Peter III of Alexandria

From OrthodoxWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Peter III of Alexandria, also known as Peter Mongus (from Greek mongos - "stammerer"), was the Patriarch of Alexandria from 482 to 490. Peter had also been elected patriarch of Alexandria by his non-Chalcedonian supporters in 477 as successor to Timothy II Aelurus.


Peter's early life is largely unknown. After the Fourth Ecumenical Council at Chalcedon, Peter was deacon to Patr. Timothy Aerlurus, a non-Chalcedonian, and strong supporter of Miaphysitism. He opposed Patr. Proterius for his refusal to recognize Patr. Dioscorus. After the death of emperor Marcian, Peter aided Timothy in his successful expulsion of Patr. Proterius as patriarch of Alexandria in 457 and the persecution of the Chalcedonians.

After the death of Timothy Aerlurus in 477, the non-Chalcedonians elected Peter Mongus to succeed him. However, emperor Zeno brought back Timothy III Salofaciolus, a Chalcedonian, who had been patriarch before Timothy Aerlurus. Peter was then exiled.

In 482, after John Talaia, who had been chosen by emperor Zeno to succeed Timothy Salofaciolus, refused to sign the Henoticon, Zeno recognized Peter as patriarch on the condition he sign the Henoticon, which he did. After Peter sent notices of his succession to the other patriarchs, Patr. Acacius of Constantinople added Peter into his diptychs.

In the meantime, Patr. John Talaia fled to Rome and presented his case to Pope Felix III, who then refused to recognized Peter Mongus and defended Talaia's rights in letters to Patr. Acacius. As Acacius supported the Henoticon and maintained communion with Peter Mongus, Felix excommunicated the patriarchs in 484, precipitating the Acacian schism that lasted until 519.

As patriarch, Peter Mongus became the chief champion of all Miaphysites. He held a synod that condemned Chalcedon. He also had the tombs of his two Chalcedonian predecessors Proterius and Timothy Salofaciolus desecrated. When Patr. Acacius died in 488, Mongus encouraged his successor Patr. Fravitta to maintain the schism with Rome. Fravitta's successor Euphemius, however, sought unsuccessfully to heal the schism by excommunicating Peter Mongus, but he refused to erase the the names of Acacius and Fravitta from the diptychs and thus kept the schism alive. Peter Mongus, however, died soon afterwards in 490.

Succession box:
Peter III of Alexandria
Preceded by:
John Talaia
Patriarch of Alexandria
Succeeded by:
Athanasius II
Help with box