Severus, Patriarch of Antioch
A native of Pisidia, Severus studied law and philosophy at Alexandria and
Berytus before his baptism in 488 in Leontinum, Libya. Influenced by Peter
the Iberian, Severus became a monk; some say that he became an ascetic at
a monophysite monastery in Palestine. In 508, he travelled to
Constantinople to intercede on behalf of monophysite monks who were being
persecuted in Palestine. His mission was successful. After the depostion
of Flavian then Patriarch of Antioch in 512, Severus was named patriarch
and was himself deposed six years later, after Justin became emperor.
Severus took refuge with Patriarch Timothy of Alexandria, who was also a
monophysite. A council at Constantinople excommunicated Severus in 536,
after Justinian condemned his writings. Severus, who is said to have
written liturgical texts and hymns in addition to theology, died two years
after his excommunication.
Known for his erudition and piety, Severus was well-acquainted with the
writings of the church fathers. He is considered a moderate monophysite
because he believes that Christ's human nature was an annex to his divine
nature. He argues that if Christ were both divine and human, he would have
to have been two persons. Severus was the first systematic monophysite
theologian and is often called the Father of Monophysitism.
Karen Rae Keck
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