In these two volumes, you can explore the letters of prominent theologian Severus of Antioch. Severus was enthroned as the Patriarch of Antioch on November 6, AD 512. Soon after, he went to Constantinople to meet with Emperor Justinian I, where Justinian attempted to sway Severus from his anti-Chalcedonian viewpoints. Severus was a chief proponent of the formulas of Dioscorus of Alexandria, and refused to change his mind. Justinian had him deposed and replaced him in Antioch with a Chalcedonian in AD 518. Severus later returned to Constantinople to attempt and heal the schism, but was unsuccessful. He was formally excommunicated in AD 536, returning to Egypt to live as an exile until his death in AD 538. Select Letters of Severus of Antioch contains over one hundred of Severus’ letters, grouped according to subject matter into 11 main sections across the two volumes.
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Severus of Antioch (ca. AD 459–538) was a prominent theologian who opposed the Council of Chalcedon, and is considered to be one of the founders of the Syriac Orthodox Church. Born in Sozopolis, Pisidia—now Turkey—his grandfather was Metropolitan of Sozopolis, and attended the Council of Ephesus in AD 431. Severus studied grammar, rhetoric, Greek and Latin languages in Alexandria. He moved to Beirut in AD 486, where he studied philosophy and Roman jurisprudence. He became a monk at St. Romanus’ Monastery in Maiuma, Palestine, and went on to found his own monastery there. He was eventually expelled for rejecting Chalcedon. After Patriarch Flavian II of Antioch was deposed, Severus was made Patriarch of Antioch in AD 512. But he too was deposed in AD 518, for opposing Chalcedon. He was formally excommunicated in AD 536 by Emperor Justinian.