the Coun- 
cil of Tyre, and by means of the Canons of the Dedication 
Council, Constantius was brought to sanction his deposition. 
One Pistus, an excommunicated Arian, was appointed, and 
when he, on account of his notorious incompetence, was 
set aside, Gregory of Cappadocia was intruded into the 
-See of Alexandria. Athanasius then went to Rome. 
Troubles also occurred in Constantinople, and Paul was 
again ejected. To this unjust treatment of their Bishop 
the people of Constantinople would not however submit ; 
riots between the adherents of Paul and Macedonius, and 
civil war, followed, which the Imperial forces were sent 
to quell ; much bloodshed ensued, Hermogenes the General 
being killed and torn in pieces by the population. Paul 
driven out from Constantinople went to Rome, where 
Athanasius and Marcellus of Ancyra had arrived. 

" These canons, passed in the presence of the Emperor by a Council in which 
the Arians were in a minority, show the influence which they had gained over 

144 Chapter IV. 

The three exiled Bishops took counsel with Pope Julius, 
who in December, 341, held in Rome the Council which 
he had before proposed to the Eusebians, and sent two 
Priests to invite their attendance. The Council was attended 
by more than fifty Bishops, but the Eusebians did not present 
themselves; the result was that Athanasius and Paul were 
acquitted, and Marcellus, who had been deprived at the 
Arian Council of Constantinople, was declared orthodox. 
The Pope sent by two Priests a letter of strong rebuke 
to the Eusebians, and another letter to the Emperor Con- 
stans. In January, 342, the two Priests were sent back 
from the East with a defiant reply to the Pope's attempt 
at mediation. 

It was now evident that a General Council of East and 
West was the only remedy for the distracted state of the 
Eastern Church ; and Constans prevailed with Constantius 
that such a Council should be convened to Sardica (the 
modern Sophia), in Bulgaria, as a place conveniently 
situated on the confines of both Empires. The Council 
of Sardica, convened by the Emperors Constantius and 
Constans, met about the end of 343, Julius, the Pope of 
Rome, being represented by two legates ^. The Eusebian 
Bishops who were in a minority, as soon as they arrived 
at Sardica, knowing that Athanasius and Marcellus had 
been acquitted in the Council of Rome, and fearing that 
they might be acquitted now, refused to attend the Council, 
unless they and their other opponents were excluded from 
it. They were told that it was a General Council, and that 
a full hearing would be accorded to both parties. The 
Eusebians, however, still continuing their objection, two 
contemporaneous assemblies were held, one the Council 
of Sardica, consisting of Western Bishops, with Athanasius 
and a few Orthodox Bishops from the East, under the 
Presidency of Hosius, Bishop of Corduba ; the other a 
" Conciliabulum " of Eastern, with a few Western, Bishops, 

'■ The date given is that adopted by Hefele, whom the writer has generally 
followed when treating of the Councils. 

The Struggle for the Homoousion. 145 

under Stephen, Bishop of Antioch, at Philippopolis, within 
the Eastern part of the Empire. The Sardican Council 
acquitted Athanasius and Marcellus, and their brethren 
(among whom doubtless Paul was included), and excom- 
municated Stephen the Bishop of Antioch, Theodore of 
Heraclea, Acacius of Csesarea, Ursacius and Valens, and 
other leaders of the Eusebian party. The Bishops at Philip- 
popolis in their turn excommunicated Julius, Hosius, 
Athanasius, Paul, and their adherents, and they drew up 
a Creed of a more Arian character than the Dedication 
Creed. Thus there was an open schism between the Euse- 
bians and the Western Church. 

The Council of Sardica drew up twenty-one Canons. In 
consequence of the secession of the Eastern Bishops, it was 
only a Western Council, and its Canons, although adopted 
in the Trullan Council, were never received into the code 
of the universal Church. They are, however, of importance, 
since they gave rise to Rome's appellate jurisdiction. The 
provision with regard to the See of Rome is contained in the 
third and two following Canons. They allowed a Bishop, 
deposed by his provincial Synod, to demand a new trial and 
to appeal for that purpose to the Bishop of Rome (Can. 
IV., V.) ; in which case his comprovincial judges should also 
write to the Roman Bishop (Can. III.), who, if he thought 
it reasonable, might send the case to the Bishops of the 
next adjacent Province, and, at the appellant's special re- 
quest, might depute one or more Presbyters de latere suo to 
act with them as holding his authority. The words of Hosius, 
who proposed the Canons, were ; — " If it is your pleasure 
{si placet) let us honour the memory of the Apostle Peter." 
The reasonableness of the Canons at that particular time 
is evident. Julius had given an asylum to Athanasius and 
Paul when they were persecuted by the Arians, and had 
extended to them justice, which it was impossible for ortho- 
dox Prelates to find in the East. The kindly reception of 
the great Athanasius by Julius had reflected a glory upon 
the See of Rome. Canons IV. and V. are supposed to have 


146 Chapter TV. 

been personal to Julius. In consequence of the absence of 
the Eastern Bishops the character of the Council of Sardica, 
which was originally intended to be a General Council, was 
completely altered ; and, although the Roman Church tacked 
the Sardican Canons on as an appendix to the Nicene 
Canons, it could not possibly bind the Eastern Church. 

Zosimus, Bishop of Rome (417 — 418), the first Bishop of 
that See who claimed to " inherit a divine authority equal 
to that of St. Peter "," quoted them as Nicene Canons ; and 
the example once set was followed by his successors, Boni- 
face I. (418 — 422), Coelestine I. (422 — 432), Leo I. (440 — 461), 
who in like manner appealed to them as Nicene Canons. 

The Pontificate of Zosimus, though short, was of much 
importance, and we shall have to refer to it again further 
on ; but the celebrated case of Apiarius affords evidence 
of the relations at that time existing between the Roman 
and African Sees. Apiarius, an African Priest, who had 
been deposed and excommunicated by his own Bishop for 
gross offences, enlisted the sympathy of Zosimus, who or- 
dered him to be reinstated ; the order was not obeyed by 
the Bishop, whilst the African Church resented the Pope's 
interference. To a Council which was held at Carthage, 
Zosimus sent a Bishop and two Priests with a Commoni- 
torium which claimed jurisdiction for the Pope on the 
ground of the Nicene Canons. The African Bishops, know- 
ing nothing about Sardican Canons, were willing to abide 
by anything that was Nicene, but on their referring to the 
Patriarchs of Constantinople, Alexandria, and Antioch for 
a copy of the Nicene Canon, they found the Canon adduced 
by Zosimus " conspicuous by its absence ^." 

Still the Sardican Canons laid the foundation of Rome's 
appellate jurisdiction ; Romanists grounded on it the right 
of the Pope to receive appeals from the whole Church ; and 
thus jealousy between the Eastern and Western Churches 
was engendered. 

The Council of Sardica acquitted Marcellus and restored 

' Mansi, IV. 366. "■ Bright's Roman See in the Early Church, p. 139, 

The Struggle for the Homoousion. 147 

him to his See, but, though he lived on till A.D. 374, he never 
appears to have been reinstated. The accounts given of 
this Prelate are so confused that it is impossible to form 
a real estimate of his character and teaching. He is accused 
by the historian Eusebius of holding the doctrines of Paul of 
Samosata and Sabellianism. Orthodox Bishops also were 
subjected by the Arians to the same accusations. He cer- 
tainly professed orthodoxy at the Council of Nice, and 
afterwards boasted of the friendship of both Julius and Atha- 
nasius. There is reason for believing that he imposed on 
both. At any rate he outlived his character for orthodoxy 
and became, rightly or wrongly, an object of suspicion to 
all parties. Orthodox and Eusebian, alike. 

Two Eastern Councils, those of Laodicea in Phrygia, the 
Church addressed by St. John in the Apocalypse, and of 
Gangra in Paphlagonia, were held about the same time as 
the Council of Sardica. The former Council consisted 
of thirty - two Bishops, and passed fifty - nine Canons. 
Canon VHI. enacted that the Phrygians (i.e. the Mon- 
tanists) must be re-baptized ; XLIX. that " Bread ought 
not to be consecrated during Lent, save on the Sabbath- 
day and the Lord's Day;" in other words, on ordinary days 
in Lent, the Missa Prcesanctificatorum, as observed in the 
Greek Church, was to be used. Canon LIX. prescribed the 
Books of the Old and New Testaments which were to be 
read in Church, the Revelation being omitted from the 
Catalogue. It must be borne in mind that the Council was 
held at Laodicea, the Church of which was strongly repro- 
bated by St. John ; thou " knowest not that thou art 
wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." 
This will account for its omission. At what time the 
Apocalypse was inserted in the Bible cannot be determined, 
but it certainly was so before the last of the GEcumenical 
Councils was dissolved. 

The Council of Gangra, attended by fifteen Bishops, 
passed twenty canons, of which the most important was 
Canon IV., which was to the same effect as the previous 

L 2 

148 Chapter IV. 

decree of Nice and sanctioned the marriage of the clergy; — 
" If any one maintains that when a married Priest performs 
the Liturgy, no one should take part in the Service, let 
him be excommunicated." 

The Sardican Council stimulated the advisers of Con- 
stantius to further measures against Athanasius, and an 
order was sent to the magistrates of Alexandria to put him 
to death if he should attempt to re-enter the City. In 349, 
Gregory, the intruded Bishop of Alexandria, died, or, 
as some say, was murdered. Constans then wrote to Con- 
stantius threatening that he would himself, if necessary, by 
a ileet and army restore Athanasius and Paul to their Sees. 
The threat had the desired effect. Still Athanasius would 
not, till he had been thrice invited by him to return, trust 
the word of Constantius. On his homeward journey he 
visited Constans at Milan and Julius at Rome. From the 
latter he received letters to the Church of Alexandria con- 
gratulating it on the return of its Bishop, and expressing 
his own happiness in having made such a friend. At 
Antioch he was favourably received by Constantius, who 
promised that the past should be banished from his mind, 
and that never again would he credit accusations against 
him. Passing through Palestine he was welcomed by Maxi- 
mus, Bishop of Jerusalem, and the other Bishops, Acacius 
of Csesarea being the almost sole exception, and at a Council 
at Jerusalem he was commended to the love and duty of 
the people of Alexandria. Athanasius again entered Alex- 
andria in triumph. St. Gregory Nazianzen describes his 
return and compares it to the triumphal entry of the Saviour 
into Jerusalem. He likens it to the flow of the Nile at the 
height of its flood. The population of the city streamed 
forth in a preconcerted arrangement to meet him ; men in 
one company, divided according to their trades and occu- 
pations, the women in another, the children forming a third 
body by themselves. Branches of trees waved overhead ; 
the richest carpets were strewed under his feet ; thousands 
of hands were clapped with an unbroken shout of joy ; at 

The Struggle for the Homoousion. 14$ 

night the city was a blaze of illuminations ; public or 
private entertainments were given in every house ; the poor 
and hungry were fed ; men, women, and even children, 
determined to devote themselves to the monastic life, and 
long afterwards the reception given to Athanasius was a by- 
word throughout the Patriarchate of Alexandria. 

Paul also returned to Constantinople. Five Arian Bishops 
in succession had presided over the See of Antioch. Stephen, 
the last of the Arians, was deposed A.D. 348, and Leontius 
(348 — 357) appointed by Constantius in his place. There 
still continued two parties, one the Eustathians, the other 
the sympathisers with the Arians. Leontius tried to take 
a via media, and neither party could make more out of his 
religion than that in the Doxologythe only words which 
he recited audibly were " unto ages of ages. Amen ; " 
Athanasius when at Antioch communicated with the Eus- 
tathian party. The worst that could be said against Leontius 
was that if he was not strictly Arian, neither was he strictly 

The victory of the Homoousion seemed now to have 
been gained, and the Arians regarded their cause as lost. 
The two Bishops, Valens and Ursacius, who had been the 
most violent opponents of Athanasius, went, under fear ot 
deposition, to Rome, where they confessed that their accu- 
sations against him were false, anathematized Arianism, 
and requested Julius and the clergy to admit them to 

But the hopes of the Homoousians were soon dashed to 
the ground. On Feb. 15, 350, the Emperor Constans was 
killed in an insurrection under one of his generals, Mag- 
nentius, who then assumed the government of the Western 
Empire. In that year also Paul was finally expelled from 
Constantinople, and sent, loaded with chains, to Cucusus 
where it was supposed he was strangled. On the deposition 
of Paul, Macedonius was appointed to the See. 

In the same year (350) Maximus, the weak and vacillating 
Bishop of Jerusalem, died. After he had been gained over 

150 Chapter IV. 

by the Arians he returned to orthodoxy, but knowing too 
well the danger of trusting his own will, he declined to 
attend the Dedication Council. By such means he managed 
to preserve his orthodoxy to the end, and on his death was 
succeeded in the See of Jerusalem by St. Cyril (350 — 386), 
who was consecrated by Acacius of Csesarea. 

No sooner was Constans dead, than Valens and Ursacius 
saw that the tide had turned, and again went over to the 

In 351 Magnentius suffered a defeat at Mursa under the 
avenging hand of Constantius. Constantius attributed his 
victory to the prayers of Valens, the Bishop of Mursa, who 
thus regained his confidence, which he determined to turn 
against Athanasius. In' 353 Magnentius died by his own 
hand ; thus Constantius became undisputed Emperor, and the 
whole Roman Empire was subjected to the rule of an Arian. 
Constantius was also now much under the influence of his 
Arian wife, Eusebia, whom he had lately married. 

Tv/o Councils were held under Eusebian influence in the 
West, one, A.D. 353, at Aries, where Saluminus the Bishop 
was a Eusebian ; the other at Milan, in 355, under its ortho- 
dox Bishop, Dionysius. In vain in the latter Council the 
Bishops insisted that Athanasius ought not to be condemned 
unheard ; they were opposed by Valens and Ursacius and 
intimidated by the Emperor ; " What I will," he declared, 
" let that be regarded as a Canon of the Church ; " thus 
they were intimidated into submission, and the sentence 
for his condemnation was signed or confirmed by nearly 
all the Bishops both of the East and West. Now it was 
truly Athanasius contra mundum. Those who refused to 
subscribe the Councils of Aries and Milan were deposed. 
Liberius of Rome, Hosius, Hilary of Poitiers, Eusebius 
of Vercelli, Lucifer of Cagliari and Dionysius of Milan were 
amongst these deposed Bishops, their Sees being conferred 
upon Arians. Liberius, Bishop of Rome, was banished to 
Berrhoea, and Hosius to Sirmium. 

It is needless to wade through the various plans and 

The Struggle for the Homoousion. 151 

intrigues by which Constantius was led to forget all 
his promises, and to enter on so severe a persecution 
against Athanasius that it was compared to those under 
Nero and Domitian. On February 9, A.D. 356, whilst 
Athanasius and his clergy were employed in their mid- 
night service in the Church of St. Theonas, the Emperor's 
officers, conducted by the Eusebians, surrounded the Church 
with 500 soldiers, thus making escape almost impossible. 
The presence of mind for which he was distinguished did 
not for a momentldesert the Bishop. Seated on his throne 
behind the Altar, and having ordered the 136th Psalm 
to be repeated, of which each verse concludes with the 
words, " For his mercy endureth for ever," he calmly awaited 
what appeared to be certain death. In the tumult and 
darkness that pervaded the Church, and perhaps owing to 
the smallness of his person, he was enabled at length to 
pass unobserved through the crowd ; as it was, he was 
carried out in a swoon. Whither he went no one knew, but 
from that night he disappeared from Alexandria, and for 
six years (356 — 362) lived in unsuspected concealment some- 
where in the deserts of Egypt. In vain Constantius sought 
him out in all parts of the Empire, offering rewards for 
his apprehension and threatening any who sheltered him. 
George of Cappadocia, an illiterate man, a stranger alike 
to humanity and morality, was intruded into his See, in 
which he showed himself the scourge of Christianity, and 
became an object of detestation not only to the Orthodox 
and the Eusebians, but also to the Pagans. 

Thinking that Athanasius had taken refuge in Abyssinia, 
Constantius wrote to the Princes of that country not to give 
him an asylum ; at the same time he requested them to send 
their Bishop Frumentius, who had lately converted the 
country, and whom Athanasius himself had consecrated, 
to receive instruction in the faith from the Arian Bishop 
of Alexandria. For those six years, except that he em- 
ployed much of his time in hterary work, little is known of 

t52 Chapter IV. 

It seemed now that the victory of Arianism was in its 
turn complete ; the Nicene Creed was almost entirely sup- 
pressed, and the ranks of the Eusebians were increased by 
many orthodox Bishops who were persuaded into the belief 
that the Homoousion sheltered many who held Sabelliaiiism. 
But just when Arianism seemed to be everywhere trium- 
phant, it became broken up into several conflicting sects. 
There were the advanced Arians, the followers of the doc- 
trine as it had been held by Eusebius of Constantinople, the 
root and branch opponents to the Homoousion ; there were 
the Semi-Arians or moderate party, followers of Eusebius 
the Historian, who were called Homoiousians. And now 
another party owed its origin to Acacius of Caesarea. In 
357, Valens and Ursacius prevailed with Constantius to 
summon the Arian Council, the Second of Sirmium. In 
that Council the term owLa was laid aside as unscriptural ; 
both the Homoousion and the Homoiousion were rejected, 
and a formula was agreed to that the Son was like the 
Father ; whence the new party were called Homoians. It 
is to this formula that St. Hilary of Poitiers, the Atha- 
nasius of the West as he has been called, refers when he 
speaks of " the blasphemous faith of Sirmium "." But now 
the saddest blow of all befell the orthodox cause ; after 
two years of exile the aged Hosius, after suffering various 
acts of cruelty, and Liberius, Bishop of Rome, gave way, 
abandoned the Nicene faith, and subscribed the Arian Creed 
of Sirmium ; they were thereupon permitted to return to 
their Sees. Whether the Creed signed by Liberius was that 
denounced by St. Hilary has been questioned ; there is 
no doubt, however, that it was an Arian formula, or Hilary 
would not have spoken of him in such uncompromising 
language : — " Anathema I say to thee, Liberius, with the 
Arians ; again and a third time I say anathema, prevaricator 
Liberius." Both Bishops afterwards returned to orthodoxy. 

= A previous Council in 351 had been held at Sirmium, the Creed of which 
Hilary pronounced to be orthodox. 

The Struggle for the Homoousion. 153 

Another party only carried the Arian doctrine to its 
logical conclusion in teaching that the Son was unlike 
the Father, whence they were called Anomoeans {unlike^. 
Finding that no others were prepared to go to this extreme 
length with them, they separated themselves, and created 
a schism which wrecked the cause of the Arians. The 
first Head of this party was ^tius, a native of Cappadocia, 
an ignorant charlatan of low origin, ^tius " was," Gibbon 
says of him, "successively a slave, or at least a husband- 
man, a travelling, tinker, a goldsmith, a physician, a scliool- 
master, a theologian, and at last the apostle of a new 
Church, which was propagated by his pupil Eunomius." 
He managed to obtain Orders, circ. 350, from Leontius, 
Bishop of Antioch, whose pupil he had been, and served 
as Deacon under George of Cappadocia ; but being un- 
willing to be consecrated by Arian Bishops, he refused a 

His pupil Eunomius, after whom the Anomoeans were 
also called Eunomians, had the credit of being a man of un- 
blemished character, and of a sturdy honesty which dis- 
dained everything like dissimulation. He carried out his 
views, however, to such an extreme, that Homoousians and 
Homoiousians alike were horrified with the blasphemies 
of the dvofioiov. The Emperor also was opposed to the 
party, although Eudoxius, who had, a.d. 357, succeeded 
Leontius as Bishop of Antioch, managed to obtain for 
Eunomius the See of Cyzicus. 

With the view of restoring peace amongst the discordant 
Arians, Constantius, himself a Semi-Arian, determined to 
call a General Council to Nicomedia. That city was, how- 
ever, A.D. 358, destroyed by an earthquake ; the Anomoeans, 
then, fearing that in a General Council Homoousians and 
Arians might prove too strong a combination against them, 
prevailed on the Emperor, through Acacius of Caesarea, 
to split the Council into two parts, to convene the Western 
Bishops to Ariminum or Rimini on the shores of the 
Hadriatic, and the Easterns to Seleucia in Isauria. 

154 Chapter IV. 

The Seleucian Council, composed of one hundred and 
sixty Bishops, the large majority of whom were Semi- 
Arians, some Arians, some Anomoeans, and a few Catholics 
from Egypt, met on September 27, A.D. 359, under Acacius. 
At Seleucia, says Dean Milman, " the Arians, Semi-Arians, 
and Anomoeans hurled mutual anathemas at each other." 
Acacius brought forward a formula which had been drawn 
up in a Third Council of Sirmium, called the Dated Creed, 
which rejected the words Homoousion and Homoiousion 
alike. This Creed the Semi-Arians rejected, and Acacius 
was deposed. Ultimately the Dedication Creed was adopted, 
and in a few days, after several acrimonious debates, the 
Council separated without arriving at any practical con- 
clusion. At the Council, Macedonius, Bishop of Constan- 
tinople, and Eudoxius of Antioch were present, the latter 
of whom was deposed by the less heretical party. The 
majority signed the Dedication Creed. 

Meanwhile, the Council of Rimini had met in May of the 
same year, and was attended by more than 400 Bishops 
from Africa, Italy, Spain, Gaul, Britain, and [llyricum, 
about eighty being adherents of the Arian party. Valens 
presented to the Council the Third Creed of Sirmium, 
and called upon the Bishops in the name of the Emperor 
to accept it. In vain the majority pleaded tliat they were 
content with the Nicene Creed ; after having sat six months 
they wrote to Constantius asking that, inasmuch as they 
were worn out with age and poverty, they might be allowed 
to return to their own Dioceses. But the Prefect of the 
City had received orders from the Emperor that the Council 
should not be dissolved before it had arrived at a unanimous 
decision. The Emperor now insisted on the exclusion of 
the word ovaia and the ojMoovcnov. The Homoousians 
dreading detention at Rimini during the winter months ; 
cajoled and out-manoeuvred by Valens and Ursacius, who 
assured them that the difference was a mere question of 
words, surrendered the ovaLa and the 6/j,oovcriov and set 
their names to an uncatholic formula. 

The Struggle for the Homoousion. 1 5 5 

Amongst those who subscribed the Creed of Rimini must 
be mentioned Dianius, Bishop of the Cappadocian Csesarea, 
a man venerated for his saintly character, by whom St. Basil 
the Great, was baptized ; to Basil, Dianius shortly before 
his death in 362, after he had held the See of Caesarea 
for twenty years, bitterly lamented his fall, and declared 
that he had acted in the simplicity of his heart, and had 
never intended to impugn the Xicene Faith. Another was 
Gregory, who held the See of Nazianzus for forty-four 
years, and had the«honour of being the Father of St. Gregory 
Nazianzen ; before and again after his fall he was regarded 
as a pillar of orthodoxy, and was one of the consecrators of 
St. Basil to the Episcopate. 

From Seleucia Acacius fled to Constantinople, where he 
succeeded in gaining the ear of the Emperor, with a view 
to which he made a scape-goat of ^Etius, who was deposed 
from the Diaconate and sentenced by the Emperor to 
banishment. A fresh Council wholly under the influence 
of Acacius was held in 360 at Constantinople, in which 
the Homoean Creed was adopted. " We do not despise," 
it said, " the formula of the Antiochene Synod in Encaeniis ; 
but inasmuch as the words oyi.oovmo'i and ofjuoiovcnos have 
occasioned confusion, and some have recently set up the 
avoiMoto^, we reject 6fjLooiiart,os and ofioiovatos as unscriptural, 
and anathematize the av6fji,ot,o<; ; and acknowledge the Son 
to be similar to the Father, agreeably to the words of the 
Apostle, who calls Him the Image of the Invisible God .... 
Whoever declares anything else outside this faith has no 
part in the Catholic Church." 

Eudoxius, after his deposition at Seleucia, also took refuge 
at Constantinople, where he circumvented the deposition of 
Macedonius, and, by the help of Acacius, his own appoint- 
ment to the See of Constantinople. The irregularities of 
Macedonius, accompanied with violence and cruelty, had 
so excited universal detestation, that the Emperor was glad 
to get rid of him. It was after his deposition, and appar- 
ently to console his solitude, that Macedonius matured the 

I $6 Chapter IV. 

heresy with which his name is associated. Eudoxius was 
now Patriarch of Constantinople, and he has descended to 
posterity with the character of " the worst of all the Arians." 
Well might St. Jerome exclaim that " the whple world 
groaned in amazement at finding itself Arian." The only 
gleam of light was a disposition on the more moderate part 
of the Arians, who were horrified with the impiety and 
blasphemy of the Anomoeans and the Homoeans, to re- 
nounce Arianism and accept the Homoousion of the Nicene 

Meletius, Bishop of Berrhcea, was appointed to succeed 
Eudoxius in the See of Antioch. Both parties in Antioch, 
the Eustathians and the Eudoxians, regarded him as their 
adherent, and both recommended him to the Emperor. 
But on his proclaiming himself the holder of the Homo- 
ousion, the Eudoxians accused him of Sabellianism to 
Constantius, and he was deprived and banished, his See 
being conferred on Euzoius, the former friend of Arius. 
Never before nor since was the Church so near a general 
apostasy, when in the same year (361) Constantius died, 
having like his father postponed his Baptism to the last, 
when he received it from the Arian Euzoius. He was suc- 
ceeded in the Empire by his cousin Julian (361 — 363), 
thirty years of age, commonly known as the Apostate. 

The new Emperor was the younger son of the half-brother of 
Constantine the Great, and was, with his elder brother Gallus, 
the sole survivor of a massacre of the male branches of 
the family of Constantine, made, it was supposed, at the in- 
stigation of Constantius. In 354 Gallus was executed, and 
Julian, who had in 351 been created Caesar, was thus left 
heir to the Imperial throne ; having become an object of 
suspicion to Constantius he was for a time imprisoned, but 
after his release married the Emperor's sister, Helena. 

His early education had been conducted under Eusebius 
the Arian Bishop of Nicomedia. Julian became by Baptism 
outwardly, but by no means willingly, a Christian ; he must 
also have acquired some knowledge of the Biblej for he was 

The Struggle for the Homoousion. 157 

ordained a Reader in the Church of Nicomedia. Having 
before him the example of Constantius, the murderer of his 
relatives, the oppressor of his youth ; having witnessed the 
persecuting spirit of the Arians. and the constant change 
in their Creeds, which elicited from the Pagans the remark 
that the Christians had yet to learn in what their faith 
consisted ; Christianity, into which he had been forced 
against his will, had few attractions for him ; and although 
during a short residence in the schools of Athens, he made 
the acquaintance and even friendship of such men as SS. 
Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, it was too late to 
eradicate his dislike. But it seems unreasonable that the 
title of Apostate should for ever attach to him ; it is true 
that for a time he dissembled his views, but when he was 
free to act for himself, he did what others do, and what, 
if Christianity and Paganism were reversed, he would be 
praised for doing, and adopted the religion which he had 
always regarded as the right one. 

In everything else than what concerned Christianity he 
was one of the best of the Roman Emperors. His manner 
of living was of the simplest, even of a severe, character ; he 
took Alexander the Great as his model in war, and the 
philosopher, Marcus Aurelius, as his model Emperor. The 
pagan religion flattered his intellect ; the Christians he called 
" atheists " and " Galilaeans," and could not understand how 
people could abandon the religion of philosophers to follow 
that of a few poor ignorant fishermen ; and he aimed at 
restoring Paganism as the religion of the Roman Empire. 
His first act was the recall from exile of the Christian 
Bishops and the restoration of their property ; this was not 
done as an act of justice but out of contempt for Chris- 
tianity ; experience had taught him that their quarrels would 
be thus increased and would favour the restoration of 

Under the general amnesty Athanasius returned to Alex- 
andria, where the pagan population, more incensed even than 
the Christians, Orthodox or Arians, against the cruelties and 

158 Chapter IV. 

impiety of the usurper, had lately murdered George of Cap- 
padocia. Julian advocated toleration of all sects which were 
opposed to Christianity. This toleration was in particular 
applied to the Jews, because they rejected Christ as the 
Saviour of the world ; and although he had little sympathy 
with a people who were the worshippers of One God, yet he ap- 
proved of their sacrifices ; Christ he imagined that he might 
enlist as an inferior deity. Naturally of a gentle and amiable 
disposition he was averse to cruelty and persecution ; history 
taught him that the Christians were ready to die for their 
faith, and that the blood of the Martyrs had conduced to the 
spread of the Christian Faith. The old Paganism he felt to 
be effete, so he determined to reform it on the principles 
of Neo-Platonism, which he himself held, and of Christianity. 

At the same time he determined by every means in his 
power short of bloodshed to abolish Christianity. He wrote 
against it ; the Christian Monogram was expunged from the 
Labarum ; Christians were prohibited from holding military 
or civil offices, and from following the medical and legal 
professions. Thinking to force them into the pagan schools, 
he forbade Greek and Roman literature to be taught in the 
Christian schools, for why, he asked, should they teach the 
authors whose very gods they denied .■' 

One thing which he had at heart was the falsifying our 
Lord's prediction as to the everlasting destruction of Jerusa- 
lem ; the reversal of the prophecy would, he thought, inflict 
a fatal blow on Christianity. So he gave the Jews permission 
to rebuild the Temple. But so direct a violation of God's 
decree was providentially and signally defeated. An earth- 
quake, a whirlwind, and a fiery eruption scattered the new 
foundations of the Temple. The pagan Philosopher, Am- 
monius, describes what happened; — "fearful balls of fire 
breaking out near the foundations, with reiterated assaults, 
and several times burning the workmen, rendered the place 
inaccessible ; and by frequent repulses under the determined 
fury of the elements (elemento repellente) the undertaking had 
to be abandoned." 

The Struggle for the Homoousion. 159 

The Alexandrine Church was dismayed by the acccession 
of Julian. Athanasius, alone untroubled, at once set himself 
to the task of restoring peace which had been so long dis- 
turbed in the city, and to reconciling the discordant factions. 
Theodoret relates how that the pagan Priests represented to 
Julian that if he was allowed to remain in the city, not one 
worshipper of their gods would be left. Julian accordingly 
issued an edict that he had never intended that Athanasius 
should resume his Episcopal office ; he denounced him as 
a foe to the gods, who had dared to baptize Greek ladies ; 
and in 362 he agam sent him into exile. Athanasius assured 
the weeping crowds that gathered around him that it was 
only " a little cloud which would soon pass." Scarcely had 
he embarked on board the vessel which took him from 
Alexandria than Julian sent messengers to intercept him. 
They saw a boat descending the Nile ; " Where is Atha- 
nasius } " they asked. " Not far off," was the reply. It was 
the boat which conveyed him, and the voice was perhaps 
his own. Taking advantage of a bend in the stream he was 
enabled to evade his pursuers and unexpectedly returned to 
Alexandria ; whence after a short time he withdrew to the 
Thebaid to find an asylum among his old friends the 

The little cloud, as he foretold, soon passed away. In 
March, 363, Julian started on an expedition against the 
Persians, the same enemy of the Empire by whom Valerian 
had been slain. He wrote to his former friend, Basil, de- 
manding a thousand pounds in gold towards the expenses 
of the war, with a threat of razing Caesarea to the ground 
in case of refusal. Basil reminded him of the time when 
he, who was now exalted by demons against the Church, used 
to study with him the Bible, and reprimanded him for his 
folly in demanding so large a sum from one who had not 
enough to buy a meal. Basil was saved from further danger 
by the death of Julian on June 26, 363. 

Julian, after a short reign of little more than eighteen 
months, died of wounds received in the battle with Persia, 

i6o Chapter IV. 

with a bitter reproach, it is said, to the pagan gods for 
their desertion ; and with the last words on his lips, " Thou 
hast conquered, O Galilean." The army immediately elected 
as his -successor, Jovian (363 — 364), a Christian and favourer 
of the Homoousion, and thus the first pronounced orthodox 
Emperor. He had already proved his faith under Julian. 
When Julian ordered his Christian officers either to renounce 
their faith or abandon his service, Jovian, who held an 
important rank in the army, offered to give up his sword ; 
but Julian gave way, he could not afford to part with 
so good an officer, whose example he knew many others 
would follow. 

Jovian immediately on becoming Emperor adopted the 
Labarum as his standard, and induced the soldiers, many 
of whom had under compulsion professed Paganism, to 
return to the Church ; whilst allowing toleration to the 
Pagans, he repealed the acts of Julian and restored to the 
Christian Church its property and immunities. He wrote 
to Athanasius re-instating him in his See, requesting him 
to return, and asking his prayers. Athanasius had already 
arrived in Alexandria before he received the letter. At 
the request of the Emperor that he would draw up a state- 
ment of the orthodox doctrines, he immediately summoned 
a Council at Alexandria, and wrote in its name a Synodal 
letter to Jovian, commending to him the Nicene faith, to 
which he appended the orthodox doctrine with respect to 
the Holy Ghost. All seemed now to point to orthodoxy 
and the peace of the Church. Within a week after the 
return of Athanasius, Jovian, after a short reign of eight 
months, on his road through Asia Minor to Constantinople 
was found dead in his bed ; St. Chrysostom says he was 
poisoned, others that he was suffocated through a charcoal 
fire in his apartment. He was succeeded by Valentinian 
(364—375), a Catholic. 

In the reign of Julian, Valentinian had shown a marked 
abhorrence of Paganism. When Julian was entering a 
pagan Temple, a Priest of Jupiter stood at the door sprink- 

The Struggle for the Homoousion. i6i 

ling the lustral water, some of which fell on Valentinian, 
who, considering himself defiled, ventured to strike the 
Priest, and was in consequence banished. Valentinian's 
reign was marked by a tolerant spirit towards both Arians 
and heathens ; but we now find that heathenism discounten- 
anced in the towns took refuge in the villages [pagi), where 
their meetings would be less noticed ; its votaries hence 
acquired the name (which for convenience' sake we have 
anticipated) of Pagans {villagers). The Emperor does not, 
however, seem to have been equally tolerant in his own 
family. His wife, Justina, whom he took to himself after 
having repudiated his first wife, Severa, the mother of the 
future Emperor, Gratian, he compelled to accept the Nicene 
Faith. By her he became the father of Valentinian II., and 
of a daughter named Galla, afterwards the wife of the great 
Emperor, Theodosius I. As the result of this compulsory 
act, Justina after his death became the violent opponent of 
the Catholics, and supporter of the Arians. 

Soon after his accession he gave the command of the 
East to his brother Valens (364 — 378), who was at first ortho- 
dox, but, A.D. 368, received Baptism from Eudoxius, the 
Arian Bishop of Constantinople, and became the violent 
persecutor of the Homoousians. He issued an edict for the 
banishment of all the Bishops who had been reinstated 
under Julian, an edict under which Athanasius was included. 
On the death of Eudoxius, A.D. 370, the Catholics, during 
the absence of Valens from the city, elected an orthodox 
successor, Evagrius. But no sooner was the news of his 
election conveyed to Valens than he ordered troops from 
Nicomedia to Constantinople ; Evagrius and his consecrator 
(whoever he might have been) were expelled and banished 
to Thrace ; and Demophilus, Bishop of Berrhoea, who had 
induced Liberius, Pope of Rome, to join the Arians, was 
elected Patriarch in his place, and consecrated by Theodore, 
Metropolitan of Heraclea. 

A violent persecution of the Orthodox soon commenced. 
It is recorded that, A.D. 370, fourscore orthodox Bishops, 


1 62 Chapter IV, 

having, in consequence of their presenting a petition to Valens 
at Nicomedia, imploring him to adopt a more lenient course, 
been put on board ship to be conveyed across the Black 
Sea into banishment to Thrace, were to a man burnt to 
death, whilst all the sailors abandoned the ship and made 
good their escape. 

The edict for his expulsion reaching Alexandria, Atha- 
nasius again left the city, and for four months concealed 
himself in the country, according to one account in his 
father's tomb'. This was his last banishment. Valens, 
apprehensive of an insurrection, sanctioned his return, after 
which he was allowed to pass the remainder of his life 
amongst his own people, dying on May 2, 373, at the 
age of seventy-six, after an episcopate of forty-six years. 

The mantle of Athanasius fell on "the three Cappa- 
docians : " Basil the Great, his brother, Gregory of Nyssa, 
and Gregory Nazianzen. The parents of the first two were 
Christians, and gave three Bishops to the Church, Basil, 
Bishop of Csesarea in Cappadocia, Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa, 
and Peter, Bishop of Sebaste ; whilst their daughter, Macrina, 
the eldest of their children, is reckoned amongst the Saints 
of the Greek Church. St. Basil together with St. Gregory 
Nazianzen had been, as before stated, fellow-pupils with 
Julian the Emperor in the schools of Athens. Leaving 
Athens, after a stay there of about five years, in A.D. 357, 
when he was eighteen years of age, and having about that 
time received Baptism, Basil visited the most celebrated 
monasteries in Palestine and Egypt with a view of learning 
the mode of life in these communities, and embraced the 
life of a monk at Pontus, where he induced Gregory Nazian- 
zen to join him. - Finding the life of an anchorite too 
selfish and individual, and conflicting with his idea of 
Christian love, he adopted the coenobitic system, and to- 
gether with Gregory drew up the " Rule " which has ever 
since been that followed in the Orthodox Greek Church. 
What his idea of the monastic life was we gather from 
' Soc. Hist., IV. 13. 

The Struggle for the Homoousion. ,163 

one of his Homilies : — " To live in monasteries and deserts ; 
to eat only once in the day ; to refrain altogether even from 
bread and water in fasting ; to wear sackcloth, and the like, 
is the tradition of holy men derived from God ; but those 
who do these things ought first to keep the Lord's com- 
mandments, humility and temperance, forgetfulness of injuries 
and indifference to worldly things ; those of faith and pa- 
tience and charity unfeigned, without which it is impossible 
to please God." 

In 359 he was called from his monastic life to other duties ; 
but, finding that Dianius, the Bishop of Caesarea, had signed 
the Arian formula at Rimini, and being unable to hold 
communion with him, instead of returning to his native place 
(Caesarea), he went to live with his friend Gregory at Naz- 
ianzus. In 362 he was summoned to Caesarea at the dying 
request of Dianius, who died in his arms, protesting his 
innocence of any intentional desertion of the Nicene Faith. 

On the death of Dianius, dissensions arose amongst the 
clergy as to his successor, till at length the people of Caesarea 
insisted on the election of Eusebius, as yet an unbaptized 
layman of high position and character ; the Bishops of the 
Province, under military compulsion, were forced to perform 
first the Baptism and then the Consecration of the Bishop ; 
and were afterwards dissuaded by the father of Gregory 
Nazianzen from their intention of annulling the Consecra- 
tion. On the death of Eusebius in 370, Basil was elected 
as his successor, one of his consecrators being the aged 
father of Gregory Nazianzen ; and his election was greeted 
with joy by the people, and the congratulations of Atha- 
nasius. As Bishop of Caesarea, Basil was Metropolitan of 
Cappadocia, and in the latter capacity he, A.D. 372, ap- 
pointed to the See of Nyssa his brother Gregory, who was 
one of the greatest Fathers of the Church, and if in the 
practical importance of his life he was inferior to them, 
was in ability and theological attainments at least the equal 
of Basil and Gregory Nazianzen. 

Gregory Nazianzen, a man prominent amongst his con- 

M 2 

164 Chapter IV. 

temporaries in every branch of learning, was born, probably 
a few years before Basil, at Arianza, a village near Nazian- 
zus, from which latter place, over which his father presided 
for forty-five years, he received the title by which he is 
familiarly known. He was the life-long friend of St. Basil, 
although the friendship was for a short time intermitted 
by an arbitary act on the part of the latter. Basil had, as 
a safeguard against the Arians, erected several new Sees, 
amongst them one at Sasima, a little dirty and unhealthy 
town, without any marks of civilization, and for which a 
man of Gregory's intellectual and sensitive mind was wholly 
unsuited. This See he in 372 forced upon Gregory, who 
reluctantly, at the request of his father, accepted it. 

Valens had lately divided Cappadocia into two provinces. 
Anthimus, Bishop of Tyana, a town about thirty miles from 
Sasima, thereupon claimed Metropolitan rights over one 
province ; an open rupture between Basil and Anthimus was 
the consequence, and Gregory, a man of peace, felt that 
Anthimus would be a disagreeable and even dangerous 
neighbour. Though he had accepted the Bishopric, on learn- 
ing that Anthimus was prepared to oppose his entrance by 
force of arms, he resigned it and assisted his father at 
Nazianzus till the death of the latter, A.D. 374 ; after 
which he continued to reside at Nazianzus. There we will 
for a time leave him. 

In 371, the year after Basil's appointment to the See of 
Csesarea, he, who next to Athanasius was the chief champion 
of Orthodoxy in the East, was brought into contact with 
Valens. Valens, hitherto everywhere successful in his 
campaign against the Orthodox, determined to reduce 
Czesarea to submission, and sent Modestus, the Prefect of 
Cappadocia, to Basil, offering him the alternative of Arian- 
ism, or deposition, together with confiscation of his property, 
torture, banishment and death. As to loss of property, Basil 
told him, he had only a ragged cloak and a few books ; as 
to banishment, wherever God is, there was the Christian's 
home ; as to torture and death, his body was so frail that 

The Struggle for the Homoousion. 165 

the first stroke would kill him, and death would be a kind- 
ness, for it would brirfg him nearer to God. The Emperor 
was so struck with the pious firmness of the Bishop that he 
forbade any to harm him, and contented himself with re- 
quiring that he should receive the Arians to communion. 
On Basil's refusal, the Emperor attended the service on the 
Feast of the Epiphany, A.D. 372, in the Cathedral of 
Cassarea ; Basil himself celebrated ; the imposing grandeur 
of the service visibly affected his impressionable mind ; but 
the Arians were^t hand to counsel him, and Valens was 
induced to order his banishment. 

On the night that Basil was about to leave the city, the 
Emperor's only son was seized with an alarming illness, 
and the Arian Empress, seeing in it the hand of God, sent 
for Basil to pray over him. He consented on the condition 
that if the child recovered it should receive Catholic 
Baptism ; the child recovered, but the promise was broken, 
and on the same day that it received Arian Baptism the 
malady returned and the child died. The Arians still 
schemed for Basil's banishment, but the Emperor was re- 
called from Caesarea before the decree was signed, and Basil 
was thenceforward left untroubled. 

Peter, agreeably to the wish of Athanasius, was elected 
to succeed him in the See of Alexandria ; but soon, after 
fearful scenes of blasphemous orgies in the Church of 
St. Theonas, he was, at the instigation of the Arians, driven 
away by the pagan Prefect. Lucius, who had been ordained 
by George of Cappadocia,was then conducted to Alexandria 
by Euzoius, the Arian Bishop of Antioch, and by order 
of Valens installed in the See, the Pagans welcoming the 
election as of one who did not worship the Son of God, but 
their own god Serapis. Peter then made his way to Rome, 
where he was welcomed by Pope Damasus (366—384). The 
Emperor Valentinian died in 375, and in 378 Valens was 
killed in the battle of Hadrianople, in which his troops 
suffered a disastrous defeat from the Goths. Before he 
started on his campaign he had put an end to the perse- 

1 66 Chapter IV. 

cution. With the death of Valens the Arian supremacy 
came to an end ; Arianism, although not extirpated from 
the Roman Empire, was thenceforward relegated to the 
Goths and other barbarous nations, and the victory of the 
Homoousion was complete. 


The Second CEcumenical Council. 

Gratian Emperor— Theodosius the Great, Emperor— Intolerance of Gratian 
and Theodosius — Gregory Nazianzen, Bishop of Constantinople — Theo- 
dosius summons the Second QEcumenical Council— Creed of Constantinople 
— Precedence over ^'^''^rK^fia ^"d Antioch given to Constantinople — 
Theophilus of Alexandria — Destruction of the Serapeum — The effect of 
intolerance on the Church — Division of the Empire into East and West — 
John Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople— Corrupt state of the Church 
— Origenist Controversy — The Tall brothers— Synod of the Oal< — Eudoxia 
— Chrysostom banished — His sufferings and death — End of the Eustathian 
schism at Antioch— St. Jerome at Bethlehem — The Vulgate— Conversion 
of Augustine — His De Civitate ZJ««— Pelagianism. 

ON the death of Valentinian, his son Gratian, who had 
been for eight years associated with him in the govern- 
ment, became sole Emperor in the West, and after the 
death of Valens, he, being then eighteen years of age, made 
his half-brother Valentinian II. co-Emperor in the govern- 
ment of the East. The insecure state of the Empire from 
the Goths who had lately defeated and killed Valens in the 
battle of Hadrianople induced him, in January, 379, to confer 
the Empire of the East upon Theodosius, a Spaniard by 
birth, a man about thirteen years older than himself, who 
was afterwards styled the Great. 

Gratian was a Catholic much under the influence and 
guidance of Ambrose, Bishop of Milan. In 377 he ordered 
the Churches taken by the Donatists to be restored to the 
Catholics, but he granted a general toleration of religion 
for all, with the exception of Manichaeans, Photinians ", and 
Eunomians. Lucius was expelled and Peter returned to 
Alexandria, and Meletius was restored to Antioch, where 
the Arian Bishop Euzoius had died in the previous year. 
Gratian's step-mother Justina took the opportunity .of shak- 

Followers of Photinus of Sirmium, a disciple of Marcellus, condemned 
in a Western Council (Milan), a.d. 347. 

1 68 Chapter V. 

ing off the trammels imposed upon her by her late husband, 
and did her best to promote the cause of Arianism. Theo- 
dosius, when elected Emperor, was, though a Catholic, only 
a Catechumen, but in the first year of his reign (379 — 395) 
he received Baptism from Ascholius, the orthodox Bishop of 
Thessalonica. So that now the whole Roman Empire, both 
East and West, was governed by orthodox Emperors. 

Whilst the Eastern Empire had been troubled by Arian- 
ism, Paganism was extensively prevalent in the West. The 
principle of toleration had been the ruling maxim of the 
Roman government, the Emperors who persecuted the 
Christians having acted on political rather than on religious 
grounds ; but from this principle both Gratian and Theo- 
dosius departed, and the fall of Paganism forms a less noble 
chapter in the history of the Christian Church than its 
triumph over Arianism. 

On January i, 379, Basil of Caesarea terminated his 
troubled life. He had been during his episcopacy the victim 
of misrepresentation even from the Orthodox. He was 
accused at times of being a Sabellian, an Arian, a Mace- 
donian, the last two accusations being grounded on a form 
of Doxology which he had used ; " Glory be to the Father, 
through the Son, in the Holy Spirit." He lived just long 
enough to witness the triumph of orthodoxy, to which 
he had devoted his life, and died worn out with trouble 
before he had ended his fiftieth year. His brother, Gregory 
of Nyssa, who had been in 376 deposed by an Arian Synod, 
an Arian being appointed in his place, was now restored 
by Gratian. 

In the summer of the year in which Basil died, Gregory 
Nazianzen accepted an invitation, backed by several 
Bishops, from the small remnant of orthodox Christians, 
to go to Constantinople. Constantinople had long been 
the hot-bed of heresy, the See for forty years having been 
presided over by Arian Bishops. Gregory began his mission 
services in a room of a private house ; the room soon grew 
into a chapel, the chapel into a spacious Church, to which 

The Second CEcumenical Council. 169 

the name of Anastasia (resurrection, to signify the resurrec- 
tion of the Nicene Faith) was given. Here he gained his 
title of the Theologian, and people of all classes, many 
Arians included, thronged to hear him. The greater part, 
however, mocked, jeered at his poverty, the meanness of 
his dress, the rusticity of his manners. A violent opposition 
headed by Lucius, who since his expulsion from Alexandria 
had resided at Constantinople, was raised against him ; 
riots ensued in which his life was endangered ; the doors 
of the Anastasia were broken down, and great damage and 
even bloodshed ensued. 

In February, 380, Theodosius, immediately after his bap- 
tism, issued to the people of Constantinople from Thessa- 
lonica, where he had taken up his residence, his first edict 
concerning religion, ordering that the religion as held by 
those saintly Prelates, Damasus of Rome and Peter of 
Alexandria, should be the standard of orthodoxy. Peter 
had shortly before this died, but of this the Emperor had 
evidently not heard. Those only who held the co-equal 
majesty of the Three Persons in the Trinity were to be 
accounted Catholics ; to them the Christian Churches were 
to be restored, and all other persons were to be accounted 
heretics, liable to punishment. 

Towards the end of the year he made his first entrance 
into Constantinople, where he determined to enforce re- 
ligious unity on the basis of the Nicene Faith. He offered 
to confirm the Patriarch Demophilus in the See on condition 
of his subscribing the Nicene Creed, and on his refusal 
he was deposed, and together with Lucius was forced to 
leave Constantinople, and Gregory Nazianzen was appointed 
in his place. 

There had lately been living in Constantinople a dis- 
reputable fellow, a Cynic philosopher, named Maximus, a 
native of Alexandria, who represented himself as having been 
a Confessor for the Nicene faith and an opponent of heretics. 
He lived there the life of an ascetic, and at first imposed 
upon Gregory, as he had before on Peter of Alexandria, 

170 Chapter V. 

and managed to get himself uncanonically consecrated 
a Bishop by some Egyptian Bishops commissioned by 
Peter. This impostor having been driven out by the people 
of Constantinople, applied first to Theodosius at Thes- 
salonica and afterwards to Peter at Alexandria, but, Peter 
having in the meantime discovered his real character, re- 
ceived a cold reception from both, and was expelled from 
Egypt by the civil magistrate. No sooner was Gregory in- 
stalled in the See of Constantinople than Maximus showed 
himself his bitter enemy, and took every means in his power, 
to get him deposed and himself appointed in his place. 
Peter of Alexandria was, in February, 380, succeeded by 
his brother Timothy. A struggle for pre-eminence between 
the Sees of Constantinople and Alexandria was even then 
apparent, and Maximus taking advantage of this, succeeded 
in gaining over Timothy, as he had before his brother Peter, 
and persuading him that the translation of Gregory was 
uncanonical, and in getting himself elected to the Patri- 
archal throne ''. 

Gregory was Patriarch of Constantinople for barely seven 
months. In order to secure the triumph of the Nicene faith 
and to end the troubles of the Church, Theodosius deter- 
mined to convene the Second CEcumenical Council, the 
First of Constantinople. Macedonius had during his exile 
brought into prominence the heresy that took his name, 
which taught that the Holy Ghost is not Very God, but 
a creature and minister of God ; a heresy which had been 
held, but not brought into such prominence by the Arians, 
as to require notice at the Council of Nice. Athanasius 
when in exile in the desert had heard of and reprobated 
the heresy. 

The Council met on May 2, A.D. 381. It was attended 
by one hundred and fifty Bishops (whence it was called 
the Council of the One Hundred and Fifty Fathers), from 

' This seems the only way of reconciling the dates : Peter might have ap- 
pointed Maximus a Bishop, but Gregory was not appointed to the See of 
Constantinople till after the death of Peter. 

The Second (Ecumenical Council. 171 

all parts of the East, except Egypt, the most famous 
Bishops being Meletius of Antioch, Gregory Nazianzen, 
Timothy of Alexandria, Cyril of Jerusalem, Gregory of 
Nyssa, and his brother Peter of Sebaste. Thirty-six Mace- 
donian Bishops were likewise invited by the Emperor to 
attend, but, refusing to be reconciled to the Church, soon left 
the Council. The first President was Meletius, and Gregory 
was confirmed in the See of Constantinople. Soon after- 
wards Meletius died, and Gregory unwillingly accepted 
the presidential seat. The post was distasteful to him, and 
he was personally unfitted to cope with the scenes of faction 
and disorder which he describes as having pervaded its 
deliberations. A difficulty at once arose. 

Meletius, soon after he had been translated to the See 
of Antioch was, as we have already seen, driven out by 
the Arians ; he was banished, in all, three times. But he 
had other opponents binding the Arians in the Orthodox 
followers of the former much-beloved Bishop, Eustathius, 
who under Paulinus, a Priest of Antioch, objected to him 
on the ground that he had been consecrated by Arians. 
Just when a concordat was on the point of being arranged 
in a Council of Alexandria in 362, the hot-headed Priest, 
Lucifer of Cagliari, returning from his exile in the Thebaid, 
in his intemperate zeal for orthodoxy, consecrated Paulinus 
Bishop. The schism thus caused extended to the whole 
Church, Egypt as well as the Western Church siding with 
Paulinus, whilst the Eastern Church generally took the side 
of Meletius. At Antioch, however, the schism was accommo- 
dated by an understanding that on the death of either, the 
survivor should be recognized as Bishop. 

Gregory now thought that the death of Meletius might 
be the means of healing the long-existing schism, and that 
Paulinus should be recognized by both parties as his suc- 
cessor. It had been well for Antioch if Gregory's plan had 
been adopted. But the Asiatic Bishops, thinking that this 
would be a triumph to the West, and to Pope Damasus who 
had been the advocate of Paulinus, set aside the agreement 

172 Chapter V. 

and consecrated Flavian, an orthodox and highly-esteemed 
Priest of Antioch, to the See, thus continuing the schism, 
for, popular as Flavian vi^as, many of the people of Antioch, 
together with the West, still continued their adherence to 

Timothy, Patriarch of Alexandria, together with the 
Egyptian Bishops, now arrived at the Council. They ex- 
pressed their displeasure at proceedings having been com- 
menced without them, and at the deposition of Maximus, 
and objected to the translation of Gregory as being opposed 
to the Canon of Nice. The Asiatics were equally displeased 
with Gregory's opposition in the matter of the election of 

Gregory had reluctantly accepted the See of Constan- 
tinople, and had only done so in the hope of being able 
to reconcile the Eastern and Western Bishops. In this he 
had signally failed, and he now asked to be delivered from 
the Presidency of the Council and for leave to resign the 
See. His resignation was unwillingly accepted by Theo- 
dosius, but not so unwillingly by the Bishops ; he then 
returned to Nazianzus, visiting on the way Caesarea, where 
he pronounced the funeral oration at the grave of St. Basil, 
thus showing that between the two no permanent ill-will had 
been engendered. 

Maximus was not reinstated, but, as successor to Gregory, 
Nectarius, an unbaptized layman, a man of noble family, 
venerable appearance and gentle and winning manners which 
recommended him to the Emperor, was appointed to the 
Patriarchate. A native of Tarsus he was a man thoroughly 
ignorant of theology, and fond of luxurious living, in fact 
nothing more than a highly respectable old gentleman ; he 
was baptized and consecrated Patriarch of Constantinople, 
and presided over the See, a.d. 381 — 397. 

The Council amplified the Nicene Creed, adding par- 
ticularly the clauses respecting the Holy Ghost against the 
Macedonians or Pneumatomachi, who had left the Council 
before the Creed was drawn up and rejected it afterwards ; 

The Second (Ecumenical Council. 173 

so that the Creed which is usually called the Nicene Creed, 
and was so read at the General Council of Ephesus, might 
with greater strictness be called the Creed of Constantinople. 
The Constantinopolitan Creed ran thus (as the English 
rendering is familiar to all, we give it in its original 
language) : — 

Uiarevofiev eis eva 0eov Uarepa iravTOKparopa, troirfTrfv 
ovpavov Kol yfji;, opdruv re irdvTcov xal aopdraV Kal eh eva 
Kvpiov, 'Irjcrovu XpKTTov, tou vlov Tov Qeov rbv fiovoyevrj, rbv 
ix TOV Uarpos jevutfOevTa irpo Travreov rap amvmv, ^a>s e'w 
$(BTos, Qeov dXrjQivov iic OeoD dXr)9(,vov, yevvrjOivra ov Trait}' 
divra, 6fioov(Tiov tut Flarpl' Be' ov to. iravra iyevero' Tov Si' rjiids 
Tovs dvOpatTTOvs Kal Sid rfjv ■^/Merepav aarripiav KareXOovra ix 
T&v ovpav&v, Kal aapKcodevra ex Uvevfiaro'} dyiov koi Mapias 
TJj? UapQevov, koi evavOpoDTrrjcravTa' SravpadevTa re vvep rffjLwv 
iirX TIovtIov TliKarov, icaX iradovra, Kal ra^evra' Kal dvarndvra 
rrj TpiTT] rjfiepq, Kara rds ypa^d<i' Kal dveXQovra et? row 
ovpavovs Kal KaOe^6/j,evov ex Se^i&v rov Tlarpos, Kal vdXiv 
ep'Xpfievov /lerd So^t;? xplvai ^Sivras xal vexpov^' oi) Tr]s ^aaiXeias 
ovK etnai t6\o?" 

Kal els TO Uvevfia to " Ayiov, to Kvpiov, xal to ^aoiroibv, to 
ex tov Harpoi ixTTopevofievov ', to avv Uarpl Kal Tim o'VfiTrpoa-- 
Kvvovfjievov xaX avvSo^a^ofievov, to XaXrjaav Sia tmv '7rpo<f)rjT&v' 
El's fiiav dyiav ^ xaOoXix^v xal dirotrToXixrjV 'EKKXrjaiav' Ofio- 
Xoyovfiev If ^dirTiaiia et? di^eaiv dfiapTiav UpaaSoxSifiev 
dvacrTaaiv vexp&v, Kal ^eofjv tov fieXXovrois almvos. dfirfv. 

The new clauses added to the Nicene Creed were ; " Be- 
fore all worlds;" "From Heaven;" "By the Holy Ghost 
of the Virgin Mary ;" " Was crucified also for us under 
Pontius Pilate; and was buried;" "Sitteth on the right 
hand of the Father ;" " Whose Kingdom shall have no end," 

" Bishop Wordsworth (Church Hist., II.) draws the distinction between the 
Greek iKir6peviris and the Latin processio, and shows how in the restricted 
sense of the former word the Holy Ghost only proceeds from the Father, in 
the wider sense attached to the latter, He may be said also to proceed from 
the Son. 

'' The word ayiav, holy, is omitted in one version of the Creed. 

174 Chatter V. 

and all the clauses following the words, " And in the Holy 
Ghost «. 

The drawing up of the expanded Creed is generally 
attributed (although there is much doubt on the subject) to 
St. Gregory of Nyssa, to whom was given by the Seventh 
(Ecumenical Council the title of " Father of Fathers." 

Besides the enlargement of the Nicene Creed, the Council 
drew up Canons, which some suppose to have been seven in 
number, but of which the last three are generally attributed 
to a later date. The First Canon confirmed the Nicene 
Creed and anathematized the heresies of the Eunomians, the 
Eudoxians, the Semi-Arians or Pneumatomachi, the Sabel- 
lians, the holders of the doctrines of Marcellus of Ancyra, 
and of his pupil Photinus, Bishop of Sirniium, and ApoUin- 
arius. Apollinarius, Bishop of Laodicea, whilst he held the 
true Divinity of Christ, denied the completeness of the 
Human Nature, teaching that Christ had a human Body 
without a reasonable Soul (aSifia with -^v^^r] aXoyos), the latter 
being supplied by the Divine Logos. As Arius had assailed 
the Divinity, so Apollinarius assailed the Humanity of 
Christ ; the Council of Nice established the perfect Divinity, 
the Council of Constantinople the perfect Humanity. Not- 
withstanding this condemnation by the Council Apollinarius 
continued to hold his Bishopric till his death, about A.D. 390 ; 
he was the originator of the first of the Christological con- 
troversies which had their termination in the Monophysite, 
and in that which necessarily resulted from the latter, the 
Monothelite heresy. The Canon identifies the Pneumato- 
machi, or followers of Macedonius, with the Semi-Arians, 
from which party they sprang and whose doctrine with 
regard to the Saviour they extended to the Holy Ghost. 

Canon II. enacted that Bishops of one Diocese may not 
intrude into the Diocese of another, and the ecclesiastical 
were arranged on a general conformity with the civil 
Dioceses. It has been thought probable that the second 

' The Procession of the Holy Ghost from the Son {Filioque, and the Son) was 
not inserted in the Creed till the Council of Toledo in Spain, a.d. 589. 

The Second (Ecumenical Council. 175 

Canon was occasioned by the recent action of the Patriarch 
of Alexandria appointing Maximus the Cynic to the See 
of Constantinople. The Council, whilst confirming the See 
of Alexandria and Antioch in their just rights, forbade 
their interference with Sees outside their proper jurisdiction. 
It enacted that the Bishop of Alexandria "should govern 
the affairs of Egypt only, and the Eastern Bishops shall 
have charge of the East only, whilst the rights {ra irpea^ela) 
of the Church of Antioch should be preserved agreeably 
to the Canons gf Nice ; " at the same time the Bishops 
of the diocese of Asia (Ephesus) should only have juris- 
diction over Asia, those of the diocese of Pontus (Caesarea) 
over Pontus, those of the diocese of Thrace (Heraclea) over 

Hitherto the Bishops of Constantinople had been under 
the Metropolitan of Heraclea, and held a lower position than 
those of Alexandria and Antioch. By the second Canon 
it had been enacted that the Bishop of Alexandria should 
govern the affairs of Egypt only. The third Canon went 
further and enacted that " the Bishop of Constantinople 
shall hold the first rank after the Bishop of Rome [to. Trpea-- 
ySeta rrji Ti/ji,fjs fiercb tov rrji 'Pd)/j,r]<! eiricricoTrov) because it 
is the New Rome." Since the Council of Nice, when the 
three principal Sees were those of Rome, Alexandria and 
Antioch, Constantine had founded the Imperial city ot 
Constantinople and conferred on it the same rank and 
privileges as before belonged to the old Imperial city Rome. 
An honorary precedence attached to the See of Rome when 
it was the capital of the Empire. The Canon recognized- 
such a precedence, but enacted that an honorary precedence 
should also be accorded to New Rome on the same ground 
as that on which it had been granted to Old Rome, viz 
because it was the Imperial City, or New Rome^. 

A law passed as late as a.d. 445 in the reign of Valentinian III. shows 
that it was a matter of civil arrangement ; " We ordain by a perpetual sanction 
.... that the privileges which our fore-fathers have granted to the See of 
Rome be preserved inviolate. " 

1/6 Chapter V. 

Socrates speaks of the Patriarchal dignity being estab- 
lished by the Council ; we shall therefore henceforward 
speak of the Bishops of Constantinople, Alexandria and 
Antioch under the titles of Patriarchs, and of the Bishops 
of Rome under the title which they prefer, that of Pope. 

CEcumenical, in the sense of being representative of the 
whole Church, the First Council of Constantinople was not, 
for it was wholly comprised of Eastern Bishops. But the 
test of an CEcumenical Council is not the number of Bishops 
who attend it, nor the countries represented in it, but its 
acceptance by the Catholic Church at large and its confir- 
mation by subsequent Councils. A second Council held 
in Constantinople in the following year sent the Canons 
to the Latins, and expressly called the Council of 38[ CEcu- 
menical. The Creed of Constantinople was readily received 
in the West as well as in the East, but not so the Canons. 
Both Rome and Alexandria were opposed to the precedence 
given to Constantinople. To the third General Council, 
that of Ephesus, the Pope sent two legates to uphold the 
dignity of Rome and to support the See of Alexandria ; 
this accounts for the silence at Ephesus of the second CEcu- 
menical Council ^. Popes Leo the Great and Gregory the 
Great, although the latter allowed that the Council was 
CEcumenical and spoke of four CEcumenical Councils, re- 
fused to receive the objectionable Canon, the former assert- 
ing that it had never been sent to Rome; whilst he con- 
tended that it was the Apostolic origin of a Church, not 
its civil rank, which gave it the pre-eminence. 

But all cavilling is superseded by the fact that its cecu- 
menical character was recognized by the Fourth CEcumenical 
Council, that of Chalcedon, in which the Creed of Constanti- 
nople was twice repeated and received into its acts. Suc- 
ceeding Popes of Rome, after the Council of Chalcedon, 
did their best to ignore the First Council of Constantinople, 

' The Latrocinium, or Robber Council, speaks of the Council of Ephesus 
as the Second Council, ^ Sevrepa SiicoSoj. 

The Second CEcumenical Council. 177 

and spoke of three Councils, those of Nice, Ephesus and 
Chalcedon. But after the conquest of Constantinople, A.D. 
1204, by the Latins, when a Latin Patriarchate under the 
Pope was established there, Pope Innocent III. acknow- 
ledged the Patriarchal rank of Constantinople, which was 
confirmed by the Fourth Lateran Council, A.D. 121 5. 

After the abdication of Gregory, Timothy, Bishop of 
Alexandria, probably became President of the Council 
till Nectarius was appointed Bishop, when he assumed 
the Presidency ; Timothy was evidently outvoted in the 
passing of the Canon, and his sympathy as Bishop of 
Alexandria naturally went with Rome in opposition to it. 
Alexandria and Antioch descended a scale, and had to give 
place to a See which had hitherto been, as before stated, 
a subordinate See under the Metropolitan of Heraclea. A 
feeling of jealousy at the priority given to Constantinople 
over his own See and disgust with the conduct of the Eastern 
Bishops who voted for the Canon, so influenced Timothy 
that he took his departure for Alexandria and refused again 
to return to Constantinople. 

The Fourth Canon related to Maximus the Cynic. It 
decreed that he "never became a Bishop and is not one 
now," and therefore all the Orders conferred by him were 

St, Cyril, who had succeeded Maximus in the See of 
Jerusalem, took a prominent part in the Council. He had 
at one time been accused of Semi-Arianism, but was sent 
into banishment by Valens for his orthodoxy ; at the 
Council he gave his full assent to the Nicene faith, and the 
catechetical lectures which he delivered when a Presbyter 
at Jerusalem, though the Homoousion does not occur in 
them, show that he was sound in the faith before he was 
consecrated a Bishop. He and Acacius, Bishop of Caesarea, 
his Metropolitan ^ had been engaged in a long controversy 

'' It must be borne in mind that there were three Caesareas ; (l) in Palestine, 
to which See the Bishop of Jerusalem was subject ; (2) in Cappadocia, of which 
Basil the Great had been the Bishop ; (3) Neo-Ctesarea in Pontus. 


1 78 Chapter V. 

as to the precedence of their Sees, Cyril basing his claim on' 
the Apostolical foundation of his See ; twice Acacius gained 
the victory, which was followed in each case by Cyril's 
deposition. On the accession of Julian he, together with 
the exiled Bishops, returned, to be banished a third time 
under Valens ; but the contest continued till the death 
of Acacius, A.D. 366, when Cyril claimed the right of ap- 
pointing to the See of Caesarea, and appointed his own 
nephew. But we do not find the subject brought into 
prominence at the Council of Constantinople. 

In July, 381, Theodosius issued an edict prohibiting all 
assemblies of Arians, Photinians, and Eunomians, and 
ordering all their Churches to be given up to the Ortho- 
dox Church ; and a few weeks later two more edicts 
prohibiting them from building Churches in place of 
those which they had surrendered. In March, 382, he 
issued an edict against the Manichaeans. Gratian, from 
the beginning of his reign, had showed his strong aversion 
to Paganism, and was the first Emperor to refuse for himself 
the title of Pontifex Maximus. In 382 he issued an edict 
for the destruction of the Temple of Victory at Rome, 
which was soon followed by another for the confiscation 
of its revenues and of the property of the Vestal Virgins. 

In 382 Theodosius summoned a second Council to Con- 
stantinople. St. Gregory Nazianzen, on his return to Nazi- 
anzus from Constantinople, finding the Church much troubled 
by Apollinarians, felt it his duty to undertake the duties of 
the vacant Bishopric till such time as a Bishop should be 
appointed. The Emperor invited him to attend the Council, 
but Gregory objected on the ground that Councils only 
aggravated the evils they were intended to remedy, In 
vain he wrote to his Metropolitan, Theodore, Bishop of 
Tyana, like himself a native of Arianza, imploring him to 
appoint a Bishop who might stem the tide of heresy ; and 
when at length he succeeded in his object, he retired to 
Arianzus, where he spent the remainder of his life, dying 
A.D. 389. 

The Second CEcumenical Council. 179 

The Council of 382, composed of the same Bishops who 
had attended the previous Council at Constantinople, ad- 
dressed a letter, signifying its adherence to the Nicene Faith, 
to a Council that was then sitting under Damasus at Rome, 
and drew up two Canons, " which," says Hefele, " have been 
erroneously adopted as the vth and vith Canons of the 
Second General Council '." In a third Synod at Con- 
stantinople, A.D. 383, the Arians under Demophilus, the 
deposed Bishop of Constantinople, and the Anomoeans 
under Eunomius, .were called upon by the Emperor to 
present their Creeds, the latter of which asserted that the 
Holy Ghost, though higher than other creatures, was still 
created, and therefore subject in all things to the Son. This 
so horrified the other Arians that many abjured Arianism 
altogether and joined the Orthodox Church ; and Theo- 
dosius, in a decree of July 25, A.D. 383, forbade all sectaries, 
except Novatians, who accepted the Homoousion and 
differed from the Church rather in discipline than in 
doctrine, to hold their services or disseminate their doc- 
trines under threat of severe punishment. In that year 
Gratian also issued an edict against apostates from Chris- 
tianity, and converts to Paganism, Judaism, or Manichasism. 

In the same year occurred the rising in Britain under 
Maximus ; Gratian, being defeated in a battle between 
the Imperial and insurrectionary armies near Paris, fled to 
Lyons, where he was assassinated by his own troops ; and 
Maximus assumed the sovereignty of Britain, Gaul, and 

Timothy, Patriarch of Alexandria, died A.D. 385. Under 
his two successors, Theophilus (385 — 412), who had been 
secretary to St. Athanasius, and his nephew Cyril (412 — 444), 
the See of Alexandria reached its highest eminence ; " the 
power of its Prelates was in some respects greater than that 
of the Bishops of Rome over its own Prelates *=." 

In 386, Theodosius issued an edict for the proper observ- 
ance of the Lord's Day. Maximus having in 387 invaded 
' Hefele, II. 381. ' Neale's Alexandria, I. 210. 

N 2 

i8o Chapter V. 

Italy, Justina, with her young son Valentinian and her 
daughter Galla, sought the protection of Theodosius at 
Thessalonica. In the following year, Theodosius having 
just before issued an edict against the Apollinarians, defeated 
Maximus in battle, driving him to Aquileia, where he was 
murdered by his own soldiers. In August of the same year 
the Empress Justina, the strenuous supporter of the Arians, 
died, and the young Emperor Valentinian was now left 
wholly under the control of St. Ambrose. We may also 
mention another important event which took place in that 
year, the Baptism of the great Father of the Church, St. 
Augustine, which was administered at Milan by Ambrose. 

In 388 also died Paulinus of Antioch, having uncanonic- 
ally consecrated in his sick chamber Evagrius as his suc- 
cessor, thus continuing the schism in the Antiochene Church ; 
but on the death of the latter, Flavian remained sole Bishop 
till his death, A.D. 404. 

Only three quarters of a century had elapsed since the 
last of the persecutions ended, when an event occurred 
which showed the great advance which Christianity had 
made, and the moral control which the Church exercised. 
In A.D. 390, an indiscriminate massacre at Thessalonica, 
in which more than seven thousand persons were killed, 
had occurred by order of Theodosius. Ambrose, when 
he heard of the event, filled with sorrow, wrote a letter to 
the Emperor urging him to repentance, without which he 
could not admit him to Communion. From Thessalonica 
the Emperor, overwhelmed with the reproaches of his con- 
science, went to Milan, and was about, as usual, to enter the 
Cathedral, when Ambrose stopped him, as one defiled with 
innocent blood. The Emperor signified his repentance, and 
pleaded in his defence the sin of David ; " You have imi- 
tated," said Ambrose, " David in his sin, imitate him also 
in his repentance." The great Emperor was sentenced to 
undergo the penance of the Church, from the rites of which 
he was for eight months excluded. When Christmas came, 
and he again attempted to enter the Cathedral, Ambrose, still 

The Second CEcumenical Council. i8i 

inflexible, barred the way ; if he would enter the Church, 
it must be over his body. The Emperor accepted the terms 
which Ambrose imposed. Stripped of his Imperial robes, 
and assuming the dress of a penitent, he publicly did pen- 
ance in the cathedral at Milan ; and not even then was 
his absolution granted, nor till he promised to issue an edict, 
that no criminal should thenceforward be put to death 
till an interval of thirty days had elapsed between the 
sentence and its performance. 

In A.D. 389 toqk place an indiscriminate destruction of 
the pagan Temples in Egypt. Already by a law of A.D. 
385, Theodosius had, under penalty of death, prohibited 
pagan sacrifices and divinations, and entrusted Cynegius, 
Prefect of the East, with the duty of carrying out the decree. 
A rage for the destruction of the pagan Temples seized upon 
the monks of Syria, but the inhabitants of Arabia, Palestine, 
and Phoenicia offered a sturdy resistance ; Marcelius, Bishop 
of Apamea (" a man of Apostolic zeal and fervour '' Theo- 
doret calls him), at the head of a body of soldiers and gladi- 
ators, was about to demolish a stately Temple, but paid the 
penalty of his rashness by being burnt alive by the indignant 
populace '. 

In 390 the Emperor found a ready accomplice in Theo- 
philus, the headstrong, an,d, there is much reason for believ- 
ing, the profligate. Patriarch of Alexandria. In that year 
Theodosius ordered the demolition of the Serapeum, the 
magnificent Temple founded by the first Ptolemy, at Alex- 
andria. On the goodwill of the pagan god Serapis, the 
rise and fall of the Nile, on which depended the very exist- 
ence of Egypt, was thought to hang, and the belief prevailed 
that if the sacred shrine of their god was violated, Heaven 
and earth would be involved in a common ruin. 

The conversion by Theophilus of a Temple of Bacchus 
into a Christian Church had excited the alarm of the people 
of Alexandria, and led to an insurrection under the Pagan 
philosopher, Olympias, who exhorted them to die in defence 

' Socr., VII. 15; Theod., V. 21. 

1 82 Chapter V. 

of their altars. At first the Pagans were successful, and 
in their short hour of victory perpetrated inhuman cruelties 
on the Christians. But a truce was agreed upon by the two 
parties, until instructions from the Emperor as to the fate of 
the Serapeum should arrive. To the dismay of the Pagans, 
and the exaltation of the Christians, the Imperial decree 
went forth for the destruction of every pagan Temple in 
Alexandria. Theophilus at once applied himself to the 
demolition of the Serapeum, which involved that of the god 
Serapis. Even Christians shared the superstition which 
had so long attached to the tutelary god of Alexandria, 
and were. filled with doubt and dismay while the work of 
destruction was being carried on ; but the Serapeum fell ; 
and their fear gave place to ridicule, when a swarm of rats 
and mice from the severed head of the idol convinced 
even the Pagans of, at least, the impotence of their worship. 

The work of destruction still went on ; the pagan Temples 
throughout Egypt were deserted or destroyed, or sometimes, 
a Cross being affixed to the summit, were converted into 
Christian Churches. A still more rigorous edict in the 
same year forbade alike magistrates and private citizens, 
whatever their rank or condition, throughout the Empire, 
to worship any inanimate idol by the sacrifice of an innocent 
victim, condemning the practice as a crime of High Treason 
punishable with death. Many Pagans, far from exhibiting 
the fortitude of the Christians in their persecutions, instead 
of maintaining to death that obedience to their gods was 
superior to that due to the Emperor, having for a time tried 
to elude the laws and disguise their religious meetings 
under the character of social gatherings, were ultimately 
led, from fear rather than conviction, to embrace the 
Gospel ; and thus the Christian Churches became filled 
with multitudes of lukewarm and hypocritical proselytes. 

On May 15, a.D. 392, the young Emperor Valentinian II., 
who from a mistaken idea too prevalent at the time, had 
deferred, till it was too late, his Baptism, was at the age 
of nineteen assassinated at Vienne in Gaul. His desire 

The Second (Ecumenical Council. 183 

had been ta be baptized by Ambrose, and he had even 
sent for him to come to Gaul for the purpose. His body 
was conveyed to Milan to be buried by the side of his 
brother, and Ambrose himself, overwhelmed with grief, 
in a sermon which he preached in the Cathedral, com- 
memorated his virtues and misfortunes, and comforted his 
sisters with the assurance that a sincere desire for Baptism, 
if accidentally frustrated, ensured its benefits, his c^se being 
like that of the Martyrs who " were baptized in their own 
blood ■"." 

A puppet Emperor, the rhetorician Eugenius, was set 
up as Valentinian's successor, but in September, 394, he 
was defeated and slain in battle by Theodosius, and with 
his death disappeared the last vestiges of open Paganism 
to which, even if he outwardly professed Christianity, he 
was secretly attached. 

In January, A.D. 395, the Emperor Theodosius at the 
age of fifty died in the arms of St. Ambrose at Milan, the 
only Emperor, except Constantine, since the commence- 
ment of the century who had died a peaceful death in his 
bed. Among the benefactors of the Church, says Gibbon, 
the fame of Constantine was rivalled by the glory of 
Theodosius. " If Constantine erected the standard of the 
Cross, Theodosius subdued the Arian heresy and abolished 
Paganism." The heathen Emperors, he continues, had per- 
secuted the Christians because they thought them a dark 
and dangerous faction to the civil power. But, he says 
too truly ", " the same excuses of fear and ignorance cannot 
be applied to the Christian Emperors, who violated the 
principles of humanity and the Gospel." " Religio cogi non 
potest" is a maxim useful at all times, and the religion 
of Christ needs no such support ; " non tali auxilio nee 
defensoribus istis." Even the pagan Sophist, Libanius, 
whom Theodosius himself, at the very time when he was 

,■" St. Gregory of Nyssa wrote a treatise " Against those who defer Baptism." 

» Vol. V. 118. 

i'84 Chapter V. 

jiersecuting the Pagans, distinguished with his friendship 
and on whom he conferred special marks of honour, ap- 
pealed to the consciences of Christians that religion ought 
to be grounded on conviction, not compulsion. And the 
Church paid the penalty. There were already too many 
professing Christians whose evil lives were in marked con- 
trast with the lives of the Pagans. St. Chrysostom, when 
in the early years of his life he was the great preacher at 
Antioch, complained that the lives led by Christians in 
that place were in strong contrast with the early days 
of Christianity, and the lives of the early Christians ; he 
told them that their loose living was the great obstacle 
to his work amongst the Pagans, and that he even feared 
that Paganism might reconquer the Church. This was 
the strong argument which Libanius used against him at 
Antioch, when Chrysostom tried to impress on him the 
truths of Christianity, 

Although under Theodosius the outward observance of 
Paganism was forbidden and the laws rigidly executed, 
the profession of Christianity was not enforced, nor required 
as the necessary condition for holding civil or military offices; 
ability in Pagans was still recognized, and they continued 
to retain important posts even in the Palace. Paganism 
was not abolished by Theodosius, it was driven into the 
background. But when once the exercise of its public 
worship was prohibited, and the laws rigidly enforced against 
its ceremonial, Paganism received its death-blow, and its 
disappearance was only a question of time. 

Gratian, though twice married, left no children, and by 
the death of Theodosius, the Empire became divided be- 
tween his two imbecile sons, Arcadius, a youth, eighteen 
years of age, who ruled over the East (395 — 408), and 
Honorius, a boy of eleven, who ruled over the West 
(39s — 423). The division of the Empire at the very time 
when a community of feeling was most required against 
the coming inroads of the Barbarians, was most disastrous ; 
what were really two separate nations came into existence, 

The Second (Ecumenical Council. 1 85 

thoroughly out of sympathy with each other, so that their 
enemies were enabled to attack them in detail. The division 
in the Roman Empire materially affected the history of the 
still undivided Christendom. 

The tutor of the two Princes had been the holy Arsenius, 
a man of noble family (still commemorated in the Greek 
Church as Arsenius the Great Father), who, A.D. 394, in 
obedience to a heavenly call gave up his charge and re- 
nounced the world, to lead a hermit life, with even greater 
than the usual austerities, in the Scetic desert, Theodosius 
then confided them to the care of St. Ambrose (who followed 
him to the grave two years afterwards), leaving them with 
the dying charge to remember that true religion was the 
safeguard of the Empire. In the matter of religion they 
were at least orthodox, but they followed their father's 
example, even with greater serenity, in extirpating whatever 
of Paganism survived. All remaining images of pagan 
worship were ordered to be destroyed, all pagan Festivals 
abolished ; the Bishops being entrusted with the duty of 
seeing that the edict was carried out, whilst the civil 
magistrates were to assist the Bishops in the task. 

