Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrrhus , Ecclesiastical History 5.8

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Κατ’ ἐκεῖνον δὲ τὸν χρόνον ὁ τὴν Ναζιανζὸν τὰ τελευταῖα ποιμάνας ἐν κωνσταντινουπόλει διέτριβε, ταῖς ’Αρειανικαῖς ἀντιταττόμενος βλασφημίαις· καὶ τόν τε θεῖον λαὸν ταῖς εύαγγελικαῖς ἄρδων διδασκαλίαις τούς τε τῆς ποίμνης ἔξω πλανωμένους ἀγρεύων καὶ τῆς ὀλεθρίου πόας ἐλευθερῶν οὕτω τὴν ποίμνην ἐκείνην ἐξ ὀλίγης μεγάλην ἀπέφηνε. τοῦτον ἰδὼν ὁ θεῖος Μελέτιος καὶ τῶν τὸν κανόνα γεγραφότων τὸν σκοπὸν ἐπιστάμενος τὰς γὰρ τῆς φιλαρχίας ἀφορμὰς περικόπτοντες ἐκώλυσαν τὴν μετάθεσιν), ἐβεβαίωσε τῷ θειοτάτῳ Γρηγορίῳ τὴν τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως προεδρίαν. ὀλίγου δὲ διελθόντος χρόνου, ὁ μὲν θεῖος Μελέτιος εἰς τὴν ἄλυπον μετέστη ζωήν, ὑπὸ πάντων τῶν λόγου μετειληχότων ταῖς ἐπιταφίοις ταινιωθεὶς εὐφημίαις. Τιμόθεος δὲ ὁ τῆς Ἀλεξανδρέων ἐπίσκοπος, ὃς Πέτρον διεδέξατο τὸν τῆς ’Αθανασίου προεδρίας κληρονόμον γενόμενον, ἀντὶ τοῦ θαυμασίου Γρηγορίου Μάξιμόν τινα κεχειροτόνηκε κυνικόν, εὐθὺς αὐτοῦ τὰς κυνικὰς ἀποκείρας τρίχας· καὶ τῆς ’Απολιναρίου δὲ τερθρείας ἀνάπλεως οὗτος ἦν. Ἀλλ’ οὐκ ἤνεγκαν τοῦ γεγενημένου τὴν ἀτοπίαν οἱ τηνικαῦτα συνειλεγμένοι. ἦσαν δὲ ἄνδρες ἀξιάγαστοι καὶ ζήλου θείου καὶ ἀνάπλεοι· Ἑλλάδιος μὲν ὁ τῆς τοῦ μεγάλου Βασιλείου προεδρίας διάδοχος, Γρηγόριος δὲ καὶ Πέτρος οἱ τοὺς αὐτοὺς Βασιλείῳ πατέρας αὐχήσαντες· Ἀμφιλόχιος δὲ Λυκαόνων ἡγεῖτο καὶ Πισιδῶν Ὄπτιμος καὶ Κιλίκων Διόδωρος. παρὴν δὲ καὶ Πελάγιος ὁ Λαοδικείας καὶ [*] [*] [*] [*] Εὐλόγιος ὁ Ἐδέσσης καὶ Ἀκάκιος καὶ Ἰσίδωρος ὁ ἡμέτερος καὶ Κύριλλος ὁ τῶν Ἰεροσολύμων, καὶ Γελάσιος ὁ Καισαρείας τῆς Παλαιστίνης, λόγῳ καὶ βίῳ κοσμούμενος, καὶ ἕτεροι πλεῖστοι τῆς ἀρετῆς ἀθληταί. τότε δὴ οὖν οὗτοι πάντες τῶν Αἰγυπτίων σφὰς αὐτοὺς