Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century/Ischyras, Egyptian bp
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Ischyras, Egyptian bp
|Isdigerdes I., king of Persia→|
Ischyras (2) (Ischyrion, Soz.), Egyptian pseudo-presbyter and finally bishop; a slanderer of Athanasius. His story, which begins under the predecessor of Athanasius, is made out from scattered passages in the Apol. c. Arian., and a slight outline is given by Socrates (i. 27). He belonged to a hamlet in the Mareotis too small for a church of its own (§ 85, ed. Migne) and there had a conventicle attended by seven persons at most (77, 83). He did not bear a good moral character (63) and was once charged with insulting the emperor's statues (vol. i. 185 B, n.). The Alexandrian synod of 324 disallowed his orders and pronounced him a layman (74, 75), disproving his pretensions to have been ordained by bp. Meletius, in whose breviarium his name did not appear (11, 28, 46, 71). He had given out that he was a presbyter of the pseudo-bishop COLLUTHUS (2), but no one out of his own family believed him, as he never had a church, and no one in the neighbourhood looked on him as a clergyman (74, 75). He never attended ecclesiastical assemblies as a presbyter (28). In spite of the synod, he continued to act as a presbyter, and was doing this in the cottage of Ision when Athanasius, being on a visitation in the Mareotis, sent his presbyter Macarius to bid him desist. When Macarius reached the house, Ischyras was reported ill in his cell or in a corner behind the door (28, 63, 83), certainly not officiating at the Eucharist (41). This occurrence may be assigned to c. 329, between the latest date (June 8, 328) possible for the consecration of Athanasius and Nov. 330, when the troubles broke out. Ischyras on his recovery went over to the Meletians, in conjunction with whom he framed his accusation against Macarius (63), and through Macarius against Athanasius. In the spring of 331 (see vol. i. p. 184, and Hefele, ii. 13) the three Meletians accused Macarius at Nicomedia of having broken a chalice, overturned a holy table, and burnt service books on the occasion of his visit. As his friends became ashamed of him (63), Ischyras confessed the fabrication to the archbishop and implored forgiveness (16, 28, 63, 74). This would be in mid-Lent 332. In the summer of 335 Ischyras, having meanwhile been gained over by the Eusebians, revived the accusation before the council of Tyre (13), and accompanied the synodal commission to the Mareotis to investigate its truth (17). For his reward his Eusebian patrons procured (85) an imperial order for the erection of a church for him at a place called Pax Secontaruri, and the document recognized him as a "presbyter." They afterwards obtained for him the episcopal title (16, 41), and he figures as bp. of Mareotis among the bishops assembled at Sardica in 343 (Socr. ii. 20; Soz. iii. 12, here "Ischyrion"). He afterwards withdrew to Philippopolis. (Hilar. Frag. iii. in Patr. Lat. x. 677 A; Mansi, iii. 139), at which synod his name is corruptly written Quirius. No other instance of a bp. of Mareotis occurs. Le Quien, Or. Chr. ii. 530.