The Persistent Myth of the Diocese of Egypt

At the time of the Council of Nicæa, Alexandria and Antioch were located together in one diocese, just like Rome and Milan.

The decade from 373 to 383 A.D. is one of the most critical periods in the post-apostolic era, not because of what was happening in the Church, but because of what happened in the Roman Empire. Sometime during those ten years, the civil Diocese of Egypt was created by splitting the Diocese of Oriens in two. As we shall demonstrate, that late 4th century creation of the Diocese of Egypt is one of the most important developments in the history of ecclesiology, and it went almost completely unnoticed until the 16th century. By then, the damage was done, and even today church history, as an academic discipline, struggles to recover from the oversight.

The Formation of the Diocese of Egypt

In 293 A.D., Emperor Diocletian established the tetrarchy, dividing the empire into twelve dioceses, and assigning to each tetrarch capital the administration of three of the twelve dioceses as shown in Table 1, below:

Table 1: The Original Diocesan Division of the Empire

Each diocese was itself subdivided into numerous smaller units called provinces. Evidence for this specific twelve-way division dates to 314 A.D., and is attested by the Laterculus Veronensis.[1] Notably, there was no “Diocese of Egypt” at the time, which left Antioch and Alexandria together in the Diocese of Oriens, as shown in the map at the head of this article. Of similar relevance to our discussion, Milan became the chief metropolis of Italy, being located together with Rome in the Diocese of Italy, also depicted above.

The tetrarchy collapsed over the course of the next century, but the diocesan system endured. Several notable changes occurred in the arrangement and number of dioceses, yielding a final count of thirteen by the end of the 4th century. The Diocese of Moesia had been broken up into the two Dioceses of Dacia and Macedonia. The Dioceses of Gaul and Vienne had been combined into the single Diocese of Gaul. And finally, the Diocese of Oriens had been divided into the two Dioceses of Oriens and Egypt.[2] When the 4th century came to a close, the Roman Empire had been effectively divided into the following thirteen dioceses as shown in Table 2, below:

Table 2: Final Diocesan Division of the Empire

Evidence for this specific thirteen-way division late in the 4th century dates to 400 A.D. and is attested by the Notitia Dignitatum.

Of particular interest to us is the timing of the formation of the Diocese of Egypt. It was not part of Diocletian’s original diocesan division, and the evidence shows that it was a very late element of the reorganization. As late as 373 A.D., we have evidence that Alexandria was still located within the civil Diocese of Oriens, showing that even then the Diocese of Egypt still had not been formed.[3] It is not until 383 A.D. that we have an explicit reference in the civil records to Dioecesis Ægyptiaca, the Diocese of Egypt.[4] Sometime between 373 A.D. and 383 A.D., the Diocese of Egypt had been created.

The Significance of the Diocese of Egypt

The reason the late creation of the Diocese of Egypt is so important to the history of Christianity is because knowledge of the arrangement of the dioceses—and specifically knowledge of the timing of the creation of the Diocese of Egypt—is absolutely necessary to a proper understanding of Canon 6 of the Council of Nicæa (325 A.D.). In Diocletian’s original reorganization of the empire, Milan and Rome were located together in the Diocese of Italy. Milan was the chief of the diocese, but neither Milan nor Rome administered the whole. Likewise, the two cities of Antioch and Alexandria were located together in the Diocese of Oriens. By the time of the Council of Nicæa that status quo remained unchanged, and Canon 6 was written in that specific geographic context. Canon 6 cannot be understood without this information, yet much of it lay hidden in obscurity for over twelve hundred years. It was only in the 16th century that the history of the late formation of the Diocese of Egypt came to light, but by then more than a millennium of canonical interpretation had already transpired. The ostensible meaning of Canon 6 had long since been established in ignorance.

