Atticus

Patriarch of Constantinople, 406-425. From Sebaste in Armenia, he was educated among Eustathian monks (Pneumatomachi*) but joined the Catholic Church. According to the historian Socrates, Atticus was kind, courtly, scholarly, and able; he did not persecute. This is confirmed by his protection of Novatianists but denied by his attitude towards Pelagians, Messalians, and followers of John Chrysostom. He expelled Celestius about 413, and Julian of Eclanum about 418. He urged the bishops of Pamphylia and Amphilochus of Side to suppress the Messalians. In 406 he secured a rescript expelling and dispossessing bishops who refused communion with himself and Theophilus of Alexandria and Porphyry of Antioch. Such bishops, including Innocent of Rome, supported John Chrysostom* and pressed that his name should appear on the diptychs of Constantinople, where several congregations were refusing to acknowledge Atticus. Eventually popular pressure on Theodotus of Antioch (420-29) and the generous influence of Acacius of Beroea persuaded Atticus to restore the name of John; his defense of this failed to convince Cyril of Alexandria. Atticus's kindness was shown in shelter given to Persian refugees about 420 and in financial aid sent to famine-struck Nicea. At court he had advised the regent of the young Theodosius II, who in 421 transferred the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Illyricum to Constantinople.