1. Metropolis of Chalcedon
Chalcedon was initially a bishopric see. In 451, being the place of origin and of martyrdom of St Euphemia and hosting the , Chalcedon was detached from the jurisdiction of the province of Bithynia and its capital Nicomedia, and became an independent metropolis. This honorary award did not entail any suffragan bishoprics, which Chaldecon was never assigned.
The metropolis of Chalcedon is always recorded in the and usually ranks 9th among the other metropolises of a total naumber that reached 91 at the end of the 12th century (Notitia 12).1 There is no information about the extent of its ecclesiastical jurisdiction; it probably coincided with the urban settlement of Chalcedon and some surrounding villages.2 During the 14th century, the metropolitan see remained vacant and never re-emerged, because of the Ottoman conquest.
2. Bishops and metropolitans of Chalcedon
In the late Byzantine period, the metropolitan of Chalcedon bore the title of " kai hypertimos" (most revered) of the "whole Bithynia" (Bithynia ), just as the metropolitans of Nicomedia and Nicaea did. Among the bishops and the metropolitans of Chalcedon there are some who are venerated as saints by the Orthodox Church: those are Hadrian (2nd or 4th century) and the metropolitans Niketas, Kosmas and John (from the period of Iconoclasm).3 The metropolitans of Chalcedon had their own church at Constantinople, next to the Hippodrome: the cchurch was dedicated to St Euphemia, whose relics had been translated there, and it had its own clergy and served as the residence of the metropolitans of Chalcedon in the capital. Probably they obtained these privileges during the 7th century, when the translation of the relic from Chalcedon to Constantinople took place. These privileges were still in force until 1387, as it is witnessed in a synodic act, which consolidated the property of the metropolis of Chalcedon.4 Nevertheless, three years later, in 1389-1390, during Makarios’ office as patriarch, they were abolished when it was decided that the metropolitan of Chalcedon would permanently reside at Constantinople, without having, however, a permanent clergy and without being distinguished from the rest of the higher clergy residing there.5
Ecclesiastical events concerning the patriarchal throne of Constantinople usually had an effect on the depended metropolises, as in the case of the , about the prevalence of the patriarchs Ignatios and Photios. Thus, in 858 the metropolitan of Chalcedon Basil was replaced with the pro-Photian Zechariah.6 In 869-870, after the restoration of patriarch Ignatios, Basil returned to the metropolitan throne of Chalcedon up until 877, to be succeeded anew by Zachariah for a second term.
From a letter of Maximos Planoudes we gather that the small convent of the Five Martyrs on the Mount Auxentios was granted to the metropolitan of Chalcedon at the end of the 13th century.7 Between the years 1315 and 1319, the metropolis of Chalcedon faced difficulties and its destitution compromised its survival.8 Still, in a series of documents from the years 1324, 1327, 1350, 1370, the metropolitan of Chalcedon is recorded among the other metropolitans.9 In 1327, the metropolitan of Chaledon was Theodoulos, who is also referred to as proedros of Maroneia. In 1350, the metropolitan see is occupied by Jacob.
3. The Fourth Ecumenical Council
In 451 the Fourth Ecumenical Council was convoked at Chalcedon aiming to denounce the decisions of the so-called (Latronicium) of Ephesus in 449, on the initiative of emperor Marcian (450-457) and empress Pulcheria.10 Although the initial imperial edict provided Nicaea as the place to hold the council, the seat was transferred to the much closer to Constantinople city of Chalcedon, because the emperor wanted to keep a watch on the political developments triggered by the invasions of the Huns to the West.
The decisions of the Fourth Ecumenical Council consolidated the creed and renounced , and Nestorianism. A committee among the Fathers present at the Council composed the “Horos”, which accepted Christ as perfect God and perfect human with logical soul. It recognized two indivisible and inseparable natures in Christ which though perfectly united in one person, unconfusedly preserved each one its own characteristics. Finally, in empasised upon the quality of the Virgin Mary as «Theotokos», the Mother of God.11
The 28th canon of the Fourth Ecumenical Council bestowed the Church of Constantinople with privileges equal to those of the Church of Rome, which were still not defined and explicit. Thus, the position of the patriarch of Constantinople was enforced; he obtained the privilege to appoint bishops in the dioceses of Pontos, Asia, Thrace and in some other provinces. The 28th canon decreed in order to supplement the 3rd canon of the (381), clarifying that the bishop of Constantinople held the prerogative of honors right after the bishop of Rome, in order not to cause an issue of essential and not honorary primacy. At the same time, the 9th and 17th canons gave to the bishop of Constantinople the right of arbitration for the resolution of differences among the eastern bishoprics. The 28th canon was not accepted by the representatives of the Church of Rome, but they were unable to refuse to acknowledge it, since it was impeccably formulated. As a counter-argument the pope supported that the honorary supremacy of a Church rested upon its apostolic origin. Thus, first in the ecclesiastical hierarchy was Rome, being founded by the apostle Peter, second was Alexandria, being founded by the Evangelist Mark, and third was Antioch, where the name Christianus appeared for the first time and which was connected to the apostle Peter.12
1. Darrouzès, J. (ed.), Notitiae Episcopatuum Ecclesiae Constantinopolitanae (Paris 1981), no. 12, line 9. Darrouzès, J., “L’ Edition des Notitiae Episcopatuum”, Revue des Etudes Byzantines 40, p. 219.
