Monophysitism (/məˈnɒfɪsaɪˌtɪzəm/ or /məˈnɒfɪsɪˌtɪzəm/; Greek: μονοφυσιτισμός; Late Koine Greek, pronounced [monofysitizˈmos] from μόνος monos, "only, single" and φύσις physis, "nature") is the Christological position that, after the union of the divine and the human in the historical incarnation, Jesus Christ, as the incarnation of the eternal Son or Word (Logos) of God, had only a single "nature" which was either divine or a synthesis of divine and human. Monophysitism is contrasted to dyophysitism (or dia-, dio-, or duophysitism) which maintains that Christ maintained two natures, one divine and one human, after the incarnation.

Historically, the term "Monophysites" (capitalized in this sense) referred to those Christians in the Eastern Roman Empire who rejected the fourth ecumenical council, the Council of Chalcedon in 451. The moderate members of this group, however, maintained a "miaphysite" theology that became that of the Oriental Orthodox churches. The Oriental Orthodox reject the label "monophysite" as a catch-all term, but the label was extensively used in historical literature of Chalcedonian Christian authors.

After the Council of Chalcedon, the monophysite controversy (together with institutional, political, and growing nationalistic factors) led to a lasting schism between the Oriental Orthodox churches, on the one hand, and the Eastern Orthodox and Western churches on the other. The Christological conflict among monophysitism, dyophysitism, and their subtle combinations and derivatives lasted from the third through the eighth centuries and left its mark on all but the first two Ecumenical councils. The vast majority of Christians presently belong to the Chalcedonian churches, namely the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and traditional Protestant churches (those that accept at least the first four Ecumenical Councils); these churches have always considered monophysitism to be heretical, usually claiming that it implies Christ is neither "truly God" nor "truly man".[1]

Monophysitism is occasionally referred to as "monophysiticism".


Monophysitism was born in the Catechetical School of Alexandria, which began its Christological analysis with the (divine) eternal Son or word of God and sought to explain how this eternal word had become incarnate as a man—in contrast to the School of Antioch (birthplace of Nestorianism, the antithesis of monophysitism), which instead began with the (human) Jesus of the Gospels and sought to explain how this man had become united with the eternal word in the incarnation. Both sides agreed that Christ was both human and divine, but the Alexandrians emphasized divinity (including the fact that the divine nature was itself "impassible" or immune to suffering) while the Antiochines emphasized humanity (including the limited knowledge and "growth in wisdom" of the Christ of the Gospels). Individual monophysite and Nestorian theologians in fact rarely believed the extreme views that their respective opponents attributed to them (although some of their followers may have). Ultimately, however, the dialectic between the schools of Alexandria and Antioch produced Christologies that on all sides (notwithstanding ongoing differences between the Oriental Orthodox and Chalcedonian churches) avoided the extremes and reflect both points of view.

Monophysitism was condemned by the Council of Chalcedon in 451, which among other things adopted the Chalcedonian Definition (often known as the "Chalcedonian Creed") stating that Christ is the eternal Son of God.

[M]ade known in two natures without confusion [i.e. mixture], without change, without division, without separation, the difference of the natures being by no means removed because of the union, but the property of each nature being preserved and coalescing in one prosopon [person] and one hupostasis [subsistence]—not parted or divided into two prosopa [persons], but one and the same Son, only-begotten, divine Word, the Lord Jesus Christ.[2]

Accepted by the sees of Rome, Constantinople, and Antioch, the Chalcedonian settlement encountered strong resistance in Alexandria (and in Egypt generally), leading ultimately to the schism between the Oriental Orthodox churches (which reject Chalcedon), on the one hand, and the so-called Chalcedonian churches on the other. The Chalcedonian churches have always considered monophysitism to be heretical and have generally viewed it as the (explicit or implicit) position of Oriental Orthodoxy. Oriental Orthodoxy, however, considers their own Christology, known as miaphysitism and based heavily on the writings of Cyril of Alexandria (whom all sides accept as orthodox), to be distinct from monophysitism and often object to being labelled monophysites.[3][4]

Historical development

Christological spectrum-o2p
Christological spectrum c. 5th-7th centuries. Monophysitism is on far right (enlarge).

