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Theophilus
fl. 4th century
Orthodox
Ethiopia


Theophilus, Bishop, was an Arian bishop and a native of Soqotra. When Constantius, Emperor of Byzantium (r. 337-61 A.D.), wrote his famous letter to the Emperors 'Ézana and Se'azana in 356, he may have hoped that Theophilus would be accepted as Bishop of Aksum in place of Frumentius. Theophilus had been active as a missionary in the Yemen, apparently with some success, and he built several churches there, but the silence of the sources regarding his activities in Aksum suggests that his attempts to introduce Arianism there were unsuccessful.

A. K. Irvine


Bibliography:

Philostorgius, Historia ecclesiastica, III. iv.
J. P. Migne, Patrologia Graeca, 65.


This article is reproduced, with permission, from The Dictionary of Ethiopian Biography, Vol. 1 'From Early Times to the End of the Zagwé Dynasty c. 1270 A.D.,' copyright © 1975, edited by Belaynesh Michael, S. Chojnacki and Richard Pankhurst, Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. All rights reserved.