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The development of the biblical canon took centuries, and was nearly complete with exceptions known as the Antilegomena, written texts whose authenticity or value is disputed by the time the Muratorian fragment was written. In Constantine commissioned fifty Bibles for the Church of Constantinople, but little else is known in fact, it is not even certain whether his request was for fifty copies of the entire Old and New Testaments, only the New Testament, or merely the Gospels , but some scholars believe that this request provided motivation for canon lists.

In Jerome's Prologue to Judith he claims that the Book of Judith was "found by the Nicene Council to have been counted among the number of the Sacred Scriptures", which some have suggested means the Nicene Council did discuss what documents would number among the sacred scriptures, but more likely simply means the Council used Judith in its deliberations on other matters and so it should be considered canonical. The main source of the idea that the Bible was created at the Council of Nicea seems to be Voltaire, who popularised a story that the canon was determined by placing all the competing books on an altar during the Council and then keeping the ones that didn't fall off.

The original source of this "fictitious anecdote" is the Synodicon Vetus, a pseudo-historical account of early Church councils from AD The canonical and apocryphal books it distinguished in the following manner: in the house of God the books were placed down by the holy altar; then the council asked the Lord in prayer that the inspired works be found on top and--as in fact happened--the spurious on the bottom.

Synodicon Vetus, The council of Nicaea dealt primarily with the issue of the deity of Christ. In Nicaea, questions regarding the Holy Spirit were left largely unaddressed until after the relationship between the Father and the Son was settled around the year So the doctrine in a more full-fledged form was not formulated until the Council of Constantinople in AD, and a final form formulated in AD, primarily crafted by Gregory of Nyssa.

While Constantine had sought a unified church after the council, he did not force the Homoousian view of Christ's nature on the council. Constantine did not commission any Bibles at the council itself. He did commission fifty Bibles in for use in the churches of Constantinople, itself still a new city. No historical evidence points to involvement on his part in selecting or omitting books for inclusion in commissioned Bibles. Despite Constantine's sympathetic interest in the Church, he was not baptized until some 11 or 12 years after the council, putting off baptism as long as he did so as to be absolved from as much sin as possible in accordance with the belief that in baptism all sin is forgiven fully and completely.

This website saves cookies to your browser in order to improve your online experience and show you personalized content. Read our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy to get more information and learn how to set up your preferences. Biblical canon Main article: Development of the Christian biblical canon There is no record of any discussion of the biblical canon at the council. Nicholas the Eleiaboulkos : Vogel-Gardthausen p.

Lemerle, Le premier humanisme byzantin, Paris , p. This point is discussed below, p. Krumbacher, Geschichte der byzantinischen Litteratur2, Munich , p. This revised edition is the one found in all the manuscripts except P , and was already in use in the xth century, because Symeon Magister copied out large portions of it. One important difference between the two editions was the treatment given to the Councils : in only the first Council is described in full, and a very brief mention is made of the next five, no mention being made of the Seventh.

In the revised edition De Boor found that the synopsis de synodis had been used to supplement the account of the first six Councils, and an unidentified text had been added about the Seventh This text is to be found in three of the anonymous synopses which are preserved among the Paris manuscripts, and in a fourth example of this genre included as a chapter of an inedited Thesaurus a sort of catechism, Table 3 Manuscript Evidence for the Second Text Chronological Survey George the Monk Date ixth century xth century xith century xnth century xmth century xivth century xvth century xvith century 1st draft 2nd draft A D V C F G R Thesaurus Synopses.

Notabene : 1. R : The xvith-century manuscripts in question are the following : Monac. C ; Paris, gr. H M : The two xnth-century manuscripts of Symeon Magister : cf. De Boor's articles in BZ 6, , p. The exact borrowings would require a detailed study.


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Before commenting on the results obtained by collating these various sources a more detailed presentation of the manuscripts available will be helpful, along with the text and the variant readings. George the Monk Full descriptions of the manuscripts used by C. De Boor for his edition are supplied in his Introduction1 ; in Table 3, showing the manuscript evidence for the Second Text, the chronological sequence of the principal manuscripts is indicated, and the relation of which omits the Seventh Council and of Symeon Magister who copied from the second, revised, edition.

