Author Topic: Justinian and Theodora...saints?  (Read 1987 times)

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Offline neon_knights

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Justinian and Theodora...saints?
« on: August 18, 2011, 05:47:03 AM »
Is it true that Justinian and Theodora are considered saints in the Orthodox Church?

Many historians portray Justinian as cruel, and Theodora as sexually promiscuous... is this just slander?
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 05:47:46 AM by neon_knights »

Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: Justinian and Theodora...saints?
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2011, 08:56:54 AM »
Is it true that Justinian and Theodora are considered saints in the Orthodox Church?

Many historians portray Justinian as cruel, and Theodora as sexually promiscuous... is this just slander?


Theodora's sexual promiscuity is overrated. She was an actress when young performing eschatologic comedies that were probably more vulgar than American Pie or Porky's. Remember that it was late Roman culture so this vulgarity probably mean she had to perform these very vulgar scenes in front of the public, live. That's the main source of the legends about her promiscuity. Did she really went one step further and accepted money for sex like many actresses of the time? We'll never know, although that would be plausible. We do know that the "reports" on this were made by a political enemy who hated her and had lots of personal interest in having her slandered. What we also know is that she first married a Roman centurion who gave her a child and abandoned her and she had to return to the theater, where she met Justinian. After she married him, except from the mouth of this political enemy, she was very respected, sometimes even more than Justinian himself. She had lots of charities, had a special concern for poor women and ex-prostitues. According to Wikipedia:

Quote
She had laws passed that prohibited forced prostitution and closed brothels. She created a convent on the Asian side of the Dardanelles called the Metanoia (Repentance), where the ex-prostitutes could support themselves. She also expanded the rights of women in divorce and property ownership, instituted the death penalty for rape, forbade exposure of unwanted infants, gave mothers some guardianship rights over their children, and forbade the killing of a wife who committed adultery.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodora_(wife_of_Justinian_I)

That suggests that *if* she engaged in prostitution at an early age, it was not for promiscuity but forced by necessity and circumstance. Even if she was one, she clearly saw it as a humiliating, non-desirable state. Her laws for protecting women show that she suffered and learned a lot.
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Offline Severian

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Re: Justinian and Theodora...saints?
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2011, 10:17:39 AM »
NVM
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 10:34:49 AM by Severian »
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Offline mike

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Re: Justinian and Theodora...saints?
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2011, 10:30:24 AM »
Justinian did persecute the non-Chalcedonians of his day, but I am not going to allow myself to be dragged into another debate on the subject. It has been discussed to death before.

You've started that debate.
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Offline Severian

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Re: Justinian and Theodora...saints?
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2011, 10:35:37 AM »
Justinian did persecute the non-Chalcedonians of his day, but I am not going to allow myself to be dragged into another debate on the subject. It has been discussed to death before.

You've started that debate.
Perhaps you're right, I edited my post. Sorry, it wasn't my intention to try to cause trouble. Forgive me. :-[
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 10:35:57 AM by Severian »
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Justinian and Theodora...saints?
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2011, 12:08:15 PM »
Is it true that Justinian and Theodora are considered saints in the Orthodox Church?

Many historians portray Justinian as cruel, and Theodora as sexually promiscuous... is this just slander?


Yes, they are saints in the Eastern Orthodox Churches. And yes, much of what is written about them is probably exaggeration  or untrue--slander--coming from the secret histories of Procopius who certainly had an axe to grind.
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Offline Benjamin the Red

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Re: Justinian and Theodora...saints?
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2011, 12:52:34 PM »
Is it true that Justinian and Theodora are considered saints in the Orthodox Church?

Many historians portray Justinian as cruel, and Theodora as sexually promiscuous... is this just slander?


Yes, they are saints in the Eastern Orthodox Churches. And yes, much of what is written about them is probably exaggeration  or untrue--slander--coming from the secret histories of Procopius who certainly had an axe to grind.

This. They're both actually quite beloved saints. St. Justianian, who was quite the hymnist, wrote one of my favorite hymns that we Byzantines sing at every Divine Liturgy (i.e., O Monogenes Yios, or in English Only Begotten Son).
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 12:53:21 PM by Benjamin the Red »
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Offline dhinuus

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Re: Justinian and Theodora...saints?
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2011, 04:01:22 PM »
This. They're both actually quite beloved saints. St. Justianian, who was quite the hymnist, wrote one of my favorite hymns that we Byzantines sing at every Divine Liturgy (i.e., O Monogenes Yios, or in English Only Begotten Son).

In the Oriental Orthodox tradition O Monogenes Yios, or in English Only Begotten Son) is ascribed to St. Severus the Great of Antioch.
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Offline Benjamin the Red

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Re: Justinian and Theodora...saints?
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2011, 04:04:03 PM »
This. They're both actually quite beloved saints. St. Justianian, who was quite the hymnist, wrote one of my favorite hymns that we Byzantines sing at every Divine Liturgy (i.e., O Monogenes Yios, or in English Only Begotten Son).

In the Oriental Orthodox tradition O Monogenes Yios, or in English Only Begotten Son) is ascribed to St. Severus the Great of Antioch.


Really? I have never heard that before.
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Offline dhinuus

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Re: Justinian and Theodora...saints?
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2011, 04:04:48 PM »
Queen Theodora is considered Blessed and as a defender of  non-Chalcedonian (Oriental Orthodox) Christians during the reign of Justinian.
http://www.soc-wus.org/ourchurch/St.%20Theodora%20Empress.htm
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 04:15:18 PM by dhinuus »
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Offline dhinuus

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Re: Justinian and Theodora...saints?
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2011, 04:14:27 PM »
This. They're both actually quite beloved saints. St. Justianian, who was quite the hymnist, wrote one of my favorite hymns that we Byzantines sing at every Divine Liturgy (i.e., O Monogenes Yios, or in English Only Begotten Son).

In the Oriental Orthodox tradition O Monogenes Yios, or in English Only Begotten Son) is ascribed to St. Severus the Great of Antioch.


Really? I have never heard that before.

Refer to the Holy Qurbana (Divine Liturgy) of the Syriac Orthodox Church online at  http://sor.cua.edu/Liturgy/Anaphora/PubCeleb.html. You can see the antiphon by St. Severius, (in Syriac Maneetho of Mor Severius) the Patriarch of Antioch.

You can listen this hymn in Syriac at:  http://youtu.be/JuWDGWB-YmM
You can listen this hymn in Malayalam (Malankara aka Indian Orthodox) at: http://youtu.be/CjDhFp4E7N4   .Read the text as part of this video.

« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 04:16:17 PM by dhinuus »
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Offline Jason.Wike

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Re: Justinian and Theodora...saints?
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2011, 12:20:26 AM »
Saints aren't always born Saints. St. Cyprian used to worship demons.

If the things we've done before we come to Christ could ever keep us from becoming Saints then Christ would not be God.

Offline Jason.Wike

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Re: Justinian and Theodora...saints?
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2011, 12:26:12 AM »
In regards to St. Justinian, I guess you are talking about the massacre after the riots?
« Last Edit: August 21, 2011, 12:31:52 AM by Jason.Wike »

Offline neon_knights

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Re: Justinian and Theodora...saints?
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2011, 06:38:33 AM »
In regards to St. Justinian, I guess you are talking about the massacre after the riots?

Yes, that was the main thing I was referring to.

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Justinian and Theodora...saints?
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2011, 07:52:15 AM »
In regards to St. Justinian, I guess you are talking about the massacre after the riots?

Yes, that was the main thing I was referring to.

Consider that the rioters destroyed St. Constantine's Hagia Sophia Church and much of the city. They were not innocent victims.
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