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A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography

Julianus, Bishop of Cos


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Julianus (27), bp. of Cos, the friend and frequent correspondent of Leo the Great. He was by birth an Italian. Being educated at Rome (Leo. Mag. Ep. lxxxi. 1042; Migne, Ep. cxiii. 1190) he was acquainted with Latin as well as Greek ( Ep. cxiii. 1194) and was thus useful to Leo, who was ignorant of Greek. Leo found in him a man after his own heart. He describes him as a "part of himself" ( Ep. cxxv. 1244). Long experience led him to put the fullest confidence in his orthodoxy, erudition, watchfulness, and zeal ( Ep. xxxv. 875, xci. 1066). Nothing could exceed the value of such a man to Leo to watch over the interests of the faith and the Roman see in the East. Julian was present at the council of Constantinople in 448 and professed his belief in the "two natures in one Person"—an expression which Dioscorus could not tolerate when he heard it read at Chalcedon—and subscribed the condemnation of Eutyches (Labbe, Concilia , iv. 188 B, 231 B. In Apr. 449 he was present at the synod in Constantinople, granted by the emperor at the demand of Eutyches to verify the records of the former council. Here we find him disputing occasionally the exact accuracy of the "Acta" (Labbe, iv. 231 (2), c. 234 (2) B; Tillem. xv. 511). He wrote to Leo a letter which produced two replies dated the same day, June 13, 449, the first of a long series of letters from Leo to Julian (Epp. xxxiv. xxxv.). The latter of the two contains an elaborate dogmatic statement against Eutyches. After this Julian became one of the pope's chief mediums for impressing his wishes and policy on the East. [See LEO.] Through the Eutychian troubles Julian remained true to the faith and suffered so much that, as he tells Leo, he thought of retiring to Rome ( Ep. lxxxi. 1042). It was JULIUS of Puteoli, however, not this Julian, who was papal legate at the council of Ephesus. Leo commended Julian to the favour of Pulcheria and Anatolius of Constantinople as one who had always been faithful to St. Flavian ( Epp. lxxix. lxxx. 1037, 1041, dated Apr. 457). In June 451 he begs him to associate himself with his legates, Lucentius and Basil, to the council of Chalcedon ( Ep. lxxxvi. 1063). He is commended to Marcian the emperor as a "particeps" with them ( Ep. xc. 1065). His exact position at that council appears somewhat ambiguous. He is not mentioned among the legates in the letter of Leo to the council ( Ep. xciii. 1070), but in the Acts of the council is always spoken of as holding that position (Labbe, iv. 80 C, 852 C, 559 E). In the list of signatures he does not appear among the legates of Rome, yet higher than his own rank, as bp. of Cos, would entitle him to appear, and among the metropolitans (cf. Tillem. xv. 645, and note, 43). His condemnation of Dioscorus, with reasons assigned, appears in the acta of the third session of the council (Labbe, iv. 427 C). In the matter of the claims of BASSIAN and Stephen to the see of Ephesus, he gives his voice first for setting both aside, then for allowing a local council to choose (701 D, 703 D). He displeased Leo by not resisting the 28th canon of the council in favour of the claims of Constantinople (Ep. xcviii. 1098), and by writing to Leo begging him to give his assent to it ( Ep. cvii. 1772). After this, however, he is in as good favour as ever. From Mar 453 he was apocrisiarius or deputy of the see of Rome at the court of Constantinople. Leo requests him to remain constantly at court, watching zealously over the interests of the faith ( Epp. cxi. 1187, cxiii. 1190, "speculari non desinas"; cf. Tillem. xv. 761). In Mar 453 Leo requested him to make a complete translation of the Acts of the council of Chalcedon ( Ep. cxiii. 1194). Julian seems to have returned to his diocese in 457 (cf. Tillem. xvii. 762, 791) and wrote a reply, in his own name only, to the circular letter of the emperor Leo on the excesses of Timothy Aelurus and the authority of the Chalcedonian council. [See LEO, emperor.] Julian urges that Timotheus should be punished by the civil power and maintains strongly the authority of the council. "For where were assembled so many bishops, where were present the holy Gospels, where was so much united prayer, there, we believe, was also present with invisible power the author of all creation" (Labbe, iv. 942; Or. Chr. i. 935). After this no more is known of him.

[C.G.]


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Bibliography Information
Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Julianus, Bishop of Cos'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hwd/j/julianus-bishop-of-cos.html. 1911.

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Tuesday, November 24th, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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