2. Janin, R., Les églises et les monastères des Grands Centres Byzantins (Paris 1975), pp. 31, 422-426. Θρησκευτική και Hθική Eγκυκλοπαίδεια, vol. 12, col. 51-54, s.v. «Xαλκηδόνος Mητρόπολις» (Σταυρίδης, B.)
3. Niketas (ca 720-840) is recorded in medieval synaxaria on the 28th of May. See Pargoire, J., “Les premiers évêques de Chalcédoine”, Echos d’Orient 4 (1900-1901), p. 110. Delehaye, H., Synaxarium Ecclesiae Constantinopolitanae (Bruxelles 1902), col. 713, v. 52; Le Quien, Oriens Christianus in Quatuor Patriarchatus Digestus, col 603-4. Kosmas is venerated on the 18th of April and wasa martyred probably between the years 815-820 Delehaye, H., Synaxarium Ecclesiae Constantinopolitanae (Bruxelles 1902), col 612-614; Pargoire, J., “Les premiers évêques de Chalcédoine", Echos d’Orient 4 (1900-1901), pp.109- 113; Le Quien, Oriens Christianus in Quatuor Patriarchatus Digestus, col. 604. The metropolitan of Chalcedon John is venerated as a saint on the 19th of July. Probably he was the same John associated with Theodore of Stoudios. See Delehaye, H., Synaxarium Ecclesiae Constantinopolitanae (Bruxelles 1902), col 830; Pargoire, J., “Les premiers évêques de Chalcédoine", Echos d’Orient 4 (1900-1901), pp.109-113; Theodori Studitae Epistulae, ed. Fatouros, G. (CFHB 31, Berolini et Novi Eboraci 1991), no. 245, 312.
4. Acta Patriarchatus Constantinopolitani, Acta et Diplomata Graeca medii Aevi Sacra et Profana 2, ed. Miklosich, F. – Müller, I. (Vindobonae 1862), pp. 200-202.
5. Acta Patriarchatus Constantinopolitani, Acta et Diplomata Graeca medii Aevi Sacra et Profana 2, ed. Miklosich, F. – Müller, I. (Vindobonae 1862), pp. 131-133.
6. The good relations between the metropolitan of Chalcedon and the patriarch Photios are attested in the epistolography of the latter. See Photius Epistulae et Amphilochia, ed. Laourdas, B. – Westerink, L.G. (Leipsig 1983), vol. 1, no. 107-8, vol. 2 (Leipsig 1984), no. 221, 223.
7. Maximi Monachi Planudis Epistulae, ed. Leone, P.A.M. (Amsterdam 1991), p. 41, no. 22, no. 70; Janin, R., Les églises et les monastères des Grands Centres Byzantins (Paris 1975), p. 49.
8. Acta Patriarchatus Constantinopolitani, Acta et Diplomata Graeca medii Aevi Sacra et Profana 1, ed. Miklosich, F. – Müller, I. (Vindobonae 1860), pp. 15, 45-46. = Hunger, H. – Kresten, O., Das Register des Patriarchats von Kontantinopel (CFHB 29/1, Wien 1981), no. 29.
9. Acta Patriarchatus Constantinopolitani, Acta et Diplomata Graeca medii Aevi Sacra et Profana 1, ed. Miklosich, F. – Müller, I. (Vindobonae 1860), pp. 98, 144, 433, 531. = Hunger, H. – Kresten, O., Das Register des Patriarchats von Kontantinopel (CFHB 29/1, Wien 1981), no. 97.
10. Concilium Universale Chalcedonense, Acta Conciliorum Oecumenicorum II/I, 2 , ed. Schwartz, E. (Berolini et Lipsiae 1933/re-print Berolini 1962), pp. 121-130, 158-163; Dagron, G., H γέννηση μιας πρωτεύουσας (Athens 2000), p. 586; Xριστοφιλοπούλου Aικατερίνη, Bυζαντινή Iστορία I (Thessaloniki 1992), pp. 212-214.
11. Xριστοφιλοπούλου Aικατερίνη, Bυζαντινή Iστορία I (Thessaloniki 1992), p. 213.
12. Xριστοφιλοπούλου Aικατερίνη, Bυζαντινή Iστορία I (Thessaloniki 1992), p. 213.