#342 – A History Catholic of the Catholic Church – The First Ecumenical Council

As the conflict between Arius and Alexander grows larger, bishops throughout the Eastern Empire choose sides. Constantine decides to summon bishops from throughout the Roman Empire in the hopes of establishing peace.

Links:

Image of Icon of the First Council of Nicaea. This icon shows Arius in brown, without the halo. The figure facing him is possibly Alexander of Alexandria. Constantine is shown wearing a crown.

Constantine’s letter to Arius and Alexander seeking peace

Constantine’s letter summoning the bishops to Nicaea

Documents relating to the 325 Synod of Antioch

Icons of Saint Nicholas slapping Arius

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#342 – A History of the Catholic Church – The First Ecumenical Council

#341 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Presbyter Of Alexandria

The presbyter Arius and his bishop Alexander enter into a theological dispute regarding the relationship between the Father and the Son, whether the Son is divine or instead a creature. This is a dispute that comes to involve not only the Christians of Alexandria, but Christians throughout Egypt and Libya.

Links:

Image of Fresco of Abraham and the Three Angels at Mamre. This 4th century image of the Via Latina Catacomb was an early way of depicting the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Documents concerning Arius including his writings

Map showing bishops who supported Arius

Various chronologies concerning the Arian Controversy

Map of the Egyptian Dioceses that would have been under Alexander of Alexandria, including Upper/Superior Libya and Lower/Inferior Libya On the map, the Dioecesis Orientis will come under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Antioch at the Council of Nicaea

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#341 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Presbyter Of Alexandria

#340 – A History of the Catholic Church – New Rome

After an evaluation of Constantine’s Christianity, we look at the establishment of Constantinople and review earlier theological debates to prepare ourselves for the outbreak of the Arian Controversy.

Links:

Image of Mosaic of Constantine presenting Constantinople to Mary and Jesus

Constantine’s “Oration to the Saints”

Coins of Constantine from 312 and 318 showing Sol Invictus

Coins of Constantine from 315 showing the Chi Rho on the Constantine’s helm and from 327 showing the labarum

Map of Constantinople showing early walls of Septimus Severus and how Constantine expanded the size of the city. The map also shows Hagia Irene, where Constantine had the liturgy dedicating Constantinople, and Holy Apostles where Constantine will be buried.

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#340 – A History of the Catholic Church – New Rome

Catholic: Under The Hood Classics – Episodes 309-313

classics

Presenting more of the back episodes of the History of the Catholic Church series no longer on the main podcast feed.

Episodes in this volume:
#309 – Tituli and Domus Ecclesiae
#310 – Domus Ecclesiae and Aula Ecclesiae
#311 – The First Christian Emperor?
#312 – For the Safety Of The Empire
#313 – The Sheep Are Scattered

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Catholic: Under The Hood Episodes 309 to 313

#339 – A History of the Catholic Church – Constantine Stands Alone

Constantine continues to struggle with the Donatists and Christian persecutes Christian. As he tries to make peace among the Christians of the West, tensions with his co-emperor Licinius break out into civil war.

Links:

Image of Peter Paul Reubens’ “The Battle of Constantine and Licinius

The Spread of Christianity to 325.

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#339 – A History of the Catholic Church – Constantine Stands Alone

#338 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Council of Arles

The end of the Great Persecutions brought with it great joy but also great difficulty as Christians struggled with how to treat those who had abandoned their faith during the troubles and now wanted to return. Constantine becomes more involved in Church affairs as he seeks to maintain the favor of the “Highest Divinity”, but the Donatists are making this difficult.

Links:

Image of 313 Coin of Constantine and Sol Invictus

Map of the spread of Christianity in 314

Map of territory held by Constantine in 314

Canons of the Council of Arles 314

John L. Boojamra, “Constantine and The Council of Arles: The Foundations of Church and state in the Christian East”, The Greek Orthodox Theological Review, Vol. 43, Nos. 1-4, 1998, pp. 129-141.

