Cosmas Indicopleustes

COSMAS INDICOPLEUSTES The name given to an anonymous Nestorian author of the twelve-book Christian Topography, written a few years before the Second Council of CONSTANTINOPLE (553). Cosmas was an Egyptian merchant, probably from Alexandria, who plied his trade in Alexandria, the Red Sea port of Adulis (Sawakin), and Ceylon (Sri Lanka), calling at the island […]

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Celsus

CELSUS An anti-Christian writer and Platonist philosopher whose Alethes Logos (True Discourse), written about 178, is the oldest surviving literary attack on Christianity. All that is known of its author is contained in ORIGEN’s reply, the eight books of Contra Celsum, written in Caesarea (Palestine) about 248. Celsus was most probably a Syrian, for he […]

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Second Council Of Constantinople

SECOND COUNCIL OF CONSTANTINOPLE Known as the fifth general council and convoked by Emperor Justinian I in May 553. It was presided over by Patriarch Eutychius of Constantinople, and attended by 165 bishops, nearly all from the eastern and Greek-speaking provinces of Justinian’s empire. The main object of the council was to modify (without appearing […]

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First Council Of Constantinople

FIRST COUNCIL OF CONSTANTINOPLE Summoned by Emperor Theodosius I and convened at Constantinople in May and June 381, and recognized as the second ecumenical council. About 150 bishops from the eastern provinces of the empire attended, to which may be added thirty-six “Macedonian” bishops, mainly from western Asia Minor, whom the emperor and the council […]

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Codex Theodosianus

CODEX THEODOSIANUS A Roman imperial law code, published on 15 February 438 on the authority of Emperor Theodosius II, with a covering constitution addressed to the pretorian prefect of the East (Novella Theodosiana I). It had been approved by the Western emperor, Valentinian III, during his stay in Constantinople in October 437 when he married […]

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Timothy Salofaciolus

TIMOTHY SALOFACIOLUS A Chalcedonian patriarch of Alexandria (460-482). A one-time steward of the church of Alexandria, he was consecrated patriarch after the expulsion of TIMOTHY II AELURUS (“the Cat”) in 459. His nickname may be derived from Coptic with a “dog Latin” ending meaning “wearer of a white turban” or “wobbling turban.” He was the […]

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Heracleon

HERACLEON A gnostic teacher in Alexandria about 170-180, who had great influence on Saint CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA and ORIGEN. Clement described him as “the most esteemed [dokimatotos]” disciple of VALENTINUS (Clement Stromateis 4. 9. 71. 1). Heracleon is the first known commentator on the New Testament after BASILIDES, and fragments of his commentaries on Luke […]

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Hypostatic Union

HYPOSTATIC UNION The orthodox doctrine on the relation of the divine and human in Christ. Henosis kath’ hypostasin was the term used by Saint CYRIL I, patriarch of Alexandria in the fifth century, to make clear beyond all argument the complete unity of the Divine Word and the flesh in Christ. For Cyril the Word […]

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Justin I (C.450-527)

JUSTIN I (c.450-527) A byzantine emperor who worked for orthodoxy and the reunion of Rome and Constantinople. He was born about 450 in Bederiana (in modern Yugoslavia). Of peasant stock, he followed his father into the Roman army, fighting with distinction against the Isaurian rebels in 498, the Persians from 502 to 505, and the […]

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Julian The Apostate (332-363)

JULIAN THE APOSTATE (332-363) A roman emperor who attempted to restore the classical pantheon. Julian was born in Constantinople, son of Julius Constantius and Basilina. With his half-brother Gallus, he survived the massacre that claimed many of the relatives of Emperor Constantine I on 9 September 337, including their father and elder brother. Julian was, […]

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