In 398, three years after the death of Theodosius, 
Chrysostom succeeded the popular, because easy-going 
and luxurious, Nectarius in the Patriarchate of Constanti- 

John, surnamed, on account of his eloquence, Chrysostom, 
the golden-mouthed (j^pvo-os, a-TO/iu), was born at Antioch 
about A.D. 347, of good birth both on the side of his 
father and mother, and having studied rhetoric under the 
famous pagan Sophist Libanius, and at first practised as 
an advocate, he was, in A.D. 370, baptized by Meletius, 
Bishop of Antioch, and by him ordained a Reader. After 
the death of his mother, the pious Anthusa, with whom he 
had resided at Antioch, practising even there the most 
rigid asceticism, he carried out the intention, which he had 
bad long at heart, of being a monk, and together with two 
of his fellow-pupils in the school of Libanius, one of whom 

1 86 Chapter V. 

was the famous Theodore of Mopsuestia, retired to a neigh- 
bouring monastery, presided over by Diodorus, who, about 
A.D. 379, became Bishop of Tarsus. Worn out by the 
severe discipline which he exercised, he returned to Antioch, 
and was, A.D. 381, ordained Deacon by jVIeletius, and five 
years afterwards Priest by Flavian, by the latter of whom 
he was appointed preacher in the principal Church at 
Antioch, living in the same street, as he was wont to 
.relate, in which SS. Paul and Barnabas resided, when 
they first preached to the Gentiles. Here amidst a disso- 
lute population of 100,000 souls he preached and laboured 
for twelve years, abolishing abuses, and entirely changing 
the moral aspect of the city, so that the fame of the great 
preacher spread throughout the whole Roman Empire. 

On the death of Nectarius he was inveigled by the eunuch 
Eutropius, the chamberlain and chief adviser of Arcadius, 
to Constantinople. Eutropius had on a visit to Antioch 
been attracted by his eloquence ; but feeling that Chry-. 
sostom would decline the Episcopate, and that the people 
would oppose his removal, he had recourse to a stratagem, 
and no sooner had Chrysostom arrived at Constantinople, 
a city 800 miles distant from Antioch, than he was told 
for the first time that he had been elected to the vacant 
Patriarchate. In vain he remonstrated, pleading his un- 
fitness and unworthiness ; he was told that the Emperor's 
wishes must be obeyed ; " Would God that it might be 
otherwise, but God's will be done," he exclaimed ; and he 
was forced to accept the Patriarchate. 

Theophilus, the worthless Patriarch of Alexandria, had 
a candidate of his own, an obscure Egyptian Priest, named 
Isidore, whom he wished to be elected, thinking to use 
him as his tool in advancing his own Patriarchate over that 
of Constantinople. For this reason, as also because he 
saw in Chrysostom one who would make a more earnest 
Patriarch than suited his views, he not only instigated 
the Provincial Bishops against him, but refused to perform 
his Consecration. But on Eutropius, who had his life in 

The Second (Ecumenical Council. 187 

his hands, threatening to expose his many misdemeanours, 
Theophilus reluctantly assented, and Chrysostom was con- 
secrated Patriarch of Constantinople on Feb. 26th, 398. 

In order that we may understand the persecutions which 
this great Patriarch had to undergo, we must bear in mind 
the state of the Church in his time. It had triumphed 
over the so-called ten persecutions, over Arianism, and, 
by state-aid, over Paganism, but it had not advanced in 
godliness since the earliest days of Christianity. Pliny 
had written to the pmperor Trajan, that in his time Chris- 
tianity had so prospered even in Bithynia as to empty 
the Temples of the Pagan gods. The age of the perse- 
cutions followed ; the Church prospered in adversity and 
triumphed. But the smiles of the Emperors were more 
fatal to it than the sword of the executioner. Outwardly, 
it had spacious Churches and grand services ; but even 
religious Pagans complained that it had degenerated from 
its ideal, and was more material and corrupt than their 
own Neo-Platonism ; that it had lost the virtues and 
assimilated the acknowledged vices of the heathen. 

We have seen the state of things which existed at An- 
tioch ; it was still worse in Constantinople. The same 
was the case throughout Thrace and Asia Minor. The 
See of Alexandria was occupied by a Patriarch who was 
notorious for his vices. St. Gregory of Nyssa complained 
of the scenes of debauchery which attended the pilgrimages 
to Jerusalem, and that the Holy City was defiled with 
violence and debauchery. Equally did corruption prevail 
in Ephesus, a See second only to the great Patriarchates. 
Antoninus, the Metropolitan of Ephesus, was accused by 
a brother Bishop, Eusebius of Lydia, of simony and other 
enormous crimes, and St. Chrysostom was himself called 
upon to investigate the charges. Eusebius professed to 
be moved by conscientious motives and a righteous horror 
of the crimes which he revealed ; he proved to be a pious 
hypocrite, as wicked himself as the man he accused, and 
was sentenced to excommunication. The charges against 

188 Chapter V. 

Antoninus were gone into ; six Bishops at first denied, 
but afterwards confessed their guilt of having purchased 
from him their Bishoprics, and were sentenced to depriva- 
tion of their Sees, the heirs of the now deceased Antoninus 
being required to refund the proceeds of the simony. 

The same state of things meets us as we proceed West- 
wardSj to Milan and to Rome, the last of which cities St. 
Jerome left an account of its corruption, denouncing it as 
Babylon, and shaking off the very dust from his feet. 

We need, therefore, wonder little at the opposition which 
Chrysostom met with at Constantinople, especially from 
a Patriarch like Theophilus. Under the lax rule of Nec- 
tarius, the clergy of Constantinople had become thoroughly 
worldly-minded and dissolute, and were accused of various 
different crimes, not excluding murder, adultery, and en- 
tertaining "spiritual sisters" {avveCaaKToi), the last practice 
being that condemned by the' third Canon of the Council 
of Nice. Many of them had also intrigued and bribed for 
the Patriarchate which Chys'ostom so reluctantly accepted. 

The weak and indolent Emperor of the East was naturally 
inclined to admire the holiness of Chrysostom's character, 
but he was at the same time wholly under the influence 
of his wife, Eudoxia. The Empress imagined herself to 
be religious because she was liberal in almsgiving, and in 
building Churches, attended the Church services, reverenced 
the relics of Martyrs, and patronized the clergy, so long 
as they let her have her own way. But she was super- 
stitious, thoroughly worldly-minded, avaricious, absorbed 
in luxuries and pleasures, and those of a not very innocent 
character. She at first welcomed Chrysostom, and assured 
him of her favour, but soon turned against him. 

These were some of the evils with which Chrysostom 
had to contend, and the corrupt clergy of the Patriarchate 
found a leader in one worse than themselves, Theophilus of 

Amongst the better classes of Constantinople Chrysostom 
soon acquired even a stronger influence than he had done 

The Second (Ecumenical Council. 1 89 

at Antioch. But a Patriarch who was in earnest and re- 
solved to effect a reformation, was at such a time little likely 
to suit the careless and pleasure-loving portion of the com- 
munity. For such a task as his, discretion was necessary ; 
but here was Chrysostom's weak point. A hot and im- 
pulsive temper, want of tact, and sometimes error of 
judgment, added to the list of enemies those who might 
have been his friends. The neighbouring Bishops and 
clergy when they visited Constantinople professed a griev- 
ance that the Patriarch was not given to hospitality, as 
St. Paul says a Bishop ought to be. To him princely 
grandeur and magnificent revenues had no attraction. He 
eschewed sumptuous banquets and the luxurious living of 
his predecessor, preferring a quiet life and the frugal meal 
in his solitary chamber. We must hear his own idea of 
hospitality ; — " He is given to hospitality," he says in one 
of his sermons, "who makes himself a partaker in all that he 
has with the poor." In his condemnation of sin he deter- 
mined that the trumpet should give no uncertain sound, and 
of vicious pleasures he was the uncompromising enemy ; yet 
even his compassion for the returning penitent, and the 
gentleness with which he spoke of heretics, excited the ire 
of the ill-disposed, but rigidly orthodox. Bishops. 

Theophilus prided himself on his orthodoxy. A sharp 
controversy was going on as to the writings of Origen, 
probably the most learned theologian in the early Church ; 
his father had died a Martyr, whilst he himself had been 
a Confessor for the faith, and he deserved better treatment 
from the Church than fell to his lot. Some people thought 
(not apparently without reason) that his writings had been,' 
after his death, garbled and interpolated by heretics ; at' 
any rate the speculative character of his theology required 
a more thorough and impartial handling than it met with, 
whilst any serious unorthodoxy is negatived by the fact that 
St. Athanasius greatly admired his works ; and if Arians 
appealed to them in support of their opinions, so also did 
the orthodox party in support of theirs. 

I go Chapter V. 

John, the successor of Cyril in the Bishopric of Jerusalem,- 
and who held that See for 30 years (386—417), was a favourer 
of Origenism, as was also Rufinus the historian, who from 
371 — 397 resided in Palestine, but it was opposed in his 
latter years by St. Jerome, who from 386 had taken up 
his permanent abode in his cell at Bethlehem, and even 
more vehemently by Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis, in the 
island of Cyprus (376—403), who thought he detected in 
Origen the taint of Arianism. 

Rufinus and Jerome, the latter or whom had been at first 
amongst Origen's most ardent admirers, were once intimate 
friends, but the same cause which had cemented their friend- 
ship, viz. their admiration of Origen, now rendered them 
bitter opponents. Epiphanius, a man of saintly character, 
but narrow views, the friend of Jerome, went in 394 to 
Palestine, where he was kindly received by John, the Bishop 
of Jerusalem, for which he made a bad return on the ground 
of his attachment to Origen, opposing him by every means 
in his power and stirring up his own people against him ; 
and proceeded so far that a Bishop of less gentle disposition 
than John would have excommunicated him. By Epi- 
phanius, Jerome was. induced to take part against his own 
Bishop, and became the violent opponent, as he had before 
been admirer, of Origen. 

Theophilus of Alexandria at that time sided with the 
Origenists and stigmatised Epiphanius as a heretic. A vio- 
lent controversy ensued between Jerome and Rufinus ; 
Siricius, the Pope of Rome, took the side of the latter; 
but Anastasius I., his successor, although he afterwards 
confessed that till then he " did not know who Origen was 
or what language he had used"," sided against him, and 
summoned him to Rome (a summons which, needless to say, 
Rufinus did not obey), to defend his opinions. 

Meanwhile Theophilus changed round, and in a Synod 
at Alexandria condemned Origenism. In the Monastery 
of Nitria, which was in his diocese and the stronghold ot 

o Bright, p. 236. 

The Second (Ecumenical Council., 191 

Origenism, were four Monks known as the Tall Brothers^ 
Being, in consequence of their opinions, expelled by Theo- 
philus, they fled to Palestine, hoping to find protection 
under John of Jerusalem ; thither, however, the wrath of 
Theophilus pursued them, and John was afraid to give them 
anything further than sympathy. They then went to Con- 
stantinople, and threw themselves on the clemency of 

Chrysostom, as might be expected from one of his 
generous dispositioij, sympathised with, boarded and lodged 
them, and gave them the Church of the Anastasia for their 
services; but, as the Monks of Nitria were under the jurisdic- 
tion of the Patriarch of Alexandria, he refrained from giving 
any cause for a breach, and refused to admit them to com- 
munion. He however intervened on their behalf with Theo- 
philus, who resented this charitable act as one of uncanonical 

The Tall Brothers then represented their case to the 
Emperor Arcadius, who ordered Theophilus to appear in 
his defence at Constantinople. This was a rash proceeding 
on the part of the Emperor, for Theophilus was almost equal 
in power to Arcadius himself, and the Patriarchs of Alex- 
andria had attained such a height of power, not only in 
ecclesiastical but civil matters, as to be almost sovereign 
PrincesP; the whole Egyptian nation regarded the Patriarch 
as a King, and cared little for the distant Emperor ''. 

Theophilus delayed as long as possible, but eventually, 
attended by his nephew Cyril, and a splendid retinue of 
Egyptian and Abyssinian Bishops, with all the pomp of 
a monarch, made his appearance in June, 403, but he refused 
to hold any intercourse with Chrysostom. Meanwhile, the 
reforms of Chrysostom had raised up many enemies against 
him in Constantinople, chief amongst them being the 
Empress Eudoxia. The wily Patriarch of Alexandria now 
-saw and seized the opportunity of increasing the prestige 

■■ Neale's Eastern Church, I. 112. 
■» Butcher's Story of the Church in Egypt, I. 232. 

192 Chapter V. 

of his own Patriarchate by deposing Chrysostom and 
thus lowering that of Constantinople. He assumed a juris- 
diction in the Patriarchate of Alexandria over the Patri- 
archate of Constantinople. Instead of appearing as de- 
fendant at his own trial, yet fearing to hold a Council' 
of his own in Constantinople, where he knew that Chry- 
sostom's friends would be too powerful for him, he passed 
over to Chalcedon, where the Bishop Cyrinus, an Egyptian, 
and his own Cousin, was the violent enemy of Chrysostom. 
There he summoned, in July, 403, the Council of the 
Oak, which was attended by 36 Bishops, almost entirely 
Egyptians, and therefore his own suffragans, and presided 
over by the Bishop of Heraclea, the Bishops of which 
See were never favourable to the Patriarchs of Constan- 
tinople, whose Metropolitans they had once been, but whose 
suffragans they now were. 

Chrysostom, though four times summoned, refused to 
attend a Council which had no right to judge him, and 
of which the principal members were his avowed enemies. 
He sat quietly at home with forty Bishops of his own, 
who in vain sent a deputation to remonstrate with Theo- 
philus. A number of frivolous, and mostly false, accusations 
were brought against Chrysostom, one a charge of high 
treason in reviling the Empress Eudoxia. He was con- 
demned as contumacious and sentenced to deposition, and 
a request made to Arcadius that he should be banished* 
The weak Emperor, who was wholly under the control 
of his wife, consented, and Chrysostom was sentenced to 
banishment for life. 

Scarcely had he crossed the Bosphorus, when Constan- 
tinople was convulsed by an earthquake, and the alarmed 
Empress regarding it as a divine judgment on her injustice 
prevailed on Arcadius to recall him. So strong was the 
feeling of the populace in favour of Chrysostom, that Theo- 
philus in fear of his life fled away at midnight to Alex- 
andria, from which safe distance he continued to direct 
the plots of the enemies of Chrysostom, A synod of sixty 

The Second CEcumenical Council. 193 

Bishops at Constantinople, annulling tlie proceedings of 
the Council of the Oak, decreed that Chrysostom was 
the lawful Patriarch of Constantinople, and he consequently- 
resumed his office. 

The Empress, who could neither forget nor forgive, availed 
herself, in her enmity against Chrysostom, of an incident 
which, accompanied with heathenish and boisterous danc- 
ing interrupting the Church-services, occurred in Septem- 
ber, 403, at the dedication of a silver statue to herself 
in front of the Cathedral of St. Sophia. Chrysostom, who 
was righteously indignant, was represented to her as having 
used in his sermon the unguarded words, " Again Herodias 
rages {/jiaLverai), again Herodias dances, and demands the 
head of John qn a charger." Theophilus, little caring that 
the Canon of a Council of doubtful orthodoxy had been 
used against his own great predecessor, St. Athanasius, 
sent three Bishops to Constantinople with a copy of the 
Canon of the Dedication Synod at Antioch, which ordered 
the deprivation of any Bishop who having been deprived 
by a Synod appealed to the secular power. A fresh Synod, 
composed of Bishops hostile to Chrysostom, was held at 
the end of the same year at Constantinople ; it was nothing 
to them that a larger Synod than that of the Oak had 
restored him ; the Canon of Antioch was put in force ; 
Arsacius, an old man, eighty years of age, brother of 
Nectarius, who had been one of his principal accusers at 
the Oak, was intruded into the Patriarchate ; and Arcadius, 
in June, 404, signed an edict for the banishment of Chry- 
sostom. The hatred of Eudoxia only ended with her death 
in October of the same year. In November a law was 
passed enforcing Communion with Arsacius, Porphyry, the 
profligate Patriarch of Antioch, and Theophilus of Alex- 

The place appointed for his exile was Cucusus in 
Armenia, where Paul, his saintly predecessor, had been 
strangled in banishment little more than fifty years before. 
His banishment was somewhat mitigated by Adelphius, 


194 Chapter V. 

the excellent Bishop of Cucusus, who offered to resign to 
him his See, and by the kindness of the neighbouring 
Bishops, whilst Dioscorus, a man of rank, gave him his 
own house, fitting it up for his requirements. His wants 
were ministered to by a Deaconess of great holiness, 
Sabiniana, his father's sister. Innocent I., the Pope of 
Rome, wrote to him ; Honorius, Emperor of the West, 
interceded with his brother Arcadius ; and his name and 
innocence were revered throughout Christendom. Cucusus 
was a miserable little place, in which he suffered much ■ 
from intense heat in summer and cold in winter. His Hfe 
was constantly in danger from Isaurian freebooters, who 
made frequent inroads into the neighbourhood. But in 
his exile Chrysostom was able to exercise even a more 
powerful influence than he had done from his own diocese, 
his advice being sought from all countries. His friends 
from Constantinople sent him large sums of money, by 
which he was able to set on foot missions to the Pagans 
of Phoenicia, to the Goths, and to the Persians. In the 
winter of A.D. 405, danger from the Isaurians forced him 
to seek refuge in the Castle of Arabissus, about 60 miles 
distant ; there he suffered from the inclemency of the 
climate even worse tortures than at Cucusus, so that he 
gladly welcomed the possibility of returning to the latter 
place in the spring of 406. 

In that year Atticus (406 —426) succeeded Arsacius in 
the Patriarchate of Constantinople. He had been one of 
Chrysostom's accusers at the Oak, and was still his bitter 
opponent. Jealous of the influence which he exercised from 
Cucusus, Chrysostom's enemies now determined on his death, 
which they had in vain hoped that the rigour of the climate 
would have effected. Flavian, Patriarch of Antioch, having 
died A.D. 404, was succeeded by Porphyry (404 — 413), a man 
of disreputable character. He wrote to Atticus a letter of 
complaint, that Chrysostom was directing missions to Persia 
and Phoenicia, that he was uniting the sympathies of the 
Pope of Rome and the Western Bishops against the Eastern 

The Second CEcumenical Council. iy5 

Patriarchs, and that Arcadius must be prevailed on to banish 
him to some more distant place ; adding that if on the way 
he fell into the hands of the Huns or the Isaurians, so much 
the better. Atticus succeeded in persuading the Emperor 
that Chrysostom was fomenting a conspiracy of the Western 
against the Eastern Church. Arcadius, who, though no 
longer under the influence of Eudoxia, was always ready 
to lend his ear to the last speaker, now yielded to the 
episcopal maligners, who, as a salve to his conscience, 
assured him that the guilt would be on them and not on 
the Emperor's heaa. Thus he was prevailed upon to accede 
to the murderous project, and ordered his removal to Pityus, 
on the shores of the Euxine sea, the most bleak and in- 
hospitable clime in the whole Empire ; and Chrysostom was 
committed to two brutal guards who were charged to hurry 
him on without regard to his health or strength. Forced 
along for three months, more dead than alive, through the 
scorching heat and drenching rains of summer; all places 
where he might find ordinary comfort avoided, and the 
most squalid villages selected as halting-places, he reached 
Comana in Pontus. There it was evident that his strength 
was gone and his end near ; still without halting they dragged 
him six miles further, resting the night in the Church of 
St. Basiliscus, a former Bishop of Comana, who had died 
a Martyr in the Diocletian persecution. In the morning 
(September 14, 407), he in vain asked for a little longer 
rest, and again was hurried off. They had not proceeded far 
when seeing evident signs that he was dying, the guards re- 
traced their steps to the Church. There, being carried to the 
Altar, and having received the Sacrament of the Eucharist, 
Chrysostom, with the Doxology on his lips, calmly expired, 
and there by the side of the Martyr Bishop he was buried. 

The Emperor Arcadius died A.D. 408. Theophilus was 
found dead in his bed on Oct. 15, 412. Under Porphyry, 
with whom the respectable people of Antioch refused to 
communicate, the Eustathian schism continued. Porphyry 
was succeeded by Alexander (413—420), in whose Patriar- 

o 2 

196 Chapter V. 

chate the schism, having lasted more than eighty years, came 
to an end. He is described as a man of holy and ascetic 
life ; he replaced the name of St. Chrysostom on the Dip- 
tychs of the Church at Antioch, and personally visited 
Constantinople, where he used his influence to obtain from 
the Patriarch Atticus the same act of justice which was 
tardily extorted by the threats of the people. 

The fate of Chrysostom, says Dean Farrar, produced age- 
long consequences both over the Eastern and Western 
Empires. Thenceforth the Patriarchate of Constantinople 
produced no mighty Church-leader to confront the banded 
unions of civil tyranny ; in the long lapse of the ages not one 
great Saint or orator, like Chrysostom, swayed the dimin- 
ished power of the Church of the Great Eastern Metropolis. 
Whilst it weakened the Eastern, it strengthened the Western 
Church. The dwindling power of the Western Empire till 
Romulus Augustulus increased the ever-deepening influence 
of the Popes ; the distracted age looked for guidance, and 
could find it only in the chief Bishop of the West. 

St. Chrysostom was the last of the Four great Fathers 
of the Greek Church, the others being SS. Athanasius, 
Basil the Great, and Gregory Nazianzen. The Four Latin 
Fathers are SS. Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine of Hippo, 
and Gregory the Great, but in two of them SS. Jerome and 
Augustine, the Greek Church must claim a share. 

Of the former, whom Erasmus styled the chief of the 
Latin Fathers., although all his works were written in Latin, 
the real names Eusebius Hieronymus are Greek. Born 
about A.D. 346, of Catholic parents, at Stridon, near 
Aquileia, he was sent early in life to complete his education 
in Rome, where he acquired the knowledge requisite for his 
subsequent translation of the Scriptures, and where he was 
baptized by Pope Liberius. Between A.D. 374 — 378 he lived 
a monastic life in the desert of Chalcis ; during which he 
studied Hebrew from a converted Jew, a task of the greatest 
consequence to the Church, as it enabled him to read the 
Old Testament in the original language. He was ordained 

The Second (Ecumenical Council. 197 

Priest about A.D. 379, by Paulinus at Antioch. Thence he 
went to Constantinople, where he was much impressed with 
the sermons which Gregory Nazianzen was at the time 
preaching in, the Church of the Anastasia. One of the 
most eventful periods of his life was a visit to Rome be- 
tween 382 — 385, where he became secretary to Pope 
Damasus, a man of considerable learning, by whose advice 
he set about his translation of the Bible. In Rome, his 
learning and eloquence and the austerity of his life at first 
gained him universal popularity, and at one time he was 
regarded as a probable successor to the Papacy. Like 
St. Chrysostom at Constantinople, he was intolerant of the 
vice and imposture which he found existing alike amongst 
Priests and people. But he was not a man of Chrysostom's 
saintly charity ; and, moreover, in trying to effect a reforma- 
tion, he adopted the very course which common sense would 
have condemned ; and in one way or another contrived to 
offend all classes of society, the religious no less than the 
irreligious. Ever since St. Athanasius' visit, A.D. 340, in 
company of two monks, to Rome, a permanent impression 
favourable to the monastic life had existed in the city, and 
many, especially Roman matrons, regarded it as the ideal 
of the Christian life. This feeling Jerome encouraged, and, 
as their spiritual adviser, induced several ladies of high 
position to become the brides of Christ, to adopt celibacy, 
and a life of the strictest asceticism. 

Amongst his followers were Paula, a widow belonging 
to one of the noble families in Rome, and her two daughters, 
Blesilla and Julia Eustochia. Blesilla dying in consequence, 
as was supposed, of her severe fastings, increased the feeling 
against Jerome. On the deaths in 384, of his patron, 
Damasus, and the accession of Siricius (384 — 398), who 
was by no means well affected towards him, his position 
in Rome became no longer tenable;. and smarting under 
the treatment he received, with a curse on his lips for its 
Babylonish wickedness, he left the city accompanied by his 
younger brother, Paulinian, and was soon afterwards joined 

198 Chapter V. 

at Antioch by Paula and Eustochia. In 386 he settled down 
in his cell at Bethlehem, where by the sale of his patrimony 
he was enabled to build a monastery, over which he himself 
presided till his death, A.D. 420, a period of thirty-four years. 
There he completed his great work, which he had com- 
menced at Rome at the instigation of Damasus, the 
Vulgate or Latin Version of the Bible. 

Aurelius Augustine (354—430), who is generally con- 
sidered the greatest of the Latin Fathers, was born at 
Tagaste in Numidia. His father, Patricias, a heathen and 
a man of indifferent character, was won over to Christianity 
by his pious wife Monica. St. Augustine is known to have 
had a brother named Navigius and a sister whose name 
is not known, but who became Abbess of a community 
of Nuns. In his " Confessions," written in his forty-sixth 
year, he has given the history of his own life. 

When he was seventeen years of age his father died, 
and his mother Monica being left in straightened circum- 
stances, a rich neighbour took upon herself the expenses 
of his education. He was sent to the famous school in 
the dissolute city of Carthage, where he fell into bad com- 
pany and vicious habits, and had a natural son named 
Adeodatus, who grew up to be a youth of great promise. 
At twenty years of age he imbibed the Manichasan heresy, 
which at that time had many adherents in Africa. Having 
followed this form of worship for about ten years, and failing 
to find in it the truth which he sought, he adopted Neo- 
Platonism, which, as it embodied many doctrines of the 
Bible, brought back to his mind the reminiscences of his 
mother's instructions, and led him to a closer study of the 
Holy Scriptures. In A.D. 383 he left Africa and went to 
Rome, where he opened a school, but not meeting with 
success he went to Milan, where, in 385, he was joined by 
■Monica. Here, he says, he was led by God to the great 
Bishop Ambrose. First he went to hear him from curiosity, 
but Ambrose was always accessible to him, and received 
him, as he says, "like a true father;" and he became a 

The Second Qicumenical Council. 199 

Catechumen, reading carefully St. Paul's Epistles. His 
eyes fell on the words, " Let us walk honestly as in the day ; 
not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wan- 
tonness, not in strife and envying, but put ye on the Lord 
Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil 
the lusts thereof." There he read the history and saw the 
vileness of his own life, and on the following Easter, April 
25, A.D. 387, when he was thirty-three years of age, he 
together with his son Adeodatus, then fifteen years of age, 
and his friend Alypius, was baptized by Ambrose. This 
joyful news, as a return for her life of prayer, greeted 
Monica soon after her arrival at Milan. 

A year after his Baptism he determined to return to 
Africa, but had only arrived at Ostia when Monica died. 
From Ostia he went to Rome, where he stayed about a year, 
and then left for Carthage, arriving there about September 
A.D. 388. At his native Tagaste he devoted three years 
to prayer and study, and there his son Adeodatus died. 
Avoiding, as he thought, all places where there was fear 
of his being seized by force and Consecrated a Bishop, he, 
at the request of a friend who wished to receive from him 
instruction, went to Hippo, of which Valerius was Bishop. 
There he was ordained to the Priesthood, and notwith- 
standing his objections was in 395 Consecrated by Valerius 
as his Coadjutor Bishop. In the next year Valerius died 
and Augustine succeeded him in the See of Hippo. At 
Hippo Augustine founded a monastery, in which he himself 
resided as a monk, and also a nunnery ; and in that humble 
and obscure See, this great Bishop of the African Church 
spent the remaining thirty-four years of his life, writing 
numerous works and upholding the doctrine of the Church 
against heretics. 

Not the least famous of his works is his " De Civitate 
Dei," which occupied him for thirteen years (413 — 426), 
and which was called forth by the reproach of the heathens 
that the victories of their enemies over the Roman Empire 
were due to its advocacy of Christianity and its renunciation 

200 Chapter V. 

of the Pagan gods. Rome had already fallen under Alaric, 
and it was felt that still worse things were in store for it. 
He contrasts the destiny of the world with that of the 
Church. He shows how the misfortunes of the Empire 
were due, not to its advocacy of Christianity, but to the 
vices and corruptions of Paganism, and to the luxury and 
effeminacy of the people ; how the earthly city with its 
false gods and sacrifices had passed away, whilst the City 
of God grew more glorious and the Church of Christ is 
eternal and immutable. 

He lived to see Hippo surrounded by the armies of 
the Vandal Genseric, but, " felix opportunitate mortis," he 
was saved from witnessing the crowning disaster which 
befell, A.D. 430, his beloved Hippo. He was the last Bishop 
of the See. His valuable library, which was his only earthly 
possession and the only thing which escaped the confla- 
gration of the siege, he left to the Church. In learning 
he was unacquainted with the original language of the 
Old and only moderately versed in that of the New Testa- 
ment ; in depth of thought, in eloquence, and administrative 
power, he had superiors in the Four Fathers of the East and 
in St. Jerome in the West ; but in the combination of these 
qualities he had no superior, if indeed an equal. His 
Western characteristics caused him to be less understood 
and less appreciated in the East than in the West ; but 
no other Father since the Apostles has equally influenced 
the succeeding generations of the Church at large. 

Between 400 — 411 St. Augustine was engaged in con- 
troversy with the Donatists, but a far more important one 
with Peiagianism engaged him to the end of his life. Pela- 
gianism, or the denial of original sin, is the heresy con- 
demned in the IXth Article of our Church. The heresy 
which convulsed the West exercised comparatively little 
influence on the Eastern Church. The controversies of 
the East were generally with regard to subtle matters of 
theological speculation, such as the relations of the Persons 
in the Trinity, the Incarnation, the union of the Divine and 

The Second CEciimenical Council. 201 

Human Natures in our Lord ; whereas those of the West 
were of a more practical nature, such as original sin, Pre- 
destination, and free-will in man. 

Yet the Pelagian heresy is generally supposed to have 
had its origin in the East, and its author to have been 
Rufinus, who was called the Syrian to distinguish him from 
his contemporary namesake of Aquileia. Rufinus, a friend 
of St. Jerome, and one of his community at Bethlehem, was 
sent by him, A.D. 390, on a mission to Rome, where he 
broached the docta-ine that Adam's fall had no influence 
on his descendants, and that man is now born, just as Adam 
was, without sin. 

At the commencement of the Fifth Century a Welsh 
monk named Morgan, a name which was Grecized into 
Pelagius (ireXayos, sea), went to reside at Rome, where 
he is supposed to have been inoculated with the doctrines 
of Rufinus. That he was a Briton seems evident, for Prosper 
stigmatizes him as the " snake of Britain " {coluber Britan- 
nicus), and Jerome as the "dog of Albion." At Rome 
he became acquainted with Celestius, who is supposed to 
have been a Scot, which at that time meant a native of 
Ireland, and to have imbued him with his doctrines. 

Pelagius, who had not fallen so deeply as Augustine into 
actual sin, instead of ascribing it to the Grace of God, and 
recognizing that freedom from evil and the power of doing 
anything that is good is the gift of the Holy Ghost, ascribed 
it to the power inherent in human nature and to man's free- 
will. When residing in Rome he witnessed the same sins 
prevailing which drove St. Jerome from it, and he heard 
people excusing themselves on the ground of the weakness 
and corruption of their nature. In condemning this error 
he fell into the opposite extreme of asserting that man's 
nature is not corrupt, that it is not worse for, nor influenced 
by, the fall of our first parents, that man can by his own 
natural strength avoid sin and do works pleasing and 
acceptable to God. Augustine having himself gone through 
the fiery trial and yielded to temptation, felt and taught 

202 Chapter V. 

against the Pelagians the need of God's Grace to enable 
men to will and to do anything that is good. The doctrine 
of Pelagius was condemned by the African Church in 
Synods at Carthage, A.D. 412 and 416, and by another in the 
latter year at Milevum in Numidia. It would appear that 
the Eastern Bishops generally did not trouble themselves 
much about the matter, and they seem to have recognized 
the co-operation of Grace and Free-will, without determining 
their limits. They held less rigid views than the Bishops 
of Africa as to the efficacy of the human will, and were 
opposed to the extreme doctrine of St. Augustine. John 
of Jerusalem, in a Synod held in that city in June, 415, 
declined to accept the decision of the African Bishops, and 
if he did not actually acquit Pelagius and Celestius, was 
so far in their favour as to draw upon himself a remon- 
strance from Augustine for his toleration of heresy ; and 
again in a Synod at Diospolis in Palestine, at the end of the 
same year, under Eulogius, Metropolitan of Cssarea^ Pela- 
gius was acquitted. 

John of Jerusalem died at the end of A.D. 416, and was 
succeeded by Praylius (416 — 420), who addressed a letter to 
Innocent I., Pope of Rome, expressing his belief in the 
orthodoxy of Pelagius. But a work written by Pelagius 
being forwarded to Innocent, he pronounced it blas- 
phemous, and excommunicated its author and his friend 
Celestius ; and this it was which drew from St. Augustine 
the famous apothegm, " Roma locuta, causa finita." Inno- 
cent died shortly afterwards, and was succeeded by Zosimus. 
Meanwhile Celestius, having been expelled from Africa, 
went to Ephesus, whence, having received Priest's Orders, 
he repaired to Constantinople. Expelled thence for pro- 
pagating his opinions by the Patriarch Atticus, he went 
to Rome and laid his version of the case before Zosimus, 
who had before him the conflicting judgments of the African 
and the Eastern Bishops. A modern Pope would have 
decided that the judgment of his predecessors was infallible 
and immutable. The mind of Zosimus seems to have been 

The Second Oecumenical Conncil. 203 

little fitted to decide such minute points of theology ; but 
instead of considering himself bound by the judgment of 
Innocent, he reheard the case, and gave an exactly opposite 
judgment, took the side of the Council of Diospolis, ac- 
quitted Pelagius, and pronounced him to be Catholic, and 
wrote to the African Bishops upbraiding them for their con- 
demnation of his doctrine. 

Through the influence of Augustine, a man of greater 
ability and greater spiritual influence than the Pope, the 
Emperor Honorius in the West, and Theodosius, who had 
succeeded Arcadius in the East, in order to bring to an end 
a controversy which convulsed the Western Church, issued 
an edict, notwithstanding the decision of Zosimus, banishing 
Pelagius and Celestius from Rome. Under such opposition 
Zosimus investigated the matter anew, withdrew from them 
his support, censured their opinions as opposed to the 
Catholic faith, confirmed the decisions of the African 
Bishops, and compelled the Italian Bishops to obey his 
latest decision. 


The Third and Fourth CEcumenical Councils. 

Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople — Theodore of Mopsiiestia — Nestorius 
opposes the word Theotokos —Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria — Murder of 
Hypatia — The Emperor, Theodositis II., summons the Third CEcumenical 
Council to Ephesus — Council deposes Nestorius — Conciliabulum of 
Ephesus — Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrus — Brutal treatment and death of 
Nestorius — Dioscorus, Patriarch of Alexandria— Eutyches — The Latro- 
cinium — The " Tome " of Pope Leo — Dioscorus excommunicates Pope Leo 
— Marcian summons the CEcumenical Council of Chalcedon — Dioscorus 
deposed — The See of Jerusalem raised to a Patriarchate — Precedence given 
to See of Constantinople — Ulfilas, the Apostle of the Goths — Anger of 
Leo with the Canons of Chalcedon — Rise of the Monophysites — Zeno's 
Henoiicon — Cireat Confusion in the Eastern Church. 

AT the time at which we have now arrived, Cyril had 
succeeded his uncle Theophilus in the See of Alex- 
andria (412 — 444); Theodotus was Patriarch of Antioch 
(420—429), to be succeeded by John (429 — 448) ; and 
Juvenal, Bishop of Jerusalem (420 — 458). On the death of 
Atticus, the Patriarch of Constantinople, one party favoured 
the election of Proclus, a disciple of St. Chrysostom, who 
was, however, passed over in favour of Sisinnius (February, 
426 — December, 427), as he was again passed over, when, on 
the death of Sisinnius, Nestorius was on April 10, A.D. 428, 
consecrated Patriarch (428 — 431). 

The See of Antioch had been more troubled with heresy 
and discord than any of the great Sees. It was the first 
whose Bishop, Paul of Samosata, fell into heresy and was 
deposed. Then followed the eighty years' schism. And now 
from Antioch proceeded the Patriarch of Constantinople, 
whose heresy, or perhaps the heresy imputed to him, caused 
a schism in the Greek Church which has never been healed. 

Diodorus, afterwards (379 — 394) Bishop of Tarsus, the 
head of the famous school of Antioch, had once been the 
intimate friend of SS. Basil and Chrysostom, and the de- 
fender of orthodoxy against the Arians ; but, in his fear 

The Third and Fourth (Ecumenical Councils. 205 

of Apollinarianism, he fell into the heresy which afterwards 
bore the name of Nestorius, and he has been considered the 
father not only of Nestorianism, but also of Rationalism. 
His views were further developed by Theodore, a native 
of Antioch, who afterwards (392 — 428) became Bishop of 
Mopsuestia, and who had been one of his pupils in the school 
of Antioch. Nestorius had been a pupil of Theodore of 
Mopsuestia, who lived just long enough to receive a visit 
from him on his way from Antioch to Constantinople. 

Nestorius, once a monk in the neighbourhood, afterwards 
a Priest at Antioch,* was a man of exemplary and ascetic 
life ; he was also a man of some learning ; and gained a 
name at Antioch for his preaching, in connexion with which 
he was accused of great vanity and love of applause. Such 
was his fame, that the people of Constantinople expected 
to find in their new Patriarch a second Chrysostom. He 
was also a firm opponent of heretics. " Give me," he said 
to the Emperor, " the Earth cleansed from heretics, and 
I will in return give you Heaven." The Pelagians alone 
amongst heretics found favour with him ; but although he 
agreed with them as to the sufficiency of man's Will, and 
received Celestius and other leaders of the sect, and even 
interceded for them at Rome, yet he disagreed with their 
view on original sin. 

On his arrival at Constantinople he immediately showed 
himself a zealous and somewhat intemperate opponent 
of heretics. But from Antioch he had brought with him 
a Priest of the name of Aoastasius, a follower of the 
teaching of Theodore of Mopsuestia. On Nov. 22, a.d. 428, 
Anastasius in the presence of Nestorius preached a ser- 
mon in which he denied that the Virgin Mary was QeoTOKos 
(the Mother of God), and the people appealed to the Patri- 
arch to discountenance such teaching. Nestorius himself 
disliked the word QeoroKos, not only because under it Arians 
and ApoUinarians sheltered themselves, but it seemed to 
him to imply that the Godhead of Christ had its commence- 
ment through the Virgin Mary. 

2o6 Chapter VI. 

In a sermon on the following Christmas-day, and in two 
subsequent sermons in the following January, Nestorius 
insisted that Mary was not the Mother of God. He did not 
deny that she was the Mother of Christ ; he spoke of the 
two Natures as a connexion (crvvdcfyeia) or indwelling {ivoiKr}- 
o-t?), but denied that there was a communication of attributes 
{KoLvwvla lSia)fidT(ov), or a supernatural union of the two 
Natures. The doctrine was a denial of the personal union 
between " God the Word " and the Son of Mary, and seemed 
to imply that there were in the Saviour Two Persons. 

Eusebius, at the time a layman and advocate at Con- 
stantinople, who afterwards became Bishop of Dorylseum, 
took the lead as accuser of Nestorius, whom he charged with 
holding the same views as Paul of Samosata, both of them 
denying that the Son of Mary was the Eternal Logos. 
As his great predecessor, St. Athanasius, had been the 
champion of the Homoousios, so the champion of the 
Theotokos was Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria ; a man, who, 
however great as a theologian, was of as an irascible temper 
as his uncle, not sorry of an opportunity for crushing his 
rival Bishop; and he now entered the lists against Nestorius. 

The character of Cyril has not been handed down in 
altogether favourable colours ; but as the champion of 
the Theotokos he did a work corresponding in importance 
with that done by St. Athanasius. But for him, says Bishop 
Wordsworth % " it is probable that Jerome's words .... 
might have been applicable to an equally deadly heresy ; 
the world would have been astounded and wondered to 
find itself Nestorian." 

After a contested election with the Archdeacon Peter, 
Cyril entered on his episcopal duties under unfavourable 
auguries. Like Nestorius he began with persecution ; he 
refused to put the name of St. Chrysostom, who had been 
persecuted by his uncle, on the diptychs ; " He would as 
soon," he is reported as having said, "put the name of 
Judas on the roles as that of Chrysostom." He closed the 

• Church Hist., IV. 229. 

The Third and Fourth (Ecumenical Councils. 207 

Churches of the Novatians and confiscated their property ; 
and in 415 he seized on the Synagogues of the Jews and 
expelled them from Alexandria. 

This last act of Cyril brought him into contact with 
the Prefect Orestes, who appealed against it to the Em- 
peror ; nor did Cyril, with the exception of the monks, 
meet with the support of the people, and when, in conse- 
quence, he sought a reconciliation with Orestes, he suf- 
fered a rebuff. The cruel murder of Hypatia brought 
obloquy upon him. She, the pagan daughter of a learned 
mathematician, The'on, by her beauty, modesty, and learn- 
ing was universally respected. She delivered lectures in 
philosophy, and it was thought that Cyril was jealous 
because more people went to hear her lectures than 
his sermons. Bat she was a friend of Orestes. A band 
of furious zealots, swelled by the Parabolani '', and headed 
by a Reader named Peter, attacked her, as she was returning 
from one of her lectures, in the streets of Alexandria, dragged 
her from her carriage and literally tore her to pieces. The 
deed was imputed to the followers of Cyril, and has left 
a stain on his memory. 

In 430, Cyril, in a Council at Alexandria, hurled twelve 
Anathemas against Nestorius. To the supporters of the 
latter these savoured of ApoUinarianism, and on that ac- 
count offended both John, who had succeeded Theodotus 
in the Patriarchate of Antioch, and Theodoret, Bishop of 
Cyrus, the latter probably, since St. Augustine, the leading 
theologian of the Church. Each party tried to enlist 
Celestine, Pope of Rome, on its side, for so great was 
the jealousy and rivalry of the Sees of Constantinople 
to Alexandria, that each was desirous, almost at any sacri- 
fice of independence, to have the Western Bishop as its 
adherent. The Pope, who was no theologian, sided with 
Cyril, and in a Council at Rome in August, 430, threatened 
Nestorious with excommunication, unless within ten days 

*• A guild employed in attending tlie sick and burying the dead, but who 
often abused privileges confeired on them by talking part in popular riots. 

2o8 Chapter VI. 

after he received the notice he recanted his error. He also 
wrote to John of Antioch and Juvenal of Jerusalem announc- 
ing his intention. The Syrian Bishops, with John of Antioch 
at their head, sided with Nestorius, although John advised 
him to withdraw his statement with regard to the Theo- 
tokos. Egypt was foremost in the cause against Nestorius 
and in favour of its own Bishop. Nestorius, so far from 
humbling himself before the Pope, set both his monition 
and Cyril's anathemas at defiance. 

Both the adherents of Nestorius and those of Cyril now 
demanded an CEcumenical Council. The Emperor Arcadius 
had been succeeded by his son, Theodosius II. (408 — 450), 
or, as he is sometimes called, Theodosius the Younger, a boy 
eight years of age at his succession, who grew up a pious 
but feeble Emperor, and during his long reign was little 
more than nominal Head of the Eastern Empire, entirely 
under the guidance of his pious and able sister Pulcheria. 
The Emperor Honorius, having died A.D. 423, was succeeded 
by Valentinian III. (425 — 4SS), a boy six years of age, the 
last and worst of the family of the great Theodosius, under 
the guardianship of his mother Galla Placidia. Thus two 
women virtually ruled the Roman Empire, Pulcheria in the 
East, and Placidia in the West. 

The Emperor, Theodosius II., who was at first under the 
influence of Nestorius, was prejudiced by him against Cyril ; 
and being unwilling to allow the Pope's interference with 
his own Bishop, he, in his own name and that of Valen- 
tinian II., issued on November 19, 430, a summons for 
a Council to meet at Ephesus at Whitsuntide in the follow- 
ing year, with the view of remedying the troubles and 
disorder of the Church. At the same time Theodosius 
wrote to Cyril blaming him as the real cause of trouble, and 
also for having addressed two separate letters to his wife 
Eudocia and his sister Pulcheria, as if there had been 
dissensions at the Court. He also wrote to the great 
Augustine of Hippo inviting him to attend the Council, but 
before the letter reached its destination Augustine was dead. 

The Third and Fourth (Ecumenical Councils, 209 

The winter passed in mutual recriminations between the 
two rival Bishops ; Nestorius complained of the dealings 
of Alexandria with Antioch and Constantinople ; how that 
"by it Flavian and Nectarius suffered, and Meletius, now 
reckoned amongst the Saints ; how by it John Chrysostom, 
whose holiness they had been obliged to acknowledge, had 
suffered ; " and he issued twelve anathemas as a reply to 
those of Cyril. 

Both Nestorius and Cyril set out for Ephesus, the former 
accompanied by ten, of his Bishops and Count Candidian, 
the commissioner of both the Emperors ; and in the first 
week of June Cyril arrived to find Nestorius already there. 
Juvenal of Jerusalem arrived about a week afterwards. John 
of Antioch and the Syrian Bishops being detained, John 
wrote to Cyril excusing the delay on the ground of ex- 
ceptional circumstances, but saying that they might be 
expected in five or six days. Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrus, 
had also arrived, and he, always the counsellor of peace, 
advocated delay. Cyril well knew that John was opposed 
to his Anathemas, and that the Syrian Bishops were in 
favour of Nestorius. Cyril, who had a devoted adherent 
in Memnon, Bishop of Ephesus, notwithstanding the an- 
nouncement of John, determined not to wait. 

The Third CEcumenical Council, that of Ephesus, was 
opened on June 22,431, about one hundred and fifty-eight 
Bishops being present : Cyril presided " ; Juvenal occupied 
the next place of honour, and next to him Memnon. In 
vain Nestorius, in vain Candidian protested against the 
unseemly haste. Nestorius, though thrice summoned, re- 
fused to attend until all the Bishops should arrive; Can- 
didian surrounded the house of Nestorius with soldiers to 
prevent the entrance of the deputations which were sent 
to summon him. After sermons and other writings of 
Nestorius had been read, a unanimous cry arose in the 

' For the statement that he presided as plenipotentiary of the Pope there 
is not the shadow of foundation. 


2IO Chapter VI. 

Council ; — " We all anathematize the impious (ao-e/SJj) Nes- 
torius, and every one who will not anathematize him ; " and 
the sentence, which was subscribed by Cyril, Juvenal, and 
the Bishops present, others afterwards giving their adhesion, 
was pronounced against him ; that since he had refused 
to obey the citation, and was convicted of impious doc- 
trines, the Council was compelled by the Canons, in 
accordance with a letter of their most holy Father and 
colleague (avK\el.Tovp^ov) Celestine, Bishop of the Roman 
Church, to pronounce with many tears {BaKpvcravTei 7ro\- 
XaKis) the sorrowful sentence, that our Lord Jesus Christ 
Whom he had blasphemed, declares by this holy Council 
that he is deposed from the Episcopal dignity, and from all 
Priestly communion. Candidian caused the placards which 
announced the sentence to be torn down, but the Council 
sent the Acts to Theodosius. 

John of Antioch, with about fifteen Bishops, arriving on 
June 26 or 27, learnt with indignation of the hasty pro- 
ceedings of the Council. He immediately, "whilst the dust 
of the journey was still on his robes," held at his residence 
a Conciliabulum, attended by forty-three Bishops, which 
he declared to be the Council of Ephesus, assembled by 
the Grace of God and command of the pious Emperors, 
by which Cyril and Memnon were deposed and excom- 
municated, Theodoret, who was present, subscribing the 
sentence. It excommunicated all those who had given 
their assent to the Council of Ephesus, until such time 
as they should repent ; accepted anew the Nicene Creed, 
and anathematized the propositions of Cyril. It however 
made no mention of Nestorius, nor sanctioned his doctrine. 
The real Council, in another Session, excommunicated John 
and his adherents. 

It is unnecessary to follow on the protracted and un- 
seemly wrangle between the Sees of Alexandria and An- 
tioch. Both represented their side of the matter to Theo- 
dosius, each attacked the other with unmeasured reproaches. 
The perplexed Emperor sent Count John as his commis- 

The Third and Fourth (Ecumenical Councils. 211 

sioner to Ephesus, who arrived late in July, with the result 
that Nestorius, Cyril, and Memnon were all placed under 

Nestorius, who had hitherto relied on the Emperor, now 
found the danger of putting his trust in Princes. Cyril 
understood better than Nestorius the feeble-minded Theo- 
dosius, and cared nothing for an Emperor, except so far 
as he could bend him to his purpose. For this he left no 
stone unturned, and enlisted on his side the monks of 
Constantinople. The Archimandrite, Dalmatius, who had 
not left his cell for forty-eight years, now at Cyril's bidding, 
at the head of the monks and Archimandrites (one of whom 
was the afterwards famous Eutyches) of the neighbouring 
monasteries, gained an audience of the Emperor and terrified 
him into submission. Cyril, to the great impoverishment 
of the Church of Alexandria, lavished bribes on all sides 
to gain the Princess Pulcheria over to his side. This does 
not redound to her credit, but it must be attributed to 
the custom of the times. The Emperor veered round to 
the side of Cyril ; ratified the Synodical deposition of 
Nestorius, and consented to the appointment as his suc- 
cessor of Maximian, 431 — 434, a man of pious and peace- 
ful character, long resident as an orthodox Priest at Con- 
stantinople, who had already been consecrated by Cyril. 
Cyril returned to Alexandria, and Memnon was reinstated 
in the See of Ephesus. 

In the Eighth and last Session, on August 31, of the 
Council of Ephesus, an important Canon affecting the Cy- 
priot Church was decreed. Canon IV. of the Council of 
Nice had enacted that Bishops should be Consecrated by 
all the Bishops of the Province. The Cypriots now, by 
Rheginus, Bishop of Constantia, contended that from Apos- 
tolic times their Bishops had been Consecrated by the 
Bishop of the Province, and not by the Bishop of Antioch. 
The Council thereupon determined that "the Churches 
of Cyprus should be confirmed in their independence and 
in their right to elect and Consecrate their own Bishops." 

P 2 

212 Chapter VI. 

It must, however, be borne in mind that John of Antioch 
did not take part in the Council. 

The Emperor Theodosius now took counsel with Max- 
imian and other Bishops and clergy of Constantinople " in 
a kind of Synod V' in the hope of effecting peace in the 
Church. By their advice an Imperial letter was addressed 
to John of Antioch, exhorting him to subscribe to the 
deposition of Nestorius and to condemn his doctrine. An- 
other letter was sent to the famous Pillar-Saint, St. Simeon 
Stylites, seeking his co-operation. Theodosius recommended 
that Cyril should confine his anathemas to those who held 
false doctrine on the Sonship, and not extend them to 
the teaching of Nestorius, which the Antiochenes held to 
be correct. Cyril was thereby induced to make such ex- 
planations as satisfied both Theodoret and John of Antioch. 
John sent Paul, Bishop of Emesa, one of the Bishops who 
had joined in the deposition of Cyril and Memnon, with 
a conciliatory letter to Cyril which, while it expressed 
regret for his Twelve Anathemas, contained a Creed which 
Theodoret had drawn up, and which Cyril approved as 
orthodox. Still Cyril stood firm ; nothing short of the 
consent of John to the deposition of Nestorius and the 
condemnation of his doctrine would satisfy him. In the 
end John gave way, and early in 433 abandoned Nestorius 
and Nestorianism. He wrote to the Emperor Theodosius 
and to Cyril that "he had determined to agree to the 
judgment pronounced against Nestorius, to recognize him 
as deposed, and to anathematize his infamous teaching;'' 
and he allowed the Consecration of Maximian. He also 
wrote to the two Emperors, advocating the restoration of 
the deposed Bishops, not, however, including Nestorius. 

Nestorius, deserted by all his friends, even Theodoret, 
though he persisted in refusing to anathematize him, con- 
demning him as the cause of all the trouble, was permitted 
by the Emperor to retire to his former monastery near 
Antioch, where " he was loaded with presents and treated 
" Hefele's Councils. 

The Third and Fourth (Ecumenical Councils. 213 

with the highest respect^." But his residence in the neigh- 
bourhood of Antioch was a standing reproach to John, 
and at the request of the latter, Nestorius, after the space 
of four years, was banished to the Oasis of Libya (the 
Botany Bay of the time for the worst criminals), where 
he suffered much from marauders ; and after being dragged 
about from place to place, and suffering from Catholics 
cruelties equal to those inflicted on St. Chrysostom, died 
from the effects of his ill-treatment about A.D. 439. 

Theodoret consented to a reconciliation on the under- 
standing that he would not anathematize Nestorius, but 
only the doctrine imputed to him. He did not at that 
time believe that Nestorius held the doctrine with which 
he was charged ; he would rather he said have both his 
hands cut off than condemn the doctrine of Nestorius. 
It was not till ten years afterwards, at the Council of 
Chalcedon, that he assented to his condemnation. 

Peace was now to outward appearance restored between 
the Eastern Bishops ; but the last act of John was the 
first act in a long drama, and laid the foundation of 
a deplorable schism in the Eastern Church which has never 
since been healed '. 

Maximian dying A.D. 434, was succeeded by St. Proclus 
(434 — 447), titular Bishop of Cyzicus, who was at the 
time officiating as Priest in St. Sophia's. He had been 
the secretary of St. Chrysostom, and by his request 
Chrysostom's body was, on January 27, A.D. 438, trans- 
lated with great pomp from Comana to Constantinople, 
and deposited near the Altar in the Church of the Holy 
Apostles, the place of sepulture of the Emperors and of 
the Bishops of Constantinople ; the Emperor and Pulcheria 
assisting at the ceremony, and asking the pardon of Heaven 
for the grievous wrong inflicted by their parents on the 
sainted Bishop. St. Proclus died in October, 447, and 
was succeeded by Flavian. John of Antioch dying A.D. 441, 
was succeeded by his nephew Domnus (441 — 449) ; on the 

« Evag. Schol. ' See Chapter on the Separatist Churches. 

214 Chapter VL 

death of Cyril in June, 444, his Archdeacon, Dioscorus, 
succeeded him at Alexandria, a violent and notoriously 
immoral man, who gained the See by the unscrupulous 
bribery of the eunuch of the weak Theodosius, and who 
brought with him the faults without the theological learning 
of St. Cyril. Juvenal was still Bishop of Jerusalem. 

The reconciliation of John and Theodoret brought about 
to a certain extent a reconciliation between the latter and 
Cyril. But between the violence of Cyril and the amiable 
character of Theodoret there was little in common ; another 
quarrel between them as to the works of Theodore of 
Mopsuestia ensued, Cyril attacking and Theodoret de- 
fending them, which was only ended by the death of Cyril. 

Dioscorus having gained the ear of the Emperor at once 
set himself to ruining Theodoret. The heresy of Eutyches, 
whom Dioscorus favoured, was now coming into prominence. 
Theodoret was one of the first to expose the heresy, and 
on this and other grounds Dioscorus was his enemy. By 
accusing Theodoret of being a restless and turbulent man, 
the abettor of Nestorius, he obtained an Imperial edict that 
Theodoret should confine himself to his diocese, and even 
publicly anathematized him in Church. In order to crush 
both him and Flavian, Dioscorus prevailed on the Emperor 
to summon the Robber-Synod of Ephesus (A.D. 449), which 
Theodoret was forbidden by a second edict of the Emperor 
to attend. 

The heresy of the Two Natures of our Lord had found 
no more strenuous opponent than in the aged Eutyches, 
who had been for seventy years the inmate of a monastery, 
and was at the time the Archimandrite of one near Con- 
stantinople. But in avoiding the heresy of the Two Natures 
he ran into the opposite extreme of attributing only one 
Nature to Christ. A charge was brought against him before 
Flavian by Eusebius, now Bishop of Dorylseum in Phrygia, 
who twenty years before had been the accuser of Nestorius. 
In vain the gentle and peace-loving Flavian recommended 
a private arrangement between the two who, as the 

The Third and Fourth CEcumenical Councils. 215 

opponents of Nestorius, had before been friends. Eusebius 
persisting in demanding an enquiry, a Council was ap- 
pointed to be held in A.D. 448, at Constantinople, before 
which Eutyches was summoned to appear. In vain the 
aged Archimandrite thrice excused himself on the ground 
of his infirmities, and not before Flavian threatened him 
with deprivation as a Priest did he consent to appear. 
Being interrogated by the Imperial commissioners, Eu- 
tyches stated his belief that our Lord "before the union 
of the Godhead and Manhood had Two Natures, but after 
the Union only One;" he was then condemned to excom- 
munication and deprivation. The monks rallied round 
their Archimandrite, who also gained the patronage, whilst 
Flavian fell under the disfavour, of the Court. 

Celestine was succeeded at Rome by Sixtus III. (432 — 
440), and he by Leo I. (440 — 461), to whom Eutyches and, 
as it would appear, Flavian also wrote. Leo in his answer 
complained that Flavian had acted without consulting him, 
and requested to know why Eutyches had been so hastily 
punished ; but, on receiving a second letter from Flavian, 
he sided with him and expressed his sympathy. At the 
request of Dioscorus and Eutyches the Emperor summoned 
the Council which gained the name of Latrocinium or 
Robber-Council {avvohos kr]<TTpiKrj) to meet at Ephesus. 

The Council accordingly met at the beginning of August, 
449, in St. Mary's Church at Ephesus (the same Church 
in which the great Council had sat), but not under the 
presidency of Domnus, Bishop of Antioch, who was deprived 
of his right by an Imperial rescript, but under Dioscorus, 
the hereditary enemy of the Bishop of Constantinople, and 
himself a holder of the views of Eutyches. The next seat 
of honour was accorded to Julius, Bishop of Puteoli, who, 
with a Deacon named Hilary (destined to become the 
successor of Leo in the Papacy), represented the Pope 
of Rome; the usual order was reversed, Juvenal of Jeru- 
salem occupying the third, Domnus the fourth, whilst the 
fifth place was accorded to Flavian. 

2i6 Chapter VI. 

The papal legates brought with them to Flavian the 
famous Tome of Pope Leo, which clearly set forth the 
orthodox doctrine of the One Person of God and Man ; the 
inferiority of the Son as touching His Manhood, His equality 
with the Father as touchinsj the Godhead. 

Theodosius, who as we have seen was prejudiced in favour 
of the teaching of Eutyches, had allowed Barsumas, a 
furious Monophysite monk, as representative of the mal- 
content monastic body, to be summoned, who brought with 
him a turbulent band of one thousand monks to coerce 
the Synod to vote according to their wishes. The Council 
packed with gross unfairness by Dioscorus, who showed 
himself from first to last a thorough partizan, was marked 
from the commencement with violence ; Dioscorus encour- 
aged the ring-leaders, and so turbulent a scene was presented 
that the Imperial soldiers were called in to preserve order. 
When the Pope's Letter or Tome was handed in by Hilary, 
Dioscorus refused to allow it to be read ; and when Flavian 
suggested that Eusebius the accuser of Eutyches should 
be called, his reasonable proposal was negatived. The 
weak Domnus of Antioch, who had been one of the first 
to impeach Eutyches in a synodal letter to Theodosius, 
now expressed his regret for having condemned him. The 
end was that Eutyches was acquitted, his doctrine pro- 
nounced orthodox, and the sentence against him annulled, 
Juvenal of Jerusalem assenting to the judgment. The 
Council also attacked Theodoret, in his absence, as the 
enemy of the Council of Ephesus and of the writings of 
the blessed Cyril. Dioscorus led the attack against him, 
as an impious wretch whose impiety was of long standing; 
who by his false teaching had led astray innumerable saints. 
The Synod sentenced him to be deprived not only of the 
Priesthood but of lay communion, as one unfit for people 
to associate with ; and the sentence was approved by Dom- 
nus, whose own deposition and_ banishment was to follow 
the next day. 

The question was brought forward whether Flavian and 

The Third and Fourth (Ecumenical Councils. 217 

Eusebius ought not to suffer the punishment to which 
Eutyches had been condemned. Several Bishops, and 
amongst them Thalassius of Cxsarea, though he held the 
doctrine of Eutyches ^, declared that whosoever went beyond 
the Nicene Creed was not orthodox. Dioscorus, in propos- 
ing the Nicene Creed as a test, had evidently aimed at 
Flavian, who in the late Synod of Constantinople had used 
the expression " Two Natures." " It follows," he said, " that 
Flavian of Constantinople and Eusebius of Dorylaeum must 
be deposed from their ecclesiastical dignity ; I pronounce, 
therefore, their deposition." Juvenal and Domnus signed 
the sentence. In vain Flavian protested, as did also the 
papal legates, against the action of Dioscorus. Dioscorus 
accused those who opposed him with exciting to sedition, 
called in the soldiers, and demanded that the Bishops 
should sign the deposition. The Bishops, many of whom 
had during the tumult tried to conceal themselves in obscure 
parts of the Church, were dragged forth, and eventually one 
hundred and thirty-five, forced by the threats of Dioscorus 
and the blows of the soldiers, signed the sentence. Flavian, 
brutally kicked and beaten by the agents of Dioscorus and 
Barsumas, and, it was said, by Dioscorus himself, was 
sentenced to banishment to Epipas, a village of Lydia, and 
thrown into prison, only surviving his cruel treatment three 
days. Eusebius managed to effect' his escape to Rome. 
Dioscorus next turned against those who, though they had 
supported him at the Latrocinium, had previously opposed 
him ; and Domnus was deposed and eventually retired 
to a monastery. As a just judgment on their conduct 
in the Council the names of Juvenal and Dioscorus were 
erased from the diptychs of the Orthodox Church. 

Julius, the Papal Legate, who took a less conspicuous 
part in the Council than Hilary, although he opposed the 
deposition of Flavian, was left in peace and safety. Hilary, 
who met the decisions of the Council with unflinching 

« He, however, on his retraction of the doctrine was acquitted at the Council 
of Chalcedon. 

2i8 Chapter VI. 

opposition, threatened by Dioscorus, and finding his longer 
stay at Ephesus unsafe, got off the best way he could, 
and fled by a clandestine and circuitous route (fer incognita 
et invia loca) to Rome. 

Anatolius, through the influence with the Emperor of 
Dioscorus, whose agent he had been at the Latrociniumi 
succeeded Flavian as Patriarch of Constantinople (449 — 458). 
Maximus chosen by Dioscorus, and appointed by Theo- 
dosius uncanonically without the clergy and people being 
consulted, to succeed Domnus, was consecrated Patriarch 
of Antioch (449—455) by Anatolius; he however proved 
himself 'to be an orthodox Bishop. The Emperor Theo- 
dosius, notwithstanding the protests of Pope Leo, confirmed 
the Latrocinium, and Dioscorus, now master of the whole 
Eastern Church, pronounced a sentence of excommunication 
against Leo. But it was impossible that the scandal and 
confusion caused by the Latrocinium could long be ac- 
quiesced in. Leo wrote to Theodosius in October, 449, 
stating that Flavian had appealed to Rome (to what other 
See could he appeal, persecuted as he was in the East?), 
and that in agreement with the Nicene Canons a General 
Council should be held in Italy. As we have already 
seen in the case of Zosimus, it was a favourite plan of 
the Bishops of Rome to confound the Canons of the com- 
paratively unimportant Council of Sardica with those of 
the great Council of Nice. The Western Emperor, Valen- 
tinian, supported Leo, who also enlisted the sympathy of 
the orthodox Pulcheria on his side. But Theodosius re- 
mained inflexible and adhered to the Latrocinium, and to 
the belief that Flavian had been justly deposed. 

The cause of Dioscorus was, however, wrecked through 
the death on July 19, 450, by a fall from his horse, of 
Theodosius. Pulcheria, who since she was sixteen years 
of age had reigned with him as co-regent with the title of 
Augusta, succeeded to the Empire. She with her two 
sisters had dedicated themselves to a life of virginity. 
But as a woman had never before been sole ruler of the 

The Third and Fourth (Ecumenical Councils. 219 

^oman Empire, feeling that a prejudice would attach to 
her sex, she now took as her nominal husband Marcian, 
a Thracian of humble birth, a man much esteemed for his 
piety, who from being a common soldier had risen to be 
one of the most distinguished Generals and Statesmen of 
the time. Marcian was crowned Emperor on August 24, 
450, and proved one of the most virtuous Princes that 
ever ruled over the Roman Empire (450 — 457). 

Marcian and Pulcheria were both orthodox and opposed 
to Eutyches ; the influence of Dioscorus was at an end ; 
the Bishops and orthodox Confessors of the faith who had 
been banished after the Latrocinium, and amongst them 
Theodoret, were at once recalled ; whilst many of the 
Bishops who had, under fear, subscribed the decrees of the 
Latrocinium signified their repentance. 

The difficulties in the way of holding an Oicumenical 
Council being removed, Marcian acceded to the request 
which the Pope had made to Theodosius, that a Council 
should assemble ; but not, as Leo desired, in Italy. But 
now that orthodoxy was re-established, the desire for a 
General Council had abated, the Catholics, and amongst 
them Pope Leo, feared lest a Council, in condemning Euty- 
chianism, might favour Nestorianism. 

The Emperor, however, thought differently to the Pope, 
and in obedience to his summons, the Bishops met at 
Nice, on September 1,451. But as he was occupied with 
the invasion of Illyria by the Huns and other important 
affairs of State, he wrote to them requesting that they 
would transfer the Synod to Chalcedon, "because it was 
so near the capital that he could attend in person both 
to his affairs in Constantinople and to those of the Council." 
The Fourth General Council, at which as many as six 
hundred and fifty Bishops at different times attended, held 
its first meeting on October 8, A.D. 451, at Chalcedon, in 
the Church of St. Euphemia the Martyr. The Emperor, 
having opposed the Pope's wish, first to have the Council 
in Italy, and then to have any Council at all, would feel 

220 Chapter VI. 

.inclined to make some amends to one who had assumed 
so firm and consistent an attitude with regard to the 
Latrocinium. This may account for the fact that the 
Roman legates presided, and for the first time, in an 
CEcumenical Council. Though addressing a meeting com- 
posed almost entirely of Eastern Bishops, they spoke in 
the Latin language, their speeches having to be translated 
into Greek. Anatolius, Patriarch of Constantinople, held the 
next place of dignity to the legates ; then Maximus of 
Antioch, then Dioscorus, who, however, on the protest of 
one of the legates against his being a judge whilst he 
himself was to be judged, was obliged to sit aside ; and 
last, but not till after the Fourth Session, the time-serving 
Juvenal, who finding that his name had been erased from 
the diptychs, and himself regarded with general indignatioa, 
had completely veered round to orthodoxy. So strong had 
been the feeling against him that he was not at first in- 
cluded in the general amnesty. 

There were in all sixteen Sessions, the first of which 
was marked by riots as disgraceful as the Latrocinium. 
The introduction of Theodoret, whom the magistrates or- 
dered to appear, created a fearful storm. No sooner had 
he entered than the Egyptians and the party of Dioscorus 
shouted that the teacher of Nestorianism should be turned 
out ; the Eastern Bishops declared that they had been 
beaten and forced to sign the Latrocinium, and shouted 
" Turn out the enemies of Flavian and of the faith ; " next 
the cry was turned against Dioscorus, "out with the mur- 
derer of Flavian .... that Pharaoh, the homicide Dioscorus." 
The storm was only abated through the interference of 
the magistrates, who begged them to remember that they 
were Bishops. In the Second Session, October lo, first 
the Nicene and immediately afterwards the Constantino- 
politan form of the Creed was read, both forms being re- 
ceived with shouts of adhesion. In the Third, on October 13, 
Dioscorus was charged with his conduct at the previous 
Council as well as of moral oifences, with refusing to allow 

The Third and Fourth CEcumenical Councils. 221 

the Pope's Letter to be read and with excommunicating him, 
and the Papal Legates gave the sentence that "the most 
holy Archbishop of Rome, Leo, through us and this Council" 
deprived him of his episcopal and all sacerdotal ministry. 

In the Fourth Session, commencing Oct. 17, the Tome 
of Leo was accepted as being in agreement with the Creeds 
of Nice and Constantinople. Five Bishops who had been 
deposed for the part they had taken in the Latrocinium, 
and amongst them Juvenal, were restored. 

In the Fifth Sessipn, Oct. 22, the Synodical Letter of 
Cyril to Nestorius and the Eastern Bishops, and the Tome 
of Leo, were accepted as a Rule of Faith against the evil 
teaching of Eutyches. The Council confirmed the Faith 
of the Councils of Nice and Constantinople. It then con- 
demned several heresies and declared ; — " We with one 
consent {<rv/i^d}vco<i), teach men to confess One and the 
same Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, perfect in Godhead, perfect 
in Manhood, truly God and truly Man, of a reasonable 
soul and body (e/e '^v)(fjs XoytKrjt koI acofiaTos) ; co-essential 
with the Father as touching the Godhead, and co-essential 
with us as touching the Manhood, in all things like unto 
us, sin only excepted (x^P''^ dfiaprlas) ; Begotten of the 
Father before all ages, as touching the Godhead, and in 
these latter days for us and our salvation Born of Mary, 
the Virgin Mother of God, as touching the Manhood, One 
and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, to be re- 
cognized in Two Natures, without confusion {da-vyx^'''o>s), 
without change (dTpi-irTea), without division {aSiaipertos), 
without separation (dxeopiaTox:), the distinction of Natures 
being in no wise removed by the union, but rather the 
property of each Nature being preserved, and continuing 
in One Person and hypostasis ; not parted and divided into 
two Persons, but one and the same Son, Only-begotten, 
God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, even as we have 
been taught from the beginning by the Prophets and the 
Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and the Fathers have delivered 
to us." 

222 Chapter VI. 

At the Sixth Session, October 25, Marcian and Pulcheria 
were present, the former delivering a speech in Latin, which 
was translated by an interpreter into Greek. 

By the Seventh Canon of Nice an honorary precedence 
had been accorded to Jerusalem, " Saving the rights of 
the Metropolitan," i.e. of Csesarea. We find accordingly, 
Acacius, Bishop of Caesarea, under that Canon, deposing 
St. Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem. The chief object of Juvenal, 
during his long but not very creditable Episcopate, was 
to raise his See from the secondary rank, accorded it at 
Nice, into a Patriarchate. In the Seventh Session, October 
25, of Chalcedon, the See of Jerusalem was, at the claim 
of Juvenal, raised into a Patriarchal See, with jurisdiction 
oVer the three Provinces of Palestine, which had before 
been subject to the Patriarch of Antioch, whilst Antioch 
was to have jurisdiction over Phoenicia and Arabia. At 
the Latrocinium Juvenal had subscribed before Domnus 
of Antioch. Elated probably by this success, he now put 
forth an arrogant claim for precedency over the Patriarch 
of Antioch, which was opposed by Maximus, Patriarch of 
that See, and rejected. 

In the Eighth Session, October 26, the cause of Theo- 
doret was brought forward, and he was, as the condition 
of his being admitted to communion, required to anathe- 
matize Nestorius. Menaced and wearied out, he gave way, 
and with some demur said ; " Anathema to Nestorius and 
to every one who refuses to call the Holy Virgin Theotokos, 
or who divides the Only-begotten Son into two. I have 
subscribed the definition of faith, and the Letter of the most 
Holy Archbishop Leo ; and this is my mind." 

In the Ninth and Tenth Sessions, Oct. 27, Ibas, Bishop 
of Edessa, of whom we shall hear more further on, who 
had been condemned at the Latrocinium, was, on his sub- 
scribing the Letter of Leo, and adding an anathema of 
Nestorius, pronounced to be orthodox. 

In the Fifteenth Session, Oct. 31, at which the Papal 
legates were absent, thirty Canons were passed, of which 

The Third and Fourth (Ecumenical Councils. 223 

the Ninth and the Twenty-eighth are of special impor- 

Canon IX. forbade a clergyman to apply to the secular 
Courts, and enacted, that if he had a controversy with 
another, he should apply to his own Bishop, or if he had 
a complaint against his own or another Bishop, to the Metro- 
politan, or if the Bishop or clergyman had cause against a 
Metropolitan he should apply to the Exarch of the Diocese 
(Stowijfft?, a group of Provinces), or to the throne of Con- 
stantinople. . 

Canon XXVIII., after reciting and confirming the Third 
Canon of Constantinople, enacted, "We following in all 
respects the decrees of the Holy Fathers, and recognizing 
the Canon of the 150 Bishops most beloved of God (i.e. 
of the Council of Constantinople) decree, and vote the same 
as they did concerning the privileges (ra irpea-^ela) of the 
most holy Church of Constantinople, which is New Rome. 
For the Fathers have with good reason granted its privileges 
to the throne of Old Rome, on account of its being the 
Imperial city; and the 150 Fathers, most beloved of God, 
acting under the same consideration, have given the same 
privileges to the most holy throne of New Rome, rightly 
judging that the city which is the seat of Empire, and is 
equal to the Imperial Rome in other privileges, should be 
also honoured as she is, in ecclesiastical affairs, as being 
the second and next after her." 

This Canon was objected to by the Papal legates, who 
in the Sixteenth Session, November i, remonstrated against 
it. But when one of the legates asserted that the Bishops 
had been forced to sign, he was met with an indignant de- 
nial ; and .(Etius, Archdeacon of Constantinople, said that 
the Canon had been regularly brought forward and enacted, 
and had been subscribed by one hundred and ninety-two 

At the Council of Chalcedon both forms of the Creed, 
the Nicene and the Constantinopolitan, were recited, and 
in the Fourth Session the Council declared that the Creed 

224 Chapter VI. 

taught what was perfect {ja reXeiov) concerning the Father, 
Son, and Holy Ghost. It also decreed that " it was not 
lawful for any one to propose, compile, hold, or teach any 
other faith, under pain of being deposed, if they were amongst 
the clergy, of being anathematized, if amongst the laity." 
The decree was recited, word for word, and re-affirmed 
with equal solemnity in the Fifth and Sixth CEcumenical 
Councils ; not a word was to be added to, or taken from, 
the Creed. Most explicit on this head was the oath taken 
by the Popes themselves. They swore at their election to 
preserve unmutilated the decrees of the First Six CEcumeni- 
cal Councils, with an imprecation on themselves, if they 
were unfaithful to their oath ; Si prater hcec aliquid agere 
presumpsero, vel ut prcBsumatur permisero, erit mihi Deus 
in illA terribili die judicii depropitius. We look in vain for 
any General Council, we look in vain for any Papal En- 
cyclical, authorizing the insertion, yet we find for the first 
time an alteration made in the Pontifical oath of the 
Eleventh Century, and all the Churches of the West, with 
that of Rome at the head, using the Creed with the Filioque 
Clause appended to it ''. 

The Pontificate of Leo I. marks an era in the Papacy, 
and in its connexion with the Eastern Church. When he 
became Pope, Alexandria was, under St. Cyril, probably re- 
puted the highest of all the five Patriarchal Sees. Leo was 
the most able Bishop that had as yet presided over the 
See of Rome, and was the foremost man, not only in the 
Church, but also in society. Under him the tide turned, 
and whilst the Eastern Patriarchs were engaged in an in- 
ternecine struggle, Leo was laying the foundation of the 
pre-eminence of the Roman See, which it has never since 

If the Roman Emperors had, the Roman Empire had 

not, either in the East or in the West, become Christian ; 

it needed new blood to regenerate it, and in the Western 

part of the Empire the new blood was now at hand. The 

■■ Ffoulkes, The Church's Creed or the Crown's Creed ? 

The Third and Fourth CEcumenical Councils. 225 

great tide of German nations, one tribe pushing on another, 
was sweeping over Europe, to settle and make nations in 
the West, whilst the Germans could never effect a perma- 
nent settlement in the East. Barbarians as they were, they 
had in them the seeds of the civilization which the Roman 
Empire wanted, and they brought with them the material 
which was most needed for building up the future Chris- 

Most of them were already Christians, although in the im- 
perfecting form of i\rianism. Theophilus, a Gothic Bishop, 
was present at the great Council of Nice. His successor, 
in A.D. 348, Ulfilas, translated the Scriptures into the Gothic 
language, suppressing the Books of Samuel and Kings for 
fear of irritating the fierce and sanguinary spirit of the Bar- 
barians '. The Apostle of the Goths, as he was styled, 
exercised over them an unbounded influence, and through 
him the whole nation, both Goths and Visigoths, embraced 
Christianity in the Arian form. From them, Arianism 
spread through the other tribes of Germany and became 
the Creed of the nations which conquered the Roman 
Empire. They subverted the Western Empire, but em- 
braced the Catholic religion of the Romans ; they gave 
new life to and regenerated the West ; but some great 
Providence (as Professor Kingsley says in his Hypatia) pre- 
vented all their attempts to do the same for the East ; and 
under the army of Belisarius disappeared the last chance 
of their restoring the East, as they had the West, to life. 

The personal character and unflinching orthodoxy of Leo 
marked him out as the very man whom the circumstances 
of the Empire needed, and he paved the way for the 
future grandeur of the Roman and the decadence of the 
Eastern Church. When the Western Empire was tottering 
to its fall, and Attila, fulfilling his destiny as the scourge 
of God, was marching on Rome, and encamped on the 
shores of Lake Benacus ; when the cowardly Emperor 
Valentinian sent an embassy to deprecate his wrath ; the 
' Gibbon, VI. 269. 


226 Chapter VI. 

Pope, risking his life for the safety of his country, entered 
the Barbarian's tent, and through his venerable and majestic 
appearance and commanding eloquence, succeeded in ob- 
taining peace for the Empire. When, again, Genseric was 
completing the work which Attila had left unfinished, the 
good services of Leo were again requisitioned, and if he 
did not meet with the same success, nor was able to avert 
the sacking of Rome, he was at least able somewhat to 
mitigate its horrors. 

Whilst the Eastern Patriarchs were quarrelling amongst 
themselves, and the Greek Church waS agitated with subtle 
distinctions as to the Homoousion or Homoiousion, the 
One or Two Natures in our Saviour, the Western Church, 
if slightly ruffled by the Donatists and Pelagians, had been 
enjoying peace and rest, and under Leo it was the rallying- 
point of Orthodoxy, as the See of Carthage had been under 
St. Cyprian. The Bishops of Constantinople and Alexandria, 
mutually jealous of each other, sought the alliance of the 
Western Patriarch, who, apprehensive of the rival See of 
Constantinople, threw his aegis over the latter. The Clemen- 
tine fiction that St. Peter had been Bishop of Rome now 
became magnified into the claim of the Popes that St. Peter 
was the Rock on which Christ built His Church. St. Au- 
gustine, the greatest of the Latin Fathers, who had not been 
dead twenty years when Leo L entered on his Pontificate, 
shows that that was not the belief of the Church, for he 
expressly states that that Rock was Christ Himself^. 

When the Canon of Chalcedon was reported to Leo, 
he wrote angry letters to Marcian, Pulcheria, and the 
Patriarch Anatolius, the last of whom he accused of 
having influenced the Council. The Patriarchs of Alexandria 
and Antioch had subscribed the Canon, but the Pope of 
Rome rejected it on the ground that it was an usurpation 
of the rights of other Bishops, especially of the two Patri- 
archs, who, he said, possessed the precedence next to Rome ; 

^ " Super hanc Petram quam confessus es . . . . sedificabo Eccleslam meam ; 
i.e. Me Ipsmn .... Petrus cedificatur super Petrum, non Petra super Petrum!' 

The Third and Fourth (Ecumenical Councils. 227 

and he rested his case on a Canon of Nice which, there 
is reason for believing, except in a Roman Version, had no 
existence. Anatolius adhered to the Canon because it was 
" decreed by the whole Synod." And Anatolius had the 
better of the argument, for both Greek and Latin Churches 
profess that the CEcumenical Councils sat under the guidance 
of the Holy Spirit, so that if one part of the Canons is 
accepted on that ground, the whole must be accepted also. 
Leo signified to the Emperor his consent to the doctrinal 
decrees and the condemnation of heretics, but persisted to 
the end in refusing the twenty-eighth Canon. It, however, 
remained in force, and his great successor, Gregory L, 
acknowledged the Four CEcumenical Councils, and said 
that they are to be received with the reverence paid to 
the Four Gospels. 

