Early Church Fathers
45 Childebert II. son of Sigebert I. and Brunechild, who had reigned over nearly all the dominions of the Franks in Gaul (see VI. 5, note 5), died in this year.a.d.596. and was succeeded by his illegitimate son Theodebert II. as king of Austrasia, and by his second son Theoderic II. as king of Burgundy. These two kings were only ten and seven years of age respectively when their father died, and their grandmother Brunechild was appointed guardian of the former. Hence Gregory, writing now after the death of Childebert, addresses forma1 letter's in identical terms to the two minors, but another (Ep. LIX.) to Brunechild. See Pedigree of Kings of Gaul, p. xxx..
46 See I. 25, note 8.
47 See V. 43, which is probably the letter here referred to, being one sent to the two patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch, urging them to join in resisting the assumption of the title of universal Bishop by the patriarch of Constantinople.
48 Benedictionem, with reference to the present of sweet wood that had been sent. Cf. 2 Kings v. 15, "Take a blessing of thy servant."
49 Cf. VII. 40; IX. 78.
50 On the subject of this Epistle, cf. above, Ep. XXXIV., with references in note.
51 Cf. V. 11; VI. 34.
52 Spatam, a word usually signifying a kind of sword. Cf. VI. 24, where this same spata is referred to.
53 On the subject of this letter, see IV. 34, 35.
54 Gennadius was the Exarch of Africa.
55 Cyriacus (a.d.595) succeeded John the Faster as patriarch of Constantinople. For the letter written afterwards written to him with reference to Athanasius, cf. VII. 5.
1 On the subject of this letter, see IV. 34, 35: also VI. 63.
2 What follows about Isaiah and Jeremiah occurs also in the Pastoralis Cura, I. 7.
4 It is a sign of Gregory's scanty knowledge of the history of controversies that so far he seems never to have heard of so noted an Arian leader as Eudoxius, whose followers under the name of Eudoxians, had been specifically condemned in the 1st Canon of the first general Council of Constantinople. But it appears from a subsequent letter (VII. 34), that there was no copy at Rome of the canons of that Council, which had not in fact been accepted there, probably because of the 3rd Canon, which assigned a primacy of honour after Rome to the See of Constantinople as being new Rome. When he wrote this subsequent letter, he had become aware that the Eudoxians had been so condemned, but still had no idea who Eudoxius had been. The fact was that he was not well versed in past ecclesiastical history and, being totally ignorant of Greek, could only consult such Latin writings as were within his reach; and in these he hadfailed to find Eudoxius mentioned. We applied, however, to the patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch for further information on the subject (see VII. 34, and VIII. 30), and was at length satisfied that Eudoxius had been a veritable heretic, having been condemned be many Greek Fathers of repute, and concluded that he was "manifestly slain, against whom our heroes have cast so many darts" (VIII. 30).
5 What is said here shews that the appointment of the Patriarchs of Constantinople rested in fact entirely with the Emperor.
6 Who these bishops were, who had assisted at the ordination of Cyriacus and sent a report of it to Gregory, does not appear. In the objection taken by the latter to the language of laudation with which the new patriarch had been hailed at Constantinople we may perhaps detect something of his habitual jealousy of the assumptions of the Constantinopolitan See. Of Cyriacus himself he appears to have had a high opinion and to have welcomed his accession, hoping at first that he would renounce the offensive title of oecumenical bishop which had been assumed by John Jejunatur. In this, however, he was disappointed, and afterwards inveighed against the new patriarch for proud presumption no less than against the old one.
7 cxviii. 24.
8 lv. 5.
9 cxviii. 22.