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A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography

Silvanus, Bishop of Tarsus

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Silvanus (6) , bp. of Tarsus and metropolitan, one of the most excellent of those semi-Arians whom Athanasius described as "brothers who mean what we mean, and differ only about the terms" (Ath. de Synod. 41). He succeeded Antonius in the reign of Constantius. He was one of the 22 Oriental bishops who, at the council of Sirmium, in 351, joined in the deposition of Photinus (Hilar. Synod , p. 129; fragm. i. p. 48). On the deposition and banishment of Cyril from Jerusalem, early in 358, Silvanus received him hospitably at Tarsus, despite the remonstrances of Acacius (Theod. H. E. ii. 22). That year he took part in the semi-Arian council of Ancyra (Labbe, ii. 790), and in 359 in that of Seleucia, at which he vociferously advocated ( μέγα ἀνέκραγε ) the acceptance of the Lucianic dedication creed of Antioch (Socr. H. E. ii. 39), the mere mention of which made the Acacian party leave the place of assembly as a protest. Silvanus was among the semi-Arian leaders who, first of the rival church parties, memorialized Julian on his arrival at Antioch after becoming emperor, requesting him to expel the Anomoeans and call a general council to restore peace to the church, and declaring their acceptance of the Nicene faith (Socr. H. E. iii. 25). In 366 he was, with Eustathius of Sebaste and Theophilus of Castabala, a deputy to Liberius. He returned with the letters of communion of Liberius and the Roman synod (Basil. Ep. 67 [50]). His death is placed by Tillemont in 373 ( Mém. eccl. t. vi. p. 592; Le Quien, Or. Christ. ii. 872).


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Bibliography Information
Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Silvanus, Bishop of Tarsus'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. 1911.

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Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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