John of Talaia

John Of Talaia or TALAIDA (otherwise Tabennisiota, Ταβεννισιώτης, from the monastery of Tabenna, near Alexandria; or of Alexandria, from his patriarchal see; or from the offices which he had previously held, oeconomus [ οἰβεννισιώτης] and presbyter), a celebrated ecclesiastic in the Eastern Church, was one of the deputation sent by Salofaciolus, the twenty-seventh patriarch of Alexandria (A.D. 460-482), shortly before his decease; to the emperor Zeno, to secure his leave for a free election of the next patriarch from among the defenders of the Council of Chalcedon by the clergy and laity of Alexandria. "The emperor," says Neale (East. Church [Alexand.] 2, 18), "received the deputies graciously, complied with their request, and in the letter which he gave them by way of reply spoke strongly in flavor of John." Soon after the return of John, Timotheus Salofaciolus died, and John was unanimously elected to succeed him, but was almost immediately expelled from his see by order of the emperor. The cause of his expulsion is differently stated. Liberatus says that he was expelled mainly through the jealousy of Acacius, patriarch of Constantinople, to whom, on different occasions, he had failed in paying due attention. According to Evagrius, who quotes Zacharias as his authority. he was detected in having procured his own election by bribery, and had broken an oath which he had taken before Zeno not to seek for himself the patriarchate. But Neale thinks it doubtful whether John ever took such an oath, and holds that, even if he had, he can see no reason for the harshness with which he was treated, and for his ejection from the see, so long as it was freely proffered to him (which seems clear from the unanimous election). The true reason seems to be John's careless delay of the announcement of his election to the patriarch of Constantinople, sending the message by Illus, who was then in Antioch, instead of dispatching a messenger direct, as he had done in the case of Rome and Antioch, thereby provoking the patriarch of Constantinople, also his selection of Illus for the messenger, when the latter was then the object of jealousy and suspicion to Zeno, if not actually in rebellion against him. John, expelled from Alexandria, first resorted to Illus, then to Antioch; and having, through Illus's intervention, obtained from the patriarch of Antioch and his suffragans a synodical letter commending him to pope Simplicius, departed to Rome to plead his cause there in person. Simplicius, with the usual papal jealousy of the patriarchs of Constantinople, took the side of John; but neither the exertions of Simplicius nor those of his successor Felix could obtain the restoration of the banished patriarch, and John finally accepted from Felix the bishopric of Nola, in Campania, which he held several years, and at last died peaceably (the precise date of his decease is not known). John (whom Theophanes extols for his piety and orthodoxy)

wrote Πρὸς Γελάσιον τὸν ῾Ρώμης ἀπολογία, Ad Gelasium Papam Apologia,in which he anathematized Pelagianism, as well as its defenders Pelagius and Celestius, and their successor Julianus. The work, which is noticed by Photius, is not extant. See Tillemont, Mfmn. vol. 16; Cave, Hist. Litt. 1, 445. — Smith, Dict. Gr. and Rom. Biog. 2, 602; Neale, Hist. East. Ch. (Alex.) 2, 18 sq.

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