Timur Shchukin. “What do you say about this flesh?”: “Substance” and “Nature” in the treatise of “Against the Nestorians and Eutychians” by Leontius of Byzantium. Vol. 4. No. 1. 2019

Publication Details

“What do you say about this flesh?”: “Substance” and “Nature” in the treatise of “Against the Nestorians and Eutychians” by Leontius of Byzantium
Title in the language of publication: «Что скажете об этой плоти?»: «сущность» и «природа» в трактате Леонтия Византийского «Против несториан и евтихиан»
Timur Shchukin
Associate Research Fellow at the Sociological institute of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Address: 25/14 7-ya Krasnoarmeyskaya str., St. Petersburg 190005, Russia.
P. 255–269.
Language: Russian
Document type: Research Article
Acknowledgments:  The reported study was funded by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project number 19-011-00778 “Leontium of Byzantium and Patristics”
DOI https://doi.org/10.31119/essephts.2019.4.1.7


The paper is a reaction to the attempt made by Dirk Krausmüller to interpret the logical-ontological and Christological system of Leontius of Byzantium — in the form in which it is presented in his treatise “Against the Nestorians and Eutychians”. Taking the scheme of Krausmüller in the whole, the author pays attention to two problematic points: the interpretation of the unqualified substrate, identified with ἐνυπόστατον, similar to the first substance of Aristotle; the understanding of hypostasis as compounds of the general nature and accidents. In the first case, it is pointed out that ἐνυπσστατον, being that which relates to the hypostasis in the same way as ἐνούσιον relates to the essence, is not a deeper level of the individual, but on the contrary, that which is the opposite of the individual, that is, the universal. In the second case, it is pointed out that the position of Leontius is precisely that the ‘formation’ of the hypostasis and the individuation through accidents, although they cause each other, are not identical, since the definition of the hypostasis is pure otherness in relation to another hypostasis. Not only is a critical analysis of Krausmüller’s scheme given, but an alternative explanatory model is proposed, based on the assumption that Leontius of Byzantium described the ‘mechanism’ of individuation by a subtle distinction between the concepts of ‘substance’ and ‘nature’. Special cases of word usage are analyzed: ‘rational substance’ (in relation to the soul), ‘communication by nature’ and ‘connection by substance’. It is also suggested how the terminological (but not Christological) system of Leontius of Byzantium was transformed in the later treatise “Refutation of the syllogisms of Severus”.


Leontius of Byzantium, substance, nature, Christology, hypostasis, enhypostaton, Neochalcedonism, Monophysitism.


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© Timur Shchukin, 2019

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