Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Amphilochius of Iconium

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

A Christian bishop of the fourth century, son of a Cappadocian family of distinction, b. perhaps at Cæsarea, c. 339 or 340; d. probably some time between 394 and 403. His father was an eminent lawyer, and his mother Livia remarkable for gentleness and wisdom. He was probably first cousin to Gregory of Nazianzus, and was brought up in the peculiarly religious atmosphere of the Christian aristocracy of his native province. He studied for the bar, practised at Constantinople, but soon retired to lead a religious life in the vicinity of his friend and relative, the "theologian" of Nazianzus. He was soon drawn within the circle of St. Basil's influence, and seems to have been for a while a member of the Christian "City of the Poor" that Basil had built at Cæsarea. Early in 374 he was bishop of the important see of Iconium, probably placed there by Basil, whom he continued to aid in Cappadocian ecclesiastical affairs until Basil's death (379). Thenceforth he remained in close relations with Gregory of Nazianzus, and accompanied him to the Synod of Constantinople (381), where St. Jerome met and conversed with him (De Vir. Ill., c. 133). In the history of theology he occupies a place of prominence for his defence of the divinity of the Holy Spirit against the Macedonians (q.v.). It was to him that St. Basil dedicated his work "On the Holy Spirit ". He wrote a similar work, now lost. We know, however, that he read it to St. Jerome on the occasion of their meeting at Constantinople. His attitude towards Arianism is illustrated by the well-known anecdote concerning his audience with Theodosius and his son Arcadius. When the Emperor rebuked him for ignoring the presence of his son, he reminded him that the Lord of the universe abhorreth those who are ungrateful towards His Son, their Saviour and Benefactor. He was very energetic against the Messalians, and contributed to the extirpation of that heresy. His contemporaries rated him very high as a theologian and a scholarly writer. Not to speak of his admirers and friends already mentioned, St. Jerome says (Ep. 70) of the Cappadocian triad (Basil, Gregory, and Amphilochius) that "they cram their books with the lessons and sentences of the philosophers to such an extent that you cannot tell which you ought to admire most in them, their secular erudition or their scriptural knowledge ". In the next generation Theodoret described him in very flattering terms (Hist. Eccl., IV, x; V, xvi), and he is quoted by councils as late as 787. His only genuine extant work is, according to Bardenhewer (Patrologie, p. 249), the "Epistola Synodica", a letter against the Macedonian heresy in the name of the bishops of Lycaonia, and probably addressed to the bishops of Lycia (Goldhorn, S. Basil., Opp. Sel. Dogm., 630-635). The spurious "Iambics to Seleucus" offer an early and important catalogue of the canonical writings; other spurious fragments, current under his name, are taken from scriptural discourses, dogmatic letters and controversial writings (P.G., XXXIX, 13-130).


Shop Catholic - Buy One Get One 50% OFF

Mix and match any of these bestselling products and enjoy 50% off the second item!

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.


Act of Contrition PDF

Free Catholic Educational PDF Downloads and Resources

PDF educational resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers and it’s 100% FREE. How to Pray the Rosary, Hail Mary, Our Father, Saints, Prayers, Coloring Books, Novenas, Espanol and more. All FREE to download and faithful to the Magisterium. Download Now >

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.