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Ephraim of Antioch



Ephraim of Antioch (Ephraimios), one of the defenders of the Faith of Chalcedon (451) against the Monophysites, b. at Amida in Mesopotamia; d. in 545. He was Count of the East (Comes Orientis) under Justinian I. In 527 he succeeded Euphrasius as Patriarch of Antioch. Most of his many works are lost. We know the titles of them, however, from Anastasius Sinaita (c. 700), St. John Damascene (d. about 754) or whoever was the author of the "Sacra Parallela", and especially Photius (d. 891). Anastasius (P.G., LXXXXIX, 1185-1188) quotes passages from a work of Ephraim against Severus, the Monophysite Patriarch of Antioch (512-519). The "Sacra Parallela" give a short passage from "St. Ephraim, Archbishop of Antioch", taken from a work "On John the Grammarian and the Synod" (Tit. lxi, cf. P.G., LXXXVI, 2, 2104-2109). Photius (P.G., CIII, 957-1024) speaks of four books by Ephraim. The first consisted of sermons and letters, the second, and third contained a treatise against Severus in three parts and an answer to five questions about Genesis addressed to the author by a monk named Anatolius. The fragments quoted by Photius represent practically all that is left of Ephraim's writings. Cardinal Mai was able to add a few more from a manuscript Catena in the Vatican library (P.G., LXXXVI, loc. cit.). Krumbacher (Byz. Litt., loc. cit.) mentions a few other fragments in the Paris library, etc., and considers that Ephraim would deserve the same reputation as Leontius Byzantinus if more of his work had been preserved. He had extensive knowledge of Greek Fathers and follows chiefly St. Cyril of Alexandria in his Christology.

KRUMBACHER, Byzantinische Litteratur (Munich, 1897), 57; BARDENHEWER, Patrology, tr. SHAHAN (St. Louis, 1908), 551.

Adrian Fortescue








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