Hellenistic religion is the late form of Ancient Greek religion, covering any of the various systems of beliefs and practices of the people who lived under the influence of ancient Greek culture during the Hellenistic period and the Roman Empire. There was much continuity in Hellenistic religion: the Greek gods continued to be worshipped, the same rites were practiced as before. Change came from the addition of new religions from other countries, including the Egyptian deities Isis and Serapis, the Syrian gods Atargatis and Hadad, which provided a new outlet for people seeking fulfillment in both the present life and the afterlife; the worship of Hellenistic rulers was a feature of this period, most notably in Egypt, where the Ptolemies adapted earlier Egyptian practice and Greek hero cults and established themselves as Pharaohs within the new syncretic Ptolemaic cult of Alexander the Great. Elsewhere, rulers might receive divine status without the full status of a god. Magic was practiced and this too, was a continuation from earlier times.
Throughout the Hellenistic world, people would consult oracles, use charms and figurines to deter misfortune or to cast spells. Developed in this era was the complex system of astrology, which sought to determine a person's character and future in the movements of the sun and planets; the systems of Hellenistic philosophy, such as Stoicism and Epicureanism, offered an alternative to traditional religion if their impact was limited to the educated elite. Central to Greek religion in classical times were the twelve Olympian deities headed by Zeus; each god was honored with stone temples and statues, sanctuaries, although dedicated to a specific deity contained statues commemorating other gods. The city-states would conduct various festivals and rituals throughout the year, with particular emphasis directed towards the patron god of the city, such as Athena at Athens, or Apollo at Corinth. Religious practice would involve the worship of heroes, people who were regarded as semi-divine; such heroes ranged from the mythical figures in the epics of Homer to historical people such as the founder of a city.
At the local level, the landscape was filled with sacred monuments. Magic was a central part of Greek religion and oracles would allow people to determine divine will in the rustle of leaves. Long established were the Eleusinian Mysteries, associated with Demeter and Persephone. People were indoctrinated into mystery religions through initiation ceremonies, which were traditionally kept secret; these religions had a goal of personal improvement, which would extend to the afterlife. In the aftermath of the conquests of Alexander the Great, Greek culture spread and came into much closer contact with the civilizations of the Near East and Egypt; the most significant changes to impact on Greek religion were the loss of independence of the Greek city-states to Macedonian rulers. Older surveys of Hellenistic religion tended to depict the era as one of religious decline, discerning a rise in scepticism and atheism, as well as an increase in superstition and astrology. There is, however. There is plenty of documentary evidence that the Greeks continued to worship the same gods with the same sacrifices and festivals as in the classical period.
New religions did appear in this period, but not to the exclusion of the local deities, only a minority of Greeks were attracted to them. The Egyptian religion which follows Isis was the most famous of the new religions; the religion was brought to Greece by Egyptian priests for the small Egyptian communities in the port cities of the Greek world. Although the Egyptian religion found only a small audience among the Greeks themselves, her popularity spread under the Roman empire, Diodorus Siculus wrote that the religion was known throughout the whole inhabited world; as famous was the cult of Serapis, a Greek deity despite the Egyptian name, created in Egypt under the Ptolemaic dynasty. Serapis was patronized by the Greeks; this religion involved initiation rites like the Eleusinian Mysteries. Strabo wrote of the Serapeion at Canopus near Alexandria as being patronized by the most reputable men; the religion of Atargatis, a fertility- and sea goddess from Syria, was popular. By the 3rd century BCE her worship had spread from Syria to Egypt and Greece, reached Italy and the west.
The religion following Cybele came from Phrygia to Greece and to Egypt and Italy, where in 204 BCE the Roman Senate permitted her worship. She was a healing and protecting goddess, a guardian of fertility and wild nature. Another mystery religion was focused around Dionysus. Although rare in mainland Greece, it was common in Anatolia; the members were known as Bacchants, the rites had an orgiastic character. These newly introduced religions and gods only had a limited impact within Greece itself; the island was sacred as the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, by the 2nd century BCE was home to the native Greek religions that follow Zeus, Diony
Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great known as Constantine I, was a Roman Emperor who ruled between 306 and 337 AD. Born in Naissus, in Dacia Ripensis, town now known as Niš, he was the son of Flavius Valerius Constantius, a Roman Army officer, his mother was Empress Helena. His father became Caesar, the deputy emperor in the west, in 293 AD. Constantine was sent east, where he rose through the ranks to become a military tribune under Emperors Diocletian and Galerius. In 305, Constantius was raised to the rank of Augustus, senior western emperor, Constantine was recalled west to campaign under his father in Britannia. Constantine was acclaimed as emperor by the army at Eboracum after his father's death in 306 AD, he emerged victorious in a series of civil wars against Emperors Maxentius and Licinius to become sole ruler of both west and east by 324 AD. As emperor, Constantine enacted administrative, financial and military reforms to strengthen the empire, he restructured the government, separating military authorities.
