An Alternative Theory of
The Three Hundred and Eighteen
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- Constantine, 325 CE
The Three Hundred and Eighteen Hellenistic Fourth Century Fathers
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patristics Patristics or Patrology is the study of early Christian writers, known as the Church Fathers. The names derive from the Latin pater (father). The period is generally considered to run from the end of New Testament times (around 100 AD) until around the 8th century. Eras of the church fathers The church fathers are generally divided into the Ante-Nicene Fathers, those who lived and wrote before the Council of Nicaea (325) and the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, those who lived and wrote after 325. In addition, the division of the fathers into Greek and Latin writers is also common. Two of the most prominent Greek Fathers are Justin Martyr and Cyril of Alexandria. Among the Latin Fathers are Tertullian and Augustine of Hippo. "Many councils thought it advisable, before dealing with the various necessities of the Church, to set down in corroboration the faith of the three hundred and eighteen Fathers of Nicaea." -- Book Title: The Idea of Reform: Its Impact on Christian Thought and Action in the Age of the Fathers. Contributors: Gerhart B. Ladner - author. Publisher: Harvard University Press. Place of Publication: Cambridge, MA. Publication Year: 1959. Page Number: 298.
Index of References to the 318 Fathers
St. Alexander, Patriarch of Constantinople. On this day 18 Misra, of the year 340 A.D. the saint Abba Alexander, Patriarch of the city of Constantinople, departed. He was an honorable saint who suffered many hardships from the followers of Arius. When St. Athanasius the Apostolic, the twentieth Pope of Alexandria, renewed the excommunication of Arius, he went to Constantinople. Arius complained to Emperor Constantius, Son of the righteous Emperor Constantine, about St. Athanasius' conduct against him. When the emperor refused his petition, Arius asked the emperor to instruct Abba Alexander to accept him in the communion of the church. The emperor sent to this father saying, "Athanasius had defied us because he did not accept Arius, and you know that we appointed you to this position, so you must not transgress our command. Make my heart glad, and reinstate Arius." St. Alexander replied saying, "The church does not accept him for he does not worship the Holy Trinity." The Emperor said, "Arius had confessed his faith in the Holy Trinity before me and that the Son is of one essence with the Father." Then the saint answered, "If Arius had confessed that, let him write his confession by his own hand." The emperor brought Arius and he wrote down the faith with his own hand, contrary to what he had in his heart. Then the emperor made him swear on the Holy Bible that was his faith, but he swore falsely. The emperor said to Abba Alexander, "What do you have against him now, since he has written his faith with his own hand, and taken an oath on the Holy Bible." Abba Alexander replied, "Pope Athanasius renewed the excommunication of Arius, which was signed by your father, Emperor Constantine along with the three hundred and eighteen fathers, and expelled him and all his followers from Alexandria. Wait for one week, and if nothing happens to him during this week, then his profession of faith is sincere, and his oath is righteous. Then I will receive him in the communion of the church." The emperor agreed to his request. When the patriarch went back to his church, he commanded his congregation to fast, along with him, for seven days and pray to God that He might save His church from the sin of Arius. After the week ended, and on the eve of Sunday, the heretics took Arius and started strolling with him in the streets of the city rejoicing that their leader would be accepted in the church. In the morning, Arius went to the church and sat down with the priests in front of the altar. Then Abba Alexander entered the church, being sad, and not knowing what to do. When he started the liturgy, Arius felt a colic and had to run to the washroom, where his bowels poured out of his body. When Arius delayed in returning, his followers went to the washroom, found him dead, and they were ashamed. The faithful glorified the Lord Christ, Who does not forsake His church. The emperor was amazed at that, and realized that Arius was lying in his writing and in his oath. He also perceived the holiness of Abba Alexander, the truthfulness of his faith, and the erroneous belief of Arius. He glorified the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and confessed publicly that the Trinity is one in essence. This Father having completed his life in a good course, and arrived at a good old age, departed in peace.
