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Ancyra

MODERN ankara. Capital of the Roman province of Galatia, prominent ecclesiastically from the second century, and scene of important councils:

(1) In 314, after the Great Persecution, a synod of between twelve and eighteen bishops widely representative of Syria and Asia Minor promulgated canons apportioning penalties to the different categories of the lapsed, and regulating sundry ecclesiastical cases, mainly clerical, and standard penitential discipline. Canon 13 seems to allow presbyters to ordain, an interpretation perhaps unknown to antiquity. These canons have special significance in the elaboration of canonical penance, and as the earliest canons of a provincial synod included in the universal code of canons. The council which met at Nicea in 325 was originally planned for Ancyra. Constantine changed its venue.

(2) In 358 Basil of Ancyra presided over a synod of twelve bishops acknowledged as voicing conservative Eastern opinion, misleadingly called semi-Arians, more accurately Homoiousions,* and even deserving the description semi-Nicenes, since their deliberations marked an advance in theological reconstruction in reaction against the extreme Arianism of the “Blasphemy” of Sirmium and the Anomoeans like Aetius and Eudoxius. Their synodal letter and nineteen anathemas still rejected Nicea's homoousios (“of one substance”) but declared the Son to be “like in essence” (equivalent to homoiousios) to the Father. Hilary of Poitiers and Athanasius welcomed this development and sought to overcome the unhappiness with homoousios.

(3) An Arian synod in 375 deposed several bishops, including Gregory of Nyssa, who had earlier convened synods at Ancyra to support the endeavors of his brother Basil.