Third Council of Constantinople

The Third Council of Constantinople, counted as the Sixth Ecumenical Council[1] by the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Churches, as well by certain other Western Churches, met in 680/681 and condemned monoenergism and monothelitism as heretical and defined Jesus Christ as having two energies and two wills (divine and human).[2]

Third Council of Constantinople
Accepted byRoman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Old Catholics, Anglican Communion
Previous council
Second Council of Constantinople
Next council
Second Council of Nicaea
Convoked byEmperor Constantine IV
PresidentPatriarch George I of Constantinople
Attendanceperhaps 300; signatories to the documents ranged from 43 (first session) to 174 (last session)
TopicsMonothelitism, the human and divine wills of Jesus
Documents and statements
condemnation of Monothelitism
Chronological list of ecumenical councils


The Council settled a set of theological controversies that go back to the sixth century but had intensified under the Emperors Heraclius (r. 610–641) and Constans II (r. 641–668). Heraclius had set out to recover much of the part of his Empire lost to the Persians and had attempted to bridge the controversy with Monophysitism, which was particularly strong in Syria and Egypt, by proposing a moderate theological position that had as good support in the tradition as any other. The result was first monoenergism, i.e. that Christ, though existing in two natures, had one energy (divine and human), the second was monothelitism, i.e. that Christ had one will (that is, that there was no opposition in Christ between his human and divine volition). This doctrine was accepted in most of the Byzantine world, but was opposed at Jerusalem and at Rome and started a controversy that persisted even after the loss of the reconquered provinces and the death of Heraclius. When Heraclius' grandson Constans II took the throne, he saw the controversy as threatening the stability of the Empire and attempted to silence discussion, by outlawing speaking either in favour or against the doctrine.[3] Pope Martin I and the monk Maximus, the foremost opponents of monothelitism (which they interpreted as denying a human faculty of will to Christ), held a synod in Rome in 649 that condemned monoenergism and monothelitism.[4] At Constantinople in around 653, some accused the Pope of supporting revolution, this was regarded as high treason, and Martin was accordingly arrested, tried, condemned and sent into exile, where he soon died. Maximus was tried and tortured to death.[5] Martin and Maximus's position was supported by others at the Council of Constantinople.[6][7]


After Constans' son and successor, Constantine IV had overcome the Muslim siege of Constantinople in 678, he immediately set his sights on restoring communion with Rome: he wrote to Pope Donus suggesting a conference on the matter. When the letter reached Rome, Donus had died, but his successor, Pope Agatho, agreed to the Emperor's suggestion and ordered councils held throughout the West so that legates could present the tradition of the Western Church. There was a synod in Milan under Archbishop Mausuetus; another synod was held in 680 at Heathfield over which Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury presided. Pope Agatho then convened a synod at Rome at Easter 680, with representatives from the regional synods.

Then he sent a delegation to meet the Easterners at Constantinople.[8] The delegates set out bearing two letters, one from Pope Agatho to the Emperor, and the other from the bishops of the Rome synod to those gathered in Constantinople.[9]

In the meantime, Constantine summoned Patriarch George I of Constantinople and all bishops of his jurisdiction of Constantinople to a council. He also summoned Patriarch Macarius of Antioch, a Byzantine appointee permanently resident in Constantinople because of the Muslim occupation of his see.


On 7 November 680, a mere 37 bishops and a number of presbyters convened in the imperial palace, in the domed hall called the Trullus. The Patriarchs of Constantinople and of Antioch participated in person, whereas the patriarchates of Alexandria and Jerusalem were represented by Byzantine appointees (because of the Saracen Muslim conquest there was at this date no patriarch in either of these sees). The Pope and a council he had held in Rome were represented (as was normal at eastern ecumenical councils) by a few priests and bishops. In its opening session, the council assumed the authority of an Ecumenical Council. The Emperor attended and presided over the first eleven sessions, took part in the discussions and returned for the closing session on 16 September 681, attended by 151 bishops.[2]

During the council, a letter by Pope Agatho was read which asserted as the traditional belief of the Church that Christ was of two wills, divine and human. Most of the bishops present accepted the letter, proclaiming that Peter spoke through Agatho,[8] though this council also proclaimed another historical pope as anathema. Macarius of Antioch defended monothelitism but was condemned and deposed, along with his partisans. The council, in keeping with Agatho's letter, defined that Jesus Christ possessed two energies and two wills but that the human will was 'in subjection to his divine and all-powerful will'. The council carefully avoided any mention of Maximus the Confessor, who was still regarded with suspicion. It condemned both monoenergism and monothelitism as heretical and included those who had supported this heresy, including Pope Honorius I and four previous patriarchs of Constantinople.[2] When the council had concluded, the decrees were sent to Rome where they were accepted by Agatho's successor, Pope Leo II.[8] In his letter of confirmation of the Council, Leo accuses Honorius of "profane treachery ... who did not attempt to sanctify this Apostolic Church with the teaching of Apostolic tradition."

