Bishop of Iconium
Amphilochius was a cousin of
Gregory the Theologian, and a lifelong friend
of Basil the Great.
Born around the year 340, he studied law and rhetoric
and lived in Constantinople as a young intellectual professional, but
began feeling called to the life of a hermit. Instead, around 374, he was
forced by Basil into the episcopate, and made the reluctant bishop of
(modern Konya, Turkey). Amphilochius was a poet and rhetor in the
manner of the age, and wrote 333 iambic verses on the Christian life as
well as a number of homilies and a tract against pseudo-ascetic practices.
One of his poems contains a listing of the books of the Bible accepted in
his diocese as canonical.
The episcopate of Amphilochius was occupied largely with struggle against
heresy. At the
Council of Constantinople in 381, he spoke against the
Macedonians, who denied the
divinity of the Holy Spirit. (Basil's treatise
on the Spirit was written at the request of Amphilochius and is dedicated
to him.) Amphilochius also
led the opposition to
Messalianism, a movement
which taught that the devil was too powerful to be driven out by baptism
and that only a life of constant prayer and extreme physical asceticism
could purify the soul. He was not averse to invoking civil authority
against heresy, successfully lobbying an initially unwilling Emperor
Theodosius to prohibit
Arianism. Although less famous than Basil and
Gregory, Amphilochius was mentioned with them by the later Ecumenical
Councils as one of the chief exponents of the orthodox position.
Norman Hugh Redington
- Epistola Synodica.
- In natalem Christi
(The Birth of Christ).
Translated by Beth Elise Dunlop, (Boston College, 2004).
- In occursum Domini
(The Meeting of the Lord).
- In Lazarum quatriduanum
(The Four Days of Lazarus).
- In mulierem peccatricem
(The Sinful Woman).
- In diem sabbati sancti
(The Day of the Holy Sabbath).
- In mesopentecosten (in paralyticum)
(Mid-Pentecost: The Paralytic).
The Canon of Scripture: A paragraph
excerpted from the Iambics to Seleucus. This is considered a
major early source document on the subject of what books
belong in the Bible.
--- N. T. Canon Page
At the Colosseum
A short poem protesting the gladiatorial games.
Barrett Browning translation, 1842. --- SPL
- Vita S. Basili
- Additional Fragments
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