Apollinaris of Laodicea (c. 315-c. 390)

The son of Apollinaris of Alexandria, the younger Apollinaris was a close friend and ally of Athanasius and also Serapion of Thmuis against the Arian heresy. Apollinaris became the bishop of the Nicene church in Laodicea. However, while Apollinaris did maintain the full deity of Christ, at some point in the 360s it became clear that had had divergent views on the humanity of Christ. Apollinaris initially taught that the Word replaced the human soul in Christ, effectively denying his full humanity. This was later refined to the opinion that the Word took on a human body, along with a human soul, but that this was lacking a human spirit (that is, the human mind, the higher intellectual and volitional component of man). The place of the spirit was filled by the Word, which, in uniting itself to it, comprised a full, composite man consisting of human body and soul and divine spirit. Consequently, the Apollinarians rejected all formulas which attributed to Christ two natures after the incarnation.

The Apollinarists found themselves also to not be in agreement with each other. Some of them began to teach that Christ’s body was from heaven and that it was consubstantial to his deity, although Apollinaris himself explicitly rejected this. There was also a division over their relation to the orthodox church. Polemon was the leader of the faction which was very antagonistic towards the church and did not want to associate with them. Timothy, bishop of Beirut, was the leader of the faction which was more willing to compromise and sought to be part of the orthodox church. He even subscribed to the canons of the Council of Constantinople in 381, which included condemnations of Apollinarian positions.

Apollinarianism never became as widely followed as other Christological heresies and posed no serious threat to the church as a whole. It never found a foothold in the western church. Condemned by synods from 377 on, their strongest remaining community of Apollinarists, found in Antioch, rejoined the church in 425. By the end of the fifth century, Apollinarianism survived only in the writings of Apollinaris and a few others, preserved from the destruction they were condemned to by means of false attributions.

Below is a chart of the known Apollinarian writings as listed in the CPG. Due to the fragmentary nature of many of the writings and the relatively sparse documentation about the Apollinarians, a chronological ordering, as found for other authors on this site, is impossible. Translations of the writings found in Hans Lietzmann’s Apollinaris von Laodicea und seine Schule are available by following the hyperlinks. Those fragments given by Lietzmann which preserve only indirect citations from Apollinarian writings are not included here. In addition, hyperlinks are provided for some translations of other fragmentary writings not included in Lietzmann’s study. We hope to complete this work in the coming years.

Note that beneath the writings of Apollinaris himself in the table below are a list of works by others of his “school” and some Apollinarian writings of undetermined authorship. Hyperlinks will take you to translations of some of these works as well. Since the authorship of most of these works is disputed, we have decided for the convenience of the reader to list them all on this single page.

It is often difficult to give definitive translations for the briefer excerpts due to the lack of context and the terseness of style; we provide our translations with that caveat. Lampe’s index of abbreviations for Apollinaris’s writings can be found here. For much more information about the Apollinarists, their teachings, and these texts themselves, see Lietzmann.

Hans Lietzmann. Apollinaris von Laodicea und seine Schule: Texte und Untersuchungen. (Tuebingen 1904), 1-42.

