Key Facts:

Date c. 355
Location Gangra
Number of Participants 14 bishops
Chaired by Eusebius of Nicomedia
Key Events A total of 20 canons were adopted to counter the extreme form of asceticism introduced by Eustathius of Sebaste. In particular, the following Eustathian errors were condemned: theorectical rejection of marriage and family, liturgical separation, vegetarianism, fasting, clothing and rebellion. An epilogue to the canons describes what true asceticism should involve.
Canons Collection of the manuscript from Freisingen; collection from the manuscript from Wuerzburg; Collection of deacon Theodosius; collection of the manuscript from Corbie; collection of the manuscript from Albi; collection of the manuscript from Saint Maur; Spanish collection; Veroneser fragment
Ancient descriptions Socrates, HE 2.43.1-6; Sozomen, HE 4.24.3-16
Note The date is much disputed. Most 19th and early 20th c. scholars gave a date of c. 340 based on dates in mss. of the Syriac translation of the canons.  More recent scholarship has tended to place the council in the 260s or 370s. T. D. Barnes has most recently argued for a date c. 355, since Sozomen’s account of the Council of Constantinople (in 360), when deposing Eustathius, claimed that the Gangra council had previously taken the same action.

Surviving Documents:

Canons and conciliar letter (Turner, EOMIA, 2.2, p. 145-214)


Barnes, Timothy D. “The Date of the Council of Gangra,” The Journal of Theological Studies 40 (1989): 121-124.

Ferguson, Everett. “Gangra” in Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, (New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1990), 361.

Nardi, C. “Gangra” in The Encyclopedia of the Early Church, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992).

Created by PSAM

Last updated: 4-16-2012

No Responses yet