The Annals of Eutychius of Alexandria (10th c. AD) – chapter 13 (part 4)

Here’s the next chunk of the Annals of Eutychius, covering the period of Chrysostom.  The story of Chrysostom and his violent disagreement with Theophilus of Alexandria must always have been difficult for the Copts, who revered both. 

10. There lived in Egypt a bishop who had died leaving three children, who then all three became monks who were going to live in the monastery of Scete.  Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, took one and made him bishop of a certain city of Egypt, then appointed the other two as deacons and kept them with him as disciples.  In fact, they remained in the service of Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, but just three years afterwards, the two young men manifested a desire to return to Scete.  Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, was opposed to their request, but the two young men went away without his permission.  Then [the patriarch] forbade them to approach the Eucharist for the period of three years, and the two went to John Chrysostom asking him to write to Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, a letter requesting him to allow them to receive the Eucharist.  John Chrysostom sent them, accompanied with a letter from him, to Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, asking him to welcome them, but the patriarch was adamant.  The two then went back to John Chrysostom, and he allowed them to communicate.  Thus it was that the disagreements arose between Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, and John Chrysostom.

11. At the time of Arcadius, king of Rum, there lived a very wealthy man, named Thāwkatistus.  Because of some envy, with false witnesses, he was accused before the king, saying that he had renounced the Christian faith and insulted the king.  So the king sent him into exile and confiscated his goods.  The wife [of Thāwkatistus] owned a vineyard.  Happening to pass before the vineyard, and finding it so beautiful that she wanted it, Queen Eudoxia asked: “Whose is this vineyard?”  They told her that it belonged to the wife of the man whom the king had sent into exile.  The queen then said: “I wish it were mine and I could make my walks in it!”  Some ministers told her: “It is the custom that everything belongs to a king that is under his feet.”  On hearing these words the queen took possession of the vineyard.  The woman then had recourse to John Chrysostom, and John sent word to the queen to return the vineyard to the legitimate owner.  And because the queen refused to do so, he went personally to talk to her, but the queen did not deign to make any response.  He then appealed to the fear of God and said: “Take care that there doesn’t happen to you what happened to Yezabel, wife of Akhāb, king of Israel.”  The queen did not agree and ordered John to be driven from the building.  John went away saddened and gave orders to his deacons to close the door on the queen if she presented herself to enter the church.  They did as ordered and the queen retired in anger.

12. Epiphanius, Bishop of Cyprus, was in Constantinople, to attend to some of his business with the King.  The queen summoned him and said to him: “John has turned against the truth and has meddled in affairs that do not concern him, and set himself as my accuser.  How can I remove him from the office he is occupying?”  “If things are as you say,” replied Epiphanius, “I will urge him to repent. If he repents, then it will be better for him, otherwise I will destroy him”. But the queen insisted: “If he is not destroyed, then I will open the temples of the idols and I’ll make people worship them.”  Then the queen commissioned some bishops and deacons to go to the king to testify before him against John, telling him that he was a transgressor of the law and that the population would not support him and hated him.  And since those bishops envied John, because of his great learning, they lent themselves to the queen’s game, and did just as she had taught them to do.  The king Arcadius then ordered that John be removed from office.  Then John Chrysostom wrote to Epiphanius, Bishop of Cyprus, saying: “You, Epiphanius, you have helped to send me into exile and you have supported the conspiracy against me, saying things about me unbecoming to the position you occupy.  But know that you will not reach your city before you die.” Epiphanius answered him saying: “O John, I said only good things of you, and I have made every effort just to defend you, and with all diligence I tried to avert your doom, but all was in vain.  He who is present sees what the absent does not see.  But as you accuse me of things that I do not know and I did not say, know that you will not reach the place to which you have been exiled before you die.”  Epiphanius then set off for Cyprus, and he died on the ship when there was just half a day to go before arrival.  John Chrysostom, in his turn, died before reaching the place to which he had been confined.  At Constantinople there was then a terrible earthquake, violent thunder and lightning, lightning and rain.  The king said: “All this is because we have banished John Chrysostom”.  Therefore he gave orders to bring back the body to Constantinople and to bury it.  This was in the sixth year of the reign of Arcadius.  John was called Chrysostom, or “golden mouth”, because a woman who was mourning the dead exclaimed in the lamentations: “O John, O golden mouth”.  So he was called “golden mouth”.  After him another John was made patriarch of Constantinople (30).  He held the office for two years and died.  After him Eusebius was made patriarch of Constantinople.  He held the office for a year and died.  After him Iğnādiyūs was made patriarch of Constantinople.  He held the office for three years and died.  After him Atticus was made patriarch of Constantinople (31).  He held the seat for fifteen years and died.  This was in the twelfth year of the reign of Arcadius.  In the eighth year of his reign Anastasius was made patriarch of Rome (32).  He held the office for three years and died.  In the eleventh year of his reign Abrakītiyus was made patriarch of Rome (33).  He held the office for fifteen years and died.  In the eighth year of his reign Prailius was made patriarch of Jerusalem (34).  He held the office for twelve years and died.  In the fifth year of his reign Paulinus was made patriarch of Antioch (35).  He held the office for four years and died.  In the ninth year of his reign Aghrū was made patriarch of Antioch (36).  He held the see for five years and died.


Leave a Reply