When the most praiseworthy Damasus had heard of the rise of this heresy, he proclaimed the condemnation not only of Apollinarius but also of Timotheus his follower. The letter in which he made this known to the bishops of the Eastern empire I have thought it well to insert in my history. Letter of Damasus bishop of Rome. Most honourable sons: Inasmuch as your love renders to the apostolic see the reverence which is its due, accept the same in no niggard measure for yourselves. For even though in the holy church in which the holy apostle sat, and taught us how it becomes us to manage the rudder which has been committed to us, we nevertheless confess ourselves to be unworthy of the honour, we yet on this very account strive by every means within our power if haply we may be able to achieve the glory of that blessedness. Know then that we have condemned Timotheus, the unhallowed, the disciple of Apollinarius the heretic, together with his impious doctrine, and are confident that for the future his remains will have no weight whatever. But if that old serpent, though smitten once and again, still revives to his own destruction, who though he exists without the church never ceases from the attempt by his deadly venom to overthrow certain unfaithful men, do you avoid it as you would a pest, mindful ever of the apostolic faith that, I mean, which was set out in writing by the Fathers at Nicaea; do you remain on steady ground, firm and unmoved in the faith, and henceforward suffer neither your clergy nor laity to listen to vain words and futile questions, for we have already given a form, that he who professes himself a Christian may keep it, the form delivered by the Apostles, as says St. Paul, 'if any one preach to you another gospel than that you have received let him be Anathema.' For Christ the Son of God, our Lord, gave by his own passion abundant salvation to the race of men, that he might free from all sin the whole man involved in sin. If any one speaks of Christ as having had less of manhood or of Godhead, he is full of devils' spirits, and proclaims himself a child of hell. Why then do you again ask me for the condemnation of Timotheus? Here, by the judgment of the apostolic see, in the presence of Peter, bishop of Alexandria, he was condemned, together with his teacher, Apollinarius, who will also in the day of judgment undergo due punishment and torment. But if he succeeds in persuading some less stable men, as though having some hope, after by his confession changing the true hope which is in Christ, with him shall likewise perish whoever of set purpose withstands the order of the Church. May God keep you sound, most honoured sons. The bishops assembled in great Rome also wrote other things against other heresies which I have thought it necessary to insert in my history.
Canons of the One Hundred and Fifty Fathers who assembled at Constantinople during the Consulate of those Illustrious Men, Flavius Eucherius and Flavius Evagrius on the VII of the Ides of July. The Bishops out of different provinces assembled by the grace of God in Constantinople, on the summons of the most religious Emperor Theodosius, have decreed as follows:
Let this suffice for a summary of the doctrine which is fearlessly and frankly preached by us, and concerning which you will be able to be still further satisfied if you will deign to read the tome of the synod of Antioch, and also that tome issued last year by the Ecumenical Council held at Constantinople, in which we have set forth our confession of the faith at greater length, and have appended an anathema against the heresies which innovators have recently inscribed.
To the right honourable lords our right reverend brethren and colleagues Damasus, Ambrosius, Britton, Valerianus, Ascholius, Anemius, Basilius and the rest of the holy bishops assembled in the great city of Rome, the holy synod of the orthodox bishops assembled at the great city of Constantinople, sends greeting in the Lord.
To recount all the sufferings inflicted on us by the power of the Arians, and to attempt to give information to your reverences, as though you were not already well acquainted with them, might seem superfluous. For we do not suppose your piety to hold what is befalling us as of such secondary importance as that you stand in any need of information on matter's which cannot but evoke your sympathy. Nor indeed were the storms which beset us such as to escape notice from their insignificance. Our persecutions are but of yesterday. The sound of them still rings in the ears alike of those who suffered them and of those whose love made the sufferers' pain their own. It was but a day or two ago, if I may so say, that some released from chains in foreign lands returned to their own churches through manifold afflictions; of others who had died in exile the relics were brought home; others again, even after their return from exile, found the passion of the heretics still at boiling heat, and, slain by them with stones as was the blessed Stephen, met with a sadder fate in their own than in a stranger's land. Others, worn away with various cruelties, still bear in their bodies the scars of their wounds and the marks of Christ.
