Arian controversy

The Arian controversy was a series of Christian theological disputes that arose between Arius and Athanasius of Alexandria, two Christian theologians from Alexandria, Egypt. The most important of these controversies concerned the substantial relationship between God the Father and God the Son.

The deep divisions created by the disputes were an ironic consequence of Emperor Constantine's efforts to unite Christianity and establish a single, imperially approved version of the faith during his reign.[1][2] These disagreements divided the Church into two opposing theological factions for over 55 years, from the time before the First Council of Nicaea in 325 until after the First Council of Constantinople in 381. There was no formal resolution or formal schism, though the Trinitarian faction ultimately gained the upper hand in the imperial Church; outside the Roman Empire this faction was not immediately so influential. Arianism continued to be preached inside and outside the Empire for some time (without the blessing of the Empire) but eventually it was killed off. The modern Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church, as well as most other modern Christian sects, have generally followed the Trinitarian formulation, though each has its own specific theology on the matter.[3][4]

History

Beginnings

The early history of the controversy must be pieced together from about 35 documents found in various sources. The Trinitarian historian Socrates of Constantinople reports that Arius first became controversial under the bishop Alexander of Alexandria, when Arius formulated the following syllogism: "If the Father begat the Son, he that was begotten had a beginning of existence: and from this it is evident, that there was a time when the Son was not. It therefore necessarily follows, that he had his substance from nothing".

Bishop Alexander of Alexandria was criticised for his slow reaction against Arius. Like his predecessor, Dionysius, he has been charged with vacillation. According to Eusebius's work, The Life of Constantine, the controversy had spread from Alexandria into almost all the African regions, and was considered a disturbance of the public order by the Roman Empire. Constantine the Great (Constantine I) sent two letters to Arius and Bishop Alexander, asking the religious leaders to stop the controversy.[5]

Because the controversy continued to spread, in 325 Emperor Constantine held the first Council of Nicaea with an agenda to prosecute Arius.[6]

First Council of Nicea (325)

Nikea-arius
The First Council of Nicaea, with Arius depicted beneath the feet of emperor Constantine the Great and the bishops

Arianism would not be contained within the Alexandrian diocese. By the time Bishop Alexander finally acted against his recalcitrant presbyter, Arius's doctrine had spread far beyond his own see; it had become a topic of discussion—and disturbance—for the entire Church. The Church was now a powerful force in the Roman world, with Constantine I having legalized it in 313 through the Edict of Milan. The emperor had taken a personal interest in several ecumenical issues, including the Donatist controversy in 316, and he wanted to bring an end to the Arian dispute. To this end, the emperor sent bishop Hosius of Corduba to investigate and, if possible, resolve the controversy. Hosius was armed with an open letter from the Emperor: "Wherefore let each one of you, showing consideration for the other, listen to the impartial exhortation of your fellow-servant." As the debate continued to rage despite Hosius' efforts, Constantine in AD 325 took an unprecedented step: he called an ecumenical council composed of church prelates from all parts of the empire to resolve this issue, possibly at Hosius' recommendation.[7]

All secular dioceses of the empire sent one or more representatives to the council, save for Roman Britain; the majority of the bishops came from the East. Pope Sylvester I, himself too aged to attend, sent two priests as his delegates. Arius himself attended the council, but his bishop, Alexander, did not, but sent instead his young deacon Athanasius. Athanasius would become the champion of the Trinitarian viewpoint ultimately adopted by the council and spend most of his life battling Arianism. Also there were Eusebius of Caesarea and Eusebius of Nicomedia. Before the main conclave convened, Hosius initially met with Alexander and his supporters at Nicomedia.[8] The council would be presided over by the emperor himself, who participated in and even led some of its discussions.[7]

Those who upheld the notion that Christ was co-eternal and con-substantial with the Father were led by the young archdeacon Athanasius. Those who instead insisted that God the Son came after God the Father in time and substance, were led by Arius the presbyter. For about two months, the two sides argued and debated,[9] with each appealing to Scripture to justify their respective positions. Arius maintained that the Son of God was a Creature, made from nothing; and that he was God's First Production, before all ages. And he argued that everything else was created through the Son. Thus, said Arius, only the Son was directly created and begotten of God; furthermore, there was a time that He had no existence. He was capable of His own free will, said Arius, and thus "were He in the truest sense a son, He must have come after the Father, therefore the time obviously was when He was not, and hence He was a finite being."[10]