Sabae This beautifully written anthology of theological and hagiographical extracts is dated by A. Papadopoulos-Kerameus4 to the xivth century ; the Thesaurus is complete, but in a revised version which seems to be a second edition of the text given in T. No catalogue descrip tion available yet for this manuscript, and only a short preliminary account is can be given here 5. It dates from the late xmth or early xivth century, and cont ains, apart from the greater part of the Thesaurus in its earliest known form , a pious selection of biblical commentaries, florilegia and various capita ascetica drawn from Nilus, Ps.

The pages are roughly prepared and the script does not suggest a professional scribe. This work was discovered by M. Richard in the course of a mission d'tudes to Mount Athos : cf. Bulletin d'information de l'Institut de Recherche et d'Histoire des Textes 9, , p. An edition is being prepared. The references accompany the list of sigla, p. BHG ; H. Beck, Kirche und theologische Literatur im byzantinischen Reich, Munich , p. Mme Zizicas Lappas of the Institut de Recherche et d'Histoire des Textes, Paris , who is preparing the catalogue, has kindly supplied me with information.

This palimpsest manuscript the pages have been cut down in size and large black letters superimposed in the xmth century6 over the half-erased thin lines in reddish ink contains a collection of mainly specialized canonical documents monastic practices and institutions. The official synopsis de synodis for the first six Councils is written out including its normal conclusion7, and then the Second Text for the Seventh Council has been added even though the introductory incipit to the synopsis had referred to only six Councils.

The present volume consists, as J. Darrouzs8 pointed out, of two manuscripts that happen to have been bound together. The scribe of the second, Manuel Kometes9, signs himself as a professional scribe The synopsis comes in a list of philosophical and theological works some, but not all, by Maximus the Confess or it lacks the incipit to the official synopsis, even though certain portions ; e. An unusual feature is the addition at the end of the synopsis of a list of dates for each Council : those given for the Seventh Council are conventional enough, and coincide with the additional chronological note added in the margin opposite the text concerning this Council.

According to this there were years between the Sixth and the Seventh Councils, and the latter took place in the World year Nearly half of this xvth-century manuscript11 is filled with a lexicon ; the rest also suggests that it was put together by someone in the teaching profession, involved in philosophy, theology and canon law.

The synopsis again lacks the incipit of the official version, and the reminiscences of the latter are offset by many differences. The critical apparatus for the Second Text allows no clear pattern of dependence to emerge, as most of the variant readings are only of minor importance.

However one exception is the addition by all the manuscripts of the Chronicle of the name George to those of the two delegates for the Eastern Patriarchs. The Thesaurus version omits the name which is not 6. For a full description, cf. Gautier, REB 31, , p. Darrouzs, Notes d'Asie Mineure, 26, , p. Vogel-Gardthausen, p. The date regularly given : cf. The presence of the name in X and Y is probably due to the influence of George the Monk. However the question arises if one need posit the existence of a second anonymous text.

Everything would be explained if this account of the Seventh Council was written up for the revised version of the Chronicle, and passed from there into the various synopses and into the Thesaurus. The latter omits one of the two Peters who represented the Roman See at the Council ; the omission of George would not be too surprising. The main argument against this explanation is that the Chroni cle consistently draws on second-hand material, and one would not expect a change of method here. Moreover one explanation for the mention of George would be quite consistent with other errors in the Chronicle : it frequently misreads its sources.

In this case an abbreviation perhaps that for John caused George the Monk to write two possible interpretations ; as De Boor remarks, alios locos Georgius quanta erat artis palaeographkae imperitia perverse retractavit The presence of the Second Text in the Thesaurus, while not providing decisive evidence for its independent origin, does favour such a hypothesis.

The synopsis on the Councils provided by the Thesaurus is certainly not compiled from George the Monk, even though on certain points part of the account of the Third Council, and the inclusion of the Quinisext 82nd Canon as part of the Sixth Council's work they resemble one another : for the Fifth and the Sixth Councils the Thesaurus has drawn directly or indirectly on the treatise de haeresibus et synodis attributed to Anastasius of Sinai14, and as this treatise does not cover the Seventh Council, it is possible that it had recourse to the Chronicle.

But it is then surprising that the compiler had not used George the Monk for the early Councils. It seems more likely that for all seven Councils he had at his disposal a synopsis which differed from the official account, and which enjoyed a high esteem for its precise historical detail, the latter being more developed here than in the official account.

