Joannes Maxentius

Joannes Maxentius

Joannes Maxentius

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Joannes Maxentius, or John Maxentius, was the Byzantine leader of the so-called Scythian monks, a christological minority.


He appears in history at Constantinople in 519 and 520. The Scythian monks adapted the formula: "One of the Trinity suffered in the flesh" to exclude Nestorianism and Monophysitism, and they sought to have the works of Faustus of Riez condemned as being tainted with Pelagianism. On both these points they met with opposition. John Maxentius presented an appeal to the papal legates then at Constantinople.Ep. ad legatos sedis apostolicae, Patrologia Graeca, LXXXVI, i, 75-86).

When it failed to bring forth a favourable decision, some of the monks (not Maxentius, however) proceeded to Rome to lay the case before Pope Hormisdas. As the latter delayed his decision, they addressed themselves to some African bishops banished to Sardinia, and St. Fulgentius, answering in the name of these prelates, warmly endorsed their cause.Fulg. ep., xvii in Patrologia Latina, LXV, 451-93. Early in August, 520, the monks left Rome.

On 13 August, 520, Hormisdas addressed a letter to an African bishop, Possessor, then at Constantinople, in which he severely condemned the conduct of the Scythian monks, also declaring that the writings of Faustus were not received among the authoritative works of the Church Fathers and that the sound doctrine on grace was contained in the works of St. Augustine (Hormisdae ep., cxxiv...
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