Anatolius of Constantinople

Saint Anatolius
Icon of Patriarch Anatolius of Constantinople
Bishop and Confessor; Patriarch of Constantinople
Born 449
Alexandria, Egypt
Died 3 July 458
Constantinople, Eastern Roman Empire (now Istanbul, Turkey)
Venerated in Eastern Orthodox Church; Roman Catholic Church
Feast 3 July
Attributes Vested as a Bishop with omophorion, holding a Gospel Book
Anatolius of Constantinople
Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople
Installed 449
Term ended 458
Personal details
Denomination Eastern Orthodox Church

Saint Anatolius (? – 3 July 458) was the first Patriarch of Constantinople (451 – 3 July 458).


Anatolius was born at Alexandria. He was ordained a deacon by St. Cyril of Alexandria. He was present at the Third Ecumenical Council at Ephesus in the year 431.[1]

He became Patriarch through the influence of Pope Dioscorus I of Alexandria with Emperor Theodosius II, after the deposition of Flavian by the Second Council of Ephesus, having previously been the apocrisiarius or representative of Dioscorus with the emperor at Constantinople. After his consecration, being under suspicion of Eutychianism, Anatolius publicly condemned the teachings not only of Eutyches, but also those of Nestorius,[2] subscribing to the letters of Cyril against Nestorius and of Pope Leo I against Eutyches.

In conjunction with Pope Leo, according to Zonaras (Annals iii), he requested that the Emperor Marcian summon a general council against Dioscorus and the Eutychians, but the Imperial letter instructing Anatolius in the preparations for the Council of Chalcedon only mentions Pope Leo (Philippe Labbe, Conc. Max. Tom. iv.). In this council Anatolius presided in conjunction with the Roman legates (Labbe, Conc. Max. iv.; Evagr. H. E. ii. 4, 18; Niceph. H. E. xv. 18). By the famous 28th canon, passed at the conclusion of the council, Constantinople was made equal in dignity with Rome.[3] Hence arose the controversy between Anatolius and the Roman pontiff. Leo complained to Marcian (Ep. 54) and to Pulcheria (Ep. 55) that Anatolius had outstepped his jurisdiction by consecrating Maximinus II as Patriarch of Antioch, as well as protesting to Anatolius (Ep. 53).

Following the council of Chalcedon Anatolius received a letter signed by several Egyptian bishops, asking his assistance against Timothy, who was usurping the Patriarch of Alexandria (Labbe, Conc. Max. iv. iii. 23, p. 897), as a result Anatolius wrote to the emperor Leo against Timothy (Labbe, iii. 26, p. 905). The circular of the emperor requesting the advice of Anatolius on the turbulent state of Alexandria is given by Evagrius (H. E. ii. 9), and by Nicephorus (H. E. xv. 18). Edward Gibbon states that the crowning of Leo on his accession by Anatolius is the first instance of the kind on record (Theophanes, Chronicle p. 95). When he was in danger of death me was restored to health by Daniel the Stylite, who came to Constantinople to see him.[4]

The followers of Dioscorus are said to have killed him in 458.[4]

St Anatolius was credited with composing a few hymns.[3]



 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Wace, Henry; Piercy, William C. (eds.). "Anatolius, bp. of Constantiople". Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century (3rd ed.). London: John Murray. 


Titles of Chalcedonian Christianity
Preceded by
Patriarch of Constantinople
Archbishop until 451

Succeeded by
Gennadius I
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