Who could tell the tale of fines, of disfranchisements, of individual confiscations, of intrigues, of outrages, of prisons? In truth all kinds of tribulation were wrought out beyond number in us, perhaps because we were paying the penalty of sins, perhaps because the merciful God was trying us by means of the multitude of our sufferings. For these all thanks to God, who by means of such afflictions trained his servants and, according to the multitude of his mercies, brought us again to refreshment. We indeed needed long leisure, time, and toil to restore the church once more, that so, like physicians healing the body after long sickness and expelling its disease by gradual treatment, we might bring her back to her ancient health of true religion. It is true that on the whole we seem to have been delivered from the violence of our persecutions and to be just now recovering the churches which have for a long time been the prey of the heretics. But wolves are troublesome to us who, though they have been driven from the byre, yet harry the flocks up and down the glades, daring to hold rival assemblies, stirring seditions among the people, and shrinking from nothing which can do damage to the churches.
So, as we have already said, we needs must labour all the longer. Since however you showed your brotherly love to us by inviting us (as though we were your own members) by the letters of our most religious emperor to the synod which you are gathering by divine permission at Rome, to the end that since we alone were then condemned to suffer persecution, you should not now, when our emperors are at one with us as to true religion, reign apart from us, but that we, to use the apostle's phrase, should reign with you, our prayer was, if it were possible, all in company to leave our churches, and rather gratify our longing to see you than consult their needs. For who will give us wings as of a dove, and we will fly and be at rest? But this course seemed likely to leave the churches who were just recovering quite undefended, and the undertaking was to most of us impossible, for, in accordance with the letters sent a year ago from your holiness after the synod at Aquileia to the most pious emperor Theodosius, we had journeyed to Constantinople, equipped only for travelling so far as Constantinople, and bringing the consent of the bishops remaining in the provinces for this synod alone. We had been in no expectation of any longer journey nor had heard a word about it before our arrival at Constantinople. In addition to all this, and on account of the narrow limits of the appointed time which allowed of no preparation for a longer journey, nor of communicating with the bishops of our communion in the provinces and of obtaining their consent, the journey to Rome was for the majority impossible. We have therefore adopted the next best course open to us under the circumstances, both for the better administration of the church, and for manifesting our love towards you, by strongly urging our most venerated, and honoured colleagues and brother bishops Cyriacus, Eusebius and Priscianus, to consent to travel to you.
Through them we wish to make it plain that our disposition is all for peace with unity for its sole object, and that we are full of zeal for the right faith. For we, whether we suffered persecutions, or afflictions, or the threats of emperors, or the cruelties of princes or any other trial at the hands of heretics, have undergone all for the sake of the evangelic faith, ratified by the three hundred and eighteen fathers at Nicaea in Bithynia. This is the faith which ought to be sufficient for you, for us, for all who wrest not the word of the true faith; for it is the ancient faith; it is the faith of our baptism; it is the faith that teaches us to believe in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
According to this faith there is one Godhead, Power and Substance of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost; the dignity being equal, and the majesty being equal in three perfect essences and three perfect persons. Thus there is neither room for the heresy of Sabellius by the confusion of the essences or destruction of the individualities; thus the blasphemy of the Eunomians, of the Arians, and of the Pneumatomachi is nullified, which divides the substance, the nature and the godhead and superinduces on the uncreated consubstantial and co-eternal trinity a nature posterior, created and of a different substance. We moreover preserve unperverted the doctrine of the incarnation of the Lord, holding the tradition that the dispensation of the flesh is neither soulless nor mindless nor imperfect; and knowing full well that God's Word was perfect before the ages, and became perfect man in the last days for our salvation.
Let this suffice for a summary of the doctrine which is fearlessly and frankly preached by us, and concerning which you will be able to be still further satisfied if you will deign to read the report of the synod of Antioch, and also that issued last year by the úcumenical council held at Constantinople, in which we have set forth our confession of the faith at greater length, and have appended an anathema against the heresies which innovators have recently inscribed.
