Domnus of Antioch

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DOMNUS OF ANTIOCH

The name of two early bishops of Antioch in Syria.

Domnus, bishop of Antioch from 268 to 271, was the son of Bishop Demetrianus (253260), who had been taken captive by the Persians. After Antioch had been freed by the Palmyran Kingdom, Domnus, then a priest, joined the priest Malchion in opposition to the heresies and scandalous behavior of Bp. paul of samosata, his father's successor. A council held in Antioch (268) excommunicated Paul and chose Domnus as his successor, declaring that he had "all the necessary qualities to become a bishop." Since the election of Domnus was supported by bishops from the Roman Empire party, Zenobia, Queen Regent of Palmyra, protected Paul and acknowledged his right to the Church possessions; and many continued to consider Paul as local bishop. This difficult situation lasted until 272, when Emperor Aurelian decreed that the Church possessions belonged to the legal bishop in communion with Rome. But by then Domnus had probably died and been succeeded by Timeas.

Domnus, patriarch of Antioch from 441 to 449, was the nephew of john of antioch, his predecessor. The Act of Union signed by Cyril of Alexandria and John of Antioch in 433 had brought ecclesiastical peace. But in 447 eutyches, the Constantinopolitan Archimandrite, started the theological dispute surrounding monophysit ism by an exaggerated adherence to the Incarnational teaching of Cyril of Alexandria. Domnus, together with theodoret of cyr, was among the first to denounce the doctrine of Eutyches as Monophysite in tendency. Emperor Theodosius II sided with the Archimandrite, and the Syrian monk Barsumas, a follower of Cyril, attacked Domnus in Antioch itself. Meanwhile, the Patriarch of Alexandria, dioscorus, supported Eutyches and accused Domnus of having aided bishops of his patriarchate, such as Ibas of Edessa, who were allegedly guilty of Nestorian leanings. In 449 by order of the emperor, partly at the instigation of Dioscorus, the Eutychian affair was brought before a synod later branded by Pope leo i as the "brigandage of Ephesus." Under pressure, Domnus exonerated Eutyches and signed or approved acts of deposition of bishops who had condemned Eutyches, such as Flavian of Constantinople, Eusebius of Doryleum, and Theodoret of Cyr. Nevertheless Domnus was himself deposed and replaced by the monk Maximus, a former enemy of his uncle John. Domnus retired to the convent of St. Euthymius, near Jerusalem, where he had lived before his nomination to the See of Antioch.

Bibliography: Domnus (bishop). eusebius, Historia ecclesiastica 7.30; 32. r. aubert, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912) 14:644. g. bardy, Catholicisme. Hier, aujourd'hui et demain, ed. g. jacquemet (Paris 1947) 3:1014; Paul de Samosate (Spicilegium sacrum Lovaniense 4; 1923) 352356. Domnus (patriarch). g. bardy, Catholicisme. Hier, aujourd'hui et demain 3:101415; a. fliche and v. martin, eds., Histoire de l'église depuis les origines jusqu'à nos jours (Paris 1935) 4:208236. c. j. von hefele, Histoire des conciles d'après les documents originaux, tr. and continued by h. leclercq (Paris 190738) 2.1:584621.

[j. beaudry]