Theodora (6th century)
Theodora was empress of the Eastern Roman Empire by marriage to Emperor Justinian I. She was one of the most influential and powerful of the Eastern Roman empresses, albeit from a humble background; some sources mention her as empress regnant with Justinian I as her co-regent. Along with her spouse, she is a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church, commemorated on November 14; the main historical sources for her life are the works of her contemporary Procopius. The historian offered three contradictory portrayals of the Empress; the Wars of Justinian completed in 545, paints a picture of a courageous and influential empress who saved the throne for Justinian. He wrote the Secret History, which survives in only one manuscript suggesting it was not read during the Byzantine era; the work has sometimes been interpreted as representing a deep disillusionment with the emperor Justinian, the empress, his patron Belisarius. Justinian is depicted as cruel, venal and incompetent. Alternatively, scholars versed in political rhetoric of the era have viewed these statements from the Secret History as formulaic expressions within the tradition of invective.
Procopius' Buildings of Justinian, written about the same time as the Secret History, is a panegyric which paints Justinian and Theodora as a pious couple and presents flattering portrayals of them. Besides her piety, her beauty is praised within the conventional language of the text's rhetorical form. Although Theodora was dead when this work was published, Justinian was alive, commissioned the work, her contemporary John of Ephesus writes about Theodora in his Lives of the Eastern Saints as the daughter of a pious Monophysite priest. He mentions an illegitimate daughter not named by Procopius. Various other historians presented additional information on her life. Theophanes the Confessor mentions some familial relations of Theodora to figures not mentioned by Procopius. Victor Tonnennensis notes her familial relation to Sophia. Michael the Syrian, the Chronicle of 1234 and Bar-Hebraeus place her origin in the city of Daman, near Kallinikos, Syria, they contradict Procopius by making Theodora the daughter of a priest, trained in the pious practices of Miaphysitism since birth.
These are late Miaphysite sources. The Miaphysites have tended to regard Theodora as one of their own and the tradition may have been invented as a way to improve her reputation and is in conflict with what is told by the contemporary Miaphysite historian John of Ephesus; these accounts are thus ignored in favor of Procopius. Theodora, according to Michael Grant, was of Greek Cypriot descent. There are several indications of her possible birthplace. According to Michael the Syrian her birthplace was in Syria, she was born c. 500 AD. Her father, was a bear trainer of the hippodrome's Green faction in Constantinople, her mother, whose name is not recorded, was an actress. Her parents had two more daughters. After her father's death, when Theodora was four, her mother brought her children wearing garlands into the hippodrome and presented them as suppliants to the Blue faction. From on Theodora would be their supporter. Procopius relates that Theodora from an early age followed her sister Komito's example and worked in a Constantinople brothel serving low-status customers.
In Procopius's account, Theodora purportedly made a name for herself with her salacious portrayal of Leda and the Swan. Lynda Garland in "Byzantine Empresses: Women and Power in Byzantium, AD 527–1204" notes that there seems to be little reason to believe she worked out of a brothel "managed by a pimp". Employment as an actress at the time would include both "indecent exhibitions on stage" and providing sexual services off stage. In what Garland calls the "sleazy entertainment business in the capital", Theodora earned her living by a combination of her theatrical and sexual skills. During this time she met the future wife of Belisarius, who would become a part of the women's court led by Theodora. At the age of 16, she traveled to North Africa as the companion of a Syrian official named Hecebolus when he went to the Libyan Pentapolis as governor, she stayed with him for four years before returning to Constantinople. Abandoned and maltreated by Hecebolus, on her way back to the capital of the Byzantine Empire, she settled for a while in Alexandria, Egypt.
