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Patriarch Anatolius of Constantinople

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Saint Anatolius
Icon of Patriarch Anatolius of Constantinople
Bishop and Confessor; Patriarch of Constantinople
Born 4th century AD, Alexandria, Egypt
Died July 3, 458, Constantinople, Eastern Roman Empire (now Istanbul, Turkey)
Venerated in Eastern Orthodox Church; Roman Catholic Church
Feast July 3
Attributes Vested as a Bishop with omophorion, holding a Gospel Book

Saint Anatolius was Patriarch of Constantinople (449 - July 3, 458). He became Patriarch through the influence of Pope Dioscorus I of Alexandria with Emperor Theodosius II, after the deposition of Flavian by the Second Council of Ephesus, having previously been the apocrisiarius or representative of Dioscorus with the emperor at Constantinople.[1]

After his consecration, being under suspicion of Eutychianism (Leo, Epp. ad. Theod. 33 ad Pulch. 35), Anatolius publicly condemned the teachings not only of Eutyches, but also those of Nestorius, subscribing to the letters of Cyril against Nestorius and of Pope Leo I against Eutyches (Leo, Epp. 40, 41, 48).

Unlike many of the prelates of that region, Anatolius' faith in Christ remained always pure and his attitude towards the Roman Pontiff most respectful.[2]

In conjunction with Pope Leo, according to Zonaras (Annals iii), he requested that the Emperor Marcian summon a general council against Dioscorus and the Eutychians, but the Imperial letter instructing Anatolius in the preparations for the Council of Chalcedon only mentions Pope Leo (Philippe Labbe, Conc. Max. Tom. iv.). In this council Anatolius presided in conjunction with the Roman legates (Labbe, Conc. Max. iv.; Evagr. H. E. ii. 4, 18; Niceph. H. E. xv. 18). By the famous 28th canon, passed at the conclusion of the council, Constantinople was made equal in dignity with Rome (Labbe, iv. 796; Evagr. ii. 18). Hence arose the controversy between Anatolius and the Roman pontiff. Leo complained to Marcian (Ep. 54) and to Pulcheria (Ep. 55) that Anatolius had outstepped his jurisdiction by consecrating Maximinus II as Patriarch of Antioch, as well as protesting to Anatolius (Ep. 53).

Following the council of Chalcedon Anatolius received a letter signed by several Egyptian bishops, asking his assistance against Timothy, who was usurping the Patriarch of Alexandria (Labbe, Conc. Max. iv. iii. 23, p. 897), as a result Anatolius wrote to the emperor Leo against Timothy (Labbe, iii. 26, p. 905). The circular of the emperor requesting the advice of Anatolius on the turbulent state of Alexandria is given by Evagrius (H. E. ii. 9), and by Nicephorus (H. E. xv. 18). Edward Gibbon states that the crowning of Leo on his accession by Anatolius is the first instance of the kind on record (Theophanes, Chronicle p. 95). The followers of Dioscorus are said to have killed him in 458.

St Anatolius was credited for putting forward a Greek system of hymns.


  1. Joannes Zonaras, Annals, iii
  2. "Lives of the Saints," Omer Englebert, New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1994, p. 256

Further reading

  • "Lives of the Saints," Omer Englebert, New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1994, pp 532, ISBN 1-56619-516-0 (casebound)

External links

Preceded by
Patriarch of Constantinople
Succeeded by
Gennadius I

This article uses text from A Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century A.D., with an Account of the Principal Sects and Heresies by Henry de Constantinoblenn:Anatolios pt:Anatólio de Constantinopla zh:亞納多留斯

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