Constantine the Great summoned the bishops of the Christian Church to Nicaea to address divisions in the Church (mosaic in Hagia Sophia, Constantinople (Istanbul), ca. 1000).
Paolo Veronese, The Resurrection of Jesus Christ (ca. 1560).
The synod of Nicaea, Constantine and the condemnation and burning of Arian books, illustration from a northern Italian compendium of canon law, c. 825
Christ Pantocrator, Holy Trinity's monastery, Meteora, Greece
The Council of Nicaea, with Arius depicted as defeated by the council, lying under the feet of Emperor Constantine
Saint Paul delivering the Areopagus sermon in Athens, by Raphael, 1515
Icon depicting the Emperor Constantine and the bishops of the First Council of Nicaea (325) holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381
The Four Evangelists, by Pieter Soutman, 17th century
A fresco depicting the First Council of Nicaea at the Vatican's Sixtine Salon
Christological spectrum during the 5th–7th centuries showing the views of the Church of the East (light blue), the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Churches (light purple), and the Miaphysite Churches (pink).

Its main accomplishments were settlement of the Christological issue of the divine nature of God the Son and his relationship to God the Father, the construction of the first part of the Nicene Creed, mandating uniform observance of the date of Easter, and promulgation of early canon law.

- First Council of Nicaea

In 325, the First Council of Nicaea defined the persons of the Godhead and their relationship with one another, decisions which were ratified at the First Council of Constantinople in 381.

- Christology
Constantine the Great summoned the bishops of the Christian Church to Nicaea to address divisions in the Church (mosaic in Hagia Sophia, Constantinople (Istanbul), ca. 1000).

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Ecumenical council

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Meeting of bishops and other church authorities to consider and rule on questions of Christian doctrine, administration, discipline, and other matters in which those entitled to vote are convoked from the whole world and which secures the approbation of the whole Church.

Meeting of bishops and other church authorities to consider and rule on questions of Christian doctrine, administration, discipline, and other matters in which those entitled to vote are convoked from the whole world and which secures the approbation of the whole Church.

Disputes over Christological and other questions have led certain branches to reject some councils that others accept.

In the history of Christianity, the first seven ecumenical councils, from the First Council of Nicaea (325) to the Second Council of Nicaea (787), represent an attempt to reach an orthodox consensus and to unify Christendom.

Imagined portrait of Arius; detail of a Cretan School icon, c. 1591, depicting the First Council of Nicaea.

Arianism

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Imagined portrait of Arius; detail of a Cretan School icon, c. 1591, depicting the First Council of Nicaea.
Constantine burning Arian books, illustration from a compendium of canon law, c. 825.
Once the orthodox Trinitarians succeeded in defeating Arianism, they censored any signs that the perceived heresy left behind. This mosaic in Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna has had images of the Arian king, Theoderic, and his court removed. On some columns their hands remain.
The ceiling mosaic of the Arian Baptistery, built in Ravenna by the Ostrogothic King Theodoric the Great.
Page from the Codex Argenteus, a 6th-century illuminated manuscript of the Gothic Bible
Arian and Chalcedonian kingdoms in 495

Arianism (, Areianismós) is a Christological doctrine first attributed to Arius (c.

The ecumenical First Council of Nicaea of 325, convened by Emperor Constantine to ensure church unity, declared Arianism to be a heresy.

Saint George's Cathedral, Istanbul, Turkey

Eastern Orthodox Church

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Second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptized members.

Second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptized members.

