The Melitian schism originated in the context of the Diocletianic persecution. In 306, under dramatic circumstances, Melitius of Lycopolis decided to challenge his superior, the bishop of Alexandria. An attempt at reconciliation proposed by the Council of Nicaea (325) was unsuccessful, and the Melitians, as they were now called, often associated with the Arians, would become favourite targets of a bitter and polemical Athanasius of Alexandria (328-373). The schism continued to exist in Egypt until the middle of the eighth century. Notwithstanding the rich source material, including original documents and papyri, the dissidence has received relatively little scholarly attention. This collection of essays by Hans Hauben focuses on the well-documented earliest phase of the schism, from the persecution to the Synod of Tyre (335). It elucidates the chronology of the schism, the decisions of Nicaea, the internal organisation of the parallel church, and the tensions in Alexandria caused by its repression, as well as interpretative problems posed by the sources.
The essays constitute an in-depth assessment of the causes, development and meaning of the Melitian schism, and together with additional, related studies also included in the volume they paint a rich picture of early Christian society.
Hans Hauben is Emeritus Professor at the University of Leuven, Belgium. Peter Van Nuffelen is Research Professor of Ancient History at the University of Ghent, Belgium.
Contents: Preface; Introduction: the Melitian schism: development, sources, and interpretation, Peter van Nuffelen; Part 1 Studies on the Melitian Schism: On the Melitians in P. London VI (p. Jews) 1914: the problem of papas Heraiscus; La reordination du clerge melitien imposee par le Concile de Nicee; La premiere annee du schisme melitien (305/306); Le catalogue melitien reexaminee; Jean Arkhaph, evA*que de Memphis, dans la catalogue melitien; Review of Le lettere festali di Atanasio di Alessandria. Studio storico-critico by A. Camplani; The Melitian 'Church of the Martyrs'. Christian dissenters in Ancient Egypt; John Arkhaph and 'the Bishop' (Athan., Apol. sec.71.6). A reassessment; Das Konzil von Nicaea (325) zur Wiederaufnahme der Melitianer. Versuch einer Text- und Strukturanalyse; Le papyrus London VI (P. Jews) 1914 dans son contexte historique (mai 335); AurA*lios Pageus, alias Apa PaiA*ous, et le monastere melitien d'Hathor; Catholiques et Melitiens A Alexandrie A la veille du Synode de Tyr (335); Heraiscus as Melitian Bishop of Heracleopolis Magna and the Alexandrian see; A%opiphane de Salamine sur le schisme melitien. Part 2 Related Studies: The Alexandrian patriarch as pharaoh: from biblical metaphor to scholarly topos; On the invocation of the 'Holy and Consubstantial Trinity' in Byzantine oath and dating formulas; Christ versus Apollo in early Byzantine Kourion? With a note on the so-called 'Paniya Aphroditissa' in Paphos; Index.
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