She is said to have met Patriarch Timothy III in Alexandria, Miaphysite, it was at that time that she converted to Miaphysite Christianity. From Alexandria she went to Antioch, where she met a Blue faction's dancer, an informer of Justinian, she returned to Constantinople in 522 and, according to John of Ephesus, gave up her former lifestyle, settling as a wool spinner in a house near the palace. The extreme and conventional nature of the negative rhetoric of Procopius and the positive rhetoric of John of Ephesus has led most scholars to conclude that the veracity of both sources might be questioned; when Justinian sought to marry Theodora, he could not: he was heir of the throne of his uncle, Emperor Justin I, a Roman law from Constantine's time prevented anyone of senatorial rank from marrying
Byzantium was an ancient Greek colony in early antiquity that became Constantinople, Istanbul. Byzantium was colonized by the Greeks from Megara in 657 BC; the etymology of Byzantion is unknown. It has been suggested, it may be derived from the Illyrian personal name Byzas. Ancient Greek legend refers to King Byzas, the leader of the Megarian colonists and founder of the city; the form Byzantium is a latinisation of the original name. Much the name Byzantium became common in the West to refer to the Eastern Roman Empire, its capital Constantinople stood on the site of ancient Byzantium. The name "Byzantine Empire" was introduced by the historian Hieronymus Wolf only in 1555, a century after the empire had ceased to exist. While the empire existed, the term Byzantium referred to only the city, rather than the empire; the name Lygos for the city, which corresponds to an earlier Thracian settlement, is mentioned by Pliny the Elder in his Natural History. The origins of Byzantium are shrouded in legend.
Traditional legend says Byzas from Megara founded Byzantium in 667 BC when he sailed northeast across the Aegean Sea. The tradition tells that Byzas, son of King Nisos, planned to found a colony of the Dorian Greek city of Megara. Byzas consulted the oracle of Apollo at Delphi, which instructed Byzas to settle opposite the "Land of the Blind". Leading a group of Megarian colonists, Byzas found a location where the Golden Horn, a great natural harbor, meets the Bosporus and flows into the Sea of Marmara, opposite Chalcedon, he adjudged the Chalcedonians blind not to have recognized the advantages the land on the European side of the Bosporus had over the Asiatic side. In 667 BC he founded Byzantium at their location, it was a trading city due to its location at the Black Sea's only entrance. Byzantium conquered Chalcedon, across the Bosporus on the Asiatic side; the city was taken by the Persian Empire at the time of the Scythian campaign of King Darius I, was added to the administrative province of Skudra.
Though Achaemenid control of the city was never as stable as compared to other cities in Thrace, it was considered, alongside Sestos, to be one of the foremost Achaemenid ports on the European coast of the Bosporus and the Hellespont. Byzantium was besieged by Greek forces during the Peloponnesian War; as part of Sparta's strategy for cutting off grain supplies to Athens, Sparta took the city in 411 BC. The Athenian military took the city in 408 BC. After siding with Pescennius Niger against the victorious Septimius Severus, the city was besieged by Roman forces and suffered extensive damage in 196 AD. Byzantium was rebuilt by Septimius Severus, now emperor, regained its previous prosperity, it was bound to Perinthos during the period of Septimius Severus. The location of Byzantium attracted Roman Emperor Constantine I who, in 330 AD, refounded it as an imperial residence inspired by Rome itself. After his death the city was called Constantinople; this combination of imperialism and location would affect Constantinople's role as the nexus between the continents of Europe and Asia.
It was a commercial and diplomatic centre. With its strategic position, Constantinople controlled the major trade routes between Asia and Europe, as well as the passage from the Mediterranean Sea to the Black Sea. On May 29, 1453, the city fell to the Ottoman Turks, again became the capital of a powerful state, the Ottoman Empire; the Turks called the city "Istanbul". To this day it remains the largest and most populous city in Turkey, although Ankara is now the national capital. By the late Hellenistic or early Roman period, the star and crescent motif was associated to some degree with Byzantium; some Byzantine coins of the 1st century BC and show the head of Artemis with bow and quiver, feature a crescent with what appears to be an eight-rayed star on the reverse. According to accounts which vary in some of the details, in 340 BC the Byzantines and their allies the Athenians were under siege by the troops of Philip of Macedon. On a dark and wet night Philip attempted a surprise attack but was thwarted by the appearance of a bright light in the sky.