The matter being addressed in Canon 6 was that Meletius of Thebaid in Oriens had presumed to ordain bishops who were within the Diocese of Oriens, but were under Alexandrian jurisdiction. Peter of Alexandria accused Meletius of “entering our parish”[5] to perform the ordinations. Thus, the dispute involved the recognition and enforcement of episcopal boundaries within the Diocese of Oriens. The particular challenge facing the Council of Nicæa was how to define Alexandrian jurisdiction within a diocese that, in the civil realm, was administered from Antioch. Had the Diocese of Egypt already existed at the time, the solution would have been as simple as telling each bishop to stay in his own diocese. But that option was not available at the time. Alexandria and Antioch coexisted together in the same diocese, and a jurisdictional solution would have to be crafted with that in mind.

When we examine the canon in question, it becomes immediately apparent that the Council was compelled to define Alexandrian metropolitan jurisdiction in terms of several provinces of the Diocese of Oriens. Of equal significance, Antioch’s metropolitan jurisdiction was described in terms of the other provinces of the diocese:

“Let the ancient customs in Egypt, Libya and Pentapolis prevail, that the Bishop of Alexandria have jurisdiction in all these, since the like is customary for the Bishop of Rome also. Likewise in Antioch and the other provinces, let the Churches retain their privileges. And this is to be universally understood, that if any one be made bishop without the consent of the Metropolitan, the great Synod has declared that such a man ought not to be a bishop.” (Nicæa, Canon 6).

It would have been simple enough had the council merely stated that Alexandria should administer a few specific provinces in Oriens and that Antioch should administer the rest, but the council went on and provided its rationale for the decision: “…since the like is customary for the Bishop of Rome also.” What could this mean? Why was a custom of a bishop in a completely different diocese invoked in order to settle an internal boundary dispute between bishops in the Diocese of Oriens?

The answer to the question is remarkably simple when the contemporary topography is taken into account. Diocletian’s reorganization had placed both Milan and Rome within the civil Diocese of Italy, and had also placed both Antioch and Alexandria within the civil Diocese of Oriens. In Italy, Diocletian had avoided administrative conflicts by making Milan the chief metropolis while relegating to Rome a few suburbicarian provinces adjacent to the city. By the time of Nicæa the church had adapted to the new civil boundaries, so the structural congruency between Alexandria and Rome was obvious to anyone familiar with current events. When boundary disputes arose within Oriens between Antioch and Alexandria, a solution presented itself immediately: just as the Bishop of Rome administered a few provinces within the Diocese of Italy (the rest being administered from Milan), Alexandria could administer a few provinces within the Diocese of Oriens (the rest being administered from Antioch). The solution was as elegant as it was simple.

Evidence for this geographic arrangement in Italy is abundant in the historical record. In the mid-4th century Milan was still being called the “Metropolis of Italy,”[6] and its bishop the “Metropolitan of Italy.”[7] Also at that time writers were still distinguishing between “Italy” and “these parts [of Rome]”[8] or “the city of Rome and the parts of Italy,”[9] as if they were two different administrative regions, “the parts of Italy,” which were administered by Milan, and “these parts” administered by Rome, mirroring the civil order in that diocese. The church had clearly adapted to the civil boundaries established within Italy, and in Canon 6 that same arrangement was applied to Oriens. The earliest Latin translation of Canon 6 recites the limited jurisdiction of the Bishop of the City of Rome—the suburban provinces (in suburbicaria loca sollicitudinem gerat)[10]—showing that in the west, the church had understood exactly why the example of the Bishop of Rome was invoked: not because his jurisdiction was so great, but rather because his jurisdiction was defined in terms of a few provinces of another metropolitan’s diocese. That was exactly the situation Alexandria faced in the Diocese of Oriens, so the council simply recognized Alexandria’s position over several provinces within the diocese on the basis of a similar custom for the Bishop of Rome within the Diocese of Italy.

That solution, of course, left the Bishop of Jerusalem still within the boundaries of Antioch’s portion of the diocese. To prevent any further disputes, the Council simply extended titular honors to Jerusalem in the next canon, leaving the bishop of Antioch as the ranking metropolitan (Nicæa, Canon 7).