Saint George's Cathedral, Istanbul, Turkey
Christ Pantocrator, sixth century, Saint Catherine's Monastery, Sinai; the oldest known icon of Christ, in one of the oldest monasteries in the world
Emperor Constantine presents a representation of the city of Constantinople as tribute to an enthroned Mary and baby Jesus in this church mosaic (Hagia Sophia, c. 1000)
An icon of Saint John the Baptist, 14th century, North Macedonia
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Icon depicting the Emperor Constantine and the bishops of the First Council of Nicaea (325) holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381.
Hagia Sophia, the largest church in the world and patriarchal basilica of Constantinople for nearly a thousand years, later converted into a mosque, then a museum, then back to a mosque.
The baptism of Princess Olga in Constantinople, a miniature from the Radzivill Chronicle
Latin Crusaders sacking the city of Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Orthodox controlled Byzantine Empire, in 1204.
Timeline showing the main autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Churches, from an Eastern Orthodox point of view, up to 2021
Canonical territories of the main autocephalous and autonomous Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions as of 2020
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Percentage distribution of Eastern Orthodox Christians by country
John of Damascus
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Our Lady of Tinos is the major Marian shrine in Greece.
The Theotokos of Vladimir, one of the most venerated of Orthodox Christian icons of the Virgin Mary
Last Judgment: 12th-century Byzantine mosaic from Torcello Cathedral
David glorified by the women of Israel from the Paris Psalter, example of the Macedonian art (Byzantine) (sometimes called the Macedonian Renaissance)
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Chanters singing on the kliros at the Church of St. George, Patriarchate of Constantinople
An illustration of the traditional interior of an Orthodox church.
Shards of pottery vases on the street, after being thrown from the windows of nearby houses. A Holy Saturday tradition in Corfu.
An Eastern Orthodox baptism
Eucharistic elements prepared for the Divine Liturgy
The wedding of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.
Eastern Orthodox subdeacon being ordained to the diaconate. The bishop has placed his omophorion and right hand on the head of the candidate and is reading the Prayer of Cheirotonia.
The consecration of the Rt Rev. Reginald Heber Weller as an Anglican bishop at the Cathedral of St. Paul the Apostle in the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac, with the Rt. Rev. Anthony Kozlowski of the Polish National Catholic Church and Saint Tikhon, then Bishop of the Aleutians and Alaska (along with his chaplains Fr. John Kochurov and Fr. Sebastian Dabovich) of the Russian Orthodox Church present
Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew I in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, 2014
The Constantinople Massacre of April 1821: a religious persecution of the Greek population of Constantinople under the Ottomans. Patriarch Gregory V of Constantinople was executed.
The Pan-Orthodox Council, Kolymvari, Crete, Greece, June 2016
Cathedral of Evangelismos, Alexandria
Patriarchate of Peć in Kosovo, the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church from the 14th century when its status was upgraded into a patriarchate
Traditional Paschal procession by Russian Orthodox Old-Rite Church
Greek Orthodox massacred during the Greek Genocide in Smyrna in 1922.

Before the Council of Ephesus in AD 431, the Church of the East also shared in this communion, as did the various Oriental Orthodox Churches before the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451, all separating primarily over differences in Christology.

The seven ecumenical councils recognized by the Eastern Orthodox churches are: Nicaea I, Constantinople I, Ephesus, Chalcedon, Constantinople II, Constantinople III, and Nicaea II.

Funerary stele of Licinia Amias on marble, in the National Roman Museum. One of the earliest Christian inscriptions found, it comes from the early 3rd century Vatican necropolis area in Rome. It contains the text ΙΧΘΥϹ ΖΩΝΤΩΝ ("fish of the living"), a predecessor of the Ichthys symbol.

History of Christianity

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The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion, Christian countries, and the Christians with their various denominations, from the 1st century to the present.

The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion, Christian countries, and the Christians with their various denominations, from the 1st century to the present.