Averil Cameron. (2006). Constantine and the ‘peace of the church’. In: Margaret M. Mitchell and Frances M. Young (eds.) The Cambridge History of Christianity. pp. 538-551. [Online]. Cambridge History of Christianity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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#338 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Council of Arles

#337 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Rise Of Christendom

constantineatthelateran

In the West, Constantine begins to support the Church in Rome and the links between the Catholic Church and the State are strengthened. In the East, the persecutions come to an end.

Links:

Image of Constantine at the Lateran Basilica

Map of Rome with location of early Christian churches

Edict of Milan

Canons of Ancyra 314

Canons of Neocaesarea 315

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#337 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Rise of Christendom

#336 – A History of the Catholic Church – In This Sign

archofconstantine

In the East, Galerius dies and the Meletian Schism comes to Alexandria. In the West, Constantine become the Master of Rome.

Links:

Image of Chi-Rho according to Eusebius, the image seen by Constantine

Image of Staurogram – according to Lactantius, the image seen by Constantine

Image: From the Arch of Constantine Depiction of Constantine’s victory at Battle of the Milvian Bridge by Luk Constantyna

Bill Leadbetter, “Constantine and the Bishops: The Roman Church in the Early Fourth Century”, The Journal of Religious History, Vol. 26, No. 1, February 2002

R. Williams, “Arius and the Meletian Schism”, The Journal of Theological Studies, Vol. 37, No. 1, April 1986, pp. 35-52.

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#336 – A History of the Catholic Church – In This Sign

#335 – A History of the Catholic Church – Tetrarchs and Traditors

trierbasilica

The Imperial Tetrarchy runs into problems with the rise of Constantine and Maxentius, each of whom will look to the Christians to support them against rivals. However, the Church has its own problems as both Rome and Carthage struggle to deal with the effects of the Persecutions and the Donatists come on to the scene.

Links:

Image: reproduction of Constantine’s basilica at Trier.

Coin of Constantine with Sol Invictus

Map of provinces of Roman Empire. In North Africa, you can see province of Proconsularis Africa that supported Caecelian and provinces of Numidia that supported Majorinus.

Maps of territory held by the different Tetrarchs

T. D. Barnes, “The Beginnings of Donatism”, The Journal of Theological Studies, Vol. 26, No. 1, April 1975, pp. 13-22.

Alan Dearn, “The Abitinian Martys and the Outbreak of the Donatist Schism”, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 55, No. 1, January 2004, pp. 1-18.

Peter Iver Kaufman, “Donatism Revisited: Moderates and Militants in Late Antique North Africa”, Journal of Late Antiquity, Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring 2009, pp. 131-142.

Robert Wisniewski, “Lucilla and the Bone: Remarks on an Early Testimony to the Cult of Relics”, Journal of Late Antiquity, 4.1, Spring 20011, pp. 157-161.

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#335 – A History of the Catholic Church – Tetrarchs and Traditors

#334 – A History of the Catholic Church – Martyrs and Apostates

imageofchristbetweenpeterandpaul

The Great Persecution also effected the Western half of the Roman Empire. While the territory of Constantius Chlorus was only mildly affected, the Christians of Italy and North Africa faced a more difficult situation. Some Christians chose death over submission to the Imperial authorities. Other Christians will abandon their faith in order to preserve their lives. One of those might have been the bishop of Rome Marcellinus. However, as serious as the persecutions were, they won’t keep bishops from meeting at the important Council of Elvira and laying down important future laws for the Church.

Links:

Image: 4th century icon of Christ between Peter and Paul. At the bottom of the icon are images of various Roman martyrs.

Canons of the Council of Elvira

Maureen A. Tilley, Donatist Martyr Stories: The Church in Conflict in Roman North Africa, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1996.

Robert Grigg, Aniconic Worship and the Apologetic Tradition: A Note on Canon 36 of the Council of Elvira, Church History, vol 45, no. 4, December 1976, 428-433

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#334 – A History of the Catholic Church – Martyrs and Apostates

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