The Latin term primicerius, hellenized as primikērios, was a title applied in the Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire to the heads of administrative departments, used by the Church to denote the heads of various colleges. Etymologically the term derives from primus in cera, to say in tabula cerata, the first name in a list of a class of officials, inscribed on a waxed tablet. From their origin in the court of the Dominate, there were several primicerii. In the court, there was the primicerius sacri cubiculi, in charge of the emperor's bedchamber always a eunuch; the title was given to court officials in combination with other offices connected to the imperial person, such as the special treasury or the imperial wardrobe. Other primicerii headed some of the scrinia of the palace, chiefly the notarii. In the Late Roman army, the primicerius was senior to the senator, they are best attested in units associated with chiefly imperial guards. Thus in the 4th to 6th centuries there were the primicerii of the protectores domestici and of the Scholae Palatinae, but primicerii in charge of the armament factories, like the Scholae, where under the jurisdiction of the magister officiorum.
Primicerii are to be found in the staffs of regional military commanders, as well as in some regular military units. In the Byzantine era, under the Komnenian emperors, primikērioi appear as commanders in the palace regiments of the Manglabitai, Vardariōtai and the Varangians. In the late 11th century, the dignity of megas primikērios was established, which ranked high in court hierarchy well into the Palaiologan period, where he functioned as a chief of ceremonies. Primikērioi continue to be in evidence in the Byzantine Empire and the Despotate of Morea until their fall to the Ottomans. In ecclesiastical use the term was given to heads of the colleges of Notarii and Defensores, which occupied an important place in the administration of the Roman Church in Late Antiquity and in the Early Middle Ages; when young clerics were assembled in schools for training in the ecclesiastical service in the different districts of the Western Church, the directors of these schools were given this title. Thus, an inscription of the year 551 from Lyon mentions a "Stephanus primicerius scolae lectorum servientium in ecclesia Lugdunensi".
Isidore of Seville treats of the obligations of the primicerius of the lower clerics in his "Epistola ad Ludefredum". From this position the primicerius derived certain powers in the direction of liturgical functions. In the regulation of the common life of the clergy in collegiate and cathedral churches, according to the Rule of Chrodegang and the statutes of Amalarius of Metz, the primicerius appears as the first capitular after the archdeacon and archpresbyter, controlling the lower clerics and directing the liturgical functions and chant; the primicerius thus became a special dignitary of many chapters by a gradual development from the position of the old primicerius of the scola cantorum or lectorum. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the title was used for the heads of the colleges of the notarioi and taboularioi in the Church bureaucracy, but for the chief lectors, etc. of a church. In modern usage of the Russian Orthodox Church, the word primicerius is reserved for a junior cleric holding a torch or a candle before officiating bishop during the divine service.
Le Blant, "Inscriptions chrétiennes de la Gaule", I, 142, n. 45 Charles du Fresne, sieur du Cange, "Glossarium" Gregory of Tours, "Hist. Francorum", II, xxxvii St. Isidore of Seville, "Epistola ad Ludefredum", P. L. LXXXIII, 896 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed.. "Primicerius". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton
Saint Peter known as Simon Peter, Simon, or Cephas, according to the New Testament, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, leaders of the early Christian Great Church. Pope Gregory I called him the "Prince of the Apostles". According to Catholic teaching, Jesus promised Peter in the "Rock of My Church" dialogue in Matthew 16:18 a special position in the Church, he is traditionally counted as the first Bishop of Rome—or pope—and by Eastern Christian tradition as the first Patriarch of Antioch. The ancient Christian churches all venerate Peter as a major saint and as the founder of the Church of Antioch and the Roman Church, but differ in their attitudes regarding the authority of his present-day successors; the New Testament indicates that Peter's father's name was John and was from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee or Gaulanitis. His brother Andrew was an apostle. According to New Testament accounts, Peter was one of twelve apostles chosen by Jesus from his first disciples.
