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Philoxenus of Mabbug (c.450–522)

  1. Joseph P. Amar

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc1077

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Amar, J. P. 2011. Philoxenus of Mabbug (c.450–522). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Philoxenus was the most important Syriac Orthodox writer of his time. Born sometime in the middle of the 5th century in the Persian province of Beth Garmai, Philoxenus, who is known in Syriac as Aksenaya, the Syriac rendering of the Greek ascetical title Xenos, “stranger,” studied at the theological school of Edessa. Although the pro-Nestorian Ibas was bishop of the city during this period, Philoxenus became a vigorous opponent of Nestorius. Appointed bishop of Hieropolis (Syriac, Mabbug) in 485, he wrote polemical works against the Council of Chalcedon (451) in defense of Miaphysite Christology. Although he gained temporary victories from Constantinople for the Miaphysite cause, these were reversed under the Emperor Justin I, who banished him along with many of his co-religionists to Thrace, where Philoxenus died c.522.


  • philoxenus of mabbug (c.450–522);
  • syriac orthodox writer of his time;
  • greatest syriac prose authors of his day;
  • chor-bishop”