monastic rules and common liturgies. Some are genuine. The Theologian entered the ascetic community of St Thecla near Seleucia when he thought he needed time for more rigorous contemplation. Women in the family were also involved. Basil's mother and his sister Macrina headed a convent that drew poorer women from the streets to better lives and purposefully treated all equally.


The great theological opponents of the Cappadocians were Aetius of Antioch (c. 300-70) and Eunomius of Cyzicus (c. 325-c. 395). Aetius was an accomplished logician and theologian whose positions formed the backbone of what is often called Neo-Arianism. He probably did not come from a Christian home and was originally trained as a goldsmith, but his curiosity and intellectual gifts led to his going beyond positions taught by Arius' friends in the metropolis. Aetius was ordained a deacon under Leontius of Antioch during 344-5. Involved in imperial political machinations, he was exiled in 354 because of his friendship with Caesar Gallus; later he was brought back by Julian the Apostate, Gallus' brother. Aetius left public life after the revolt of Procopius, a cousin of Julian. Following his death, Eunomius, his secretary, buried him in Constantinople. Aetius' philosophical and logical acuity can be seen in his collection of theological puzzles. They have led some to think of Neo-Arianism as entirely a philosophical-theological school, but a number ofits participants were bishops, not singularly philosophers.37

Eunomius came from similarly humble circumstances in Cappadocia and first trained in secretarial skills (we have already mentioned that he served as Aetius' secretary). But he studied rhetoric at Constantinople, Antioch and Alexandria, where he began to work for Aetius. Most of the opponents of the Neo-Arians focused their attacks on Eunomius' later works. He was condemned at an Ancyran council in 358, yet was rehabilitated by a Constanti-nopolitan council in 360. Eudoxius, bishop of Constantinople, appointed him bishop of Cyzicus. Exiled by the emperor Valens in 369-70, he assumed leadership of the Neo-Arian group after Aetius' death. Eunomius' writings were not the tight conundrums of Aetius; rather, they were longer treatises. He even wrote commentary on scripture. His arguments have power and show traditional and biblical sources as their authorities.38

37 'The Syntagmation of Aetius the Anomean', ed. and trans. L. R. Wickham. Philostorgius' H.E. does not limit their leaders to philosophers.

38 Eunomius: The extant works, ed. and trans. Vaggione; R. P. Vaggione, Eunomius of Cyzicus and the Nicene revolution.

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