Monophysitism, and its theological antithesis Nestorianism, were extensively disputed and divisive competing tenets in the maturing Christian traditions during the first half of the 5th century, during the tumultuous last decades of the Western Empire. It was marked by the political shift in all things to a center of gravity then located in the Eastern Roman Empire, and particularly in Syria, the Levant, and Anatolia, where monophysitism was popular among the people; neither positions were of particular debate in the West beyond Rome.

There are two major doctrines that can indisputably be called "monophysite":

  • Apollinarism or Apollinarianism holds that Christ had a human body and human "living principle" but that the Divine Logos had taken the place of the nous, or "thinking principle", analogous but not identical to what might be called a mind in the present day. Apollinarism was condemned as a heresy at the First Ecumenical Council of Constantinople in 381.
  • Eutychianism, which has been considered an extreme form of monophysitism,[5] holds that the human and divine natures of Christ were fused into one new single (mono) nature: His human nature was "dissolved like a drop of honey in the sea."[a] Eutychianism was condemned at the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon in 451. Eutychianism was also condemned at the non-chalcedonian Third Council of Ephesus in 475.

"Moderate" Monophysites, while rejecting Eutychianism, also opposed the Chalcedonian Christology on accusations of seeming like Nestorianism.[5]

After Nestorianism was rejected at the First Council of Ephesus, Eutyches, an archimandrite at Constantinople, emerged with diametrically opposite views. Eutyches' energy and the imprudence with which he asserted his opinions brought him accusations of heresy in 448, leading to his excommunication. In 449, at the controversial "robber"[5] Second Council of Ephesus, Eutyches was reinstated and his chief opponents Eusebius, Domnus and Flavian were deposed. Monophysitism and Eutyches were again rejected at the Council of Chalcedon in 451. Eutyches was again condemned at the non-Chalcedonian Third Council of Ephesus in 475.

Later, monothelitism – the belief that Christ was two natures in one person except that he only had a divine will and no human will, or at least had one will in general – was developed as an attempt to bridge the gap between the monophysite and the Chalcedonian position. However, it too was rejected by the members of the Chalcedonian synod, despite at times having the support of the Byzantine emperors and once escaping the condemnation of a pope of Rome, Honorius I. Some are of the opinion that monothelitism was at one time held by the Maronites; the contemporary Maronite community mostly disputes this, stating that they have never been out of official communion with the Roman Catholic Church.

See also


  1. ^ Other many variants of the analogy use terms like "vinegar", "ink", "blood" and such robust liquids that would be totally masked in the expanse of an ocean. "Sea" is also traded for "glass of water" for examples that would emphasize a new product "neither [liquid] nor water", for a unique single "third nature" of Christ.[1][5]


  1. ^ a b Grudem, Wayne A. (2014-10-28). Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith. Zondervan Academic. ISBN 9780310515876.
  2. ^ Quoted in Kelly 1977, p. 340 (bracketed language added).
  3. ^ Metropolitan Bishoy of Damitte – Egypt. "Interpretation of the Christological Official Agreements between the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches" (DOC). Retrieved 30 December 2011.
  4. ^ After Chalcedon – Orthodoxy in the 5th/6th Centuries Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b c d Newman, John Henry (2011-03-31). John Henry Newman Sermons 1824-1843: Volume IV: The Church and Miscellaneous Sermons at St Mary's and Littlemore. OUP Oxford. ISBN 9780199200917.


  • Ostrogorsky, George (1956). History of the Byzantine State. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
  • Davis, Leo Donald, The First Seven Ecumenical Councils (325-787) Their History and Theology, 1983 (Michael Glazier, Wilmington DE), reprinted 1990 (Liturgical Press, Collegeville MN, Theology and Life Series 21, 342 pp., ISBN 978-0-8146-5616-7), chaps. 4-6, pp. 134–257.
  • Kelly, J.N.D., Early Christian Doctrines, 5th edition 1977 (Continuum, London, 511 pp., ISBN 0-8264-5252-3), chaps. XI-XII, pp. 280–343.
  • Meyendorff, John (Jean), Christ in Eastern Christian Thought, trans. Dubois, Yves, 1969, 2d ed. 1975 (St. Vladimir's Seminary, Crestwood NY, 248 pp., ISBN 978-0-88141-867-5), chaps. 1-4, pp. 13–90.
  • Meyendorff, John (1989). Imperial unity and Christian divisions: The Church 450-680 A.D. The Church in history. 2. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press. ISBN 978-0-88-141056-3.