ἀποκρίναντες, οὑν τῷ μεγάλω, Γρηγορίῳ τὰς πανηγύρεις ἐπετέλουν τὰς θείας. Ο δὲ θεῖος παρεκάλει Γρηγόριος συμφωνίας πέρι συνηθροισμένους τὴν πρὸς ἀλλήλοις ὁμόνοιαν προτιμῆσαι τῆς ἑνὸς ἀνδρός ἀδικίας, »ἐγώ τε γάρ«, ἔφη,»τῶν πλειόνων φροντίδων ἀπαλλαγεὶς τὴν ἐμοὶ φίλην ἀπολήψομαι ἡσυχίαν, καὶ ὑμεῖς τὴν τριπόθητον εἰρήνην μετὰ τὸν μακρὸν ἐκεῖνον καὶ χαλεπὸν ἀπολήψεσθε πόλεμον. τῶν γὰρ λίαν ἀτοπωτάτων ἄρτι τῶν πολεμικῶν ἀπαλλαγέντας βελῶν ἀλλήλους βάλλειν καὶ τὴν οἰκείαν ἀναλίσκειν ἰσχύν· ἐπίχαρτοι γὰρ οὕτω τοῖς δυσμενέσιν ἐσόμεθα. ἄνδρα δὴ οὖν ἐπιζητήσαντες ἀξιέπαινον καὶ νοῦν ἔχοντα τῶν φροντίδων τὸ πλῆθος καὶ δέξασθαι καὶ εὑ διαθεῖναι δυνάμενον ἀρχιερέα προβάλλεσθε.«ταύταις οἱ ἄριστοι ποιμένες ταῖς ὑποθήκαις πεισθέντες, Νεκτάριον, εὐπατρίδην ἄνδρα καὶ περιφανείᾳ γένους κοσμούμενον καὶ τοῖς τῆς ἀρετῆς εἴδεσι λαμπρυνόμενον, ἐπίσκοπον τῆς μεγίστης ἐκείνης ἐχειροτόνησαν πόλεως· τὸν δὲ Μάξιμον, ὡς τῆς ’Απολιναρίου φρενοβλαβείας μετειληχότα, τῆς ἀρχιερατικῆς ἀξίας γυμνώσαντες ἀπεκήρυξαν. καὶ κανόνας δὲ περὶ τῆς ἐκκλησιαστικῆς γράψαντες εὐκοσμίας καὶ τὴν ἐκτεθεῖσαν ἐν Νικαίᾳ πίστιν βεβαίαν μένειν διαγορεύσαντες, εἰς τὰς οἰκείας ἐπανῆλθον πατρίδας. Τοῦ δὲ ἐπιγενομένου θέρους εἰς ἐκείνην αὖθις τὴν πόλιν οἱ τούτων τούτων παραγενόμενοι ἐκκλησιαστικαὶ γὰρ αὐτοὺς πάλιν συνεκάλεσαν χρεῖαι) συνοδικὴν ἐπιστολὴν τῶν τῆς Ἐσπέρας ἐπισκότων ἐδέξαντο εἰς τὴν Ῥώμην αὐτοὺς αὐτοὺς προτρέπουσαν, ὡς συνόδου μεγίστης αὐτόθι συγκροτουμένης. ἀλλὰ τὴν μὲν ἀποδημίαν παρῃτήσαντο, ὡς οὐδὲν ἔχουσαν κέρδος· ἐπέστειλαν δὲ τόν τε κλύ’ [*] [*] [*] δωνα τὸν κατὰ τῶν ἐκκλησιῶν ἐπαναστάντα σημαίνοντες καὶ τὴν γεγενημένην αὐτῶν ἀμέλειαν αἰνιττόμενοι, ἐν κεφαλαίῳ δὲ καὶ τὸ γεγενημένην τοῖς γράμμασιν ἐνέθηκαν φρόνημα. σαφέστερον δὲ τὴν τῶν γεγραφότων ἀνδρείαν τε καὶ σοφίαν αὐτὰ δηλώσει τὰ γράμματα.

