the patriarch - all except two Libyans, Theonas and Secundus, who were particularly wary of any statement which might seem to lend support to their fellow countryman, the errant Sabellius.8 Far from submitting, Arius sought the protection of Eusebius, the astute and powerful bishop of Nicomedia in Bithynia, and by some accounts a courtier of Licinius, who resided there as monarch of the east.
Three considerations may have induced Eusebius of Nicomedia to take up the cause of Arius. First, as he was reminded at the end of Arius' letter, both were pupils of the eminent scholar Lucian of Antioch, to whom Constantine's new capital, Constantinople, was later dedicated. Next, there may have been rivalry between Nicomedia and Alexandria, for while the former was an imperial seat, the latter remained the wealthiest city of the Greek world and claimed the apostle Mark as the founder of its church. Finally, Eusebius may have thought in good faith that his suppliant had been wrongly condemned, for, while he does not appear to have held that the Son was 'out of nothing', one of his letters denies that the Son proceeds from the being or ousia of the Father.9 Whether or not this statement was intended to contradict the ancient principle that the Son is 'from the hypostasis of the Father',10 it certainly excludes the term homoousios, which, however the second half of it is rendered, must imply that the ousia (being, substance, entity or essence) of the Son and the Father is one.
Arius also shunned this term: in a letter to Alexander11 he explains that to conceive of the Son as a homoousion meros ('consubstantial part') of the Father wouldbe to followthe Manichaeans by introducingpassibility and division into the Godhead. Even after the Council of Nicaea, opponents of the homoousion declared that it could only connote the homogeneity between two lengths of the same material, or else the result the result of kneading two materials into a stuff of uniform texture.12 Arius concedes that one could also preserve the unity of nature between the Father and the Son by 'dividing the monad', like Sabellius, by making the Son a physical projection from the Father, like Valentinus, or by likening him to a fire lit from a fire, like Hieracas. But all these would be blasphemies: the First Commandment requires that all divinity be invested in the Father, and consequently the Son must be a ktisma or creation,
9 Letter to Paulinus of Tyre at Thdt. HE 1.6.
10 Cf.Tertullian, ex substantia patris at Prax. 7.14, which, like the phrase translated by the same Latin terms in Or. Comm. Heb. (Pamph. Ap. Or., in PG, vol. xvii, 581-2), seems to paraphrase the dictum at Heb 1:3 that the Son is the impression (charakter) of the Father's hypostasis (Latin substantia). The Council of Antioch in 325 invoked the same text; see Stevenson and Frend, New Eusebius, 336.
12 See Hanson, Search for the Christian doctrine, 190-202; Williams, Arius, 218-22.
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