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Severus

of Antioch) (c.460-538. Leading Monophysite* theologian. Born in Pisidia, he studied in Beirut and Alexandria and showed a keen interest in theology at an early age, although he was not baptized until 488. Soon he became a monk in Egypt, then took up residence in Constantinople to represent Monophysitism. After visiting the court there from 508 to 511, he was consecrated patriarch of Antioch in 512. With his accession to power, Monophysites came into full control of Antioch, and soon after his consecration he condemned the Council of Chalcedon* and the Tome of Leo.* He encountered great difficulty with bishops and clergy hostile to his position, and perhaps used violence to retain his position.

Exiled from Antioch in 518 when Justinian I became emperor, he sought refuge in Alexandria where the Monophysite patriarch Timothy welcomed him. He visited Constantinople several times, including in 536 when Monophysites and Chalcedonians were engaged in religious debate there. In Alexandria he firmly opposed Bishop Julian of Halicarnassus, another Monophysite in exile. His theology was widely accepted in Syria, and he retained his position of primacy among the Monophysites until his death. He rejected attempts to separate Christ's two natures and to gloss over his humanity, but was probably closer to the Chalcedonians than his writings indicate. Syriac translations remain of his Greek treatises (including Philalethes), sermons, liturgical writings, and 4,000 letters.

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