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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. II: The Ecclesiastical History of Socrates Scholasticus.: Gregory, finding Some Dissatisfaction about his Appointment, abdicates the Episcopate of Constantinople. The Emperor orders Demophilus the Arian Bishop either to assent to the 'Homoousion,' or leave the City. He chooses the Latter.

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Chapter VII.—Gregory, finding Some Dissatisfaction about his Appointment, abdicates the Episcopate of Constantinople. The Emperor orders Demophilus the Arian Bishop either to assent to the ‘Homoousion,’ or leave the City. He chooses the Latter.

Now at that time Gregory of Nazianzus, after his translation to Constantinople, held his assemblies within the city in a small oratory, adjoining to which the emperors afterwards built a magnificent church, and named it Anastasia697 But Gregory, who far excelled in eloquence and piety all those of the age in which he lived, understanding that some murmured at his preferment because he was a stranger, after expressing his joy at the emperor’s arrival, resigned the bishopric of Constantinople. When the emperor found the church in this state, he began to consider by what means he could make peace, effect a union, and enlarge the churches. Immediately, therefore, he intimated his desire to Demophilus, 698 who presided over the Arian party; and enquired whether he was willing to assent to the Nicene Creed, and thus reunite the people, and establish peace. Upon Demophilus’ declining to accede to this proposal, the emperor said to him, ‘Since you reject peace and harmony, I order you to quit the churches.’ When Demophilus heard this, weighing with himself the difficulty of contending against superior power, he convoked his followers in the church, and standing in the midst of them, thus spoke: ‘Brethren, it is written in the Gospel, 699 “If they persecute you in one city, flee ye into another.” Since therefore the emperor needs the churches, take notice that we will henceforth hold our assemblies without the city.’ Having said this he departed; not however as rightly apprehending the meaning of that expression in the Evangelist, for the real p. 121 import of the sacred oracle is that such as would avoid the course of this world must seek the heavenly Jerusalem. 700 He therefore went outside the city gates, and there in future held his assemblies. With him also Lucius went out, who being ejected from Alexandria, as we have before related, 701 had made his escape to Constantinople, and there abode. Thus the Arians, after having been in possession of the churches for forty years, were in consequence of their opposition to the peace proposed by the emperor Theodosius, driven out of the city, in Gratian’s fifth consulate, 702 and the first of Theodosius Angustus, on the 26th of November. The adherents of the ‘homoousian’ faith in this manner regained possession of the churches.



It appears from several places in Gregory’s writings (cf. Somn. de Anastasia, Ad Popul. Anast. and Carmen de Vita Sua, 1709) that he himself had used the name of Anastasia in speaking of the church, so that Socrates’ statement that it was so called afterwards must be taken as inaccurate. It also appears that Gregory gave the name Anastasia to the house which he used as a church, and meant to signify by the name (Anastation = Resurrection) the resurrection of the orthodox community of Constantinople. It is possible, of course, that Socrates here means that the emperors later adopted the name given by Gregory on the occasion of building a large church in place of the original chapel. See also on Gregory’s stay at Constantinople Sozom. VII. 5; Philostorgius, IX. 19; Theodoret, V. 8.


Cf. Philostorgius, IX. 10 and 14, whence it appears that Demophilus was the Arian bishop who succeeded Eudoxius in Constantinople.


Matt. x. 23.


A specimen of allegorical interpretation due to the influence of Origen. See Farrar, Hist. of Interpretation, p. 183 seq. For similar cases of allegorizing, see Huet, Origeniana passim, and De la Rue, Origenis Opera, App. 240–244.


IV. 37.


The same consulate as at the end of chap. 6; i.e. 380 a.d.

Next: A Synod consisting of One Hundred and Fifty Bishops meets at Constantinople. The Decrees passed. Ordination of Nectarius.

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