Bassianus, Bishop of Ephesus

Bassianus, Bishop Of Ephesus, was originally a presbyter of Ephesus. The popularity he there gained by his service to the poor so excited the jealousy of Memnon, then bishop, that he, having failed to drive him from the city, forcibly ordained him bishop of Evaza (or Theodosiopolis). He, however, refused to recognise any tie to the see into which he had been thrust, and never once visited the place. The circumstances of his consecration being made known to Basil, Memnon's successor, he declared the see vacant, and admitted Bassianus to communion. On the death of Basil, A.D. 444, the inhabitants of Ephesus compelled Olympus, bishop of Theodosiopolis, to ordain Bassianus. Irregular as his ordination had been, Bassianus visited Constantinople, and succeeded in obtaining its recognition by the emperor Theodosius II. After four years he became odious to his flock, who thrust him into prison. Four months afterwards the emperor sent Eustathius, the chief Silentiary, to investigate the matter; and the case being laid before the chief bishops of the Christian Church — Leo of Rome, Flavian of Constantinople, and Domnus of Antioch — they pronounced for his deposition on the ground of forcible intrusion. On the receipt of this sentence, Bassianus was treated with the greatest indignity; his sacerdotal habit was violently torn from him, and he was cast into prison. At the Council of Chalcedon (q.v.) the see was declared vacant; but Bassianus and Stephen (ordained as his successor) were allowed to retain episcopal rank, and a pension of two hundred gold pieces was granted them from the episcopal revenues. See Tillemont, 15:460-465, 690-692, 895; Cave, Hist. Lit. i, 442.

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