Further reading

  • Chesnut, R.C., Three Monophysite Christologies, 1976 (Oxford).
  • Frend, W.H.C., The Rise of the Monophysite Movement, 1972 (Cambridge).

External links

Al-Mundhir III ibn al-Harith

Al-Mundhir ibn al-Ḥārith (المنذر بن الحارث), known in Greek sources as (Flavios) Alamoundaros (Φλάβιος Ἀλαμούνδαρος), was the king of the Ghassanid Arabs from 569 to circa 581. A son of Al-Harith ibn Jabalah, he succeeded his father both in the kingship over his tribe and as the chief of the Byzantine Empire's Arab clients and allies in the East, with the rank of patricius. Despite his victories over the rival Persian-backed Lakhmids, throughout Mundhir's reign his relations with Byzantium were lukewarm due to his staunch Monophysitism. This led to a complete breakdown of the alliance in 572, after Mundhir discovered Byzantine plans to assassinate him. Relations were restored in 575 and Mundhir secured from the Byzantine emperor both recognition of his royal status and a pledge of tolerance towards the Monophysite Church.

In 580 or 581, Mundhir participated in an unsuccessful campaign against the Persian capital, Ctesiphon, alongside the Byzantine general (and future emperor) Maurice. The failure of the campaign led to a quarrel between the two and Maurice accused Mundhir of treason. Byzantine agents captured Mundhir, who was brought to Constantinople but never faced trial. His arrest provoked an uprising among the Ghassanids under Mundhir's son al-Nu'man VI. When Maurice ascended the throne in 582, Mundhir was exiled to Sicily although, according to one source, he was allowed to return to his homeland after Maurice's overthrow in 602.

Mundhir was the last important Ghassanid ruler; in 584, the Byzantines would break up the Ghassanid federation. A capable and successful military leader, his rule also saw the strengthening of Monophysitism and a cultural flowering among the Arabs under his rule.


Apollinarism or Apollinarianism is a Christological concept proposed by Apollinaris of Laodicea (died 390) that argues that Jesus had a normal human body but a divine mind instead of a regular human soul. It was deemed heretical in 381 and virtually died out within the following decades.

Armenian Apostolic Church

The Armenian Apostolic Church (Armenian: Հայ Առաքելական Եկեղեցի, romanized: Hay Aṙak'elakan Yekeghetsi) is the national church of the Armenian people. Part of Oriental Orthodoxy, it is one of the most ancient Christian communities. The Kingdom of Armenia was the first state to adopt Christianity as its official religion under the rule of King Tiridates in the early 4th century. The church originated in the missions of Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus in the 1st century, according to tradition.

It is sometimes referred to as the Armenian Orthodox Church or Gregorian Church. The latter is not preferred by the church itself, as it views the Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus as its founders, and St. Gregory the Illuminator as merely the first official governor of the church. It is also simply known as the Armenian Church.


In Christian theology, dyophysitism (Greek: δυοφυσιτισμός, from δυο (dyo), meaning "two" and φύσις (physis), meaning "nature") is the Christological position that two natures, divine and human, exist in the person of Jesus Christ. It contrasts with monophysitism and miaphysitism.Development of dyophysite Christology was gradual, promoted by St Cyril of Alexandria (Church Father and Doctor of the Church) in Dyophysitism tradition and its complex terminology was finally formulated as a result of long christological debates that were constant during the 4th and 5th centuries. The importance of dyophysitism was often emphasized by prominent representatives of the Antiochene School. After many debates and several councils, dyophysitism gained its official ecclesiastical form at the Fourth Ecumenical Council, held in Chalcedon in 451. The Chalcedonian Definition became the basis for the christological doctrine of the two natures of Jesus Christ, that is held up to the present day by a majority of Christian churches, including: the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Catholic Churches, the Anglican Church, the Old Catholic Church, and various other Christian denominations. Both miaphysitism and monophysitism were sentenced as false and condemned as heretical by the Council of Chalcedon in 451, and therefore declared not compatible with the Christian faith.

