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Bible Dictionaries

A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography

Barsumas, Syrian Archimandrite

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Barsumas (the Eutychian), an archimandrite of a Syrian monastery, who warmly espoused the cause of Eutyches. When, in 448, Eutyches was denounced before the local synod of Constantinople, Barsumas, who was resident in the city, raised a violent opposition to the Eastern bishops. The next year, 449, at the "Robbers' Synod" of Ephesus, Theodosius II. summoned Barsumas as the representative of the malcontent monastic party, and granted him a seat and vote among the bishops. He was the first monk allowed to act as a judge at a general council. Barsumas brought with him a turbulent band of 1000 monks to coerce the assembly, and took a prominent part in the disorderly proceedings, vociferously expressing his joy on the acquittal of Eutyches and joining in the assault on the aged Flavian by the monks and soldiers. The injuries inflicted were so serious that the venerable patriarch died three days afterwards. When with great effrontery Barsumas presented himself at the council of Chalcedon, 451, an outcry was raised against him as "the murderer of the blessed Flavian." He actively propagated Eutychian doctrines in Syria and died 458. His disciple, Samuel, carried Eutychianism into Armenia. He is regarded among the Jacobites as a saint and worker of miracles (Assemani, Bibl. Orient. ii. 4; Labbe, iv. 105 seq.; Liberatus, c. 12; Tillemont, xv.; Schröckh, xvii. 451 seq.).


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Bibliography Information
Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Barsumas, Syrian Archimandrite'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. 1911.

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Tuesday, November 24th, 2020
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