Funerary stele of Licinia Amias on marble, in the National Roman Museum. One of the earliest Christian inscriptions found, it comes from the early 3rd century Vatican necropolis area in Rome. It contains the text ΙΧΘΥϹ ΖΩΝΤΩΝ ("fish of the living"), a predecessor of the Ichthys symbol.
The eastern Mediterranean region in the time of Paul the Apostle
Christ Jesus, the Good Shepherd, 3rd century
St. Lawrence (martyred 258) before Emperor Valerianus by Fra Angelico
A folio from Papyrus 46, an early-3rd-century collection of Pauline epistles
Virgin and Child. Wall painting from the early Roman catacombs, 4th century.
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Icon depicting the Emperor Constantine (centre) and the bishops of the First Council of Nicaea (325) holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381.
Imagined portrait of Arius; detail of a Cretan School icon, c. 1591, depicting the First Council of Nicaea.
The ceiling mosaic of the Arian Baptistery, built in Ravenna by the Ostrogothic King Theodoric the Great.
An Eastern Roman mosaic showing a basilica with towers, mounted with Christian crosses, 5th century, Louvre
The Church of the East during the Middle Ages
Coptic icon of St. Anthony the Great, father of Christian monasticism and early anchorite. The Coptic inscription reads ‘Ⲡⲓⲛⲓϣϯ Ⲁⲃⲃⲁ Ⲁⲛⲧⲱⲛⲓ’ ("the Great Father Anthony").
A mosaic of Justinian I in the Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy
Roderick is venerated as one of the Martyrs of Córdoba
Raid on the Monastery of Zobe and the death of hegumenos Michael and his 36 brothers, depicted in the Menologion of Basil II.
"Hospitality of Abraham", icon by Andrei Rublev; the three angels represent the Godhead according to Trinitarian Christians.
Western Europe, the Holy Roman Empire, Kievan Rus', and the Byzantine Empire in the Middle Ages (year 1000)
The spread of Cistercians from their original sites in Western-Central Europe during the Middle Ages
Henry IV, the Holy Roman Emperor at the gate of Canossa Castle in 1077, during the Investiture controversy.
The Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Crusader states with their strongholds in the Holy Land at their height, between the First and the Second Crusade (1135)
St. Cyril and St. Methodius monument on Mt. Radhošť
Christianization of Kievan Rus', the first unified federation of Slavic tribes
Christianization of Moravia under the rule of Rastislav
Jan Hus defending his theses at the Council of Constance (1415), painting by the Czech artist Václav Brožík
Michelangelo's Pietà (1498–99) in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City
American Discovery Viewed by Native Americans (Thomas Hart Benton, 1922). European discovery and colonization had disastrous effects on the Indigenous peoples of the Americas and their societies.
The Council in Santa Maria Maggiore church; Museo Diocesiano Tridentino, Trento
Galileo before the Holy Office, a 19th-century painting by Joseph-Nicolas Robert-Fleury
Philipp Spener, the founder of Pietism
Churches of the Moscow Kremlin, as seen from the Balchug
Demolition of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow on the orders of Joseph Stalin, 5 December 1931, consistent with the doctrine of state atheism in the USSR
Pope Pius XI
Laying on of hands during a service in a neo-charismatic church in Ghana

Various Christological debates about the human and divine nature of Jesus consumed the Christian Church for three centuries, and seven ecumenical councils were called to resolve these debates.

Arianism was condemned at the First Council of Nicea (325), which supported the Trinitarian doctrine as expounded in the Nicene Creed.

Icon depicting the Emperor Constantine (centre), accompanied by the bishops of the First Council of Nicaea (325), holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381

First seven ecumenical councils

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Icon depicting the Emperor Constantine (centre), accompanied by the bishops of the First Council of Nicaea (325), holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381
Emperor Constantine presents a representation of the city of Constantinople as tribute to an enthroned Mary and baby Jesus in this church mosaic. Hagia Sophia, c. 1000).
Hagia Irene is a former church, now a museum, in Istanbul. Commissioned in the 4th century, it ranks as the first church built in Constantinople, and has its original atrium. In 381 the First Council of Constantinople took place in the church. Damaged by an earthquake in the 8th century, its present form largely dates from repairs made at that time.

In the history of Christianity, the first seven ecumenical councils include the following: the First Council of Nicaea in 325, the First Council of Constantinople in 381, the Council of Ephesus in 431, the Council of Chalcedon in 451, the Second Council of Constantinople in 553, the Third Council of Constantinople from 680–681 and finally, the Second Council of Nicaea in 787.

Theodosius II called the council to settle the christological controversy surrounding Nestorianism.

9th century Byzantine manuscript illumination of I Constantinople. Homilies of St. Gregory of Nazianzus, 879–883.

First Council of Constantinople

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Council of Christian bishops convened in Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey) in AD 381 by the Roman Emperor Theodosius I.

Council of Christian bishops convened in Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey) in AD 381 by the Roman Emperor Theodosius I.

9th century Byzantine manuscript illumination of I Constantinople. Homilies of St. Gregory of Nazianzus, 879–883.
Gregory of Nazianzus presided over part of the Council

The Council of Nicaea in 325 had not ended the Arian controversy which it had been called to clarify.

With the discussion of Trinitarian doctrine now developed, the focus of discussion changed to Christology, which would be the topic of the Council of Ephesus of 431 and the Council of Chalcedon of 451.

Homoousion

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Christian theological term, most notably used in the Nicene Creed for describing Jesus (God the Son) as "same in being" or "same in essence" with God the Father (ὁμοούσιον τῷ Πατρί).

Christian theological term, most notably used in the Nicene Creed for describing Jesus (God the Son) as "same in being" or "same in essence" with God the Father (ὁμοούσιον τῷ Πατρί).

The term ὁμοούσιον, the accusative case form of ὁμοούσιος (homoousios, "consubstantial"), was adopted at the First Council of Nicaea (325) in order to clarify the ontology of Christ.