Alternative Texts The comparison of the two main texts will benefit from a more complete marshalling of the parallel texts : these are not very numerous, and can be De Boor, op.

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Three are to be found in isolated manus cripts, another two appear to be abbreviated versions of the texts already studied, and a sixth will be seen to be a simple conflation. The reprinting of the account in the Synodicon Vetus will complete the dossier. This is a xnth-century specialized penitential canonical collec tion. The synopsis de synodis is included among the final items, and R. Devreesse16 noted the similarity with the synopsis de synodis in Coislin.

The incipit and the final paragraph both adapted to seven, instead of six, Councils are those found with the official synopsis de synodis, and the text for the first six Councils coincides with the text that can be reconstructed from the editions of Le Moyne and Hoeschel. The first paragraphs of the account of the Seventh Council are also identical, but the continuation is most unusual : the mention of the three condemned Patriarchs of Constantinople is very rare in a synopsis17, and comes only in second place in the official anathemata of the Council Acta Another canonical collection, though more commonplace than the preceding, this manuscript has the distinction of being even older than A First Text and is dated to The synopsis serves as an introduction to the collection of canons : in the title only Six Councils are mentioned, and the account of these repeats the official version, closing with the summary version The same text, with only minor differences, is written as a xmth-century?

Information kindly supplied by J. Devreesse, Le fonds Coislin, p. Another example of an anonymous synopsis with mention of the three Patriarchs is to be found in the xvith-century Matrit. Mansi 13, 40 K Gouhxard, Synodikon, p. Infra, note Peeters, Une Vie grecque du pape S. Martin I, An. The date proposed by A. Michel and accepted by J.

Darrouzs, REB 7, , p. The Seventh Council account has then been added, followed by the normal conclusion to the whole synopsis A comparison of the text with the First Text, especially that represented by the legal collections of the Gamma family , , and Q , shows a close resemblance ; this text is probably a free paraphrase of the other. This late manuscript it was finished in by the scribe George Korfiates26 contains a synopsis de synodis with an account of the Seventh Council which seems at first sight to be original, but turns out to be almost worthl ess.

The compiler has put together brief accounts of the Council of and the Synod of which he names as if it were an ecumenical council, probably following Nilus of Rhodes , and added an extract from John Damascene27, with a chronological note. The latter is miscopied, and at some stage in the tradi tion probably with George Korfiates numerous misspellings and errors have crept into the text. Most of this xvth-century manuscript is filled with the Panoplia dogmatica put together in the early xnth century by the theological adviser to Alexius Comnenus, Euthymius Zigabenus : the last section of this work, c.

Whereas in the latter it is Photius' account of the Councils which has been added, here an anonymous synopsis gives a rsum version of the official synopsis de synodis. For the Seventh Council there is a short paragraph, which seems to be a shortened version of the First Text, although the change of number for the total of Fathers present raises difficulties. At the end of the manuscript a number of Fragmenta adversus Latinos have been added, probably by a later hand. An unusual collection of florilegia and of chronological and ascetical fragments, in no apparent order, fills this well-written xivth-century manuscript probably another teacher's book.

The synopsis de synodis lacks the incipit for the official account and treats each Council in a series of set formulas Clearly a summary, there are more points of resemblance with George the Monk e. The short paragraph on the Seventh Supra, p. George seems to have been a Cypriote working in Cyprus cf. Although the Decree of the Seventh Council quoted in part, p. It seems more likely that the author of this text chose to quote the passage, just as elsewhere in his synopsis he refers explicitly to him for example in his account of the First Council, f.

Beck, op. Council has the same number of Council fathers, and the same names of those anathematized, as in the Second Text, and may well be a shortened version of it. The date A. The final quire a gathering, numbered 34, of 10 folios, f.

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The synopsis de synodis presents the official version, but for the Seventh Council an interesting attempt has been made, despite a certain repetitiveness. Synodicon Vetus First published by J. Pappe at Strasburg in 32, this account has been frequently reprinted Lambeck noted that the Vindob. Lampros, NE 4, , p. Richard, Invent aire des manuscrits grecs du British Museum, Paris , p. The title Decree of the Seventh Synod, found in the manuscript, is incorrect and has misled the author s of the Catalogue.

