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Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century A.D., with an Account of the Principal Sects and Heresies.
« Ephraim (4) the Syrian Ephraim (6), bp. of Antioch and patriarch Epiphanes, a Gnostic writer »

Ephraim (6), bp. of Antioch and patriarch

Ephraim (6) (Ephrem, Ephraemius, or, as Theophanes gives the name, Euphraimius), bp. of Antioch and patriarch, a.d. 527-545. The title, ὁ Ἀμίδιος, given him by Theophanes, indicates that he was a native of Amida in Armenia. He devoted the early part of his life to civil employments, and became Count of the East in the reign of Justin I. The city of Antioch having been nearly destroyed in a.d. 525 and 526 by earthquake and conflagration, Ephraim was sent by Justin as commissioner to relieve the sufferers and restore the city. The high qualities manifested in the fulfilment of these duties gained the affection and respect of the people of Antioch, who unanimously chose him bishop on the death of Euphrasius (Evagr. H. E. iv. 5, 6). His consecration is placed in a.d. 357. As bishop he exhibited an unwavering firmness against the heretical tendencies of his day. Theophanes says that he shewed "a divine zeal against schismatics" (Chronogr. p. 118). Moschus tells a story of his encounter near Hierapolis with one of the pillar ascetics, a follower of Severus and the Acephali (Prat. Spiritual. c. 36). Ephraim examined synodically the tenets of Syncleticus, metropolitan of Tarsus, who was suspected of Eutychian leanings but was acquitted (Phot. Cod. 228). In 537, at the bidding of Justinian, he repaired with Hypatius of Ephesus and Peter of Jerusalem to Gaza to hold a council in the matter of Paul the patriarch of Alexandria, who had been banished to that city and there deposed. In obedience to the emperor Justinian, Ephraim held a synod at Antioch, which repudiated the doctrines of Origen as heretical (Liberat. c. 23, apud Labbe, Concil. v. 777 seq.; Baronius, Annal. 537, 538) He was the author of a large number of theological treatises directed against Nestorius, Eutyches, Severus, and the Acephali, and in defence of the decrees of Chalcedon. In 546, yielding to severe pressure, he subscribed the edict Justinian had put forth condemning "the three chapters" (Facund. Pro Defens. Trium Capit. iv. 4). He did not survive the disgrace of this concession, and died in 547.

His copious theological works have almost entirely perished, and we have little knowledge of them save through Photius (Biblioth. Cod. 228, 229), who speaks of having read three of the volumes, but gives particulars of two only. Some few fragments of his defence of the council of Chalcedon, and of the third book against Severus, and other works, are given by Mai (Bibl. Nov. iv. 63, vii. 204) and are printed by Migne (Patr. Gk. lxxxvi. par. 2, pp. 2099 seq.). Theophanes, Chronogr. ad ann. 519, p. 118 d; Moschus, Prat. Spiritual. cc. 36, 37; Cave, Hist. Lit. i. 507; Fabric. Bibl. Graec. lib. v. c. 38; Le Quien, Oriens Christ. ii. 733).

[E.V.]

« Ephraim (4) the Syrian Ephraim (6), bp. of Antioch and patriarch Epiphanes, a Gnostic writer »

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