A fisherman, he played a leadership role and was with Jesus during events witnessed by only a few apostles, such as the Transfiguration. According to the gospels, Peter confessed Jesus as the Messiah, was part of Jesus's inner circle, thrice denied Jesus and wept bitterly once he realised his deed, preached on the day of Pentecost. According to Christian tradition, Peter was crucified in Rome under Emperor Nero, it is traditionally held that he was crucified upside down at his own request, since he saw himself unworthy to be crucified in the same way as Jesus. Tradition holds, his remains are said to be those contained in the underground Confessio of St. Peter's Basilica, where Pope Paul VI announced in 1968 the excavated discovery of a first-century Roman cemetery; every 29 June since 1736, a statue of Saint Peter in St. Peter's Basilica is adorned with papal tiara, ring of the fisherman, papal vestments, as part of the celebration of the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. According to Catholic doctrine, the direct papal successor to Saint Peter is the incumbent pope Pope Francis.
Two general epistles in the New Testament are ascribed to Peter, but modern scholars reject the Petrine authorship of both. The Gospel of Mark was traditionally thought to show the influence of Peter's preaching and eyewitness memories. Several other books bearing his name—the Acts of Peter, Gospel of Peter, Preaching of Peter, Apocalypse of Peter, Judgment of Peter—are considered by Christian denominations as apocryphal, are thus not included in their Bible canons. Peter's original name, as indicated in the New Testament, was "Simon" or "Simeon"; the Simon/Simeon variation has been explained as reflecting "the well-known custom among Jews at the time of giving the name of a famous patriarch or personage of the Old Testament to a male child along with a similar sounding Greek/Roman name". He was given the name כֵּיפָא in Aramaic, rendered in Greek as Κηφᾶς, whence Latin and English Cephas; the precise meaning of the Aramaic word is disputed, some saying that its usual meaning is "rock" or "crag", others saying that it means rather "stone" and in its application by Jesus to Simon, "precious stone" or "jewel", but most scholars agree that as a proper name it denotes a rough or tough character.
Both meanings, "stone" and "rock", are indicated in dictionaries of Syriac. Catholic theologian Rudolf Pesch argues that the Aramaic cepha means "stone, clump, clew" and that "rock" is only a connotation; the combined name Σίμων Πέτρος appears 19 times in the New Testament. In some Syriac documents he is called, in Simon Cephas. Peter's life story is told in the four canonical gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, New Testament letters, the non-canonical Gospel of the Hebrews and other Early Church accounts of his life and death. In the New Testament, he is among the first of the disciples called during Jesus' ministry. Peter became the first listed apostle ordained by Jesus in the early church. Peter was a fisherman in Bethsaida, he was named son of Jonah or John. The three Synoptic Gospels recount how Peter's mother-in-law was healed by Jesus at their home in Capernaum. 1 Cor. 9:5 has been taken to imply that he was married. In the Synoptic Gospels, Peter was a fisherman along with his brother and the sons of Zebedee and John.
The Gospel of John depicts Peter fishing after the resurrection of Jesus, in the story of the Catch of 153 fish. In Matthew and Mark, Jesus called Simon and his brother Andrew to be "fishers of men". A Franciscan church is built upon the traditional site of Apostle Peter's house. In Luke, Simon Peter owns the boat that Jesus uses to preach to the multitudes who were pressing on him at the shore of Lake Gennesaret. Jesu
Pope Telesphorus was the Bishop of Rome from c. 126 to his death c. 137, during the reigns of Roman Emperors Hadrian and Antoninus Pius. He was of Greek ancestry and born in Terranova da Sibari, Italy. Telesphorus is traditionally considered as being the eighth Roman bishop in succession after Saint Peter; the Liber Pontificalis mentions. According to the testimony of Irenæus, he suffered a "glorious" martyrdom. Although most early popes are called martyrs by sources such as the Liber Pontificalis, Telesphorus is the first to whom Irenaeus, writing earlier, gives this title. Eusebius places the beginning of his pontificate in the twelfth year of the reign of Emperor Hadrian and gives the date of his death as being in the first year of the reign of Antoninus Pius. In Roman Martyrology, his feast is celebrated on 5 January; the tradition of Christmas Midnight Masses, the celebration of Easter on Sundays, the keeping of a seven-week Lent before Easter and the singing of the Gloria are attributed to his pontificate, but some historians doubt that such attributions are accurate.
