I3

Singidunum - became marginalised.19 Julian's Christian successors, the emperor-brothers Valentinian I (regn. 364-75) and Valens (regn. 364-78) seem to have favoured different theological orthodoxies: Valentinian lent measured support to Nicene faith in the West, whereas in the East Valens defended the Homoian episcopate established by the synod of Constantinople (360). Although a slow rapprochement between the Western and Eastern churches seemed possible, it was doubtful whether it could be achieved by Homoian orthodoxy. If a common creed was necessary, why not return to the venerable Nicene formula, interpreting it to overcome the resistance of most Eastern bishops?

In the West, Hilary of Poitiers failed to oust the Homoian Auxentius from Milan,20 but Damasus of Rome and particularly Ambrose, the new bishop of Milan, championed Nicene orthodoxy.21 However, the intransigent Roman support for the schismatic Nicene church of Paulinus in Antioch disturbed Eastern bishops like Meletius of Antioch and Basil of Caesarea, who proposed a compromise interpretation of the Nicene Creed. Under Theodosius I (regn. 379-95) unity of a kind was restored with synods in Antioch (379), Aquileia

(381), Constantinople (381 - the Second Ecumenical Council; 382) and Rome

(382) that endorsed Nicene orthodoxy - but the Western and Eastern bishops never assembled in one council. The Western churches reaffirmed the Nicene Creed without explicitly accepting the Eastern interpretation of the term homousios ('consubstantial').22 On 28 February 380, Theodosius proclaimed the new orthodoxy by an edict that jointly cited Damasus of Rome and Peter of Alexandria as guardians of orthodox faith.23 The end of the fourth century saw the empire's churches united in formal adherence to Nicene orthodoxy -without, however, having reached an agreement on its interpretation.

0 0

Post a comment