This light is described by subsequent interpreters as a meteor, sometimes as the moon, some accounts mention the barking of dogs. However, the original accounts mention only a bright light in the sky, without specifying the moon. To commemorate the event the Byzantines erected a statue of Hecate lampadephoros; this story survived in the works of Hesychius of Miletus, who in all probability lived in the time of Justinian I. His works survive only in fragments preserved in the tenth century lexicographer Suidas; the tale is related by Stephanus of Byzantium, Eustathius. Devotion to Hecate was favored by the Byzantines for her aid in having protected them from the incursions of Philip of Macedon, her symbols were the crescent and star, the walls of her city were her provenance. It is unclear how the symbol Hecate/Artemis, one of many goddesses would have been transferred to the city itself, but it seems to have been an effect of being credited with the intervention against Philip and the subse
Paul I of Constantinople
Paul I or Paulus I or Saint Paul the Confessor, was the sixth bishop of Constantinople, elected first in 337 AD. Paul became involved in the Arian controversy which drew in the Emperor of the West and his counterpart in the East, his brother Constantius II. Paul was installed and deposed three times from the See of Constantinople between 337 and 351, he was murdered by strangulation during his final exile in Cappadocia. His feast day is on November 6, he was a native of Thessalonica, a presbyter of Constantinople, secretary to the aged bishop Alexander of Constantinople, his predecessor in the see. Both the city and its inhabitants suffered much during the Arian controversies. No sooner had Alexander breathed his last than the Arian and Orthodox parties came into open conflict; the Orthodox party prevailed. The Emperor Constantius II had been away during these events. On his return he was angry at not having been consulted, he summoned a synod of Arian bishops, declared Paul quite unfit for the bishopric, banished him, transported Eusebius of Nicomedia to Constantinople.
This is thought to have been around 339. Paul, seeing himself rendered useless to his flock, while Arianism reigned in the East under the protection of Constantius, took shelter in the West, in the dominions of Constans, he went to Rome where he met Athanasius, expelled from his see. Athanasius of Alexandria was in exile from Alexandria, Marcellus from Ancyra, Asclepas from Gaza. Athanasius and Paul recovered. Paul returned to Constantinople. Eusebius died in 341, Paul was reinstated as bishop; the Arians seized the occasion. The Emperor Constantius was at Antioch when he heard of this, where he ordered Hermogenes, his general of cavalry, to see that Paul was again expelled; the people would not hear of violence being done to their bishop. Constantius was not to pass over this rebellion against his authority, he rode on horseback at full speed to Constantinople, determined to make the people suffer for their revolt. They met him, however, on their knees with tears and entreaties, he contented himself with depriving them of half their allowance of corn, but ordered Paul to be driven from the city.
Paul seems to have retired to Triers, but returned to Constantinople in 344, with letters of recommendation from Constans, the emperor of the West, who wrote to Constantius, that should Paul not receive his patriarchal see, he would attack him. Constantius only allowed Paul's re-establishment for fear of his brother's arms, the saint's situation in the East continued uneasy, for he had much to suffer from the power and malice of the Arian party. Constans died in 350. Constantius, in Antioch, ordered Philippus, prefect of the East, to once more expel Paul and to put Macedonius in his place. At a public bath called Zeuxippus, adjoining a palace by the shore of the Bosphorus, Philippus asked bishop Paul to meet him, as if to discuss some public business; when Paul arrived, he showed him the emperor's letter, ordered him to be taken through the palace to the waterside, placed on board ship, carried off to Thessalonica, his native town. Philippus allowed him to visit Illyricum and the remote provinces, but forbade him to set foot again in the East.
Paul was loaded with chains and taken to Singara in Mesopotamia to Emesa, to Cucusus in Cappadocia. Here he was confined in a close, dark place, left to starve to death. After he had passed six days without food, he was, to the great disappointment of his enemies, found alive. Upon which they strangled him, gave out that he died after a short sickness; the body of St. Paul was brought to Ancyra in Galatia, and, by the order of Theodosius the Great, was thence translated to Constantinople in 381, about thirty years after his death, it was buried there in the great church built by Macedonius, which from that time was known by no other name than that of St. Paul, his remains were removed to Venice in 1226, where they are kept with great respect in the church of St. Laurence. Attribution This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Sinclair, W. M. "Paulus I, bishop of Constantinople". In Wace, Henry. Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century.