He used a manuscript written by Andrew Darmarios. Was it the Oxon. This manuscript consists of a number of works written out separately by Darmarios the Greek scribe who worked for many years at the Escorial in the course of the year , while he was at Venice cf. The Synodicon, the second work, occupies 7 quires 6 of 12 folios, and the seventh of 4 folios , carefully numbered by Darmarios now numbered in addition as folios V. On the blank page of the back of the preceding quire f. Darmarios' interest in this Synodicon led him to make at least three other copies : Taurin, gr. Miller argues that this was the manuscript used by J.

For example, Mansi 13, ; it is used here as a supplement to the synopsis de synodis, which had been quoted for the first six Councils, but P. Labbe suspected that Justel had used a deficient manuscript and that another supplement existed cf. Mansi 13,bis, Observatio. Lambecius and F. Kollarius, Commentariorum de August. Caesarea Vindobonensi libri, VI, i, p. As it stands, the brief account of the Seventh Council has changed the order of precedence, giving first place to the Patriarch of Constantinople, but the legates are correctly named as in the Second Text.

Relations between the texts Once the manuscripts have been sifted, it becomes possible to examine in detail a number of points of difference between the accounts, which serve to signpost a definite process of evolution. Numbers present at the Council. With one insignificant exception, P, all the manuscripts of the First Text are agreed that fathers were pres ent. For the Second Text the number given by the manuscripts, with the exception of the later manuscripts of George the Monk, is Of the Alternative Texts, is given by Texts 2, 3, 4 and The evidence of the Acta at this point is confusing because they give more than one list of those present37, and within the lists doublets seem to occur38 : would be a generous estimate.

The evidence of an eyewitness, Nicephorus, the future Patriarch, has been obscured by the deficient edition of his Epistola ad Leonem III Papam : the manuscript used by J. Mansi39 was the Coislin. Schwartz described as follows : Nitidissime scriptus est a librario non docto, qui terminationum notas saepe non recte interpretatus est The opening lines concerning the Seventh Council are given in Coislin.

But in Coislin. Here no attempt to revise the published text will be made ; there seems to be no manuscript of the Synodicon Vetus in the Bibliothque Nationale. There may be a refer ence to the work in the manuscript copied by George Korfiates, Paris, gr. The Synodicon Vetus gives no number ; Alternative Text 1 gives , which must be a scribal error from the Fifth Council?

Janin, REB 26, , p.

Conclusion

The Acta give two lists of those present for the First Session, Mansi 12, , and for the Seventh, Mansi 13, , two lists of signatures for the Fourth Session, Mansi 13, , and for the Seventh, Mansi 13, , and one list of those giving verbal approbation at the Second Session Mansi 12, No study exists of the exact number of participants at the Seventh Council.

Mansi 14, Clearly the number in the letter should be , which is that repeated by Nicephorus in his Chronography Thus the earliest sources are all agreed on the approximate number of Council fathers, and at the same time a clear indication has appeared that the Second Text represents an older tradition than that to be found in the First.

The number represents a later attempt, influenced perhaps by an anxiety concerning the correct number of saints to be liturgically commemorated It remains to be seen whether such an account should be linked to the ixth century. The names of the legates. The most easily identifiable sign that a Council account is erudite as opposed to popular is the mention of delegates if the occupant of a see was not present in person The critical apparatus for paragraph 2 of the Second Text helps to illustrate the hazards facing the transmission of such historical niceties, and it is not surprising that all the Alternative Texts with the exception of the last agree with the First Text in omitting the mention of delegates.

Once again an indication is given that the Second Text preceded the First : the latter has simplified, for the benefit of popular instruction, an earlier text which was more erudite. The condemnations. The names of the three arch-heretics are preserved only in the Second Text in its long and short versions. It has been noted that Alternative Text 1 is unusual in its substitution of the names of the three Patriarchs, and that this may indicate the influence of the great Synodicon of A.

From then onwards the names of Theodosius, Sisinius and Basileius faded into the background The vocabulary. As one might have expected, all the synopses show traces of the wording of the final Decree of the Council, of which the key The liturgical celebration of the Councils seems to have begun in the latter half of the vth century : cf. Salaville, La fte du concile de Nice et les ftes des conciles, EO 24, , p.