As the century wore on, this understanding of what Nicæa had done for Alexandria was retained in the corporate memory of the church. In 347 A.D., Athanasius’ defenders were still describing his jurisdiction in provincial terms (Egypt, Libya and Pentapolis) rather than diocesan terms.[11] In 351 A.D., Athanasius was still identifying his jurisdiction in those same provincial terms even when identifying other bishops by their respective civil dioceses.[12] Clearly, there was still no “Diocese of Egypt” even in the mid-4th century.

But by 381 A.D., something had changed. The Diocese of Egypt must have been formed during that critical decade from 373 to 383 A.D., and knowledge of the newly created diocese had reached the assembled bishops in the capital of the empire. The 2nd canon of Constantinople reflected the new status quo, and Alexandrian jurisdiction was no longer being described in provincial terms, but rather in explicitly diocesan terms. Likewise, Antioch’s jurisdiction was no longer being described in terms of “the rest of the provinces,” but rather in terms of the Diocese of Oriens:

“The bishops are not to go beyond their dioceses to churches lying outside of their bounds, nor bring confusion on the churches; but let the Bishop of Alexandria, according to the canons, alone administer the affairs of Egypt [Ægypto tantum]; and let the bishops of the East manage the East alone [Orientem solum], the privileges of the Church in Antioch, which are mentioned in the canons of Nice, being preserved.” (Council of Constantinople, canon 2)[13]

The bishops at Constantinople had essentially restated the substance of Canons 6 and 7 of Nicæa in contemporary terms, reflecting the creation of a new diocese. A new geographic reality was present to them that had not been available to the preceding council: the existence of the Diocese of Egypt created out of provinces formerly attached to the now smaller Diocese of Oriens.

When viewed through the lens of the contemporary boundary disputes taking place within the diocese of Oriens, the provincial language used by Nicæa to define Alexandrian and Antiochian jurisdiction makes perfect sense. So does the provincial language used by Athanasius and his defenders even past the middle of the 4th century, because the Diocese of Egypt still did not exist yet at the time. Then, when the Diocese of Egypt was created sometime between 373 and 383 A.D., it made perfect sense to start describing the jurisdiction of Alexandria in terms of the new Diocese of Egypt, as well as to describe the jurisdiction of Antioch in terms of the now smaller Diocese of Oriens, which is exactly what Canon 2 of Constantinople did.

The Origin of the Myth

But what did not make sense was to attribute this to the Council of Nicæa. Nicæa could not have assigned Alexandrian and Antiochian jurisdiction in diocesan terms that were five decades ahead of their time. The Council of Nicæa had not assigned Egypt to Alexandria or Oriens to Antioch. It just was not possible. The Diocese of Egypt had not yet been formed, and the Diocese of Oriens still included Alexandria and the several provinces over which its bishop presided.

Nevertheless, after Constantinople, the language of Nicæa was gradually modified in contemporary literature, and the elegant simplicity of Nicæa’s provincial solution was soon lost in the fog of history. It was as if the church had simply forgotten when the Diocese of Egypt had been created. A collective amnesia set in, and they forgot that Nicæa had only solved an episcopal boundary dispute by assigning to Alexandria several provinces of a diocese that, in the civil realm, was entirely under the jurisdiction of Antioch.

The rewriting of Nicæa first manifested in the last years of the 4th century in Jerome’s letter to Pammachius (398 A.D.). “Unless I am deceived,” he insisted, the Council of Nicæa had assigned to Antioch “the whole of the East (totius Orientis).”[14] But Jerome was deceived, for he had assumed that the Diocese of Egypt must have already been in existence at Nicæa and that the council had therefore assigned all of Oriens to Antioch, a historical impossibility.

In 403 A.D., Rufinus of Aquileia perpetuated the error by saying that the 6th of Nicæa had granted to Alexandria “the charge of Egypt (Ægypti),”[15] which was not true. The council had granted to Alexandria several provinces of Oriens—Egypt, Libya and Pentapolis—precisely because there was no Diocese of Egypt to assign.

By 411 A.D., the confusion was advanced by Pope Innocent I in his epistle to Alexander of Antioch. In that letter he explained that Nicæa had established Antioch “over a diocese” (super diœcesim),[16] which was not true. Nicæa did not, and could not, establish Antioch over a diocese for the very simple reason that Alexandria was still located within Oriens at the time, and was in fact presiding over several of its provinces.

