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order and discipline.57 A synod under royal auspices and in imitation of the ecumenical councils assembledby the Roman emperors became possible when King Reccared embraced the Catholic faith. In 589 both Catholic and Arian bishops, forced by civil officers, were summoned to Toledo and required to celebrate the conversion of the Visigothic nation to Nicene orthodoxy.58 The legislation of the council was confirmed by royal decree.

Byzantium and the papacy

The papacy acknowledged only the emperor in Constantinople as monarch, and put itself at the head of Eastern affairs at a time when the Western empire was overwhelmed by German invaders. In 482, the emperor Zeno undertook to reconcile the Miaphysites by promulgating his infamous Henotikon, or 'formula of union' (Evagrius, Church history 3.16). This edict was received with jubilation in Alexandria, but when the bishop, Peter, took occasion to disparage the Chalcedonian definition, Acacius of Constantinople and Felix of Rome were both asked to consider his offence. The Roman sentence of excommunication and anathema was accompanied by a reprimand to Acacius, who, as one of the principal authors of the Henotikon, was unwilling to break communion with Peter.59 Acacius, still defiant, was condemned by a tribunal under Felix.60 It was at about this time that a Roman synod, having first refused to sit until the summons of Theoderic had been ratified by the presence of Pope Symmachus, decreed that causes touching the clergy can be tried only by ministers of God.61

The rupture between the two capitals was healed in 519 when the Eastern patriarch, at the behest of the emperor Justin, denounced Acacius and was reconciledto Pope Hormisdas (Avellana collectio 115,160,167). Throughout these years, however, the local synods of Antioch, Alexandria and Constantinople belaboured one another with anathemas and polemics. The Miaphysites (or proponents of a single nature in Christ after the incarnation) prevailed in Antioch, but suffered when the the irenic policy of Zeno was revoked by Justin. Justinian, his successor, summoned spokesmen of the two parties to

57 PL 84: 561-77. The second council ordained that, in accordance with the fifth canon of Nicaea, every province shouldhold a synod twice ayearforthe chastisement of offending clergy.

58 Martinez Diez and Rodriguez, La coleccion canonica, v: 54-73; but for the date (which Isidore gives as 627) see again Thompson, The Goths in Spain, 33.

59 Zacharias Rhetor, Church history 5.10-6.7; Evagrius, Church history 3.16-22; Life of Daniel the Stylite 70-85; Frend, Monophysite movement, 174-83.

60 See Letter 70 in the Avellana collectio.

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