Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. II: The Ecclesiastical History of Sozomen.: Ejection of Paul and Athanasius; Macedonius is invested with the Government of the Church of Constantinople.Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Chapter IX.—Ejection of Paul and Athanasius; Macedonius is invested with the Government of the Church of Constantinople.
After having written in this strain to Julius, the bishops of the East brought accusations against those whom they had deposed before the emperor Constantius. 1241 Accordingly, the emperor, who was then at Antioch, wrote to Philip, the prefect of Constantinople, commanding him to surrender the Church to Macedonius, and to expel Paul from the city. The prefect feared the commotion among the people, and before the order of the emperor could be divulged, he repaired to the public bath which is called Zeuxippus, a conspicuous and large structure, and summoned Paul, as if he wished to converse with him on some affairs of general interest; as soon as he had arrived, he showed him the edict of the emperor. Paul was, according to orders, secretly conducted through the palace contiguous to the bath, to the seaside, and placed on board a vessel and was sent to Thessalonica, whence, it is said, his ancestors originally came. He was strictly prohibited from approaching the Eastern regions, but was not forbidden to visit Illyria and the remoter provinces.
On quitting the court room, Philip, accompanied by Macedonius, proceeded to the church. The people, who had in the meantime been assembling together in untold numbers, quickly filled the church, and the two parties into which they were divided, namely, the supporters of the Arian heresy and the followers of Paul respectively, strove to take possession of the building. When the prefect and Macedonius arrived at the gates of the church, the soldiers endeavored to force back the people, in order to make way for these dignitaries, but as they were so crowded together, it was impossible for them to recede, since they were closely packed to the farthest point, or to make way; the soldiers, under the impression that the crowd was unwilling to retire, slew many with their swords, and a great number were killed by being trampled upon. The edict of the emperor was thus accomplished, and Macedonius received the Churches, while Paul was unexpectedly ejected from the Church in Constantinople.
Athanasius in the meantime had fled, and concealed himself, fearing the menace of the emperor Constantius, for he had threatened to punish him with death; for the heterodox had made the emperor believe that he was a seditious person, and that he had, on his return to the bishopric, occasioned the death of several persons. But the anger of the emperor had been chiefly excited by the representation that Athanasius had sold the provisions which the emperor Constantine had bestowed on the poor of Alexandria, and had appropriated the price.
Soc. ii. 16, 17; Athan. Hist. Arian. 7; and Apol. de fuga sua, 3, 6–8. Cf. Theodoret, H. E. ii. 5.
Next: The Bishop of Rome writes to the Bishops of the East in Favor of Athanasius, and they send an Embassy to Rome who, with the Bishop of Rome, are to investigate the Charges against the Eastern Bishops; this Deputation is dismissed by Constans, the Cæsar.
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