Third Council Of Ephesus


A large synod of bishops from the provinces of Asia Minor, Ephesus III was presided over by AELURUS in 476, on his way from to Alexandria, during the latter stages of the usurpation of Basiliscus (475-476). The convening of the synod was Timothy’s final effort to gain the empire’s acceptance of the anti-Chalcedonian views of the see of Alexandria.

The council petition was not “Eutychian,” as has been suggested. It did, however, request Basiliscus to stand firm in his condemnation of the Tome of Pope THE GREAT and the Council of CHALCEDON, as set out in the encyclical published the previous year. Chalcedon, it was declared, had caused “deaths and slaughters” and “the blood of the orthodox,” and should remain condemned (Evagrius Historia ecclesiastica 3.5).

The council also asked Basiliscus to confirm its deposition of Acacius, the patriarch of Constantinople (471-489), and, in addition, to emphasize its opposition to the policy of the see of Constantinople. It also restored to Ephesus “patriarchal rights” (meaning the right to consecrate the bishops of the province of Asia), which had been lost to under the terms of Canon 16 of Chalcedon. It also restored Bishop Paul, who had been deposed (perhaps by Acacius), to the see of Ephesus.

The restoration of in August 476 rendered the decrees of the council invalid. By this time Timothy had returned to Alexandria, where he died under threat of exile on 31 July 477.


  • Frend, W. H. C. The Rise of the Monophysite Movement. Cambridge, 1979.
  • Hole, C. “Paulus (31).” In D.C.B. Vol. 4, p. 261. Repr. New York, 1974.
  • Simonetti, M. “Efesi.” In Dizionario patristico e di antichità cristiana, Vol. 1, pp. 1099-1103. Rome, 1983.