At some point during the council's proceedings, a Monothelite priest claimed he could raise the dead, thereby proving his faith supreme. He had a corpse brought forth, but after whispering prayers into its ears, could not revive the body.[10]

See also


  1. ^ Continuity and Change in Creed and Confessions, Credo: Historical and Theological Guide to Creeds and Confessions of Faith, ed. Jaroslav Pelikan (Yale University Press, 2013), 15.
  2. ^ a b c George Ostrogorsky, History of the Byzantine State (Rutgers University Press, 1995), 127.
  3. ^ The Acts of the Council of Chalcedon, Volume 1, transl. Richard Price and Michael Gaddis (Liverpool University Press, 2005), 55.
  4. ^ Joseph N. Tylenda, Saints and Feasts of the Liturgical Year (Georgetown University Press, 2003), 60.
  5. ^ Ostrogorsky, (995), pp. 117–18
  6. ^ Ekonomou, Andrew J. 2007. Byzantine Rome and the Greek Popes: Eastern influences on Rome and the papacy from Gregory the Great to Zacharias, A.D. 590–752. Lexington Books
  7. ^ Siecienski 2010, pp. 74.
  8. ^ a b c Joseph Brusher, S.J., Popes Through the Ages Archived 6 February 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Hefele, Karl Joseph von. A History of the Councils of the Church, T. & T. Clark, 1896, §313
  10. ^ Kelly, Joseph F. "Chapter Three: The Byzantine Councils." The Ecumenical Councils of the Catholic Church: A History. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical, 2009. 59. Print.


  • Bathrellos, Demetrios (2004). The Byzantine Christ: Person, Nature, and Will in the Christology of Saint Maximus the Confessor. Oxford-New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0199258642.
  • "Concilium Universale Constantinopolitanum Tertium", in Acta Conciliorum Oecumenicorum, ser. 2, II.1–2. ed. R. Riedinger (Berlin 1990 and 1992).
  • Ekonomou, Andrew J. 2007. Byzantine Rome and the Greek Popes: Eastern influences on Rome and the papacy from Gregory the Great to Zacharias, A.D. 590–752. Lexington Books.
  • Hovorun, Cyril (2008). Will, Action and Freedom: Christological Controversies in the Seventh Century. Leiden-Boston: BRILL.
  • 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.
  • Ostrogorsky, George. History of the Byzantine State. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. ISBN 0-8135-0599-2
  • Siecienski, Anthony Edward (2010). The Filioque: History of a Doctrinal Controversy. Oxford University Press.

External links


The term asekretis (Greek: ἀσηκρῆτις, translit. asēkrētis, invariable form) designated a senior class of secretaries in the Byzantine imperial court in the 6th–12th centuries.

The term is derived from the Latin a secretis, and in its full form was "asekretis of the court" (ἀσηκρῆτις τῆς αὺλῆς, asēkrētis tēs aulēs). It seems to be an innovation of the 6th century, as the contemporary historian Procopius of Caesarea found it necessary to explain it to his readers. Modern scholars have sometimes assumed that it dates to the 4th century, but the only reference to it, in the acts of the Council of Chalcedon, actually dates from a 6th-century translation of the document.The asekretis succeeded the referendarii as the senior-most members of the imperial secretariat, above the notarii. Some of them were attached to the praetorian prefectures. Seals of the office's holders survive from the 6th and 7th centuries, while a reference from the Third Council of Constantinople (680) indicates the existence of a senior asekretis who functioned as head of the class, probably the predecessor of the later protasekretis. The asekretis are attested as holding mid-level dignities, from the rank of protospatharios to spatharios and sometimes even lower. Eminent members of the class included the emperor Anastasios II (r. 715–717), and the Patriarchs of Constantinople Tarasios (784–806) and Nikephoros I (806–815).The office continues to be mentioned until the 12th century, after which it disappears, with the generic term grammatikos taking its place.