According to some accounts in the hagiography of Saint Nicholas, debate at the council became so heated that at one point, he slapped Arius in the face.[11] The majority of the bishops at the council ultimately agreed upon a creed, known thereafter as the Nicene Creed formulated at the first council of Nicaea. It included the word homoousios, meaning "consubstantial", or "one in essence", which was incompatible with Arius' beliefs.[12] On June 19, 325, council and emperor issued a circular to the churches in and around Alexandria: Arius and two of his unyielding partisans (Theonas and Secundus)[12] were deposed and exiled to Illyricum, while three other supporters—Theognis of Nicaea, Eusebius of Nicomedia and Maris of Chalcedon—affixed their signatures solely out of deference to the emperor. However, Constantine soon found reason to suspect the sincerity of these three, for he later included them in the sentence pronounced on Arius.

Ariminum, Seleucia, and Constantinople (358–360)

In 358, the emperor Constantius II requested two councils, one of the western bishops at Ariminum (now Rimini in Northern Italy) and one of the eastern bishops at Nicomedia.[13][14]

In 359, the western council met at Ariminum. Ursacius of Singidunum and Valens of Mursa declared that the Son was like the father "according to the scriptures," following a new (Homoian) creed drafted at Sirmium (359). Many of the most outspoken supporters of the Creed of Nicaea walked out. The council, including some supporters of the older creed, adopted the newer creed.[13][14] After the council, Pope Liberius condemned the creed of Ariminum, while his rival, Pope Felix II, supported it.[15]

An earthquake struck Nicomedia, killing the bishop Cecropius of Nicomedia, and in 359 the eastern council met at Seleucia Isauria instead. The council was bitterly divided and procedurally irregular, and the two parties met separately and reached opposing decisions. Basil of Ancyra and his party declared that the Son was of similar substance to the Father, following a (Homoiousian) Creed of Antioch from 341, and deposed the opposing party. Acacius of Caesarea declared that the Son was like the Father, introducing a new (Homoian) creed.[15][16] The Son was begotten – generated from God's own substance.

Constantius requested a third council, at Constantinople (359), of both the eastern and western bishops, to resolve the split at Seleucia. Acacius now declared that the Son was like the Father "according to the scriptures." Basil of Ancyra, Eustathius of Sebaste, and their party again declared that the Son was of similar substance to the Father, as in the majority decision at Seleucia. Maris of Chalcedon, Eudoxius of Antioch, and the deacons Aëtius of Antioch and Eunomius of Cyzicus declared that the Son was of a dissimilar substance from the Father.[17][18] The Heteroousians defeated the Homoiousians in an initial debate, but Constantius banished Aëtius,[17] after which the council, including Maris and Eudoxius,[18] agreed to the homoian creed of Ariminum with minor modifications.[17][18]

After the Council of Constantinople, the homoian bishop Acacius deposed and banished several homoiousian bishops, including Macedonius I of Constantinople, Basil, Eustathius, Eleusius of Cyzicus, Dracontius of Pergamum, Neonas of Seleucia, Sophronius of Pompeiopolis, Elpidius of Satala and Cyril of Jerusalem.[19][20] At the same time, Acacius also deposed and banished the Anomoean deacon Aëtius.[19]

In 360, Acacius appointed Eudoxius of Antioch to replace Macedonius and Athanasius of Ancyra to replace Basil, as well as Onesimus of Nicomedia to replace Cecropius, who had died in the earthquake at Nicomedia.[19]

The controversy in the 360s

In 361, Constantius died and Julian became sole Roman emperor. Julian demanded the restoration of several pagan temples which Christians had seized or destroyed.[21] According to Philostorgius, pagans killed George of Laodicea, bishop of Alexandria, allowing Athanasius to reclaim the see.[22]

Sides

Homoousian

The Homoousians taught that the Son is of the same substance as the Father, i.e. both uncreated. The Sabellian form had been condemned as heresy in the 3rd century. The Athanasian form would be declared orthodox at the Council of Constantinople in 383, and has become the basis of most of modern trinitarianism.[23]

Marcellus of Ancyra and Photinus of Sirmium

According to the historian Socrates of Constantinople, Marcellus of Ancyra and Photinus taught "that Christ was a mere man."[36] Their opponents associated the teachings of Marcellus of Ancyra and Photinus of Sirmium with those of Sabellius and Paul of Samosata, which had been widely rejected before the controversy.[37]

