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Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century/Amphilochius (2), bishop of Sida

< Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century

Amphilochius (2), bp. of Sida in Pamphylia. Like his more famous namesake of Iconium, he appears as an antagonist of the Messalians. He was urged, as one of the Pamphylian metropolitans, to take measures against them in encyclical letters written by two successive bps. of Constantinople, Atticus and Sisinnius (Phot. Bibl. 52), and seems to have prosecuted the matter with zeal. He brought forward the subject at the council of Ephesus (A.D. 431) in conjunction with Valerianus; and in consequence of their representations the council confirmed the decrees of former synods against these heretics (Labbe, Conc. iii. 1331 seq., ed. Coleti). At this same council we find him assenting to Cyril's letter, and subscribing in very strong language to the condemnation and deposition of Nestorius (ib. pp. 1012, 1046, 1077, 1133). His conduct, later, was marked by great vacillation, if not insincerity. It is sometimes stated that he was present at the "Robbers' Synod" (A.D. 449), and there committed himself to the policy of Dioscorus and the heresy of Eutyches (Le Quien, Oriens Christ. i. 998); but his name does not appear in the list of bishops assembled there (Labbe, Conc. iv. 889 seq.). At the council of Chalcedon, however (A.D. 451), he shewed great tenderness for Dioscorus, and here his career of tergiversation began. He tried to defer the second citation of Dioscorus (iv. 1260); and when after three citations Dioscorus did not appear, he consented to his condemnation, though with evident reluctance (iv. 1310, 1337). At a later session, too, he subscribed his assent to the epistle of pope Leo (iv. 1358, 1366); and we find his name also appended to the canons of the council (iv. 1715). Thus he committed himself fully to the principles of this council, and to the reversal of the proceedings of Latrocinium. But a few years later (A.D. 458) when the emperor Leo wrote to the bishops to elicit their opinions, Amphilochius stated, in reply, that, while he disapproved the appointment of Timotheus Aelurus, he did not acknowledge the authority of the council of Chalcedon (Evagr. H. E. ii. 10). Yet, as if this were not enough, we are told that he shortly afterwards assented and subscribed to its decrees (Eulogius in Phot. Bibl. 230).