Barbatus of Benevento

Saint Barbatus of Benevento (Italian: San Barbato) (c. 610 – February 19, 682), also known as Barbas, was a bishop of Benevento from 663 to 682. He succeeded Hildebrand in this capacity. He assisted in a church council called by Pope Agatho in Rome in 680 and in 681 attended the Third Council of Constantinople against the Monothelites.

Christianity in the 7th century

The Western (Latin) and Eastern (Greek) divisions of Christianity began to take on distinctive shape in 7th-century Christianity. Whereas in the East the Church maintained its structure and character and evolved more slowly, in the West the Bishops of Rome (the popes) were forced to adapt more quickly and flexibly to drastically changing circumstances. In particular, whereas the bishops of the East maintained clear allegiance to the Eastern Roman emperor, the Bishop of Rome, while maintaining nominal allegiance to the Eastern emperor, was forced to negotiate delicate balances with the "barbarian rulers" of the former Western provinces. Although the greater number of Christians remained in the East, the developments in the West would set the stage for major developments in the Christian world during the later Middle Ages.

During the 7th century an Arabian religious leader named Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullāh began to spread the message of the Qur'an (Koran), which includes some traditions similar to those of the Christian and Jewish faith. This new faith, called submission or الإسلام (al-’islām) in Arabic, proclaimed the worship and obedience of a purely monotheist God or Allah in Arabic as the purpose of life, and Islam would ultimately prove to be the greatest challenge that the Christian Church would face during the Middle Ages. By the 630s Muhammad had united the entire Arabian peninsula under Islam, including the formerly Christian kingdom of Yemen. Following Muhammad's death a Muslim empire, or caliphate, emerged which began efforts to expand beyond Arabia. Shortly before Mohammad's death the Roman Empire and Sassanid Persian Empire had concluded decades of war, leaving both empires crippled.

Council of Constantinople

Council of Constantinople can refer to a church council (synod) convened at Constantinople:

Council of Constantinople (360), a local council

First Council of Constantinople, the Second Ecumenical Council, in 381

Council of Constantinople (383), a local council, rejected teachings of Eunomius

Council of Constantinople (394), a local council, produced several canons

Synod of Constantinople (543), a local council which condemned Origen

Second Council of Constantinople, the Fifth Ecumenical Council, in 553

Third Council of Constantinople, the Sixth Ecumenical Council, in 680

Council of Constantinople (692), also called in Trullo or Quinisext Council

Council of Constantinople (754), the Council of Hieria

Council of Constantinople (815), a local council that restored Iconoclasm

Council of Constantinople (843), a local council, restored the veneration of icons

Council of Constantinople (861), a local council, confirmed the deposition of Ignatius and election of Photius

Council of Constantinople (867), a local council convened by Photius to discuss Papal supremacy and the Filioque

Fourth Council of Constantinople (Catholic Church), also called the Photian Council, in 869

Fourth Council of Constantinople (Eastern Orthodox), considered the Eighth Ecumenical Council by some Orthodox, also called the Photian Council, in 879

Council of Constantinople (1082), a local council convened to deal with John Italos

Council of Constantinople (1094), a local council convened to deal with Leo of Chalcedon

Council of Constantinople (1285), a local council that rejected the Union of the Churches at Lyons

Fifth Council of Constantinople, considered the Ninth Ecumenical Council by some Orthodox, concerning Hesychasm, in 1341-1351

Synod of Constantinople (1484), condemned the Council of Florence

Council of Constantinople (1583), decided not to accept the Gregorian calendar

Council of Constantinople (1593), approved the creation of Moscow Patriarchate

Council of Constantinople (1722), condemned all forms of catholicisation

Council of Constantinople (1756), affirmed rebaptism for Roman Catholics converting to Christian Orthodoxy

Council of Constantinople (1848), issued the Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarchs

Council of Constantinople (1872), condemned Phyletism, as a schismatic movement

Council of Constantinople (1923), a major council, introduced several reforms


Dyothelitism or dythelitism (from Greek δυοθελητισμός "doctrine of two wills") is a particular Christological doctrine that teaches the existence of two wills (divine and human) in the person of Jesus Christ. Specifically, dyothelitism correlates the distinctiveness of two wills with the existence of two specific natures (divine and human) in the person of Jesus Christ (dyophysitism).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 475, states: "Similarly, at the Sixth ecumenical council, Constantinople III in 681, the Church confessed that Christ possesses two wills and two natural operations, divine and human. They are not opposed to each other, but co-operate in such a way that the Word made flesh willed humanly in obedience to his Father all that he had decided divinely with the Father and the Holy Spirit for our salvation. Christ's human will 'does not resist or oppose but rather submits to his divine and almighty will.'"

