Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century/Macedonius II., patriarch of Constantinople

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search


Macedonius (3) II., patriarch of Constantinople a.d. 495. For an account of his election see EUPHEMIUS (4). Within a year or two (the date is uncertain) he assembled a council, in which he confirmed in writing that of Chalcedon, and openly professed, as he always did, his adhesion to the orthodox faith. In 507 Elias, patriarch of Jerusalem, who had been unwilling to sanction the deposition of Euphemius, united himself in communion with Macedonius. The heterodox emperor Anastasius employed all means to oblige Macedonius to declare against the council of Chalcedon, but flattery and threats were alike unavailing. An assassin named Eucolus was even hired to take away his life. The patriarch avoided the blow, and ordered a fixed amount of provisions to be given monthly to the criminal. The people of Constantinople were equally zealous for the council of Chalcedon, even, more than once, to the point of sedition. To prevent unfavourable consequences, Anastasius ordered the prefect of the city to follow in the processions and attend at the assemblies of the church. In 510 the emperor made a new effort. Macedonius would do nothing without an oecumenical council at which the bp. of great Rome should preside. Anastasius, annoyed at this answer, and irritated because Macedonius would never release him from the engagement he had made at his coronation to maintain the faith of the church and the authority of the council of Chalcedon, sought means to drive him from his chair. He sent Eutychian monks and clergy, and sometimes the magistrates of the city, to load him with public outrage and insult. This caused such a tumult amongst the citizens that the emperor was obliged to shut himself up in his palace and to have vessels moored near in case flight should be necessary. He sent to beg Macedonius to come and speak with him. Macedonius went and reproached him with the sufferings his persecutions caused the church. Anastasius pretended to be willing to alter this, but at the same time made a third attempt to tamper with the orthodoxy of the patriarch. One of his instruments was Xenaïas, an Eutychian bishop. He demanded of Macedonius a declaration of his faith in writing; Macedonius addressed a memorandum to the emperor insisting that he knew no other faith than that of the Fathers of Nicaea and Constantinople, and that he anathematized Nestorius and Eutyches and those who admitted two Sons or two Christs, or who divided the two natures. Xenaïas, seeing the failure of his first attempt, procured two infamous wretches, who accused Macedonius of an abominable crime, avowing themselves his accomplices. They then charged him with Nestorianism, and with having falsified a passage in an epistle of St. Paul, in support of that sect. At last the emperor commanded him to send by the hands of the master of the offices the authentic copy of the Acts of the council of Chalcedon signed with the autographs of the bishops. Macedonius refused, sealed it up, and hid it under the altar of the great church. Thereupon Anastasius had him carried off by night and taken to Chalcedon, to be conducted thence to Eucaïta in Pontus, the place of the exile of his predecessor. In 515 pope Hormisdas worked for the restitution of Macedonius, whom he considered unjustly deposed; it had been a stipulation in the treaty of peace between Vitalian and Anastasius that the patriarch and all the deposed bishops should be restored to their sees. But Anastasius never kept his promises, and Macedonius died in exile. His death occurred c. 517, at Gangra, where he had retired for fear of the Huns, who ravaged all Cappadocia, Galatia, and Pontus. Theod. Lect. ii. 573–578, in Patr. Gk. lxxxvi.; Evagr. III. xxxi. xxxii. in ib. 2661; Mansi, viii. 186, 198; Vict. Tun. Chron. in Patr Lat.

lxviii. 948; Liberat. vii. in ib. 982; Theoph. Chron. 120–123, 128, 130, 132.

[W.M.S.]