Now as to the particular administration of individual churches, an ancient custom, as you know, has obtained, confirmed by the enactment of the holy fathers at Nicśa, that, in every province, the bishops of the province, and, with their consent, the neighbouring bishops with them, should perform ordinations as expediency may require. In conforming with these customs note that other churches have been administered by us and the priests of the most famous churches publicly appointed. Accordingly over the new made (if the expression be allowable) church at Constantinople, which, as though from a lion's mouth, we have lately snatched by God's mercy from the blasphemy of the heretics, we have ordained bishop the right reverend and most religious Nectarius, in the presence of the úcumenical council, with common consent, before the most religious emperor Theodosius, and with the assent of all the clergy and of the whole city. And over the most ancient and truly apostolic church in Syria, where first the noble name of Christians was given them, the bishops of the province and of the eastern diocese have met together and canonically ordained bishop the right reverend and most religious Flavianus, with the consent of all the church, who as though with one voice joined in expressing their respect for him. This rightful ordination also received the sanction of the general council. Of the church at Jerusalem, mother of all the churches, we make known that the right reverend and most religious Cyril is bishop, who was some time ago canonically ordained by the bishops of the province, and has in several places fought a good fight against the Arians. We beseech your reverence to rejoice at what has thus been rightly and canonically settled by us, by the intervention of spiritual love and by the influence of the fear of the Lord, compelling the feelings of men, and making the edification of churches of more importance than individual grace or favour. Thus since among us there is agreement in the faith and Christian charity has been established, we shall cease to use the phrase condemned by the apostles, 'I am of Paul and I of Apollos and I of Cephas,' and all appearing as Christ's, who in us is not divided, by God's grace we will keep the body of the church unrent, and will boldly stand at the judgment seat of the Lord.
These things they wrote against the madness of Arius, Aetius, and Eunomius; and moreover against Sabellius, Photinus, Marcellus, Paul of Samosata, and Macedonius. Similarly they openly condemned the innovation of Apollinarius in the phrase, And we preserve the doctrine of the incarnation of the Lord, holding the tradition that the dispensation of the flesh is neither soulless, nor mindless, nor imperfect.
Cecropius, the most reverend bishop of Sebastopol, said, The faith has been well defined by the three hundred and eighteeen holy fathers and confirmed by the holy fathers Athanasius, Cyril, Celestine, Hilary, Basil, Gregory, and now once again by the most holy Leo: and we pray that those things which were decreed by the three hundred and eighteen holy fathers, and by the most holy Leo be read. The most glorious judges and great Senate said: Let there be read the expositions of the three hundred and eighteen holy fathers gathered together at Nice. Eunomius, the most reverend bishop of Nicomedia read from a book [the Exposition of faith of the three hundred and eighteen holy fathers,. ] The Exposition of faith of the Council held at Nice. In the consulate of Paul and Julian etc. We believe in one God, etc. But those who say, etc.
Version reported by Evagrius Scholasticus (431-594), Ecclesiastical History, translated by E. Walford (1846). Book 3, Chapter IV.
The emperor Caesar Basiliscus, pious, victorious, triumphant, supreme, ever-worshipful Augustus, and Marcus, the most illustrious Caesar, to Timotheus, archbishop of the great city of the Alexandrians, most reverent and beloved of God.
It has ever been our pleasure, that whatever laws have been decreed in behalf of the true and apostolic faith, by those our pious predecessors who have maintained the true service of the blessed and undecaying and life-giving Trinity, should never be inoperative; but we are rather disposed to enounce them as of our own enactment. We, preferring piety and zeal in the cause of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ who created and has made us glorious, before all diligence in human affairs, and being further convinced that unity among the flocks of Christ is the preservation of ourselves and our subjects, the stout foundation and unshaken bulwark of our empire; being by these considerations moved with godly zeal, and offering to our God and Saviour Jesus Christ the unity of the Holy Church as the first fruits of our reign, ordain that the basis and settlement of human felicity, namely, the symbol of the three hundred and eighteen holy fathers who were assembled, in concert with the Holy Spirit, at Nicaea, into which both ourselves and all our believing predecessors were baptised; that this alone should have reception and authority with the orthodox people in all the most holy churches of God, as the only formulary of the right faith, and sufficient for the utter destruction of every heresy, and for the complete unity of the holy churches of God ; without prejudice, notwithstanding, to the force of the acts of the hundred and fifty holy fathers assembled in this imperial city, in confirmation of the sacred symbol itself, and in condemnation of those who blasphemed against the Holy Ghost; as well as of all that were passed in the metropolitan city of the Ephesians against the impious Nestorius and those who subsequently favoured his opinions.
