Leo the Great - the Tome - Letter 28

Steven Avery


(Council of Chalcedon, Richard Price, and Michael Gaddis. The acts of the Council of Chalcedon, 2005, vol 1, vol 1, p. 83)


Puxanto, this post will have a little about Letter 28.

First, this is from The Witness of God is Greater, discussing the Latin and Greek issues.

3. ”translated into Greek"
a. The Tome was originally written in Latin & Leo could not read Greek.

[R. Price] Very soon after the council, a copy of the minutes in Greek was brought to Rome, where neither Leo nor his staff could read it with ease. In March of 453 Leo wrote to Julian of Cos, who had represented him at the council, and complained that he still knew very little about what had actually taken place at Chalcedon. These linguistic difficulties – along with his opposition to the twenty-eighth canon – help explain Leo’s long hesitancy (much to the consternation of Marcian and Anatolius) to endorse the council’s decrees. He asked Julian to arrange for a full translation of the acts into Latin, but there is no evidence that this task was ever begun or that subsequent popes of the late fifth and early sixth centuries had access to a Latin version.287
287 Leo to Julian of Cos, 11 March 453: Leo, ep. 113. Julian, unlike the other papal legates, was fluent in both languages.
(Council of Chalcedon, Richard Price, and Michael Gaddis. The acts of the Council of Chalcedon, 2005, vol 1, vol 1, p. 83)


A good book review read by Uwe Michael Lang

The Acts of the Council of Chalcedon (Translated Texts for Historians, 45). Translated with introduction and notes by Richard Price and Michael Gaddis (2007)
Review by Uwe Michael Lang


Raising the Ghost of Arius (2016) - Grantley McDonald

We can look at the confusion of the contras trying to form our verse.

Even though extant manuscripts show us the full verse was in common use in the latter 4th century and all of the 5th century, Leo is given as part of the formulation of the verse! Then Grantley even throws in the much later Facundus and Haymo! How can they help formulate a verse that was fully quoted from 150 to 400 years earlier?


Raising the Ghost of Arius - p. 38 - Grantley McDonald

The first stage in the formulation of the comma
was the simple translation of the Greek text of 1 Jn 5:8

(ὅτι τρεῖς εἰσιν οἱ μαρτυροῦντες: τὸ πνεῦμα καὶ τὸ ὕδωρ καὶ τὸ αἷμα, καὶ οἱ τρεῖς εἰς τὸ ἕν εἰσιν)

into Latin:
Quia tres sunt qui testimonium dant, Spiritus [et] aqua et sanguis, et tres VNVM SVNT.

This translation of verse 8 is attested by Leo the Great and Codex Amiatinus. The existence of Trinitarian allegoresis of this verse before the formulation of the comma is demonstrated by the fact that some early writers (e.g. Facundus and Haymo) give the spatial marker in terra in verse 8 but do not yet cite the comma.


RGA - p. 41-42

The same year, Frankish monks in Jerusalem were being persecuted for reciting the Nicene Creed with the filioque. In response, Leo issued a general letter to all the Western churches containing a profession of faith containing a summary of the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity, the first doctrinal statement from Rome to formulate the classic Catholic position. In this creed we find the symbolum cited by Charlemagne, hæc tria unus Deus.56

56 Pope Leo III, Epistola XV, seu symbolum orthodoxæ fidei Leonis papæ, PL 102:1031: “Et hæc tria unus Deus. Hæc tria idem Deus et Dominus, vera et sempiterna trinitas in personis, vera et sempiterna unitas in substantia, quia una est substantia Pater et Filius et Spiritus sanctus.” Haußleiter, 1920, 37-38

... Pope Leo’s Tomus ad Flavianum (449) cites the fifth chapter of John’s epistle, but omits the comma. Fascinatingly, Leo’s gloss on verse 8 contains both symbola, quæ tria unum sunt and in Christo Iesu (though this latter phrase is also omitted in some manuscripts).57

57 Leo the Great, Tomus ad Flavianum [Epist. 28], in Bindley 1899, 203; Cavallera, 1936, 371
Hic est, qui venit per aquam et sanguinem, Iesus Christus; non in aqua solum, sed in aqua et sanguine. Et spiritus est, qui testificatur, quoniam Spiritus est veritas. Quia tres sunt qui testimonium dant, Spiritus aqua et sanguis, et tres unum sunt.
Spiritus utique sanctificationis et sanguis redemptionis et aqua baptismatis, quæ tria unum sunt et individua manent nihilque eorum a sui connexione seiungitur: quia catholica ecclesia hac fide vivit, hac proficit, ut in Christo Iesu nec sine vera divinitate humanitas nec sine vera credatur [om. Bindley] humanitate divinitas.”


On p. 52, Fulgentius is noted citing Leo.
And TWOGIG gives a lot of detail on both Fulgentius and Facundus quoting Leo's Tome.