Monophysites believed there was 1 (mono-
) nature (physis
) to the Christ, instead of separate natures, divine and human. Monophysites were considered heretical by the early Church, which condemned monophysitism at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, although it continued to have adherents in the East.
The Monophysite heresy came about in response to an opposite heresy, Nestorianism (also condemned at the Council of Chalcedon) which led to a schism. The Nestorians divided Christ into 2 natures, the Logos and the man. The Monophysites believed the human nature of Christ was entirely subsumed in the divine; thus there was one personality and only one nature. Dioscurus, Patriarch of Alexandria, and Eutyches of Constantinople were the main teachers of Monophysitism.
- Monophysites are sometimes described as following the sect of Eutychianism.
- Theodora, wife of the Byzantine emperor Justinian, is considered a Monophysite.