The Canon, however, increased the jealousies between 
the Sees of Rome and Constantinople, and was the principal 
cause which led to the schism of the Eastern and Western 
Churches. Notwithstanding the new life infused into the 
Western, new life was not infused into the Eastern part 
of the Empire ; under the union between Church and 
State, the Eastern Church suffered more from the Em- 
perors than the remote Western Church, and whilst the 
latter was able to develope its resources, the downward 
career of Eastern Christianity went on increasing till it was 
overwhelmed by its Mahometan invaders. The Council of' 
Chalcedon defined clearly the doctrine of the Catholic Church 
when it anathematized those who held that there were 
in our Lord Two Natures before the union and only One 
after it, but so far from giving peace to the Church, it 
intensified theological difficulties. In avoiding Eutychian- 
ism, it seemed to some to fall into Nestoriani.=-.m, and to 
condemn their great champion, St. Cyril. Such was the 
case amongst the Copts, who formed the majority of the 
Christians in Egypt, and out of it grew the great Eutychian 
or Monophysite controversy. 

The population of Egypt was made up of two distinct 


228 Chapter VI. 

races, the native Egyptian and the Greek residents; the 
latter accepted the decrees of the Council of Chalcedon ; 
the former made the Council a national question, threw oft 
their adherence, which had never been more than a merely- 
nominal one, to the Patriarch of Constantinople, rejected 
the Orthodox Church as a State-made Church, and stig- 
matized its adherents as Melchites or Imperialists. 

The deposition of Dioscorus was confirmed by the Em- 
peror, and he was banished to Gangra in Paphlagonia, where 
he died A.D. 454. St. Proterius, Arch-Priest of Alexandria, 
who had been deputed by Dioscorus himself to take charge 
of the Church during his absence, was elected by Imperial, 
mandate to succeed him. When news of the deposition 
of their Bishop reached Egypt, the indignation of the na-, 
tive population knew no bounds ; with one consent they 
refused to acknowledge the decision of the Council, or, if 
their Bishop was excommunicated, they would be excom- 
municated too ; so long as he lived they would acknow- 
ledge no other Bishop. Proterius was from the first regarded 
as the Emperor's Bishop ; he had removed the name of 
Dioscorus from the Diptychs, and inserted the Council 01 
Chalcedon ; he was a heretic who had intruded himself into 
the told when it was bereft of its shepherd. When Dios- 
corus died, though still refusing to acknowledge Proterius, 
they at first refrained from electing their own Bishop. But, 
A.D. 457, four years after his virgin-wife Pulcheria, who was 
canonized by the Church, the Emperor Marcian died. The 
Patrician Aspar might, if he would have subscribed the Ni- 
cene faith, have placed the: diadem on his own head; as 
he was unwilling to do so, Leo I. (457 — 474) was by his 
recommendation elected, and, received the Imperial Crown 
from the hands of the Patriarch (Anatolius). To Leo the 
title of Great was conferred by the Greeks, but rather in 
reference to his orthodoxy and his opposition to Nestorian- . 
istiii and Eutychianism, than for any other cause. 
' ' When the news of the death of Marcian reached Egypt, 
the hopes of the Monophysites were raised, and the mal- 

The Third and Fourth (Ecumenical Councils. 229 

content party now elected Timothy, a Priest of Alexandria, 
whom Proterius had excommunicated and banished ; a man 
to whom the nickname of ^lurus {the Cat) was applied, on 
account, it has been supposed, of his creeping by night into 
the cells of the monks to induce them to elect him as their 
Bishop ; assuring them that he was an Angel sent by God 
to deliver them from Proterius. An outbreak occurred in 
which Proterius, who took refuge in his Baptistery (thinking 
that the sacredness of the place and the day, for it was Good 
Friday, would protect him), was murdered ; Timothy was 
intruded into the See, and publicly renounced the com- 
munion of the Egyptian Church with Rome, Constantinople, 
and Antioch. 

Equally unacceptable were the decrees of Chalcedon to 
the Archimandrites and monks of Palestine, and Juvenal 
had, in 452, to give place to a monk of disreputable charac- 
ter named Theodosius, and was forced to fly to Constantino- 
ple '. Theodosius was a native of Alexandria, and probably 
one of the gang of turbulent monks whom Barsumas had 
taken with him to the Latrocinium, and he afterwards 
attended the Council of Chalcedon. Hurrying away from 
Chalcedon to Jerusalem he persuaded the monks that the 
Council had betrayed the true faith, and favoured Nestorian- 
ism. In vain he attempted to gain to his side St. Euthy- 
mius, the famous anchorite of Palestine, but he found a 
patroness in the widow of the Emperor Theodosius II., 
Eudocia, who was living in Jerusalem in exile, and for a 
time held the Eutychian heresy. For twenty months he 
managed to hold the See ; but on Eudocia being induced 
by Euthymius to join the orthodox party, her example 
was followed by a large number of the monks. Juvenal 
was then, in 453, enabled to recover his own; Theodosius 
seeking refuge amongst the monks of Syria. But no one. 
Orthodox or Monophysite, could place confidence in the 
time-serving Juvenal, and a cloud hung over him to his 

' Theodosius " had been expelled a. monastery and publicly whipped at 
Alexandria for sedition." Evag. Schol. 

230 Chapter VI. 

death, A.D. 458, when he was succeeded by Ahastasius 
(458 — 478). The schism continued under Gerontius, who 
gave great trouble by his factious endeavours to uproot the 
Council of Chalcedon, but was at length healed under 
Martyrius, the successor of Anastasius in the Patriarchate 
of Jerusalem. 

In the same year as Juvenal, died Anatolius, Patriarch 
of Constantinople. He had once been, as we have seen, 
a favourer of Dioscorus, but after his consecration he pub- 
licly condemned both Nestorius and Eutyches, and in the 
difficult circumstances of the times he seems, especially at 
Chalcedon, to have been a wise and prudent Bishop. He 
is the first of the Greek hymn-writers of whom we have 
any record, and is the author of the three beautiful hymns 
in Hymns Ancient and Modern ; the well-known Evening 
hymn, " The Day is past and over ; " and the hymns be- 
ginning, " Fierce raged the tempest o'er the deep ; " " The 
Son of God goes forth to war ; " the first two translated 
by Dr. Neale, the last by Bishop Heber. Of his Evening 
hymn, Dr. Neale says, " it is to the scattered hamlets of 
Chios and Mitylene what Bishop Ken's Evening hymn is 
to the villages of our own land, and its melody singularly 
plaintive and soothing." 

The Monophysites having overwhelmed the Bishoprics of 
Alexandria and Jerusalem, soon got possession of that of 
Antioch. Maximus, dying A.D. 455, was succeeded by Basil 
(456 — 459), and he by Acacius (459 — 461), after whom 
followed Martyrius (461 — 471). Peter, a monk of Con- 
stantinople, surnamed, from the trade which he had some- 
time followed, the Fuller (6 yva^evs), gained the ear of Zeno, 
the son-in-law of the Emperor Leo, with whom he pro- 
ceeded to Antioch, and there formed so strong a faction 
against Martyrius, that the latter, who was accused of 
being a Nestorian, as those who, not Monophysites, com- 
monly were, abdicated the See, and sought an asylum with 
Gennadius (458 — -471), who had succeeded Anatolius as 
Patriarch of Constantinople. 


The Third and Fourth (Ecumenical Councils. 23 1 

Peter, in order to establish his own Monophysite views 
against the Council of Chalcedon, introduced into the hymn 
called by the Greeks Trisagion, the words, " Who was 
crucified for us ■" " (6 aTuvpcodels Si Tj/juas), meaning thereby 
to imply that Jesus suffered, as God, on the Cross ; hence 
his followers were called by the Greeks, Theopaschites ". 
The Orthodox Emperor was, however, indignant at this 
uncanonical usurpation, and after a Synod held at Antioch, 
sentenced Peter to banishment in the Oasis, and Julian 
(471 — 476) was appointed by the orthodox party in his 
place. Peter, however, contrived to escape to Constanti- 
nople, where he lay hid in the monastery of the Acoemetae. 
The reign of Leo was one of comparative peace, and 
Eutychianism yielded to the orthodoxy of the Emperor. 
Unwilling to call together another General Council, he 
consulted the Bishops and orthodox clergy, amongst others 
the Pillar-Saint Simeon Stylites, concerning the troublous 
state of the Church of Alexandria ; and by their advice he 
sent orders, A.D. 460, to the military commander at Alex- 
andria, to expel Timothy ^Elurus, and also to summon 
a Council for the election of an orthodox successor. 
Timothy then professed himself ready to accept the de- 
crees of Chalcedon, but the Emperor refused to accept his 
submission and banished him to the Chersonese. 

Another Timothy, called Salophaciolus [wearer of the 
white cap), an Orthodox Churchman, was, on account of 
the gentleness, which he carried to a fault (replacing the 
name of Dioscorus on the Diptychs), as well as the purity, 
of his character, appointed in his place. For sixteen years 
he so successfully presided over the See as to gain him 
the affection even of the Monophysites, who were wont to 

" The hymn, says Bingham, B. xiv. ch. ii., though really much older, 
was in the Orthodox form ascribed to Proclus, Patriarch of Constantinople. 

° This addition the heretic Severus, whom the Emperor Anastasius I. intruded 
into the See of Antioch, continued to use, and all the separatist communions 
of the East, except the Nestorians, who separated before the addition was made, 
persist in retaining it to the present day. 

232 Chapter VI. 

say, " though we do not communicate with thee, yet we 
love thee." 

In 471, Gennadius, Bishop of Constantinople, died, and 
was succeeded by Acacius (471 — 489), and he, after the 
short interval of Favritta, by Euphemius (489 — 496), an 
uncompromising supporter of orthodoxy. 

In 474 the Emperor Leo died. By an edict issued in 
his reign, the title of " Mother of all the Churches and ot 
the Orthodox Religion " was conferred on the Patriarchate 
of Constantinople. Leo was succeeded by his grandson, 
Leo II., the son of Zeno by his daughter Ariadne, and on 
the death of the boy-emperor in the same year, Zeno himself, 
an Isaurian by birth, who was unpopular amongst the 
Greeks, for a double reason, that they regarded him as 
heterodox and a barbarian, became Emperor (474 — 476 ; 
and again 477 — 491). 

The treatment of the Eastern Church at this period by 
the Emperors has its counterpart (if we may be pardoned 
the homely comparison), in what children call the game 
of see-saw ; the Emperors favoured now orthodoxy, now 
Monophysitism, to suit their political interests. The Patri- 
archate of Constantinople under Acacius was taken up with 
these controversies, and ended in a thirty-five years' schism 
between the Eastern and Western Churches. 

The Emperor Zeno {avro/cpdrcop Katcrap Zrjvtov, as he 
styled himself) was a contemptible ruler whom no one 
could trust ; at heart a Monophysite, he was always wavering 
between Orthodox and Monophysite views, and at first found 
it to his interest to favour the former. In 476 he was driven 
out by Basiliscus, the brother of the widowed Empress 
Verona ; Basiliscus, being desirous of obtaining the aid 
of the Monophysites, issued in condemnation of the Council 
of Chalcedon and the Tome of Pope Leo, an Encyclical 
Letter, which he called upon all the Bishops to subscribe 
under pain of deposition. This letter was subscribed by 
Peter Fuller, Anastasius, Bishop of Jerusalem, and Timothy 
.(Elurus, Acacius of Constantinople refusing to sign. Timothy 

The Third and Fourth CEcmnenical Councils. 233 

vfas thereupon reinstated in the Bishopric of Alexandria,' 
and the gentle Salophaciolus withdrew into the monastery 
of Canopus, in a suburb of Alexandria. Julian was deposed 
and Peter Fuller restored to Antioch. 

In 477, the Patriarch Acacius effected a rising against 
Basiliscus, by which Zeno was restored ; Peter Fuller was 
deposed by an Antiochene Synod ; and Timothy ^lurus 
dying in that year, the Monophysites elected as his successor 
his Archdeacon, Peter Mongus {stammerer). The orthodox 
party, however, were now in the ascendant, and Salophaciolus 
was restored, and through his wise moderation the Church 
of Alexandria enjoyed peace till his death, A.D. 482. 

John Thalaia, who had been recommended to Zeno by 
Salophaciolus, was elected by the orthodox party as his 
successor. Simplicius (468 — 483) was now Bishop of Rome. 
Thalaia sent the usual Encyclical Letter announcing his 
election to the Patriarchs, and amongst them to Simplicius ; 
but the Patriarch Acacius was offended that the announce- 
ment (owing to neglect on the part of Thalaia's messenger) 
had not also been made to him. Thalaia seems also to have 
promised Zeno that he would never accept the See of 
Alexandria. Acacius now took the side of the Monophy- 
sites against Thalaia, and persuaded the Emperor, who 
considered Thalaia a perjurer and was exasperated by the 
preference apparently shown to the Pope of Rome over 
the Patriarch of Constantinople, to request Simplicius to 
condemn him as unworthy of the Episcopate. At the same 
time he suggested to Simplicius the appointment of Peter 
Mongus as the means of restoring peace to the Church. 
Simplicius replied that he would suspend his judgment 
till the charges brought against Thalaia were investigated, 
but that he could not possibly recognize a heretic like Peter 
as Patriarch. Zeno then sent orders to Alexandria that 
Thalaia should be expelled and Peter appointed. Thalaia 
went to Rome, where he enlisted the sympathy of Sim- 
plicius, but eventually finding his chance of the Patriarchate 
hopeless, accepted the Bishopric of Nola in Campania. 

2 34 Chapter VI. 

" With Thalaia," says Dr. Neale °, " the Catholic succession 
of Alexandrian Bishops ceased for nearly sixty years." 

In 482 Zeno, by the advice, and probably in the very 
words, of Acacius, issued his celebrated Henoticon, or In- 
strument of Union, addressed to the Bishops and clergy, 
and to the monks and laity throughout Alexandria, Egypt, 
Libya and Pentapolis. It pronounced an anathema on 
both Nestorius and Eutyches; and approved the faith as 
laid down in the Councils of Nice, Constantinople and 
Ephesus, without recognizing the Council of Chalcedon. 
It declared Mary to be the Mother of God, and Jesus Christ 
to \>& oiLoovGios with the Father as touching the Godhead, 
oix,oovaio<i with us as touching the Manhood ; and anathe- 
matized all those by whom the Natures " are divided, con- 
fused, or reduced to a phantom;" and censured all other 
doctrines, if any such have been taught " either at Chalcedon 
or any other Council whatever" (^ Iv XaXKrjhovi, rj ev oXa 
Sr/TTOTe <Tw6Sa>). 

Peter Mongus by subscribing the Henoticon commended 
himself to Zeno, by whom his election to the Patriarchate 
of Alexandria was, through the influence of Acacius, con- 
firmed. Peter Fuller also on signing the Henoticon was 
reinstated in the Patriarchate of Antioch, where he renewed 
his violence against the orthodox party, banishing the 
Bishops who refused the Henoticon. 

It could not be expected that such a compromise as the 
Henoticon would satisfy every, or indeed any, party. 
It was, however, accepted by the Patriarchs of Constanti- 
nople, Alexandria and Antioch, and found many adherents 
in the Churches of the East. The orthodox party resented 
the Emperor's taking upon himself to dictate to them on 
spiritual matters, as well as the ambiguous language of 
the Henoticon with respect to the Council of Chalcedon, 
whilst they suspected Acacius of a leaning towards Mono- 
physitism. It was, however, generally acquiesced in as 
a reasonable toleration. 

° Alexandria, II. 21. 

The Third and Fourth CEcumenical Councils. 235 

Peter Mongus, now Patriarch of Alexandria, anathema- 
tized the Council of Chalcedon and the Tome of Leo, and 
deprived and banished some Egyptian Bishops who adhered 
to the Chalcedonian Faith. But the extreme Eutychians 
were disgusted with the double dealing of their unprincipled 
and time-serving Patriarch, who, though he anathematized 
the Council of Chalcedon and the Tome of Leo, accepted 
the Henoticon ; so they disowned him, omitted his name 
from their Diptychs, and became henceforward known as 
Acephali, or those who own no Head or Bishop. 

The Henoticon was never accepted in Rome, which was 
now practically independent of the Eastern Empire. Sim- 
plicius addressed a letter to Acacius signifying disapproval 
of his conduct on the ground of his communicating with 
Mongus in respect of the latter being a Eutychian. Acacius 
replied that he was not only Patriarch of Alexandria, but 
an orthodox Bishop. Shortly afterwards Simplicius died 
and was succeeded by Felix HL (483 — 492), who at once 
rejected the Henoticon, and anathematized all the Bishops 
who had subscribed it. We now witness the deep degra- 
dation to which the dissensions of the Patriarchs had brought 
the Eastern Church. Felix took the unprecedented step 
of summoning the Patriarch of Constantinople to Rome, 
and, on his not obeying the summons, issued, in July, 484, 
a sentence of excommunication against him. The sentence 
was communicated to Acacius by the Aceemeta:, the society 
of monks which derived their name from their keeping up 
night and day an uninterrupted series of services. 

Acacius was sentenced by the Roman Prelate to de- 
privation of his Episcopal and Priestly Orders, and separa- 
tion from the Communion of the faithful. Felix also wrote 
to Zeno to separate himself, under pain of excommunication, 
from Mongus. The sentence had little effect on the Pa- 
triarch, who did not acknowledge any superiority in the 
See of Rome, and took no notice of it, except to retaliate 
by issuing, Aug. i, 484, a counter-sentence of excommuni'- 
cation against Felix. Thus by the Henoticon was caused a 

236 Chapter VI. 

schism between the two Patriarchates which lasted thirty- 
five years. 

In A.D. 476, the succession of the Western Emperors had 
come to an end. It could not be expected that the Romans, 
with the experience of such a succession of Popes as Leo 
the Great, Hilary, and SimpHcius, would tolerate for ever 
the humiliation to which their Emperors had brought them. 
The last act in the long reign of the despicable Valentinian 
III. was the murder of .iEtius, the greatest General of the 
time. The debauched Emperor had treacherously outraged 
the chaste and unsuspecting wife of a Roman Senator, 
named Maximus, by whose adherents he was, in revenge, 
murdered, Maximus being elected to succeed him. The 
murder of .iEtius was followed by the sacking of Rome 
by the Vandals. Maximus only reigned three months, 
but long enough to force the unwilling Eudoxia, the widow 
of the Emperor whom he had murdered, to become his 
wife ; Eudoxia in revenge called in the Vandals from Africa, 
on whose approach Maximus was murdered by his own sol^ 
diers. Between A.D. 455 — 475, no fewer than nine Emperors 
ruled over the West, and, a.d. 476, Romulus Augustus, 
derisively nick-named Augustulus, yielded to Odoacer, King 
of the Heruli, and signified his resignation to the Senate^ 
The Roman Senate voted that one Emperor was sufficient, 
and wrote to Zeno that he should rule over the whole 
Empire with the seat of government at Constantinople; 
Under Leo the Great, the Papacy had become the rallying- 
point of orthodoxy to East and West, and such it continued 
to be under Simplicius. Is it to be wondered that, with 
such a contrast before them of their temporal and spiritual 
rulers, the Romans preferred to be governed, spiritually 
as well as temporally, by their Popes ? They could not have 
been enamoured of such Emperors in the East as the 
heretical Basiliscus and Zeno ; and the application of the 
Roman Senate to the latter must have been prompted by 
the desire and expectation of their being some day able 
to shelve the Empire altogether. 

The Third and Fourth CEcuimnical Councils. 237 

An Emperor resident at Constantinople would interfere, 
they imagined, but little in affairs at Rome. The abeyance 
of the Western Empire immensely conduced to the prestige 
of the Papacy, and the Popes became practically the rulers 
of Rome. But the Romans were disappointed in their 
expectation ; and they were now to be subjected to an 
Arian King instead of an Emperor who would, at least, 
have been orthodox. Odoacer did not assume the title 
of Emperor, but ruled over Italy with the title of King, 
having his residence«it Ravenna; and when he was, A.D. 493, 
murdered, the Kingdom of Italy was transferred to the 
Ostrogoths in the person of Theodoric the Great (493 — 526). 
Theodoric was also an Arian, but whilst he allowed the 
Catholics the free exercise of their religion, he claimed, 
as Constantine and his successors had, to be supreme 
over the Church, and to confirm the election of, and even 
himself to appoint and depose, the Pope. 

Zeno having, in 489, destroyed the famous school of 
Edessa, the stronghold of Nestorianism in the Empire, 
died A.D. 491, and was succeeded by Anastasius I. (491 — 
518). Zeno's plan of governing the Church by an Imperial 
concordat had proved a signal failure, and at the time of 
his death it appeared as if the whole Eastern Church would 
be swallowed up in the gulf of Monophysitism. The Em- 
peror Anastasius, who owed his succession to his marriage 
with Zeno's widow, Ariadne, is described as a man of 
profound piety ; he was, however, a Monophysite of the 
extreme sect of the Acephali ; and but for his heretical 
opinions would have been regarded as a model Emperor. 
He desired a comprehension in the Orthodox Church of 
all sects of religion, his watchword being the Henoticon 
to which he endeavoured to bind all the Bishops ; but being 
a, Monophysite he was looked upon with suspicion by the 

The schism between the Church of Constantinople and 
the Western Church continued ; but it may elucidate mat- 
ters, ifj before proceeding further, we take stock of the 

238 Chapter VI. 

occupants of the principal Sees at this time. Acacius, 
Patriarch of Constantinople, died A.D. 489 ; and the Popes 
of Rome, no longer able to contend with the living, kept 
up the controversy against the dead. Patriarch. Acacius was 
succeeded by Favritta, who in his Synodal Letter to Peter 
Mongus, sought communion with him, whilst in his Synodal 
Letter to the Pope he sought reconciliation with Rome, 
but without undertaking to erase the names of Acacius and 
Peter Mongus from the Diptychs. His Pontificate, how- 
ever, was, after a few months, before the Pope's reply reached 
Constantinople, cut short by his death, and he was succeeded 
by Euphemius (489 — ^deposed 496, died 515). Peter Fuller, 
Patriarch of Antioch, dying A.D. 488, was succeeded by 
Palladius (488—498), a Monophysite. On the death of 
Peter Mongus, A.D. 490, the Patriarchate of Alexandria 
devolved on Athanasius (490 — 497), also a Monophysite. 
Sallustius was, in succession to Martyrius, Patriarch of Jeru- 
salem (486 — 494) ; he was the friend and patron of St, 
Sabas, the Founder of the Lavra which bears his name, 
and was probably inclined to orthodoxy, although he, as 
is supposed in the cause of peace, accepted the Henoticon, 
and communicated with Athanasius the Monophysite Patri- 
arch of Alexandria. Peter Mongus' answer to Favritta's 
Letter, arriving after the death of the latter, fell into the 
hands of his successor Euphemius, who, as it anathematized 
the Council of Chalcedon, renounced communion with him. 
Euphemius sent the usual Synodal Letter announcing his 
election to Pope Felix, who refused to acknowledge him 
as Patriarch, unless he removed from the Diptychs the 
names of his two predecessors, Acacius and Favritta. Pope 
Felix died in February, A.D. 492, and was succeeded by 
Gelasius I. (492 — 496), who put forward the highest pre- 
tensions for the Roman See, nor did he write, as was usual, 
to the Patriarch of Constantinople announcing his succes- 
sion. Notwithstanding this, Euphemius twice again wrote 
to him, expressing a desire for the reconciliation of the 
Churches, but stating that the people of Constantinople- 

The Third and Fourth (Ecumenical Councils. 239 

would never allow the name of Acacius to be removed 
from the Diptychs, for that he had only communicated 
with Peter Mongus, after that the latter had publicly re- 
nounced his heresy. Gelasius in his reply refused all terms 
except unconditional surrender to the See of Rome; he 
spoke of the custom of the Roman Prelates announcing 
their election to inferior Bishops as a condescension. The 
Pope's sneer at the Patriarchate of Constantinople was of 
course no proof nor argument, but only showed that the 
Patriarch of Constagtinople was the superior of the Pope 
of Rome in manners. Gelasius also made one of those 
slips which were now becoming so common with the Popes ; 
he based his pretensions on the Canons of the Church, mean- 
ing thereby the Canons of Nice, whereas there was only one, 
the doubtful one of the inferior Council of Sardica, which 
could possibly be construed into giving supreme jurisdiction 
to Rome. He demanded the erasure of Acacius' name from 
the Diptychs ; the end was that Gelasius' own name was 
erased from the Diptychs of the Eastern Churches, and 
any further result was frustrated by the death of the Pope. 

Euphemius soon put himself in opposition to the Emperor 
Anastasius, whom he accused of being a heretic, and, not- 
withstanding the entreaties of the Empress Ariadne, refused 
to crown him until he had bound him by a solemn promise 
to respect the Council of Chalcedon, and to uphold the 
Catholic faith. 

The Patriarch still continued to thwart the Emperor ; it 
may also well be doubted whether Euphemius was the 
wisest of counsellors. The Emperor, who chafed under the 
severe restriction imposed upon him at his coronation, only 
awaited an opportunity for deposing him. The opportunity 
presented itself through an act of imprudence on the part 
of Euphemius, in a secular matter, which determined the 
Emperor to get rid of him ; he brought it before a Synod 
in 496, at Constantinople, with the result that the obsequious 
Bishops excommunicated and deposed the Patriarch. 

Macedonius, his successor, was, like Euphemius, a Catho- 

240 Chapter VI. 

lie, and on that account little more acceptable to the 
Emperor ; but he was the nephew of a former Patriarch, 
Gennadius (458 — 471), and Anastasius knew that his elec- 
tion, which was also favoured by the Empress, would for 
that reason be popular. In vain the Emperor tried to per- 
suade him to condemn the Council of Chalcedon and to 
release him from his promise to Euphemius ; and even went 
so far as to induce the Eutychian monks and disaffected 
clergy of the city to outrage and insult him. But the people 
of Constantinople were well affected both to the Council and 
to their Patriarch ; riots, in which the statues of the Emperor 
were destroyed and his life was imperilled, ensued ; for three 
days he lay concealed in a suburb, and then implored the 
aid of the Patriarch, who openly charged him with being 
the cause of the calamities which beset the Church. 

But the conflict between an Emperor and a Patriarch was 
an unequal one. The Emperor was urged on by Severus, 
one of the Acephali, and Julian, Bishop of Halicarnassus, 
the principal leaders of the Monophysite party ; false accusa- 
tions of immorality and Nestorianism were trumped up 
against the Patriarch, and he, A.D. Sii> was, like his pre- 
decessor, deposed and banished to Gangra, where he died 
shortly afterwards. The day after his deposition Timothy 
(511 — 517), a man of bad character, and, as far as he had 
any convictions at all, a Monophysite, was appointed to 
succeed him. Timothy subscribed the Henoticon, and 
anathematized the Council of Chalcedon, and, in concert 
with the Emperor, he, in 512, caused the words "Who was 
crucified for us " to be added to the Trisagion in the Churches 
of Constantinople. 

Thus the Patriarchate of Constantinople was now in the 
hands of a Monophysite. Alexandria was the hot-bed of 
Monophysitism ; the successors of Athanasius II. were Mono- 
physites; John I. (497—507), and John II. (507— 517), 
Dio.scorus II. (517 — 520), Timothy III. (520 — 537). 
Flavian II., who succeeded Palladius in the Patriarchate 
of Antioch, was in 512 deposed by Anastasius, and Severus 

The Third and Fourth (Ecumenical Councils. 241 

(512 — 519), the leader of the Acephali, the extreme section 
of the Monophysites, appointed. The orthodoxy of Sal- 
lustius, Patriarch of Jerusalem, was at least doubtful. 

The injustice of Anastasius to the orthodox excited the 
indignation of Vitalian, the Arian General of Theodoret, the 
King of Italy. At the head of an army of Huns and Bul- 
garians he appeared before the walls of Constantinople, and 
the Emperor shortly before his death was forced to sign 
a treaty guaranteeing justice to the Orthodox Church. 



The Separatist Churches of the East. 

Result of the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon — Question as to how far 
the Separatist Churches are heretical — And if they are schismatical — The 
Nestorians or Eastern Syrians — ^The School of Edessa — Ibas — The School 
of Nisibis — Synod of Seleucia — Ghengis Khan — ^Timour — The Uniat Chal- 
deans — The Nziri — The Mattran — The persecution of the Eastern Syrians 
by the Turks and Kurds — Archbishop Benson's Mission to them — Christians 
of St. Thomas — Alexis di Menexes — They embrace Jacobitism — The Jacob- 
ites — Jacob Baradai — Their Maphrian — Abelpharagius — The Copts — Con- 
tinued persecution suffered by them — Occupation of Egypt by the French — 
Christian Churches at Khartoum — Christianity eradicated in Nubia — Failure 
of Protestant Missions amongst the Copts — A reforming Coptic party — The 
English occupation of Egypt — The Abyssinians — Foundation of their 
Church — Prester John — The Portuguese and Jesuits in Abyssinia — Their 
Abuna — The Judaisers of Christendom — The Armenians — Gregory the 
Illuminator — Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII. — St. Mesrob — The absence of 
their Catholicos from Council of Chalcedon — Synod of Tovin — The Council 
of Florence — Etchmiadzen part of Russian Empire — Armenian Uniats — The 
Maronites — St. Maro — Become Uniats — The Maronites and the Druses. 

THE schisms which resulted from the Councils of Ephesus 
and Chalcedon arose as much, if not more, out of national 
rather than ecclesiastical differences ; national antipathy 
seized the opportunity afforded by theological controversy 
to revolt at the same time from the Orthodox Church and 
from the Roman Empire. Alexandria and Antioch, next 
to Rome the two greatest cities in the world, were Greek 
colonies planted in a soil which was never thoroughly 
Hellenized ; Egypt and Syria, even when governed by 
Macedonians, who were practically Greek Kings, never 
willingly acquiesced in what they considered an alien yoke ; 
nor, says Professor Freeman, were their intellectual and 
theological natures ever subdued by their political con- 
querors. The schism in the Greek Church was not merely 
a revolt of Churches from orthodoxy, but of whole nations 
from the Roman Empire. 

As the result of the Council of Ephesus, Nestorianism 
became the religion of Syria ; after Chalcedon, Eutychian- 
ism became the religion both of Syria and Egypt. It is 

The Separatist Churches of the East. 243 

doubtful to what extent some of these Churches were, if 
at all, heretical, and there seems no reason why in the 
present clay they should not be brought to coalesce with 
the Orthodox Church. It is possible to resent the condem- 
nation of individuals, even to reject the watchwords adopted 
by Councils, and to be led thereby into extravagant modes 
of thought and incautious expressions, without sympathizing 
with the condemned doctrines. This is not improbably 
the case with the so-called Nestorians and the Armenians. 
The Nestorians prabably err rather in language than in 
doctrine, which latter does not seem jto be inconsistent with 
the decrees of Ephesus. The Armenians separated, as we 
shall see presently, from the Orthodox Church through 
a misunderstanding, and probably were not at first, as they 
are not in the present day, heretical at all. Many of us 
read translations of books and Liturgies without thinking 
that the original language may be capable of a different 
construction, and judgment is often warped by an imperfect, 
a one-sided, and perhaps hostile, version. 

To the CEcumenical Councils of the Church we are in- 
debted for the right doctrine of the Incarnation ; but their 
anathemas and excommunications detract much from their 
usefulness, and the schisms which were the consequence have 
left a permanent heritage of woe to the Eastern Church. 

Such considerations may not be without use in attempts 
at reunion, and bringing the, at present, schismatical (inas- 
much as they do not own allegiance to the Orthodox 
Patriarch) communions, back to the Orthodox Church. 
Protestant Missions have failed through taking it for granted 
that they are heretical, or, if not heretical, differing from 
themselves, and in trying to proselytize them to their own 
views. On national rather than on religious grounds a deep- 
rooted aversion to proselytism exists in the East ; a convert 
is regarded with feelings of contempt as unpatriotic, and 
to such a height is this feeling carried that it is said to 
extend to the qualification of Protestant Princesses by the 
change of their religion. The members of the various 

R 2 

244 Chapter VII. 

Christian communities discarding religious differences gener- 
ally live together in perfect amity and agree to differ ; and 
if, in their dealings with each other, their differences are 
sometimes emphasized, as is the case with regard to the 
Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem, it is on national rather than 
religious grounds. If the desirable object of bringing 
them back to the Orthodox Church is ever to be achieved, 
we must put ourselves in their position ; above all examine 
their writings, and try whether a favourable construction 
may not be put upon them, whether they may not have used 
expressions in one sense which we have construed in another. 
It is possible to condemn the schism and yet acquit them 
of heresy. Some people hold that, being national Churches, 
they are not even schismatical ; " They can hardly," says 
Dr. Neale, "be called schismatical, because they have con- 
stantly maintained their succession, and for many years they 
had no branch of the Church co-existent with them in their 
own territories." But their divisions and unseemly strifes are 
not only a great stumbling-block in the way of the re-union 
of Christendom, but they excite the contempt of the Turk. 
No religion is broken up into more sects than the Maho- 
metan ; but to the Mahometans the violence and sanguinary 
conflicts which have taken place (we hope we may speak 
in the past tense) at the Holy Sepulchre seem a proof 
against the truth of Christianity. 

Some account of the separatist Churches may not be out 
of place in a narrative of the Orthodox Church, which the 
separation has so materially affected. They consist prin- 
cipally of two classes, Dyophysites and Monophysites ; the 
former being those who separated after the Council of 
Ephesus, as the Nestorians ; the latter, the Jacobites, Copts, 
Abyssinians, and Armenians, after the Council of Chalcedon. 
There is also one remnant of the Monothelite controversy 
to which we shall come in the next Chapter, the Maronites, 
who are now members of the Roman Catholic Church. To 
each we will devote such short space as we have at our 

The Separatist Churches of the Bast. 245 

I. The Nestorians. But a difficulty meets us on the 
threshold, as to their proper appellation. They themselves, 
claiming that their faith is derived from the very earliest 
times, abjure the name and refuse to acknowledge Nestorius 
as their founder. The name is a nick-name given them by 
outsiders, and is scarcely ever used except by those under 
European influence *. Sometimes they are called Assyrians, 
but neither does this name adequately describe them, for 
Assyria is only one province of their Church of Seleucia — 
Ctesiphon ; it is never applied to them in the East, and 
has only recently been given to them in England as an 
approach to the name of Syrians'". They are sometimes, 
but incorrectly, called Chaldaeans, for that title, which was 
originally given to astrologers, is now confined to the Roman 
Uniats at Mosul '^. Their national name and that by which 
they call themselves is Syrians, for they consider themselves 
to be of the same nation as the Syrians of Western Asia 
and Mesopotamia ; and convenience requires that they 
should be called Eastern Syrians to distinguish them from 
the Jacobites or Western Syrians. 

The Eastern Syrians (to call them by that name) trace 
their origin to St. Thaddaeus, one of the seventy (St. Luke 
X. I — 20), sent to their sacred city, Edessa, and their king 
Abgarus, by St. Thomas the Apostle ^ ; and to St. Mari, 
a disciple of Thaddseus. The way for the missionaries is 
said to have been prepared by the three Magi, who, it is 
reasonable to suppose, would on their return home have 
spread in the country the Good News of the Saviour 
to Whom they had done homage. St. Mari (or Mar Mari, 
as he is called by the Syrians) established, and according to 
tradition was the first Bishop of, the See of Ctesiphon, the 
then capital of Persia, which in subsequent times became 
the Metropolis of the Church of the Eastern Syrians. 

• Maclean, Some Account of the Eastern Syrians. •" Report of the Arch- 

bishop of Canterbury's Mission, 1896. ' Badger's Nestorians and their Ritual. 

■■ The correspondence between our Saviour and Abgarus must be dismissed 
as fictitious. 

246 Chapter VII. 

Their Primate was in early times subject to the Bishop 
of Antioch, by whom he was invested in his office ; the 
title he bore was Catholicos, and the rank which he took 
in the Church was next after the Bishops of Alexandria 
and Antioch. The difficulty of reaching Antioch gradually 
led to his practical independence, which was doubtless 
favourably regarded by the- Persian government. This con- 
tinued till A.D. 431, and the condemnation of Nestorius by 
the Council of Ephesus. 

The famous school of Edessa was the great stronghold 
of the Eastern Syrians. Rabulas, the Bishop of the See 
(412 — 43S), who had formerly been a pupil and admirer of 
Theodore of Mopsuestia, and supported John of Antioch 
at Ephesus, turned against his former friends, openly 
anathematized Theodore, and caused his writings to be 
destroyed. He became a staunch supporter of orthodoxy 
and expelled the teachers from the school of Edessa. 
Ibas, who had also been a pupil of Theodore of Mopsu- 
estia, and was one of the expelled teachers, succeeded 
Rabulas as Bishop of Edessa (435 — 457); he gave a strong 
impulse to the Nestorian movement, and the school of 
Edessa again rose to high importance. Barsumas, another 
of the expelled teachers, became Bishop of Nisibis and 
Metropolitan (435 — 489), and he and Ibas were the zealous 
upholders and propagators of the teaching of Nestorius. 

Notwithstanding that Ibas had the support of the great 
majority in Edessa, there was an influential party in favour 
of the anti-Nestorian views of his predecessor ; they were 
also strongly opposed to Ibas on account of his famous 
letter to Maris, Bishop of Hardaseir in Persia, written 
A.D. 433, and they obtained from the Emperor Theodosius 
an order for his deposition. Ibas is said to have been 
committed from time to time to no fewer than twenty 
different prisons. At length he was summoned before the 
Latrocinium ; but being at the time in prison at Antioch, 
and therefore unable to attend, he was condemned unheard, 
sentenced to deposition from the Episcopate and the Priest- 

The Separatist Churches oj the East. li/j 

hood, and even forbidden lay Communion. After the death 
of Theodosius he was restored to his See and died, A.D. 457. 

After Nestorius was condemned by the Council of Ephesus, 
the Eastern Syrians continued to adhere to the fallen Pa- 
triarch. His followers being persecuted in the Roman 
Empire sought refuge in Persia where the way had been 
prepared for them through the letter of Ibas to the Bishop 
of Hardaseir. Persia threw its aegis over the Nestorians ; 
their separation from the Orthodox Church was cordially 
welcomed as conducive to the weakening of the Roman 
Empire ; and they received in the country, especially at 
Nisibis'', shelter and encouragement. Barsumas, the Bishop, 
persuaded their Catholicos to separate himself from the 
Orthodox Church, and soon afterwards he and his com- 
munity abjured the jurisdiction of the Orthodox Patriarch 
of Antioch. 

During the fifty-four years that he presided over the 
See of Nisibis, Barsumas gained a strong influence over 
the King of Persia. By persuading him that the Nestorians 
were the real friends of Persia, he induced him to expel 
the Orthodox Christians from his dominions, to put the 
Nestorians in possession of their Churches, and to give 
to the Catholicos, who about this time assumed the title 
of Patriarch, Seleucia for his See. To Barsumas, the es- 
tablishment of Nestorianism in Persia is specially attri- 
butable. When the Emperor Zeno suppressed the school 
of Edessa, which up to that time had been the chief nur- 
sery of the doctrine of Theodore of Mopsuestia, Barsumas 
founded the famous theological school of Nisibis, over which 
he set Narses, who presided with great ability and success 
for fifty years. The Nestorians afford an almost solitary 
exception to the inactivity of the Eastern Church in the 
work of missions, and it was from the school of Nisibis 
that the missionaries proceeded who in this and the fol- 
lowing centuries disseminated Nestorian Christianity in 
Egypt, Syria, Arabia, India, Tartary, and even China. 

' For a similar reason the Jacobites were afterwards welcomed in Persia. 

248 Chapter Vll. 

Barsumas died, A.D. 489. Still the Church of the Eastern 
Syrians, being recruited from time to time by persecuted 
refugees from the Roman Empire, continued, notwithstanding 
the opposition of the Magi, to enjoy the protection of the 
King of Persia. In addition to the school of Nisibis, a 
flourishing school was established in Seleucia, and other 
schools in various places ; till at a Synod of Seleucia, 
A.D. 499, under the Patriarch Babuaeus, the whole Church 
of Persia finally broke away from the Orthodox Church. 

Dropping the more humble title of Patriarch of Seleucia, 
the Patriarchs assumed the title of Patriarch of Babylon. 
In the Ninth Century the Eastern Syrians and Jacobites 
outnumbered all the Greek and Roman Churches together, 
the former being by far the larger number of the two'. 
In that century they removed their primatical See to 
Bagdad, the seat of the Caliphs, a town near the ruins 
of the ancient Nineveh. Their missionary zeal remained 
unabated till the Thirteenth Century, at the commencement 
of which the Church of the Eastern Christians reached its 
culminating point. The Patriarch had at that time under 
him twenty-four Metropolitans, and "it may be doubted," 
says Dr. Neale^, "whether Innocent III. possessed more 
spiritual power than the Patriarch in the City of the Caliphs." 

It appeared at that time that their Church would super- 
sede the Orthodox Greek Church ; but from that time it 
rapidly fell. With the overthrow of the Caliphate by Ghen- 
gis Khan their prosperity came to an end. In vain they 
attempted missionary enterprises amongst the Moguls. 
Timour (1369 — 1405), "the scourge of Asia," almost annihi- 
lated them ; their Churches were destroyed ; one by one 
their branches were exterminated ; numberless martyrs laid 
down their lives for their faith ; and the survivors were 
driven into the inaccessible mountains of Kurdistan, where 
in the village of Kochanes their Patriarch took up his 
humble residence. 

Pope Innocent IV., A.D. 1246, and Pope Nicholas IV. 

' Neale's Holy Eastern Church, I. 144. ' Ibid. 

The Separatist Churches of the East. 249 

in 1278, tried in vain to draw the remnant over to Roman- 
ism. But, A.D. 1552, owing to a disputed election of a 
Patriarch, they became broken up into two bodies. The 
smaller body living in the plain of Mosul and the neighbour- 
ing hills, consisting of about one-third of the whole, followed 
the anti-Patriarch, who was consecrated by Pope Julius III., 
and after many fluctuations they put themselves, A.D. 1778, 
under the See of Rome. Thus arose the sect known as 
" the Uniat Chaldaeans," whose Patriarch, Mar Elia, styling 
himself Patriarch of Babylon, has his residence at Mosul, 
with a population of two thousand seven hundred and forty- 
three families. The larger body of the Church of the East- 
ern Syrians were the people of the mountains of Kurdistan, 
and the plains of Azer-baijan, bordering the sea of Urmi. 
In the present day the Patriarchate contains eleven thousand 
three hundred and seventy-eight families '', who living on 
the Turco-Persian frontiers are politically the subjects of 
Turkey and Persia. They form, as is the case with the 
other separatist Churches, at once a nation and a Church, 
under the rule of Mar Shimun {my Lord Simon), styled 
" Catholicos or Patriarch of the East," who, living at Ko- 
chanes in Turkey, or as the Patriarch prefers it to be called, 
" On the banks of Pison, the river of Eden '," exercises tem- 
poral as well as spiritual authority, which is recognized 
by the Sultan. The office is hereditary, which, even if 
under existing circumstances it may be necessary, is liable 
to abuse, the choice being limited, and the post often held 
by an unworthy occupant. The Eastern Syrians recognize 
five Patriarchs, of whom their own Patriarch is one ; but 
to the Patriarch of Jerusalem they assign only a peculiar 

The males in the succession to the Patriarchate are called 
Nziri or Nazarites, and are forbidden to eat meat or to 
marry ; nor are their mothers allowed to eat meat during 
their pregnancy. After the election of the Patriarch these 
restrictions are removed from them ; but in either case they 

■■ Stubbs' Mosheim. ' Athelstan Riley, The Assyrian Church. 

250 Chapter VII. 

are debarred from becoming Bishops, since the same restric- 
tions are placed on the Episcopate. 

The second in rank is the Mattran, who is the only 
Metropolitan, and whose Diocese is also within the do- 
minions of the Sultan. His dynastic title is Mar Khnanishu, 
and by him the Patriarch is Consecrated, and sometimes 
(but this is generally done by the Patriarch himself) the 
Bishops also, who are ten in number, three in Persia, and 
seven in Turkey, some of them with only nominal Dioceses. 

Crushed under the iron rule of the Mahometans, and 
exposed to the pitiless hostility of the Kurdish chiefs, those 
of the plains exist, rather than live, under the most miser- 
able conditions. The dwellers in the mountains, secure 
from moie.station in the deep and narrow valleys that divide 
the ranges of Kurdistan, maintain under the rule of their 
hereditary Maleks or Chiefs, a kind of semi-independence, 
although at the cost of absolute isolation from the world 
and from all civilizing influence. In an evil hour, in 1834, 
the Americans sent a mission amongst them. The want of 
judgment of the missionaries explains, but it does not ex- 
cuse, what follows. The suspicion of the Turks and Kurds, 
fomented by Jewish intrigues, was aroused, and a war of 
extermination which filled Europe with horror was waged 
against the mountain-Nestorians, and in 1843 ten thousand, 
and again in 1845 five thousand of them, were massacred. 
Those earnest remonstrances with which we are so familiar 
of late years were made to the Turkish government, with 
the result that Bedr Khan Beg was exiled to Crete ! 

In the former year the Eastern Syrians opened, in a letter 
addressed to Archbishop Howley, their first communication 
with the Church of England, in consequence of which Dr. 
Badger J was sent out at the expense of the S.P.G. and 
S.P.C.K. ; but owing to the Kurdish insurrection under 
Bedr Khan Beg the mission was cut short ; the Patriarch, 
Mar Shimun, found for a time a refuge under Dr. Badger's 
roof at Mosul, but the latter was obliged to return to England. 
j Author of The Nestorians and their Ritual. 

The Separatist Churches of the East. 251 

Wild and savage as their condition is, the Eastern Syrians, 
in spite of their barbarism and ignorance, have a devoted 
attachment to the Scriptures ; they cling tenaciously to their 
ancient ecclesiastical rites and Liturgies, and are most 
anxious to learn and have schools established amongst 
them''. In other respects (if we omit that they are brave 
and warlike) their character is not painted in favourable 
colours. There exist among them two faults, common to 
almost all Christians living under Mahometan rule, a want 
of truthfulness and tjustworthiness. And yet, says Dean 
Maclean', they have many virtues combined with many 
glaring defects. Amongst those of the Persian plains may 
be remarked an intense love of money, associated with an 
unstinted hospitality ; amongst the mountaineers of Kur- 
distan, an incorrigible proneness to quarrel accompanied 
with the most affectionate warmheartedness. They are 
incorrigible beggars ; " to proceed on a begging tour to 
England and America is the height of their ambition " ; " 
they come to England to plead for their oppressed Com- 
munion, but many of them when they return home are 
known to live in greater comfort and wealth than when 
they left it. 

We have dwelt with the Eastern Syrians, or, as they are 
commonly known, Nestorians, at greater length than our 
space can well afford on account of the mission started 
amongst them in 1884 by the late Archbishop Benson, 
"the little band, which, through constant and ruthless 
persecution from without and ignorance from within, had 
so gallantly proved their independence through the ages, 
but could no longer stand alone". Amongst the clergy 
who have taken part in the mission have been represen- 
tatives of the English, Scottish, and American Churches °, 
and its object— to strengthen an ancient Church — was 

^ " The Assyrian Church." ' Some Account of the Customs of the 

Eastern Syrian Churches. " Athelstan Riley's Narrative of a Visit to 

the Assyrian Christians. ° Report of the Archbishop's Mission, 1896. 

° Leaflet pubUshed by the Assyrian Mission, 1896. 

252 Chapter VII. 

explained in a Letter from the Archbishop to the Patri- 
arch ; — " Not to bring the Christians to the Communion of 
the Church of England, and not to change any doctrines 
or customs, except such as are contrary to that faith which 
the Holy Spirit, speaking through the CEcumenical Councils 
of the undivided Church, has taught as necessary to be 
believed by all Christians." 

A few words must be said about the Christians of 
St. Thomas. One of the chief missions of the Eastern 
Syrians was to the coast of Malabar. Uniform tradition 
makes the Church in India to have been founded by the 
Apostle St. Thomas. It relates how that, having preached 
the Gospel in China, he, for a second time, returned to the 
coast of Coromandel ; that the chiefs were well affected to 
his preaching, and that he baptized the King of the country ; 
but that the many conversions made by him to the Christian 
faith so enraged the Brahmins, that he suffered martyrdom 
at their hands at Meliapore near Madras. The scene of 
his martyrdom is still called the " Mount of St. Thomas," 
and his remains were believed to have been translated from 
Meliapore to Edessa. St. Bartholomew is also said to have 
preached in India. St. Jerome relates that about A.D. i88, 
the Indians sent a deputation to Alexandria for some person 
to instruct them, and that, in consequence, Pantsenus, 
head of the famous Catechetical school in the city, was 
sent out, and that he found on his arrival a copy of St. 
Matthew's Gospel which had been left in the country by St. 
Bartholomew. It is certain that for many centuries there 
continued there a flourishing Church ; at the great Council 
of Nice the Canons were subscribed by a Bishop styling 
himself Bishop of Persia and the Great India, and in 
process of time the Church, which meanwhile suffered 
much persecution, came to be recognized as the Church 
of Malabar. 

In the Sixth Century Nestorian missionaries won over the 
Church of Malabar, or the Christians of St. Thomas, as they 

The Separatist Churches of the East. 253 

were called, to their faith. This was confirmed (although at 
what date is uncertain) by a rich merchant, holding the 
Nestorian doctrine, from Syria, named Mar Thomas, who by 
his riches and virtues gained a strong influence over the 
Church of Malabar, and persuaded them to accept a Bishop 
from the Catholicos of the East p. " One colony alone," says 
Dean Stanley, "of this ancient dominion (the Nestorians) 
remains ; the Christians of St. Thomas, as they are called, 
are still clustered round the tomb of St. Thomas, or the 
Nestorian merchant, who restored, if he did not found, the 
settlement." The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle relates that King 
Alfred, at the end of the Ninth Century, sent from England 
missionaries to those Christians, and that they returned 
home bringing from them many valuable presents. 

In the early years of the Tenth Century the Christians 
of St. Thomas enlisted the favour and protection of the 
infidel Kings of Malabar, who, witnessing the respect which 
was paid to them by their Christian subjects, vied with each 
other in conferring benefits upon them, and allowed them to 
build Churches and to propagate their faith in their do- 
minions. So powerful did they become that they were able 
to throw off the pagan government and elect kings of their 
own, who assumed the title of Kings of the Christians of 
St. Thomas. After several generations, the kingdom, through 
failure of issue to the Christian king, came to an end, and 
devolved upon the pagan King of Diamper, whom he had 
adopted as his heir ; and afterwards on the King of Cochin. 

Under that dynasty the Christians of St. Thomas were 
living when, A.D. 1503, the Portuguese arrived on the coast 
of Malabar under Vasco di Gama, to whom they were able 
to show the sceptre which once belonged to their Christian 

We must pass over the persecutions which they suffered 
under the Portuguese, who exercised over them an intolerant 
bigotry with the view of bringing them into subjection to 
the Pope of Rome. Ninety years of strife between the 

p But see Neale's Holy Eastern Church, I. 145. 

254 Chapter VII. 

Latins and the Christians of St. Thomas had won over no 
appreciable number to the Roman Church, when, A.D. I594> 
the Augustinian, Alexis di Menexes (that " man of iron "), 
consecrated Archbishop of Goa, appeared amongst them, 
with the result that their Metropolitan Mar Joseph was sent 
a prisoner to Rome, and they were forced into the obedience 
of the Pope. In vain the Christians of St. Thomas pleaded 
that they had never heard of a Pope of Rome, and that they 
themselves came from the place where the disciples of Christ 
were first called Christians. What conviction failed to do, 
that the Inquisition effected. In five years Menexes suc- 
ceeded in convening the famous Synod of Diamper, in which 
the independence of the Indian Church was trampled out 
under the heel of the Vatican. By a decree of the Synod 
all the Syrian MSS. were destroyed, and their Liturgy and 
Service Books altered so as to assimilate them to the Roman 
worship. But by the abolition of the ancient Eastern rites 
and the enforcement of Latin peculiarities, the people were 
rendered so hostile to the Church of Rome that, after the 
successes of the Dutch in the middle of the Seventeenth 
Century, half of the native Christians threw off the Roman 
allegiance, and, being unable to procure a Bishop from 
Babylon, they in 1665 passed from Nestorianism into 
Jacobitism, procuring Prelates from Alexandria and some- 
times from Diarbekr'. The decline of the Dutch and the 
rise of the British power in Hindoostan did not much affect 
them. " The trading companies of Holland and England," 
says Gibbon, "are the friends of toleration, but if oppression be 
less mortifying than contempt, the Christians of St. Thomas 
have reason to complain of the cold and silent indifference 
of their brethren in Europe." 

Jacobite the Christians of St. Thomas still remain. They 
occupy the narrow strip of land extending about two 
hundred miles on the South West Coast of India, known 
as Malabar, and number about 250,000 souls, of which about 
a third part were Uniats, which means that they acknow- 

1 Neale, I. 151. 

The Separatist Churches of the East. 255 

ledged the supremacy of the Pope, whilst they held their 
services in the Syro-Chaldaic language, and to all outward 
appearance were perfectly distinct from Romanists. But in 
1862 the Church of Travancore, the country in the South 
of Malabar, obtained a Bishop from Mesopotamia, and to 
him about 81,000 Uniats gave their adherence'. 


2. The Jacobites. Jacobite is the common name under 
which Monophysites in general are included, but it belongs 
in particular to the Monophysites of Syria and Armenia. 
Soon after the Council of Chalcedon, the Monophysites 
became split up into two sects. Eutyches, who had ranged 
himself on the side of Cyril of Alexandria, was supported 
by Cyril's successor, Dioscorus. But whereas Eutyches 
maintained the union of the two Natures in Christ to be 
so intimate that they became One Nature, and that, the 
Divine Nature being the superior, the Human was swallowed 
up in it; Dioscorus so far modified the doctrine as to declare 
that the Two Natures were so blended that there was one 
humano-divine Nature. The latter became the faith of 
Egypt, the former of Armenia, and the Armenian Church 
symbolized the doctrine by forbidding the then universal 
practice of mixing water with wine in the Chalice of the 
Eucharists Syria, abandoning Nestorianism, fluctuated 
between the two, but eventually, under the influence of 
Severus, the Monothelite Patriarch of Antioch (512—519), 
was drawn into the Monophytism of Dioscorus. When, 
owing to its persecution by the Roman Empire, the very 
existence of the Monophysite communion in Syria seemed 
on the point of extinction, there arrived amongst them 
a monk named Jacob Baradai (the man of rags), so called 
because he went about dressed as a beggar. He had been 
a zealous disciple of Severus, and having, A.D. 541, received 
Consecration as Bishop of Edessa from some Monophysite 
Bishops, assumed the leadership of the previously acephalous 
party in Syria, ordaining Bishops and clergy (it is said to 
' Colonial Church Chronicle, 1862. " Neale's Alexandria, II. 8. 

256 Chapter VII. 

the fabulous number of 80,000) ; and he probably composed 
the Liturgy in which he himself is commemorated. 

From Jacob Baradai the Monophysites derived their name 
of Jacobites. The Jacobites of Syria condemned both the 
Eastern and Western Churches as heretical, but though 
holding the principal error of Eutyches they always refused 
to be called his followers or to bear his name. They claim 
to be, next to that of Jerusalem, the oldest Church in Chris- 
tendom ; that in Antioch the believers were first called 
Christians ; that of the See St. Peter, from whom they trace 
their succession, was the first Bishop ; and that to the See 
of Antioch the distinctive title of Patriarch first belonged. 
These prerogatives of the ancient See of Antioch the Jaco- 
bites still claim for themselves. Jacob Baradai at his death, 
after an Episcopate of thirty-seven years, in A.D. 578, left 
a flourishing community, which usurped and still continues 
to hold the title of Patriarch of Antioch ; its Patriarchs 
invariably holding, after St. Ignatius the martyred Patriarch 
of that See, the name of Ignatius. 

Since a defection, in 1646, from the Jacobite Patriarch, 
the Roman Church has continued a succession of Prelates 
styling themselves Patriarchs of Aleppo. 

The Jacobites under the Patriarch of Antioch, whose 
usual residence is at Diarbekr, the former Amida, but who 
sometimes resides in the Monastery of St. Ananias near 
Mardin, are mostly to be found in the extreme North of 
Syria, but they have a monastery and about fifteen families 
at Jerusalem. Their Metropolitan or Maphrian (Jruit- 
bearer^), having with him three Presbyters, an Archdeacon, 
and a number of Deacons, lives in the present day in the 
House of St. John Mark on Mount Zion ". In the five 
annual Lents which they observe, both the clergy and 
laity abstain, not only from flesh and eggs, but even from 
the taste of wine, oil and fish. 

The Syrian Jacobites have from time to time produced 

' Kurtz, Church Hist., I. 339. 
"■ Report of the Eastern Church Association, 1894. 

The Separatist Churches of the East. 2J7 

many distinguished scholars, the last of whom was Gregory 
Abelpharagius, " poet, physician, historian, philosopher, and 
divine." The son of a Jewish physician who was converted 
to Monophysitism, he was first Bishop of Guba and after- 
wards Maphrian. His noble and benevolent disposition 
added to his extraordinary learning made him universally 
beloved not only by Christians of all denominations, but 
also by Mahometans and Jews, and at his death, which 
occurred A.D. 1286, his funeral was attended by his rival the 
Nestorian Patriarch jvith a train of Greeks and ArmenJans, 
" who forgot their disputes and mingled their tears over the 
grave of an enemy \" 


3. The Copts constitute by far the greater part of the 
population of Egypt. They probably derive their name 
from. Coptos (the modern Kepht), once an important town 
in Upper Egypt, described by Pliny as the emporium of 
goods imported down the Nile from India to Alexandria. 
The opposition of the Monophysites in Egypt to the 
Council of Chalcedon and its condemnation of their Patri- 
archy Dioscorus, was increased by injury and injustice in- 
flicted on them by the Greek Emperors. No office of 
honour or emolument was allowed to be conferred on them ; 
trade and merchandise and servile duties, such as^ tilling 
the ground and plying the loom, were alone their lot in 
life. Socially, politically, and ecclesiastically opposed to 
the Greek Empire, they were led to hate and abjure every- 
thing that was Greek. " Every Melchite or Imperialist 
was, in the eyes of the Copts, a stranger, every Jacobite 
a citizen ; the alliance of marriage, offices of humanity 
towards the Greeks, were condemned as deadly sins ; the 
nation renounced all allegiance with the Emperor, and his 
orders, at a distance from Alexandria, were obeyed only 
under the pressure of military force >■." 

Since A.D. 536 they have persisted in choosing a Patri- 
arch of their own, who, residing at Cairo, accounts himself 
" Gibbon, VIII. 353. y Ibid. ,365. 


258 Chapter VII. 

the true successor of St. Mark. Nationally descendants 
of the ancient Egyptians, and speaking the very language, 
although in a debased form, which Moses spoke in the 
court of Pharaoh, they discarded the Greek language in 
their services ; although the Coptic idiom of their office- 
books is understood not at all by the common people, and 
little by the clergy, and is generally supplemented with 
an Arabic translation in the margin. 

We shall see in a future chapter how their hatred to the 
Greeks led them to afford material assistance to the Sara- 
cens in their invasion of Egypt. But the Copts made a 
miserable bargain ; if the Greeks chastised them with rods, 
the Mahometans chastised them with scorpions. Between 
them and the Greeks there had been, even if in a different 
form, an affinity of Christianity ; between them and their 
new masters, who treated their religion with scorn and in- 
sult, there was nothing but antipathy. They had, it is true, 
the advantage of being exonerated from military conscrip- 
tion, but for this they were indebted to the contempt of 
the Moslems, who did not consider Christians worthy of 
falling in the Prophet's cause. 

We will select a few out of the terrible calamities inflicted 
on them by the Mahometans 2. In the Patriarchate of 
Isaac the Just (686—688), Abdul-Aziz commanded all the 
Crosses throughout Egypt to be destroyed, and blasphem- 
ous inscriptions, proclaiming Mahomet as the Apostle of 
God, to be attached to the entrances of their Churches. 
This Dr. Neale calls the first persecution \ Under 
Asabah, the son of Abdul-Aziz, when Alexander was 
Patriarch, another terrible persecution broke out, in which 
a, large number not only of the laity but of the clergy 
also abjured Christianity, and went over to the Mahomet- 
ans. In A.D. 710, the orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria 
was, after a lapse of ninety-seven years, restored in the 
person of Cosmas I. Cosmas had been a needle-maker by 

• For a fuller account see Renaudot's Historia PatriarcharumAlexandrianorum. 
" Neale's Alexandria, II. 82. 

The Separatist Churches of the East. 259 

trade, and was an uneducated man who could neither read 
nor write, still he was not unequal to the management 
of the Alexandrine Church, He sought out the Caliph at 
Damascus and proved to him that he was the rightful suc- 
cessor of St. Cyril, and that his predecessors in the Caliph- 
ate had been deceived by the Copts ; the Orthodox Church 
was consequently re-established in its rights, and a vacancy 
of some years in the Coptic Patriarchate enabled Cosmas 
to consolidate the orthodox party. In 743 a Coptic Patri- 
arch in the person* of Chail I. was again elected. Under 
Hafiz, the Mahometan governor (circ. 742 — 7^), at the 
time of the political convulsions occasioned by the con- 
flicting dynasties of the Ommiads and Abbassides, Ortho- 
dox and Copts alike suffered. Hafiz ordered all Christians 
throughout Egypt to repeat Mahometan prayers, and by 
^ exempting from tribute those who did so, caused many to 
apostatize ; many Coptic Bishops being driven out from 
their Sees were forced to take refuge in the monasteries ; 
many, together with the Coptic Patriarch, Minas I., the suc- 
cessor of Chail, were compelled to labour for a whole year 
in the dockyard of Alexandria. In 881, under the Caliph 
Ahmed, a terrible persecution, from which the Orthodox 
Church was free, was suffered by the Copts. Chenouda I. 
(859 — 881) was at the time their Patriarch. The Caliph re- 
quired money for a Syrian expedition, for which the tribute 
hitherto imposed on the Copts was tripled ; the Patriarch 
was falsely accused by a Deacon and a monk, to both of 
whom he had refused Ordination, of concealing vast sums 
of money ; the Patriarchal chests were ransacked, but 
nothing but MSS., of which he was a great collector, and 
vestments were found ; all the Churches in Cairo except 
one were ordered to be closed ; the Patriarch imprisoned, 
and afterwards driven out, was forced to wander about in 
the deserts, exposed to the greatest hardships. Many again 
apostatized from the faith. 

Nor under the Fatimites did they fare better. Under 
Hakem, the third of the dynasty, occurred what Dr. Neale 

s 2 

26o Chapter VII. 

calls the tenth persecution, in which the Orthodox as well as 
the Coptic Church suffered the direst calamities which it 
had ever experienced since the Saracenic invasions. The 
Patriarch Zacharias (1005 — 1032), loaded with chains, was 
cast into prison, from which he was released only to be 
exposed to lions which, it was said, refrained from hurting 
him. Christian Churches were pulled down, the monas- 
teries plundered by soldiers, their endowments confiscated, 
and Mosques built on their sites. The Copts under successive 
Fatimite Caliphs were visited with the most severe oppres- 
sion, which became, if possible, still worse under the Mame- 
lukes. The Coptic Church was in a state of utter stag- 
nation ; the Copts, completely driven away from the cities, 
maintained in their villages a miserable existence. 

The whole history of the Coptic Church from their first 
to their last chapter has been one of misfortune and misery. 
The occupation of Egypt by the French (July, 1798 — 
September, 1801) was to the Copts a period of trouble 
and disaster. The French found the necessity of employing 
the Christian natives for offices of trust ; the footing of 
equality in which they were thus placed drew on them 
the animosity of the Turks, and at the very commencement 
of the occupation a proposal made in the Divan for a general 
massacre at Cairo was, by only a narrow majority, over- 
ruled. Their Churches, convents and private dwellings 
were searched by the Turks for arms ; " In a word," says the 
Moslem historian, Gabbarti, " Egypt became for the moment 
the theatre of robberies, assassinations and murders." Nor 
did they fare better from the French. In the struggle for 
the possession of Cairo, and the revolts which broke out 
against the French, they were always the first to suffer ; and 
" by the end of the time their quarter was plundered and 
ruined beyond repair, so that those who survived were com- 
pelled to build a fresh one, and a Cathedral, after the French 
were gone''." Why the English after they had driven the 
French out of Egypt left the Christians to the mercy of 

•i Bullock's Story of the Church of Egypt, II. 356. 

The Separatist Churches of the East. 261 

the Turks, must have surpassed the comprehension of Chris- 
tendom ; but no sooner had the English left the country 
than a violent insurrection occurred ; a second insurrec- 
tion two years afterwards (May, 1805) made way for 
Mahomet Ali. 

With the accession of Mahomet to power began a new 
era for the Copts". He found the Copts more intelligent, 
better men of business, and more trustworthy (the last not 
a quality in which they are generally supposed to excel), 
than the Mahometans. But at the same time he invariably 
chose (if possible) Armenians, Roman Catholics, or other 
European Christians, anticipating danger if he allowed the 
Copts of the national Church to gain a preponderating in- 
fluence in the country'^. 

Owing to the persecutions which they have suffered, the 
number of the Copts has dwindled down from two millions 
to about 200,000 souls, of whom a large part are in Cairo, 
but a still larger number in Upper Egypt. They have 
twelve Bishops, eight in Upper and four in Lower Egypt, 
and two Metropolitans, those of Alexandria and Minufiyah, 
who, however, have little power under the present despotic 
Patriarch ^. There is also a Coptic Patriarch in Jerusalem, 
where they have been able to establish themselves in a large 
monastery near the Holy Sepulchre ^ There were once 
Coptic Christians in the Soudan, and when General Gordon, 
in 1885, arrived at Khartoum, he found a Coptic Bishop still 
surviving with seven Churches and a Convent of nuns s. 

Their Bishops, like those of the Orthodox Church, are 
selected from the monasteries. We hope we are speaking 
in the past tense, and that some improvement is being now 
effected. But the lower Coptic clergy are described as 
ignorant, ordained without an Ecclesiastical training (this 
defect at least has been somewhat remedied), who conse- 
quently take but little interest in their work ; they are miser- 

' Article in Contemporary Review, May, 1897, by a Coptic layman. 

■■ Bullock, II. 366. " Report of the Eastern Church Association, 1894. 

' Williams' Holy City, 565. ' b Bullock, II. 368, note. 

262 Chapter VII. 

aBly poor, their stipend, often not more than ;^I2 a year, 
having to be eked out by begging ; whilst their character, 
especially with regard to intemperance, stands very low. 
Their tedious services, performed in their mud-built and 
often filthy edifices, said in Coptic, but sometimes afterwards 
in the colloquial Arabic of the country, occupy some four 
hours. But their lections are always in Arabic, and sermons more in vogue amongst them than is generally the case 
in the East ; every Sunday there is either a sermon or 
a homily read from the Book of Homilies, generally ot 
St. Chrysostom ^■ 

In Nubia, the intervening country between Egypt and 
Abyssinia, there were once many Churches, but owing to 
Mussulman persecution and temptations held out to apos- 
tatize from the faith, Christianity has entirely disappeared. 
" Nubia was once a Christian land .... now there is not 
a Christian to be found in the whole land. ... A traveller 
not three centuries ago records that he found congregations 
mourning for lack of Priests. There was then a people, but 
no Priests ; now there are neither a Christian people nor 
Priests ; the only traces left of either are the ruined Churches 
of God i." 

The Copts of Egypt, says the author of The Crescent and 
the Cross, " are considered deceitful, sensual, and avaricious." 
Notwithstanding this, they are, says Dean Stanley, "even 
in their degraded condition the most civilized of the native 
Egyptians." They are industrious and skilled in several 
trades, and however doubtful their character may be, being 
intellectually superior to the other inhabitants of Egypt, are 
extensively employed in matters of trust, and being able to 
read and write well fill the revenue departments in the 
Pasha's Offices. But here again they trouble themselves 
little about honesty, or in resisting the temptations which 
beset them, and their craft and duplicity are notorious ; 

'' Report of the Eastern Church Association, 1894. 
' Colonial Church Gazette, July, 1849. 

The Separatist Churches of the East. 263 

whilst, at any rate before the English occupation, they were 
ready to abet the civil authorities in fleecing the Fellahs. 

It must be placed to their credit that, though there are 
many defections to Islam, the Coptic Christians have, as 
a body, in the face of persecutions and inducements held 
out by the Mahometans, remained steadfast to their creed, 
and in consequence of our occupation of Egypt the Coptic 
Church has strong claims upon our sympathy. The Copts, 
it is true, are not fond of, nor well disposed to, the English 
administration, but, the claims which the Coptic Church is 
now making for our assistance are so many calls which 
ought not to be neglected. The Roman Catholics in the 
Eighteenth Century organized a Uniat- Coptic Church, 
which is said to number 10,000 adherents, with a well- 
trained clergy under the Jesuits, and a seminary 'for the 
Copts at Cairo J. But it must be borne in mind that there 
is still an Orthodox Church, and the true successors of 
SS. Athanasius and Cyril, and a better way is, instead of 
proselytizing and weakening the Orthodox Greek Church 
through withdrawing its members, to strengthen the Church 
by bringing the Copts back to the allegiance of the Orthodox 
Patriarch. Whatever they may once have been, the Copts 
are not now Monophysite. Their return to the confession 
of Orthodoxy cannot be effected by the Roman Church, 
for all Easterns have before them the experience of the 
Uniats, and the Copts know that its object is to bring 
them under the supremacy of the Pope. Protestant missions 
cannot effect the object, because they try to proselytize to 
their own views, and Proselytism no Eastern communions 
will tolerate. The field is open to, and now that we 
have undertaken the government of Egypt is the duty of, 
the Anglican Church, and it ought not to be one of in- 
surmountable difficulty. There is a hopeful feature in the 
growth of a young reforming party amongst the Copts, 
demanding a greater efficiency in their schools, better 
education and a more adequate stipend for their clergy, 
J Contemporary Review, May, 1897. 

264 Chapter VII. 

and to this feeling it is due that a Theological seminary was 
founded in 1893 ''. 

A new era, as said above, dawned on Egypt at the acces- 
sion of Mahomet Ali ; his reign and those of his successors 
have been at least an improvement on former times ; religious 
persecution has since the early years of the present century 
considerably abated ; and Christians, finding favour at Court, 
began to breathe more fully and to gain strength day by day. 
After the death, in 1809, of the Coptic Patriarch Mark, the 
Patriarchal throne was occupied for nearly half the century 
(1809 — 1854) by Amba Butros VII. In 1830, a mission 
under Mr. Lieder was sent out to Egypt by the Church 
Missionary Society ; at that time the four Gospels had been 
translated into Arabic and Coptic by the Bible Society ; 
and Mr. IJeder established friendly relations with the Patri- 
arch and the Copts, and a training school for candidates for 
Holy Orders was, with the approval of the former, opened. 
But it appears that the missionaries tried to proselytize 
the pupils to their own views ; the Patriarch then himself 
sided against them ; the Bishops suspected the orthodoxy of 
the candidates submitted to them, and not one of its pupils 
was ordained; and in 1848 the school was closed and the 
mission abandoned. 

On the death of Amba Butros in 1854, Cyril X., the 
former head of the famous monastery of St. Antony, 
■whose reforming tendencies were already known, was called 
by popular acclamation to the Patriarchal throne. When 
the Coptic Bishops, who were strongly opposed to reform, 
were assembled in the Cathedral of Cairo and on the point 
of secretly consecrating an obscure monk as Patriarch, the 
people rose in insurrection, and, accompanied by a body 
of armed Abyssinians, broke into the Cathedral and stopped 
the election. The Bishops fled away in terror ; ultimately 
a compromise was arranged which left Cyril in possession 
of the Patriarchate (1854 — 1861). 

'' The Coptic Era, it may be mentioned, dates from the Era of the Martyrs, 
-so that the present year is with them 1614. 

The Separatist Churches of the East. 265 

The work abandoned by the C.M.S. was in the year 
after Cyril's election resumed by the United Presbyterian 
mission from America, which has been at work ever since, 
and has been instrumental in widely diffusing the Scriptures, 
opening schools and establishing prayer and Bible meetings. 
Its object was, not that of benefitting the Coptic Church, 
but of converting Mahometans ; and by resorting to, what 
is certain to be fatal in Eastern missions, proselytizing, 
it gained the ill-will of the clergy. Still the Patriarch's 
heart was bent on *eform ; he founded the first school for 
boys and girls, that which still exists at Cairo, numbering 
twelve hundred boys and three hundred girls ; he entirely 
rebuilt the Cathedral, destroying, in the presence of an 
immense crowd of Copts, the existing Icons, whilst he 
allowed no new Icons to be set up in it. He had also 
much at heart the re-union of the Coptic with the Orthodox 
Church. But Cyril's proceedings drew on him the suspicion 
of the Moslem authorities, and so oppressive was the govern- 
ment of Said Pasha, that he applied to the English govern- 
ment for protection. Sabbatier, the French Consul-General, 
offered to use his influence, on condition of Cyril's issuing 
an order for the admission of the Jesuits into Abyssinia ; 
the Patriarch understood what that meant, and refused 
to purchase protection for the Copts at such a price. Now 
that application had been made to the English, pressure 
was brought to bear on Said by some influential Egyptians ; 
but the affair was not forgotten against the Patriarch ; and 
for this and other attempts to improve the Coptic Church 
he was poisoned by order of the government, and hundreds 
of Copts were subsequently dismissed from the offices which 
they held '. 

Thus his pontificate was cut short before he could com- 
plete the reforms which he meditated; yet Cyril inaugurated 
the movement which has been going on ever since. The 
Copts "of to-day pay no more attention to the pictures 
on the walls of their houses than we do to the pictures 

' Bullock, II. 381, and note. 

266 Chapter VII. 

in our stained-glass windows, whilst devotional pictures 
are rarer in the Coptic houses than in our own™." 

Demetrius II. (1861 — 1873), an unlearned, but who was 
said to have been a good and just, man, the next Patriarch, 
was unequal to the task of carrying out the reforms begun 
by Cyril ; in the year of his accession, Miss Whateley's 
schools were started, but they were intended for the Moslems 
and had little to do with the Copts. 

Cyril XI., the present Patriarch, was consecrated in 1875. 
During the interregnum, two Councils, one lay, for civil, 
the other clerical, for ecclesiastical matters, were, with the 
sanction of Mark, Metropolitan of Alexandria, appointed 
for every Diocese, and were to be under the Presidency 
of the Patriarch; they also received the sanction of the 
Khedive. The new Patriarch at first worked harmoniously 
with the Councils ; a Theological College was founded at 
Cairo, and placed under the charge of the Dean of the 
Cathedral, and the most intelligent monks from the 
monasteries were appointed as teachers. But it was 
represented to the Patriarch that he, as Vicar of Christ, 
should alone govern as the Spirit moved him ; he soon 
got impatient of control, and abolished the College. The 
members of Council finding their advice unheeded, refused 
to attend the meetings, and a struggle between reformers 
and anti-reformers, which has lasted ever since, commenced. 
In 1883, the people clamouring for the re-appointment of 
Councillors, the Patriarch was intimidated into acquiescence, 
and an election of committees took place, but owing to 
his secret opposition, everything remained a dead letter. 

In 1890, the El Tewfik Society" to ameliorate the con- 
dition of the Church was founded, nearly every intelligent 
Copt being enrolled on its list of members. The Patriarch 
thwarted it, represented it to the government as revo- 

" Bullock, II. 381, 399. 

° It did not derive its name from the Khedive, but from an Arabic virord 
corresponding with " Pioneer." 

The Separatist Churches of the East. 267 

lutionary, to the people as atheistic, and to the leaders of 
the Mahometan party as a device of the English prepar- 
atory to the annexation of the country. Nevertheless, the 
Society advanced. Cyril started a rival Society, which 
accused the Tewfikists of heresy and schism, and applied 
to Tewfik, the late Khedive, to forbid the Councils. After 
hearing both sides, the Khedive advised the Patriarch 
to accede to the just demands of the people, and after 
the death of the former, which occurred soon afterwards, 
the present Khedive, Abbas II., gave orders for its recon- 

We need not carry on the disputes between the Patriarch 
and the Councils, the banishment of the former, and his 
restoration under a reactionary government. Cyril, after 
his restoration, at first showed a more conciliatory spirit, and 
the Theological school was reopened, but under masters 
so unfitted for their work that the pupils complained that 
they were taught everything except theology"; and the most 
sanguine of the reforming party, thwarted by the Patriarch, 
have abandoned all hope of reforming during the life-time 
of Cyril. 

In 1882, the English entered on the control of Egypt. 
Soon afterwards the " Association for the Furtherance of 
Christianity in Egypt" was started for the purpose of 
assisting the Coptic Church in the attainment of a higher 
spiritual life, especially for a better system of education, 
for those designed for Holy Orders. In June, 1883, the 
late Archbishop of Canterbury soon after his appointment 
accepted the Presidency. The object of the Association is 
not to proselytize or to draw them away from their Church, 
but to improve the spiritual condition of the Copts. In 
1891 the Coptic school in Cairo requested the Association 
to send them out a teacher for the Iktissad school in that 
city, and accordingly Mr. Oswald S. Norman was sent 
in the hope that he would give such religious training as 

° Article of the Coptic layman before referred 

268 Chapter VII. 

would bring the Copts back to the primitive standard of 

their Church in faith and practice. 


4. The Abyssinians maintain that their country is the 
same as Sheba ; that the Queen of Sheba was, on her visit 
to Solomon, converted to Judaism, and became by him the 
mother of Menelek, from whom they claim descent. From 
Judaism they say they were converted to Christianity by 
the eunuch of Queen Candace, who after his conversion 
by Philip became the Apostle of Christianity to Ethiopia. 
To their conversion from Judaism to Christianity is at- 
tributable the strange medley of Christianity and Judaism 
in the doctrines and ritual of the Abyssinian Church. 

We stand on surer ground when we attribute the founda- 
tion of the Abyssinian Church to two cousins, Frumentius 
and Adsesius, early in the Fourth Century, who are desig- 
nated the Apostles of Ethiopia. They were the remnant 
of a crew which went, under their uncle Meropius of Tyre, 
about A.D. 316, on a voyage of discovery to the South of 
Egypt ; the ship being wrecked off the coast of Abyssinia, 
the whole crew, except the two cousins, were murdered 
by the barbarous inhabitants of the country. Their talents 
recommended them to the favour of the King, who ap- 
pointed them tutors to his son Aizanes, and Aizanes, after 
being instructed in the faith, was baptized by Frumentius. 
Frumentius was afterwards consecrated by the great St. 
Athanasius as Bishop of Abyssinia, and by his means many 
Churches were built, and the Church was rapidly extended 
throughout Abyssinia and Africa. 

It must be remembered how that the Emperor Constantius, 
supposing that Athanasius in one of his banishments had 
taken refuge in Abyssinia, wrote to the two Princes, Aizanes 
and Saizanes, who bore joint government over the country, 
to deliver him up, at the same time requesting that they 
would send Frumentius to Alexandria to receive instruction 
in the faith from the intruded Bishop Gregory of Cappa- 
docia. Frumentius did not avail himself of the request ; but 

The Separatist Churches of the East. 269 

thenceforward an intercourse was kept up between Abyssinia 
and Egypt, and when the Copts broke off Communion with 
the Orthodox Church, Abyssinia sided with them, and re- 
fused to accept the decrees of Chalcedon, and its See has 
ever since received from Alexandria its Abuna {father). 

Who the famous Prester John (supposed to have hved 
about A.D. 1200) was, and what Prester means, has always 
been, and must still remain, a matter of doubt. "The fame 
of Prester or Presbyter John," says Gibbon p, "has long 
amused the credulity of Europe." The general opinion 
is that he was a mighty king of Ethiopia, and the expla- 
nation given by Renaudot is the simplest and perhaps 
as likely as any other to be right ; viz. that the Kings ot 
Ethiopia were ex-officio Priests or Presbyters ; that John 
was both King and Presbyter, and that the word Prester 
or Presbyter is to be taken in its ordinary sense. 

