Paul Of Constantinople

The career of Paul, who was bishop of Constantinople in the first half of the reign of Constantius, has often been discussed.' But the existing reconstructions of his career do not do full justice to the primary evidence, in particular to the account of Paul's career given by Athanasius in his History of the Arians (Hist. Ar. 7.1-6), and most of them base important deductions on the assumption that the Council of Serdica met in 342 rather than 343.2 On the other hand, Athanasius' account of the career of Paul turns out to be far from straightforward when it is confronted with the excellent information that Socrates supplies. For the ecclesiastical historian knew much about events in Constantinople in the middle of the fourth century. His explicit chronology is as usual muddled,3 but he narrates four separate episodes in the career of Paul with a wealth of circumstantial detail which allows each of them to be dated quite precisely from internal criteria.

PAUL'S ELECTION AND FIRST DEPOSITION Alexander had been bishop of Byzantium and then Constantinople for twenty-three years. When he died, there were two candidates for the vacant see: Paul, who was a priest and comparatively young, and Macedonius, an elderly deacon, the candidate of the Arian party. The election was disputed, and the adherents of Paul ordained him bishop without waiting (as was required) for their choice to be ratified by the bishops of adjacent sees. This occurred while Constantius was absent from the city: when the emperor returned, he summoned a council of bishops which deposed Paul and installed Eusebius of Nicomedia as bishop of Constantinople, and then went to Antioch.

Thus Socrates (HE 2.6/7), whose account is rewritten and rhetorically embellished by Sozomenus (HE 3.3/4). Socrates puts the election of Paul after the deaths of both Eusebius of Caesarea in May 339 and the emperor Constantinus, and for the latter he correctly states the consular date of 340 (HE 2.4/5). The date of 340 or later thus implied for Paul's election is impossible, since the details which Socrates supplies show that Paul's first tenure of the see of Constantinople must belong to the summer and autumn of 337/

Three separate arguments converge. First, Alexander was still alive in July 336, when the Council of Constantinople admitted Arius to communion and was about to compel Alexander to admit him to his church when Arius suddenly died (Athanasius, De Morte Arii 2.1/2; Letter to the Bishops of Egypt and Libya 19). On the other hand, Eusebius of Nicomedia was already bishop of Constantinople when Eusebius of Caesarea wrote his work Against Marcellus after the death of Constantine, presumably in late 337 or early 338 (1.4.20, cf. 2.4.29). Second, the movements of Constantius fit 337 perfectly. Constantius was in Antioch in the spring of 337 when Constantine fell mortally ill; he traveled to Constantinople (which he reached shortly after 22 May), spent some time in the Balkans, and then returned to Antioch for the winter of 337/8.5 Third, Athanasius was present when Paul was accused prior to his deposition {Hist. Ar. 7.1). Now Athanasius was in Trier on 17 June 337 (Apol. c. Ar. 87.4-7) and entered Alexandria on 23 November {Index 10), after an audience with Constantius at Viminacium (Apol. ad Co?ist. 5.2). Hence, if Alexander was still alive in 336, then Athanasius can have been in Constantinople to witness an accusation of Paul only in the late summer or early autumn of 337.6

Three facts have often been held to prove that Paul became bishop before 337, or even that he was already bishop in 331/2.7 First, the presence of Athanasius when Paul was accused (Hist. Ar. 7.1); second, Athanasius' statement that Paul was exiled by Constantine (Hist. Ar. 7.3); third, Paul's subscription to the deposition of Athanasius at the Council of Tyre in 335.* But Athanasius passed through Constantinople as he returned from exile in 337, and the correct reading in the relevant passage is 'by Constantius,' not 'by Constantine.' As for Paul's presence at the Council of Tyre, the explicit evidence says nothing whatever about his rank or status in 335: he presumably attended as the delegate of Alexander while still a priest and subscribed to the conciliar document in this capacity.9 After all, Alexander was ninety-eight when he died two years later (Socrates, HE 2.6.2).

Paul, therefore, replaced Alexander in the summer of 337 (say c. July). But attempts to remove him began immediately after the contested election, and a council deposed him from office in the autumn (say c. September). He was exiled to Pontus (Hist. Ar. 7.3), whence he returned when the see fell vacant again through the death of his successor.

