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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [1]

the so-called founder of Eutychianism, though the opinions advocated by him existed before (see Selig, De Eutychianismo ante Eutychen). His name Eutychas means "the Fortunate, but his opponents said he should rather have been named Atyches, the Unfortunate. He must not be confounded with the deacon Eutyches, who attended Cyril to the Council of Ephesus. Leo the Great, in his renowned letter to Flavian, calls him very ignorant and unskilled, Multum imprudens et nimis imperitus, and justly attributes his error rather to imperitia than to versutia. So also Petavius and Hefele (2:300). His relation to the Alexandrian Christology is like that of Nestorius to the Ametiochian; that is, he drew it to a head, brought it to popular expression, and adhered obstinately to it; but he is considerably inferior to Nestorius in talent and learning. His connection with this controversy is in a great measure accidental" (Schaff, Hist. of Christ. Church, 3:736). He led, from his early age, an ascetic life; was for thirty years archimacandrite of a monastery near Constantinople, and had reached his 70th year without being known for anything except his illiterate fanaticism his intimate relations with the all powerful Chrysaphius, minister of Theodosius, and his influence with the monastic party which blindly followed the lead of Cyril of Alexandria. He used his influence in favor of Cyril at the OEcumenical Council of Ephesus, a copy of the minutes of which was sent to him by Cyril. After the death of Cyril he was on intimate terms with Cyril's successor, Dioscurus (q.v.). In 448 Eutyches wrote a letter to the Roman bishop Leo to prejudice him against the school of Antioch (q.v.), which, he insinuated, was bent on reviving Nestorianism. To counteract his operations, patriarch Domnus, of Antioch, in 448 charged Eutkyches with renewing the heresy of Apollinaris. No notice seems to have been taken at the imperial court of this charge; but the charges brought against him before the Synod of Constantinople (448) by his former friend Eusebius, bishop of Dorylasum (q.v.), had more effect. Patriarch Flavian, of Constantinople (q.v.) wished to avoid taking any decisive action, but Eusebius prevailed upon the synod to summon Eutyches. The latter, after making several excuses, obeyed the third summons, and presented himself before the synod, attended by a large number of monks and imperial officers. He defended his views in a long speech, but the synod, largely consisting of adherents of the Antioch school, found him guilty of heresy, and, in spite of all the secular pressure brought to bear upon them in favor of Eutyches, deprived him of his position of archimandrite, and excommunicated him. Eutyches, with the aid of his friend Chrysaphius, obtained from the emperor a revision of the trial by a new general council to be convoked at Ephesus. Flavian and Leo of Rome strenuously opposed the holding of the council. Leo, who had been written to by both parties, was encouraged by this circumstance to claim a right to decide the controversy, and for this purpose wrote the celebrated epistle to Flavian (Mansi, 5:1366 sq.) See the article (See Chalcedon); and (See Leo).

But, owing to the influence of Eutyches and Dioscurus of Alexandria, the council was held, under the presidency of Dioscurus, and, amidst scenes of unheard of violence, which have given to the council the name of the Robber Council, the bishops were compelled to restore Eutyches to the Church and his former position, and to condemn the prominent men of the Antioch school. (See Robber- Council Of Ephesus). The emperor promptly sanctioned this decision, and thus Eutychianism was on the point of becoming the predominant doctrine of the Eastern Church, when the death of Theodosius (450) gave a new turn to the controversy. The empress Puleheria and her husband Marcian sympathized with the opponents of Eutyches, recalled the exiled bishops. and convened the OEcumenical Council of Chaleed (which condemned the views held by Eutyches, and declared that "in Christ two distinct natures are united in one person, and that without any change, mixture, or confusion." (See Council Of Chalcedon). Even before the meeting of the council Eutyches had again been excommunicated by patriarch Anatolius of Constantinople, and expelled from his monastery by Marcian. The council did not again condemn him by, name. Of the last years of Eutyches we only know that he died in exile. Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 4:251; Baur, Lehre voss d. Dreieinagkeit, 1:800; Neander, Church History (Torrey's), 3:501-505; Dorner, Person of Christ, div. 2, volume 1 and 2; Waterland, Works (Oxford), 3:411, 481, (A.J.S.)

The Nuttall Encyclopedia [2]

A Byzantine heresiarch, who, in combating Nestorianism ( q. v .), fell into the opposite extreme, and maintained that in the incarnation the human nature of Christ was absorbed in the divine, a doctrine which was condemned by the Council of Chalcedon in 448 (378-454).