  • Marcellus, bishop of Ancyra (?-336 and c. 343-c. 374) and critic of Asterius.[38]
  • Photinus, bishop of Sirmium (?-351) and in exile (351-376); according to Socrates of Constantinople and Sozomen, Photinus was a follower of Marcellus.[39]
  • In 336, a church trial at Constantinople deposed Marcellus and condemned his doctrines.[40]
  • Pope Julius I supported Marcellus and called for his restoration.[30]
  • In 342 or 343, the mostly Western Council of Sardica restored Marcellus, while the mostly Eastern Council of Philippopolis sustained his removal.[41]
  • Under pressure from his co-Emperor Constans, Constantius II initially backed the decision of Sardica, but after Constans' death, reversed course.[42]
  • In 351, a church trial at the Council of Sirmium deposed Photinus and condemned his teachings.[43]
  • The Macrostich condemned the teachings of Marcellus and Photinus.[44]

Homoiousian

The Homoiousian school taught that the Son is of a similar substance to the Father but not the same.[45][46]

Homoian

The Homoians taught that the Son is similar to the Father, either "in all things" or "according to the scriptures," without speaking of substance.[46] Several members of the other schools, such as Hosius of Cordoba and Aëtius, also accepted certain Homoian formulae.[61]

Heteroousian

The Heteroousians taught that the Son is of a different substance from the Father, i.e. created. Arius had taught this early in the controversy, and Aëtius would teach the later Anomoean form.[66][67]

Other critics of the Creed of Nicaea

Many critics of the "Nicene" Creed cannot be clearly associated with one school, often due to lack of sources, or due to contradictions between sources.

