Acephali

Acephali (from the Greek language "a-", "without," and "kephale", "head") is a term applied to several sects as having no head or leader

In particular, the term refers to a strict monophysite sect that separated itself, in the end of the 5th century, from the rule of Peter Mongus, Patriarch of Alexandria, and remained "without king or bishop" until they were reconciled by Mark II (799 - 819).

The term is also used to denote "clerici vagantes", i.e. clergy without title or benefice, picking up a living anyhow. Certain persons in England during the reign of King Henry I of England were called Acephali because they had no lands by virtue of which they could acknowledge a superior lord.

The name is also given to certain legendary races described by ancient naturalists and geographers as having no heads, their mouths and eyes being in their breasts, generally identified with Pliny's Blemmyae.


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  • Acephali — • A term applied to the Eutychians who withdrew from Peter Mongus, the Monophysite Patriarch of Alexandria, in 482 Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Acephali     Acephali      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Acephali — A*ceph a*li, n. pl. [LL., pl. of acephalus. See {Acephal}.] 1. A fabulous people reported by ancient writers to have heads. [1913 Webster] 2. (Eccl. Hist.) (a) A Christian sect without a leader. (b) Bishops and certain clergymen not under regular …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ACEPHALI — I. ACEPHALI Clericorum genus, memoratum Isidoro de Eccles. offic. l. 3. Duo sunt genera Clericorum, unum Ecclesiasticorum, sub regimine Episcopali degentium, alterum Acephalorum, i. e. sine capite, quem sequantur haud scientium. Hos neque inter… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • acephali — noun /ɑːˈsɛf.æ.lɪi/ a) A people reported by Herodotus and Josephus to have no or removable heads. b) (Ecclesiastical History): The Eutychians, a Christian sect in the year 482 without a leader. See [ …   Wiktionary

  • Acephali — n. legendary people who were said to have no heads; Christian sect without a leader …   English contemporary dictionary

  • acephali — …   Useful english dictionary

  • Monophysites and Monophysitism — • Rejected the dual nature of Christ. Rejected by the Council of Chalcedon (451) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Monophysites and Monophysitism     Monophysites and Monophysitism …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Severus of Antioch — Severus, Patriarch of Antioch (AD 512 518), born approximately 465 in Sozopolis in Pisidia, was by birth and education a pagan, who was baptized in the martyrium of Leontius at Tripolis (Evagr. H. E. iii. 33; Philippe Labbe, v. 40, 120). He… …   Wikipedia

  • Monophysitism — Part of a series on Eastern Christianity …   Wikipedia

  • Jeremy Taylor — (1613 13 August, 1667) was a clergyman in the Church of England who achieved fame as an author during The Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell. He is sometimes known as the Shakespeare of Divines for his poetic style of expression and was often… …   Wikipedia

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