London: John Murray. Sources used by Sinclair: Socrates Scholasticus, H. E. ii. 6, etc. Sozomenus, H. E. iii. 3, etc. Athanasius of Alexandria, Hist. Arian. ad Monach. 275. I. 1275
In Christianity, an archbishop is a bishop of higher rank or office. In some cases, such as the Lutheran Church of Sweden and the Church of England, the title is borne by the leader of the denomination. Like popes, metropolitans, cardinal bishops, diocesan bishops, suffragan bishops, archbishops are in the highest of the three traditional orders of bishops and deacons. An archbishop may be granted the title or ordained as chief pastor of a metropolitan see or another episcopal see to which the title of archbishop is attached. Episcopal sees are arranged in groups in which one see's bishop has certain powers and duties of oversight over the others, he is known as the metropolitan archbishop of. In the Catholic Church, canon 436 of the Code of Canon Law indicates what these powers and duties are for a Latin Church metropolitan archbishop, while those of the head of an autonomous Eastern Catholic Churches are indicated in canon 157 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches; as well as the much more numerous metropolitan sees, there are 77 Roman Catholic sees that have archiepiscopal rank.
In some cases, such a see is the only one in a country, such as Luxembourg or Monaco, too small to be divided into several dioceses so as to form an ecclesiastical province. In others, the title of archdiocese is for historical reasons attributed to a see, once of greater importance; some of these archdioceses are suffragans of a metropolitan archdiocese. Others are subject to the Holy See and not to any metropolitan archdiocese; these are "aggregated" to an ecclesiastical province. An example is the Archdiocese of Hobart in Australia, associated with the Metropolitan ecclesiastical province of Melbourne, but not part of it; the ordinary of such an archdiocese is an archbishop. Until 1970, a coadjutor archbishop, one who has special faculties and the right to succeed to the leadership of a see on the death or resignation of the incumbent, was assigned to a titular see, which he held until the moment of succession. Since the title of Coadjutor Archbishop of the see is considered sufficient and more appropriate.
The rank of archbishop is conferred on some bishops. They hold the rank not because of the see that they head but because it has been granted to them personally; such a grant can be given when someone who holds the rank of archbishop is transferred to a see that, though its present-day importance may be greater than the person's former see, is not archiepiscopal. The bishop transferred is known as the Archbishop-Bishop of his new see. An example is Gianfranco Gardin, appointed Archbishop-Bishop of Treviso on 21 December 2009; the title borne by the successor of such an archbishop-bishop is that of Bishop of the see, unless he is granted the personal title of Archbishop. The distinction between metropolitan sees and non-metropolitan archiepiscopal sees exists for titular sees as well as for residential ones; the Annuario Pontificio marks titular sees of the former class with the abbreviation Metr. and the others with Arciv. Many of the titular sees to which nuncios and heads of departments of the Roman Curia who are not cardinals are assigned are not of archiepiscopal rank.
