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There Is No Crime for Those Who Have ChristReligious Violence in the Christian Roman Empire$
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Michael Gaddis

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520241046

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520241046.001.0001

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Non Iudicium sed Latrocinium

Non Iudicium sed Latrocinium

Of Holy Synods and Robber Councils

(p.283) 8. Non Iudicium sed Latrocinium
There Is No Crime for Those Who Have Christ

Michael Gaddis

University of California Press

This chapter addresses the Christological controversies and episcopal rivalries of the first half of the fifth century, a true “civil war” within the church that brought together all the different aspects of violence explored. The successive councils of Ephesus II and Chalcedon set forth competing paradigms of religious authority, the first placing holy zeal above legal procedure in order to condemn heretics, the second emphasizing legitimate hierarchical authority and projecting a rhetoric of stability and consensus against the twin threats of the tyrannical power of the bishop of Alexandria and the anarchic violence of zealous holy men. The violence unleashed within the church by Dioscorus, Barsauma, and Eutyches had proven to be far more destructive than the orderly and respectful violence of the state. The rule of the emperor in the church was far less dangerous than the rule of a bishop who tried to act like an emperor.

Keywords:   holy synods, robber councils, Dioscorus, Barsauma, Eutyches, Ephesus II, Chalcedon, violence, holy zeal, zealous holy men

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