By 451 A.D. at the council of Chalcedon, both the eastern and the western bishops were reciting Canon 6 as if Nicæa had done the impossible: assign the Diocese of Egypt to Alexandria. Notably, the West was already appropriating the inaccurate language to advance a case for Roman episcopal primacy:

Western Bishops’ version: “The church of Rome has always had primacy. Egypt is therefore also to enjoy the right that the bishop of Alexandria has authority over everything, since this is the custom for the Roman bishop also. Likewise both the one appointed in Antioch, and in the other provinces the churches of the larger cities, are to enjoy primacy.”[17]

 

Eastern bishops’ version: “Let the ancient customs in Egypt prevail, namely that the bishop of Alexandria has authority over everything, since this is customary for the bishop of Rome also. Likewise in Antioch also and in the other provinces let the privileges be preserved in the churches.”[18]

We emphasize the phrase, “authority over everything,” to showcase the remarkable historical gloss that occurred since the creation of Egypt as a diocese after 373 A.D.. The last thing the bishops at Nicæa would have ever said of either Alexandria or Rome is that either bishop “has authority over everything.” The council had been in no position to place either Alexandria “over everything” in Oriens, or Rome “over everything” in Italy, since each was located in a civil diocese with another metropolitan bishop—Alexandria with Antioch, and Rome with Milan. All Nicæa could do was say that Alexandria was to “have jurisdiction in all these” provinces of Oriens, just as Rome is over a several provinces in Italy, and assign to Antioch “the rest of the provinces” in Oriens, which obviously carries a much different meaning than “authority over everything.”

Thus, between Nicæa and Chalcedon the prevailing cultural knowledge that Nicæa had set Alexandria over only a few provinces of Oriens gradually became more and more obscure. Absent from the new wording of the Nicæan canons was the limited, provincial language that made sense in the early 4th century topography. Gone was any notion that at the time of the council Alexandria and Antioch had been located together in the same civil diocese, just like Rome and Milan were in Italy. Looking back from Chalcedon, it appeared that the Diocese of Egypt had existed all along, and that Oriens had never included Egypt and Libya, and that the Dioceses of Italy and Oriens had never been so similarly situated, each compelled by geography to share an entire diocese between two metropolitan bishops.

All these men—Jerome, Rufinus, Innocent and the assembled bishops at Chalcedon—assumed that Nicæa in 325 A.D. had granted to Alexandria a diocese that could not have even existed until at least 373 A.D.. Thus, in the dusk of the 4th century and the dawn of the 5th, the die was cast, and the myth was born that of the Diocese of Egypt had been in existence at the time of Nicæa. Nicæa’s simple and elegant solution to an administrative problem in Oriens was lost.

The Expansion of the Myth

The historical error grew larger and more expansive with time. Historians who by then should have known better continued to assume that the Diocese of Egypt had existed at the time of Nicæa and that it had been assigned to Alexandria by Canon 6. The myth manifested in two ways—either by an outright claim that the Council had assigned the Diocese of Egypt to Alexandria, or indirectly by claiming that the Council had assigned the whole Diocese of Oriens to Antioch.

In 1576 A.D., Roberti Bellarmini wrote that Nicæa had assigned all of Oriens (totum Orientem) to Antioch,[19] a historical impossibility.

In 1671, Henrici Justellus claimed that Nicæa had granted “the whole diocese of Egypt” to Alexandria,[20] a colossal anachronism.

In 1855, Carl Joseph von Hefele stated that Nicæa had granted “the whole (civil) Diocese of Egypt” to Alexandria,[21] and further that Antioch’s jurisdiction must have been “the civil diocese of Oriens” at the time,[22] two geographic impossibilities.

In 1880, Fr. James Loughlin was still claiming that the Bishop of Antioch presided “throughout the great diocese of Oriens”[23] at the time of Nicæa, which of course, was impossible.

Not one of their claims was true.

