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Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Vasilief, A History of the Byzantine Empire

The empire from Constantine the Great to Justinian

The Fourth Ecumenical Council  -Cf. Acts of the Fourth Ecumenical Council


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The twenty-eighth canon of the Council of Chalcedon, which called forth a correspondence between the Emperor and the pope, was also of great importance. Although not confirmed by the pope, this canon was generally accepted in the East. It raised the question of the rank of the patriarch of Constantinople in relation to the Pope of Rome, a question already decided by the third canon of the Second Ecumenical Council. Following this decision, the twenty-eighth canon of the Chalcedon council gave equal privileges to the most holy throne of New Rome, rightly judging that the city which is honored with the Sovereignty and the Senate and enjoys equal privileges with the old Imperial Rome should in ecclesiastical matters also be magnified as she is, and rank next after her. Furthermore, the same canon granted the archbishop of Constantinople the right to ordain bishops for the provinces of Pontus, Asia, and Thrace, inhabited by people of various tribes. It is sufficient to recall, said Th. I. Uspensky, that these three names embraced all the Christian missions in the East, in southern Russia, and in the Balkan peninsula, as well as all those acquisitions of the eastern clergy which could eventually be made in the indicated districts. At least, this is the opinion of later Greek canonists who defended the rights of the Constantinopolitan patriarch. Such, in brief, is the universal historical significance of the twenty-eighth canon. Both Marcian and Leo I, then, were emperors of strict orthodox mind

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