Category Archives: Early Middle Ages

#486 – A History of the Catholic Church – Ending the Acacian Schism

The death of Anastasius and accession of Justin as Emperor offers a new opportunity for the restoration of ecclesiastical union between Rome and Constantinople. However, behind the union many problems remained as a union motivated by politics could not resolve religious tensions.

Links:
Solidus of Emperor Justin by CNG.

Correspondence between Pope Hormisdas and the Monks of Syria

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#486 – A History of the Catholic Church – Ending the Acacian Schism

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#485 – A History of the Catholic Church – Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite

The mystical theologian Pseudo-Dionysius may remain a mystery, but the influence of his work upon the theology of the Eastern and Western Church is quite evident. From the theology of the Angels, to Christology, to Prayer, Pseudo-Dionysius left the stamp of his thought upon the Church.

Links:
Icon of the original Dionysius the Areopagite.

Pope Benedict XVI on Pseudo-Dionysius

The Works of Pseudo-Dionysius

History of the Philosophy on Pseudo-Dionysius

Vasili Vranic The Fourth Letter of Pseudo-Dionysius Aeropagite: Chalcedonian or Monophysite?”

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#485 – A History of the Catholic Church – Pseudo-Dionysius the Aeropagite

#484 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Formula of Hormisdas

After a brief presentation of the Christology of Severus of Antioch and its relationship to Neo-Chalcedonianism, we move to another attempt at ending the Acacian Schism. However, Pope Hormisdas of Rome continues his predecessor’s strong line toward the East.

Links:
Image of Pope Hormisdas of Rome.

Map of Thrace – site of the Vitalian Rebellion

Positive assessment of the Christology of Severus of Antioch by a member of the Oriental Orthodox/Miaphysite Church

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#484 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Formula of Hormisdas

#483 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Ascendancy of Monophysitism

Emperor Anastasius of the Byzantine Empire with the support of Philoxenus of Mabbug, Severus of Antioch and John II/III of Alexandria aggressively move to put an end to support for the Council of Chalcedon, but they face strong resistance.

Links:
Icon of Severus of Antioch.

Kazimierz Ginter on the Trisagion Riots

Boethius on Eutyches and Nestorius – including description of the reaction to the East’s pleas for help from Rome

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#483 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Ascendancy of Monophysitism

#482 – A History of the Catholic Church -The Symmachian Forgeries

Symmachus and Laurentius fight for control of the Church of Rome with all the means they have at their disposal. The Basilica of St. Peter’s grows in importance as the symbol of the Pope’s Petrine authority.

Links:
Ruins of the original Basilica of Saint Agnes fuori le Mura. Repaired during the papacy of Symmachus. Photo by José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro.

W. T. Townsend. The so-called Symmachian Forgeries

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#482 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Symmachian Forgeries

#481 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Laurentian Schism

Controversy over the Acacian Schism leads to a schism with the Church of Rome and the bishops of Italy debate whether anyone but God can judge the actions of a Pope.

Links:
Mosaic at the Basilica of Saint Agnes. Pope Symmachus is to the left.

John Moorhead, The Laurentian Schism: East and West in the Roman Church

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#481 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Laurentian Schism

#480 – A History of the Catholic Church -The Gelasian Doctrine

Pope Gelasius I enunciates the proper relationship between the Pope of Rome and the Emperor and the proper relationship between the Pope of Rome and the Metropolitan Bishop of Constantinople. Unfortunately for Gelasius, the Emperor and Bishop of Constantinople have a different understanding.

After the death of Gelasius, Pope Anastasius II strives to ease tensions with the East, to disastrous results.

Links:
The Christ between St. Peter and the Emperor

Letter of Gelasius to Emperor Anastasius I enunciating two powers doctrine

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#480 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Gelasian Doctrine

#479 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Baptism of Clovis

In Gaul, Clovis becomes the first of the Germanic leaders to adopt Nicene Christianity. In Rome, Pope Gelasius struggles to deal with the problems caused by recent wars in Italy. The Acacian Schism continues to fester.

Links:
The Baptism of Clovis by the Master of Saint Giles

Gregory of Tours on the Conversion of Clovis

The so-called Gelasian Decree

On the Lupercalia of Rome

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#479 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Baptism of Clovis

#478 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Movement Toward Claustration

In North Africa, Fulgentius of Ruspe defends the Nicenes against the return of Arian Persecution. In Gaul, Caesarius of Arles writes the first Western rule for Monastic Women. In Italy, Theodoric seeks to keep the peace between the Arians and the Nicenes. Plus, the Athanasian and Apostles’ Creeds.

Links:
Page from from the Arian Bible – the Codex Argentus

Map of Europe in 500

Map of Church in Gaul in 506

Selections from Caesarius’ Rule for Virgins/Nuns

Athanasian Creed

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#478 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Movement Toward Claustration

#477 – A History of the Catholic Church – The School of Nisibis

The School of Nisibis and Narsai spread the Christology of Theodore of Mopsuestia throughout the Church of the East.

Links:
Mar Jacob Church in Nisibis by Gareth Hughes.

Some examples of Narsai’s Mêmrê can be found here

Adam Izdebski, “The School of Nisibis: An Ancient Religious Community?”

Frederick McLeod, “Narsai’s Dependence on Theodore of Mopsuestia”

The Christology of the Church of the East

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#477 – A History of the Catholic Church – The School of Nisibis