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DAMIAN of Alexandria

Chalcedonian patriarch of Alexandria from 578–605. Of Syrian origin, he was elected at the end of a period of grave organizational crisis in the anti-Chalcedonian Egyptian church, in the wake of the measures of Justinian and his successors aimed at restoring unity to the church of the empire. Damian succeeded brilliantly in reconstituting the Egyptian clergy in his hierarchy, a work that endured. He was less successful, however, in the other serious problem, that of relations with the other important anti-Chalcedonian church the Syrian creating a theological and personal conflict that was resolved only during the time of his successor Anastasius. Of his works, probably written in Greek, we have only an important synodal letter sent to the Syrian church and fragments of the Coptic translation of a homily on the incarnation ed. Orlandi. An important school of Coptic writers developed during his patriarchate authors of homilies, encomia of saints, exegesis and polemic: Constantine of Assiut, John of Ashmunein, Rufus of Shotep, John of Paralos.

DAMIAN of Pavia late 7th c.. Western bishops were invited by Constantine IV, emperor of the East, to attend the 6th ecumenical council 681–682, III Constantinople, convoked to discuss and condemn monothelitism. Mansuetus, archbishop of Milan, gathered a local council to respond to the invitation. At his request the Greek-educated Damian, future bishop of Pavia elected ca. 680, in 679 drafted in Greek the letter to the emperor and an extensive profession of trinitarian and christological faith; the letter has been preserved in Latin Paul the Deacon, Hist. Lang. 6,4. The two texts, together with the synodica of Pope Agatho, were accepted by the council, and constituted the basis of the council’s decisions. The letter praises Constantine for his works, inviting him to imitate Constantine I and Theodosius; it also proclaims fidelity to the first five ecumenical councils and praises the orthodoxy of the Longobard kings.

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