To combat inflation he introduced the solidus, a new gold coin that became the standard for Byzantine and European currencies for more than a thousand years. The Roman army was reorganised to consist of mobile field units and garrison soldiers capable of countering internal threats and barbarian invasions. Constantine pursued successful campaigns against the tribes on the Roman frontiers—the Franks, the Alamanni, the Goths, the Sarmatians—even resettling territories abandoned by his predecessors during the Crisis of the Third Century. Constantine was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity. Although he lived much of his life as a pagan, as a catechumen, he joined the Christian faith on his deathbed, being baptised by Eusebius of Nicomedia, he played an influential role in the proclamation of the Edict of Milan in 313, which declared religious tolerance for Christianity in the Roman empire. He called the First Council of Nicaea in 325, which produced the statement of Christian belief known as the Nicene Creed.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was built on his orders at the purported site of Jesus' tomb in Jerusalem and became the holiest place in Christendom. The Papal claim to temporal power in the High Middle Ages was based on the forged Donation of Constantine, he has been referred to as the "First Christian Emperor", he did promote the Christian Church. Some modern scholars, debate his beliefs and his comprehension of the Christian faith itself; the age of Constantine marked a distinct epoch in the history of the Roman Empire. He renamed the city Constantinople after himself, it became the capital of the Empire for more than a thousand years, with the eastern Roman Empire now being referred to as the Byzantine Empire by historians. His more immediate political legacy was that he replaced Diocletian's tetrarchy with the principle of dynastic succession by leaving the empire to his sons, his reputation for centuries after his reign. The medieval church upheld him as a paragon of virtue, while secular rulers invoked him as a prototype, a point of reference, the symbol of imperial legitimacy and identity.
Beginning with the Renaissance, there were more critical appraisals of his reign, due to the rediscovery of anti-Constantinian sources. Trends in modern and recent scholarship have attempted to balance the extremes of previous scholarship. Constantine was a ruler of major importance, he has always been a controversial figure; the fluctuations in his reputation reflect the nature of the ancient sources for his reign. These are abundant and detailed, but they have been influenced by the official propaganda of the period and are one-sided; the nearest replacement is Eusebius's Vita Constantini—a mixture of eulogy and hagiography written between 335 AD and circa 339 AD—that extols Constantine's moral and religious virtues. The Vita creates a contentiously positive image of Constantine, modern historians have challenged its reliability; the fullest secular life of Constantine is the anonymous Origo Constantini, a work of uncertain date, which focuses on military and political events to the neglect of cultural and religious matters.
Lactantius' De Mortibus Persecutorum, a political Christian pamphlet on the reigns of Diocletian and the Tetrarchy, provides valuable but tendentious detail on Constantine's predecessors and early life. The ecclesiastical histories of Socrates and Theodoret describe the ecclesiastic disputes of Constantine's reign. Written during the reign of Theodosius II, a century after Constantine's reign, these ecclesiastic historians obscure the events and theologies of the Constantinian period through misdirection, misrepresentation, deliberate obscurity; the contemporary writings of the orthodox Christian Athanasius and the ecclesiastical history of the Arian Philostorgius survive, though their biases are no less firm. The epitomes of Aurelius Victor, Eutropius and the anonymous author of the Epitome de Caesaribus offer compressed secular political and military histories of the period. Although not Christian, the epitomes paint a favourable image of Constantine but omit reference to Constantine's religious policies.
The Panegyrici Latini, a collection of panegyrics
Christology "the understanding of Christ," is the study of the nature and work of Jesus Christ. It studies Jesus Christ's humanity and divinity, the relation between these two aspects; the earliest Christian writings gave several titles to Jesus, such as Son of Man, Son of God and Kyrios, which were all derived from the Hebrew scriptures. These terms centered around two themes, namely "Jesus as a preexistent figure who becomes human and returns to God," and "Jesus as a creature elected and'adopted' by God."From the second to the fifth century, the relation of the human and divine nature of Christ was a major focus of debates in the early church and at the first seven ecumenical councils. The Council of Chalcedon in 451 issued a formulation of the hypostatic union of the two natures of Christ, one human and one divine, "united with neither confusion nor division". Most of the major branches of Western Christianity and Eastern Orthodoxy subscribe to this formulation, while many branches of Oriental Orthodox Churches reject it, subscribing to miaphysitism.
