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Tall Brothers

TALL BROTHERS

Four long-limbed Egyptian monksDioscorus, Ammonius, Eusebius, and Euthymiuspupils of Abbot Pambo, famed for their sanctity and scriptural knowledge. Although they were followers of Origen in exegesis, they rejected his unorthodox subordinationism and were exiled under the Arian valens (364378). theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, later brought all four brothers to that city and ordained them priests. Dioscorus was even made bishop, but Ammonius escaped that dignity by severing an ear. Sickened by the avarice and other vices of Theophilus, they returned to the Nitrian desert, where they later gave hospitality to an old priest whom Theophilus had unjustly excommunicated. The furious patriarch thereupon excommunicated the Tall Brothers as Origenists (401). They fled first to Palestine and then to Constantinople. There they appealed to St. john chrysostom, who received them kindly, but withheld ecclesiastical fellowship pending their reconciliation with Theophilus. This came finally at the notorious Synod of the oak (403).

Bibliography: c. baur, John Chrysostom and His Time, tr. m. gonzaga, 2 v. (Westminster, Md. 196061) 2: 192205. i. g. smith, "Ammonius," A Dictionary of Christian Biography, ed. w. smith and h. wace, 4 v. (London 187787) 1:102103. e. venables, "Dioscorus," ibid., 862. f. l. cross, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (London 1957) 1320. s. schiwietz, Das morgendländische Mönchtum, v. 1 (Mainz 1904) 332337. h. rahner, "Lange Brüder," Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765) 6:785.

[p. w. harkins]

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