Dyophysite Christians believe that there is complete and perfect unity of the two natures in one hypostasis and one person of Jesus Christ. For the Chalcedonians the hypostatic union was the center of Jesus' unity (his divinity and humanity being described as natures) whereas those who rejected the Chalcedonian definition saw his nature as the point of unity. Since the term dyophysitism is used for describing the Chalcedonian positions, it has distinctive opposite meaning to the terms monophysite (notion that Christ has only one, divine nature) and miaphysite (notion that Christ is both divine and human, but in one nature).Dyophysitism has also been used to describe some aspects of Nestorianism, the doctrines ascribed to the Patriarch Nestorius of Constantinople. His detractors also asserted (imprecisely, and sometimes falsely) that he believed that Christ existed not only in two natures, but also in two (hypostases) and two persons (prosopon): the human Jesus and the divine Logos. Apart from that, the ancient Church of the East has preserved dyophysite Christology and other traditions of the Antiochene School.The belief in Jesus Christ being true Man and true God was imbedded in the Chalcedonian Creed. Later it was integrated in the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity, the basic article of the faith of most Christian denominations.

Eulogius of Alexandria

There was also a later Patriarch Eulogius of Alexandria.Eulogius of Alexandria (Greek: Εὐλόγιος) was Greek Patriarch of that see (Eulogius I) from 580 to 608. He is regarded as a saint, with a feast day of September 13.

He was a successful combatant of various phases of Monophysitism. He was a warm friend of Pope Gregory the Great, who corresponded with him, and received from that pope many flattering expressions of esteem and admiration.Eulogius refuted the Novatians, some communities of which ancient sect still existed in his diocese, and vindicated the hypostatic union of the two natures in Christ, against both Nestorius and Eutyches. Cardinal Baronius says that Gregory wished Eulogius to survive him, recognizing in him the voice of truth.

It has been said that he restored for a brief period to the Church of Alexandria life and youthful vigour.Besides the above works and a commentary against various sects of Monophysites (Severians, Theodosians, Cainites and Acephali) he left eleven discourses in defence of Pope Leo I and the Council of Chalcedon, also a work against the Agnoetae, submitted by him before publication to Pope Gregory I, who after some observations authorized it unchanged. With exception of one sermon and a few fragments, all the writings of Eulogius have perished.

Eusebius (disambiguation)

Eusebius (AD 263 – 339; also called Eusebius of Caesarea and Eusebius Pamphili) was a Roman historian, exegete and Christian polemicist.

Eusebius (; Greek Εὐσέβιος "pious" from eu (εὖ) "well" and sebein (σέβειν) "to respect") may also refer to:

Eusebius of Esztergom, Hungarian priest, hermit, founder of the Order of Saint Paul the First Hermit

Eusebius (praepositus sacri cubiculi), under Constantius II

Eusebius (consul 347) (died c. 350), Roman consul in 347

Eusebius (consul 359), Roman consul in 359

Eusebius of Alexandria (6th century), Christian author

Eusebius of Angers (died 1081), bishop of Angers

Saint Eusebius of Cremona (died c. 423)

Eusebius of Dorylaeum (5th century), bishop of Dorylaeum, opponent of Nestorianism and Monophysitism

Eusebius of Emesa (300–360), bishop of Emesa

Eusebius of Laodicea (died 268), bishop of Laodicea

Eusebius of Myndus (4th century), Neoplatonist philosopher

Eusebius of Nicomedia (died 341), bishop of Berytus, Nicomedia and Constantinople, leader of Arianism

Saint Eusebius of Rome (died 357), priest and martyr

Saint Eusebius of Samosata (died 4th-century), bishop of Samosata

Saint Eusebius of Vercelli (283–371), bishop of Vercelli, opponent of Arianism

Saint Eusebius (bishop of Milan) (died 462), archbishop of Milan

Saint Eusebius the Hermit (4th century), solitary monk of Syria

Pope Eusebius (died 310), Pope in 309 or 310

Eusebius, bishop of Paris until his death in 555

Eusebius of Thessalonika (6th or 7th century), bishop of Thessalonika during the time of Pope Gregory the Great

Hwaetberht (died c. 740s), Abbot of Monkwearmouth-Jarrow Priory, who wrote under the pen-name of Eusebius