CP, p. The number varies in two xivth-century sources : according to Nilus of Rhodes cf. One exception may seem to be the so-called Decree of the Synod of , where the three reappear : Gouillard, Synodikon, p. The Decree's repeated reference to the cross printed in italics is echoed in both the main Texts. However in the First Text two unusual terms are used, which are lacking in the Second : in paragraph 4 and in para graph 5. The First was widely recognized later as a neologism of the Seventh Council at least as applied to the iconoclasts48 ; it had been used for the final anathemata and passed into a public liturgical version49 in celebration of the Seventh Council.

The second term occurs in the Acta50, but J. Gouillard has noted that the Council fathers avoided this obscure word in the final Decree In contrast, sixty-six years later the Synodicon of Orthodoxy uses the expression In general all these texts have a studied simplicity of language ; the fact remains that the First Text has used two expressions which later counted as typical of the Council, but which in the immediate aftermath of the solemn promulgation of the Council Decree could have been passed over.

The historical rsum. Quite apart from the precision of names to be found in the Second Text, the account it offers of the motives for the Seventh Council paragraph 3 is much superior to that of the First Text paragraph 4 , and serves as a summary of the dynamics of the Eight Sess ions : so preoccupied were the Council fathers by the imposing Synod of when a number of bishops almost equal to their own had argued The entry in G. Migne as part of the letter of Patriarch Germanus is an extract from the Acta of the Seventh Council, and De haeresibus, ch.

Mansi 13, ; V. Moin, Serbskaja redakcija sinodica nedeliju pravoslavija. Analiz tekstov, VV 17, , p. Mansi 13, s, Gouillard, Synodikon, p. The terms of the First Text are much vaguer, although at first sight the account seems to follow more faithfully the order of the Decree and the subsequent anathemata. The final paragraph may refer only to the condemnation, at the end of the 6th Session54, of the Synod of Hieria's rejection of Germanus, George of Cyprus and John Damascene a condemn ationtaken up very briefly in the exclamations after the Decree and the anathemata55 , but the phrasing is cumbersome for such a simple affirma tionthe Church of God substituted for the holy Synod, the two quasi: neologisms56, the reference to orthodoxy.

Such terms are wide enough to include the troubled years to Theological presuppositions. Whereas four of the Alternative Texts , and the Synodicon Vetus, place the Patriarch of Constantinople before the Pope of Rome in the presidency of the Council as was effectively the case , the two main Texts and the shortened version of the Second scrupulously preserve the honorary order of precedence among the five Patriarchs that had been established in the ivth century57, and that was observed in the official lists of the Acta.

The recognition of the primacy of Rome at least in this honorary sense is as obvious as that of the need for a quintuple Patriarchate58 for an ecumenical Council. Neither of the main Texts calls in question the flimsy claim of John and Thomas to speak in the names of three Patriarchs who were probably not aware that the Council was being held.

This legal fiction becomes even more blatant as the First Text is brushed up for the canonical collections59 : the distant Anastos, The argument for iconoclasm as presented by the iconoclastic council of , Late Classical and Medieval Studies in honor of A. Friend, Jr. Mansi 13, Ibidem, c.

Paraphrasis arabica : Mansi 3, Chrysos ' , 2, ,. Critical Apparatus for the First Text, paragraph 2. Patriarchs are said to preside over the Council. In other respects for example the Emperor's rle60, the importance of the number of Council fathers, the promulgation of doctrine by means of a decree and anathemata, and the intermediate position of a Council in the dialectical process of tradition both receiving and renewing , both Texts simply accept esta blished principles and avoid all that might smack of controversy.

Neverthel ess can see that the First Text lends itself more easily to inclusion one subsequently in an anti-Latin collection the case of J : it lays more stress on the Patriarchates, and less on strict legal nicety. All the points enumerated indicate that the Second Text was drawn up at an earlier date than the First.

Less evidence is available for the Alter native Texts : number 2 may stem from the same period as the First Text, or even precede it slightly, but the others are all later. The Synodicon Vetus is remarkably accurate and concise : one notes the absence at this stage of specifically anti-Photian tenets as would have been a subordinate position for the Patriarch of Constantinople61 , but the account of the Seventh Council seems to provide no clue as to its date of composition.

The historical context and probable date As the Synodicon Vetus points out, the Empress Irene succeeded in holding the Seventh Council only by exiling the iconoclasts : the immediate effect of the Council was to drive underground for a relatively short period a movement that had flourished with imperial approbation for half a century The troubled years that followed, with the blinding of Constantine, the exile of Irene and the fatal defeat of Emperor Nicephorus I were not propitious for a firm establishment of the doctrine of Nicaea II Even more serious however was the debasement of the whole conciliar concept.