Christology "the understanding of Christ," is the study of the nature and work of Jesus Christ. It studies Jesus Christ's humanity and divinity, the relation between these two aspects. "Ontological Christology" analyzes the being of Jesus Christ. "Functional Christology" analyzes the works of Jesus Christ, while "soteriological Christology" analyzes the "salvific" standpoints of Christology. Several approaches can be distinguished within Christology; the term "Christology from above" or "high Christology" refers to approaches that include aspects of divinity, such as Lord and Son of God, the idea of the pre-existence of Christ as the Logos, as expressed in the prologue to the Gospel of John. These approaches interpret the works of Christ in terms of his divinity. According to Pannenberg, Christology from above "was far more common in the ancient Church, beginning with Ignatius of Antioch and the second century Apologists." The term "Christology from below" or "low Christology" refers to approaches that begin with the human aspects and the ministry of Jesus and move towards his divinity and the mystery of incarnation.
A basic Christological teaching is that the person of Jesus Christ is both divine. The human and divine natures of Jesus Christ form a duality, as they coexist within one person. There are no direct discussions in the New Testament regarding the dual nature of the Person of Christ as both divine and human, since the early days of Christianity, theologians have debated various approaches to the understanding of these natures, at times resulting in ecumenical councils, schisms. Historical christological doctrines which gained broader support are Monophysitism, Miaphysitism and Monarchianism. Influential Christologies which were broadly condemned as heretical are Docetism and Nestorianism. In Christian theology, atonement is the method by which human beings can be reconciled to God through Christ's sacrificial suffering and death. Atonement is the forgiving or pardoning of sin in general and original sin in particular through the suffering and resurrection of Jesus, enabling the reconciliation between God and his creation.
Due to the influence of Gustaf Aulèn's Christus Victor, the various theories or paradigma's of atonement are grouped as "classical paradigm," "objective paradigm," and the "subjective paradigm": Classical paradigm:Ransom theory of atonement, which teaches that the death of Christ was a ransom sacrifice said to have been paid to Satan or to death itself, in some views paid to God the Father, in satisfaction for the bondage and debt on the souls of humanity as a result of inherited sin. Gustaf Aulén reinterpreted the ransom thory, calling it the Christus Victor doctrine, arguing that Christ's death was not a payment to the Devil, but defeated the powers of evil, which had held humankind in their dominion.. Theosis is a "corollary" of the recapitualtion. Objective paradigm: Satisfaction theory of atonement, developed by Anselm of Canterbury, which teaches that Jesus Christ suffered crucifixion as a substitute for human sin, satisfying God's just wrath against humankind's transgression due to Christ's infinite merit.
Penal substitution called "forensic theory" and "vicarious punishment,", a development by the Reformers of Anselm's satisfaction theory. Instead of considering sin as an affront to God's honour, it sees sin as the breaking of God's moral law. Penal substitution sees sinful man as being subject to God's wrath, with the essence of Jesus' saving work being his substitution in the sinner's place, bearing the curse in the place of man. Moral government theory, "which views God as both the loving creator and moral Governor of the universe." Subjective paradigm: Moral influence theory of atonement, developed, or most notably propagated, by Abelard, who argued that "Jesus died as the demonstration of God's love," a demonstration which can change the hearts and minds of the sinners, turning back to God. Moral example theory, developed by Faustus Socinus in his work De Jesu Christo servatore, who rejected the idea of "vicarious satisfaction." According to
Freedom of religion
Freedom of religion is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice and observance. It includes the freedom to change one's religion or beliefs. Freedom of religion is considered by many people and most of the nations to be a fundamental human right. In a country with a state religion, freedom of religion is considered to mean that the government permits religious practices of other sects besides the state religion, does not persecute believers in other faiths. Freedom of belief is different, it allows the right to believe what a person, group or religion wishes, but it does not allow the right to practice the religion or belief and outwardly in a public manner. Freedom of religion has been used to refer to the tolerance of different theological systems of belief, while freedom of worship has been defined as freedom of individual action. Freedom from religion is a far more pressing moralistic and peaceful solution.