Since the Diocese of Egypt did not yet exist at the time of Nicæa, and Alexandria was at the time located within the Diocese of Oriens, the Council simply did not have at its disposal the option of assigning to Alexandria “the whole diocese of Egypt” or to Antioch “all of Oriens.” It certainly did not place either of them “over everything.” It was geographically and historically impossible. That is precisely why the council had to define Alexandrian and Antiochian jurisdiction in provincial rather than diocesan terms in the first place. Jerome, Rufinus, Innocent, Chalcedon, Bellarmini, Justellus, Hefele and Loughlin were all wrong. The existence of the Diocese of Egypt at the time of Nicæa was nothing but a myth forged in ignorance in the waning years of the 4th century. The true origins of the Diocese of Egypt had lain hidden in obscurity for centuries, while the myth lived on.

The Roman Catholic Implications of the Myth

And it was a myth with legs. It does not take much imagination to realize why the myth is so beloved of Roman Catholic apologists. Upon that myth was built an even larger, and much more insidious, claim. Grant for a moment that the core elements of the myth are true: at the time of Nicæa the Bishop of Alexandria was presiding over the Diocese of Egypt, and the Bishop of Antioch was presiding over the whole Diocese of Oriens. If those are true, Canon 6 of Nicæa says these two bishops were to continue presiding over their own dioceses based on a custom of the Bishop of Rome.

What else could this mean, but Roman episcopal primacy?

What was the canon if not an acknowledgment of the ancient practice of even eastern metropolitans being assigned to their dioceses by the Bishop of Rome?

Even to this day, that is precisely how the myth has been employed by Roman Catholics in their interpretation of Canon 6. We list here a few examples spanning the time from Chalcedon to the present:

Western Bishops at Chalcedon (431 A.D.): “The church of Rome has always had primacy. Egypt is therefore also to enjoy the right that the bishop of Alexandria has authority over everything, since this is the custom for the Roman bishop also.”

 

Bellarmini (1576): “…because the Roman Bishop, before any definition of the Councils [i.e., from antiquity] used to allow the bishop of Alexandria to govern Egypt, Libya and Pentapolis.”[24]

 

Loughlin (1880): “[T]he clause in question can bear no other interpretation than this: ‘Alexandria and the other great Sees must retain their ancient sway because the Roman Pontiff wishes it.’”[25]

 

Unam Sanctam Catholicam (2016): “Let the Bishop of Alexandria continue to govern Egypt, Libya, and Pentapolis, since assigning this jurisdiction is an ancient custom established by the Bishop of Rome and reiterated now by this Nicene Council.”[26]

These Roman Catholic interpretations of Canon 6 only make sense if the Diocese of Egypt already existed at Nicæa, and the boundaries of Oriens were already pared back to their late 4th century limits at the time of the Council. But it is just a myth. The diocese of Egypt was not even created until some time between 373 and 383 A.D., and the Diocese of Oriens at the time of Nicæa still included Egypt, Libya and Pentapolis.

Place the Diocese of Egypt back in its native context in the late 4th century, and the original meaning of the 6th of Nicæa is restored as well:

Milan was the chief metropolis of the Diocese of Italy, but Rome had been allowed by custom to preside over a few of its provinces. Antioch was the chief metropolis of Oriens, but Alexandria would be allowed to preside over a few of its provinces, since the like is customary for the Bishop of Rome also.

What was similar between Alexandria and Rome was not that either had “authority over everything,” but rather that each had limited authority over a subset of provinces within another metropolitan’s diocese. That was the only reason the example of Rome had been invoked at all.

