Category Archives: 6th Century

Boethius (ca. A.D. 480-525)

Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius, sometimes colorfully called “the last of the Romans,” was born in the year of the Lord’s incarnation 480 to an old aristocratic family. His father had been a consul under the Arian king Odoacer, the half-Hun … Continue reading

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Notes on Monophysitism (III): “The Three Chapters”

In the spring of the year of grace 527 Justinian became emperor, having been handed the crown by his uncle Justin who was too ill to continue governing. Justin died in the fall of that year, leaving his nephew ruler. … Continue reading

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Notes on Monophysitism (II): The Acacian Schism

The Acacian Schism, so named for Acacius, Patriarch of Constantinople from 471-489, was a major negative result in the East of the Council of Chalcedon (451). As outlined in earlier, a great deal of antipathy to Chalcedon existed in the … Continue reading

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Notes on Monophysitism (I): Origins

In the aftermath of the Council of Chalcedon (451), theological turmoil in the East actually intensified. For the followers of Cyril of Alexandria in particular, the Definition of Chalcedon, for all its subtlety, left critical questions about the hypostatic union … Continue reading

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Gregory the Great (II): Active Or Contemplative

The basic distinction between “active” and “contemplative” (or, “practical” and “theoretical”) lives had been explored for centuries prior to Gregory. According to Markus [Gregory the Great and His World (Cambridge University Press, 1997)] it had roots not just in Jewish … Continue reading

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Gregory the Great (I): Man of Two Worlds

R.A. Markus argues that Gregory the Great (540-604) can only be properly understood if we see him as “belonging to two worlds at once…the world of Ambrose, Augustine, John Cassian, and their contemporaries, and the world of his medieval successors” … Continue reading

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