In that case the person, appointed to such a position is given the personal title of archbishop. They are referred to as Archbishop of the see, not as its Archbishop-Bishop. If an archbishop resigns his see without being transferred to another, as in the case of retirement or assignment to head a department of the Roman Curia, the word emeritus is added to his former title, he is called Archbishop Emeritus of his former see; until 1970, such archbishops were transferred to a titular see. There can be several Archbishops Emeriti of the same see: The 2008 Annuario Pontificio listed three living Archbishops Emeriti of Taipei. There is no Archbishop Emeritus of a titular see: An archbishop who holds a titular see keeps it until death or until transferred to another see. In the Anglican Communion, retired archbishops formally revert to being addressed as "bishop" and styled "The Right Reverend", although they may be appointed "archbishop emeritus" by their province on retirement, in which case they retain the title "archbishop" and the style "The Most Reverend", as a right.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a prominent example, as Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town. Former archbishops who have not received the status of archbishop emeritus may still be informally addressed as "archbishop" as a courtesy, unless they are subsequently appointed to a bishopric, in which case, the courtesy ceases. While there is no difference between the official dress of archbishops, as such, that of other bishops, Roman Catholic metropolitan archbishops are distinguished by the use in liturgical ceremonies of the pallium, but only within the province over which they have oversight. Roman Catholic bishops and archbishops are styled "The Most Reverend" and addressed as "Your Excellency" in most cases. In English-speaking countries, a Catholic archbishop is addressed as "Your Grace", while a Catholic bishop is addressed as "Your Lordship". Before December 12, 1930, the title "Most Reverend" was only for archbishops, while bishops were styled as "Right Reverend"; this practice is still followed by Catholic bishops in the United Kingdom to mirror that of
Saint Onesimus called Onesimus of Byzantium and The Holy Apostle Onesimus in some Eastern Orthodox churches, was a slave to Philemon of Colossae, a man of Christian faith. He may be the same Onesimus named by Ignatius of Antioch as bishop in Ephesus which would put Onesimus's death closer to 95 A. D. Regardless, Onesimus went from slave to brother to Bishop; the name "Onesimus" appears in two New Testament epistles -- in Philemon. In Colossians 4:9 a person of this name is identified as a Christian accompanying Tychicus to visit the Christians in Colossae, he may well be the freed Onesimus from the Epistle to Philemon. The Epistle to Philemon was written by Paul the Apostle to Philemon concerning a person believed to be a runaway slave named Onesimus; the traditional designation of Onesimus as a slave is doubted by some modern scholars. Onesimus found his way to the site of Paul's imprisonment to escape punishment for a theft of which he was accused. After hearing the Gospel from Paul, Onesimus converted to Christianity.
Paul, having earlier converted Philemon to Christianity, sought to reconcile the two by writing the letter to Philemon which today exists in the New Testament.. The letter reads: I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten while in my chains, who once was unprofitable to you, but now is profitable to you and to me. I am sending him back. You therefore receive him, that is, my own heart, whom I wished to keep with me, that on your behalf he might minister to me in my chains for the gospel, but without your consent I wanted to do nothing, that your good deed might not be by compulsion, as it were, but voluntary. For he departed for a while for this purpose, that you might receive him forever, no longer as a slave but more than a slave—a beloved brother to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. Although it is doubted by authorities such as Joseph Fitzmyer, it may be the case that this Onesimus was the same one consecrated a bishop by the Apostles and who accepted the episcopal throne in Ephesus following Saint Timothy.
During the reign of Roman emperor Domitian and the persecution of Trajan, Onesimus was imprisoned in Rome and may have been martyred by stoning. However, since the reign of Domitian was from 81 A. D. to 96 A. D. Onesimus' death would have to fall within these years and not 68 A. D. as stated above. Onesimus is regarded as a saint by many Christian denominations; the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod commemorates him and Philemon on February 15. Eastern Churches remember 22 November; the traditional Western commemoration of Onesimus is on 16 February. But in the 2004 edition of the Roman Martyrology, Onesimus is listed under 15 February. There, he is described as " runaway slave, whom the apostle Paul received to the faith of Christ while in prison, regarding him as a son of whom he had become father, as he himself wrote to Philemon, Onesimus's master"; the attitude of Paul is one of the arguments in the debate about slavery. Http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=4908 http://www.santiebeati.it/dettaglio/41200
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Eastern Orthodox Church the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with 200–260 million members. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops in local synods, although half of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in Russia; the church has no central doctrinal or governmental authority analogous to the Bishop of Rome, but the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is recognised by all as primus inter pares of the bishops. As one of the oldest religious institutions in the world, the Eastern Orthodox Church has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, the Near East. Eastern Orthodox theology is based on the Nicene Creed; the church teaches that it is the One, Holy and Apostolic church established by Jesus Christ in his Great Commission, that its bishops are the successors of Christ's apostles. It maintains, its patriarchates, reminiscent of the pentarchy, autocephalous and autonomous churches reflect a variety of hierarchical organisation.