A fragment of a letter from Irenæus to Pope Victor I during the Easter controversy in the late 2nd century preserved by Eusebius, testifies that Telesphorus was one of the Roman bishops who always celebrated Easter on Sunday, rather than on other days of the week according to the calculation of the Jewish Passover. Unlike Victor, Telesphorus remained in communion with those communities that did not follow this custom; the Carmelites venerate Telesphorus as a patron saint of the order since some sources depict him as a hermit living on Mount Carmel. The town of Saint-Télesphore, in the southwestern part of Canada's Quebec province, is named after him. List of Catholic saints List of popes Attwater and Catherine Rachel John; the Penguin Dictionary of Saints. 3rd edition. New York: Penguin Books, 1993. ISBN 0-14-051312-4. Kelly, J. N. D. Oxford Dictionary of Popes.. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. Benedict XVI; the Roman Martyrology. Gardners Books, 2007. ISBN 978-0-548-13374-3. Chapman, John. Studies on the Early Papacy.
Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 1971. ISBN 978-0-8046-1139-8. Fortescue and Scott M. P. Reid; the Early Papacy: To the Synod of Chalcedon in 451. Southampton: Saint Austin Press, 1997. ISBN 978-1-901157-60-4. Loomis, Louise Ropes; the Book of Popes. Merchantville, NJ: Evolution Publishing. ISBN 1-889758-86-8 The Works of Pope Telesphorus "Pope St. Telesphorus" Catholic Encyclopedia Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Telesphorus". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press
Arabs are a population inhabiting the Arab world. They live in the Arab states in Western Asia, North Africa, the Horn of Africa and western Indian Ocean islands, they form a significant diaspora, with Arab communities established around the world. The first mention of Arabs is from the mid-ninth century BCE as a tribal people in eastern and southern Syria and the north of the Arabian Peninsula; the Arabs appear to have been under the vassalage of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, the succeeding Neo-Babylonian, Achaemenid and Parthian empires. Arab tribes, most notably the Ghassanids and Lakhmids, begin to appear in the southern Syrian Desert from the mid 3rd century CE onward, during the mid to stages of the Roman and Sasanian empires. Before the expansion of the Rashidun Caliphate, "Arab" referred to any of the nomadic and settled Semitic people from the Arabian Peninsula, Syrian Desert, North and Lower Mesopotamia. Today, "Arab" refers to a large number of people whose native regions form the Arab world due to the spread of Arabs and the Arabic language throughout the region during the early Muslim conquests of the 7th and 8th centuries and the subsequent Arabisation of indigenous populations.
The Arabs forged the Rashidun, Umayyad and the Fatimid caliphates, whose borders reached southern France in the west, China in the east, Anatolia in the north, the Sudan in the south. This was one of the largest land empires in history. In the early 20th century, the First World War signalled the end of the Ottoman Empire; this resulted in the defeat and dissolution of the empire and the partition of its territories, forming the modern Arab states. Following the adoption of the Alexandria Protocol in 1944, the Arab League was founded on 22 March 1945; the Charter of the Arab League endorsed the principle of an Arab homeland whilst respecting the individual sovereignty of its member states. Today, Arabs inhabit the 22 Arab states within the Arab League: Algeria, Comoros, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen; the Arab world stretches around 13 million km2, from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the east, from the Mediterranean Sea in the north to the Horn of Africa and the Indian Ocean in the southeast.
Beyond the boundaries of the League of Arab States, Arabs can be found in the global diaspora. The ties that bind Arabs are ethnic, cultural, identical, nationalist and political; the Arabs have their own customs, architecture, literature, dance, cuisine, society and mythology. The total number of Arabs are an estimated 450 million. Arabs are a diverse group in terms of religious practices. In the pre-Islamic era, most Arabs followed polytheistic religions; some tribes had adopted Christianity or Judaism, a few individuals, the hanifs observed monotheism. Today, about 93% of Arabs are adherents of Islam, there are sizable Christian minorities. Arab Muslims belong to the Sunni, Shiite and Alawite denominations. Arab Christians follow one of the Eastern Christian Churches, such as the Greek Orthodox or Greek Catholic churches. Other smaller minority religions are followed, such as the Bahá'í Faith and Druze. Arabs have influenced and contributed to diverse fields, notably the arts and architecture, philosophy, ethics, politics, music, cinema, medicine and technology in the ancient and modern history.