Author Document CPG# Text
Apollinaris Fides secundum partem 3645 Lietzmann 167-185
Apollinaris De unione corporis et divinitatis in Christo 3646 Lietzmann 185-193
Apollinaris De fide et incarnatione contra adversarios 3647 Lietzmann 193-203
Apollinaris De unione 3648 Lietzmann 204 frag. 2
Apollinaris De incarnatione 3649 Lietzmann 204-206 frag. 3-8
Apollinaris De incarnatione 3650 Lietzmann 206-207 frag. 9-10
Apollinaris Laudatio Mariae et de incarnatione 3651 Lietzmann 207-208 frag. 11-12
Apollinaris Demonstratio de divina incarnatione ad similitudinem hominis 3652 Lietzmann 208-232 frag. 13-107
Apollinaris In dei in carne manifestationem 3653 Lietzmann 232-233 frag. 108-110
Apollinaris Ad illos qui hominem a verbo assumptum fuisse dicebant 3654 Lietzmann 233 frag. 111
Apollinaris Syllogismi 3655 Lietzmann 233-235 frag. 112-116
Apollinaris Contra Diodorum ad Heraclium 3656 Lietzmann 235-237 frag. 117-120
Apollinaris Ad Diodorum 3657 Lietzmann 237-242 frag. 121-146
Apollinaris Recapitulatio 3658 Lietzmann 242-246
Apollinaris Ad Flavianum 3659 Lietzmann 246-247 frag. 147-148
Apollinaris Ad Petrum 3660 Lietzmann 247 frag. 149
Apollinaris Ad Iulianum 3661 Lietzmann 247-248 frag. 150-152
Apollinaris Sermones 3662 Lietzmann 248-249 frag. 153-156
Apollinaris Dialogi 3663 Lietzmann 249 frag. 157
Apollinaris Quod deus in carne Christus 3664 Lietzmann 249 frag. 158
Apollinaris Ad Iovianum 3665 Lietzmann 250-253
Apollinaris Ad Serapionem 3666 Lietzmann 253-254 frag. 159-161
Apollinaris Ad Terentium 3667 Lietzmann 254-255 frag. 162-163
Apollinaris Ad episcopos Diocaesariensis 3668 Lietzmann 255-256
Apollinaris Ad Dionysium I 3669 Lietzmann 256-262
Apollinaris Ad Dionysium II 3670 Lietzmann 262 frag. 164
Apollinaris Tomus synodalis 3671 Lietzmann 262-263
Apollinaris Contra Porphyrium 3672 Lietzmann 265-266 frag. 166-167
Apollinaris Fragmenta 3673 Lietzmann 268-270 frag. 168-171
Apollinaris Contra Sabellianos 3674 PG 28, 96-121
Apollinaris Epistula ad Basilium I 3676 Riedmatten 203-204;
Courtonne 222-224
Apollinaris Epistula ad Basilium II 3677 Riedmatten 204-205;
Courtonne 225-226
Apollinaris Epistula de essentia dei 3678 Riedmatten 208-210
Apollinaris Fragmenta in Octateuchum et Reges 3680 Devreesse, l’Octateuque 128-154
Apollinaris Fragmenta in psalmos 3681 Devreesse, Psaumes 211-223
Apollinaris Fragmenta in Iob 3682 Devreessee DBS I col. 1140-1145
Apollinaris Fragmenta in Proverbia 3683 Mai, Bibliotheca part 2, 76-80
Apollinaris Fragmenta in Canticum 3684 PG 87.2, 1548-1549,
1552-1553, 1556,
1581, 1584, 1608,
1662, 1697, 1704,
1708, 1721, 1724, 1749
Apollinaris Fragmenta in Ieremiam 3686 Ghisler I 54-55, 84,
160, 298, 427,
II 106, 166, 420,
423-424, 450, 457,
484-485, 503, 530,
534, 539, 539, 558,
583, 595, 633-634,
641, 660, 716, 719,
743, 745, 761, 773,
786, 790, 794, 821,
828, 883
Apollinaris Fragmenta in Lamentationes 3687 Ghisler III 15, 54
Apollinaris Fragmenta in Ezechielem 3688 Mai, Biblotheca part 2, 82-91
Apollinaris Fragmenta in Danielem 3689 Mai, collectio I part 2, 161-221,
part 3, 27-56
Apollinaris Fragmenta in Matthaeum 3690 Reuss, Matthaeus 1-54
Apollinaris Fragmenta in Iohannem 3691 Reuss, Johannes 3-64
Apollinaris Fragmenta in Lucam 3692 Mai, collectio I part 1, 179-188
Apollinaris Fragmenta in Actus apostolorum 3693 Cramer 12
Apollinaris Fragmenta in epistulam ad Romanos 3694 Staab 57-82
Apollinaris Fragmenta in epistulas catholicas 3695 Cramer 11
Apollinaris In sanctum pascha sermones 1,2,3 3696 Nautin 55-117
Pseudo-Apollinaris Metaphrasis psalmorum 3700 Ludwich
Vitalis De fide 3705 Lietzmann 273 frag. 172
Polemon Antirrheticus 3710 Lietzmann 274 frag. 173
Polemon Contra Timotheum 3711 Lietzmann 274-275 frag. 174
Polemon Epistula ad Timotheum 3712 Lietzmann 275 frag. 175
Polemon Epistula ad Iulianum 3713 Lietzmann 275-276 frag. 176-177
Eunomius of Beroea Epistula ad Zosimum 3717 Lietzmann 276-277 frag 178-179
Julian Epistula ad Polemonem 3720 Lietzmann 277 frag. 180
Timothy of Beirut Epistula ad Homonium episcopum 3723 Lietzmann 277-278
Timothy of Beirut Catechesis 3724 Lietzmann 278-279 frag. 181
Timothy of Beirut Historia ecclesiastica 3725 Lietzmann 279-283 frag. 182
Timothy of Beirut Epistula ad Prosdocium 3726 Lietzmann 283-286
Jobius Symbolum 3730 Lietzmann 286-287
Valentine Capita apologiae 3732 Lietzmann 287-291
??? Encyclion 3735 Lietzmann 292-292
??? Confessio Antiochena 3736 Lietzmann 293-294;
Schwartz ACO I,1,5, p. 7-7
??? Quod unus sit Christus 3737 Lietzmann 294-302
??? De incarnatione dei verbi 3738 Lietzmann 303-307
??? Epistula tertia 3739 Lietzmann 307-310
??? De fide 3740 Lietzmann 310-318
??? Fragmenta 3741a Lietzmann 318-322 frag. 185-191
??? Four Arabic Fragments 3741b Lietzmann 318-322 frag. 185-191
??? De fide 3742 Van Esbroek 46-53

Text Sources:

Y. Courtonne. Saint Basile. Lettres III. (Paris 1966).

I. Cramer. Catenae graecorum Patrum in Novum Testamentum III, VIII. (Oxford 1838, 1844).

H. de Riedmatten. La correspondance entre Basile de Cesaree et Apollinaire de Laodicee I in JThS, N.S. 7 (1956).

R. Devreesse. Les commentateurs de l’Octateuque.

R. Devreesse. Les commentateurs des Psaumes.

R. Devreesse. DBS I.

M. Ghisler. Michaelis Ghislerii Romani … in Ieremiam Prophetam Commentarii…. (Lyon 1623).

H. Lietzmann. Apollinaris von Laodicea und seine Schule: Texte und Untersuchungen. (Tuebingen 1904).

A. Ludwich. Apolinarii metaphrasis psalmorum. (Leipzig 1912).

A. Mai. Nova Patrum bibliotheca VII, part 2.

A. Mai. Scriptorum vet. nova collectio I, parts 1,2,3 (Rome 1825, 1837).

P. Nautin. Homilies pascales II. SChr 36. (Paris 1953).

J. Reuss. Johannes-Kommentare aus der griechischen Kirche. TU 89. (Berlin 1966).

J. Reuss. Matthaeus-Kommentare aus der griechischen Kirchen. TU 61. (Berlin 1957).

K. Staab. Pauluskommentare aus der griechischen Kirchen. (Muenster 1933).

M. van Esbroeck. Citations apollinaristes conservees en armenien dans la Lettre de Sahak III Dzoroporetsi (691). OCP 60 (1994).

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Last updated: 7-3-2015 by GLT

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