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The anathema on the words changeable (treptos) and alterable (alloiotos) was most probably inspired by Alexander's charge that, if the Arian Christ is unchangeable only by the Father's will, he is changeable by nature. Athanasius states (or surmises) that the life of Christ on earth was seen by Arius as a probation of the Son, the attributes of divinity being conferred on him as the prize of merit - not, however, posthumously, as Philippians 2:9-12 suggests, but proleptically, as the Father foresaw his victory in the hour of his generation (Ath. Apol. sec. 1.5-6). Eusebius, however, turns the anathema against those - and here he can only mean Marcellus - who assert that the Godhead undergoes some change in the propagation of the Son. The prohibition of the term 'created' (ktistos) he does not explain at all, and, in his writings against Marcellus after the council, he continues to urge that creation and generation are synonymous in the Bible. There are a number of witnesses, including bishop Cyril of Alexandria, successor and disciple of Athanasius, who quote the Nicene Creed without the anathema on ktistos.49 Some suspect Athanasius of a poor memory, if not of wilful fraud.50

In any case, the creed was drafted cleverly enough to win the assent of the great majority (including Eusebius), while the recusants - Theonas, Secundus and Arius - were excommunicated. Theognis ofNicaea and Eusebius ofNico-media were deposed, although the subsequent restitution of Eusebius, and the letter by which he procured it (Socr. HE 1.14), suffice to prove that he withheld his signature only from the anathemas. So far as we know, the creed was not intended for the laity; we do not hear that it was ever recited at baptism or inserted (like the creed of 381) into regular services of the church.

The aftermath

Few delegates can have been entirely satisfied with their work at the Nicene council. It had promulgated a formula which was neither strict nor latitudi-narian - not strict, since (as Eusebius showed) its sense was often equivocal, yet not latitudinarian, as it had canonised a term which, being new, unbiblical and uninterpreted, could hardly fail to irritate the conscience. The last twelve years of Constantine's reign saw a change in the tide of affairs that is often

49 Cyril, Third Letter to Nestorius 3. Cf.Theodoret, citing Eusebius, HE 1.12; Hilary of Poitiers, Adversus Valentem et Ursacium 1.9; Bas. Ep. 125; Eustathius at Socr. HE 4.12. Ktistos appears in the latter's transcript of the Eusebian letter (HE 1.8), as well as in Ath. Ep.Jov. 3 and in his appendix to Decr., which is the first citation of Eusebius' letter.

50 On Whiston's view see Wiles, 'Textual variant'. 'Made' (poietheis), which does not imply perfection and nearness to God, was indisputably condemned.

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