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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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a branch of Arians, named from Aetius of Antioch, one of the most zealous defenders of Arianism, who, after being servant to a grammarian, of whom he learned grammar and logic, was ordained deacon, and at last bishop, by Eudoxus, patriarch of Constantinople (about A.D. 356). He wrote about 300 theological treatises, one of which has been preserved by Epiphanius, who reports that he held that the Son was of a nature inferior to the Father (κτιστός, καὶ ἐξ οὐκ ὄντων, and ἀνόμοιος τῷ πατρὶ καὶ ἑτερούσιος ); that the Holy Spirit was but a creature, made by the Father and the Son before all other creatures. Socrates (Ch. Hist. 2, 35) says that, though his "doctrines were similar to those of the Arians, yet, from the abstruseness of his arguments, which they could not comprehend, they pronounced him a heretic." He was said to be well versed in the Aristotelian logic. His doctrine and his disciples were condemned by the Council of Seleucia, A.D. 359. He died about A. D. 367. See Theodoret, 2:24; Neander, Ch. Hist. 2, 399, 409, Cave, Hist. Lit. anno 359; Lardner, Works, 3, 584; Walch, Hist. d. Ketzereien, 2, 660. (See ANOMOEANS).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Aetians'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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