The Aphthartodocetae (Greek Ἀφθαρτοδοκῆται, from ἄφθαρτος, aphthartos, "incorruptible" and δοκεῖν, dokein, "to seem"), also called Julianists or Phantasiasts by their opponents, were members of a 6th-century Non-Chalcedonian sect. Their leader, Julian of Halicarnassus, taught that Christ's body was always incorruptible and only perished by Jesus Christ's conscious willing decision to let it happen. This was in disagreement with another Non-Chalcedonian leader, Severus of Antioch, who insisted that Christ's body was naturally corruptible and only became incorruptible following the resurrection.[1]

In 564, Emperor Justinian I adopted the tenets of the Aphthartodocetae and attempted to elevate their beliefs to the rank of Orthodox dogma. Patriarch Eutychius of Constantinople, who had presided over the Fifth General Council, resisted Justinian's efforts by arguing the incompatibility of the Aphthartodocetic beliefs with scripture. Justinian ensured that John Scholasticus replaced Eutychius who was exiled from his see by Justinian. The Patriarch of Antioch, Anastasius, was also threatened with replacement and exile. Justinian prepared an edict to enforce the tenets among the communions throughout the empire, but its issue was prevented when Justinian died on 14 November 565, during the thirty-ninth year of his reign.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Frend, W. H. C. (December 29, 1972). The Rise of the Monophysite Movement. Cambridge University Press. pp. 253–255. ISBN 0-521-08130-0.
  2. ^ Gordon Holmes, William (October 14, 2003). The Age of Justinian and Theodora: A History of the Sixth Century A.D.. Volume 2. Adamant Media Corporation. p. 382. ISBN 1-4212-5069-1.