Unclassified

See also

References

  1. ^ Papandrea, James Leonard. Reading the Early Church Fathers: From the Didache to Nicaea. p. 177.
  2. ^ Smither, Edward L. (ed.). Rethinking Constantine: History, Theology, and Legacy. p. 65-66.
  3. ^ Dunner, Joseph (1967). Handbook of world history: concepts and issues. p. 70.
  4. ^ Campbell, Ted (1996). Christian Confessions: A Historical Introduction. p. 41.
  5. ^ Eusebius, of Caesarea, Bishop of Caesarea, approximately 260-approximately 340. (1999). Life of Constantine. Cameron, Averil., Hall, Stuart George. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 1423767667. OCLC 67703212.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ Wiles, Maurice, 1923-2005. (1996). Archetypal heresy : Arianism through the centuries. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 9780191520594. OCLC 344023364.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ a b Vasiliev, Al (1928). "The empire from Constantine the Great to Justinian". History of the Byzantine Empire. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  8. ^ Photius. "Epitome of Chapter VII". Epitome of Book I. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  9. ^ "Babylon the Great Has Fallen". God's Kingdom Rules!. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc.: 447 1963.
  10. ^ M'Clintock, John; James Strong. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature. 7. p. 45.
  11. ^ "St. Nicholas Center ::: Bishop Nicholas Loses His Cool". www.stnicholascenter.org. Retrieved 2019-06-14.
  12. ^ a b Carroll, A. History of Christendom, Volume II. p. 12.
  13. ^ a b Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 4, chapter 10.
  14. ^ a b c d e Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapter 37.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapter 40.
  16. ^ a b Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 4, chapter 11.
  17. ^ a b c Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 4, chapter 12 and book 5, chapter 1.
  18. ^ a b c d Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapter 41.
  19. ^ a b c d e f Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 5, chapter 1.
  20. ^ a b c d Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapter 42.
  21. ^ Henry Chadwick, History of the Early Church, chapter 9
  22. ^ Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 7, chapter 2.
  23. ^ Bernhard Lohse, A Short History of Christian Doctrine, pp. 56-59 & 63.
    Peter Heather & John Matthews, Goths in the Fourth Century, pp. 127-128. This mainly discusses the later controversy and only mentions Athanasius' form.
  24. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 1, chapters 5 & 6.
  25. ^ Socrates of Constantintinople, Church History, book 1, chapter 7 and book 2, chapter 31.
  26. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapter 21.
  27. ^ a b Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 1, chapter 25.
  28. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 1, chapters 23, 27-32 & 34-35.
  29. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapters 6-7, 12 & 16.
  30. ^ a b Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapter 15.
  31. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapter 23.
  32. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapters 23 & 26.
  33. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapters 24 & 38.
  34. ^ a b c Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapter 36.
  35. ^ a b Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapter 38.
  36. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 1, chapter 36 and book 2, chapter 20
    Socrates, book 1, chapter 36, states that Marcellus "dared to say, as the Samosatene had done, that Christ was a mere man" and book 2, chapter 18, states that Photinus "asserted that the Son of God was a mere man."
  37. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 1, chapter 36 and book 2, chapter 29.
    Sozomen, Church History, book 4, chapter 6.
    Besides these histories, Eunomius' First Apology associates Marcellus' and Photinus' doctrines with Sabellius, and condemns these doctrines.'
  38. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 1, chapter 36 and book 2, chapter 20.
  39. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapters 18 & 29.
    Sozomen, Church History, book 4, chapter 6.
  40. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 1, chapter 36.
    Sozomen, Church History, book 2, chapter 33.
  41. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapter 20.
    Sozomen, Church History, book 3, chapters 11-12.
  42. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapters 23 & 26.
    Sozomen, Church History, book 4, chapter 2.
  43. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapters 29-30.
    Sozomen, Church History, book 4, chapter 6.
  44. ^ a b c Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapter 19.
  45. ^ Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 4, chapter 9.
  46. ^ a b Peter Heather & John Matthews, Goths in the Fourth Century, p. 128. This mainly discusses the later controversy.
  47. ^ a b c d Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 8, chapter 17.
  48. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 1, chapter 36 & book 2, chapter 42.
  49. ^ Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 4, chapter 9 & book 8, chapter 17.
  50. ^ Socrates if Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapters 16, 27, 38 & 42.
  51. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 1, chapters 24 & 40.
  52. ^ Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 4, chapters 4 & 12.
  53. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapters 19, 37 & 40.
  54. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapter 30.
  55. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapters 38 & 42.
  56. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapters 38 & 45.
  57. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapters 38, 42 & 45.
  58. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapters 39, 40, 42 & 45.
  59. ^ Socrates of Connstantinople, Church History, book 2, chapter 45.
  60. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 1, chapter 8 and book 2, chapter 15.
  61. ^ Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 4, chapter 3 for Hosius and chapter 8 for Aëtius.
  62. ^ a b Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 1, chapter 27 and book 2, chapters 12 & 37.
  63. ^ a b Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 9, chapter 19.
  64. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapter 37.
  65. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapters 4, 39 & 40.
  66. ^ Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 3, chapter 5, book 4, chapter 12 and book 6, chapter 5 refer to "different substance," book 4, chapter 12 refers to "dissimilarity of substance," and book 4, chapters 4 & 12 and book 5, chapter 1 refer to "unlike in substance" or "unlikeness in substance."
  67. ^ Peter Heather & John Matthews, Goths in the Fourth Century, pp. 127-128. This mainly discusses the later controversy and only mentions Anomoeanism, without using the term Heteroousian.
  68. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 1, chapters 5-6.
  69. ^ Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 3, chapter 5 and book 8, chapter 2.
  70. ^ a b Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 7, chapter 6.
  71. ^ a b Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapter 35.
  72. ^ Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 8, chapter 2 and book 9, chapter 18.
  73. ^ Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 5, chapter 3 and book 6, chapters 1-3.
  74. ^ a b c d e f g h Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 8, chapter 2.
  75. ^ a b c Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 1, chapter 8.
  76. ^ a b c d Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 1, chapter 9.
  77. ^ a b c Condemned by Alexander of Alexandria, see Socrates, Church History, book 1, chapter 6.
  78. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 1, chapters 6, 8 & 14, and book 2, chapter 7.
  79. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 1, chapters 6, 8 & 14.
  80. ^ Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 1, chapter 9 and book 4, chapter 12.
  81. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapter 9.
  82. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapters 10-11.
  83. ^ a b Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapter 26.
  84. ^ Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 3, chapter 17.
  85. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapters 26 & 35.
  86. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 1, chapter 36.
  87. ^ Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 4, chapter 4.
  88. ^ Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 3, chapter 15.
  89. ^ Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 2, chapter 5.
  90. ^ a b c Heather and Matthews, Goths in the Fourth Century, pp. 135-136.
  91. ^ Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 5, chapter 5, book 8, chapter 2 and book 9, chapter 4.
  92. ^ Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 8, chapter 17 and book 9, chapter 14.
  93. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapter 12.
  94. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapters 39 & 40.
  95. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 2, chapter 39.
  96. ^ Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 8, chapter 3.
  97. ^ Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 9, chapter 18.
  98. ^ Philostorgius, in Photius, Epitome of the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, book 10, chapter 1.

