"Now because it was agreed formerly that the Synod of Bishops should meet at Ancyra of Galatia, it hath seemed to us on many accounts that it would be well for a Synod to assemble at Nicaea, a city of Bithynia, both because the Bishops from Italy and the rest of the countries of Europe are coming, and because of the excellent temperature of the air, and in order that I may be present as a spectator and participator in those things which will be done. Wherefore I signify to you, my beloved brethren, that all of you promptly assemble at the said city, that is at Nicaea."

303 The "Great Persecution" begins under Emperor Diocletian.

313 The Edict of Milan extends religious freedom to all, including Christians.

c. 318 A theological dispute between Bishop Alexander of Alexandria and one of his presbyters, Arius, sparks a storm of correspondence and public controversy.

324 Constantine defeats Licinius and becomes the sole ruler of the Roman Empire. He sends a letter to Alexander and Arius pleading with them to set aside their differences.

325 The Council of Antioch supports Alexander's views against Arius, deposes Eusebius of Caesarea, and plans a general council to be held in Ancrya (moved to Nicaea by Constantine).

325 The Council of Nicaea produces a creed affirming that Christ is of the same substance as the Father and condemns the teaching of Arius. Eusebius of Caesarea is reinstated. Arius and his supporters are exiled.

328 Athanasius succeeds Alexander as bishop of Alexandria.

337 Constantine's son Constantius embraces Arianism. The Nicene Creed is nearly eclipsed amidst a dizzying array of councils and creeds for several decades.

c. 340 The Arian missionary Ulphilas evangelizes the Goths.

350-3 After ...

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