Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century/Joannes Talaia, bp. of Nola
Joannes (11) I., surnamed Talaia, patriarch of Alexandria and afterwards bp. of Nola. From having been a presbyter in the monastery of the Tabennesians at Canopus near Alexandria, he was known as Tabennesiotes (Pagi, Critic. s.a. 482, xix.; Mansi, vii. 1178 B). Previous to the expulsion of Salofaciolus from his see of Alexandria, and after his restoration, John held the office of oeconomus under him (Brevic. Hist. Eutych. Mansi, vii. 1063; Liberat. Breviar. c. 16 in Migne, Patr. Lat. lxviii. 1020). Shortly afterwards John was sent by the Catholics of Alexandria to the emperor Zeno, to thank him for the restoration of Salofaciolus, and to pray that when a vacancy occurred in the see they might choose his successor. He obtained an edict from the emperor complying with this request (Evagr. H. E. iii. 12), and after his return became greatly distinguished as a preacher in Alexandria (Brevic. Hist. Eutych. u.s.). Salofaciolus died A.D. 482 and the Catholics then elected John (ib.). The Monophysites elected Peter Mongus, then in exile (Liberat. c. 17; Theophan. s.a. 476). John sent the usual synodic announcement of his election to Simplicius, bp. of Rome, but neglected to direct one to ACACIUS bp. of Constantinople, only sending one to his friend Illus, who was then in that city, with instructions to make what use of it he thought fit, and accompanying it with a letter addressed to the emperor. When the magistrianus whom John employed as his messenger to Constantinople arrived there, he found that Illus had gone to Antioch, whither he followed him with the synodic. On receiving it at Antioch Illus delivered the synodic to Calandio, then recently elected to the patriarchate of that see (Liberat. cc. 17, 18). Acacius, taking offence at not receiving a synodic from John, joined the Monophysites in their appeal to the emperor against him, and prevailed upon Zeno to write to Simplicius, praying him not to acknowledge John (Simplic. Ep. 17, July 15, A.D. 482, in Mausi, vii. 951). Without waiting for the reply of Simplicius, Zeno instructed the civil authorities to expel John. Thus driven from Alexandria, Talaia went to Illus at Antioch, and thence to Rome (Liberat. c. 18). There he was favourably received by Simplicius, who at once wrote to Acacius on his behalf (Ep. 18, Nov. 6, 482, in Mansi, vii. 995). Acacius replied that he did not recognize John, but had received Mongus into communion by command of Zeno; and Simplicius rejoined, blaming Acacius in no measured terms (Liberat. c. 18). Simplicius died March 2, 483, but John was warmly supported by his successor Felix III., who cited Acacius to answer certain charges brought against him by Talaia, and wrote to the emperor praying him to withdraw his countenance from Mongus and restore John (Libell. Citationis ad Acac. Mansi, vii. 1108; Felic. Ep. 2, A.D. 483, in ib. 1032). On the return of his legates from Constantinople, Felix held a synod at Rome which excommunicated Acacius for his persistent support of Mongus (Ep. 6, July 28, 484, in ib. 1053). Felix wrote to inform Zeno of this, and to let him know that "the apostolic see would never consent to communion with Peter of Alexandria, who had been justly condemned long since" (Ep. 9, Aug. 1, 484, in ib. 1065). Felix did not obtain his end, and John seems to have remained at Rome until the death of Zeno and the succession of Anastasius, A.D. 491, to whom John had shewn kindness at Alexandria after his shipwreck. Presuming that Anastasius would not be unmindful of this, John went to Constantinople to appeal to him. On hearing of his arrival Anastasius at once ordered him to be exiled, and John made his escape and returned to Rome (Theophan. s.a. 484, p. 118; Victor Tunun. s.a. 494, in Migne, Patr. Lat. lxviii. 948). Felix died Feb. 25, 492, but his successor, Gelasius I., equally interested himself in John (Gelas. Epp. 13, 15, in Mansi, viii. 49 seq., c. 493–495).
All these efforts to procure his reinstatement were of no avail; John never returned to Alexandria, but received, as some compensation, the see of Nola in Campania, where, after many years, he died in peace (Liberat. c. 18). During his episcopate there he apparently wrote an απολογια to Gelasius, in which he anathematized the Pelagian heresy, Pelagius himself, and Celestius, as well as Julianus of Eclana. Phot. Biblioth. Cod. liv.; Le Quien, Or. Christ. ii. 417, 419; Remondini, Del Nolana Eccl. Storia, iii. 56–59; Ughelli, Ital. Sacr. vi. 251; Tillem. Mém. xvi. 313 seq.; Hefele, Concil. ii. 604 seq.