From Frumentius to Simeon, A.D. 161 3, the Abyssinians 
reckon ninety Abunas, and it is remarkable that during 
all that time, although only separated by a narrow sea 
from the gate of Mecca, they withstood the encroachments 
of the Mahometans. To the Orthodox Greek Church they 
bear no good will, but are sincerely attached to the faith 
of their country, in defence of which both rulers and people 
have stood together, and this attachment has been attri- 
buted to their having originally received their faith not 
by force but from conviction. 

In the early years of the Seventeenth Century, the Portu- 
guese, having commercial relations with the country, appeared 
amongst them, and soon afterwards the Jesuits, conveyed 
in Portuguese ships, followed. By them the reigning 
monarch, Sequed, together with several of the courtiers 
and provincial governours, were induced to abjure Mono- 
physitism and accept the supremacy of Pope Gregory XV. 
The Abuna, clergy, and monks, stood firm to their faith, 
and the persecution and cruelty practised by the Jesuits 
on the believers of the old faith caused a rebellion among 

p VIII. 344. 

2/0 Chapter VII. 

the people. The King was forced to abdicate in favour 
of his son Basilides, who returned to the reh'gion of his 
fathers ; and the Jesuits, together with their allies the 
Portuguese, were driven from the country and forbidden 
under pain of death to return. Thus ended the short- 
lived power of the Jesuits in Abyssinia ; thenceforward they 
abstained from proselytizing either the Abyssinians or the 
Copts, and Monophysitism remains to the present day the 
religion of the country. 

Next in rank to the Abuna is the Kumos, a kind of 
Archdeacon, an intermediate between a Bishop and a Priest, 
and since in Abyssinia there are no Bishops, he has ng 
superior except the Abuna. All orders of the ministry, 
except the monks, of whom there are two principal classes, 
those of Debra-Libanos and Abba-Eustateos {St. Eusta- 
thius), are allowed to marry. 

The Abyssinians have not the power of electing their 
Abuna, who, by a special canon, is prohibited from being 
an Abyssinian, and is chosen and consecrated by the Coptic 
Patriarch of Alexandria. Nor has the Abuna, although he 
bears the rank of Patriarch or Catholicos, the power of 
ordaining Metropolitans or Bishops. Being a foreigner, 
and living at Axum, he is generally ignorant of the lan- 
guage ordinarily spoken as well as of that in which the 
Church services are conducted. The language of the Court 
is the dialect of Amhara, the province in which the Royal 
Family as well as the nobility usually reside ; the public 
records are written in that of Tigrd, whilst the ecclesi- 
astical language is Ethiopic, which has an affinity to Hebrew 
and Arabic. 

The Abyssinian Church presents the spectacle of the 
benign influence of the Gospel struggling with the cruel 
surroundings of a savage life ; it combines a strange mixture, 
which has taken deep root in the hearts of the people, of 
devotion, superstition, and barbarism, combined with Chris- 
tianity. The utmost extreme of ceremony, with an almost 
complete abandonment of Christianity, is to be found amongst 

The Separatist Churches of the East. 271 

them. The Emperor and nation are proud of their connec- 
tion with the land of Judah and make their profession of 
faith ; " This is my faith and the faith of my fathers, Kings 
of Israel." This accounts for the Jewish or old Egyptian 
ritual which is still preserved in their Church. " They are," 
says Dean Stanley, " the only true Sabbatarians of Christen- 
dom, observing the Jewish Sabbath as well as the Christian 
Sunday." He might have added that they are the chief 
Judaisers of Christendom. They believe that they possess 
the Ark of the Cgvenant, and by them the Jewish rite of 
Circumcision is practised. The flesh of animals which do 
not chew the cud and have not cloven feet is forbidden. 
Dancing, as was the case amongst the Jews, forms part 
of their ritual. Still such Christianity as Abyssinia presents 
has rendered their country superior to all other countries of 
Africa ; a proof, says Schaff, that even a barbaric Christi- 
anity is better than none at all. 

5. The Armenians. The Gospel is supposed by some to 
have been introduced into Armenia by St. Bartholomew ; 
but the Armenians themselves ascribe the foundation of 
their Church to a mission under St. Thaddseus. Although 
traces of Christian worship, as early as the time of Tertul- 
lian, exist, the real founder of the Armenian Church was 
St. Gregory the Illuminator (^wTio-riy?), the Apostle, as he 
is called, of Armenia, in the first years of the Fourth 
Century. The Emperor Diocletian, to whom the tenth 
persecution is ascribed, had helped Tiridates III. in ob- 
taining the Kingdom of Armenia, and from him the King 
imbibed his hatred to Christianity and his persecuting zeal. 
Gregory, who was the son of a Parthian Prince and a relative 
of the King, refusing to join in the Pagan worship, 
was thrown into a mud-pit, the mode of punishment of 
common malefactors, where for fourteen years he was 
supported by a Christian woman named Anna. Armenia 
and the King suffering by the visitation of a plague, Gregory 
was summoned from his pit, with the result that both the 

272 Chapter VII. 

King and people were restored to health. Gregory having 
been created Bishop of Armenia, settled his See in his native 
village, to which he gave the name of Etchmiadzen (the 
Descent of the Holy One), so named from a vision of 
the Saviour which appeared to him in the Heavens ; and 
A.D. 302, King Tiridates and the people received Baptism 
in the waters of the Euphrates. This event occurred before 
the conversion of Constantine the Great ; Armenia, therefore, 
is entitled to the credit of affording the first instance of the 
conversion of a whole Kingdom to Christianity. 

The present Pope of Rome, Leo XIII., in an Encyclical 
of 1888, desiring "to show" from numerous historical 
evidences " that the Armenian Church owes its conversion 
to Rome," uses this remarkable language ; — " St. Gregory 
the Illuminator, the Apostle of Armenia, went to Rome 
to give an account of his faith, and to present tokens of his 
obedience to the supreme Pontiff, Silvester." But Silvester 
did not become Pope till A.D. 314; this fiction about St. 
Gregory having gone to Rome is not older than the Seven- 
teenth Century, but, by a forgery, which Roman Catholics 
themselves allow, was foistered into a manuscript of the 
Fourth Century. 

The Armenian Church, having been established by St. 
Gregory, rapidly became so flourishing as successively to 
resist an attack made upon it, A.D. 312, in order to force 
it back into Paganism, by the Emperor Maximin. In 332, 
Gregory, who had in the previous year resigned his See 
to live a hermit life in the desert, died ; after him, first 
his son, and then his grandsons, who, together with him are 
commemorated as Saints in the Armenian Church, occupied 
for several generations the Episcopal throne of Armenia, 
with the title of Catholicos. The last Catholicos of the 
family was St. Isaac (390 — 441), who, in conjunction with 
St. Mesrob, invented for his people a national alphabet and 
translated the Bible into their new language. On his death, 
at the age of one hundred and ten years, Mesrob succeeded 
him as Bishop, but within six months followed him to the 

The Separatist Churches of the East. 273 

grave. The next Catholicos was Joseph (perhaps 441 — 452). 
About that time the Persian dynasty of the Arsacidae made 
way for the Sassanidse, who endeavoured to eradicate Chris- 
tianity, and to bring Armenia back to the doctrine of 
Zoroaster; and in the fearful persecution of Christianity 
which followed, the Episcopal See was removed from Etch- 
miadzen to Tovin. The persecution had a further unfor- 
tunate consequence, for in the midst of these troubles 
the Council of Chalcedon sat (a.d. 451), at which the 
Armenian Church -was prevented from being repre- 

To the absence of their Catholicos from the Council, to 
their ignorance of the Greek language, in which its decrees 
were written, and to the paucity of their own language, 
which had only one word to express both Nature and Person, 
may be attributed the opposition of the Armenians to the 
Council of Chalcedon, and their separation from the Ortho- 
dox Greek Church. In 491 the Armenian Church in full 
Synod at Vagarshiabad condemned the decrees of the 
Council, and, A.D. 535, under their Patriarch Nierses, separ- 
ated from the Orthodox Church ; and the condemnation was 
repeated in a Synod held, A.D. 596, at Tovin. But the 
difference between the Armenian and the Orthodox Church 
consists rather in the mode of expression than in any point 
of faith. From the Monophysites they differ in several 
points both of faith and discipline, and hold no communion 
with the Jacobites ; nor does the Orthodox Church consider 
them Monophysites. From the Orthodox Church they differ 
only in that they do not mix water with wine and use 
unleavened bread in the Eucharist. Thus they hold the 
central position between the Separatists and the Orthodox 
Greek Church ; there seems to be no hindrance to their 

. return, which would pave the way for the return of the 
other Separatist Communions to the Orthodox Church. 

On the fall of the dynasty of the Sassanidae, A.D. 651, 
Armenia was freed from Persian rule only to fall under that 

of the Caliphs. From the earliest to the present time says 


2/4 Chapter VII. 

Gibbon «, Armenia has been the theatre of perpetual war. 
Yet while suffering severe persecution they have always 
maintained their Christian profession, and have preferred 
Martyrdom to embracing the faith of Mahomet. In 1367, 
the country was overrun by the Mamelukes, from whom 
they again suffered severe persecution. In its persecutions 
under the Mahometans Armenia from time to time sought 
Western help, and the Popes seized the opportunity for 
extending their supremacy over the Armenian Church ; 
but if it truckled to Rome, even if some Armenian Patriarchs 
recognized the supremacy of Rome, it was, as was the case 
with the Greek Emperors, from political motives and pro- 
ceeded from Court influence, and the mass of the people 
adhered to their own Church. But after the Council of 
Florence a not inconsiderable number were led to acknow- 
ledge the supremacy of the Pope, and are known as Uniat- 
Armenians, holding their own Liturgy and Ritual. 

A schism effected by the Jesuits was a cause of great 
weakness to the Armenian Church, but through the inter- 
vention of Peter the Great it found protection under Russia, 
and from that time its condition ameliorated. Further pro- 
tection was afforded by Catherine II. to the Catholicos 
Simeon, A.D. 1766; by the treaty of 1828, Etchmiadzen 
became part of the Russian Empire, and by a Ukase of 
1836 the Armenian Church was recognized by the Russian 

Still the Roman Church has continued to harass the 
Armenian Christians, nor has it, in its endeavour to draw 
them over to Roman doctrine, even left the Uniats in peace. 
When, in 1867, Pope Pius IX. issued his Bull Reversurus, 
claiming the right of nominating the Patriarchs of the Uniat 
Churches of the East, a schism of the Uniats was the result ; 
part remaining under the Patriarch Hassoum, whom they 
had elected in the previous year ; the majority, headed by 
the Mechitarists of Venice, resisting and electing a Patri- 
arch, named Kumelian, for themselves. Kumelian, sorely 

1 VIII. 3S9. 

The Separatist Churches of the East. 275 

persecuted on every side, abandoned in 1879 his position, 
and made his submission to Rome, and in the following year 
Hassoum was created a Cardinal. 

Under the present Pope an Armenian seminary has been 
established in Rome for the training of Armenians for Holy 
Orders, with the view to their returning to Armenia to 
convert their country to the Roman faith ; for a similar 
purpose, with regard to England, the famous College of 
Douay was founded in the reign of Queen Elizabeth ^. 
The recent Encyclical of the Pope only intensified the 
animosity which Greek Christians in general have always 
felt for the Roman Church ; and the Counter Encyclical 
of the Patriarch of Constantinople, Anthimus, issued in 
August, 1896, exposing the intrigues of Rome and main- 
taining that the Eastern Church has retained a more Apos- 
tolical faith, has exposed the weakness of the Roman cause 
in Armenia. 

The Armenian Church is governed by three Patriarchs, 
the chief of whom resides in the monastery of Etchmiadzen, 
now in Russian territory, at the foot of Mount Ararat, 
whose Diocese comprises the Greater Armenia with forty- 
two Archbishops under his jurisdiction. The second, with 
twelve Archbishops under him, resides at Cis, with Churches 
owning his jurisdiction in Cappadocia, Cilicia, Cyprus, and 
Syria. A third, and last in rank, with eight or nine Bishops 
under him, resides at Aghtamar, but is regarded by the 
Armenians generally with suspicions as an enemy of their 
Church. There are also titular Patriarchs in Constantinople 
and Jerusalem, and also a Patriarch in Poland, who presides 
over the Armenians in those quarters ; but they all perform 
their duties subject to the Patriarch at Etchmiadzen. The 
Uniat- Armenians resident in Poland are under a Bishop who 
resides at Lemberg. 

In wealth and intelligence, Armenia in the present day 

' Part ot the oath taken by the Seminarists of Douay was ; — " I swear 
in the presence of Almighty God .... in due time to receive Holy Orders, 
and to return to England to convert the souls of my countrymen and kindred." 

T 2 

276 Chapter VII. 

constitutes, next to Russia, the most important, and, till 
yesterday, the most prosperous and progressive community 
in the East. Armenia, says Dr. Neale, has always been 
distinguished for the interest its Church has taken in 
education ; money is regarded by its rich merchants as 
a gift entrusted to them by God, and Christian benevolence 
as a matter of principle forms part of the religion of the 
people. Dr. Buchanan, in his " Christian Researches in 
Asia," written in 1809, says, Armenians "are to be found 
in every principal city of Asia; they are the general 
merchants of the East, and are in a state of constant 
motion from Canton to Constantinople. Their general 
character is that of a wealthy, industrious, enterprising 
people. They are settled in all the principal places of 
India, where they arrived many centuries before the English. 
Wherever they colonize they build Churches, and observe 
the solemnities of the Christian religion in a decorous manner. 
Their ecclesiastical establishment in Hindoostan is more 
respectable than that of the English. They have preserved 
the Bible in its purity, and their doctrines are, as far as the 
author knows, those of the Bible '." 

The late Armenian massacres are fresh in the memory of 
all, and need no description or comment here. 


6. The Maronites, the sole remnant of the Monothelitic 
heresy (which will be dealt with in the following chapter), 
derive their name from a monastery, near Mount Lebanon, 
founded by St. Maro, a contemporary of St. Chrysostom. 
They are said to have elected, about A.D. 700, as their 
first Patriarch, a man also named John Maro, whom they 
managed to get Consecrated by some Bishops of the party 
of Macarius, the Monothelite Patriarch of Antioch, who was 
deposed by the Sixth CEcumenical Council ; Maro won over 
the monks of the monastery of Mount Lebanon, and the 

' " The dead hand of their first Patriarch is said to be used at the Con- 
secration of their Bishops. "^Archdeacon Sinclair's Charge, 1898. 

The Separatist Churches of the East. 277 

neighbouring people, and assumed the title, which his suc- 
cessors have continued to bear, of Patriarch of Antioch. 

When the decrees of the Council of Chalcedon were 
enforced at the edge of the sword, they took refuge on 
Mount Lebanon, and there founded a separate community. 
The Maronites constitute a nation rather than a religion, 
forming nearly the whole population of Mount Lebanon. 
In 1 182, during the Crusades, they renounced the Mono- 
thelite heresy, and the whole nation or Church was brought, 
through Aymeric, tfie Latin Patriarch of Antioch, to ac- 
knowledge the Supremacy of the Pope, and to embrace 
the Roman Catholic Church, of which, although they still 
continue to retain their own peculiar observances, the Syrian 
Missal and the marriage of their Priests, and enjoy inde- 
pendence in the election of their Patriarch by their own 
Bishops, they may be considered the most ultramontane 
section. At the present day they number about 200,000 
adherents. Besides their Patriarch, who resides in the con- 
vent of Kennobin {Ccenobium) on Mount Lebanon, and takes 
at his Consecration the name of Peter, as his rival of the 
Jacobite Church, who also bears the title of Patriarch of 
Antioch, takes that of Ignatius. They have eight Bishops 
with Sees at Aleppo, Tripoli, Byblus, Heliopolis, Damascus, 
Beyrout, Cyprus (in which island they have many adherents), 
Tyre and Sidon. 

The Orthodox Greek Church also has at the present 
day a Church on the Lebanon, although greatly outnum- 
bered by the Maronites. This Church is of course in 
communion with the Russian Church, which is greatly in- 
teresting itself in it, and in the present year (1898) the 
Greek Priest was able to show to the Bishop of Salisbury 
a fine set of robes lately sent him from Russia ". 

An interesting account of the Maronites is contained in 
Pinkerton's travels, published in 181 1^. Mount Lebanon, 
he says, is wholly inhabited by Christians, who do not suffer 
the Mahometans to settle in it, " nor even the Pashas them- 

" Salisbury Diocesan Gazette. ' Vol. X. , p. 479. 

278 Chapter VII. 

selves to come up to the hills." It is a place of refuge 
for Christians from the tyranny of Turkish governors, and 
" especially for those unhappy wretches, who having denied 
the faith repent of it and become Christians again." Every 
village has a well-built Church, and there are almost as 
many monasteries as villages, the monks belonging to the 
rule of St. Antony; in their villages and all the Churches 
there is " a bell, which is an extraordinary thing in those 
parts." They have also several nunneries, but as the nuns 
do not take vows, they are only in a state of probation, 
and but few young women live in them, so that they are 
generally used as hospitals for old and decrepit women. 

"The Maronites," says Dean Stanley, "have lately ac- 
quired a more tragical claim to our interest through the 
atrocities perpetrated in their villages by their ancient here- 
ditary enemies, the Druses, provoked it may be, but certainly 
not excused, by Maronite aggression and Latin intrigues." 
This was in 1845. At the hands of the Druses their blood 
was poured out like water ; their Churches and monasteries 
were sacked and burnt ; their dwelling-houses levelled to 
the ground, their mulberry-trees and silk-worms, the sole 
sustenance of the people, cut down and destroyed. Thus, 
within a short space of time, both the Nestorians and 
Maronites became victims to a similar calamity. An old 
Egyptian tablet on Mount Lebanon was used by the French 
to commemorate the passage of the French army in 1 860-1, 
at the time of the pacification of the Lebanon after 
the bitter and bloody quarrels of the Maronites and the 
Druses ; and since that date the Lebanon has had a 
Christian governor, and has been on the whole peaceful 
and prosperous. 


The Fifth and Sixth (Ecumenical Councils. 

End of the Schism between Constantinople and Rome — Theodoric, King of 
Italy, and Pope Johjn I Ephraim, Patriarch of Antioch — ^Justinian Em- 
peror — His wife Theodora — Abolition of the Neo-Platonic Academy — Pope 
Agapetus I. at Constantinople — Memnas Patriarch — Origenistic controversy 
in Lavra of St. S abas —Theodore Ascidas— Edict of the Three Chapters — 
Silverius, Pope of Rome— The Exarchs at Ravenna — Vigilius Pope — His 
arrival at Constantinople — The ^OnaXoyla, nlimus — Eutychius, Patriarch of 
Constantinople — Fifth CEcumenical Council— Vacillating conduct of Vigilius 
— His character as described by Dr. Dbllinger — The Aphthardoceta; and 
Phthartolatrse — The Pandects — Institutes — And Novels— Building of the 
Church of St. Sophia — The Kingdom of Lombardy — ^John the Faster and 
the title of (Ecumenical Patriarch — Pope Gregory the Great's attempt to 
" keep in check " the Patriarch of Constantinople — Power of the Emperors 
exercised over the Popes — Devastations of Chosroes II. — Heraclius Em- 
peror — Birth of Mahomet — ^John the Almoner — Monothelitism — Honorius I. 
Pope — Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem — The Ecthesis — The monk 
Maximus — The Type— The First Lateran Council — Pope Martin I. and 
the Emperor Constans II. — Sixth CEcumenical Council — Monothelitism con- 
demned — Condemnation of Pope Honorius confirmed by Pope Leo II. — 
The Trullan Council. 

THE Emperor Anastasius was succeeded by Justin I. 
(518 — 527), an illiterate Dacian peasant, sixty years 
of age, who had risen to the highest rank in the army, and 
who now, in the government of the Empire, availed himself 
of the talents and ability of his more capable nephew Jus- 
tinian. The new Emperor was a man of inflexible ortho- 
doxy, and no doubt had learnt experience from the stern 
lesson taught to his predecessor by Vitalian. He at once 
banished Severus, Julian of HaUcarnassus, and the other 
Monophysite leaders, who took refuge in Alexandria, where 
every shade of Monophysitism was rampant, and which was 
too formidable a stronghold to be interfered with. The 
great event in Justin's reign was the termination of the 
schism between Constantinople and Rome. The persecution 
of the Orthodox Church by Anastasius, and the unflinching 
orthodoxy of the Popes, had immensely added to the prestige 

28o Chapter VII I. 

of Rome ; and the help sought by and given to the Orthodox 
Church was one of the gradual steps by which Rome gained 
the ascendency over Constantinople. Persecuted in the 
East, and deposed simply for their orthodoxy and their 
adherence to the Council of Chalcedon, the Eastern Prelates 
sought the protection of the Bishops of Rome ; and, but 
for the arrogant claims of the Popes for the erasure of the 
name of Acacius from the Diptychs, there is no doubt there 
would have been at that time an overwhelming secession 
from the Eastern to the Western Church. 

Anastasius II. (496 — 498), the successor of Gelasius in 
the See of Rome, was a man of gentler character than his 
predecessor, and he committed a mortal offence in the eyes 
of his Church in deviating from the conduct of Gelasius 
by sending two Bishops to Constantinople to propose that 
the name of Acacius should be left on the Uiptychs as the 
means of effecting peace. But his Pontificate was of too 
short a duration to effect the purpose ; animosity, which 
pursued him during his life-time, did not cease with his 
death, and Dante describes his suffering in hell the torments 
inflicted on one who had deviated from the right path ^ 

On the death of Pope Anastasius there was a double 
election to the Papacy, Laurence being chosen by the party 
who favoured the conciliatory policy of Anastasius, Sym- 
machus by the intolerant party. The matter was referred 
to the Arian King Theodoric, who decided in favour of 
Symmachus, and he was in consequence elected Pope (498 — 
514). The Emperor Anastasius had favoured the cause 
of his rival ; between Emperor and Pope there was in con- 
sequence but little love ; they mutually accused each other 
of Manichaeism, which at that time was synonymous with 
heresy in general ; and under two such opponents the heal- 
ing of the schism was doomed to failure. 

On the death of Timothy, who was a violent persecutor of 
the orthodox Christians, John II. (517 — 520), surnamed of 
\Cappadocia, became Patriarch of Constantinople, and Hor- 
• Inf. XI. 819, quoted in Smith's Diet. 

The Fifth and Sixth (Ecumenical Councils. 281 

misdas (514 — 523) succeeded Symmachus as Pope of Rome. 
The Emperor Anastasius, when hard pressed by Vitalian, 
sought a reconciliation with Hormisdas. But the Pope, 
imposing upon the Emperor's necessities, demanded the 
erasure from the Diptychs not only of the name of Acacius, 
but of other Patriarchs who had died out of Communion 
with Rome ; and required such concessions to the supre- 
macy of Rome that (a.d. 517) the Emperor broke off all 
negotiations, contrasting the haughty pretensions of the 
Pope with the forgfving spirit of Christ. 

Justin and Justinian, as soon as the former became 
Emperor, entered upon fresh negotiations with Hormisdas, 
who acted under the authority of the Arian King, Theodoric, 
with the view to putting an end to the schism. On March 
28, 519, a reconciliation was effected at Constantinople, 
and the schism ended, but on the condition that not only 
the name of Acacius, but also those of Favritta, Euphemius, 
Macedonius, and Timothy, as well as of the Emperors 
Zeno and Anastasius, should be removed from the Diptychs. 
Still the Patriarch John, unwilling to acknowledge any 
superiority of Rome over the Patriarchate of Constantinople, 
obtained from Justin the title of CEcumenical Patriarch, 
a title given by the civil power, and therefore of neither 
greater or less importance than that previously given to 
the See of Rome by Valentinian III. Hormisdas, elated 
with his victory over the See of Constantinople, styled Justin 
a second Hezekiah ; but the concession made by the Em- 
peror to the Pope formed an unfortunate precedent, and 
through it the thin end of the wedge of Rome's after- 
claims of superiority over the Patriarchs of Constantinople 
was inserted. 

On the expulsion of Severus, Paul, a Presbyter of Con- 
stantinople, was appointed Patriarch of Antioch (519 — 52i_), 
and he rigorously enforced the Council of Chalcedon. But 
the Antiochenes, still persisting in holding that Council in 
disfavour, accused him first of Nestorianism, and afterwards 
brought various other accusations, which made his position 

282 Chapter VIII. 

so intolerable that he obtained permission to resign the 
Patriarchate, in which he was succeeded by Euphrasius 

Justin, in his determination to establish orthodoxy in the 
East, issued, A.D. 523, an edict, ordering Manichseans (i.e. 
heretics generally) to leave the Empire under pain of death ; 
and Pagans and Jews were forbidden to hold civil or military 
offices. An exception to the rule was made in the case 
of Goths and other foreign soldiers {Jederati milites) who 
were serving in the armies of the Empire. 

Epiphanius, the successor of John, was at the time 
Patriarch of Constantinople (520 — 535), and an abettor of 
the Emperor in his intolerant measures. Hormisdas was 
succeeded in the See of Rome by John I. (522 — 526). 
Theodoric, King of Italy, was as relentless an enemy against 
Paganism as Justin, and under him Paganism almost en- 
tirely disappeared from the Western dominions. But though 
himself an Arian, he had observed toleration towards the 
Catholics, and expected Justin to be equally tolerant towards 
Arians, and he now threatened that if toleration was not 
accorded to Arians in the East, to retaliate on the Catholics 
in the West. The Popes had professed it to be derogatory 
to their dignity to attend the CEcumenical Councils of the 
Church. But the immunity which the Roman Church en- 
joyed through its remoteness from the seat of government 
was now rudely broken. In 524 Theodoric despatched Pope 
John on a mission to Constantinople to obtain the revocation 
of the edict against Arians and other heretics, and the 
restoration of the Churches which had been given up to 
the Catholics. John was received with great honour at 
Constantinople, and the Patriarch Epiphanius yielded him 
precedence in his Cathedral Church on Easter-day; but, 
either on account of the honour accorded him, or because 
he failed in obtaining terms for the Arians, John was on 
his return to Italy thrown into prison at Ravenna, where 
he died shortly afterwards, to be venerated by succeeding 
generations as Saint and Martyr of the Roman Church. 

The Fifth and Sixth (Ecumenical Councils. 283 

On the death of John, Theodoric, though an Arian, took 
a step which must have been peculiarly galling to the 
Catholics, and himself, without waiting for the election by 
the clergy and people, appointed Felix IV. as Pope (526 — 
S30), and the appointment was afterwards acquiesced in 
by the clergy and the Senate of Rome. 

In 526, the city of Antioch was nearly entirely destroyed 
by a series of earthquakes, in one of which the Patriarch 
Euphrasius lost his life, and Count Ephraim, who held a 
high position in" the Emperor's service, was sent by him 
to superintend the reconstruction of the city. Ephraim 
forbade the terrified inhabitants to leave the city, and or- 
dered them to inscribe over their gates the words, "May 
Christ be with us ; " and the earthquake ceasing, the grateful 
citizens unanimously chose him as their Patriarch (527 — 
545) ; Antioch, in memory of the miracle, assuming the 
title of Theopolis — the City of God. The orthodox Patri- 
arch showed himself a champion against Severus and the 
Acephali, and wrote several treatises in favour of the Council 
of Chalcedon. 

In 527, Justin associated with himself in the Empire 
his nephew Justinian, who on his death, which occurred 
in the same year, became sole Emperor (527 — 565). In 
civil and military matters, the reign of Justinian was one 
of great glory. But with an overweening confidence in 
his own abilities, he thought himself a theologian, and 
unmindful that the Patriarchs were the proper governors 
of the Church, and with a mind utterly unfitted to grasp 
subtle points of doctrine, he thought to remodel the Church 
in such a manner as to comprehend both the orthodox 
and unorthodox parties. Himself a waverer in religion, 
at first a supporter of the Council of Chalcedon and oppo- 
nent of the Monophysites, he went on in his self-confidence, 
till he made shipwreck of his faith, and ended his days 
by himself becoming a Monophysite. But whether Orthodox 
or Monophysite, he was throughout a persecutor, and his 
long reign was a momentous one to its close. 

284 Chapter VIII. 

At the commencement of it he admitted Theodora, a 
woman of immoral character, whom he had made his wife, 
to a share of the government. She, as far as she had any 
religion at all, was a Monophysite, under the influence of 
Severus, the deposed Patriarch of Antioch, and Anthemius, 
Bishop of Trebizond, the latter of whom was on the death 
of Euphemius, A.D. 635, translated through her influence 
to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. 

Against Pagans Justinian was equally as severe as his 
predecessor. In 529, he issued an edict abolishing the 
Neo-Platonic Academy at Athens, where the philosophers, 
who, though themselves not open professors of the heathen 
deities, preserved Paganism alive by teaching it as an 
esoteric religion. Damasius, so called from his being a 
native of Damascus^ the Head of the Academy, with six 
of his colleagues fled to Ctesiphon, and placed , themselves 
under the protection of Chosroes or Nushirvan, the powerful 
King of Persia, at whose court they found a friendly wel- 
come. But finding the religion of Zoroaster still less to 
their minds than Christianity, they returned to the Roman 
Empire, where they were allowed, through the intercession 
of Chosroes, to live unmolested, although not in Athens ; 
and on the further condition of their not attempting to 
proselytize the Christians. Thenceforward the Pagan re- 
ligion died out from the Eastern dominions of the Empire. 

Theodoric, King of Italy, having died A.D. 526, Justinian 
availed himself of the confusion that ensued for the re- 
conquest of Italy. Theodoric was succeeded by his grand- 
son, Athalaric, the son of his daughter, Amasalunta, and 
when he, after a reign of eight years, fell a victim to his 
vices, Theodohad, the nephew of Theodoric, succeeded to 
the kingdom, and sent Amasalunta into exile on an island 
on the Lake Bolsona, where she was shortly afterwards 
found strangled in her bath. The dissensions in the royal 
family consequent on the murder of Amasalunta gave Jus- 
tinian a plea for invading Italy, and to ward off the invasion, 
Theodohad, following the example set by Theodoric, de- 

The Fifth and Sixth CEcumenical Councils. 285 

spatched Pope Agapetus I. (535 — 536) to Constantinople, 
who, accompanied by his Archdeacon, Vigilius, arrived there 
on February 2, 536. The Pope at once refused to hold 
Communion with the Patriarch Anthemius on the ground 
that the latter was a Monophysite, and had been, contrary 
to the Nicene Canon, translated from one Diocese to an- 
other. Justinian first threatened the Pope; " I came hither," 
said Agapetus, " in my old age, expecting to find a religious 
and Christian Emperor, but I find a second Diocletian.'' 
The Emperor was so struck with respect and admiration- 
of the unflinching fortitude of the Pope, that he authorized 
a Synod to meet at Constantinople, over which the Pope 
presided ; Anthemius being convicted of Monophysitism 
was deposed, and Memnas (536 — SS^), President of a Hos- 
pice at Con.stantinople, appointed in his place and con- 
secrated by the Pope. 

Agapetus died in April at Constantinople. By another 
Synod at Constantinople in May and June, convened by 
Justinian and presided over by Memnas, Anthemius was 
convicted of Eutychianism, and together with Severus, Peter 
of Apamea, and an excommunicated Eutychian monk, 
named Zoaras (all of whom were living at Constantinople 
under the patronage of the Empress), were anathematized. 
The sentence pronounced against Anthemius, being con- 
firmed by the Emperor on August 6, he was sent into 
banishment. In this Synod, Memnas publicly claimed for 
the Patriarch of Constantinople the title of CEcumenical 
Patriarch, the cause of future disputes between the Sees 
of Rome and Constantinople. 

At this time there were also living at Constantinople, 
in high favour with the Empress, two monks of Palestine, 
named Domitian and Theodore Ascidas, who with Euty- 
chian combined Origenist views. In the early part of the 
century the controversy which had taken place in Pales- 
tine in the time of St. Jerome, with regard to the writings 
of Origen, was renewed in the Lavra of which St. Sabas 
was at the head, and excited the alarm of Peter, the Patri- 

286 Chapter VIII. 

arch of Jerusalem (524 — 544). At the request of Peter, 
St. Sabas, at the time 94 years of age, went in 530 to 
Constantinople to, amongst other matters, request Justinian 
to expel the two Origenist monks. The Emperor received 
him with the greatest reverence, lodged him in his palace 
and asked his blessing, and promised to grant all he asked ; 
but St. Sabas died the next year, before any steps could 
be taken by the Emperor. The monks who in the lifetime 
of St. Sabas had dissembled their opinions, now that the 
restraint was removed, and the weak and timid Peter was 
ill-qualified to stand in the gap, openly asserted them, and 
widely diffused Origenism through the monasteries. The 
two monks, who still continued to reside in Constantinople, 
gained such an influence over the Emperor, that, in 537, 
Theodore Ascidas was appointed Archbishop of the Cappa- 
docian Caesarea, and Domitian Bishop of Ancyra in Galatia, 
both of them continuing to reside in Constantinople. 

Under their influence the number of Origenists so greatly 
increased in the East, that Peter induced Pelagius, after- 
wards (555 — 560) Pope of Rome, who was at the time 
resident in Jerusalem, to go with four monks to Constanti- 
nople in order to obtain from the Emperor a sentence of 
condemnation against Origen. Pelagius and his monks 
obtained from the Emperor the desired condemnation, and 
Justinian, always ready to pose as a theologian, addressed 
to Memnas a rescript, confuting the writings of Origen, 
and requiring the Patriarchs of the East to convene Synods 
for the same purpose. In 543 Origen was condemned in 
a Synod under the Patriarch Ephraim at Antioch, and also 
by Zoilus, Patriarch of Alexandria (542 — 551) ; and a Synod 
of Bishops resident at Constantinople {<y\)voZo<i evSrjfiova-a), 
under Memnas, issued in the same year fifteen anathemas, 
which were subscribed by Theodore Ascidas and Domitian, 
against Origen and his doctrines. 

Theodore Ascidas, however, although he had subscribed 
the anathemas, continued to favour the Origenists, who, 
under his wing, became dominant in Palestine, so that, 

The Fifth and Sixth (Ecumenical Councils. 287 

on the death of Peter, Macarius, an Origenist, was appointed 
his successor. But this election not being confirmed by 
Justinian, Macarius was deposed, and Eustochius (544 — 556), 
who held an office in the Church of Alexandria, but was at 
the time resident in Constantinople, appointed in his place. 

It was probably with the view of engaging the Emperor 
on a different matter, and so removing from himself the 
suspicion of Origenism, that Theodore Ascidas in concert 
with Domitian stirred up the controversy of the " Three 
Chapters" (rpia ne^aPKaia). By the Three Chapters were 
meant the writings of three deceased Bishops, Theodore of 
Mopsuestia, Theodoret, and Ibas. The controversy kindled 
a flame in the Church which it took long to extinguish, 
and it was said of it that it filled more volumes than it 
deserved lines. 

Theodore Ascidas, himself a Monophysite, knew that it 
was Justinian's wish to reconcile the Acephali to the Church. 
He persuaded him into the belief that the Monophysites 
were not opposed to the Council of Chalcedon itself, but to 
the writings of the three Bishops, which they considered of 
a Nestorian character, although Theodore of Mopsuestia was 
dead before the Council was held, whilst Theodoret and 
Ibas had at the Council anathematized Nestorianism and 
been pronounced by it to be orthodox. He told the 
Emperor that if the Council could be cleared of having 
defended them, the Monophysites would no longer reject 
it, and thus could be won over to the Orthodox Church. 
Justinian, falling into the trap laid for him, issued (probably 
A.D. 544) the Edict of the Three Chapters, in which, without 
impugning the Council itself, he condemned the writings of 
the three Bishops ; the edict he sent to the Patriarchs and 
Bishops for their signatures, with an intimation, in case of 
refusal, of their deposition. Memnas signed it reluctantly ; 
and, mindful of the recently healed schism between Constan- 
tinople and Rome, insisted on the condition that if it was 
not approved by the Pope his signature would be revoked. 
The other three Patriarchs also, Zoilus of Alexandria, 

288 Chapter VIII. 

Ephraitn of Antioch, and Eustochius of Jerusalem, signed 
under the fear of deposition, and the majority of the Eastern 
Bishops followed their example. But not so the Bishops of 
the West, who, being for the most part ignorant of the 
Greek language, knew little about the condemned writings, 
and regarded Justinian's Edict as a direct attack on the 
Council of Chalcedon. 

The intercession of Pope Agapetus was unsuccessful in 
turning Justinian from the invasion of Italy. His great 
General Belisarius having, A.D. 534, destroyed the Vandal 
dominion in Africa, and in the following year recovered 
Sicily and Naples from the Ostrogoths, in December, 536, 
marched on Rome. In all the dominions thus recovered 
to the Empire, Justinian ordered the laws against Arians 
and other heretics to be enforced, and orthodoxy established. 
Sixty years had elapsed since Odoacer had conquered Rome, 
but from the first, the Gothic rule had been disliked by the 
Romans, who, although they had generally been left in 
possession of their ecclesiastical as well as their civil laws 
and institutions, never acquiesced in their dependence on 
their Arian conquerors, but turned their eyes to the Em- 
perors in the East as their legitimate sovereigns. 

On the death of Pope Agapetus, the election of Silverius 
(536 — 537), son of the late Pope Hormisdas, was supposed 
to have been brought about by simony, and forced on the 
Roman Church by the Arian King Theodotus. The ap- 
proach of Belisarius was welcomed by the Romans, and, 
by the advice of the Pope and Senate, the gates of Rome 
were thrown open to the Imperial troops. Theodotus 
having been shortly before deposed, was now murdered by 
his successor, Vitiges, whom Belisarius conquered and 
took captive to Constantinople. Ildibald, the next King 
(S39 — S41); was assassinated and succeeded by Evaric, 
who was also in his turn after five months murdered 
and succeeded by Totila ; who, in 546, regained all the 
conquests made by Belisarius, and threatened to reduce 
Rome into a pasture for cattle. Under him the Kingdom 

The Fifth and Sixth (Ecumenical Councils. 289 

of the Arian Goths was once again established on a strong 
footing in Italy. But in 552, Totila was killed in battle by 
Narses, the successor of Belisarius, and with him perished for 
ever the race and the name of the Ostrogoths. Italy was 
recovered to the Eastern Emperor, and thenceforward, 
for nearly two hundred years, the Greek possessions in 
Italy were governed by Exarchs living at Ravenna, of 
whom Narses was the first. The Romans were now 
nominally subject to the Exarchs as vicegerents of the 
Emperors living at Constantinople, but in reality they 
looked on the Popes not only as their religious but po- 
litical chi.efs. 

The taking of Rome by Belisarius seemed to the Empress 
Theodora to offer the opportunity of reinstating Anthemius 
and establishing Monophysitism. She had, by the bribe of 
succession to the Papacy, brought over to her Monophysite 
views Vigilius, the Archdeacon of Agapetus, he promising, 
on becoming Pope, to disavow the Council of Chalcedon 
and to favour the Monophysites. But the difficulty was 
how to get rid of Silverius, who, whatever else he was, 
was orthodox, and whose orthodoxy formed a barrier to 
herself and Vigilius, Antonina, the wife of Belisarius, who 
ruled her husband much in the same way as she herself 
ruled Justinian, was the confidante of the Empress. Acting 
under the influence of his wife, Belisarius seized the Pope 
who had befriended him, by whose aid he had gained 
possession of Rome. After attempting in vain to persuade 
him to accede to the wishes of the Empress, to condemn 
the Council of Chalcedon, and to recognize Anthemius, 
whom his predecessor had deposed, as Patriarch, Antonina 
accused him with having betrayed Rome to the Goths ; 
the end was that Silverius, stripped of the pallium and 
arrayed in the dress of a simple monk, was banished to 
Patara, and Vigilius, by order of Belisarius, on payment 
of two hundred pounds in gold, elected in his place. 

The Emperor, when he learnt what had happened, and 
how he had been outwitted by the Empress, ordered the 


290 Chapter VIII. 

return of Silverius to Rome, with the promise that, if the 
accusations brought against him ■ proved unfounded, he 
should be reinstated in the Papacy. But means were taken 
to intercept his return ; by order of Belisarius he was given 
up to Vigilius, and banished to the island of Palmaria in 
the Tuscan Sea, where, but by what means was never 
discovered, he died in the following year. 

Soon after he became Pope, Vigilius wrote to the Mono- 
physite Bishops, Anthemius and Severus, expressing his 
agreement with them ; and to the Empress he wrote, con- 
demning, in accordance with his stipulation, the Tome ot 
Pope Leo, and anathematizing Diodorus of Tarsus, Theo- 
dore of Mopsuestia, and Theodoret. He also wrote to 
Justinian and Memnas, accepting the Tome of Leo and 
the Council of Chalcedon, and condemning Anthemius, 
Severus, and the Monophysites. 

The Emperor ordered the Pope to appear at Constanti- 
nople. Loaded with imprecations and assailed by the 
populace with stones as the murderer of Silverius, Vigilius, 
in obedience to the Emperor's order, arrived at Constanti- 
nople in 547, where he at once found himself in a pitiful 
dilemma between the Emperor and Empress, who were 
hopelessly at variance; to both of whom he had pledged 
himself, professing to the Emperor that he was orthodox, 
to the Empress that he was a Monophysite. 

He at first refused to condemn the Three Chapters, or 
even to communicate with Memnas. But by the death, in 
the following year, of the Empress Theodora, he was de- 
livered from his embarrassment ; at Easter he issued a 
document called the Judicatum, agreeing with the Em- 
peror's Edict and condemning the Three Chapters without 
disparaging the Council of Chalcedon. Thus he thought 
to satisfy all parties, the Easterns by condemning the Three 
Chapters, the Westerns by not including in his condemnation 
the Council of Chalcedon. But he only added to his 
difficulties. Two Roman Deacons and his own nephew, 
who had accompanied him to Constantinople, renouncing- 

The Fifth and Sixth (Ecumenical Councils. 291 

communion with him, returned to Rome ; the Bishops of 
Illyricum and Dalmatia in the Synod of Illyricum, A.D. 549, 
condemned the Judicatum, and those of North Africa 
formally excommunicated the Pope. He now withdrew 
the Judicatum, throwing the blame on the Empress, of 
whose intentions he pleaded with the Westerns that he 
had acted in ignorance. 

I" 55 ij Justinian issued a Second Edict, styed the 'Ofxo\o<^ia 
TIlaTeois, against the Three Chapters, and called upon Vigilius 
to subscribe it; but Vigilius firmly refused to do so. Zoilus, 
Patriarch of Alexandria, was the only Eastern Bishop who 
stood by him, and he was in consequence deposed, and 
Apollinarius appointed in, his place. Vigilius, finding him- 
self beset with difficulties, fled for refuge first to the Church 
of St. Sergius in Constantinople, and afterwards to that of 
St. Euphemia in Chalcedon, where he remained nearly 
a year, returning at length under the safe conduct of the 
Emperor to Constantinople at the end of 552. 

In that year, Memnas, Patriarch of Constantinople, died, 
and was succeeded by Eutychius (552 — 582)='. Justinian now 
determined to call a General Council, and on May S, 553, 
the Fifth CEcumenical Council, the second of Constantinople, 
met under the Presidency of Eutychius. The Council was 
attended by Apollinarius of Alexandria, Domnus of Antioch, 
and 165 Eastern Bishops ; Eustochius, Patriarch of Jeru- 
salem, was represented by three legates. Vigilius and 
about twenty Western Bishops who were in Constanti- 
nople, although twice waited on by a deputation of the 
three Patriarchs and twenty Metropolitans, refused to 
attend. The Pope, however, sent to Justinian a document 
entitled Constitutum, in which he condemned the Three 
Chapters, but without naming the authors, on the ground 
that it was unlawful to anathematize the dead. The Council 
proceeded by order of Justinian and held Eight Sessions, 

For twelve years (565 — 577) Eutychius lived in banishment, John Scholas- 
ticus being intruded into the Patriarchate by Justinian. 

U 2 

292 Chapter VIIl. 

extending to June 2. In the first Session a letter from 
the Emperor was read, setting forth how his orthodox 
predecessors had convened all the CEcumenical Synods, — ■ 
Constantine, that of the 318 Fathers at Nice ; Theodosius, 
of the 1 50 at Constantinople ; Theodosius, the younger, the 
Synod of Ephesus ; the Emperor Marcian, that of Chalcedon. 
But divisions having arisen since the last Council, he had 
summoned the Council to the capital to give judgment 
on " the Three impious Chapters." Vigilius, the Pope of 
Old Rome, he said had come to Constantinople, had re- 
peatedly anathematized them in writing, and he had lately 
anathematized them in his Judicattim. The Pope had pre- 
viously desired that a Synod should be assembled, but now 
he had altered his views, and although he had several times 
commanded him to do so, he had refused to attend. He 
asked them to consider, as to Theodore of Mopsuestia, the 
absurd assertion that no one is to be anathematized after 
his death ; to consider also the writings of Theodoret, and 
the supposed Letter of Ibas, in which the Incarnation of 
the Word is denied, the expression " God-bearer " and the 
holy Synod of Ephesus rejected, Cyril called a heretic, 
and Theodore and Nestorius defended and praised. In 
the 4th, 5th, and 6th Sessions the Three Chapters were 
examined, and precedents were found in Ecclesiastical 
history for anathematizing persons who had died in the 
Communion of the Church. The Emperor sent to the 7th 
Session the writings of Vigilius, in which he had condemned 
the Three Chapters, and ordered the Synod to continue, 
without regard to the Pope, and to remove his name from 
the Diptychs. In the 8th Session, sentence, in accordance 
with the will of the Emperor, was delivered ; anathemas 
were pronounced against both the writings and person of 
Theodore, and against the writings, but not the person, of 
Theodoret and Ibas. 

The vacillating Pope once more turned round, and under 
fear of banishment assented to and confirmed the decrees 
of the Council. At length, after a seven years' absence, 

The Fifth and Sixth CEcumenical Councils. 293 

he was allowed by Justinian to return to Rome, but he died 
on the road. 

Other Popes fell into heresy and repented, but charity 
can scarcely find a good word for Vigilius. He at least 
three times, says Dean Milman, yielded and then desper- 
ately resisted Justinian ; three times condemned the Three 
Chapters and three times recanted the condemnation. But 
in case the judgment of an Anglican may be called in 
question, we will hear what his own Church has to say of 
him. The late Dr. Dollinger, perhaps the most learned 
theologian of the day, says^ "Perhaps a just judgment, 
which was the consequence of his iniquitous seizure of the 
Pontificate, weighed heavily upon him, deprived him of 
light and strength from above, till he was tossed to and 
fro, like a helmless bark, in this tempestuous commotion." 
That, between Constantinople and Syracuse, where he died, 
he may have seen the error of his ways awakens the Chris- 
tian's hope, and no one will withhold from him the pious 
wish, Requiescat in pace. 

He was succeeded by Pelagius I. (555 — 560), who ac- 
cepted the decrees of the Fifth CEcumenical Council, and 
the condemnation of the Three Chapters. But in the, 
where they were vigorously defended, troubles and schism 
arose " ; whilst in the East the Acephali remained as 
estranged as ever. In the West the Council was eventually 
accepted as CEcumenical, and Pope Gregory the Great 
ranked it with the four preceding Councils *. 

In the last years of his life, Justinian, who had passed 
his long reign in oppressing now Pagans, now Monophysites, 
and latterly the Orthodox party, fell into the worst form 
of the Monophysite heresy. Alexandria, whither Severus 
and Julian of Halicarnassus had, after being expelled from 
their Sees, repaired, continued to be the abiding strong- 
hold of the heresy. But soon a violent dispute arose 
between the two as to the corruptibility of our Lord's 

* Hist, of the Church, II. 187. 
' Epistles of St. Gregory the Great, IV., XVI., XXIV, * Mansi. 

294 Chapter VIII. 

Human Body before the Resurrection ; Severus maintaining- 
that before the Resurrection the Body of Christ was, but after 
it ceased to be, corruptible, i.e. subject to corporal affec- 
tions and changes ; Julian, that it was not so subject, and. 
therefore was not ordinary Flesh. The followers of the 
latter were called Aphthardocetae (a^dapSoKrjTai, believers in 
only an apparent body), those of the former, Phthartolatrse 
(<f36apr6XaTpat,, believers in the corruptible). Justinian, 
whose old age was not satiated with his theological despot- 
ism, issued, in 563, an edict declaring the Apthardocetic 
doctrine to be the correct one, and sent it to the Patriarchs 
for subscription under pain of deposition. But the edict 
of the Emperor in favour of a doctrine which approximated 
to Docetism was everywhere opposed. 

In vain Eutychius of Constantinople disproved the doc- 
trine from Scripture ; he was arrested by a band of soldiers 
when celebrating the Holy Eucharist, deposed and exiled, 
and John, surnamed Scholasticus, a man more eminent 
as a lawyer at Antioch than as an ecclesiastic, was ap- 
pointed to the Patriarchate (565 — 577). Anastasius, called, 
from his having once been a monk of Mount Sinai, Sinaita, 
the holy Patriarch of Antioch (561 — 593), the successor 
of Domnus in the See, was threatened. He wrote a letter 
to the monks in Syria, who had applied to him for advice, 
" that our Blessed Saviour's Body was absolutely liable 
to corruption ; that this was the opinion of the Holy Fathers 
as well as of the Apostles themselveSj and therefore he 
exhorted them with the utmost earnestness to undergo 
all extremities rather than suffer a doctrine so well grounded 
to be wrested from them ^." Further persecution of the 
Orthodox was however stayed by the death of Justinian, 
who had exceeded 80 years of age, A.D. 565. 

The legislation, of which Justinian was the author, was 

of too extensive a character, even as concerns the Church, 

to be more than barely mentioned in a work of this kind. 

It is comprised in three works, the Code published in 529, 

'Evag. Scholast., B. IV. 

Tfie Fifth and Sixth (Ecumenical Councils. 295 

the Pandects in 533, and the Institutes about the same time, 
whilst after his death were published the Novels. These 
works, in which the most minute points of Church discipline, 
the relations of the Bishops to their clergy, and the regula- 
tion of Monasteries form a conspicuous part, remain a 
permanent memorial of his reign. 

Justinian was the founder of the style of Architecture 
called, from the ancient city on the ruins of which Con- 
stantinople are built, the Byzantine, the distinctive features 
of which are the Greek Cross and the Cupola. This style, 
he being Emperor of the West as well as of the East, was 
introduced into Italy. The Greeks, with their usual con- 
servatism, have always adhered to their Byzantine model ; 
but in the West, Church Architecture was progressive under 
the different features of Byzantine, Romanesque, Norman, 
and Gothic. The Romanesque was really only a Roman 
development of the Byzantine style, and Gothic Archi- 
tecture grew out of the Romanesque, so that the Western 
is indebted to the Eastern Church for its Church Archi- 

In the versatility of his genius he aspired to being him- 
self an architect, and adorned Constantinople and other 
cities in his dominions with stately churches, monasteries, 
hospitals, and other magnificent edifices ; but the work was 
effected with money raised by the oppression and impoverish- 
ing taxation of the people. The great Church of Edessa, 
supposed to have been the earliest Christian Church in the 
world, and built in great magnificence, on the model of the 
Jewish Temple, by St. Thaddaeus at the expense of King 
Abgarus, having been destroyed by an inundation, Justinian 
rebuilt in such splendour, that the Arabians regarded it 
as one of the four wonders of the world '. 

Most magnificent of all his works was the Church of 
St. Sophia at Constantinople. The original Church, built 
by Constantine, having been destroyed by fire, and another 

The others were the Pharos at Alexandria, the bridge over the river Sarrgia 
in Mesopotamia, find the Mahometan temple at Damascus. — Etheridge. 

296 Chapter VIII. 

built to take its place, having suffered a similar fate in the 
insurrection, known as that of the Nika, in January, 532, 
Justinian determined to erect on the site another Church 
more magnificent than any in existence, and in order to 
avoid similar calamities to build it entirely of stone and 
marble. For the work he employed the two most famous 
architects of the day, Anthemius of Tralles, and Isidore of 
Miletus. Artists were collected from all parts of the world, 
and some ten thousand workmen engaged, Justinian himself 
being constantly present and superintending the work. 
It was commenced on February 23, 532, and Consecrated on 
December 26, 537. The cost amounted to ;^320,ooo in 
gold, a sum equivalent to about thirteen million of our 
money. Having thus built one of the wonders of the world, 
he exclaimed, with pardonable pride, veviKrjKa ae. SoXofimv 
(/ kave conque7-ed thee, Solomon). When this Church 
was, before twenty years, partially destroyed by an earth- 
quake, he caused it to be restored ; and after a second 
Consecration in December, 561, it was re-opened, mainly 
as the structure stands in the present day, the model of 
every subsequent stage of Byzantine art. For its services 
Justinian made provision for 60 Priests, lOO Deacons, besides 
40 Deaconesses, 90 sub-Deacons, no Readers, 25 Singers, 
and 100 Ostiarians or door-keepers. 

The Church also of the Holy Apostles at Constantinople, 
in which the reliques of SS. Andrew, Luke and Timothy 
were believed to be deposited, having been originally built 
of wood, Justinian rebuilt in marble. 

To a Scythian by birth, although a monk of the West, 
Dionysius, surnamed Exiguus, who lived in the time of 
Justinian, we owe the adoption of the Vulgar Era, i.e. the 
custom of dating events from the Birth of Christ. But in, 
his calculation it is now known that he placed the Birth of 
the Saviour four years too late. 

The whole of Italy had, by Justinian's great Generals, 
Belisarius and Narses, been recovered to the Empire, 
the greater part of it, however, to be lost under his three 

The Fifth and Sixth (Ecumenical Councils. 29? 

successors, Justin II. (565—578), Tiberius II. (sole Emperor 
578—582), and Maurice (582 — 602). So oppressive was 
the government of Narses, the first Exarch of Ravenna, that 
the Romans complained to the Emperor Justin that Gothic 
servitude had been more tolerable than the government 
of the Exarch, and Narses was superseded by Longinus. 
Narses, in revenge for this act of ingratitude, called in the 
Lombards, a German people holding the Arian form of doc- 
trine, who, A.D. 568, only three years after Justinian's death, 
began, under their* King Alboin, to pour into Italy, the 
North of which they conquered, founding the Kingdom 
which after them was called Lombardy. In 573 Alboin was 
murdered ; still the Lombards continued their conquests, 
and, A.D. 584, under their King Antharis, they founded 
the Duchies of Spoleto and Benevento in the South. The 
Eastern Empire still held an uncertain sovereignty over 
the rest of Italy, including Rome and Ravenna, a large 
part of the South, as well as the islands of Sicily, Sardinia 
and Corsica. Italy was thus divided into two unequal parts, 
the larger under the Arian Lombards, with Pavia for its 
capital, the smaller part under the Exarchs of the Greek 
Emperors, with its capital at Ravenna. 

On the death of John Scholasticus, A.D. 577, Eutycliius 
was restored to the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which he 
held till his death in 582. Towards the end of his life he fell 
into an Origenist error with respect to the nature of man's 
body after the Resurrection, but was convinced and reclaimed 
to orthodoxy by Gregory, the future Pope, who was at the 
time residing in Constantinople as the Nuncio of Pope 
Pelagius II., and he is commemorated as a Saint in the 
Greek Church. 

His successor in the Patriarchate was John the Faster (582 
— 595). In 588 John summoned a Council at Constantinople 
to enquire into a charge of a very foul nature which had 
been brought against Gregory, the intruded Patriarch of 
Antioch (569—594). Anastasius Sinaita, threatened by 
Justinian for opposing his Aphthardocetic edict, was actually 

298 Chapter VIIL 

deposed by Justin II., and Gregory appointed in his places 
Gregory is described as a singularly holy man, possessing 
almost every excellence of mind and person, and in his trial 
before the Council he received a triumphant acquittal. On 
his death, which occurred in 594, the deposed Patriarch 
Anastasius was restored. 

The Council is rendered famous in Church history from the 
incident of the Patriarch, John the Faster, having assembled 
it under the name of the CEcumenical Patriarch. The term 
oecumenical (oiKOVfiivi]) the Greeks understood as compris- 
ing all the dominions of the Emperor, West as well as East ; 
the Patriarch of Constantinople, therefore, in calling himself 
CEcumenical Patriarch, claimed supremacy over the whole 
Christian Church ». The term was no new one ; not only 
did the Patriarchs of Constantinople often call themselves 
by it, but it is also applied to them by the Emperor 
Justinian in his Code and Novels. It was perhaps natural 
for an Emperor to magnify his own Patriarchate ; he also 
styles the Church of Constantinople the "head and mother" 
of Churches ; but it shows at least that no recognized 
supremacy attached to the See of Rome. 

Pelagius II., at the time Pope of Rome (578 — 590), was 
highly indignant at the claim made by John, refused to 
recogriize the acts of the Council (except so far as the 
acquittal of Gregory of Antioch went), and forbade his 
nuncio, Laurence, to hold communion with the Patriarch 
of Constantinople. 

Pelagius was succeeded by Gregory I. (590 — 604), the 
Great, under whom the controversy was renewed. Gregory 
resented the assumption of the title even more strongly than 
his predecessor, as it seemed to him to signify that not only 
the Patriarchs of the East, but also the Pope of Rome, were 
mere representatives of the Patriarch of Constantinople.- 
He stigmatized in different Letters the title as haughty, 
blasphemous, a diabolical usurpation, dishonourable to the 
whole Church ; and he compares the Patriarch John to 

E Phillimore's Internal. Law, II. 449. 

The Fifth and Sixth CEcumenical Councils. 299 

Lucifer, in the desire of the latter to exalt himself above, 
the Angels, 

The Letters of Gregory, one of the greatest of the Popes, 
are the best commentary on the relative position of the 
Eastern and Western Churches at that time. The Papacy 
had for more than two centuries been advancing pretensions 
which Gregory himself, although he called himself, as his 
successors, whose distinguishing virtue has certainly not 
been that of humility, have done, by the humble title of 
servus servorum Dei^ was as willing as any to magnify. The 
Patriarch of Constantinople had been recognized by the 
Second CEcumenical Council as Head of the Eastern, on 
the same ground as the Pope of Rome was the recognized 
Head of the Western Church. For some time after that 
Council, the Patriarchs of Alexandria resented and contested 
the pre-eminence of Constantinople, but by degrees the 
latter established their position, which was afterwards fully 
recognized by the Council of Chalcedon. What Gregory not 
unreasonably resented was that the Patriarchs of Constan- 
tinople, who had lately shown themselves so subservient to 
the Emperors, should claim superiority over the whole, 
the Western as well as the Eastern, Church. A Letter 
{Epist. VIII.) from Gregory to Isaac, Patriarch of Jerusalem 
(600 — 609), shows that not only the Church of Jerusalem, 
but the Eastern Church generally, was sunk deep in cor- 
ruption and simony. But the Patriarchate of Constantinople 
was at the time, notwithstanding adverse circumstances, in 
the zenith of its prosperity ; whereas, under the arms of the 
Lombards and the despotism of the Greeks, Rome at the, 
close of the Sixth Century sunk to the lowest depths of her 
depression ^ The Patriarch of Constantinople was elated 
with the same pride which, since the Eastern Church was 
overwhelmed by the Saracens, the Crusaders, and the Turks, 
has characterized, in its prosperity, the See of Rome. 

That a contest for supremacy was going on between the 
two Sees, and that Gregory was trying to keep the Patriarch 
k Gibbon, VIII. 158. 

300 Chapter VIII. 

of Constantinople " in check," we learn from one of his 
letters [Epist. XII.) to John, Bishop of Syracuse. He had 
been informed, he says, that people murmured at the Pope's 
imitating the usages of the Church of Constantinople ; 
" How can he be arranging," he asks, " so as to keep the 
ConstoMtirwpolitan Church in check, if he is following her 
wsage ? " Gregory denies imitating the Greeks, and his point 
is that his adopting Greek usages was not in imitation of 
the Greeks, but a return to primitive usage. He here un- 
intentionally plays into the hands of the Greeks, who always 
maintain that their Church is more primitive and catholic 
than the Roman. "Wherein then," he asks, "are we following 
the Greeks?" So important does the Pope consider the 
matter that he requests ; " Let your charity .... proceed 
to the Church of Catania, or hold a Conference in the 
Church of Syracuse with respect to the murmuring as 
though for a different purpose (that sounds like a pious 
fraud), and so not desist from instructing them. For, as 
to wJuit they say about the Church of Constantinople, who 
can doubt that it is subject to the Apostolic See, as both 
the most pious Lord the Emperor and our brother the 
Bishop of that city continually acknowledge?" There is 
perhaps more weight in what peoph say than in what a man 
says about himself; and so far from the Bishop of Constan- 
tinople admitting his subjection to the Papal See, we find 
him at the very time claiming to be the CEcumenical 

That Gregory had an honest aversion to the title of 
CEcumenical Patriarch, by whomsoever claimed, we have 
in his own words. That the Patriarch of Alexandria, the 
successor to Theophilus and Cyril, would prefer an CEcu- 
menical Patriarch in the West to one set over himself in 
the East, can easily be understood, and he addressed Gregory 
as Universal Pope. But in his reply" Gregory entreated him 
never more to address him by that "haughty title." But 
again to the Patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch he wrote^, 
' Epist. VIII. 30. 1 Ibid. V. 43. 

The Fifth and^ Sixth CEcumenical Councils. 301 

that in the Council of Chalcedon the title was offered to 
one of his own predecessors, but that none of them would 
use so profane a title. Gregory's ignorance of the Greek 
language may account for this error, as there is no reason 
for believing that the Council ever offered to the Bishop 
of Rome that title, and if it had, we may rest assured that 
the Pope would have accepted it. He tells them that John 
of Constantinople in assuming it was guilty of a diabolical 
usurpation. To the Emperor Maurice he wrote '', " I con- 
fidently affirm that whosoever styles himself Universal Bishop 
is, by his pride, the precursor of Antichrist {Antichristum 
prcecurrit quia superbiendo se cceteris prceponit.) To the 
Patriarchs he wrote that there is only one Apostolic See, 
which was established on the Prince of the Apostles, whose 
" name implies a rock ; " yet " that See is in three places, 
in Rome, where he died, in Alexandria, where it was founded 
by St. Mark, and in Antioch, where he lived seven years. 
These three, therefore, are only one See, and on that sit 
three Bishops, who are but one in Him, Who said, I am 
in My Father and you in Me, and I in you," In the end 
the Patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch attached little 
importance to the representations of Gregory, and treated 
the matter with indifference ; whilst the Emperor Maurice 
connived at, if he did not actually sanction, the assumption 
of the title by the Patriarch of Constantinople. Gregory 
shortly afterwards wrote a letter to St. Eulogius, Patriarch 
of Constantinople, which cannot fail to be of great interest 
to Englishmen, announcing the success of the Roman mis- 
sion under St. Augustine, and that at the preceding Christ- 
mas 10,000 Angles had been baptized. 

The Pontificate of Gregory the Great was a turning-point, 
and under him the See of Rome began to acquire a political, 
which added materially to the advancement of its spiritual, 
precedence. In the discharge of his ecclesiastical duties 
Gregory was one of the best, some would say the very best, 
of the Popes of Rome; but the force of circumstances 

"■ Epist. VII. 33. 

302 Chapter VIII. 

compelled him to be a Statesman as well as a Churchman, 
Gibbon styles him the Father of his Country ; and of the 
benefits which he conferred on his country the Church of 
Rome reaped the benefit and appropriated the honour ; and 
in him we get a glimpse of the mediaeval Papacy. 

Of all the Arian conquerors of the Empire, the Lombards 
were the most cruel and the least civilized, the ferocity of 
their character being scarcely at all mitigated by their 
profession of Christianity. So miserable and wide-spread 
was the havoc and desolation which they caused that the 
Italian people believed not only that the end of all things 
was at hand, but that it had actually commenced. They 
were threatening Rome itself. Plague, which carried off his 
predecessor Pelagius, and famine devastated the city ; to 
such an extent were the clergy demoralized and the Church 
disorganized that Gregory compared it to an old and rotten 
ship violently shaken by the winds'. No help was forth- 
coming from the Exarch and none from the Emperor, the 
latter of whom was concerned nearer home in wars with 
the Persians, Avars, and Slavs. Such were some of the 
misfortunes which circumvented the Roman Empire when 
Gregory, by the unanimous voice of Senate, clergy and 
people, was summoned to the Pontificate, He wrote to the 
Emperor Maurice, who had up to that time been his personal 
friend and of whose eldest son he was Godfather, imploring 
him not to confirm the election ; his letter was intercepted 
and Gregory was forced to yield. 

As a Christian Bishop he preferred the salutary offices 
of peace ; but the sword of the enemy was suspended over 
Rome, whose misfortunes at once involved him alike in 
the business of peace and war. He awoke the Emperor 
from a long slumber and exposed the guilt and incapacity 
of the Exarch; in the crisis of danger he named the tribunes 
and directed the operations of the Imperial troops, and 
" presumed to save the country without the consent of the 
Emperor and Exarch "." The Patrimony of Peter, extending' 
' Epist. I. 44. ° Gibbon, VIII. 170. 

The Fifth and Sixth (Ecumenical Councils. 303 

throughout all Italy and the Isles, gave him the authority 
of a powerful secular Prince far beyond the Roman Duchy, 
compared with which the rank of the Exarch was insig- 
nificant. He was the first of the Popes to assume an 
independent attitude, and although he showed no wish 
to sever his connection with the Roman Empire, behaved 
as if he considered the Emperor as his suzerain rather 
than his immediate ruler. 

The Lombards treated him as an independent political 
power. When, A.D, 594, Romanus, the Exarch, was at war 
with the Lombard Duke, Agilulf, Gregory by his own 
authority made peace with the latter ; Romanus complained 
to the Emperor, but Maurice was too much occupied in 
his own troubles to interfere further than with a strong 
reprimand. When a few years afterwards Agilulf was 
again at war with the Exarch, and was threatening Rome, 
it was the Pope and not the Exarch who concluded peace, 
and purchased the withdrawal of the Lombard forces with 
the treasures of the Church. 

Such political influence as Gregory gained is dangerous 
to any subject, especially to an ecclesiastic. A Pope, in 
the modern sense of the word, Gregory never was, but his 
Pontificate threw a halo over the Papacy, and enabled his 
successors to assert a pre-eminence from which their rivals 
at Constantinople, ever under the watchful eyes of the 
Emperors, were debarred. 

It can scarcely be a matter of surprise that the relations 
between the Emperor and Gregory, after the latter was 
chosen Pope, became strained. In 592, Maurice interfered 
with the Pope in a matter affecting the latter's jurisdiction. 
Hadrian, Bishop of a small See in Thessaly, having been 
on various charges deposed by his Metropolitan, the Bishop 
of Larissa, appealed to Gregory, who reversed the judgment 
and ordered the Metropolitan to reinstate him. The Metro- 
politan thereupon appealed to Maurice, who disregarding 
the judgment of Gregory, ordered the case to be reheard 
by the Bishop of Corinth, by whom the sentence of Gregory 

304 Chapter VIII. 

was set aside, and a reconciliation effected between Hadrian 
and his Metropolitan. Again, in 593, Maurice issued an 
edict forbidding soldiers, on the completion of their service, 
to become monks ; Gregory acknowledged that it was his 
duty to submit, but denounced it as a flagrant act of impiety 
by which the Emperor imperilled his soul. 

Stronger proof it would be difficult to adduce of the fact 
that the Emperors claimed and exercised the same power 
over the Popes of Rome as over the Patriarchs of Constanti- 
nople. Gregory in one of his Letters {Efist. XXIV.) to 
Romanus [defensor, guardian, that is, of the patrimony of 
Peter), expresses his intention of " sending the Pallium to our 
brother and fellow-Bishop, Syagrius," of Autun, " inasmuch 
as the disposition of our most serene Lord the Emperor is 
favourable" which indicates that the Emperor's consent was 
necessary for sending the Pall to a See which had not 
previously enjoyed the dignity". 

In 602, Maurice, an Emperor distinguished by many 
estimable qualities, was murdered at Constantinople by 
a vulgar and deformed centurion named Phocas, who was 
then elected Emperor (602—608) by the soldiers. Phocas, 
who had before murdered Maurice's five sons, now inaugu- 
rated his reign by the murder of his wife, Constantina, 
daughter of the late Emperor Tiberius II., and her three 
daughters. If Maurice's treatment explains, it does not 
palliate, the conduct of Gregory, and his obsequiousness 
to the tyrant Phocas has left an indelible stain on his 
otherwise stainless life. He hailed with pleasure his ac- 
cession, addressed him in terms of adulation, and placed 
portraits of the Emperor and his wife (a woman of little 
better character than himself) in his private chapel. 

John the Faster died A.D. 596. Another event recorded 
of his Episcopate is the discovery of the seamless robe of 
our Lord, laid up in a marble chest at Zafed, which is 

° It may be mentioned that the Bishop of Autun (Augustodunum) was one 
of the Bishops whom Gregory gave Augustine commendatory letters to on 
his way to England. — Epist. VI. 

The Fifth and Sixth (Ecumenical Councils. 305 

supposed to signify Jaffa. It was conveyed by the three 
Patriarchs, John of Constantinople, Gregory of Antioch, 
and John IV. of Jerusalem (574 — 596), accompanied by 
a large number of Bishops, and deposited in the chest 
in which it was found in the same Church as the true 
Cross at Jerusalem, 

John the Faster was succeeded by Cyriacus (596 — 606). 
Phocas well understood that it was to his interest to favour 
the See of Rome over that of Constantinople. Cyriacus 
offended Phocas by affording protection to the wife and 
daughters of Maurice. Notwithstanding the remonstrances 
of Gregory, he retained the title of QEcumenical Patriarch. 
St. Eulogius, Patriarch of Alexandria, wrote to Gregory 
mentioning his having refused the title to Cyriacus " as 
you ordered me." " I pray you," replies Gregory, " to use 
the word ordered no more ; I know who I am and who 
you are ; my brother by position, my father in character ; 
I ordered nothing, I only advised." Gregory died A.D. 604, 
and after the short Pontificate of Sabinianus (604 — 606), 
Boniface III. (February — November, 607) was Pope for 
less than a year. During his short Pontificate he succeeded 
in obtaining an edict from Phocas, that Rome was the 
head of all Churches, and that the Bishop of Rome should 
alone hold the title of CEcumenical Patriarch. Boniface did 
not hesitate to accept from a tyrant like Phocas the title 
which Gregory had denounced as blasphemous, profane, and 
diabolical. The edict, however, of such an Emperor could 
have little validity, and cannot be thought of value or im- 
portance, and it was soon restored to, and still continues 
to be held by, the Patriarchs of Constantinople. 

Scarcely had Phocas ascended the throne than Chosroes II., 
King of Persia (590 — 628), declared war against him. Chos- 
roes having being supplanted in the kingdom, found an 
asylum in the Roman Empire, and owed a debt of gratitude 
to Maurice for his restoration to the throne. On the pre- 
tence of avenging the death of his benefactor he began 
a disastrous war against the Empire, which lasted for more 


306 Chapter VIII. 

than twenty years, and it appeared at one time that the 
Roman Empire would succumb to Persia. Isaac, Patriarch 
of Jerusalem, was succeeded by Zacharias. Zacharias com- 
plained of the corrupt state of the Patriarchate. Though his 
predecessor, Isaac, had been orthodox, yet in his time simo- 
niacal practices prevailed to such an extent that bribery 
was the only road to Ordination and preferment ; and 
frequent strifes marred the peace of the Holy City ". These 
evils Pope Gregory in his letter exhorts Isaac to remove. 
But a terrible avenger was now at hand. Scarcely had 
Zacharias entered upon his Episcopate (609 — 614; 628 — 
633), when Amida, Edessa, and Aleppo fell under the 
Persian arms. Phocas' reign was a continued series of 
cruelties and oppression ; every province in the Empire 
was in rebellion ; and he did nothing to stem the invasion. 
Accused before Heraclius, the Exarch of Africa, of the 
crimes and misgovernment of eight years he was, after 
suffering every kind of insult and torture, dethroned and 

Heraclius, proclaimed by the common voice of the senate, 
clergy and people, was crowned Emperor (610 — 641) by- 
Sergius, the recently consecrated Patriarch of Constanti- 
nople (610 — 638). The commencement of Heraclius' reign 
synchronizes with the commencement of one of the greatest 
events in the history of the world, that of Mahomet's mission. 
For some time the new Emperor did nothing to stem the 
advance of the Persians, who were still carrying all before 
them. In 611 Antioch, in 614 Damascus fell. The disas- 
trous condition of the Empire inspired the Jews with the 
hope that the Advent of the long expected Messiah and 
their own deliverance was at hand. Chosroes, with an army 
recruited by 26,000 Jews, having reduced Galilee and the 
region beyond Jordan, effected, A.D. 614, apparently without 
a struggle, the conquest of Jerusalem. The Holy Places 
were defiled ; the Church of Gethsemane and that erected by 
Helena on Mount Olivet were the first to be burnt ; then 
° Williams' Holy City, I. 300. 

The Fifth and Sixth (Ecumenical Councils. 307 

the Basilica of Constantine, the Churches of Calvary and 
the Holy Sepulchre were demolished ; and the greater part 
of the city was destroyed. Sacred vessels without number 
and other treasures accumulated in the Churches, together 
with the Patriarch Zacharias, and the True Cross, and an 
immense number of captives, were carried away to Persia ; 
and the massacre of 90,000 Christians is imputed to the 
Jews and Arabs. 

Fugitives from Palestine, amongst them the monk Sophro- 
nius, the future Patriarch „of Jerusalem, sought a refuge 
from the Persians in Egypt. John, afterwards called from 
his piety and charity the Almoner, was at the time, in 
succession to St. Eulogius, the Orthodox Patriarch of 
Alexandria (609 — 616). Men of every rank and station. 
Bishops and clergy, nobles and common people, threw 
themselves upon his hospitality, without which they must 
have perished. The Orthodox Church of Alexandria was 
at the time immensely rich, its resources amounting to 
;6^400,ooo in gold. These funds, when other sources failed, 
he applied to furnishing the refugees with the absolute 
necessaries of life. He collected ;£■ 10,000 more from the 
liberality of the faithful. Every day, through the Archi- 
mandrite Modestus, he at his own expense fed 7,500 poor ; 
he established hospitals, himself ministering day and night 
to the wants of the sick and dying, and he sent large sums 
to Jerusalem for the redemption of captives and rebuilding 
the Churches. A story is told how that, when in the 
moment of his dire distress, a rich merchant of Alexandria 
offered him a large supply of corn and a hundred and eight 
pounds of gold, if he would relax some point of the Canon 
Law in his favour, the Patriarch told him that God, Who 
multiplied the five loaves, could multiply the two measures 
of corn which alone remained to him. Immediately a mes- 
sage was brought that two Church ships had almost at that 
moment arrived laden with corn from Sicily. Gibbon sneers? 
that his bounties always were dictated by superstition, or 

y VIII. 363. 

X 2 

3o8 Chapter VIII. 

benevolence, or policy ; but he is forced to admit that in 
his Will he could boast that he left behind him no more 
than the third part of the smallest of the silver coins. 
During his Patriarchate the rivalry between the Orthodox 
and Copts was laid aside, and after his death he was, by 
both communities alike, commemorated as a Saint. 

The Persians having firmly established themselves in 
Syria, soon advanced into Egypt. Here they were now 
welcomed as deliverers by the native or Coptic population, 
who, in their hatred of the Orthodox Church, were ready 
to throw off the Byzantine yoke. In 6i6, Alexandria fell, 
and the holy Patriarch John was forced to fly to his native 
land of Cyprus, where, A.D. 620, he died, and where his 
Feast is still observed with peculiar solemnity «. For ten 
years the Persians were masters of Egypt, the granary of 
the East, so that the Roman Empire in the East was 
threatened with famine. In 617, they took Chalcedon, and 
threatened Constantinople, and so imminent was the danger 
that Heraclius thought to make Carthage the capital of 
the Roman Empire. 

The loss of the Holy Cross produced a state little short 
of despair in the Eastern Church ; Chosroes was believed 
to be Antichrist, and the end of the world to be at hand. 
The fate of Christendom seemed to lie in the hands of 
the Emperor. The Churches of Constantinople, under the 
Patriarch Sergius, now nobly came to the rescue, melting 
down their treasures and their gold and silver ornaments 
as a loan to the impoverished exchequer, to be repaid after 
the Persians were conquered and the Holy Places recovered. 
In a series of brilliant campaigns between 620 — 628, Hera- 
clius turned the tide of victory, recovered the lost provinces, 
and penetrated Persia itself. One of his victories was 
gained on the site of Nineveh. By a crowning victory, 
A.D. 628, the Persian power was completely defeated, and 
Chosroes slain ; the Holy Cross was recovered, and in the 

1 From St. John the Almoner, the Order of Hospitallers, in the first instance, 
derived their name. — Neale's Alexandria, II. 59. 

The Fifth and Sixth (Ecumenical Councils. 309 

following year restored to the Holy Sepulchre, carried back 
by the Patriarch Zacharias, Heraclius himself going on 
a pilgrimage for the purpose to Jerusalem. Almost at the 
very time Heraclius was returning in triumph over the 
Persians to Jerusalem, Mahometanism was beginning its 
attacks on the Eastern Church. 

Modestus, who had acted as Vicar and Coadjutor of 
Zacharias, succeeded him in the Patriarchate (633 — 634). 
" In him a second Bezaleel or Zerubbabel arose ; he had 
the satisfaction of* seeing the Churches of Calvary, the 
Resurrection, the Holy Cross, and the Assumption raised 
from their ruins, and the Holy City again became an 
object of attraction to Christian pilgrims '." 

With the great event in the reign of Heraclius, the rise 
of Mahometanism, the controversies of the Eastern Church 
are intimately connected. Monothelitism was the corollary 
of Monophysitism ; if our Saviour had only one Nature, 
He could only have had one Will {fiovov 6eXr)fj,a) ; and the 
holders of the doctrine were called Monotheletes, or, as they 
are commonly known, Monothelites. And yet Theodore, 
Bishop of Pharan in Arabia, who is generally held to have 
been the originator of the doctrine, taught that though 
our Saviour had only one Will, He had two Natures, the 
Divine alone operating in Both. The heresy was held by 
Sergius, Patriarch of Constantinople, and, reluctantly at 
first, by Cyrus, Bishop of Phasis in Colchis, whom Hera- 
clius, himself a holder of the doctrine, appointed to the 
Patriarchate of Alexandria ; and by Honorius I., Pope of 
Rome (625 — 638). On the other hand it found a strong 
opponent in Sophronius, of whom mention has been made 
above, who was, A.D. 634, consecrated to the Patriarchate 
of Jerusalem (634 — 6^7). 

The idea of the One Will had been instilled into the 
mind of the Emperor during his expeditions against the 
Persians, by Athanasius, the Monophysite Patriarch of 
Antioch; and the Emperor having conquered his enemies 

' Williams' Holy City, I. 304. 

310 Oiapter VIII. 

in the other Provinces of the Empire, seized upon it as 
a means of reconciling the Copts of Egypt. Sergius, Patri- 
arch of Constantinople, and Cyrus, at the time Bishop 
of Phasis, were brought over to his view by the Emperor. 
Sergius was induced to believe that a common point of 
agreement could be found in the acknowledgment of the 
One Will, which was tantamount to the acknowledgment 
of One Nature, and a practical abnegation of the Council 
of Chalcedon. It was thought that the Monophysites might 
be thus reconciled ; as to the feelings of the Orthodox they 
troubled themselves but little. In 630, Cyrus was rewarded 
with the Patriarchate of Alexandria (630 — 641), in succes- 
sion to George the Orthodox, Benjamin being the Mono- 
physite. Patriarch. A basis of agreement was formulated 
in a Council at Alexandria, A.D. 633, in which nine articles 
were drawn up, eight of which were orthodox, but the 
seventh, affirming that the same Will or energy produced 
the Divine and Human actions of our Lord " by one The- 
andric operation 5," had the effect of bringing many thousand 
Monophysites to the Church. 