Eusebius, one of the personae of Robert SchumannEusebius is also the name of:

Jerome (347–420), Christian scholar and church father, whose full name was Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus

Karl Eusebius of Liechtenstein (1611–1684), the second prince of Liechtenstein

Eustochius of Jerusalem

Eustochius of Jerusalem was the patriarch of Jerusalem from 552 to 564. He was patriarch during the time of the Christological disputes during the reign of emperor Justinian.After the death of Patr. Peter of Jerusalem in 544, a group of Origenist monks in Jerusalem elected Marcarius II, an Origenist, the Patriarch of Jerusalem. However, emperor Justinian, who was staunchly Orthodox, favored Eustochius, who was Oeconomus of the Church of Alexandria although he lived in Constantinople. In 552, Justinian ordered Macarius dethroned and appointed Eustochius to replace him.

At the Fifth Ecumenical Council of 553 in Constantinople, Eustochius did not attend but was represented by three legates: Bishops Stephanus of Raphia, Georgius of Tiberias, and Damasus of Sozusa or Sozytana [1]. At the council, not only were the "Three Chapters" associated with Monophysitism condemned, but also Origenism. Eustochius then called later in 553 a local council in Jerusalem during which all the bishops of Palestine, except for Alexander of Abila, confirmed the Fifth Council's verdicts. Yet, despite these efforts by Eustochius, opposition rose against the verdicts of the Constantinople Council among the monasteries, opposition led by the monks of the New Lavra, one of the monasteries founded by St. Sabbas.

In 555, Eustochius, in a forceful effort, that was aided by dux Anastasius, assaulted the Lavra, drove some sixty monks from the monastery, and replaced them with monks from other Orthodox monasteries of the desert. While he may have thought he had ended the opposition by the monastics, Eustochius' action did not end the Monophysite and Origenist resistance. In 564, Eustochius was deposed and Macarius II again became patriarch.

The date of his repose is not known.

First Council of Dvin

The First Council of Dvin (Armenian: Դվինի առաջին ժողով, Dvini ařaĵin žoğov or Դվինի Ա ժողով, Dvini A žoğov) was a church council held in 506 in the city of Dvin (then in Sasanian Armenia). It convened to discuss the Henotikon, a christological document issued by Byzantine emperor Zeno in an attempt to resolve theological disputes that had arisen from the Council of Chalcedon.

The Council was convoked by the Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church Babgen I Umtsetsi. Besides the Armenians, delegates from the Georgian and Albanian churches were present. According to the Book of Epistles, 20 bishops, 14 laymen, and many Nakharars (princes) attended the council.The Armenian Church had not accepted the conclusions of the Council of Chalcedon, which had defined that Christ is 'acknowledged in two natures', thus condemning monophysitism (though not Cyril of Alexandria's miaphysitism), which insisted on the unification of human and divine natures into Christ. Miaphysitism was the doctrine of the Armenian Church among others. The Henotikon, Emperor Zeno's attempt at conciliation, was published in 482. It reminded bishops of the condemnation of Nestorian doctrine, which emphasized the human nature of Christ, and did not mention the Chalcedonian dyophysite creed. The First Council of Dvin was thus able to accept the Henotikon and keep open a possibility of conciliation with the Patriarchate of Constantinople while remaining steady in its christological doctrine.The Council stopped short of formally rejecting the Chalcedonian Definition of the dual nature of Christ. Such a step, which formalized the Armenian break from the Roman church, would not take place until the Second Council of Dvin, in 554/555.The Acts of the Council were discovered by Karapet Ter Mkrtchian and published by him in 1901.

History of Oriental Orthodoxy

Oriental Orthodoxy is the communion of Eastern Christian Churches that recognize only three ecumenical councils — the First Council of Nicaea, the First Council of Constantinople and the Council of Ephesus. They reject the dogmatic definitions of the Council of Chalcedon. Hence, these Churches are also called Old Oriental Churches or Non-Chalcedonian Churches.

John of Scythopolis

John Scythopolita (ca. 536–550), also known as "the Scholasticus", bishop of Scythopolis in Palestine, where Beit She'an is today, was a Byzantine theologian and lawyer adhering to neo-Chalcedonian theology.He's famous for several works (lost) against Monophysite heresy: his major one's a treatise written ca. 530, defending the theory of "dioenergism", against his contemporary Severus of Antioch. Another work attacked the heretic Eutyches, one of the founders of Monophysitism.

