This chapter describes the aftermath of Chalcedon and Monophysite opposition up to the early sixth century. The Chalcedonian church had come in Syriac-speaking circles to be called Melkite—“the emperor's church”—associated, despite its best efforts at self-justification, with the taint of secular power and with persecution. The surviving rump of the Byzantine Empire struggled to preserve the Constantinian paradigms of imperial Christianity. Late Roman Christianity fragmented into mutually antagonistic Chalcedonian and Monophysite churches. The violence of the establishment has historically taken a far greater toll than that employed by extremists. Christianity outlived the collapse of Christian empire. Christian religious tradition contained grounds both for violent aggression and for the condemnation and repudiation of the same violence. The moral, religious, and political traditions available to late antique Christians offered a wealth of possibilities for reaching judgment, so that the same acts praised by some might be condemned by others.
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