Sophronius, who had been the intimate friend of John 
the Almoner, having been forced by the advance of the 
Persians to leave Alexandria, followed him to Cyprus, and 
after John's death visited Rome, and, about A.D. 620, Pales- 
tine. Happening to be now again in Alexandria, he stood 
forward as the champion of Orthodoxy against Monothelit- 
ism, and throwing himself at the feet of the Patriarch im- 
plored him, with tears in his eyes, not to countenance such 
an Apollinarian heresy. Finding that his entreaties made 
ho impression upon Cyrus, he proceeded to Constantinople 
to plead the cause of Orthodoxy with Sergius. Sergius, 
who had received a letter from Cyrus, with which he was 
much delighted, announcing the re-union, complained of 
Sophronius' opposition, and Sophronius, finding his remon- 
strances unavailing, went to Palestine. 

Modestus dying shortly after his appointment to the 

The Fifth and Sixth CEaimenical Councils. 311 

Patriarchate of Jerusalem, Sophronius was, much against 
his will, appointed to succeed him. About this time 
Honorius I., Pope of Rome (625 — 638), was brought into 
the controversy. Sergius, alarmed at the appointment of 
Sophronius, sought to enlist the Pope on his side against the 
Orthodox Patriarch, and both he and Sophronius wrote 
to Honorius. It was hard on the Pope that he should 
be mixed up in a controversy not of his seeking, and in the 
subtleties of Eastern Theology for which his Western mind 
was little adapted. . If the Pope was the head of the whole 
Church and infallible, it was of course proper that he should 
be consulted, and his judgment, whatever the character of 
the religious dispute, could not be wrong. But the Popes 
of Rome in those days never dreamt of Papal infallibility, 
and Honorius gave his opinion as a simple-minded, honest, 
but not very intellectual, Bishop, in the cause of peace. 
The doctrine which Sergius advocated had brought back 
many thousand opponents to the Church. Honorius wrote 
two letters to Sergius (both of which were ordered to be 
burnt by the Sixth OEcumenical Council), in which he 
approved of what Sergius and Cyrus had done, and agreed 
that there was only One Will in Christ ; in his answer to 
Sophronius he enjoined silence on the subject of the Two 
Wills or Energies. Sophronius, overwhelmed with the 
troubles which at that time arose from the Saracens, and 
resulted in the fall of Jerusalem, took little further part in 
the controversy, and did not long survive. After his death 
in 637, the Patriarchate was vacant for twenty-nine years. 
Unfortunately Honorius (and he was not the first of the 
Popes to do so) fell into a dire heresy ; he had, perhaps 
in an unguarded moment, given his opinion in the charitable 
hope of healing the long-standing troubles of the Eastern 
Church, of which perhaps he, on maturer reflection, repented. 
It is a proof against the modern doctrine of Papal Infalli- 
bility. But for this one error in judgment he has been 
handed down to all time as an arch-heretic, anathematized 
by Councils of the Church as well as by succeeding Popes. 

312 Chapter VIII. 

Sergius, dying A.D. 638, was succeeded in the Patriarchate 
of Constantinople by Pyrrhus, (638—641 ; again, 654 — 655), 
a Monothelite, Archimandrite of the monastery of Chry- 
sopolis (Scutari), in which he was succeeded by Maximus, 
a man of noble birth, a learned theologian and friend of 
Sophronius. In 639 Heraclius issued a document express- 
ing the opinions of Sergius, and probably drawn up by him, 
called the Ecthesis ("EicOeais t?js Jlio-rews'). It prohibited 
alike the teaching of the One or Two Energies, the former 
appearing to destroy the Two Natures, the latter to imply 
two contrary Wills. At the same time it asserted that the 
acknowledgment of only one Will was agreeable to the 
Catholic Faith. It was an effort after ecclesiastical com- 
prehension at the expense of Catholic truth ; and instead 
of healing, only made confusion worse confounded. 

In 638, Pope Honorius died, and, after the short Pontificate 
of Severinus, was succeeded by John IV. (640 — 642), who 
together with his predecessor protested against the Ecthesis. 
Heraclius wrote to the new Pope, disclaiming, now that 
Sergius was dead, responsibility for the Ecthesis, which he 
attributed to Sergius. John charitably defended Honorius, 
whom his successors anathematized. In February, 641, 
Heraclius died, and in September his grandson, Constans II. 
(641 — 668), became Emperor. In the same year Cyrus died ; 
in October, Pyrrhus, after a popular tumult in Constanti- 
nople, abdicated, and was succeeded by Paul (641 — 654), 
a Monothelite and favourer of the Ecthesis. John IV., Pope 
of Rome, was succeeded by Theodore I. (642 — 649), as the 
name implies, a Greek. 

In 645, the Monk Maximus, finding that Pyrrhus, the 
deposed Patriarch of Constantinople, was propagating his 
opinions in Africa, left his monastery • and held, in the 
presence of the African Bishops and the Prefect of the 
Province, a public discussion with him, with the result that 
Pyrrhus was for a time convinced of his error and went to 
Rome, where he was received into communion by Theodore. 
But reverting soon afterwards to his former opinions he was 

The Fifth and Sixth (Ecumenical Councils. 3 1 3 

excommunicated by the Pope, who had previously excom- 
municated his successor, Paul, the sentence being written in 
the consecrated Wine of the Eucharist. 

tn 648 the Emperor Constans, by the advice of Paul, put 
forth a new document, composed by the latter, called the 
Type (TuTTos Trji IHarems), advocating neither side of the 
controversy, but forbidding all disputes, and the mention 
of the One or Two Natures in the Person of Christ. 

In 649, Theodore was succeeded in the Papacy by 
Martin I. (649— 6s'4), who equally with his predecessor was 
opposed to the Type. In the year of his accession he held 
the First Lateran Council, attended by one hundred and five 
Bishops from Italy, Sardinia, Sicily and Western Africa, and 
many other clergy, and also by Maximus ; it condemned the 
expression " One Theandric Operation ; " denounced Theo- 
dore of Pharan, Cyrus, Patriarch of Alexandria, Macedonius, 
who had been Consecrated and intruded into the Patriarchate 
of Antioch by Sergius; Sergius, Pyrrhus and Paul, Patriarchs 
of Constantinople ; together with " the most impious Ecthesis 
and the most impious Type." 

Pope Martin sent the Acts of the Council to the Emperor. 
Constans received the proceedings of the Council with the 
greatest indignation, and, in 653, the aged Pope was seized 
at Rome by the Exarch Calliopas, acting under orders of 
the Emperor, and carried off, suffering much cruelty on the 
way, as a common criminal, to Constantinople. After being 
detained there a prisoner six weeks and exposed, even in 
the Imperial palace and in the presence of the Emperor, 
to much cruel treatment, he was saved from execution only 
through the intercession of the Patriarch Paul ; he was then 
banished to Cherson in the Crimea, where, deprived of the 
barest necessaries of life, but still bearing his treatment with 
great fortitude and resignation, he died in the following 
year. The Emperor went to apprize Paul, who was then 
lying on his deathbed. Paul, overwhelmed with grief at the 
event, died in the same year. Pyrrhus was then reinstated, 
and on his death, which happened a few months afterwards, 

314 Chapter VIII. 

Peter, another Monothelite, was appointed to the Patri- 

In 655, Maximus, the monk, was arrested in Rome and 
taken a prisoner to Constantinople, and refusing to subscribe 
the Type, was banished to Thrace. In 662 he was re- 
called to Constantinople, and again ordered to subscribe, 
and on his second refusal and his refusing to communicate 
with the Patriarch Peter, he was, in a Synod under Peter, 
after being cruelly flogged, and his tongue and right hand 
cut off, again ordered into banishment, in which he, as 
zealous a champion for Orthodoxy as SS. Athanasius, 
Cyril, or Sophronius, died in the same year, from the 
effects of his treatment, a Confessor to the faith. 

The persecutions were sanctioned by the Emperor, who 
now gave fuller vent than before to his vices and cruelties ; 
but these, and the execution of his own brother, provoked 
the detestation of his Eastern subjects, and in 668 he was 
himself at the age of 38, after a reign of 27 years, assassi- 
nated by an officer of his own household at Syracuse. 

Constans II. was succeeded by his son, Constantine IV. 
(668 — 685), surnamed Pogonatus {the bearded), an orthodox 
Emperor. The Monothelite controversy still continuing, the 
Emperor determined to summon an CEcumenical Council to 
Constantinople, with the view of determining the right faith, 
and reconciling the Eastern and Western Churches. The 
Emperor wrote to the Pope of Rome inviting him to send 
his legates to the Council, and Agatho (678 — 682) readily 
sent two Bishops and a Deacon to represent him. The 
See of Constantinople had since the deaths of Paul and 
Pyrrhus been alternately held by orthodox and Monophy- 
site Patriarchs. Peter (655 — 666), a Monothelite, was suc- 
ceeded by three orthodox Prelates, 'Thomas (666 — 669), 
John V. (669—674), and Constantine I. (674—676). Then 
followed two Monothelites, Theodore (676 — dep. 678 ; re- 
stored 684 — 687), and during his interrupted Episcopate, 
George I. (678 — 684). The Emperor wrote to the Patri- 
arch George, "the most blessed Archbishop and CEcu- 

The Fifth and Sixth (Ecutnenical Councils. 3 1 5 

menical Patriarch" {fjiaKapia>TdT(p dp'x^ie'/rta-KoTrm koI oltcto- 
fieviKM •jraTpiapx!)), bidding him summon the Metropolitans 
and Bishops under his jurisdiction, and to request Macarius, 
the Patriarch of Antioch, a staunch Monothelite, also to 
summon his. No mention was made of the Patriarchs 
of Alexandria and Jerusalem, those cities being in the 
hands of Saracens ; Macarius was from the same cause 
resident in Constantinople. 

The Third Council of Constantinople, or the Sixth 
CEcumenical Council, met on March 7, 680, in the room 
of the Imperial Palace, called from its vaulted roof Trullus, 
whence the Council is sometimes called the First Trullan 
Council, and was attended by about two hundred Bishops. 
Whenever the Emperor was present, as he was in the first 
eleven and the last Sessions, he himself presided. The 
Council was attended by George, the Patriarch of Constan- 
tinople, and Macarius of Antioch ; the Pope of Rome 
and the Patriarchs of Alexandria and Jerusalem were re- 
presented by their legates. 

Eighteen Sessions were held. In the First, the papal 
legates attacked the Monothelite doctrines as novelties ; 
George and Macarius on the other hand contended that 
they were not novelties, but consonant with the CEcu- 
menical Councils and the Fathers, and with the teaching 
of Paul, Pyrrhus and Peter, successive Patriarchs of Con- 
stantinople, with that of Cyrus, Patriarch of Alexandria, 
and Honorius, Pope of Rome. In the three next Sessions 
the Acts of the preceding Councils, the writings of the 
Fathers, and two dogmatical epistles written by Pope 
Agatho were read. In the Fifth and Sixth, Macarius pre- 
sented extracts from the Fathers in favour of Monothe- 
litism, which the Council pronounced, and he himself 
afterwards confessed, to be spurious. In Session VII., the 
Papal legates adduced testimony from the Fathers, and 
the testimony of Pope Agatho, in favour of Two Wills, 
and the Council, at the request of George, sanctioned the 
insertion of Vigilius' name upon the Diptychs. 

3i6 Chapter VIII. 

Macarius was then called upon to make his defence, and 
although he admitted the genuineness of the documents 
adduced against him, and that his own extracts had foj- 
his own purpose been mutilated by him, he adhered to the 
One Will, and was in the Ninth Session sentenced to de- 

In Session XIII. the Council pronounced both the letter 
of Sergius and that of Honorius to be heterodox, and ana- 
thematized the maintainers of the One Will, and with them 
they combined Honorius ; " Together with these we anathe- 
matize and condemn to be cast out from the holy Catholic 
Church of God, Honorius, who was Pope of Old Rome, 
because we find that through his writings to Sergius he 
followed his mind in all respects and confirmed his impious 

In Session XIV., May 5, 681, Theophanes, who had been 
appointed to succeed Macarius, took his seat. In Session 
IXVI., when the Council was about to pronounce its final 
anathemas, George of Constantinople proposed that the 
names of his predecessors, Sergius, Pyrrhus, and Paul, should 
be omitted from the anathemas, but was outvoted. His 
own return to orthodoxy was however recognized, and 
the Synod exclaimed : " Many years to the Roman Pope 
Agatho, to the Patriarch George of Constantinople, and 
to the Patriarch Theophanes of Antioch '." 

The last Session of the Council was held on Sept. 16, 
68 r, and its decrees were subscribed by the Emperor and 
one hundred and sixty Bishops. Macarius, who remained 
firm to the end and withstood all inducements and the offer 
of restoration to the Patriarchate, with several leading Mono- 
thelites, were exiled to Rome as a place where they were 
likely to be converted from their errors. The Council 
anathematized Sergius, Pyrrhus, Paul, Peter, Theodore of 
Pharan, and Honorius. It decided that, following the five 
CEcumenical Synods and great Fathers, there were in the 
Saviour Two Natural Wills operating without division, 
• George is commemorated in the Greek Church on Aug. 18. 

The Fifth and Sixth CEcumenical Councils. t^ij 

change, antagonism, or confusion {ahiaipkTm, arpeTrrm, a/ie- 
piarm, aa-vyxvTm) ; that the Human Will could not come 
into collision with the Divine Will, to which it was in all 
things subject. 

The Council drew up a Synodal Letter to Pope Agatho, 
but before the legates left Constantinople intelligence of 
his death arrived ; whereupon the Emperor sent the Letter 
by, the hands of the Pope's chief legate, the Bishop of Porto 
(who himself afterwards became Pope as John V.), to his 
successor Leo IL (6,83 — 683). In his answer to the Emperor 
the Pope confirmed the decrees of the Council and the con- 
demnation of Honorius. Pope Leo is spoken of in the 
highest terms, as being endowed with great eloquence, 
profound knowledge of the Scriptures, and erudition in 
both the Greek and Latin languages. His condemnation 
of Honorius is expressed in the plainest language ; — " Pariter 
anathematizamus novi erroris inventores, i.e. Theodorum 
Pharanitanum, Episcopum Cyrum Alexandrinum, Sergium, 
Pyrrhum, Paulum, Petrum, Constantinopolitinae Ecclesiae 
subsessores magis quam praesules ; necnon et Honorium, 
qui hanc Apostilicam Ecclesiam non Apostolicae traditionis 
doctrina lustravit, sed profundi proditione immaculatam 
fidem subvertere conatus est ; et omnes qui in suo errore 
perfuncti sunt." Of Macarius, who had been exiled to 
Rome, the Pope says that he had tried to lead him into the 
right path but that he had remained stubborn. The ana- 
thema pronounced by the Council (and Pope Leo on Hono- 
rius, succeeding Popes for three hundred years repeated. 

The Emperor Constantine Pogonatus was succeeded by his 
son Justinian H. (685 — 711), called Rhinometus (pivoTfirjros,. 
slit-nosed), who was sixteen years of age. The character 
of the new Emperor bore a marked resemblance to that 
of his grandfather, Constans, and it cannot be supposed 
that the conduct of such a man would be strongly influenced 
by religious convictions. Justinian, as the sequel will show„ 
had little reverence for his own Patriarch, but at the same 
time he had no intention that the Patriarchate of Constanti- 
nople should be overshadowed by that of Rome. In the 

3i8 Chapter VIII. 

late controversies the Popes had exhibited a consistent 
orthodoxy in marked contrast to the Eastern Patriarchs. 
Pope Agatho had triumphed in the late CEcumenical 
Council as the champion of orthodoxy ; whereas four of 
the recent Patriarchs of Constantinople had been anathe- 
matized by it for heresy; the reigning Patriarch had only 
been reclaimed to orthodoxy by the Council ; and Macarius 
of Antioch had been deposed by it and sent into exile to 

To restore the balance, and to give the triumph to Con- 
stantinople over Rome, was Justinian's object in summoning, 
A.D. 691, to Constantinople, the Council which, being held 
in the same room as the Sixth Council, is known as the 
TruUan Council, and, as being supplementary to the Fifth 
and Sixth Councils, is also called the Quinsext Council 
{avvoBos irevOeKTrj). Since those Councils were concerned 
with dogmatical questions, no disciplinary Canons had been 
enacted ; the Trullan Council is therefore considered by 
the Greek Church to be a continuous and supplementary 
Council, and the Canons enacted in it to be the Canons 
of the Sixth CEcumenical Council. It was presided over' 
by Paul III., the successor of George in the Patriarchate 
of Constantinople. It was attended by all the Eastern 
Patriarchs, Peter of Alexandria, George of Antioch, and 
A..nastasius of Jerusalem ; whether the Pope of Rome, 
Sergius I. (687 — 701), was represented by his legates is 
uncertain ; and its Canons were subscribed by two hundred 
and thirteen Bishops. 

It passed one hundred and two Canons. Canon I. de- 
clared the adherence of the Council to the six CEcumenical 
Councils, and confirmed the anathema pronounced against 
Honorius. Canon II. declared all the eighty-five Aposto- 
lical Canons to be binding, an evident hit against Rome, 
which only accepted the first fifty ; but it rejected the Apo- 
stolical Constitutions. Canons VI. and XIII. were opposed 
to the Roman Church with regard to the marriage of the 
clergy. The latter of these two Canons remarks on the 
different rule between the Churches. "In the Roman 

The Fifth and Sixth CEcuinenical Councils. 319 

Church," jt says, "those who wished to be ordained to 
the Diaconate or Presbyterate must have no further inter- 
course with their wives. We, however, in accordance with 
the Apostolic Canons allow them to continue in marriage. 
If any one seeks to dissolve such marriages, he shall be 
deposed, and the cleric who under pretence of religion dis- 
misses his wife shall be excommunicated." Canon XXXVI.; 
" Renewing the decrees of the Second and Fourth CEcu- 
menical Synods, we decide that the See of Constantinople 
shall enjoy equal rights (jd 'iaa irpea^eia) with those of Old 
Rome, shall be highly regarded in ecclesiastical matters as 
that is, and be second after it. After Constantinople comes 
the See of Alexandria, then Antioch, and next Jerusalem." 
Canon LV. ; " At Rome they fast every Saturday in Lent. 
This is contrary to the Sixty-sixth Apostolical Canon, and 
may not be done. Any one who does so will, if a cleric, be 
deposed, if a layman, excommunicated." Canon LXVII. 
forbade the partaking of the blood of animals, which, 
though condemned by Scripture, was not considered in 
the Latin Church to be permanently binding. A cleric 
who offends was to be deposed, a layman to be excom- 
municated. Canon LXXXII. forbade representations of our 
Saviour under the form of a Lamb, and only allowed them 
in Human Form. These Canons were evidently directed 
against the Western Church. 

We must notice one other Canon, LI I., which enacted that 
"on all days in Lent except Saturdays, Sundays, and the 
Annunciation of the Virgin, only the Liturgy of the Pre- 
sanctified should be used." 

These Canons were signed first by the Emperor and 
the Eastern Patriarchs, then, in all, by 2 1 1 Eastern Bishops. 
All the Canons were received in the Greek Church, but 
several of them were naturally objected to by the Roman 
Church ; but they met with a general acceptance in the 
Second Council of Nice, and Gratian reckons the TruUan 
Council as a continuation of the Sixth General Council. 


The Saracenic Conquests. 

Character of Mahomet — Simplicity of his teaching — Islam — The Hegira — 
The battles of Beder and Ohud^Mahomet's Letters to Chosroes and 
Heraclius — His conquest of Arabia — Commencement of the invasion of 
the Persian and Roman Empires — Death of Mahomet — His successors, 
Abu-Bekr, Oman, Othman, Ali — The Shiites and Sonnites — The Ommiad 
dynasty — Fall of Persia — Fall of Bozra, Damascus, Heliopolis, Emesa — 
Capitulation of Jerusalem — The Mosque of Omar — IJeath of the Patriarch 
Sophronius — Syria conquered— The Copts of Egypt favour the Saracens — 
Egypt betrayed by the Governor of Memphis — Fall of Alexandria — Oi 
Carthage — The Patriarchates of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem subject 
to the Turks — Conquest of Spain— Scinde conquered but recovered — Defeat 
of the Saracens before Constantinople — Fall of the Ommiad under the 
Abbaside dynasty — The Ommiad Emirate at Cordova — The Caliphate of 
Bagdad — Harouri al Raschid — The Fatimite Caliphate — Al Hakim — 

WHILST the Christians were quarrelling amongst them- 
selves, and the heads of Eastern and Western Christen- 
dom were struggling for pre-eminence, a new religion was 
rising up on the earth, destined not only to ruin the Eastern 
Church, but to influence the history of the whole world for 
more than twelve hundred years. The rise and progress 
of Mahometanism, the greatest and most permanent scourge 
with which it has ever pleased God to visit the world, was 
from the first regarded as a just and righteous chastisement 
on the corruption and schisms of the Church. A united 
Christendom might have nipped it in its bud, but a united 
Christendom no longer existed. For two hundred years 
Rome and Constantinople had been engaged in a struggle 
for pre-eminence; and whilst the Western Church enjoyed 
comparative immunity, persecution by the Emperors rent 
the Eastern Church asunder, so that it fell an easy victim 
to the dreadful scourge which has ever since afflicted it. 

The propagation of Mahometanism, says Paley, " is the 
only event in the history of the Christian race which admits 
of comparison with the propagation of Christianity," The 

The Saracenic Conquests. 321 

birth of Mahomet "was placed in the most degenerate and 
disorderly period of the Persians, the Romans, and the 
barbarians of Europe ; the Empires of Trajan, or even 
Constantine or Charlemagne, would have repelled the 
assaults of the naked Saracens, and the torrent of fana- 
ticism might have been obscurely lost in the sands of 
Arabia ^" When Mahomet commenced his career, the two 
prominent powers of the world were the Empires of Rome 
and Persia ; within a few years after his death Persia was 
entirely subdued, and Rome was shorn of its Oriental 

The fatherland of Mahometanism was Arabia, a country 
hitherto little developed, without influence beyxjnd its own 
boundaries, and from which a foe to Christianity might 
have been least expected. Its only cities of any importance 
were Mecca and Medina, in the former of which was the 
Kaaba, built, according to Arabian tradition, by Abraham, 
to which the Arabians paid the deepest reverence. In that 
city, with its three hundred and sixty idols, Mahomet was 
born, A.D. 569, in the reign of Justin II., of the noble tribe 
of the Koreish, the hereditary guardians of the Kaaba. 
Being early left an orphan and in straitened circumstances, 
he became, when eight years old, the servant of a rich widow 
at Mecca, named Khadijah, and grew up a thoroughly il- 
literate man, able neither to read nor write. At twenty-four 
years of age, through his marriage with Khadijah, he was 
raised to affluence and importance, and to her, a woman 
fifteen years older than himself, he remained faithful till her 
death, and by her he became the father of six children, all of 
whom, except the youngest, a daughter named Fatima, 
died young. 

As to his character and the character of the religion 
which he founded, there is a great difference of opinion ; 
at one time no words were strong enough to denounce 
him as an impostor, even the Antichrist ; in the present day 
the opinion of some has veered round to an opposite ex- 
• Gibbon, IX. 360. 


322 Chapter IX. 

treme. The worship which he inculcated of the one God,- 
and the certainty of future retribution, was at least an 
improvement on the polytheism of the Arabians which it 
superseded ; and he may have been at first an enthusiast, 
with a tendency to monomania in the belief that he received 
his revelations from the Archangel Gabriel. These revela- 
tions, mere odds and ends, were put together by his suc- 
cessor Abu-bekr, but, as they were burnt by his third suc- 
cessor Othman, who put forth a version of his own, the 
Koran, as we know it now, is not Mahomet's at all. But, 
if he was at first an honest enthusiast, be became, after 
the death of Khadijah, either an impostor or a maniac ; 
for it is, of course, impossible to believe that the Angel 
Gabriel revealed to him that, whilst his followers were 
restricted to four, he might take to himself as many wives 
as he chose. 

A distinction must be drawn between Mahomet and 
the religion which he founded. If Mahomet was an im- 
postor, Mahometanism, a religion which, scarcely a century 
after his death, reigned supreme over Arabia, Syria, Persia, 
Egypt, the whole of Northern Africa, as far as Spain, cannot 
briefly be dismissed as nothing but an imposition. It docs 
not come within our province to describe what Islam did 
for the world from the Ninth to the Thirteenth Century, 
or the part it took in the development of art and science 
during the " dark Ages ; " but the rapid progress in its 
propagation must, we think, be attributed to the simplicity 
of its teaching. Its starting-point was the fundamental 
principle of Christianity, " There is one God," and this 
paved the way for its equally simple, though false, con- 
comitant, " Mahomet is his prophet." This was the whole 
simple faith on which Mahometanism was built up, " There 
is only one God, and Mahomet is his prophet." Christ could 
not be God, because " God is not begotten ; " so it was part of 
the doctrine that Jesus was only the Apostle of the one God, 
and that He was superseded by Mahomet. Christians were 
being perplexed by subtle points of theology, with Creeds 

The Savacenic Conquests. 323 

and Councils, and as to whether there were One or Two 
Natures, One or Two Wills in Christ, points which, if per- 
plexing to Christians, would be more so to the minds of 
Barbarians. Mahometanism had the advantage of its sim- 
plicity, and this was the secret of its success. 

Mahomet preached the simple doctrine of one God ; but 
instead of removing the evils which beset the East, he 
perpetuated and sanctioned by his own example the worst 
of all, polygamy. After the death of Khadijah he took 
to himself seventeen wives, and was not over-scrupulous 
in the means of getting them. His faithful slave Zeid had 
a beautiful wife ; a fresh dispensation was vouchsafed to the 
prophet ; Zeid divorced her, and Mahomet added her to 
his Harem. 

One month in every year he had been accustomed to 
withdraw from the world, and to seek in the cavern of a 
mountain near Mecca a solitary retirement for meditation. 
It was not till A.D. 609, when he was in his fortieth year, 
that he announced himself an Apostle of God, and began his 
mission in his native Mecca. It was directed against the 
polytheism of the Arabs, and in behalf of the restoration 
of the Monotheistic worship of the prophets who had pre- 
ceded him, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. Of the Gospel he 
spoke with reverence ; Jesus was born miraculously in the 
Flesh and was the greatest of the Teachers sent from Heaven . 
Of the Virgin Mary he spoke respectfully, but in his igno- 
rance of the Bible he identified her with Miriam, the sister 
of Moses and Aaron. That Jesus was the Son of God he 
not only denied, but he denied also that Mahometans needed 
an Atonement ; he believed that Jesus worked miracles, he 
believed in His Resurrection and Ascension, in His second 
Advent, in His triumph over Antichrist, and in a Millennium; 
but he did not believe the Saviour's Crucifixion ; though 
the Jews boasted that they had put Him to death, it was 
not Jesus, but some one like Him, who was substituted in 
His place. He himself was a prophet as superior to Christ 
as Christ was to Moses, and he was sent to reveal a more 

Y 2 

324 Chapter IX. 

perfect religion than either. The doctrine of the Trinity 
he rejected as tritheism. He never aspired to work miracles, 
but rested his mission on the bare assertion that God had 
revealed Himself to him. 

Like the Jews he accepted the rite of Circumcision ; but 
as the Jews, the descendants of Isaac, the child of promise, 
practised it on the eighth day, so the Arabs, the descendants 
of Ishmael, the son of the handmaid, circumcised their sons 
on their thirteenth year, the age at which their progenitor 
Ishmael was circumcised^. His faith Mahomet called Islam 
(from which the word Moslem is derived), or resignation to 
the Will of God. To support his cause he, produced what 
he professed to be a divine revelation made to him by the 
Angel Gabriel ; it was made to him as a whole, but com- 
municated by him to his followers in pieces, which were 
afterwards collected, as mentioned above, into the book 
called in the Arabic language, Al Koran {The Book). It 
speaks of the Bible as the Word of God, and mentions 
with approval many leading events in the Old and New 
Testaments ; but for the Koran Mahomet claimed a higher 
authority than for the Bible. To the One God the Koran 
bears noble testimony ; and on the Bible Mahomet professed 
to ground the watchword which has ever since been the 
invariable profession of Islam ; "There is no God but one, 
and Mahomet is His prophet." 

By slow degrees he made a few converts ; first in time 
were his wife Khadijah, his friend, and one of his future 
fathers-in-law, Abu-Bekr, his own cousin Ali, Othman his 
secretary, his slave Zeid, and a few others. In three years 
he had only made fourteen, and in seven years about one 
hundred disciples. In 619, Khadijah died. But so strong 
was the opposition which he raised up amongst the families 
of his own tribe, the Koreish, that in July, 622, he was 
forced to fly, accompanied by Abu-Bekr, to Medina, a city 
about two hundred miles from Mecca, which he reached 

' Dbllinger, Hist of the Church, 11. 91. 

The Saracenic Conquests. 325 

in sixteen days ; and from that year, known as the Hegira, 
the Mahometans date the commencement of their era ". 

From that time the character of his mission underwent 
a change ; as his spiritual exhortations had been rejected, 
he turned from persuasion to the sword ; it was the duty 
of Islam, he told his followers, to wage carnal war against 
the unbelievers ; " The sword," he said, " is the Key of 
Heaven and Hell ; whosoever falls in battle his sins are 
forgiven at*the day of judgment, .... the loss of his limbs 
shall be supplied l^ the wings of Angels and Cherubim." 
It was the assurance of Heaven as their reward that induced 
them to bear the danger of battle, and to observe the rigid 
precepts of the Koran. 

In January, 624, the Saracens, as his followers were called, 
gained over the Koreish the battle of Beder; his victory 
he attributed to divine aid ; the second battle, in the same 
year, at Ohud, six miles from Medina, his followers lost. 
Thenceforward no toleration was to be allowed, and the 
rule was adopted which has been part of the religion of 
the Mahometans ever since ; the Koran, Tribute, or the 
Sword. Therein lies the upas-tree of Mahometanism, and 
the reason that it has been a curse to the world for more 
than twelve hundred years. 

Mahomet now determined to spread his religion over 
the Persian and Roman Empires. He sent to Chosroes, 
King of Persia, at the time when the latter was at the 
height of his power, inviting him to embrace Islam, and 
when Chosroes indignantly tore his letter in pieces, Ma- 
homet exclaimed, "Thus will God tear the Kingdom of 
Chosroes." In 628 Heraclius, as we have seen, completed 
the conquest of Persia. When on his triumphal return 
from the Persian war the Roman Emperor was at Emesa, 
he received the ambassador of Mahomet with so great 
respect that the Arabians founded on the circumstance 
the secret conversion of Heraclius to their faith. 
After remaining seven years at Medina, where he was 
' This era was commenced under the second Caliph, Omar. 

326 Chapter IX. 

treated with great honour, and his mission met with success, 
he attacked and took Mecca, which he re-entered as a 
conqueror, and destroyed the three hundred and sixty idols 
of the Kaaba. The conquest of Mecca determined the 
fate of Arabia ; those who had been his principal adver- 
saries were now converted to his faith ; Mahometanism be- 
came the language of the country, and Mecca the capital 
of Islam. 

The conquest of Arabia effected, Mahomet next deter- 
mined to attack the two greatest powers of the world, the 
Persian and Roman Empires, which, he well knew, were so 
exhausted by their long wars that they could offer but 
a feeble resistance to an enthusiastic enemy like the 
Saracens. The Persian Empire never recovered the blow 
inflicted on it by Heraclius ; with Chosroes the glory of the 
Sassanidas ended ; in the course of four years (628 — 632) no 
fewer than nine sovereigns were put up and deposed, and at 
the time of the Saracenic invasions the Persian throne was 
occupied by a female. 

In the Western part of the Roman Empire the Goths had 
gained possession of Spain, In the East the religious con- 
troversies added to the weakness of the Empire ; there was 
there a large number of the subjects of Heraclius, who, 
although one and all they regarded Mahomet as Antichrist, 
and stigmatized his followers as infidels, were ready to 
welcome the Arabs as friends and deliverers. 

Such was the condition of the Persian and Roman Em- 
pires when, A.D. 632, the invasion of both was undertaken 
by the Saracens. In June of that year, Mahomet, in his 
sixty-third year, died at Medina, where he was buried, and 
for a short time the expedition was suspended, the army 
of the Saracens, from a feeling of respect, halting at the 
gates of Medina. 

The successors of Mahomet, called Caliphs (successors), 
were both temporal and spiritual rulers. No sooner was 
Mahomet dead than a schism arose as to his successor. 
The only survivor of the Prophet's family was his daughter 

The Saracenic Conquests. 327 

Fatima, who was married to her cousin Ali, and some ol 
Mahomet's followers looked upon Ali as the rightful suc- 
cessor. Abu-Bekr, the aged father of Mahomet's wife, 
Ayesha, who was ultimately chosen, only survived Mahomet 
two years. He by his Will left the Caliphate to Omar 
(634 — 644), who being assassinated by a Persian slave, was 
succeeded by Othman (644 — 655), Mahomet's former secre- 
tary. He, too, was murdered in a religious tumult of the 
Faithful, and Ali, the husband of Fatima, then succeeded 
to the Caliphate (§55 — 680). But not even then did their 
quarrels and schisms end. Two rival parties arose, the 
Shiites, who held the divine right of Ali as husband of 
Mahomet's daughter, and the Sonnites, holding the right 
of popular election, and acknowledging the order of suc- 
cession of the first four Caliphs, Abu-Bekr, Omar, Othman 
and Ali, but regarding with less favour that of Ali. The 
religious antagonism has lasted to the present day, the 
Sonnite, which is considered the orthodox party, comprising 
the Turks, Tartars, and Indians, branding the Shiites, to 
whom Persia belongs, as sectaries. 

The first four Caliphs were all friends or kinsmen of 
Mahomet. Ali, the fourth Caliph, added to the title, 
hitherto born by the Caliphs, of Prophet, that of Vicar 
of God. His reign was one continued succession of civil 
wars, and he, too, fell by the hand of an assassin, leaving 
a son named Hassan. The crafty Moawiyah, the son 
of a man who had been Mahomet's greatest enemy, man- 
aged to get appointed Caliph (655—680), murdered Hassan, 
and founded the dynasty of the Ommiads, so called from 
the house of Ommiyah to which he belonged ; and removed 
the seat of the Caliphate from Medina to Damascus. 

Having given the above short account of the early 
Caliphs, and the transference of the Caliphate to the Om- 
miad dynasty, we will now narrate briefly the success that 
attended the early arms of the Saracens. 

The war with Persia ended, A.D. 651, in the destruction 
of the Persian monarchy ; the long dynasty of the Sassanidse 

328 Chapter IX. 

came to an end ; Yesdigird, the last native king, defeated 
near Bagdad, fled to the mountai as, where he was murdered ; 
the ancient religion was annihilated, and Persia became 
a Mahometan country. 

The invasion of Syria commenced in the same year as 
that of Persia. In Syria, as has been before said, Greek 
and Roman civilization had never taken firm root ; the mass 
of the people still spoke their old language and professed 
a religion alien to that of the Orthodox Church ; the Greeks 
they regarded as their national enemies, in whose battles 
they were forced to fight, against whom, aS' conquerors, their 
national feelings revolted. This accounts for the easy manner 
in which the Syrian cities fell before the Saracens, 

The enthusiasm of the Saracens superseded and took the 
place of military tactics. The Imperial armies, deprived 
of the leadership of Heraclius, who was at the time suffering 
from the effects of a severe illness, seem to have been para- 
lyzed with the suddenness and impetuosity of the attacks, 
and Syria was conquered in six years. In 633 Bozra, be- 
trayed by the treachery and apostasy of the Roman governor, 
fell ; in 634 Damascus, the capital of Syria ; in 635 Heliopolis 
and Emesa ; and in 637, after a siege of a few months^ Jeru- 
salem fell. Sophronius the Patriarch refused to treat with 
any but the Caliph Omar ; a messenger was despatched to 
Medina, and Omar appeared in person. He fixed his head- 
quarters at a village named Jabit, where he negotiated with 
a deputation of Christians the capitulation of the Holy City; 
and the preliminaries being arranged, the Caliph was met at 
the gates of the city by the Patriarch. Sophronius was 
compelled to point out the Holy Places and the site of the 
Temple ; " Verily," he said, " this is the abomination of deso- 
lation, spoken of by Daniel the Prophet, standing in the 
Holy Place." The magnificent Mosque now to be seen at 
Jerusalem, although not the same as that originally built, 
perpetuates the name of Omar, the second Caliph, its first 
Moslem conqueror. By the treaty of capitulation peace and 
protection were secured for the Christians, and the terms 

, The Saracenic Conquests. 329 

were faithfully observed by Omar's successors ; but thence- 
forward Jerusalem became almost as much an object of 
religious attraction to the Mahometan devotee as to the 
Christian pilgrims \ In the same year the holy Patriarch, 
having lived just long enough to see his Patriarchate fall 
under the hands of the Infidels, ended his troubled life, and 
for sixty years afterwards the See of Jerusalem was left 
without a Bishop. In the year after his death Aleppo and 
Antioch were captured by the Saracens, and thus fell 
a second Patriarchate. 

From Jerusalem and Antioch the Saracens marched on 
Phoenicia. Tripoli and Tyre were betrayed to them. 
Caesarea, the capital of Syria, next surrendered without 
a blow, the citizens soliciting pardon by their payment 
of two hundred thousand pieces of gold ; and the remaining 
cities of the province followed the example of the capital. 
Thus Syria was conquered. Except for a short time, during 
the Crusades, the Holy Places have ever since remained 
in the hands of the Infidels, Christianity being thenceforth 
tolerated as an appendage to Mahometanism. No outward 
sign of Christianity was permitted to offend the suscepti- 
bilities of Mussulmans ; no Cross to be exhibited on the 
Churches ; no bells to summon the Christian worshippers 
to Church ; the monasteries were allowed to stand, but only 
on the condition of their affording to Mahometans the same 
hospitality, free from payment, which they gave to Chris- 

The conquest of Syria effected, the Saracens under 
Amrou, in the same year (638), invaded Egypt. Here, 
again, the same schism as in Syria existed amongst the 
Christians, and Amrou found the province divided into 
two hostile parties ; one the Orthodox Greek party, whom 
the native inhabitants considered as intruders into the 
country, and stigmatized as Melchites, or Imperialists, the 
followers of the religion of the Emperors and of the Coun- 
cil of Chalcedon ; the other, the natives, bearing the common 

^ Williams' Holy City, I. 319. 

330 Chapter IX. 

name of Copts, who followed the religion of the Mono- 
physites or Jacobites. The former held all the highest 
ranks in the Court, and civil and military tribunates ; whilst 
the Copts, who formed the bulk of the people (and amongst 
them the majority of Bishops and Priests), groaning under 
the severe burdens of the State and oppression, were the 
merchants, artificers, and husbandmen. Between these two 
communities so bitter was the hatred that they never coa- 
lesced nor intermarried ; constant murders were committed 
by the one upon the other; and now we find the Copts 
preferring submission to infidels who entirely denied the 
Divinity of their Savour, as the means of avenging them- 
selves on their fellow-Christians who differed from them 
only as to the One or Two Natures in our Lord. 

The Greeks fought bravely, but owing to the treachery 
of the Copts, Egypt, like Syria, fell an easy prey to the 
Saracens. The Governor of Memphis told the Saracenic 
General that they desired to have no communion with 
the Greeks either in this world or in the next ; that they 
abjured the Byzantine tyrant, the Coundl of Chalcedon, 
and the Melchite slaves. The siege of Alexandria lasted 
fourteen months ; then, after the Saracens had lost 23,000 
men, the capital of Egypt capitulated. Many Churches, 
and amongst them St. Mark's, in which reposed the relics 
of the Evangelist, were burnt. Amrou was asked to spare 
the famous library founded by the Ptolemies ; he answered 
that he must learn the Caliph's pleasure. Omar is said 
to have answered (but the whole story has been doubted), 
that if the books were in accordance with the Koran they 
were superfluous, if contrary to it, pernicious ; in either case 
they must be destroyed. The books, the priceless treasure 
of the learning of ancient Greece, were said to have been 
used for heating the public baths of Alexandria. 

In Africa, which had been more thoroughly brought under 
Roman influence than Syria and Egypt, the Saracens met 
with a longer and more stubborn resistance. Their inva- 
sions commenced, A.D. 647, under the Caliph Othman, but 

The Saracenic Conquests. 331 

Carthage, which held the Orthodox faith, was not taken 
till A D. 698, nor the whole country conquered till 709. 
But Carthage also, the Metropolis of Africa, fell ; the 
country of SS. Cyprian and Augustine was lost to Chris- 
tianity, and from no part of the Empire were all traces of 
Roman dominion so effectually swept away as from Africa. 

Thus the Patriarchates of Alexandria, Antioch, and 
Jerusalem were reduced to little beyond a name, and the 
Roman Empire in the East was confined to Constantino- 
ple. In 711 the Ajabs, with the Moors who had embraced 
Mahometanism, invited into Spain by Count Julian, the 
Governor of Ceuta, whose daughter Roderic, the Gothic 
King of Spain, had dishonoured, landed, under their General 
Tarik, on the rock which came to be called after him Gebel 
el Tarik {the rock of Tarik), modernized into Gibraltar ; and 
on July 7, defeated Roderic near Xeres, who is supposed 
in his flight to have been drowned in the waters of the 
Guadalquiver. The conquest of the whole of Spain, except 
the inaccessible district of Asturias, was effected in about 
three years ; thus the kingdom of the Goths, after it had 
existed there for 300 years, came to an end. The Saracens 
conquered also for a time the South of Gaul, and threat- 
ened to stall their horses in St. Peter's at Rome. This, 
however, was their furthest advance in Western Europe ; 
they were soon driven back across the Alps by Charles 
Martel's victory at Tours; and- thus Gaul, and perhaps 
Rome and Britain, were saved from the civil and religious 
yoke of Islam. 

The same year which witnessed the overthrow of Roderic 
witnessed also the conquest of Scinde and the first Ma- 
hometan settlement in India. Scinde, however, was lost to 
them, A.D. 750, in a national revolt of the Rajpoots, and 
the conquest of India was not effected by the Mahometans 
till the close of the Tenth Century, when they invaded 
Hindpostan, and the whole of India, after a time, became 
subjected to Mahometan rule. But before the walls of Con- . 
stantinople the Saracens met with a crushing defeat. A 

332 Chapter IX. 

saying attributed to Mahomet, that the sins of the first 
soldiers who besieged the capital of the Caesars should be 
forgiven, animated the Caliph Moawiyah to lay siege to 
Constantinople. The old spirit of the Romans was now 
rekindled through the recent disasters in Syria and Egypt ; 
the walls of the city were defended by an army of unani- 
mous and well disciplined troops ; the Saracens were dis- 
mayed and terrified by the lately discovered Greek fire 
which was poured upon them ; in vain the siege was re- 
newed in six successive summers (669 — 675) ; and after 
the loss of 30,000 men they were obliged to retire, and to 
purchase peace by payment of an annual tribute. 

A similar but even worse result attended another attack 
(716 — 71S) of Constantinople by the Saracens under their 
Caliph Walid. The Saracenic fleet, recruited by the " in- 
vincible force " of the navies of Egypt and Syria, was said 
to have amounted to 18,000 vessels, so that, in the language 
of the Greeks, the Bosphorus was overshadowed by a moving 
forest. Again the Greek fire fought on the side of the 
Greeks ; famine, disease, and shipwreck caused havoc 
amongst the Saracens. A report that the Franks, the un- 
known nation of the Latin world, were arming in defence 
of the Christian cause, so alarmed them, that after thirteen 
months the siege was abandoned, and their fleet had been 
so repeatedly damaged by fire and tempest, that only five 
ships returned to Alexandria to relate the tale of their 
almost incredible disaster ^. 

As yet the whole Saracenic power had been held together 
under one Caliph. But simultaneous with the re-conquest 
of Scinde was the fall of the Ommiad dynasty, of which 
Merwin II. (744 — 750) was the fourteenth, and the last of 
the Caliphs at Damascus. In the latter year the Ommiads 
were overthrown and driven out by the descendants of 
Abbas, the uncle of Mahomet ; and Abdul Abbas, seated 
on the throne of Damascus, founded the dynasty of the 
Abbasides, the second Caliph of which dynasty, Ali Mansur, 
" Gibbon, X. 14. 

The Saracenic Conquests. 333 

removed, A.D. 768, the seat of the Caliphate to the newly- 
founded city of Bagdad. The fall of the Ommiads led to 
the dismemberment of the Saracenic Empire. For a Prince 
c£the Ommiad family, the young Abdarahman, eluding the 
vengeance of the conquerors, fled from Syria into Spain, 
where the Moslems refused to recognize the Abbassides ; 
and there he founded the equally brilliant dynasty of the 
Ommiad Emirate, and afterwards Caliphate, of Cordova. 
Thus there were now two rival Caliphs, each giving himself 
out as the rightful Qaliph, the one at Bagdad, where it ruled 
from A.D. 750—1258, when the last Abbasside was taken 
and put to death by one of the descendants of Ghengis 
Khan ; the other at Cordova, where it reigned about two 
hundred and fifty years. After the restoration of the Wes- 
tern Empire the rival Caliphs were the friends or enemies, 
of the rival Emperors, the Caliphs of Cordova being the 
natural enemies of the neighbouring Western Empire, and 
those of Bagdad of the neighbouring Eastern Empire. The 
most famous of the Abbasside Caliphs was the fifth, Haroun 
al Raschid {jZ6 — 809), the hero of the Arabian Nights, the 
contemporary of Charlemagne, under whom the Caliphate 
of Bagdad reached its greatest height of glory. After his 
time it gradually declined. 

When once the spell of union was broken, other provinces 
followed the example set them ; the two Caliphates became 
split up, and several Mahometan powers arose, professing 
only a nominal adherence to the Caliphs at Cordova or 
Bagdad. In the Ninth Century independent Saracen States 
arose in Crete and Sicily, which to that time had belonged 
to the Eastern Empire. In the Tenth Century the Fatimites, 
pretending to be descendants of Mahomet's daughter Fatima, 
having founded Algiers, Tripoli, and Tunis, subsequently 
gained possession of Egypt, where they established, A.D. 
969, a Caliphate at Cairo, which continued under eleven 
Caliphs. The most famous or infamous of the Fatimite 
Caliphs was the third, Al Hakim (996 — 1020), the destroyer 
of the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem. The reason 

334 Chapter IX. 

assigned by him was the fraud practised with respect to the' 
miraculous fire at Easter ; but he also destined to destruc- 
tion a thousand other Churches in which no such deception 
was practised. He afterwards gave himself out to be God, 
and, strange to say, he relaxed his cruelties against the 
Christians and allowed them to rebuild their Churches ^ 
The Dynasty was overthrown, A.D. 1171, by the great 
Saladin, who, as "lord of Egypt," founded a new dynasty ; 
but he transferred the Egyptian Caliphate to Bagdad, and 
the name of the Abbasside Caliph, the true Commander 
of the Faithful, instead of that of the Fatimite Caliph, again 
appeared in the public prayers. Yet notwithstanding all 
its divisions, Mahometanism went on increasing until, A.D. 
1453, the Crescent displaced the Cross on the dome of 
St. Sophia's at Constantinople. 

' Freeman's Saracens, p. 113. 


The Seventh (Ecumenical Council. 

The Iconoclastic controversy — Simplicity of worship in the primitive Church^ 
Gradual introduction of pictures and images — Reaction against images^ 
The Emperor Leo, the Isaurian — His defeat of the Saracens — His edicts 
against the Images — permanus, Patriarch of Constantinople — Hostility to 
Leo in Italy — Gregory II., Pope of Rome — Luitbrand, King of the Lom- 
bards — Provinces virithdrawn by Leo from the Pope and placed under the 
Patriarch of Constantinople — St. John Damascene — Greek Hymnologists — 
Pope Gregory III. — Charles Martel's victory at Tours — Constantine Co- 
pronymus, Emperor — Pipin the Little — Iconoclastic Council at Constanti- 
nople, A.D. 754 — Pipin and Copronymus — The Patrimony of Peter — The 
Empress Irene — Tarasius appointed Patriarch of Constantinople — Irene 
summons the Seventh General Council — The Council decides in favour 
of the Images — The Council not properly CEcumenical — Opposed in the 
West under Charlemagne— Charlemagne destroys the Lombard Kingdom — 
The Caroline Books — Council of Frankfort— Adoptionism— Council of 
Paris — Theodora Studita— Irene deposed — Revival of the Western Empire 
— Rise of the Bulgarians — The Iconoclastic Controversy ended by the 
Empress Theodora — °H Ki/pionJ) t^s 'Op6o8oJ(os — Character of the Icons 
in the Greek Church — The Paulicians. 

OF all the controversies which have agitated the Christian 
Church, the Iconoclastic is perhaps the most remark- 
able and one of the most important in its results. It was, 
says bean Milman, not a mere controversy but an actual 
war of one part of Christendom against the other ; it began 
A.D. 726, and lasted for a century and a half; it excited the 
worst passions of human nature, and it shook the Church 
to its very centre. It was an era-making event ; not only 
did it cause the revolt of Italy, but it prepared the way 
for Pipin and Charlemagne, and so for the temporal power 
of the Popes, and the restoration of the Western Empire. 

The primitive Church was partly composed of Hebrew 
converts to whom images would have seemed a violation 
of the Second Commandment, partly of converts from 
heathendom who held in abomination the idols of the 
religion which they had abandoned. For these reasons the 
services of the primitive Church were marked with extreme 

336 Chapter X. 

simplicity, Gradually Christian symbols such as we find 
in the catacombs — the Cross, the Lamb, the Good Shepherd, 
the Dove, the Fish, the Anchor, were adopted, but pictures 
in Churches were reprobated by the Thirty-sixth Canon 
of the Council of Illiberis (Elvira) in Spain, perhaps A.D. 
324 (" placuit picturas in EcclesiS. esse non debere "). When 
in the time of Constantine Christians were able, without 
fear from the heathen, to devote their wealth to building 
and adorning their Churches, and embellishing the Church- 
Services, a change commenced. As time went on, mag- 
nificent and richly endowed Churches were erected ; and 
the same religious motives which led people to build and 
endow Churches led them to adorn them with costly orna- 
ments and to advance the ritual. Not only such reasonable 
representations as the Cross and the emblems of our Sal- 
vation ; not only pictures, which may be called the books 
of the poor and ignorant ; but representations of the 
Apostles and Martyrs, not in pictures and mosaics but 
in statues, were introduced, so that before the end of the 
Fourth Century St. Augustine of Hippo speaks of people in 
his time being adorers of images. By degrees a miraculous 
power — especially was this the case in the East — came 
to be attributed to them ; the worship of such images in the 
Greek Church is avowed and defended by an ecclesiastical 
writer, Leontius, Bishop of Neapolis in Cyprus, who flourished 
in the last years of the Sixth Century ; whilst his contem- 
porary, St. Gregory the Great, had to deprecate the adoration 
of images. The adoration of relics and the invocation of 
Saints led to the full development of the adoration of 
the images representing those Saints ; in the middle of the 
Seventh Century a Mahometan Prince, the son of the Caliph 
Omar, ordered the removal of all pictures from the Christian 
Churches within his dominions. There is no doubt that the 
adoration of pictures and images grew to such a height, 
both in the Eastern and Western Churches, as was opposed 
to every Christian principle, and came very near the viola- 
tion of the Second Commandment. 

The Seventh CEcumenical Council. 337 

A reaction against images set in under the Monothelite 
Emperor, Philippicus, and the Monothelite John, whom he 
intruded into the Patriarchate of Constantinople. By John's 
advice, the Emperor, A.D. 712, ordered a picture representing 
the Sixth General Council, to which they were both opposed, 
to be removed from the Cathedral of St. Sophia at Con- 
stantinople, and he also issued an order for the removal 
of similar representations in Rome. Constantine I., the 
Pope, so far from complying with the order, denounced 
in a Council the Ejinperor as an apostate, and refused to 
allow his name to be mentioned in the Mass. 

Leo III. (716 — 741), a native of Isauria, a brave but rough 
and uneducated soldier, raised to the Imperial throne by 
the suffrage of the army, founded the Isaurian dynasty of 
the Roman Emperors. The affection which the army bore to 
him and to the successors of his dynasty forms an important 
element in the great Iconoclastic struggle on which we are 
now entering. When Leo came to the throne the Saracens 
were carrying everything before them ; and though, owing to 
his Iconoclastic measures, he lost the greater part of Italy 
which still remained to the Empire, yet it was mainly owing 
to him that the Saracens were driven away from Constanti- 
nople. This defeat of the Saracens by Leo deserves to be 
ranked with that afterwards gained over them in the battle 
of Tours by Charles Martel ; it is, says Professor Freeman", 
one of the greatest events in this world's history, for had 
Constantinople been taken by the Mahometans before the 
nations of Western Europe had grown up, it would seem 
as if the Christian religion and European civilization must 
have been swept away from the earth. 

Leo soon began to turn his mind from military to 
ecclesiastical matters ; and, thinking it an inherent part of 
the Imperial office to coerce the consciences of his subjects, 
he, in the sixth year of his reign, ordered the Jews and 
Montanists to conform to the Orthodox Church. For the 
first ten years he abided by the prevailing ritual of the 
' General Sketch, p. 126. 

338 Chapter X. 

Greek Church ; but, a Monophysite by extraction, he had 
learnt in his native home amongst the Isaurian mountains 
a simpler faith than that which he found prevalent at Con- 
stantinople ; and before he became Emperor he had been 
brought into contact with the Mahometans, who taunted the 
Christians with idolatry. In A.D. 726, and again in 730, he 
issued edicts against the images'"- He was at first contented 
with the removal of pictures and images from public places, 
but he at once met with a firm opponent in the aged 
Patriarch, Germanus. When, probably after the second 
edict, an Imperial officer further proceeded to hew in pieces 
the figure of our Saviour over the Brazen Gate (perhaps 
that of the palace) at Constantinople, the women of the city 
pulled down the ladder on which he was mounted, and he 
was beaten to death by the clubs of the enraged citizens. 
The Emperor sent soldiers to appease the riot, and a terrible 
massacre ensued ; but the images were everywhere removed 
and the walls of the Churches whitewashed. Nor were the 
riots confined to Constantinople. Many of the image-wor- 
shippers had taken refuge in the monasteries, where the 
monks were the staunch defenders of the images. The 
people of Greece and the Cyclades, instigated by the monks, 
rose in rebellion, denouncing the enemy of Christ, of His 
Mother, and of the Saints. They proclaimed as Emperor 
one Cosmas, and equipped a fleet against Constantinople ; 
the fleet was destroyed by the newly-invented Greek fire, 
and the leaders were either killed in battle, or afterwards, 
together with the usurper, executed. 

The Patriarch Germanus and Pope Gregory II. of Rome 
(715 — 731) were for once united. In Italy, the edicts of 
the Emperor excited even greater hostility than in the East, 
and the Italians vowed to die in defence of their images. 
More than a century had intervened between Gregory I. and 
Gregory II. In the time of the former, the two Patriarchs 
of Rome and Constantinople were, says Gibbon, nearly 

*■ The chronology of events at this period is given so differently, that we must 
state the events without placing them under the years in which they occurred. 

The Seventh (Ecumenical Council. 339 

equal in rank and jurisdiction. But in the interval a marked 
change had taken place in their position. In the great 
controversies which intervened, whilst there was one or- 
ganized Church in the West there were several disorganized 
Churches in the East ; the Popes were growing more and 
more independent, and only awaited an opportunity for 
shaking off their subjection to the Emperor. This was 
given to them by the Iconoclastic Controversy, and was 
fraught with important consequences to Christendom. 
Gregory wrote twQ, letters to his nominal sovereign, Leo, 
defending the images, telling him that Christians and un- 
believers alike were scandalized with his impiety ; accusing 
him of such ignorance that, if he entered their school-room, 
the very children would throw their tablets at his head 
(ray irivaKiSa'! ainSiv els ttjv Ke(^aXr)v aov piyfrovcriv). Civil 
rulers, he told him, had power over the body ; to the Church 
belonged the more powerful weapon of excommunication. 
Do you not know, he asked, that the Popes are the bond 
of union, the mediators of peace between East and West? 
The Emperor might, he tells him, threaten to carry off 
the Pope a prisoner, like the Emperor Constans did his 
predecessor Martin, but he could easily retire twenty-four 
miles into Campania, whither the Emperor might as well 
try to follow the wind. 

Riots occurred in Ravenna, the residence of the Exarch, 
and in the provinces. The Lombards, who, as we have 
seen, conquered the North of Italy, and founded Lombardy, 
had been, A.D. 599, converted from Arianism to the Catholic 
Church, through St. Gregory the Great and their Queen 
Theodelinda, the latter of whom succeeded in converting 
her husband, Agilulf or Aistulf; but they still continued 
to be feared at Rome, and were always a thorn in the 
side of the Popes. Luitbrand, the reigning Sovereign and 
the most powerful of all their Kings, professed to favour 
the images, and in his zeal for orthodoxy availed himself 
of the opportunity, which he had long sought, of invading 
and gaining possession of the Pentapolis and Ravenna, the- 

Z 2 

340 Chapter X. 

Catholics of the Exarchate welcoming him as their deliverer. 
Ravenna was, however, speedily recovered by the Venetians, 
who, at the request of the patriotic Pope, now came to the 
help of the Emperor. The Pope thus gained a moral 
victory for himself, but a substantial, if temporary, victory 
for the Emperor. But Leo could not forget nor forgive 
the Pope's former opposition ; he now confiscated the patri- 
mony of the Pope in Sicily and Calabria, withdrawing those 
provinces, as well as Eastern Illyricum, from his jurisdiction, 
and placing them under that of Constantinople. 

This was a severe blow to the Papacy. Illyricum, had un- 
dergone many vicissitudes. The Gospel had been preached 
in that country by St. Paul (Rom. xv. 19), and it was early 
placed under the See of Rome. It was in the Metropolis 
of Thessalonica, which, with Ephesus, occupied a position 
second only to the Patriarchal Sees, and embraced the 
whole of Greece. Gratian, A.D. 379, annexed it to the 
Eastern Empire, and the transference was confirmed by 
a rescript of Theodosius the Younger, which placed it under 
the jurisdiction of Constantinople. Pope Boniface I., how- 
ever, prevailing with the Emperor Honorius to interfere, 
the statute was abrogated and a return to the old arrange- 
ment made. Nor was this interfered with by the Council 
of Chalcedon, which, though it greatly added to the juris- 
diction of Constantinople, gave the Patriarch no authority 
over Illyricum. Under Justinian, Illyricum was divided into 
two parts, Eastern and Western, in the former of which the 
Greek, in the latter the Latin, language was spoken. The 
action of the Iconoclastic Emperor in separating Eastern 
Illyricum from Rome, and placing it under the jurisdiction 
of Constantinople, added another serious cause, of which 
more will be heard further on, of difference between East 
and West. 

Paul the Exarch was sent by the Emperor from Ravenna 
to coerce the Pope into obedience to the Iconoclastic 
measures, and even to seize him ; but he was safe under 
the protection of the Lombards.. Paul was excommunicated. 

The Seventh CEcumenical Council. 341 

by the Pope ; the Itah'ans broke in pieces a statue of the 
Emperor, and renounced their allegiance ; and Paul, in 
attempting to enforce the Emperor's edict, was killed in 
a tumult at Ravenna. His successor Eutychius met with 
little better success, and was likewise excommunicated. 
The election of the Popes had hitherto required the con- 
firmation of the Exarchs; but the manner in which Gregory 
defied both Exarch and Emperor shows how far the See 
of Rome had advanced towards completely throwing off 
the yoke of the Easffern Empire. 

The Lombards had always a hankering after Rome, 
which they regarded as the key which would open to them 
the possession of the whole of Italy, and in 729, Luitbrand, 
forsaking the Pope, joined the Imperial forces, and appeared 
before the wails of Rome. The Pope repairing at the head 
of his clergy, the Cross borne before them, to the camp 
of the Lombard King, succeeded in convincing him that 
he was on the point of committing a mortal sin, and urged 
him to repentance ; Luitbrand was thus from an enemy 
turned into a friend ; treating the Pope with the deepest 
reverence, and entering Rome in his company, he divested 
himself of his crown, and laid his sword on the altar of 
St. Peter, and signed a treaty of peace in which the 
Imperialists were obliged to acquiesce. 

Far different was the power which the Emperor was able 
to exert over his own Patriarch, resident under his eye 
at Constantinople. In 730, Germanus, more than ninety 
years of age, worn out with the long struggle, much to the 
delight of the Emperor, resigned the Patriarchate and retired 
to an estate of his own, Anastasius (731—754). the Emperor's 
secretary and an Iconoclast, with whom Pope Gregory re- 
fused to communicate, succeeding him. 

Equal to Pope Gregory as the intrepid defender of the 
images and their ablest literary defender, was St. John 
Damascene, the most learned of the Greek writers of his 
time. John, called in Arabic Mansur, but generally known, 
from his native place Damascus, as St. John Damascene, 

342 . Chapter X. 

was born of Christian parents towards the end of the Seventh 
Century, and received his education from a learned Greek 
monk, named Cosmas, who having been made a prisoner 
of war by the Saracens, and put up for sale at Damascus, 
was ransomed by John's father, Sergius. On the death 
of his father, John was appointed by the Caliph to succeed 
him as Governor or Vizier of Damascus. When the Em- 
peror Leo issued his second edict, although he well knew 
that the Caliph was in favour of the Iconoclasts, John 
Damascene boldly entered the list against them, and through 
an able pamphlet which he wrote he at once enlisted the 
clergy, but especially the monks, in favour of the Images, 
and became the acknowledged leader of the party. The 
immunity which John enjoyed as a resident at Damascus, 
and a subject of the Saracenic Kingdom, determined Leo 
to resort to treachery. John, under an accusation of 
treacherous designs against the Mahometans, was sen- 
tenced to have his right hand cut off, and the sentence 
was executed ; but the story goes that on the same night 
the hand was miraculously restored by the Virgin Mary, 
and that the Caliph, thus convinced of his innocence, or- 
dered him to be re-instated in his office. 

However that may be, John, wearied with the world and 
the world's honours, retired, in company of Cosmas, into 
the Lavra of St. Sabas in the wilderness of Engedi, which 
was also in the territory of the Saracens. There he was 
ordained Priest ; and through the remainder of the reign 
of Leo and the whole of that of his successor continued 
to prosecute his studies, and to advocate the cause of the 
Images ; leaving the Lavra only once for the purpose of 
kindling opposition to the Iconoclastic measures of the 
Emperor Constantine, dying probably in the same year 
as that Emperor (A.D. 755). 

Cosmas, the slave, ransomed by St. John Damascene's 
father, lived to become Bishop of Mazuma. The Lavra 
of St. Sabas sheltered about the same time three of the 
most famous Greek hymnologists whose verses have come 

The Seventh CEcumenical Council. 343 

down to us, St. John Damascene, his brother's son, Stephen, 
and St. Cosmas. We have already mentioned St. Anatolius, 
Patriarch of Constantinople, as the first in order of time 
of the Greek hymn-writers of whom we have any record. 
Another was St. Andrew, a native of Damascus, and Arch- 
bishop of Crete, to whom the Church owes the Sacramental 
Hymn, " O the mystery passing wonder," and the Hymn 
translated by Dr. Neale to be found in Hymns Ancient 
and Modern, " Christian, dost thou see them ? " Andrew 
was deputed by Theodore, Patriarch of Jerusalem, to attend 
the Sixth CEcumenical Council, and is famous in the Greek 
Church as the author of the Great Canon sung on the 
Thursday before Palm Sunday, known as the Feast tov 
/j.eyd\ov Kav6vo<;. 

The compilation Hymns Ancient and Modern is so 
familiar to English Church people, that it may be of interest 
to mention the hymns which are attributed to the three 
contemporary monks of St. Sabas, all, we believe, translated 
by Dr. Neale. St. John Damascene was the writer of the 
Hymns cortimencing, " The day of Resurrection," and "Come, 
ye faithful, raise the strain;" Stephen, "Art thou weary, 
art thou languid;" whilst to St. Cosmas are attributed the 
Hymn commencing, " In days of old on Sinai ; " and another, 
not included in that work, " The choirs of ransomed Israel." 

Gregory II., dying A.D. 731, was succeeded by Gregory III. 
(731 — 741), a Pope equally as zealous as his predecessor 
in the cause of the Images. The election of the new Pope 
had still to be confirmed by the Emperor, and not before his 
sanction arrived was Gregory Consecrated. At the very 
commencement of his Patriarchate he, in a Council attended 
by ninety eight Bishops, at Rome, anathematized all those 
(and the Emperor was included in the number) who attacked 
the traditions of the Church and the Images of the Saints. 
The Pontificate of Gregory III. was one of great impor- 
tance in the future relation of the Greek and Roman 
Churches, and indeed in the history of the world. Not only 
was Germany brought into subjection to the See of Rome 

344 Chapter X. 

by the missionary labours of the English Winfred, better 
known as St. Boniface ; but the seeds sown by Pope 
Gregory II. were watered, which led to the severance of the 
Roman See from the Eastern Emperor ; to the great in- 
crease, if not the foundation, of the patrimony of Peter ; and 
the restoration of the Western Empire. Gregory III. was 
the last Pope for whose Consecration the authority of an 
Eastern Emperor was either asked or required. 

In 732, Charles Martel gained the victory over the 
Saracens in the battle of Tours, which may be reckoned 
as one of the great battles of the world ; a battle which, 
had it resulted otherwise than it did, would probably have 
changed the whole subsequent history of Christendom. 
After that, it was little likely that the Pipin family would 
rest contented with the humble pageant of Mayors of the 
Palace, which they had hitherto borne, to the puppet Kings 
of France. Charles Martel was thenceforward the cham- 
pion of the Faith in the West. It is true he was not 
scrupulous in using the property of the Church, nor in 
his manner of appropriating the revenues of its most lucra- 
tive Bishoprics, in order to maintain the efficiency of his 
army. But the Pope saw in the Pipin family the rising 
power of the day. Though the political importance of the 
Papacy had grown immensely under the Iconoclastic 
troubles, the Pope was still sorely pressed by the Lombard 
Kingdom. Twice, once in A.D. 739, and again in 740, 
Gregory applied for assistance to Charles Martel, who re- 
ceived the Pope's ambassadors with the greatest reverence ; 
but both he and the Pope died shortly afterwards (A.D. 741), 
and although the ice was broken, nothing further was at 
present effected. 

In the same ypar the Emperor Leo III. died, and was 
succeeded by his son, Constantine V. (741 — 775), to whom 
the insulting nickname of Copronymus was given by his 
enemies. Constantine had, A.D. 733, married Irene, daughter 
of the Khan of the Khazars ; she is described as a pious 
Princess, and, although she swore at her marriage that she 

The Seventh CEcumenical Council. 345 

would renounce them, was a secret favourer' of the images, 
of which the Emperor was even a stronger opponent than 
his father. Of Constantine's character it is difficult to form 
a just estimate, for whilst his enemies attribute to him every 
kind of vice and stigmatize him as an atheist, the Iconoclasts 
praise his virtue. No doubt his vices as well as his virtues 
have, through religious zeal, been exaggerated ; though 
gifted with military ability he was certainly a violent and 
cruel man ; but, perhaps, the fact that his tomb was violated 
and his remains burnt by one of his successors, the orthodox 
drunkard Michael, may throw some light on the matter. 
Iconoclastic fanaticism became hereditary in the Isaurian 
family, and it was exercised probably as much, if not more, 
from an arbitrary zeal for a paramount power over the 
Church, as from religious principles. At any rate during 
his reign the persecution of the Iconoclasts, and particularly 
of the monks, continued and increased. 

Shortly after the commencement of his reign, Artavasdes, 
who married his sister Anna, headed a rebellion of the 
orthodox party, whom, by advocating the images and their 
erection in the Churches, he had gained over to his side. 
He was crowned by the previously Iconoclastic Patriarch, 
Anastasius, who had now become a worshipper of the 
images and denounced the Emperor as a Nestorian and 
a denier of the Godhead of Christ. Constantine, however, 
was enabled in two years to recover the throne ; the ortho- 
dox Bishop of Gangra, who had taken part in the rebellion, 
was beheaded, and Artavasdes with his two sons, having 
had their eyes put out, were immured in a monastery. The 
unworthy Patriarch Anastasius, deprived of his eyes, and 
seated upon an ass, his head turned towards the tail (a similar 
story, however, is told of Constantine, his successor in the 
Patriarchate), having been thus ignominiously paraded 
through the city, was afterwards, in mockery, allowed to 
hold the Patriarchate till his death, A.D. 754. 

At the time that Constantinople was in the hands of the 
usurper, Artavasdes, the Lombards under Luitbrand were 

346 Chapter X. 

again threatening Rome. Zacharias (741 — 754) succeeded 
Gregory III. as Pope ; Pipin, surnamed the Little, succeeding 
his father, Charles Martel, as Mayor of the Palace. In 749 
Agilulf became King of the Lombards, and on him the Pope 
so far prevailed as to prevent the Exarchate of Ravenna 
becoming part of the Lombard Kingdom. Stephen II., the 
successor of Zacharias, dying before his consecration, was 
succeeded by Stephen III. (752 — 757); and Agilulf soon 
broke the treaty made with Zacharias, took Ravenna and 
threatened Rome. The Pope having in vain implored the 
Emperor Constantine to send troops to recover the Ex- 
archate, travelled to Paris to solicit the aid of Pipin ; and 
there, in July, A.D. 754, in the Church of St. Denys, he 
anointed Pipin (who had already, two years before, been 
crowned by the English Boniface, the Archbishop of May- 
ence), together with his two sons, one of whom was the 
future Charlemagne, as Kings of France, Chilperic, the last 
King of the line of Clovis, being relegated to a monastery. 
Pipin in return promised the Pope the aid he sought. 

The Emperor, who concerned himself but little about 
these events which were going on in the Western part of 
the Empire, summoned, in February, 754, a Council, which 
sat six months, in the suburbs of Constantinople. No 
Patriarch was present ; the See of Constantinople was vacant 
by the death of Anastasius ; Stephen III. of Rome refused to 
attend ; the Patriarchates of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jeru- 
salem were in the hands of the Saracens. The Council was 
attended by 338 Bishops, under the presidency of Theo- 
dosius. Archbishop of Ephesus, an Iconoclast ; and occa- 
sionally under the Bishop of Perga. The last of its sessions 
was held in the Emperor's palace at Constantinople on 
August 8, at which the Emperor himself was present. On 
August 27 the decree of the Council was subscribed by the 
Emperor and Constantine, who had now been translated 
from the Bishopric of Sylseum to the Patriarchate of Con- 
stantinople. The Council declared its adherence to the Six 
General Councils ; it pronounced those who depicted an 

The Seventh (Ecumenical Council. -t^i^j. 

Image of Christ to be either Monophy3ites or Nestorians, 
and those who depicted images of the Virgin, Apostles, 
Prophets, or Martyrs, imitators of the heathen worship 
of images. In Christ Two Natures were united ; no picture, 
therefore, or statue, it declared, can depict Him as He is, 
and His only proper representation was the Holy Eucharist. 
It disproved the view of the Image-worshippers from 
Scripture and the Fathers, and anathematized and con- 
demned, to severe punishments all that used them. Holy 
vessels and vestments, and all that was dedicated to Divine 
Service, it allowed to remain adorned, as before, with figures. 
Several anathemas were added, under which were included 
St. Germanus, the late Patriarch of Constantinople, George 
(as to whose personality there is much doubt), and Mansur 
(St. John Damascene). 

As a consequence of the Council, images were everywhere 
removed from the Churches ; but a violent opposition was 
headed by the monks. The troubles, which beset Italy, now 
for a time engaged the Emperor, and delayed the execution 
of the decrees of the Council. Pipin, in the performance of 
his promise to Stephen, not only saved Rome from the Lom- 
bards during two invasions, one in the year of the Council, 
the other in the following year, but he forced Agilulf to 
give up the Pentapolis and the Exarchate of Ravenna, which 
he bestowed on the Papacy. To the ambassadors, whom 
Constantine sent requesting him to restore the lands to 
the Empire, Pipin replied; "The Franks had not shed their, 
blood for the Greeks, but for St. Peter and the salvation of 
their souls, and he wouFd not for all the gold in the world 
take back the promise which he had made to the Roman 
Church." The ambassadors took with them, as a present to 
Pipin, an organ, the first, it is said, which was ever imported 
into the West. 

Thus, as is generally believed, commenced what is known 
as the Patrimony of Peter ; thus was laid the foundation 
of Rome's temporal power ; and the Popes took their place 
amongst the Sovereigns of the world. The contest for, 

34& Chapter X. 

supremacy between the Sees of Constantinople and Rome 
was thenceforward carried on on different and unequal lines. 

In y^t the Emperor Constantine set himself to the complete 
extirpation of Iconolatry, with a view to which he exacted 
an oath against the images from all his subjects. His chief 
opponents being the monks, he determined to eradicate 
monasticism. That the monks, in their opposition, went 
beyond the limits of discretion, and the bounds of duty, 
thus increasing his wrath, seems not to be denied. They 
denounced him as a second Mahomet, and all the Iconoclasts 
as atheists and blasphemers. The vengeance the Emperor 
took was terrible. The monastic societies were dissolved ; 
their lands and cattle confiscated, the monasteries converted 
into taverns, barracks, or stables. The profession of monas- 
ticism was proscribed ; the monks were forced to assume 
secular attire, and the Consecrated virgins to marry. The 
Iconoclastic Patriarch, who had himself been once a monk, 
was compelled to swear from the pulpit by the Holy Cross, 
not only never to be a worshipper of images, but to abjure 
the monastic vow. Offending the Emperor shortly after- 
wards, he was deposed and banished, but was brought back 
again to Constantinople ; and after being subjected to even 
more brutal treatment than his predecessor, was beheaded ; 
Nicetas, a man of Slavic and servile birth, and a eunuch 
(and from this last circumstance canonically ineligible), 
reading the sentence and succeeding him in the Patri- 

In the Western part of the Empire the images were regarded 
with mixed feelings. The Popes were wholly in favour of 
them. Constantine wrote to Pipin the Little, with the view 
of enlisting the sympathy of the Franks in his Iconoclastic 
proceedings. Pipin answered that he could do nothing with- 
out the consent of the Bishops and nobles of the Kingdom. 
Paul I. (757 — 'j6'j) was at the time Pope of Rome, and to 
him Pipin wrote declaring his continued adherence to the 
Roman See; but he himself summoned, A.D. yty, the Council 
of Gentilly near Paris. The Acts of the Council have been 

The Seventh CEcitmenical Council. 349 

lost, and we have no informition w'.th respect to it. But 
the fact of its being convened by Pipin, whilst it shows 
the independence which has always characterized the Gal- 
ilean Church, seems to point to the same opposition to 
image- worship on the part of Pipin which characterized 
his successors Charlemagne and Louis the Pious, and 
a disposition on his part to meet the wishes of the Em - 
peror rather than those of the Pope. 

Constantine died A.D. 775, ajid was succeeded .by his son, 
Leo IV., 775 — 780, surnamed Khazarus, a name derived 
from his mother's nationality. The laws against images 
were allowed to exist, but as the Emperor was a man of 
religious and gentle character, he, although no favourer of 
the images, inclined to toleration, and during his reign the 
Church and State enjoyed a respite, and the monks were 
allowed to return to their monasteries. The Emperor's wife, 
like his mother, named Irene, was an Athenian of great 
beauty, who with orthodoxy combined a cruel and in- 
triguing, as well as an abandoned and profligate, character. 
At her marriage she had been compelled by the Emperor 
Constantine to abandon their veneration, with which she 
had been familiar at Athens, and was during the lifetime 
of Leo only a secret favourer of images. The support 
of such a woman as Irene was enough to disparage any 
cause ; but on the death of Leo, as has been stated, althoug'.i 
on insufficient authority, by poison administered by Irene, a 
great change in the Iconoclastic controversy ensued. Her son 
Constantine VI. (Porphyrogenitus, so called from the purple 
chamber in which he was born), a boy ten years of age, now 
became Emperor (780 — 797) ; and Irene, who was appointed 
guardian, at once resolved to bring the triumph of the 
Iconoclasts to an end, towards which she took the first step 
by issuing an edict for the toleration of both parties. Gn 
the death of Nicetas, A.D. 780, whilst the Emperor Leo 
was still living, Paul IV., on binding himself by an oath 
not to restore the images, was elected to succeed him in 
^he Patriarchate of Constantinople. In 784. Paul, smitten 

350 Chapter X. 

by remorse of conscience on account of the oath which 
he had taken, laid down his Patriarchal office, and retired, 
for the purpose of doing penance, into a monastery ; and 
on his death-bed recommended that a General Council should 
be held as the only means of terminating the Iconoclastic 
troubles and healing the schism in the Church. 

Irene, in order to have a Patriarch favourable to her views, 
appointed her secretary Tarasius (784 — 806), as yet a lay- 
man, to succeed Paul. He jit first pleaded his unfitness ; 
but, inasmuch as the three Eastern Patriarchs, as well as the 
Pope of Rome, were all in favour of the images, he thought 
his acceptance would be a favourable opportunity for healing 
the schism by which the Church of Constantinople was 
divided, not only from the West but also from the East. 
He was accordingly Ordained and Consecrated to the Patri- 
archate, making it a condition that a General Council should 
be called for restoring the unity of the Church. He at once 
renewed Communion with the Eastern Patriarchs, and wrote 
to them, as well as to Pope Hadrian (772 — 795), requesting 
their co-operation in assembling the Council. Irene also 
determined that the Council should be one of such import- 
ance as to nullify the acts of the previous Council of Con- 
stantinople ; and she likewise wrote to the Pope announcing 
her intention, and requesting that he would attend either 
in person or by learned representatives. 

The Council first met in August, 786, at Constantinople. 
But the Imperial Guards, who still held the memory of the 
Iconoclastic Emperor Constantine in honour, assuming a men- 
acing attitude, Irene, having first replaced them by others 
more favourable to her views, arranged for the Council to 
be transferred to Nice, the seat of the first General Council ; 
and the Second Council of Nice met on September 24 of 
the following year. 

Between that date and October 23 the Council held eight 
sessions. Although Tarasius actually took the lead, the 
most honourable place was accorded to the two Papal 
legates. There were also present two monks of Palestine, 

The Seventh (Ecumenical Council. 351 

John and Thomas, who represented themselves as legates 
of the Eastern Patriarchs ; Politian of Alexandria and Theo- 
dore of Antioch, owing to their subjection to the Saracens, 
not being able to attend, whilst the See of Jerusalem was 
vacant. With the exception of the two Papal legates, 
those present were members of the Greek Church. Nice- 
phorus, afterwards Patriarch, was secretary. At the very 
commencement of the sittings a number of Prelates who 
had taken part with the Iconoclasts, recanted, and were 
absolved by Tarasius. Many of the Greek Bishops, under 
the existing prevalence of simony, had purchased their 
Sees, and, as might be expected in such men, were not 
over-scrupulous ; and now, under Court influence, were ready 
to change their opinions rather than forfeit their revenues. 

The case of those Bishops having been considered in 
the first three Sessions, they were allowed to retain their 
Sees. In Session IV., passages in support of the images 
were adduced from the Scriptures and the Fathers, and 
the late Iconoclastic Council was condemned. In Session V. 
it was decreed that images should everywhere be restored, 
and before them prayers should be offered. In Session VI. 
the assumptions of the Pseudo-Synod were exposed and 
refuted, and it was shown that many passages quoted in 
it from the Fathers were spurious or distorted. Session VII. 
declared that the Council neither intended to add to, nor 
to take from, the Six CEcumenical Councils ; the Creeds 
of Nice and Constantinople were repeated, and anathemas 
against several heretics, including Pope Honorius, were 

At this Session the decree of the Council was drawn up. 
It enacted that, together with the venerable and life-giving 
Cross, Images of our Lord, His Mother, the Angels, and 
the Saints should be set up, whether in colours, or mosaics, 
or any other material; that they might be depicted on 
sacred vessels, on vestments, the walls and tablets of 
Churches ; in houses and by the road-side ; the oftener 
they were looked on, the more would people be stirred 

"352 Chapter X. 

up in remembrance of the originals ; that adoration including 
kissing {aairatyfLov Kal TifiTjTiKrjv TrpofTKVvqaiv), should be 
paid to them, but not worship [Xarpeia), which belongs 
exclusively to God [ovk aXrjOivrjv Xarpeiav rj Trpeirei fiovr] ry 
Qeia cjivaei). Incense and lights were to be burnt in their 
honour. Whoever does reverence {'n-poaKvvel) to an image 
does reverence to the person whom it represents. The 
opponents of the images were anathematized (jat /irj aa-ira- 
^0/j.eva ras ayia'; eiKovas dvdOefia) ; Bishops and clergy 
who objected to them were to be deposed. In Session VIII. 
the decree drawn up in the Seventh Session was read in 
the presence of Irene and the Emperor, and agreed to ; 
"this we believe, this we all think ; this is the faith of the 
Apostles, of the Fathers, and of the Orthodox ; " and the 
anathema pronounced in the Seventh Session was repeated. 

