Zakharov Georgy

The relationship between the sees of Rome, Thessalonica and Constantinople in the context of the development of synodal institutions in the first half of the 5th century

Zakharov Georgy (2022) "The relationship between the sees of Rome, Thessalonica and Constantinople in the context of the development of synodal institutions in the first half of the 5th century ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia II : Istoriia. Istoriia Russkoy Pravoslavnoy Tserkvi, 2022, vol. 104, pp. 27-37 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturII2022104.27-37


This paper is devoted to the problem of the development of the church organization of the super-provincial level in the Balkan region and to the influence of the Roman and Constantinople Sees on this process. According to the author, the law of emperor Theodosius II, concerning church affairs in Illyricum (421), did not imply the liquidation of the vicariate of Thessalonica created by the Roman see and the transfer of this region to the jurisdiction of Constantinople. It was about endowing the Constantinopolitan see with the function of an alternative judicial instance (along with the see of Thessalonica), which was justified by the status of Constantinople as the New Rome. The protest of Pope Boniface I and the western emperor Honorius against this decision, apparently, led to the fact that the status quo remained in Illyricum. Nevertheless, this law was included in the Code of Theodosius. It is also possible that, along with the diocese of the Orient, Illyricum was meant as the sphere of implementation of the 9th and 17th canons of the Council of Chalcedon (451), which prescribe, in the case of litigation with the participation of the metropolitan, to apply for a trial to the exarch of the diocese or to the Constantinopolitan see. This rule, apparently, was associated with the existence in Constantinople of a "permanent synod", the organization of which did not require significant costs and efforts, in contrast to the synods of dioceses.


church organization, councils, Illyricum, Roman See, See of Constantinople, Vicariate of Thessalonica, Council of Chalcedon.


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Information about the author

Zakharov Georgy

Academic Degree: Candidate of Sciences* in History;
Academic Rank: Associate Professor;
Place of work: St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University; 23b, Novokuznetskaya st., Moscow 115184, Russian Federation;
Post: Head of the Department of Systematical Theology and Patrologу;
ORCID: 0000-0002-3406-2088;
Email: g.e.zakharov@gmail.com.

*According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, the degree of Candidate of Sciences (Cand.Sc.) belongs to ISCED level 8 — "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar.


The article was prepared within the framework of the project "Correlation of the idea of ecumenical primacy with the regional consolidation of the episcopate in the 4th – 6th centuries", carried out with the support of the Living Tradition Foundation.