PAUL'S RETURN IN 341/2 Eusebius of Nicomedia died late in 341, before he received (or at least before he answered) the letter which Julius had written in the name of the Council of Rome in the summer of that year (Socrates, HE 2.12.1: the letter is that quoted in Athanasius, Apol. c. Ar. 21-35). The Christians of Constantinople thereupon brought Paul into his church, while the Arians elected Macedonius bishop with the help of the leading Arian bishops. Rioting ensued. When Constantius in Antioch heard the news, he instructed the general Hermogenes to expel Paul. Paul's adherents resisted with force, and when Hermogenes persisted in attempting to use soldiers to remove Paul from his church, a mob burned the house where Hermogenes was staying and lynched him. Constantius himself then came post-haste from Syria to Constantinople to expel Paul, fined the city by reducing the amount of free bread distributed daily from 80,000 to 40,000 modii, and returned to Antioch, leaving Macedonius as bishop.

So Socrates, giving a consular date of 342 (HE 2.12/3, amplified by Sozomenus, HE

3.7). The mission of Hermogenes (styled merely comes} and his lynching in the streets of Constantinople are noted in the Historia acephala (1.4). Libanius confirms Constantius' hasty visit to Constantinople during the winter (Oral. 59.96/7), while Jerome puts the death of Hermogenes in the fifth year of Constantius, which corresponds to 341/2 (Chronicle 235f Helm), and the so-called Consularia Constantinopolitana have the entry 'tractus Hermogenes* under the consular year 342 (Chr. min. 1.236).10 Paul, therefore, was expelled from Constantinople in the early months of 342. He betook himself (it seems) dircctly to the western imperial court at Trier (CSEL 65.67.2/3), where Constans was soon persuaded to champion his cause—and that of Athanasius.11

PAUL'S EXPULSION BY PHILIPPUS Although the western bishops at Serdica in 343 refrained from uttering his name, it is clear that Paul was among the exiled bishops whom they reinstated.12 Bur Constantius was very slow to restore the bishops deposed from eastern sees who were in exile in the West, and Paul made a premature attempt to return to his see. Socrates again gives a detailed account (HE 2.16, repeated and rewritten by Sozomenus, HE 3.9), but again he sets an authentic episode in a false context, for not only does he place it before the Council of Serdica rather than after, but he also imagines that Paul had been restored by Julius (Socrates, HE 2.15.3). Again, however, there is no cause to doubt Socrates' accuracy about events in Constantinople, and he furnishes details which establish the correct date.

While Constantius was in Antioch (Socrates writes), he heard with displeasure that Paul had resumed possession of his see. Accordingly, he wrote to Philippus, the praetorian prefect, ordering him to expel Paul and restore Macedonius. Philippus, aware of the practical dangers which he might face when he enforced the emperor's command, kept his instructions secret and summoned Paul to him in the baths of Zeuxippus as if to do him honor. But when Paul presented himself, Philippus produced the emperor's order, locked all the entrances to the baths except one, took Paul quickly to the imperial palace, bundled him aboard a ship, and sent him to Thessalonica.

Since 'the bishop patiently endured the condemnation without trial' and was allowed to travel freely in Illyricum, but was expressly forbidden to set foot in the East (Socrates, HE 2.16.5/6), Paul was clearly deported from the territory ruled by Constantius and sent to Thessalonica because that was the nearest large port in the territory of Constans. The date cannot be earlier than July 344, since Flavius Domitius Leontius was the praetorian prefect of Constantius until at least 6 July 344 (CTh 13.4.3, cf. 1LS 1234). In fact, the episode probably belongs to the autumn of 344—and hence constitutes the earliest attestation of Flavius Philippus as praetorian prefect.13 Paul soon left Thessalonica and went to Italy (Socrates, HE 2.17.30). Not long thereafter, in the spring of 345, he was with Athanasius at the court of Constans when the emperor wrote to Constantius demanding that he restore the two exiled bishops forthwith (HE 2.22.5)."