External links

  1. The Arians Of The Fourth Century by John Henry Cardinal Newman
    1. As provided by the Third Millennium Library — this is the version originally referenced in this article. Its pages do not identify bibliographic data. As of December 2016 the third-millennium-library.com site was unavailable, and the domain was offered for sale.
    2. As provided by The National Institute for Newman Studies – The author's notes for this 3rd edition identify the following differences, among others:
      • "Some additions have been made to the footnotes."
      • "A few longer Notes, for the most part extracted from other publications of [the author], form an Appendix."
      • "The Table of Contents, and the Chronological Table have both been enlarged."
  2. A Chronology of the Arian Controversy
  3. Documents of the Early Arian Controversy
347

Year 347 (CCCXLVII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Rufinus and Eusebius (or, less frequently, year 1100 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 347 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

Alexander of Constantinople

Alexander of Constantinople (Greek: Ἀλέξανδρος; c. 237/240 – c. 340) was a bishop of Byzantium and the first Archbishop of Constantinople (the city was renamed during his episcopacy). Scholars consider most of the available information on Alexander to be legendary.

Arianism

Arianism is a nontrinitarian Christological doctrine which asserts the belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who was begotten by God the Father at a point in time, a creature distinct from the Father and is therefore subordinate to him, but the Son is also God (i.e. God the Son). Arian teachings were first attributed to Arius (c. AD 256–336), a Christian presbyter in Alexandria of Egypt. The term "Arian" is derived from the name Arius; and like "Christian", it was not a self-chosen designation but bestowed by hostile opponents—and never accepted by those on whom it had been imposed. The nature of Arius's teaching and his supporters were opposed to the theological views held by Homoousian Christians, regarding the nature of the Trinity and the nature of Christ. The Arian concept of Christ is based on the belief that the Son of God did not always exist but was begotten within time by God the Father.There was a dispute between two interpretations of Jesus' divinity (Homoousianism and Arianism) based upon the theological orthodoxy of the time, one trinitarian and the other non-trinitarian, and both of them attempted to solve its respective theological dilemmas. So there were, initially, two equally orthodox interpretations which initiated a conflict in order to attract adepts and define the new orthodoxy. The two interpretations initiated a broader conflict as to which belief was the successor of Christian theology from its inception. The former was formally affirmed by the first two Ecumenical Councils, and in the past several centuries, Arianism has continued to be viewed as "the heresy or sect of Arius". As such, all mainstream branches of Christianity now consider Arianism to be heterodox and heretical. The trinitarianism, or homoousianism viewpoint, was promulgated by Athanasius of Alexandria, who insisted that Homoousianism theology was both the true nature of God and the teaching of Jesus. Arius stated: "If the Father begat the Son, then he who was begotten had a beginning in existence, and from this it follows there was a time when the Son was not." Nonetheless, the Ecumenical First Council of Nicaea of 325, convened by Emperor Constantine to ensure Church unity, deemed Arianism to be a heresy." According to Everett Ferguson, "The great majority of Christians had no clear views about the nature of the Trinity and they did not understand what was at stake in the issues that surrounded it."Ten years later, however, Constantine the Great, who was himself baptized by the Arian bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia, convened another gathering of Church leaders at the regional First Synod of Tyre in 335 (attended by 310 bishops), to address various charges mounted against Athanasius by his pro-Arius detractors, such as "murder, illegal taxation, sorcery, and treason", following his refusal to readmit Arius into fellowship. Athanasius was exiled to Trier (in modern Germany) following his conviction at Tyre of conspiracy, and Arius was, effectively, exonerated. Athanasius eventually returned to Alexandria in 346 A.D., two years after the deaths of both Arius and Constantine; though Arianism had spread, Athanasius and other trinitarian Church leaders crusaded against the theology, and Arius was again anathemised and pronounced a heretic once more at the Ecumenical First Council of Constantinople of 381 (attended by 150 bishops). The Roman Emperors Constantius II (337–361) and Valens (364–378) were Arians or Semi-Arians, as was the first King of Italy, Odoacer (433?–493), and the Lombards were also Arians or Semi-Arians until the 7th century. Visigothic Spain was Arian until 581. Many Goths when they converted to Christianity adopted Arian beliefs. The Vandal regime in North Africa actively imposed Arianism.

Arianism is also used to refer to other nontrinitarian theological systems of the 4th century, which regarded Jesus Christ—the Son of God, the Logos—as either a begotten creature (as in Arianism proper and Anomoeanism) or as neither uncreated nor created in the sense other beings are created (as in Semi-Arianism).

