Ecclesiastical history (Sozomen)/Book III/Chapter I

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Ecclesiastical history by Sozomen
Book III, Chapter I

After the Death of Constantine the Great, the Adherents of Eusebius and Theognis attack the Nicene Faith.[edit]

We have now seen what events transpired in the churches during the reign of Constantine. On his death the doctrine which had been set forth at Nicaea, was subjected to renewed examination. Although this doctrine was not universally approved, no one, during the life of Constantine, had dared to reject it openly. At his death, however, many renounced this opinion, especially those who had previously been suspected of treachery. Of all these Eusebius and Theognis, bishops of the province of Bithynia, did everything in their power to give predominance to the tenets of Arius. They believed that this object would be easily accomplished, if the return of Athanasius from exile could be prevented, and by giving the government of the Egyptian churches to a bishop of like opinion with them. They found an efficient coadjutor in the presbyter who had obtained from Constantine the recall of Arius. He was held in high esteem by the emperor Constantius, on account of the service he had rendered in delivering to him the testament of his father; since he was trusted, he boldly seized the opportunities, until he became an intimate of the emperor's wife, and of the powerful eunuchs of the women's sleeping apartments. At this period Eusebius was appointed to superintend the concerns of the royal household, and being zealously attached to Arianism, he induced the empress and many of the persons belonging to the court to adopt the same sentiments. Hence disputations concerning doctrines again became prevalent, both in private and in public, and revilings and animosities were renewed. This state of things was in accordance with the views of Theognis and his partisans.