This position is in opposition to the Monothelitism position in the Christological debates. The debate concerning the Monothelite churches and the Catholic Church came to a conclusion at the Third Council of Constantinople in 681. The Council declared that in line with the declarations of the Council of Chalcedon in 451, which declared two natures in the one person of Jesus Christ, there are equally two "wills" or "modes of operation" in the one person of Jesus Christ as well.Dyothelitism was championed by Maximus the Confessor against monothelitism, the doctrine of one will.

Fifteenth Council of Toledo

The Fifteenth Council of Toledo first met on 11 May 688 under King Egica. It was the king's first of three councils.

In 680-681, the sixth ecumenical council, the Third Council of Constantinople, had repudiated monothelitism and affirmed the doctrine of dyothelitism, that Christ had two wills. The decision of the council had been sent to Quiricus, metropolitan of Toledo, who died before it reached him, and ended up in the hands of his successor Julian. The response of the Spanish bishops to Pope Benedict II's letter was not to the pope's liking, especially the phrase voluntas genuit voluntatem, meaning "will engendered will". Nevertheless, Julian defended his propositions and it was the Fifteenth Council which adopted them. It has been theorised by some that a schism with the church of Rome was imminent, but diverted by political events in both Spain and Italy, such as the Moorish invasion of 711. This view, however, is not generally accepted.

Egica, besides the affirmation of Julian's theology, had but one reason to call the council. He had been obliged by his predecessor, Erwig, to take two oaths before assuming the kingship. First, he was forced to swear never to harm Erwig's children when Erwig gave him his daughter in marriage. Second, he was forced, on Erwig's deathbed, to vow to uphold justice for the people. Egica claimed that, on account of Erwig's injustices, he could not protect his children if he wanted to do justice to the people. It is usually presumed that Erwig had unjustly confiscated property and this was in the hands of his children. Therefore, Egica would have to take back that property to return it to its rightful possessors. He wished the protection of Erwig's children to be removed from his hands. The bishops ordered him to love his in-laws, but released him from his oath. He wished them also to reverse the Thirteenth Council's canon protecting Erwig's family, but the bishops refused saying that that canon did not protect them from just penalties.

First seven ecumenical councils

In the history of Christianity, the first seven ecumenical councils include the following: the First Council of Nicaea in 325, the First Council of Constantinople in 381, the Council of Ephesus in 431, the Council of Chalcedon in 451, the Second Council of Constantinople in 553, the Third Council of Constantinople from 680–681 and finally, the Second Council of Nicaea in 787.

These seven events represented an attempt by Church leaders to reach an orthodox consensus, restore peace and develop a unified Christendom. Eastern Orthodox Christians, Oriental Orthodox Christians, the Church of the East, Anglican, Old Catholic, and Roman Catholics, all trace the legitimacy of their clergy by apostolic succession back to this period and beyond, to the earlier period referred to as Early Christianity.

This era begins with the First Council of Nicaea, which enunciated the Nicene Creed that in its original form and as modified by the First Council of Constantinople of 381 was seen by all later councils as the touchstone of orthodoxy on the doctrine of the Trinity.

The Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church accept all seven of these councils as legitimate ecumenical councils. The Oriental Orthodox Churches accept only the first three, while the Church of the East accepts only the first two. There is also one additional council (the Quinisext Council), which was held between the sixth and seventh ecumenical councils (in AD 692), and which issued organizational, liturgical and canonical rules but did not discuss theology. It is accepted as ecumenical by the Eastern Orthodox Church alone, however the Eastern Orthodox do not give it a number, but rather count it as a continuation of the sixth council. The Catholic Church does not accept the Quinisext Council, but both the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church consider that there have been more ecumenical councils after the first seven (see: Eighth ecumenical council, Ninth ecumenical council, and Catholic ecumenical councils).

Fourteenth Council of Toledo

The Fourteenth Council of Toledo first met on 14 November 684 under King Erwig. It was called in response to a letter from Pope Leo II directing the king, a Count Simplicius, and the recently deceased Quiricus, metropolitan of Toledo, to call a general council to confirm the decisions of the ecumenical Third Council of Constantinople against monothelitism. A regional synod held in Carthaginiensis with representatives of the metropolitans in attendance was not sufficient and Erwig subsequently called a general council, exactly a year and a day after the disbanding of the Thirteenth Council of Toledo (13 November 683). The council, due to bad weather and the recent travels to and from Toledo for the Thirteenth Council, was attended only by the bishops of Carthaginiensis, the metropolitans, and a bishop from each of the other provinces: Narbonensis, Tarraconensis, and Gallaecia. These provincial delegates would approve the decision of the Carthaginiensian synod and report it to their own provincial synods, for further approval.

