Anastasius I, Byzantine Emperor

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491 to 518; b. Epidamnus, modern Durrës, Albania, 431; d. Constantinople, July 9, 518. He married the widowed Empress Ariadne and was named emperor after a successful administrative career. At heart he was a Monophysite, who as a layman had engaged in preaching and had exhibited traits of religious scrupulosity. Before being crowned emperor, he was forced to sign a profession of faith in the Council of Chalcedon by the patriarch of Constantinople, Euphemius. His reign was troubled by the strife wrought by the henoticon. An able administrator, he did much to reorganize the interior administration and settle the external problems of the empire. He attempted to impose monophysitism on the Eastern bishops, aided mainly by severus of antioch and philoxenus of mabbugh. In 496 he succeeded in deposing Euphemius, the patriarch of Constantinople, on surreptitious charges that stemmed from his intransigent support of the Council of Chalcedon; he deposed also Patriarch Macedonius (511), as well as Flavian of Antioch (512) and Elias of Jerusalem (516). The imposition in the liturgy of the Monophysite Trisagion brought strong reactions in Constantinople, and one of the imperial officers on the Danube, Vitalian, revolted (513515). His attempts at reconciliation with Rome did not put an end to the acacian schism; and only in Syria and Egypt were the religious policies of Anastasius temporarily successful. However, he proved to be one of the most efficient and remarkable Byzantine emperors, despite the failure of his religious policy.

Bibliography: l. brÉhier, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques 2:144757. p. charanis, Church and State in the Later Roman Empire: The Religious Policy of Anastasius (Madison, Wis. 1939). e. stein, Histoire du Bas-Empire (Paris 194959) 2: 77217.

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