Marcellus of Ancyra (died c. 374 C.E.) was a
Bishop of Ancyra
Bishop of Ancyra and one
of the bishops present at the
Council of Ancyra and the First Council
of Nicaea. He was a strong opponent of Arianism, but was accused of
adopting the opposite extreme of modified Sabellianism. He was
condemned by a council of his enemies and expelled from his see,
though he was able to return there to live quietly with a small
congregation in the last years of his life.
2 See also
5 External links
A few years after the Council of Nicaea (in 325) Marcellus wrote a
book against Asterius the Sophist, a prominent figure in the party
which supported Arius. In this work (only fragments of which survive),
he was accused of maintaining that the
Trinity of persons in the
Godhead was but a transitory dispensation. According to the surviving
God was originally only One Being (hypostasis), but at the
creation of the universe the Word or Logos went out from the Father
and was God's Activity in the world. This Logos became incarnate in
Christ and was thus constituted Image of God. The
Holy Ghost likewise
went forth as third Divine Personality from the Father and from Christ
according to John 20:22. At the consummation of all things, however (I
Christ will return to the Father and the Godhead
be again an absolute Unity.
The bishops at the
First Synod of Tyre in 335 (which also deposed
Athanasius) seem to have written to Constantine against Marcellus when
he refused to communicate with Arius at Constantine's
thirtieth-anniversary celebrations at Jerusalem. Marcellus was deposed
Constantinople in 336 at a council under the presidency of Eusebius
of Nicomedia, the Arian, and
Basil of Ancyra appointed to his see.
Marcellus sought redress at
Rome from Pope Julius I, who wrote to the
bishops who had deposed Marcellus, arguing that Marcellus was innocent
of the charges brought against him. The Council of Serdica (343)
formally examined his book and declared it free of heresy. But he
seems not to have been reinstated in his see when Constantius II,
threatened by his brother with war, allowed the restoration of
Athanasius, and Paul of
Constantinople to their sees in 345.
Athanasius' relations with Marcellus were complex, and communion
between them was broken off for a time, but at the end of both their
Athanasius resisted Basil of Caesarea's attempts to have him
generally condemned, and re-established communion with Marcellus. The
Second Ecumenical Council condemned 'Marcellians', but not Marcellus
Eusebius of Caesarea
Eusebius of Caesarea wrote against him two works: "Contra
Marcellum", possibly the prosecution document at Marcellus' trial, and
"On the Theology of the Church" or "Ecclesiastical Theology", a
refutation of Marcellus' theology from the perspective of Arian
J. W. Hanson (1899) and other Universalist Church of America
historians read that Marcellus's theology included a belief in
universalism, that all people would eventually be saved. He is quoted
by his opponent
Eusebius as having said "For what else do the words
mean, 'until the times of the restitution' (Acts 3:21), but that the
apostle designed to point out that time in which all things partake of
that perfect restoration." (Against Marcellus 2:14) However the
reference to Acts 3:21 indicates that
Eusebius is probably using
"restoration" apokatastasis here in the Jewish sense.
Aside from the fragments which survive in Eusebius' Against Marcellus,
a letter survives in Epiphanius, Panarion 72.
^ Arendzen, John. "Marcellus of Ancyra." The Catholic Encyclopedia.
Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 9 Dec. 2014
^ On these two works, see Timothy Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius,
(Harvard University Press, 1981) pp. 263-265
^ J. W. Hanson. Universalism: The Prevailing Doctrine Of The Christian
Church During Its First Five Hundred Years. "Chapter 18 Additional
Authorities Archived 2013-05-12 at the Wayback Machine.". Boston and
Chicago Universalist Publishing House. 1899. p112
Marcellus of Ancyra And the Lost Years of the Arian
Controversy 325-345 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006)
Ayres, Lewis, Nicaea and Its Legacy An Approach to Fourth-Century
Trinitarian Theology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).
Joseph T. Lienhard, Contra Marcellum
Marcellus of Ancyra and
Fourth-Century Theology. (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of
America Press, 1999), pp. 62–69.
Robert Hanson. The Search for the Christian Doctrine of
God (New York:
T&T Clark, 1988), 217-235.
Logan, Alastair H B. 2007. ‘Dark Star: The Rehabilitation of
Marcellus of Ancyra Sara Parvis,
Marcellus of Ancyra and the Lost
Years of the Arian Controversy 325-345’.
Expository Times 118, no.
-------- 1989. ‘
Marcellus of Ancyra and anti-Arian Polemic,’ St.
Pat XIX (1989), 189-97.
-------- 1992. ‘
Marcellus of Ancyra and the Councils of AD 325:
Antioch, Ancyra, and Nicaea,’ JTS NS NS 43, 428-46.
-------- 2001. ‘Marcellus of Ancyra, Defender of the Faith against
Heretics – and Pagans,’ St. Pat XXXVII, 550-64.
-------- 1999. ‘
Marcellus of Ancyra on Origen and Arianism,’ in
Origeniana Septima (Leuven: University Press, 1999).
-------- 2000. ‘
Marcellus of Ancyra (Pseudo-Anthimus), “On the
Holy Church”: Text, Translation and Commentary,’ JTS NS 51,
Lienhard, Joseph T. 2006. "Two Friends of Athanasius: Marcellus of
Ancyra and Apollinaris of Laodicea". Zeitschrift für Antikes
Christentum 10, no. 1: 56-66.
English translations of extant fragments of Marcellus's writings
Opera Omnia by Migne Patrologia Graeca with analytical indexes
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