Arius

Arius (; Koinē Greek: Ἄρειος, 250 or 256–336) was a Libyan presbyter and ascetic, and priest in Baucalis in Alexandria, Egypt. His teachings about the nature of the Godhead in Christianity, which emphasized God's uniqueness and the Christ's subordination under the Father, and his opposition to what would become the dominant Christology, Homoousian Christology, made him a primary topic of the First Council of Nicaea, which was convened by Emperor Constantine the Great in 325.

After Emperors Licinius and Constantine legalized and formalized the Christianity of the time in the Roman Empire, Constantine sought to unify the newly recognized Church and remove theological divisions. The Christian Church was divided over disagreements on Christology, or, the nature of the relationship between Jesus and God. Homoousian Christians, including Athanasius of Alexandria, used Arius and Arianism as epithets to describe those who disagreed with their doctrine of coequal Trinitarianism, a Homoousian Christology representing God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son as "of one essence" ("consubstantial") and coeternal.

Negative writings describe Arius's theology as one in which there was a time before the Son of God, when only God the Father existed. Despite concerted opposition, Arian Christian churches persisted throughout Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, especially in various Germanic kingdoms, until suppressed by military conquest or voluntary royal conversion between the fifth and seventh centuries.

The Son's precise relationship with the Father had been discussed for decades before Arius's advent; Arius intensified the controversy and carried it to a Church-wide audience, where others like Eusebius of Nicomedia proved much more influential in the long run. In fact, some later Arians disavowed the name, claiming not to have been familiar with the man or his specific teachings. However, because the conflict between Arius and his foes brought the issue to the theological forefront, the doctrine he proclaimed—though not originated—is generally labeled as "his".

Barhadbshabba Arbaya

Barhadbshabba Arbaya was a sixth-century Syrian historian, whose History is important for the arian controversy and the dispute between Cyril and Nestorios.

Cecropius of Nicomedia

Cecropius of Nicomedia was a bishop of Nicomedia and a key player in the Arian controversy.

Council of Philippopolis

The Council of Philippopolis in 343, 344, or 347 was a result of Arian bishops from the Eastern Roman Empire leaving the Council of Sardica to form their own counter council. In Philippopolis, they anathemized the term homoousios, in effect excommunicating Pope Julius I as well as their rivals at the Council in Sardica, and introduced the term Anomoian and as a result, the Arian controversy was perpetuated, rather than resolved, as was the original intention of the Roman emperors Constans and Constantius along with Pope Julius who called the Council of Sardica.Serdica is now called Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. Philippopolis is now called Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second largest city.

Councils of Sirmium

The Councils of Sirmium were the five episcopal councils held in Sirmium in 347, 351, 357, 358 and finally in 375 or 378. The third—the most important of the councils—marked a temporary compromise between Arianism and the Western bishops of the Christian church. At least two of the other councils also dealt primarily with the Arian controversy. All of these councils were held under the rule of Constantius II, who was sympathetic to the Arians.

Hosius of Corduba

Hosius of Corduba (c. 256 – 359), also known as Osius or Ossius, was a bishop of Corduba (now Córdoba, Spain) and an important and prominent advocate for Homoousion Christianity in the Arian controversy that divided the early Christianity.

He likely presided at the First Council of Nicaea and also presided at the Council of Serdica.After Lactantius, he was the closest Christian advisor to Emperor Constantine the Great and guided the content of public utterances, such as Constantine's Oration to the Saints, addressed to the assembled bishops.

Judy Genshaft

Judy Lynn Genshaft (; born January 7, 1948) is President of University of South Florida since 2000. She will be stepping down from the position in July 2019 after a 19-year tenure. She received $879,506 for the 2015-2016 academic year, ranking her as the 11th highest paid university president in the United States.

Maximin of Trier

Saint Maximin (born at Silly near Poitiers; — Poitiers 12 September 346) was the fifth bishop of Trier, according to the list provided by the diocese's website, taking his seat in 341/342. Maximin was an opponent of Arianism, and was supported by the courts of Constantine II and Constans, who harboured as an honored guest Athanasius twice during his exile from Alexandria, in 336-37, before he was bishop, and again in 343. In the Arian controversy he had begun in the party of Paul I of Constantinople; however, he took part in the synod of Sardica convoked by Pope Julius I (ca. 342), and when four Arian bishops consequently came from Antioch to Trier with the purpose of winning Emperor Constans to their side, Maximinus refused to receive them and induced the emperor to reject their proposals.