Of its innumerable sacred mysteries, it recognises seven major sacraments, of which the Eucharist is the principal one, celebrated liturgically in synaxis. The church teaches that through consecration invoked by a priest, the sacrificial bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ; the Virgin Mary is venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church as the God-bearer, honoured in devotions. The Eastern Orthodox Church shared communion with the Roman Catholic Church until the East–West Schism in 1054, triggered by disputes over doctrine the authority of the Pope. Before the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451, the Oriental Orthodox churches shared in this communion, separating over differences in Christology; the majority of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in Southeast and Eastern Europe, Cyprus and other communities in the Caucasus region, communities in Siberia reaching the Russian Far East. There are smaller communities in the former Byzantine regions of the Eastern Mediterranean, in the Middle East where it is decreasing due to persecution.
There are many in other parts of the world, formed through diaspora and missionary activity. In keeping with the church's teaching on universality and with the Nicene Creed, Orthodox authorities such as Saint Raphael of Brooklyn have insisted that the full name of the church has always included the term "Catholic", as in "Holy Orthodox Catholic Apostolic Church"; the official name of the Eastern Orthodox Church is the "Orthodox Catholic Church". It is the name by which the church refers to itself in its liturgical or canonical texts, in official publications, in official contexts or administrative documents. Orthodox teachers refer to the church as Catholic; this name and longer variants containing "Catholic" are recognised and referenced in other books and publications by secular or non-Orthodox writers. The common name of the church, "Eastern Orthodox Church", is a shortened practicality that helps to avoid confusions in casual use. From ancient times through the first millennium, Greek was the most prevalent shared language in the demographic regions where the Byzantine Empire flourished, Greek, being the language in which the New Testament was written, was the primary liturgical language of the church.
For this reason, the eastern churches were sometimes identified as "Greek" before the Great Schism of 1054. After 1054, "Greek Orthodox" or "Greek Catholic" marked a church as being in communion with Constantinople, much as "Catholic" did for communion with Rome; this identification with Greek, became confusing with time. Missionaries brought Orthodoxy to many regions without ethnic Greeks, where the Greek language was not spoken. In addition, struggles between Rome and Constantinople to control parts of Southeastern Europe resulted in the conversion of some churches to Rome, which also used "Greek Catholic" to indicate their continued use of the Byzantine rites. Today, many of those same churches remain, while a large number of Orthodox are not of Greek national origin, do not use Greek as the language of worship. "Eastern" indicates the geographical element in the Church's origin and development, while "Orthodox" indicates the faith, as well as communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
There are additional Christian churches in the east that are in communion with neither Rome nor Constantinople, who tend to be distinguished by the category named "Oriental Orthodox". While the church continues to call itself "Catholic", for reasons of universality, the common title of "Eastern Orthodox Church" avoids casual confusion with the Roman Catholic Church; the first known use of the phrase "the catholic Church" occurred in a letter written about 110 AD from one Greek church to another. The letter states: "Wheresoever the bishop shall appear, there let the people be as where Jesus may be, there is the universal Church." Thus from the beginning, Christians referred to the Church as the "One, Holy and Apostolic Church". The Eastern Orthodox Church claims that it is today the continuation and preservation of that same early Church. A number of other Christian churches make a similar claim: the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Assyrian Church and the Oriental Orthodox.
In the Eastern Orthodox v
Nestorius was Archbishop of Constantinople from 10 April 428 to August 431, when Emperor Theodosius II confirmed his condemnation by the Council of Ephesus on 22 June. His teachings included a rejection of the long-used title of Theotokos, "Mother of God", for Mary, mother of Jesus, they were considered by many to imply that he did not believe that Christ was God; that brought him into conflict with other prominent churchmen of the time, most notably Cyril of Alexandria, who accused him of heresy. Nestorius sought to defend himself at the First Council of Ephesus in 431 but instead found himself formally condemned for heresy by a majority of the bishops and was subsequently removed from his see. On his own request, he retired in or near Antioch. In 435, Theodosius II sent him into exile in Upper Egypt, where he lived on until 450, strenuously defending his orthodoxy, his last major defender within the Roman Empire, Theodoret of Cyrrhus agreed to anathematize him in 451 during the Council of Chalcedon.
