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Bible Dictionaries

A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography

Anastasius Sinaita

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Anastasius Sinaita ( Ἀναστάσιος Σιναίτης ). Three of this name are mentioned by ecclesiastical writers, among whom some confusion exists. Two were patriarchs of Antioch; and it has been reasonably questioned whether they were ever monks of Mount Sinai, and whether the title "Sinaita" has not been given to them from a confusion with the one who really was so, and who falls, outside our period (see Smith's D. C. B. in loc. ).

(1 ) Bp. of Antioch, succeeded Domnus III. A.D. 559 (Clinton, Fasti Romani ). He is praised by Evagrius (H. E. iv. 40) for his theological learning, strictness of life, and well-balanced character. He resolutely opposed Justinian's edict in favour of the Aphthartodocetae, and encouraged the monastic bodies of Syria against it, A.D. 563 (Evagr. iv. 39, 40). Justinian threatened him with deposition and exile, but his death in 565 hindered his design, which was carried into effect by his nephew Justin II., A.D. 570. Fresh charges were brought against Anastasius of profuse expenditure of the funds of his see, and of intemperate language and action in reference to the consecration of John, bp. of Alexandria, by John, bp. of Constantinople, in the lifetime of the previous bp. Eutychius (Evagr. v. 1; Valesius's notes, ib.; Theoph. Chron.; Clinton, Fast. Rom. ). He was succeeded by Gregory, on whose death, in the middle of 593 (Clinton), he was restored to his episcopate. This was chiefly due to the influence of Gregory the Great with the emperor Maurice and his son Theodosius (Evagr. vi. 24; Greg. Mag. Ep. i. 25, 27, Ind. ix.). Gregory wrote him a congratulatory letter on his return to Antioch ( Ep. iv. 37; Ind. xiv.); and several epistles of his are preserved relating to the claim the bp. of Constantinople was then making to the title of "universal bishop" ( Ep. iv. 36, Ind. xiii.; vi. 24, 31, Ind. xv.). Anastasius defended the orthodox view of the Procession of the Holy Ghost (Baron. Annal. Eccl. 593), and died at the close of 598 (Clinton, Fast. Rom. ). Five sermons, "de Orthodoxa Fide," and five others, printed in a Latin version by Migne and others, are ascribed by some to this Anastasius. Oudin, Dupin, and others refer them more probably to a later Anastasius. For a catalogue and description of the works assigned to him, either existing or lost, see Fabricius, Bibl. Graec. vol. ix. pp. 332–336, and Migne.

(2 ) Followed the preceding as by of Antioch in the beginning of 599. A letter of Gregory the Great to him (Ep. vii. 48, Ind. ii.) acknowledges one announcing his appointment and declaring his adherence to the orthodox faith. Gregory had written to him before 597 ( Ep. vii. 3, Ind. i.), exhorting him to constancy under the persecutions of heretics. He translated Gregory's de Curâ Pastorali into Greek ( ib. x. 22, Ind. v.). His death occurred in an insurrection of the Jews, Sept. 610 (Clinton, F. R. ). Nicephorus (H. E. xviii. 44) confounds him with ( 1 ).


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Bibliography Information
Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Anastasius Sinaita'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. 1911.

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