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Religious bodies, forming Arianism, that trace their origin to bishops who did not accept the First Council of Nicaea (325). After Nicaea, Arianism entered on its ecclesiastical phase. different formulas of doctrine became current, generally ambiguous and susceptible of an orthodox interpretation, which the civil authorities frequently sanctioned and even imposed under heavy penalties of law.
The Arians themselves broke into several factions. Strict Arians (Anomoeans) claimed that the Son is unlike (anomoios) the Father. Semi-Arians said that the Son is only similar (homoios) but not identical in essence with the Father. Both forms persisted longer among the Goths than elsewhere. Ulfilas (311-83), an Arian Goth educated in Constantinople and consecrated bishop by Arius' friend, Eusebius (d. 371), organized missionary work among the Visigoths and made most of them Arians after the middle of the fourth century. After the Battle of Adrianople (378), the great body of Visigoths settled within the roman Empire, where Arianism became the national religion of Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Burgundians, Suevi, Vandals, and Lombards. for almost tow centuries they kept it alive in the West.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.