PAUL'S IMPRISONMENT AND DEATH Athanasius describes the circumstances of Paul's death :n some detail (Hist. Ar. 7.3-6). After his final deposition, Paul was imprisoned at Cucusus in Cappadocia, where he was starved, then suffocated. The instigator of Paul's death, according to Athanasius, was the prefect Philippus, whom divine justice punished with ignominious dismissal from office and death before a year had passed. Since Philippus was still the praetorian prefect of Constantius in 351 and went to Magnentius as an envoy from Constantius shortly before the Battle of Mursa (Zosimus 2.46-48), his death must have occurred in the late summer of 351. Paul, therefore, was put to death in the autumn of 350. Now Socrates (HE 2.26.6, whence Sozomenus, HE 4.2.2) dates Paul's exile as well as his death to 350, making it a consequence of the revolt of Magnentius in that year (HE 2.26.3). Moreover, the Historia aeephala (1.3) implies, and the Passion of the Holy Notaries (BHG3 1028y),s explicitly states, that the main charge on which Paul was deposed was treasonable correspondence with Magnentius. It seems reasonable, therefore, to deduce that Paul was deposed in the summer of 350 and killed almost as soon as he reached Cucusus.'6

This reconstruction, however, has an insecure foundation. There is no reason to doubt that Magnentius, who wrote to Athanasius in 350 (Apol. ad Const. 6-12), also wrote to Paul, and that Constantius' officials thereupon ordered Paul's death in exile. But would our sources have been capable of distinguishing between Paul's death in 350 and a slightly earlier deposition and exile? To do so would require a degree of precision which was probably beyond their abilities. What Athanasius says about Paul's exiles should be construed to imply that he was deposed and exiled before 350 (Hist. Ar. 7.3). Since the passage is not only contorted but in need of emendation, it requires presentation with an apparatus criticus and the readings argued below to be correct:

KQl TO Jl€f TTpUJTOV €1$ TOW HOVTOV ¿¿jwpioOTj TTapd

2 kwvotaitiou, to 8c fcurcpoi' napa kwvotautiov 6efci?

aXuaeoi oiSrpais eis Eiyyapa ttjs MeooTioTauias €^u)pio0n, 4 €ita €K€i0ei/ €i5 tt\v vEpioav h€tt|i>exGr|. *ai to tctoptoi/

Kowcouaov tf|$ KaTiraSoxia? uepi to epnua toO Taupou, 6 ei^Ga xai, ws oi ctuv6vt€s aniVyYCiXav, ¿TToim-yei? TTap'auTiuv

1 napa REF im& BKPO

2 KiuvoTaimou Migne, per mervim errorem ut videtur

KajvoTavTivou mss. et ccteri editores

KwvaTai'Ttov conicci KiovoTai'Tiou mss. ct editores omnes

The first clause and its readings should be considered separately from the rest of the sentence. The evidence that Paul's first tenure of the see of Constantinople belongs after the death of Constantine is strong, and it is impossible to suppose Athanasius mistaken about the identity of the emperor who exiled him: therefore, the transmitted reference to Constantine must be emended into a reference to Constantius.17 The choice between Otto (which Opitz prints) and napa is easy: Trapa with the genitive of the agent represents Athanasius' normal usage,'8 while the former is a corruption which substitutes the more common and stylistically more acceptable preposition.

The second and third clauses are extremely slippery. Paul was indeed exiled from Constantinople four times. Yet Athanasius cannot refer to either the second or the third expulsion, since both in 342, af:er the lynching of Hermogenes, and again in 344, after his deportation by Philippus, Paul went west to the territory of Constans—a fact which Athanasius has carefully suppressed. It follows that the last three places which Athanasius names must all be places to which Paul was sent after his fourth expulsion from Constantinople. But why was he sent to Singara in Mesopotamia, then from there to Emesa before his final banishment to Cucusus? It might seem plausible in itself to claim that he was taken to Singara 4as a convict sent to do forced labor in fortifications on the Persian front/19 But, if that were so, why was Paul transferred from Singara to Emesa? The obvious and natural explanation is that after his condemnation by a council of bishops, Paul was sent to the emperor, who happened to be at Singara,20 and kept with the court as it traveled to Emesa, where the emperor then decided that he should be exiled to Cucusus. Hence the emendation proposed here from 'by Constantius,' which in this context would constitute a lame and pointless repetition, to 'to Constantius/ Athanasius' use of the genitive and then the accusative of the same proper name with the same preposition makes an effective and subtle rhetorical contrast: when he uses Ttaod followed by an accusative designating a person with a verb of motion, he is normally referring to journeys to rhe imperial court (Apol. c. Ar. 4.5, 21.1, 32.1; Hist. Ar. 81.5; Syrt. 13.7).2' The process of textual corruption presumably began with a careless change of case from Trapa Kui>aTdvTioi> to Tiapa Kuivoraimou: the first occurrence of Constantius' name was then deliberately altered to restore some rhetorical contrast to a passage which had lost its point through the preceding change of case.