On this day of the year 511 A.D., the holy father Abba Dioscorus II, 31st Pope of Alexandria, departed. He was chosen Patriarch by the guidance of the Holy Spirit after the departure of his predecessor, St. John. This father was gentle in disposition, his work and knowledge were outstanding, and he was perfect all his days; no one was like him in his generation.
His first work after his enthronement to the See of St. Mark was writing an epistle to the holy father Abba Severus, Patriarch of Antioch. This epistle contained the faith in the Holy Trinity as equal in essence and divinity, and an explanation of the Incarnation. He said that the Word of God was incarnated in a human body perfect in everything, and united with it and became one Son, one Christ, one God, in inseparable unity and that the Trinity is one before and after this unity and no addition was effected to Him by the Incarnation.
When this epistle reached Abba Severus, he read it and rejoiced and made it known to the people of Antioch. He felt optimistic with it and wrote to St. Dioscorus a reply to the epistle congratulating him on his Christian presidency and on the Orthodox faith. He commanded him not to turn aside from it, neither to the right nor to the left, and to depend in all his sayings and works on the Orthodox faith which was established by the Three Hundred and Eighteen Fathers in Nicaea and according to what they commanded in the Canon and the Law. When the message reached Abba Dioscorus, he joyfully received it and commanded that it be read from the pulpit to be heard by all the people.
Dionysius Exiguus to the most blessed and very dear father, Petronius, bishop.
The reasoning of the feast of Easter, which many have frequently and urgently asked us, with the help of your prayers, we have now proceeded to set forth. Following in all things the venerable three hundred and eighteen pontiffs, who came together at Nicaea, a city of Bithynia, against the madness of Arius, and besides [gave] a perfect and true opinion on this matter; who having observed 14 months of Easter through 19 years always returning in a cycle to the same position, fixed it stable and immoveable, which in all ages is repeated in the same way, as a beginning, without going off into an excursion of various things. However they sanctioned this rule of the aforementioned cycle, not so much from secular knowledge as by the illumination of the Holy Spirit, and as if determined to have assigned a firm and stable anchor to this reasoning of the lunar calculation. As after a while some, whether despising from arrogance or crossing over from ignorance, were influenced by Jewish fables, they handed down a different and contrary form of the only festival. And because without solidity of foundation no structure can stand, for a long time they were inclined to work out differently the Lord's Easter and the computation of the moon, ordaining unordained cycles; which not only has no stability, indeed also they prefer a notable direction in error.
But at the city of Alexandria the archbishop, blessed Athanasius, who also was involved in the Nicene Council, at that time as deacon of the holy pontiff Alexander and [his] helper in all things, and then the venerable Theophilus and Cyril, departed very little from the worshipful decision of the synod.
We desire that all peoples subject to Our benign Empire shall live under the same religion that the Divine Peter, the Apostle, gave to the Romans, and which the said religion declares was introduced by himself, and which it is well known that the Pontiff Damascus, and Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, a man of apostolic sanctity, embraced; that is to say, in accordance with the rules of apostolic discipline and the evangelical doctrine, we should believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit constitute a single Deity, endowed with equal majesty, and united in the Holy Trinity.
(1) We order all those who follow this law to assume the name of Catholic Christians, and considering others as demented and insane, We order that they shall bear the infamy of heresy; and when the Divine vengeance which they merit has been appeased, they shall afterwards be punished in accordance with Our resentment, which we have acquired from the judgment of Heaven.
Dated at Thessalonica, on the third of the Kalends of March, during the Consulate of Gratian, Consul for the fifth time, and Theodosius.
2. The Same Emperors to Eutropius, Praetorian Prefect.
Let no place be afforded to heretics for the conduct of their ceremonies, and let no occasion be offered for them to display the insanity of their obstinate minds. Let all persons know that if any privilege has been fraudulently obtained by means of any rescript whatsoever, by persons of this kind, it will not be valid. Let all bodies of heretics be prevented from holding unlawful assemblies, and let the name of the only and the greatest God be celebrated everywhere, and let the observance of the Nicene Creed, recently transmitted to Our ancestors, and firmly established by the testimony and practice of Divine Religion, always remain secure.