The decrees were signed by three hundred and ten 
Bishops, and twenty-two Canons were passed, a few only 
of which require notice. Canon I. decreed that the clergy 
must observe the holy Canons, and recognize as such the 
Apostolical Canons and those of the six CEcumenical 
Councils. It thus accepted, like the Trullan Council, all 
the Apostolical Canons. Canon III. pronounced invalid 
the election of clerics by the secular power ; and decreed 
that a Bishop must be elected by Bishops, according to the 
Fourth Nicene Canon. Canons IV. and V. were directed 
against the prevalent evil of simony, in accordance with the 
Thirtieth Apostolical Canon and the Second of Chalcedon. 
Canon VI. enacted that, agreeably to Canon VI. of the 
Sixth CEcumenical Synod (by which is meant the Trullan 
Council), a provincial Synod should be held every year. 
Canon VII. decreed that, whereas under the Iconoclasts, 
Churches had been Consecrated without relics, they must 
be placed in them with the customary prayers, and that 
no Bishops should in future Consecrate Churches without 
relics. Canon XIII. decreed that ecclesiastical buildings 
•and monasteries, which in the late unhappy times had been 
converted into private dwellings, were to be restored. By 

The Seventh (Ecumenical Council. 353 

Canon XVIII. women were forbidden to reside in Bishops' 
houses or in monasteries. By Canon XX. double monas- 
teries were forbidden ; and a monk might not converse with 
a female relative in the monastery, except in the presence 
of the Hegumen. Canon XXI. forbade monks and nuns 
to go from one convent to another. 

The Second Council of Nice was the last of the Councils 
that can lay any claim to the title of oecumenical, for it 
was the last of the Councils previous to the schism of the 
Eastern and Western Churches, which has for a thousand 
years rendered the assembling of such a Council imprac- 
ticable. The Council was recognized both in the East and 
generally in the West as an oecumenical Council, and for 
a time effected a better understanding between the Sees 
of Rome and Constantinople. But it had no greater claim 
to be called oecumenical than the Iconoclastic Council of 
A.D. 754 ; neither of the three Patriarchs, of Alexandria, 
Antioch, and Jerusalem, was present, and it is questionable 
whether they were even invited to it ; the two monks, 
John and Thomas, had received no legation from them ; 
nor was the Western Church fairly represented ; nor were 
its decrees ever universally received in the Catholic Church ; 
and had a Council' of the Western Church been convened, 
it probably would have condemned them, even though they 
were supported by Pope Hadrian. 

The images or Icons (etwoVes), as they are called, of the 
Greek Church are not, it must be remarked, sculptured 
images, but flat pictures or mosaics ; not even the Crucifix 
is sanctioned ; and herein consists the difference between 
the Greek and Roman Churches, in the latter of which 
both pictures and statues are allowed, and venerated witii 
equal honour. 

Pope Hadrian accepted the decrees of the Council, and 
went further than the East in allowing not only painted, 
but sculptured. Icons, and Italy followed the example of 
the Pope. Hadrian sent a copy of the decrees to Charles, 
better known as Charlemagne, who in 768 succeeded his 

A a 

,354 Chapter X. 

father Pipin, and on the death of his brother Carloman, 
A.D. 771, became sole King of the Franks. To Charle- 
magne the Pope was deeply indebted. The defeat of the 
Lombards by Pipin had only a temporary effect ; they again 
threatened Rome, and, in 773, Pope Hadrian applied to 
Charlemagne for assistance, who, in the following year 
utterly defeated in battle the Lombard King Desiderius, 
and consigned him to a monastery. Thus the Lombard 
Kingdom of Italy, after it had lasted more than two hundred 
years, came to an end. Charlemagne was in the same year 
crowned King of Lombardy, and the King of the Franks 
became, except in the South, which the Emperor still held. 
King of Italy. What Pipin commenced, Charlemagne 
completed ; he ratified the former grant made to the 
Papacy, and increased the Patrimony of Peter with a large 
part of the territory which he conquered from the Lom- 

But Charlemagne was no blind follower of the Pope. 
With regard to the Second Council of Nice he took up 
an intermediate position, opposed alike to that of the Pope 
and to that of the Iconoclasts. The treatise known as the 
Caroline Books, a work in which the English Alcuin is 
supposed to have had a hand, published, A.D. 790, in Charle- 
magne's name, shows as strong an opposition on his part 
to the fanaticism of the Iconoclasts in the pseudo-Council 
of 754, as to the superstition of the image-worshippers 
in the Second Council of Nice. Charlemagne sent a copy 
of the Caroline Books to Hadrian, which the latter ac- 
knowledged in a long. letter. The Pope brought forward 
the opinions of former Popes and of Roman Councils, which 
decreed an anathema on those who refused " to venerate 
the Images of Christ, His Mother, and the Saints, in ac- 
cordance with the testimony of the holy Fathers." He 
reminded Charlemagne how much his success was due to 
the See of St. Peter (he forgot to mention how greatly 
the See of St. Peter was indebted to Charlemagne and 
his father Pipin) ; and he does not forget to remind him 

The Seventh CEcumenical Council. 355 

of the provinces taken from the Roman See by Leo the 
Isaurian. Those provinces, he tells him he would, if Charle- 
magne approved, admonish the Eastern Emperor to restore, 
and if he refused he would declare him a heretic ; not on 
account of the Nicene Council which had rightly restored 
image-worship, but for his refusal to surrender the pro- 
vinces ; a somewhat strange application of the word heretic. 

But the Pope made no impression on Charlemagne, and 
wishing, for political reasons, to stand well with the Franks, 
did not press the mq,tter further. 

Instead of accepting the decrees of the Second Nicene 
Council which the Pope had sent him, Charlemagne sum- 
moned, eight years afterwards (a.d. 794), the Council of 
Frankfort, which Du Pin says was attended by three hun- 
dred Bishops from France, Italy, and Germany, and, it is 
supposed, from England ; as well as by two Bishops as repre- 
sentatives of the Pope. In this Council the heresy known 
as Adoptionism was condemned. Adoptionism, which taught 
that Christ as to His Divinity was the Son of God, but 
in His Human Nature was adopted into Sonship, unlike 
the other heresies as to the Nature of our Lord, which arose 
in the East, was a Western heresy, and owed its origin 
to two Spanish Prelates in the latter end of the Eighth 
Century, Elipand, Archbishop of Toledo, and Felix, Bishop 
of Urgel. In the Council of Frankfort the principle of the 
Caroline Books was upheld, and the decrees of the late 
Council of Nice repudiated ; images might be retained in 
Churches as memorials and ornaments, but the worship 
of images, under any form, was condemned °- 

The Council of Paris, held A.D. 824, was an echo of the 
Council of Frankfort, and not only condemned image-wor- 
ship, but the Pope himself. It is evident that a strong 
feeling against the images prevailed in the West, nor was 
the Second Council of Nice till two Centuries later recog- 
nized in the Prankish Church; so that for such reasons 

' " In Ecclesiis memoriae at ornamenti causa retineri posie, omnem vero cuUum 
et adorationem penitus esse abiogandam. " 

A a 2 

356 Chapter X. 

it may be doubted whether the Second Council of Nice 
can rightly be considered an CEcumenical Council. 

By the Council, Iconoclasm received a blow from which 
it never recovered, but it was far from extinguished. In the 
East the controversy continued with varied results under 
the next five Emperors, one Emperor approving, another 
condemning, the decrees of the Council. Irene had, by a 
bad education, corrupted the mind of the young Emperor. 
She may have felt that the traditional policy of the Isau- 
rians would, as soon as he attained his majority, turn her 
son against the images. The young Emperor had been 
betrothed to a daughter of Charlemagne ; but when Charle- 
magne declared against the Second Council of Nice, Irene 
broke off the contract, and married him against his will 
to an Armenian Princess, whom, in January, 795, he divorced, 
and in September of the same year took another wife, one 
of Irene's maids of honour, named Theodota. For this act 
he was excommunicated by the famous Iconolatrist monk, 
Theodore Studita, who was in consequence banished by the 
Emperor to Thessalonica. Irene contrived to gain the mili- 
tary over to her side, and a conspiracy was formed against 
the Emperor, with the result that, whilst he was asleep in 
the porphyry-room in which he was born, his eyes were put 
out by the emissaries of his unnatural mother. Irene then 
reigned alone for five years (797 — 802), after which she her- 
self, in a conspiracy headed by her secretary, Nicephorus, 
was dethroned, and banished to the Island of Lemnos, where 
she was forced to gain a scanty subsistence by the labour 
of her own hands. A few months afterwards her wicked 
life was terminated ; her orthodoxy, instead of her wicked- 
ness, was taken into account, and she was canonized in the 
Greek Church as an orthodox Saint. 

Meanwhile, Pope Hadrian I. was succeeded by Leo III. 
(795 — 816). The government of the Empire by a woman, 
and one of Irene's character, gave the Pope the pretext 
for shaking off the subjection to the Eastern Emperors. 
Some serious accusations having been brought against the 

The Seventh (Ecumenical Council. 357 

Pope, Charlemagne determined himself to enquire into them 
at Rome ; and, greeted on the way by the acclamation com- 
mon in the Middle Ages, " Blessed is he that cometh in the 
Name of the Lord," arrived in Rome towards Christmas, 
A.D. 799. The Pope and his accusers were brought face 
to face before a Synod, presided over by Charlemagne, with 
the result that the latter were condemned and banished, and 
the Pope, having publicly taken the canonical oath of purga- 
tion, was acquitted. The temporal ruler had acquitted and 
reinstated the spiritual head of Western Christendom. 

On Christmas Day, Charlemagne, dressed in the habit 
of a Roman Patrician, attended Mass in St. Peter's at 
Rome. Suddenly, as if moved by a heavenly impulse, the 
grateful Pope, in imitation of the Coronation of the Em- 
perors by the Patriarchs of Constantinople, placed upon the 
head of the kneeling King a golden crown. It was an act of 
rebellion on the part of the Pope against the Eastern Em- 
press, but the Iconoclastic troubles had paved the way; 
ever since the reign of Leo the Isaurian, the Romans had 
been in a state of smothered revolt against the Empire, and 
were only prevented by fear of the Lombards from breaking 
out into open rebellion. Charlemagne affected surprise, but 
probably it was only at the suddenness of the event, or 
perhaps, as has been surmised by Eginhard, from his desire 
to maintain friendly relations with the Eastern Empire. 
Irene, although her overthrow was imminent, was still popu- 
lar with a large class of her subjects, and Charlemagne 
even, on political grounds, contemplated a matrimonial 
alliance with her. But the Pope could not have ventured 
on so important an undertaking without there being some 
tacit understanding between the two principal actors. The 
King's feeling with regard to the suddenness of the proceed- 
ing soon gave way to one of satisfaction, when he saw that 
there had been a preconcerted arrangement, and that the 
Pope was acting as the mouth-piece of the people ; the 
dome of St. Peter's resounded with the joyful acclamations 
of the multitude within and outside the Church j " Long 

358 Chapter X. 

life and victory to the most pious Augustus, crowned by 
God, the great and pacific Emperor." 

The new Emperor of the West, far from resting satisfied 
with this act of rebellion on the part of the Pope, strove 
to set himself right with the East, through means of a union 
between the two Empires. We cannot imagine that Charle- 
magne with his experience of three wives, one of whom 
he had divorced, could have been so enamoured of a woman 
of Irene's character as to desire, from personal motives, 
a matrimonial alliance with her. Still, in the autumn of 
802, an Embassy from Clarlemagne, proposing the union of 
the Western and the Eastern Empires through a marriage 
between himself and Irene, arrived at Constantinople ; Gib- 
bon ^ suggests that the story may have been invented by her 
enemies to charge her with the guilt of betraying the Church 
and State to the Western power. In October of the same 
year occurred the revolution that sent Irene into banish- 
ment, and the negotiation necessarily came to an end. 

Thenceforward there were again two Empires, one in 
the West, the other in the East, each styling itself the 
Roman Empire ; the spiritual status of East and West 
continued the same as before, the former being under the 
Patriarch of Constantinople, the latter under the Pope of 
Rome. It need scarcely be said that the revival of the 
Western Empire, effected by the instrumentality of the 
Pope, was of the highest consequence to the Papacy. But 
it accentuated the differences between the two Sees. The 
memory of what Italy had suffered from the Iconoclastic 
Emperors, and the continued retention by the Eastern Patri- 
arch of the provinces which had been severed from Rome, 
rankled in the minds of the Popes ; other causes of difference 
soon arose, and the final separation of the two was only 
a matter of time. 

Irene was succeeded by her rebellious secretary, Niceph- 
orus I. (802 — 811). The new Emperor had little sympathy 
with the Iconolatrists, and was a favourer of the Isaurian 

" IX. 197. 

The Seventh- CEcumenical Council. 359 

dynasty, the traditional opponents of the images. On the 
death of Tarasius, A.D. 806, he appointed a Patriarch named, 
like himself, Nicephorus, and a layman. He forbade him 
from corresponding with the Pope, whom he regarded as 
the Pope of Charlemagne, and therefore his own enemy ; 
and, whilst he granted general toleration to the Iconolatrists, 
he severely persecuted the monks, who opposed the appoint- 
ment of Nicephorus on the ground of his being a layman, 
and a man who had stabled his horses in their monasteries. 
But his reign was troubled by wars abroad and rebellion 
at home. The Caliph Haroun al Raschid {the Just), the 
famous hero of the Arabian Nights, compelled him to sign 
an ignominious treaty on the terms of payment of a large 
annual tribute to the Saracens. In 809, we begin to hear 
of inroads of the Bulgarians, by whom he was, A.D. 811, 
slain in battle, his head being exposed on a spear and 
his skull converted into a drinking-cup, often to be re- 
plenished, says Gibbon ", in their feasts of victory. Staur- 
acius his son, who succeeded him, soon afterwards died 
of a wound which he had received in the same battle. After 
the victory the Bulgarians carried their devastations as far 
as Hadrianople, taking the Bishop and a large number of 
Christians, captive. We shall find this savage nation softened 
before the end of the century by intercourse with the Greeks, 
and converted to Christianity by the Greek Church. The 
next Emperor, Michael I. (812 — 813), Rhangabe, who owed 
his elevation to his marriage with Procopia, the daughter of 
Nicephorus, was a favourer of the images ; he was supposed 
to be too much under the influence of Priests, and a man 
of too peaceful a character to be of service against the 
Bulgarians ; a mutiny occurred amongst the troops, and 
the Emperor was deposed, to end his life in a monastery. 

Leo V. (813—820), the Armenian, for whom his religious 
inconsistency gained the title of Chameleon, was then elected 
Emperor by the soldiers, the friends of the Iconoclasts ; and 
he inflicted such a defeat on the Bulgarians as prevented 

• X. 200. 

360 Chapter X. 

them for fifty years from troubling the Empire. Leo, 
in a Synod of Constantinople, A.D. 815, rescinded the Nicene 
decrees which had been allowed to remain under his two 
predecessors, and ordered pictures and images to be re- 
moved from all the Churches. Nicephorus the Patriarch, 
the opponent of his iconoclastic measures, he caused to be 
deposed and confined in a monastery, in which he died, 
A.D. 828 ; Theodotus, a layman opposed to the images, 
being appointed to succeed him. Leo met with a strenuous 
opponent in Theodore, who had been recalled from exile 
and appointed by Irene Abbot of Studium, where he raised 
the number of monks from twelve to one thousand ; he 
was now again banished to Smyrna. 

A conspiracy was formed against the Emperor, and Leo, 
when on Christmas-day, A.D. 820, he was attending Mass 
in his own Chapel, was, at the time that the Eucharist hymn 
was being sung, assassinated ; he was succeeded by Michael 
(820 — 829), surnamed Balbus, or the Stammerer, a native 
of Amorium in Phrygia. In 821 the new Emperor liberated 
Theodore Studita from banishment. In a letter to Louis 
the Pious, King of France, he advocated the retention of 
images as a means of instruction {pro scripturd), but that 
they should be raised to such a height from the ground 
as to prevent a superstitious reverence being paid to them. 
He proclaimed a toleration for all his subjects, but, by 
refusing to give them a preference which they expected 
over the Iconoclasts, he incurred the wrath of those who, 
since the Council of Nice, must be called the orthodox party. 
One of his opponents was that sturdy champion of ortho- 
doxy, Theodore Studita, who was in consequence again 
sent into banishment, and, after wandering about from place 
to place, died on the island of St. Trypho on November 11, 
826, the day of his death being still commemorated in the 
Greek Church. 

In the reign of Michael the Stammerer, the islands ot 
Crete and Sicily were subdued by the Saracens, whose 
successes at this time were so rapid that, says Gibbon, 

The Seventh (Ecumenical Council. 361 

but for their divisions and the rivalry of the Caliphates, 
Italy must have fallen a prey to the Empire of the Prophet'. 
Michael having died a natural death, the first ruler of the 
Empire for fifty years, says Mr. Oman s, who had done so, 
was succeeded by his son Theophilus (829 — 842), a man of 
learning, and in other respects a just and tolerant Emperor, 
but a bigoted Iconoclast, and almost as cruel a persecutor 
of the orthodox party as Copronymus had been. His 
education he owed to John, who being one of the most 
learned men of the day was styled the Grammarian, like 
himself an Iconoclast, whom he appointed to the Patriar- 
chate of Constantinople (832 — 842). 

On the death of the Emperor Theophilus, the long and 
weary contest between the Iconolatrists and Iconoclasts was 
destined to come to an end in the permanent victory of 
the image-worshippers. His widow, Theodora, who was ap- 
pointed regent during the minority of their son Michael III. 
{842 — 867), a boy three or four years of age when his father 
died, was as enthusiastic in favour of the images as Theo- 
philus had been against them. The character of the new 
Emperor is delineated in the unenviable title which attached 
to him, that of the Drunkard. Theodora at once determined 
to restore the images, and having deposed John, the Icono- 
clast Patriarch of Constantinople, she appointed in his place 
Methodius, a supporter of the orthodox party, from whom 
she obtained for her husband, to whom she had been sin- 
cerely attached, Absolution for his iconoclastic delinquen- 
cies. In 842 she convened a Council at Constantinople, 
in which the decrees of the Second Council of Nice were 
re-afifirmed, and the images restored to the Churches of 
the capital ; and to commemorate the event a solemn 
Festival (^ KvptaKfj rfjs 'Op9oSo^l,a<;), which is still observed 
in the Greek Church, was instituted. The final victory 
being thus obtained, Theodora caused the body of Theodore 
Studita, together with that of the Patriarch Nicephorus, 

f X. 57. ^ story of the Nations, p. 208. 

362 Chapter X. 

and of other Iconolatrists who had been banished for 
their faith, to be translated to the capital. 

Under Theodora, who was not a persecutor of the 
Iconoclasts, a compromise between the two parties was 
effected, and the custom, which has ever since obtained 
in the Greek Church, was adopted. Statues, as bearing 
too great a resemblance to heathen worship, gave -place to 
[cons, and paintings or mosaics became the characteristic of 
the Greek, as opposed to the statues of the Western, Church. 

During the regency of Theodora a violent persecution of 
the unhappy Paulicians occurred. Their heresy was a re- 
action from the accretion, especially in the veneration of 
Saints, of images, and relics, which had grown up around the 
Gospel ; and, so far as they asserted the right of the laity to 
a free use of the Scriptures, they may be regarded as the 
Protestants of the Greek Church, the precursors of the Albi- 
gences in the West. But it was a mutilated and distorted 
Protestantism. The worship, of which Constantine, a native 
of Armenia, is thought to have been the founder, seems to 
have been a revival, with a strict mysticism, of the dualistic 
teaching of the Gnostics, that there are two Gods, one the 
Demiurge, or the God of the Old Testament, the other 
the God whom they worshipped, the God of the New 
Testament and of the spiritual world. 

Constantine is said to have been converted fromManicha;ism 
through means of a copy of the Gospels, and of the Epistles 
of St. Paul, which was put into his hands by a Deacon re- 
turning from captivity under the Saracens in Syria. This 
accounts for their great reverence for St. Paul, from whom 
the sect derived its name ■■, and for their calling themselves 
after his disciples, Constantine being named Silvanus, others, 
Timothy, Titus, Epaphroditus, Tychicus. The two Epistles 
of St. Peter, whom they regarded as the opponent of St. 
Paul, they rejected ; also the Apocalypse, and, like the 
Gnostics, the Old Testament. The charge, brought against 

■■ Others, however, attribute it to Paul, a native of Samaria, in the Fourth 

The Seventh CEcumenical Council. 363 

them by the Greeks of being Manichzeans, they denied, and 
professed the greatest horror of Manes, and of the writings 
of Mauicheeans and kindred sects. The name of Christians 
they exclusively confined to themselves, calling all others 
Romans ; they held heterodox opinions as to the Human 
Nature of Christ, the perpetual Virginity of His Mother, 
^nd rejected the Sacraments. 

From the first they were treated with the greatest cruelty. 
Constantine, their reputed founder, was stoned to death, 
A.D. 684, by order of the Emperor, Constantine Pogonatus. 
Simeon, the official who was sent to execute the judgment, 
himself afterwards, renouncing his civil honours, joined the 
sect of which, assuming the name of Titus, he became the 
leader ; he, too, A.D. 690, under a charge of Manichaeism, 
was burnt by order of Justinian H. That, through their 
opposition to images they should incur the wrath of the 
Iconolatrists is not more than might be expected ; but we 
might expect to find that the Iconoclasts would tolerate 
a sect, which, even if it held erroneous doctrines, was 
opposed, like themselves, to image-worship. Yet, for one 
hundred and fifty years, if we except the short reign ot 
Nicephorus I., they were the victims of every Emperor, 
Iconolatrists and Iconoclasts alike. Their persecution cul- 
minated during the regency of the rigidly orthodox Theo- 
dora, who thought to exterminate the heresy; and under 
her, A.D. 844, many thousand Paulicians in Western Armenia 
are said to have perished under the hand of the executioner. 
Their remnant, revolting from the Eastern Empire, joined 
the Saracens, who welcomed them as allies, and with their 
help they again and again resisted and overcame the Im- 
perial forces, and ravaged the Byzantine provinces. When 
at last the well-disciplined forces of Basil the Macedonian, 
A.D. 871, prevailed, and their political power was annihi- 
lated, they, in alliance with the Saracens, still continued to 
infest the borders of the Empire, and so prepared the way 
for the Turks, and the triumph of the Crescent over the 


The Culminating Schism of the Greek and Roman 

St. Ignatius, Patriarch of Constantinople — The Emperor Michael the 
Drunkard and Caesar Bardas — Ignatius deposed and Photius appointed — 
Both apply to Pope Nicolas I. — The Forged Decretals — Acted upon by 
Nicolas — The Conversion of the Teutonic nations primarily attributable 
to the Greek Church— Ulfilas — The Slavs converted by the Greek Church 
— Cyril and Methodius — Conversion of the Khazars — Of Bulgaria — The 
latter proselytized by Rome but returns to the Greek Church — Conversion 
of Moravia — Of Bohemia — Of Poland — Poland subjected to Rome — Ruric, 
Grand Prince of Russia — Seeds of Christianity sown in Russia — Early 
antagonism between Russia and Constantinople — Photius and Pope Ni- 
colas I. — Four Synods at Constantinople — Photius excommunicated by 
Nicolas — His Encyclical against the Roman See — He excommunicates 
the Pope — Revolution at Constantinople — Photius deposed and Ignatius 
reinstated — Basil the Macedonian, Emperor — Death of Ignatius and re- 
storation of Photius — His restoration ratified by Council of Constantinople, 
which condemns the Filioque Clause — Approval of the Council by Pope 
John VIII. — Deposition and death of Photius — Photius excommunicated 
by nine Popes — Pope Formosus — Leo the Philosopher, and Nicolas 
Mysticus, Patriarch of Constantinople — Patriarchate of Bulgaria — Euty- 
chius, the historian, Patriarch of Alexandria — Theophylact, Patriarch 
of Constantinople— The Emperors Nicephorus Phocas and John Zimisces — 
The Emperor Basil II., Bulgaroktonos— The Ottos, Western Emperors — 
Corrupt state of the Roman Church — Zoe and Theodora, Empresses — 
Leo IX., Pope — Michael Cerularius, Patriarch of Constantinople — His con- 
troversy with Leo — The schism consummated — The difference as to leavened 
or unleavened bread in the Eucharist — Conversion of Russia — Olga — 
Conversion of the Grand Prince Vladimir — The Bishopric of Kiev— Michael 
the Syrian, first Bishop of Kiev — Boris and Gleb, Russian Martyrs — Yaro- 
slav. Grand Prince of Russia — The Russian system of Appanages. 

METHODIUS having held the Patriarchate of Con- 
stantinople for four years, was succeeded by Ignatius 
(846 — 857 ; and again, 867 — 877). Born of an illustrious 
and noble family, his mother Procopia being a daughter 
of the Emperor Nicephorus, and his father Michael Rhang- 
abe, he, in the revolution which dethroned his father, 
had taken refuge from the jealousy of Leo the Armenian 
in a monastery, where he exchanged his name Nicetas for 
the religious name Ignatius, and from whence, being a 

The Culminating Schism. 365 

favourer of the images, and a man of holy character, he 
was summoned by Theodora to assume the Patriarchate. 

On Advent Sunday, A.D. 857, a day on which it was 
customary for high officials to receive the Holy Communion 
from the Patriarch, Ignatius refused to administer it to 
Bardas, the brother of Theodora, a man whose notoriously 
immoral life laid him open to the censures of the Church. 
Bardas had gained a complete ascendency over the mind 
of the Emperor Michael, the Drunkard, which he determined 
to employ for the ruin both of the Patriarch and his pa- 
troness Theodora. He prevailed on the Emperor to consign 
her and her daughters to a monastery, and when Ignatius 
opposed the scheme, he also was sent into banishment to 
the island of Terebinthus. 

Bardas, knowing that the people would resent the de- 
position of so holy and beloved a Patriarch as Ignatius, 
by way of appeasing their indignation, obtained the ap- 
pointment of Photius (857—867, and again, 877—886) to 
the Patriarchate. Photius, like his predecessors Tarasius 
and Nicephorus, was a layman, a scion of a distinguished 
family, chief secretary to the Emperor, and a nephew of the 
late Patriarch Tarasius. He was, moreover, a man of un- 
blemished character, reputed the most learned theologian 
of his time, and, like Ignatius, a favourer of the images. 
He accepted with reluctance the office vacated by the 
deposition of the rightful holder, a man whom he revered, 
and conferred upon him by such unworthy patrons as 
Michael and Bardas. The different Orders of the Ministry 
he received at the hands of Gregory, Archbishop of Syra- 
cuse, who, having been driven from his See by the Saracens, 
happened to be at the time in Constantinople. This was 
a very sore point with Nicolas I., who was in the next 
year appointed Pope of Rome (858-867). Not only had 
Gregory been Bishop of a Diocese which had been taken 
from Rome and conferred on Constantinople by Leo the 
Isaurian, but he was also under the ban of Rome. His 
Consecration, therefore, of Photius was regarded by the 

365 The Culminating Schism 

Pope as an insult to the Papal See, and to the deposition 
of Ignatius, and the Consecration in his place of Photius, 
is to be ascribed the penultimate stage in the schism between 
East and West. 

Ignatius naturally complained of the unjust treatment 
which he had received, and two parties arose in Constanti- 
nople, the followers of Ignatius excommunicating Photius 
as a usurper, and those of Photius, a man of somewhat 
irascible temper, excommunicating the followers of the 
gentler Ignatius. The low debauchee, Michael, laughed 
at both parties ; Ignatius he styled the Patriarch of the 
people, Photius, the Patriarch of Bardas, whilst the Imperial 
buffoon Bardas he styled his own Patriarch. Ignatius, the 
rightful head of the Greek Church, suffering under unjust 
treatment, sought the help of the head of the Western 
Church. Photius announced, as was usual, his election to 
Pope Nicolas, informing him at the same time that the Em- 
peror, Bishops, and Clergy had forced on him, against his own 
will, the unwelcome burden ; he was also desirous of having 
on his side an ally so influential as the Pope of Rome. 

It is necessary to state that, since the time of Charlemagne, 
and the restoration of the Western Empire, the See of Rome 
had received an immense leverage through a forged com- 
pilation, known as the pseudo-Isidore Decretals. It was 
the work of an impostor styling himself Isidorus Mercator % 
purporting to be the work of St. Isidore, Bishop of Seville 
(595 — 636) ; the word peccator {sinner) was a title under 
which Bishops of that time designated themselves, and the 
slip of mercator iov peccator •wz.s in itself sufficient to expose 
the imposture. There was nothing in the early history of 
the Church to warrant the pretensions of the See of Rome, 
or the jurisdiction of the Popes over the other Patriarchs, 
and one object of the document was to make the Pope 
the universal Bishop of the Church. It is now allowed by 
Roman Catholics themselves to be a forgery, but to it the 
Popes for a long time appealed as genuine. 

* The Preface commences " Isidoius Mercator." 

of the Greek and Roman Churches. 367 

In the time of Pope Nicolas I. the imposture had not been 
fully exposed ; but, innocent though he might have been 
of its character, he was the first Pope to receive it as genuine, 
and to act upon it. Under Nicolas the Forged Decretals 
began to do their work, and the full theory of papal claims 
to develope itself; he carried the papal pretensions to a 
greater height than any of his predecessors ; he declared 
the judgment of Rome to be the " Voice of God ; " and he 
took advantage of the Photian schism to impose his au- 
thority on the Sq^ of Constantinople. 

Whilst Rome was, through the generosity of the Pipin 
family, rising to a political, and through it to an ecclesi- 
astical, ascendency, the Greek Church may well claim a great 
spiritual triumph in the conversion of the Slavic nations, 
of which this may be a convenient place to give some 

The conversion of the Teutonic nations to Christianity 
is generally attributed to the Latin Church. But even here 
its meed of praise must not be withheld from the Greek 
Church. Ulfilas, the Apostle of the Goths, was a Greek 
Bishop of Cappadocian descent, and exercised his ministry 
in Mcesia and Dacia, the latter of which countries comprised 
the modern Moldavia and Wallachia. Theophilus, the Bishop 
of the Goths who attended the Council of Nice, A.D. 325, 
was, there is no reason to doubt, an orthodox Bishop, and 
he was the predecessor of, and perhaps ordained, Ulfilas. 
Ulfilas, when he signed the Creed of Rimini, A.D. 359, 
thought himself orthodox, but his orthodoxy was of a vague 
and indistinct character, and when he was on a visit at 
the Court of the Emperor Valens, to induce him to allow 
the Visigoths to pass from Dacia into Roman territory, 
he became confirmed in Arianism. Over both Visigoth? 
and Ostrogoths, Ulfilas exercised an unbounded influence ; 
from the former Arianism passed to the latter, and the 
preference of the Vandals and Burgundians for its doctrines 
was stimulated by their hatred of the Romans. His trans- 
latipn of the Scriptures into their language, the oldest 

368 The Culminating Schism 

Teutonic writing in existence, " the parent, so to speak, 
of all the Teutonic versions of the Scriptures ''," was of the 
highest importance. By Ulfilas the whole Gothic nation 
was converted, but it was to the Arian form of Christianity ; 
and after his death, which occurred at Constantinople, 
A.D. 480, his work was continued by the Latin Church, 
which converted the Teutonic nations from Arianism to 

The Greek Church converted the Slavs from Paganism 
to Orthodoxy. It need scarcely be remarked that the word 
slave imparts to modern minds a very different sense to 
the word from which it has its derivation. " The word slave 
got the sense of bondman because of the great number 
of bond-men of Slavic birth who were at one time spread 
over Europe •=." The word Slav is now universally al- 
lowed to be derived from slovo, and means the man 
who speaks intelligibly, as opposed to the Germans whom 
Russians style neemets, the dumb men. 

The conversion of the Slavs was due to two brothers 
of the Greek Church, Constantine a native of Thessalonica, 
who is better known by his monastic name of Cyril, on 
account of his learning, called the Philosopher, and Me- 
thodius. The first of the Slavic nations converted to 
Christianity were the Khazars, a people dwelling in the 
neighbourhood of the Crimea, the daughter of whose Khan, 
as we have seen, the Emperor Constantine V. took as his 
wife. In A.D. 850, messengers from the Khazars arrived 
at the Court of the Emperor Michael entreating him to send 
some well-instructed {eruditum) missionary amongst them, 
and acGordingly Cyril was chosen, and by his means the 
country was converted to Christianity, and parmanently 
attached to the See of Constantinople. 

The conversion of Bulgaria, about the same time, is due 

to Cyril in connection with his brother Methodius. The 

seeds of Christianity had probably been already sown in the 

country by Bishops and Christians whom the Bulgarians had 

' Stanley's Eastern Church, p. 346. ' Freeman's General Sketch, p. 15. 

of the Greek and Roman Churches. 369 

taken captive in battle at Adrianople. In one of the many 
wars between Bulgaria and the Eastern Empire, the sister 
of the Bulgarian Tsar, Bogoris or Boris, had been taken 
prisoner to Constantinople, where, in her long captivity of 
thirty-eight years, she was fully instructed in the Christian 
faith, the principles of which, after her liberation and return 
to Bulgaria, she succeeded in instilling into the mind of the 
Tsar. At her suggestion Cyril, fresh from the conversion 
of the KhazarSj and Methodius were sent by the Empress- 
regent Theodora yito the country, where they preached 
with such success that Boris was led to favour their teaching. 
The country being visited by a severe famine, the Tsar, 
having first sought in vain the help of the heathen gods, 
determined to invoke the God of the Christians. His 
prayers meeting with the desired result, he, with the chief 
men of his country, received, A.D. 864, Baptism from Photius, 
Patriarch of Constantinople, the Emperor Michael, whose 
name he took in exchange for his own, standing Godfather ; 
the people followed his example, and Photius wrote to the 
royal convert, " his illustrious and beloved son," a letter 
containing the Creed of the Greek Church, with the omis- 
sion of the Filioque Clause. 

Two years afterwards, whether because he feared that 
the influence of the Greek clergy endangered his political 
independence, and in order to weaken it through a Latin 
counterpoise ; or whether because Latin missionaries had 
instilled into his mind, especially in regard to the omission 
of the Filioque, a doubt of Greek orthodoxy ; or perhaps 
because he had in the meantime learnt more thoroughly 
to appreciate the character of his Godfather, Michael the 
Drunkard ; Boris or Michael, as he was now called, seems 
to have had misgivings as to his Greek Baptism, and to 
have applied to Louis the German and to Pope Nicolas 
for Latin instruction. 

The Pope eagerly seized the opportunity for asserting 
the supremacy of his own See, and sent two Bishops, one 
of whom was Formosus, Bishop of Porto, the future Pope, 


•370 . The Culminating Schism 

to preach the Gospel m Bulgaria, with a long letter dwelK 
ing on no less than 106 points condemnatory of the Greek 
teaching, and thus prevailed with the Bulgarians to sever their 
connection with the mother-church of Constantinople, and 
to accept the Roman mission. In answer to the question 
of the Bulgarians as to how many Patriarchs there were, the 
Pope told them there were only three, those of Rome, Alex- 
andria, and Antioch, and of the last two Alexandria was 
chief. The Bishops of Jerusalem and Constantinople, al- 
though called Patriarchs, were not of equal authority with 
the others ; Constantinople was not of Apostolical founda- 
tion, nor recognized by the greatest of the councils, that 
of Nice, and its Bishop was only called a Patriarch, because 
it was New Rome, by royal favour. 

As to the addition of the Filioque to the Creed, he omitted 
to tell them that it did not occur in the Nicene Creed ; nor 
did he tell them, that the See of Constantinople was not 
recognized by the Council for the reason that Constantinople 
did not then exist. Nicolas was here, as Mr. Ffoulkes, once 
a member of the Roman Catholic Church, mentions ^, strain- 
ing a point against a rival, and arguing as one Patriarch 
in opposition to another. The Bulgarians were so charmed 
with the last speaker, , the missioner Formosus, that they 
accepted the Latin Church, expelling the Greek clergy and 
other foreigners from their dominions, and requested that 
Formosus might be consecrated as Archbishop of Bulgaria ; 
Formosus, however, was not a persona grata at Rome, and 
the request was refused by the Pope. 

The Emperor, Patriarch, and people of Constantinople 
were all as one man in holding that Bulgaria, since it was 
indebted for its conversion to Constantinople, owed allegi- 
ance to that See and not to Rome. The Bulgarian Tsar; 
Michael,- being perhaps disappointed with the refusal of 
Nicolas to raise Bulgaria to the rank of a Metropolitan 
See, sent to the Eastern Emperor requesting that a Council 
might be held to decide to which Patriarchate Bulgaria 
:••-■ '' Christendom's Divisions, Part II. II. 

of the Greek and Roman Churches. 37 f 

belonged. The matter was accordingly brought before the 
Council of 869, and settled, under the protest of the Papal 
legates, in favour of Constantinople. The Bulgarians there- 
upon threw off their short allegiance to Rome and returned 
to the Greek Church ; Ignatius, when he was restored to the 
Patriarchate of Constantinople, sent a Greek Archbishop 
and Greek Priests into Bulgaria, and the Roman clergy- 
were in their turn driven out of the country. In vain 
Pope John VIII. (872 — 882) remonstrated with the Tsar 
of Bulgaria, wanning him not to follow the Greeks, who 
were filled with heresy and sure to contaminate his- people. 
In vain he threatened Ignatius that, unless within thirty 
days the Greek clergy and Bishops should quit Bulgaria, 
he would be excommunicated, and if he remained obdurate' 
would be deprived of the Patriarchate" which you owe to 
our favour." Ignatius died on October 23, 877, before the 
threat was fulminated, and the Pope had to deal with 
Photius, a Patriarch as determined as he was himself. 
Constantinople thus gained the victory, but the sore rankled 
in the mind of the Popes, for Bulgaria was within the area 
that had once been subject to the Archbishop of Thessa- 
lonica, and therefore within the Roman Patriarchate ; and 
this was a further cause which led to the final schism. 

About the same time as Bulgaria, Moravia received the 
Gospel through Cyril and Methodius. 

The two Apostles of the Slavs, soon after the middle 
of the Ninth Century, had, for the use of the people 
in their native town of Thessalonica, translated passages 
from the Gospels, Acts, and Epistles. News of this trans- 
lation into their own tongue seems to have reached the 
Slavs of Moravia ; and, a.d. 863, at the request of the 
Grand Duke Vratislav, who had lately freed the country 
from the Franks, the Emperor Michael, acting by the advice 
of Photius, sent the tv^ brothers as missionaries into Moravia. 
Through the translation of the Bible, and by preaching to the 
people and conducting services in their own language, whilst 
the Latins used in their services the Latin language, they 

B b 2 

372 The Culminating Schism 

soon won the people to the Greek Church. The opposition 
of the Latin clergy to the use of the Slavic language in- 
duced the missionaries to consult the Pope, and they 
accordingly accepted the invitation of Pope Nicolas I. 
to visit him at Rome. The two brothers are said to have 
conveyed with them to Rome the relics of St. Clement, 
which were then buried in the Church of San Clemente. On 
their arrival they found that Pope Nicolas was dead, but 
they met with an honourable reception from his successor, 
Hadrian II., who conceded to them the use of the Slavic 
Liturgy. At Rome, Cyril took the cowl of a monk, and 
there died, A.D. 869. 

After the death of Cyril, Methodius continued the 
translation of the Bible, and according to the witness 
of a contemporary, translated all the Canonical Books 
out of the Greek language, and thus completed the first 
Slavic Bible ^. At Rome he was consecrated Archbishop of 
Moravia and Pannonia, and in that capacity re-entered on 
his labours. Having again, through his use of the Slavic 
language in Moravia, where a German mission from Saltz- 
burg had lately been settled, incurred the wrath of the 
German Bishops, he was on this ground, and on that of 
the Greek doctrine of the Procession of the Holy Ghost, 
accused, in 880, of heresy to Pope John VIII., the successor 
of Hadrian. Presenting himself before the Pope at Rome, 
he again established his orthodoxy and was confirmed in 
his Archiepiscopal rights, with permission to use the Slavic 
language in the services of the Church, the Pope declaring 
that God had made other languages besides the Hebrew, 
the Greek and the Latin ; but on the condition that the 
Gospel and Epistle should first be read in Latin and 
afterwards in Slavic. 

A serious misunderstanding, however, arose between him 

and the Moravian Duke Sviatopolk, tlie successor of Vra- 

tislav, and persecution from the German clergy, who found 

a supporter in Pope Stephen V., followed him to his death, 

* See Church Quarterly Review, October, 1895. 

of the Greek and Roman Churches. 373 

A.D. 885. After his death, under a general persecution of 
the Slavic Priests, the Metropolitan See of Moravia was 
kept vacant for 14 years, until it was restored in 899 by 
Pope John IX. In 908 the Moravian Kingdom was over- 
thrown by the Bohemians and Magyars, and the followers 
of Methodius fled from the country to Bulgaria ; and when 
the Church of Moravia again appears on the page of history 
it was subject to the Bishops of Bohemia. The Magyars 
or Hungarians, it may here be mentioned, were first con- 
verted to Christianity, in the middle of the Tenth Century, 
from Constantinople; but the connection with the Greek 
Church was soon broken off in favour of Latin Chris- 

The Czechs or Bohemians owed their Christianity to their 
political connection with Moravia. Vratislav's nephew and 
successor, Sviatopolk (870 — 894), married in 871 a sister 
of the Bohemian Prince Borsivoi, afterwards the sainted 
Ludmila, and they both in the same year received Baptism 
from Methodius. But in spite of the pious efforts of Lud- 
mila and those of her two sons, who became Princes of 
Bohemia, one the bearer of a name even less euphonious 
than his father's, Spytihnev, who died A.D. 912, the other, 
Vratislav, who died in 928, heathenism held its own ih 
Bohemia. Ludmila, who outlived them both, took especial 
care in the education of her grandson, Wenzeslaus, a Prince 
who inherited her saintliness ; and in his reign (928 — 936) 
Churches were built in every city in the realm, and the 
Gospel was firmly established in Bohemia. TKe peaceable 
disposition of Wenzeslaus was little suited to cope with 
the fierce barbarian nobles, and he was killed in a con- 
spiracy headed by his pagan brother Boleslav, surnamed 
the Cruel ; but he remained the object of veneration to 
the people, and became the titular Saint of Bohemia. Under 
Boleslav the Cruel and his successor, Boleslav the Pious 
(967 — 999), Christianity underwent several vicissitudes, till 
the Bohemian Church was organized under a Bishopric 
at Prague, founded about A.D. 970. The people long con- 

J74 • The Culminating Schism 

finued to adhere to their Slavic ritual, notwithstanding the? 
opposition of the German clergy, who always tried to 
abolish it. The latter were at last successful, one of the 
conditions imposed by Pope John XIII., when the Bishopric 
of Prague was founded, being, that the service should be 
conducted " non secundum ritus aut sectas Bulgarise gentes, 
vel Russise, vel Slavonise linguae," but according to the 
Latin Ritual. 

The Germans continued to persecute the deceased Metho- 
dius, and the Roman Church seems strangely to have 
confounded the Slavs with the Arian Goths. It speaks 
of " Gothicas literas a quodam Methodic haeretico inventas," 
and Methodius is spoken of as having been " divino judicio, 
repentini morte damnatus." When the Slavs, after a Synod, 
appealed to Pope Alexander II. (1061 — 1073) for the repeal 
of the obnoxious disavowal of their language, they were 
told that it could not be granted "propter Arianos hujus- 
modi literaturae inventores." Still the struggle for their 
Slavic service continued between the Slavs and Latins, and 
in 1080 Gregory VII. (Hildebrand) wrote a violent letter 
to Vratislav, Duke of Bohemia, and utterly prohibited its 
use. In some parts of Bohemia, however, the vernacular 
language held its ground, and one convent in Prague con- 
tinues to use it in the present day'. The Wends, another 
Slavic nation, were converted, partially at the end of the 
Tenth Century, and completely in the middle of the Twelfth 
Century, by German settlers. 

From Bohemia Christianity spread amongst the kindred 
tribes of Poland. Poland passes from the domain of legend 
into that of history in the reign of its Duke, Mieczyslav I. 
(962 — 992). In order to obtain in marriage the hand of 
Dambrowka, daughter of Boleslav, Duke of Bohemia, he 
was, A.D..965, induced to abandon Paganism and embrace 
Christianity ; and many of his courtiers followed his example. 
But his compulsory suppression of Paganism, and enforce- 
ment, under- the guidance of Adalbert, Archbishop of Prague,. 

■ " '- - '"-'; ' ' ■' Giesler, li. p; 458. 

of the Greek and Roman Churches. 3"/^ 

bf the Canons of the Christian Church on an uninsfructed 
people, met with such an obstinate resistance, that Christianity 
for some time made little progress. So long as Poland was 
a mere fief of the German Empire, it had a single Bishopric 
of Posen. The Emperor, Otto III., A.D. 1000, freed its Church 
from the jurisdiction of Magdeburg, and gave it an Archiepis-. 
copal See of its own, and made Poland an independent King- • 
dom. But for some time such a state of anarchy prevailed as 
threatened the very existence of Christianity. In the reign 
of Casimir I. (1034 — 1058), who, from being a monk in 
a Benedictine Monastery, was raised to the throne, an 
impulse was given to Christianity, and the Church gained 
a firm footing. But Casimir swept away whatever traces re- 
mained of Greek Christianity, and Poland was brought 
into subjection to the See of Rome. 

Thus of the two great Slavic nations, Poland and Russia, 
which for centuries were engaged in a death-struggle, not 
only for political but Ecclesiastical ascendency, the former 
belonged to the Latin Church, The conversion of Russia 
to Christianity is wholly attributable to the Greek Church. 
At the time when the Roman Church had fallen to its 
deepest degradation, and the Papacy was the prey of 
profligacy and wickedness, then it was that the Eastern 
Church gave birth to its mightiest progeny. 

Photius, the Patriarch of Constantinople, writing, A.D. 866, 
against the pretensions of Rome, speaks of the conversion 
of Russia by Eastern missionaries as an accomplished fact. 
During his Patriarchate, and in the reign of Basil the Mace-- 
donian, the seeds of Christianity were first sown in Russia. 
In A.D. 862, when the land was harassed by enemies on 
its frontiers as well as by a band of Scandinavian pirates 
at sea, Ruric, the chieftain of the band, was invited into 
Russia by the inhabitants of Novgorod to establish order 
and assume the government. " Our land is large and rich," 
he was told, " but in it there is no order ; do thou come and 
rule over us." Ruric thereupon assumed the rank of Grand 
Prince, making Novgorod his capital ; thus he was the--' 

3/6 The Culminating Schism 

founder of the Russian monarchy, and from him dates 
the commencement which developed into the great Russian 
Empire. The word Novgorod signifies New Town, rfnd 
implies the existence of the older Town, Kiev, on the 
Dnieper, which Askold and Dir, two of Ruric's companions, 
proceeding southwards, conquered. 

Before long the new Russian power entered into com- 
mercial relations with Constantinople, and began at once 
to cast longing eyes on its wealth ; and, in 866, a naval 
expedition under Askold and Dir sailed down the Dnieper 
and appeared under the very walls of Constantinople. Thus 
early did the antagonism between Russia and Constanti- 
nople commence. Tradition relates how that the capital 
was only saved by a miracle, how the alarmed citizens were 
relieved from their fears by the action of the Patriarch, 
probably Photius, throwing the robes of the Mother of 
God into the sea. Suddenly a storm arose, in which the 
vessels of the heathen were wrecked ; the victory was as- 
cribed to the Mother of God, and the two leaders, Askold 
and Dir, struck with awe, recognizing the hand of God, 
became the first-fruits of Christianity to the Russian people. 
After their return home, they sowed the seeds of Christianity 
in Kiev ; there a Christian Church was built and a Bishop 
sent b)' Ignatius, then Patriarch of Constantinople ; and 
Christianity, if it did not at that time take deep root in 
the country, yet, probably kept alive through the Russian 
merchants in their commercial relations with Constantinople, 
never afterwards died out. 

We must now revert to the contest between the Patriarch 
Photius and the Pope of Rome. Photius had, as we have 
seen, announced his election to Pope Nicolas. The Emperor 
also wrote to the Pope requesting him to send legates to 
Constantinople to assist him in the task of restoring union 
and discipline. Nicolas seized the opportunity to judge, 
and, as he thought, humble, his rival Patriarch, and on re- 
ceiving the letter he entered into a correspondence with 
the Emperor Michael. He began by demanding the restor- 

of the Greek and Roman Churches, 27? 

ation of the provinces of which the Papacy had been de- 
prived by Leo the Isaurian, and that the Archbishop of 
Syracuse should receive Consecration from Rome. He pro- 
tested against the deposition of Ignatius without the Pope 
being consulted ; and at the same time wrote to Photius 
that his legates would enquire into, and report to him, as to 
the validity of his hurried Ordination. 

Of the Pope's request with regard to the restoration of 
the provinces the Emperor took no notice ; but, indignant 
at the tone of tjje letters of the Pope, he treated his legates 
as insubordinate subjects, and for a time imprisoned them. 
Four important Synods between this time and A.D. 879 were 
held at Constantinople. The first was summoned by the 
Emperor in 862, and Ignatius was advised by the Pope 
to attend. Nicolas was represented by his two legates, 
Rodvald, Bishop of Porto, and Zacharias, Bishop of Anagni ; 
the Council was attended by three hundred and eighteen 
Bishops, the same number which was present at the First 
Council of Nice. The legates were told, amongst other 
instructions, to deal with the matter of the Images. It was 
afterwards said at Rome that the legates were bribed. 
The Synod confirmed the deposition of Ignatius, the Papal 
legates acquiescing in the sentence, but, by way of propitiating 
the Pope, condemned Iconoclasm. Ignatius, cruelly beaten 
and rendered, by his long sufferings and starvation, uncon- 
scious of what he did, traced the sign of the Cross in 
subscription of his own condemnation ; and Photius was 
confirmed in the Patriarchate. 

A terrible earthquake, for forty days together after the 
Council devastating Constantinople, alarmed the Emperor 
and Bardas, the terrified citizens accounting it a just re- 
tribution for the persecution of Ignatius. Ignatius in con- 
sequence obtained his liberty, and drew up a petition to the 
Pope, which, after it was signed by ten Metropolitans, fifteen 
Bishops, and a large number of Priests and monks, was 
conveyed to Rome by Theognostes, an Abbot of Constanti- 

378" The Culminating Schism 

The acts of the late Council were also sent to the Pope, 
together with a long letter from Photius, who wrote as the 
Pope's equals ignored the Forged Decretals, and defended 
his appointment to the See of Constantinople by the similar 
cases of some of his own predecessors, as well as by that 
of St. Ambrose, the famous Bishop of Milan. 

The Pope, after the return of the legates and the receipt 
of the letter of Photius, disowned the part they had taken 
in the Council, and declared that he had given no in- 
structions for the deposition of Ignatius or for the ap- 
pointment of Photius. In letters to the Emperor and 
Photius he took the highest ground ever yet taken by 
a Pope, declared Ignatius to be the rightful Patriarch of 
Constantinople, and the appointment of Photius, whom he 
addressed as a layman, to be uncanonical. In a Synod 
at Rome, A.D. 862, he declared Photius deposed, annulled 
his Orders, and threatened him with excommunication. He 
sent a third letter addressed to the Patriarchs of Alexandria, 
Antioch, and Jerusalem, and to their Metropolitans and 
Bishops, condemning the action of the legates, and com- 
manding them by the Apostolical authority to agree with 
him with regard to Ignatius and Photius. 

In a second Council at Rome, in the following year, 
Nicolas excommunicated his own legates for the part they 
had taken in the late Council, and pronounced anathemas 
against Photius and his Consecrator, Gregory, and restored 
Ignatius ; " We, through the power committed to us by our 
Lord through St. Peter, restore our brother Ignatius to 
the See and all the honours of the Patriarchate." 

The Emperor and Photius treated the anathema with 
indifference, and Photius continued to hold the See. The 
former wrote a violent letter to the Pope, stating that when 
he invited him to send legates to the Council of Constanti- 
nople, he had never intended to admit him as a judge in 
the affairs of the Eastern Church ; he threw in his teeth 
his ignorance of the Greek language, and spoke of the 
Latin language, in which the Pope wrote, as a "barbarous, 

of the Greek and Roman Churches. 379 

jargon." The Pope sent his reply in 866, by the same 
messenger, and charged the Emperor with disrespect to 
God's Church, and to himself who derived his authority 
from St. Peter. He advised him to cease calling himself 
Emperor of the Romans, and warned him of the fate ot 
former Emperors, Nero, Diocletian, and Constantius, who 
had persecuted the Church. 

In 866 Caesar Bardas was, at the instigation of the 
Emperor, assassinated on the charge of conspiring against 
the throne. 


The ill-feeling which the Pope's action caused at Con- 
stantinople was increased through the Bulgarians, at this 
time, breaking away from the Eastern and joining the 
Western Church. In the second of the Councils held at 
Constantinople, A.D. 867, Photius drew up a famous En- 
cyclical containing eight articles against the See of Rome ; 
(i) the observance of Saturday as a Fast; (2) the partaking 
of milk and cheese during Lent ; (3) the enforced celibacy 
of the clergy ; (4) the restriction of Chrism to Bishops ; 
(5) the double Procession of the Holy Ghost ; (6) the pro- 
motion of Deacons to the Episcopate ; (7) the Consecration 
of a Lamb according to the Jewish custom ; (8) the shaving 
of their beards by the clergy. A sentence of excommunica- 
tion was pronounced against the Pope, and its decrees were 
signed by the Caesar, Basil the Macedonian, whom the 
Emperor had admitted as his colleague, the three Eastern 
Patriarchs, and nearly one thousand Bishops and Abbots. 

So long as Photius enjoyed the favour of the Court he was 
safe. But in the same year in which the Council was held, 
a revolution occurred in the Palace at Constantinople, fol- 
lowed by a revolution in the Church. Basil, the Mace- 
donian, is said to have been originally the Emperor's groom, 
who, through his practical ability, had risen to the post of 
Chamberlain, and, after the execution of Bardas, was invested 
with the Imperial title. His antecedents had been far from 
respectable, and he had been the friend and companion of 
the Emperor in his drunken bouts and revels. But after the 

380 The Culminating Schism 

death of Bardas, the profligacy and intemperance of Michael' 
reached such a height that even Basil had endeavoured in 
some measure to restrain his debaucheries. Unwilling to 
submit to the restraint, Michael, when in a fit of intoxication, 
gave orders for the assassination of his colleague, and Basil, 
feeling that it was with him a matter of life or death, com- 
passed his murder. With Michael ended the Isaurian 
dynasty ; Basil became sole Emperor (867 — 886), and the 
founder of the Macedonian, the longest and most important, 
dynasty of the Eastern Empire. 

Basil I. (the Macedonian) showed himself as arbitrary in 
the treatment of the Eastern Church, as Michael and Bardas 
had been in the deposition of Ignatius. Photius did not 
hesitate to condemn the execution of Bardas and the murder 
of Michael ; he was in consequence deposed, and Ignatius 
reinstated in the Patriarchate. Pope Nicolas died in the 
same year and was succeeded by Hadrian II. (867 — 872), 
who in a Council at Rome, in the year of his election, con- 
firmed the deposition of Photius, annulling the Orders 
conferred by him, and requested Basil to confirm the de- 
cision of the Roman Council by a Council at Constan- 

The Emperor, who was now in accord with the Pope, 
summoned to Constantinople, A.D. 869, the third of the 
Councils above alluded to. Two Roman Bishops attended 
as representatives of the Pope ; the Patriarchs of Alex- 
andria, Antioch, and Jerusalem sent their representatives; 
everything, as might be expected, was decided in favour of 
the Emperor and the Pope ; the restoration of Ignatius was 
confirmed, Photius anathematized and degraded, and his 
Ordinations annulled ; the sentence of condemnation being 
written in the Sacramental Wine. Thus the victory of 
Rome was for a time consummated, and this Council, al- 
though, owing to the absence of a large party of Bishops who 
adhered to Photius, it was attended only by one hundred 
and two Bishops, the Roman Church calls the Eighth 
General Council. 

of the Greek and Roman Churches. 381 

The Pope, relying on the compliancy of Basil, thought 
the time favourable for the recovery of the provinces alien- 
ated by Leo III., and for the confirmation of his supremacy 
over the Bulgarian Church. But Bulgaria had now returned 
to its first allegiance to the Patriarch of Constantinople, and 
Ignatius, no less than Photius before him, the Emperor, and 
the Greek Church generally, were alike opposed to the Papal 

Photius now being in his turn in exile, where for several 
years he languished without company and without books, 
Ignatius was, till his death on Oct. 23rd, A.D. 877,. left in 
pe<iceful possession of the Patriarchate. Notwithstanding the 
posthumous maledictions pronounced against him by Pope 
John VIII. (872 — 882), Ignatius is Canonized by the Roman 

The majority of the Eastern Bishops were in favour of 
the restoration of Photius, and Basil, who had formerly 
entrusted to him the education of his sons, now finding that 
it was the only means of restoring unity to the Eastern 
Church, recalled him to the Patriarchate. Italy being at 
this time much threatened by the Saracens, Pope John VIII. 
had reason for obliging the Emperor, and he approved his 
restoration. He wrote to Photius condemning in the 
strongest language the addition of the Filioque to the Creed ; 
*' Non solum hoc non dicimus, sed etiam eos, quo principio 
hoc dicere sud insanid ausi sunt, quasi transgressores Divini 
verbi condevtnamus, siciit theologies Christi Domini eversores, 
et Apostolorum et reliquorum. sanctorum. Patrum, qui synodice 
convenientes sanctum symbolum nobis tradiderunt ^." 

Photius, being under excommunication by the previous 
Council, another Council was necessary to exonerate him. 
The fourth of the Synods of Constantinople sat from 
November, 879, to March, 880. It was attended by three 
hundred and eighteen Bishops, by two legates sent by Pope 
John, by representatives of the other Patriarchs, and was 
presided over by Photius. Photius successfully defended his 

s Labb. Concil. 

5 82 The Cubninatinsr Schism 


position ; the Council confirmed his restoration ; the Papal 
legates ratified all that Basil and Photius demanded, and 
joined in anathematizing the previous Council. The Roman 
claims on Bulgaria were remanded to the Emperor. The 
addition of the Filioque clause was, with the consent of 
the legates, condemned, and if any should dare to tamper 
with the Creed, deprivation in the case of clergy, excom- 
munication in that of lay people, was to be the punishment. 
Pope John at the time acquiesced in the decision of the 
Council ; " The Pope acknowledged the usurper, the monster 
of wickedness, the persecutor, the heretic, him who had 
desired to assert the co-equality, the supremacy, of Con- 
stantinople, as the legitimate Patriarch '^." 

Photius did not long enjoy the Patriarchal dignity. 
Basil was succeeded by his son, Leo VI. (886 — 912), who 
was dignified by the title of Philosopher. Photius was 
again ejected, not on Ecclesiastical grounds, but in order 
that the Emperor might appoint his own brother, Stephen, 
a youth eighteen years of age, who had been a pupil of 
Photius. John VIII. having met a violent death at the hands 
of assassins, Stephen V., after the short Pontificates of Ma- 
rinus I. and Hadrian III., was elected Pope (885 — 891). 
To sanction his unrighteous proceeding, the Emperor Leo 
wrote to Stephen through Stylianus, Archbishop of Neo- 
Caesarea, addressing him as "■ sanctissimo et beatissimo 
Stephana" and giving him the title, which previously be- 
longed to the Patriarchs of Constantinople, " oecumenico 
Papa" The result was that Stephen remained Patriarch 
of Contantinople. Pope Stephen V. was succeeded by the 
unhappy Formosus (891 — 896), who, notwithstanding that 
he had been, when Bishop of Porto, excommunicated by 
John VIII., was elected Pope. His election to the Papacy 
was in direct opposition to the Canon of the Great Nicene 
Council which forbade the translation of Bishops. Yet we 
find him, although Photius had been undoubtedly Conse- 

i" Milman's Latin Christianity, II. 357. 

of the Greek and Roman Churches. 383 

crated by a Bishop, who, even. if no longer Archbishop of 
Syracuse, was a real Bishop, and although he had been 
distinctly recognized by John VIII., insisting that clergy 
ordained by Photius should only be admitted to Communion 
as laymen. 

It is evident that in the eyes of the Pope the grievance 
was, not the translation of Photius, but his Consecration 
by the Archbishop of Syracuse. Formosus paid dearly for 
what, we fear, must be called this act of hypocrisy. For- 
mosus is said tcwhave been the first Pope who was translated 
from another See to the Papacy. His immediate successor, 
Boniface VI., was a man of such profligate character that 
Baronius does not acknowledge him as a Pope. The next 
Pope, Stephen VI. (896—897), a man of equally profligate 
character, declared Formosus to have been no Pope at all ; 
rescinded in a Synod all his Ordinations, and exhumed him 
from the grave ; and after having cut off the three fingers 
used in benediction, caused his mutilated body to be cast 
into the Tiber. John IX. (898 — 900), rescinded in a Synod 
all the decrees against Formosus ; so that one Pope in 
Synod condemned Formosus and his Ordinations, and 
another Pope in Synod cleared his memory. 

Photius, the most learned man of his time, died, A.D. 891, 
in exile in a convent. He was excommunicated, says 
Finlay, by nine Popes of Rome ; what kind of men some 
of those Popes were, we have seen ; and no man, even to 
the present day, has been the subject of more unfounded 
accusations from the Roman Church than Photius. It is 
pleasant to find that, in all the vicissitudes of their fortunes; 
neither Ignatius nor Photius lost their esteem for each other. 
By the death of Photius, the schism of more than 30 years' 
standing was apparently healed ; between that great Patri- 
arch and the accession of Michael Cerularius, A.D. 1043, 
the next Patriarch of whom there is much of importance 
to be related, seventeen Patriarchs of Constantinople and 
thirty-seven Popes of Rome intervened, between whom 
iininterrupted, if not sincere, Communion was kept up. 

384 The Culminating Schism 

At the commencement of the next century a breach 
between Church and State, which led to a schism at 
Constantinople, occurred, owing to a fourth marriage 
contracted, A.D. 901, by Leo the Philosopher with his 
concubine Zoe. Although under him a law condemning 
third marriages, had been passed, he himself took a fourth 
wife. The Patriarch Nicolas Mysticus had in the Cathedral 
of St. Sophia baptized with the ceremonial of a legitimate 
Prince his illegitimate son by Zoe, the future Emperor, 
Constantine VII., on the promise of the Emperor that he 
would separate from her ; notwithstanding which, he after- 
wards married her. The Patriarch Nicolas refusing, as con- 
trary to the laws of the Greek Church, to celebrate the 
marriage, and degrading the Priest who performed the cere- 
mony, Leo drove him into exile, and appointed in his place 
Euthemius, who approved the marriage on the ground of 
expediency. Thus the Church of Constantinople was split 
up into two factions. A Synod at Constantinople, in 906, 
sanctioned the marriage and confirmed the banishment of 
Nicolas ; that the Emperor obtained a dispensation from 
the infamous Pope Sergius III. is without foundation. 

Leo VI. was succeeded by his son Constantine VII., 
Porphyrogenitus (912 — 958), a boy seven years of age, at 
first under the guardianship of his father's brother, Alexander, 
who reigned as Emperor-regent (912 — 913). Alexander re- 
instated Nicolas, and Euthemius was banished. No sooner, 
however, was Nicolas reinstated than, following the servile 
spirit, too often observable in Eastern Patriarchs, of modelling 
their consciences on the wills of the Emperors, he recognized 
the action of Euthemius with regard to the fourth marriage 
of Leo, as done to avoid scandal to the Church. 

After the death of Alexander the regency remained under 
the Emperor's mother, Zoe, a woman of frivolous character, 
whose consequent unpopularity led to the appointment of 
Romanus I. (Lecapenus), as joint Emperor (919 — 944), 
and he was crowned by the restored Patriarch, Nicolas. 
A Synod of Constantinople under Romanus condemned the 

of the Greek and Roman Churches. 385 

Synod of 906, and pronounced a fourth marriage to be un- 

Though the Bulgarians continued to follow the doctrine 
and ritual of the Greek Church, the Tsar Simon, the son and 
successor of Boris or Michael, determined to have a Patri- 
arch of his own. Having, A.D. 923, conquered Romanus in 
battle, he stipulated, in the terms of treaty, for the ac- 
knowledgment of Bulgaria as a separate Patriarchate, and 
that the Patriarch should be placed on a level with the 
Patriarch of Ccgistantinople j nor when, A.D. 970, the 
Emperor John Zimisces conquered Bulgaria, could he, or 
his successors, annihilate the ecclesiastical independence of 

On the death, A.D. 925, of the Patriarch Nicolas, Ste- 
phen, a eunuch, was translated from the Archbishopric 
of Amasia to succeed him ; and he, after a Patriarchate of 
three years, was succeeded by Tryphon, who held the Patri- 
archate as locum tenens for Theophylact, a youth sixteen 
years of age, the son of the Emperor Romanus. The 
election of Theophylact received the confirmation of Pope 
John XI. (931 — 936), the son of the infamous Sergius III., 
whom Baronius styles an apostate rather than an Apostle. 
With Pope Sergius the so-called Roman Pornocracy com- 
menced, and, in 933, Theophylact was Consecrated Patri- 
arch of Constantinople by his equally infamous son, John 
XI. That a profligate Patriarch like Theophylact sought, 
and a Pope of Rome of the character of John XI. seized 
the opportunity of conferring on him, the Pall, is only men- 
tioned to be dismissed with scorn. 

In the same year as Theophylact, Eutychius, the his- 
torian, or rather annalist, of the Alexandrine Church, was 
Consecrated Patriarch of Alexandria. We have before ' 
had occasion to quote his authority as to the mode of 
election to the Alexandrine Episcopate ; his history was 
highly thought of in his day, and to him the Church is in- 
debted for almost all of the little that is known of the 

p. 113. 
c c 

386 The Culminating Schism 

Orthodox Church in Egypt J. He is often adduced by 
Presbyterians as a staple authority for their form of Church 
government ; nor can his testimony be dismissed on the 
sole ground of its lateness, for similar testimony is afforded 
by St. Jerome (345 — 420). Objections to Episcopacy have, 
we think, been satisfactorily refuted ; but such passages as 
those adduced from Jerome and Eutychius teach at least 
one lesson, viz., to be charitable in dealing with those who 
differ from us, and who believe their opinions to be as 
scriptural (for on the Bible the test of every doctrine must 
be grounded), as we do our own. 

Theophylact, the Patriarch, lived, says Finlay, like a de- 
bauched young Prince ; spent his time in hunting, sold ec- 
clesiastical preferments to raise money for his pleasures, 
defiled St. Sophia with profane songs and indecent cere- 
monies, and converted its services into musical festivities. 
Whilst celebrating Mass in the Cathedral, a page brought 
him word that his favourite mare had foaled ; the young 
Patriarch abruptly ended the service, and, throwing off his 
Ecclesiastical vestments, rushed from the Cathedral, and 
when he found that all was going on favourably, returned 
thither to join the procession. After a Patriarchate of 
twenty-five years he was killed, A.D. 956, by the accident 
of his horse dashing him against a wall ; and was suc- 
ceeded by Polyeuktes. 

The Emperor Constantine was succeeded by his son 
Romanus II. (959 — 963), whose wife Theophano, a beau- 
tiful woman of low birth, was the object of many serious 
accusations, and amongst other crimes was accused of 
poisoning her husband. Romanus dying unexpectedly at 
the early age of twenty-four, left two young sons by Theo- 
phano, both of whom became Emperors, Basil II. (963 — 
1025), known as Bulgaroktonos, or Slayer of the Bulgarians, 
and Constantine VIII. (1025 — 1028) ; as well as two daugh- 
ters, Theophano, who became the wife of the Western 

J Neale's Alexandria, II. 182. 

of the Greek and Roman Churches, 387 

Emperor, Otto II., and Anne, the wife of Vladimir, Grand 
Prince of Russia. 

Basil, who at the time of his accession was seven years 
of age, had, for the first twelve years of his reign, for his 
colleague, first, Nicephorus Phocas (963—969), and then 
John Zimisces (969 — 976) ; after whose deaths he was sole 
Emperor till his death, A.D. 1025. During the period be- 
tween his accession and his death, the Eastern Empire 
reached its greatest height of power since the division of the 
Empire, and gained back many of the provinces which 
had been lost to the Saracens. 

Though the Mahometan power had been considerably 
weakened by the division of the Bagdad and Cordova Ca- 
liphates, yet in the Ninth Century the four greatest powers 
of the world continued to be the Eastern and Western 
Roman Empires, and the Caliphates of Bagdad and Cor- 
dova, During that century the Saracens continued their 
conquests, and, A.D. 823, during the reign of Michael the 
Stammerer, took from the Greeks the islands of Sicily and 
Crete. But they became further weakened by continued 
divisions, and the rise of new Mahometan powers and 
Emirates, owning little more than a nominal allegiance 
to their Caliph, so that they could no longer meet the 
Emperors on equal terms ; and the Eastern Empire availed 
itself of the weakened state of the Caliphate of Bagdad, 
to recover many of its lost provinces. This was affected 
by the three Emperors, Nicephorus Phocas, John Zimisces, 
and Basil II. 

Nicephorus Phocas, through his second marriage with 
Theophano, the widow of the Emperor Romanus, became 
the guardian of his two sons, Basil and Constantine. Ni- 
cephorus, says Gibbon ^, had " the double merit of a hero 
and a saint ; " but he adds that his religion, his hair cloth 
next to his skin, his fasts and his almsgiving, were a cloak 
to his ambition by which he imposed upon the holy Patri- 
arch. The opinion of the historian does not appear to 

" IX. 68. 
c c 2 

388 The Culminating Schism . 

be borne out by facts. Polyeuktes, after he had performed 
the ceremony of his marriage with Theophano, had occasion 
to prohibit Nicephorus from entering the Cathedral of St. 
Sophia. The reason for the prohibition is differently 
given. According to one account Nicephorus refused to 
submit to the penance which the Greek Church imposes 
on second marriages ; according to another, and more pro- 
bable account, it was on the ground of a rumour that he 
was Godfather to one of the children of his wife ; and 
when the rumour was dissipated by the denial of the Priest 
who had administered the Baptism, the prohibition was 

Nicephorus had already, in the reign of Romanus II., 
distinguished himself as a General by recovering from the 
Saracens, A.D. 961, Crete, and taking its Emir captive to 
Constantinople ; and in the following year, Hierapolis and 
Aleppo, the latter of which cities was the capital of another 
Emir. After he himself became Emperor he continued 
his conquests, by taking, in 965, Cyprus ; in 968 he in- 
vaded Syria and recovered Antioch (which had been in the 
hands of the Saracens for three hundred and thirty years), 
Hierapolis, Apamea, and Emesa ; and threatened Bagdad. 

Returning in the following year to Constantinople, the 
good old Emperor was murdered by his wife Theophano, 
and one of her numerous lovers, John Zimisces, who had 
distinguished himself in the Syrian war ; the last words 
of the dying Emperor being, " Grant me mercy, O God ! " 

John Zimisces, who was then proclaimed joint-Emperor, 
disappointed the infamous Theophano by refusing to marry 
her, consigning her instead to a monastery. The intrepid 
Patriarch at first refused to crown him ; but the public in- 
dignation being appeased by the exile of Theophano, and 
Zimisces having exonerated himself by throwing the blame 
on his accomplice, he at length consented ; the guilt of 
Zimisces was forgotten in his virtues ; the profusion of his 
charities, and the gentleness of his character charmed all 
who approached him. 

of the Greek and Roman Churches. 389 

The Patriarch Polyeuktes, dying three months after the 
coronation of Zimisces, was succeeded in the Patriarchate 
by a monk of Mount Olympus, named Basilius ; he being 
banished to a monastery by Zimisces was succeeded by 
Antonius, Abbot of Studium. 

The greater part of the reign of Zimisces was passed in 
war ; of his great victory over the Russians we shall have 
occasion to speak in another chapter ; he was equally suc- 
cessful against the Saracens, and he advanced the boundaries 
of the Eastern Empire to Amida and Edessa. " By his 
double triumph over the Russians and the Saracens, he 
derived the title of Saviour of the Empire and Conqueror of 
the East'." 

On his death, not without suspicion of poison, Basil II., 
now twenty years of age, entered on his full inheritance, 
and completed the work of Nicephorus Phocas and John 
Zimisces ; and his reign was the culminating point of Byzan- 
tine greatness. His life was a strange mixture of war and 
religion. The conflict between him and Samuel, Tsar of 
Bulgaria, having lasted thirty-five years, only ended in the 
complete defeat and death of the latter in 1014. Four years 
later the last fortress of the Kingdom surrendered to Basil. 
To atone for the sins of his youth, he, when thirty years 
of age, took a vow of chastity, and always afterwards, under 
his Imperial robes in the palace, and under his armour on the 
field of battle, wore the sackcloth garb of a monk. Yet 
he was guilty of great cruelty, and his victory over the 
Bulgarians and his inhuman treatment of his prisoners gained 
for him his title of Bulgaroktonos. 

Basil next turned his arms against the Saracens. The 
Caliphate of Bagdad had become further weakened by the 
establishment of the Dynasty of the Fatimites at Cairo ; 
he extended the conquests made by his predecessors, and, 
says Professor Freeman, besides being the slayer of the 
Bulgarians, he was "a considerable slayer of the Saracens 
also "." But his annexation to the Eastern Empire of the 
' Gibbon, IX. 67. " History and Conquests of the Saracens, p. 125. 

390 The Culminating Schism 

Christian Kingdom of Armenia was a doubtful expedient, 
for it destroyed a useful bulwark against future inroads 
of the Mussulmans. Basil died just when he was on the 
point of sending an expedition to recover Sicily, which had 
been in the hands of the Saracens since the reign of Michael 
the Stammerer. 

The ascetic Basil, disfigured though his reign was by 
cruelty, interested himself in Church matters, and in the 
last year of his reign a remarkable eifort was made to effect 
a closer union between the Eastern and the Western 
Churches. His sister, the talented Theophano, was, as we 
have seen, married to Otto II., the Western Emperor. The 
Western Empire had been transferred to the German nation 
in the person of Otto I., crowned, A.D. 962, Emperor, 
at Rome, by Pope John XII. (whom he in the next year 
deposed), the Emperor binding himself on his part to pro- 
tect the Holy See, and the citizens swearing that they would 
elect no Pope without the Imperial consent. The Kingdom 
of Italy was thus united with the Kingdom of Germany ; 
whoever was elected King of Germany had the right (and 
he alone) to be crowned, at Milan, King of Italy, and, at 
Rome, Emperor, the Emperors generally not residing in 
Rome or Italy but in Germany. 

Otto I. was the second restorer of the Western Empire, and 
when, through the profligate Popes of the Tenth Century, 
the Papacy was brought to the very verge of ruin, he revived 
and virtually saved it. He was succeeded by his son. 
Otto II. (973 — 983), the husband of Theophano, who exer- 
cised a strong influence over the Western Empire " ; when 
her husband died, leaving a young son only five years of 
age, Otto III. (983 — 1002), she governed the Empire during 
his minority, and it was through her that when, A.D. 997, 
Pope Gregory V. was driven out from Rome, a Greek sub- 
ject of the Eastern Empire, John XVI. (997 — 998), was 
appointed Anti-Pope. 

The Eastern and Western Empires were thus brought 

" Slie introduced, Finlay says, the Byzantine style of painting in Germany. 

of the Greek and Roman Churches. 391 

into a close connection, and Basil not unnaturally desired 
a closer union than that which existed between the two 
Churches. The Tuscan family, under which the Papacy 
had so long groaned before the tinae of the Ottos, had again 
acquired an ascendency in Rome, and an unprincipled mem- 
ber of that family, John XIX. (1024 — 1033), occupied the 
Papal throne. In the last year of his reign, a singular at- 
tempt was made by Basil and Eustathius, Patriarch of Con- 
stantinople, to gain, by a large bribe, the Pope's consent that 
the Patriarch ot Constantinople should be acknowledged 
CEcumenical Patriarch of the East, as the Pope of Rome 
was of the West. The avaricious Pope caught at the bait ; 
but, the affair being prematurely revealed, all Italy naturally 
resented the treachery of the Pope. The Pope was brought 
to his senses by a zealous Abbot, William of Dijon, who 
boldly charged him with the abandonment of the rights 
of St. Peter, and he was obliged to resign the project. But 
the attempt only increased the ill-feeling between East and 
West, and, though the final schism was postponed for thirty 
years, was the beginning of the end. 

Under the unworthy successors of Basil the decline of the 
Eastern Empire commenced. He was followed by his brother, 
Constantine VIII. (1025 — 1028), a mere man of pleasure, 
who left three daughters, Eudocia, who retired into a convent, 
Zoe, and Theodora. Romanus III. (Argyrus) married, when 
she was forty-eight years of age, Zoe, the second daughter, 
and succeeded as Emperor (1028 — 1034). Constantine had 
wished Romanus to marry his youngest daughter, Theodora, 
but she had scruples about going through the form of 
marriage with a man who had already a wife living ; Zoe, 
less scrupulous, threatened him with blindness and death 
in case he should refuse her hand. Thenceforward Theo- 
dora was an object of jealousy to the Empress Zoe, and 
also of suspicion to Romanus, who accused her of conspiring 
against the throne; and she was in consequence consigned 
to a monastery. Romanus, now entirely under the hands 
of Zoe, lived long enough to see several towns in Syria 

392 The Culminating Schis^n 

recaptured by the Saracens, and died from the effects of 
slow poison, supposed to have been administered by Zoe. 
Zoe had fallen in love with Michael, a handsome Paphla- 
gonian money-lender, who had taken service in the Imperial 
household ; and on the same night that she became a widow, 
she became his wife. Michael was proclaimed Emperor 
as Michael IV., the Paphlagonian (1034— 1042), the Pa- 
triarch Alexius (1025 — 1043) being forced to perform both 
the marriage and coronation services. Various conspiracies 
were at once formed against the low-born Emperor by the 
chief men in Constantinople, amongst whom was one Michael 
Cerularlus, who, in order to escape the punishment inflicted 
on his fellow-conspirators, assumed the garb of a monk. 

Michael, seized with remorse and despair on account 01 
his previous criminal intercourse, and subsequent marriage, 
with the scandalous Zoe, spent the remainder of his life 
in acts of penance, and, being from the first a hopeless in- 
valid, died in his thirty-sixth year. His nephew, Michael V., 
through the influence of Zoe, was appointed to succeed 
him (1042). He soon threw off all disguise; expelled the 
Patriarch Alexius, who had offended him, and compelled 
Zoe to retire into a monastery. This ungrateful conduct 
to his benefactress so disgusted the people of Constantinople 
that, after a meeting held in St. Sophia's, Zoe was brought 
back, and proclaimed by the Senate and people joint 
Empress with Theodora ; and Michael, having had his eyes 
put out, was consigned to a monastery. 

Zoe and Theodora disagreeing, the union only lasted 
two months. Thereupon Zoe, now sixty-two years of age, 
took to herself a third husband, " an old debauchee who had 
been her lover thirty years before"," whom her former hus- 
band, Michael, had banished to Mitylene. Constantine IX., 
Monomachus, thus became Emperor (1042 — 1054), and 
the Patriarch Alexius, now restored to his* See, refusing 
to celebrate the marriage as a violation of the Canons of 
the Church, the ceremony was performed by an ordinary 

" Oman's Story of the Nations. 

of the Greek and Roifian Cliurches. 393 

Priest. Constantine, as a salve to his conscience, built 
Churches and completed the Church of the Holy Sepulchre 
at Jerusalem. But his worthless character, says Finlay, 
liis public parade of his vices, and the profligacy of Zoe, 
typify the moral degradation to which the Eastern Empire 
had at this time fallen. 

