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The Council of Gangra - A.D. 325/381

Edited from a variety of translations (mentioned in the preface) by H. R. Percival

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2. There does not seem to be any reasonable ground to doubt that the person condemned, Eustathius by name, was the famous bishop of Sebaste. This may be gathered from both Sozomen [136] and Socrates, [137] and is confirmed incidentally by one of St. Basil's epistles. [138] Moreover, Eustathius's See of Sebaste is in Armenia, and it is to the bishops of Armenia that the Synod addresses its letter. It would seem in view of all this that Bp. Hefele's words are not too severe when he writes, "Under such circumstances the statement of Baronius, Du Pin, and others (supported by no single ancient testimony) that another Eustathius, or possibly the monk Eutactus, is here meant, deserves no serious consideration, though Tillemont did not express himself as opposed to it." [139]

The story that after his condemnation by the Synod of Gangra Eustathius gave up wearing his peculiar garb and other eccentricities, Sozomen only gives as a report. [140]

3. As to who was the president, it seems tolerably certain that his name was Eusebius--if Sozomen [141] indeed means it was "Eusebius of Constantinople," it is a blunder, yet he had the name right. In the heading of the Synodal letter Eusebius is first named, and as Gangra and Armenia were within the jurisdiction of Caesarea, it certainly would seem natural to suppose that the Eusebius named was the Metropolitan of that province, but it must be remembered that Eusebius of Cappadocia was not made bishop until 362, four years after Mr. Ffoulkes makes him preside at Gangra. The names of thirteen bishops are given in the Greek text.

The Latin translations add other names, such as that of Hosius of Cordova, and some Latin writers have asserted that he presided as legate à latere from the pope, e.g., Baronius [142] and Binius. [143] Hefele denies this and says: "At the time of the Synod of Gangra Hosius was without doubt dead." [144] But such has not been the opinion of the learned, and Cave [145] is of opinion that Hosius's episcopate covered seventy years ending with 361, and (resting on the same opinion) Pagi thinks Hosius may have attended the Synod in 358 on his way back to Spain, an opinion with which, as I have said, Mr. Ffoulkes agrees. It seems also clear that by the beginning of the sixth century the Synod of Gangra was looked upon at Rome as having been held under papal authority; Pope Symmachus expressly saying so to the Roman Synod of 504. (Vide Notes on Canons vij. and viij.)

It remains only further to remark that the Libellus Synodicus mentions a certain Dius as president of the Synod. The Ballarini [146] suggest that it should be Bios, an abbreviation of Eusebius. Mr. Ffoulkes suggests that Dius is "probably Dianius, the predecessor of Eusebius." Lightfoot [147] fixes the episcopate of Eusebius Pamphili as between 313 and 337; and states that that of Eusebius of Caesarea in Cappadocia did not begin until 362, so that the enormous chronological difficulties will be evident to the reader.

As all the proposed new dates involve more or less contradiction, I have given the canons their usual position between Neocaesarea and Antioch, and have left the date undetermined.

[136] Sozom. H. E., III., xiv.

[137] Socrat. H. E., II., xliij.

[138] S. Basil. M.,Ep. ccxxiij.

[139] Hefele. Hist. Councils, Vol. II., p. 337.

[140] Soz. H. E., Lib. III., cap. xiv. It is curious that Canon Venables in his article "Eustathius" in Smith and Wace, Dict. of Christ. Biog., gives the story on Sozoman's authority as quoted by Hefele, but without giving Hefele's warning that it was a mere rumour. It would seem that Canon Venables could not have consulted the Greek, where the word used is logos; Hefele gives no reference. I have supplied this in the beginning of this note.

[141] Sozomen. H. E., Lib. IV., cap. xxiv.

[142] Baronius. Annal., Tom. iii., ad ann. 361, n. 44.

[143] Binius. Annotat. in Synod. Gang.

[144] Hefele. Hist. Councils, Vol. II., p. 327.

[145] Cave. Hist. Lit., Lib. I., cap. v.

[146] S. Leon., M., Opp., ed. Ballerini, Tom. III., p. xxiv.

[147] Smith and Wace. Dict. Christ. Biog., s. v. Eusebius of Caesarea.

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