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Justinian and the Making of the Syrian Orthodox Church$
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Volker L. Menze

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199534876

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199534876.001.0001

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Syrian Orthodox Commemoration of the Past

Syrian Orthodox Commemoration of the Past

(p.194) 5 Syrian Orthodox Commemoration of the Past
Justinian and the Making of the Syrian Orthodox Church

Volker L. Menze

Oxford University Press

Justinian's policy of rapprochement changed after the Chalcedonians stirred up opposition against the conciliatory patriarch of Constantinople, Anthimus, in 535/6 which is discussed in Chapter 5. With the condemnation of Anthimus and other non-Chalcedonians in 536 the need arose to patronize these ‘heretics’—a job so well done by Theodora that she was venerated by the Syrian Orthodox as the ‘believing queen’. The accounts for four important protagonists, Anthimus, Theodora, John of Tella and Abraham bar Kayli, the ‘archvillain’ of the Syrian Orthodox tradition, are examined in order to understand the protagonists' actions as well as to explain the biased commemorations of all of them. The non-Chalcedonians started to reinterpret their past to make it consistent with the forms their dissent took.

Keywords:   Anthimus, Theodora, Agapetus, Council of 536, John of Ephesus, John of Tella, Abraham bar Kayli, John of Hephaestu

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