Creating Boundaries in the Miaphysite Movement

Philip Wood

in ‘We have no king but Christ’

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199588497
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595424 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Byzantium

Creating Boundaries in the Miaphysite Movement

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This chapter establishes the wider context of the Miaphysite movement in the sixth century and examines how this interacted with earlier ideas of Suryoyo cultural independence, focussing on the works ofJohn of Ephesus. The chapter examines the emergence of distinct religio‐ethnic communities within the eastern Roman‐Empire, with their own distinct forms of political thought. Against a background of persecution and dispersal, John's writings sought to preserve the unity of a divided movement by recording the ascetic heroes of a previous generation. His hagiography has an unashamedly provincial focus, in which he establishes Mesopotamia as an orthodox land, whose pious history and ascetic customs give authority to the Miaphysite beliefs of its inhabitants, where holy men took on the role of the emperor in defending the people from barbarians and the Jews.

Keywords: Amida; Mesopotamia; Persecution; Diaspora; Ascetic; Chosen land; Miaphysite; Chalcedonian

Chapter.  18104 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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