MELCHITES (lit. Royalists, from Syriac melcha, a king), the name given in the 5th century to those Christians who adhered to the creed supported by the authority of the Byzantine emperor. The Melchites therefore are those who accept the decrees of Ephesus and Chalcedon as distinguished from the Nestorians and Jacobite Church (qq.v.). They follow the Orthodox Eastern liturgy, ceremonial and calendar, but acknowledge the papal and doctrinal authority of Rome. They number about 80,000, are found in Syria, Palestine and Egypt, and are under the immediate rule of the patriarch of Damascus and twelve bishops.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)