Yes, a fool's argument
God forgive your impudence.
The Empire, ever concerned with it's history and tradition (for example, until the fall of the Empire, and even afterwards in the Court of the Oecumenical Throne, it was not uncommon to see arguments based on the Twelve Tables) offered her Old Capital equality with the New Capital, yet Old Rome, ever greedy for power resisted;
Are you speaking imperially or ecclesiastically? If ecclesiastically, please provide one example where the Empire "offered her Old Capital equality with the New Capital". If imperially, what's your point, given you haven't proved your caesaropapist perspective from sources we can both accept (such as the Holy Orthodox Fathers from the first 8 Centuries).
Leo's arguments were mere rhetoric, they were never accepted, not even by Antioch and Alexandria, which he claimed to be defending.
Are you really prepared to say that all which the sainted popes of the 5th & 6th Centuries said concerning the prerogatives of their see was mere 'rhetoric', never accepted?
If neither Antioch nor Alexandria accepted the Old Rome's claims to the Apostolic Primacy, how are we to account for Patriarch Peter of Antioch
, writing these words to Patriarch Ceralarius of Constantinople:
"Consider what would certainly happen if that great first and Apostolic See
be divided from our holy Churches - wickedness would spread everywhere, and the whole world would be upset, the kingdoms of all the earth would be shaken, everywhere would be much woe, everywhere tears."
This, by the way, coming from a man who had next to no respect for Latins culturally.
Ultimately Leo's opinions on this matter had no force, following the synod of Chalcedon the authority of Constantinople was essentially undisputed amongst all the Churches save Old Rome, the opposition she did face in the east had been anathematized by said synod. In 458 Patriarch Timothy Aelurus of Alexandria was deposed by the Synod of Constantinople and his successor, Timothy Salophaciolus, was hand picked by the Oecumenical Patriarch and soon enthroned by the Synod of Alexandria. By 518 another substantial step was taken, not only was Severus of Antioch anathematized and deposed by the Synod of Constantinople, Patriarch Epiphanius of Constantinople personally traveled to Antioch to enthrone Paul of Antioch. In doing so, Constantinople had gained a position in the Church beyond which Rome had never enjoyed, an authority not only to depose Patirarchs of other Apostolic sees, but to elect and enthrone them as well...this practice would continue through the end of the fall of the Empire well into the turkokratia. Thus, when Rome was excommunicated by Constantinople, it was taken as granted by the other Ancient Sees that this was the right of the throne of Constantinople, and the authority of Constantinople in this matter was not questioned.
Yes, these are stark examples you mention of Constantinople's usurpation. I ask you, what tradition of the Holy Fathers allows for such behaviour on the part of a non-apostolic See?
You say Leo's opinion on this matter has no force. In doing so you fail to take into account the constant voice proceeding from the See of Peter claiming preeminence of authority based on its Petrine prerogatives. Are you aware of all the statements proceeding from the sainted popes of the 4th, 5th & 6th Centuries to this effect? Is this prerogative ever denied by a single sainted Holy Father of the Church of the Seven Oecumenical Synods?
Also, in claiming that "following the synod of Chalcedon the authority of Constantinople was essentially undisputed amongst all the Churches save Old Rome" you have failed to interact with the evidence already presented concerning the Alexandrian Patriarch.
the Holy and Oecumenical Synod of Chalcedon established this fact as the basis of the authority of the patriarchates, for the 28th Canon states, 'And the One Hundred and Fifty most religious Bishops, actuated by the same consideration, gave equal privileges to the most holy throne of New Rome, justly judging that the city which is honoured with the Sovereignty and the Senate, and enjoys equal privileges with the old imperial Rome, should in ecclesiastical matters also be magnified as she is'
This Canon was never accepted by Rome. It needed to be were it to possess Oecumenical status. That is why the Fathers wrote a most respectful and even obsequious letter to the Pope asking for its recognition, which, of course, he refused to give. Their words:
"you often spread out the Apostolic ray that shines in you even to the Church in Constantinople... Be pleased to accept what we ahve defined, to order ecclesiastical ranks and to remove all confusion, as being right and friendly and most convenient for good order, oh, most holy and blessed Father! But the most holy bishops Paschasius and Lucentius, and the most reverend preist Boniface, who hold the place of your Holiness, have vehemently treid to withstand what we had ordered, doubtless wishing that this good arrangement should be begun by your own foresight. Whereas we, considering the most pious and Christ-loving Emperors, who are delighted with what we have done, as also the illustrious Senate and indeed the whole Imperial city, have thought it wise to confirm its honour by a general council, and we have presumed to strenghten what was really, as it were, begun by your Holiness, inasmuch as you are always anxious to benefit us, and we know that whatever is well done by the sons belongs to the fathers, who look upon it as their own. We beg you then to honour our decision with your decrees, so that just as we shall than add the consent of the Head, so your Highness may fulfil what your sons have don... So always will the pious Princes be pleased, who confirm as a law the decision of your Holiness."
The Fathers of the Chalcedonian Synod (and in no wise all of them, for the Illyrian Bishops & Metropolitan vigorously protested the Canon) to confirm their hoped-for gain, become supplicants, pure and simple. They acknowledge Rome's Headship, a Headship in no wise based on Imperial preeminence, for that Old Rome no longer possessed. This cannot be said of you.