Skip to main content Skip to Search Box
Summary Article: Eutyches from The Columbia Encyclopedia

(yu'tĭkēs), 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 Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2017

Related Credo Articles

Full text Article Council of Chalcedon (451)
The Encyclopedia of Eastern Orthodox Christianity

After the death of Emperor Theodosius II, his sister Augusta Pulcheria married General Marcian, and the two emperors summoned the ecumenical council

Full text Article Eutyches
Late Antiquity: A Guide to the Postclassical World

As an elderly presbyter and archimandrite who directed a monastery of some 300 monks in Constantinople, Eutyches (ca. 378-ca. 454) was a virulent...

Full text Article EPHESUS
Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity

I. Historical notes - II. Councils. I. Historical notesM. Forlin Patrucco Ephesus, a Lydian city at the mouth of the present-day Cayster river on t

See more from Credo