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heed to royal policy that it recognised Donatus as bishop of Carthage.14 The Westerners, though they brandished the authority of the imperial summons, found occasion to magnify the prerogatives of Rome (c. 3 and 4 of the Council of Serdica) and to extend the Nicene canon (c. 15) against episcopal migration (c. 1), which was thought to have been aimed at the late Eusebius of Nicomedia.15 Both halves of the council struck at the hegemony of the lay sovereign - though when the Donatists set about recovering their liberties in Africa, the deployment of imperial troops was justified by a council under the Catholic bishop Gratus, c. 345-8.

Little offence was given in 351 by the Council of Sirmium, which ousted Photinus, disciple of Marcellus of Ancyra, from his bishopric in that city (Athanasius, Synods 27). Yet controversy prospered, and factions multiplied. Constantius II, now ruler of East and West, suspected Athanasius of involvement with the usurper Magnentius. Preparing a sentence of exile against the Alexandrianbishop, Constantius made a council in Milan condemn Athanasius. In 357 Constantius orchestrated the 'Blasphemy of Sirmium', which prohibited the term ousia (and therefore homoousios) under the signatures of Ossius of Cordova and Liberius of Rome, along with a host of Eastern bishops (Athanasius, Synods 28). In 359 this interdict was confirmed under his direction by two councils, though at Rimini the Catholics of the West sent out a remonstrance, while at Seleucia a majority of bishops rejected the Homoian creed proposed by the emperor and reiterated the creed of the Council of Antioch in 341 (Athanasius, Synods 7-13, 29-30). Even this proviso was withdrawn at Constantinople in 360, where bishops who persisted in maintaining anything more than that the Son was 'like' the Father were dispossessed (Athanasius, Synods 30). Small wonder that Athanasius, restored to his see by Julian when Constantius died in 361, at once convened a synod of his own to defend the edicts of Nicaea and the Western Council of Serdica (Tome to the Antiochenes 3). It also attempted to mediate in Antioch, where Paulinus was regarded by most Westerners as the successor to Eustathius, while Meletius, a protege of Constantius but now a Homoousian, was the favourite of the East.

Other affairs were handled by provincial or local moots without the assistance ofthe monarch. Thus the canons of Gangra (c. 343) restrained the conduct of ascetics, while the first synodical inventory of the scriptures (omitting the

14 Hilary of Poitiers, Against Valens and Ursacius 1.2.1. As the letter was directed to Carthage it may be that they meant to foster a schism; they were subjects of Constantius II at this time, while the West was ruled by his brother Constans.

15 Jonkers, Acta et symbola, 61-73.

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