Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century/Demophilus

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Demophilus, bp. of Constantinople, a.d. 370; expelled 380; died 386; formerly bp. of Berea; born of good family in Thessalonica (Philostorg. H. E. ix. 14). On the death of Eudoxius in 370 he was elected by the Arians to the bishopric of Constantinople (Socr. H. E. iv. 14; Soz. H. E. vi. 13). The people, however, were much divided (Philostorg. H. E. ix. 10). The orthodox party chose Evagrius for their bishop, and he was ordained by Eustathius, the deposed bp. of Antioch. This was the signal for an outburst of fury on the part of the Arians. Eustathius and Evagrius were banished by Valens, and their followers bitterly persecuted (Socr. H. E. iv. 14, 16; Soz. H. E. vi. 13, 14). Demophilus, soon after his accession, went to Cyzicus in conjunction with Dorotheus, or Theodorus, of Heraclea, to procure the election of an Arian bishop, that see having been vacant since the banishment of Eunomius. But the people of Cyzicus refused to acknowledge them till they had anathematized Aetius, Eunomius, and their followers. They were then permitted to ordain a bishop chosen by the people. The bishop who was ordained straightway and clearly taught the consubstantial faith (Philostorg. H. E. ix. 13).

In 380 changed times came and made the reign of Theodosius I. and the patriarchate of Demophilus memorable. The emperor Theodosius offered to confirm him in his see, if he would subscribe the Nicene Creed. Demophilus refused, and was immediately ordered to give up his churches. He then called his followers together, and retired, with Lucius of Alexandria and others, to a place of worship without the walls (Socr. H. E. v. 7). The churches of Constantinople, which had for forty years been in Arian hands, were now restored to the orthodox; and similarly in other cities. It was, in fact, a general dis-establishment of Arianism and re-establishment of Catholicism. Philostorgius (H. E. ix. 19) adds that Demophilus went to his own city, Berea. But this must have been some time afterwards, or he must have returned from exile, for he represented the Arian party at the synod held in Constantinople, a.d. 383 (Socr. H. E. v. 10; Soz. H. E. vii. 12). The same writer says that Demophilus was wont to throw everything into confusion, especially the doctrines of the church, and quotes from a sermon at Constantinople, in which he spoke of the human nature of the Saviour as lost in the divine, as a glass of milk when poured into the sea. Philostorg. Patrol. Gk. lxv.; Soz. and Socr. Patrol. Gk. lxvii.

[P.O.]