The fourteenth council quickly approved the sixth ecumenical council and sent notice to the pope. It also issued a general warning to the people that such doctrinal matters were to be believed, not discussed. The bishops wrapped up their short business and closed the council on 20 November.


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.

Papal profession of faith (late 7th century)

The Liber Diurnus Romanorum Pontificum includes a formula of profession of faith that a newly elected Pope sent to the representative at Ravenna of the Emperor of Constantinople soon after the Third Council of Constantinople (680-681), which is referred to in the text as held "recently".

This profession of faith cannot have been presented to the Exarch of Ravenna at any time after the papacy revolted - soon after 727 (see Eutychius (exarch)) - against the Emperor. The Exarchate itself was finally extinguished in 752.

The profession of faith in the Liber Diurnus Romanorum Pontificum is addressed to Saint Peter in a form somewhat reminiscent of an oath. However, the book nowhere calls it an oath.

Ambiguous expressions in some anti-Catholic writings could lead incautious readers to suppose that the text in the Liber Diurnus Romanorum Pontificum was used by all newly elected Popes until the eleventh century and that it had been in use since the fifth century.

An example is William Webster's An Ecumenical Council Officially Condemns a Pope for Heresy:

In the Liber Diurnus the Formulary of the Roman Chancery (from the fifth to the eleventh century), there is found the old formula for the papal oath...according to which every new Pope, on entering upon his office, had to swear that "he recognised the sixth Ecumenical Council, which smote with eternal anathema the originators of the heresy (Monotheletism), Sergius, Pyrrhus, etc., together with Honorius" (Charles Joseph Hefele, A History of the Councils of the Church (Edinburgh: Clark, 1896), Volume V, pp. 181-187).However, Webster does not expressly state that the formula in the Liber Diurnus Romanorum Pontificum was used by Popes from the fifth to the eleventh century, which would obviously be impossible. The Liber Diurnus formula speaks of the Third Council of Constantinople as recently held and mentions by name the Pope and the Emperor involved in the Council. Popes outside the 682-727 period would not have spoken of the 680-681 Council as recent, and it would be particularly ridiculous to suppose that Popes from two centuries before the Council knew anything whatever about that Council.

Peter of Constantinople

Peter (? – October 666) was the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 654 to 666. He was condemned as an heretic in the Third Council of Constantinople.

Pope Agatho of Alexandria

Saint Agathon of Alexandria, was the 39th Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark. St. Agathon was a disciple of Pope Benjamin I, the 38th Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church so when Pope Benjamin had to flee to avoid persecution by the Chalcedonians, Agathon remained and led the church.Agathon served like this until Pope Benjamin returned and died, at which time Agathon was officially named the pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church. This happened during the time of the Muslim conquest of Egypt and when Muawiyah I was ruling. Unlike most popes who first serve as monks, Agathon had never been a monk prior to becoming pope- yet he was successful.

During his time as pope, the building of St. Macarius Church in the monastery at Wadi El Natrun was completed.More importantly, he wrote a letter about the nature of Christ, a technicality which is recited by Christians when they recite the Nicene Creed. His letter was given consideration, read and discussed at the Third Council of Constantinople. (The Third Council of Constantinople is counted as the Sixth Ecumenical Council by the Orthodox and other churches). This was a very important event, presided by the pope, where semantics about the nature of Christ and how to reflect that nature in the creed spoken by Christians around the world; was discussed and agreed upon.Like many others before and after, according to the Coptic Orthodox Church, he was harassed. Sometime during his papacy, he was persecuted by a Melkite Byzantine Patriarch named Theodocius, who through his authority, levied large taxes on Agathon, made the people hate him and asked that he be killed. For this reason, Agathon stayed hidden in his cell until the threat of Theodocius went away. Based on church beliefs, he chose his successor based on a dream where an angel told him who should follow him.

Pope Constantine

Pope Constantine (Latin: Constantinus; 664 – 9 April 715) was Pope from 25 March 708 to his death in 715. With the exception of Antipope Constantine, he was the only pope to take such a "quintessentially" Eastern name of an emperor. During this period, the regnal name was also used by emperors and patriarchs.