The earliest documented use of the word "Arab" to refer to a people appears in the Kurkh Monoliths, an Akkadian language record of the ninth century BCE Assyrian conquest of Aram, which referred to Bedouins of the Arabian Peninsula under King Gindibu, who fought as part of a coalition opposed to Assyria. Listed among the booty captured by the army of king Shalmaneser III of Assyria in the Battle of Qarqar are 1000 camels of "Gi-in-di-bu'u the ar-ba-a-a" or " Gindibu belonging to the Arab; the related word ʾaʿrāb is used to refer to Bedouins today, in contrast to ʿarab which refers to Arabs in general. The term Arab and ʾaʿrāb are mentioned around 40 times in pre-Islamic Sabaean inscriptions; the term Arab occurs in the titles of the Himyarite kings from the time of'Abu Karab Asad until MadiKarib Ya'fur. The term ʾaʿrāb is driven from the term Arab according to Sabaean grammar; the term is mentioned in Quranic verses referring to people who were living in Madina and it might be a south Arabian loan-word into Quranic language.
The oldest surviving indication of an Arab national identity is an inscription made in an archaic form of Arabic in 328 using the Nabataean alphabet, which refers to Imru' al-Qays ibn'Amr as "King of all the Arabs". Herodotus refers to the Arabs in the Sinai, southern Palestine, the frankincense region. Other ancient Greek historians like Agatharchides, Diodorus Siculus and Strabo mention Arabs living in Mesopotamia, in Egypt, southern Jordan, the Syrian steppe and in eastern Arabia. Inscriptions dating to the 6th century BCE in Yemen include the term "Arab"; the most popular Arab account holds that the word "Arab" came from an eponymous father called Ya'rub, the first to speak Arabic. A
Pope Pius I
Pope Pius I is said to have been the Bishop of Rome from c. 140 to his death c. 154, according to the Annuario Pontificio. His dates are listed as 146 to 157 or 161, respectively. Pius is believed to have been born in Northern Italy, during the late 1st century, his father was an Italian called "Rufinus", a native of Aquileia according to the Liber Pontificalis. According to the 2nd century Muratorian Canon and the Liberian Catalogue, that he was the brother of Hermas, author of the text known as The Shepherd of Hermas; the writer of the text identifies himself as a former slave. This has led to speculation that both Pius were freedmen; however Hermas' statement that he was a slave may just mean that he belonged to a low-ranking plebeian family. According to Catholic tradition, St Pius I governed the Church in the middle of the 2nd century during the reigns of the Emperors Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius, he is held to be the ninth successor of Saint Peter, who decreed that Easter should only be kept on a Sunday.
Although credited with ordering the publication of the Liber Pontificalis, compilation of that document was not started before the beginning of the 6th century. He is said to have built one of the oldest churches in Rome, Santa Pudenziana. Saint Justin taught Christian doctrine in Rome during the theoretical pontificate of St Pius I but the account of his martyrdom indicates there was no Roman bishop present there; the heretics Valentinus and Marcion visited Rome during that period. Catholic apologists see this as an argument for the primacy of the Roman See during the 2nd century. Pope Pius I is believed to have opposed the Valentinians and Gnostics under Marcion, whom he excommunicated. There is some conjecture that he was a martyr in Rome, a conjecture that entered earlier editions of the Roman Breviary; the study that had produced the 1969 revision of the General Roman Calendar stated that there were no grounds for his consideration as a martyr, he is not presented as such in the Roman Martyrology.
Pius I's feast day is 11 July. In the Tridentine Calendar it was given the rank of "Simple" and celebrated as the feast of a martyr; the rank of the feast was reduced to a Commemoration in the 1955 General Roman Calendar of Pope Pius XII and the General Roman Calendar of 1960. Though no longer mentioned in the General Roman Calendar, Saint Pius I may now, according to the rules in the present-day Roman Missal, be celebrated everywhere on his feast day as a Memorial, unless in some locality an obligatory celebration is assigned to that day. List of Catholic saints List of popes "Lives of the Saints, For Every Day of the Year," edited by Rev. Hugo Hoever, S. O. Cist. Ph. D. New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co. 1955, pp 511
Pope John VIII
Pope John VIII can refer to Pope John VIII of Alexandria. Pope John VIII was Pope from 14 December 872 to his death in 882, he is considered one of the ablest pontiffs of the 9th century. He devoted much of his papacy attempting to halt and reverse the Muslim gains in southern Italy and their march northwards, "destroying the economy of papal patrimony." When his efforts to obtain assistance from either the Franks or the Byzantines was unavailing, John was forced to focus on strengthening the defenses of the city of Rome. To this end he reinforced the walls around the Vatican, had defense works constructed at Saint Paul Outside the Walls. Pope John supported Methodius in his mission to the Slavs, defended him against the German episcopy, which felt that Methodius was intruding on their terrain, he authorized the translation of the Bible into Slavonic and extended diplomatic recognition to the Duchy of Croatia. Pope John resolved the Photian schism by agreeing to recognize Photios as Patriarch of Constantinople, on, excommunicating him.
