Flavian

Bishop of Antioch, 381-404. He was leader of Melitius's* supporters during the latter's banishment under Constantius (360) and Valens (370), and was largely responsible for Melitius's recognition as the rightful claimant to the see of Antioch under Gratian. The rival claimant, Paulinus,* continued as bishop of the orthodox Eustathians who had separated from the Antiochene church on the deposition of Eustathius. Flavian accompanied Melitius to the Council of Constantinople in 381. Melitius died at the council, and against the wishes of Gregory of Nazianzus, the council chose Flavian as his successor, although his actual election must have taken place in Antioch. Like Melitius, Flavian was supported by the Eastern bishops, while the Egyptian and Western bishops continued to recognize Paulinus. A council was held at Rome to decide this and other matters in 382, but the Eastern bishops did not attend, holding a synod of their own at Constantinople in which they ratified Flavian's election. Theophilus of Alexandria gave his recognition to Flavian in 394, and Rome followed some time before 398.