Demophilus of Constantinople

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Demophilus (died 386) was bishop of Berea and bishop of Constantinople from 370 until expelled in 380.


Born of good family in Thessalonica,[1] he was elected by the Arians[which?] to the bishopric of Constantinople.[2] The opinion of the populace, however, were much divided.[3] The orthodox party chose Evagrius for their bishop, and he was ordained by Eustathius, the deposed bishop of Antioch. This was the signal for a furious outburst from the Arians. Both Eustathius and Evagrius were banished by the emperor Valens, and their followers bitterly persecuted.[4]

Soon after his accession, Demophilus went to Cyzicus with Dorotheus, or Theodorus, of Heraclea to procure the election of an Arian bishop, which was left vacant since the banishment of Eunomius. Nevertheless, the people of Cyzicus refused to acknowledge them until they had anathematized Aetius, Eunomius, and their followers. They were then permitted to ordain a bishop chosen by the people. The bishop who was ordained straightway and clearly taught the consubstantial faith.[5]

In 380 emperor Theodosius I made the patriarchate of Demophilus memorable. Theodosius offered to confirm him in his see, if he would subscribe the Nicene Creed. Demophilus refused, and was immediately ordered to give up his churches. He then called his followers together, and retired, with Lucius of Alexandria and others, to a church outside of the city walls.[6] The churches of Constantinople, which had for forty years been in Arian hands, were now restored to the orthodox; and similarly in other cities. It was in fact a re-establishment of Catholicism.[7]

Philostorgius,[8] adds that Demophilus went to his own city, Berea; however this must have been some time afterwards, or he must have returned from exile, for he represented the Arian party at the synod in Constantinople in 383.[9] The same writer says that Demophilus was wont to throw everything into confusion, especially the doctrines of the Church, and quotes from a sermon at Constantinople, in which he spoke of the human nature of the Saviour as lost in the divine, as a glass of milk when poured into the sea.[10]


  1. Onslow 1911 cites Philostorg. H. E. ix. 14.
  2. Onslow 1911 cites Socr. H. E. iv. 14; Soz. H. E. vi. 13.
  3. Onslow 1911 cites Philostorg. H. E. ix. 10.
  4. Onslow 1911 cites Socr. H. E. iv. 14, 16; Soz. H. E. vi. 13, 14.
  5. Onslow 1911 cites Philostorg. H. E. ix. 13.
  6. Onslow 1911 cites Socr. H. E. v. 7.
  7. Onslow 1911.
  8. Onslow 1911 cites Philostorg. H. E. ix. 19
  9. Onslow 1911 cites Socr. H. E. v. 10; Soz. H. E. vii. 12.
  10. Onslow 1911 cites Philostorg. Patrol. Gk. lxv.; Soz. and Socr. Patrol. Gk. lxvii.
Titles of Early Christianity
Preceded by
Eudoxius of Antioch
Archbishop of Constantinople
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Eudoxius of Antioch
Arian Archbishop of Constantinople
Succeeded by
Marinus of Thrace