Eunomius of Constantinople

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Bishop of Cyzicus and chief exponent of Anomoeanism; b. Cappadocia, c. 335; d. Dakora, Cappadocia, c. 394. Eunomius joined the Arian leader Aëtius in Alexandria as disciple and secretary, and moved with him to Antioch where he was ordained deacon. He became bishop of Cyzicus in 360 (according to Philostorgius) or 366 (according to Socrates), but was soon forced to resign because of his extreme views. After Aëtius died in 366, Eunomius assumed leadership of the radical wing of arianism, organized its communities and defended its doctrine in writing. He was often exiled and changed residence; he died at his family estate at Dakora in Cappadocia. Little remains of his extensive literary production, since the Emperor arcadius ordered it to be burnt in 398. Most of it is known through refutations by Basil of Cappadocia, Gregory of Nyssa, and Apollinaris. Fragments of his Apology have been preserved along with part of a second Apology in answer to Basil's refutation, and a confession of faith addressed to the Emperor Theodosius I in 383. His adversaries accused him of reducing theology to technology: indeed, Eunomius shows himself a subtle dialectician, using Aristotelian methods to defend doctrines of Platonic inspiration, speaking, e.g., of the descending triad of the consubstantial Trinity.

Bibliography: j. quasten, Patrology (Westminster MD1950) 3:306309, with bibliog. m. spanneut, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques 15:13991405. x. le bachelet, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique 5.2:150114, doctrine.

[v. c. de clercq]