parties except for the shadowy Narcissus of Neronias and one Theodotus of Laodicea.17 The controversy in Alexandria may have been fanned by the presence of a faction which acknowledged a rival claimant to the bishopric. It seems that one Melitius of Lycopolis had appointed himself lieutenant to the imprisoned bishop Peter in Alexandria during the years of persecution.18 When Peter died without resuming office, his place was taken by Achillas, but Melitius refused to give up the right of ordination. On the death of Achillas, Melitius and his cohort turned their rancour on his successor Alexander. We have no reason to think that the Melitians made common cause with Arius at the outset,19 but such concerted insubordination could not fail to impair the authority of the patriarch. That a bishop should not inquire into the opinions of his presbyters, but that, if he did, the presbyter should submit to his superior, was the advice of Constantine in a letter quoted with approbation by Eusebius (V.C. 2.64-72); but how was any truce possible, when one had a see to rule and the other a conscience to defend?
In matters of this kind, Constantine desired nothing so much as 'peace' (Socr. HE 1.10). This is not to say that he failed to comprehend the debate, for his Oratio ad sanctorum coetum, if authentic, must have been delivered at the latest within a few years of the council.20 Adopting terms that would have been old-fashioned had they not been used concurrently by Marcellus, he speaks of Christ as the logos prophorikos issuing from the logos endiathetos. He assumes the Son's inferiority to the Father, but this tenet, though it came to be regarded as an accommodation to the views of Arius, was at that time a harmless platitude, designed to forestall the inference that the Father was not the cause of the Son, and hence that there were not so much two hypostases as two independent gods.21 Whatever his own convictions, he handed over the theological question to a preliminary hearing at Antioch early in 325.22 In a fragment of a Syriac record, the president's name is given as Eusebius, yet we learn from other sources that Eusebius of Caesarea was condemned here for his
17 See Eusebius, Life of Constantine, Cameron and Hall (eds. and trans.), 262, with notes below on the Council ofAntioch in 325.
18 The evidence, as appraised by Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 202-3, suggests that Peter had delegated authority to Melitius in the Thebaid, but had not approved his role in Alexandria.
19 Williams, 'Arius and the Melitian schism'. A coalition before the Nicene council is alleged by Socr. HE 1.6 and by Soz. HE 1.15.2. Athanasius, however, says nothing ofit, while Epiph. Pan. 68.4 reports that Melitius was an early critic of Arius.
20 For bibliography and discussion, see Edwards, Constantine and Christendom.
21 See Edwards,'The Arian heresy'.
22 For what follows see Stevenson and Frend, New Eusebius, 334-7; Chadwick, 'Ossius'. Lane Fox, Pagans and Christians, 643-4, suggests that Const. Or. s.c. was delivered on this occasion.
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