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Headword: *dhmo/filos
Adler number: delta,470
Translated headword: Demophilos, Demophilus
Vetting Status: high
Bishop of Constantinople, he was a man inclined to mix everything together in a disorderly rush like a wild torrent, gathering a great heap of rubbish in his words,[1] as one will know at any rate from the public speech which appears among his extant memoirs: there it seems that he took more thought for accuracy, as he revised his spoken words in making written records. In these [spoken words] at any rate he said many disjointed things, and particularly in his discourses on the Father and the Son. For he says: the Son is born by the will of the Father alone, timelessly, without intermediary, so that he might become the minister and servant of the Father’s intentions. For since God who foreknew what he would do + was impossible of the uncontrolled order of God who was going to make them in their coming-to-be.+[2] For either they would all have had to become gods according to the rank of the one who made them, and therefore they would be gods, or else they would have had to be destroyed as they came into being, like wax brought near to a hot fire. So the Son became an intermediary between those who would come to be and the God who had begotten him, so that subjecting himself and condescending to those who were coming to be he might accomplish the intention of the Father. And he has become an intermediary between God and us who have come to be through him. In saying these things [Demophilos] did not recognize that he was falsely attributing weakness and malice to the God of all and declaring the Son inferior to all the creation. For [the Father] was weak according to Demophilos, if when he desired he was unable to give being to all things; and he would not be acquitted of malice, if although it was possible for him to make everything gods he was obviously devising a way to keep the things which would come to be from attaining this rank. And of the creatures there was not one who was not shown to be better than the Son, since he did not happen to have come into being through himself, but through the purpose and need of their coming-to-be. For it must be the case that whatever comes to be for the need of others is inferior to those for the benefit of which it obtains its being. And he spoke a lot more nonsense too.[3]
Greek Original:
*dhmo/filos, e)pi/skopos *kwnstanti/nou po/lews a)/nqrwpos h)=n oi(=os e)mpesw\n o(mou= su/mpanta fu/rein a)ko/smw| fora=| kaqa/per a)/taktos xeima/rrous, polu\n e)n toi=s lo/gois to\n surfeto\n a)/gwn, w(s ei)/setai/ tis e)k gou=n th=s e)n toi=s e)/ti sw|zome/nois u(pomnh/masin au)tou= gegonui/as dhmhgori/as: e)/nqa kai\ ma=llon ei)ko\s h)=n a)sfalei/as au)to\n fronti/da qe/sqai tina/, w(s e)ggra/fois mnh/mais a)nalambanome/nwn tw=n legome/nwn. e)n tou/tois gou=n a)/lla te polla\ diei/lektai a)/narqra, diarrh/dhn de\ e)n toi=s peri\ patro\s kai\ ui(ou= lo/gois. fhsi\ ga/r: ui(o\s me\n patro\s qelh/sei gege/nnhtai mo/nou, a)xro/nws, a)mesiteu/tws, i(/na dia/konos ge/nhtai kai\ u(phre/ths tw=n boulhma/twn tou= patro/s. e)peidh\ ga\r o( proginw/skwn qeo\s a(\ e)/melle pra/ttein a)du/nata h)=n th=s a)krath/tou ta/cews tou= me/llontos au)ta\ poiei=n qeou= e)n tw=| gene/sqai me/llonta: h)\ ga\r e)/dei au)ta\ pa/nta qeou\s gene/sqai pro\s a)ci/an tou= poiou=ntos, kai\ e)k tou/twn e)/mellon ei)=nai qeoi/: h)\ e)/dei au)ta\ geno/mena lu/esqai, w(/sper khro\n puri\ qermw=| prosago/menon: ge/gone me\n ou)=n mesi/ths tw=n te e)some/nwn kai\ tou= gegennhko/tos au)to\n qeou=, o( ui(o/s, i(/na sunta/cas e(auto\n kai\ sugkatabai/nwn toi=s ginome/nois a)potele/seie to\ bou/lhma tou= patro/s: kai\ mesi/ths gege/nhtai tou= qeou= kai\ h(mw=n tw=n di' au)tou= genome/nwn. e)la/nqane dia\ tou/twn tou= te qeou= tw=n o(/lwn a)sqe/neian kai\ baskani/an katayeudo/menos kai\ to\n ui(o\n pa/ntwn tw=n ktisma/twn a)pofai/nwn katadee/steron. o( me\n ga\r a)sqenh\s a)\n h)=n kata\ *dhmo/filon, ei) boulhqei/s, e)/peita a)po/rws ei)=xe toi=s pa=si to\ ei)=nai dwrh/sasqai: fqo/nou d' ou)k a)ph/llakto a)/n, ei) e)co\n au)tw=| qeou\s ta\ pa/nta poiei=n, o( de\ e)fai/neto mhxanw/menos, o(/pws mh\ tau/ths au)tw=| tu/xh| ta\ genhso/mena th=s a)ci/as. tou= de/ g' au)= paido\s ou)k h)=n tw=n ktisma/twn ou)de/n, o(\ mh\ a)/meinon u(pa/rxein e)dei/xqh a)/n, ei)/per ge mh\ di' e(auto\n e)kei=nos e)/tuxe gegonw/s, a)lla\ dia\ skopo\n kai\ xrei/an th=s tou/twn gene/sews. a(/pan ga/r toi to\ di' e(te/rwn gino/menon xrei/an e)/latton u(pa/rxein e)kei/nwn a)na/gkh, di' a(\ tou= ei)=nai tugxa/nei. kai\ a)/lla de\ e)lhrw/dei polla/.
Demophilos was patriarch of Constantinople from 370 to 380 (died 386). See biography from Henry Wace at web address 1; Socrates' Ecclesiastical History 4.14 at web address 2; Sozomen's Ecclesiastical History 6.13 at web address 3.
According to Vaggione (below) 299, Demophilos, while certainly non-Nicene, "lacked any easily discernible doctrinal orientation." To Philostorgius, vagueness in Christology was reprehensible even among fellow heterousians. Photius provides another item from Philostorgius' report of Demophilus' teachings: in a sermon at Constantinople he said that the Lord's body was swallowed up by his divinity like warm milk in the ocean (Bidez-Winkelmann p. 121).
[1] Repeated at omicroniota 147 (end).
[2] At this point three manuscripts, Adler reports, have the marginal comment ou)k a)sebh= tau=ta mo/non, a)lla\ kai\ a)su/ntakta "these things [are] not only impious, but also ungrammatical." (A fourth ms adds this remark much later, at the end of the entry's penultimate sentence.) Clearly the text had become corrupt early in the transmission.
[3] In the Bidez-Winkelmann edition of Philostorgius, IX.14a, at pp. 121-122. Some phrases appear also in Photius' Epitome of Philostorgius.
R. P. Vaggione, OHC, Eunomius of Cyzicus and the Nicene Revolution, Oxford 2000
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2,
Web address 3
Keywords: biography; Christianity; ethics; geography; imagery; religion; rhetoric
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 11 November 2004@00:24:51.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (tweaks to tr) on 11 November 2004@03:17:48.
Catharine Roth (added cross-reference) on 13 November 2004@12:08:18.
Catharine Roth (augmented notes, added links and bibliography) on 25 November 2004@00:24:08.
Catharine Roth (augmented reference) on 28 November 2004@23:46:51.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 3 October 2005@07:30:37.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 27 June 2012@04:05:44.
Catharine Roth (my typo) on 19 August 2013@21:39:53.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 18 July 2016@16:23:58.
Catharine Roth (tweaked links) on 19 July 2016@01:32:02.


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