Greek term for "the rule of five," referring to the Byzantine theory, which evolved in the fifth and sixth centuries (formally sanctioned by Justinian I [q.v.]), that church authority is collective, residing in the five patriarchates (q.v.) of Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem (qq.v.). It followed that no church council could be called unless all five were present. This theory was contested by the papacy (q.v.), which subsequently claimed exclusive papal primacy (q.v.) over the church, not just honorary primacy among equal partners. The theory was also weakened by the conquest of the Near East by the Arabs (q.v.), since the sees (q.v.) of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem were no longer a part of Byzantium (q.v.).

Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . .

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  • Pentarchy — is a Greek derived word meaning rule by five . In Christian history, the word applies particularly to the idea of the administration of the entire Christian church by the Five Great Sees or early Patriarchates of Late Antiquity. The Historical… …   Wikipedia

  • Pentarchy — Pen tar*chy, n. [Gr. ?: cf. F. pentarchie. See {Penta }, and { archy}.] A government in the hands of five persons; five joint rulers. P. Fletcher. The pentarchy of the senses. A. Brewer. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pentarchy — [pen′tär kē, pen′tär΄kē] n. pl. pentarchies [Gr pentarchia: see PENTA & ARCHY] 1. a federation of five states, each under an individual leader or ruler 2. government by five rulers …   English World dictionary

  • pentarchy — pentarch, n. pentarchical, adj. /pen tahr kee/, n., pl. pentarchies. 1. a government by five persons. 2. a governing body of five persons. 3. a federation of five nations, each under its own government or ruler. [1580 90; < Gk pentarchía. See… …   Universalium

  • pentarchy — noun Etymology: Greek pentarchia, from penta + archia archy Date: circa 1586 a group of five countries or districts each under its own ruler or government …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • pentarchy — noun a) Government by five persons. b) A governing body consisting of five persons …   Wiktionary

  • pentarchy — government by five individuals Forms of Government …   Phrontistery dictionary

  • pentarchy — pen·tarchy …   English syllables

  • pentarchy — pen•tar•chy [[t]ˈpɛn tɑr ki[/t]] n. pl. chies 1) gov a government or governing body consisting of five persons 2) gov a union of five states or kingdoms, each under its own ruler • Etymology: 1580–90; < Gk pentarchía. See pent , archy… …   From formal English to slang

  • pentarchy — /ˈpɛntaki/ (say pentahkee) noun (plural pentarchies) 1. a government by five persons. 2. a governing body of five persons. 3. a group of five states or kingdoms, each under its own ruler. {Greek pentarchia} …   Australian English dictionary

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