(1) Moreover, he who is an adherent of the Nicene Faith, and a true believer in the Catholic religion, should be understood to be one [pg. 10] who believes that Almighty God and Christ, the son of God, are one person, God of God, Light of Light; and let no one, by rejection, dishonor the Holy Spirit, whom we expect, and have received from the Supreme Parent of all things, in whom the sentiment of a pure and undefiled faith flourishes, as well as the belief in the undivided substance of a Holy Trinity, which true believers indicate by the Greek word These things, indeed do not require further proof, and should be respected.
(2) Let those who do not accept those doctrines cease to apply the name of true religion to their fraudulent belief; and let them be branded with their open crimes, and, having been removed from the threshhold of all churches, be utterly excluded from them, as We forbid all heretics to hold unlawful assemblies within cities. If, however, any seditious outbreak should be attempted, We order them to be driven outside the the walls of the City, with relentless violence, and We direct that all Catholic Churches, throughout the entire world, shall be placed under the control of the orthodox bishops who have embraced the Nicene Creed.
Given at Constantinople, on the fourth of the ides of January, under the Consulate of Flavius Eucharius and Flavius Syagrius.
3. The Emperor Martian to Palladius, Praetorian Prefect.
No one, whether he belongs to the clergy, the army, or to any other condition of men, shall, with a view to causing a tumult and giving occasion to treachery, attempt to discuss the Christian religion publicly in the presence of an assembled and listening crowd; for he commits an injury against the most reverend Synod who publicly contradicts what has once been decided and properly established; as those matters relative to the Christian faith have been settled by the priests who met at Chalcedony by Our order, and are known to be in conformity with the apostolic explanations and conclusions of the three hundred and eight Holy Fathers assembled in Nicaea, and the hundred and fifty who met in this Imperial City; for the violators of this law shall not go unpunished, because they not only oppose the true faith, but they also profane its venerated mysteries by engaging in contests of this kind with Jews and Pagans. Therefore, if any person who has ventured to publicly discuss religious matters is a member of the clergy, he shall be removed from his order; if he is a member of the army, he shall be degraded; and any others who are guilty of this offence, who are freemen, shall be banished from this most Sacred City, and shall be subjected to the punishment prescribed by law according to the power of the court; and if they are slaves, they shall undergo severest penalty.
Given at Constantinople, on the eighth of the Ides of February, under the consulship of Patricius.
(1) For so the nineteenth canon of the three hundred and eighteen fathers commands
(2) For the sixteenth (really the nineteenth) canon of the three hundred and eighteen fathers, which treats of the pernicious heresy of Paul of Samosata, ordered them to be baptized afresh:
2. And to Constantius there fell by lot the province of Asia and he became emperor over it. And to Constantine (there fell) Constantinople, and he seated himself on the throne of his father. And Constans became emperor over Rome, the great city of Rome.
3. But feuds arose between Constans and Constantine in regard to the empire and their subjects, and they warred against each other, and Constantine died in battle.
4. And thereafter Constans, the younger of the two, resided in Rome only, but Constantius reigned in Byzantium, that is, Constantinople.
5. And Arius appeared in his days and he attached himself to his doctrine a nd became an Arian. And in consequence of this (heresy) Sapor-Arsekius,111 king of Persia, attacked the Roman empire, and there was much bloodshed between them.
6. And afterwards they were reconciled and there was peace and tranquillity and love between Rome and Persia. 7. And on his way back to Byzantium Constantius built a bridge strongly constructed over the river named Pyramus in Cilicia.
8. And in his days, moreover, the city of Nicaea, the chief of cities of our three hundred and eighteen Fathers, was overthrown by a great earthquake. And this fell out through the will of God in order that the Arians should not assemble therein to corrupt the holy orthodox faith established by our holy Fathers, the three hundred and eighteen bishops, who assembled formerly in the days of Constantine a festival of happy memory. And it was for this reason that the wrath of God prevented them.
