Key Facts:

Date October 2, 313 (Optatus, Against the Donatists, 1.22-24)
Location Rome
Summoned by Constantine
Chaired by Miltiades, bishop of Rome
Number of Participants 18 or 19 (Optatus)
Key Participants Miltiades, Donatus, Caecilian
Purpose To address the split between Donatus and Caecilian
Key Events The council cleared Caecilian of charges brought against him by the Donatists and confirmed his ordination
Primary Source Descriptions Eusebius, Church History, 10.5.18-20, Optatus, Against the Donatists 1.22-24, Augustine’s letters 43.5 and 88.2

Surviving Documents:

Letter of the Donatist Bishops to Constantine

Constantine’s Summons to the Council

Constantine’s Answer to the Donatist Bishops (and details of the council’s date and participants)

The Council’s Decision


U. Dionisi, “Rome” in The Encyclopedia of the Early Church (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992).


Last updated: 3-29-2011

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