Marcellus of Ancyra

d. c.374. Bishop of Ancyra in central Anatolia. We know of him through his letter to Pope Julius I* (337-52), preserved by Epiphanius, which includes the oldest Greek text of the Old Roman Creed* and 115 fragments of a treatise of his embodied with but one exception in Eusebius of Caesarea's Contra Marcellum and De ecclesiastica theologia. These same fragments serve also as a principal source for the teachings of Sabellius. Marcellus had been a supporter with Athanasius* of the homoousion position at the Council of Nicea* (325), though his Christology seems to have been based on the notion that the Word of God became the Son only at the Incarnation. This fragmented treatise written about 335, which led to his deposition at the synod in Constantinople in 336, was his continuing effort in the homoousion cause, and was specifically directed against Asterius,* Eusebius of Nicomedia,* and Eusebius of Caesarea.*

In exile Marcellus found refuge with Julius in Rome, and subsequent to the arrival of Athanasius (339) participated in those council sessions (Rome, 341; Sardica, 343) which cleared him of all charges: namely, “the falsehood of Sabellius, the malice of Paul of Samosata, and the blasphemies of Montanus.” While Marcellus was temporarily restored to his see (344), the emperor Constantius again removed him upon dissent of the Eastern bishops (347). He died in exile, only to have his position condemned as heretical at the Council of Constantinople in 381. Jerome indicated that Marcellus was the author of other works; it has been argued that some of them are confused among the writings of Athanasius.