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PHILOXENUS (Syriac, Aksenaya)

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Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 445 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PHILOXENUS (Syriac, Aksenaya), of Mabbog, one of the best of Syriac prose writers, and a vehement champion of Monophysite doctrine in the end of the 5th and beginning of the 6th centuries. He was born, probably in the third quarter of the 5th century, at Talial, a village in the district of Beth Garmai east of the Tigris. He was thus by birth a subject of Persia, but all his active life of which we have any record was passed in the territory of the Greek Empire. The statements that he had been a slave and was never baptized appear to be malicious inventions of his theological opponents. He was educated at Edessa, perhaps in the famous " school of the Persians," which was after-wards (in 489) expelled from Edessa2 on account of its connexion with the Nestorian heresy. The years which followed the Council of Chalcedon (451) were a stormy period in the Syrian Church. Philoxenus soon attracted notice by his strenuous advocacy of Monophysite doctrine, and on the expulsion of Calandio (the orthodox patriarch of Antioch) in 485 was ordained bishop of Mabbog3 by his Monophysite successor Peter the Fuller (Barhebraeus, Chron. eccl. 183). It was probably during the earlier years of his episcopate that Philoxenus composed his thirteen homilies on the Christian life. Later he devoted himself to the revision of the Syriac version of the Bible, and with the help of his chorepiscopus Polycarp produced in 508 the so-called Philoxenian version, which was in some sense the received Bible of the Monophysites during the 6th century. Meantime he continued his ecclesiastical activity, working as a bitter opponent of 2 According to Barhebraeus (Chron. eccl. ii. 55) through the efforts of Philoxenus himself. Hierapolis of the Greeks, Manbij of the Arabs, a few miles west I of the Euphrates about latitude 361°. may be specially mentioned. Writers on the history of philosophy generally prefix to their work a discussion of the scope of philosophy, Its divisions and its relations to other departments of knowledge, and the account given by Windelband and Ueberweg will be found specially good. The Introductions to Philosophy published by F. Paulsen, 0. Kiilpe, W. Wundt and G. T. Ladd, deal largely with this subject, which is also treated by Henry Sidgwick in his Philosophy, its Scope and Relations (1902), by Ernest Naville, La Definition de la philosophie (1894) and by Wundt in the introduction to his System der Philosophie (1889). A useful work of general reference is J. M. Baldwin's Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology (3 vols., 1902–1905). (A. S. P.–P.)
End of Article: PHILOXENUS (Syriac, Aksenaya)
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