Maximus of Jerusalem

Saint Maximus of Jerusalem (Maximus III of Jerusalem) was an early Christian saint and bishop of Jerusalem from roughly 333 AD to his death in roughly 350 AD. He was the third bishop of Jerusalem named Maximus, the other two being in the latter half of the 2nd century.During one of the persecutions of his era he was tortured for his Christian faith, and thus became known as a confessor, although modern sources disagree as to whether this happened in the reign of Galerius Maximianus or the reign co-emperors Diocletian and Maximian. He was a priest in Jerusalem, and it is said by Sozomen that he was so popular among the people for good character and for being a confessor that when Saint Macarius attempted to appoint him as bishop of Lydda (also known as Diospolis) the populace insisted upon his retention in Jerusalem. Upon Macarius' death Maximus became bishop of Jerusalem, and was present in 335 at the first synod of Tyre, and signed that council's condemnation of Athanasius. During Athanasius' return from exile, circa 346, Maximus convoked a synod in Jerusalem of sixteen Palestinian bishops that welcomed Athanasius. Socrates Scholasticus recorded that Maximus "restored communion and rank" to Athanasius, Athanasius receiving support against the Arians and Maximus advancing the desire of the bishops of Jerusalem to have their see be equal in status to the metropolitan see of Caesarea, a desire later achieved in 451 AD.Maximus was succeeded as bishop of Jerusalem by saint Cyril, though the process is unclear. Sozomen and Socrates say that Maximus had been deposed in favor of Cyril by Acacius of Caesarea and Patrophilus of Scythopolis, both Arians. Jerome says instead that Maximus' intended successor was Heraclius, whom Maximus had named upon his death bed, but that Acacius and Cyril deposed Heraclius and made Cyril bishop. Rufinus (CH, 10.24) mentions only that the ordination was in some unspecified way "irregular". Regardless of how the succession came about, Cyril and Acacius would become bitter enemies during the next few years, disagreeing both in the Arian controversy and in terms of the precedence and rights of each see.The Roman Catholic Church marks his feast day on May 5, and the Eastern Orthodox Church on May 9.

Meletius of Lycopolis

Meletius (died after 325) was bishop of Lycopolis in Egypt. He is known mainly as the founder and namesake of the Meletians (c. 305), one of several schismatic sects in early church history which were concerned about the ease with which lapsed Christians reentered the Church. (See also Donatism.)

The details of his life are not clear as there are conflicting accounts of it. According to one version he was imprisoned for his Christianity during the persecution under Diocletian along with Peter of Alexandria. Another source has Peter fleeing the scene and a third one has Meletius himself avoiding prison. Apparently, as early as during the persecution itself, Meletius began to refuse to accept in communion those Christians who had renounced their faith during the persecution and later repented of that choice. Meletius' rigorous stance on this point stood in contrast to the earlier willingness of bishops to accept back into communion those who seemed to have truly repented (a pattern which was addressed during previous similar controversies, including those who had lapsed during the Decian persecution about 50 years earlier).

As Bishop of Alexandria, Peter would have been recognized as the leader of the Egyptian church and thus Meletius's superior in church hierarchy. Historian Philip Schaff tells us that prior to Peter's death in 311, he spoke out against Meletius's actions and "deposed him as a disturber of the peace of the church".The supporters that Meletius drew around him included twenty-eight other bishops, at least some of whom he personally ordained, and the objections against him included that he ordained people in regions where he lacked authority. His group went by the name Church of the Martyrs, inherently objecting to the reacceptance by other bishops of people who chose to avoid the risk of martyrdom. Meletius's influence extended even so far away as Palestine.It is believed by some that Meletius ordained Arius, known for the Arian controversy, as a priest. Scholarly opinions are divided on whether this is the case.The Council of Nicaea in 325 attempted to create peace with the Meletians. Meletius was allowed to remain bishop of Lycopolis, but was no longer to ordain bishops outside his region. The bishops he had already ordained were accepted under certain restrictions, and had to be reordained. Meletius's death followed soon after the council met, and the effort to bring unity proved unsuccessful. His followers sided with the Arians in their controversy and existed as a separate sect until the fifth century.

Paul I of Constantinople

Paul I or Paulus I or Saint Paul the Confessor (died c. 350), was the sixth bishop of Constantinople, elected first in 337 AD. Paul became involved in the Arian controversy which drew in the Emperor of the West, Constans, and his counterpart in the East, his brother Constantius II. Paul was installed and deposed three times from the See of Constantinople between 337 and 351. He was murdered by strangulation during his third and final exile in Cappadocia. His feast day is on November 6.

