Eustathius of Sebaste

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Bishop and first promoter of monastic life in eastern Asia Minor; b. c. 300; d. 377 or 380. Eustathius, the son of Bishop Eulalius, probably also of Sebaste, Armenia, entered the clergy and studied at Alexandria under arius, whom his father supported at the Council of Nicaea. Probably influenced by Egyptian monasticism, he propagated cenobitism in his native country; but excesses in his ascetical movement, from which Messalianism later derived, brought upon him the censure of his father, and later of various synods. Twenty canons of the Council of Gangra (c. 340) are directed against certain practices of the Eustathians, e.g., unbecoming dress, contempt of marriage, and neglect of parental or filial duties. Nevertheless, shortly before 357 Eustathius was promoted to the metropolitan See of Sebaste, and soon afterward he joined efforts with basil of ancyra and the Homoiousian party to head off the Anomoeans. He attended all the councils of the time: Ancyra (358), Sirmium (358), Seleucia (359), Constantinople (360), Lampsacus (364), and even Rome (366), where, having signed the Nicene Creed, he was received in communion by Pope liberius. After 371 he joined the Pneumatomachian sect and, as a result, engaged in a bitter feud with basil the great, whom he had initiated in the monastic life. At the Council of Cyzicus (376) he signed a creed that affirmed the homoiousios for the Son but denied the full divinity of the Holy Spirit.

See Also: arianism.

Bibliography: f. loofs, Eustathius von Sebaste und die Chronologie der Basilius-Briefe (Halle 1898). s. salaville, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique 5.2: 156574. j. gribomont, Dictionnaire de spiritualité ascétique et mystique 4.2:170812; Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques 16:2633; Studia Patristica, v.2 (Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur 64; 1957) 400415.

[v. c. de clercq]