Selected as one of the last popes of the Byzantine Papacy, the defining moment of Constantine's pontificate was his 710/711 visit to Constantinople where he compromised with Justinian II on the Trullan canons of the Quinisext Council. Constantine was the last pope to visit Constantinople until Pope Paul VI did in 1967.

Pope John V

Pope John V can also refer to Pope John V of Alexandria.Pope John V (Latin: Ioannes V; d. 2 August 686) was Pope from 23 July 685 to his death in 686. He was the first pope of the Byzantine Papacy permitted to be consecrated without the prior consent of the Byzantine Emperor, and the first in a line of ten consecutive popes of Eastern origin. His papacy was marked by reconciliation between the city of Rome and the Empire.

Pyrrhus of Constantinople

Pyrrhus (? – 1 June 654) was the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 20 December 638 to 29 September 641, and again from 9 January to 1 June 654.

He was a supporter of Monotheletism, a christological doctrine propounded by the Emperor Heraclius. In 638, with the support of Heraclius, he was elected to the patriarchal throne. In the unrest following the death of Heraclius, he was accused of plotting against the life of Constantine III with Empress Martina to favor her son, Heraklonas. The army and the populace rose in revolt and the powerful Valentinus deposed and banished Pyrrhus to Africa. Soon after, Martina and Heraklonas were also deposed and exiled; Constans II, Constantine's son, was proclaimed the sole Emperor.

While in exile, in 645 he conducted with Maximus the Confessor a public discussion on faith (Disputatio cum Pyrrho), after which he rejected Monothelitism, and visited Rome in 647. From there he continued to Ravenna and returned to Constantinople, where he again reversed his position and re-embraced Monothelitism. He was excommunicated by Pope Theodore I as a consequence, but succeeded in becoming again Patriarch in early 654, holding the office until his death on 1 June of the same year.

He was posthumously cast out as heretical by the Third Council of Constantinople in 680/1.

Quiricus (bishop of Toledo)

Quiricus (died January 680) was the metropolitan bishop of Toledo from about 667 until his death. He may be identical to Bishop Quiricus of Barcelona, who does not appear as bishop there after 667. If so, his transfer to Toledo was contrary to canon law, but would demonstrate the growing importance of Toledo in the Visigothic church.In 672, in accordance with the tenth canon of the Eighth Council of Toledo, Quiricus anointed the duly elected Wamba after the death of Reccesuinth. In 675 he presided over the Eleventh Council of Toledo. In 681 the ecumenical Third Council of Constantinople repudiated monothelitism and affirmed the doctrine of dythelitism, that Christ had two wills. A decision of the council was sent to Quiricus, but he had died by the time it reached Spain.

Sergius I of Constantinople

Sergius I (Greek: Σέργιος Α΄, Sergios I ; d. 9 December 638 in Constantinople) was the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 610 to 638. He is most famous for promoting Monothelite Christianity, especially through the Ecthesis.Sergius was born of Syrian Jacobite heritage. He first came to power as Patriarch of Constantinople in 610. He was also a known supporter of Emperor Heraclius, crowning Heraclius as Emperor himself in 610. Sergius also provided support to Heraclius throughout his campaign against the Persians. Sergius also played a prominent role in the defense of Constantinople against the combined Avar-Persian-Slavic forces during their invasion of Constantinople in 626. Sergius' connections to both political and religious authorities gave him to his influence in both the religious and political communities to further Monothelitism as the primary formula of Christ within the church. This was met with much opposition, especially from that of the Chalcedonian supporters, Maximus the Confessor and Sophronius. In response to their resistance to accept the ideas of Monothelitism, Sergius responded with the Ecthesis, a formula which forbade the idea that the Person of Christ had two energies in favour of the idea that the Person of Christ had two natures that were united by a single will. The Ecthesis was signed by Heraclius in 638, the same year that Sergius died.

The Ecthesis would only be seen as an accepted doctrine for two years; the death of Pope Honorius I resulted in a significant reduction in Monothelitism support. The Ecthesis was condemned in 640 by Pope John IV. Additionally, both Sergius and Pope Honorius I were condemned as heretics by the church in 680-681 by the Third Council of Constantinople.

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.

Zenopolis (Isauria)

Zenopolis (Ancient Greek: Ζηνούπολις) was an ancient Roman and Byzantine city in Isauria. Its site is located near Elmayurdu in Asiatic Turkey.

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