He was born as a young man witnessed the Arab raid against Rome by the Muslim Aghlabids. Among the reforms achieved during his pontificate was a notable administrative reorganisation of the papal Curia. Pope Adrian II had supported his mission to the Slavs. In 873, John VIII learned of the imprisonment of Methodiusby his German enemies, who objected to his use of the Slavonic language in the liturgy. John forbade the celebration of Mass in Bavaria. Following Methodius' release John allowed him to resume his episcopal duties in Illyricum, but forbid him to celebrate mass in the Slavonic language, a prohibition Methodius may have ignored; the imprisonment of Methodius seems to have been caused by Aldwin of Salzburg, who viewed Methodius as encroaching on his jurisdiction in Moravia. Upon the release of Methodius, the Pope extended his jurisdiction not only to Great Moravia and Pannonia, but to Serbia as well, authorized Methodius to translate the Bible into Slavonic. "He who made three main languages - Hebrew and Roman - made all other languages to sing his praise and glory."During the solemn divine service in St. Peter's church in Rome in 879, John VIII gave his blessing to duke Branimir of Croatia and the whole Croatian people, about which he informed Branimir in his letters.
His country received papal recognition as a state. John made the decision on 21 May and confirmed it in his letter of 7 June 879. Pope John asked for military aid from Charles the Bald and Count Boso of Provence, in response to Saracens who were raiding Campania and the Sabine Hills, his efforts failed and he was forced to pay tribute to the Emirate of Sicily. The threatening Muslim military presence, coupled with alliances they formed with the local Christians, prompted John to promote "a new and uncompromisingly hostile view of the Saracens." This included a ban on forming alliances with the Muslims. However, his efforts proved unsuccessful because Christian leaders viewed his calls for unity as an excuse to assert papal authority in southern Italy. In 876, John VIII traveled throughout Campania in an effort to form an alliance among the cities of Salerno, Naples and Amalfi against Muslim raids. By 877, all five cities sent delegates to Traietto to formalize an alliance; the Pope John VIII urged HRE Charles to come to his defence in Italy.
Charles again crossed the Alps, but this expedition was received with little enthusiasm by the nobles, by his regent in Lombardy and they refused to join his army. At the same time Carloman of Bavaria, son of Louis the German, entered northern Italy. Charles, ill and in great distress, started on his way back to Gaul, but died while crossing the pass of Mont Cenis on 6 October 877. Obtaining little support from outside sources, John fell back on what resources he could command, he reinforced the walls restored by Pope Leo IV. As the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls was located outside the Aurelian Walls, had been damaged in a Saracen raid, the Pope fortified the Basilica, the monastery, the nearby dwellings of the peasants, he founded a papal fleet. In 879 he recognised the reinstatement of Photius as the legitimate patriarch of Constantinople; this was undertaken to appease the Byzantines, since in them he saw the only hope of removing the Arabs from Italy. Some time afterward, Pope John VIII had re-confirmed the excommunication against Photius, after the death of Emperor Basil in 886, Emperor Leo VI used the papal proclamation to move against Photius, casting Photius away to an Armenian monastery.
In 878 John crowned Louis II, king of France. He anointed two Holy Roman Emperors: Charles II and Charles III. John VIII was assassinated in 882 certainly by his own clerics —the first pope in history to suffer such a fate. According to Barbara M. Kreutz, the assassination has been blamed upon such factors as his exhaustion of the papal treasury, his lack of support among the Carolingians, his gestures towards the Byzantines and his failure to stop the Saracen raids. Without the protection of powerful magnates such as the Emperor, the papacy became subject to the machinations and greedy ambition of the rival clans of the local nobility. Council of Constantinople List of Catholic saints List of murdered popes List of popes This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed.. "Pope John VIII". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton. Balan, Pietro. Il pont
Bishops of Rome under Constantine I
Constantine I's relationship with the four Bishops of Rome during his reign is an important component of the history of the Papacy, more the history of the Catholic Church. The legend surrounding Constantine I's victory in the Battle of the Milvian Bridge relates his vision of the Chi Rho and the text in hoc signo vinces in the sky and his reproducing this symbol on the shields of his troops; the following year Constantine and Licinius proclaimed the toleration of Christianity with the Edict of Milan, in 325 Constantine convened and presided over the First Council of Nicaea, the first ecumenical council. None of this, has much to do with the popes, who did not attend the Council. Moreover, between 324 and 330, he built Constantinople as a new capital for the empire, and—with no apologies to the Roman community of Christians—relocated key Roman families and translated many Christian relics to the new churches; the Donation of Constantine, an 8th-century forgery used to enhance the prestige and authority of popes, places the pope more centrally in the narrative of Constantinian Christianity.