The Relentless Persistence of the Myth

As an example of just how persistent the myth and its implications have been even within academia, we offer the example of Dr. Sara Parvis from her 2007 book, Marcellus of Ancyra and the Lost Years of the Arian Controversy. Dr. Parvis is Senior Lecturer in Patristics at the School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh, and in her book, she commented on the geographic diversity of the bishops who attended the 335 A.D. synod of Tyre. Notice in her assessment of the council that she places Egypt and Libya outside of the civil diocese of Oriens, an anachronism at least four decades removed from reality:

“[I]t is clear from the list of provinces that it was basically a synod of the civil diocese of Oriens (Cilicia, Syria, Mesopotamia, Phoenicia, Arabia, and Palestine) … supplemented by a handful of bishops from the Egyptian provinces (mainly Melitians) and Libya, and few others from further afield.”[27] (emphasis added)

As we have noted, as late as 373 A.D., and certainly at the time of the synod of Tyre, Egypt and Libya were located within the civil Diocese of Oriens. Parvis’ geographic anachronism was largely inconsequential in her analysis of Tyre, but in any analysis of the canons of Nicæa, an understanding of the contemporary topography of the empire is absolutely critical. The persistence of the myth even within academia has greatly hampered and distorted the historical attempts to understand the canons of Nicæa, and has only given license to Rome to claim Nicæan antiquity for Roman episcopal primacy.

Unraveling the Myth

Roman Catholicism’s claims of papal primacy based on Canon 6 of Nicæa are founded entirely upon the myth of the early existence of the Diocese of Egypt. By understanding the events that took place in that critical decade toward the end of the 4th century we can unravel that myth, and with it, the entirety of Roman Catholicism’s Nicæan argument for Roman episcopal primacy. In view of the geographic arrangement of the empire at the time, Nicæa’s reference to a similar custom regarding the Bishop of Rome was not an appeal to his ancient, limitless patriarchal sway after all, but rather to his very limited, provincial jurisdiction within the Diocese of Italy—an arrangement that perfectly mirrored Alexandria’s limited, provincial jurisdiction within the Diocese of Oriens, just as the Latins acknowledged in the earliest translation of the Nicæan canons. The Roman Bishop’s diminutive jurisdiction in a diocese that was otherwise administered from Milan provided just the precedent Nicæa needed to define Alexandria’s limited jurisdiction in a diocese that was otherwise administered by Antioch.

Without knowledge of the creation of the Diocese of Egypt, Roman Catholicism and her apologists run roughshod over the historical record and impose a late 4th century topography on an early 4th century council, and from that anachronism, extrapolate a revision of history that places the Bishop of Rome over all the churches of the world as early as 325 A.D.. However, equipped with the correct dating of the creation of the Diocese of Egypt in the late 4th century, we can completely deconstruct the Roman Catholic revisionism. That makes 373 to 383 A.D. one of the most important periods in the history of ecclesiology—not because of what was happening in the Church but because of what happened in the final arrangement of Diocletian’s diocesan reorganization of the empire.

(For more information on the origins of the myth, see the author’s additional articles: False Teeth, “Unless I am Deceived…”, Nicæa and the Roman Precedent.)

________________________

[1] Timothy David Barnes, The New Empire of Diocletian and Constantine (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1982), 201–208

[2] Gibbon, Edward, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol 2, Appendix 11 “Dioceses and Provinces”, (London: Methuen & Co., ©1901) 548

[3] Pharr, Clyde, The Theodosian Code and Novels, and the Sirmondian Constitutions, (CTh hereafter) 12.1.63, (Princeton University Press, 1952), 351.

[4] Pharr, CTh 12.1.97, 356.

[5] So the Latin fragment indicates: “…sed insuper ingressam nostram parœciam…” (Peter of Alexandria, Fragments, Epistola ad Ecclesiam Alexandrinam, 1. Migne, PG, volume 18, 509).

[6] Athanasius, Historia Arianorum, Part IV, 28 & 33. NPNF-02, volume 4.

[7] Athanasius of Alexandria, Apologia de Fuga, 4. NPNF-02, volume 4.

[8] Athanasius, Apologia Contra Arianos, Part I, 2, 26. NPNF-02, volume 4. See Jacques-Paul Migne, Patrologiae Cursus Completus, Series Graeca (PG hereafter), volume 25 (Imprimerie Catholique, Paris, 1857), 292. “Attamen necessum est vobis significare, etiamsi solus scripserim, non ideo mei solius esse illam sententiam, sed et omnium qui in Italia sunt, et qui in his partibus degunt episcoporum.”

