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MONOPHYSITES


494


MONOPHYSITES


the priest Sergius — all in MSS. in the British Museum. The groat James Iiarad(rus, the eponymous hero of the Jacobites, who supplied bishops and clercj- for the Monophysites when they were definitively divided from the liastern Catholics in 543, wrote but little: a liturty, a few letters, a sermon, and a confession of faith are extant (see BAR.4D.eus). Of Syriac transla- tors it is not necessary to speak, nor is there need to treat of the Monophysite scientist Sergius of Ileschaina, the writer on philosophy, Ahoudommeh, and many others.

John of Ephcsus, called also John of Asia, was a Syrian of .\mida, where he became a deacon in 529. On account of the persecution of his sect he departed, and w;is made administrator of the temporal afTairs of the Monophysites in Constantinople by Justinian, who sent him in the following year as a missionary bishop to the pagans of Asia Minor. He relates of himself that he converted 60,000, and had 96 churches built, lie returned to the capital in 540, to destroy idol worship there al.so. But on the death of Justin- ian he sutTered a continual persecution, which he de- scribes in his "History ", as an excuse for its confusion and repetitions. What remains of that work is of great value as a contemporary record. The style is florid and full of Cireek expressions. The lives of bles.sed Easterns were put together by John about 5()5-566. and have been published by Land. They include great men like Severus, Baradaeus, Theodo- sius. etc. (For an account of these works and for bibliography see JoHX of Ephesus.)

George, bishop of the Arabians (b. about 640; d. 724) was one of the cliief writers of the Assyrian Jaco-| bites. He was a personal follower of James of Edessa, i whose poem on the Hexameron he completed after the death of James in 708. In this work he teaches the! .■\pocatast;isis, or restoration of all things, includ- ing the destruction of hell, which so many Greek Fa- thers learned from Origen. George was bom in the Tchouma in the Diocese of Antioch, and was ordained bishop of the wandering Arabs in November, 686; his see was at Akoula. He was a man of considerable learning. His translation, with introduction and commentary, of part of the "Organon" of Aristotle ("Catagories", "De Interpretatione", and "Prior Analytics") is extant (Brit. Mus., MS. Addit. 14659), as is the collection he made of scholia on St. Gregory of Nazianzus, and an explanation of the three Sacra- ments (Baptism, Holy Communion, and consecration of chrism, — following Pseudo-Dionysius). His let- ters of 714 till 718 are extant in the same MS. as this last work (Brit. Mus., MS. Addit . 12154). They deal with many things; astronomical, excgetical, liturgical questions, explanations of Greek proverbs and fables, dogma and polemics, and contain historical matter about Aphraates and Gregorj' the Illuminator. His poems included one in dodecasyllables on the unprom- ising subject of the calculation of movable feasts and the correction of the solar and lunar cycles, another on the monastic life, and two on the consecration of the holy chrism. His works are important for our Imowledge of Syriac Church and literature. His read- ing was vast, including the chief Greek Fathers, with whom he classes Severus and Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite; he knows the Pseudo-Clementines and Josephus, and of Syriac writers he knows Bardesanes, Aphraates, and St. Ephraem. His correspondence is addressed to literary monks of his sect. The canons attributed to George in the "Nomocanon" of Bar Hebrseus are apparently extracts from his writings re- duced to the form of canons.

James of Edessa (q. v.), about 6.33-708, was the chief Syriac writer of his time, and the last that need be mentioned here. His works are sufficiently de- scribed in a separate article The Syriac literature of the Monophysites, however, continued throughout the middle ages. Their Coptic, Arabic, and Arme-


nian literature is large, but cannot be treated in an article like the present one.

Orthodo.xy. — Were the Monophysites really here- tics or were they only schismatics? This question w;is answered in the affirmative by Assemani, more recently by the Oriental scholar Nau, and last of all by Lebon, who luis devoted an important work, full of evidence from impublishcd sources, to the establish- ment of this thesis. It is urged that the Monophy- sites taught that there is but one Nature of Christ, nia (pvais, because they identify the words 0i)<ri! and Inrlxr- Toffis. But in ju.st the same way the Nest orians have lately been justified. A simple scheme will make the matter plain:

Nestorians: One person, two hypostases, two na- tures.

Catholics: One person, one hypostasis, two natures. •■

Monophysites One person, one hypostasis, one nature.

It is urged by Bethune-Baker that Nestorius and his friends took the word hypostasis in the sense of nature, and by Lebon that the Monophysites took nature in the sense of hypostasis, so that both parties really intended the Catholic doctrine. There is a prima facie argument against both these pleas. Granting that for centuries controversialists full of odium theologicum might misunderstand one another and fight about words while agreeing as to the under- lying doctrine, yet it remains that the words person, ' hypostasis, nature, (Tp6(TuTroi/, vwdcrT air is. <f>v(ns) had received in the second half of the fourth century a perfectly definite meaning, as to w'hich the whole Church was at one. All agreed that in the Holy Trinity there is one Nature (ova-la or 4>v(ris) having three Hypostases or Persons. If in Christology the Nestorians used virSc-Taats and the Monophysites <pv<ns in a new sense, not only does it follow that their use of words was singularly inconsistent and inexcu- sable, but (what is far more important) that they can have had no difficulty in seeing w-hat was the true mean- ing of Catholic councils, popes, and theologians, who consistently used the words in one and the same sense with regard both to the Trinity and the Incarnation. There would be every excuse for Catholics if they mis- understood such a strange "derangement of epitaphs" on the part of the schismatics, but the schismatics must have easily grasped the Catholic position. As a fact the Antiochene party had no difficulty in coming to terms with St. Leo; they understood him well enough, and declared that they had always meant what he meant. How far this was a fact must be discussed , urider N estori.^nism. irtut the Monophysites always "withstood the Catholic doctrine, declaring it to be ' jN^ostnr ian, or half Ne bluiiaii, and tha trTtr~giv^d

ijel5r)n urges that Severus himself more than once explains that there is a difference in the use of w'ords in "theology" (doctrine of the Trinity) and in "the economy" (Incarnation): "Admittedly hj-postasis and oiata or 0i/ffis are not the same in theology; however, in the economy they are the same" (P. G., LXXXV'I, 1921), and he alleges the example of Greg- ory of Nazianzus to show that in a new mystery the terms must take new significations. But surely these very passages make it evident that Severus distin- guished between (t>v(ns and inr6aTa<ris. Putting aside the Trinity and the Incarnation, every <pv(ns is a uniiTTaa-ii, and every inrScracns is a 0i/ffis, — in this statement all Catholics and Monophysites agree. But this means that the denotation of the words is the same, not that there is no difference of connota- tion. '{■WIS is an abstraction, and cannot exist ex- cept as a concrete, that is to say, as a vTrbaTaaa. But "admittedly" in the Trinity the denotation as well as the connotation of the words is diver.se. it is still true that each of the three Hypostases is identified with the Divine Nature (that is, each Person is God); but