Each of these have existed to varying degrees. While many countries have accepted some form of religious freedom, this has often been limited in practice through punitive taxation, repressive social legislation, political disenfranchisement. Compare examples of individual freedom in Italy or the Muslim tradition of dhimmis "protected individuals" professing an tolerated non-Muslim religion. In Antiquity, a syncretic point of view allowed communities of traders to operate under their own customs; when street mobs of separate quarters clashed in a Hellenistic or Roman city, the issue was perceived to be an infringement of community rights. Cyrus the Great established the Achaemenid Empire ca. 550 BC, initiated a general policy of permitting religious freedom throughout the empire, documenting this on the Cyrus Cylinder. Some of the historical exceptions have been in regions where one of the revealed religions has been in a position of power: Judaism, Zoroastrianism and Islam. Others have been where the established order has felt threatened, as shown in the trial of Socrates in 399 BC or where the ruler has been deified, as in Rome, refusal to offer token sacrifice was similar to refusing to take an oath of allegiance.
This was the persecution of early Christian communities. Freedom of religious worship was established in the Buddhist Maurya Empire of ancient India by Ashoka the Great in the 3rd century BC, encapsulated in the Edicts of Ashoka. Greek-Jewish clashes at Cyrene in 73 AD and 117 AD and in Alexandria in 115 AD provide examples of cosmopolitan cities as scenes of tumult; the Romans tolerated most religions, including Judaism and encouraged local subjects to continue worshipping their own gods. They did not however, tolerate Christianity until it was legalised by the Roman emperor Galerius in 311; the Edict of Milan guaranteed freedom of religion in the Roman Empire until the Edict of Thessalonica in 380, which outlawed all religions except Christianity. Following a period of fighting lasting around a hundred years before 620 AD which involved Arab and Jewish inhabitants of Medina, religious freedom for Muslims and pagans was declared by Muhammad in the Constitution of Medina; the Islamic Caliphate guaranteed religious freedom under the conditions that non-Muslim communities accept dhimmi status and their adult males pay the punitive jizya tax instead of the zakat paid by Muslim citizens.
Though Dhimmis were not given the same political rights as Muslims, they did enjoy equality under the laws of property and obligation. Religious pluralism existed in classical Islamic ethics and Sharia, as the religious laws and courts of other religions, including Christianity and Hinduism, were accommodated within the Islamic legal framework, as seen in the early Caliphate, Al-Andalus, Indian subcontinent, the Ottoman Millet system. In medieval Islamic societies, the qadi could not interfere in the matters of non-Muslims unless the parties voluntarily choose to be judged according to Islamic law, thus the dhimmi communities living in Islamic states had their own laws independent from the Sharia law, such as the Jews who would have their own Halakha courts. Dhimmis were allowed to operate their own courts following their own legal systems in cases that did not involve other religious groups, or capital offences or threats to public order. Non-Muslims were allowed to engage in religious practices that were forbidden by Islamic law, such as the consumption of alcohol and pork, as well as religious practices which Muslims found repugnant, such as the Zoroastrian practice of incestuous "self-marriage" where a man could marry his mother, sister or daughter.
According to the famous Islamic legal scholar Ibn Qayyim, non-Muslims had the right to engage in such religious practices if it offended Muslims, under the conditions that such cases not be presented to Islamic Sharia courts and that these religious minorities believed that the practice in question is permissible according to their religion. Despite Dhimmis enjoying special statuses under the Caliphates, they were not considered equals, sporadic persecutions of non-Muslim groups did occur in the history of the Caliphates. Ancient Jews fleeing from persecution in their homeland 2,500 years ago settled in India and never faced anti-Semitism. Freedom of religion edicts have been found written during Ashoka the Great's reign in the 3rd century BC. Freedom to practise and propagate any religion is a constitutional right in Modern India. Most major religious festivals of the main communities are included in
In Christianity, the Apostolic Age is the period from the death of Jesus until the death of the last of the Twelve Apostles. It holds special significance in Christian tradition as the age of the direct apostles of Jesus; the earliest followers of Jesus were principally from apocalyptic Jewish sects during the late Second Temple period of the 1st century. They were Jewish Christians, who adhered to the Jewish commands. Jerusalem had an early Christian community, led by James the Just and John. Paul the Apostle, a pious Jew who had persecuted the early Christians, converted c. AD 33–36 and started to proselytize among the gentiles. According to Paul, gentile converts could be allowed exemption from most Jewish commandments, arguing that all are justified by faith in Jesus; this led to a gradual split of early Christianity from Judaism, as Christianity became a predominantly gentile religion. The years following Jesus until the death of the last of the Twelve Apostles is called the Apostolic Age, after the missionary activities of the apostles.
