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A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography

Florentius, a Chief Minister of State at Constantinople

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Florentius (50) , a chief minister of state at Constantinople under Theodosius II. and Marcian, a man of the highest reputation for soundness of faith, purity of life, and statesmanlike wisdom (Labbe, Concil. iv. 220). He was consul in a.d. 429, patrician in 448, prefect of the praetorian guards, and the high dignity of prefect of the East was bestowed on him a seventh time by Marcian in 450.

In 448, when Flavian had resolved to put Eutyches on his trial for heretical doctrine, Theodosius demanded that Florentius should have a seat at the synod as his representative. Hitherto the ostensible reason for the presence of imperial officers at ecclesiastical synods was the preservation of order. The ground expressly assigned by the emperor for requiring the admission of Florentius, viz. that the matters under discussion concerned the faith, was a startling innovation which Flavian withstood as long as he dared (Acac. Hist. Brevicul. p. 112; Liberat. Breviar. c. xi.; Labbe, Concil. iv. 247). On the opening of the trial Florentius took his seat among the metropolitans, next to Seleucus, bp. of Amasea (Labbe, 238; Liberat. p. 60), and disclaimed all desire to dogmatize, or to forget his position as a layman; but he took a very leading and authoritative part in the discussion, and manifested a strong leaning towards the acquittal of Eutyches. But his efforts to induce Eutyches to acknowledge the two natures in Christ or to adopt language which might satisfy the council were fruitless, and the interests of orthodoxy compelled him to assent to his condemnation (Labbe, 507, 517). As Eutyches left the hall he lodged with Florentius an appeal against his condemnation to the churches of Rome, Alexandria, and Jerusalem. The bishop availed himself of the plea that the trial was closed to exclude the registration of the appeal ( ib. 244). When the council of Chalcedon met, Florentius was present with other high civil dignitaries; but there is no record of the part he took. We have letters to Florentius from Theodoret ( Ep. 89), Isidore of Pelusium ( Ep. lib. i. 486), and Firmus of Caesarea ( Ep. 29).

[E.V.]


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Bibliography Information
Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Florentius, a Chief Minister of State at Constantinople'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hwd/f/florentius-a-chief-minister-of-state-at-constantinople.html. 1911.

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Tuesday, June 25th, 2019
the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12
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