Since the early vith century the Byzantine Church had canonized the ecumenical Councils by liturgical celebration64 ; shortly after Justinian's convocation of the Fifth Council in A. Explicit criticism of Photius appears in ch. Fabricius-Harless, XII, p. In Leo III began to give active support to the iconoclasts ; cf. For a concrete example of the Syrian monks' slowness in reco gnizing the Seventh Council, cf. Accommodated to the existence of a Sixth66, and later of a Seventh Counc il67, this definition would reappear in Cedrenus From a legal point of view the Quinisext Synod completed the institutionalization for the Byzantine Church of the conciliar theory69, already in the vnth century.

The Synod of Hieria fully accepted this position, proclaimed its fidelity to the Six Councils, and claimed to fulfil all the requirements to rank as the Seventh70 : the imperial edict, the or more bishops from all over the Roman Empire of Constantine V and the dogmatic Decree were all there. The zeal of the iconodules after in burning the documents of their opponents may be the only reason for our not possessing today a copy of the official synopsis de synodis with a supplement to cover the Council of Hieria. To counteract such a situation it was arranged that a final solemn session to the Council of Nicaea should be celebrated in the capital itself.

The probability is that little time was lost in drawing up a short teaching account of the true Seventh Council. The most likely person to have had a hand in this was the learned Nicephorus, who understood both the crisis that had shaken the Church and the need for accurate instruction to restore lost confidence. He may well have written it himself, perhaps at the request of the Patriarch Tarasius, whose own fulsome style was ill-adapted to a.

The passage recurs in a shortened form as one would have expected in Paris, gr. The source used by Cedrenus-Skylitzes Bonn, I, p. Canon I Mansi 11, imposed acceptance of the first six Councils. The Second Text fits well into such a context. It gives no hint of an attempt to re-think the conciliar concept as such ; it counter claimsthe inheritance of this concept. The Bulgarian threat restored to power the banished iconoclast party, and Nicephorus by now Patriarch was quickly deposed and the counter claims Nicaeall were swept away by the Synod of When Theophilus of died in , the problem facing the iconodules was even more acute than in : ecumenical councils were a thing of the past, with an imposing legendary status, augmented by a certain aura of unreality.

The intelligent Methodius met the crisis by inventing a completely new formula71, the solemn reading once a year in the Church of God of the masterly short Synodicon of Orthodoxy. It was this document, and not a traditional De cree72, that formed the conclusion of the Synod of A remarkable feature of the Synodicon is that no mention is made of seven Councils73, despite its utilization of the approbatory exclamations formulated for the Seventh Council74, and despite passing references to the fathers,15 the technical term for participants at the Councils.

For the moment it was probably thought prudent to leave all reference to the ecumenical Councils in abeyance. Four years later Methodius was dead, and Ignatius, the candidate favour ed the Studite group, became Patriarch. At the same time the middle by of the ixth century saw a renaissance of the cultural world of Byzantium : students and professors increased during a period of relative prosperity.

When Photius replaces Ignatius, the conciliar concept is sufficiently re established to merit a careful expos by Photius himself in his letter to the newly converted Bulgarian ruler, and to serve in the arsenal for the antiLatin quarrel. It seems likely that the First Text was drawn up in the light of Photius' letter dated to c. En conclusion, la fte de l'Orthodoxie Note 46 p.

Only in the xith century was an addition made referring to the Seven Councils ; cf. For the date to be given to this letter, cf. Grumel, Regestes, n Unfortunately this rehabilitation of the Councils was not accompanied by a new theoretical search for the criteria that would serve to distinguish the true ecumenical Councils from the false.

The repetition of formulas was encouraged by the upsurge of canonical activity, notably the new edition of the Nomocanon ; little scope was left for the new formulations required by changed circumstances. It is remarkable that the Alternative Texts can offer so little that is new. Their dpendance on the First and Second Texts, even in the case of the early Alternative Text 2, lends support to the view that these at least the First Text had some sort of official approbation, probably as early as the middle of the ixth century, that ensured its acceptance.