According to the Acts of the Apostles, the Jerusalem church began at Pentecost with some 120 believers, in an "upper room," believed by some to be the Cenacle, where the apostles received the Holy Spirit and emerged from hiding following the death and resurrection of Jesus to preach and spread his message. Paul's conversion on the Road to Damascus is first recorded in Acts 9:13-16. Peter baptized the Roman centurion Cornelius, traditionally considered the first gentile convert to Christianity, in Acts 10. Based on this, the Antioch church was founded. According to Acts, that it was there. After the death of Jesus, "Christianity emerged as a sect of Judaism in Roman Palestine." The first Christians were all Jews, either by birth or conversion, who constituted a Second Temple Jewish sect with an apocalyptic eschatology. The New Testament's Acts of the Apostles and Epistle to the Galatians record that an early Jewish Christian community centered on Jerusalem and that its leaders included Peter, the "brother of Jesus", John the Apostle.
The Jerusalem Church "held a central place among all the churches,". The relatives of Jesus were accorded a special position within this community, as displayed by the leadership of James the Just in Jerusalem. According to a tradition recorded by Eusebius and Epiphanius of Salamis, the Jerusalem church fled to Pella at the outbreak of the Great Jewish Revolt. Jewish Christians were faithful religious Jews, only differing in their acceptance of Jesus as the messiah, they believed Yahweh to be the only true God, the god of Israel, considered Jesus to be the messiah, as prophesied in the Jewish scriptures, which they held to be authoritative and sacred. They held faithfully to the Torah, including acceptance of gentile converts based on a version of the Noachide laws, they employed the Septuagint or Targum translations of the Hebrew scriptures. The Book of Acts reports that the early followers continued daily Temple attendance and traditional Jewish home prayer. Other passages in the New Testament gospels reflect a similar observance of traditional Jewish piety such as fasting, reverence for the Torah and observance of Jewish holy days.
Liturgical services were based on repeating the actions of Jesus, using the bread and wine, saying his words. The rest of the liturgical ritual is rooted in the Jewish Passover, the Passover Seder, synagogue services, including the singing of hymns and reading from the scriptures. At first, Christians continued to worship alongside Jewish believers, but within twenty years of Jesus' death, Sunday was being regarded as the primary day of worship; the Great Commission is the instruction of the resurrected Jesus Christ to his disciples to spread his teachings to all the nations of the world. The most famous version of the Great Commission is in Matthew 28:16–20, where on a mountain in Galilee Jesus calls on his followers to make disciples of and baptize all nations in the name of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit. Christian missionary activity spread Christianity to cities in the predominantly Greek-speaking eastern half of the Roman Empire, throughout the Hellenistic world and beyond the Roman Empire.
Apostles and preachers traveled to Jewish communities around the Mediterranean Sea, attracted Jewish converts. Within 10 years of the death of Jesus, apostles had spread Christianity from Jerusalem to Antioch, Corinth, Cyprus, Crete and Rome. Paul was responsible for bringing Christianity to Ephesus, Corinth and Thessalonica. Over 40 churches were established by 100, most in Asia Minor, such as the seven churches of Asia, some in Greece and Italy. Early Christian beliefs were proclaimed in kerygma [preaching), some of which are preserved in New Testament scripture; the early Gospel message spread orally originally in Aramaic, but immediately in Greek. Christian groups and congregations first organized themselves loosely. In Paul's time there were no delineated functions yet for bishops and deacons; the sources for the beliefs of the early Christians include oral traditions, the Gospels, the New Testament epistles and lost texts such as the Q source and the writings of Papias. The texts contain the earliest Christian creeds expressing belief in the risen Jesus, such as 1 Corinthians 15:3–41: For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity holds that God is one God, but three coeternal consubstantial persons or hypostases—the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit—as "one God in three Divine Persons". The three Persons are distinct, yet are one "substance, essence or nature". In this context, a "nature" is. Sometimes differing views are referred to as nontrinitarian. Trinitarianism contrasts with positions such as Binitarianism and Monarchianism, of which Modalistic Monarchianism and Unitarianism are subsets. While the developed doctrine of the Trinity is not explicit in the books that constitute the New Testament, the New Testament possesses a "triadic" understanding of God and contains a number of Trinitarian formulas; the doctrine of the Trinity was first formulated among the early Christians and fathers of the Church as early Christians attempted to understand the relationship between Jesus and God in their scriptural documents and prior traditions. The word trinity is derived from Latin trinitas, meaning "the number three, a triad, tri".