The legend of the Donation claims that Constantine offered his crown to Sylvester I, that Sylvester baptized Constantine. In reality, Constantine was baptized by Eusebius of Nicomedia, unlike the pope, was an Arian bishop. Sylvester was succeeded by Julius I during the life of Constantine. Although the "Donation" never occurred, Constantine did hand over the Lateran Palace to the bishop of Rome, begin the construction of Old Saint Peter's Basilica; the gift of the Lateran occurred during the reign of Miltiades, Sylvester I's predecessor, who began using it as his residence. Old St. Peter's was begun between 326 and 330 and would have taken three decades to complete, long after the death of Constantine. Constantine's legalization of Christianity, combined with the donation of these properties, gave the bishop of Rome an unprecedented level of temporal power, for the first time creating an incentive for secular leaders to interfere with papal succession. In spite of the Diocletian Persecution, Christians constituted one-tenth of the population of the Roman Empire at the time of Constantine's rise to power.
Christianity was legalized by Galerius, the first emperor to issue an edict of toleration for all religious creeds including Christianity in April 311. Eamon Duffy characterizes the church in Rome before Constantine as "not one congregation, but a loose constellation of churches based in private houses or, as time went on and the community grew, meeting in rented halls in markets and public baths, it was without any single dominant ruling officer, its elders or leaders sharing responsibility, but distributing tasks, like that of foreign correspondent. By the eve of the conversion of Constantine, there were more than two dozen of these religious community-centers or tituli"; the Roman church was a small community, its bishop exercised little influence outside its members in the time of Constantine. Constantine was the first Roman Emperor to embrace Christianity, although he continued in his pre-Christian beliefs, he and co-Emperor Licinius bestowed imperial favor on Christianity through the Edict of Milan promulgated in 313.
After the Edict of Milan, the church adopted the same governmental structure as the Empire: geographical provinces ruled by bishops. These bishops of important cities therefore rose in power over the bishops of lesser cities. Whatever his personal beliefs, Constantine's political interest in Christianity was as a unifying force and his policy of "the imposition of unity on the churches at all costs" soon set him on a "collision course with the popes." Miltiades was pope at the time of Constantine's victory, Constantine gifted to Miltiades the Lateran Palace, where he relocated, holding a synod in 313. Constantine designated Miltiades as one of four bishops to adjudicate the case of the Donatists, but he had no authority to decide the case or publish the result without the approval of the emperor himself. Customarily, the African bishops may have gone to the bishop of Rome as a respected, neutral figure, but it was well known that Miltiades would not agree with the Donatist position that ordination by a "traitor" bishop would invalidate the sacrament.
Turning to Constantine was a strange move because he had not yet been baptized, word of his budding conversion may not yet have reached Alexandria. Constantine therefore referred the matter to Miltiades, requiring him to collaborate with three bishops from Gaul. Eamon Duffy calls this the "first direct intervention by an emperor in the affairs of the church." When Miltiades invited fifteen additional Italian bishops to participate in the synod and ruled against the Donatists, they appealed to Constantine again, who called for a new synod in Arles, this time headed by the bishops of Arles and Syracuse. Miltiades died, his successor, Sylvester I, did not travel to Arles; the Arles synod gave Silvester I somewhat of a nod by asking him to circulate their decisions to the other bishops, although he had no part in the process. During Silvester I's reign, construction began on the Lateran Basilica, Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, St. Peter's. Silvester did not attend the first ecumenical council, the First Council of Nicaea, but sent two priests as his representatives.
Silvester would have viewed Arianism as a heresy.