[4.] Let him who does not obey, but rather subverts, my prescriptions have the anathema of the Holy Apostles and the three hundred and eighteen Fathers, and the curse of Judas.
The Kebra Nagast is divided into 117 chapters, and even after a single reading one can see that it is clearly a composite work; Ullendorff describes its narrative "a gigantic conflation of legendary cycles." The document is presented in the form of a debate by the three hundred and eighteen "orthodox fathers" of the First Council of Nicaea. These fathers pose the question, "Of what doth the Glory of Kings consist?" One Gregory answers with a speech (chapters 3-17) which ends with the statement that a copy of the Glory of God was made by Moses and kept in the Ark of the Covenant. After this, the archbishop Domitius reads from a book he had found in the church of "Sophia" (possibly Hagia Sophia), which introduces what Hubbard calls "the centerpiece" of this work, the story of Makeda (better known as the Queen of Sheba), King Solomon, Menelik I, and how the Ark came to Ethiopia (chapters 19-94).
Although the author of the final redaction identified this Gregory with Gregory Thaumaturgus, who lived in the 3rd century before this Council, the time and the allusion to Gregory's imprisonment for 15 years by the king of Armenia make Gregory the Illuminator a better fit.
Queen Makeda learns from Tamrin, a merchant based in her kingdom, about the wisdom of King Solomon, and travels to Jerusalem to visit him. She is enthralled by his display of learning and knowledge, and declares "From this moment I will not worship the sun, but will worship the Creator of the sun, the God of Israel." (chapter 28) The night before she begins her journey home, Solomon tricks her into sleeping with him, and gives her a ring so that their child may identify himself to Solomon. Following her departure, Solomon has a dream in which the sun leaves Israel (chapter 30).
29. Concerning the Three Hundred and Eighteen [Patriarchs] Now we ordain even as did they. We know well what the Apostles who were before us spake. We the Three Hundred and Eighteen have maintained and laid down the orthodox faith, our Lord JESUS CHRIST being with us. And He hath directed us what we should teach, and how we should fashion the faith. p. 32 [The Narrative of SOLOMON and the Queen of SHEBA continued] 11. The Unanimous Declaration of the Three Hundred and Eighteen Orthodox Fathers
Reports of inscriptions ....
"He that throws rubbish in this enclosure
has the anathema from the Three Hundred
and Eighteen Fathers, as an enemy of God".
Basil "The Great" - 329 to 379 CE "Basil certainly concedes that a later insertion had already been made in the Nicene Creed (App. 159: 51; 92; 258) namely a "Doxology to the Holy Ghost", as that of the three hundred and eighteen Fathers had proved too short. At the time of the council of 325, the heresy against the Holy Spirit had not yet emerged. Theonas of Marmarica, and Secundus of Ptolemais continued obstinately attached to Arius; and, the council, having condemned them with him, Constantine banished them, and declared by an edict that whosoever should be convicted of concealing any of the writings of Arius instead of burning them, should be punished with death. Three months after, Eusebius of Nicomedia and Theogenes were likewise exiled into Gaul. It is said that, having gained over the individual who, by the emperorís order, kept the acts of the council, they had erased their signatures, and begun to teach in public that the Son must not be believed to be consubstantial with the Father.
Concluding Remarks - The 318 "Fathers"
Only when we get to the pyromaniac and thug Bishop Cyril of Alexandria do we commence to see attempts to move the concept of "The Fathers of the Church away from these Three Hundred and Eighteen, and applied to the series of "Pre-Nicene Fathers" who are presented by Eusebius in his works "Ecclesiatical History" and "In Preparation for the Gospels".
In our theses we suggest that these Three Hundred and Eighteen Fathers were not "Christian Bishops" but rather the non-Christian major landholders, and head priests and administrators of the Hellenistic milieu of temple cults centred in and around the City of Alexander, Alexandria. We suggest that the eastern hegemon was crushed by the warlord Constantine. Leading citizens of Antioch are reported to have been put to the torture under Constantine's orders. We are suggesting that Constantine's political activites are best described as fascist.