Such was the state of the Eastern Empire when, on the 
death of Alexius, A.D. 1043, the aforesaid hot-headed Michael 
Cerularius was appointed to the Patriarchate of, Constan- 
tinople (1043 — J059), in which he showed himself as restless 
an agitator in ecclesiastical, as he had before been in 
political, matters. 

One hundred and fifty-two years had elapsed since the 
death of Photius, and for that period, although little inter- 
course had been kept up between the two Churches, there 
was comparative peace. Since the time of Photius the 
Roman Church had been brought to the verge of ruin. We 
have seen how Formosus, one of the Popes who persecuted 
Photius, had himself been uncanonically appointed to the 
Papacy, and the savage cruelty to which he had been sub- 
jected by his successor. A schism in the Roman Church 
had arisen between the supporters and the opponents of 
Formosus, and whilst one Pope revoked the Orders con- 
ferred by him, another, John IX. (898 — 900), in a Synod 
at Rome, rescinded the decrees of his predecessor, and 
reinstated those who had been Ordained by him. This 
does not look like Papal Infallibility. But we need not 
wade through the disgraceful history of the Popes of the 
Tenth Century?, the most revolting profanation of religion 
in the whole history of Christendom, so that it was com- 
monly said amongst Christians that the end of the world 
was at hand. A better state of things was introduced 
by the German Emperors, and several German Popes in 
succession redeemed the Papacy from its corruption. But 
again the Papacy fell back, till at one and the same time 

r It may be dismissed in the words of Baronius, "homines monstruosi, vita 
turpirsimi, moribis perditissimi, usquequaque foedissimi." 

394 1^^ Cultninating Schism 

three deeply simoniacal Popes (" three devils," Canon 
Robertson, quoting from a writer of that century, says 
they were called), occupied the Papal chair. 

A German, the Emperor Henry III., again came to the 
rescue, and in the Synod of Sutri, A.D. 1046, deposed all 
three Popes, and himself appointed Suidgar, Bishop of 
Bamberg, who took the title of Clement II. (1046 — 1047). 
With Clement began a series of able Popes ; after him 
followed Poppo, Bishop of Brixen, who took the title of 
Damasus II. ; and when he died shortly afterwards, the 
Emperor chose his own cousin Bruno, Bishop of Toul, a man 
of saintly character and with a high reputation for learning, 
who, after he had been duly elected by the clergy and people 
of Rome, ascended the Papal throne as Leo IX. (1049 — 


In January, 1054, St. Leo (for he has been canonized by 

the Church) wrote to Cerularius, " Archbishop of Constan- 
tinople," as " his honoured brother." Since the time of 
Photius, the Greek Church, although outwardly in com- 
munion with it, had grown more distrustful than ever of 
the orthodoxy of the Latin Church ; especially was this 
the case with regard to the addition of the Filioque Clause 
to the Creed. But the two Churches agreed to differ ; there 
were Greek Churches and monasteries in Rome, and Latin 
Churches and monasteries in Constantinople ; at this very 
time, in a correspondence between Leo and Peter, Patriarch 
of Antioch, whilst the latter condemned the addition of 
the Filioque to the Creed, and Leo declared that he was 
ready to die in defence of it, the Pope spoke of the faith 
of the Patriarch of Antioch as sound and Catholic {sanam 
et Catkolicam) 1. 

An important point of divergence was the matter of 
Bulgaria, which still rankled in the breasts of the Popes. 
That this was not absent from the mind of Leo is^evident 
from a letter which he wrote to the Emperor Constantine, 
in which he urges the same claim which, in the time of 

1 See Ffoulkes' Christendom's Divisions, II. p. 55, noU. 

oj^ the Greek and Roman Churches. 395 

Photius, his predecessor Nicolas had made on the Emperor 
Michael. Another point of divergence was the claim to 
supremacy which, increased by the Pseudo-Isidore Decretals, 
the Popes, even in the depths of corruption of the Tenth 
Century, continued to put forward. This claim the Patri- 
archs of Constantinople had ever studiously denied. The 
superiority of Greek culture and learning always predisposed 
the Greek Church to look down upon the Latins ; and now 
a feeling of disgust at the great abyss into which the Papal 
See had lately fallen (although, as Mosheim says'", few 
examples of piety were conspicuous at the time in the 
Greek Church), may to a certain extent explain, although 
it does not justify, the over-bearing conduct of Cerularius, 
which brought about the final rupture between East and 

Cerularius, in agreement with Leo of Achrida, which 
had lately been made the Metropolitan See of Bulgaria, 
addressed, styling himself "universalis Patriarcha Novee 
Romm," a letter full of invective against the Latin Church, 
to John, Bishop of Trani in Apulia, which country had 
been from the time of Leo the Isaurian subject to the 
Greek Church, the jurisdiction over which was viewed with 
jealousy by the Popes of Rome ; and this letter he desired 
to be communicated to Pope Leo and the Prankish clergy 
and laity. The points complained of were the Roman 
Fasts on Saturdays in Lent ; the use of unleavened bread, 
or Azyms, in the Holy Eucharist ; the eating of things 
strangled and of blood, in violation of the decree of the 
Council of Jerusalem (Acts xv.) ; and not singing the 
Hallelujah during Lent^ Whilst he claimed that the 
Greek Church followed the teaching of SS. Peter, Paul, 
the Apostles, and Christ, and the Catholic Church, the 
Latin usages he stigmatized as relics of Judaism ' ; those 


' "Item Alleluia in Q\iadrigesimi non psallitis, sed semel in Pascha tan- 

' •' Azyma et Sabbata ipsi custodire a Moyse jussi sunt ; nostrum vero Pascha 
est Chriitus." 

396 The Culminating Schism 

who used them were neither wholly Christians nor Jews, 
but a mixture of the two ; " they were like the leopard whose 
hairs are neither black nor white." The word which the 
Latins call panis the Greeks call apros, the meaning of the 
latter word being something raised; unleavened bread, there- 
fore, the Greeks considered no bread at all, and the Latin 
Eucharist to be no Eucharist. 

Cerularius also closed the Latin Churches and monasteries 
in Constantinople. 

A copy of the letter fell into the hands of Cardinal 
Humbert, at the time resident at Trani, who translated 
it into Latin and sent it to the Pope. The letter caused 
much indignation and astonishment at Rome, for the Greeks 
had been long acquainted with the Latin usages, and it 
appeared that Cerularius by bringing them forward on 
that occasion was seeking a quarrel. The Pope sent to 
Constantinople three legates, Humbert himself, a man as 
self-willed and obstinate as Cerularius, the Archbishop of 
Amalfi, and Frederic of Lorraine, Cardinal Archdeacon 
of Rome, who afterwards became Pope as Stephen IX. 

The Pope's case was at first presented in more concili- 
atory language than that used by Cerularius ; but it soon 
became evident that it was a contest for supremacy on both 
sides, and the Pope, to establish his own supremacy, did 
not hesitate to ground it on the Forged Decretals. He wrote 
that both inside and outside Rome there were many Greek 
monasteries and Churches, none of which had been inter- 
fered with, nor prohibited from following the customs of 
their forefathers ; so far from this being the case, the 
Greeks had been advised to observe them ; for uses differ- 
ing according to time and place were no hindrance to sal- 
vation ; it v/as faith working by love which recommends 
believers to God. He complained of the assumption of 
the title of CEcumenical by the Patriarchs of Constanti- 
nople ; of their endeavouring to subject to themselves 
the Patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch ; of the Greeks 

of the Greek and Roman Churches. 397 

re-baptizing converts from the Latin Church ; of their 
permitting their clergy to marry ; and of their not allow- 
ing the Procession of the Holy Ghost from the Son. Ever 
since their first utterance, the Pseudo-Isidore Decretals had 
been used to give supremacy to the Popes of Rome over 
the Patriarch of Constantinople ; and as his predecessor, 
Nicholas I., had appealed to them in the case of Photius, so 
now Leo adduced them as genuine, and a crushing rejoinder 
to the claim of the Patriarch of Constantinople over Trani "- 

It cannot be.imagined that a man of Leo's saintly char- 
acter would have applied to them as genuine, if he had be- 
lieved them, what every one in the present day knows them 
to be, a forgery and an imposition ; but it is evident that 
the Popes had for two hundred and fifty years, however 
innocently, been, in order to establish their supremacy, 
trading on a forgery. 

Cardinal Humbert brought one remarkable accusation 
against the Greek Church which it is difficult to account 
for, except that it arose from an ignorance of Church his- 
tory. He accused the Greeks with the expungement of 
the Filioque Clause from the Creed. That Clause was 
absent from the Creed of Nice and Constantinople, and 
was first inserted by the Spanish Church in the Synod of 
Toledo, A.D. 589. From Spain its conveyance into France 
was easy, and, about sixty years before the time of Charle- 
magne, .^neas. Bishop of Paris, wrote, " Every Church in 
France uses it ip that form." In the present instance both 
Pope Leo and Cardinal Humbert were Frenchmen, and 
perhaps an ignorance of history explains, although it does 
not excuse, the mistake. 

The conduct of the profligate Emperor, Constantine, was 
throughout the controversy marked with double dealing. 
It was with him a matter of policy to stand on good terms 
with the Pope, whom he wished to have on his side against 
the Normans, who were beginning to make conquests in the 
Eastern Empire ; and he accordingly lodged the Papal 
» Ffoulkes, II. 47, and note. 

398 The Culminating Schism 

legates in the Imperial Palace, where Cerularius declined 
to visit them. Humbert then sought out the Patriarch, 
in whose presence he assumed an arrogant tone, and man- 
aged to put himself as much in the wrong as Cerularius had 
been before ; so that Cerularius in a letter to Peter, Patri- 
arch of Antioch, complained that Humbert, refusing even to 
discuss the points of difference, insisted on an unconditional 
surrender. The Papal legates excommunicated all those 
who refused to obey the Apostolical See to which " the 
special care of all the Churches belongs." Cerularius, 
supported by the people, refused to give way ; and finally, on 
July i6th, A.D. IOS4, and therefore after Pope Leo was dead, 
the Legates left a writ of excommunication on the Altar of 
St. Sophia '', and departed, shaking off the dust from their feet. 

The Emperor allowed the legates to excommunicate the 
Patriarch, and lavished presents on them at their departure. 
Cerularius, in a Council at Constantinople, retorted with an 
excommunication on the Church of Rome. No sooner had 
the legates departed and were out of sight and hearing, 
than the Emperor ordered the writ of anathema to be burnt, 
and approved of Cerularius convening the Synod which 
excommunicated the excommunicators. 

The Patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch made common 
cause with the Patriarch of Constantinople. That there 
were faults on both sides ; that the Eastern Church was 
wrong in making such a comparatively unimportant matter, 
as the difference between leavened and unleavened bread, 
a crucial test ; and that the Western Church had no right to 
make, in the teeth of an GEcumenical Council, an unauthor- 
ized addition to the Creed ; may be admitted. But the 
Eastern and Western Churches had weathered more for- 
midable storms before ; but for the arbitrary act of Hum- 
bert, to have employed whom as his legate was, if we omit 
the use he made of the Forged Decretals, the Pope's prin- 
cipal fault, the difficulty might have been surmounted. 

' " Sint Anathema Maranatha .... cum omnibus hsereticis, immo cum 
diabolo et angelis ejus, nisi resipuerint. Amen, Amen, Amen." 

of the Greek and Roman Churches. 399 

The schism was the culminating result of the long contest 
for supremacy between the Patriarchs of Constantinople and 
the Popes of Rome. The former, although they were less 
arrogant than Cerularius, were at that time fully as resolute 
in their claims for supremacy as the Popes are in the present 
day. To such a height of presumption did Cerularius attain, 
that, as he did not possess the immunity which distance 
afforded to the Western Patriarch, he exposed himself to 
the civic jurisdiction. " I made him Emperor and I can 
unmake him," gaid Cerularius, when the Emperor Isaac I. 
(1057 — 1059), the first of the dynasty of the Comneni, tried 
to curb his haughty aspirations. The Emperor determined 
to depose him ; but to depose openly, in Constantinople it- 
self, the head of the Greek Church was a dangerous venture. 
When Cerularius was outside the walls of the city, he was 
seized by the soldiers, and carried off to Proconnesus, where 
his death saved the Emperor further trouble ; and Constan- 
tine Leichudes, as yet a layman, was appointed his suc- 

The final act was the act of Rome ; the English Church 
was unconnected with it, nor has there ever been a formal 
schism between the Greek and Anglican Churches. When, 
A.D. 1066, only twelve years, therefore, after the writ of 
excommunication was left by Humbert on the Altar of 
St. Sophia, the Norman William ascended the throne of 
England, he refused the demand of Pope Gregory VII. 
for supremacy, on the ground that England knew no such 
right belonging to the Pope ; " I do not find that my pre- 
decessors have professed it to yours." The Roman Church 
cut itself off alone, not only from the See of Constan- 
tinople, but from Sees older than itself, those of Antioch 
and Alexandria ; from the Greek Church, which produced 
the greatest Saints whom the Church reveres ; — Ignatius, 
Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Clemens Alexandrinus, Gregory 
Thaumaturgus, Athanasius, Cyprian, Chrysostom, Basil the 
Great, the two Gregories, Nazianzen and of Nyssa, and 
numberless other Saints and Martyrs. 

400 The Culminating Schism 

A few words may be said as to the bread used in the 
Holy Eucharist. It may be taken for granted that the 
Last Supper which our Saviour eat with His disciples was 
the Mosaic Passover, for He Himself told them, " with desire 
have I desired to eat this Passover with you ;" and since on 
that day leaven was forbidden, that He used unleavened 
bread. The weight of evidence leads to the conviction that, 
in very early times, Latins as well as Greeks used leavened 
bread, probably against the Ebionite doctrine, that works 
of the Mosaic Law were binding upon all Christians. About 
the Ninth Century the Latin Church adopted the use of un- 
leavened bread, which, in the next two centuries, it was led 
to believe had been the Apostolical use ; whilst the Greek 
Church, in its universally conservative spirit, never varied 
from its original practise. 

Since the division between East and West (writes Dr. 
Neale), Ecclesiastical history is almost entirely confined 
to writers of the Roman Communion ; and as they interested 
themselves but little about what they considered a schis- 
matical body, little is heard about the Eastern Church. 
An exception must, however, be made with regard to the 
Church of Russia, whose conversion was completed by the 
Greek Church shortly before the schism commenced ; its 
Church, although Russia had to go through the fiery trial 
of affliction and well-nigh political extinction, rose by de- 
grees to the place which it now holds as, although nominally 
under the Primacy of Constantinople, practically the head 
of the Orthodox Greek Church. 

After the death of Ruric, which occurred A.D. 879, Oleg 
was, during the minority of Ruric's infant son, Igor, ap- 
pointed regent of Russia ; but he continued to govern the 
kingdom (879 — 913) till his own death. In 882 he subdued 
Smolensk, and having slain in battle Askold and Dir, added 
Kiev to his dominions. Continuing the national antipathy 
to Constantinople, he, A D. 904, in the reign of Leo the 
Philosopher, appeared, with an army of 80,000 men, before 
its walls ; and after he had devastated the country and com- 

of the Greek and Roman Churches. 401 

mitted fearful acts of licentiousness and atrocity, Constan- 
tinople being only saved by a humiliating treaty, he returned, 
laden with rich spoils and trophies, in triumph to Kiev. On 
his death, Igor, Ruric's son, at the time forty years of age, 
who had married Olga, a Scandinavian lady of great beauty, 
succeeded to his inheritance, and reigned from 913 — 945. 
In 941 he, too, marched against Constantinople ; but, after 
he had ravaged the neighbouring towns with a wanton 
ferocity, exceeding even that of Oleg, torturing, impaling, 
and otherwise maltreating the miserable inhabitants, the 
unoffending Priests being the special objects of his cruelty, 
his immense army was annihilated by the newly-invented 
Greek fire, and scarcely a third part, with Igor himself, 
eluding the vigilance of the Greeks, effected their escape 
home. In 945 he was slain, as some say, in battle, and 
others, on account of his cruelty, by his own subjects ; 
whereupon Olga, who was surnamed in her life-time the 
Wise, and after her death venerated as a Saint, administered 
the kingdom till A.n. 955, during the minority of her son 
Sviatoslav (945 — 972). 

The seeds of Christianity had, as we have seen, been 
already sown in Russia, and about A.D. 910, a Christian 
church existed at Kiev ; but it would seem that Christianity 
was little more than kept from dying out, and had little 
influence on the people. 

In 955, the year in which she resigned the regency, Olga 
went on a voyage to Constantinople, with the sole object 
of obtaining a knowledge of the true God, of whom she had 
probably heard through the little Christian community at 
Kiev. At Constantinople, after having been instructed in 
the faith of the Greek Church, and living in fasting, prayer, 
and almsgiving, she, together with her retinue, was baptized 
by the Patriarch Polyeuktes, the Patriarch dismissing her 
with his blessing ; " Blessed art thou amongst Russian 
women ; from generation to generation the Russian people 
shall call thee blessed." The Eastern Emperor, Constan- 
tine Porphyrogenitus, in order to show his respect for the 


402 The Culminating Schism 

new Northern power, and his joy for the conversion of the 
royal convert to the Greek Church, stood Godfather at her 
Baptism ; and Olga, in remembrance of the first Christian 
Emperor, Constantine, changed her name for that of his 
mother Helena. From Constantinople she took with her 
a Greek Priest, named Gregory, and exerted her influence 
to spread Christianity in Russia. 

Her son, Sviatoslav, a staunch adherent of the Pagan 
worship, during his long absences in his wars, confided 
to Olga the regency of the kingdom, and although he him- 
self refused to abandon his god Perun, allowed her to instil 
her own impressions into the minds of his people. It was 
owing to her influence that he abstained from persecuting 
Christianity, and that her grandson Vladimir was brought 
up in the doctrines of the Orthodox Church. Olga died 
A.D. 967, at the age of 85, and is canonized as a Saint in the 
Russian Church. She was enthusiastic in spreading Chris- 
tianity, and the monk-historian, Nestor of Kiev (1056 — 
1 1 14), who stands in somewhat the same relation to the 
Russian as the Venerable Bede does to the English Church, 
calls her " the morning star which precedes the sun, the 
twilight, the dawn which heralds the full day." But it must 
be confessed that her practice little tallied with her sacred 
profession ; she was vindictive, treacherous, and cruel. Her 
faults may be attributed to the savage temper of the time, 
but a Saint, in a non-ecclesiastical sense, she, like many 
others who are dignified with that title, was far from 

Sviatoslav, A.D. 972, in a battle for the possession of 
Bulgaria with the Eastern Emperor, John Zimisces, suffered 
a disastrous defeat ; and in the same year, in his retreat 
from Bulgaria to Russia, was killed by the Pechenegs, a tribe 
dwelling to the east of the Dnieper ; his skull being turned 
by the Prince of the country into a drinking-cup, bearing 
the inscription, that whilst attempting to seize the property 
of others, he lost his own. To the same use the skull 
of the Eastern Emperor, Nicephorus I., was turned by the 

of the Greek and Roman Churches. 403 

Bulgarian Tsar, and in it the Slavic Princes of the Court 
pledged him when he celebrated his triumph. 

Sviatoslav was succeeded by his eldest son Yaropolk, who 
ruled at Kiev ; but he, having killed in battle his brother 
Oleg, was himself, A.D. 980, treacherously assassinated by 
his half-brother Vladimir, Prince of Novgorod, who then 
succeeded as Veliki-Kniaz, or Grand Prince. Vladimir 
added Red Russia to his dominions. 

In his adventurous and stormy career, and amidst the 
deep sins of hisi early life, Vladimir had forgotten all the 
instructions which Olga had instilled into him, and even 
offered up Christian Martyrs to his pagan gods. After his 
return to Kiev, elated by a victory which he had gained 
over a neighbouring tribe, he determined to oiTer as a thank- 
offering a human sacrifice, and in this manner died two 
Varangians, who had embraced Christianity, Feodor and 
his son Ivan, who have ever since been honoured as Saints 
and Martyrs of the Russian Church. 

But all the while the instructions of Olga were doing 
their silent work, and it became gradually evident that 
Vladimir was at heart no pagan. His mind was on the 
move ; in vain Mahometans and Jews tried to bring him 
over to their faith ; next came a Latin mission from Germany ; 
but Olga had enlisted his affections for the Greek and not 
the Roman Church. A philosopher from Greece, a monk 
named Constantine, by the simple eloquence of enthusiasm, 
impressed on him the falseness of Paganism, the redemp- 
tion of the world by the Saviour, and a future retribution of 
good and evil. He loaded the philosopher with presents 
and dismissed him. But although he was seriously moved, 
a struggle still went on within him ; so he resolved to de- 
spatch messengers from Kiev to examine the various religious 
systems of the world. They visited Mussulman and Roman 
Churches ; but when they arrived at Constantinople, and 
the Patriarch himself celebrated the Eucharist in the Church 
of St. Sophia, with all the magnificence of the Greek ritual, 
so forcibly were they struck with the splendour of the 

D d 2 

404 The Culminating Schism 

ceremonial, and so persuaded of the truth of the Orthodox 
faith, that they were already Christians in heart. " When 
we stood in the Temple," they said, "we did not know 
whether we were not in Heaven, for there is nothing like it 
on earth. There in truth God has His dealing with men, 
and we can never forget the beauty we saw there, nor can 
we any longer abide in heathenism." 

The Boyars then, who formed (after the Princes) the 
first nobility in Russia, impressed on Vladimir the religion 
of the Greek Church as the best, on the ground that other- 
wise his grandmother Olga, " who was the wisest of women," 
would not have embraced it. Vladimir's doubts as to the 
truth of Christianity were now entirely removed, but for 
a time he still hesitated to receive Baptism. Having em- 
barked with his warriors on an expedition against Cherson, 
a city in the Crimea, subject to the Greek Emperor, he 
vowed that if he were successful in battle, he would be 
baptized. Having gained possession of the city, he, elated 
with his victory, determined to cement his conquest by 
a matrimonial alliance with the Byzantine Court ; and sent 
to demand in marriage the hand of the Princess Anna, the 
Christian sister of the Emperor, Basil II., accompanying 
the demand with a threat that a refusal would be followed 
by an attack on Constantinople. To the condition required 
by the Greek Emperor that he should receive Baptism, he 
replied that he had long examined and conceived a love for 
the Greek Law. The Princess, for the good of the Church, 
consented to the marriage with the barbarian, and, attended 
by a body of Greek clergy, arrived at Cherson ; and there, 
A.D. 988, in the Church of the Panagia, the Most Holy 
Mother of God, the Baptism of Vladimir (who took the 
name of Basil), and his marriage, were on one and the 
same day celebrated by the Bishop of Cherson. 

In Cherson he built a Church, which he dedicated to 
St. Basil, and on his return to Kiev, accompanied by Bishops 
and Priests, amongst whom was a Syrian Priest named 
Michael, he caused his twelve sons to be baptized. Paganism 

of the Greek and Roman Churches. 405 

was abolished ; Perun, the god of Thunder, the principal 
of the Russian idols, was thrown into the Dnieper ; the 
Court, and the Boyars, and the great multitude of the people 
flocked to the river, and in it received, as a nation. Baptism 
from the Greek Bishops and Priests. " On that day," says 
the Chronicler Nestor, " the Heavens and the earth rejoiced." 

The sweeping assertion made by Le Roy Beaulieu, and 
Rambaud, that the people of Russia, without being pre- 
viously prepared to receive the new faith, accepted Chris- 
tianity by order of Vladimir, is not borne out by facts. 
Even before the time of Ruric, in the commercial intercourse 
of the Russian Slavs with Constantinople, they must have 
heard of Christianity ; about the time of Ruric, a Chris- 
tian Church was built at Kiev ; and, in addition, there was 
the influence of Olga, and Vladimir's Christian wife, Anna. 
A better explanation is given by M. Boissard'', that the 
Evangelists of Russia acted as servants of the Cross, claim- 
ing supremacy for none but Christ, and preaching to the 
people the Word of God in their own language. 

From Kiev, Christianity spread into the provinces. After 
his conversion, Vladimir's character was completely changed. 
Like Oswald with the holy Aidan (a sight which the Vener- 
able Bede describes as " beautiful "), he accompanied the 
Bishops in their missionary work throughout the country ; 
schools were established and organized, with Greek teachers 
from Constantinople set over them, Greek and Latin taught, 
and the principles of the Orthodox Church inculcated. 
Vladimir built several Churches, for which he employed 
Greek architects ; he built of stone the cathedral Church 
of Kiev, endowing it with the tenth part of all his revenues, 
and dedicating it, doubtless after the Church of his conver- 
sion at Cherson, to the Most Holy Virgin ; and appointed 
Michael the Syrian Bishop of Kiev. Michael founded 
Churches in Rostov and Novgorod, but died before the 
completion of the Cathedral of Kiev. He was succeeded 
by Leontius, a Greek by birth, sent over by the Patriarch 
" L'Eglise de Russie. 

4o6 The Culminating Schism 

of Constantinople ; by Leontius the Cathedral was conse- 
crated, and the Sees of Novgorod, Rostov, Chernigov, and 
Belgorod established. The third Bishop was Ivan (or John). 

Thus the Russian Church was firmly established, and 
with Christianity civilization dawned on Russia, and Russia, 
which had been before sunk in gross ignorance and material 
paganism, was brought into intercourse with the other King- 
doms of Christendom. Vladimir, " equal to the Apostles," 
as the people called him, and Canonized as a Saint in the 
Russian Church, died A.D. 1015, and was buried by Ivan 
in the Cathedral of Kiev. There also his wife Anna, who 
predeceased him, was buried, and thither the bones of 
St. Olga were translated. 

Thus the Russian was entirely the child of the Greek 
Church. The liturgical language employed by the Greek 
missionaries was the language of Cyril and Methodius, and 
the "old Slavic" language is still used in the Russian Church 
in the present day. Ever since its first foundation, although 
the Roman Church has made several abortive attempts 
to separate it from its first love, it has firmly adhered to 
the doctrine and discipline of the Orthodox Church, of 
which it is in the present day, under the ultimate supremacy 
of the Patriarch of Constantinople, the leading represen- 

After the death of Vladimir, Kiev, the capital of his 
dominions, was seized by his nephew Sviatoslav (1016 — 
1019), who signalized his short reign by the murder of 
the two sons of Vladimir, Boris and Gleb, whom the Russian 
Church reckons amongst its Saints. He was, A.D. 1019, 
driven out by another son of Vladimir, Yaroslav I., who 
had succeeded his father in Novgorod, and now, till A.D. 
1054, held the whole Kingdom under his sole government 
at Kiev. Yaroslav was not only a theologian but also 
a legislator. He continued the work begun by his father, 
building churches, monasteries and schools, and in the 
schools of Vladimir and Yaroslav, the Bible, translated by 
Cyril and Methodius, formed, as we learn from the Chronicler 

of the Greek and Roman Ckurclies. 407 

Nestor, an important feature in the teaching. The Pecher- 
sky monastery at Kiev, founded by Yaroslav, was the birth- 
place of Russian literature and a training-school for the 
clergy. The piety of Vladimir and Yaroslav penetrated 
the national life, and to them is attributable much of the 
piety and learning which, till all learning and knowledge 
was swept away by the terrible Mogul invasions, combined 
to characterize Russia. Well stored with works of the 
Greek Church, Yaroslav caused many of them to be trans- 
lated into the Russian language and circulated through 
his dominions ; through him the Nomo-Canon was trans- 
lated from the Greek ; and to him Russia was indebted 
for its first written code of laws, the Russkaya Pravda. 

In order to clearly understand the ecclesiastical no 
less than the civil history of Russia, it is necessary to draw 
attention to, what primarily belongs to the political history 
of the country, the fatal system, initiated by Ruric but more 
completely carried out by Vladimir, of parcelling their 
hereditary fiefs amongst their numerous illegitimate off- 
spring. Thus were created independent Appanages, having 
absolute sovereignty within their own dominions, with only 
a nominal subjection to the Grand Prince, from whose 
control we shall find them revolting, and even assuming 
that title to themselves. Russia, convulsed and thrown into 
disorder through their conflicts, was subjected to the attacks 
of foreign enemies, whom they did not scruple to join as 
allies against those of the same flesh and blood as them- 
selves. These feuds led to the dismemberment of Russia, 
and the fearful calamities inflicted on it by the Moguls. 


The Schism widened by the Crusades. 

Rise of the Seljuk Turks — Battle of Manzikert — Capture of Jerusalem — Pilgrims 
maltreated by the Seljuks — Alexius I., Emperor — Peter the Hermit and 
Simeon, Patriarch of Constantinople — Pope Urban II. — Councils of Pia- 
cenza and Clermont — Council of Bari — The first Crusade under Godfrey 
de Bouillon — ^Jerusalem taken — Latin Kingdom and Patriarchate set up — The 
Knights Hospitallers and Templars — Godfrey de Bouillon succeeded by 
Baldwin I., Baldwin II., Fulk of Anjou, Baldwin III. — Signal failure 
of Second Crusade — Kings of Jerusalem, Almeric, Baldwin IV., Guy de 
Lusignan — Battle of Tiberias — ^Jerusalem taken by Saladin — Third Crusade 
— Cyprus taken by Richard Cceur de Lion — Acre taken by Crusaders — 
Jerusalem not recovered — The Fourth Crusade — The Crusaders capture 
Constantinople — Their cruelty and profanity — ^Latin Kingdom of Constan- 
tinople — Baldwin first King — A Venetian Patriarch intruded — Innocent III. 
sanctions the Kingdom and Patriarch — Fourth Lateran Council — Fifth 
Crusade — ^Jerusalem recovered by Frederic II. of Germany — Crowned King 
of Jerusalem— Sixth, an English Crusade — ^Jerusalem again taken by the 
Mahometans — St. Louis, King of France — Seventh Crusade under him — 
Antioch taken by the Mahometans — Eighth Crusade under St. Louis — His 
death — Fall of Acre — End of Crusades — Baldwin II., Latin King — The 
Greek Empires of Nice and Trebizond— Theodore Lascaris, Emperor of 
Nice — Nice the centre of Orthodoxy — John Ducas Vatatces, second Em- 
peror at Nice — Attempts at union of Creek and Latin Churches — Theo- 
dore II., third Emperor — John IV., fourth Emperor — Michael Paleeologus 
appointed joint Emperor— Latin Patriarchs of Constantinople; — (l) Moro- 
sini ; (2) Gervasius ; (3) Matthias ; (4) Simeon ; (5) Nicolas ; (6) Pan- 

THE schism between the Eastern and Western Churches, 
deplorable under any circumstances, was specially so 
at the time when it occurred, a time when a united Chris- 
tendom was specially required. The year 1048, six years 
before the commencement of the schism, was the date of 
the entrance of the Turks into the annals of Ecclesiastical 
history. No race has ever thrown so dark a page on the 
history of Christendom as the Turks. Goths, Vandals, 
Enghsh, Lombards, Danes, have all been converted to 
Christianity, but the Turks from the first to the present 
day have been its persistent and unmitigated foes. 

The dynasty of the Turks, of whom we have to deal in 
this chapter, is not that of the Ottomans, of whom wc have 

The Schism widened by the Crusades. 409 

in the present day such painful reminders, but their im- 
mediate predecessors, the Seljuks. Their founder Seljuk 
in the last years of the Tenth Century, having quarrelled 
with his native Prince, retired from Turkestan to Samar- 
cand, embraced Mahometanism, the religion which his father 
had adopted, and having wrested the power from the first 
Turkish dynasty, the Gaznevids, lost his life, at the age of 
107, in battle against Pagans. 

The Seljuks inherited all that was bad, and rejected 
whatever there was of good, in the Mahometan faith, of 
which they became the champions ; the entrance, A.D. 1048, 
of Togrel Beg (1037— 1063), son of Michael and grandson 
of Seljuk, into Persia, inaugurated the undying enmity of 
the Turks to Christianity. Four hundred years from that 
date their successors, the Ottomans, took Constantinople, 
put an end to the Eastern Empire, and inflicted a blow on 
the Greek Church from which it has never since recovered. 

Togrel, whilst he wallowed in sensuality, inherited all the 
Mahometan fanaticism of his grandfather Seljuk, and of 
his father Michael, the latter surnamed, from his having 
fallen in battle against the Pagans, the Martyr. In A.D. 
1050 he penetrated to Bagdad, and thenceforward took 
the first place amongst Mahometan Princes, ruling in Persia 
as a spiritual no less than a temporal monarch ; a sort of 
mock Pope, Cardinal Newman styles him. At Kazem the 
Caliph of Bagdad, to whom he was able to render valuable 
services, conferred on him the title of the "Pillar of Religion," 
and under him the Turkish wars of the Crescent against the 
Cross commenced ; the Saracens had persecuted the Chris- 
tians, but, as compared with Togrel, they were like lambs ; 
130,000 Christians slain in battle was the holocaust which 
he off'ered to the false Prophet. 

The next Sultan in the Seljuk line was Togrel's nephew. 
Alp Arslan (1063 — 1073), who received from the Caliph 
,the title of Azzadin, or " Protector of Rehgion." Having 
added to the conquests of his predecessor, he, in the battle 
of Manzikert, A.D. 1071, defeated and took prisoner the 

4IO Chapter XII. 

Eastern Emperor, Romanus IV. (Diogenes) ; and it is said 
that he, although Gibbon doubts the story % who was 
generally a merciful victor, placed his foot, in the estab- 
lished usage of his nation, on the neck of the fallen 
Emperor, afterwards giving him his liberty on the pay- 
ment of a heavy ransom. The result of the battle of 
Manzikert was the loss to the Eastern Empire of nearly 
all its provinces in Asia, and the extermination of the 
greater part of the Christian population ; whilst by the 
capitulation in the same year of Bari to Roger, the younger 
brother of Robert Guiscard, and the future conqueror of 
Sicily, the Eastern Empire in Italy came to an end. 

Alp Arslan, at a time when he flattered himself that 
" the earth trembled under his feet," died by the hand 
of an assassin, and was succeeded by his son, Malek Shah 
(1073 — 1092), who subdued Syria, took Jerusalem, in 1076, 
and obtained from the Caliph the title of " Commander 
of the Faithful ; " he also demanded of the Greek Emperor, 
Alexius, the hand of his daughter in marriage. The 
capture of Jerusalem by Malek Shah was the immediate 
cause of the Crusades, and it was in his time that the 
great troubles in Jerusalem began, which led to the preach- 
ing of Peter the Hermit and the First Crusade. 

The Crusades owe their origin to the Christian pil- 
grimages from the Western Empire to the Holy Land, 
which, since the days of Constantine and the discovery 
of the Holy Cross by Helena, to the time of the Saracenic 
conquests, had become frequent. For the four hundred years 
since A.D. 637, when it fell under the arms of the Saracens, 
Jerusalem had been subject to the Caliphs of Bagdad. 
The Saracens, instead of opposing, favoured the Western 
pilgrimages, and viewed the pilgrims with sympathy, as 
people engaged in a pious work. The Caliph Aaron sent 
to Charlemagne, "en signe" says Fleury, " de la liberti de 
pelerinage" the keys of the Holy Land ; even Mussul- . 
mans themselves, he adds, took part in the pilgrimages to 

" X. 359- 

The Schism widened by the Crusades. 41 1 

Jerusalem, which they called "/a maison sainte, et I'ont en 
singuliere veneration ; " and the Christians were allowed to 
visit unmolested the scenes of their Saviour's Life and 
Death. A reasonable tax was imposed upon them, and, 
in return, food and accommodation was supplied on the 
road, and a comfortable hospice greeted them on their 
arrival. This continued till the Seljuk Turks gained po- 
session of Jerusalem, after which a system of persecution 
set in. Rich pilgrims were robbed, and the poor so op- 
pressed, that many succumbed to death on the way ; or, 
if they arrived at Jerusalem, were so worn out with their 
sufferings as to be unable to perform their devotions. 

The pilgrims, a large proportion of whom were French, 
returned to Europe with pitiful accounts of the robberies 
and ill treatment to which they had been subjected, and 
a cry for vengeance arose throughout Europe. But the 
nations of the West, as also the Greek Emperors, were 
too much engaged in contests amongst themselves, or in 
the defence of their own territories, to engage in a distant 
war for the recovery of the Holy Land. The Emperor, 
Michael VIL (Ducas) (1067 — 1078), entered into communi- 
cation with the Papal See, ostensibly with the object of 
the re-union of the Churches, but principally in the hope 
of obtaining help against the Turks. The schism was only 
twenty years old, and the Pope of Rome, Gregory VIL 
(Hildebrand), still entertained hopes that it might be healed. 
He wrote to the young King of the Romans, Henry IV., 
that the Church of Constantinople, although it differed from 
the Western Church in the Procession of the Holy Ghost, 
yet wished for agreement with it ; and that the Greeks 
desired on the question the decision of the Roman See. 

The Pope, desirous of meeting the wishes of the Emperor, 
published an Encyclical, setting forth that the Pagans had 
arisen against the Eastern Empire, were laying waste the 
whole country to the very walls of Constantinople, and 
offered to put himself at the head of an army of 50,000 
Christians to go out to meet them. Gregory's avowed 

412 Chapter XII. 

object was to heal the schism between the Eastern and 
Western Churches ; but, although he was also willing to 
help the Greek Emperor against the Saracens, and to enlist 
Henry IV. in the cause, it was evident that his principal 
thought was the establishment of the supremacy of the 
Roman See. Soon afterwards the Pope's hands were tied 
by his own quarrels with the King of the Romans. In 1075 
he threatened to excommunicate Philip, the King of France, 
from which he was only diverted by the same cause, his 
quarrels with Henry IV. Not confining his anathemas to 
the West, he, A.D. 1078, made an impolitic attack on the 
independence of the Greek Church, by excommunicating 
the Eastern Emperor, Nicephorus III. (1078— 1081) ; thus 
he estranged the Greeks, as he had the Latins, from the 
cause which he advocated. In 1084 he was driven away 
from Rome, and in the next year died in exile ; thus the 
hope of Western help was for a time laid aside. 

Meanwhile a new dynasty in the Eastern Empire arose 
under Alexius I. (Comnenus) (loBi — 11 18), an able Prince, 
the father of the historian Anna Comnena ; under whom 
the Eastern Empire began to recover itself, and everything 
favoured a common enterprise on the part of the Christians. 
The sufferings of the Christians in the East were again 
brought before the Western nations by Victor III. (1086 — 
1087), who succeeded Gregory VII. ; he, however, was only 
Pope for a few months, and his promise of forgiveness of 
sins to those who would take arms against the Turks had 
not time to take effect. But no sooner did his successor, 
Urban II. (1088 — 1099), enter upon his pontificate, although 
during the whole time Rome was troubled by, and the larger 
part of it occupied by, an Anti-Pope, than his sympathy was 
enlisted in the East by the Emperor Alexius. Alexius, 
having first invited Urban to Con.stantinople to discuss the 
schism between the two Churches, next solicited him to 
enlist the sympathy of the German Princes against the 
Seljuk infidels. Peter the Hermit, a native of Amiens, 
himself an eye-witness of the sufferings of the Pilgrims, 

The Schism widened by the Crusades. 413 

took counsel with Simeon the Patriarch of Jerusalem. The 
Patriarch informed him that no help could be expected 
from the Greeks, who could scarcely defend themselves, 
and had within a few years lost more than half their Empire ; 
that the sins of the people were so great that God would not 
hear their prayers, and that all their hopes lay in the Latins. 
He gave him a letter to Pope Urban, whom Peter on his 
return to Europe sought out, representing to him the miser- 
able condition of Jerusalem, and the persecutions suffered 
by the Christians. 

Urban, whose sympathy was by such means wholly enlisted 
in the cause, held, A.D. 1095, a Council at Piacenza. Envoys 
sent by Alexius pleaded before it the miseries which beset 
the East and threatened Constantinople, and the certainty 
of further danger which, if the Turks were left a free hand, 
would follow in the Western Empire. The good will of the 
West was obtained, and the cause of a Crusade initiated. 
From Italy, the Pope, himself a Frenchman, crossed the Alps 
into France, and in the same year held the famous Council 
of Clermont in Auvergne, attended by his court of Cardinals, 
thirteen Archbishops, two hundred and twenty-five Bishops, 
and four hundred mitred Abbots. " As you value your 
souls," he said, " rush quickly to the defence of the Eastern 
Church. It is from her the glad tidings of your salvation 
emanated ; she dropped into your mouths the heavenly 
milk upon which you feed ; she passed on the inestimable 
dogmas of the Gospels for you to imbibe." The Saviour, 
he told them, would be their Leader ; the penance due for 
their sins would be remitted, and absolution secured ; suffer- 
ings they would endure, but death would be to them a 
blessed Martyrdom. 

It may here be mentioned in passing, that, A.D. 1098, 
Urban, with the view of reconciling the Greek and Latin 
differences with regard to the Procession of the Holy Ghost, 
held the Council of Bari. Bari, the last town in Apulia 
which had been left to the Greeks, was captured A.D. 107 1, 
by Robert Guiscard, whom Pope Nicolas II., and after 

414 Chapter XII. 

him Gregory VII., bound by an oath of allegiance to the 
Roman Church. In that Council, Anselm, Archbishop of 
Canterbury, whom the Pope greeted as Pope and Patriarch 
of another world, a man of greater theological learning than 
Urban, took the principal part. Anselm, in defending, on 
historical grounds, the Filioque clause, had a difficult task 
to perform ; he must have known that it was an addition 
made by the Latin Church, and that it had been imported 
into the Creed against the judgment of a Pope ; could he 
have believed that it originally stood in the Creed, and 
that it had been expunged, as Humbert pleaded against 
Cerularius, by the Greeks .'' However that may have been, 
he, in the opinion of the Council, successfully vindicated 
the double Procession, and thus gained the victory for the 
Latin Church. 

To the appeal made by Pope Urban in the Council of 
Clermont, a unanimous shout of God wills it was raised ; 
the religious enthusiasm quickly spread over Europe ; and 
August 15, 1096, was fixed upon for the departure of the 
Crusade to the Holy Land. 

There are two points of view, an Eastern and a Western 
one, from which the Crusades may be regarded. We have 
to regard them as they affected the Greek Church, and to 
the Greeks they were an unmitigated calamity. They 
professed to be Holy Wars, to deliver the Holy Land from 
the oppression of the Turks. Some of them were mere fili- 
bustering expeditions, composed, under incompetent leaders, 
of undisciplined troops, the scum of the population of 
Europe. Although to the Papacy they were a deeply politic 
movement, there is no reason to doubt that the Popes 
started them with the best of motives, viz., the rescue of the 
Holy Places from the Infidels. But they soon degenerated 
into a Latinizing movement, and in the East they were from 
the first regarded by the Emperors and the people alike 
with suspicion. Many pious enthusiasts no doubt joined 
them from true love and reverence of their Saviour, and 
many from a sincere, but mistaken, idea of making atone- 

The Schism widened by the Crusades. 415 

merit for a misspent life, and the delusive promise ofiFered 
by the Popes of an eternal reward. But the Crusaders 
carried on the wars like savages, rather than like Christians, 
and from fighting against the Turks they turned to fighting 
against the Eastern Christians. After the first Crusade, 
they set up the feeble Latin Kingdom in Palestine. During 
the Fourth they burnt and sacked Constantinople with 
greater wantonness and rapacity than the Saracens had 
ever shown in their hour of victory \ and they established 
a Latin Patriarqji and Latin Emperor. The only really 
noble characters of the Crusades were the Sultan Saladin 
and the saintly Louis of France. The leaders quarrelled 
amongst themselves, and they failed to effect the object for 
which they were promoted. 

After the Crusades were ended the Eastern Emperors and 
Greek Patriarchs re-asserted themselves, but it was only 
a feeble imitation of what they were before. The Crusades 
have left an indelible stain on the memory of one of the 
greatest of the Popes ; but through them the long contest 
for supremacy between the Patriarchs of Constantinople and 
the Popes resulted in favour of Rome. It could scarcely 
have been otherwise. A new mode of salvation, of which 
the Pope was the author, and in which the people thoroughly 
believed, was invented. The Pope was placed on a higher 
pedestal than earthly Kings and potentates. He had the 
direction of the armies of Christendom ; he could impose 
a Crusade for their souls' health on Kings and Emperors ; 
and through him the greatest criminals could obtain for- 
giveness by taking the Cross of the Crusader. But we are 

The regular army of Crusaders started on the appointed 
day under the command of Godfrey de Bouillon, Duke 
of Lorraine. When the Emperor, Henry IV., took Rome, 
and Pope Gregory VII. was forced to take refuge in the 
Castle of St. Angelo, Godfrey had distinguished himself in 
the army of the Emperor, and was the first to scale the walls 
of Rome. Soon afterwards a serious illness brought the 

4i6 Chapter XII. 

conviction to his mind that he had fought against the 
Church, and he formed the resolution, which he now carried 
out, of going on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in atone- 
ment for his sin. Other leaders who served under Godfrey 
were his brother Baldwin, Raymond, Count of Toulouse, 
Robert, Duke of Normandy, eldest son of William the Con- 
queror, and Robert, Count of Flanders. These were 
followed by Bohemund, Duke of Apulia and Calabria, 
eldest son of Robert Guiscard, attended by a body of 
Normans, and by his cousin Tancred. From the fact that 
most of those who took part in the Crusades were French- 
speaking people, the Eastern nations have ever since called 
all the people of Western Europe, Franks. 

No sooner had the Crusaders, having pillaged the lands 
on the way, entered Constantinople, than the long-standing 
suspicion and enmity of the Greeks towards the Latins 
revived. Violent quarrels ensued between the chiefs and 
the Emperor Alexius ; they were, however, for a time ended 
by their swearing allegiance, the Emperor engaging to assist 
them to recover the Holy Sepulchre, but viewing with 
pleasure their departure to the opposite shore of the Bos- 
phorus. In June, 1097, the Crusaders took Nice, the capital 
of the Sultan of Roum ; the Turks being driven away from 
the neighbourhood of Constantinople, the Sultan establish- 
ing a new capital at Cogni (Iconium). This wtes eminently 
gratifying to the Emperor ; but thenceforward his interest 
flagged, and he seems to have forgotten his zeal for the 
Holy Land, and even to have made a secret treaty with the 
Turks by permitting them to erect a Mosque in Constan- 
tinople. In the following year the Crusaders took Edessa, 
where a Latin Principality under Godfrey's brother Baldwin 
was established. They next besieged the Syrian Antioch. 
There, in the Church of St. Peter, is said to have been dis- 
covered the Holy Lance which had pierced the Saviour's 
side. After a siege of seven months the city was betrayed 
to them, and made a Principality for Bohemund, who bound 
himself to the Emperor Alexius that the Patriarch should 

The Schism widened by the Crusades. 417 

not be chosen from the Latin but from the Greek Church. 
This agreement the Latins soon forgot, and in two years 
the Greek Patriarch was made to give place to the chaplain 
of Adhemar, Bishop of Puy, who had accompanied the 
Crusade as representative of the Pope ^ 

In May, 1099, the Crusaders set out from Antioch, and 
after much suffering and loss of life on their part, and 
a terrible massacre of the Moslems, Jerusalem was taken 
by them on July 15th, The capture was effected at three 
o'clock in the afternoon of Friday, the day and hour of the 
Saviour's Death. The Holy Sepulchre was recovered, and 
the Kingdom of Jerusalem, with a nominal dependence on 
the Emperor, established. Simeon the Patriarch dying in 
the same month. Paschal II., who had succeeded Urban 
as Pope, appointed a Latin Patriarch, Daimbert, Archbishop 
of Pisa, and Latin clergy, who usurped their jurisdiction 
and revenue, in place of the Greeks. Godfrey de Bouillon, 
being by the unanimous vote of the army elected King, was 
invested in the Kingdom by the new Patriarch ; but refusing 
to wear a crown of gold in the city where the Saviour had 
worn a Crown of thorns, contented himself with the title 
of Defender and Baron of the Holy Sepulchre. 

The Latin Kingdom comprised little more than the city 
of Jerusalem, and Jaffa (the ancient Joppa), with a few 
neighbouring towns, whilst the country in general was under 
the Mahometans. It consisted of a troop of adventurers, 
without any principle of cohesion, and was weakly from the 
first, containing in itself the seeds of its own dissolution. 
The appointment by the Pope of Rome of Latin Patriarchs 
at Antioch and Jerusalem was an act of treachery to the 
Greek Church. The strength of the Latin Kingdom lay 
mainly in the Military Orders, the two principal of which 
were the Knights Templars, so called from their residence 
near the Temple, who converted the Mosque of Omar into 
their Church, and were the Guardians of the Holy Sepulchre ; 

' " Hoc pacti conventi caput .... minime observatum fuit a Latinis," — 
Le Quien, III. 787. 

E e 

41 8 Chapter XII. 

and the Knights Hospitallers, or Knights of St. John, a 
name which they took after St. John the Almoner, Patriarch 
of Alexandria, and whose special office it was to attend the 
sick pilgrims who visited the Holy Land. These Orders 
consisted of Knights who devoted themselves to fight in 
defence of the Holy Land against the Mahometans. They 
were bound by the monastic vows of chastity, poverty, and 
obedience, and were a kind of sacred militia, half military, 
half monastic, the Templars being distinguished by a white 
dress with a red cross, whilst the Hospitallers wore a black 
dress with a white cross; and they were granted plenary 
Indulgence by the Popes. Soon many of the clergy joined 
their ranks, so that they themselves were able to administer 
the rites of the Church. Popes vied with each other in con- 
ferring privileges upon them, and Innocent III. relieved them 
from Episcopal jurisdiction, even from that of the Patri- 
arch of Jerusalem, and rendered them amenable to the Pope 
only. Being thus exempted from Episcopal control, they 
became in time societies antagonistic to the clergy, without 
fear of censure or excommunication from Bishops or Patri- 
archs ; whilst from the first they were the persecutors of the 
Orthodox Church. For a time they observed the rule of 
their Order, and did good service by fighting bravely against 
the infidels. But by degrees, both Orders, but especially 
the Templars, amassed great wealth, and with wealth fol- 
lowed the usual abuses ; they evaded the Rule of their Order, 
and showed a spirit of insubordination against the military 
authorities, thwarted their plans, and stood aloof from cam- 
paigns at their own will. The two Orders quarrelled with 
each other. Holding social intercourse with the Mahomet- 
ans, they lost their original antipathy to them, and became 
tainted, not only with their vices, but their doctrines, and 
forgot that the Mahometans and not the Christians were 
their enemies. We will sum up their character in the words 
of Fleury ; — " Peu apr^s leur installation ils abusaient de 
leurs privileges, les ^tendant a I'infini, m^prisant les ev^ques 
dont ils etaient exempts, et n'obeissant au Pape mfime 

The Schism widened by the Crusades. 419 

qu'autant qu'il leur plaisait. lis ne gardaient point les 
traites avec les infideles, et quelquefois s'entendaient avec 
eux pour trahir les Chretiens, plusieurs menaient une vie 
corrompu6 et scandaleuse. . . . Les faits dont les Templiers 
furent accuses sont si atroces qu'on ne pent les lire sans 
horreur, et on a peine les croire, quoique prouv^s par des 
procedures authentiques.'' 

The first Crusade was the only one attended by any 
degree of success, and, such as it was, the Christians of the 
Latin Kingdom h«d difficulty in holding their own against 
the Mussulmans. 

Godfrey, dying a few days within a year after his 
appointment, was succeeded by his brother, Baldwin I. 
(iioo — 1 1 18), Prince of Edessa. Next followed his cousin, 
Baldwin II. (1118 — 1131), and after him his son-in-law, 
Fulk, Count of Anjou (1131 — 1144), who was succeeded 
by his son, Baldwin III. (1144— 1162), a boy 13 years of 
age, during whose reign the second Crusade was undertaken. 

Most of the Crusaders having, after the capture of Jeru- 
salem, returned to England, the Mahometans set themselves 
to harass the Christians of the Latin Kingdom ; in 1 146 
they took Edessa, and the Christians again applied to the 
West for help. A second Crusade was accordingly preached 
the next year by St. Bernard, the celebrated Abbot of 
Clairvaux, the most influential person in Christendom of 
his time, who induced Conrad the German Emperor and 
Louis VII., King of France, to join the expedition, of which 
they in vain entreated Bernard to assume the conduct. 
Eugenius III. (114S — IIS3), the Pope of Rome, whilst he 
renewed all the promises made by Urban at the Council 
of Clermont, warned the Crusaders against the vices of 
their predecessors, which had brought disaster and disgrace 
on the arms of Christendom ". But in this respect, neither 
this, nor any of the following Crusades, seems to have learnt 
experience from the first Crusade ; nor did they make their 
calculations with a view to the difficulties before them ; 

'■ Cox's Crusades, p. 86. 
E e 2 

420 Chapter XII. 

their forces were wholly inadequate, and they rushed head- 
long, as Gibbon puts it, down the precipice that was open 
before them. 

Quarrels between the Greek Emperor, Manuel I., and 
Conrad, who had married sisters, ensued. Manuel and 
Louis were at first on better terms ; but the French army 
receiving no assistance from Manuel, and the latter having 
concluded a truce with the Turkish Sultan of Cogni, a 
French Bishop advocated, as a preliminary to their advance 
to the Holy Land, an attack on the Greeks of Constanti- 
nople. This was not effected during the second Crusade ; 
but nothing except a miserable loss of life occurred ; and 
after a siege of Damascus, which, owing to the treachery 
of the Barons of Palestine, who were bribed by the Turks, 
was unsuccessful, the leaders, in 1 149, with the scanty rem- 
nant of their fores, returned to Europe ; and not even the 
venerable name of Bernard was able to shelter him from 
blame and obloquy. 

To Baldwin IIL succeeded in the Kingdom of Jerusalem 
his brother Almeric (1162 — 1173); next followed Almeric's 
son, Baldwin IV. (1173 — 1186), a leper ; and then, in 1186, 
Guy de Lusignan, the husband of Baldwin's sister Sibylla, 
by right of his wife, became King. Under him the Latin 
Kingdom of Jerusalem, after it had lasted eighty-seven 
years, came to an end. 

In the reign of Almeric the Latin Kingdom had become 
embroiled in the contests between the Fatimite Caliph of 
Egypt and Noureddin, who ruled as Sultan of Aleppo under 
the Caliph of Bagdad. The Latins espousing the cause 
of the former, Noureddin inflicted a disastrous defeat upon 
them near Antioch (a.D. 1163). One of his Generals was 
the famous Saladin, who, A.D. 1171, suppressed the Fati- 
mite Caliphate and made himself master of Egypt, and, 
after the death of Noureddin in 1173, master of Syria. 

Saladin, now the greatest Mahometan Prince of the time, 
having in the battle of Tiberias, A.D. 11 87, defeated Guy, 
and made him prisoner, laid siege to Jerusalem. Fourteen 

The Schism widened by the Crusades. 42 1 

days sufficed for his object; the Latins melted down the 
golden ornaments of the Churches to provide the sinews of 
war ; the Greeks within the city were in league with the 
enemy ; and on October 3, 1 1*7, Jerusalem, after the loss 
of 30,000 men, again fell into the hands of the infidels ; the 
Cross which had been placed on the summit of the Mosque 
of Omar was pulled down, the Mosque purified and re- 
dedicated to the Moslem worship, and the Christian 
Churches were converted into Mosques. Two hundred 
and fifty Hospitdlers died at the hands of the exe- 
cutioner Martyrs to their faith. A third Crusade for 
the recovery of Jerusalem was preached, A.D. 1189, and 
Frederic Barbarossa, Emperor of Germany, started in 
command of it for the Holy Land. Henry II., King of 
England, took the Cross of a Crusader, but died before 
he could set out. 

The Greek Empire was in a very demoralized condition 
and was verging on its decline. The Emperor, Manuel I. 
(1143 — 1 180), was succeeded by his son Alexius II. (1180 — 
1 1 83), a boy thirteen years of age, but who had already 
married Agnes, daughter of Louis VII., King of France. 
After two years he was murdered by Andronicus I. (Com- 
nenos), the grandson of Alexius I. The Greek Church ap- 
pears to have been in an equally corrupt state with the 
Empire, and few people at the time acknowledged the 
restraints of religion. Andronicus I. was, says Mr. Oman '^, 
an unscrupulous ruffian and a consummate hypocrite, who 
won his way to the throne by professions of piety and 
austere virtue. He had attempted the murder of the Em- 
peror Manuel and twice deserted to the Turks. The mur- 
derer, who found no difficulty in inducing the Greek clergy 
to grant him absolution, was consecrated Emperor (i 183 — 
1 185) by Basilios Camateros, intruded into the See of Con- 
stantinople in the place of the Patriarch Theodosius, who 
had been deposed for refusing to truckle to the vices of the 

■• Story of the Nations, p. 272. 

432 Chapter XII. 

Andronicus himself, after having his eyes put out and 
subjected to every form of indignity, was eventually mur- 
dered and succeeded by Isaac II. (Angelus ; 1185 — 1195 ; 
and again, 1203 — 1204). Andronicus was the last of the 
male branch of the Comneni, and Isaac II., the first Em- 
peror of the family of Angelus, was a descendant of the 
female branch through Theodora, daughter of Alexius I. 
The reign of the two Angeli, Isaac II. and his brother 
Alexius III., which cover the period 1 185—1204, may be 
pronounced the most despicable and disgraceful in the 
whole annals of the Eastern Empire. 

When Jerusalem fell under the arms of Saladin, Isaac 
II. was Emperor. The German Emperor Barbarossa, who 
had served under his uncle Conrad and gained experience 
during the second Crusade, wished to avoid any collision 
with the Byzantine government, and even asked permission 
of Isaac to pass through his territories. Isaac, who pos- 
sessed the habitual Greek hostility to the Latins, threw 
every obstacle in his way, blocking the passes and stopping 
the supplies. Frederic was in consequence compelled to 
make war upon him, and received substantial assistance 
from the Armenians of Philippopolis, who in their heredi- 
tary hatred to the Greeks, welcomed the Latins, and aided 
the Western Emperor, besides giving him useful informa- 
tion as to the state of the Eastern Empire and the move- 
ment of the troops. So deep-rooted was Isaac's hostility 
that he addressed a letter to Saladin boasting that he 
had done everything to arrest the advance of the Cru- 
saders ^ But by a victory gained by Barbarossa over the 
Turks at Cogni, Isaac was so alarmed that he sent envoys 
soliciting peace at any price. 

The deliverance of the Holy Land under a numerous and 
well-disciplined army, led by a General experienced, like 
Barbarossa, in Eastern warfare, was hopefully expected, 
when death suddenly ended his career ; the great Emperor 
being drowned, A.D. 1190, while crossing or bathing in the 

' Finlay, III. 235, note. 

The Schism widened by the Crusades. 423 

Cnidus, a narrow river of Cilicia. In the summer of that 
year Richard Cceur de Lion of England and Philip Au- 
gustus of France started by sea for the Holy Land. 

In 1 191, whilst Richard was on his outward journey, two 
of his ships were wrecked on the coast of Cyprus, where 
Isaac Comnenos, a relative of the Emperor Manuel I., having 
stirred up a rebellion, and defeated a fleet despatched 
against him by the Emperor Isaac, reigned under the title 
of Emperor of the Romans. The ship, which contained 
Richard's betrothed wife, Berengaria of Navarre, having 
been, during the storm, refused admission into the harbour, 
Richard landed with his troops, defeated the Greeks and 
occupied Cyprus, the sovereignty of which he transferred 
to Guy de Lusignan, who, by the death of his wife, had lost 
his title to the Kingdom of Jerusalem ; and Guy founded 
a dynasty of Frank kings in Cyprus. " From that time to 
the present day," says Finlay, " the Greeks of Cyprus have 
suffered every misery that can be inflicted by foreign 
masters ; and the island, which at the time of the conquest 
by Richard was the richest and most populous in the Medi- 
terranean, is now almost uncultivated and very thinly in- 
habited." Most of the Greek families emigrated from the 
island, their place being taken by Latin families from the 
Kingdom of Jerusalem. The Cyprian Church was Latin- 
ized ; Guy made the French language the language of the 
government, Latin becoming the language of the Church. 
Latin Bishops and Clergy were put in possession of the rich 
endowments of the Church ; toleration, however, was allowed 
to the Greeks, who, although deprived of their property, 
remained under the jurisdiction of their own Bishop ; whilst 
Armenians, Nestorians, and Copts were allowed to build 
Churches'. The history of Cyprus ceased till the present 
time to be connected with the history of the Greeks. 

Acre, a city about seventy miles distant from Jerusalem, 
which had, in consequence of the battle of Tiberias, yielded 
to Saladin, was, after a siege of nearly two years (1189 — 

' Finlay, IV. 74. 

424 Cliapter XII. 

1 191), in which it suffered enormous losses through famine, 
the climate, and the sword, taken by the Crusaders, and 
Acre thenceforward became the Metropolis of the Latin 
Christians and the residence of the titular King and Pa- 
triarch of Jerusalem. 

The Crusading leaders, jealous of each other, quarrelled 
amongst themselves. Philip Augustus, jealous of Richard, 
returned to France. Richard offended Leopold of Austria, 
by pulling down the Austrian banner from the battlements 
of Acre ; and, on another occasion, so wounded his pride, 
by the seasonable, but unroyal, application of his fist, that 
the Duke returned in wrath to Austria. 

Richard Cceur de Lion continued in Palestine a year 
longer, and defeated Saladin in several battles, taking 
Jaffa and Caesarea. But in vain Richard demanded of 
Saladin the restitution of Palestine and the Holy Cross ; 
Jerusalem was left in the hands of the infidels ; all that 
he could obtain for the Christians was the suspension 
of hostilities for three years and eight months ; that pil- 
grims should enjoy liberty and security, and that the Holy 
Sepulchre should be open to them without payment or 

Readers of English history need not to be reminded how 
the treachery of Richard's brother John recalled him from 
Palestine ; how he was shipwrecked at Trieste and made 
prisoner by Leopold of Austria, by whom he was delivered 
to the Emperor, Henry VI., of Germany, and only released 
on the promised payment of a heavy ransom, for which 
hostages were left as a security. 

After his defeat by Richard, Saladin took up his abode 
at Damascus, where he died, full of honour, in March, 1193, 
in the fifty-sixth year of his age and the twenty-first of his 
reign. The last act of the great Sultan was to order his 
winding-sheet, in place of a standard, to be carried through 
every street in the city, to signify the instability of human 
greatness ; whilst he left alms to be distributed in equal pro- 
portions between Christians, Jews, and Mahometans. 

The Schism widened by the Crusades. 425 

After the third Crusade the state of Palestine grew even 
worse than before. The sons of Saladin quarrelled amongst 
themselves, and the government became broken up into the 
rival dynasties of Egypt, Damascus, and Aleppo. Saladin's 
soldiers supported his brother Saphadim, by whom, on the 
expiration, in 1197, of the truce made with Saladin, Jaffa 
was taken, twenty thousand Christians being put to death. 
The Crusaders began to experience treachery in their own 
camp ; rumours abounded of the Templars holding treason- 
able correspondence with the Mahometans, who made many 
converts from the Order instituted for the defence of the 
Holy Land. 

In the following year Innocent III., under whom the 
Papal See reached the zenith of its power, and advanced 
far beyond anything claimed for it even by the Forged 
Decretals, became Pope of Rome (1198 — 1216). The Pope 
was now no longer contented with being the successor of 
St.. Peter, but claimed to be the Vicar of Jesus Christ s. 

The lust of conquest, engendered by the fatal gift of patri- 
mony conferred by Pipin and Charlemagne, led the Pope 
to imagine that he might augment it by the acquisition of 
Constantinople. It was impossible for the Greeks not to 
despise a Church which sheltered itself under the shallow 
pretence of Innocent ; " You see," he says, " that the time 
has come when, the golden calves being destroyed, Israel 
should return to Judah, and Samaria be converted to Jeru- 
salem ■" ; " that the breach between the two Churches should 
not be widened ; and that the East could any longer doubt 
that the Crusades were schemes for the aggrandisement of 
the Papacy, rather than for the defence of the Holy Land. 

The fourth Crusade was preached through France and 
Flanders by Fulk, a^ parish Priest of Neuilly, near Paris, 
and was undertaken at the instance of Pope Innocent. It 

8 " Quamvis simus Apostolorum principis successores, non tamen ejus aut 
alicujus Apostoli aut hominis, sed Ipsius sumus Vicarii, Jesu Christi." 

■■ " Tempus advenisse videtis in quo, destructis; vitulis aureis, Israel vertatur 
ad Judam, et ad Hierosolumam Samaria convertatur." 

426 Chapter XII. 

did nothing for the Holy Land, and degenerated into a 
Crusade for the conquest of the Eastern Empire, and the 
subjugation of the Greek Church. The Crusade was in 
its inception far from popular in Europe. Rumours of the 
rapacity of the Papal Curia, and that the money raised for 
Crusades was diverted to other uses, were spread and cre- 
dited. But appeals for help from the Patriarchs of Antioch 
and Jerusalem became more and more urgent; Innocent 
applied to the clergy and laity of Europe ; the people he 
requested to contribute liberally to the best of their power, 
whilst the clergy were to contribute a fourth part of their 
revenues, with the assurance that it would be in safe keeping 
under the custody of Rome. 

At last, A.D. I20I, several Barons of Europe, amongst 
the chief of whom were Baldwin, Count of Flanders, and 
Boniface of Montferrat, determined to set out on a Crusade. 
Apprehensive of the long and dangerous journey through 
Asia, and fearing the hostility of the Greeks, they deter- 
mined to proceed by sea ; but the difficulty was how to 
procure sufficient transports. They applied to Venice, 
which with Genoa and Pisa were, at that time, the greatest 
naval powers in Europe. The Doge Eurico Dandolo, 
ninety years of age, who had been deprived of his sight 
by the Emperor Manuel Comnenos, readily granted their 
request, on the understanding that whatever conquests were 
made should be equally divided between the Barons and 
the Venetians. The Crusaders, having assembled in Venice 
in October, 1202, set sail, to the number of 200,000, the 
old Doge himself, who had taken the vows of a Crusader 
in St. Mark's, Venice, accompanying them, under Boniface 
of Montferrat, who was invested with the Cross of a pilgrim. 

A change of purpose suddenly occurred. Dandolo pre- 
vailed with the Crusaders to assist him in recovering Zara 
in Dalmatia, which had been seized by the King of Hungary; 
and the Pope in vain threatened them with excommuni- 
cation if they attacked a city, which belonged to a King 
who had taken the Cross of a Crusader. 

The Schism widened by the Crusades. 427 

No sooner was Zara taken after a siege of six days, 
than the Doge again turned aside the object of the 
expedition. The Eastern Emperor, Isaac Angelus, had 
been blinded and imprisoned in a dungeon at Constanti- 
nople by his brother, who usurped the throne under the 
title of Alexius III. The Greeks willingly transferred their 
allegiance from a tyrant whose vices they knew, to a new 
tyrant whose vices they had not as yet discovered. Isaac's 
young son, Alexius, managing to effect, on board a Pisan 
vessel, his own escape to Venice from imprisonment, strove 
to induce the Crusaders to aid him in the restoration of his 
father to the throne. The Franks he endeavoured to gain 
over by the promise that, as soon as his father was restored 
to the throne, he would subjugate the Greek Qhurch to the 
obedience of the Pope. With the Venetians he had little 
difficulty, as they were desirous of an opportunity for paying 
off a grudge against the Greeks, on account of help given 
by them to their rivals, the Genoese. The young Alexius 
was profuse in his promises to pay the cost of the pro- 
posed expedition. 

Differences arose between the Franks and the Venetians. 
The former, having run the risk of excommunication once, 
were unwilling to risk it a second time. But Dandolo and 
the Venetians, who owned no allegiance to the Pope, knew 
no such scruples; and they prevailed. The Franks, although 
many of them left the camp, refusing to stain their hands 
with the blood of their fellow-Christians, accepted the pro- 
posal of the young Alexius; probably they had a shrewd 
suspicion that their success, and the establishment of a Latin 
Church at Constantinople, would, as afterwards proved to 
be the case, please and satisfy the Pope. Thus the fourth 
Crusade was, from Syria, diverted to Constantinople, and 
instead of being turned against the infidels, was turned 
against the Eastern Christians. 

In the summer of A.D. 1203, the Crusaders appeared in 
the neighbourhood of Constantinople. By this time the 
Greeks had seen enough of their usurping Emperor, and. 

428 Chapter XII. 

as no one was desirous of espousing his cause, Alexius III., 
taking with him whatever jewels and treasures he could lay 
hands on, fled from Constantinople. In July the Crusaders 
entered Constantinople in triumph, the blind Emperor, so 
old and imbecile as scarcely to understand what was going 
on, was restored to the throne, his son Alexius being 
crowned in St. Sophia's, as his colleague, with the title of 
Alexius IV. The youg Alexius was an idle and dissipated 
tyrant, who proved himself as incapable as his father or 
his uncle, of governing. In order to carry out part of his 
bargain with the Crusaders, whose help he required to keep 
him on his insecure throne, he persuaded his father to ac- 
knowledge the supremacy of the Pope, and even wrote to 
the Pope to tl;at effect ; but he mistook the feelings of the 
Greeks, who regarded him as a traitor to their faith, and 
he became an object of contempt alike to Greeks and Latins. 

The misfortunes of the inhabitants were increased by 
a fire which ravaged Constantinople ; and their indignation 
was still further excited, when the emissaries of Alexius, 
in order to carry out his bargain with the Latins, proceeded 
to strip the Cathedral, the Churches, and the monasteries, 
of their gold and silver plate, and ornaments. The people 
rose in rebellion and found a leader in Alexius Ducas, 
surnamed, from his shaggy eyebrows, Murtzuphlus (the 
beetle-browed) ; the old Emperor died of fright ; the young 
Emperor, under assurance that he was being conveyed to 
a place of safety from enemies who were seeking his life, 
was thrown into a dungeon, where he was strangled by 
the hands of Murtzuphlus, who ascended the throne as 
Alexius V. (Ducas) in 1204. 

It was soon evident that the government could not carry 
out the pecuniary engagement on which the Crusaders in- 
sisted ; the Crusaders therefore declared war against the 
Empire, and, in April, 1204, commenced their attack on 
Constantinople. Murtzuphlus, finding it impossible to in- 
fuse a warlike spirit into the cowardly citizens, to whom the 
Imperial government had become hateful, fled from the 

The Schism widened by the Crusades. 429 

capital. The Greek clergy alone stood in the gap and ad- 
vocated resistance. Theodore Lascaris, the son-in-law ot 
Alexius III., was, at their instance, chosen Emperor ; but 
meeting with no better success he, too, found it necessary 
to fly from Constantinople to Nice. The conduct of the 
champions of the Cross in their hour of victory formed 
a sad contrast with that of the Mussulmans under Saladin, 
when the latter conquered Jerusalem. Never was victory 
more cruelly abused. In vain the unhappy citizens implored 
the mercy of their victors ; two thousand Greeks were ruth- 
lessly murdered, and sacrilege and plunder, even though it 
was Holy Week, prevailed everywhere. No restraint was 
exercised, no mercy, for religion, for age or sex, was shown. 
The Churches were profaned with sacrilegious ceremonies, 
the Priests maltreated, the ritual of the Greek Church ridi- 
culed, and the vessels of the Altar turned into drinking-cups 
for drunken orgies. The monuments of religion were de- 
stroyed or defaced ; the precious shrines, the receptacles 
of the holy relics of Saints and Martyrs, ransacked ; the 
sacred plate, golden crowns, candelabra of precious stones. 
Crosses, rich Altar-cloths, and jewelled ornaments were 
seized ; mules and horses being driven through the Churches 
to cart away the sacred treasures. An abandoned female 
who had accompanied the Crusaders, seated, in shameless 
dress, on the Patriarchal throne, sang ribald songs, and 
danced before the very Altar in the Cathedral of St. Sophia. 
Amongst the immense amount of spoil carried away were 
the four bronze horses which now adorn the Piazza of 
St. Mark in Venice, and the picture of the Holy Virgin, said 
to have been painted by St. Luke. Baldwin, the future 
Emperor, declared that the riches of Constantinople at the 
time equalled the accumulated wealth of Western Europe'. 

Before these horrors were perpetrated, the Franks and 
Venetians had settled between themselves the plan for 
destroying the Greek, and establishing a Latin, Empire and 

' Finlay, III. 274. 

430 Chapter XII. 

a Latin Patriarch, the Emperor to be chosen from one 
nation, the Patriarch from the other. 

The Bishop of Soissons announced to the assembled chiefs 
the result of the election. Baldwin, Count of Flanders, was 
chosen Emperor (1204 — 1205) by the Franks. Murtzu- 
phlus, the late Emperor, being made prisoner by the 
Crusaders, was tried for the murder of Alexius, condemned, 
and executed, by being hurled from the Theodosian column 
in one of the squares of Constantinople. The Patriarch, 
John Camateros, stripped of his Patriarchal robes and 
seated upon an ass, was driven from the city, and Thomaso 
Morosini, one of their own countrymen, was intruded by 
the Venetians into the Patriarchate. 

Such were the tender mercies of the Latin Crusaders 
to the Greek Church, so long the bulwark of Christendom 
against the Saracens ; and to the fourth Crusade are to 
be attributed all the subsequent evils and degradations 
of the Eastern Empire, of the Orthodox Church, and the 
Greek nation. Constantinople and the Eastern Empire it 
despoiled beyond the possibility of recovery, and prepared 
an easy victory for the Turks. No blacker stain of hypo- 
crisy, cruelty, and rapacity disfigures the annals of the 
Christian Church. Pope Innocent III., in some respects 
the greatest of all the Popes, at first endeavoured to pre- 
vent the Crusade from deviating from its proper purpose ; 
but his subsequent conduct does not entitle him to the 
same meed of praise ; he took advantage of the cruel and 
unmerited injustice inflicted on the Patriarch and the Greek 
Church, to extend his own power. The Crusade had, by 
force of arms, conquered the Greek Church, and the conduct 
of the Crusaders in St. Sophia's was not surpassed during 
the reign of terror by the revolutionists in Notre Dame at 
Paris. Innocent himself complained of the foul deeds, too 
foul to be described, which disgraced the name of Chris- 
tians'', yet he took the new Latin Empire under his pro- 

^ "Nee religioni, nee SEtati, nee sexui pepercerunt, sed fornicationes, adul- 

TJie Schism widened by the Crusades. 431 

tectlon ; he had passed sentence of excommunication on 
the Venetians when they had refused to obey him ; but 
now that they had got all they wanted, and had no reason 
for disobeying him any longer, he withdrew the sentence. 
John Camateros, the Patriarch of Constantinople, was still 
living ; but the Venetians would have a Patriarch of their 
own, nor would they accept one appointed by the Pope. 
Without consulting Innocent's wishes or approval, they in- 
sisted on Morosini, a Venetian sub-deacon ; and in January, 
1205, the Pope, sanctioned the election, and took the in- 
truded Patriarch under his special patronage ; with his own 
hands he Ordained him Deacon, and, within a week, Priest 
and Bishop, and invested him with the Pall, insisting that 
he should recognize the supremacy of the Pope of Rome. 
Innocent violated every Canon of the Catholic Church, 
which regulated the election and deposition of Bishops, 
and forbade two Bishops to exist in the same city. 

The consequence of the Pope's action was, and still is, 
that the Greek Church spurns the idea of returning to 
union with the Roman Church ; and for such works of dark- 
ness, as marked the fourth Crusade, it abhorred the Latins 
as •' dogs." Innocent himself wrote, " How is it possible 
that the Greeks should ever return to unity when they 
have been treated in such a manner that they regard the 
Latins as dogs .' " Why did he not ask the question. How 
could they return after the schismatical dealings of the Pope .? 

But the Latins were far from conquering the whole East- 
ern Empire. Rival dynasties were established in Epirus, 
Nice, and Trebizond, the last two under Princes with the 
title of Emperors. The Latin Empire in the East lasted 
for fifty-seven years (1204 — 1261) ; but the Emperor of 
Romania, as he was styled, could never subdue the spirit 
of his Greek subjects, and the Latin Empire, from the 
first moment of its existence, was feeble and had unfailing 
signs of decay and destruction. In its very first year the 

teria, et incestus in oculis omnium exercentes, non solum maritas et virgines 
Deo dicatas exposuerunt spurcitiis garcionum." 

432 Chapter XII. 

Latins suffered a disastrous defeat near Adrianople, from 
the Tsar of Bulgaria, their army cut to pieces, the Emperor 
Baldwin taken captive, and put to death in prison. He 
was succeeded by his brother, Henry of Flanders (1205 — 

Pope Innocent found the Greeks more difficult to rule 
than he had imagined, and thoroughly misunderstood the 
character of the Greek Church. The Roman Church has 
never doubted that the Greeks are Catholics, but Innocent 
dealt with the Greek Bishops and Priests as ministers of 
a false faith. The Crusaders, says Sir George Cox', had 
come to a Christian land which boasted Churches of a more 
venerable antiquity than Milan, Ravenna, or even Rome 
itself; to a land where the ritual of the Church had taken 
root while Christianity was in its cradle. This Church- 
honoured civilization the Latins thought that they could 

The population with which Innocent had to deal con- 
sisted of two distinct classes, Greeks and Latins, and there 
were constant disputes between the Greek and Latin clergy. 
Over the Latin Patriarchs the Emperors of Romania exer- 
cised the same rights as the Byzantine Emperors had exer- 
cised over the Greek Patriarchs ; and the Greek clergy would 
admit of no controlling power in the Pope different to what 
they had been accustomed to under their own Patriarchs 
and Emperors. Innocent, finding- it impossible to coerce the 
Greeks into conformity, bribed them into acquiescence by 
sanctioning the celebration of divine service in their own 
language. But many regarded this as an insidious means 
of drawing them from their allegiance to the Orthodox 
Church, and were more incensed than ever against the 
Latins. They complained of the Pope's presumptuous 
claims ; of his dictating, according to his own pleasure, or 
rather commanding, in matters belonging to the Church ; 
of Rome, instead of a mother, being a step-mother [de matre 
noverca facta) ; so that instead of sons they might more 

Crusades p. 163. 

The Schism widened by the Crusades. 433 

properly be called slaves, so heavy was the yoke imposed 
upon their necks ; that the schism was occasioned " a ty- 
rannide vestrce oppressionis, et exactionum Romanes Ecclesim;" 
and that they were obliged to act as Paul acted to Peters- 
There were also constant frictions and contentions between 
the Franks and Venetians. The Venetians opposed the 
Patriarchs as being too submissive to the Popes, and tried 
to induce them to appoint Venetian Bishops. The Franks 
never cordially acquiesced in a Venetian Patriarch, and in- 
sisted on the appointment of French Bishops ; the Popes 
had to interfere to preserve the peace between them ; and 
one of the first acts of Morosini was to excommunicate 
half of the clergy of the Empire. 

Eleven years after the establishment of the Latin Empire, 
Innocent assembled the Fourth Lateran Council, as stated 
in his Bull, for the recovery of the Holy Land and the 
reformation of the Church. The Council was attended by 
two rival claimants of the Latin Patriarchate of Constanti- 
nople, and the Patriarch of Jerusalem. How calamitous was 
the .schism between Greeks and Latins in the East may 
be learnt from the complaint made by the Romans before 
the Council, that the Greeks treated the Altars where the 
Latins had celebrated as polluted, and rebaptized those who 
had received Latin baptism ". Nor need we, although here- 
tical baptism is recognized both by the Greek and Latin 
Churches, wonder at the indignation felt by the Greeks. 
The Popes not only treated them as heretics, but worse 
than Mahometans. In the contests which took place be- 
tween the Latin Emperors at Constantinople and the Greek 
Emperors at Nice, the Latins allied themselves with the 
Mahometans. Henry of Flanders boasted of his alliance 
with the Turks against Orthodox Greeks as an honourable 
one ; yet the Popes, who considered Mahometans less 

■" Matthew Paris. 

