« Patroclus, bp. of Arles Patrophilus of Scythopolis Paula, a Roman lady »

Patrophilus of Scythopolis

Patrophilus (1) of Scythopolis, one of the original Arian party, took a leading part in all their principal acts and was one of the most relentless opponents of Athanasius, by whom he is designated as a πνευματόμαχος (adv. Serap. iv. 7, p. 360). He enjoyed considerable reputation for theological learning, and trained Eusebius of Emesa in the exposition of Scripture (Socr. H. E. ii. 9). When Arius, driven from Alexandria, took refuge in Palestine, Patrophilus was one of the Palestinian bishops who warmly espoused his cause, wrote in support of his teaching (Athan. de Synod. p. 886), and in a.d. 323 joined with Paulinus of Tyre and Eusebius of Caesarea in summoning a local synod, which granted Arius permission to hold private religious assemblies (Soz. H. E. i. 15). At Nicaea he was one of the 17 episcopal partisans of Arius, and united with them in drawing up a creed which was indignantly rejected by the council (Theod. H. E. i. 7) Embittered by defeat, he became one of the most relentless persecutors of Athanasius. In 330 he took part in the synod at Antioch by which Eustathius was deposed (ib. i. 21). At the synod of Tyre (a.d. 335) he was one of the most active in bringing about the condemnation of Athanasius (Labbe, ii. 436; Athan. Apol. c. Arian. cc. 73, 74, 77), and the same year he attended the abortive synod of the Dedication at Jerusalem (Socr. H. E. i. 31; Soz. H. E. ii. 26; Theod. H. E. i. 31). Passing thence to Constantinople at the empress's command, he denounced Athanasius as having threatened the imperial city with starvation by preventing the sailing of the Alexandrian corn-ships, and procured his banishment to Trèves (Socr. H. E. i. 35; Theod. H. E. i. 31; Theophan. p. 26; Athan. Apol. c. Asian. c. 87). In 341 be took part in the ambiguous council of Antioch, in Encaeniis (Soz. H. E. iii. 5). He was one of the ordainers of George, the violent heterodox intruder into the see of Alexandria in 353 (ib. iv. 8), and with his leader Acacius kept entirely aloof from Athanasius when Maximus of Jerusalem welcomed him on his return from banishment in 346, and before long contrived to establish Cyril in Maximus's place as their own nominee (Theophan. p. 34; Gwatkin, Studies of Arianism, p. 145). He was one of the few Eastern bishops who attended the council of Milan in 355 (his name appearing erroneously in the lists as Stratophilus), and he took part in the condemnation and deposition of Eusebius of Vercelli, on whose banishment to Scythopolis, Patrophilus, "his jailer," as Eusebius calls him, vented his annoyance by studied insults and ill-treatment (Eus. Vercell. Ep. apud Baronium Annal. 356, No. 93). According to Philostorgius (H. E. iv. 8–10) Patrophilus poisoned the mind of Constantius against Basil of Ancyra, who had at one time exercised unbounded influence over him, and was the proposer of the scheme of breaking up the proposed general council into two. When the Eastern division met at Seleucia, Sept. 27, 359, Patrophilus was a leading member of the shifty Acacian party pledged to the Homoiousion. Finding the majority of the synod against them, he and his party refused to take part in the later sessions, and at the fourth sitting, Oct. 1, he shared in the sentence of deposition passed on Acacius and his followers (Socr. H. E. ii. 40; Soz. H. E. 808iv. 23). He immediately returned home, where he was kept informed by Acacius of the course events were taking in the synod held at Constantinople (Jan. 360), when Aetius and the Anomoeans were condemned, several leading semi-Arians deposed, the Ariminian creed imposed, and Eudoxius enthroned bp. of Constantinople (Socr. H. E. ii. 43). He died very soon afterwards, for his grave was desecrated during the temporary pagan reaction under Julian in 361, when his remains were scattered and his skull mockingly used as a lamp (Theoph. p. 40; Niceph. x. 13; Chron. Pasch. (ed. Ducange, 1688), p. 295; Tillem. Mém. ecclés. t. vi. vii.; Le Quien, Or. Christ. iii. 683).


« Patroclus, bp. of Arles Patrophilus of Scythopolis Paula, a Roman lady »
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