We have some data about him by Photius, learned bishop of Byzantium.Hans Urs von Balthasar suggested than John was the author of much of Maximus the Confessor's scholia.

Komitas Aghtsetsi

Komitas I Aghtsetsi (Armenian: Կոմիտաս Ա Աղցեցի) or Komitas I of Aghdznik (dead 628) also known as Komitas Shinogh ("builder")—an allusion to his many works of restoration and constructions. Catholicos and Supreme Patriarch of All Armenians, poet and musician. He was instrumental in realization of several architectural projects. He completely renovated the Cathedral at the Holy See of Etchmiadzin and constructed the Church of St. Hripsime, which stands to this day. He also built the Church of St. Gregory in Dvin.

He was a Catholicos of Armenia and bishop of Taron from 615 through 628. He is also known to have been a hymn writer. He pulled down the original chapel and rebuilt the St. Hripsime Church at Etchmiadzin as it is seen today.

Komitas was also the editor of the collection of Armenian translations of patristic texts (including extracts from lost texts, e.g. Timothy Aelurus) known as the Seal of Faith.

A devout Catholic, he was never far away from disputes regarding the faith. He was a vociferous participant in doctrinal disputes. He sided with the orthodox school of thought of the Armenian Church during the Council of Ctesiphon (615–616). The Council concluded with the acceptance of Monophysitism; the Chalcedonian and Nestorian doctrines were renounced.His exceptional poetical and lyrical sharakan "Andzink nviryalk" ("Devoted souls") earned him a special place in the Armenian Church hymn-book. The 'Devoted Souls' was written as a eulogy to mark the completion of the Church of St Hripsime. The work marked not just the beginning of a new church but heralding a new age in Armenian spiritual literature. The work departed from previous sharakans in that it diverted from the tradition of dwelling on the Virgin Mary or The Bible. Instead, it spoke on subjects that were first raised in History, the celebrated work of the fifth-century Armenian historian Agatangeghos, which talks about Armenia's conversion to Christianity.


Miaphysitism is Cyril of Alexandria's Christological formula holding that in the person of Jesus Christ, divine nature and human nature are united (μία, mia – "one" or "unity") in a compound nature ("physis"), the two being united without separation, without mixture, without confusion and without alteration.Historically, Chalcedonian Christians have considered Miaphysitism in general to be amenable to an orthodox interpretation, in contrast to Monophysitism. Since 1142, Oriental Orthodoxy uses the term "Miaphysite" for themselves but prefer to call themselves non-Chalcedonians.


Monothelitism or monotheletism (from Greek μονοθελητισμός "doctrine of one will") is a particular teaching about how the divine and human relate in the person of Jesus. The Christological doctrine formally emerged in Armenia and Syria in 629. Specifically, monothelitism is the view that Jesus Christ has two natures but only one will. That is contrary to the Christology that Jesus Christ has two wills (human and divine) that correspond to his two natures (dyothelitism). Monothelitism is a development of the Neo-Chalcedonian position in the Christological debates. Formulated in 638, it enjoyed considerable popularity, even garnering patriarchal support, before being rejected and denounced as heretical in 681, at the Third Council of Constantinople.


Nestorianism is a Christian theological doctrine that upholds several distinctive teachings in the fields of Christology and Mariology. It opposes the concept of hypostatic union and emphasizes that the two natures (human and divine) of Jesus Christ were joined by will rather than nature. This Christological position is defined as radical dyophisitism. Nestorianism was named after Christian theologian Nestorius (386–450), Patriarch of Constantinople from 428 to 431, who was influenced by Christological teachings of Theodore of Mopsuestia at the School of Antioch.

Nestorius' teachings brought him into conflict with other prominent church leaders, most notably Cyril of Alexandria, who criticized especially his rejection of the title Theotokos ("Mother of God") for Mary, the mother of Jesus, and issued 12 anathemas against him at a council in Rome in 430. Nestorius and his teachings were eventually condemned as heretical at the Council of Ephesus in 431, and again at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, which led to the Nestorian Schism; churches supporting Nestorian teachings broke with the rest of the Christian Church.