Translation

At this time the recent feeder of the flock at Nazianzus was living at Constantinople, continually withstanding the blasphemies of the Arians, watering the holy people with the teaching of the Gospel, catching wanderers outside the flock and removing them from poisonous pasture. So that flock once small he made a great one. When the divine Meletius saw him, knowing as he did full well the object which the makers of the canon had before them when, with the view of preventing the possibility of ambitious efforts, they forbade the translation of bishops, he confirmed Gregory in the episcopate of Constantinople. Shortly afterwards the divine Meletius passed away to the life that knows no pain, crowned by the praises of the funeral eloquence of all the great orators. Timotheus, bishop of Alexandria, who had followed Peter, the successor of Athanasius in the patriarchate, ordained in place of the admirable Gregorius, Maximus—a cynic who had but recently suffered his cynic’s hair to be shorn, and had been carried away by the flimsy rhetoric of Apollinarius. But this absurdity was beyond the endurance of the assembled bishops—admirable men, and full of divine zeal and wisdom, such as Helladius, successor of the great Basil, Gregorius and Peter, brothers of Basil, and Amphilochius from Lycaonia, Optimus from Pisidia, Diodorus from Cilicia. The council was also attended by Pelagius of Laodicæa, Eulogius of Edessa, Acacius, our own Isidorus, Cyril of Jerusalem, Gelasius of Cæsarea in Palestine, who was renowned alike for lore and life and many other athletes of virtue. All these then whom I have named separated themselves from the Egyptians and celebrated divine service with the great Gregory. But he himself implored them, assembled as they were to promote harmony, to subordinate all question of wrong to an individual to the promotion of agreement with one another. “For,” said he, “I shall be released from many cares and once more lead the quiet life I hold so dear; while you, after your long and painful warfare, will obtain the longed for peace. What can be more absurd than for men who have just escaped the weapons of their enemies to waste their own strength in wounding one another; by so doing we shall be a laughing stock to our opponents. Find then some worthy man of sense, able to sustain heavy responsibilities and discharge them well, and make him bishop.” The excellent pastors moved by these counsels appointed as bishop of that mighty city a man of noble birth and distinguished for every kind of virtue as well as for the splendour of his ancestry, by name Nectarius. Maximus, as having participated in the insanity of Apollinarius, they stripped of his episcopal rank and rejected. They next enacted canons concerning the good government of the church, and published a confirmation of the faith set forth at Nicæa. Then they returned each to his own country. Next summer the greater number of them assembled again in the same city, summoned once more by the needs of the church, and received a synodical letter from the bishops of the west inviting them to come to Rome, where a great synod was being assembled. They begged however to be excused from travelling thus far abroad; their doing so, they said, would be useless. They wrote however both to point out the storm which had risen against the churches, and to hint at the carelessness with which the western bishops had treated it. They also included in their letter a summary of the apostolic doctrine, but the boldness and wisdom of their expressions will be more clearly shown by the letter itself.

Bibliography

  • 1 Theodoret of Cyrrus, Historia Ecclesiastica: Machine Readable Text, ed. Léon Parmentier (Leipzig: University of Leipzig, 2016), section: 5.8.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 2 Theodoret of Cyrrus, The Ecclesiastical History of Theodoret: Machine Readable Text, ed. Philip Schaff (Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 1993), section: 5.8.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • Theodoret of Cyrrus, Theodoret. Kirchengeschichte, ed. Léon Parmentier, Die griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller der ersten Jahrhunderte 19 (Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs, 1911), section: 5.8.Link to Zotero Bibliographic RecordLink to HathiTrust Bibliographic record
  • section: 5.8. , section: 5.8.

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How to Cite This Entry

Joseph L. Rife et al., “Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrrhus , Ecclesiastical History 5.8,” in Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia, last modified June 10, 2020, https://caesarea-maritima.org/testimonia/154.

Bibliography:

Joseph L. Rife et al., “Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrrhus , Ecclesiastical History 5.8.” In Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia, edited by Joseph L. Rife and Phillip I. Lieberman., edited by Joseph L. Rife et al.. Caesarea City and Port Exploration Project, 2020. Entry published June 10, 2020. https://caesarea-maritima.org/testimonia/154.

About this Entry

Entry Title: Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrrhus , Ecclesiastical History 5.8

Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

  • Joseph L. Rife, general editor, Vanderbilt University
  • Joseph L. Rife and Phillip I. Lieberman, editors, Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia
  • David A. Michelson, Daniel L. Schwartz, and William L. Potter, technical editors, “Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrrhus , Ecclesiastical History 5.8
  • Joseph L. Rife, Joshua Woods, and Eliana Yonan, entry contributors, “Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrrhus , Ecclesiastical History 5.8

Additional Credit:

  • TEI encoding by William L. Potter
  • Electronic text added by Joshua Woods
  • Electronic text added by Eliana Yonan
  • Testimonia identified by Joseph L. Rife
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