consenting, was not present, but his legate superintended the proceedings against Athanasius, the Alexandrian bishop, in 335. The case at Tyre followed due forensic process, the accusers being routed in open court (as he claims) by the friends of Athanasius; nevertheless his judges were determined to find him guilty, notwithstanding the protests of the Egyptians and the reluctance ofthe legate. Sentenced to deposition, he showed that he had grasped the new constitution of affairs by fleeing directly to the capital. Less fortunate than Caecilian in 314, he was banished by Constantine, and, after a brief remission, this decree was ratified by Constantine's heir, Constantius II.12

Athanasius professedtobe scandalised by the persistent intervention of Con-stantius in ecclesiastical quarrels (Historia Arianorum 52). Constantius might have answered that in all constitutional matters the stronger party creates its own law, that Nicaea itself had been the fait accompli of his father - that history, in short, is what prevails, and that the language of Athanasius savoured too much of Donatus' insolence to the emperor Constans. We have already seen that the church had turned to the senate and the courts of law to furnish itself with principles of governance; it would not be surprising if a Christian monarch felt empowered to countermand or enforce the customary practices by extraordinary sanctions. And again, of course, it was only to be expected that the notion of clerical sovereignty would be cherished whenever the clergy found their own voices. As though it were not the crown that had relieved them of Athanasius, the bishops who met at Antioch in 341 to refute Marcellus of Ancyra forcefully declared their episcopal authority. 'How could we, being bishops, follow a presbyter?' they retorted against the imputation of Arianism. They issued a creed which omitted the watchword homoousios (Athanasius, Synods 22) Their letter was answered and refuted by Julius, bishop of Rome, who spoke, with the full consent of everyone but the Donatists, as metropolitan ofthe Latin West (Athanasius, Apologia 21-35). He heightened the pretensions of his see by calling the Easterners to explain their case in Rome; when they abstained, the imperial colleagues Constans and Constantius intervened, appointing Serdica, the bridge between their dominions, as the site for a general council. The Easterners, some eighty in all, seceded on the grounds that the deposition of Athanasius had been wilfully set aside by the Western party.13 Reiterating a creed that had already been unsuccessfully presented by an Eastern delegation at the court of Constantius in Trier, they published an encyclical excommunicating Julius and his satellites, while paying so little

12 See Athanasius, Apologia 71-86, with D. W H. Arnold, The early episcopal career of Athanasius and T. D. Barnes, Athanasius and Constantius.

13 See Hess, The early development of canon law, 105-11.

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