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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. II: The Ecclesiastical History of Socrates Scholasticus.: Chapter I

Early Church Fathers  Index     

p. 96 Book IV.

Chapter I.—After Jovian’s Death, Valentinian is proclaimed Emperor, and takes his Brother Valens as Colleague in the Empire; Valentinian holds the Orthodox Faith, but Valens is an Arian.

The Emperor Jovian having died, as we have said, at Dadastana, in his own consulate and that of Varronian his son on the 17th of February, the army leaving Galatia arrived at Nicæa in Bithynia in seven days’ march, and there unanimously proclaimed Valentinian emperor, on the 25th of February, in the same consulate. He was a Pannonian by race, a native of the city of Cibalis, and being entrusted with a military command, had displayed great skill in tactics. He was moreover endowed with such greatness of mind, that he always appeared superior to any degree of honor he might have attained. As soon as they had created him emperor, he proceeded forthwith to Constantinople; and thirty days after his own possession of the imperial dignity, he made his brother Valens his colleague in the empire. They both professed Christianity, but did not hold the same Christian creed: for Valentinian respected the Nicene Creed; but Valens was prepossessed in favor of the Arian opinions. And this prejudice was caused by his having been baptized by Eudoxius bishop of Constantinople. Each of them was zealous for the views of his own party; but when they had attained sovereign power, they manifested very different dispositions. For previously in the reign of Julian, when Valentinian was a military tribune, and Valens held a command in the emperor’s guards, they both proved their zeal for the faith; for being constrained to sacrifice, they chose rather to give up their military rank than to do so and renounce Christianity. 569 Julian, however, knowing the necessity of the men to the state, retained them in their respective places, as did also Jovian, his successor in the empire. Later on, being invested with imperial authority, they were in accord in the management of public affairs, but as regards Christianity, as I have said, they behaved themselves very differently: for Valentinian while he favored those who agreed with him in sentiment, offered no violence to the Arians; but Valens, in his anxiety to promote the Arian cause, grievously disturbed those who differed from them, as the course of our history will show. Now at that time Liberius presided over the Roman church; and at Alexandria Athanasius was bishop of the Homoousians, while Lucius had been constituted George’s successor by the Arians. At Antioch Euzoïus was at the head of the Arians: but the Homoousians were divided into two parties, of one of which Paulinus was chief, and Melitius of the other. Cyril was again constituted over the church at Jerusalem. The churches at Constantinople were under the government of Eudoxius, who openly taught the dogmas of Arianism, but the Homoousians had but one small edifice in the city wherein to hold their assemblies. Those of the Macedonian heresy who had dissented from the Acacians at Seleucia, then retained their churches in every city. Such was the state of ecclesiastical affairs at that time. 570


Footnotes

96:569

Cf. III. 13.

96:570

Cf. V. 3.


Next: Valentinian goes into the West; Valens remains at Constantinople, and grants the Request of the Macedonians to hold a Synod, but persecutes the Adherents of the 'Homoousion.'

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