Athanasius may also let slip an allusion to the council which deposed Paul between 346 and 350 in the two sentences which precede his description of Paul's exiles {Hist. Ar. 7.1/2):

Kai yap o KaTriYOprjaas atrroO MaK€6ovios o via' ¿tuctkottos ¿i>t' airrou yevonewos TrapoiTuw tuiwv koto tt^v Kanyyopiai' KSKOii/ukuKev airrto kcu Trpeaf3uT£pos rji> utt' ai/rov tow ITaOAoi'. Kai onw?, eiTeifiri Ei>a€0ios €TToxf>9aAiiia OeAajv apTTdaai thi> ¿ttictkotttiv Tfj? ttoAcios (outw yap Kai euro Brjptrou ets tt\v NiKOiin8ciai> n€Ti\\8ei>)t f| TTpaJjaais koto TlaOAou, Kai ouk ruieArpai/ tt\s cmpouAfis, aAA' ejiavai/ 8ia(3dAAopT€9.

When did Macedonius accuse Paul? All scholars who have so far discussed the passage in print assume that Athanasius refers to the occasion when Paul was deposed and replaced by Eusebius of Nicomedia. But Athanasius appears rather to say: 'Macedonius, the one who accused him and who is now the present bishop in his place, when we were present, communicated with him on the occasion of the accusation and was a priest under Paul/ That is to say, Macedonius accepted ordination as a priest from Paul (he was only a deacon when Alexander died) and supported him in 337 when Athanasius was in Constantinople. If this is what Athanasius is really saying, then he refers to two accusations, not one, and since the first belongs to 337, when Paul was condemned despite Macedonius' support, the second must be the occasion when Paul was condemned, then exiled for the last time, on a charge brought by Macedonius.

Can the date of Paul's final deposition be discovered? The year may in fact be indirectly attested. The Historia acephala contains an inserted passage relating to the exile of Paul (1.2-6), which makes the following statements:

(1)in the consular year 349 Theodorus, Narcissus, and George came to Constantinople to urge Paul to enter into communion with them;

(2) when he repulsed them, they plotted against him in association with Eusebius of Nicomedia;

(3) by means of a charge relating to his alleged dealings with Constans and Magnentius, they expelled him from Constantinople in order to install an Arian successor;

(4) the populace continued to support Paul and killed the comes Hermogenes when he tried to eject Paul's successor;

(5) as a result his enemies were able to exile Paul to Armenia;

(6)Theodorus and his allies wished to make Eudoxius, the bishop of Germanicia, the new bishop of Constantinople.

The passage as a whole is horribly confused and records in apparent chronological order events whose stated or implied dates are, respectively, (1) 349, (2) 337, (3) 350, (4) 342, (5) 349 or 350, and (6) 359/60. But each item which can be checked has some verifiable basis in fact: hence it is legitimate to infer from (1), albeit tentatively, that Theodorus of Heraclea, Narcissus of Neronias, and George, who was still a priest, took the lead in having Paul tried, condemned, and deposed by a council of bishops hostile to him in 349.

Paul was arrested by Philippus. Two passages of Socrates provide the proof. In the first, Socrates states that 'those who took him away strangled him at Cucusus' (HE 2.26.6), while the second notes that Theodosius brought his body back to Constantinople from Ancyra and adds that 'Philippus the prefect of the emperors had sent [Paul] into exile because of Macedonius and caused [him] to be strangled at Cucusus in Armenia' (HE 5.9.1).

CHRONOLOGICAL SUMMARY OF THE CAREER OF PAUL If the conclusions argued above are correct, then the career of Paul must be reconstructed as follows:

337 elected bishop of Constantinople c. July, deposed c. September, and exiled to Pontus;

342 attempts to regain his see, is expelled from Constantinople c. February, and goes to Trier;

343 reinstated by the western bishops at the Council of Serdica;

344 attempts to regain his see in the autumn and is deported to Thessalonica;

345 at the court of Constans with Athanasius (spring);

346 allowed to resume possession of his see;

349 deposed again (spring) and taken to the court of Constantius, then sent to Cucusus (late summer or autumn);

350 killed in prison (autumn).

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