[9] Athanasius, Historia Acephala, 1, 2. See Migne, PG, volume 26, 1443, “Athanasius reversus est ex Urbe, et partibus Italiæ, et ingressos est Alexandriam….”

[10] Cuthbertus Hamilton Turner, Ecclesiae Occidentalis, vol 1, (1899) 120.

[11] Athanasius, Apologia Contra Arianos, Part II, 6, 71. Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series NPNF-02 volume 4. Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, editors, M. Atkinson and Archibald Robertson, translators (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1892); Athanasius, Apologia Contra Arianos, Part I, 1, 19, “Encyclical Letter of the Council of Egypt.” NPNF-02, volume 4.

[12] Athanasius, Apologia Contra Arianos, Part II, 6, 89. NPNF-02, volume 4.

[13] Henry R. Percival, editor, A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second Series, volume XIV, The Seven Ecumenical Councils of the Undivided Church, (Oxford: James Parker & Company, 1900), 176.

[14] Jerome, To Pammachius Against John of Jerusalem, 37. NPNF-02, vol 6. See Migne, Patrologiae Cursus Completus, Series Latina (P.L.), vol 23 (Imprimerie Catholique, Paris, 1854) 389

[15] Rufinus of Aquileia, Church History, Book 10.6, trans. Philip R. Amidon, S.J. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997) 14, 44n, “Et ut apud Alexandriam vel in urbe Roma vetusta consuetudo servetur, quia vel ille Ægypti vel hic suburbicariarum ecclesiarum sollicitudinem gerat.”

[16] Innocent I, Epistle XXIV, 1. Migne, P.L. vol 20, 547

[17] Richard Price & Michael Gaddis, The Acts of the Council of Chalcedon, vol 3, in Gillian Clark, Mark Humphries & Mary Whitby, Translated Texts for Historians, vol 45 (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2005) 85

[18] Price & Gaddis,  86

[19] Roberti Bellarmini, Disputationes, Tomus I (1576 ad) (Coloniæ Agrippinæ: Sumptibus Antonij & Arnoldi Hieratorum Fratrum, 1613), Book II, Chapter XIII, 165. “Nam Antiochenus habuit totum Orientem….”

[20] Gulielmi Voelli & Henrici Justellus, Bibliotheca Iuris Canonici Veteris, Tome 1 (Lutetiæ Parisorum, 1671), 71, columns. 1-2. “Haec ἐξουσία est potestas Metropolitani, quam Nicaeni Patres decernunt deberi in tribus provinciis hoc Canone denominatis, Aegypto, Libya, & Pentapoli, quae totam Aegyptiacam diœcesim constituebant tam in civilibus quam Ecclesiasticus.”

[21] Carl Joseph von Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, 2nd edition, (Freiburg im Breisgau, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, 1855), 390. “Die ersten Worte unseres Canons besagen sonach: ‘dem Bischof von Alexandrien soll sein altes Borrecht, wonach die ganze (bürgerliche) Diöcese Aegypten unter seiner (geistlichen) Oberleitung steht, bestätigt werden.’”

[22] Charles Joseph Hefele, A History of the Christian Councils, William R. Clark, translator, (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1871), 393, emphasis added.

[23] Loughlin, James F., “The Sixth Nicene Canon and the Papacy,” American Catholic Quarterly Review, volume 5, January to October 1880, (Philadelphia, PA: Hardy & Mahony, 1880), 237.

[24] Bellarmini,165, “…id est, quia Romanus Episc., ante omnem Conciliorum diffinitionem consueuit permittere Episcopo Alexandrino regimen Ægypti, Lybiæ & Pentapolis.”

[25] Loughlin, 230.

[26] Unam Sanctam Catholicam, “Papal Primacy in the First Councils”, January 31, 2016 http://www.unamsanctamcatholicam.com/history/historical-apologetics/79-history/98-papal-primacy-in-the-first-councils.html.

[27] Parvis, Sarah, Marcellus of Ancyra and the Lost Years of the Arian Controversy 325-345 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006) 125.

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