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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

The debate between Basil of Caesarea and Eunomius of Cyzicus marks a turning point in the fourth-century Trinitarian debates. This chapter gives a brief overview of how Basil and Eunomius were participants in the wider conflicts and aspirations of their age. This survey has the additional purpose of introducing and contextualizing many of the councils, figures, and documents discussed in this book. Traditional accounts of the fourth-century Trinitarian controversies have tended to corral participants into two competing camps: those in support of the Council of Nicaea and its term homoousios and those opposed to it, the "Arians". There is no record of Basil and Eunomius meeting at the Council of Constantinople, though Eunomius is our source for Basil's early departure from it, indicating that during the proceedings he at least knew of the man who would later be his fiercest opponent.

Keywords: Basil of Caesarea; Eunomius of Cyzicus; Trinitarian controversies

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