Following that, many of Nestorius's supporters relocated to the Sasanian Empire, where they affiliated with the local Christian community, known as the Church of the East. Over the next decades the Church of the East became increasingly Nestorian in doctrine, leading to it becoming known alternatively as the Nestorian Church.

Patriarch Timothy III of Alexandria

Patriarch Timothy III of Alexandria (died 481), also known as Salophakiolos (meaning Wobble Cap), was Patriarch of Alexandria from 460 until his death (with an intermission between 475 and 477). He was an adherent of the Council of Chalcedon and opponent of Monophysitism.

In 460 the Emperor expelled the Miaphysite Patriarch Timothy Aelurus from Alexandria and installed the Chalcedonian Timothy Salophakiolos as Patriarch.

In 475, a rebellion brought about the return of Timothy Aelurus but he died only two years later in 477. The Emperor expelled his chosen successor Peter Mongus and restored Salophakiolos to his see, which he retained until his death in 481.

Syriac Christianity

Syriac Christianity (Syriac: ܡܫܝܚܝܘܬܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܬܐ‎ / Mšiḥāyuṯā Suryāyṯā) is the form of Eastern Christianity whose formative theological writings and traditional liturgy are expressed in the Syriac language.The Syriac language is a variety of Middle Aramaic that in an early form emerged in Edessa, Upper Mesopotamia in the first century AD. It is closely related to the Jewish Palestinian Aramaic spoken by Jesus. This relationship added to its prestige for Christians. The form of the language in use in Edessa predominated Christian writings and was accepted as the standard form, "a convenient vehicle for the spread of Christianity wherever there was a substrate of spoken Aramaic". The area where Syriac or Aramaic was spoken, an area of contact and conflict between the Roman Empire and the Sasanian Empire, extended from around Antioch in the west to Seleucia-Ctesiphon, the Sasanian capital (in Iraq), in the east and comprised the whole or parts of present-day Lebanon, Palestine/Israel, Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran.

Third Council of Ephesus

The Third Council of Ephesus was held in the Anatolian city of Ephesus in 475. It was presided over by Pope Timothy II of Alexandria, and also attended by Peter the Fuller, then Patriarch of Antioch, and Paul the Exarch of Ephesus. It ratified a recent Encyclical of Emperor Basiliscus, reportedly signed by 500-700 bishops throughout the Empire, which condemned the Council of Chalcedon and particularly the Tome of Leo. This council thus constitutes one of the most significant synodical condemnations of Chalcedon for the Oriental Orthodox. In response to the accusations of certain Chalcedonians that they, the Non-Chalcedonians, had adopted the erroneous teachings of Eutyches, the attendees of Ephesus III summarily anathematized all teachings which compromised the humanity of Christ, but without any explicite mention of Eutyches. Additionally, the council restored the complete autonomy of the Ecclesiastical Exarchate of Ephesus (corresponding to the civil Diocese of Asia), which had been compromised at Chalcedon by ascribing authority to the Patriarch of Constantinople over Thrace, Pontus, and Asia.

Type of Constans

The Type of Constans (also called Typos of Constans) was an imperial edict issued by Byzantine Emperor Constans II in 648 in an attempt to defuse the confusion and arguments over the Christological doctrine of Monotheletism. For over two centuries, there had been a bitter debate regarding the nature of Christ: the orthodox Chalcedonian position defined Christ as having two natures in one person, whereas Monophysite opponents contended that Jesus Christ possessed but a single nature. At the time, the Byzantine Empire had been at near constant war for fifty years and had lost large territories. It was under great pressure to establish domestic unity. This was hampered by the large number of Byzantines who rejected the Council of Chalcedon in favour of Monophysitism.

The Type attempted to dismiss the entire controversy, on pain of dire punishment. This extended to kidnapping the Pope from Rome to try him for high treason and mutilating one of the Type's main opponents. Constans died in 668. Ten years later his son, Constantine IV, fresh from a triumph over his Arab enemies and with the predominately Monophysitic provinces irredeemably lost, called the Third Council of Constantinople. It decided with an overwhelming majority to condemn Monophysitism, Monotheletism, the Type of Constans and its major supporters. Constantine put his seal to the Council's decisions, and reunited such of Christendom as was not under Arab suzerainty.

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