Eutyches


Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.

Eutyches

Eutyches (yo͞oˈtĭkēs), c.378–c.452, archimandrite in Constantinople, sponsor of Eutychianism, the first phase of Monophysitism. He was the leader in Constantinople of the most violent opponents of Nestorianism, among whom was Dioscurus, successor to St. Cyril (d. 444) as patriarch of Alexandria. Whereas Cyril had agreed with the Antiochenes in 433 that Christ had two natures, Eutyches and Dioscurus insisted that Christ's humanity was absorbed in his divinity and that to accept two natures at all was Nestorian. When Theodoret attacked Eutychianism (447), Dioscurus retaliated by anathematizing him, and Emperor Theodosius II, who was friendly to Eutychianism, confined Theodoret to his diocese (448). But Eutyches was accused of heresy and deposed by a local synod called by St. Flavian, patriarch of Constantinople (Nov., 448). Eutyches appealed to his friends, and Theodosius called a general council to meet at Ephesus, Aug. 1, 449. This, the famous Robber Synod (Latrocinium), was disgraceful from the beginning. Dioscurus presided and disenfranchised most of the clergy inimical to Eutyches. The so-called council reinstated Eutyches, declared him orthodox, and deposed Flavian and Eutyches' accuser, Eusebius of Dorylaeum. Flavian denied the council's authority; the papal legates denounced the council's proceedings. The soldiery, called in by Dioscurus, compelled an affirmative vote; Flavian was severely beaten by members of the so-called synod and died shortly thereafter. The legates barely escaped. Theodoret was deposed. After the death of Theodosius (450) his orthodox successors convened the Council of Chalcedon (see Chalcedon, Council of) to right the wrongs of the Robber Synod, and Eutychianism was ended. Eutyches was deposed and exiled.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(11) Eutyches of Constantinople, the chief proponent of what eventually came to be known as the Monophysite heresy, took the Christological position that Christ had only one nature-divine-and that any humanity he seemed to have was fully subsumed within the divine.
First the Council of Ephesis (known in Church history as the "Synod of Robbers" because of its atmosphere of violence and terror) in 449 upheld Eutyches. Then in 450 an abrupt turn-around occurred when the death of the Emperor Theodosius II brought a new emperor and empress to the Eastern throne, eager to enter in the relations with Pope Leo.
Prior to Chalcedon, Leo, writing against Eutyches, stressed the wholeness and distinctness of the two natures and, Macquarrie claims, introduced the problem of the communication of idioms with his statement, "The Word performs what belongs to the Word, the flesh what pertains to the flesh.
At least one other ninth-century Breton book was so associated, a now incomplete copy of the Ars de uerbo by the late Roman grammarian Eutyches bearing on its first page both a famous drawing showing Dunstan at the feel of Christ and a brief Latin poem written by Dunstan himself.(26)
The followers of Eutyches, by contrast, rejected the separation and collapsed the human into the divine.
On the side of the Alexandrines the most explicit deviation was the teaching of Eutyches, who spoke about the total absorption of Christ's humanity by his divinity; as if there were two natures before the incarnation, and one nature afterwards.
After all, Eutyches and Dioscorus were Monophysites, while Nestorius was the diophysite par excellence.
It was not such a union, however, as to destroy the integrity of each nature through absorption--stated in opposition to Leo's understanding of Eutyches.(25) He even spoke loosely of a (new and unique) God-human "nature."(26) This union is not something that he believed could be demonstrated but is something accepted in faith.(27) So strong is this union that the passible cannot be separated from the impassible.(28)
Gaidioz was never able to complete his study by analysing which of Leo's other letters against Eutyches included in the report transmitted by Gennadius could have been drafted by his aide.
Theodoret clearly articulates these concerns in his treatise Eranistes written in 447 or 448.(56) Some scholars believe that this text preserves Theodoret's response to Eutyches and the growing chorus of more strident monophysite voices emerging in the years leading up to the Council of Chalcedon.