This abstract noun is formed from the adjective trinus, as the word unitas is the abstract noun formed from unus. The corresponding word in Greek is τριάς, meaning "a set of three" or "the number three"; the first recorded use of this Greek word in Christian theology was by Theophilus of Antioch in about the year 170. He wrote: In like manner the three days which were before the luminaries, are types of the Trinity, of God, His Word, His wisdom, and the fourth is the type of man, who needs light, that so there may be God, the Word, man. While the developed doctrine of the Trinity is not explicit in the books that constitute the New Testament, it was first formulated as early Christians attempted to understand the relationship between Jesus and God in their scriptural documents and prior traditions; the New Testament possesses a "triadic" understanding of God and contains a number of Trinitarian formulas. The Ante-Nicene Fathers asserted Christ's deity and spoke of "Father and Holy Spirit" though their language is not that of the traditional doctrine as formalized in the fourth century.
Trinitarians view these as elements of the codified doctrine. An early Trinitarian formula appears towards the end of the first century, where Clement of Rome rhetorically asks in his epistle as to why corruption exists among some in the Christian community. Ignatius of Antioch provides early support for the Trinity around 110, exhorting obedience to "Christ, to the Father, to the Spirit"; the pseudonymous Ascension of Isaiah, written sometime between the end of the first century and the beginning of the third century, possesses a "proto-trinitarian" view, such as in its narrative of how the inhabitants of the sixth heaven sing praises to "the primal Father and his Beloved Christ, the Holy Spirit". Justin Martyr writes, "in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, of our Saviour Jesus Christ, of the Holy Spirit"; the first of the early church fathers to be recorded using the word "Trinity" was Theophilus of Antioch writing in the late 2nd century. He defines the Trinity as God, His Word and His Wisdom in the context of a discussion of the first three days of creation, following the early Christian practice of identifying the Holy Spirit as the Wisdom of God.
The first defense of the doctrine of the Trinity was in the early 3rd century by the early church father Tertullian. He explicitly defined the Trinity as Father and Holy Spirit and defended his theology against "Praxeas", though he noted that the majority of the believers in his day found issue with his doctrine. St. Justin and Clement of Alexandria used the Trinity in their doxologies and St. Basil in the evening lighting of lamps. Origen of Alexandria has been interpreted as Subordinationist, but some modern researchers have argued that Origen might have been anti-Subordinationist. Although there is much debate as to whether the beliefs of the Apostles were articulated and explained in the Trinitarian Creeds, or were corrupted and replaced with new beliefs, all scholars recognize that the Creeds themselves were created in reaction to disagreements over the nature of the Father and Holy Spirit; these controversies took some centuries to be resolved. Of these controversies, the most significant developments were articulated in the first four centuries by the Church Fathers in reaction to Adoptionism and Arianism.
Adoptionism was the belief that Jesus was an ordinary man, born of Joseph and Mary, who became the Christ and Son of God at his baptism. In 269, the Synods of Antioch condemned Paul of Samosata for his Adoptionist theology, condemned the term homoousios in the modalist sense in which he used it. Among the Non-Trinitarian beliefs, the Sabellianism taught that the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit are one and the same, the difference being verbal, describing different aspects or roles of a single being. For this view Sabellius was excommunicated for heresy in Rome c. 220. In the fourth century, Arianism, as traditionally understood, taught that the Father existed prior to the Son, not, by nature, God but rather a changeable creature, granted the dignity of becoming "Son of God". In 325, the First C
Julian known as Julian the Apostate, was Roman Emperor from 361 to 363, as well as a notable philosopher and author in Greek. A member of the Constantinian dynasty, Julian was orphaned as a child, he was raised by the Gothic slave Mardonius, who had a profound influence on him, providing Julian with an excellent education. Julian became Caesar over the western provinces by order of Constantius II in 355, in this role he campaigned against the Alamanni and Franks. Most notable was his crushing victory over the Alamanni at the Battle of Argentoratum in 357, leading his 13,000 men against a Germanic army three times larger. In 360, Julian was proclaimed Augustus by his soldiers at Lutetia, sparking a civil war with Constantius. However, Constantius died before the two could face each other in battle, named Julian as his successor. In 363, Julian embarked on an ambitious campaign against the Sassanid Empire; the campaign was successful, securing a victory outside Ctesiphon. However, while campaigning into Persian territory, the Persians flooded the area behind him and Julian took a risky decision to withdraw up the valley of the Tigris River.