From on, he had no defenders within the empire, but the Church of the East never accepted his condemnation. That led to western Christians giving the name Nestorian Church to the Church of the East where his teachings were deemed Orthodox and in line with its own teachings. Nestorius is revered as among three "Greek Teachers" of the Church. Parts of the Church of the East's Eucharistic Service, known to be among the oldest in the world, is contributed to with prayers attributed to Nestorius himself; the Second Council of Constantinople of AD 553 confirmed the validity of the condemnation of Nestorius, refuting the letter of Ibas of Edessa that affirms that Nestorius was condemned without due inquiry. The discovery and publication of his Bazaar of Heracleides at the beginning of the 20th century have led to a reassessment of his theology in western scholarship, it is now agreed that his ideas were not far from those that emerged as orthodox, but the orthodoxy of his formulation of the doctrine of Christ is still controversial.
Sources place the birth of Nestorius in either 381 or 386 in the city of Germanicia in the Province of Syria, Roman Empire. He received his clerical training as a pupil of Theodore of Mopsuestia in Antioch, he was living as a priest and monk in the monastery of Euprepius near the walls, he gained a reputation for his sermons that led to his enthronement by Theodosius II, as Patriarch of Constantinople, following the 428 death of Sisinnius I. Shortly after his arrival in Constantinople, Nestorius became involved in the disputes of two theological factions, which differed in their Christology. Nestorius tried to find a middle ground between those that emphasized the fact that in Christ, God had been born as a man and insisted on calling the Virgin Mary Theotokos and those that rejected that title because God, as an eternal being, could not have been born. Nestorius suggested the title Christotokos. "Nestorianism" refers to the doctrine that there are two distinct hypostases in the Incarnate Christ, the one Divine and the other human.
The teaching of all churches that accept the Council of Ephesus is that in the Incarnate Christ is a single hypostasis and man at once. That doctrine is known as the Hypostatic union. Nestorius's opponents charged him with detaching Christ's divinity and humanity into two persons existing in one body, thereby denying the reality of the Incarnation, it is not clear whether Nestorius taught that. Eusebius, a layman who became the bishop of the neighbouring Dorylaeum, was the first to accuse Nestorius of heresy but the most forceful opponent of Nestorius was Patriarch Cyril of Alexandria; this caused great excitement at Constantinople among the clergy, who were not well disposed to Nestorius, the stranger from Antioch. Cyril appealed to Celestine of Rome to make a decision, Celestine delegated to Cyril the job of excommunicating Nestorius if he did not change his teachings within 10 days. Nestorius had arranged with the emperor in the summer of 430 for the assembling of a council, he now hastened it, the summons had been issued to patriarchs and metropolitans on 19 November, before the pope's sentence, delivered though Cyril of Alexandria, had been served on Nestorius.
Emperor Theodosius II convoked a general church council, at Ephesus, itself a special seat for the veneration of Mary, where the Theotokos formula was popular. The Emperor and his wife supported Nestorius. Cyril took charge of the First Council of Ephesus in 431, opening debate before the long-overdue contingent of Eastern bishops from Antioch arrived; the council deposed declared him a heretic. In Nestorius' own words, When the followers of Cyril saw the vehemence of the emperor... they roused up a disturbance and discord among the people with an outcry, as though the emperor were opposed to God. And... they took with them those, separated and removed from the monasteries by reason of their lives and their strange manners and had for this reason been expelled, all who were of heretical sects and were possessed with fanaticism and with hatred against me. And one passion was in them all and pagans and all the sects, they were busying themselves that they should accept without examination the things which were done without examination against me.