Philostorgius

Philostorgius (Greek: Φιλοστόργιος; 368 – c. 439 AD) was an Anomoean Church historian of the 4th and 5th centuries. Anomoeanism questioned the Trinitarian account of the relationship between God the Father and Christ and was considered heretical by the Church, which adopted the term "homoousion", or "consubstantial", to describe the relation between Father and Son in the Nicene Creed.

Very little information about his life is available. He was born in Borissus, Cappadocia to Eulampia and Carterius, and lived in Constantinople from the age of twenty. He is said to have come from an Arian family, and in Constantinople soon attached himself to Eunomius, who receives a lot of praise from Philostorgius in his work.

He wrote a history of the Arian controversy titled Church History (Ἐκκλησιαστικὴ ἱστορία). Philostorgius' original appeared between 425 and 433, in other words, slightly earlier than the History of Socrates of Constantinople, and was formed in twelve volumes bound in two books. The original is now lost. However, one copy was found by the ninth-century historian Photius, in his library in Constantinople, who wrote an epitome of it. Others also borrowed from Philostorgius, most notably the author of the Artemii Passio (Artemius being a legendary martyr under Julian the Apostate), and so, despite the eventual disappearance of the original text, it is possible to form some idea of what it contained by reviewing the epitome and other references. This reconstruction of what might have been in the text was first published, in German, by the Belgian philologist Joseph Bidez in 1913; a third, revised edition of his work undertaken by Friedhelm Winkelmann was published in 1981; this edition has recently been translated into English by Philip R. Amidon.

He also wrote a treatise against Porphyry, which is lost.

Sami Al-Arian

Sami Amin Al-Arian (Arabic: سامي أمين العريان‎; born January 14, 1958) is a Palestinian-American civil rights activist who was a computer engineering professor at University of South Florida. During the Clinton administration and Bush administration, he was invited to the White House. He actively campaigned for the Bush presidential campaign in the United States presidential election in 2000.

After a contentious interview with Bill O'Reilly on The O'Reilly Factor following the September 11 attacks, Al-Arian's tenure at University of South Florida came under extreme public scrutiny. His professorship became the most significant academic freedom case since Angela Davis in the 1960s.

He was indicted in February 2003 on 17 counts under the Patriot Act. A jury acquitted him on 8 counts and deadlocked on the remaining 9 counts. He later struck a plea bargain and admitted to one of the remaining charges in exchange for being released and deported by April 2007. However, as his release date approached, a federal prosecutor in Virginia demanded he testify before a grand jury in a separate case, which he refused to do, claiming it would violate his plea deal. He was held under house arrest in Northern Virginia from 2008 until 2014 when federal prosecutors filed a motion to dismiss charges against him.He was deported to Turkey on February 4, 2015.

Stephen I of Antioch

Stephen I of Antioch (Latin: Stephanus) was the Bishop of Antioch between 341 and 345 or 342 and 344, depending on the source. He was leader of the Arian party, called Eusebians, during the Arian controversy and an adversary of Athanasius.

Ulfilas

Ulfilas (c. 311–383), also known as Ulphilas and Orphila, all Latinized forms of the Gothic 𐍅𐌿𐌻𐍆𐌹𐌻𐌰 Wulfila, literally "Little Wolf", was a Goth of Cappadocian Greek descent who served as a bishop and missionary, is credited with the translation of the Bible into the Gothic Bible, and participated in the Arian controversy. He developed the Gothic alphabet - inventing a writing system loosely based on a combination of a Runic alphabet and the Greek alphabet - in order for the Bible to be translated into the Gothic language. Although traditionally the translation of the Bible into the Gothic language has been ascribed to Ulfilas, analysis of the Gothic text indicates the involvement of a team of translators, possibly under his supervision.

Viator of Bergamo

Saint Viator of Bergamo (Italian: Viatore di Bergamo) (died 370) is venerated as the second bishop of Bergamo. Viator is traditionally considered the successor of Saint Narnus in that see. Viator's episcopate is considered to have lasted from 343 to 370.Viator attended the Council of Sardica (342-3), called to adjust the doctrinal and other difficulties of the Arian controversy. Viator assisted in the composition of decrees there; Saint Athanasius lists him as one of the authors of the decree Apologia contra Arianus.

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