° " Si quando saceidotes Latini super eorum celebrassent altaria, non prius 
ibi sacrificare volebant quam ea, tanquam per hoc inquinata, lavassent. Bap- 
tizatos etiam i Latinis, et ipsi Grjeci lebaptizare ausu temerario prEesumebant. " 


434 Chapter XII. 

dangerous to their supremacy than Greeks, made the con- 
tests between Greeks and Latins holy wars, and granted 
Indulgences to the latter in their attacks on the Greek 

All civil dignities and offices were at first conferred on 
the Latins. But the Latin Emperor, having to deal with 
the superior culture of the Greek landed proprietors, soon 
found it necessary to leave the civil and municipal admi- 
nistration in their hands. He had also to contend with 
the Greeks of the lower classes, the artificers and agri- 
culturists. So that not only Ecclesiastical but civil affairs 
also were thrown into utter confusion, and it required all 
the firmness of Henry of Flanders to avoid open quarrels 
between Church and State °. 

Henry, in default of male heirs of the Counts of Flanders, 
was succeeded by Peter of Courtenay (1217 — 1219), who 
had married his sister Yolande, and was crowned by Pope 
Honorius HL (1216 — 1227), the successor of Innocent. 
By Yolande he became the father of the last Latin Em- 
peror, Baldwin H. 

In the fifth Crusade, Frederic II., Emperor of Germany 
(1220 — 1250), was the principal actor. His life doubtless 
was not faultless, but he was a man endowed with every 
princely virtue, and of such varied accomplishments that he 
was styled the Wonder of the World. " That excellent 
Prince," says Hallam, "was perhaps the most eminent 
pattern of unswerving probity and Christian strictness of 
conscience that ever held the sceptre of any country." 
Pope Honorius III., a man of mild and gentle character, 
urged upon him, at his Coronation, the fulfilment of a vow, 
which he had previously made, to go on a Crusade for the 
rescue of the Holy Sepulchre. " Never did Pope love 
Emperor as he loved his son Frederic," were the words 
of Honorius P. But political exigencies at home, and subse- 
quent illness, for a time prevented the Emperor from ful- 

" Finlay, IV. loi. " Cox's Crusades, 185. 

The Schism widened by the Crusades. 435 

filling his vow. The whole of the Pontificate of Gregory IX. 
(1227 — 1 241), a man of vulgar and violent temper, the 
successor of Honorius, was taken up in quarrels and in 
excommunicating the Emperor. Twice he excommunicated 
him because he could not fulfil his vow and go to the Holy 
Land ; and then, when he fulfilled it and went, he excom- 
municated him a third time and deposed him. " What 
means this arrogant and daring Pope " {(juo spiritu vel ausu 
temerario), asked Louis IX., the saintly King of France 
(1226 — 1270), "to disinherit a King who has no superior, 
not even an equal, in Christendom ! " 

In 1229 the Emperor arrived in Palestine, took the field 
against the infidels, and succeeded in making, with the 
Sultan Kamel, an advantageous truce for ten years, by 
which not only Jerusalem, but Lydda, Bethlehem, Nazareth, 
Tyre and Sidon were restored to the Christians. But the 
persecution of the Pope still followed him. He had, 
A.D. 1225, married lolante, daughter of John de Brienne, 
the titular King, who transferred to him as his dowry the 
barren title of King of Jerusalem. When he entered Jeru- 
salem he found the Holy Sepulchre closed against him. 
The Bishops stood aloof; the Latin Patriarch refused to 
crown him ; whereupon he himself took the crown from the 
High Altar in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and placed 
it on his own head. Having gained more for the Christians 
than had been done since the first Crusade, he returned to 
Europe to find himself again placed under the bann of ex- 
communication by the Pope. 

The Sixth was an English Crusade, which left England, 
A.D. 1240, under Richard, Earl of Cornwall, brother of 
King Henry III., and William Longsword, son of the Earl 
of Salisbury. They succeeded in obtaining from the Sultan 
even more favourable terms than had been granted to the 
Emperor Frederic ; and Palestine was once again in the 
hands of the Christians. But at a time when the strength 
of Christendom was divided ; when the East was broken up 
into two rival Empires ; when the West was distracted by 

F f 2 

436 Chapter XII. 

the quarrels of the Popes and the Hohenstaufens, it was 
impossible for the Christians to defend themselves. 

Peace was broken, A.D. 1243, by the irruption of the bar- 
barous hordes of Mahometan Corasmians, who, flying from 
the Moguls, a tribe as barbarous as themselves, entered and 
sacked Jerusalem. Under their savage onslaughts Jerusalem 
was abandoned by its garrison ; the Grand-Masters of the 
Templars, and Hospitallers were slain in battle, and the 
military Orders almost exterminated ; the Christian Churches 
and the Holy Sepulchre were violated ; thousands of pil- 
grims, decoyed from the city, were subjected to a cruel and 
indiscriminate slaughter, surpassing even what had been suf- 
fered from Turks and Saracens. Thus the Holy City was 
again taken by the Mahometans and has never been re- 
covered ; and although the German Emperors continued to 
style themselves Kings of Jerusalem, Frederic was really the 
last Christian King who reigned. 

Not the Pope of Rome, but the opponent of Popes, 
the pious, saintly, and ascetic Louis IX. ', was at that time 
the acknowledged representative of Christendom. Pope 
Innocent IV. (1243 — 1254) continued the persecution of the 
German Emperor, Frederic II. ; but he, too, met with an 
opponent in St. Louis, and not finding Rome a safe place 
of residence, sought, A.D. 1244, an asylum, which was denied 
him in England, at Lyons. ' In the next year St. Louis, when 
lying, as was supposed, on his death-bed, vowed that if he 
recovered he would lead a Crusade to the Holy Land. His 
peaceful and gentle character fitted him for the life of 
a monk, rather than that of the leader of armies, for which 
he lacked every necessary quality. Circumstances, for three 
years, prevented him from carrying out his vow ; but, on 
August 27th, 1248, having taken the Cross of a Crusader 
from the Archbishop of Paris, he started, with the seventh 
Crusade, for Cyprus, the appoinjted place of the meeting. 
After spending nine months on that island, the Crusaders 

1 He was canonized by the Church of Rome twenty-eight years after 
his death. 

The Schism widened by the Crusades. 437 

set out for Egypt and took Damietta. But everything— the 
newly-invented Greek fire, famine, pestilence — seemed to 
conspire against them and committed terrible havoc amongst 
their troops. The fortune of war turned against them, and 
they suffered a total defeat ; the Count of Artois, the King's 
brother, was killed in battle ; Louis himself was captured 
and imprisoned at Missourat near Cairo. The noble traits 
of his character enlisted the admiration of the Sultan Turah 
Shah ; and eventually, by payment of an immense ransom, 
he effected the release of himself and his barons, and after 
having concluded a truce for ten years, and having made 
a pilgrimage to Nazareth, he was recalled to France 
(a.d. 1254) by the death of his mother. 

The infidels continued to extend their conquests in Syria, 
and in 1268 Antioch fell. The vow of the Crusader was 
still upon him, and the King, nothing daurlted with the 
failure of the former Crusade, started, in July, 1270, on 
a second expedition to the Holy Land. No sooner had 
the army encamped at Tunis than the plague broke out, 
and on August 25 the saintly King, having first witnessed 
his son Tristan {the child of his sorrow) carried off by the 
fatal epidemic, followed him to the grave. 

In the same year Prince Edward joined the Crusade, but 
returned to England, in 1274, as King Edward L Acre, 
whither the Hospitallers and Templars had, after the fall 
of Jerusalem, transferred their head-quarters, was then the 
sole possession left to the Christians. It is described as 
having become a sink of iniquity, whither the scum of 
the Crusaders had conglomerated, so that it was said to 
be better in the hands of the Mahometans, than to con- 
tinue to disgrace the name of Christians. Acre was in 
1 29 1 taken by the Mahometans. The Patriarch contrived to 
escape. The Crusades, although the embers for some time 
smouldered on, had come to an end ; the Christian King- 
dom of Jerusalem terminated, and the Holy Places are 
to this day in the possession of the Turks. 

The Crusades were a miserable failure, the only gainers 

438 Chapter XII. 

from them were the Popes of Rome ; to the Greeks they 
were scarcely a less cause of terror than the attacks of 
the Turks. They had, however, one unexpected result ; the 
power of the Seljuk Turks received a check, and the con- 
quest of Constantinople by the infidels was delayed for 
one hundred and sixty-two years. 

Meanwhile, whilst the Latin Empire of Constantinople 
was, under the Emperor Baldwin II. (1228 — 1261), grow- 
ing weaker and weaker, the Greeks continued under 
their Emperors their independence and their orthodox 
worship, and far from despairing of their rights, kept 
a watchful eye on their lawful heritage. Nor was their 
enforced absence from Constantinople without its corres- 
ponding advantages, for it kept them free from the luxuries 
and dissoluteness into which the capital of the Latin 
Empire sunk. 

Of the independent Greek thrones the principal were the 
Empires of Nice and Trebizond, and it is with the former, of 
which Theodore Lascaris was Emperor, that we are chiefly 
concerned. Fortunately for Lascaris, the violent conduct of 
Pelagius, the Papal legate at Constantinople, in persecuting 
those who refused to acknowledge the Pope's supremacy, 
so disgusted the Orthodox Greeks, that whatever remained 
there of the aristocracy and wealth, as well as most of the 
distinguished clergy and monks, followed him to Nice. 
The Orthodox Patriarch, John Camateros, being unwilling 
to resume the office, Michael Autorianus was appointed 
to the Patriarchate (1206 — 1212) ; by him Theodore was 
crowned Emperor (1204 — 1222) ; and Nice was recognized 
by the Greek Bishops and Clergy as the centre of Eastern 

Theodore addressed a Letter to Pope Innocent III., 
proposing, as a basis of agreement, that the Latins should 
retain the European, and the Greeks the Asiatic, dominions 
of the Byzantine Empire. The Pope in his reply, written 
A.D. 1208, denied him the title of Emperor, required him 
to acknowledge himself the vassal of the Latin Empire, 

The Schism widened by the Crusades. 439 

and to assume the Cross for the recovery of Palestine. 
Forgetful of his own former condemnation of the Fourth 
Crusade, he told the Emperor that the Greek Church had 
"rent asunder the seamless robe of Christ," and was suf- 
fering under the righteous hand of God, who had employed 
the Latins to punish their iniquity. 

To Theodore, John III. (Ducas Vatatces), his son-in-law, 
succeeded as Emperor (1222 — 1254); an able and pious 
Prince, under whom the Greek Empire continued to flourish. 
Notwithstanding .the rebuff administered to Theodore, he, 
in the hope of recovering his lost dominions, entered into 
negotiations with Pope Gregory IX. for the re-union of 
the Greek and Latin Churches. In consequence of a com- 
munication which he received from Vatatces through the 
Patriarch Germanus, the Pope sent to Nice, A.D. 1233, two 
Dominican and two Franciscan monks to discuss points 
of agreement. The envoys were received with great honour, 
and the Emperor assembled a Council at NymphEEum. No 
sooner had they got to work, than both Greeks and Latins 
brought forward mutual accusations and invectives. The 
Latins complained of the Greeks condemning the Latin 
Azyms ; of their purifying their Altars after Latin Cele- 
brations ; rebaptizing Latins ; and of their erasure of the 
Pope's name from the Diptychs. The Patriarch met the 
charges with a counter accusation, viz., the desecration by 
the Latins of Greek Churches and Altars and vessels after 
the conquest of Constantinople. The charge of erasing 
the Pope's name he met with the question, " Why has the 
Pope erased my name ? " 

That was not a favourable commencement. But the two 
chief points of discussion were the Azyms and the double 
Procession. When the Emperor suggested that the Pope 
should meet the Greek Church half-way, and a via media 
be adopted, he was met with the stereotyped non possiimus, 
and the Latin monks insisted that the Pope could not yield 
one iota. The Emperor himself overlooked the fact that 
he would have to reckon with the Greek Church, which 

440 Chapter XII. 

has always, both before and afterwards, given a more 
stringent non possumus against the resort to the via media 
than the Latins. 

As to the matter of leavened or unleavened bread, the 
Latin envoys were willing that the Greeks should be left 
to their own use, so long as they burnt all books which 
condemned the Latin practice. On the Emperor remarking 
that that was " no form of peace," nothing further was done 
and no agreement arrived at ; the monks returned home, 
after a very pleasant visit at Nice, charmed with the hos- 
pitality shown them by the Emperor. 

Several subsequent attempts at re-union made by Vatatces 
were all grounded on the condition that the Greek Empire 
at Constantinople should be re-established, the Latin Pa- 
triarchs, except the Patriarch of Antioch, who might con- 
tinue till his death, be removed, and the Greek Patriarchs 

Theodore II. (1254 — 1259), the successor of his father 
Vatatces, was, after a short reign, succeeded by his son, 
John IV. (1259 — 1261), a boy eight years of age, under 
the tutorship of Arsenius, who had been appointed as a 
layman to the Patriarchate, and in one week went through 
the different Orders of the Ministry. The events that follow 
do not reflect credit on the Greek clergy. "Neither law, 
honour, nor morality," says Finlay"^, "were then predominant 
in the Greek mind." Michael Palffiologus, an able General, 
but an unprincipled and ambitious demagogue, soon con- 
trived to gain the Bishops over to his side, and to get 
himself appointed joint-Emperor, the Patriarch at first 
refusing, but eventually yielding, and performing the cere- 
mony of coronation. 

Nor was the state of the Latin Patriarchate any better. 
Between Morosini the first and Pantaleon the last Patriarch, 
four others intervened. After the death of Morosini, two 
opposing candidates, one of whom was the Metropolitan 
of Heraclea, presented themselves, and such violent quarrels 

' HI. 33S. 

The Schism widened hy the Crusades. 44.1 

occurred amongst the Latins, that Pope Innocent, in the 
Lateran Council of 121 5, put both aside, and, not till the 
Patriarchate had been vacant four years, appointed Gervasius. 
On his death, in 1220, another quarrel ensued =, and Pope 
Honorius appointed Matthias Bishop of Aquila. The con- 
duct of Matthias was so scandalous as to call down the 
reproof from Honorius that he made himself a cause of 
offence to many {/actus est multis offendiculum). Simeon, 
the next Patriarch, was appointed by Gregory IX. under 
similar circumstsyices as those which led to the appointment 
of Gervasius. The Latin Patriarchate grew weaker and 
weaker, till Nicolas, the immediate predecessor of Pantaleon, 
wrote to Pope Gregory IX. that the number of his suffragans 
had dwindled down from thirty to three, that he himself 
was brought to the greatest straits, and had not enough 
to live upon '- During the Episcopate of Pantaleon, Alex- 
ander IV. was Pope (1254 — 1261) ; but it was the time 
when Italy was distracted with the dissensions of the Guelphs 
and Ghibillines, and the Pope was too much occupied in 
his own conflicts with the Hohenstaufens to interfere. 

' "Clerus Constantinopolitanus consentire non potuit." — Le Quien, I, 801. 
' " Nee sibi remansit unde valeat sustentari." — Ibid., III. 800 — 807. 


Intrigues of the Palceologt with Rome, and Fall 
of Constantinople. 

End of the Latin Empire of Constantinople — Michael Palasologus, Emperor — 
Restoration of the Orthodox Church — Michael's submission to Pope 
Urban IV. — Battle of Benevento — Creed of Clement IV. — Second Council 
of Lyons — Great indignation at Constantinople — Four Patriarchs of Con- 
stantinople at one time — The Sicilian Vespers — The Pope excommunicates 
Michael — Andronicus II., Emperor — Eight Patriarchs during the reign — 
Rise of the Ottoman Turks — The Knights Hospitallers gain possession 
of Rhodes — Suppression of the Templars — Fall of the Seven Churches 
of Asia — Andronicus II. deposed by his grandson, Andronicus III. — 0th- 
man succeeded by Orkhan — The tribute of Christian children — Barlaam 
and the Pope — The Hesychasts— John V., Emperor — The Emir does 
homage to the Pope — The battle of Kossova — Manuel II., Emperor- 
Battle of Nicopolis — Battle of Angora — The Council of Pisa — Of Constance 
— Communion in both Kinds forbidden — Council of Basle — Of Ferrara — 
Of Florence — ^John VI. in fear of the Sultan Murad submits to the Pope — 
The Eastern Patriarchs threaten to excommunicate the Emperor — Battle 
of Varna — Constantine XL, Emperor — Mahomet II., Sultan — Constantine 
subscribes the Florentine Union — The Greek Clergy generally and the 
laity repudiate it — Constantinople taken by the Turks — Noble endeavour 
of Pope Pius II. to promote a Crusade— His death at Ancona — Mahomet 
favours the Orthodox Church — Effect of the conquest on the Greek 
Church — Pius II. 's Letter to Mahomet — Further conquests of Mahomet II. 
— Mahomet succeeded by Bajazet II. — Selim, Sultan — He captures Rhodes 
— Knights Hospitallers fly to Malta — Battle of Lepanto. 

MICHAEL PAL.^OLOGUS, having defeated the allied 
armies of the Emperor, Baldwin II., expelled the Latins, 
and twenty days afterwards, on August 14, 1261, entered 
Constantinople in triumph, where, in the Cathedral of 
St. Sophia, the ceremony of his coronation was repeated 
by the Patriarch Arsenius. Thus the Latin Empire of Ro- 
mania came to an end, and the Roman Empire, weakened 
and crippled by the Crusades, was re-established at Con- 
stantinople. But nothing short of being sole Emperor 
would satisfy Michael ; he soon threw off the mask, and, 
having on Christmas Day, 1261, put out the eyes of the 
boy- Emperor, John IV., he cast him into a dungeon, where 

Intrigues of the Palceologi, &c. 443 

he pined away thirt)'- years of his miserable life. Thus was 
founded the last and most ignoble dynasty of the Roman 
Empire in the East. The family of the Palaeologi, with 
the exception of the last and only noble one of the dynasty, 
caring for little beyond their own interests and nothing for 
their subjects, continued to reign till Constantinople was, 
A.D. 1453, captured by the Ottoman Turks. This period 
is known as that of the Greek, in distinction to that of the 
Byzantine, Empire, of which it was a feeble imitation, shrunk 
to the narrowest limits, and marked by a general decay ; 
whilst the Emperors who ruled over it were men fitted to 
destroy rather than support an exhausted Empire. The 
Empire of Trebizond still continued its independence ; but 
the Empire of the Palasologi boasted the proud title of 
Roman ; and they styled themselves Emperors of the 

The closing years of the Eastern Empire were over- 
clouded with internal dissensions, with the advance of the 
Ottomans, and the servile submission of the Emperors to 
the Popes, in which last respect they found themselves in 
opposition to the Greek Church. The friendly or hostile 
attitude of the Palaeologi towards the Popes was deter- 
mined by the measure of their prosperity or adversity. 
When threatened by domestic or foreign enemies they 
looked to the West for help, which could only be obtained 
through the profession of obedience to the Popes ; when 
the danger was averted, and they found themselves in col- 
lision with their Orthodox subjects, who refused to accept 
Western help at the expense of their Church, they were 
as eager to reject, as they had before been to seek, the al- 
liance. It was the case of the sick man who repents in 
illness and on recovery shakes off his repentance. 

The Orthodox Church was now again restored, and 
its ascendency was characterized by even more than 
its former hatred of the Latins. But it had degenerated 
and lost its influence. It was eminently conservative 
and Orthodox ; well skilled in ecclesiastical formulas and 

444 Intrigues of the Palceologi with Rome, 

religious doctrines ; enthusiastic in defence of the Church 
against the Popes, and, when its orthodoxy was endangered, 
against the Emperors, to whom, however, when anything 
else was involved, it yielded a blind subservience. So 
long as it was allowed to preserve its orthodoxy intact, it 
concerned itself but little with the maladministration of 
the civil government, with the evils of which the clergy 
became frequently tainted ; whilst avarice and simony were 
rife amongst them. The clergy themselves were often 
blind leaders of the blind, torpid, and exerting no influence 
in averting the calamities which were too surely coming 
upon the Empire and the Church. 

For his last crime, of intentional murder, although most 
of the Prelates were desirous of screening him, the Emperor 
Michael was interdicted from Communion by the Patriarch 
Arsenius. For a time Michael, finding it to his interest 
to stand well with the Orthodox Church, submitted to the 
censure ; but when Arsenius refused to remove it, he was 
banished to Proconnesus, and a Synod convened by the 
Emperor excommunicated the Patriarch. After the Patri- 
archate had been vacant a year, Michael, in June, 1266, 
appointed Germanus, Metropolitan of Adrianople, who 
reluctantly accepted the appointment, his acceptance being 
generally condemned on the ground that he was translated 
from another Diocese. So strong was the opposition, that, 
in December of the same year, Germanus resigned, Joseph, 
the Emperor's Confessor, being intruded into the Patri- 
archate. But a long-standing schism between the fol- 
lowers of Arsenius and Joseph was effected in the Ortho- 
dox Church. 

Meanwhile, Michael, being a usurper and, at any rate 
in will, a murderer, apprehensive of the vengeance of his 
subjects, and smarting under the excommunication of the 
rightful Patriarch, found it expedient to have the Pope as 
his ally. Urban IV. (1261 — 1264), a Frenchman by birth, 
who was at the time Pope, had been Patriarch of Jeru- 
salem under the Latin Empire. The circumstance that 

and Fall of Constantinople. 44S 

he had been a schismatic, Michael, in the correspondence 
on which he entered in 1262, overlooked. Urban wrote 
to him, rejoicing that God had put it into the heart of so 
great a Prince (he does not recognize him as the Emperor), 
to bring back the Greek Church to the Church of Rome, 
the daughter to the mother, the member to the head ; but 
he passed unnoticed the crime for which his own Patriarch 
had excommunicated him. 

The Emperor despatched two monks to Rome with strong 
professions of obedience, but pointing out the great evils 
that had resulted to Christendom through the Latin Em- 
pire. Urban answered that all the evils which beset the 
Eastern Church were owing to its disobedience to Rome, and 
that, if Michael would return to the bosom of the Roman 
Church, he would afford him the support which he sorely 
needed to keep him on his throne. The Pope sent to Con- 
stantinople two Franciscan monks to arrange terms of 
union, and to absolve all the Greeks who were willing to 
return to Roman allegiance. Again he made no mention 
of Michael's crime. The Emperor replied that he had 
already been fully instructed in the Latin faith by the 
Bishop of Cortona, that he found it in all respects in har- 
mony with that of the Greek Church, and that he would 
take all means in his power to bring the Greek Church into 
the obedience of the Pope. 

Urban IV. was succeeded by another Frenchman, Cle- 
ment IV. (1265 — 1268). The Popes, as we have already 
seen, were the hereditary enemies of the Hohenstaufen 
Emperors of Germany. The great Emperor, Frederic II., 
had died excommunicated by Pope Innocent IV. ; but 
so far from the enmity of the Popes to the Hohenstaufens 
ceasing with his death, they would be contented with 
nothing short of the extermination of the whole family. 
Frederic had been not only Emperor of Germany, but King 
of Sicily. Urban took upon himself to confer that kingdom, 
much against the will of his brother Louis IX., King of 
France, on Charles of Anjou ; proclaimed a Crusade against 

446 Intrigues of the PalcBologi with Rome, 

Frederic's son Manfred, who had since A.D. 1258 been King 
of Sicily; and in January, 1266, Charles was crowned King 
at Rome. In February of the same year he defeated and 
slew Manfred in the battle of Benevento. 

The Latin Empire of Constantinople had, before its final 
fall, been brought to the direst straits through the levity 
and extravagance of the Emperors. Baldwin II., the last 
Latin Emperor, had married Charles of Anjou's daughter. 
To such a miserable plight had Baldwin been reduced, that, 
after begging succour from the Courts of Europe, he was 
even driven to demolishing houses in Constantinople for 
winter fuel, and tearing off the copper roof of his palace 
to sell to the Venetians, with whom he left his son in pawn. 
After he was driven from Constantinople by Michael Palae- 
ologus, he, together with the ex-Patriarch Pantaleon, sought 
an asylum in Rome. In Baldwin's marriage with the daugh- 
ter of Charles of Anjou, combined with the Papal hatred 
of the Hohenstaufens, lay the key of the arrangements 
between the Popes and the Emperor Michael. 

After the battle of Benevento, Charles signed, in the Pope's 
private apartments in that city, a treaty with his son-in-law 
Baldwin, by which he engaged himself to assist him in the 
recovery of the Eastern dominions. The young Conradin, 
grandson of the Emperor Frederic, having entered Naples, 
with the view to recovering his lawful dominions, was met 
by the excommunication of the Pope ; and, being defeated 
in battle and made prisoner by Charles, he, the last of the 
Hohenstaufens, was, on August 23, 1268, miserably executed 
on the scaffold, if not by the suggestion, at any rate with 
the connivance of, the Pope. 

Michael, owing to Baldwin's alliance, and the success 
of Charles in the battle of Benevento, stood more than 
ever in need of the Pope's assistance, and his attention 
was turned from the schism which was still going on at 
Constantinople about Arsenius, to Charles of Anjou. The 
battle of Benevento decided the action of the Pope in his 
dealings with Michael ; and Charles of Anjou, the favourite 

and Fall of Constantinople. 447 

of the French Popes, pulled the strings, by which the puppet 
Emperor of the East was made to obey their behests. 

Clement IV. well understood the position of Michael, and 
seeing that he was ready to subscribe anything which he 
demanded, seized the opportunity of imposing the very 
hardest conditions. Clement, " in virtue of the supreme 
primacy and authority enjoyed by the Popes of Rome over 
the whole Catholic Church ..... together with the fulness of 
power derived from Christ Himself by blessed Peter, whose 
successor the Rojjian Pontiff is," thought to impose on the 
Eastern Church a new Creed, based on no Councils, but 
simply by his own authority, not only with regard to the 
double Procession, but Penance, Purgatory, the Azyms, 
and Matrimony. The Greek Church never thought of 
entertaining such interference on the part of the Pope ; still, 
to the end of the Pontificate of Clement, the Emperor 
continued the negotiations. 

After the death of Clement on November 29, 1268, when 
the Papacy had been, owing to the dissensions of the Car- 
dinals, vacant for three years, Theobald, Archdeacon of 
Lidge, was summoned from Acre, whither he had gone on 
the Crusade, to fill the Papal throne, and became Pope 
under the title of Gregory X. (1271 — 1275). He left the 
East with the pious ejaculation of the Psalmist, " If I forget 
thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning." 

The new Pope, a man of gentler character than his pre- 
decessors, having been an eye-witness of the calamities of 
the Christians in the East, desired to promote a peaceful 
Crusade as the means of reconciling the Eastern and Western 
Churches. Michael tried, by renewed promises of obedience, 
to detach the new Pope from Charles of Anjou. Gregory, 
understanding the advantage of having the assistance of 
the Greek Emperor in his projected Crusade, promised 
to persuade Charles to abandon his attack on the Eastern 
Empire ; but at the same time he insisted upon Michael's 
accepting the Creed of his predecessor, and holding at Con- 
stantinople a Council to promote the union of the Churches. 

448 Intrigues of the Palceologt with Rome, 

The Council was accordingly held, the Emperor, in order 
to enforce the articles of union, resorting to severe per- 
secution ; but rather than commit such an act of apostasy- 
many families emigrated to Thessaly and Trebizond ; and 
two of the stoutest opponents to the union were the 
Patriarch Joseph, whom Michael himself had nominated, 
and Veccus, the Keeper of the Records, the latter of whom 
was consequently imprisoned. 

In May, 1274, the Pope convened the Second Council 
of Lyons, one of the objects being to effect the union of 
the Churches. On June 24 the Greek envoys, consisting 
of the ex-Patriarch Germanus, some nobles and a {^'^ Greek 
Bishops and clergy, arrived. The Emperor requested that 
the Greek Church should have the liberty of using the 
Nicene Creed in the form in which it had existed before 
the schism of the Churches ; and their other rites '' qui non 
sunt extra supradictam fidem," i.e. the Creed of Clement. 
Gregory appears to have taken no notice of the request, 
and the First Canon of the Council enacted, " We profess 
that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and 
the Son ; this is the teaching of the Holy Roman Church, 
the mother and mistress of all the faithful, and is the true 
and unchangeable teaching of Latin and Greek alike." At 
the Council the Imperial envoys conceded everything, the 
Latin doctrines and usages, and the primacy of the Pope. 
The Pope celebrated Mass, and after the Nicene Creed, with 
the addition of the Filioque, had been sung in Latin by the 
Latins, it was repeated in Greek by the Greeks. 

On the return of the envoys, the greatest indignation 
was manifested at Constantinople. But in the meantime, 
Veccus, whilst in prison, had, under strong pressure, been 
induced to acknowledge the Papal claims. The Patriarch 
Joseph was now deposed by the Emperor, and Veccus 
intruded into the Patriarchate, and in the public services 
the Pope was declared to be " supreme Pontiff of the Apos- 
tolic Church and oecumenical Pope." 

So that there were now four Patriarchs of Constantinople, 

and Fall of Constantinople. 449 

the canonical Patriarch Arsenius, and the three intruded 
Patriarchs, Germanus, Joseph and Veccus, the last of 
whom, though Michael visited his opponents with im- 
prisonment and many acts of fearful cruelty, had only a 
few adherents. 

By a series of intrigues, Michael had gained all he sought, 
and by his submission to the Popes a foreign war, at the 
cost of troubles at home, by which his throne was constantly 
endangered, was averted. 

As to the PrcJfcession of the Holy Ghost, even Michael 
would not give way ; and Veccus was fully convinced no 
Greeks would allow any tampering with the Creed. At 
this time there was a rapid succession in the Papacy. Inno- 
cent v., the successor of Gregory, was Pope for only five 
months ; his successor, Hadrian V., for less than a month ; 
John XXI. for eight months; and Nicolas III. from 1277 — 
1280. In vain they all insisted that in the matter of the 
Creed no difference should be allowed ; but that all must 
follow the Roman practice. Nicolas refused to allow Charles 
of Anjou to attack the Greek Empire, and sent four nuncios 
to Constantinople to complete the Union. But before the 
nuncios arrived a quarrel between the Emperor and Veccus 
had taken place, the latter advocating the double Procession 
of the Holy Ghost, whilst the Emperor with difficulty pre- 
vented the Greek clergy from rising in open rebellion. 

The next Pope, Simon de Brie, who succeeded as 
Martin IV. (1281 — 1285), was a Frenchman, and did all 
in his power to promote the cause of Charles of Anjou, 
and of the French, in Sicily. On March 30th, 1282, occurred 
the massacre known as the Sicilian Vespers; in which the 
French throughout the length and breadth of Sicily were 
indiscriminately slaughtered, till it was supposed not one 
Frenchman in the whole country was left alive. Thus came 
to an end the hated dynasty of the House of Anjou in Sicily. 
So long as the sword of Charles of Anjou hung suspended 
over his head, Michael was ready to forfeit the affection of 
his subjects, in order to gain the help of the Pope; after 


450 Intrigues of the Palceologi with Rome, 

the Sicilian Vespers he began to breathe the air of free- 
dom. Martin now saw that the whole transaction had been 
throughout a mere political movement, and that the Popes 
had been hoodwinked by the Emperor. His first act was 
to excommunicate Michael, "the favourer of heresies and 
schismatics ; " Michael avenging himself by ordering the 
Pope's name to be omitted in the public services. Thus 
ended this attempt to bring the Greek Church under the 
supremacy of the Pope. The Union of the Churches in 
a Latin Council ; the acceptance by a few Greeks of the 
Latin Creed, and the Pope's supremacy, under pressure 
put upon them to meet the political exigencies of an 
unscrupulous usurper, was speedily ignored, and the at- 
tachment of the Greeks to their Orthodox Church never 

Michael died on December ii of the year of the Sicilian 
Vespers, and was succeeded by his son, Andronicus IL 
(1282 — 1328), the Elder. To the perfidy and cruelty of his 
father the character of the son added cowardice and super- 
stition. Andronicus, like so many Emperors before him, 
unduly interested himself in ecclesiastical matters ; so that 
no Bishops could succeed in working with him, and were in 
consequence being always deposed. Finding it to his in- 
terest to support the Orthodox Church, though he had 
himself written to the Pope professing his acquiescence 
in the Latin union, he at once set himself to neutralize the 
effects of his father's double-dealing. So strong was the 
feeling in Constantinople against his father's memory that 
he allowed his funeral to be conducted without the cus- 
tomary honours, and forced his mother to abjure the union. 
The intruded Patriarch Veccus being deposed and committed 
to prison, where he spent the last fourteen years of his life, 
and Arsenius, the rightful Patriarch, having died in 1274, 
Joseph was now restored to the Patriarchate. Laymen who 
had favoured the Union were by a Synod in Constantinople 
subjected to penance. Bishops and clergy to suspension ; 
and on January 2, 1283, the Cathedral of St. Sophia, in 

and Full of Constantinople. 45 1 

which the objectionable words in the Creed had been 
recited, underwent purification, and a solemn recantation 
was effected. 

On the death, in the same year, of the Patriarch Joseph, 
Gregory II., who, a native of Cyprus and born of Latin 
parents, had supported the Union, but on the deposition of 
Veccus joined the Orthodox Church, was appointed to suc- 
ceed him. The Arsenian schism was now continued under 
the leadership of Andronicus, Archbishop of Sardis and 
Confessor to the £mperor, who aimed at succeeding Gregory 
in the Patriarchate. Andronicus, who was a Unionist, was, 
on an accusation of political intrigue, deposed from his See. 
In 1289 the Patriarch Gregory was also, on a charge of 
heresy in regard to the double Procession, deposed, Atha- 
nasius I., a hermit of rigid principles, being appointed his 
successor. But the reforms which he introduced were of 
too rigid a character for the times, and offended both the 
Bishops and monks, the former of whom he ordered to 
return to their Dioceses, and the latter to their monasteries. 
Nor was his reforming spirit more to the taste of the Court 
and nobles^; to them the weak Emperor now yielded, and 
the Patriarch was, after four years, forced to resign. 
John XII., an Archimandrite, was next appointed (1294 — 
1304), but finding a refractory spirit existing amongst the 
Bishops, he went back to his monastery ; and when after- 
wards he was desirous of resuming the Patriarchate, a,sen- 
tence of deposition was passed against him. Athanasius 
was then restored; but his reforming tendencies rendered 
him more hateful than ever to the Bishops, and, after 
eight years, he yielded to circumstances and resigned the 

Niphon I., Metropolitan of Cyzicus, was the next Patriarch 
(1313 — 1314), and under him the long Arsenian schism 
came to an end. Niphon, siding with the Emperor and the 
Arsenians, caused the bones of Arsenius to be translated to 

" Quum sese rebus temporalibus vehementius unimisceret, civibus quoque 
invisus factus." — Le Quien, I. 290. 


452 Intrigues of the Palceologi with Rome, 

the Cathedral of St. Sophia, and ordered the suspension of 
the clergy who had taken part against him. Niphon being 
after one year deposed for simony and sacrilege, John 
Glykys, under the title of John XIII., was the next Patriarch 
(I2i6 — 1320). He being a man of infirm health, "ordered 
by his physician to eat meat," resigned on the ground of 
his infirmities. 

Gerasimus, "a deaf and ignorant old monk\" altogether 
under the thumb of the Emperor, was Patriarch for only 
one year (1320 — 1321). At this time commenced the dis- 
putes which continued, with interruptions, to the end of the 
reign, between Andronicus the Elder and his grandson, 
Andronicus the Younger ; in consequence of which the Pa- 
triarchate was, on the death of Gerasimus, kept vacant for 
more than two and a half years, after which a disreputable 
old monk of Mount Athos, named Isaiah (1323 — 1333), 
whom the Emperor expected to find as docile as Gerasimus, 
was appointed. Isaiah, the last of the eight Patriarchs of 
Constantinople in the reign of the Elder Andronicus, not 
proving his pliant tool in the civil war with his nephew, was 
deposed and consigned to a monastery. 

In the reign of Andronicus the Elder, the Ottoman Turks 
first enter the page of Ecclesiastical history. In the early 
years of the Fourteenth Century the dynasty of the Seljuk 
Turks came to an end, and the Ottomans took their place. 
They derive their name from their leader Osman or Othman, 
a soldier of fortune in the service of the last of the Seljuks. 
Inheriting some small power from his father Ertogrul, who 
held office in the Seljuk family ; inheriting also from him 
his Mahometan fanaticism, Othman, at first little more 
than a shepherd and a free-booter, and then leader of 
a nomad horde, crossing, A.D. 1299, the Greek frontier, 
invaded Nicomedia and the Asiatic possessions of the 
Empire. On the death, in 1307, of Aladdin, the last 

Vir simplex, literarum nescius, surdaster, ad imperatoris obsequia plus 
quam ido'neus."— Le Qiiien, I. 296. 

and Fall of Constantinople. 45 3 

Sultan of the Seljuk line, Othman became sovereign, 
under the title of Emir, of a new dynasty of Turks. 

The servitude of Rhodes was, says Gibbon, delayed about 
two centuries by the establishment of the Knights Hospital- 
lers, or the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem ^ After the fall 
of Acre they migrated first to Cyprus ; but despairing of 
rendering any effectual aid to Jerusalem against the growing 
power of the Ottomans, they obtained from Pope Clement V. 
permission to turn their arms against the Greeks. The Pope 
praised their Chtistian zeal, and the Knights, under pretext 
_ of a Crusade, collected a force, with which, in 13 10, they 
defeated the troops of Andronicus and gained possession 
of Rhodes, where they set up an independent kingdom, 
which was long the bulwark of Christian Europe against 
the Ottoman power*. The Templars were less fortunate. 
Their wealth excited the covetousness of Philip the Fair, 
King of France. Inveigled by him into France, after being 
subjected to fearful privations and cruelties, they were 
suppressed in the Council of Vienne, A.D. 13 12, by Pope 
Clement V., a Frenchman, who presided as a mere tool 
in the hands of the French King. 

About A.D. 1 3 12, the fall of six out of the Seven Churches 
of Asia was effected under two of Othman's chieftains, 
Sarukham and Aidin. The elder Andronicus could not 
well avail himself of the usual resort of the Pala;ologi in 
their difficulties, the Pope of Rome ; " in his last distress 
pride was his safeguard ; he could not in his old age, 
with any decency, retract the orthodox profession of his 
youth ^" So no help was forthcoming from the West. Of 
the seven Churches addressed by St. John from Patmos, 
two only, Smyrna and Philadelphia, were spoken of without 
blame ; to them, alone, promises were made without threat 
or warnings. Of those two, the candlestick has not been 
removed ; they alone of the seven Churches remain in the 
present day, erect amidst the surrounding ruins. The most 
flourishing is Smyrna, containing the tomb of St. Polycarp, 

' XI. 438. '' Finlay, III. 409. « Gibbon, XII. 66. 

454 Intrigues of the Palceologi with Rome, 

and the See of a Metropolitan. Philadelphia, called by the 
Turks Ali-Shahir {the fair city), still retains the form of 
a city, and, being the road traversed by the Persian caravans, 
enjoys a considerable trade. It is inhabited by many Greeks, 
and, wrote Sir Paul Ricaut, contained twelve Churches, of 
which the principal was that of St. Mary ; although, alas ! 
the Church dedicated to St. John has been converted into 
a dunghill '- 

But of all the others the candlestick has been removed, 
and most of them are a mere heap of ruins. Ephesus, once 
the seat of a Metropolitan and ranking next to the Patri- 
archates, is said by travellers not to contain one Christian 
family ; the stately building of St. John's Church has been 
converted into a Mosque, and, says Gibbon, the Temple of 
Diana and the Church of Mary (meaning thereby the 
Blessed Mother of our Lord), alike elude the search of 

Laodicea, once the mother of sixteen Bishoprics, so over- 
whelmed by earthquakes that scarcely one stone remains 
upon another, its very name forgotten, not so much as 
inhabited by shepherds, is the abode of wolves and foxes. 

Sardis, once the seat of the wealthy Croesus, though 
ancient pillars and ruins still rear their heads, is a miser- 
able village, inhabited only by shepherds, living in their 
low and humble cottages. 

Pergamus, seated on a lofty hill overlooking a fruitful 
valley watered by the Caicus, is described as possessing 
a soil so fertile, that, if cultivated, it might prove one of the 
most fruitful gardens of the world. But Mahometanism 
rules without a rival, and the inhabitants, abhorring all kinds 
of labour, prefer to gain their livehhood by robbery and 

Of Thyatira, the very site is a matter of conjecture, and 
in the Mosques, in the place which is supposed to represent 
it, the god of Mahomet is invoked without a rival §. 

' Ricaut's Present State of the Greek Church. 
8 Palmer's Dissertations on the Orthodox Communion. 

and Fall of Constantinople. 455 

Alone of the Seven, Philadelphia survived for a time the 
fall, under Othman's Generals, of its sister Churches, and 
for some years longer maintained its independence of the 
Turks as the last Christian stronghold in Asia ; but it, too, 
eventually fell under the arms of the Emir, Murad I., or, as 
some think, of his son, the Sultan Bajazet. 

The quarrels and civil war between the Elder and Younger 
Andronicus were especially unfortunate, as occurring at a 
time when the Eastern Empire was going to ruin, and when 
a united Empire, against the attacks of the Turks and other 
enemies, was most required. They ended in the capture 
of Constantinople in 1328, the deposition of Andronicus II., 
and the proclamation by the soldiers, as sole Emperor, of 
Andronicus III. (1328 — 1341). Isaac was then restored to 
the Patriarchate, which he held till his death, A.D. 1333. 

There were few to regret the fall of the Elder Andronicus, 
who, in February, 1332, ended, as the monk Antony, his 
life in a monastery. At the time of his death the Empire 
was only two-thirds of the size that it had been at his 
accession \ 

Othman, the Turkish Emir, died A.D. 1326, having lived 
long enough to hear on his death-bed of the fall of Prusa, 
after a siege of ten years, under the Turkish arms, and was 
succeeded by his son Orkhan (1326 — 1360), who threw 
off the nominal subjection to the Sultan of Cogni, and was 
the real founder of the Ottoman Empire, with Prusa as 
its capital. What, more than anything, contributed to the 
spread of the Ottoman power, was the fiendish institution 
by Orkhan of the tribute of Christian children. Thus was 
formed the famous corps of Janissaries, or new soldiers. The 
strongest and most promising boys were, at ages between 
six and nine years, torn away from their families, cut off 
from every Christian tie, and educated so as to know no 
other than the Mahometan faith, to abjure which, afterwards, 
subjected them to the punishment of renegades, certain 
death. They were trained in the profession of arms to 
■■ Story of the Nations, p. 320. 

4S6 Intrigues of the Palceologi with Rome, 

fight against enemies of the same Christian birth as them- 
selves, and grew up to be the best soldiers in the Turkish 
armies, from whom their Generals and Governors were 
selected. So that the conquest of Eastern Christendom 
was really effected through soldiers born of Christian 
parents; when in 1687 the tribute of Christian children 
ceased, the Turkish power declined, but the corps of Janis- 
saries continued till it was abolished by Sultan Mahmoud, 
A.D. 1826. Orkhan, by the capture of Nicomedia in 1327, 
and in 1330 of Nice, the seat of the Greek Empire and the 
cradle of Orthodoxy under the Latin Empire, completed 
the conquest of Bithynia. Thus the Ottoman power was 
firmly established in Asia Minor, the Empire of An- 
dronicus III. being limited to little beyond the walls of 
Constantinople on the European, and Chalcedon on the 
Asiatic, shore of the Bosphorus. 

In the year of his becoming sole Emperor, Andronicus III. 
took a second wife, Anne, sister of the Duke of Savoy ; and, 
as his marriage with a Roman Catholic inclined him favour- 
ably to her Communion, he had not the same restraints as 
his grandfather from applying to the Pope for help. In 
1309 had commenced the period which is known as the 
Babylonish captivity of the Roman Church, during which 
the Popes sat, not at Rome, but at Avignon. From the 
time of Michael Palaeologus to the death of Andronicus II., 
there had been little intercourse between the Eastern and 
Western Churches. In 1333 Andronicus III., actuated by 
fear of the advancing Turks, sent, through two Dominican 
monks who were returning from the East, a message to 
Avignon to seek assistance from Pope John XXII. (1316 — 
1334). The Pope despatched two Bishops to Constanti- 
nople to remind the Emperor of the great evils which, since 
the schism, had befallen the Greeks, and of the great ad- 
vantages which would accrue to them if they returned to 
union, acknowledged the primacy of the Pope, and the 
faith of the Roman Church. But the Greeks would have 
nothing to do with them. They were fully convinced of 

and Fall of Constantindple. 457 

the rightfulness of their own Church, remembered the Creed 
of Clement IV., and how the Popes had served the Emperor 
Michael. They may also well have imagined that, if the 
Popes could do so little for them whilst they were in Rome, 
they could do still less now they were at Avignon. So the 
negotiations came to nothing, the wily Greeks demanding 
that the Popes should first give the assistance asked, as 
some proof of the advantage to be derived from a Roman 

In 1337, Pope Benedict XII. (1334 — 1342) re-opened with 
Andronicus the matter of the proposed re-union. In 1339, 
Barlaam, a monk of the monastery of St. Saviour at Con- 
stantinople, who, though born and educated in Calabria 
in the Latin Church, was a strong opponent of Romanism, 
was sent by Andronicus to Avignon to procure assistance 
against the Turks, on the condition of re-union, which was 
to be effected by a General Council to decide the points 
of dispute between the Eastern and Western Churches. 
Barlaam told the Pope that the Emperor desired re-union, 
but that he was obliged to consult his own dignity and 
the prejudices of the Greeks. The Greek Church, he said, 
reverenced the General Councils, but reprobated the arbi- 
trary decrees of the Council of Lyons. The Empire, he 
told him, was endangered by the Turks, and required assist- 
ance. He proposed that a Latin legate should be sent 
to Constantinople to prepare a universal Council, which 
the Patriarchs of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and 
Jerusalem should be invited to attend. The Turks, he 
said, were the common enemies of the Christian name. 
The Greeks had been alienated by a long series of oppres- 
sion and wrong ; and, even if certain differences of faith 
or ceremonies were unalterable, needed to be reconciled 
by some act of brotherly love, and some effectual succour ; 
and the legate must be accompanied, or preceded, by an 
army of Franks to expel the infidels, and open the way 
to the Holy Sepulchre. 

The Pope objected to a Council on the ground that the 

458 Intrigues, of the PalcBologi with Rome, 

Procession of the Holy Ghost had been decided by holy 
Fathers, and the great Councils, which a Pope could not 
call in question. When Barlaam asked whether the Greek 
Church might not be left at liberty to hold its own belief 
as to the Procession, he was told that the Pope could listen 
to no terms but unconditional surrender, for that a two- 
fold faith was impossible. The Pope returned an offensive 
answer to " the persons who styled themselves the Patri- 
archs of the Eastern Churches." This attempt at re-union 
was as futile as former ones had been, the plain truth being 
that the Pope, himself an exile at Avignon, had not the 
means adequate to the occasion. 

Shortly before his mission to Avignon, Barlaam had, 
when on a visit to Mount Athos, come in contact with the 
Hesychasts (rjavxia, quietness) or Quietists^ a school which 
had lately sprung up amongst the monks of that famous 
monastery. They held the strange opinion that the soul had 
its seat in the umbilical region, by the intent contemplation 
of which, and after long abstinence, they could discern the 
Light which appeared at the Transfiguration to the Apostles 
on Mount Tabor. This notion, which was supported, on the 
side of the monks, by Gregory Palamas, afterwards Arch- 
bishop of Thessalonica, was ridiculed by Barlaam. A con- 
troversy between the Palamites and Barlaamites was the 
consequence, which, after having lasted five 'years, was 
decided in a Council at Constantinople, A.D. 1341, in favour 
of the Hesychasts, and in the establishment of the doctrine 
of the Uncreated Light of Mount Tabor. Barlaam ended in 
returning to the Latin Church, and became a Bishop in his 
native country ; and the mystics of Mount Athos were, 
amidst the troubles of the waning Greek Empire, dispersed. 

Andronicus III. was succeeded by his son, John V. 
(1341 — 1391)) ^ boy nine years of age, under the guardian- 
ship of his mother, Anne of Savoy, John Cantacuzene, 
who had been Prime Minister under Andronicus, continuing 
to hold that office. Nothing could more plainly show the 
degradation to which the Eastern Empire had fallen, than 

and Fall of Constantinople. 459 

the marriage, in 1346, of Cantacuzene's daughter, Theodora, 
with Orkhan, the Turkish Emir. Cantacuzene was an 
aspirant to the throne, to enable him to obtain which, 
he called in the aid of Orkhan, giving him, as the price 
of the alliance, his daughter in marriage ; and the marriage, 
as the means of effecting peace, received the assent of the 
Byzantine government. In 1347 Cantacuzene was recog- 
nized as co-regent in the Empire, if Empire, now ex- 
tending little beyond the walls of Constantinople, it could 
be called. In thg same month the young Emperor, then 
fifteen years of age, married Helena, a girl thirteen years 
of age, another of Cantacuzene's daughters. Thus one Em- 
peror was father-in-law, the other brother-in-law, of the 
Mahometan Emir. A hollow truce was thus patched up 
between the two Emperors, and Cantacuzene reigned with 
John V. for seven years (i347— 1354)- At this period 
the Greek Church had fallen into the same state of anarchy 
as prevailed in the State ; John Cantacuzene, who was a 
heretic, and the Empress Anne, who was a Roman Catholic, 
quarrelled with the Orthodox Bishops, and protected the 
enemies of the Church. 

The accession of Cantacuzene did not, as was expected, 
put an end to the invasions of the Turks, and his own 
position was insecure. In 1342 Clement VI. (1342 — 1352) 
succeeded to the Papacy at Avignon. The new Pope was, 
unlike his predecessor, in favour of a Council, and also of 
organizing a Crusade against the Turks. In 1348 Canta- 
cuzene opened negotiations with the Pope, and two Bishops 
were sent from Avignon for the purpose of effecting a union 
between the Churches and arranging for a Crusade. Canta- 
cuzene disclaimed the action of Michael Palaeologus, declared 
that the schism between the Churches had been caused by 
the pride and overbearing conduct of the Latins, and that 
the Greeks would never be bound by anything short ot 
a free and universal Council. The Pope assented to the 
proposed plan ; there was nothing, he said, that he desired 
more than the union of the Churches ; but the death ol 

460 Intrigues of the Palceologi with Rome, 

the Pope, and the compulsory abdication, two years after- 
wards, of Cantacuzene, who had throughout his whole career 
been the evil genius of the Emperor, to end his days as 
a monk on Mount Athos, put an end to the negotiations. 

In A.D. 1356 Suleiman, the son of Orkhan, seized Calli- 
polis in the Thracian Chersonese, thus effecting the first 
permanent settlement of the Ottomans in Europe. In 
1358 Suleiman was killed through a fall from his horse, 
and Orkhan dying, after a reign of more than thirty-three 
years, in 1360, his son Amiirath, or Murad I., succeeded 
to the Ottoman Emirate. 

The next year Murad with his army crossed the Helles- 
pont and occupied Adrianople, which he made the Euro- 
pean capital of the Ottoman Empire, and Constantinople 
itself was now at his mercy. The increasing power and near 
proximity of Murad so alarmed the Emperor John that, 
acting on the advice of his Roman mother, Anne of Savoy, 
he determined to seek the assistance of the Pope, and in 
October, 1369, visited the Court of Rome in person. 

Urban V. (1362 — 1370) had in the previous year moved 
back the Papal chair from Avignon to Rome. The 
.Emperor met with a magnificent reception ; but his vanity 
was lost in his distress, and he was profuse in empty sounds 
and formal submission '. On the Sunday following his ar- 
rival, whilst the Pope, in the midst of his Cardinals, was 
seated on his throne in St. Peter's, the Emperor, having 
previously recited the Creed of Clement IV. and acknow- 
ledged the supremacy of the Pope, did homage ; and, after 
High Mass was concluded, held the bridle of the Pope's mule, 
and was entertained at a sumptuous banquet in the Vatican. 

But it was the action of the Emperor alone ; and, although 
the Pope wrote to the Greeks a letter full of the praises 
of their Emperor, and exhorting them to follow his example 
they were little likely to be led by a profligate Emperor, 
whom they had before despised, who had now made him- 
self the vassal of the Pope. His alliance with Rome availed 
' Gibbon, XII. 75. 

and Fall of Constantinople, 461 

him little ; the assistance which he wanted against the 
Turks was not forthcoming ; and, on his homeward journey, 
he was at Venice arrested by some money-lenders for 
a large debt which he had incurred at exorbitant usury. 
His eldest son, Andronicus, whom he had left regent at 
Constantinople, but who employed the time in plotting 
against his father, pretended that he could not raise the 
money required for his release ; but his second son, Manuel, 
succeeding in doing so, John returned in 1370, covered with 
disgrace, to Constantinople. 

The Emperor John dragged on his long and dishonoured 
reign till ad. 1391. In 1389 the Emir Murad, after having 
gained the great victory of Kossova over the confederate 
armies of Bosnia, Servia, Bulgaria, and Wallachia, died, 
stabbed by the hand of a Servian noble ; and was succeeded 
by his son, Bajazet I. (1389 — 1402), surnamed, from the 
rapidity of his movements, Ilderim {the Thunderbolt), who 
exchanged the humbler title of Emir, hitherto borne by 
the Ottoman Princes, for that of Sultan. 

John, having disinherited his eldest son, Andronicus, 
whom he had before blinded on a charge of conspiracy, 
was succeeded by his son, Manuel II. (1391 — 1425). The 
period between A.D. 1378 — 1417 was that of the great 
Schism in the Roman Church, when there were two Popes, 
one residing at Rome, the other at Avignon ; no one know- 
ing which was the rightful Pope ; each anathematizing 
the followers of the other ; so that the whole of Western 
Christendom was under the ban of one Pope or the other. 
At such a time the Popes were generally too much engaged 
in their own dissensions to divert their attention to the 
affairs of the Eastern Church. 

The victory of Kossova left Bajazet a free hand, and the 
capture of Constantinople appeared imminent. Elated with 
the victory, he threatened to invade Germany and Italy, to 
stable his horses in St. Peter's at Rome, and to feed them 
on its Altar. In A.D. 1394, Pope Boniface IX. (1389 — 
1404), notwithstanding the schism in the Roman Church, 

462 Intrigues of the Palceologi with Rome, 

proclaimed a Crusade against the Turks. He complained 
in his Bull of the massacres and slavery inflicted by the 
Ottomans on the Eastern Christians, and that the jealousies 
and wars of the Western Princes prevented them from 
making common cause against the infidels. Germany and 
France responded to his call, but with an unfortunate result. 
In the fatal battle of Nicopolis in September, 1396, the 
Christians, led by Sigismund, King of Hungary, suffered, 
at the hands of Bajazet and the Christian tributaries 
whom he forced to fight under his banner, a disastrous 
defeat, and by far the greater part of the army was either 
slain in battle, or drowned in the waters of the Danube. 

In A.D. 1400 the Emperor Manuel started on a visit to 
the principal nations of Europe, under the hope of obtaining 
assistance against the Turks. Amongst other countries he 
visited England, where he received a small gift of money 
from King Henry IV. ; but his visit to Europe met with 
no further success. The Papacy was still distracted by the 
great Schism, so that, not knowing which was the rightful 
Pope, and which to apply to, he applied to neither. His 
visit to Italy coincided with the institution of the Jubilee, 
A.D. 1400, at Rome by Benedict III. ; the Pope was offended 
at the Emperor's neglect, accused him of irreverence to 
an Icon, and exhorted the Princes of Italy to reject and 
abandon the obstinate schismatic. 

Now that the Turks were threatening, not only Constanti- 
nople, but Rome itself, and an Eastern Emperor could 
pass through Italy without even visiting the Papal city, 
the Pope must have lamented the unwise part taken by his 
predecessors, in depressing the Orthodox Greek Church and 
the Eastern Empire. He must have felt that but for the 
Fourth Crusade, and the weakening by the Latin Empire 
of the Eastern Empire of Constantinople, the Turks would 
have been driven away from Europe. We no longer hear 
him speaking of the merited retribution of the Greeks, but 
of the Turks, as the common enemies of all who bore the 
Name of Christ. 

and Fall of Constantinople. 463 

At the moment when the fall of Constantinople seemed 
to be imminent, and that of Western Christendom likely 
to follow ; when the Emperor Manuel had entered into 
a treaty with Bajazet, allowing him to erect a Mosque in 
Constantinople ; an unexpected event favoured the Greeks, 
and the remnant of the Eastern Empire received an un- 
expected reprieve. In A.D. 1400, Bajazet suffered, on the 
plains of Angora in Asia Minor, a disastrous defeat at 
the hands of Timour, or Tamerlane (a Prince of the same 
Mogul race as Qhengis Khan), like himself a Mahometap, 
who had in 1369, after a series of victories, seated himself 
upon the throne of Samarcand ; and Bajazet himself was 
taken prisoner. No such blow, ever before or afterwards, fell 
on any Ottoman Prince. The Ottoman power, almost anni- 
hilated at Angora, was as unequal as Manuel to continue 
the contest ; and the Fall of Constantinople was delayed 
for fifty years. It appeared at the time that the Ottoman 
power had received a blow from which it could never recover. 
That would have been the time for a Crusade ; had the 
Princes of the West, who were distracted by their own 
quarrels, and by the great schism of the Roman Church, 
and dispirited by the defeat of Nicopolis, been able to 
coalesce, Christendom might for ever have been delivered 
from the tyranny of the Ottomans. That the Ottoman 
power ever recovered from the utter destruction of the 
field of Angora is, says Professor Freeman, without a 
parallel in Eastern history ■>. 

Timour, the terror of the whole world. Christians, Ma- 
hometans (except those of his own Shiah sect), and heathens, 
died A.D. 1405, his victorious career cut short before time 
was left him to invade Europe. 

Bajazet dying in captivity, his sons fought for the re- 
mains of his Empire, which, in ten years, was again united 
under the youngest of the family, Mahomet I. His power 
was, however, still too weak for him to think of further 
conquests, and he lived on amiable terms with the Eastern 
J Freeman's Conquests of the Saracens, p. 181. 

464 Intrigues of the Palceologi with Rome, 

Emperor, dying, A.D. 142 1, at the age of thirty-two, to be 
succeeded by his son Murad II. (1421 — 1451). 

The Western Councils which were held in the first half 
of the Fifteenth Century, although convened for the purpose 
of healing the schism which still continued in the Church 
of Rome, materially affected the Eastern Church. The 
summoning, by the Roman Cardinals, of the Council of 
Pisa, A.D. 1409, was a recognition of the fact, that Patriarchs 
and Popes were subordinate to the Councils of the Church. 
It was attended by the Patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch, 
and Jerusalem, as well as by twenty-six Roman Cardinals, 
twelve Archbishops, and one hundred and eighty Bishops, 
either in person or by proxy ; the sentence of the Council, 
by which both the reigning Popes were deposed as notorious 
schismatics and heretics, being pronounced by the Patriarch 
of Alexandria l^. 

The Council of Constance (1414 — 141 8), attended by re- 
presentatives of all the Western kingdoms ; by twenty-six 
Princes and one hundred and fifty Counts ; by five Pa- 
triarchs, twenty-four Cardinals, ninety-one Bishops, and six 
hundred Abbots and Doctors ; having deposed the Pope, 
John XXIII., as a heretic and simoniac, a fortnight after, 
wards passed the decree forbidding Communion in both 
Kinds. The decree was passed when there was a papal 
interregnum, John XXIII. having been deposed on May 29, 
1415, and his successor, Martin V., not appointed till No- 
vember 21, 1417. 

The forty years' schism in the Roman Church was healed 
through the election by the Council of Pope Martin (1417 — 
143 1). It declared, in two Sessions, that a General Council 
lawfully assembled (legitime congregata) "in the Holy Spirit," 
and representing the Catholic Church, derives its power 
directly from Christ, and that to it every one, of whatever 
rank or dignity, even the Pope {etiam si papalis existat), 
owes obedience, and that he, unless he comes to his senses 
[nisi resipuerit), is subject to punishment. 

■■ Milman's Latin Christianity, V. 458. 

and Fall of Constantinople. 465 

In 1422 Pope Martin sent envoys to the Emperor Manuel 
to point out to him what a great advantage the disunion of 
Christendom was to the Turks, and how much more ready 
the Latins would be to help the Greeks, if the Eastern and 
Western Churches were united. The Emperor did not view 
the matter in the same light as the Pope. He advised his 
son, John Palaeologus, to play off the Turks against the Pope, 
and the Pope against the Turks; that he might threaten 
the Turks with the re-union of East and West ; that he 
might even assenj to the principle of a Council ; but that 
the actual assembling of one would be undesirable for the 
Greeks. Neither Latins nor Greeks, he told him, would 
recede from their position ; the former were too proud, the 
latter stubborn ; an attempt at re-union, whilst it would only 
confirm the schism, would leave the Greeks more hopeless 
for the future, and more than ever at the mercy of the 

On the day fixed for the audience of the Pope's legates, 
October 3, 1422, Manuel was seized with the paralysis from 
which he never recovered. His son John, it would appear, 
had himself already sent envoys to Rome on the subject 
of re-union. He now gave the Pope's messengers an inter- 
view, with the result that the latter, on October 23, laid 
before the Patriarch, and a large assemblage of Greeks and 
Latins, the Pope's Encyclical. It stated how the Pope had 
heard that the Greeks spoke of the Latins as dogs, and 
how serious danger threatened the former of becoming 
the slaves of the Turks. Envoys from the East, It said, 
had assured the Pope of an honest desire on the part both 
of Emperor and Patriarch of re-union ; of their willingness 
to embrace the faith and obey the Church of Rome ; and 
of their wish for a General Council. He himself (the Pope) 
advocated a Council, to which he promised to send his 
legates, not to dispute about the faith, but that Greeks and 
Latins might confer together with the view to an agreement ; 
and as soon as that was arrived at, the Greeks might rely- 
on Western assistance. To this John replied that his envoys 


466 Intrigues of the Palc2ologi with Rome, 

had gone beyond their instructions, but that he was ready- 
to abide by the decisions of a General Council, assembled 
on the principle of the Seven General Councils, by means 
of which the union might be effected ; and a suitable place 
of meeting would be Constantinople. Constantinople was 
objectionable to the Pope, and no envoys were sent thither. 

The Emperor Manuel, three years afterwards, ended his 
life in a monastery, and was succeeded by his son, John VI. 
(1425 — 1448)', who acted against his father's advice. The 
reduced extent and revenues of the Eastern Empire, the 
diminution of its population in contrast with the rapid 
increase of the Turks, the threatening aspect of the Sultan 
Murad, and the inadequate defences of the capital, con- 
vinced the temporizing Emperor that, without aid from 
the West, there was little prospect of his being able to 
defend his position, and that his only hope lay in acknow- 
ledging, at any price, the Pope's supremacy. 

After a Council at Pavia, A.D. 1423, and another, in the 
following year, at Siena, at neither of which anything of 
importance was effected, Pope Martin V. summoned a Coun- 
cil to meet, A.D. 143 1, at Basle, and nominated Cardinal 
Julian Caesarini as his legate ; but in February of that year, 
before the Council met, Martin died. 

He was succeeded in March by the Cardinal Bishop of 
Siena, who took the title of Eugenius IV. (1431 — 1439). 
The Council of Basle, one of the objects of which was the 
re-union of East and West, held its first Session on Decem- 
ber 14 of the year of the Pope's election, and continued 
its Sessions from 1431 — 1443. But as Pope Eugenius 
feared that the same opposition to the Papacy, which had 
prevailed at Constance, would be renewed at Basle, he from 
the first did all in his power to discredit the Council, and 
issued a Bull for its transference to Bologna, on the pretext 
that the Greek Emperor desired that the Council, if not 
held at Constantinople, should be held in that city, as more 
easily accessible. The President of the Council, Cardinal 

' Or, if Cantacuzene is reckoned under his name John, John VII. 

aiid Fall of Constantinople. 467 

Julian Cassarini, made a firm stand against the Pope's sug- 
gestion, and expressed his preference for the reform of the 
Western Church to the re-union of East and West, 
the old song, as he called it, which had run on for three 
centuries without any result. 

The Basle Fathers, supported by the Emperor Sigismund, 
continued their sittings, and ordered the Pope to appear 
before them ; in December, 1433, Eugenius signified his 
tardy approval of the Council by sending to it his deputies. 
Various decreesi passed by the Council were little to the 
Pope's liking ; such as, on June 26th, 1434, the ratification of 
the decrees of the Council of Constance; on June 9, 1435, 
the abolition of Annates ; on March 25, 1436, of Papal 
Reservations and Provisions. On July 31, 1437, the Council 
issued a peremptory order to the Pope to appear in person 
within sixty days. 

Such measures led the Pope to issue a document ordering 
the transference of the Council to Ferrara. Thereupon the 
Basle Council, on Oct. i, 1437, pronounced the Pope con- 
tumacious, and on October 12 declared his order for the 
transference of the Council invalid. In January of the 
following year the Council suspended the Pope. Already, 
on January 8, the Pope had opened the Council of Ferrara, 
which the Council of Basle immediately excommunicated, 
the Pope responding, on February 15, with a counter-sen- 
tence of excommunication. 

Thus there was again a schism in the Roman Church, 
and the Councils of Basle and Ferrara were at open war. 
Both invited the Emperor, John VI., to attend, and offered to 
pay all expenses of the Greeks ; and both sent their vessels 
to Constantinople to bring off the Emperor. The Emperor, 
who was ready to bargain with the highest bidder, cared 
little which Council he attended. The vessels of the Pope 
won the race, and conveyed away the Emperor, the Patri- 
arch Joseph II., and many Bishops, Archimandrites, and 
Clergy. An earthquake (an evil omen), just as they were 
leaving it, shook Constantinople. Visiting Venice on the 

H h 2 

468 Intrigues of the PalcBologi with Rome, 

way, where they were received with much pomp and 
magnificence, and saw in St. Mark's many trophies which 
had been taken from Constantinople after the fourth 
Crusade, the Emperor and the larger part of the envoys 
arrived at Ferrara, the Patriarch, who was old and travelled 
more slowly^ reaching it later. The Patriarch, who had 
undertaken at Constantinople to have no dealings, except 
as his equal, with the Pope, found that not even the 
Cardinals met him, as they had met the Emperor ; and 
was astonished that the first thing required of him was 
that he should kiss the Pope's feet™. This, however, was 
going too far ; " Did the other Apostles," he asked, " kiss 
St. Peter's feet?" and he threatened to return home. Still, 
whilst the Emperor fared sumptuously, and passed his time 
pleasantly in hunting in the neighbourhood of Ferrara, every 
kind of indignity was heaped upon the Patriarch, nor was 
it till after several days that the Pope granted him an 
audience, which, as neither could speak the language of 
the other, had to be conducted through an interpreter. 

The Emperor appeared before the Council of Ferrara 
accompanied by the Patriarch Joseph, and Bessarion, Arch- 
bishop of Nice in Bithynia, the latter of whom was in 
favour of the union and took a prominent part in the 
debates ; the Patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jeru- 
salem, were represented by their legates ; Russia was 
represented by Isidore, Metropolitan of Kiev. 

After the second Session, the Pope was represented by 
Julian Csesarini, who had now transferred his allegiance from 
the Council of Basle to the Pope's Council. We need not 
enter into the dissensions at the Council between the Latins 
and Greeks, for in the fifth Session the Pope, on the 
pretext of the plague having broken out at Ferrara, an- 
nounced his intention of transferring it to Florence, where 
a far more important Council was held. The Greeks, 
especially Mark of Ephesus, objected to the transference, 

"■ When this custom originated we have not been able to discover. 

and Fall of Constantinople. 469 

which they regarded as a plan for bringing the Council 
more under the control of the Pope. 

At the Council of Florence, in 1439, the chief speakers 
were, on the part of the Latins, Julian Csesarini, of the 
Greeks, Isidore, Bessarion, and Mark of Ephesus. The four 
principal points of discussion, which had already been raised 
at Ferrara, were (i) the Procession of the Holy Ghost ; 
(2) the use of leavened and unleavened Bread ; (3) the nature 
of Purgatory; (4) the Pope's supremacy. The doctrine of 
Purgatory had "been fully debated at Ferrara. The Latins 
contended for a purgatorial fire, the Greeks that Purgatory 
is a state of gloom and darkness, and exclusion from the 
Divine Presence. The chief and longest debate was on 
the Procession of the Holy Ghost ; Bessarion contended 
that the difference between the two Churches was not one 
of doctrine but of expression ; that the Greek lie naTpoi Si" 
Tiov was essentially the same as the Latin ex Patre Filio- 
que ; whilst Mark of Ephesus declared all holders of the 
double Procession to be heretics and schismatics. 

The Twenty-fifth and last Session was held on March 24. 
The Pope and the Emperor were resolved on the Union. 
The Emperor declared that suffrages belonged only to 
Bishops and Archimandrites. Very much the same oc- 
curred as occurred at the Council of Rimini. The Greek 
Bishops were intimidated ; they had been kept in close 
confinement, with barely sufficient food to keep them from 
starvation ; their own resources were exhausted, and they 
saw no hope of their being replenished, so long as they 
opposed the Pope and Emperor; so at length they all gave 
way except Mark of Ephesus, who, with the Emperor's 
brother Demetrius, to avoid witnessing the Union effected, 
retired to Venice. So important a Bishop was Mark that 
Eugenius exclaimed, " without him all our labours are lost ! '' 
A compromise was effected ; each Church was left at liberty 
to use leavened or unleavened bread ; but the Latins got 
all they desired. The addition of the Filioque clause to the 
Creed, and the other points were conceded by the Greeks ; 

470 Intrigues of the Palceologt with Rome, 

the supremacy of the Pope, as successor of St. Peter and 
Vicar of Christ, was acknowledged, some vague reservations 
of the privileges and rights of the Patriarch of Constantinople 
being allowed ; and the treaty of Union, by which the Pope 
guaranteed the aid required, was subscribed. The Patriarch 
Joseph, who had all through supported the Union, died on 
June 9 ; whether he signed the decree or not, is uncertain. 
A solemn service followed in the Duomo ; the Te Deum 
was chanted in Greek ; the Mass celebrated in Latin ; the 
Creed sung with the addition of the Filioque ; and the 
Emperor and Greek clergy sailed away to Constantinople. 

Meanwhile, on May 25, 1439, the Fathers, assembled in 
the Council of Basle, deposed the Pope ", and in November 
elected in his place Amadeus, Duke of Savoy, who had 
resigned his crown to assume the cowl of a monk, and now 
took the title of Pope Felix V. (1439 — 1449). So that at 
the time the Union was ratified there was no Pope, for the 
Pope had been canonically deposed, and the continuation 
of the Council of Florence, whilst the Council of Basle, 
canonically summoned by Pope Martin V., was sitting, was 
a schismatical act. And when it is remembered that the 
Council of Basle was summoned by a Pope, and that it was 
attended by Roman Cardinals, no other conclusion can 
be arrived at, from the scant reverence shown throughout 
to Pope Eugenius, and his ultimate deposition by the Coun- 
cil, than that it altogether negatives the modern doctrine 
of Papal Infallibility. 

Bessarion went, after the Council, to Rome, and he, to- 
gether with Isidore, who afterwards followed him thither, 
were created Cardinals, the former being appointed Bishop 
of Tusculum. He was afterwards put in competition for 
the Papacy, and, but for his being a Greek and "wearing 
a beard," would probably have been elected. 

No sooner had the Emperor and Bishops, on their return 
from Florence, set foot in Constantinople, than the flimsy 

° " Simoniacum, perjuvum, pertinacem hsereticum, dilapidatorem jurium et 
bonorum Ecclesia;. 

and Fall of Constantinople. 47 1 

fabric of the Union melted into air. The Emperor and 
all who signed the Union were received with a storm of 
indignation as traitors ; contact with them avoided ; and 
the Churches emptied as soon as they entered them. Mark 
of Ephesus was the hero of the day. The Emperor, in 
fear of the Sultan, still hoping for Western help, stood firm, 
and appointed to the vacant Patriarchate Metrophanes, a 
Unionist, Metropolitan of Cyzicus. Metrophanes the peo- 
ple branded as MTjTpo^ovos, the slayer of their mother- 
Church, and refused to enter St. Sophia's at his Consecra- 
tion ; his Suffragans, treating him as a heretic, would not 
acknowledge him as Patriarch. The Bishops who had 
subscribed the Union, several of whom were Latins holding 
Greek Sees, now joined the popular side against the Em- 
peror, declared that their consent had been extorted by 
force, and publicly retracted their subscription. Nor was 
the schism confirmed to the Greeks. The Russian, .which 
at that time comprised the larger part of the Ortho- 
dox Church ", abjured the Union. The three other Eastern 
Patriarchs, in a Synod at Jerusalem, A.D. 1443, with one 
voice condemned it^, and threatened to excommunicate 
the Emperor and all who adhered to it, denouncing 
Metrophanes as a heretic, and cancelling his Ordinations. 
The Emperor's brother, Demetrius, raised the standard of 
Orthodoxy in rebellion, and claimed the throne ; but the 
Gi'eeks thought one Pal^eologus as bad as another, and 
refused to make a change. 

Thus ended the last united effort of a Council to heal 
the schism between the Eastern and Western Churches. 
In a few years all signs of the Union were obliterated. 
Its only permanent results were to intensify the hatred of 
the Greeks against the Latins, and to make them indif- 
ferent as to the fate of the expiring Empire, so that it 
was commonly said that Greeks would prefer to see the 

Mouraviev, p. 77. 
P " Sancitum Florentise unionem execrabant." — Le Quien, I. 1268. 

472 Intrigues of the Palceologi with Rome, 

Crescent of the Turks, rather than the tiara of the Pope, 
in the Churches of Constantinople. 

Nowhere in the West was the supposed re-union ot 
Christendom more thankfully and joyfully received than in 
England. Letters conveying words of encouragement and 
welcome were delivered by envoys of King Henry VI. to 
the Patriarch and the Emperor during the deliberations at 
Florence ; the King, after its consummation, addressed to 
the Pope a letter expressive of joy and satisfaction ; and 
ordered public thanksgivings, with processions, litanies, and 
prayers, in all parts of his d6minions i. 

After the return of the Greeks to Constantinople, the 
Pope, not unmindful of his engagement to the Emperor, 
but also having reason to apprehend an invasion of Italy 
by the Turks, fitted out an expedition to proceed to the 
East, under Cardinal Julian Csesarini. The Sultan Murad 
had lately suffered a defeat from the famous Commander 
of the Hungarian armies, Hunyades, with whom he signed 
a Treaty, highly favourable to the Christians, for ten years. 
By that treaty, Servia, which had after the battle of 
Kossova fallen to the Turks, recovered its independence, 
and Wallachia was ceded to the King of Hungary. The 
Treaty was ratified by the most solemn oaths, by the Chris- 
tians on the Gospels, by the Mahometans on the Koran. 
Notwithstanding this, the Cardinal persuaded the Hun- 
garians, and their young King Ladislaus, that they migUt 
break their oath ; Christ's Vicar on earth, he told them, 
was the Roman Pontiff, without whose sanction they could 
neither promise nor perform ; and in his name he absolved 
them from its performance. Gibbon, with reason, says, the 
Turks might well retort the epithet of infidel upon the 
Christians ''. 

A fresh expedition was sanctioned by Caesarini, and the 
character of a Crusade {a holy war!) imposed upon it 
the Turks were nearer the truth, when they branded it as 

1 Bekynton's Letters as quoted by Williams, " The Orthodox Church in 
the East." ' XII. 159. 

and Fall of Constantinople. 473 

an act of perjury. The young Ladislaus, under whon^ 
the Kingdoms of Hungary and Poland were now united, 
advanced without delay into the Ottoman dominions. The 
hostile armies met, on November 10, 1444, on the field of 
Varna ; a copy of the treaty, " the monument of Christian 
perfidy ^" was displayed by the Turks on the field of 
battle ; the result of which was that ten thousand Christians 
fell, Cardinal Caesarini and his victim, the young Ladislaus, 
being found amongst the slain. 

John VI. wasf on his death, A.D. 1448, succeeded, with 
the consent of the Sultan Murad (for the acknowledged 
supremacy of the Sultan preceded the fall of the Eastern 
Empire), by his brother, Constantine XL, Dragases, 
(1448 — 1453), the last and the best of the Palaeologi, at 
the time 54 years of age. Constantine was crowned at 
Sparta, where he was residing at the time of his brother's 
death, and refused, from fear of the continued disputes 
between the Orthodox and the Unionist parties, a second 
Coronation in St. Sophia's. 

The Sultan Murad II. was, after a reign of thirty years, 
succeeded by his son, Mahomet II. (1451 — 1 481), twenty-one 
years of age. 

The great aim of Mahomet's ambition was the conquest 
of Constantinople. We are not concerned with his ability 
as a strategist, but the opposition which he encountered, 
in the defence of their capital, from the Greeks, would not 
alone warrant the character of being one of the ablest 
Generals in ancient or modern times, which is sometimes 
given him. When the Sultan appeared before the walls 
of Constantinople, it was at once evident to the Emperor 
that the half-hearted Greeks, even with the advantage of 
its almost impregnable fortresses, would be unequal to its 
defence. He complained that he was surrounded by men 
whom he could neither love nor trust. The late Emperor 
in the last years of his life, finding little result from the 
Latin alliance, had renounced the Florentine Union. Poli- 
= Gibbon, XII. 162. 

474 Intrigues of the Palceologi with Rome, 

tical circumstances regulated to the end the reh'gious ther- 
mometer of the consciences of the Palseologi. Constantine's 
last hope was reposed in the assistance of the Western 
powers. He, too, now applied to the Pope of Rome, pro- 
fessing his obedience, and expressing his willingness to 
accept the union of the Churches under whatever condi- 
tions the Pope might impose. Nicolas V. (1447 — I45S), 
a liberal patron of the Renaissance, the successor of 
Eugenius IV., was then Pope. He appears to have placed 
no confidence in the success of the Greeks, but to have 
foreseen the fall of Constantinople ; he was, moreover, of- 
fended with the failure of the Florentine Union, and the 
return of John VI. to Orthodoxy. He now sent to Con- 
stantinople Cardinal Isidore, the former Metropolitan of 
Kiev, the most objectionable legate he could have selected, 
who he thought would, being a Greek, be acceptable to 
the Emperor ; and before him Constantine professed him- 
self a member of the Roman Church, and subscribed the 
former Union. On Dec. 12, 1452, Isidore celebrated, in 
the presence of the Emperor and Court, Mass according 
to the rites of the Latin Church, in the Cathedral of St. 
Sophia ; and there the Union of the Churches was pro- 
claimed. The Greeks were now placed in the dilemma 
of submission to Rome, by which alone Western help could 
be obtained, or submission to the Ottomans. The Court, 
and some of the higher clergy, advocated the former, but 
to the Greeks generally the Union was more hateful than 
ever ; the secular clergy, almost with one voice, as well 
the monks, the nuns, and the laity, repudiated it. So soon 
as the service commenced, the congregation, with one ac- 
cord, left the Cathedral as a place polluted. Everywhere 
the Unionists were branded with sacrificing their Church, 
with preferring the interest of their bodies to the good 
of their souls, and of insulting God to serve the Pope. The 
clergy bound themselves by a vow, that, under penalty of 
forfeiting their Orders, they would never be united to the 
CJiurch of Rome ; the laity declared that they would rather 

and Fall oj Constantinople. 475 

see, in the streets of Constantinople, a Sultan's turban than 
a Cardinal's hat. 

However favourable the Pope might have been to the 
Greeks, Western help was not available at the crisis. The 
nations of Western Christendom were indifferent to their 
cause; some were occupied in their own affairs, and 
too weak to afford help ; others regarded the ruin of the 
Eastern Empire as inevitable ; and Constantinople had 
fallen, before the fleets of Genoa and Venice were able to 
sail from their harbours. 

To describe the skill with which the siege was conducted 
by the Turks, and the pusillanimity of the Greeks, who had 
little heart in fighting under the banner of an heretical 
Emperor, is beyond our province. Amidst the many mel- 
ancholy reflexions which centre round the fall of Con- 
stantinople, one of the saddest of all is, that it was mainly 
effected by Greeks, by the corps of Janissaries, formed from 
the kidnapped children of C