Meaning of JOHN OF EPHESUS, in English


born c. 507, , Amida, Mesopotamia died c. 586, , Chalcedon, Bithynia, Asia Minor also called John Of Asia Monophysite bishop of Ephesus, who was a foremost early historian and leader of Monophysites (q.v.) in Syria. A Syrian monk, he became a deacon at Amida in 529, but because of the Byzantine persecution of the Monophysites he was forced to lead a nomadic life. Later, at the Eastern imperial court of Constantinople, John was able to gain the support of the empress Theodora and, through her, the favour of the emperor Justinian, culminating in his appointment c. 542 as titular bishop of Ephesus. Enjoined to evangelize pagan areas about Constantinople and the mountainous region of central Asia Minor, he succeeded, according to his own estimate, in baptizing more than 70,000 persons and in building numerous churches and monasteries in place of pagan temples that he caused to be destroyed. Justinian's successor, the emperor Justin II, a supporter of the orthodox cause, in 572 imprisoned John and later banished him to Chalcedon. John wrote an ecclesiastical history, recording events from the time of Julius Caesar (died 44 BC) to AD 585, in three volumes, of which only the third is extant. He also wrote c. 568 some lives of the Eastern saints, of signal value as a primary source for sketches of Oriental monks and ascetics.

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