Conclusion The synoptic accounts of the Councils offer little attraction at first sight. They appear both too literal and too concise. But their value is similar to that of Byzantine seals : during centuries they were accepted as part and parcel of ordinary Church life, enclosing in their concentrated lines an essential element of regular teaching and thought.

The texts that have been examined here provide evidence of a deliberate and widespread policy.

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The unanimity that has emerged even from the study of these fringe texts encourages one to think that a similar study of the main corpus of the synoptic accounts would be both feasible and profitable. Already the main lines of certain families of accounts and manuscripts have begun to emerge : the two main texts are the result of differing tendencies, within a single policy of instruction.


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The anonymity of these accounts is compensated for by their quasiofficial character, at least in the case of the texts that are being constantly rewritten. By implication these texts reveal a series of presuppositions, theological and canonical, that form the basis of Byzantine conciliar theory. The peculiar interest of the accounts of the Seventh Council lies in the special position of this Council for the Church of Constantinople : it was to be the last of its kind. The synoptic accounts are symptomatic of the process that was at work. They fit almost too easily into a ready-made pattern ; their model was prefabricated, requiring only a change of name, date and minor details.

It is not surprising, now that one can benefit from hindsight, that the First Text should have replaced so completely the Second. The various synoptic Greek Texts dealing with the Seventh Council, and referred to in the article, are grouped together here for convenience of refe rence. The sigla will be found at the beginning of the article.

In all the Texts paragraph divisions and punctuation have been added, and the orthography has been standardized notably, omicron replacing omega and vice versa, iotacism corrected, and iota subscripts written in ; however all major changes are noted. LO 11 om. ITSY om. IST 3 -4 om. IST post 4 om. De Boor 14 om. Alternative Text 4 Paris, gr.

Alternative Text 6 Londin. Appendix Paris, gr. At some points in this transmission a few errors crept in, which are corrected below. While still forming part of the Bibliotheca Regia at Fontainebleau, the manus cript was given two numbers : one, , was quoted by S. Le Moyne, and the other, , by H. Omont Inventaire sommaire, II, p. It had formerly belong ed to Anthony the Eparch, who donated it to the King of France f. Apart from two parchment folios at the back and front, the manuscript consists of small-format paper folios, some of which may have been written by different hands but most are filled by the same very small correct script.

The contents are most varied : hymns, medical works, sententiae, grammatical and theological extracts. The synopsis de synodis is numbered both in the index and in the margin as chapter 6, occupies f. The compiler was probably active in the teaching profession, and if he coincides with the scribe he is to be dated to the xivth century. Athos Iviron : p. Lavra 93 : p. Benaki Museum Athens , Fonds changeables 72 : p. Sabae : p. Taurin, gr. Read Free For 30 Days. Joseph A. Description: Joseph A. Flag for inappropriate content. Synoptic Greek Accounts of the For Later. Related titles.

Carousel Previous Carousel Next. Rambaut, Roberts. The writings of Irenaeus. Volume 2. Historical and linguistic studies in literature related to the New Testament. Volume 1. Anne MacDonald - Recovering the Prasannapada - Vol 2. Vol 1. The letters of St. Jump to Page. Search inside document. The xviith-century 1. However a critical edition would require more than a collation of the 3. The single manuscripts used for each of the Alternative Texts are named in the dossier. Apart from the anonymous synopses there exist a well-known series of short treatises on the Councils, some by famous authors, that have enjoyed a great reputation in the East : the Epitome de haeresibus et conciliis, attr ibuted to Anastasius of Sinai18, the Tractatus of Germanus 19, the Epistola adLeonem III Papam by Nicephorus20, the Epistola ad Michaelem Bulgariae by Photius21, the verse account of Psellus22, the Synopsis by Aristenus23, the Introduction to the Syntagma by Matthew Blastares24, the Synopsis by Constantine Harmenopoulos25, and the Enarratio by Nilus of Rhodes26, Systems used to supplement the synopsis de synodis When the various manuscripts that contain versions of synopses concern ing Councils are viewed together, a fairly clear picture emerges of the the evolution of the official version.

Nota bene : Sigla : cf. MUNITIZ throughout in gold ink and contains a varied anthology of theological and ant iquarian texts extracts from the Patria precede the treatise de synodis and it is followed by a brief lexical note on the transliterated latin words custodia, centurio, legio and scrinarius.