Theophilos the Indian

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Theophilus the Indian)
Jump to: navigation, search

Theophilos the Indian (died 364), also called "The Ethiopian", was an Arian bishop who was alternately in and out of favor with the court of the Roman emperor Constantius II. Originally from the Maldive Islands in the Indian Ocean,[1] he came to the court of Constantine I as a young man and was ordained a deacon under the Arian bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia. He was eventually exiled because Constantius believed him to be a supporter of Constantius's rebellious cousin Gallus. Famed for his ability as a healer, Theophilus was later recalled to court to heal Constantius's wife, the empress Eusebia, which he is reputed to have done successfully.[2] He was exiled again for his support of the disfavored theologian Aëtius whose Anomoean doctrine was an offshoot of Arianism.[3]

Around 354 AD, Emperor Constantius II sent the Arian Theophilus on mission to south Asia via Arabia where he is said to have converted the Himyarites and built three churches in southwest Arabia. He is also said to have found Christians in India.[4]


  1. ^ Philostorgius in his Ecclesiastical history (book III, chapter 4) tells that Theophilos was born in the "island of Divus", which is supposed to be the Maldive Islands or maybe Ceylon
  2. ^ Philostorgius. "Chapter 7." Ecclesiastical history/Epitome of book IV.
  3. ^ Alexander Kazhdan, Leslie S. B. MacCoull. "Theophilos the Indian." The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. Ed. Alexander P. Kazhdan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Accessed on: 13 December 2007.
  4. ^ Tsai, Kathryn (Dr). A Timeline of Eastern Church History. Divine Ascent Press, CA, 2004. ISBN 0-9714139-2-4