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Domnus II of Antioch

Domnus II of Antioch was bishop of Antioch during the fifth century. Not an Nestorian, Domnus became embroiled in the Christological conflicts in Antioch that resulted in his deposition as Bishop of Antioch.


Little is known of Domnus' early life. He was a friend of Theodoret of Cyrrhus and the nephew of the Bishop of Antioch, John I, who was a supporter of Nestorius at the Council of Ephesus, but later reconciled with Cyril of Alexandria. Domnus was a disciple of the anchorite Euthymius in Palestine.

In 429, Domnus was ordained a deacon by Juvenal of Jerusalem when he was at the Lavra of Euthymius. In 431, Domnus learned that his uncle, John I the Bishop of Antioch, had become entangled in the heresy of Nestorianism and sought leave from Euthymius so that he could aid him. Euthymius counseled Domnus to remain and advised him that going to Antioch would probably be not to his advantage. Also, he advised him that he would probably not be successful in restoring his uncle's dignity. Turning aside Euthymius' advise, Domnus left the lavra without saying farewell to Euthymius. [1]

In Antioch, Domnus gained much popularity and was elected John I's successor in 442 upon John's death in 441. Soon Bp. Domnus was ranked among the chief bishops in the East. In 445, he convened a synod of the Syrian bishops that confirmed the deposition of Athanasius of Perrha. In 447, Domnus consecrated Irenaeus as bishop of Tyre. [2] However, Theodosius II directed that the appointment be annulled because Irenaeus was involved in a second marriage (digamus) and was sympathetic to Nestorianism.

In 448, Bp. Domnus defended Ibas, the bishop of Edessa, against charges of preaching Nestorianism and, in a synod he convened at Antioch, won a decision in Ibas' favor. The synod went on to depose his accusers. However, Flavian, Bishop of Constantinople, intervened and revoked the sentence set by the synod. Flavian's action was then set aside after the original sentence was confirmed by a commission of three bishops that was formed by emperor Theodosius and Domnus to settled the issue.

In a letter to emperor Theodosius, Domnus was among the earliest of those who questioned the orthodoxy of the Eutyches. Eutyches, in opposing Nestorianism, asserted the other extreme, that his human nature and divine nature were combined into the single nature of Christ.

This dispute became the subject of the Robber Council of Ephesus. Convening the council on August 8, 449, emperor Theodosius passed over Domnus by naming Dioscorus, Bishop of Alexandria, chairman of the council. In a council dominated by the authoritarian spirit of Dioscorus and supported by the violent Alexandrian monks led by Barsumas, Domnus took back his earlier condemnation of Eutyches and voted for his restoration and the condemnation of Flavian. Not withstanding his backsliding, Domnus was himself deposed and banished, charged that he approved a Nestorian sermon preached before him at Antioch by Theodoret.

Domnus was the only bishop deposed and banished at the Robber Council who was not reinstated after the Council of Chalcedon in 451. At the council, Maximus II, Domnus' successor to the see of Antioch, obtained permission to award a pension to Domnus from the revenues of the church. [3] When he was recalled from exile, Domnus returned to the Lavra of St. Euthymius, the monastic home of his younger days. In 452, he provided refuge to Juvenal of Jerusalem when he was driven from his see. [4]

The date of Domnus' death is not known.domnus


  1. Vita S. Euthymii, cc. 42, 56, 57
  2. Theod. Ep. 110; Labbe, Concil. t. iii col. 1275
  3. Labbe, ib. col. 681; append. col. 770
  4. Theophanes, p. 92
Succession box:
Domnus II of Antioch
Preceded by:
John I
Bishop of Antioch
Succeeded by:
Maximus II
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