During the Battle of Samarra, Julian was mortally wounded under mysterious circumstances, leaving his army trapped in Persian territory. Following his death, the Roman forces were obliged to cede territory in order to escape, including the fortress city of Nisibis. Julian was a man of unusually complex character: he was "the military commander, the theosophist, the social reformer, the man of letters", he was the last non-Christian ruler of the Roman Empire, he believed that it was necessary to restore the Empire's ancient Roman values and traditions in order to save it from dissolution. He purged the top-heavy state bureaucracy, attempted to revive traditional Roman religious practices at the expense of Christianity, his attempt to build a Third Temple in Jerusalem was intended to harm Christianity rather than please Jews. Julian forbade the Christians from teaching and learning classical texts, his rejection of Christianity, his promotion of Neoplatonic Hellenism in its place, caused him to be remembered as Julian the Apostate by the church.
Flavius Claudius Julianus was born at Constantinople in May or June 332, the son of Julius Constantius, consul in 335, half-brother of the emperor Constantine, by his second wife, Basilina, a woman of Greek origin. Both of his parents were Christians. Julian's paternal grandparents were the emperor Constantius Chlorus and his second wife, Flavia Maximiana Theodora, his maternal grandfather was Julius Julianus, Praetorian Prefect of the East under the emperor Licinius from 315 to 324, consul suffectus in 325. The name of Julian's maternal grandmother is unknown. In the turmoil after the death of Constantine in 337, in order to establish himself and his brothers, Julian's zealous Arian cousin Constantius II appears to have led a massacre of most of Julian's close relatives. Constantius II ordered the murders of many descendants from the second marriage of Constantius Chlorus and Theodora, leaving only Constantius and his brothers Constantine II and Constans I, their cousins and Gallus, as the surviving males related to Emperor Constantine.
Constantius II, Constans I, Constantine II were proclaimed joint emperors, each ruling a portion of Roman territory. Julian and Gallus were excluded from public life, were guarded in their youth, given a Christian education, they were saved by their youth and at the urging of the Empress Eusebia. If Julian's writings are to be believed, Constantius would be tormented with guilt at the massacre of 337. Growing up in Bithynia, raised by his maternal grandmother, at the age of seven Julian was under the guardianship of Eusebius of Nicomedia, the semi-Arian Christian Bishop of Nicomedia, taught by Mardonius, a Gothic eunuch, about whom he wrote warmly. After Eusebius died in 342, both Julian and Gallus were exiled to the imperial estate of Macellum in Cappadocia. Here Julian met the Christian bishop George of Cappadocia, who lent him books from the classical tradition. At the age of 18, the exile was lifted and he dwelt in Constantinople and Nicomedia, he became a lector, a minor office in the Christian church, his writings show a detailed knowledge of the Bible acquired in his early life.
Julian's conversion from Christianity to paganism happened at around the age of 20. Looking back on his life in 362, Julian wrote that he had spent twenty years in the way of Christianity and twelve in the true way, i.e. the way of Helios. Julian began his study of Neoplatonism in Asia Minor in 351, at first under Aedesius, the philosopher, his Aedesius' student Eusebius of Myndus, it was from Eusebius that Julian learned of the teachings of Maximus of Ephesus, whom Eusebius criticized for his more mystical form of Neoplatonic theurgy. Eusebius related his meeting with Maximus, in which the theurgist invited him into the temple of Hecate and, chanting a hymn, caused a statue of the goddess to smile and laugh, her torches to ignite. Eusebius told Julian that he "must not marvel at any of these things as I marvel not, but rather believe that the thing of the highest importance is that purification of the soul, attained by reason." In spite of Eusebius' warnings regarding the "impostures of witchcraft and magic that cheat the senses" and "the works of conjurers who are insane men led astray into the exercise of earthly and material powers", Julian was intrigued, sought out Maximus as his new mentor.
According to the historian Eunapiu